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Recreating everything in Sun Records sound

Studio engineer Matt Ross-Spang wasn't even born when most of Sun's most famous records were cut. Nonetheless, he's thought a lot about what makes them sound the way they do (transcript). Matt has been buying up old gear for a few years, returning the Sun Records studio to a vintage state (with a few exceptions), and he is still practicing "sonic archaeology," trying to figure out how Sam Phillips made records sound like Sun Records. There's more to it than the Sun tape echo. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 24, 2014 - 11 comments

"Can you deal with the fact that I'm not in love with you?"

Without You I'm Nothing: The Believer looks at the memoirs of the wives and girlfriends of rock stars.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 4, 2014 - 20 comments

Lou Reed Lou Reed

Lou Reed Lou Reed [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight on Jun 21, 2014 - 21 comments

Hey Señorita, I'm hot as hell

About fifty years ago, the governor of Indiana received a letter complaining about obscenity in the lyrics of a rock'n'roll song, and passed that letter on to the FBI. For the following two years, FBI agents examined potential lyrics of the song (which were incomprehensible on the recording, partly due to the singer's braces) to find grounds for an obscenity prosecution. They ultimately failed, but produced a 140-page report, listing numerous possible obscene readings of what the lyrics could be, and in doing so, turned Louie Louie by The Kingsmen from a footnote into a bona fide rock'n'roll rebel anthem. [more inside]
posted by acb on Jan 23, 2014 - 27 comments

Do What They Say And Everything Will Be Okay

A music video about the awesome rocking power of respecting authority
posted by The Whelk on Oct 24, 2013 - 38 comments

Afterlife, oh my god, what an awful word.

After appearing on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live (is that Colin Stetson back there on sax?), Arcade Fire aired a strange but alluring late night special called Here Comes the Night Time, featuring Bono, Michael Cera, James Franco, Ben Stiller, Zac Galifianakis, Bill Hader and a nightclub in Montreal. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on Sep 30, 2013 - 41 comments

Color Me Impressed

The goal of Color Me Impressed is to share every known Replacements (and related) live recording available.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Apr 30, 2013 - 13 comments

Side A Side B

Out of the ashes of 1970's Detroit rock came Sonic's Rendezvous Band. One part Iggy and the Stooges and one part MC5, they only released one single, same song on both sides of the record.City Slang [more inside]
posted by Sailormom on Feb 24, 2013 - 23 comments

Alien vs Predator vs Brown vs The Board of Education

"Hi. My name is Eric. I come up with band names constantly. If you're starting a band, might I suggest using one of these names..."
posted by alexoscar on Jan 29, 2013 - 88 comments

He'll sit 'em on his knee and teach 'em to bleed... you of all last year's savings.

In 1965 (or 1966, or...1964, depending on your source), three northeast garage rock bands came together to create the definitive early garage rock Christmas Album that time has since forgotten. Merry Christmas from The Sonics, The (Fabulous) Wailers, and The Galaxies features everything from Bob Dylan sound-alikes, fantastic originals, sincere classics... and weird goof-arounds. [more inside]
posted by SmileyChewtrain on Dec 18, 2012 - 12 comments

Photographer Ken Regan Passes from The Scene

On Nov. 25th, Ken Regan, iconic photographer of rock icons such as Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones (among many others) died of cancer. A spokesperson for his studio declined to give Regan's age, calling him "ageless." A GQ interview from late last year. A gallery of 16 of his images, and another gallery of 25 images. His (Flash required) web site's biography and portfolio. A one hour phone interview (warning: insufferable 3-1/2 minute pre-interview ad).
posted by spock on Nov 28, 2012 - 2 comments

Haunted House: rock'n'roll novelty through the years

I just moved into my new house today1, moving was hard but I got squared away2. When bells starting rings and chains rattled loud,3 I knew I'd moved in a haunted house4. Still I made up my mind to stay,5 nothing was a-gonna drive me away.6 When I seen something that give me the creeps,7 had one big eye and two big feet.8 [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 26, 2012 - 8 comments

100 famous guitar riffs in one take

If you wouldn't mind just watching this guy play 100 famous guitar riffs in one take, I'm feeling a sudden urge to grab my Fender Stratocaster.
posted by dry white toast on Jul 7, 2012 - 82 comments

