A recent study served to confirm the patently obvious: song lyrics for the most popular genres of music are ridiculously obtuse — and getting worse over time. Though this might not be a revelation, the figures are distressing indicators of both an intellectually vapid societal and cultural future as well as its apparent inevitability. [more inside]
"From the pictures and videos that accompany the NBC News and Buzzfeed stories, the crowd appears to have been predominantly white... which explains why they're described in the media as 'celebrating' rather than 'rioting'. But every time this happens – that is to say, every time sports fans, predominantly of the white variety, go on rampages after wining (or losing) various championships – many of us with a few gray hairs on our heads are reminded of the Clash's seminal punk anthem, 'White Riot,' which was released as a 7-inch single (that would be on vinyl, kids) in March 1977, and was later included on both the UK and the US versions of the band's debut album, The Clash." Whites Riot: That’s Not What Joe Strummer Had in Mind, by David Von Ebers (TwiB! / Valid magazine).
The A.V. Club asks readers What’s your cultural dealbreaker? which they define as "cultural products that someone can profess to enjoy only while losing all of your respect."
"Everything is fine and the world is beautiful. It's raining, it's dark, I woke up at 5:30AM, I'm commuting in traffic. I would have had a headache, I would have been miserable, I would have wondered how my life took me to this point. This point I'm at right now. But no, no, everything is fine. Life is beautiful. The rain drops are just falling and in each one I see the reflection of every persons life around me. Humanity is beautiful. In this still frame shot of traffic on this crowded bus I just found love and peace. Heroin is a wonder drug. Heroin is better than everything else. Heroin makes me who I wish I was. Heroin makes life worth living. Heroin is better than everything else." [more inside]
If it weren't for the 1976 Copyright Act, copyright on work would expire after 56 years - which would have meant that Kerouac's On The Road, the original 12 Angry Men, and Elvis's All Shook Up would be public domain by today.
Best known for creating the nostalgic mash-up REMEMBER series (previously), Youtube user Thepeterson teams up with Slackstory to create another video clip time machine: REMEMBER 1994
In 1971 Jean Garetto and Pierre Codou began to dream of a radio station that could calm even the drivers stuck on the Paris Périphérique. It would play wonderful, unexpected music chosen by people who knew their onions. The tracks would be drawn from diverse genres and chosen to seque enchantingly. There would be no jingles, commercials or self-aggrandising DJs - not even defined programs - just some announcers chosen for their mellifluous voices but paid to mostly stay quiet. The result was - and is - FipRadio. Fans have included residents of Brighton in the UK who enjoyed an illegal re-transmission of the station for many years - and journalist David Hepworth who describes the thrill of hearing "a voice you want to marry whispering words you can't understand". Listen! [more inside]
Sometimes called the "Alan Lomaxes of India," the founders of Amarrass Records are on a mission to record and revitalize interest in traditional music from India, Turkey, and beyond. Over 100 videos on their YouTube channel chronicle their field recordings and festivals featuring artists like Lakha Khan, the Barmer Boys, Bombino, and many others. [more inside]
Two and a half years ago, we explored the early history of Cartoon Network... but it wasn't the only player in the youth television game. As a matter of fact, Fred Seibert -- the man responsible for the most inventive projects discussed in that post -- first stretched his creative legs at the network's truly venerable forerunner: Nickelodeon. Founded as Pinwheel, a six-hour block on Warner Cable's innovative QUBE system, this humble channel struggled for years before Seibert's innovative branding work transformed it into a national icon and capstone of a media empire. Much has changed since then, from the mascots and game shows to the versatile orange "splat." But starting tonight in response to popular demand, the network is looking back with a summer programming block dedicated to the greatest hits of the 1990s, including Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Double Dare, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and All That. To celebrate, look inside for the complete story of the early days of the network that incensed the religious right, brought doo-wop to television, and slimed a million fans -- the golden age of Nickelodeon. (warning: monster post inside) [more inside]
Part 3 of the Everything is a Remix video series has been released, by New York filmmaker Kirby Ferguson. Previously on MeFi. See the entire series on Vimeo: Parts One, Two and Three. (YouTube versions and transcripts inside.) Official Site. [more inside]
HUH. Magazine is a media platform with the latest, most relevant news from the worlds of art, fashion, design, music and film. Recent features include: Harvest by Haroshi: Skate and Destroy, artworks created with old worn, or snapped, skateboard decks | Disassembly, capturing relics of our past in a unique, dismantled and exposed form | Murakami at Versailles, knee-deep in controversy since its inception | and Darren's Great Big Camera, a short documentary about a camera that shoots on 14" x 36" negatives and measures 6ft. in length.
Don't Make Me Steal - a Digital Media Consumption Manifesto.
