Most stars are understandably choosy about what products, if any, they’re willing to endorse. Serious artists are mindful about their reputations.[...]
Image courtesy of The Nobel Prize’s Twitter stream.
His apocalyptic poetry plucks images and forms from the blues, the Bible, the Beats, Symbolists, William Blake, T.S. Eliot, and a balladeer tradition dating from medieval French and English minstrelsy to Appalachian settlement to Woody Guthrie, his first muse.
Image (left) by William P. Gottlieb, image (right) by Library of Congress, via Wikimedia Commons
The history of 20th-century music offers plenty of stories of luminaries meeting, playing together, and sometimes even entering into long-term collaboration.
If you’re of a certain vintage, you may at various times have grooved to The Orb’s chill-out classic “Little Fluffy Clouds,” the spaced-out soundscapes of DJ Spooky, the avant-psych of Sonic Youth, the locked grooves of Tortoise, the bubbling fugues of Björk, or the ominous rumblings of postrock godfathers Godspeed You! Black Emp[...]
Call them proto-punk, call them avant-garde, but the American ex-pat group the Monks would have been a tiny footnote in rock music history if it wasn’t for a slow rediscovery of the group’s work. The above video is from their summer 1966 appearance on Beat Club, a live pop music show broadcast in Germany.[...]
You don’t just listen to “Bohemian Rhapsody“; you experience it. Anyone who’s ever heard Queen’s signature progressive rock epic knows it, and anyone who’s ever performed all six minutes of it at a karaoke bar understands it more deeply still.[...]
Image by Josef Schwarz, via Wikimedia Commons
Along with earnest political populism and a renewed interest in regional cultures, the folk revival of the fifties and sixties brought with it a liberating sense of possibility, as young writers, singers, and artists discovered that, truly, anyone can play guitar.
The Russian Revolution not only radically reshaped social and political institutions in the soon-to-be Soviet Union, but it also radicalized the arts. “The Romanovs, who ruled Russia for 300 years,” comments Glenn Altschuler at The Boston Globe, used “culture as an instrument of political control.[...]
Image by Michele Lucon, via Wikimedia Commons
FYI: Earlier this week, Bruce Springsteen released his highly-anticipated memoir, Born to Run. It comes accompanied by a companion album, Chapter and Verse. And now a Spotify playlist that features every single song referenced in the pages of the book–his own or others’.
Around here, when we talk about Benedict Cumberbatch, we usually talk about his knack for reading classic texts–Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Melville’s Moby-Dick, a poignant letter by Alan Turing, even passages from a Guantánamo prisoner’s diary. But today we’re putting another one of his talents on display.[...]