About fifty years ago, the governor of Indiana received a letter complaining about obscenity in the lyrics of a rock'n'roll song, and passed that letter on to the FBI. For the following two years, FBI agents examined potential lyrics of the song (which were incomprehensible on the recording, partly due to the singer's braces) to find grounds for an obscenity prosecution. They ultimately failed, but produced a 140-page report, listing numerous possible obscene readings of what the lyrics could be, and in doing so, turned Louie Louie by The Kingsmen from a footnote into a bona fide rock'n'roll rebel anthem
. [more inside]
posted by acb
on Jan 23, 2014 -
Closed Frontier: Is rock over?
"Rock ’n’ roll is to 21st-century America what the Wild West was to 20th-century America: a closed frontier, ripe for mass mythology....Exciting new music still thrives in the subgenres, but modern musicians draw increasing amounts of inspiration from tradition, not originality. The sexagenarian Rolling Stones do serial victory laps around the world, just as an aging Buffalo Bill toured America and Europe in the 1880s and 90s, performing rope and horse tricks alongside Annie Oakley and Sitting Bull."
posted by Sticherbeast
on Apr 3, 2012 -
Ye olde rock and roll time machine, part two: recently found photos
of a Stooges performance at a suburban Detroit high school from 1970.
posted by NoMich
on Dec 15, 2011 -
A lady, back in 1957, addressing the camera in an elegant evening gown, fit for some grand society ball, had this message for the oldsters: "Now, whatever you think of rock and roll, I think you have to keep a nice, open mind about what the young people go for." She then proceeded to announce Buddy Holly and the Crickets, who obligingly performed their hit Peggy Sue
for the ballroom dancers' pleasure and edification. That same Buddy Holly would've been quite the oldster himself, had he lived to see today, his 75th birthday. So, if you have a little time on your hands today, you might like to learn more about Buddy by viewing The Real Buddy Holly Story 1
. Cause, hey, Buddy was not only one of the most unique and vital voices of the early days of rock'n'roll, but he wore the same glasses that every other hipster in Berlin is wearing right now
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Sep 7, 2011 -
Jerry Leiber, one of the greatest rock and roll songwriters to ever ply the trade, has died
aged 78. Along with songwriting partner Mike Stoller, he was responsible for so many hits, including but not limited to: Love Potion No. 9
by The Coasters, Stand By Me
by Ben E. King, Hound Dog
by Big Mama Thornton, later popularised
by Elvis Presley, and, solo, in conjunction with Phil Spector, Spanish Harlem
, as sung by Aretha Franklin.
posted by Len
on Aug 22, 2011 -
Pop quiz! What do these musicians have in common: Lou Reed, E Street
Band keyboardists Roy Bittan and Danny Federici, rhythm section Andrew Bodnar and Stephen
Goulding of The Rumour, dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, erstwhile SNL
bandleader G.E. Smith, session horn section the Brecker Brothers, LaBelle alum Nona Hendryx, guitar virtuoso Adrian Belew, and David Johansen of the New York Dolls? Answer: they were (most of) the studio band on the 1981 album Escape Artist
by Garland Jeffreys
. Which raises the question, "Garland who?" [more inside]
posted by FelliniBlank
on Jul 19, 2011 -
Inside Pop - The Rock Revolution is a CBS News special, broadcast in April 1967. The show was hosted by Leonard Bernstein and is probably one of the first examples of pop music being examined as a 'serious' art form. The film features many scenes shot in Los Angeles in late 1966, including interviews with Frank Zappa and Graham Nash, as well as the now legendary Brian Wilson solo performance of "Surf's Up." (MLYT) [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator
on Apr 29, 2011 -
1. Tin Huey T-Shirt.
2. A silk-screened poster from the Sept. 22, 2000, Mary Timony (of Helium) concert in Oberlin, Ohio.
3. "Crazy Rhythms" by the Feelies (on white vinyl).
