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January 21, 2013
thestrutny:

There might not be mail today in the USA, but that didn’t stop The Postal Service from announcing their return (via The Postal Service is officially returning)

Second album or it didn’t happen.

thestrutny:

There might not be mail today in the USA, but that didn’t stop The Postal Service from announcing their return (via The Postal Service is officially returning)

Second album or it didn’t happen.

(via bobbycaputo)

11:02 // 1 year ago
January 3, 2013
storyboard:

On the Road with Leonard Cohen
Once “the proverbial family table” is set, everyone comes to “feast,” and the meal in question is the music of Leonard Cohen. So says Cohen’s road manager Joseph Carenza III, who has presided over Notes from the Road since July 2010, chronicling the travels of Cohen and company with photograph after photograph.
In the new year, Carenza wants to take that Tumblr to another level. He says that while actually on tour, there was “no way I could honor people’s time and attention,” given all the things he had to do. Now that he has a bit more free time and a slightly more fleshed-out crew, he’s trying to think of ways to reach “outward.”
Read More

Leonard Cohen’s Tumblr is pretty rad if you haven’t read it. Side note: This piece is written by the very awesome Evan Fleischer.

storyboard:

On the Road with Leonard Cohen

Once “the proverbial family table” is set, everyone comes to “feast,” and the meal in question is the music of Leonard Cohen. So says Cohen’s road manager Joseph Carenza III, who has presided over Notes from the Road since July 2010, chronicling the travels of Cohen and company with photograph after photograph.

In the new year, Carenza wants to take that Tumblr to another level. He says that while actually on tour, there was “no way I could honor people’s time and attention,” given all the things he had to do. Now that he has a bit more free time and a slightly more fleshed-out crew, he’s trying to think of ways to reach “outward.”

Read More

Leonard Cohen’s Tumblr is pretty rad if you haven’t read it. Side note: This piece is written by the very awesome Evan Fleischer.

9:30 // 1 year ago
December 28, 2012

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: Playlist of the Dead 2012

It is time for Obit of the Day’s annual Playlist of the Dead. So listen to the music, read the posts, and remember some incredible talent we’ve lost over the past twelve months. (The glaring exception is the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch, for whom I was unable to write a post, but I did put “An Open Letter to NYC” on the playlist.)

January

Fred Milano – original member of Dion and the Belmonts

Johnny Otis – “The Godfather of Rhythm and Blues”

Etta James – Grammy winning R&B legend

February

Whitney Houston - Grammy Award-winning singer

Kathryn McDonald – member of Duke Ellington’s orchestra

Billy Strange – guitarist and songwriter, part of the “Wrecking Crew”

Louisiana Red – blues guitarist

Davy Jones – lead singer of The Monkees

March

Jimmy Ellis – backup singer for The Trammps

Eric Lowen – Grammy Award-winning co-writer of “We Belong”

Earl Scruggs – Bluegrass legend

April

Barney McKenna – last of the original Dubliners

Andrew Love – saxophonist and member of the “Memphis Horns”

Levon Helm – legend of rock and folk, member of The Band

Pete Fornatele – WNEW rock DJ

May

Charles “Skip” Pitts – bass player on “Theme from Shaft

Donna Summer – disco legend and Grammy Award winner

Robin Gibb – member of the Bee Gees

June

Herb Reed – original member of the Platters

Graeme Bell – “The Father of Australian Jazz”

July

Jon Lord – keyboardist for Deep Purple

August

Scott McKenzie – singer, “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”

Willa Ward – member of the gospel group, The Famous Ward Singers

September

“Sugar Boy” Crawford – writer, and original singer, “Iko Iko”

October

R.B. Greaves – writer and singer, “Take a Letter Maria”

Bil Dees – co-writer, “Oh, Pretty Woman”

November

Cleve Duncan – member of The Penguins and lead singer, “Earth Angel”

December

Dave Brubeck – pianist and jazz legend

Fontella Bass – singer of 1965 hit “Rescue Me”

You should be able to find the playlist on Spotify under “Playlist of the Dead 2012” or through my account, Josh Eisenberg.

For more Obit of the Day:

Playlist of the Dead for 2011

Archive

Clever idea for a playlist. 

