Alan "Fluff" Freeman
has died at the age of 79
he gave up broadcasting in 2000
, due to poor health, he will always be remembered as the man who invented the chart rundown, complete with background music and jingles.
He is probably best known for Pick of the Pops
, which reached a mainstream audience, but was also a champion of rock music. Along with John Peel
and Tommy Vance
, Fluff was the last of the three great DJ's I grew up listening to on late night radio. I'm too young to remember his Radio Luxembourg shows, but The Saturday Night Rock Show on Radio 1 was compulsory listening, part for the music and part for Fluff's unique catchphrases and jingles, particularly Sign of the Swingin' Cymbal (rm)
which became his theme on all his radio shows. He was also the inspiration behind the Harry Enfield character Dave Nice
. We'll miss you Fluff. Not 'arf!
posted by bap98189
on Nov 28, 2006 -
passed away Sunday. Yes, the first is a NYTimes
link, but here's
an obit from the Independent
newspaper, and here's
a BBC obit as well. It would be unseemly not to note the passing of the arranger or producer (or both, or co- ) behind the Art Farmer Quartet's Live at the Half-Note
, Sonny Stitt's Stitt Plays Bird
, Max Roach's Drums Unlimited
, the Rascals' "Good Lovin'" and "Groovin'," Aretha Franklin's I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You
and Aretha Now
, Dusty Springfield's Dusty in Memphis
, Donny Hathaway's Extension of a Man
, the Stones' Black and Blue
, Chaka Khan's first several solo albums, and hundreds of others all the way down to Norah Jones ... a list almost too long to compile. NPR interview here
, lengthier article from Sound on Sound here
, his discogs.com list here
posted by blucevalo
on Jun 27, 2006 -
Taylor Hicks wins American Idol....
It could be something worth talking about given how powerful the show has become: #1 show on television, contributed to over 30 million records (records -- yes records not itunes singles) sold, and a show where Queen, Rod Stewart, and, tonight, TAFKAP (or he could be Prince again) are clamoring to be on it. Moroever, some conventional wisdom seems to support that the show is not karaoeke-izing pop music and instead contributes to it surprisingly positively
. While it might not lead to debates on metafiler, arguments as to what makes a good Idol can be seen here.
posted by skepticallypleased
on May 24, 2006 -
is the godfather of electronica, the inventor of ambient music, and producer of the best work by bands like the Talking Heads and U2. Tchad Blake
has helmed the mixing board for Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Soul Coughing and the Bad Plus, to name just a few. Paul Simon
is one of the most recognized names in pop music both for his work with Art Garfunkel and for his fusion of American pop music with African and South American music. Surprise
is the the album they collaborated on, the new Paul Simon record featuring Eno's signature sonic landscapes all over it, and the entire lovely thing, complete with liner notes, is available to listen to
on Simon's website.
posted by eustacescrubb
on May 9, 2006 -
Answer to one of the most frequently unasked questions— What is Romo?
dernism) was an early '90s pop "movement" in England that Melody Maker claimed was going to save music, mostly from Oasis. How? Well, by reviving the true British spirit— Roxy Music, Manic Street Preachers (before one of 'em wandered off never seen again) and Duran Duran's wardrobe! Due to unfortunate timing issues (like that Melody Maker didn't wait for any of the bands to actually put out any music before declaring them saviors, and that they were 10 years too early to be Fischerspooner), Romo now only rates a two-word aside in All Music's entry on New Romantics
While Romo vaguely had a "sound," that of croony Morrissey-lite synthpop often, there were hidden gems like the crunchy spiky Plastic Fantastic. Indulge your curiosity about this overlooked musical "genre" here
(warning— Second link NSF people with aesthetic visual sense).
