I recall with uncharacteristic clarity the first time I heard the B-52s. Forced on a youth-group ski trip by my parents, I arrived an angry thirteen-year-old wanna-be punk: mohawk, ripped jeans, patched leather jacket, disaffected scowl, and feigned air of adolescent cynical world-weariness.[...]
Creative Commons image by Chris Stone
There’s no shortage of Grateful Dead concerts freely available on the web. Indeed, head over to Archive.org and you’ll find hundreds of Dead shows, some going as far back as the 1960s. But when you start rummaging around, you’ll discover that some nights were magic, while many others fell far short.
In the early seventies, at the height of their powers, unforgettable hits seemed to tumble out one after another from The Rolling Stones, solidifying Jagger and Richards’ reputation for elemental, immediate songwriting that seemed to cut through more baroque studio productions of the late sixties and seventies and deliver the goods raw.[...]
This week, 1,000 North Koreans witnessed the first live performance by a Western pop act on its soil. And it was perhaps a bit anti-climatic.
The East Germans got their first taste of Western rock in 1988 when Bruce Springsteen played a massive gig in East Berlin. (See video here.
Just yesterday we were musing on perusing rock stars’ bookshelves, and today we learn it has become a reality, if you live in London.[...]
Recently an older musician acquaintance told me he never “got into ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ and all that,” referring to the “first major space jam” of Pink Floyd’s career and the subsequent explosion of space rock bands. I found myself a little taken aback.[...]
We are bombarded by music, all the time, whether we like it or not.[...]
Like much of the rest of the country, President Obama is getting some downtime in August — in his case spending 16 days in Martha’s Vineyard. From that nice getaway spot, POTUS has launched on Spotify (download the free software here) two playlists of music — 20 songs for a hot summer day, and another 20 for a nice summer evening.[...]
With the possible exception of John Gray’s Straw Dogs, few works of philosophy confront the barrenness of human life in the modern world in bleaker terms than Theodor Adorno’s Minima Moralia.[...]
An old musician’s joke goes “there are three kinds of drummers in the world—those who can count and those who can’t.” But perhaps there is an even more global divide. Perhaps there are three kinds of people in the world—those who can drum and those who can’t.[...]