The Joy of the Guitar Riff

Duration: 1 hour / The guitar riff is the DNA of rock ‘n’ roll, a double helix of repetitive simplicity and fiendish complexity on which its history has been built. From Chuck Berry through to the White Stripes, this documentary traces the ebb and flow of the guitar riff over the last 60 years of […]

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The Supremes: how we made Baby Love

Dave Simpson writes: In the early days of Motown, it felt as if all the girl groups were having hits apart from us. The Marvelettes had Please Mr Postman; Martha and the Vandellas had Dancing in the Street. We were playing shows and people were going crazy, but in the office we were beginning to […]

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Two ways to get into Stockhausen’s head

Tom Service (The Guardian) writes: Continuing what’s become, I admit, something of a Stockhausen obsession over the last few weeks: news from Robert Worby – composer, sound artist, writer, and one of the presenters of Radio 3’s Hear and Now, the network’s bastion of new music on Saturday nights – about an exclusive broadcast he’ll […]

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30 songs banned by the BBC

Bessie Smith, Gimme a Pigfoot (And a Bottle of Beer) (1933) This raucous song of drinking and misbehaving was considered to have content not suitable to air. Billie Holiday, a long-time Smith fan, covered this song in 1949. 29 more HERE

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Vic Flick – new insights

HP Newquist writes: From James Bond to the Pink Panther. From London to Los Angeles. From Jimmy Page to Eric Clapton. This is the journey of Vic Flick, the man who created the guitar sound that launched a thousand spy movies. Flick was among the handful of top session guitarists in England during the early […]

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What are the best song intros of all time?

Hannah Jane Parkinson writes: It’s one of the most important elements of a piece of music; it can raise a good track to a great one, and a great one to a sublime one. If you hear the intro to a much-loved track in a club it’ll raise heartbeats and hands; if you’re drinking coffee […]

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A Hard Day’s Night: How The Beatles had Cliff Richard on the run

Andrew Roberts writes: In January 1963, British cinemagoers were enticed by posters claiming that, “It’s what happens when FOUR BOYS in a borrowed bus… (with built-in bunks and bath)… meet FOUR GIRLS with a single mission…MEN!!”. For a mere 1/9d,  the audience could see Summer Holiday – and vicariously experience the pleasures of sun and […]

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Why do pitches separated by an octave sound “the same”?

It starts: Why do we perceive an identity between all auditory frequencies related by powers of two? How did we arrive at the notion of pitch class, as opposed to absolute pitch? Is there some evolutionary reason for octave equivalency? Humans aren’t the only primates to possess it; rhesus monkeys do too. http://www.quora.com/Music-Theory/Why-do-pitches-separated-by-an-octave-sound-the-same

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Sounds that heal, sounds that harm …

Karen Stollznow writes: Pavarotti singing Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s Turandot can bring people to tears, but can the tenor’s voice heal too? Can sounds both cure and kill? Let’s investigate some claims about healing and harming sounds. Many people seem to think there’s something magical about human speech; for example, the belief that uttering spells […]

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The Clash – in high res

Alan Taffel (TheAbsolute Sound magazine) writes: In their heyday—roughly the late-70s to early 80s—the Clash, with typical insouciant bravado, dubbed themselves “The Most Important Rock Band in the World.” They may well have been right. No doubt the band staked that proclamation on its fervid and acute political soundings. Sure, the Sex Pistols could express […]

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From the archives: A Flamenco Master Is His Own Ensemble

“The breathtaking moments in Paco de Lucía’s sold-out concert on Saturday night came early and often. Presented by Carnegie Hall in conjunction with the World Music Institute and and the yearly Flamenco Festival, the evening showcased Mr. de Lucía, the flamenco guitar legend, with as many as six other musicians in various formations. But first […]

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