posted by klangklangston
on Apr 12, 2006 -
The 23rd Century
is a sweet band that just released their new CD, "Take A Trip Though Time With...The 23rd Century", for free online
in mp3 format. The album was created by metafilter user tcobretti
and his cousin. You can purchase the album here
to support them, or you can buy their tshirt, obviously inspired/ripped off from the John Titor insignia
. There is also a cool schematic-based navigation to the site, presumably from the same great mind who brought us runoffgroove.com
. [via mefi projects
posted by banished
on Mar 17, 2006 -
One of the great virtues of the internet is the manifold ways in which it has revolutionised the arts. The postmodern works of contemporary artists Pomme & Kelly
(Google Video), when viewed together in context, form a striking example of a well-placed critique of popular culture, and modern living at large. The zeitgeisty meta-irony of their seemingly content-free interpretations of popular songs are only enhanced by the fact that, in a clever keeping with style, they blog about it as well
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Feb 28, 2006 -
We know his quavering, tentative, high tenor voice from his voice work as Jiminy Cricket
, but Cliff Edwards -- aka Ukulele Ike -- was much more than that. Wikipedia offers a brief introduction
to the man, his life, his works, and his lonely death. But, to my tastes, the best introduction to this once hugely popular singer is the man's own voice
posted by Astro Zombie
on Feb 24, 2006 -
Neutral Milk Hotel demos, videos, and bootlegs.
Brainchild of enigmatic, now-reclusive singer/songwriter Jeff Mangum
(not Magnum!), the "fuzz-folk" project known as Neutral Milk Hotel began and ended in the 90s and only released two LPs
, but is still held as a touchstone by many indie rock critics
More live recordings
can be found at the site for Elephant 6
, the collective which included NMH and other bands
like Beulah, Circulatory System, Elf Power, and Apples in Stereo.
The complete discography
and more MP3s. Some lyrics
posted by ludwig_van
on Feb 22, 2006 -
American Idol 5 on Popmatters.
"There are two pre-audition selection rounds before contestants are allowed to meet the judges. Clearly then, the show's army of "talent" spotters deliberately sent Derek
and the others crashing and burning onto national television, in the sure and certain knowledge that humiliation means ratings." Some insights into the corporate machinery behind American Idol, as well as thoughts on the current season.
posted by ludwig_van
on Jan 25, 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 -
All hail the King of Fuh
Since 1965, Stephen "Brute Force" Friedland has been a professional blower of minds. He began his musical career penning
the first existential/psychedelic girl group record, graduated to tapeworms and sat-upon sandwiches, then was personally signed by George Harrison
as an Apple
artist with the sly and ultimately unreleasable "King of Fuh." (Turn it inside out. There, you see. MP3
But oddball songs of love and linguistic quirkiness are just the tip of Brutie's iceberg. In 1969, he swam half way across the Bering Strait in a symbolic plea to warm up the cold war. He does deliciously absurd stand-up prop comedy interspersed with song. And his eyebrows
are a work of art in their own right. So all hail the Fuh King, who has never compromised his deliriously batty vision, and at this point assuredly never will.
posted by Scram
on Nov 20, 2005 -
Music photography goodness - some UK-based photographers with plenty of image galleries of rock and pop bands: Peter Hill
(also see his livejournal
for more pics), Ami Barwell
, Michael Williams
, Scarlet Page
, Graham Smith
too), Emma Porter
, and the already mentioned Andrew Kendall
which licenses the work of several photographers and has sections on jazz
, hip hop
, etc. as well as travel photography
and other cool stuff (free registration required to access single galleries and images)
posted by funambulist
on Oct 15, 2005 -
from the annual Sziget
pop festival. I love getting these things and spinning them around at full speed but it can be a bit disconcerting with the The Boom Family Snuff Puppets surrounding you. And hey! spot the guy caught lighting up a doobie at the Yann Tiersen concert.
posted by tellurian
on Sep 18, 2005 -
"Anyway, the idea behind this site is similar to stumble: provide links and representations to (of) artists that I love. To that end I've already started populating the music, photography, visual arts and motion arts sections with some art I hope you really enjoy (and real links to the amazing artists responsible)."
