In 1998, legendary Beatles’ producer George Martin—all set to “hang up his earphones” and retire— brought together the most unusual assortment of people for In My Life, a tribute album composed entirely of Martin-produced Beatles’ songs performed primarily by actors and comedians.[...]
In 1958, Merle Haggard saw Johnny Cash play in San Quentin, and went on to sing honest country songs for country outlaws. In 1982, future Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello saw Joe Strummer play with The Clash in Chicago and went on to play angry righteous rock for angry punks.[...]
Europeans do weird things with American folk music. Sometimes they do horrible things, like the 1994 techno rendition of traditional country song “Cotton-Eyed Joe” by a Swedish act who called themselves “Rednex” and who dressed up like cartoonish hillbillies in a parody only slightly less offensive than their music.[...]
My first reaction upon learning about Bob Dylan’s brief conversion to Evangelical Christianity may have been something like “What in the hell?” It wasn’t a religious Dylan that surprised me; it was Dylan embracing a faith that can often seem doggedly literal and, well, just a little inflexible.[...]
Most everyone who comments on the phenomenon of the supergroup will feel the need to point out that such bands rarely transcend the sum of their parts, and this is mostly true. But it does seem that for a certain period of time in the late sixties, many of the best bands were supergroups, or had at least two or more “super” members.[...]
George Harrison loved the ukulele, and really, what’s not to love? For its dainty size, the uke can make a powerfully cheerful sound, and it’s an instrument both beginners and expert players can learn and easily carry around.[...]
Last week, America’s reigning bard of silly parody songs, “Weird Al” Yankovic scored his first number one album, Mandatory Fun. His vastly improved take on Robin Thicke’s catchy, if deeply creepy, earworm Blurred Lines alone might just be worth the price of the album.[...]
Have you heard of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men? If not, you can’t say you know all of David Bowie’s groups.[...]
Farmers like Derek Klingenberg know that you can enchant cows with music. Above, watch him start playing Lorde’s “Royals” on the trombone and the cows come a runnin’.
If you’ve been an OC reader long enough, you won’t be surprised by this scene.
Leonard Cohen is the Canadian Bob Dylan. While best known perhaps as a singer-songwriter who penned the tune “Hallelujah” — which was covered by Jeff Buckley, John Cale and just about everyone else under the sun — he was also at varying points in his colorful life a poet, a novelist, a law student and a Zen monk.[...]