Tag Archives | Rock

Moogfest: Remembering Robert Moog

Moogfest, a celebration of music made with the unique and wonderful Moog synthesizer, just wrapped in Asheville, NC, the place inventor Bob Moog called home for the last 30 years of his life.

moogfest

The New York Times‘ lead music critic Jon Pareles has written an excellent account of the three-day festival, which you can read here, but I thought fans of Moog music might enjoy the liner notes written in 1999 by Bob for the first (and only) disinformation CD, Best Of Moog: Electronic Pop Hits From The 60’s & 70’s:

We began making electronic music instruments in 1964 and began calling them “synthesizers” in 1967. Back then, most of our customers were experimental composers in universities and conservatories. Their music was “at the fringe”, to say the least. Meanwhile, out in the mainstream of our musical culture, record producers and performing musicians tended to think of the Moog Synthesizer as an instrument that could make funny sounds, but you couldn’t make “real music” with it.… Read the rest

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Keith on Keith (Richards)

Keith RichardsVia Joe Nolan's Insomnia: Inside the dust jacket of his new book, Keith Richards has left an inscription:
"This is the Life. Believe it or not, I haven't forgotten any of it. Thanks and praises, Keith Richards."
Perhaps the most highly-anticipated rock autobiography ever, Life is the most detailed account we have yet of the legendary guitarist/songwriter. Richards has lived his life in public since his early 20s and he's always lived it in the full-glare of the media — bad publicity be damned. That said, this book is not a confessional reassessment in which a public figure offers explanations — or excuses — for past sins. Richards greatest music and worst behavior are a matter of public record and Life doesn't offer a new version of events so much as it delivers his version, and it's full of crazy wisdom, smirking sarcasm, raspy rambles, heart and soul. While other volumes — like Victor Bockris' excellent Keith — have revealed the man through the eyes of friends, family and Rolling Stones insiders, it's Life's first-person candor that sets it apart. Not only does Richards give us the straight-dope on Keith, he also illuminates the rise of rock 'n' roll and the '60's counter-culture from inside the eye of the hurricane. Life is also about the creative life of one of rock's most important guitarists and songwriters, and the book's rich detail is at least partly due to a life lived on the look-out for the next song, the next riff.
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A Brief History Of Science Fiction In Rock Music

Rock music and science fiction each shaped the culture of post-World War II America. But only occasionally have the two have been successfully combined (usually, thanks to some ambitious and/or drugged-out musical visionaries). Clarksworld Magazine has a nice historic overview of the use of science fiction themes in pop music. David "Ziggy Stardust" Bowie makes the cut, as does some prog rock. (Prog and sci-fi both share a high nerd factor, of course.) More surprising are the notable finds of sci-fi funk, hip hop, and metal. It's hard to get deeper and geekier than Rush, though:
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Scientists To Map Ozzy Osbourne’s Genetic Code To Find Out Why He is Still Alive

Ozzy Osbourne Silly scientists, Ozzy's still alive because he's a werewolf. We've known this since the '80s. Elizabeth Scott writes on Sky News:
Scientists are to map Ozzy Osbourne's genetic code in a bid to find out how he is still alive after decades of drug and alcohol abuse. The former Black Sabbath frontman is only one of a few people in the world to have his full genome analysed. It is hoped the results from the £27,000 test, which takes three months, will provide information on how drugs are absorbed in the body. Ozzy, 61, has lived a life that would presumably kill any ordinary person. Even the singer himself cannot understand how he has survived this long, recently describing himself as a "medical miracle" after going on a "bender" for "40 years."
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Messages Hidden In The Grooves Of Records

Decades ago, morality watchdogs feared that Satanic messages were hidden in the music and lyrics of rock records. In fact, they were hidden in the records’ matrices (the portion of the vinyl near the center) where nearly-invisible messages can be printed. The Public Collectors site does a nice overview of the hidden-matrice-message tradition:

Black Flag – “Damaged” (SST)
Side A: COMIN’ AT YA – THE NEOLITHIC GELATINOUS THINK
Side B: SIZZLED THAT NEO-ORTHODOXY RIGHT INTO MY UH, AAAH… WHAT THE HELL!

Led Zeppelin – III (Atlantic)
Side A: blank
Side B: Do what thou wilt

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