explores modern pop music in Blonde Ambition
Today in 1966, Brian Wilson
starting laying down instrumental tracks for "#1 Untitled." Eight months, 90 hours of tape, and $50,000 later, he released his "pocket symphony
." [more inside]
Bored of Ke$ha
, and their various American contemporaries performing "hip-hop"-"tinged" "pop"? Say "alo" to apple-cheeked Romanian-German star Miss Platnum
. Maybe start with Mercedes-Benz
and She Moved In
, before moving on to her earliest and biggest hit, Give Me the Food
. [more inside]
The Music of Jacques Brel
is an article by music journalist Amy Hanson about the career of pop music legend Jacques Brel and his effect on popular music in the English language. A lot of songs and covers are mentioned in the article, below the cut are links to the songs that I could find videos of online. [more inside]
I maintain that only an encyclopedic-archaeological turn can save an aging person's attachment to popular culture from descending into ridiculousness. Against Eighties Music
by Justin E.H. Smith
has been busy since the release of The Chase EP
, the first of four "suites" that make up her genre-bending epic set in the distant future. She's been "discovered" by Diddy
, continued to find inspiration
in unexpected places
, founded an artists' collective
in her adopted hometown of Atlanta, and found time to speak to Vogue
about her singular sense of style. Somewhere in there, she's also recorded the next two parts of the Metropolis Suite, titled The Archandroid
(which is out today), put out a teaser for the album, and also the video for the first single, Tightrope. [more inside]
Christopher Bird at Mighty God King has written some corkers in the past - from his ejection from Livejournal owing to his review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
to his frequent conversations with Flapjacks and Photoshopping of Final Fantasy Covers
He's really outdone himself this time, with Scenes From An Alternate Universe Where The Beatles Accepted Lorne Michaels’ Generous Offer
. Read it, and, quite possibly, weep.
Bonus points to the first person who constructs a Primer-level explanation of what happened.
Poet and poetry/film/music/culture critic Joshua Clover
has been posting excerpts from his upcoming book 1989: Bob Dylan Didn't Have This to Sing About
over at his blog
. [more inside]
Gyrations atop a giant Rubik’s cube? Check. Uber groiny, hardbodied ballet dancers in metallic bowler shoes? Check. Intimated BJ three-way with male Moschino models? Check. Glittering Mickey Mouse butt cleavage? OKAY NOW THAT’S JUST GOING TOO FAR. Coilhouse is awesome.
Of all the pretenders to the throne of "British Elvis" in the pre-Beatles UK music scene
, none had the swagger
quite like Vince Taylor
. [more inside]
Tommy Tutone's famous number is for sale
. [more inside]
features prominently on the 1968 album, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society
, more commonly referred to as The Village Green Preservation Society
. The weird, eerie quality of this electronic keyboard, which uses pre-recorded tapes of individual sounds
such as strings and woodwind instruments, worked well with singer/songwriter Ray Davies
' nostalgic, backwards looking sensibility. [more inside]
a three-girl Japanese technopop sensation
formed in 2001 now consisting of Nocchi
, is about to release their ninth single, "Dream Fighter"
Perfume's July 2008 single "Love the World
" was the first technopop song ever to debut at #1
on the Oricon sales chart. The previous highest debut for techno was Yellow Magic Orchestra's "Kimi ni, Munekyun
" 25 years ago in 1983.
(original article citing #1 record translated
via Google translator) [more inside]
Classic tracks: Can't seem to face up to the facts?
Searching for the heart of Heart of Gold
? Mix Online delves deep into your favorite jams
, to find out what was in the air
when they were conceived. Know what I mean
is devoted to the evolution of popular music from Africa, the Middle East, India and Asia and the proliferation of Western influences on these non-Western cultures. The focus is primarily the music from the mid 60's to the mid 70's." (Description from the front page of the site.)
Slightly differently formatted version of the website here
. Nice set of links
, too (scroll down to the Words and Pictures section)
Chief Justice Roberts (mis)quotes Bob Dylan
* in his dissent on Sprint Communications Co. v. APCC Services, Inc.
