Is it Yatch Rock? Or Nyacht?
She wrote an email posing as him, turning down a $50,000-a-year scholarship so that he wouldn’t leave
In 1989 McDonald’s ran the biggest flexi-disc promotion ever, sending out 80 million discs (playing the “Menu Song”) as inserts in newspapers all over the country. A very special copy of this record was almost burned to heat a family home in Galax, Virginia. Instead, it ended up winning the homeowner a million dollars.
This seems to be a micrososm of the new American story in a post-80’s culture: People scraping by in hopes of a big pay day that will save them all, but in the end it does more to ruin them.
Marble Machine built and composed by Martin Molin
Video filmed and edited by Hannes Knutsson
Costume designed by Angelique Nagtegaal
Revisionist History goes to Nashville to talk with Bobby Braddock, who has written more sad songs than almost anyone else. What is it about music that makes us cry? And what sets country music apart?
Why country music makes you cry, and rock and roll doesn't: A musical interpretation of divided America.
Beauty and authenticity can create a mood. They set the stage, but I think the thing that pushes us over the top into tears is details. We cry when melancholy collides with specificity.
He then goes on into a nice example about the Rolling Stones’ Wild Horses:
And specificity is not something that every genre does well.
This reminds me of a great quote in Made to Stick from Mother Theresa about specificity.
Mother Teresa once said, “If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.”
There’s something very interesting about this idea of specificity and its uses in creating both ideas as well as storytelling and creating emotion.
There is one related old country music joke I’m surprised not to have seen mentioned here, possibly for length, tangential appropriateness, or perhaps because it’s so well known most may call it to mind. It plays off of the days of rock and roll when people played records backwards to find hidden (often satanic) messages.
Q: What do you get when you play a country music song backwards?
A: You get your job back, your wife back, your house back, and your dog back.
The episode finally rounds out with:
If you aren’t crying right now I can’t help you…
Thanks Malcolm, I was crying…
In 1984, Elvis Costello released what he would say later was his worst record: Goodbye Cruel World. Among the most discordant songs on the album was the forgettable “The Deportees Club.” But then, years later, Costello went back and re-recorded it as “Deportee,” and today it stands as one of his most sublime achievements.
“Hallelujah” is about the role that time and iteration play in the production of genius, and how some of the most memorable works of art had modest and undistinguished births.
The bigger idea here of immediate genius versus “slow cooked” genius is the fun one to contemplate. I’ve previously heard stories about Mozart’s composing involved his working things out in his head and then later putting them on paper much the same way that a “cow pees” (i.e. all in one quick go or a fast flood.)
Another interesting thing I find here is the insanely small probability that the chain of events that makes the song popular actually happens. It seems worthwhile to look at the statistical mechanics of the production of genius. Perhaps applying Ridley’s concepts of “Ideas having sex” and Dawkin’s “meme theory” (aka selfish gene) could be interestingly useful. What does the state space of genius look like?
Hear a preview of Lost Notes, an anthology of some of the greatest music stories never truly told. Top journalists present stand-alone audio documentaries that highlight music’s head, heart and beat, with host Solomon Georgio as your guide.
An anthology of some of the greatest music stories never truly told.
This eight-part series includes a look at the FBI investigation into a classic rock anthem, unheard conversations with Captain Beefheart, a critical examination of New Edition’s basketball connection and the chronicle of a man plucked from Folsom Prison by Johnny Cash and thrust into country music stardom.
Wonderly – “The Daily” theme song
The Daily is the New York Times’ daily news podcast, hosted by Michael Barbaro. In this special edition of Song Exploder, composers Jim Brunberg & Ben Landsverk (aka Wonderly) break down how they composed the show’s theme song. You can listen on the New York Times website at nytimes.com/dailysong, or below:
footnotes:Theme to HBO’s Westworld, by composer Ramin Djawadi (hear his Song Exploder episode on Game of Thrones’ theme song here)
In first episode of "What Makes this Song Great?" we look at one of the biggest hits of the late 90's by Blink 182.
Last night I had dinner at a local restaurant that happened to have a playlist on of great songs from my high school years.
Data drawn from Spotify listeners reveal that we are all teenagers in love.
As a nationally ranked runner and an Olympic hopeful, Delilah DiCrescenzo is used to being chased — but by other athletes, not by pop singers from Chicago. But, she said on Wednesday, she doesn’t mind the attention the chase has brought her. “What I really hope through all of this is that it spotlights track and field, and it gives the sport a face, which is really important to us athletes i
Sung at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" is the most-recorded gospel song ever. NPR's Linda Wertheimer speaks with Dr. Michael Harris, a professor of history at Union Theological Seminary, who has written extensively about the song's author, gospel musician Thomas Andrew Dorsey. NPR 100 Fact Sheet: Artist: Words/music by Thomas A. Dorsey; Interviewees: Michael Harris, Union Theological Seminary; Recordings Used: Take My Hand Precious Lord, Mahalia Jackson