Category Archives: music

Bad Sneakers

If you’re a regular, you’ll know I’m a big fan of Steely Dan, a band that always performed fantastically in the studio but was pretty bad live. Here, though, is one of their best recordings, “Bad Sneakers” from the 1975 album Katy Lied (“Dr. Wu,” the song from which the album’s title was taken, is […]

Maurice White, 1941-2016, and Cynthia Robinson, 1944-2015

by Greg Mayer It’s been a bad few months for musicians: David Bowie, Glenn Frey, and now Maurice White, the influential, productive, and popular performer, writer, and producer, have died. And I must add to this sad list Cynthia Robinson, the iconic trumpeter of Sly and the Family Stone, who passed away in late November. As the […]

Oklahoma Swooners protest Adele song for supposedly promoting harassment (and other campus news)

The University of Oklahoma sports teams and students are actually called the “Sooners,” but I’ve made a slight alteration to reflect this situation. At any rate, I’ve found the following news only on right-wing websites, which of course would carry such stories (they’re opposed to campus activism because it’s “liberal,” while I oppose only those forms of […]

Glenn Frey died

It’s starting off a bad year for rock musicians: today Glenn Frey of the Eagles died at the young age of 67. According to the Eagles’ own website, “Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks, but sadly succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia. . . . Words can neither […]

Winners: most soulful soul song

Twelve days ago I put up my selection of what I considered the most soulful soul songs of our era. (This was, of course a purely subjective choice, and I limited myself to fourteen songs.) Readers were asked to vote, and since over a week has passed, I’ll show the results below. Sadly, there were […]

“Lazarus”: David Bowie’s musical epitaph

David Bowie died two days ago, and that was but two days after the release of his last album, Blackstar. He clearly knew he was dying when he recorded it and the song and video shown below, “Lazarus.” (Rumors have it that Bowie died of lung cancer that metastasized to his liver.) Lazarus, of course, was a figure […]

David Bowie died

I had no idea that David Bowie, the Chameleon of Music, had cancer, but he’d apparently been ill for 18 months. Sadly, he died from the disease yesterday at the young age of 69.  I just read a good piece in the New Yorker on his new album, but it didn’t mention he was sick. The BBC has […]

A fantastic new product: a speaker in vagina allows your fetus to hear unmuffled Mozart

Whether prenatal exposure to music really helps babies develop faster is controversial, but that hasn’t stopped pregnant women from buying all kinds of devices to expose their fetuses to music—usually classical. (This is based on the equally controversial and dubious “Mozart Effect“, the claim that cognition in children and adults is improved–short term–by listening to classical music.) […]

The most soulful soul songs ever: vote for the best

A bit over a year ago I posted on some of the most soulful soul songs, but today is the definitive list—my personal choice, of course. At the bottom of the post you can vote for your favorite. In the earlier post, I gave Wikipedia’s definition of soul music, which included this: Soul music is […]

Google Doodle honors Beethoven

Today’s Google Doodle is an animated puzzle celebrating Beethoven’s 245th birthday. Click on the screenshot below, and then on the arrow, to start the game. You’re required to assemble in order manuscript sheets containing the notation for some of Ludwig’s masterpieces. Only when you get them in order can you continue the game by going […]

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