Over at Riff Magazine, my old pal David Gill looks back at the birth of distortion and its position as "central to rock and roll as the sex and the drugs." From Riff:
In March 1951, a 19-year-old Ike Turner was recording his saxophonist Jackie Breston’s song “Rocket 88,” an ode to the Oldsmobile 88 (and later inspiration for Public Enemy’s “You’re Gonna Get Yours”). (Listen above.) Turner played his guitar loud, so loud, in fact, that his amplifier couldn’t handle it. The resulting distortion is the stuff of legend in the fable of rock and roll, giving voice to the intensity of the times.
The 1950s in America were the best of times and the worst of times. A victory in World War II and the spoils that came with it led to a baby boom, sprawling suburbia, rising standards of living, and a new thriving middle class, while at the same time racism, sexism and economic exploitation lingered in this landscape of opportunity. America also clung to its puritanical origins, cultivating a Victoria-era disdain for exuberance and physicality into a repressed and buttoned-down society that mocked, scorned and punished deviation from the norm.
As the 1950s progressed, the rising wave of progressive hedonism embodied by the new musical phenomenon of rock and roll crashed on the limitations of American culture. That tension is evident in Turner’s guitar tones, in its refusal to obey or to conform.
"Professor Music: Like ‘This is Spinal Tap,’ this column goes to 11" (Riff)
The Ramones promoting “Ramones Mania (The Best Of 1976-1988)” on “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” in 1988. “Who writes these songs, ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ and ‘Teenage Lobotomy?’ Do you guys write them? Can you give me the lyrics to ‘Teenage Lobotomy?” Just talk them…”
Neuhaus.world is a music video for Rotterdam artist Jo Goes Hunting in which the hyperdelic landscape in the video is generated by photos contributed by visitors to the site. “The video is made by Moniker in conjunction with Neuhaus, a temporary academy for more-than-human knowledge at Het Nieuwe Instituut.” Neuhaus.world (via Waxy)
Fran Blanche explains “the greatest effect ever created” in the recording studio: plate echo. Get out your good headphones and prepare to experience the awesome sound of plate echo through this 1980 vintage Ecoplate II! Thanks for watching and enjoy!
From your apartment door to your bike lock, it’s not uncommon to carry a number of different keys on your keyring, but that doesn’t make it any more bearable when you’re fussing to find the right one or deal with the infamous pocket bulge. The KeySmart Pro’s smart design cuts down on key clutter and […]
Happy DNA Day! April 25 is a day to recognize deoxyribonucleic acid – better known as the molecule that holds the code to our entire genetic makeup. What better way to celebrate than with a complete ancestry test that’s about more than just satisfying idle curiosity about your family tree? The lab techs at Vitagene use […]
For musicians, clubgoers or anyone in the thick of a loud environment, earplugs aren’t just an option. If you plan on keeping your hearing through sustained exposure to levels over 85 decibels (roughly the sound of a blender), they’re a must. The good news is, most earplugs will muffle the sound. The bad news is, […]