Rock historian Joseph Burns makes a case for why Arthur Big Boy Crudup's "That's All Right Mama" should be regarded as rock & roll's first song. Not everyone agrees - clips to some of the other contenders inside. Or explore Google's Rock & Roll Timeline. [more inside]
"There was hookers, and hustlers, they filled up the room." It's a Phish Halloween tradition to play a costume set as another band. Last Sunday at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall, they paid tribute to Little Feat's 1978 live album Waiting for Columbus. "Phish are repaying," David Fricke says in his Phishbill essay [pdf] "a lifelong debt to the band that has inspired and influenced them above all others." [more inside]
Thunder Busters! [slyt]
The Beatles in German: "Sie liebt dich" ("She Loves You"); "Komm gib mir deine Hand" ("I Want to Hold Your Hand"); "Geh raus" (quick and dirty rendering of "Get Back"); "Mein Herz ist bei dir nur" (Tony Sheridan and the Beat Boys' version of "My Bonnie".) [more inside]
David Bazan was the lead singer for a band called Pedro the Lion, who were big on the Christian rock circuit. A few years ago, Bazan began questioning his faith, and ultimately left Christianity. He has found understanding from his fans.
"The Led Zeppelin show depends heavily on volume, repetition and drums. It bears some resemblance to the trance music found in Morocco"
I told Jimmy he was lucky too have that house with a monster in the front yard. What about the Loch Ness monster? Jimmy Page thinks it exists. I wondered if it could find enough to eat, and thought this unlikely–it’s not the improbability but the upkeep on monsters that worries me. Did Aleister Crowley have opinions on the subject? He apparently had not expressed himself. - William Burroughs attends a Led Zeppelin concert and has a chat with Jimmy Page (via Bruce Sterling)
Though the Boredoms have long been renowned for non-traditional, envelope pushing, and occasionally confrontational performances, frontman eYe's earlier group, Hanatarash, were reputed to have been even more extreme, trading in ultra-violent displays with no regard for performer or audience safety. In particular, there was a story of eYe driving a full-sized backhoe through the back wall of the venue. It's the kind thing you hear about and assume that some level of exaggeration is going on...until you see the pictures. [more inside]
Nothing compares with the experience of wandering through the archives of a college radio station, reading the stickers pasted on the old LPs and seeing first-hand how DJs viewed canonical records when they first came out. The KEXP blog puts those stickers online in Review Revue. Read contemporary reactions to: Paul Simon, Graceland. Peter Broggs, Cease the War. LL Cool J, Bigger and Deffer. Nirvana, Sliver 7". Lou Reed, New York. Tin Machine s/t. Sonic Youth, Goo. The Stone Roses s/t.
Greetings from the Twine Ball, wish you were here: "But you can't see out of the side of the car, because the windows are completely covered with the decals of all the places where we've already been: there's Elvis-O-Rama, the Tupperware Museum, the Boll Weevil Monument, and Cranberry World, the Shuffleboard Hall Of Fame, Poodle Dog Rock, and the Mecca of Albino Squirrels. We've been to ghost towns, theme parks, wax museums, and a place where you can drive through the middle of a tree ... " [more inside]
The new documentary about their career won a Tribeca audience award, and now, the little power trio from the Great White North has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. [more inside]
"Having vaulted from the fringes of pop culture into the mainstream after a newly atomic America became obsessed with films about mutants and aliens, SF literature matured and flowered throughout the '60s and beyond, just as rock 'n' roll did the same. It was inevitable that the two would mix."