4. A big-ass dining room table.
5. The Futon.
6. One audio MiniDisc of the Black Keys' first live performance, July 2002.
7. 7. One black-and-white photo of Patrick and me, taken in 2003, at Apple Studios.
A marriage, and divorce, in seven mementos.
posted by Horace Rumpole
on Mar 3, 2011 -
"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.
posted by gman
on Jun 23, 2010 -
My Beat Club
has a whole ton of classic rock perfomance videos, mostly from old German TV shows Musikladen
and Beat Club
. Among the videos on offer are Small Faces' Tin Soldier
, Chuck Berry's School Days
, Ike & Tina Turner's River Deep, Mountain High
, The Who's My Generation
, Country Joe McDonald's I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag
, The Everly Brothers' All I Have to Do is Dream
, The Ramones' Sheena is a Punk Rocker
, Mungo Jerry's In the Summertime
, T. Rex's 20th Century Boy
, New York Dolls' Looking for a Kiss
, The Byrds' So You Want to Be a Rock n' Roll Star
, Thin Lizzy's Whiskey in the Jar
, Slade's We'll Bring the House Down
, The Jimi Hendrix Experience's Purple Haze
and so much, much more!
posted by Kattullus
on Jul 29, 2009 -
Whether you want to learn to lace shoes, tie shoelaces, stop shoelaces from coming undone, calculate shoelace lengths or even repair aglets, Ian's Shoelace Site
has the answer!
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Jun 27, 2008 -
WFMU's The Hound
has been delighting record geeks for the past few decades with sets of some of the wildest, wooliest rockabilly, R&B, blues, gospel, garage rock, and punk that can be dug out of crates. His site offers full podcasts
, and individual mp3's under the show links
, and organized by artist
, and title
. Bo Diddley singing to Kruschev! Blues songs about the Kinsey report! The Cashmere's talking about the hop! Brownie McGee singing about baseball's integration!
Roughly 4 million variations on 'The Twist!' And that;s just the tip of this glorious iceberg. [more inside]
posted by jonmc
on Nov 18, 2007 -
NickCaveFilter: Fifty years ago
this very day, Nicholas Edward Cave
] crawled from the womb and started to plot. At 16 he formed his first band which evolved quickly into the Boys Next Door
]. This in turn mutated into the Birthday Party
(1980) who terrorised the post-punk soundscape in Australia and the UK [Release the Bats
| Nick the Stripper
]. The Birthday Party
relocated to England and in 1984 the band imploded in an orgy of drugs and booze. Shortly after Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
were born [The Ship Song - video
& solo live
| The Mercy Seat - video
| Where the Wild Roses Grow
], and 23 years and 11 studio albums later (not to mention a best selling book
, a great screenplay
, some acting
and several soundtrack projects) he is still going strong. But, instead of sitting on his musical laurels he decided to get back to basics and, in 2006, grew a huge moustache
and formed Grinderman
– a four piece with a primeval hybrid Birthday Party/Bad Seeds sound [No Pussy Blues
| Honey Bee
]. Fellow Mefites, I ask you to raise a glass to Mr. Cave
… And, especially if you are not familiar to his work, don’t forget to “look inside” for my primer on the enigma that is Nick Cave, one of the finest song-writers on the face of this miserable planet
. [more inside]
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar
on Sep 22, 2007 -
Christs, Communists, & Rock 'n' Roll
is an excellent introduction to a tradition of anti-rock writings and recordings by the Religious Right. In the 1960s, there was David Noebel
who wrote Communism, Hypnotism, & the Beatles
and The Marxist Minstrels
. In the early 1970s, Reverend Riblett
constructs a seven-foot cross out of rock music records and sets it aflame with gasoline. Michael Mills finds hidden Satanic messages
in Bow Wow Wow and the Grateful Dead, while Bob Larson valiantly debates
Mandy, a 13-year-old fan of the Cure. The motherlode is probably the cassettes of John Todd
, who traveled the fundamentalist circuit in the 1970s claiming to be a former witch and a member of the Illuminati, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. (more inside)
posted by jonp72
on Aug 20, 2007 -
by ccc and ill chemist is a mash-up of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
and an amazing array of songs you know. While not quite on par with the focus and sheer audacity of DangerMouse's Grey Album
, Cracked Pepper is a smart, rich, and rewarding listen. Available track by track or as a torrent. See inside for tracks sampled.
