From The Verge:
For most people, the mere suggestion that a favorite song fails to evoke an emotional response in another human being sounds preposterous. Sure, that person might not like that song as much as you do, but they’ll definitely feel something — right?
Not necessarily, says Josep Marco-Pallerés, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Barcelona and lead author of a new study that explores why some people feel indifferent to music. “Music isn’t rewarding for them, even though other kinds of rewards, like money, are,” he says. “It just doesn’t affect them.”
The study’s results, published today in Current Biology, are surprising. Although these participants were perfectly capable of perceiving when a tune was sad or happy, they didn’t show physical or emotional reaction. They didn’t shiver if a singer hit a high note, and their heart rate didn’t increase with each crescendo. But when asked to play a game involving a monetary reward, those who were indifferent to music reacted just like everyone else: the thought of winning even a small amount of money was enough to make their hearts race. The results were unchanged a year later, when 26 of the students took the test again.
Continue reading the rest of the story on The Verge
What Makes Austin Weird? – That Was Me (Bonus… by That-Was-Me
Via Jacobson Communication
This week, “12 Years a Slave” Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o won the Essence Magazine Black Women In Hollywood Breakthrough Performance Award. In a beautiful speech at the ceremony, she said: “What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul…”
“Happy” maintains its Hot 100 command with gains in all three of the charts metrics (sales, airplay and streaming), while sales continues to make up the majority (53%) of its chart points. It leads the Digital Songs chart for a third week with a 3% increase to 413,000 downloads sold. Having sold 402,000 last week, “Happy” is the first song to earn two straight weeks of more than 400,000 in sales since another Williams-assisted track, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” featuring Williams and T.I., reached the number in the three consecutive weeks last June.
“Happy” becomes Williams’ first No. 1 as a lead artist on Radio Songs (2-1) with an 18% surge to 164 million all-format audience impressions, according to Nielsen BDS. He’d previously topped the airplay tally three times as a featured act: on Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot” (three weeks, 2004), Ludacris’ “Money Maker” (two, 2006) and Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (11 weeks, 2013). Reaching the top of Radio Songs in just its sixth week, “Happy” ties Eminem’s “The Monster,” featuring Rihanna (2013), and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” (2011) for the fastest trip to the top this decade. (The last song to soar to No. 1 more quickly? Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor,” which bolted to No. 1 in five weeks in 2001.)
David Crosby tells MOJO Magazine the time as an itinerant troubadour, criss-crossing the country and playing coffee houses in New York, Miami, Omaha and Chicago. It was there that he saw a performance that would profoundly affect him.
“During my Chicago stint, I had one of the best experiences I ever had in my life!” he begins with a warm chuckle. “I was living in an apartment with an English guy called Clem Floyd. His girlfriend was a little German hooker who was about four and a half feet tall. One day she said to us, ‘Do you wanna hear some real music? John Coltrane is playing on the South Side.’ So this attractive little German girl took Clem and I down to McKee’s – 163rd and Cottage Grove, way South. We were the only white people in the room.
“The way ’Trane played then was that the band would come out and the set was one song which would start out with ensemble playing. ‘Trane would warm up by blowing a little to get going, and they all took their time because they figured their set would be an hour long so they had time [to stretch out]. He’d play for a bit and walk off still blowing. Then McCoy Tyner would play.
“Now, with McCoy Tyner, I’d never heard anybody play piano like that. At that point ‘Trane had two bass players, Jimmy Garrison and Reggie Workman. They had a conversation that was stellar, and then it was Elvin Jones’s turn. Now, I will admit to being higher than three kites hooked up in series. I was so high, I was hunting geese with a rake. I was blitzed. Elvin Jones is a pretty intense drummer. I think that’s understating the case, don’t you? [His playing] pushed me up from the table and up against the back wall of the room! I’m standing there trying to hold on and I ducked into the men’s room.
