If the Beatles and their like were in fact what the youth of Britain wanted, one might well despair. I refuse to believe it – and so will any other intelligent person who casts his or her mind back far enough. What were we doing at 16? I remember reading the whole of Shakespeare and Marlowe, writing poems and plays and stories. At 16, I and my friends heard our first performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; I can remember the excitement even today. We would not have wasted 30 seconds of our precious time on the Beatles and their ilk. Are teenagers different today? Of course not.
posted by paleyellowwithorange
on Sep 3, 2014 -
The world is a dark and a terrible place. Horrible, morally insane things are happening. Let us resist them as best we are able, and in the meantime replace various nouns in the lyrics of well-known pop songs with the word “cats,” that we might whistle against the coming of the night together a while longer.
Song Lyrics Improved By Replacing Proper Nouns With Cats: Part 1. Part 2.
By Mallory Ortberg. DLTT.
posted by medusa
on Aug 19, 2014 -
Lana Del Rey: Why a Death-Obsessed Pop Siren Is Perfect for Late-Stage Capitalist America
(mirrored at Salon.com
Lana Del Rey is pushing the envelope, and here's her message, delivered with a languid pout: 21st-century America is a rotting corpse, deadlocked culturally, economically, and politically. Since there's nothing we can do about it, let's enjoy ourselves as the body-politic disintegrates, perhaps by savoring some toothsome bites of the past: candy-colored Super 8 films, juicy jazz tunes and clips of sultry screen sirens. The future is a retrospective.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome
on Jul 11, 2014 -
All of this echoes the ancient danse macabre, the dance of death, the motif that sprang out of the medieval horrors of war and the plague. It's a plea for fevered amusement while you've still got time.
Ragtime’s slaves-to-the-rhythm weren’t just figments of Billy Sunday’s fevered imagination—and “I Love, I Love, I Love My Wife—But Oh! You Kid!” wasn’t just a novelty ditty. It was, like the other hits of its era, a generational marker, an anthem of changing times and freedom and youth. The old songs sound goofy to us, but a hundred years ago they carried a teenybopper throb and the impish menace of punk rock.
Lengthy (6000 words) link-rich article by Jody Rosen at Slate.
posted by cgc373
on Jun 3, 2014 -
Sixteen years ago, on February 22, 1998, Madonna released her seventh studio album, Ray Of Light
, followed the next day by lead-off single Frozen
. Popular music and culture would never be the same. [more inside]
posted by hippybear
on Feb 17, 2014 -
For almost twenty years, starting in 1984, Bill Chambless on WVUD-FM
at the University of Delaware, explored the pop music of 1900 to 1940 on vintage recordings, "scratches and all." Stream the shows at this website, migrated from the original cassette tapes and maintained by his son.
posted by Miko
on Jan 24, 2014 -
Youtube user Thepeterson puts together collections of the major radio hits, movies, video games, and technology of a given year. So why not take a time machine trip to the media landscape of : 1997
, and 2002
posted by The Whelk
on Apr 23, 2013 -
"This year, two monumental genres with decidedly global pedigrees arrived on our shores and attempted to crack the American pop code, with one enjoying far more decisive success than the other...One of those is definitely sexier and zeitgeistier than the other, but that doesn't always result in sustained cultural relevance."
K-Pop, EDM, and Baby Brosteps Toward a More Global Pop Landscape
posted by mannequito
on Dec 18, 2012 -
What happens when you mash up Cinderella, Disney songs, queer culture, and top 40 hits? This
, apparently. [SLYT]
Warning for general ear-worminess. I'll be humming this all week.
posted by MeghanC
on Jul 28, 2012 -
In the last decade, no organ of music criticism has wielded as much influence as Pitchfork. It is the only publication, online or print, that can have a decisive effect on a musician or band’s career.... [W]hatever attracts people to Pitchfork, it isn’t the writing. Even writers who admire the site’s reviews almost always feel obliged to describe the prose as “uneven,” and that’s charitable. Pitchfork has a very specific scoring system that grades albums on a scale from 0.0 to 10.0, and that accounts for some of the site’s appeal, but it can’t just be the scores.... How has Pitchfork succeeded where so many other websites and magazines have not? And why is that success depressing?
A lengthy history and review of Pitchfork [Media]
, from an inexpensive online alternative to a music zine, to "indie" music kingmaker, and thoughts on pop music (criticism). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Jan 24, 2012 -
"[Punk] in itself is comedy. The whole thing is ludicrous. They were taking themselves so seriously—" he laughs—"and the great message you want to tell people forty years later is 'Put butter
on your crumpets'? What they were saying they stood for, which was sort of anti-greed, anti-establishment... At the end, they all want the check. That's the truth." Pop biographer Chris Heath - who's written some rather fascinating books on Robbie Williams
and the Pet Shop Boys
- meets Simon Cowell
posted by mippy
on Sep 1, 2011 -
It was music to be heard, not listened to. It was the soundtrack to the relaxed, sophisticated, mature vision of the good life. It was music for lovers. It was upbeat, elaborately arranged, chart-toppingly popular, and yet has been almost written out of the popular music history books, dismissed as “elevator music”; soulless, toned-down, pre-chewed, limp cover-versions of popular songs for old people. So sit back, put aside the politics and angst, slip into something comfortable (preferably with someone of similar description), and allow yourself to experience The Joy of Easy Listening [2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey
on Jun 16, 2011 -
was a UK music magazine, first published at the end of 1978. It charted the progress of pop styles, including the rise of 2-Tone
, and included a number of freebie discs
, first as flexi discs
, and later on CDs. The magazine faltered in the 1990s, and closed shop in 2006
. Since then there have been a few one-off "special editions," first a 2009 tribute to Michael Jackson
, and then a Lady Gaga special in 2010
. 30 years after the first issue went on sale, a fan posted the first issue online
. So far, new scans have been posted fort-nightly
, following the original release schedule. 73 issues are online to date, each three decades after they first were sold. (via MetaChat
posted by filthy light thief
on Jun 14, 2011 -