Electric & Musical Industries was formed in 1931, initially releasing classical music, but went on to launch the Beatles, who changed the record label's operations and funded the company for years and years. The label's recording rules were further broadened by Queen and Pink Floyd. EMI ushered punk into the mainstream with Sex Pistols, and then embraced the New Romanticism and the polished excesses of Duran Duran. They made music videos big with Pet Shop Boys and made Brit Pop a thing with Blur, and were home to Radiohead. This is the inside story of EMI, one of the greatest British brands in recording history, as told by people involved with the record label's storied history, augmented by company and performance footage. [more inside]
A short story about DMT by Scott Alexander
“Transcendent joy,” said the big green bat.
“Right,” I said. “I’m absolutely in favor of both those things. But before we go any further, could you tell me the two prime factors of 1,522,605,027,922,533,360,535,618,378,132,637,429,718,068,114,961,380,688,657,908,494,580,122,963,258,952,897,654,000,350,692,006,139?”
Here's a little something old to bring in the new year: Jacco Gardner and his debut solo album, Cabinet of Curiosities (Grooveshark streaming tracks; full album on YouTube). Why? Because it's a delicious platter of ornate, lushly orchestrated, psych-inflected "soft rock" or "baroque pop" and if you didn't know better, you might guess it was made in the 1960s, not in 2012. The album was created almost solely by Gardner, who played all the instruments except the drums. For live shows, the 25 year old multi-instrumentalist had to enlist more help, as you can see in this live set from Lowlands, and two more, from Ancienne Belgique and at International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). [more inside]
Psychedelic icon Owsley Stanley dies in Australia "Owsley 'Bear' Stanley, a 1960s counterculture figure who flooded the flower power scene with LSD and was an early benefactor of the Grateful Dead, died in a car crash in his adopted home country of Australia on Sunday, his family said. He was believed to be 76." The Bear, previously on MetaFilter.
Radical Friend makes interactive music videos for Black Moth Super Rainbow and Yeasayer. [NSFW] [more inside]
Hello, New York! New York, wake up you f*ckers! Free Music! Free Love! In 1968, two years before those other guys, Jefferson Airplane played their apocalyptic psychedelia from a NYC rooftop, before police shut them down. Filmed (staged?) by Jean-Luc Godard. [more inside]
Mickey Ween: A security guard came onstage and Gibby threw the alcohol on him. The dude just started backing away, it was clear that Gibby probably would set him on fire. And now, knowing Gibby like I do, it was definitely within the realm of possibility.An Oral History of May 3, 1987: The Day The Butthole Surfers Came to Trenton, New Jersey. Butthole Surfers interviewed in bed, parts 1 and 2, playing The Scott & Gary Show on their first run through New York, parts 1 and 2, playing live in 1985 [low quality], live footage from the 80s. [more inside]
Mark Pesetsky: And Gibby just gave me that psycho look with the Charles Manson eyes. He grabs a bottle of the rubbing alcohol and throws it on me and then starts walking towards me with a lighter. And John, the other bouncer, just jumps offstage. It was every man for himself at that point.
Gibby Haynes: Oh yeah, I do remember that. I mean, I've lit kids' heads on fire and they were smiling!
From Inner Sounds to Astro Sounds Session guitarist Jerry Cole made several albums of instrumental surf rock as the leader of Jerry Cole & His Spacemen, but after playing on sessions that produced the Byrds' Mr. Tambourine Man and the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album, he realized he had to adapt to new musical trends. In the summer of '66, Cole responded by bringing several session buddies together to record The Inner Sounds of the Id, a psychedelic studio creation that was at least a year ahead of its time. The story might have ended there if the producer hadn't stolen the Id's session outtakes... (more inside)