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Zamrock: An Introduction to Zambia’s 1970s Rich & Psychedelic Rock Scene

The story of popular music in the late 20th century is never complete without an account of the explosive psychedelic rock, funk, Afrobeat, and other hybrid styles that proliferated on the African continent and across Latin American and the Caribbean in the 1960s and 70s. It’s only lately, however, that large audiences are discovering how much pioneering music came out of Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, and other postcolonial countries, thanks to UK labels like Strut and Soundway (named by The Gu...
Tags: Google, Music, UK, College, Germany, Africa, James Brown, Britain, Zambia, Brian Eno, Orange Juice, Caribbean, David Byrne, Woodstock, Facebook Twitter, Fela Kuti

Why “The Girl from Ipanema”‘ Is a Richer & Weirder Song Than You Ever Realized

Say what you want about YouTube’s negative effects (endless soy faces, influencers, its devious and fascist-leaning algorithms) but it has offered to creators a space in which to indulge. And that’s one of the reasons I’ve been a fan of Adam Neely’s work. A jazz musician and a former student at both the Berklee College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music, his YouTube channel is a must for those with an interest in the how and why of music theory. If not for Neely’s talent and YouT...
Tags: Google, Music, Youtube, College, John Cleese, Harvard, Rio De Janeiro, Cole Porter, Ipanema, Stan Getz, Berklee College of Music, Facebook Twitter, Duke Ellington, David Sedaris, Leonard Bernstein, Neely

The Rise & Fall of Silver Apples: The 1960s Electronic Band That Built Their Own Synthesizer, Produced Two Pioneering Albums, and Then Faded into Obscurity

In the late 70s and early 80s, a handful of musical duos emerged who would have tremendous impact on post-punk, alternative, new wave, and experimental electronic music. Bands like Suicide, NEU!, and the Pet Shop Boys made far bigger sounds than their size would suggest. Before them all came Silver Apples, a duo who should rightly get credit as pioneers of electronic experimentation in pop song form. Like many a pioneer, Silver Apples had no idea what they were doing. They also suffered ...
Tags: Google, Music, College, Bbc, Jimi Hendrix, The Guardian, Taylor, Central Park, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Stereolab, Facebook Twitter, Pan Am, Bach, Geoff Barrow, Danny, William Butler Yeats

Hear the Cristal Baschet, an Enchanting Organ Made of Wood, Metal & Glass, and Played with Wet Hands

Playing a musical instrument with wet hands usually falls somewhere between a bad idea and a very bad idea indeed. The Cristal Baschet, however, requires its players to keep their hands wet at all times, and that's hardly the only sense in which it's an exceptional musical instrument. Have a listen to the performance above, Erik Satie's Gnossienne No. 1 by Marc Antoine Millon and Frédéric Bousquet, and you'll understand at once how exceptional it sounds. Both ideally suited to Satie's co...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Music, College, France, Steven Soderbergh, Brian Eno, Seoul, Facebook Twitter, Bernard, Erik Satie, Moog, Hieronymus Bosch, Cliff Martinez, Soderbergh, Satie

Hear the Sound Of Endangered Birds Get Turned Into Electronic Music

Bird-watching is having a moment, thanks to the pandemic. As non-essential workers adjusted to spending more time at home, their ears adjusted to the increasingly non-foreign sound of birdsong outside their windows. Those sweet tweets are no doubt largely responsible for the record breaking turnout at this year’s Global Big Day, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's annual birding event, held earlier this spring. 50,000 participants logged 2.1 million individual observations, and 6,479 sp...
Tags: Travel, Google, Music, Biology, College, Mexico, America, Nature, Current Affairs, South America, Jordan, Guatemala, Gizmodo, Costa Rica, Caribbean, Cornell

Why Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green (RIP) Was the Most Underrated Guitarist in British Blues

Debates about whether a guitarist is underrated often involve a lot of posturing and needless name-dropping—they don’t tend to go anywhere, in other words. This is not the case with Peter Green, founder and former singer, songwriter, and guitarist for Fleetwood Mac, who died this past weekend. He is, probably most definitely, “the most underrated guitarist in British Blues,” argues the Happy Bluesman, or at least he became so in the last decades of his life. Green experienced a tragic en...
Tags: Google, Music, College, Green, Metallica, Fleetwood Mac, Carlos Santana, Facebook Twitter, Clapton, Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, Willie Dixon, Josh Jones, Kirk Hammett, Hammett, Gibson Les Paul

