Studies indicate that, while 17 percent of us believe weâ€™re tone deaf, only 4 percent of people actually have amusia, the oddly inappropriate technical term for a condition that only the mean-spirited would consider amusing. Perhaps the Zimbabweans have it right with the proverb, â€œIf you can walk you can dance. If you can talk you can sing.â€
Rate it? How can I rate that?
What am I supposed to say to that? Thatâ€™s ridiculous. You see the way they can fuck up music? Itâ€™s a mismatch. They donâ€™t complement each other. Max and Mingus can play together, by themselves. Mingus is a hell of a bass player, and Max is a hell of a drummer. But Duke canâ€™t play with them, and they canâ€™t play with Duke.
Now, how are you going to give a thing like that some stars? Record companies should be kicked in the ass. Somebody should take a picket sign and picket the record company.
Five stars is real good? Itâ€™s just good, no more. Give it three.
As for Gilberto, he could read a newspaper and sound good! Iâ€™ll give that one five stars.
GZA isnâ€™t just relying on his lyrics and music to convey his love of science; the album may also come with an illustrated book featuring a glossary of terms. Nor is he stopping with space. The next album in the series is going to be about oceans. With any luck, the third will be about fuckinâ€™ magnets and how they work.
From August of 1999 (via Stellar), a profile of Ray Manzella, something of a blonde-maker. He helped make Vanna White, Jenny McCarthy, and Pamela Anderson stars. The article mentions 3 women he thinks will be stars. I'd never heard of any of them, but according to Google, two of the three have had fairly successful careers (and one is married to baseball player Scott Podsednik). The other one doesn't seem to have a Google record at all.
Ray's a very handsome man. When people meet him, they often try to guess which movie star he looks like-Roy Scheider, Michael Douglas, Ted Danson, George Hamilton? Maybe that's why this feels so innocent, so wholesome, like he's just cheering on the team. He beams down at the photos. Any one of them might be the next Vanna, the next Pamela, the next Jenny, the next perfect Ray Manzella hybrid that becomes not just an actress but an icon you can cross-promote from movies to books to dolls to toothpaste to infomercials. They sold a million Vanna White dolls on the Home Shopping Network-a million dolls! "These girls jump off the page," he says. "They're channelstoppers, every one of them. If all three make it, it wouldn't surprise me. If not, I'm gonna quit the business."
In March, John Seabrook wrote about Rihanna's song making team in the New Yorker, really about pop music in general. There's a TON of interesting stuff in this story.
Most of the songs played on Top Forty radio are collaborations between producers like Stargate and â€œtop lineâ€ writers like Ester Dean. The producers compose the chord progressions, program the beats, and arrange the â€œsynths,â€ or computer-made instrumental sounds; the top-liners come up with primary melodies, lyrics, and the all-important hooks, the ear-friendly musical phrases that lock you into the song. â€œItâ€™s not enough to have one hook anymore,â€ Jay Brown, the president of Roc Nation, and Deanâ€™s manager, told me recently. â€œYouâ€™ve got to have a hook in the intro, a hook in the pre-chorus, a hook in the chorus, and a hook in the bridge.â€ The reason, he explained, is that â€œpeople on average give a song seven seconds on the radio before they change the channel, and you got to hook them.â€
The top-liner is usually a singer, too, and often provides the vocal for the demo, a working draft of the song. If the song is for a particular artist, the top-liner may sing the demo in that artistâ€™s style. Sometimes producers send out tracks to more than one top-line writer, which can cause problems. In 2009, both BeyoncÃ© and Kelly Clarkson had hits (BeyoncÃ©â€™s â€œHalo,â€ which charted in April, and Clarksonâ€™s â€œAlready Gone,â€ which charted in August) that were created from the same track, by Ryan Tedder. Clarkson wrote her own top line, while BeyoncÃ© shared a credit with Evan Bogart. Tedder had neglected to tell the artists that he was double-dipping, and when Clarkson heard â€œHaloâ€ and realized what had happened she tried to stop â€œAlready Goneâ€ from being released as a single, because she feared the public would think she had copied BeyoncÃ©â€™s hit. But nobody cared, or perhaps even noticed; â€œAlready Goneâ€ became just as big a hit.
I was curious to see the response, but support from other bands, GLAAD, and fans was quickly announced. The only negative comments I saw were on St.Augustine.com, a website from Gabel's hometown.