“So I’m in the men’s room, I’m trying to come down just enough for me to stay on this planet, and I’ve got my face pressed against this tile. I can still remember the colour of this filthy, light puke-green tile. I’m leaning against it because it’s cool. And – blam! – someone kicks the door in and it’s ‘Trane. (Makes shrieking jazz noises, as if playing a sax) He’s doing that and by this point he’s burning! Burr-ning! (Makes more squalling jazz-orientated noises) Skee-sa-wee-eek-swark! And I’m up against the wall. He doesn’t even know this little fake kid’s in there. He’s playing in there because it’s a good sound. And at that point my mind ran out of my nose in a puddle on the floor!”
The “selfie” has become so ubiquitous that Oxford Dictionaries named the term its 2013 Word of the Year. Rising DJ duo The Chainsmokers, New York natives with a knack for humor and insight into the club scene, acted on the trend: On a whim, Drew Taggart, 24, and Alex Pall, 28, made a demo of a dancefloor thumper titled “#Selfie” that features a female clubber’s comically vain monologue — about taking a selfie, of course. Within days of the track’s SoundCloud premiere, plays began exploding, aided by a viral video and a smart social media campaign. The song, released on Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak Records, debuts at No. 38 on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 airplay chart this week, and has sold nearly 35,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The accompanying video, which to date has racked up more than 2 million views on YouTube, features fan-submitted selfies, which the band facilitated by uploading a humorous “How to Take a Selfie” video to YouTube. The duo also posted different snippets of the song to SoundCloud, one timed for Vine (less than six seconds) and another for Instagram (less than 15 seconds); the pair received more than 2,000 submissions the first week. Selfies from celebrities including Snoop Dogg, David Hasselhoff, A-Trak and Nervo also appear in the video.
Continue reading the rest of the story on Billboard
From Fast Company:
Thanks to Instagram and similar filter-heavy photo apps, artful photography has become so user-friendly that everybody seems at least proficient at it–even, apparently, a little Lego person.
U.K.-based photographer Andrew Whyte shows us the world through the lens of just such a small artist in a new photo series called “The Legographer.” These expertly composed photos, which Whyte took on his iPhone every day for a year, feature a Lego Man, rocking a Lego knit cap instead of the famous bowl cut, lugging around a Lego camera and taking pictures that we will never see. Despite his diminutive size, this little guy seems to have had some big adventures. He scales buildings, he’s chased by a hermit crab, and slips on a giant (to him) banana peel. You know, typical photographer stuff.
Continue reading the rest of the story on Fast Company
From Mental Floss:
This is Spinal Tap may not have invented the mockumentary genre, but it certainly popularized it. Released 30 years ago, Rob Reiner’s cult classic comedy—which starred Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer—turned the fictional heavy metal band of its title into bona fide musical superstars. It also called into question what the exact dimensions of an on-stage Stonehenge should be.
THE FILM HIT TOO CLOSE TO HOME FOR MANY FAMOUS MUSICIANS.
“We do love that, the musicians who have said, ‘Man, I can’t watch Spinal Tap, it’s too much like my life,’” Harry Shearer says in John Kenneth Muir’s book, Best in Show: The Films of Christopher Guest and Company. “That’s the highest compliment of all. It beats all the Oscar nominations we never got.” It’s a compliment the movie’s cast and crew hear quite often. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Eddie Vedder, and Dee Snider are just a few of the musicians who have referenced similarities between their own lives and the movie’s plot.
IT MADE TOM WAITS AND THE EDGE CRY.
Tom Waits once said that when he watched the film for the first time, he cried because of its realism. The Edge shared a similar sentiment in 2005, when U2 was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: “It’s so hard to keep things fresh, and not to become a parody of yourself,” the legendary guitarist told the crowd of onlookers. “And if you’ve ever seen that movie Spinal Tap, you will know how easy it is to parody what we all do. The first time I ever saw it, I didn’t laugh. I wept. I wept because I recognized so much and so many of those scenes.”
Tweets, retweets, favourited tweets, followers, follow-backs… Twitter provides so much information, sometimes it’s complicated to extract conclusions. Twitter is music. Music is Twitter. How do the leading electronic music venues make the most out of the most versatile social platform? After World’s Top 100 nightclubs & social media, in this new research they provide an free, insightful look into EDM brands’ quest for impact and authority on the new global conversational marketplace.
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