RIP George Michal
While I was never into Wham, I do have much respect for the late George Michael. Kissing a Fool is one of my all-time favorite songs. In my humble opinion, he matured wonderfully as a musician.
Unfortunately, he moved on to the great band in the sky. He passed peacefully yesterday. I shall always remember him as a great lyric writer, a powerful vocalist and activist for gay rights.
. That is sad. I shall always remember him as one of the most brilliant musicians of all time. His dark style of lyrics and breaking all the musical rules are simply the surface of his genius. He did all genre of music and it may be next century before we fully comprehend how brilliant his music is.
One great example of his musical genius is the track Rubber Shirt from the Sheik Yerbouti double album. The album became a huge hit when it was censored. The album is full of overdubs and is a masterful mix of songs. The Rubber Shirt track is an example of what Zappa called “Xanochrony”. The song is a mix of different musicians all recorded at different times, time signatures and tempos. The result sounds like a wonderful jazz improv.
James Hill Rocks on ukulele
Some musical instruments are usually not taken too seriously. In my humble opinion, “the Uke” is all too often erroneously placed in that category. James Hill is on a mission to destroy that myth. He super-seriously rocks on the ukulele.
Not only does he does perform but also teaches. Check out his mastery in the videos after the break. You shall be amazed at the types of sound he creates. Seriously on of the craziest creative things I have ever seen.
George Harrison’s Final Performance
I rarely meet anyone who totally hates The Beatles. I loved the band. However, I think one of the best things to happen with the breakup is the fact that George Harrison was no longer limited to one or two songs per album.
I was never aware of the video I am going to share until I happened on it at Open Culture.
Pink Floyd and Other Modern Music Performed on a Traditional Korean Instrument, The Gayageum
You may have already seen these videos. I noticed this Pink Floyd on the gayageum over at Boing! Boing!, saved it for further exploration and the next day found even more at Open Culture. Videos go viral for many reasons, in this case, the reason is Luna Lee’s talent.
More information, and videos, after the break. Check out how she nails the guitar parts about 2:30 in.
Another Brick in the Wall performed by Luna Lee
Jimi Hendrix – Moebius (S)trip
Before license fees changed it all, MTv transformed music into the realm of the visual. Music videos added another layer of creativity to music.
Less than a year ago, Google launched Deep Dream, AI software to create videos. The video below is the work of YouTuber Lulu xXX. A live performance of Hendrix playing Hey Joe fused with the art of Jean Giraud aka Moebius.
Jimi Hendrix – Moebius (S)trip
The Accidental Begining of “American Woman” by The Guess Who
Musicians try to jump on any creative spark as quickly as possible. When I was still composing, I wrote lyrics on napkins and matchbook covers because that was what was handy.
I am not going to spoil the video but listen in as Randy Bachman tells the tale of origin of American Woman.
The Origin of American Woman
Kudos to Open Culture for the find.
The Beatles on HD and Streaming Services
I am a Beatles fan. I have been since I was a small child. I actually remember the day Abbey Road was released. I was six years old. What was big news then is now history.
In case you missed it, they made what I believe will be, perhaps not historic, but at the least a milestone release on Christmas Eve. In the video below, a short 35-second mix of various Fab Four hits, announces that The Beatles are now available on nine streaming music services. (Source)
The Beatles are now streamable at:
- Apple Music
- Google Play
- Amazon Prime Music
- Microsoft Groove
- Slacker Radio
In case you noticed that Pandora and iHeart are not on the list, it is because The Beatles have always been available on those services. Tech Times has more details about why.
I think this is pretty awesome news. I also discovered that they have released many HD videos as well. I am going to share one of my favorites below and there will be a link to the Open Culture article which has many more videos at the bottom of this post.
The article at Open Culture also goes into how John, Paul, George and Ringo were ahead of their time. Obviously, these videos were not made any time recent. While a few other bands in that era did movies and videos, The Beatles and The Monkees were likely the most progressive regarding what we now call “music videos”. Most other videos of the time were more like documentaries or simply concert videos. Hopefully, more and more “main-stream” artist will get with the new media order and embrace what the listeners want and not treat new technology like a mobster.
The Beatles – Revolution
Bronx Cheerleader – Psychedelic Rock from Saint Catharine’s, Ontario
If you like creative jammin’ psychedelic rock and roll, safe bet you are going to love Bronx Cheerleader. From Saint Catharine’s, Ontario, this band has a great psychedelic sound. These Canadians use dreamy vocals, great effect guitar, some steel pedal guitar, and lots of simply great music. While they heavily use guitars and vocals, they do eclecticism well mixing in other musical events in a pleasingly unexpected way.
In my opinion, one of the hurdles an artist can be confronted with is sticking largely with one genre. It is too easy for the music to start sounding “all the same”. In order to leap the obstacle, the musician must do the genre superbly well. Bronx Cheerleader is as good an example of perfectly making such a jump.
They have a good number of releases, both singles and LPs, dating back to 2005, many great tunes. They are also hip enough to offer Real Punks Don’t Sing About Girls on 12″ vinyl. They offer Tough Guy Cliches as a free download.
The Black Satellites – Don’t Forget My Name
If you like driving get-jam-on rock and roll, you will love the four track release, Don’t Forget My Name, from the New York City-based group, Black Satellite. It is driving, hard-hitting, fantastically energetic, and leaves one wanting more.
As I almost always do, let me have the band speak for themselves. According to their bio:
“Delivering a fusion of hearty blues, hard rock with a pop undercurrent that doesn’t undermine its complexity and originality. Melodic, fragile, authentic, built with emotion and groove before giving way to powerhouse vocals and screaming guitars. In a nutshell a sound with every song to make your heart beat a little bit harder”
JIMI HENDRIX – 1967.12.22 “Christmas on Earth Continued”
Open Culture is one of my favorite feeds. Not only do they share where to find books but also video gems like the one below. Check out Jimi covering The Beatles.
- Vintage Advert Featuring Jimi Hendrix Dressed As Santa Claus (neatorama.com)
- Jimi Hendrix, the Uncut Story, watch free online (dphilosophy.com)
- Jimi Hendrix Unplugged: Two Rare Recordings of Hendrix Playing Acoustic Guitar (openculture.com)