Music news and reviews, music videos and tittle tattle, with a lingering look at the past from Anorak. A source for rock, pop, album and live music, new releases, artist interviews and features.
Rick Wakeman played on David Bowie‘s Life on Mars. On January 10 2015, Wakeman played a piano version on BBC Radio 2. It’s lovely. Truly. Wakeman has since recorded a new version of the song along with a version of Space Oddity. All monies raised from the songs go to the excellent Macmillan Cancer Support.
Vocals Only: David Bowie and Freddie Mercury sing Under Pressure:
When Brian Eno’s Obscure Records closed in 1978, the ten albums he recorded for the label became tricky to find. Now Ubuweb has links to all ten albums.
- Obscure No. 1: The Sinking of the Titanic – Gavin Bryars (1975)
- Obscure No. 2: Ensemble Pieces – Christopher Hobbs, John Adams, Gavin Bryars (1975)
- Obscure No. 3: Discreet Music – Brian Eno (1975)
- Obscure No. 4: New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments – Max Eastley, David Toop (1975)
- Obscure No. 5: Voices and Instruments – Jan Steele, John Cage (1976)
- Obscure No. 6: Decay Music – Michael Nyman (1976)
- Obscure No. 7: Music from the Penguin Café – Members of the Penguin Café Orchestra (1976)
- Obscure No. 8: Machine Music – John White, Gavin Bryars (1978)
- Obscure No. 9: Irma – an opera by Tom Phillips, music by Gavin Bryars, libretto by Fred Orton (1978)
- Obscure No. 10: The Pavilion of Dreams – Harold Budd (1978)
Have yourselves a happy Christmas, folks. Here are the top five Christmas songs written by Jews:
“White Christmas” – Written by Irving Berlin. Bing Crosby’s version is the bestselling single of all time
“The Christmas song” (“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire”) – Written by Bob Wells and Mel Torme.
“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” – Sammy Cahn.
“Santa Baby” – written by Joan Javits.
“Winter Wonderland” – written in 1934 by Felix Bernard.
Take it away, Eartha Kitt:
An incredibly creepy Christian kids song for Christmas. Linda Blair is away:
Cynthia Robinson has died of cancer. The musician played trumpet with Sly And The Family Stone Roots drummer Questlove salutes her life:
… she wasn’t just a screaming cheerleading foil to Sly & Freddie’s gospel vocals. She was a KICK ASS trumpet player. A crucial intricate part of Sly Stone’s utopian vision of MLK’s America. Cynthia’s role in music history isn’t celebrated enough. Her & sister Rose weren’t just pretty accessories there to “coo” & “shoo wop shoo bob” while the boys got the glory. Naw. They took names and kicked ass while you were dancing in the aisle. Much respect to amazing CynthiaRobinson.
This video show Robinson and the Family in 1968:
In We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War, Doug Bradley and Craig Werner, professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, narrate the story of the music that whirled about the heads of American fighters.
The deeply unfashionable cardigan wort by Kurt Cobain on MTV: Unplugged in 1993 has been bought at auction for $140,800. The seller was a “friend” of the Cobain family.
Four months after the show, Cobain committed suicide.
Julien’s “Icons and Idols: Rock N Roll” auction advertised it thus:
A blend of acrylic, mohair and Lycra with five-button closure (one button absent), with two exterior pockets, a burn hole and discoloration near left pocket and discoloration on right pocket.
Listen to The Ronettes sing Baby Love You in 1963 – no instruments. Just the sweet voices:
At the Lemmchen elementary school in Mainz, Germany, the cool kids are performing Kraftwerk’s Die Roboter.
