Grantland's Steven Hyden
writes the winner's history of rock and roll, in four parts (so far), and charts the death of rock music as a major pop-cultural force in the 21st century by looking at some (not necessarily well-loved) bands that helped to transform it into a Big Business: Led Zeppelin
, Bon Jovi
(and coming up in the next installment, Metallica). Rock isn't dead
, by any means. But for better or worse, it ain't what it used to be.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken
on Jan 31, 2013 -
For the 2012 iTunes Music Festival, 65 acts (including P!nk
, One Direction
, David Guetta
, Jessie J
, Ellie Goulding
, Andrea Bocelli
, Matchbox Twenty
and many others) performed at the Roundhouse in London throughout the month of September. 40 performances are available in full online. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Dec 29, 2012 -
From the early fifties to the mid-seventies, the Nashville based Excello Records released the kind of raw blues, R&B, and rock & roll that maybe wasn't ever going to make it to the Top 40, but was full of grit and sweat and soul, for those who liked their American roots music unadulterated. Their most well-known release was probably Slim Harpo's Baby Scratch My Back
, but rocking blues like Lazy Lester's I Hear You Knockin'
and Leroy Washington's Wild Cherry
are little unpolished gems which deserved their place on any self-respecting cheap bar's juke box. Lowdown blues like Lonesome Sundown's My Home Is a Prison
also found a welcome home at Excello, as did tunes that blurred the distinctions between country/rockabilly and R&B, like Lazy Lester's I'm A Lover Not A Fighter
, and latin-tinged swamp-rock chuggers like Charles Sheffield's It's Your Voodoo Working
. Then there were the straight up country tunes (reminiscent of that classic early Johnny Cash sound) like Al Ferrier's I'm the Man
, or rough-hewn, raucous rockabilly like Johnny Jano's Havin' A Whole Lotta Fun
. In short, Excello Records was a microcosm of the sound of the South, and though their artists mostly never achieved much in the way of wider national fame, they are an important part of the patchwork quilt of American pop music history. The tunes included in this post are just the tip of the iceberg: there's so much to explore
from this one amazing little label. Happy searching!
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Dec 26, 2012 -
The Krew Kats were an instrumental surf-rock act out of England in the very early 60s. Cut from the same cloth, you might say, as the much more well known stateside crew The Ventures. But the Krew Kats had a playful, surprising, inventive and gloriously dopey sound all their own. As far as I can tell, their total recorded output consists of seven songs, all of which are available for your listening pleasure here
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Oct 3, 2012 -
rock critic extraordinaire and pop provocateur, made the argument for the Lizard King as the punk rock godfather in this 1981 Creem magazine defense of Jim Morrison., via Dangerous Minds.
posted by Isadorady
on Sep 30, 2012 -
The Rolling Stones rock Warhol's East Hampton Pad, Montauk 1975
- Half way through the tour, Truman Capote met the group in Kansas City. In tow was his new best friend, Lee Radziwill. The mix of rock royalty and Fortunate Four Hundred did not work well. Jagger hated Capote’s mincing manners, and Capote called Mick – "…a scared little boy… about as sexy as a pissing toad." Stones guitarist Keith Richards welcomed the cultured Radziwill by banging on her hotel door that night, screaming "Princess Radish… C'mon you old tart, there’s a party going’ downstairs!"
posted by madamjujujive
on Sep 8, 2012 -
GRiZ - Mad Liberation.
Take a 21 year old bedroom producer from Michigan, raise them on the the internet with a near complete access to the history of modern music with a focus on electronic/dance and apparently you get this incredibly humanistic and cross-cultural album that's both homage, monument and appropriation of hundreds of influences in modern music in an incredibly dubby dubstep framework. (Free album download here.
posted by loquacious
on Sep 5, 2012 -
On Halloween night 1992, a skinny, gravel-voiced man in a blue dress and horn-rim glasses took the stage at a tiny Atlanta dive bar/strip club along with his band, The Opal Foxx Quartet (which was not a four-piece; around a dozen people crowded the dark, low-ceilinged space). This would be their final show
, and it's a barn-burner. [more inside]
posted by BoringPostcards
on Aug 17, 2012 -
You're a Monk, I'm a Monk, We're All Monks
is a short video introduction to The Monks, a band founded in 1964 by five American soldiers in Germany
. They put out only one album, the abrasive, noisy, minimalistic Black Monk Time
in 1965, that sounded like nothing else at the time. They also dressed in all-black, shaved monkish tonsures in their hair and wore bits of rope as neckties. In 1966 they appeared on German TV shows Beat-Club
and Beat, Beat, Beat
, and played three songs on each, Boys Are Boys and Girls Are Choice
, Monk Chant
, Oh, How to Do Now
, I Can't Get Over You
. Aaron Poehler interviewed The Monks and wrote about their history
back in 1999. That same year they
got back together
at the Cavestomp festival. And here The Monks are being interviewed by a hand-puppet
on public access television in Chicago. [The Monks previously on MetaFilter]
posted by Kattullus
on Jul 12, 2012 -
At the end of November, 1979, this band was just a year and half old and had played fewer than 40 sets. They had a handful of embryonic songs influenced by Television and Magazine, and a 3-month old, 3-song EP with two
. Then they went to London to play a bunch of gigs behind that EP, and in just 6 months, over 40 gigs, they exploded.
