In music, as in film, we have reached a point where every element of every composition can be fully produced and automated by computers. This is a breakthrough that allows producers with little or no musical training the ability to rapidly turn out hits.[...]
It’s got to be one of my favorite ledes of all time: “The Doors legend Jim Morrison ‘faked his own death’ and is living as an aging homeless hippy in New York, according to a conspiracy theorist.[...]
Image via Elisa Dorman, Wikimedia Commons
Whatever other criteria we use to lump them together—shared aims of psychedelic consciousness-expanding through drugs and Eastern religion, frank explorations of alternative sexualities, anti-establishment cred—the Beats were each in their own way true to the name in one very simple way: they all colla
The Beatles gave us enough. You couldn’t ask for more. But if you want to get a little greedy, you could ask for a few more songs from George. Though crowded out by the prolific Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership, Harrison squeezed in some Beatles songs that rival their best. Shall I refresh your memories? “Taxman.[...]
When I’m feeling depressed or uninspired, I can always count on one of my favorite visionary musicians to remind me just how much wild weirdness and unexpected beauty the world contains.[...]
Image by Christiaan Tonnis, via Wikimedia Commons
William S. Burroughs may have died almost twenty years ago, but that doesn’t mean his fans have gone entirely without new material since. This year, for instance, has seen the release of the Naked Lunch author’s new spoken word album Let Me Hang You, which you can listen to free on Spotify.
Image by Machocarioca, via Wikimedia Commons
You don’t have to, like, stretch your brain or anything to rattle off a list of Keith Richards’ influences. If you’ve ever heard a Rolling Stones song, you’ve heard him pull out his Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry riffs, and he’s never been shy about supporting and naming his idols.
Jeff Buckley released just one studio album, Grace, before the emerging star died unexpectedly in May, 1997, drowning while swimming in the waters flowing from the Mississippi River. He was only 30 years old.[...]
Remember Donny and Marie Osmond, the toothy, teenage Mormon siblings whose eponymous television variety show was a wholesome 70’s mix of skits, songs, and ice skating?
Their surprisingly enduring theme song reduced their popularity to an easily graspable binary formula:
She was a little bit country. He was a little bit rock and roll.
Fifty years on, you can read all you want about the Beach Boys’ 1966 masterpiece Pet Sounds (and here’s two books that are great), but to really appreciate the intricate nature of the arrangements, you have to turn to the multi-tracks themselves.[...]