Not all school concerts need be painful:
The many faces of David Bowie by Helen Green:
Mark Steyn celebrates his Sinatra Centenary series with a look at the making of a hit song:
It was 1966. Enter Bert Kaempfert “the German kaiser of kitsch”:
He eschewed the standard 32-bar A-A-B-A song, possibly on the grounds that a middle section was way too much work. Instead, his tunes are built on the slightest of melodic themes, endlessly repeated. Yet they are, as the Germans say, Ohrwürmer – or earworms: maddening tunes that insinuate their way into your head and refuse to get out. “L-O-V-E” is the über-Kaempfert, a tune so simple that its lyricist Milt Gabler turned it into a spelling lesson, an “Alphabet Song” for grown-ups:
L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very very extraordinary
E is even more…
So Kaempfert had form. And so Jimmy Bowen listens to Hal Fine’s bunch of Kaempfert themes and something called “Beddy-Bye” comes up. And Bowen plays it again, and again. And then he says, “Man, get me a lyric on that, and I’ll do it with Sinatra.”
“Beddy-Bye” sounds to me like yet another minimalist Kaempfert tune: the five-note title phrase, reprised a tone up and a tone down, is about 50 per cent of the tune. Yet a remarkable number of other people claim to have had a hand in its creation. The last time I mentioned the thing in this space David C Tobin of Washington, DC wrote to say that it was composed by Avo Uvezian, a Beirut-born Armenian-American pianist cum cigar manufacturer. He does indeed claim to have written the music, but so does the late Ivo Robić, the crooning Croat, who insisted that he’d composed it for a folk music festival in Split, Yugoslavia. M Philippe-Gérard, the Brazilian-born French composer of “When The World Was Young”, sued on the grounds that the tune was stolen from his “Magic Tango”, but lost in court.
So until these various Croatian-Armenian claims are as litigated as the Franco-Brazilian ones, we’ll stick with the official narrative. In 1966, Bert Kaempfert wrote this tune for his first Hollywood movie score, for the aforementioned A Man Could Get Killed, directed by Ronald Neame. And all it needed now was a lyric and Jimmy Bowen would make good on his promise and get Kaempfert a recording by Frank Sinatra.
Bowen had never made such a pledge before – for a fairly obvious reason: He was in no position to promise any such thing. “Obviously,” he explained subsequently, “nobody knows what Frank is going to do till he says what he’s going to do.” But he knew that that “Beddy-Bye” theme smelled like a hit, and Hal Fine took him at his word. He farmed the tune out to various writers, and submitted a couple of lyrics. Jimmy Bowen didn’t like either of them.
So Hal Fine tried again, this time with Eddie Snyder and Charles Singleton….
For “Beddy-Bye”, Eddie Snyder took his cue from the film and the James Garner/Melina Mercouri characters: They’re strangers, exchanging glances, and, by the time the tune’s reprised in the final moments, you know that, as the song says, they’re “in love forever”. “We had the scene,” recalled Snyder. “A man is sitting across from a girl in a bar. That was it.” But that was all they needed:
Strangers In The Night
Wond’ring in the night
What were the chances
We’d be sharing love
Before the night was through…
Over on Flashbak, the story of one man’s collection of things found inside record sleeves. Ever hide anything inside yours?
See them all here.
Gutterdämmerung looks fantastic. Here’s the pitch:
The film is set in a world where God has saved the world from sin by taking from mankind the Devil’s ‘Grail of Sin’…..the Evil Guitar. The Earth has now turned into a puritan world where there is no room for sex, drugs or rock ‘n’ roll.
From up on high in heaven a “punk-angel”, Vicious (portrayed by Iggy Pop), looks upon the world with weary bored eyes. Behind God’s back, Vicious sends the Devil’s guitar back to earth and sin in all its forms returns to mankind.
An evil puritan priest (Henry Rollins) manipulates a naive girl to retrieve the guitar and destroy it. On her quest to find the Devil’s Grail Of Sin, the girl is forced to face the world’s most evil rock and roll bastards. Throughout her journey, she has a rival in the form of a rock chick determined to stop her from destroying the instrument.
World-renowned heavy metal legends Motörhead have turned their attention to your intimate pleasure with their own range of branded sex toys. Powerful classic vibrators and bullets are amongst the line up, each packing a powerful punch that captures the rock and roll lifestyle of the band perfectly. Prepare for the sort of mind-blowing orgasms you’d expect from the ‘loudest band on Earth’.
