Flying Robot Rockstars (SLYT)
Following in the footsteps of other songs switching up minor keys and major keys, Chase Holfelder's Star-Spangled Banner in minor key is particularly haunting.
It's a damn tough song to sing, that one we often hear on July 4th, but that didn't stop 'em from designating Francis Scott Key's clunky and tortuous little tune as the US national anthem. People have struggled with it ever since. There was one guy, though, who, back in 1969, performed a soaring, acid-drenched, whammy-barred and noise-punctuated version of it that still stands as one of the most daringly adventurous and poignant moments in American musical history: Mr Jimi Hendrix and his amazing rendition of The Star Spangled Banner.
If you were watching the Orioles-A's game from Camden Yards tonight, you saw a guy playing the National Anthem on an electric violin made out of a baseball bat. This is how that looks and sounds. This is the guy talking about and showing off his Louisville Slugger violin. And this is the Washington Post profile of Glenn Donnellan, a violinist with the National Symphony Orchestra and the maker and player of the world's only electric baseball bat violin.
Somos Americanos Part of the current immigration discussion is a lot of arguing about the proper lyrics to an old English drinking song [mp3] U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced a resolution saying the national anthem should be sung in English. President Bush was for singing the anthem in Spanish; now he's against it. The US Bureau of Education commissioned a Spanish-language version in 1919 and the State Department has otras versiones en español on its web site. "The Star-Spangled Banner" became the US national anthem in 1931.
The origins of the Star-Spangled Banner may come as a surprise to many Americans. The tune was originally that of an old English drinking song about a gentlemen's club, the Anacreontic Society. Of course, the words may have changed, but the song remains the same. Thanks to Adbusters for the spark.
Yngwie Malmsteen Concert causes Riots in Porto Alegre.... for playing the Star-Spangled banner as a solo... Whoo Hoo... 80's Hair Metal rocker from another country makes a stand... sheesh.. if I was cynical, I'd almost think he did it to get back into the news.
New US National Anthem? Slate's Dialogue this week is about alternatives to "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the US national anthem. Should we keep it? If we replaced it, what should we replace it with?