Rock 'n' Roll as the crystallized, mythologized Wild West

Closed Frontier: Is rock over? "Rock ’n’ roll is to 21st-century America what the Wild West was to 20th-century America: a closed frontier, ripe for mass mythology....Exciting new music still thrives in the subgenres, but modern musicians draw increasing amounts of inspiration from tradition, not originality. The sexagenarian Rolling Stones do serial victory laps around the world, just as an aging Buffalo Bill toured America and Europe in the 1880s and 90s, performing rope and horse tricks alongside Annie Oakley and Sitting Bull."
posted by Sticherbeast on Apr 3, 2012 - 193 comments

"How important can this speech be if we're giving it at noon?"

Bruce Springsteen's SXSW 2012 Keynote Address
posted by Optamystic on Mar 16, 2012 - 42 comments

The Misunderstood Power of Michael Jackson's Music

The Atlantic explores whether Michael Jackson's contributions, like those of other black artists, are minimized because of his skin color.
posted by reenum on Feb 13, 2012 - 216 comments

The gorilla was John

"Okay. The reason I’m bringing all this up again is because Iggy Pop was once attacked by a gorilla during a live performance. But the gorilla turned out to be Elton John.... The Creem photograph documenting the event is hilarious, showing James Williamson transfixing the uppity ape with a malevolent glare that signals, he says, his intent to 'take him out.'" [more inside]
posted by malapropist on Dec 28, 2011 - 32 comments

Outta mind on Saturday night, 1970!

Ye olde rock and roll time machine, part two: recently found photos of a Stooges performance at a suburban Detroit high school from 1970.
posted by NoMich on Dec 15, 2011 - 19 comments

Buddy Holly, rock'n'roll specialist, turns 75

A lady, back in 1957, addressing the camera in an elegant evening gown, fit for some grand society ball, had this message for the oldsters: "Now, whatever you think of rock and roll, I think you have to keep a nice, open mind about what the young people go for." She then proceeded to announce Buddy Holly and the Crickets, who obligingly performed their hit Peggy Sue for the ballroom dancers' pleasure and edification. That same Buddy Holly would've been quite the oldster himself, had he lived to see today, his 75th birthday. So, if you have a little time on your hands today, you might like to learn more about Buddy by viewing The Real Buddy Holly Story 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Cause, hey, Buddy was not only one of the most unique and vital voices of the early days of rock'n'roll, but he wore the same glasses that every other hipster in Berlin is wearing right now.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 7, 2011 - 60 comments

You ain't nothin' but a Hound Dog ...

Jerry Leiber, one of the greatest rock and roll songwriters to ever ply the trade, has died aged 78. Along with songwriting partner Mike Stoller, he was responsible for so many hits, including but not limited to: Love Potion No. 9 by The Coasters, Stand By Me by Ben E. King, Hound Dog by Big Mama Thornton, later popularised by Elvis Presley, and, solo, in conjunction with Phil Spector, Spanish Harlem, as sung by Aretha Franklin.
posted by Len on Aug 22, 2011 - 63 comments

"Mrs. America, tell me how is your favorite son?"

Pop quiz! What do these musicians have in common: Lou Reed, E Street Band keyboardists Roy Bittan and Danny Federici, rhythm section Andrew Bodnar and Stephen Goulding of The Rumour, dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, erstwhile SNL bandleader G.E. Smith, session horn section the Brecker Brothers, LaBelle alum Nona Hendryx, guitar virtuoso Adrian Belew, and David Johansen of the New York Dolls? Answer: they were (most of) the studio band on the 1981 album Escape Artist by Garland Jeffreys. Which raises the question, "Garland who?" [more inside]
posted by FelliniBlank on Jul 19, 2011 - 22 comments

Pratt-le

30 years later, Neil Peart breathlessly recounts, track by track, the making of Rush's seminal album Moving Pictures.
posted by Eideteker on Jun 9, 2011 - 29 comments

