Beginning scooter riders can find a veritable biker’s breakfast of pointers on the Internet. One could cobble them together to make a contemporary owners manual, covering such crucial topics as braking, throttling, steering, and staying upright. But sometimes one craves something a bit more elusive, a bit more spiritual.[...]
In December 1967, The Monkees blew their audience’s minds by hosting Frank Zappa, “participant in and perhaps even leader of” the Mothers Of Invention.
Or did they?
The tidal wave of affection that comprises twenty-first century Monkees mania makes us forget that children were the primary audience for The Monkees’ titular sitcom.
We’ve become so accustomed to thinking of the Beatles as Serious Artists™ that it’s easy to forget—at least for those of us who weren’t there—how highly commercial a franchise they were in the mid-sixties.[...]
In 2002, the elusive novelist Thomas Pynchon made two cameo appearances on The Simpsons. Of course, we didn’t actually get to see Pynchon. His cartoon depiction wore, rather humorously, a bag over his head. But, we did get to hear Pynchon’s voice. And apparently that, alone, was a first.[...]
1979 was a strange year in music. A year of endings, in a way. Sid Vicious died, Ozzy Osbourne left Black Sabbath… an old guard faded away. On the other hand, U2 went into the studio for their debut, Kate Bush went on her first tour, and new wave emerged from punk’s end.[...]
You’ve probably seen “Illusion of Choice,” a 2011 infographic detailing how six media conglomerates “control a staggering 90% of what we read, watch, or listen to.” (The entities named are GE, News Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, and CBS.[...]
It happened before, and it still happens now and again today, but in the second half of the twentieth century, auteurs really got into making commercials: Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard, David Lynch. Not, perhaps, the first names in filmmaking you’d associate with commerciality, but there we have it.[...]
You know that story about Dutch settlers buying the whole of Manhattan for $24 (or 60 guilders) worth of junk jewelry? Not true.
What really happened in 1626 is closer in spirit to those old yarns about hapless suckers tricked into buying the Brooklyn Bridge by cunning locals.
Don Pardo voiced the introductions of Saturday Night Live for 38 seasons. He began calling out the names of the S.N.L. cast members during the first episode in October, 1975, and (except for the 1981-82 season) he kept calling out those names straight through last May.[...]
Living in Los Angeles, I suppose I could go up and have a look (albeit a distant one) at Charles and Ray Eames‘ Eames House any time I like.[...]