How Muscle Shoals became music's most unlikely hit factory (previously, 2008) If you love music and musical history, you really owe it to yourself to see the superb "Must See" documentary Muscle Shoals now on NetFlix and other online venues - Trailer here. Rick Hall of Fame Studios is the quintessential American "rags to riches" story and the "peckerwood" group "The Swampers" (and eventually the competing Muscle Shoals Music Studio) that he unintentionlly spawned, are together responsible for many of the classic soul and R&B hits that are part of the very fabric of American Music. [more inside]
Small Cool 2014, Apartment Therapy's 10th Annual Smallest Coolest Home Contest (previously), is in full swing. The first round of voting is now open and will continue until June 13th. Voting for the grand prize will take place June 17 - June 18. To be considered, homes must be under 1000 sq ft. Awards are given out in five categories:
- Teeny-Tiny (400 sq ft and under)
- Tiny (400-600 sq ft)
- Little (600 - 800 sq ft)
- Small (800-1000 sq ft)
- International (under 1000 sq ft).
When the band announced they’d be getting back together in 2000 after a three-year hiatus, people were understandably excited. Here was a band with a cannon of music that included everything from “Say It Ain’t So” to “El Scorcho” getting ready to unleash a new set of works on the world, the way we all wished J.D. Salinger would. Then “The Green Album” came out and although it featured Mikey Welsh instead of Matt Sharp, everything from the artwork to the use of producer Ric Ocasek seemed to indicate a return to form for the celebrated geek rock act. Except it wasn’t. I’d like to think that even the most strident Weezer supporters would admit that a song like “Hash Pipe” would never have fit on the first two albums, not because Cuomo had vastly evolved as a songwriter, but because it completely lacked the spark and character that typified the band’s earlier works. In fact, Weezer reportedly wrote 75 songs for this album yet this was the best collection they could come up with.
Anne Helen Petersen of " Scandals Of Classic Hollywood" fame talks about Zac Efron, the impossible demands of movie masculinity, and the history of the Teen Idol Industry on BuzzReads
Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segal sing "Confrontation" from Les Miserables on Inside the Actors Studio. [more inside]
A few months ago there was a list of links to classic video game emulators posted. Very recently, I'm pleased to report, those links all came true. The Internet Archive bespoke upon aforementioned consoles, computers, and mileposts on our way to the tech utopia of today, (seriously, where's my flying car?) and they asked us to do something: Imagine every computer that ever existed, literally, in your browser. And it was so. I have absolutely no affiliation with jscott, btw. Thought I should disclose that.
Cool out with some photos of pets sitting on mixing boards - behold Tape Op Magazine's 'Studio Pet of the Month' gallery. [more inside]
Scandals of Classic Hollywood: The Ecstasy of Hedy Lamarr - Science! Fascists! Orgasms! Libel! Escapes From Literal Castles! (SoCH previously and Anne Helen Petersen previously)
Photographer Senen Llanos likes profiles and costumes, so why not combine them both with The Faces Of New York Comic Con 2012 Part 2. (via)
During the Golden Age of Hollywood and until 1967, mainstream movie studios were banned by the Production Code from depicting taboo topics like drug addiction, explicit murder and venereal disease, or even showing explicit nudity. But in the 1930's and 1940's, films marketed as "educational" could and did fly under the radar, and three of the best known 'educational' propaganda exploitation films are: Sex Madness (1935), Reefer Madness (1936) and The Cocaine Fiends (1938). [more inside]
Director and/or star of many of the greatest films ever made including The Great Dictator (2:05:16) [Globe scene and the eternally goosebump providing Final speech], The Immigrant (20:01), The Gold Rush (1:11:49), City Lights (1:22:40), Modern Times (1:27:01), and Monsieur Verdoux (1:59:03), Charlie Chaplin's movies have entered the public domain in most countries. Below the fold is an annotated list of all 82 of his official short and feature films in chronological order, as well as several more, with links to where you can watch them; it's not like you had work to do right? [more inside]
Sound on Sound magazine's "Classic Tracks" series provides technical and personal details behind the recording of, uh, classic tracks. [Not to be confused with Mix magazine's own "Classic Tracks" series, which was featured previously.] [more inside]
How the World Was Imagined: Early Maps and Atlases — Depictions of the world from the Iron Age to the Age of Discovery and the emergence of modern geography. From Socks Studio, who have been producing great feature after feature.
Bands often don't seem to be able to play on stage the way they did on their album; and we accept that for a lot of reasons having to do with the conditions, the production facilities and the sheer number of takes that were probably involved. But for a whole generation of hit music, there was often a more basic reason: it wasn't them playing on the album in the first place.
For nearly a decade, if you were an L.A. producer and you wanted to record a hit single, you'd call in The Wrecking Crew. Members of The Byrds, The Beach Boys, and The Mamas and the Papas would step aside as The Wrecking Crew laid down the instrumental tracks. Then, the members of the main band would come back to add the vocals on top.The above link goes to the OPB radio story I listened to this morning, with an embedded player. Official site for the book.