19th-century newspaper ads for patented stomach cures and digestive aids [...] foregrounded mince pie as the K2 of digestive summits. But for every published warning on the dangers of mince, the newspapers published a poem, essay, or editorial praising it as a great symbol of American cultural heritage or a nostalgic reminder of mother love and better times bygone—or even, as the State of Columbia, South Carolina, asserted in 1901, a beneficial Darwinian instrument that had "thinned out the weak ones" among the pioneering generations.So wrote Cliff Doerksen in his wonderful, James Beard award-winning article Mince Pie: The Real American Pie. Doerksen not only gives the history of this once most American of foods, he also makes two mince pies from 19th Century recipes to see if they are indeed all that. This is but one of many great articles Doerksen wrote for The Chicago Reader in recent years (links to a selection below the cut). Sadly, Cliff Doerksen passed at the age of 47 just before Christmas. [more inside]
"Broadside was a small underground magazine smuggled out of a New York City housing project in a baby carriage, filled with new songs by artists who were too creative for the folkies and too radical for the establishment." The entire back catalog of this influential magazine - which helped set the visual standard for underground zines until desktop publishing - is now avalable online, in PDF.
The Web Is Not A TV Channel is the latest in a series of admonitions for musical and marketing industry types from music blogger, record company founder and bass player Dave Allen. [more inside]
Corey Arcangel is perhaps the internet's most infamous hack, masher-upper, digi/net artist. His work stands for a growing culture of artists who run wildly through animated GIF landscapes populated with corrupted data-compressed bunny rabbits and tinny, MIDI renditions of Savage Garden ballads. As the Lisson Gallery, London, opens its archives to Arcangel's curatorial eye, could digi/net art be set to infect the real, fleshy world, like a rampant Conficker Worm? Has YouTube become the truest reflection of our anthropological selves? Are we destined to roam the int3erw£bs like the mythic beasts of yore, hoping, in time, that digi art can free us from the confines of this fleshy void? [...previously]
Oamos is a "metasearch engine" that generates a sprawling cornucopia of sound, text and images based on your query.
Pioneering instrumental-rock guitarist Link Wray - one of the original rockabilly artists, credited with having invented the "power chord", which has become the basis for modern rock and alternative music - died this week at the age of 76. You'd probably know him from his song 'Rumble', used on the 'Pulp Fiction' soundtrack. The English-speaking media hasn't picked up on the story yet, but various blogs, the Spanish and Danish press - translation here - and various music messageboards were all over the story 24 hours ago.
Median's Relief! If you like Little Brother, you should like these three free mp3's from Median. He's in the Justus League too and he's got beats from 9th Wonder, hip hop producer of the moment right now.
"I Have a Gentil C**k." A rooster that is, but Apple may not have realized that when they altered the title on iTunes (iTunes link.) The song (sample: Real Audio, Windows Media), arranged by Carol Wood, is a 14th-15th century medieval love song, a variation of the aube. It may have inspired Chaucer's description of Chantecleer in the Canterbury Tales. [Via Digital Medievalist, SFW unless you work for Apple.]
The Appalshop, nestled in the hills of coal-stained eastern Kentucky, was founded in 1969 as a War on Poverty project designed to train young people in Appalachia for jobs in film and television. Today, it flourishes as one of the premier cultural outposts of a proud and struggling swath of America. Its projects include documentary films, a record label, and one of the best public radio stations in the country.
Verizon Must Reveal Internet Song Swapper In a recent discussion of the Supreme Court's decision to protect the rights of the individual from the greed and sloth of the many I warned that the RIAA and MPAA, comically inept though the media paints them, would soon have things their way. This link is to a news report about an important step in their fight for individual rights.
MTV bans Public Enemy 's video "Gotta Give the Peeps What They Need" because the video contains the lyric "Free Mumia and H Rap Brown". MTV are willing to air the video if the lyric is cut. Public Enemy front-man Chuck D is vocal in his response. Responsible action or censorship in its worst form?
This evening 20/20 broadcast a report on the new payola.Names are named. This explains a lot about the current state of music radio. Ironically, one of those complaining the loudest was good ol' Hilary Rosen of the RIAA who are doing their damnedest to destroy internet radio, along with college and public radio, the only alternative to the institutional corruption she decries. But in this case, she's on the side of the angels, it would seem. This report is timely though and does illustrate what's wrong with concentrating media power in too few hands.
Sony to introduce new CD format. No, it's not DVD-Music. It's a new double-capacity CD format that Sony says "will be able to prevent illegal copying." I'm assuming the new format will require all-new hardware to read and to write. So my question is, what's the point? Won't another music format just increase consumer confusion and make them more reluctant to buy? Why come out with a 1.3GB format just as recordable DVDs, with much larger capacities, are becoming practical? Do they really expect people to buy all new hardware to support what is obviously a dead-end format?
ABC reports on Napsters usage on University Campuses.