When you learn that Soviet music-lovers bootleged Western rock, pop, jazz, and more on the surfaces of discarded x-ray plates, you can’t help but want to learn a bit about it.[...]
Scientists need hobbies. The grueling work of navigating complex theory and the politics of academia can get to a person, even one as laid back as Dartmouth professor and astrophysicist Stephon Alexander.[...]
“What really matters is what you like, not what you are like,” says the narrator of Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity. “It’s no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently.[...]
Frank Zappa was always frank. You gotta give him that.
Speaking with Village Voice journalist Howard Smith in 1971, Zappa talked candidly about the tastes, opinions, and beliefs of most Americans, whether they apply to music or politics or anything else. “You have a nation of people who are waiting for the next big thing to happen.
When Stanley Kubrick died, he left behind numerous film ideas that would never see the light of day. There was his epic Napoleon film; an adaptation of a Jim Thompson novel; his long-talked about Holocaust film Aryan Papers; and so much more.[...]
If you’ve ever listened to Radiolab, one of the most popular and enduring podcasts out there, you know how much music (and sound more generally) plays a special role in the show’s production. And that’s all largely the creation of Radiolab’s co-host, Jad Abumrad.[...]
In March of 2015, The Guardian published a piece on Prince’s vault, begun by his former sound engineer Susan Rogers before his Purple Rain superstardom: “It’s an actual bank vault, with a thick door,” she said, “in the basement of Paisley Park. When I left in 87, it was nearly full.” That was 30 years ago.[...]
The question of what an artist is willing to give up for her art is unanswerable until the moment of sacrifice arrives, and she must make a choice—safety, comfort, family, etc, or the leap into a creative endeavor whose outcome is uncertain? Then there are those artists—often just as talented and ambitious—who make these choices f[...]
Given that we’ve previously featured two documentaries on electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire, an introduction to four other female composers who pioneered electronic music (Daphne Oram, Laurie Spiegel, Éliane Radigue & Pauline Oliveros), and seven hours of electronic music made by women between 1938 and 2014, no loyal Open Culture rea[...]
We’ve seen 1999 members of Choir! Choir! Choir! perform “When Doves Cry,” a moving, mass tribute to Prince. And they’re now back, 1500 strong, with Rufus Wainwright at the helm, singing Leonard Cohen’s beloved and oft-covered song, Hallelujah.[...]