Home Fun Facts

From Sonicbids:

So you knew smartphones have pretty much taken over everything – especially when it comes to music – but did you know exactly how much?

Information graphics designer Nicolas Rapp created this graph of the evolution of music listening to really put it all into perspective.

It only extends as far back as 1983 (so we’re not going to see the height of record players on here), and we’d be curious to see where desktop computers and laptops fall on this graph, but it seems that Rapp wanted to keep it simple by specifically focusing on the most “portable” of music devices.

The Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day in the United States, is nearly here. Folks across the country are gearing up for annual barbecues, parties, picnics, firework displays, and, of course, the “American” songs that get queued up more on that day than on any other — although that music can differ, depending on where people live.

As a fun experiment, Paul Lamere, director of developer platform for Spotify subsidiary, The Echo Nest, looked into how the 50 U.S. states stack up in terms of what they listen to on the Fourth of July.

We suspected this would lead to an excellent playlist of the songs that are most core to the concept of Independence Day. But we were also just plain curious about what kinds of music the people in the United States play to celebrate it in their own way.

The following map (larger version) shows the most distinctive “Fourth of July” song for each state. This represents the song out of this playlist (methodology below) that the people in a particular state listened to the most on the Fourth of July in 2013, compared to how they listen on other days.  (see larger PDF version).

map

 

Via Spotify

Data firm SoundScan reports American album sales in the first-half 2014 are off by 15%. The double digit dip is attributed to lacklustre repertoire and releases lacking widespread appeal. Vinyl album sales increased 40.4% to 4M; on-demand streaming posted a 42% gain over last year, to 70.3M, with OD audio up 50.1% to 33.6M plays, and OD video up 35.2% to 36.6M. No equivalent data is provided in Canada; however, SoundScan Canada reported Friday that overall album sales are down 7% in the first six months of 2014.

n 7% in the first six months of 2014.

Via FYI Music News

From Flavorwire:

Criterion has restored The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night movie from the original 35mm camera negative for a first-time Blu-ray release that hit last month. In celebration of the release, A Hard Day’s Night is screening in select theaters this weekend. Here are 25 fun facts about the moptopped movie in preparation for your viewing

The film’s working title was Beatlemania, but a new title was agreed upon when Ringo made an off-the-cuff comment after an exhausting day, inventing the phrase “A hard day’s night.”

The movie’s title track was written in one day, eight days before filming. The band played it for producer Walter Shenson in their dressing room the following morning.

The movie was called Yeah Yeah Yeah in Germany, Tutti Per Uno (All for One) in Italy, Quatre Garçons Dans Le Vent (Four Boys in the Wind) in France, Yeah! Yeah! Tässä tulemme! (Yeah! Yeah! Here We Come!) in Finland, and Os Reis do Iê-Iê-Iê (The Kings of Yeah-Yeah-Yeah) in Brazil.

Ringo’s solo scene at the riverside won critical praise, but his “acting” was actually the result of a hangover. He admitted: Getting up early in the morning wasn’t our best talent and there’s an example of that in one scene: the one for which I got really good credit, walking by the river with a camera – the ‘lonely guy’ piece. I had come directly to work from a nightclub (very unprofessional) and was a little hungover, to say the least. Dick Lester had all his people there, and the kid that I was supposed to be doing the scene with, but I had no brain. I’d gone. We tried it several ways. They tried it with the kid doing his lines and someone off camera shouting mine. Then they had me doing the lines of the kid and the kid going ‘blah blah blah’. Or me saying, ‘And another thing, little guy…’ I was so out of it, they said, ‘Well’ let’s do anything.’ I said, ‘Let me just walk around and you film me,’ and that’s what we did. And why I look so cold and dejected is because I felt like shit. There’s no acting going on; I felt that bad.

The decision to shoot in black and white was economical, not artistic.

Read more fun facts here.

beatles-abbey-road

If you thought the level of spontaneity for The Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover was another happenstance and genius move by the band, this rough sketch by Paul McCartney might break your heart a bit. McCartney made it for photographer Iain Macmillan, who had 10 minutes to get the handful of photos taken for the album cover. In the top right-hand corner, that’s Macmillan’s drawings which added to McCartney’s ideas, showing just how meticulous McCartney and Macmillan were in planning out one of the greatest photos in music.

These are the pair carpet slippers worn by Abraham Lincoln until the time of his death, and replicas of the slippers were used in Steven Spielberg’s 2012 film Lincoln.

So how did the original Lincoln slippers end up in the museum dedicated to President Rutherford B. Hayes? The answer lies in the Center’s Manuscripts Collections where an exchange of letters between Hayes and Alex Williamson are preserved. The Hayes Presidential Center website notes:

Williamson served as tutor to William and Tad Lincoln for more than four years – up to the time of the asassination. He had become very close to the entire family. In a letter to Hayes, Williamson explains, “Before Mrs. Lincoln left the Executive Mansion she presented me with Mr. Lincoln’s slippers, now in your possession, his dressing gown and shawl or plaid ..”

Williamson earlier had sent the slippers to Hayes, who was in the second year of his presidency, with a simple note stating “Sir, Please accept the accompanying slippers. They were worn by the late President Lincoln up to the day of his murder.” It was widely known that President Hayes was a collector of historical artifacts and it was not unusual for people to send him such items. However, neither Williamson nor Hayes left any record as to the exact reason for the gift.

In July 2011, Head of Photographic Resources Gilbert Gonzalez received a request for detailed photographs of the Lincoln slippers. He was told it was for a “Spielberg project.” Manuscripts Curator Nan Card attended an opening-day showing of the movie and realized she was looking at the end result of that “project” – a starring role in Lincoln. The photographs had been used to create exact replicas of the Lincoln slippers, which are prominently featured early in the movie! Actor Daniel Day Lewis, who portrays Lincoln, kicks off the slippers before lying down next to son Tad in front of a blazing fire. After the touching scene that follows, the camera zooms in on the well-worn carpet slippers Lincoln was known to favor.

The Lincoln slippers are on permanent display in the Hayes Museum. They are part of the exhibit room known as the Hall of Presidents.

From Billboard:

Iggy Azalea makes history on the Billboard Hot 100, as “Fancy,” featuring Charli XCX, rewrites the record for the longest-leading No. 1 by a female rapper. With a sixth week at the summit, she passes Lil’ Kim, who spent five weeks at No. 1 with the all-star collaboration “Lady Marmalade” in 2001.

With her sixth week at No. 1, Azalea now stands alone atop the exclusive list of female rappers who’ve spent the most time in the lead. Here’s an updated look at the mere four such No. 1s, ranked by most weeks on top:

6 weeks, “Fancy,” Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX, 2014
5 weeks, “Lady Marmalade,” Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya and P!nk, 2001
2 weeks, “Doo Wop (That Thing),” Lauryn Hill, 1998
1 week, “Stand Up,” Ludacris featuring Shawnna, 2003

Azalea also keeps behind the Beatles among acts that have spent the most time at Nos. 1 and 2 simultaneously with their first two Hot 100 entries. The Fab Four holds the record with 10 such weeks in a row in 1964.