When I saw that the Who had recently performed a couple of classics on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon I immediately forwarded the link to Stephen Macaulay. Mac has a long history with the Who, dating back to seeing them at Cobo Hall in Detroit when he and the band were all scruffy young … Continue reading Who’s Left?
Back in 1558, Sir Thomas Gresham, who was the financial agent for Queen Elizabeth I, articulated what was to become known as “Gresham’s law.” The law has it that “bad money drives out good.” He was talking about physical currency. One way to think about this is to take a quarter out of your pocket … Continue reading Listening to Gresham’s Law
Western Electric invented the Model 500 telephone. That’s the telephone with a handset cradled on the top of the device and a rotary dial on the front. It is the telephone that is the pre-21st century dictionary image of what a “telephone” would look like. It brought the Model 500 out in 1950. The classic … Continue reading The Model 500 and the Physicality of Music
At about the midway point on his month-long tour, we saw Joe Jackson at the Michigan Theater this past Saturday night. It was probably the fourth time we’ve seen him. Some middle-aged fanboys in the row behind us were trying to top one another with shows they’d seen. One said the last time he saw … Continue reading Joe Jackson in Ann Arbor: Who Said Anything About Love?
Before there was Twitter providing consolidated, concentrated comments, we tried our hand at some haiku—17 syllables, 5/7/5—to make some observations on what was going on. It didn’t go anywhere. So given that everything that’s old is still old but can be tried again, here are three, based on Todd’s interview in Variety, the recurring death … Continue reading It’s Got a Good Beat (17 of them)
I have a place where dreams are born And time is never planned It’s not on any chart You must find it in your heart Neverland. It was 1972. My hair was long, my waist was thin and I had dark(ish) circles under my eyes from too many weekend nights spent drinking in a dive … Continue reading If Music Be the Food of Love, Get Off the Stage
I’ll be brief. I have to be. Otherwise you’ll stop reading. Perhaps you already have. A doctoral student at The Ohio State University, Hubert Léveillé Gauvin, has done a study (pdf, press release) on 303 U.S. top-10 singles from 1986 to 2015. He looked at five parameters: number of words in title, main tempo, time … Continue reading No Intro
Ray Davies is the latest British rocker to help design a Rolls-Royce.
Recently I was with a few people from southern California who had come to musical maturity in the ‘70s. I learned that there is a robust “tribute” or “cover” band scene there. One of the women I was with had been a backup singer in a Segar tribute band. It seems, she explained, that many … Continue reading To a Musician Not Dying Young
Jack White was born in Detroit. He went to Cass Tech High School, which numbers among its alum people including Diana Ross, Alice Coltrane, Donald Byrd, Kenny Burrell, and Regina Carter. Good company. Although White moved to Nashville, once a Detroiter, always a Detroiter. In 2001 White established Third Man Records. In Nashville. But what … Continue reading Jack White in Detroit