Tag Archives: music

Clip art album covers

Familiar album covers redone with clip art. Via Kottke.

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Dennis Prager: these musicians are saying curses!

In the National Review, Social conservative Dennis Prager pens an endearingly routine column about how the music industry is awful because they use curse words.

How does a song replete with expletives, whose very title is “F*** You,” get nominated for a Grammy Award as Record of the Year?

The answer is that the music industry, from producers to artists, is largely populated by people who regard social and cultural norms as stifling. Their professional lives are dedicated to lowering that which is elevated, destroying that which uplifts, and profaning that which is held sacred.

Mr. Prager should be careful. If he by accident listens to the song one or two more times, he won’t be able to get the F word out of his head.

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Eddie the Brick — “There Was Tension in the Band”

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The minor third means sadness in speech as well as in music

When someone is talking sadly, they often change the pitch of their voice by a minor third, which is the sad interval in music.
Via The Morning News

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South Korea has turned its giant speakers back on

South Korea has giant speakers at the border between it and North Korea. They’re basically a collective, national middle finger. In 2004, they were shut down because of improving relations. But now that the North has sunk a battleship….

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Music That Makes You Dumb

What music do you listen to? What did you get on the SAT? If there’s one thing to learn from this chart is that no matter how “smart” you are, you still probably like some shitty bands.

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In Search of the Click Track

Paul Lamere programmed a click-track detector and put it work on several recordings.

Summary: Britney, Green Day, Nickelback, and Breaking Benjamin all use click tracks. Weezer, Metallica, the Beatles, and Led Zeppelin do/did not.

via Boing Boing Gadgets

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Robert Christgau’s Grades

Robert Christgau explains the grades he gives albums:

An A+ record is an organically conceived masterpiece that repays prolonged listening with new excitement and insight. It is unlikely to be marred by more than one merely ordinary cut.

An A is a great record both of whose sides offer enduring pleasure and surprise. You should own it.

An A- is a very good record. If one of its sides doesn’t provide intense and consistent satisfaction, then both include several cuts that do.

A B+ is a good record, at least one of whose sides can be played with lasting interest and the other of which includes at least one enjoyable cut.

A B is an admirable effort that aficionados of the style or artist will probably find quite listenable.

A B- is a competent or mildly interesting record that will usually feature at least three worthwhile cuts.

A C+ is a not disreputable performance, most likely a failed experiment or a pleasant piece of hackwork.

A C is a record of clear professionalism or barely discernible inspiration, but not both.

A C- is a regrettably successful exploitation or a basically honest but quite incompetent stab at something more.

A D+ is an appalling piece of pimpwork or a thoroughly botched token of sincerity.

It is impossible to understand why anyone would buy a D record.

It is impossible to understand why anyone would release a D- record.

It is impossible to understand why anyone would cut an E+ record.

E records are frequently cited as proof that there is no God.

An E- record is an organically conceived masterpiece that repays repeated listening with a sense of horror in the face of the void. It is unlikely to be marred by one listenable cut.

Via Merlin Mann at 41 Folders, who argues that all critics should disclose their rating methods in order to gain back some public trust. For my part, I have a love/hate relationship with music criticism that leans increasingly to the hate side because of the horrible, meandering, showy, self-indulgent writing that most music critics are guilty of. The problem is getting worse, I think, because of the rise of blogs and the common confusion between the aim of a blog post and the aim of a music review. It suffices to say, I agree that critics could be more transparent about their methods — and in fact, they could be much more methodical in their reviewing.

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