The Music of Avant-Garde Composer John Cage Now Available in a Free Online Archive

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You don’t know avant-garde music unless you know John Cage. And now we have another rich, easily accessible online resource that can help us get to know John Cage better.

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Peter Sellers Covers the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night,” “She Loves You” & “Help!”

≡ Category: Comedy, Music |Leave a Comment

In the early sixties, Peter Sellers, one of the greatest comic actors of his generation, met perhaps the greatest musicians of the age, the Beatles, through their mutual producer George Martin.

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B.B. King Changes Broken Guitar String Mid-Song at Farm Aid, 1985 and Doesn’t Miss a Beat

≡ Category: Music |4 Comments

Last week, after we learned of the passing of B.B. King, Josh Jones highlighted some electric live performances of the blues legend — performances that put his virtuosity on full display. Yesterday, an Open Culture reader sent us a pretty amazing clip that shows what a musician King was at heart.

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William S. Burroughs — Alternative Rock Star — Sings with Kurt Cobain, Tom Waits, REM & More

≡ Category: Music |2 Comments

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Image via Christiaan Tonnis
Like many of the best countercultural icons, William S. Burroughs had at least two separate periods of underground fame.

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Yoko Ono Lets Audience Cut Up Her Clothes in Conceptual Art Performance (Carnegie Hall, 1965)

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Back before it was common practice to preface one’s web posts with the phrase “trigger warning” (which, BTW, might well apply here)…
Before the Internet…
And slightly before the public revelation of her relationship with John Lennon turned a Japanese avant-garde artist into an American household name…
Yoko Ono maintained an a

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The Thrill is Gone: See B.B. King Play in Two Electric Live Performances

≡ Category: Music |1 Comment

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One of the last great Mississippi bluesmen, Riley B. King, is gone, passed away last night at the age of 89. King made perhaps the most successful crossover of any blues artist into mainstream rock and roll, recording with Clapton and playing for rock audiences for decades.

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An Animated John Coltrane Explains His True Reason for Being: “I Want to Be a Force for Real Good”

≡ Category: Jazz, Music |1 Comment

Last week, we posted an interview with the late, great Ray Bradbury that was brilliantly animated by the folks over at Blank on Blank. This week, they unveil a new piece featuring John Coltrane. You can watch it above.
Coltrane is, of course, one of the true giants of 20th century music.

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Watch Miles Davis Improvise Music for Elevator to the Gallows, Louis Malle’s New Wave Thriller (1958)

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The modal experimentation in Miles Davis’ classic albums Milestones and, especially, 1959’s Kind of Blue seemed to come out of nowhere. Along with similarly groundbreaking releases at the end of the fifties, these records irrevocably changed the sound of jazz.

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Dementia Patients Find Some Eternal Youth in the Sounds of AC/DC

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Last April, Malcolm Young left AC/DC, the band he co-founded with his brother Angus in 1973. Only 61 years old, the guitarist found himself unable to remember his famous licks and riffs. The cause, doctors discovered, was dementia. Young now lives in a nursing home where he receives full-time care.

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New Web Site, “The Opera Platform,” Lets You Watch La Traviata and Other First-Class Operas Free Online

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Click the image above to watch Verdi’s La Traviata.
Opera has always had its appreciators, and fervent ones at that, but in recent decades the form has had to extend its appeal beyond its inner circle of die-hard fans.

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