Joe Cocker Sings “With A Little Help From My Friends,” Live in 2013 and At Woodstock in 1969

≡ Category: Music |1 Comment

Today as we say goodbye to British singer Joe Cocker, who died at 70 after a struggle with lung cancer, we’ll remember him most for that 1969 Woodstock performance of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends.” It was without a doubt a career-defining moment.

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12 Interminable Days of Xmas: Hear the Longest, Trippiest Holiday Carol

≡ Category: Music, YouTube |Leave a Comment

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” is, of course, already long and repetitive, such that when in recent years I’ve sung even the first few notes of it at “Ave Maria” speed, I’ve been greeted with satisfying moans of agony. This year I decided that the thing must be put to tape, with each verse slower than the last.

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Watch the Opening of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey with the Original, Unused Score

≡ Category: Film, Music, Sci Fi |1 Comment

How does a movie become a “classic”? Explanations, never less than utterly subjective, will vary from cinephile to cinephile, but I would submit that classic-film status, as traditionally understood, requires that all elements of the production work in at least near-perfect harmony: the cinematography, the casting, the editing, the design, th

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Lou Reeds Sings “Blue Christmas” with Laurie Anderson, Rufus Wainwright & Friends

≡ Category: Music |4 Comments

Elvis Presley recorded “Blue Christmas” for his Christmas album in 1957 and made the song something of a holiday classic. In the years to come, “Blue Christmas” would be covered by Johnny Mathis, Johnny Cash, The Misfits, Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Bon Jovi and eventually Lou Reed too.

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Discover the Church of St. John Coltrane, Founded on the Divine Music of A Love Supreme

≡ Category: Music, Religion |7 Comments

For some time now, people like poet Robert Graves and countercultural guru Timothy Leary have assumed that ancient religion and mysticism were the products of mind-altering drugs.

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John Cage Performs Water Walk on US Game Show I’ve Got a Secret (1960)

≡ Category: Art, Music, Television |Leave a Comment

Back in 2011, we featured John Cage’s 1960 television performance of his piece Water Walk. Its video quality may have left something to be desired, but now, thanks to the YouTube channel of Bard College’s Richard B.

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Lennon or McCartney? 550 Artists Answer the Essential, Timeless Question

≡ Category: Music |17 Comments

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.

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Patti Smith’s Musical Tributes to the Russian Greats: Tarkovsky, Gogol & Bulgakov

≡ Category: Literature, Music, Poetry |Leave a Comment

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.

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Johnny Cash’s Christmas Specials, Featuring June Carter, Steve Martin, Andy Kaufman & More (1976-79)

≡ Category: Music, Television |Leave a Comment

Johnny Cash, outlaw country singer and defiant man in black, comes carefully packaged for many people through the merchandising of his life and image.

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David Lynch’s Music Videos: Nine Inch Nails, Moby, Chris Isaak & More

≡ Category: Film, Music |Leave a Comment

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.

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