Watch the Last, Transcendent Performance of “Echoes” by Pink Floyd Keyboardist Richard Wright & David Gilmour (2006)

“Gentle, unassuming and private.” These are the words David Gilmour chose in his eulogy of Richard Wright, Pink Floyd’s keyboard player and co-songwriter, who joined the band in 1964 and stayed with them through all of their major albums, leaving after The Wall and rejoining for A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Wright was the quiet one; drummer Nick Mason compared him to George Harrison, and like Harrison, he was also Pink Floyd's secret weapon, helping to deliver many of their most career-d...
Tags: Google, Music, College, George Harrison, Pink Floyd, Poland, Richard Wright, Syd Barrett, Wright, Facebook Twitter, Harrison, David Gilmour, Gilmour, Mojo, Nick Mason, Durham NC Follow

Revisit Six of Elton John’s Most Iconic Concerts, Streaming in Their Entirety for 72 Hours

Just as Bohemian Rhapsody introduced Freddy Mercury to an unsuspecting generation of young fans, last year’s Elton John biopic, Rocketman, has netted its subject a host of fresh admirers. John's newest fans were born into a far different world than the one that was astounded when he declared, in a 1976 interview with Rolling Stone, that he was bisexual. Now a knight (the first openly gay musician to be so anointed), Sir Elton is using his enormous public platform to encourage youth who m...
Tags: Travel, Google, Music, England, College, Italy, Elton John, Brazil, Edinburgh, John, Henrik Ibsen, Elton, Madison Square Garden, Facebook Twitter, Freddy Mercury, Elton John AIDS Foundation

How Ornette Coleman Freed Jazz with His Theory of Harmolodics

The term free jazz may have existed before Ornette Coleman’s The Shape of Jazz to Come arrived in 1959. Yet, however innovative the modal experiments of Coltrane or Davis, jazz still adhered to its most fundamental formulas before Coleman. “Conventional jazz harmony is religiously chord-based,” writes Josephine Livingstone at New Republic, “with soloists improvising within each key like balls pinging through a pinball machine. Coleman, in contrast, imagined harmony, melody, and rhythm as...
Tags: Google, Music, College, Germany, Jazz, Bird, Ornette Coleman, Thomas Pynchon, Grateful Dead, Melody, New Republic, Garcia, Coleman, Coltrane, Facebook Twitter, Maria Golia

Devo De-Evolves the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”: See Their Groundbreaking Music Video and Saturday Night Live Performance (1978)

In 1978, the debut album by a forcefully idiosyncratic new wave band out of Akron, Ohio both asked and answered a question: Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! When we look back on the still-active group's career more than 40 years later, we may still ask ourselves who, or what, Devo are. Given that they're a rock band — albeit only just recognizable as one at the time they hit it big — we could define them by their songs. Were Devo made Devo by their their first single, "Mongoloid"? Or w...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Music, Television, College, Neil Young, Mtv, Mick Jagger, Seoul, Jagger, Facebook Twitter, Roberts, Akron Ohio, Devo, Fred Willard, Padgett

The Rolling Stones Release a Long Lost Track Featuring Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page

The Rolling Stones are readying a re-release of their 1973 album Goats Head Soup in September, featuring demos and rarities and all sorts of goodies. Yesterday, they dropped the above song: “Scarlet.” Never bootlegged before, this firecracker of a track features Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page on guitar. The recording happened in October 1974, long, long after the recording of the Goats Head Soup tracks in Jamaica at Dynamic Sound Studios. In fact, they’d also finished recording It’s Only Rock...
Tags: Google, Music, London, College, Jamaica, Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards, Page, Jimmy Page, Jagger, Keith, Zeppelin, Mott, Facebook Twitter, Richards, Mick Taylor

Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #53 Explores the Hamilton Phenomenon Your hosts Erica Spyres, Mark Linsenmayer, and Brian Hirt are joined by Broadway actor Sam Simahk (Carousel, The King and I, My Fair Lady) to discuss this unique convergence of musical theater, rap, and historical drama. Does Hamilton deserve its accolades? We cover the re-emergence of stage music as pop music, live vs. filmed vs. film-adapted musicals, creators starring in their shows, r...
Tags: Google, Music, Podcasts, College, Theatre, Broadway, Sam, Hamilton, Lin Manuel Miranda, Facebook Twitter, Musical Theater, Eric Eisenberg, Aja Romano, Pretty Much Pop, Brian Hirt, Hamilton Phenomenon

