Punks in Paradise

The official narrative has always insisted upon the utter antagonism between disco and punk. But as this amazing blog post by Eugene Merinov (via the folks behind Nightclubbing) asserts, for at least one evening the twin cultures tried to play nice, with epic results.

N.B. that 100-150 attendance translated as “nobody came”.


[h/t SFJ]


Neuroscience has turned its attention to the arts with a vengeance recently, and to music specifically in books by Oliver Sacks and Daniel Levitin, to name just two that have captured some attention.

Now Jonah Lehrer has weighed in at Wired.com. While no one should be surprised to learn that the brain reacts to music exactly like it does to drugs, sex, and other “pleasurable” stimuli — by flooding it with dopamine — Lehrer claims that scientists have indeed shown us something else that’s both new and interesting:

…it turns out that the most important part of every song or symphony is when the patterns break down, when the sound becomes unpredictable. If the music is too obvious, it is annoyingly boring, like an alarm clock.

This sounds OK to me, as long as you’re talking about Beethoven or a Coltrane solo or stuff on the more musically sophisticated fringes of pop. But so many of today’s autotuned and beat-detected hits sound, at least to this geezer’s ears, ever more monotonously obvious and thus entirely predictable. So what would explain the trenchant popularity of a Lady Gaga or Black-Eyed Peas?


More Books From Dylan

Good news for fans of Chronicles: Volume One, of which we’re huge ones. Actually a little disappointed as I had assumed the follow-up was more imminent than it apparently is. But then who knew we could ever expect as many as six more tomes?


Jandek on Corwood

Finally found a chance to watch Jandek on Corwood last night. As it’s done so well by the movie’s dozen or so talking heads, I won’t gloss the whole wonderful enigmatic phenomenon at great length myself, but here are a few thoughts…

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Robert Johnson

I can’t remember exactly when or where I first encountered the claim that Robert Johnson’s recordings were mistakenly cut at a higher speed, but with this video, you can at least hear what they sound like slowed down.

Here is Elijah Wald’s comprehensive take on the controversy.


Baden Powell and Marcia Sousa

Tempo de Amor  – the music is dripping off of their fingers.


Record(dvd) Of The Year – Bird On A Wire

Here’s Leap In The Dark’s review of my favorite record (well, dvd) of the year – Tony Palmer’s long-lost documentary of Leonard Cohen’s 1972 European tour Bird On A Wire. An honorable mention  goes to Leonard’s other 70’s concert film  Live at the Isle of Wight 1970, Leonard’s complete Isle of Wight set filmed by Murray Lerner who also directed Message to Love the must-see movie of 1970’s Isle of Wight Festival featuring Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, Joni Mitchell, Kris Kristofferson, The Moody Blues, Free, ELP and many others.


The Fieros

Pick up some new moves from this great new Fieros video. (I’m partial to the karate-chop myself…)

— CL

The Dust Blows Forwards And The Dust Blows Back

Mojo Magazine compiled 13 video reasons to demonstrate why we all love Captain Beefheart (and the Magic Band!).


It’s So Hard To Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best

Dangerous Minds posted this story on one of Vampire Blues’ favorite singers, Karen Dalton. Karen is mentioned as one of Bob Dylan’s favorite folk singers in Dylan’s Chronicles. Karen died tragically at the age of 55 in 1993 but you can still hear her sing and play on her two albums ‘In My Own Time’ and ‘It’s So Hard To Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best’.