Mr. Leonard Bernstein Explains It All For You

Inside Pop - The Rock Revolution is a CBS News special, broadcast in April 1967. The show was hosted by Leonard Bernstein and is probably one of the first examples of pop music being examined as a 'serious' art form. The film features many scenes shot in Los Angeles in late 1966, including interviews with Frank Zappa and Graham Nash, as well as the now legendary Brian Wilson solo performance of "Surf's Up." (MLYT) [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Apr 29, 2011 - 15 comments

Things were wonderful once

1. Tin Huey T-Shirt. 2. A silk-screened poster from the Sept. 22, 2000, Mary Timony (of Helium) concert in Oberlin, Ohio. 3. "Crazy Rhythms" by the Feelies (on white vinyl). 4. A big-ass dining room table. 5. The Futon. 6. One audio MiniDisc of the Black Keys' first live performance, July 2002. 7. 7. One black-and-white photo of Patrick and me, taken in 2003, at Apple Studios. A marriage, and divorce, in seven mementos.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 3, 2011 - 28 comments

The Man With the Golden Ear

Rock impresario Don Kirshner has died in Boca Raton, Florida at age 76. [more inside]
posted by CosmicRayCharles on Jan 19, 2011 - 26 comments

Let Them Eat Rock

Boston has two Upper Crusts. One plays rock & roll music (think AC/DC [NSFW] meets French nobility). The other makes pizza and doesn't like overtime.
posted by ifandonlyif on Jul 16, 2010 - 18 comments

Moonage Daydream: The Rock Album as Science Fiction

"Having vaulted from the fringes of pop culture into the mainstream after a newly atomic America became obsessed with films about mutants and aliens, SF literature matured and flowered throughout the '60s and beyond, just as rock 'n' roll did the same. It was inevitable that the two would mix."
posted by gman on Jun 23, 2010 - 47 comments

TV, When It Rocked and Rolled

In August 1990, when Spin magazine was still an edgier cousin to Rolling Stone, it published a list of the 35 Greatest Moments in Rock 'n' Roll Television. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Feb 17, 2010 - 49 comments

Lester Bangs no more.

King of the rock critics Lester Bangs has been written up in here before, but TheHoundBlog provides us a rare, detailed look at the man behind the myth, both the good and the bad. [more inside]
posted by stinkycheese on Dec 4, 2009 - 13 comments

Peak Rock was reached in 1965

US Crude Oil Production vs. Rock Music Quality, by year. Is Rockism the cultural equivalent of Hubbert Peak Theory?
posted by acb on Nov 11, 2009 - 41 comments

R.I.P. Willy DeVille

Sister Sue, tell me baby what are we gonna do. She said take two candles, and then you burn them out. Make a paper boat, light it and send it out, send it out now ... Willy DeVille (formerly William Dorsay), died of pancreatic cancer on August 6, at the age of 58. So much of his music evoked the languid heat of a city night. This might be a good evening to turn it up loud. [more inside]
posted by maudlin on Aug 7, 2009 - 21 comments

A whole freaking bunch of classic rock performance videos

My Beat Club has a whole ton of classic rock perfomance videos, mostly from old German TV shows Musikladen and Beat Club. Among the videos on offer are Small Faces' Tin Soldier, Chuck Berry's School Days, Ike & Tina Turner's River Deep, Mountain High, The Who's My Generation, Country Joe McDonald's I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag, The Everly Brothers' All I Have to Do is Dream, The Ramones' Sheena is a Punk Rocker, Mungo Jerry's In the Summertime, T. Rex's 20th Century Boy, New York Dolls' Looking for a Kiss, The Byrds' So You Want to Be a Rock n' Roll Star, Thin Lizzy's Whiskey in the Jar, Slade's We'll Bring the House Down, The Jimi Hendrix Experience's Purple Haze and so much, much more!
posted by Kattullus on Jul 29, 2009 - 30 comments

Our Band Could Be Your Comic

Metafilter's own COBRA! has been producing a great comic about a rock band for quite awhile; and now it's been released as a book! Get to know the Awesome Boys in Nowhere Band.
posted by interrobang on Jun 23, 2009 - 11 comments

Ziggy really sang, screwed up eyes and screwed down hairdo

Of all the pretenders to the throne of "British Elvis" in the pre-Beatles UK music scene, none had the swagger or moves quite like Vince Taylor. [more inside]
posted by fire&wings on May 3, 2009 - 15 comments

HistoryShots—information-related history graphics

Looking for the graphic "The Genealogy of Pop/Rock Music" I remembered from Tufte, I found HistoryShots. [previous mention]
posted by cgc373 on Jul 26, 2008 - 16 comments

Rock the streets

Whether you want to learn to lace shoes, tie shoelaces, stop shoelaces from coming undone, calculate shoelace lengths or even repair aglets, Ian's Shoelace Site has the answer!
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jun 27, 2008 - 22 comments

Hello out there, kats and kittens...