H.R. Giger’s Dark, Surrealist Album Covers: Debbie Harry, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Celtic Frost, Danzig & More

The work of H.R. Giger is immensely powerful. Giger’s amazing cover for Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s album Brain Salad Surgery portrays a Gothic touch that could fit any heavy metal band at any time. —Jimmy Page Swiss artist Hans Rudolf Giger is a genre unto his own, single-handedly inventing the biomechanical horror of the 1980s with his designs for Ridley Scott’s 1979 Alien, the film that launched him into international prominence and turned Debbie Harry on to his work. Meeting him the followin...
Tags: Google, Art, Music, College, David Cronenberg, Palmer, Tokyo, Harry, Ridley Scott, Alien, Bay Area, Danzig, Allmusic, Blondie, Facebook Twitter, Stevens

Lin-Manuel Miranda Breaks Down How He Wrote Hamilton‘s Big Hit, “My Shot”

The current moment has forced the original cast and crew of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s massive hit musical Hamilton to revisit and reevaluate the story it tells about America’s founding. As Miranda himself told The Root’s Tonja Renée Stidhum, “All of these guys are complicit in the brutal practice of slavery, slavery is the third line of our show… that is just a prerequisite for the story we’re telling.” But he didn’t first set out to write history. “Originally, this was a concept album. I wan...
Tags: Google, Music, College, Jay Z, White House, Theatre, Disney, America, Current Affairs, Aol, Broadway, Miranda, Hamilton, Biggie, Facebook Twitter, Lin Manuel Miranda

The Moment When Bob Dylan Went Electric: Watch Him Play “Maggie’s Farm” at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965

The phrase “when Dylan went electric” once carried as much weight in pop culture history as “the fall of the Berlin Wall” carries in, well, history. Both events have receded into what feels like the distant past, but in the early 1960s, they likely seemed equally unlikely to many a serious Bob Dylan fan in the folk scene. The also seemed equally consequential. To understand the culture of the decade, we must understand the import of Dylan’s appearance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965...
Tags: Google, Music, College, Berlin Wall, John Lennon, Pete Seeger, America, History, Britain, Bob Dylan, Normandy, Richard, Elvis, Ringo, Gould, Facebook Twitter

A Beatboxing Buddhist Monk Creates Music for Meditation

Most of us assume Japanese Buddhist monks to be silent types. In their personal lives they may well be, but if they want to go viral, they've got to log onto the internet and make some noise. This is the lesson one draws from some of the Buddhist figures previously featured here on Open Culture: Kossan, he of the Beatles and Ramones covers, or Gy?sen Asakura, the priest who performs psychedelic services soundtracked with electronic dance music. Depending on your taste in music, their per...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Music, Japan, Australia, College, Religion, United States, Tokyo, Fukushima, Asmr, Seoul, Buddhist, Ramones, Facebook Twitter, Bach

Modern English Performs Their 1982 Hit, “I Melt With You,” Together in Quarantine

Nearly 40 years after they released their New Wave classic, Modern English is back, performing together in isolation, to get us through the pandemic. Find more socially-distanced performances by Roger Waters, the Rolling Stones and the Doobie Brothers below. Related Content: The Doobie Brothers Sing Their 1974 Classic, “Black Water,” Live, in Isolation Watch the Rolling Stones Play “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” While Social Distancing in Quarantine Roger Waters Performs a Socially...
Tags: Google, Music, College, Pink Floyd, Facebook Twitter, Roger Waters, Doobie Brothers

Modern English Performs Their 1982 Hit, “I Melt With You,” in Quarantine

Nearly 40 years after they released their New Wave classic, Modern English is back, performing together in isolation, to get us through the pandemic. Find more socially-distanced performances by Roger Waters, the Rolling Stones and the Doobie Brothers below. Related Content: The Doobie Brothers Sing Their 1974 Classic, “Black Water,” Live, in Isolation Watch the Rolling Stones Play “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” While Social Distancing in Quarantine Roger Waters Performs a Socially...
Tags: Google, Music, College, Pink Floyd, Facebook Twitter, Roger Waters, Doobie Brothers