Cliff Richard will supply the wine…
Who didn’t go to Tower Records?
Established in 1960, Tower Records was once a retail powerhouse with two hundred stores, in thirty countries, on five continents. From humble beginnings in a small-town drugstore, Tower Records eventually became the heart and soul of the music world, and a powerful force in the music industry. In 1999, Tower Records made $1 billion. In 2006, the company filed for bankruptcy. What went wrong? Everyone thinks they know what killed Tower Records: The Internet. But thats not the story. All Things Must Pass is a feature documentary film examining this iconic companys explosive trajectory, tragic demise, and legacy forged by its rebellious founder, Russ Solomon.FacebookTwitterOfficial WebsiteDirector Colin Hanks Writers Steven Leckart Actors Russ Solomon, Michael Solomon, Heidi Cotler, Mark Viducich, Stan Goman, Bob Delanoy, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, David Geffen, Dave Grohl Genre Documentary Run Time 1 hour 40 minutes Copyright to Production company
What do the English sounds like to Italians?
In 1972, Italian singer Adriano Celentano belted out the No. 1 hit Prisencolinensinainciusol. You can sing along if you know the words but if you do you run the risk of sounds like a fool shouting at pigeons in the precinct. Adriano made them up as he went along. They sounded Englishy. He tells All Things Considered:
“Ever since I started singing, I was very influenced by American music and everything Americans did. I thought that I would write a song which would only have as its theme the inability to communicate. And to do this, I had to write a song where the lyrics didn’t mean anything.”
And now…One Direction.
Londoner David Wilson tells us how it was done:
All the animations seen in the music video were created in camera. No stopframe techniques, or computer super-imposing was used; what you see is what rolled off the camera. The animations in the side-on views were produced by the camera capturing the moving reflections from the mirrored carousels, and the animations in the top-down views were created by matching the cameras frame rate to that of spinning record. The transitions between each section of animation was created by simply cutting or wiping between the bits of footage.
And shows us:
Jewish American singer Matisyahu did appear at Spain’s Rototom SunSplash music festival on Saturday. He sang his hit Jerusalem. Pro-Palestinian groups had called for him to be boycotted.
Monoculists with the local Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement accused the 36-year-old of being a “Zionist” (filthy, filthy word) who supports the practice of “apartheid and ethnic cleansing”.
What craven and cowardly balls.
The show’s organisors t first conceded to the bigots. Then they saw the light.
To Phoenix, Arizona, where Okilly Dokilly – the world’s first and only Ned Flanders tribute band – are talking to James McCann. They play ‘Nedal’ music. It being what The Simpson’s character would have wanted.
As their Facebook bio notes: “most of our songs are direct Ned quotes.”
Lead Singer Head Ned On How They Got Started
“Myself and our drummer (Bled Ned) were in line at a grocery store, entertaining ourselves by coming up with really cutesy names for really hardcore, brutal bands. The name Okilly Dokilly came up and was very funny to us. We ran with it. I contacted a few friends (Red Ned, Thread Ned and Stead Ned), and here we are. Most of us have played in other bands around our hometown. This is definitely the heaviest sounding project any of us Neds have done.”
“Not as fast as Bartcore, and a little cleaner than Krusty Punk. Not as heavy as ‘Homer J.ent’ – Nedal is a happy medium in the Simpscene.”
Are You All Left Handed?
“I am,”says Head Ned. “The other Neds aren’t so lucky. It made writing All That Is Left pretty fun,” he continues. “It’s our homage to the Leftorium, and the bridge is entirely left handed puns.”
In reality, this is all just an over-the-top attempt at getting Matt Groening’s autograph, even if it comes on a cease and desist letter.
And now for the demo tape:
Ice Cube hails his new film STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON by responding to reacting to the Rap Genius interpretations.