12:06 // 1 year ago
December 25, 2012
kohenari:



Peace on Earth: John Lennon and Yoko Ono bought a large billboard in Times Square in 1969 declaring that ‘War is over if you want it’


As millions and millions of children open presents under festively decorated trees in their living rooms this morning, I think we can finally declare this year’s War on Christmas at an end.
Of course, in an enormous mansion somewhere in this great country, Bill O’Reilly is sitting on a pile of money and already preparing for next year’s War on Christmas. It’ll begin just after Halloween, when the first lights go up on people’s houses and trees. And it’ll end, as every year, when the Christmas holiday is celebrated without a hitch.
Every year, Fox News goes wild with the notion that Christians somehow can’t celebrate their holiday as they choose and, every year, a sizeable group of Christians crowd into shopping malls to sit on Santa’s lap while listening to Christmas carols that are playing on a month-long loop; they buy Christmas presents to unwrap under their Christmas trees on a federal holiday that just so happens to coincide with Christmas … all the while lamenting that someone has wished them “Happy Holidays.”
So, remember what John and Yoko told you:
War (on Christmas) is Over … if you want it.

Wish we could get Bill O’Reilly and Lennon in a room together. That meeting would be a hoot.

kohenari:

As millions and millions of children open presents under festively decorated trees in their living rooms this morning, I think we can finally declare this year’s War on Christmas at an end.

Of course, in an enormous mansion somewhere in this great country, Bill O’Reilly is sitting on a pile of money and already preparing for next year’s War on Christmas. It’ll begin just after Halloween, when the first lights go up on people’s houses and trees. And it’ll end, as every year, when the Christmas holiday is celebrated without a hitch.

Every year, Fox News goes wild with the notion that Christians somehow can’t celebrate their holiday as they choose and, every year, a sizeable group of Christians crowd into shopping malls to sit on Santa’s lap while listening to Christmas carols that are playing on a month-long loop; they buy Christmas presents to unwrap under their Christmas trees on a federal holiday that just so happens to coincide with Christmas … all the while lamenting that someone has wished them “Happy Holidays.”

So, remember what John and Yoko told you:

War (on Christmas) is Over … if you want it.

Wish we could get Bill O’Reilly and Lennon in a room together. That meeting would be a hoot.

(via kohenari)

11:02 // 1 year ago
December 12, 2012
joshsternberg:

Ravi Shankar, died yesterday at the age of 92. From the WSJ:

Mr. Shankar’s popularity in the West was boosted by his partnerships with foreign musicians, most famously Beatles guitarist George Harrison.
“When people say that George Harrison made me famous, that is true in a way,” Mr. Shankar said in a televised interview in 2009, according to this report.
But when Mr. Harrison first approached Mr. Shankar for lessons in the mid-1960s, the idea of blending Indian classical music with pop music was puzzling to the sitar maestro.
“It is strange to see pop musicians with sitars. I was confused at first. It had so little to do with our classical music. When George Harrison came to me, I didn’t know what to think,” said Mr. Shankar in Raga.
“But I found he really wanted to learn. I never thought our meeting would cause such an explosion, that Indian music would suddenly appear on the pop scene,” he added.
Mr. Harrison revered Mr. Shankar, saying he was “the first person who ever impressed me in my life.”
Mr. Harrison’s collaboration with Mr. Shankar influenced the music of the Beatles, who went on to release several Indian-inspired songs. Among them was the 1966 track “Love You To,”  one of the earliest examples of a pop song incorporating elements of Indian classical music. The song was composed by Mr. Harrison, who also sings and plays the sitar in it.


Of note to more modern audiences: Norah Jones’ father. (Though that certainly isn’t all you should know about Shankar.) RIP.

joshsternberg:

Ravi Shankar, died yesterday at the age of 92. From the WSJ:

Mr. Shankar’s popularity in the West was boosted by his partnerships with foreign musicians, most famously Beatles guitarist George Harrison.

“When people say that George Harrison made me famous, that is true in a way,” Mr. Shankar said in a televised interview in 2009, according to this report.

But when Mr. Harrison first approached Mr. Shankar for lessons in the mid-1960s, the idea of blending Indian classical music with pop music was puzzling to the sitar maestro.

“It is strange to see pop musicians with sitars. I was confused at first. It had so little to do with our classical music. When George Harrison came to me, I didn’t know what to think,” said Mr. Shankar in Raga.

“But I found he really wanted to learn. I never thought our meeting would cause such an explosion, that Indian music would suddenly appear on the pop scene,” he added.

Mr. Harrison revered Mr. Shankar, saying he was “the first person who ever impressed me in my life.”

Mr. Harrison’s collaboration with Mr. Shankar influenced the music of the Beatles, who went on to release several Indian-inspired songs. Among them was the 1966 track “Love You To,”  one of the earliest examples of a pop song incorporating elements of Indian classical music. The song was composed by Mr. Harrison, who also sings and plays the sitar in it.

