Category Archives: music

George Martin died

According to the New York Times and other venues, George Martin, the hugely talented arranger and producer whose contributions to the Beatles’ albums got him dubbed “the fifth Beatle”, has died at 90. He was in fact SIR George Martin, knighted for his work. It’s hard to imagine the Beatles without him: songs like Eleanor […]

Google Doodle celebrates Clara Rockmore and the THEREMIN

Today is the 105th birthday of Clara Rockmore (1911-1988), a woman you’ve probably never heard of. But she was the greatest virtuoso of the theremin, that weird musical instrument patented by Russian Léon Theremin in 1928 (Rockmore and he were friends).  Over the years, the instrument became largely a novelty and fell into disuse—remember hearing it on the Beach […]

The Carpenters Live at the BBC

Some of the best live concerts available on YouTube are those taped live at the BBC in the 1970s, including Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, and Karen Carpenter, born on this day in 1950. In honor of the birthday of the woman with the best voice ever, here’s the entire 35-minute Carpenters concert from 1971. She was 21. […]

The weird little symphony you never knew existed

by Grania This is a whimsical track put together from Windows XP and 98 audio sounds – the dings and clicks the Operating System plays when commands run or don’t run as luck and the laws of physics would have it. I don’t know the original source. I found it on Computers Are Sad Too tumblr. […]

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 […]

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