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Classical music Keyboardists Music music videos photography

Mind-Bending Pianism: Yuja Wang and Jun Asai.

Yuja Wang and Jun Asai are two surreal talents. Already phenomenally accomplished at their youthful ages, these two have the world at their feet. We have much to marvel at now, and much more to look forward to.

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Music music videos Soul

Soul Seventies! {Part 1}.

A modest sampler of soul hits from the 1970s, performed live. We have Billy Paul, Blue Magic, The Isley Brothers, Ben E. King, LTD, The Main Ingredient, and The Stylistics, featuring Russell Thompkins, Jr.

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Country Music Elvis Presley Gospel hit singles Music music videos photography

Elvis P: The King.

Elvis ended up mastering a great many styles and genres, including Gospel, Country/Nashville, Ballads, and…Rock & Roll. An astonishingly dramatic, riveting performer, right up to the end.

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Bands Gospel hit singles Music music videos

Gospel and Such.

Great moments in Gospel music.

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composers Guitarists hit singles Music music videos Norman Greenbaum photography

Spirit in the Sky.

A few notes from Wikipedia: Norman Greenbaum: If you ask me what I based “Spirit In The Sky” on … what did we grow up watching? Westerns! These mean and nasty varmints get shot and they wanted to die with their boots on. So to me that was spiritual, they wanted to die with their boots on.

“I had to use Christianity because I had to use something. But more important it wasn’t the Jesus part, it was the spirit in the sky. Funny enoughΒ … I wanted to die with my boots on.”

“According toΒ The New York TimesΒ article, Greenbaum used aΒ Fender TelecasterΒ guitar with aΒ fuzz boxΒ built into the body to generate the song’s characteristic guitar sound.”

Greenbaum daringly defies any and all Anti-Hand-Clapping ordinances in the above performance, and Ms. Hagen takes a commendable swing at the immortal song, as well.

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Bands hit singles Music music videos photography Sweet

Glam Rampage: The Sweet.

Brian Connolly, Steve Priest, Andy Scott, and Mick Tucker comprised the glam maestros known as {The} Sweet. SchrΓΆdringer’s definite article notwithstanding, these great men rose to achieve world domination in the 70s. Extraordinary catchiness paired with pure power escalated Sweet to the uppermost echelons. They also projected a sense of great fun, often sorely lacking in hard rock.

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Bands Cheap Trick hit singles Music music videos photography

Trick, Cheap.

Robin Zander, Tom Peterrson, Bun E. Carlos, and Rick Nielsen made copious amounts of aural nirvana, particularly in the late 70s, as Cheap Trick. The concerts in Budokan were recorded in 1978, but not released in the US until demand became so frenzied that Epic had little choice. Intended solely as a Japanese album, the LP jettisoned the band into the realms of world domination. This was preceded by Heaven Tonight, the band’s greatest studio achievement. Several pieces from this classic are captured here performed live at various venues. Cheap Trick’s highs were nothing short of vertiginous.

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composers Eerie Spatiality epoch-defining Geniuses Jazz Keyboardists Music music videos photography pianists Thelonious Monk

The Mysteries of Monk.

Unquestionably one of the titanic figures of 20th century music, Thelonious Monk composed and performed mountains of material that now has classic status, but during his initial heyday in the 40’s, it was often dismissed as too quirky, too dissonant, too…weird. Well, Monk’s work is indeed all of those things, but in just the right amount. There is an uncanny air of ineffable mystery that permeates his playing that is striking. His style is angular, uses silence beautifully, and is deeply personal and idiosyncratic. Although hugely influential, no one has ever sounded remotely like him.

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Bands composers Music music videos photography Robyn Hitchcock Soft Boys

Dreamer of Trains: Robyn Hitchcock.

Robyn Hitchcock is one of the more prolific and gifted figures in a certain (eccentric) quadrant of music history. After leaving The Soft Boys, a Neo-psych outfit he founded, Hitchcock emerged as a most formidable solo figure. Heavily influenced by Dylan, and Syd Barrett, his compositions tend towards the obscure, the ineffable, the humorous, the surreal. He remains a vital figure to this day.

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Audio Bands hit singles Lou Reed Music music videos photography Punk Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground, and Lou Reed.

The Velvet Underground consisted, in their heyday, of vocalist/guitarist Lou Reed, keyboardist/bassist John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison, and Moe Tucker on the drumkit. Doug Yule replaced Cale in 1969, and Teutonic songstress Nico appeared on the group’s debut record.

Often cited as Godfathers of Punk, this hugely influential New York band mixed art rock, minimalism, garage rock, and often quite taboo lyrical subject matter. Brian Eno commented on the group’s initial lack of sales, “Everyone who bought one of those 30,000 albums (referring to the “Banana Album”) ended up starting a band.”