Video of the Week: Odd Time Signatures in Video Game Music

Battle of the Ax Men: Who Really Built the First Electric Rock ‘n’ Roll Guitar?

(via Collector’s Weekly) by Ben Marks

Many places deserve to be called the birthplace of rock ’n’ roll. Memphis often gets the nod because that’s where Sam Phillips of Sun Records recorded Elvis Presley belting out an impromptu, uptempo cover of “That’s All Right” in 1954. Cleveland makes the list since it’s the place where, in 1951, a local disc jockey named Alan Freed coined the genre’s name. Chicago’s claim precedes Cleveland’s by several years; in 1948, McKinley Morganfield, aka Muddy Waters, took the tiny stage of a neighborhood tavern called Club Zanzibar, pulled up a chair, and played his hollow-body electric guitar so loud, the sounds emanating from his small amplifier crashed upon the sweaty crowd in waves of soul-stirring distortion.

Those would all be good choices, but for author Ian Port, whose new book, The Birth of Loud, has just been published by Scribner, the birthplace of rock ’n’ roll could also be the former farming community of Fullerton in Orange County, California. That’s where an electronics autodidact name Clarence Leonidas “Leo” Fender founded a radio repair shop in 1938. By 1943, Fender and a friend named Clayton “Doc” Kaufman, who was Fender’s business partner in those days, had taken a solid plank of oak, painted it glossy black, attached a pickup at one end, and strung its length with steel strings

Read more:

https://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/who-really-built-the-first-electric-rock-n-roll-guitar/

On a Lighter Note…

 

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They Really Don’t Make Music Like They Used To

CreditCreditPeter Dazeley/The Image Bank, via Getty Images

(via The New York Times) By Greg Milner

It’s Grammy time, and as always, watching the awards ceremony on Sunday will include a subtext of cross-generational carping: “They don’t make music the way they used to,” the boomers and Gen Xers will mutter. And they’ll be right. Music today, at least most of it, is fundamentally different from what it was in the days of yore — the 1970s and 80s.

Last year, the industry celebrated a sales milestone. The Recording Industry Association of America certified that the Eagles’ “Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975),” was the best-selling album of all time, with sales of 38 million. (The formula took account of vinyl, CD and streaming purchases. Purists will have to put aside the fact that a greatest hits collection is not really an LP album as most of us know it.)

It was a full-circle moment — the album, released almost exactly 43 years ago, was the first to be awarded platinum status (sales of one million), an evocative reminder that songs were once commodities so valuable that millions of people would even buy them in repackaged form. It was also a taken as a quiet victory for people who believe that music today is too loud…

Read more:

Songs You May Have Missed #632

Steriogram: “Walkie Talkie Man” (2004)

Though dubbed Auckland, New Zealand’s smartass retort to Sum 41 by Allmusic, Steriogram are so much more. On their second album, the David Kahne-produced Schmack, the band combine pop punk with Beastie Boys-style white boy rap, Nirvanaesque riffage, Weezer’s gawky sense of humor, and classic rock reference all to glorious effect.

Tyson Kennedy’s snark rap vocals play against Brad Carter, who carries the chorus melody on “Walkie Talkie Man”, and it’s all pinned on a mighty Kinks-inspired riff and an exuberance that schmacks of too many energy drinks.

I recommend reading along to this one.

Well you’re walkin and a talkin
And a movin and a groovin
And a hippin and a hoppin
And a pickin and a boppin
Those bods are being bad
You better take a stand
You gonna wake up that thing in your hand
You’re looking all around
There is trouble to be found
Make sure when you find it you get to say it loud
Gotta code three
Need back up
Bring me my bright pink fluro jacket

He’s fat and he don’t run too fast
(Well you’re walkin and a talkin)
But he’s faster than me
(You’re my walkie talkie man)
Last night at the show we saw him
(Well you’re walkin and a talkin)
Going out of his tree
(Go Go Go Go)

Well you’re walkin and a talkin
And a freakin and a yellin
And a bossin and a speakin
And a lookin and a pointin
Always tell us what to do
With your high top shoes
And you wave your torch
With your black short shorts
Don’t let em get away
Don’t think they can play Nail ’em to the wall
Cause you really need to say
Gotta code three
Need back up Bring me
My bright pink fluro jacket

He’s fat and he don’t run too fast
(Well you’re walkin and a talkin)
But he’s faster than me
(You’re my walkie talkie man)
Last night at the show we saw him
(Well you’re walkin and a talkin)
Going out of his tree
(just the drums!)

He’s fat and he don’t run too fast
But he’s faster than me
Last night at the show we saw him
Going out of his tree

He’s fat and he don’t run too fast
But he’s faster than me
Last night at the show we saw him
Going out of his tree
He’s a walkie talkie man!

Well you’re walkin and a talkin
And a movin and a groovin
And a hippin and a hoppin
And a pickin and a boppin
Those bods are being bad
You better take a stand
You gonna wake up that thing in your hand
You’re looking all around
There is trouble to be found
Make sure when you find it you get to say it loud
Gotta code three
Need back up
Bring me My bright pink fluro jacket

The Grammy-nominated video is pretty yarn good, too:

Songs You May Have Missed #631

Magna Carta: “Song of Evening” (1973)

A slice of  gently pastoral, anachronistic and very English folk rock from Magna Carta’s classic 1973 Lord of the Ages album.

See also:

https://edcyphers.com/2015/09/30/songs-you-may-have-missed-550/

 

Songs You May Have Missed #630

LP: “Lost on You” (2015)

LP is Laura Pergolizzi, who has written for Rihanna, Backstreet Boys, Cher, Rita Ora and Christina Aguilera among others. “Lost on You” was a platinum-selling single in Italy, France, Greece, Poland, and Switzerland. It also topped the charts in Israel, Turkey, Romania and Serbia, yet it somehow missed the top 40 in the US.

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