Video of the Week: 90s Music vs Today

Why Do We Love the Music We Love?

(via Gizmodo) by Isaac Schultz

If you’ve ever made a playlist — for yourself or someone else — you’ve done the delicate dance of music curation. By what logic did you order the songs? What nearly made it on, but got left out, and why?

In This Is What It Sounds Like: What the Music You Love Says About You, storied sound engineer and cognitive psychologist Susan Rogers and mathematical neuroscientist Ogi Ogas explore the fundamental experience of music listening.

With surgical care, they walk the reader through the components of music, from technical aspects of music theory to abstract elements like intention and performativity, to get at the heart of where our music taste comes from.

When music gives us that special feeling — the “oh yes, THAT’S what I’m talking about” — it can be difficult to describe exactly why it spurs that emotion. We may lack the vocabulary to explain which elements of the music really worked for us. Sometimes, when music does its job perfectly, it transcends explanation entirely…

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Don Randi of The Wrecking Crew

(via CultureSonar) by Mark Daponte

In 1974, the Righteous Brothers sang about a rock ‘n’ roll heaven reserved for rock stars. Peter Tork landed there in 2019 and let’s hope he actually gets to play guitar, unlike his Monkee days when the Wrecking Crew played on their albums instead of him.  These masters included Glen Campbell (“Mary, Mary,” and “The Kind of Girl I Could Love”), Al Casey (“Papa Gene’s Blues,” “Laugh”), and Bill Pitman (“The Monkees Theme Song”).  But Crew member Don Randi recalled: “Peter Tork was a great musician. He was the only one that could have held his own, as far as I’m concerned, with any of us.  And he wondered, “’Why the hell am I not on these records?’ He always came ready to play.”

At the age of 88, pianist Don Randi still comes ready to play the occasional club date with his two children, Leah and Justin, and to share anecdotes from his 2015 book You’ve Heard these Hands: From the Wall of Sound to the Wrecking Crew and Other Incredible Stories.  The book tells of his days of backing up the bigwigs like his good friend, Nancy Sinatra ( “These Boots Were Made for Walking”), Buffalo Springfield, the Association, Frank Zappa, Frank Sinatra, Lee Hazlewood, and many more…

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Video of the Week: Jack White – Guessing Game (Beatles Edition)

Video of the Week: The Perfectionism of Steely Dan’s Genius Engineer Roger Nichols

Roberta Flack has ALS, now ‘impossible to sing,’ rep says

 (Photo by Matt Licari/Invision/AP, File)

(via ABC News and Associated Press)

NEW YORK — A representative for Roberta Flack announced Monday that the Grammy-winning musician has ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and can no longer sing.

The progressive disease “has made it impossible to sing and not easy to speak,” Flack’s manager Suzanne Koga said in a release. “But it will take a lot more than ALS to silence this icon.”

The announcement of the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis diagnosis comes just ahead of the premiere of “Roberta,” a feature-length documentary debuting Thursday at the DOCNYC film festival…

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Video of the Week: Mozart and Poop–a Love Story

Video of the Week: “I Say We Should Play the Music and See What Happens” (How Much Will It Cost Dave To Play Eagles Music? | Letterman)

The Secret Inspiration Behind Warren Zevon’s ‘Werewolves of London’

How ‘a dumb song for smart people’ became an unlikely hit

(via Cuepoint) by George Plasketes

From his 1978 album Excitable Boy, Warren Zevon’s terror trilogy — a ghostly, ghastly three-song sequence brimming with abandoned amusement — was comprised of “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner,” “Excitable Boy,” and “Werewolves of London.” The latter was another “literally 15-minute song” that none of its co-writers — Zevon, LeRoy Marinell, and Waddy Wachtel — took seriously. The spontaneous composition, referred to by Zevon as “a dumb song for smart people,” defied the conventional attributes of songwriting such as labor, craft, and agonizing.

The idea originated with Phil Everly who, after watching the movie Werewolf of London (1935) on late-night television, suggested to Zevon that he adapt the title for a song and dance craze. When Wachtel heard the idea, he mimicked a wailing wolf — “Aahoooh” — which became part of the howling chorus. The trio frivolously alternated verses, beginning with what may be one of the all-time opening lines: “I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand/Walking down the streets of Soho in the rain.” The romp is comic noir, featuring a stylish werewolf on his way to Lee Ho Fooks for a “big dish of beef chow mein” and another “drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic’s.”

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