In 2010, Patti Smith won a National Book Award for her memoir Just Kids, making her, by my count, the only Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member to land that prize. Of course, she’s also the only person I can think of who has appeared in both a movie by Jean-Luc Godard (Film Socialisme) and an episode of Law and Order.[...]
Johnny Cash, outlaw country singer and defiant man in black, comes carefully packaged for many people through the merchandising of his life and image.[...]
Lennon & McCartney — the two musicians came together and composed the most important songbook of the last 50 years. Early on, John and Paul wrote many of their songs together — songs like “She Loves You” and “Eight Days a Week.[...]
David Lynch gets sound like few other directors. There’s an unforgettable scene in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me where Laura Palmer leads her best friend Donna Hayward into what looks like a den of iniquity for lumberjacks. It’s filled with burly men and cheap women grinding to music blaring from the speakers.[...]
On November 23rd, Bob Dylan played a live concert for one awed fan. As Rolling Stone described it, “Fredrik Wikingsson walked into Philadelphia’s Academy of Music, took a seat in the [sixth] row and prepared to watch his hero play a concert just for him.[...]
In 1966, Jimi Hendrix released his first single, “Hey Joe,” a cover song, and, in a certain sense, reclaimed American rock ‘n’ roll from the British invasion. Eight years later in ‘74, it may have seemed like rock ‘n’ roll was dead and gone.[...]
It’s clear that amateur saxophonist and Johns Hopkins surgeon Charles Limb has an abiding interest in the neuroscience of creativity.
He’s also an unabashed fanboy. I’ll bet the spirit of scientific inquiry is not the only motivating factor behind this jazz fan’s experiments on jazz improvisers.
What is the current state of jazz, you ask? You might ask genre-bending musician/producer/rapper Stephen Ellison, aka Flying Lotus, who also happens to be the nephew of John and Alice Coltrane.[...]
In 1967, Stanley Kubrick commissioned Spartacus composer Alex North to compose a score for 2001: A Space Odyssey. Yet, while at the editing bay, he fell in love with the movie’s temporary soundtrack consisting of a bunch of existing works of classical music. So in an unprecedented move, he chose those works in favor of North’s composition.[...]