[And check: via via via
posted by peacay
on Aug 6, 2005 -
, named after a Memphis grocery chain and arguably the most influential
cult band in the pop pantheon
(not to mention composers of "That '70s Show" theme song, as rendered by Cheap Trick), releases a new studio album
on Sept. 27. Fronted by the legendary Alex Chilton
(yes, the same one
) and Chris Bell
(Jody Stephens and Andy Hummell rounded out the original lineup), Big Star reformed in 1993 with the Posies'
Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, and have played live off and on since -- but this is the band's first release of new material since the dark, brooding Third/Sister Lovers
in 1978. O my soul! Power pop fans rejoice!
posted by scody
on Jul 26, 2005 -
Page after page of late 50s/early 60s pop posters, advertisements and more, designed by the studio of Lefor-Openo
which consisted of Marie-Claire Lefort and Marie-Francine Oppeneau. Via Papel Continuo
posted by iconomy
on Jun 29, 2005 -
:"For these people, Chutney was more than just music
), it was their life, it was their culture. For a people twice removed from their native land, Chutney was their connection to the traditions they might have otherwise never known." [via
posted by dhruva
on May 29, 2005 -
Vote For The Worst American Idol
contestant and be a foot solider against cornball programming. In the battle between an Internet movement and television producers, so far the rouge site
has the lead. But as we get closer to the show's finale, can the contrarians keep the worst contestants
in the mix?
posted by herc
on May 7, 2005 -
The Sukiyaki Song [mp3]
Depending on your age, you may have heard your parents humming this, or even hummed it yourself. Sung by Kyu Sakamoto
, the Sukiyaki Song was the only number 1 hit by a Japanese artist in the US, in 1963. It remains the biggest international hit by a Japanese popular singer. The song has nothing to do with the popular Japanese beef dish
; the Japanese title was "Ue o Muite Aruko" (I Look Up When I Walk), but was changed
because it was thought that western DJs would be unable to pronounce it
. The song spawned many covers, and Maddmansrealm
over 60 of these, including French
versions, bossa nova
versions, a short accordion version by Styx
, and a live instrumental version by Bob Dylan and Tom Petty
[mp3s]. Kyu Sakamoto died in 1985 in the crash of JAL 123.
posted by carter
on Mar 3, 2005 -
perhaps the freshest show to grace our radio airwaves in recent years has been cancelled. Host Kate Sullivan
and a collection of friends mused on pop music and associated pop culture with passion, a strong does of "um" and "uh, like" and an always great soundtrack. You can listen (for the moment anyway) to the archives
posted by donovan
on Dec 16, 2004 -
Enough Is Enough
: It's time to stop dancing to "Hey Ya!" "As of today, November 10, 2004, it is one year since 'Hey Ya!' was released in the UK. So all you Beyonces, and Lucy Lius, and babydolls, GET OFF THE FLOOR."
Further proof that Popjustice
is the world's greatest pop magazine, if their review of Girls Aloud's What Will The Neighbours Say?
-cast-members-out-of-ten ratings scale didn't already convince you. Oh, and "note to DJs: This is not an excuse to start playing 'Crazy In Love' again."
posted by logovisual
on Nov 10, 2004 -
pop vs. soda
what might the "other" terms be? you are from the far north of minnesota or south central new mexico - what do they call "pop" or "soda" in your neck of the woods?
posted by specialk420
on May 27, 2004 -
Nick Hornby discusses pop music in this NY Times essay:
"Maybe this split is inevitable in any medium where there is real money to be made: it has certainly happened in film, for example, and even literature was a form of pop culture, once upon a time. It takes big business a couple of decades to work out how best to exploit a cultural form; once that has happened, 'that high-low fork in the road' is unavoidable, and the middle way begins to look impossibly daunting. It now requires more bravery than one would ever have thought necessary to try and march straight on, to choose neither the high road nor the low. Who has the nerve to pick up where Dickens or John Ford left off?
In other words, who wants to make art that is committed and authentic and intelligent, but that sets out to include, rather than exclude? To do so would run the risk of seeming not only sincere and uncool - a stranger to all notions of postmodernism - but arrogant and vaultingly ambitious as well."
posted by grumblebee
on May 26, 2004 -
Britney Says... Pop Superstar Discusses Her High-Brow Faves
Britney writes about her exposure to high art and literature. The gallery is meant to help her grow as an artist, and expose her to new audiences. She doesn't want to perform for teenagers all her life, she's getting older after all. Features pictures of Britney reciting lyrics and poems. She wants to be taken seriously as a PERSON.
posted by rschram
on Mar 19, 2004 -