Album Covers of the 1980s
1. This record (with the band name blocked out) has two distinctions: it is the first rock album I ever owned, and it has one of the worst covers of all time. Where did the band who recorded this album come from?
2. The band, the album name, and at least two radio hits.
4. What is the band and the name of the album?
5. Both of these album covers were painted by the same American folk artist. Who was it?
Either record your answers in the form of a pop song and send them to me as an .mp3, or leave them in the comments.
I'm Famous!! I'm Famous!!!
Many thanks to frequent commentor "d" for the shout-out in his "mishaps, mayhem and merriment." Made my weekend, it did.
This is as Dark as it Gets, in a Way
I'm happy to inform you that today, Monday the 10th, has the earliest sunset of the year! From here on out, you are only going to have more light after work.
Now, some of you are saying, like "Dude! No way! Solstice is on the 21st." And indeed you are correct. As the sunset starts getting a tiny bit later every day, the sunrise is still getting a minute or two later for a few more weeks. The later sunrise will outpace the later sunset until the 21st, after which the sunrise will be getting later faster than the sunset, and the net length of daylight will start to grow again. By around New Year's Day, we'll have the latest sunrise, after which the day will get longer on both ends.
Countdown to Beethoven's Birthday:
Beethoven's Third Symphony (The "Eroica")
OK, think of Beethoven like you think of the Beatles. Both were producing their music during a period of extremely rapid social change. The body of work left by both shows an incredibly rapid evolution, reflecting the pace of that change. Both were of course highly influential, as well, helping to push forward the changes that were happening in contemporary music.
If you've been following along with this project, you've still got the sounds of the First and Second bouncing around in your head. You're going to immediately notice that the Third is bigger, louder, much longer, and with much more extreme contrasts of tone and mood. The famous opening melody seems straightforward for a few seconds, and then wanders off in an odd direction that no one at the time would have expected. These quirks will probably seem quite noticeable to you; to the listeners of 1804, it simply blew their classical Vienese minds. Some of 'em loved it, some hated it, but everybody recognized it as really crazy stuff. This music was radically new. If the Second was Beethoven's "I Want to Hold Your Hand" -- a successful but reasonably conservative incarnation of contemporary music trends -- the Third is more of an Abbey Road sort of deal.
Think of when the Third was written. The French Revolution has overthrown the ancien regime. You've had the Terror with its mass executions, and then a charismatic Napolean Bonaparte seemed to have ushered in a post-monarchist utopia, but then he crowned himself emporer and things got ugly. Politically and socially, Europe is writhing through the most extreme kind of social change. That's what it behind these crazy new sounds.
Apparently Beethoven originally dedicated the Third to Napolean, but then tore up the title page in a rage when he declared himself emporer. The old order is falling apart; Beethoven's Third ushers in the new.