Of note to more modern audiences: Norah Jones’ father. (Though that certainly isn’t all you should know about Shankar.) RIP.

8:13 // 1 year ago
November 30, 2012

futurejournalismproject:

Michael Jackson’s Thriller Turns 30

Billboard has an interesting history about the November 30, 1982 release of Thriller. In it, we learn of technology disruption (FM was replacing AM radio) and the audience fragmentation that occurred because of it.

We also learn about CBS Records’ concern over the album’s potential success:

Since the start of the [80s], black music had been increasingly banished from most white-targeted radio stations. This was partially due the virulent, reactionary anti-disco backlash that resulted in the implosion of that genre at the end of 1979. As the 80’s dawned, programmers increasingly stayed clear of rhythm-driven black music out of fear of being branded “disco,” even when the black music in question bore little resemblance to disco. This backlash was greatly magnified by the demise of AM mass appeal Top 40 radio at the hands of FM, which led to black artists being ghettoized on urban contemporary radio, while disappearing from pop radio, which focused on a more narrow white audience.

How dramatic was the decline of black music on the pop charts in that period? In 1979, nearly half of the songs on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 pop chart could also be found on the urban contemporary chart. By 1982, the amount of black music on the Hot 100 was down by almost 80%.

Also, and notably, MTV had just launched. But the music videos the station played were very white as it followed the playlists occurring on the FM charts. They too were very hesitant to give Jackson airtime.

[MTV executives at the time] concede that the channel initially assumed it would not play the video, as its thumping beat and urban production did not fit the channel’s “rock” image. They contend however that in mid-February, after seeing the clip—which was possibly the best that had ever come across their desks—they began to re-think things.

Good thing they did.

Billboard, Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ at 30: How One Album Changed the World.

How a legendary album got its footing.

11:29 // 1 year ago
October 8, 2012

We don’t know about all of you fleshy readers but, if robots had an “inner child”, ours would undoubtedly have short-circuited trying to process all of this awesome. College football fan or not, anyone that loves classic video games should take a few minutes to watch this performance.

16:21 // 1 year ago
September 21, 2012
We’re writing today to ask you to please boycott all Streetlight related items by not purchasing any of our records or merchandise from Victory [Record]’s website, any traditional CD stores, online third party retailers or any digital distribution service (iTunes, Amazon etc)…In regards to getting the music we make, you can buy directly from us, or, alternately, we’re sure you can find a way to get the tunes onto your computer that may not be, ahem, traditional.
The band Streetlight Manifesto, encouraging piracy of its own music. Years ago, the band signed with Victory Records, but—as with several other artists on Victory—it has since taken issue with the way the label does business (“an artist-hostile, morally corrupt and generally dishonest company,” in the band’s words). So, the band’s members are encouraging fans to either purchase directly from the band, or pirate their music. “Speaking a Bit metaphorically,” the band writes,” there is a Torrent of methods to accomplish this, and Google is your always loyal friend.” (Personal anecdote: At a SM show I once attended, singer Tomas Kalnoky told the crowd something to the effect of, “If you want to steal our music, that’s fine, because that just means that some asshole who lives in a mansion can’t live in a bigger mansion”). 

(Source: streetlightmanifesto.com)

2:35 // 1 year ago
September 17, 2012

For nostalgia fans: Ben Folds Five’s comeback single (with Fraggle Rock)

The year was 2002. A famously nerdy, well-loved 1990s alt-pop band, looking for the perfect foil for their music-video rep, pulls out a dormant pop-culture phenomenon and breathes new life into it. That band was Weezer. That phenomenon was The Muppets. It took another try or two to fully pull it off, but The Muppets managed to earn their place back in the A list thanks to the template set by that video. Can lightning strike twice? Fortunately, there’s another famously nerdy, well-loved 1990s alt-pop band looking for the perfect foil for their music-video rep. Aren’t comebacks splendid, Ben Folds Five and Fraggle Rock? source

20:08 // 1 year ago
September 14, 2012
Fans had been trading magnetic tapes of already-released albums for years by this point, but Wonder was different: It was the first time that unheard recordings of a superstar’s new compositions had leaked to the public, and were being sold. It’s easy to take such a thing for granted today, when leaks circulate freely online, but Wonder represented the earliest moment when advancing technologies combined with popular demand and illicit entrepreneurship to create cracks in the record industry’s otherwise firm facade.
Articles: Bob Dylan’s Great White Wonder: The Story of the World’s First Album Leak | Features | Pitchfork (via thisistheverge)

We’re on a Dylan kick today, but Dylan is worthy of multiple posts in a row.

(via thisistheverge)

12:30 // 1 year ago