If you have the time to watch the whole presentation, here it is in it’s amazing entirety.
AI Beatles doing God Only Knows from The Beach Boys
If You Like Steely Dan…
It seems the younger generation has rediscovered Steely Dan.
Just in time for my good friend, Jon Zeeman, to release an original song in their style, with his Steely Dan Tribute band – The Expanding Man.
Now there is a whole book about Steely Dan’s rediscovery by a new generation that is covered in this Atlantic review.
In hindsight, Steely Dan’s Zelig-like presence in sample-based hip-hop looks like a harbinger of the band’s current renaissance: A duo that was one of the most polarizing acts in rock even at its peak, in the 1970s, has lately acquired an army of new fans, many of them remarkably young.
Pappademas tries out several theories to explain the Danaissance’s timing. The most compelling of them is the idea that their songs, full of gallows humor and wry disillusionment, resonate with a generation raised on crashing economies and a climate crisis. “Donald and Walter’s songs of monied decadence, druggy disconnection, slow-motion apocalypse, and self-destructive escapism seemed satirically extreme way back when; now they seem prophetic,” he writes. “We are all Steely Dan characters now.”
For those weary of the “rockism”-versus-“poptimism” debates of the past couple of decades—and who isn’t?—Steely Dan offers a welcome escape from the reductive opposition between rock as Promethean self-expression and pop as a big-tent pleasure center. The band didn’t mind being dismissed by the most doctrinaire rock partisans: “soulless, and by its calculated nature antithetical to what rock should be,” as a Rolling Stone review of Aja summed up the brief against them. At the same time, Steely Dan’s music is unapologetically snobbish, flouting the “everything is great” ethos of extreme poptimism.
A band that charts an idiosyncratic path ends up acquiring an eclectic audience, this one united by a tenacious devotion to the work of a pair of artists who were themselves nothing if not devoted.
Rock N’Roll Souls
Beatles Just Before Crossing Abbey Road
While the Beatles got ready for their iconic walk across Abbey Road, this pensioner chatted with Ringo. More out-takes from the shoot.
The Science of Snobbery
Articles on this wine research recommend that serving cheap wine in fancy bottles or reaching for bottom shelf wine. Does that mean you should constantly deceive yourself into enjoying cheap wine? Or never spend more than $10 since we often mistake $10 bottles with $100 bottles? In that case, will you never spend over $10 on sushi for same reason? Or never spend over $30 at a fancy restaurant because the ambiance often tricks people into thinking a simple chicken dish is fancy?
Ordinary consumers don’t think hard and deliberately when sipping wine over a conversation with friends or listening to a concert. Even when thinking deliberatively, overcoming our intuitive impressions is difficult for experts and amateurs alike. This article has referred to the influence of price tags and context on products and experiences like wine and classical music concerts as tricks that skew our perception. But maybe we should consider them a real, actual part of the quality.
What does this all say about wine snobs? The answer is just as unclear. Due to the way that appreciation of wine, fancy food, and other aspects of high culture is often used to police class lines, studies demonstrating the limitations of expert judgment in these areas become fodder for class warfare and takedowns of wine snobs.
That’s fair. Many boorish people talking about the ethereal qualities of great wine probably can’t even identify cork taint because their impressions are dominated by the price tag and the wine label. But the classic defense of wine – that you need to study it to appreciate it – is also vindicated by Master Sommeliers. The open question – which is both editorial and empiric – is what it means for the industry that constant vigilance and substantial study is needed to dependably appreciate wine for the product quality alone. But the questions is relevant to the enjoyment of many other products and experiences that we enjoy in life
20 Years Later
Harmonica in Carnegie Hall. [VIDEO]
Virtuoso Buddy Greene elevates the lowly harmonica to classical status. Thanks to Jr Datzman.
What If Robots Designed and Played Guitars?
Thanks to Guitarist Dave Bryan. Could he be concerned that guitar players will be out-sourced to machines?
11 Obscure References in Classic Songs—Explained!
We’ve all heard these classic pop and rock hits a thousand times. But even if you know all the words, do you know what they were about?
“Hotel California,” The Eagles
“Warm smell of colitas rising up through the air”
According to the Eagles’ then-manager, “colitas” was explained to Don Henley and Glenn Frey as literally meaning “little buds” by their Mexican-American road manager, and further as Spanish slang for “marijuana.
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen
“Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango?” … “Bismillah! No!”
Scaramouche is a traditional clown character featured in Italian commedia dell’arte. He is a stock character in Punch and Judy shows and often gets his head knocked off of his shoulders by Punch. The fandango is a lively couples dance usually accompanied by guitars, hand claps and castanets.
“Bismillah” is an Arabic word that means “in the name of God.” It is used at the head of almost every chapter in the Holy Quran