The time when Apple profits went to a massive rock event: The 1982 US Festival
Steve Wozniak, the other founder of Apple named Steve, has always been a major, major music fan. It was quite the three-day affair, too. Now, though, there’s a new documentary coming this week. It was a utopian sort of dream that ultimately failed but is still remembered as one of the more influential music events of the last century. The US Festival hasn’t been remembered as well as, say, Woodstock, Altamont, and a few others. In the early 80s, he decided to take some of the money he made from Apple Computers and plowed it into a massive festival in Southern California. Tom Petty, The Police, Fleetwood Mac, Santana, Santana and many more performed in front of about one million people–yes, it was that big–at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino. Check out this trailer.
Yes, dancing. People died, too. 500 years ago this summer, there was a plague of dancing.
According to reports, hundreds of people felt compelled to dance for no reason. Also known as the “dancing plague”, it was the most fatal and best documented of the more than ten such contagions which had broken out along the Rhine and Moselle rivers since 1374. Back in the summer of 1518–500 years ago this month–the French city of Strasbourg went crazy. These are not revellers but “choreomaniacs”, entirely possessed by the mania of the dance. From a distance they might be carnival revellers. Think of the craziest rave possible. In a hastily built stage before the busy horse market of Strasbourg, scores of people dance to pipes, drums, and horns. But closer inspection reveals a more disquieting scene. Numerous accounts of the bizarre events that unfolded that summer can be found scattered across various contemporary documents and chronicles compiled in the subsequent decades and centuries. The July sun beats down upon them as they hop from leg to leg, spin in circles and whoop loudly. You just gotta keep reading, right? Blood seeps from swollen feet into leather boots and wooden clogs. This affliction was called St Vitus’ dance.1
Another chronicle from 1636 relates a less happy ending:
In the year 1518 AD … there occurred among men a remarkable and terrible disease called St Vitus’ dance, in which men in their madness began to dance day and night until finally they fell down unconscious and succumbed to death.2
The physician and alchemist Paracelsus visited Strasbourg eight years after the plague and became fascinated by its causes. People danced in a trance for days until they either (a) passed out or (b) died from exhaustion. In full view of the public, this is the apogee of the choreomania that tormented Strasbourg for a midsummer month in 1518. Ragged clothes and pinched faces are saturated in sweat. Their eyes are glassy, distant. PublicDomainReview.org picks up the story. One seventeenth-century chronicle by the Strasbourg jurist Johann Schilter quotes a now lost manuscript poem:
Many hundreds in Strassburg began
To dance and hop, women and men,
In the public market, in alleys and streets,
Day and night; and many of them ate nothing
Until at last the sickness left them. Their arms are flailing and their bodies are convulsing spasmodically.
With Seth Rogen now providing the guest voice for both Toronto and Vancouver transit, Terry Cahill from FUBAR (think Bob and Doug meet Beavis and Butthead with a big dollop of Trailer Park Boys) thought he’d audition for Calgary transit. Hey @Sethrogen theres no hope for you to be the voice of @calgarytransit. I like it, but I have a feeling that this probably isn’t going to fly. #TERRY4TRANSIT pic.twitter.com/e4KCrjSGxn
— Terry Cahill (@Terry_Cahill) August 3, 2018
Attention, Halifax: Call the Trailer Park Boys for your transit system.
If Seth Rogen is doing transit announcements in Vancouver and Toronto, why can’t Terry from FUBAR do the same in Calgary?
Cue the tears. The Vans Warped Tour is over forever.
All good things must come to an end. 1. Here’s what happened. Trivia question: What was the last song ever played on the Warped Tour? https://t.co/fxxMC7jZCf
— Every Time I Die (@everytimeidie) August 6, 2018
— Every Time I Die (@everytimeidie) August 6, 2018 Made it to 8:18 before the power got cut. They burned through a 34-minute set. “Map Change” by Every Time I Die. The last-ever Warped Tour stop happened Sunday at the Coral Sky Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, Florida, bringing the 24-year-old festival to an end. https://t.co/fxxMC7jZCf
— Every Time I Die (@everytimeidie) August 6, 2018
Wanted to get to 8:31 so we could be the last band anyone would ever hear at @VansWarpedTour. 2. A final note from organizers
Wanted to get to 8:31 so we could be the last band anyone would ever hear at @VansWarpedTour. Made it to 8:18 before the power got cut. Every Time I Die wouldn’t let it go
ETID has been another Warped Tour fixture and really, really wanted to be the last band. Wanted to get to 8:31 so we could be the last band anyone would ever hear at @VansWarpedTour. Even though their power got cut, at least one member kept playing even as roadies started striking the stage. Made it to 8:18 before the power got cut. Pennywise wraps things up
Because they were on the first Warped Tour, it seemed right to have Pennywise go on last on Sunday.
