Archive for the Pop culture Category

Science Unravels “The Beatles Chord”

Posted in Miscellaneous Static, Pop culture with tags , , , , , , on November 3, 2008 by Andy

If you’re a guitarist, there’s at least one chord you know with a “given” name (like the “Hendrix” chord — the dom7#9 shape in the beginning of “Purple Haze”). For a long time, there’s been a mystery surrounding the opening jangle of the Lads’ “A Hard Day’s Night”… some people think it’s George’s Ricky 12-string and John’s Ricky 6… others think it’s multiple layers of 12-string guitar. But now a Canadian professor/researcher thinks he’s cracked the code.

Run away!

Run away!

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Good Times Never Seem So Good

Posted in Pop culture with tags , , , on October 17, 2008 by Andy

If Chris can diverge into politics, I can tie pop music into baseball…

Just when you through the Red Sox would have an 8:30 a.m. tee time this morning (Friday), they pulled their bacon from the flames. Go Sox!

There’s nothing like being at Fenway — the greatest ballpark in the world, despite its flaws. Sausage and peppers cooking on the way in? MAGIC.

All I’ve Got is Your Autograph…

Posted in Artist, Pop culture with tags , , , , , on October 14, 2008 by Andy

So the world’s luckiest man is now officially too busy to sign autographs.

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“One Day More” — music and politics, again.

Posted in Pop culture, Social Change with tags , , , , on September 13, 2008 by Chris

OK, this is too good not to share immediately with all of you.

My thanks to blogger buddy Ed Chisholm for passing this on to me. This recently showed up in Andrew Sullivan’s blog, The Daily Dish. Thanks Andrew. Where it came from before that, I don’t know. Yet. We can all investigate the video’s origins and the talent behind it later. For now . . . enjoy.

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“Happy Days Are Here Again!” — musings on music and politics

Posted in Music Business, Pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2008 by Chris

As both political conventions are about to take over the airwaves and the web — first the Democrats in Denver and then the Republicans (minus Larry Craig, presumably) in Minneapolis — the soundtrack won’t just be talking heads and voter-on-the-street interviews. Music will also be a big part of the brouhaha coming out of both conventions. Although music has always been a powerful tool in the fight for the hearts of American voters, this year’s campaigns will be more tune-drenched than normal — largely because of the Obama campaign’s emphasis on youth, change, and activism. Hey, isn’t that Rock ‘n Roll’s triple play?

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The remarkable legacy of Jerry Wexler, dead at 91

Posted in Music Business, Pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2008 by Chris

Jerry Wexler, legendary head of Atlantic Records (with partner Ahmet Ertegun) from 1953 to 1975, has died at age 91 but he leaves behind a nearly unmatched legacy of R&B, pop, and rock music. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognized his achievements when they inducted him in 1987 as one of the first non-performers.

Just to kick this tribute off — he’s also the guy who coined the term “Rhythm and Blues” when, as a staff writer for Billboard magazine, he wanted to replace “Race Music” as the header on the black music charts. His early collaborations with Ray Charles, Joe Turner, and The Coasters (among others) built a new foundation for American music. All of this music collaboration in the 50s and early 60s may have been a warm-up, however, for perhaps his greatest contribution to the music world — luring an un-empowered Aretha Franklin away from Columbia and introducing America to the “Queen of Soul” with “Respect” and a string of powerhouse hits from 1967 on.

Aretha and Jerry collaborate during an early recording session

Aretha and Jerry collaborate during an early recording session

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December 8, 1980

Posted in Pop culture with tags , , , on August 15, 2008 by Andy

Mark David Chapman is doing at least another two years. Not much to say. Just glad the parole board kept their sanity about them.

The Dakota Hotel in NYC

The Dakota Hotel in NYC

Worst Song(s) Ever? Woof.

Posted in Pop culture with tags , , , , , on August 6, 2008 by Andy

They play it at my kid’s daycare pretty much every day… I should alert the authorities.

It’s official – Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out” (summer hit/chart-topper in 2000) was named the “Worst Song Ever” in a recent list compiled by the editors of and AOL Radio.

AOL Radio assembled 111 ear-offending tunes, all of which have varying degrees of shittiness. But most of them (with a few exceptions) sold pretty well (in some cases, like the aforementioned Doggie doggerel, VERY well, thankyouverymuch). What did Mencken say about underestimating the taste of the American public? Continue reading

Ukulele Status

Posted in Miscellaneous Static, Pop culture with tags , , , , , on August 5, 2008 by Andy

I’m finishing up Ed McMahon’s (yes, that guy) book on the early years of television (“When Television Was Young“). It’s surprisingly informative and entertaining, and it comes from a man who was involved with television from day one. McMahon is cheesy, corny, and a little old-fashioned, but you do get the sense of how world-changing the device was, and how inextricably linked television would be with pop music. Continue reading

Best Buy to sell musical instruments — honest!

Posted in Pop culture with tags , , , , , on July 29, 2008 by Chris

Did anyone else see this story? Best Buy stores will be carrying musical instruments in the near future — up to 85 stores will devote serious square footage for instrument display, sheet music, accessories, and more. Even rooms for private lessons are being contemplated.

Billboard article on Best Buy’s plan to carry musical instruments

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