"For years, you had to be a bit trepidatious about saying you liked Magical Mystery Tour. It was the same thing as Carry On films and spaghetti westerns being regarded with absolute contempt – whereas they're now seen as masterpieces. To say you liked Magical Mystery Tour was almost an indication that there was something wrong with you. It's taken all this time for it to be reassessed." —The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour—the hour-long film they made for British television, not the album of the same name—is finally available on Blu-Ray and DVD. I am not sure that "masterpiece" is exactly the right word, but you [...]
Here you will find a roll of toilet paper The Beatles declined to wipe their own bottoms with.
You know you're really late to the party when you learn about a new trend in youth culture from the Times' Sunday Styles section. Sadly, that's what happened this weekend when I read Guy Trebay's article on "jerking," a new dance craze that's apparently burst out of Los Angeles via the internet. On the upside, the new knowledge answered a question I'd been asking my television machine for the past few weeks. This was: What is that spastic karate-chop shit the crazy-haired girl in those "All You Need is Love" Blackberry commercial is practicing in front of her bedroom mirror?
Elvis may have been a hero to most, but he hasn't had a new album in over thirty years. And now, somehow appropriate during this week of full blown race war, Jay-Z has just displaced him as the American artist, and the solo artist, with the most no. 1 albums on Billboard's Top 200 albums chart, ever. Jay-Z is black. Elvis, who died in 1977, was actually white.
The people who were young and fell in love and started out on their life's journey when the Beatles began, who marked the tentative forays into adulthood to the music of the band and who saw each subsequent step soundtracked to their songs will all be dead soon and then this will just be the sonic residue of the past. Everything you listen to now will similarly someday be the music young people hear with an academic ear and the detachment brought about by distance. No matter how crucial what happens today might seem, come tomorrow none of it will mean anything. We're all meaningless specks of dust being [...]
In eighth grade, Mary liked Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily liked Paul McCartney, and I liked Gavin Rossdale. We probably didn't say liked, though, or even loved. We were obsessed, we were crazy, we swooned, we fantasized. We liked the mall, and love was a word for grandmothers on the telephone: they loved us, they hoped to see us soon. The feelings we had were much more gigantic and upsetting. Crush was good. It implied force, and pain, and the possibility that we might not make it out the other side intact.
At the time, I was pretty sure I had every picture of Gavin Rossdale ever published taped [...]
The great Wu-Tang Clan rapper Raekwon releases his next solo album next month. Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang, it's called, the follow-up to 2009's terrific Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2. Some of the new music sounds good. The latest song to leak, "Rock n' Roll," which features Rae's frequent collaborator Ghostface Killah, the singer Kobe, and Jim Jones of the Diplomats, sounds less so, to my curmudgeonly autotune-averse ears. But it's interesting to look at which rock n' rollers get namechecked in the lyrics. Not necessarily ones you might expect. For instance, Raekwon's first shout goes out to Willie Nelson.
10 Songs About Drugs In Ascending Order Of Their Dangerousness To People Who Use Them And Society As A Whole
So Britain's NME reports that Kanye West is going to an ashram in Pondicherry (such a pretty name for a city, and one that would also make a nice title for a slack dancehall tune) for a month of meditative recuperation after his embarrassing outburst at last month's MTV Video Awards. (Did you happen to hear about that?) This could be very good.
Last week we noted the great many parodies that have been made over the years of The Beatles' Abbey Road album cover. But as you know, The Beatles have an even more famous album, with an even more famous cover image, that has been copied even more extensively than Abbey Road.
Were there other famous people attached at one point or another to adaptations of the J.R.R. Tolkien stories? There were! In fact, several non-Peter Jackson hobbit movies have already been made. You may have even seen some of them, when you were a little child, or when you were smoking marijuana "hobbit weed" and looking at videos on the Internet this very afternoon!
If you have kids and/or once enjoyed the indoor sport of Dungeons & Dragons, then you will probably go see The Hobbit next weekend. But what if Magneto and that guy from The Office weren't in the movie, then what? Other people would [...]
Poor Brian Johnson! Even though he is in part responsible for the second best-selling album of all time, he will still be, to a certain set, "not Bon Scott." But you know what? I bet he's made his peace with it. Also, he is probably not actually poor. Anyway, happy birthday Brian Johnson. Is it terrible of me to admit that this is my favorite song of AC/DC's not Bon Scott era? Probably. (Also of note: Both Dr. No, the first real Bond movie, and "Love Me Do," the first Beatles single, were both released today fifty years ago.)
Crazy technologist Anil Dash likes to talk about the end of the canon, as it applies to everything from Lady Gaga remixes to forked software on GitHub. Meaning: Increasingly we experience slightly different versions of the same thing. There is no more canonical version.
This is especially true of media. My favorite version of “Paper Planes” may be different than yours. (Yours sucks.) You’re rocking the DFA remix and I’m all about the Afrikan Boy & Rye Rye version. Even live media events are fractured, splintered through the lens of FoxNews or MSNBC or Autotune the News. It takes something huge to crash [...]
A Harris survey of some 2,320 adult Americans has deduced that the sorta-goofy Québecois singer Céline Dion is the most beloved warbler among the residents of this country. Sure, her last album barely scraped the one-million-sold mark, but her defiantly dorky charm and tendencies toward smacking herself in the chest — not to mention that song from Titanic — apparently continue to resonate with people who aren't afraid to get out the vote… online. She has another three-year residency in Vegas coming up in 2011, and the people at Harris have helpfully broken out the demographic groups that its Facebook ads should target tout de suite:
Lucy Vodden, the inspiration behind the Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," has died from lupus at the age of 46. Julian Lennon, then 4 years old, came home from school with a drawing one day, showed it to his father, and said it was "Lucy in the sky with diamonds."… The elder Lennon seized on the image and developed it into what is widely regarded as a psychedelic masterpiece, replete with haunting images of "newspaper taxis" and a "girl with kaleidoscope eyes."
This AP article from June discusses Vodden's illness and how she and Lennon reconnected when he learned about it.
It was 40 years ago tomorrow that photographer Iain MacMillan took the picture of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road outside Abbey Road studios that would be used for the cover of their final studio album, called, uh, Abbey Road. It has since become one of the most enduring images in rock-music history. Am I Right has collected 63 covers from other artists parodying the original, and the BBC is running a nice little segment about the endless stream of tourists who stop traffic to take their own pictures on the very crosswalk trod upon by Paul's bare feet-a place that now has a webcam monitoring the [...]