March 3, 2014
This is a post by associate editor Blake Madden.
It’s early 1975, and Brian Eno strains to hear the recording of 18th century harp music a friend has given him.
Eno is in recovery after being hit by a car and can barely get out of bed. After putting the record on with great difficulty and lying back down, he notices the volume is too low, and that one channel on his stereo is blown.
The sheer pain of moving forces him to listen to the record at a volume that barely eclipses the background sound of the room around it.
“This presented what was fo...
February 3, 2014
“Of course I’m ambitious. What’s wrong with that? Otherwise you sleep all day.”
50 years ago this week, The Beatles touched down in New York City for the first time. It is a cliché, but a truthful one, to say that the pop music world has never been the same since.
By any reasonable account, The Beatles stand among the most successful bands in history, both creatively and commercially. Their story is testament to the idea that art and business are not necessarily incompatible. At their best, the two can even feed and inform one another.
According to the Daily Mail, the Beatles mac...
February 3, 2014
“We favor the inclusion of music in the curriculum on an equality with other basic subjects. We believe that with the growing complexity of civilization, more attention must be given to the arts, and that music offers possibilities as yet but partially realized for developing an appreciation of the finer things of life.”
—First Resolution of the Dallas Meeting of The Department of Superintendence, 1927
Public music education has seen better days.
In 2001, the No Child Left Behind Act identified music as a ‘core subject’—just not one worthy of testing. This meant that schools struggling to improve math and reading sco...
February 3, 2014
One of my personal goals for the new year was to try writing a daily blog to see how I’d like it. So, in 40 days, from December 20th to January 30th, I wrote 40 blog posts.
(Okay technically, those dates are 42 days apart. I did take 2 days off one weekend just to even things out, and to see how taking a weekend break would feel.)
It’s been a fantastic habit, and I’d recommend it to anyone. If you ever do write a personal blog, it doesn’t really matter if anyone reads it. In addition to driving traffic to your own personal website if you choose to make it public, a blog helps you organize your thoug...
Surround sound made its first public appearance in 1941, when Disney released its groundbreaking animated musical, Fantasia. Ever since then, surround systems have increasingly been used to enhance the emotional impact of films (which George Lucas has famously, and accurately, declared are “50% sound.”)
In the mid 1990s, a small but meaningful mass market for digital home theater syst...
New Gear Reviews
It’s hard to make a great pop song without a great bass line, and it’s hard to do a great bass line justice without a great bass sound. The bass often serves as the soul and the spine of a record, and if it’s not right, nothing is. Although the vast majority of tone lies in the fingers, each of the major types of electric bass offers its own subtle color. Today we’ll be looking at a few of the ...
Mike Sniper started the indie label Captured Tracks in 2008, working nights out of the basement of Williamsburg’s Academy Records, which he helped run during the day. Within a year, he’d be putting out a constant stream of new releases. Although 2009 was an especially rocky year for the global economy, that didn’t slow things down for Captured Tracks ...
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