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Pop History

The People's Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records is a radio series on BBC written and narrated by Stuart Maconie. Each episode focuses on one particular pop song and tells the story of the song as well as what social trends it mirrored, for instance the episode on Telstar by The Tornadoes focuses on the technological progress, especially in space travel and music, and the story of songwriter and record producer Joe Meek. 25 episodes have been broadcast, including ones on Dizzee Rascal's Bonkers and 21st Century Britain, Cornershop's Brimful of Asha and the British-Asian experience , and Serge Gainsbourg's Je T'aime and sex. There are 25 more to come. There is also a blog and profiles of the songs already discussed. [Previously on MeFi]
posted by Kattullus on Jun 25, 2013 - 14 comments

 

She was known as The Little Pepper

Elis Regina was perhaps the biggest Brazilian popstar of her time. The clip in the first link is a single song from a TV special she did in 1973, at the height of her powers, and which has been put online in its entirety. The song, Águas de Março, was a Tom Jobim composition, which they sang together on the album Elis & Tom, which also featured such gems as Corcovado, Inútil paisagem and Triste. Over her career Elis Regina worked with a who's who of Brazilian popular music, and there's quite a lot of material out there. The best places I've found are YouTube channels elisetom1974, Eurachel and, though the Elis Regina material is mixed in with other stuff, jordaoqualquer is a treasure trove. Elis Regina died from an alcohol and cocaine overdose in 1982, 36 years of age. Last year NPR had a short appreciation of her as part of its 50 Great Voices series.
posted by Kattullus on Feb 5, 2011 - 26 comments

The Eight Finest Seconds in Europop History

Epic Sax Guy [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Jul 27, 2010 - 51 comments

Robyn!

Two live performances by Robyn, 2008 in LA (54 minutes) and 2005 in Lund, Sweden (27 minutes). The 2008 concert can also be viewed song by song. For a bitesize introduction to the Swedish pop singer, check out the quite extensive video section on her site. Also, Robyn on BBC quiz show Nevermind the Buzzcocks. [Robyn previously on MetaFilter]
posted by Kattullus on Mar 10, 2010 - 15 comments

100 Best Icelandic Pop & Rock Albums

100 Best Icelandic Pop & Rock Albums all streamable in full for free. Icelandic state broadcaster RÚV and Icelandic subscription music website tónlist.is have published what they, their team of experts and the Icelandic public consider to be the 100 best Icelandic rock and pop albums of all time. Björk, Sigur Rós, Múm and The Sugarcubes don't need much introduction but below the cut there are short description of the other artists. [via RÚV] [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on May 6, 2009 - 47 comments

The Belfer collection of old cylinder records

The Belfer Cylinders Digital Connection is a collection of old cylinder records at Syracuse University. The library has started to digitize them, both in mp3 and wav format. They have only 293 online yet but aim to have 6000 cylinders digitized by the end of next year. It can be searched either by genre, keyword or Here are a few that I really like: Bedtime at the Zoo, That Syncopated Boogie-boo, Mary, You're a Little Bit Old Fashioned, Fifty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong, Phoebe Brown, Was zu Gott ist zu Gott und was zu leute ist zu leute, Aberystwyth, Glada na lusch, I Love a Lassie and Pussy's in the Well.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 1, 2009 - 22 comments

Acoustic performances at LiveDaily Sessions

Concert promoter LiveDaily has an acoustic live sessions program (video starts playing). It's been running since March of this year and so far 33 artists have performed: Priscilla Ahn, The Raveonettes, Black Lips, Paddy Casey, Dawn Landes, Lykke Li, The Duke Spirit, Frightened Rabbit, Foreign Born, The Dodos, The Virgins, Radar Bros., Langhorne Slim, Shwayze, Joseph Arthur, Missy Higgins, Wild Sweet Orange, Le Switch, Deadly Syndrome, Steve Poltz, Weather Underground, Imaad Wasif, Rogue Wave, David Ford, Takka Takka, Black Ghosts, The Airborne Toxic Event, Tally Hall, Lionel Loueke, Calico Horse, Rademacher, Judith Owen and Carrie Rodriguez
posted by Kattullus on Sep 30, 2008 - 10 comments

BBC Podcasts to learn about bakery fresh British popular music

BBC Introducing is an excellent way to keep tabs on what's fresh in the British popular music scene without having to live in a rainsoaked armpit. There are four podcasts for you to download, the flagship Best of Unsigned Podcast, Homegrown Mix with Ras Kwame, Scotland Introducing and BBC Radio Northampton's Weekender. All feature bands that are either unsigned or just recently signed and the music ranges from hip hop to punk rock to what sounds awfully like the soundtrack for a NES game with half-hearted chanting over it. This is an excellent resource whether you're casual searcher for new songs or the kind of anorak who knows which British indie band was first to use an 808.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 5, 2007 - 9 comments

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