WFMU's The Hound has been delighting record geeks for the past few decades with sets of some of the wildest, wooliest rockabilly, R&B, blues, gospel, garage rock, and punk that can be dug out of crates. His site offers full podcasts, and individual mp3's under the show links, and organized by artist, and title. Bo Diddley singing to Kruschev! Blues songs about the Kinsey report! The Cashmere's talking about the hop! Brownie McGee singing about baseball's integration! Roughly 4 million variations on 'The Twist!' And that;s just the tip of this glorious iceberg. [more inside]
posted by jonmc on Nov 18, 2007 - 12 comments

Nick Cave, the Black Crow King, is fifty today

NickCaveFilter: Fifty years ago this very day, Nicholas Edward Cave [previously] crawled from the womb and started to plot.  At 16 he formed his first band which evolved quickly into the Boys Next Door [Shivers].  This in turn mutated into the Birthday Party (1980) who terrorised the post-punk soundscape in Australia and the UK [Release the Bats | Nick the Stripper].  The Birthday Party relocated to England and in 1984 the band imploded in an orgy of drugs and booze.  Shortly after Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds were born [The Ship Song - video & solo live | The Mercy Seat - video & live | Where the Wild Roses Grow], and 23 years and 11 studio albums later (not to mention a best selling book, a great screenplay, some acting and several soundtrack projects) he is still going strong.  But, instead of sitting on his musical laurels he decided to get back to basics and, in 2006, grew a huge moustache and formed Grinderman – a four piece with a primeval hybrid Birthday Party/Bad Seeds sound [No Pussy Blues | Honey Bee].  Fellow Mefites, I ask you to raise a glass to Mr. Cave… And, especially if you are not familiar to his work, don’t forget to “look inside” for my primer on the enigma that is Nick Cave, one of the finest song-writers on the face of this miserable planet. [more inside]
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar on Sep 22, 2007 - 98 comments

How Would Jesus Rock?

Christs, Communists, & Rock 'n' Roll is an excellent introduction to a tradition of anti-rock writings and recordings by the Religious Right. In the 1960s, there was David Noebel who wrote Communism, Hypnotism, & the Beatles and The Marxist Minstrels. In the early 1970s, Reverend Riblett constructs a seven-foot cross out of rock music records and sets it aflame with gasoline. Michael Mills finds hidden Satanic messages in Bow Wow Wow and the Grateful Dead, while Bob Larson valiantly debates Mandy, a 13-year-old fan of the Cure. The motherlode is probably the cassettes of John Todd, who traveled the fundamentalist circuit in the 1970s claiming to be a former witch and a member of the Illuminati, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. (more inside)
posted by jonp72 on Aug 20, 2007 - 31 comments

Cracked Pepper

Cracked Pepper by ccc and ill chemist is a mash-up of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and an amazing array of songs you know. While not quite on par with the focus and sheer audacity of DangerMouse's Grey Album, Cracked Pepper is a smart, rich, and rewarding listen. Available track by track or as a torrent. See inside for tracks sampled.
posted by saguaro on Jul 30, 2007 - 35 comments

Faking It: the quest for authenticity in popular music

“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)
posted by jason's_planet on Apr 20, 2007 - 144 comments

Don't get fooled again

What are the greatest hoaxes in rock history? [MP3 links] They Might be Giants' John Flansburg tells John Schaefer what he knows, and Rolling Stone readers weigh in as well. Was it Mama Cass choking on a sandwich? Jack and Meg White as siblings? Paul dead (again)? Keith Richards getting his blood replaced? Or snorting his father's ashes? Oh, wait, that last one was true.
posted by psmealey on Apr 4, 2007 - 59 comments

Economic Principals and Some Pop Culture—David Warsh

Each week, David Warsh publishes a new essay about the principals of economics. Previous topics have included rock 'n' roll economics, print journalism, and game theory. He sets his task and carries it out, and he's been at it for more than five years now.
posted by cgc373 on Mar 29, 2007 - 9 comments

The Internet is their CBGB.