Vanessa Mae Nicholson is one of Britain’s most successful young musicians. A classical violinist and former child prodigy who self-describes her crossover style as "violin techno-acoustic fusion," her fans praise her modern creativity and frenetic, lightning-fast riffs. But is her talent learned or genetic? Documentary from BBC1 in 2008: Vanessa Mae - The Making of Me: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. [more inside]
The Wipers were a tight and catchy post-punk band founded in Portland in 1977. Today they're best known for covers by The Vivian Girls and Nirvana (Return of the Rat, and esp. D7 - studio, live 1 2 3 4). But the originals are pretty interesting too. John Peel said of their first album "Is It Real": " 'It is one of punk's great albums by perhaps the most unappreciated band of all time'." [more inside]
There are Real Fake Buildings, Real Fake Watches, real fake books, and of course, "The Internet's LARGEST Selection of Real Fake Rocks!" But for truly high-end fakes -- the "realest" of the fakes -- there's the Museum of Fakes in Southern Italy, or even better, the Museum of Art Fakes in Vienna, which includes etchings from "last living master forger from Germany." "The Museum of Art Fakes, almost directly opposite the Hundertwasserhaus, is unique in Europe. It is filled with paintings from not only world famous forgers (such as van Meegeren, Tom Keating, David Stein, Konrad Kujau, Edgar Mrugalla, Lothar Malskat), but also so-called ‘identical-forgeries’ of Schiele, Klimt, Monet, Raffael and many more."
Songs From the Black Hole is a sci-fi rock opera written by weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo and originally intended to be the followup to their self-titled debut. Never officially released, the album has become known as a one of rock's "mythical lost masterpieces," akin to the Beach Boys' SMiLE. [more inside]
The Story of Bohemian Rhapsody: Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. (From BBC Three.) Oh, and... [more inside]
Polyrock "could be pitched as Talking Heads under the tutelage of Philip Glass." With cover art that looked like it had been dollar bin for years, Polyrock may have been doomed from the beginning. Somehow their obscure, angsty-but-therapeutic sound has yet to be stolen, despite a semi-recent CD re-release. Romantic Me. No Love Lost Live. (Better than that "No Love Lost," if you can believe it). Cries and Whispers. Love Song. Changing Hearts. Bucket Rider. Working on My Love. [more inside]
God Gave Rock and Roll To You. With more than 7 million records sold, four Grammy Awards, ten Dove Awards and an induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame - the first rock band ever to be so honored - Petra (wiki) is widely considered the father of Christian rock. [more inside]
In the loosely related fields of planetary science and apocalyptic fiction, the phrase “minimum orbit intersection distance,” or MOID, describes the closest point of contact between the paths of two orbiting objects. Most vividly invoked whenever an asteroid encroaches on our corner of the solar system, that bit of jargon also has its aesthetic uses. Consider the coordinates of Neil Young and Miles Davis on the evenings of March 6 and 7, 1970, at the juncture of East Sixth Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan.Mapping the intersections of Miles Davis and Neil Young.
Dennis Coffey was one of the most prolific Detroit session and solo guitarists. His revamped site features a couple phenomenal podcasts of his music and interviews.
Anyone who grew up playing video games understands the impact of the music. But the internet has allowed all sorts of people to express their love in many different ways. [more inside]
Currently gearing up for their first new album in 20 years (previously), Devo are making their new single "Fresh" available for free download for the next 24 hours. [more inside]
8 Ways to Make Beatles Rock Band More Appealing to 14 Year Old Boys Quick recommendations to make the next edition of Beatles Rock Band more appealing to fourteen year old boys, based on the findings of my investigation.
In August 1990, when Spin magazine was still an edgier cousin to Rolling Stone, it published a list of the 35 Greatest Moments in Rock 'n' Roll Television. [more inside]
In 1989, Hollywood heavy metal band Rock Sugar was stranded on a desert island. For the last twenty years, the only music they had to listen to was the 80's pop CD collection of a 13 year old girl. And now, Rock Sugar has come home. [more inside]
Bobby Charles 1938-2010. Songwriter, musician's musician and cultural treasure, he died on last Thursday in Abbeville,Lousiana. In the 1950s, he wrote Fats Domino's Walking to New Orleans, Bill Haley and the Comet's See You Later, Alligator and recorded for Chess records. His eponymous Bearsville album recorded in Woodstock in 1972 has been described as the best Band album released under another name.(Check out Small Town Talk there.) He appeared as well in the Band's farewell concert filmed as The Last Waltz. He made an enormous contribution to American popular music. [more inside]
Big Rock Candy Mountain is just a wonderful little song. I don't know many hobo tunes, but this one gets stuck in my head from time to time. It has been covered by Burl Ives, a drunken Tom Waits, and then was reworked as the theme song to the amazingly awesome animated TV show that is The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.