Hear an Enchanted Medieval Cover of Dolly Parton’s Classic Ode to Jealousy, “Jolene”

Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” is an endlessly renewable resource of beautiful sadness, and many a modern-day bard has a “Jolene” in their quiver. The White Stripes turned it into garage rock, Olivia Newton John did it as disco, and Norah Jones as cabaret jazz. There is the obligatory house remix. Slow it down to 33rpm and Dolly’s gender begins to blur, while her voice loses none of its plaintive mystique. “Jolene” set a standard for melancholy few, if any, tunes can meet. So, you know, there’s...
Tags: Google, Music, Wtf, Hollywood, College, Norah Jones, Dolly Parton, Link, Facebook Twitter, Parton, Dolly, Josh Jones, Newton John, Jolene, Durham NC Follow, Ayun Halliday

How Cannonball Adderley Shared the Joy of Jazz

Jazz has always had big personalities. In the mid-20th century, an explosion of major players became as well known for their personal quirks as for their revolutionary techniques and compositions. Monk’s endearing oddness, Miles Davis’ brooding bad temper, Charles Mingus’ exuberant shouts and rages, Ornette Coleman’s cryptic philosophizing, Coltrane’s gentle mysticism…. These were not only the jazz world’s greatest players; they were also some of the century’s most interesting people. Th...
Tags: Google, Music, New York, College, Washington Dc, Davis, Manhattan, Jazz, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Ornette Coleman, Npr, Charles Mingus, Albert, Coltrane, Facebook Twitter

Nursing Home Residents Replace Famous Rock Stars on Iconic Album Covers

Deservedly or not, British care homes have acquired a reputation as especially dreary places, from Victorian novels to dystopian fiction to the flat affect of BBC documentaries. Martin Parr gave the world an especially moving example of the care home documentary in his 1972 photo series on Prestwich Asylum, outside Manchester. The compelling portraits humanize people who were neglected and ignored, yet their lives still look bleak in that austerely post-war British institution kind of way. One ...
Tags: Google, Music, England, College, Bbc, Creativity, Current Affairs, Manchester, Npr, Dyson, Elvis, Martin Parr, Springsteen, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, BBC NPR

The Muppets Sing the First Act of Hamilton

Here's the cast: Alexander Hamilton - Kermit the Frog Aaron Burr - The Great Gonzo Eliza Schuyler - Miss Piggy Marquis de LaFozette - Fozzie Bear George Washington - Sam the Eagle Angelica Schuyler - Camilla the Chicken John Laurens - Beaker Hercules Mulligan - Rowlf the Dog King George III - Animal Peggy Schuyler - Janice Samuel Seabury - The Swedish Chef Charles Lee - Elmo Congressional Delegates - Floyd and Zoot Crazy Patriot - Crazy Harry Statler and Waldorf - Themselves via BoingBoi...
Tags: Google, Music, College, White House, Theatre, Hamilton, Floyd, Facebook Twitter, Lin Manuel Miranda Reimagines Hamilton, Hamilton Mania Inspires the Library of Congress, Alexander Hamilton Kermit, John Laurens Beaker Hercules Mulligan Rowlf, Peggy Schuyler Janice Samuel Seabury, Chef Charles Lee Elmo Congressional, Harry Statler

Ennio Morricone (RIP) and Sergio Leone Pose Together in Their Primary School Year Book, 1937

Little did they know where life would take them--and how their futures would be intertwined. A great find by @ddoniolvalcroze.... Ennio Morricone (RIP) and Sergio Leone Pose Together in Their Primary School Year Book, 1937 is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooks, Free Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.
Tags: Google, Music, Film, College, Ennio Morricone, Facebook Twitter, Sergio Leone

The Film Music of Ennio Morricone (RIP) Beautifully Performed by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra Play: “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” & Much More

What we think of as "film music" today is a creation of only a few inventive and original composers, one fewer of whom walks the Earth as of yesterday. Though Ennio Morricone will be remembered first for his association with spaghetti western master Sergio Leone, his career in film scores spanned half a century and encompassed work for some of the most acclaimed directors of that period: his countrymen like Michelangelo Antonioni, Bernardo Bertolucci, Pier Paolo Pasolini, but also such c...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Music, Hollywood, Film, College, Earth, Quentin Tarantino, Seoul, Ennio Morricone, Tarantino, Facebook Twitter, Leone, Morricone, Sergio Leone, Salo

