On a recent road trip through the Deep South, I made a pilgrimage to several sacred shrines of American music, including obligatory stops in Memphis at the garish Graceland and unassuming Sun Studios.[...]
Get me a piano teacher, stat!
When I was a child, my father, enchanted by the notion that I might someday provide live piano accompaniment to his evening cocktails, signed me up for lessons with a mild-mannered widow who—if memory serves—charged 50¢ an hour.
On his web site, former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne writes:
I received this email last Friday morning from my friend, Brian Eno. I shared it with my office and we all felt a great responsibility to publish Brian’s heavy, worthy note.
Any serious reader of Haruki Murakami — and even most of the casual ones — will have picked up on the fact that, apart from the work that has made him quite possibly the world’s most beloved living novelist, the man has two passions: running and jazz.[...]
The Clash had been called sellouts ever since they signed with CBS and made their 1977 debut, so the charge was pretty stale when certain critics lobbed it at their turn to disco-flavored new wave and “arena rock” in 1982’s popular Combat Rock.[...]
Since 2008, a recording has been making the rounds on YouTube of Bertolt Brecht singing ‘Die Moritat von Mackie Messer,’ or what’s more commonly known as “Mack the Knife” in English, a song Kurt Weill and Brecht composed for The Threepenny Opera, which premiered in Berlin in 1928.[...]
Raise your hand if you bought your first music on cassette tapes. No, not those detourned objects of nostalgia circa 2013, but the “this is the latest technology and that’s that” kinda thing.[...]
What’s that, you ask? Did Miles Davis open for the Grateful Dead at the Fillmore West? In what world could such a thing happen? In the world of the late sixties/early seventies, when jazz fused with acid rock, acid rock with country, and pop culture took a long strange trip.[...]
A pioneer of “Afrofuturism,” bandleader Sun Ra emerged from a traditional swing scene in Alabama, touring the country in his teens as a member of his high school biology teacher’s big band.
In a band full of extroverted goofballs and pranksters, George Harrison was the quiet one, the serious Beatle, the straight man and introspective mystic, right? Not so, according to Travelling Wilburys bandmate Tom Petty, who once countered the “quiet Beatle” sobriquet with “he never shut up. He was the best hang you could imagine.[...]