, making this the first known time that a Supreme Court Opinion has used a "rock song to buttress legal opinion,"
according to Alex B. Long
of the University of Tennessee. Mr. Long knows a thing or two about this**, having authored [Insert Song Lyrics Here]
***, a Washington & Lee Law review Article on the subject of Pop Music in legal writing. The article is funny†, insightful, comprehensive in its musical background††, and surprisingly knowledgeable about good taste in writing.††† [more inside]
Tourists black out reflective retinas in snapshots before printing them, and millions of people refer to strangers they’ve never spoken to as friends, because they’ve connected through a social-networking platform. [...] It should come as no surprise, then, that singers sometimes choose to correct recorded flaws in pitch with modern software, like Antares’s Auto-Tune.Sasha Frere-Jones on auto-tuning, in The New Yorker
. [more inside]
Songwriter and producer Bob Crewe
is one of those behind the scenes guys who was seemingly everywhere during the rock era. Records written and/or produced by Crewe charted over a twenty year period, including My Eyes Adored You
and Lady Marmalade
, both in 1975. [more inside]
The best/worst in Lithuanian music: the catchy Otter in Love
, DJ Dago's rave music
, Suopis ir Rambynas' folk music
and Mr Valdas Karklelis and his creepy
and [NSFW] pervy
writhing . [more inside]
The 25 Best Pop Song Opening Lyrics, like EVER
- a spinner.com 'hit list', complete with wry commentary and abruptly cut-off audio clips. Bonus: 25 more
, suggested by people who don't work for the webside. [more inside]
Five For Fighting
(John Ondrasik) is pretty cool and has some good music (enbedded audio). This
video, created by school kids, really rocks. You can watch and submit your own home vids for in support of some good charitable causes.
“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
was an early 90's indie label of with an ever-changing number of a's in it's name. The owner of the label has put the entire catalog onto his site for download in mp3 format. He indicates which songs he likes the best by putting a very, very tiny picture of a kitten next to the songs. Artists include The Field Mice, White Town, They Go Boom, BMX Bandits, Dufflecoats, The Bedfloweres and Strawberry Story. You can see pictures of the bands on the site. If you spent your youth saying things like "this is pure, perfect pop music, why isn't this
on the radio" then you've probably already clicked the link.
is Malagasy pop music
. Sometimes dramatic
is the legend and Wawa
are the young guns!
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
He was the patriarch
of the British Invasion
. In 1962, he released Britain's first blues album
. Before they hit it big, the Rolling Stones opened for him. He was on the Beatles first television special. Later, he was in the memorably-named band The Hoochie Coochie Men with Rod Stewart
on lead vocals. His next band, Bluesology, featured one Reginald Dwight
, who later changed his name to honour his mentor. Moving to Canada in the 1970s he eventually settled in Vancouver, where he died today after suffering from a chest infection. Ladies and gentlemen: "Long John
" Baldry has passed
Can Ashlee Simpson get any worse?
Who knows? But it appears that at least one critic
has had it with her lack of talent. Because this is America, we have dueling petitions seeking to encourage her to continue
or push her off the stage
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
A Bigger Splash: What Sunny California Did To Miserable Manchester Man Morrissey.
His new album, "You Are The Quarry"
, is released on May 17th in the U.K. and the next day in the U.S. But the problem is: does anyone still care? I do! [More inside.
I just discovered a song that I haven't heard in twenty years over there: pac-man fever, by Buckner and Garcia. What long-lost tune do you need to remember?
Every American #1 pop hit since 1950, reviewed, in order
. (Start at the bottom of the page and work up.) Great blog project! (blogject?)
Take off your shoes.
Look out folks, we have a new candidate for worst song of the summer.
Guillermo, it was really nada.
Back in my day, Morrissey's fans were closeted gay boys
, the girls who loved them
, and oddly, Mormons
Now, he's the idol of Latinos
, especially in LA
. Is it a cultural connection with melodramatic poetry
or artistic narcissism
? Is it identification with Morrissey's lyrics of disenfranchisement
, or a rebellion against traditional Latin machismo
Is it the hair
break/doWn: translating the hits for the masses.
Spent any sleepless nights wondering what those pop songs stuck in your head are really all about? Well, music-critic.com
has done the work for you. For instance, did you know that when Britney sings "I know I may come off quiet, I may come off shy/But I feel like talking, feel like dancing when I see this guy" she's saying "I've spent the last three years carefully crafting a "good girl" image of myself for the public/But I'm ready to throw it all away for a one night stand with that guy over there
." break/doWn has 13 "hits" translated just for you! (scroll down the the bottom of the page for other songs)
For the first time in forty years, there is not a single UK act on the Billboard top 100 singles chart
. A lot of people argue that it's because manfactured crap is interchangable, so there's no need to import it, but plenty of American artists still make it in the UK, so I'm inclined to believe there's something else at work here. Any ideas as to what that something might be?
Tiffany goes Topless
80's teen pop sensation Tiffany will appear in a photo spread in an upcoming issue of Playboy. She says "it's time the world realizes she's no longer 18 but a wife and mother."
i was listening to morning glory this morning :) and was wondering what was up with oasis. i knew they'd toured with the black crowes, but hadn't really heard much about it. so did a little searching and i dunno, this review made me feel pretty good. anyone going to the glasgow concert this weekend?
All my life, people have been studying the hidden (sometimes very well hidden) profundities of pop-music lyrics. You know, however, that 99.99% of it is mundane and not worth studying. Wrong!
Britney's Battle Plan?
Leaked document or Internet bs, you make the call...