posted by saguaro
on Jul 30, 2007 -
“We consider the 'primitive' music of blues singers such as Leadbelly to be more authentic than that of the Monkees. But all pop musicians are fakes
. . . Hugh Barker and Yuval Taylor . . . have turned out their personal record collections to produce a persuasive defence of inauthenticity as the defining characteristic of great popular music[.]” (via
posted by jason's_planet
on Apr 20, 2007 -
On the occasion of her induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, punk poet and musician Patti Smith
(no, not this Patti Smith
) offers eloquent reflections on the benediction she received from her late husband Fred "Sonic" Smith of MC5, the future of rebellion, and her own question: "
Am I a worthy recipient?
." Yes, Patti, you are. Some sound and video
posted by twsf
on Mar 12, 2007 -
The Beatles are Bigger than Jesus.
It was 41 years ago today, that the Evening Standard published a Maureen Cleave interview
with John Lennon, in which he declared the Beatles “more popular than Jesus”
. Later in July, DATEbook, an American teen mag, printed only the Jesus statement and nothing else from the interview. The firestorm of reaction in the US was immediate. Radio stations nationwide, but particularly in the South and in the Midwest, banned the playing of Beatles records [Real Audio]
. Death threats against all of the Fab Four poured in. In Cleveland, a preacher threatened to excommunicate any member of his congregation who listened to the Beatles, and in the South, the Ku Klux Klan burned the Beatles in effigy and nailed Beatles albums to burning crosses. On August 11, Lennon held a press conference in Chicago, where he apologized, sort of [Real Audio]
. The press conference was on the eve of the Beatles’ last tour of their career. Many say this epsiode, as well as the riots that accompanied their tour of the Philippines (also in July), as well as the accumulated stress of being on top of the world for nearly four years at that point, precipitated the beginning of the end
of the Beatles.
Is it true though? Are the Beatles bigger than Jesus? Though this was unanswerable in 1966, thanks to the magic of the web, we do know the answer today: according to Google, the answer is no
. Still, other views persist
posted by psmealey
on Mar 4, 2007 -
On May 14th, 1967, the new British pop group The Pink Floyd makes one of their first ever TV appearances. Despite a stellar performance of the song Astronomy Domine, the pretentious host of the show, Hans Keller, has nothing good to say about the band. During the interview
(youtube, performance comes first, interview starts about 5:50 in. transcript here.
), he chastises the band for their "continuous repetition", "terribly loud" volume, and their "proportionately a bit boring" sound.
However, it seems that all Hans' show will ever be remembered for is this single interview
. Pink Floyd, on the other hand.. Well, we all know what happened to them
. Syd Barrett, on the other hand, was not so lucky
posted by Afroblanco
on May 29, 2006 -
Remember Wolfgang's Vault
? They've now started releasing the massive amounts of music that they discovered via FM-quality 128k stream. The current rotation
isn't huge (not much worse than commercial radio), but there's a lot of great stuff on there that you've never heard before, presumably.
posted by bigmike
on Feb 10, 2006 -
: Bill Graham
, of Fillmore
fame, was born Wolfgang Grajonca in Berlin. He grew up to invent, more or less, the modern rock 'n' roll promotion industry. He also had an eye for the future, stashing away posters
, backstage passes
, and photography
for posterity (us).
Now, 15 years after his death, you have him to thank not only for $350 Rolling Stones tickets
but also for $3800 Rolling Stones posters
Satan at a crossroads
Clear Channel a few years back, the vault also contains a bunch of audio and video that Clear Channel didn't know it had
and which we may or may not ever get to experience.
posted by bigmike
on Jan 6, 2006 -