Music

Discussion Sunday, October 3 at 4:00 pm EST

Stack of vinyl long playing records with Willie Nelson’s ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’ lying on top of a Hi-Fi System record deck in a music room

Jessica Lee McMillan presented The Riff’s Album of the Month Club, Gorillaz ‘Demon Days’, to a jury of her peers on Sunday 12 September. And what a fine job she made of it.

Album of the Month reminds me of the 1960s UK 30 minute TV pop-music show called Juke Box Jury (a concept stolen from a 1950s American TV show of the same name). A panel made up of celebrities — actors, sports personalities, and singers — listened to the latest record releases. They discussed the merits of the song and voted it either a Hit or a Miss…


Part Two of the Worst best Album series

Subjectively speaking

First, I want to clarify that the Best Album of the year list I’m using — found here — compiles sales figures taken from Cash Box and Billboard magazines, among others, so that this Best List is actually according to sales and not critics.

This isn’t exactly The People’s Choice Awards, but it’s also not The Village Voice’s old Pazz and Jop Poll, either.

And again, this is all in fun, totally arbitrary and subjective, just as if I tried to argue with you that not only is Santana 3 a better record than Santana Abraxas, but that you should…


Music

Where 1991 all started

Like many cities in the midwest, Madison Wisconsin is undetgong something of a metamorphosis.

Abandoned factories and other artifacts of a bygone manufacturing era are giving way to formulaic — if aesthetically pleasing- “mixed-use” buildings. And nowhere in the city is this upheaval more prevalent than on East Washington Avenue (“East Wash” to locals).

An arterial that once had used car lots, appliance repair places, and glass factories running most of its length, the area now features higher-end restaurants, a grocery store, and even a beautifully refurnished soccer stadium.

In the midst of this push for modernity sits a reminder…


On August 10th and 11th, 1996, Oasis played to 250,000 people at Knebworth Park. As an iconic, definitive moment of the ’90s, the show was absolutely deserving of its own full-length film. Previous Oasis documentaries have touched on Knebworth in the past, but it always seemed like there was more to tell and this one promised to deliver the full story:

“The landmark concerts sold out in under a day with over 2% of the UK population attempting to buy tickets. This was a time when the UK was slowly recovering from a decade of recession. …


It was far more than raw talent

The Beatles and a turntable

The first moon landing, the Sept 11th attack, and the fall of the Berlin Wall; some historic moments stay with you forever and you remember exactly what you were doing when they happened.

The Beatles provided many historic moments. For Americans, it was their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964. In the UK, that first major Beatles historical event happened on 4th November 1963. The Beatles were appearing live on the Royal Variety Performance in London in front of the Queen Mother. They weren’t even top of the bill.

Just before launching into the final song of their…


A conversation about his final solo album, ‘Gratitude Blues’

I interviewed Nelson Bragg earlier this year, upon the release of his single, “I Want Love.” His third and final solo album, Gratitude Blues, will be available from Steel Derrick Music on September 30.

Welcome back! And congrats on your new album, Gratitude Blues. First of all, that’s a great title. Where did it come from?

Hi Steve! Thanks very much!

So, I’ve been aware of the use of the word “blues” in non-sad, non-blues song contexts for a long time, Neil Young’s “Vampire Blues,” Lucinda Williams’ album Happy Girl Blues, and countless others. I love the sound of it…


Remembering musician and director Melvin Van Peebles, 21 August 1932–21 September 2021.

Melvin Van Peebles died at at his home in Manhattan on Tuesday, he was 89. The musician and director was perhaps best known for his film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. Van Peebles not only wrote and directed the feature, but created the soundtrack which reached #13 on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart. Later, Van Peebles explained how he wrote the album with an unknown group called Earth, Wind & Fire.

“They’d never done an album before. …


Let go of the need to be distracted by music when you hustle.

Have you ever annoyed people with loud music? You’re not alone. If you communicate assertively, reducing the loudness will improve your relationship with the second person because music is like social circles. It’s hard to change your preference in a split second.

If you’re not an audio engineer and just a user of an OTT platform to stream music on your device, you’ll experience broadly two types of music:

  • Instrumental music
  • Lyrical music

As I’ve stated in the subtitle of this article, this article is for you if you find instrumental music to be trash, and all you want is…


Seeing the Renaissance Man Before He Blew Up

Post-Graduation Summer

It was the summer after high school graduation. The world was our oyster. The endless possibility associated with youth was in the air. The triumph of graduation exasperated this feeling. One of the first things my friend group wanted to do that summer was to see Childish Gambino live. He was having a show in Central Park.

This was our first time at Summer Stage together. On the day of the show, we met up at the train station and made our way to NYC.

On the train, we mused about Gambino’s debut album, Camp, and the potential songs he…


Down a rabbit hole, I go…

Dammit Will Hull. Where do I begin with this prompt?
I speak and text in lyrics. I can’t choose only a few. Off I go…

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose,
Nothin’, it ain’t nothin’ honey, if it ain’t free.
-
Janis Joplin, Me and Bobby McGee

Kris Kristofferson wrote it, but Janis SANG it beautifully, didn’t she? Her voice has the power to dive into my soul with every single line. It’s true that the best things in life are free; nature, love, music, poetry, etc.

Moving on to the band that stormed into my life in…

The Riff

A new publication on music and how it’s impacting our lives ❤

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