“Music was better back then”: When do we stop keeping up with popular music?


(via Skynet & Ebert)


After sixty years of research, it’s conventional wisdom: as people get older, they stop keeping up with popular music. Whether the demands of parenthood and careers mean devoting less time to pop culture, or just because they’ve succumbed to good old-fashioned taste freeze, music fans beyond a certain age seem to reach a point where their tastes have “matured”.

That’s why the organizers of the Super Bowl — with a median viewer age of 44 —  were smart to balance their Katy Perry-headlined halftime show with a showing by Missy Elliott.

Spotify listener data offers a sliced & diced view of each user’s streams. This lets us measure when this effect begins, how quickly the effect develops, and how it’s impacted by demographic factors...

Read more: http://skynetandebert.com/2015/04/22/music-was-better-back-then-when-do-we-stop-keeping-up-with-popular-music/

Willie Nelson and His Famous Guitar: The Tale of Trigger‏


Thanks to Dave G.

A Jovial Journey Through Fictitious Band Names


Cleverly-named Pittsburgh-area tribute act Bon Journey play a set that draws heavily on the music of the two bands whose names combine to form their own appellation.


Considering it doesn’t take much to bend idle minds to pointless mental meanderings, this set us to considering the plethora of possibilities for other cover band designations. To wit (hopefully):

If your band covers the music of Bon Jovi and Joni Mitchell you could name it Bon Joni.

If you do music primarily by The Rolling Stones and Styx you could be Styx and Stones.

S’pose you played mostly Johnny Cash and Eddie Money tunes. How about Cash Money?

Now if you’ll indulge us, further into the preposterous we blunder for the sake of a laugh. If your band was all about Richard Marx and Skid Row music, you could be known as Skid Marx.

Let’s say your set combined the music of Grover Washington and AC/DC. You could be Washington/DC. Fats Domino and Don McLean? Fats McLean.

If your band mixed the early work of Clapton with to-the-extreme 90’s white rap may I suggest Vanilla Ice Cream?

marxSay your Richard Marx tribute band got tired of mixing in Skid Row songs and decided to include more Doobie Brothers in its set. You could call yourselves the Marx Brothers.

No…I’m far from finished. I’m sure you’ve wished there was a bar band out there who combined the smokey-voiced gentle reflections of Chris Rea with the rifftastic rock of Dire Straits. Dire Rea, anyone?

I know this is unlikely. But if your band played only songs by New Pornographers and Destiny’s Child the obvious choice of band name would be Child Pornographers. Unfortunately.

marx 2

You say you’re way into Cream but you don’t really play that much Vanilla Ice? That’s weird. But if you instead focus mainly on Humble Pie and Boston you could be called Boston Cream Pie.

Do Bryan Ferry, Godsmack and the Mothers of Invention form the bulk of your live repertoire? For some reason bands like yours have all overlooked the name Ferry God Mothers so far. You’re welcome.

And to you versatile rockers who alternately play Aerosmith, Insane Clown Posse and Tool songs: Aeroposstool.

You say your lead guitarist worships Duane Allman but your keyboardist wants to play Joy Division? Allman Joy is your band’s new name.


In one of those 80’s tribute bands that mainly cribs the catalogues of the Police, Billy Squier and Culture Club? Police Billy Club.

Or maybe your cover band is a mishmash of Fleetwood Mac, Public Enemy and Yo Yo Ma. It could happen. If so, please help yourself to my suggested band name: Fleet Enema. Of course your band logo may not be as cool as Bon Journey’s…

And if you play Grateful Dead, Phish and Bon Jovi covers I dub you Jam Band Jovi.


Not to fixate on the whole Bon Jovi thing–they are the reason we’ve come to this after all–but it occurs to me that if you like to play Bon Jovi tunes interspersed with Pete Seeger folk songs (and who doesn’t?) you really ought to consider the moniker of Banjovi.

Thinking of starting a band that plays Gentle Giant, Tim Hardin and Ce Ce Peniston? I dunno. Use your imagination–you can do this!

I could go on. In fact, it’s difficult not to after a while. REM Speedwagon, Buffalo Springsteen, Faith No Doubt, The Mamas & the Papas & the Babys, Aretha Hollies, Kajagoogoo Dolls

But I want to hear your tribute band names. Bring ’em on–the more preposterous the better!