The Kleptones, mashup artists behind previously-posted albums such as A Night At The Hip-Hopera and 24 Hours, have just released their newest entitled Uptime/Downtime. In a word, it rocks.
November 13, 2001: Musical unknown Andrew W.K. (Previously 1, 2) releases his debut album "I Get Wet." It is a simple rock record of power chords and unabashed, un-ironic party music -- exemplified perfectly both by its first song, "It's Time To Party," or its lead single, "Party Hard" -- released during a month of American depression, paranoia, and insincerity that borders on nihilism. The album finds mainstream success, selling over 30K copies in its first three weeks, with songs from the record appearing in commercials, movies, and television shows, not to mention heavy rotation on MTV and awesome appearances on Conan and Saturday Night Live. [more inside]
SomBy were the winners of the Liet International 2009 song contest for minority european languages and cultures. Sámi rock, you say? But wait, there's more! There's Alit Boazu from the Norwegian side, and Tiina Sanila, a Skolt Sámi singer from Finland. And yes, there is Sámi metal, from the band Intrigue. There are plenty other Sámi musicians across Sápmi and outside of the genre of rock, of course. There's Amoc, an Inari Sámi rapper from Finland; Adjágas who are folky and bluegrassy at times; Niko Valkeapää, who is more ambient and electronic; and of course, Mari Boine, recently knighted for her long career of artistic work (translation). [Sound, MySpace warnings] [more inside]
Rock band reunions normally involve, at minimum, a little live music. But as The Velvet Underground are not your typical rock band, maybe none of us should have been surprised that the reunion of The Velvets at LIVE from the NYPL on Tuesday December 8th had none.
David Bowie's response to his first American fan letter. In 1967, 14 year old Sandra Adams wrote a letter to Bowie. According to Bowie himself, this was his first bit of fan mail from the States. The response, though brief, is funny and sincere.
"Just when we thought we had done it all, along comes an awesome video game, where millions of people around the world can interact with us, and our music. How cool is that?" says Kevin Cronin, lead singer of REO Speedwagon. (via)
40 years ago today, The Rolling Stones played two concerts at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. In the darkness of the audience was a man known to history only as "Dub"... [audio auto-plays] [more inside]
Boys dared to grow their hair and girls dared to wear mini skirts and in Korea indecency officers patroled the street with scissors and rulers, publicly cutting hair too long and checking if skirts were too short. Shin Joong-hyung, was there with his 70s hit, Beauty, as were other musicians and artists like Sanullim and the Key Boys. [more inside]
Sung in incoherent pseudo-English, Adriano Celentano's Prisencolinensinainciusol (1973) could be thought of as an early example of rap.
Electric Junkyard Gamelan is the brainchild of bandleader and composer Terry Dame, and fuses Dame's passions of composing, inventing and building. Originally inspired by traditional Gamelan music from Bali, the group recycles and repurposes everyday objects into musical instruments. While some of their songs do indeed resemble the hypnotic percussive melodies of a Balinese/Javanese gamelan orchestra (The Nutbutter Challenge), other tunes strike out into new, distinctly urban American directions (Ode to Fred Beans). Following the band's motto, "Reuse, Recycle and ROCK," instruments are fashioned from coat hangers and rubber bands, bed frames, old farm equipment, turntable platters, clay pots, saw blades and truck springs. The "Big Barp" rubber-band harp makes a particularly unusual sound. [more inside]
Dig! Destroy The System. The entire film about the Brian Jonestown Massacre's rivalry with the Dandy Warhols (after a 30 second ad). One week only on Pitchfork TV.
Here’s a cool concept. Top breakthrough bands of the day playing LIVE on TV late every Friday night. Such was The Midnight Special - from 1972 - 1981 (though the glory days were the early to mid 70s, that lost decade somewhere between the meltdown of the hippie dream and the coincident eruptions of PUNK + DISCO upon planet rock). [more inside]
Fifty years ago, those decrying rock 'n' roll as devil music that would crumble the morals of America needed to look no further than Wanda Jackson for evidence. Her raspy, brassy voice, suggestive lyrics, and sexual energy were almost unbelievable for the Eisenhower years. Coaxed into singing rockabilly by her then-boyfriend, Elvis, she had a string of rock hits, before marrying and IBM programmer and switching to more traditional, conservative country music.