This is an uncomfortable blog post to write. Against Me! was my favorite band for a couple years, so I wasâ€¦ I guess invested in the story. But talking about it with friends, I was self-conscious about the words I used. I didn't want to call it weird or crazy because of the negative connotations of those words, but I also didn't know what other words to use. Even in this post, I'm consciously trying to rework sentences to avoid having to use gendered pronouns. And I fully realize this discomfort doesn't even rate on the scale of discomfort Grace has gone through in her life.
Here's an open letter in the Guardian from "just another transsexual on the internet."
All transitions are brave alike, but public transitions are each brave in their own unique way. I won't lie, this is going to be hard â€“ and it's even harder to do it in the spotlight of public opinion. But the opposite would have been hard too, you know. There are things I accomplished in my pre-transition life that now I find myself reticent to talk about, afraid to bring more complication into a life grown already more complicated than I ever thought possible.
Here's an interview with the story's writer, Josh Eells, who admirably handled a difficult and important story. Eells deftly helped illustrate the story by switching pronoun usage from he to she to mark the timeline of the interviews first with Gabel in NY, then with Gabel in Florida, and finally with Grace in Florida.
Do you know why she wanted to reveal this in such a hugely public way?
I'm not sure why she wanted to do it in exactly this way, but I think she wanted to not have a thousand conversations with people. This was a way to push herself a little. She said that so many times she'd make a goal to tell her wife Heather or the band, and she'd make excuses and put it off. This was setting up a deadline for herself. She knew this would come out at the beginning of May. Also, she just wanted to have something she could point people towards. Instead of having people e-mail and call over and over, she could just say, "This article explains everything and after that we can talk." It was a good way to get the news out all at once.
Lastly, Against Me! fronted by Laura Grace debuted last week as the opening act on The Cult's summer tour (they still tour?!). It's a good crowd to play in front of to get their feet wet, a mix of people who don't know anything about them, and diehard fans willing to pay full price to see their favorite band in a 40 minute opening set.
I'm glad things with the announcement seem to have gone well so far, there must be a sense of relief at not having to hide herself anymore. As the highest profile musician (person?) to come out as trans, it's an incredibly brave step she took. Hopefully her announcement will broaden the conversation around transgender issues and make it just a sliver easier for other people in similar situations. It's an important story, at least take a look at the article.
In turn, that's seen 40 per cent of the world's current stock of vanillaâ€”around 1,000 tonnesâ€”shipped out of Madagascar recently, and as a result the markets have gone crazy. After six years hovering at around $25 per kilo, the price has jumped to $40 in single day.
A bunch of Redditors talk about how they became rich. (via Stellar)
What I've learned/realized:
Acquire an education, secure a stream of income, put it to work intelligently, and live with self-control.
Don't get divorced.
Never trust your business partners; never treat them like you don't trust them.
A demographic historian has determined the death toll in the Civil War is 20% higher, 130K people, than the currently agreed upon estimate. (via @davidg)
He counted the number of native-born white men of military age in 1860 and determined how many of that group were still alive in 1870. He compared that survival rate with the survival rates of the men of the same ages from 1850-1860, and from 1870-1880 - the 10-year census periods before and after the Civil War...He controlled for other demographic assumptions, including mortality rates of foreign-born soldiers, added the relatively small number of black soldiers killed, and compared the numbers with the rates of female survival over the same periods.
Here's an interview with H.R. of Bad Brains.
The New York Times has a writer live like a billionaire for a day because that IS IMPORTANT NEWS.
After breakfast, I rush back to the car for a high-speed trip to Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, where Iâ€™m meeting a real-life billionaire for a trip on his private jet. The billionaire, a hedge fund manager, was scheduled to go down to Georgia and offered to let me interview him during the two-hour jaunt on the condition that I not reveal his identity.
If you listen to the radio today, many of these brand new, so-called heavy metal music bands like Black Sabbath, Venom, The WASP and Iron Maiden use satanic imagery to corrupt the minds of young people.
-Fake Rick Santorum declares fake war on heavy metal in a satirical blog post from last week that is much funnier after Megadeth singer endorsed Santorum today.
KT from Color Me Badd vociferously rejects reports of lip syncing at their recent Boston-area appearance in Malden while calling accuser fat. Stay classy, KT from Color Me Badd!
The other surprise from this is that the woman from 4NonBlondes wrote Pink's entire album.
My favorite of these all time is that Young MC wrote most of Tone Loc's album, including Wild Thing and Funky Cold Medina, but that's probably just because I love Young MC.