Toto returns the favour, covers Weezer’s “Hash Pipe”
Nice stuff. The only thing I wonder about (and this is a small thing) is the drum sound. This happened in Vancouver. It’s just a thought, not a criticism. Earlier this summer in response to some good-natured trolling from fans, Weezer issued two covers of Toto songs. Toto felt it was only polite to reciprocate. Good male/female vocal interplay. I wonder what another producer might do with that part of the production? No notes from me on songwriting or performance.
Naturally, there’s video. Mike Ness of Social Distortion jumped off the stage to take care of a heckler.
So he did. You just don’t. Ever. Out in the audience was a persistent heckler who eventually got under Mike’s skin. The heckler was thrown out and it doesn’t appear that anyone is in any legal trouble. You don’t mess with Mike Ness of Social Distortion. Note the crowd was chanting “F**K HIM UP!”
As you can see from the video, Mike climbed back onstage after administering the beating and finished the gig. After a while, Mike decided that he was going to take care of this guy. Social D was in the middle of their set at Ace Spades in Sacramento back on July 19.
Random music news for Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Here’s a fascinating personal story of disability and Doc Martens. Will today be the day that I clean out of the shed and the garage? The founder of a Christian rock festival has been sentenced to 18 years for child molestation. Spotify has a hardware problem. Audiobook giant Audible.com has laid off its entire podcast staff. Bieber is still under fire from his neighbours after that infamous house-egging incident. Fascinating: Some medical schools are recruiting students based on their musical ability. (Note that Audible is owned by Amazon, too.)
Drake just spent $14K on custom gold grills. movie. She’ll now get back to you on that. Read this first. If you’re an 80s kid, chances are you’d want to visit here. Remember Smash Hits magazine? Still. Alexa can’t seem to answer that question right now? If so, you’ll love this feature. And has Amazon really sold 50 million Alexa-powered devices? (Via Tom)
This app wants to be the Uber of music lessons. Stevie Nicks is set to join American Horror Story. Looking to print up some CDs and cassettes for your music? Here’s why. This is a great look at what it’s like to try to make it as a musician in Nashville. Aphex Twin = Weird. The solo staycation continues, which explains the slight reduction in posts this week. Maybe after we look at music news for August 8, 2018. Something has gone wrong with Johnny Depp’s Notorious B.I.G.
More Music From The Inbox 8 Aug 2018 Art D’Ecco, Declan Welsh, White Room and More!
Artist: Art D’Ecco, “Never Tell”
The Gulf Islands of the Pacific Northwest is home to this unique band
Sounds like: Glam at its sparkling best
Artist: Declan Welsh & The Decadent West, “Good Person, Bad Things”
Album: All My Dreams Are Dull
Great band out of Glasgow
Sounds like: punk dreams are awesome
Artist: White Room, “The Blue”
Brighton is home to this very talented outfit
Sounds like: a hard look at today
Artist: Honey Lung, “Stuttering Mind”
Love the sonics of this London band
Sounds like: bring on the fuzz! Link/Listen/Watch:
Artist: Blaenavon, “Lonely Side”
Album: That’s Your Lot: The Bedroom Tapes
Intrigue out of Hampshire in the UK
Sounds like: Old school sounds with new meaning
Artist: Palm Honey, “Stick The Knife In”
Album: Tucked Into The Electronic Wave
Somehow I missed this great track from this Reading, UK band, sadly now defunct
Sounds like: somewhere we’ve all been
For example, take a look at how things have evolved with Coachella over the last five years. Secondary ticket seller VividSeats took a look at how the mix of music is changing at some of the big American events. Well, what about Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, or Austin City Limits? Click here for the results. Note that Coachella did not have a rock headliner 2018 for the first time in its history. Hip-hop is up, rock is shrinking and EDM has apparently had its day–as far as Coachella is concerned, anyway. If it seems as if rock acts are being supplanted by hip-hop, you’re right–at least for a few events.
How the balance of genres are changing at music festivals
Still, there’s no denying that similarities pop up on a regular basis. This is the thrust behind what I call “unfortunate sonic coincidences,” occasions where two songs seem to sound alike but actually feature pronounced differences. There’s bound to be cases of inadvertent repetition and independent discovery of certain arrangements and melodies. And when things finally do get to court, the procedures and rules of evidence aren’t exactly what you thought they might be. This video (via Walter) explains a lot. And not everything in a song is protected from being copied by someone else. There are only so many pleasing ways we can combine the notes of our 12-tone scale. Most of the time. What a ripoff!”