Ennio Morricone (RIP) and Sergio Leone Pose Together in the Primary School Year Book, 1937

A great find by @ddoniolvalcroze.... Ennio Morricone (RIP) and Sergio Leone Pose Together in the Primary School Year Book, 1937 is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooks, Free Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.
Tags: Google, Music, Film, College, Ennio Morricone, Facebook Twitter, Sergio Leone

Ella Fitzgerald’s Lost Interview about Racism & Segregation: Recorded in 1963, It’s Never Been Heard Until Now

When Ella Fitzgerald took the stage for the first time at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, “we heard a sound so perfect” that the entire theater went silent, says dancer and choreographer Norma Miller. “You could hear a rat piss on cotton.” Fitzgerald was 17 years old, and she had already faced severe racial discrimination. “Everything was race,” says Miller, describing the de facto segregation in Harlem in the 20s and 30s. “You couldn’t go out of your zone… slavery is over, but you don’t h...
Tags: Google, Music, New York, Australia, College, Alabama, New York Times, Sydney, Marilyn Monroe, Usa Today, Louis Armstrong, South, Harlem, Robbins, Miller, Cbc

Did the CIA Write the Scorpions’ “Wind of Change,” One of the Bestselling Songs of All Time?

By the time the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, it seemed the fate of the Soviet Union was all but sealed. It would be two more years before the USSR officially dissolved, and flew the Soviet flag over the Kremlin for the last time, but the age of Cold War belligerence officially ended with the 1980s, so it seemed. Soft power and suasion would finish the job. And what better way to announce this transition than with the soft-rock stylings of a power ballad like the Scorpions' “Wind of Change”?...
Tags: Google, Music, Hollywood, Podcasts, College, History, Moscow, Ussr, Cia, Kremlin, Woodstock, Soviet Union, Facebook Twitter, Keefe, Josh Jones, Klaus Meine

When Debbie Harry Combined Artistic Forces with H.R. Giger

After four years of phenomenal chart success, the band Blondie went on hiatus in 1981. While Debbie Harry pursued the acting she had started in punk rock filmmaker Amos Poe’s works, she also went the solo album route. On paper, this album, KooKoo, must have looked like a surefire hit: Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards from the band Chic were brought in to write and produce, hot on the heels of their successful resuscitation of Diana Ross’s career the year before. Harry and boyfriend/band m...
Tags: Google, Music, Heavy Metal, New York, College, David Cronenberg, Palmer, Harry, Ridley Scott, Cole Porter, Diana Ross, Blondie, Facebook Twitter, Debbie Harry, Emerson Lake, KCRW

John Prine’s Last Song Was Also His First to Go No. 1: Watch Him Perform “I Remember Everything”

It feels cosmically ironic that Great American Songwriter John Prine died of COVID-19 in early April, just before the U.S. response to the virus was developing into what may well be the Greatest Political Folly most Americans have ever witnessed in their lifetimes. Mass death for profit and power, colossal stupidity and bullying ignorance—these were just the kinds of things that got Prine’s wheels turning. His thoughts became folk poetry with teeth. Prine’s targets included the conservat...
Tags: Google, Music, College, America, Bill Murray, Leonard Cohen, Facebook Twitter, John Prine, NPR Music, Dave Cobb, Tom Petty, Josh Jones, Prine, Durham NC Follow, Zaleski, Annie Zaleski

How Ornette Coleman Shaped the Jazz World: An Introduction to His Irreverent Sound

Ornette Coleman “arrived in New York in 1959,” writes Philip Clark, “with a white plastic saxophone and a set of ideas about improvisation that would shake jazz to its big apple core.” Every big name in jazz was doing something similar at the time, inventing new styles and languages. Coleman went further out there than anyone, infuriating and frustrating other jazz pioneers like Miles Davis. He called his theory “Harmolodics,” a Buckminster Fuller-like melding of “harmony,” “movement,” a...
Tags: Google, Music, New York, College, Ornette Coleman, Coleman, Facebook Twitter, Clark, Josh Jones, Beefheart, Jacques Derrida, Miles Davis He, Durham NC Follow, Philosopher Jacques Derrida Interviews Jazz, Philip Clark, Lou Reed Which Lou Called

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