The Ultimate List of Work and Study Music

(via Lifehacker) by Nick Douglas

I can’t work in silence. And if I’m working with words—which is most of the time—I can’t work while playing typical pop, rock, or hip-hop. So I collect instrumental and foreign-language music on a scale better measured by weeks than by hours. Here are some of my greatest sources of background music for work, studying, and creativity…

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‘Vintage Air Guitar’ Ad on Craigslist

Reluctantly parting with this awesome vintage air guitar. My uncle saw some dude in the audience playing this at a Thin Lizzie concert back in the 70s. Long story short, my uncle ended up trading the dude a lid of Acapulco gold for it and then gave it to me about 20 years ago. I’ve taken it to more concerts than I can remember and always get great comments about it. It’s definitely a chick magnet, especially if you’re working the has-been tour circuit (Rick Springfield, Bon Jovi, Kansas, Cheap Trick, whatever). The only reason I’m selling is to fund my lifelong dream of an overseas snipe hunt. Otherwise I’d never let this one go. No lowball offers or scams please.

Price? $799

Video of the Week: Skunk Baxter Covers ‘Rikki Don’t Lose That Number’

Ever see a Steely Dan tribute act, or some lesser artist covering their material? Some bands can approximate the chops of Fagen and Becker sufficiently to do a credible arrangement–no mean feat, by the way. But when I’m YouTubing a Steely Dan cover version I invariably cringe when the singer steps to the mic. I’ve come to expect disappointment.

You see, no one can imitate the seedy, depraved vocal snarl of Donald Fagen–can they? Well, I’ll just say I was shocked when Kipp Lennon–lead singer of Southern California rock band Venice and younger brother of the Lennon Sisters by the way–sang the first line of ‘Rikki Don’t Lost That Number’ in this performance. The very least you can say is that it’s good enough not to be a distraction. And that’s a damn sight better than I’ve ever heard previously.

Even Steely Dan alum himself Mr. Jeff “Skunk” Baxter gives him a shout-out at the end: “My word! Thank God for real singers!”

And as for Skunk himself, he reminds us all here why the band tapped him for some of their most iconic guitar parts. He’s simply a master.

See also: Songs You May Have Missed #674 | Every Moment Has A Song (

Video of the Week: Larry Carlton’s Tribute to Walter Becker–‘Josie’

Video of the Week: Brian Eno’s Satirical Poke at the Conservative Party–‘Everything’s On the Up With the Tories’

How Boomboxes Got So Badass

(December 16th, 2013

oomboxes are, by definition, excessive. With their deafening bass thud and dazzling chrome dials, these electric beasts are heavy enough to tone your biceps. Also known as “ghetto blasters” or “jamboxes,” they rose to fame in the 1980s along with hip-hop, flourishing as a tool for sharing and mixing the latest beats. Yet despite their widespread popularity, the innovators who conceived of these devices are still largely unknown, consigned to anonymity by the corporations that manufactured their creations.

Miles Lightwood hopes to change that. He’s the founder of Boomboxラジカセ Creators, an online archive and forthcoming documentary film devoted to identifying the individuals behind the most successful boomboxes of all time. So far, Lightwood has only located a handful original designers and engineers, a few of whom are already deceased, but he hopes that with the help of the Internet’s global community, more will be found before they pass away…

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Orville Peck: The Savior of Country Music

(via THE DOG DOOR CULTURAL)  By Oliver Houyte

He wears handmade masks adorned with fringe, from under which his two blue eyes pierce. He is covered in tattoos, visible through his open vests. He wears colorful Stetson hats and cowboy boots. His music is replete with whistles and the sound effects of hooves, bull-whips, and gunshots. His lyrics are at once unabashedly mawkish and languorously erotic. He is gay. He is anonymous. He is the messiah of country music and he goes by Orville Peck.

Peck’s debut album, Pony, was released in early 2019 and has already become a classic, a must have for any true fan of country music, and a pool of perfect temperature for anyone willing to dip their toe into the genre for the first time. Country, as a genre, has always been massively underrated by mainstream listeners as an art form. The mainstream listeners are not to blame, however. What is to blame is the parade of terrible country musicians of the last 30 or so years. Musicians who have decided, in one way or another, that they’d spite those mainstream listeners by becoming caricatures: singing about their daddy’s pick-up truck, tractors, guns, the flag, and empty beer cans. Despite years of association, these singers and these subjects don’t represent country music. They represent only bad songwriting and nothing more…

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Quora: Why do people criticize Paul McCartney for writing the lyric “the movement you need is on your shoulder”?

(via Quora) Answered by Alex Johnston, Guitar & bass, BA Hons in music theory, tech and musicology

I’ll tell you why I do. And it’s a symptom of something which, for me, blemishes a good deal of the Beatles’ later work.

In general, I am very fond of ‘Hey Jude’ and consider it one of the best songs that McCartney ever wrote. I think that the cunning rhyme scheme really works, and the pleasingly laconic but warm-hearted lyric is one of the best the band ever had. And don’t even get me started on the music. It’s a lovely song.

However, when McCartney first played the song to Lennon, he hadn’t yet finished it.

The song has two bridge/middle eight sections, whatever you want to call them, which serve as a kind of alternative verse. The first one goes like this:

And anytime you feel the pain
Hey Jude, refrain
Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders
For well you know that it’s a fool
Who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder…

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