Hang on. Not a week goes by without an email that goes something like this: “Don’t you think that [insert name of new song here] sounds just like [name of old song]? Then we have cases where there’s no doubt that a call has to be made to the lawyers. It’s not that simple.
Has every song already been written? Maybe.
Looking for musical inspiration? How about these impossible musical instruments
Then we have this short film that–well, just watch. Playing a regular musical instrument takes dedication and practice.
But that’s not the full story. And that leads us to a not-very-well-known side of how hip-hop works. Koop is a musician who has worked on tracks for the biggest names in the business. The songwriting credits list a Robert Mandell, better known as G Koop. This brings me to an article in Complex about the musicians who help create these monster records. Today, though, modern pop, hip-hop songs often employ the services of a dozen or more people: songwriters, lyricists, topline melody creators, beat-makers, producers. Who made the beat for “Bad and Boujee”? It’s because Koop is part of a new breed of musicians and composers, many of them managed by the same veteran Shady Records exec, who have quietly played a major part in creating the biggest records of recent years—and now they’re coming for their credit. 2 Chainz, Future, Migos, DJ Khaled, 21 Savage, Meek Mill, and more have all relied on his tunes. So why don’t you hear his name everywhere? Most rap fans (and media outlets) would answer, without hesitation, Metro Boomin. It should be a simple question. They now want some credit. Back in the day, all it took for someone to write a hip song was someone like Paul McCartney or John Lennon, working either separately or together. Here’s a screenshot of the credits for Drake’s Scorpion album. Keep reading.
All those musicians behind the songs are coming for their fair share of the credit
Enjoy this four-minute expose on a story that hasn’t been told–until now. Need a mid-week timesuck?
“Members Of The Lead Task Force In Charge Of Making Sure Elvis Didn’t Die On The Toilet Talk About What Went Wrong”
Geeks and Beats podcast, episode 195: Make it so
Make us feel loved
Plus, Alan’s Mom drinks from a bladder. And the geeks get an email from A Very Important Person who may or may not be REALLY mad at them. But we still have our fixed costs. By the way, Michael is a cross-Canada gadget-flogging tour, offering up demonstrations of some cool gear on media outlets from coast-to-coast. Our resident Trekkie(r) explains why. http://media.blubrry.com/geeksandbeats/p/www.geeksandbeats.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/S05E52-Make-It-So.mp3
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | RSS
Visit the Geeks and Beats website to sample all kinds of geeky goodness provided daily by our crack staff of writers and contributors who are offering up fascinating content every single day. Wait–what? If you’d like to support the show (please?) go here. Watch for him. We learn both the geeks have a shared childhood experience: almost burning down the family home. It’s the 2018 #BacktoSchool gift guide and Michael’s hopscotching across the country showing off an augmented reality chemistry set and other gadgets. Patrick Stewart better beam-up Guinan if he’s going to reprise his role as Jean-Luc Picard. By the way, we’re a total non-profit operation that performs this selfless service for benefit of all humanity.
Even if the event is held in New York City’s Central Park Great Lawn space, Canadians are more than welcome to be among the 60,000+ attendees on September 29th. Since its first North American iteration in 2012, the Global Citizen Festival has been building a movement of engaging action-takers through live music to end extreme poverty by 2030. The Global Citizen Festival has had a few memorable moments, like Stevie Wonder taking a knee for America and Eddie Vedder duetting with Beyoncé on “Redemption Song“. Prospective Global Citizens should be putting their minds towards how to act positively regarding women and girls, education, global health, preserving foreign aid, the environment…y’know, everything the current sitting president couldn’t care less about. Start with downloading or updating the Global Citizen app, and then get activizing – sharing articles and tweeting will earn you points that can be redeemed for a chance to win tickets to this year’s festival (there’ll be a new challenge two weeks from now). I’d hope so, with two of our own so prominently featured! This year the project is counting on the likes of Janet Jackson, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B and Janelle Monáe to get their message across, assisted by power couple Deborra-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman. All noble causes to be sure, but my biggest concern is where are the rock bands? I just hope we haven’t seen the last of a half dozen odd guitarists jamming away on “Rockin’ in the Free World” for 10+ minutes, like Uncle Neil did with Dave Grohl and The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach seven years ago.
Watch a concert, be the generation to take action: A preview of the 2018 Global Citizen Festival