On the occasion of her induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, punk poet and musician Patti Smith (no, not this Patti Smith) offers eloquent reflections on the benediction she received from her late husband Fred "Sonic" Smith of MC5, the future of rebellion, and her own question: " Am I a worthy recipient?." Yes, Patti, you are. Some sound and video...
posted by twsf on Mar 12, 2007 - 51 comments

The Beatles: Bigger than Jesus 41 years running

The Beatles are Bigger than Jesus. It was 41 years ago today, that the Evening Standard published a Maureen Cleave interview with John Lennon, in which he declared the Beatles “more popular than Jesus”. Later in July, DATEbook, an American teen mag, printed only the Jesus statement and nothing else from the interview. The firestorm of reaction in the US was immediate. Radio stations nationwide, but particularly in the South and in the Midwest, banned the playing of Beatles records [Real Audio]. Death threats against all of the Fab Four poured in. In Cleveland, a preacher threatened to excommunicate any member of his congregation who listened to the Beatles, and in the South, the Ku Klux Klan burned the Beatles in effigy and nailed Beatles albums to burning crosses. On August 11, Lennon held a press conference in Chicago, where he apologized, sort of [Real Audio]. The press conference was on the eve of the Beatles’ last tour of their career. Many say this epsiode, as well as the riots that accompanied their tour of the Philippines (also in July), as well as the accumulated stress of being on top of the world for nearly four years at that point, precipitated the beginning of the end of the Beatles.
Is it true though? Are the Beatles bigger than Jesus? Though this was unanswerable in 1966, thanks to the magic of the web, we do know the answer today: according to Google, the answer is no. Still, other views persist.
posted by psmealey on Mar 4, 2007 - 71 comments

This is a song about true pain....

Screamin Jay Hawkins got around. Over the course of five decades, he put out dozens of albums, which were fairly hit or miss. Though he would never top his 1956 hit "I Put A Spell On You", which would years later land him a roll in the Jim Jarmusch film "Strangers in Paradise", he was well known for his live act where he would jump out of a coffin with a variety of skulls he named Henry. I got bored and looked him up on the youtube today, and lo and behold, instant fun. Bonus: here's a video of Diamanda Galas performing his oft-covered hit, it's better than the limp Marilyn Manson version, but I kinda wish she'd done "Constipation Blues" instead.
posted by elr on Jul 6, 2006 - 27 comments

... which is to say to my mind, there is continuous repetition and propotionally they are a bit boring.

On May 14th, 1967, the new British pop group The Pink Floyd makes one of their first ever TV appearances. Despite a stellar performance of the song Astronomy Domine, the pretentious host of the show, Hans Keller, has nothing good to say about the band. During the interview (youtube, performance comes first, interview starts about 5:50 in. transcript here.), he chastises the band for their "continuous repetition", "terribly loud" volume, and their "proportionately a bit boring" sound.

However, it seems that all Hans' show will ever be remembered for is this single interview. Pink Floyd, on the other hand.. Well, we all know what happened to them. Syd Barrett, on the other hand, was not so lucky.
posted by Afroblanco on May 29, 2006 - 67 comments

"I hate music / Sometimes I don't. . . . Tommy said so-so-so-so-so what?"

"So I think we maybe have this sort of snobbish reputation. But we're just really honest, opinionated music fans." (via)
posted by bardic on Apr 30, 2006 - 178 comments

Ever had the feeling you've been cheated?

Never Mind the Bollocks.
posted by bardic on Feb 27, 2006 - 81 comments

Vault Radio

Vault Radio. Remember Wolfgang's Vault? They've now started releasing the massive amounts of music that they discovered via FM-quality 128k stream. The current rotation isn't huge (not much worse than commercial radio), but there's a lot of great stuff on there that you've never heard before, presumably.
posted by bigmike on Feb 10, 2006 - 9 comments

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