They watched in the studio during the January 1980 recording of “Love Will Tear Us Apart,”
wooing Joy Division’s producer Martin Hannett; appeared on TV that month with a song they had only played 4 times
, and released a forgettable single
at the end of February. Suddenly new songs poured out at a remarkable rate: ”Twilight”
, “Things to make and Do
,” “A Day Without Me
, ”Silver Lining”
transformed into a second single
(produced by Hannett). They signed a record contract in March, and immediately began recording a stunning debut album
. By the summer they had more songs: a psychedelic/sexual horror tune
, and a hot new single
It all became
bloated and sucky
commercial and atmospheric soon after, but for a while there, boy
did they rock. [more inside]
posted by msalt
on Jun 30, 2012 -
In the wake of their grunge-y breakout hit "Creep"
and the success of sophomore record The Bends
, Thom Yorke and the rest of Radiohead
were under pressure to deliver once more.
So they shut themselves away inside the echoing halls of a secluded 16th century manor
and got to work.
What emerged from that crumbling Elizabethan castle fifteen years ago today was a shockingly ambitious masterpiece of progressive rock, a visionary concept album that explored the "fridge buzz" of modernity
-- alienation, social disconnection, existential dread, the impersonal hum of technology
-- through a mosaic of challenging
, eerily beautiful
music unlike anything else at the time.
Tentatively called Ones and Zeroes
, then Your Home May Be at Risk If You Do Not Keep Up Payments
, the band finally settled on OK Computer
, an appropriately enigmatic title for this acclaimed
harbinger of millennial angst. For more, you can watch the retrospective OK Computer: A Classic Album Under Review
for a track-by-track rundown, or the unsettling documentary Meeting People is Easy
for a look at how the album's whirlwind tour nearly gave Yorke a nervous breakdown
. Or look inside for more details and cool interpretations of all the tracks -- including an upcoming MeFi Music Challenge! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 16, 2012 -
Pete Cosey dead at 68.
Though he had a career as a session guitarist prior to and had some important appearances after, Cosey is most well known for his brief time playing with Miles Davis (1973 - 1975) during an era of Miles' that has at times confounded critics*. Cosey appeared on Get Up with It, Dark Magus, Agharta
with Miles. [more inside]
posted by safetyfork
on Jun 3, 2012 -
Those of you who go in for gardening, specifically those with strawberry patches, may find this idea to be of benefit: strawberry rocks
. Might just keep those birds away!
posted by flapjax at midnite
on May 25, 2012 -
With fans struggling to come to terms with David Bowie's musical hiatus and likely retirement
, any new Bowie-related material has been eagerly pursued. Last year, the leak of the unreleased album Toy
) slaked the thirst of those needing a Bowie fix. Last week, an unauthorized preview of another Bowie project emerged— Bowie: Object
. First announced in 2010
, the book features 100 objects from Bowie's archive, with text written by the man himself.
posted by kimdog
on Apr 25, 2012 -
If you want to hear the rock solidest, rock steadiest, rock of Gibralterist rock drumming that's ever been rocked in the history of rock, then you want to hear this
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Apr 24, 2012 -
We shrugged when friends told us Prince's Sign "O" the Times was the greatest rock concert movie ever. There are limits to how great a rock concert movie can be, and we figured Jonathan Demme's--and Talking Heads'--Stop Making Sense had stretched them as far as they were liable to go. But even though Sign "O" the Times was directed by the artiste, whose previous cinematic exploits haven't exactly put him in Demme's class, Prince has come up with a contender. Where Demme goes for a sinuous, almost elegant clarity, Prince's movie is all murk, scuzz, steam, and, oh yeah, sex. With all due respect, which one sounds more like a real rock concert to you?
- Robert Christgau [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on Apr 20, 2012 -
This weekend, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will induct the Small Faces and the Faces
. Though being inducted as a unit, they were very much two distinct bands—both of them central to British rock of the mid-1960s through the mid-1970s, and whose influence on music, fashion, and pop culture is still felt today. [more inside]
posted by scody
on Apr 11, 2012 -