Dedicated to classics and hits.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wallich's Music City Los Angeles CA

Wallich's Music City Los Angeles, CA.

Irving Berlin's 9 Rules for Successful Songwriting

1. The melody must be within the average voice of the average singer.
2. The title must be planted throughout the song via use of repetition.
3.  The idea and lyric must be appropriate for both that both will want to sing it.
4.  The song should contain 'heart interest'(pathos) even for a comic song.
5.  The song must be original... success is not imitating the hit song of the moment.
6. Your lyric must deal with ideas, objects or emotions known to everyone.
7.  The lyric must be euphonious: simple and pleasing to the ear.
8.  Your song must be perfectly simple.
9.  The songwriter must look upon his work as a business.

 American Magazine, October 1920.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Aesthetics of Popular Music

  I'm not sure if this is a cut and paste job or whether there is some brilliant anonymous author behind it, and the underlying blog, but this blog post on the aesthetics of popular music is first rate.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Interaction Rituals of Intellectuals

    The distinctive Interaction Rituals of intellectuals are those occasions on which intellectuals come together for the sake of their serious talk: not to socialize, nor to be practical.  Intellectuals set themselves apart from other networks of social life in the act of turning toward one another.  The discussion, the lecture, the argument, sometimes the demonstration or the examination of evidence: these are the concrete activities from which the sacred object “truth” arises….
    The basic form of intellectual communities has remained much the same for over two thousand years.  Key intellectuals cluster in groups in the 1900s much as in the 400b.c.e.  The personal contacts between eminent teaches and later to be eminent students make up the same kinds of chains across the generations.  And this is so even though communications technology has become increasingly available, and the numbers of intellectuals have increased enormously from on the order of hundreds in Confucius’ China, to the million scientists and scholars publishing today….
       Intellectual discourse focuses implicitly on its autonomy from external concerns and its reflexive awareness…
    .This, then, is the intellectual ritual.  Intellectuals gather, focus their attention for a time on one of their members, who delivers a sustained discourse. That discourse itself builds on elements from the past, affirming and continuing or negating.  Old sacred objects, previously charged up, are recharged with attention, or degraded from their sacredness and expelled from the life of the community; new candidate sacred objects are offered for sanctification.  By reference to texts past and texts future, the intellectual community keeps up the consciousness of its projects, transcending all particular occasions on which they were enacted.  Hence the peculiar guiding sacred object- truth, wisdom, sometimes the activity of seeking or research—as both eternal and embodied in the flow of time.

    Collins, Randall 1998.  Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change Cambridge: Belkap/Harvard University Press

Movie Review: Soul Power *Zaire 74*

   When We Were Kings is a 1996 documentary about the "Rumble in the Jungle," the 1974 heavy weight title fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire.  As it turns out, there was a big music festival held at the same time.  It was called Zaire '74: the headliner was James Brown.  Other performers included B.B. King, Bill Withers as well as some stand out numbers from African artists  Miriam MakebaTPOK Jazz, and Tabu Ley Rochereau.  The concert promoters, a "Liberian Business Group" hired a first rate documentary crew- this movie looks great- and then the "Liberian Business Group" ran into "serious legal issues" and the footage sat on the shelf for three decades- until 2008, apparently. when the guy who made When We Were Kings finally got this footage released as Soul Power.

  This movie had a low over all rating on netflix of 3.3 which seems really, really low... I mean When We Were Kings was a big deal and this is like a lost classic of the 60s/70s era rock festival concert films.  Think um WOODSTOCK?  FYI- did you know that Netflix has 31 listed pages of Rockumentaries?  The fact that this movie didn't come out for 30 years doesn't effect the underlying merit of the films.  Don't people recognize a five star rockumentary when they see one?  I guess not.

   Just watch the part with the representative of the Liberian Business Group- a guy who looks kind of like me actually, reacts to the fact that President Mobuto unilaterally advanced the start date of the concert one day.  He gets super pissed off about it, ultimately realizing that there isn't a damn thing he can do.

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