As time has gone by, though, Touch of Evil has acquired a large cult following, and it now regularly appears on lists of the best films of the century. What is not generally known is that the film never accurately reflected Welles's intentions for it. In July 1957, the studio took over the editing of the film and prevented him from participating in its completion. In an odd turn of events, however, a 58-page memo that Welles wrote in 1957 was recently rediscovered, and a small team on which I was film editor and sound mixer has used that remarkable document to bring Touch of Evil as close as possible to Welles's original concept. - Walter Murch, 1998
She adored New York City. She idolized it all out of proportion. Sure, she paid $700 for a 90-square-foot microstudio, but New York was her town, and it always would be (via).
Shanghaiist reports that the Chinese authorities have followed through on their promise to tear down Ai Weiwei's studio. (previously). The artist is under house arrest in Beijing. [more inside]
The Magnificent Ambersons, Orson Welles' second film, has inspired a legend around the lost footage excised by the studio to make it more appealing to audiences. The film's making is a cautionary tale in letting the studio have creative control, and the finished product pained Welles to his dying day. The mythical status of the lost footage has inspired a few to try and track it down. [more inside]
"What happened was that Abner Spector was an electronics nut. He took the girls in the studio on a Friday, and they didn't get out of there until everybody was on the track. Anybody that came in the studio that week, he would put them on. Originally, I think he had about 20 voices on 'Sally.'" The cost of the project alone, Richardson figured was over $60,000..." - Sally, Go Round The Roses (alt) was the first (and only) hit for the Jaynettes in 1963 and a unique and hypnotic studio creation. It's been called "a subtle and transcendental epic in 45rpm form" and there is much speculation on its mysterious lyrics. It has been covered by Donna Summer. Great Society (with Grace Slick) . Fanny. Pentangle. ? And The Mysterians and others.
Inside the studio of American artist Frank Stella: "After I started getting a sense of the space and in the groove of shooting, he asked if I minded if he could take a nap. I continued working as quietly as possible since his bed was in the middle of all the work." The work in progress in his studio, The Stations of the Cross, is a commission from Richard Meier for his proposed Jubilee Church at the Vatican. (via DO)
This is the first site on the web to show where real artists and designers work. Painters, musicians, photographers, illustrators. The site lets you see their environment in which they go about the creative process and will hopefully inspire yourselves. [more inside]
Billy Joel performs "Only The Good Die Young" as it was meant to be heard: a reggae number.
The Brothers Warner premiering nationally via PBS this week. From Rin Tin Tin to Eastwood, the story of the original Hollywood independent filmmakers.
"And by magic, I mean me drinking a lot of coffee and not bathing for days while sitting in my PJ's and drawing comics until the wee hours of the morning." Gasp at comics creator Mike Allred's lovely home! Admire artist Stuart Immonen's tastfully furnished work area! And marvel at writer Mark Waid's piles and piles of comic crap! Click the [more inside] for more studio tours guided by your favorite funnybook creators! And Mark Millar, too! [more inside]
Think that all photography has gone digital? Well, output probably has, but read a few of the detailed articles and interviews, each about an individual image, over at The FStop and you'll see that for professional photographers going digital, perhaps more than anything else, means unlimited control over all mediums of photography and unlimited combinations. (via the always wonderful Strobist)
What does the Digilog Dynamicator (DD-301), the 3P-III Palindrometer and the AP-302 Algorhythmic Prosecutor have in common? They're all products of Funk Logic; a company that designs filler panels for studio/live sound racks (or to quote them: "rack filler panels with stuff all over em'"). Notable: Their "Ideas That Never Made It" section.
Tweak's Guide to Home Recording. A comprehensive home recording guide that will take you all the way from buying an audio interface to choosing a mic preamp to learning the subtle arts of compression and EQing. A good refresher course even for those with recording experience. And for those more interested in composition than recording, Tweak's piece on Inspiration is insightful as well.
Mike Disfarmer had a photo studio in the resort town of Heber Springs, Arkansas throughout the 30s and 40s, creating images with an amazing blunt, unvarnished beauty and strength. Nothing speaks more eloquently about Disfarmer's artistry than the photographs themselves. His genius was the ability to capture without judgment, the essence of a people and a time.
The Daily Adventures of Mixerman is the hilariously brutal daily blog of an anonymous studio engineer, recording an anonymous major-label rock band. As Ink19 says, "What Spinal Tap did to Heavy Metal, Mixerman does to The Recording Process."
Real World Studios If you were a recording musician, how could you not want to record here at least once? A gorgeous environment that's inspiring on mulitple levels. Peter Gabriel deserves more credit than he gets. He's a forward thinking, decent guy who never stops trying. Now - release "Up" dammit.