Morrissey turned 54 today. In celebration of this, someone has had a robot read his life story as written in Wikipedia. (Thanks to John for this bit of weirdness.)
Entries in Music History (1385)
This email arrive from Stefano today:
I just returned from a two week vacation in Israel where we traveled to the north then to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and south of Tel Aviv and throughout our travels I noticed a musical theme and that is that the popular music in Israel is the stuff from the 60's and 70's.
I heard a lot of Beatles being played, the old stuff like "Can't Buy Me Love." I also heard a bit of the Beach Boys and stuff like "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree." I don't even know who sings that one but we heard a lot of that genre of music.
My question for you to ponder if you like, is why, in a country that is so technologically advanced, are they listening to music that is 40 or 50 years old?
Great question. Here's what I wrote back.
Great question about the bad taste in old music in Israel (well, as far as someone from Canada may be concerned.) I'm in Singapore right now and their taste is even worse. They seem completely frozen in the 80s--and the BAD 80s. Rick Astley. Tiffany. Billy Ocean. Whitney Houston. If they wanna rock, it's Huey Lewis and the News--and even that's pushing it.
The best I can figure is that it's a matter of cultural, social, religious and political differences. There are many parts of the world that have almost zero experience with what we'd call "classic rock heritage." If the society didn't grow up with the Stones, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, etc., their development vis a vis the rest of the world becomes...well, stunted--at least compared to what we're familiar with in Canada, the US, the UK and other territories.
Here in Singapore and other areas of SE Asia, rock never had much of a change to penetrate society because of the aforementioned cultural, social, religious and political conditions. They're trying to catch up but unless you have millions of people who actually LIVED through the Elvis/Buddy Holly/Beatles/Stones/Zeppelin/Etc eras, you're going to end up with something different.
Technological progress has nothing to do with it. There's a lot more than that when it comes to divining a particular society's musical preferences.
Anyone want to weigh in on this theory?
Great story about Richard Wagner, the classical composer. This is from The Guardian:
Reports may seem far-fetched that a German production of Richard Wagner's Tannhäuser, feted as a highlight of the 200th-anniversary celebrations of his birth this month, have taken such a heavy psychological toll on members of the Düsseldorf audience that some have needed medical attention.
But in his day, the German composer was held responsible for a lot more than fainting and heart palpitations: his works were viewed as a threat not only to the health of musicians and listeners but also to any society that was trying to uphold order.
"No musician's music was seen as such a potentially dangerous stimulant as Wagner's," says James Kennaway, a historian specialising in music and medicine. "While the Nazis famously saw him as a model of musical health, at no time before or since the 1800s has one figure so dominated the debate on music as a pathogen as Wagner."
Continue reading. Thanks to John for the link.
But answer me this: who was the first Canadian band to perform a netcast?
A couple of weeks ago at the KOI CON music business conference in Kitchener, I ran into Ian Graham and he told me his story:
The date was October 3rd, 1996 when Eye Rhyme did the first "Live to Internet" broadcast by a Canadian indie band. It was to promote the release of our second CD Soul.
At that time, I could see how the internet was going to revolutionize band promotion and the audience's they could reach with a simple website. But I wanted to test the limits and push the possibilities of doing a live performance to anyone with a computer and internet access.
One day while Joe was in Madrid, Joe Strummer parked his car. When it was time to leave wherever he was, he couldn't find it. It wasn't stolen; Joe had just forgotten where he parked it. If this isn't a theme for a rock'n'roll movie, nothing is.
Read more at The Guardian. (Thanks, John!)