Recommended Albums #61


Southern Culture on the Skids: Countrypolitan Favorites (2007)

In 2007 Southern Culture on the Skids took a break from recording their distinctive brand of hillbilly surf rock originals to have a go at some of Nashville’s chestnuts from decades past, as well as a few straight rock artifacts.

culture 2

Now, not only am I typically not big on cover songs, but I happen to be a particular fan of the original versions of songs like Lynn Anderson’s “Rose Garden”, the Byrds’ “Have You Seen Her Face” and Roger Miller’s “Engine Engine #9″.

But Rick Miller’s guitar work, Mary Huff’s vocals, the ripping arrangements and the band’s winsome charisma only add more layers to love.

Yeah, it would be easy to say this isn’t your bag, because chances are you’re not in the habit of listening to “toe-sucking geek rock” as Miller and company describe themselves. But whether you remember the original versions or not, these are deservedly timeless tunes and Southern Culture’s versions are not only credible, they are a blast.

Listen to: “Oh Lonesome Me”:

Listen to: “Wolverton Mountain”

Listen to: “Rose Garden”

Listen to: “Have You Seen Her Face”

Listen to: “Engine Engine #9″

See also: http://edcyphers.com/2013/06/12/songs-you-may-have-missed-425/

See also: http://edcyphers.com/2012/03/12/songs-you-may-have-missed-45/

Songs You May Have Missed #528

hard way

James Hunter: “Carina” (2008)

James Hunter could be seen as a forerunner to the British retro-soul revival that gave us Amy Winehouse and Corinne Bailey Rae. The obvious inspirations here seem to be Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson and the like, with perhaps a dash of Van Morrison’s horn charts. And the original songs are convincingly retro–like the kind of material you’d swear was written for a Stax Records session in the 60’s.

Video of the Week: Mime Through Time

Aussie female comedy threesome SketchShe take us from the Andrews Sisters through, um, Miley.

What IS the “Pompatus of Love” Anyway?


Chances are you’ve heard, and maybe even sung along to, this lyric dozens of times:

…and maybe you made a little mental note to yourself to find out just what a “pompatus of love” was–but then “Back in Black” came on the jukebox next and your girlfriend was pulling on your arm to buy her another Milwaukee’s Best and then you had to go pee and then that whole brawl started about Kurt Busch vs Tony Stewart and it slipped your mind again.

We’ve got you covered.

In the beginning there was Los Angeles Doo-Wop group The Medallions who, in 1954, released a B-side ballad called “The Letter”

At about 1:45 lead singer Vernon Green speaks the following lyric:

Let me whisper sweet words of pismotality
And discuss the puppetutes of love

“Pismotality” and “puppetutes” were both nonsense words made up by Green. The first refers to secret words only meant to be heard by a lover.


From the song’s YouTube comments alone come several apocryphal spellings of the second of Green’s neologisms: “pompetous”, “pulpitudes”, “puppetuse” and of course, Steve Miller’s misspelled “pompatus”.

“Puppetute” was, as Green once explained, “A term I coined to mean a secret paper-doll fantasy figure [thus puppet], who would be my everything and bear my children.”

Perhaps a cross between the words “puppet” and “prostitute”. Romantic guy, this Vernon Green.

Enter Steve Miller with “Enter Maurice”

You’ll notice that 1973’s “The Joker” isn’t the first appearance in a Steve Miller song of the line “pompatus of love”. In fact, “space cowboy”, “gangster of love” and “Maurice” from that song all reference earlier Miller tunes.

But “Enter Maurice” with its romantic recitations is a very direct homage to the Medallions’ “The Letter”.

movieThere was even a movie in 1995 titled after Miller’s misspelled version of the original nonsense word, and the first song on its soundtrack is–you guessed it–Miller’s “The Joker”.

So let’s review: A 1995 movie took its title from a line from a Steve Miller song from 1973 which itself references an earlier Steve Miller song which inaccurately nicks the word from a 1954 doo-wop song–a word that wasn’t even a word in the first place.

Next week we explain why Scaramouche would want to do the fandango!

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