Joni Mitchell turns 70 today. A child of rural western Canada, Mitchell endured a series of early hardships that might have crushed a more timid soul — polio, teen pregnancy, an unhappy marriage — but she always managed to follow her muse.[...]
In early 1920, posters began appearing all over Berlin with a hypnotic spiral and the mysterious command Du musst Caligari werden — “You must become Caligari.”
The posters were part of an innovative advertising campaign for an upcoming movie by Robert Wiene called The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
Inferno, Canto X:
Many artists have attempted to illustrate Dante Alighieri’s epic poem the Divine Comedy, but none have made such an indelible stamp on our collective imagination as the Frenchman Gustave Doré.[...]
In November of 1969 Thelonious Monk appeared at the Berliner Jazztage (“Berlin Jazz Days,” now known as JazzFest Berlin) and played a series of Duke Ellington pieces on solo piano.[...]
You’ve heard of London Calling by the Clash. But what about Camden Beckons, by Ian Rubbish & the Bizzaros?
That’s one of the weird creations of comedian Fred Armisen, who first introduced his Spinal Tap-like punk character Ian Rubbish earlier this year on Saturday Night Live.
In 1976 and 1977 an inspired music teacher in the small school district of Langley Township, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver, recorded his elementary school students singing popular songs in a school gym. Two vinyl records were produced over the two years, and families were invited to pay $7 for a copy.[...]
Sean Goebel, a graduate student in astronomy at the University of Hawaii, has made this beautiful and fascinating time-lapse film of the observatories on Mauna Kea shooting laser beams into the night sky over the Big Island of Hawaii.[...]
Jimmy Page’s acoustic guitar:
The beauty of isolated tracks is that they allow us to hear an old piece of music in a completely new way. They give us a fresh perspective on something we thought we already knew.[...]
Two weeks ago we posted CDZA’s “Journey of the Guitar Solo,” an entertaining tour of 50 years of rock and roll guitar playing. Now we’re back with the group’s follow-up, a fast and fun introduction to drums.[...]
Alfred Hitchock is often hailed as one of the great visual artists of the 20th century. His films are admired for their graphic eloquence — for the power they have, through carefully planned sequences of images, to manipulate the emotions of a viewer.[...]