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.[...]
Walter Benjamin, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Sigmund Freud: if these theorists share any quality at all, they share a reputation for not going easy on their readers.[...]
NPR called William Schimmel “the greatest accordionist in the world,” and thanks to NPR you can hear Schimmel at work, taking Gustav Mahler’s sprawling Ninth Symphony and “squeezing this immense musical canvas down to just 6 1/2 minutes.” That’s a feat in itself.[...]
According to singer, songwriter and crowed funder extraordinaire, Amanda Palmer, there’s an “epidemic of mild-mannered British men who say weird shit in their sleep.”
Her husband, author Neil Gaiman, is no exception.
Neil Gaiman is a total weirdo when he’s half asleep. in a GOOD way, usually.
In the afterglow of the Grateful Dead’s Fare Thee Well concerts, we highlighted The Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics, an online project launched in 1995, which provided editorial footnotes explaining the references of every original Grateful Dead song.
For many of these songs we have Robert Hunter to thank.
It is surprising to me, but a few people I’ve come across don’t know the name of cartoonist Robert Crumb, cult hero of underground comics and obscure Americana record collecting. On second thought, maybe this shouldn’t come as such a surprise.[...]
My introduction to the work of James Newell Osterberg, Jr, better known as Iggy Pop, came in the form of “Risky,” a song from Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Neo Geo album that featured not just singing but spoken word from the Stooges’ lead vocalist and punk icon.[...]
The story of the avant-garde is never just one story. But it tends to get told that way, and we tend to think we know how modernist and post-modern literature and music have taken shape: through a series of great men who thwarted convention and remade language and sound in ways their predecessors never dreamed.[...]