Deities, conspiracies, politics, space aliens: you don’t actually have to believe in these to find them interesting. Just focus your attention not on the things themselves, but in how other people regard them, what they say when they talk about them, and why they think about them the way they do.[...]
I’m riding a mighty big bandwagon when I tell you that Exile on Main Street is my favorite Stones record. It’s like championing the virtues of Sgt. Pepper’s or Dark Side of the Moon. Really, those are great albums? Wow, who knew.[...]
In 1964, when this performance was given, the tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon was in the second year of his European exile.
Gordon had risen to prominence in the early 1940s, after joining the Lionel Hampton band at the age of 17. He was one of the pioneer translators of the bebop idiom to the tenor sax.
If anyone should ask you how to promote a celebrity fragrance without losing face, click play and whisper, “Like This.”
It helps if the celeb in question is generally acknowledged to be a class act. Imagine a drunken starlet emerging from her limo sans-drawers to stumble through her favorite poem by a 13th century Sufi mystic.
Yesterday we featured videos visualizing Igor Stravinsky’s now hundred-year-old The Rite of Spring. They came from acknowledged master of music visualization Stephen Malinowski, inventor of the Music Animation Machine.[...]
“Sir,” says James Brown to a reporter who had just made the mistake of calling him James, “I’m going to call you by your last name as long as you call me by mine. One thing I fought for was respect, Okay? I didn’t have that all the time.[...]
On March 5, 1933, Germany held its last democratic elections until the end of WWII, and the National Socialists gained a plurality in the Reichstag, with 43.9% of the vote and 288 seats. This event paved the way for the Enabling Act later that month, which effectively empowered Hitler as dictator.[...]
Whatever else British punk rock gave pop culture, it was always a revolution in fashion, engineered by Sex Pistols svengali Malcolm McLaren and his partner, designer Vivienne Westwood.[...]
Sixty years ago today, New Zealand explorer Sir Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers to ever reach the summit of Mount Everest. This feat may not seem so significant now, when upwards of 150 people may reach the top of the 29,000-foot mountain on the best climbing day.[...]
George Harrison of the Beatles was an accomplished guitar player with a distinctive soloing style. So you might think that with a song as personal and guitar-centric as “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” he would do his own playing. In fact, the song features guitar playing by Eric Clapton.[...]