Archive for April 3rd, 2011

April 3, 2011

Concept Album

In the Wee Small Hours

The Genius Hits the Road

In music, a concept album is an album that is unified by a theme, which can be instrumental, compositional, narrative, or lyrical. Commonly, concept albums tend to incorporate preconceived musical or lyrical ideas rather than being improvised or composed in the studio, with all songs contributing to a single overall theme or unified story.

This is in contrast to the practice of an artist or group releasing an album consisting of a number of unconnected (lyrically or otherwise) songs performed by the artist.

read more »

Tags:
April 3, 2011

Dark Side of the Rainbow

dark side of the rainbow

Dark Side of the Rainbow‘ refers to the pairing of the 1973 Pink Floyd music album ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ with the visual portion of the 1939 film ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ This produces moments where the film and the album appear to correspond with each other.

Band members and others involved in the making of the album state that any relationship between the two works of art is merely a coincidence.

read more »

Tags:
April 3, 2011

The Dark Side of the Moon

pink floyd

The Dark Side of the Moon is the eighth studio album by English progressive rock group Pink Floyd, released in 1973.

The concept album built on ideas explored by the band in their live shows and earlier recordings, but it lacks the extended instrumental excursions that characterised their work following the departure in 1968 of founding member, principal composer and lyricist Syd Barrett. ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’s’ themes include conflict, greed, the passage of time and mental illness, the latter partly inspired by Barrett’s deteriorating mental state.

read more »

Tags:
April 3, 2011

Meddle

meddle

Meddle is the sixth studio album by English progressive rock group Pink Floyd, released in 1971. The album was recorded at a series of locations around London, including Abbey Road Studios.

With no material to work with and no clear idea of the album’s direction, the band devised a series of novel experiments which eventually inspired the album’s signature track, ‘Echoes.’ Although many of the group’s later albums would be unified by a central theme with lyrics written mainly by Roger Waters, Meddle was a group effort with lyrical contributions from each member.

read more »

Tags: ,
April 3, 2011

Photogravure

La Cigale (1872) by Jules-Joseph Lefebvre

Photogravure [foh-tuh-gruh-vyoor] is a photo-mechanical process whereby a copper plate is coated with a light-sensitive gelatin tissue which had been exposed to a film positive, and then etched, resulting in a high quality intaglio print that can reproduce the detail and continuous tones of a photograph. The earliest forms of photogravure were developed in the 1830s by the original pioneers of photography itself, Henry Fox Talbot in England and Nicéphore Niépce in France.

They were seeking a means to make prints that would not fade, by creating photographic images on plates that could then be etched. The etched plates could then be printed using a traditional printing press. These early images were among the first photographs, pre-dating daguerreotypes and the later wet-collodion photographic processes. Photogravure in its mature form was developed in 1878 by Czech painter Karel Klíč, who built on Talbot’s research. This process, the one still in use today, is called the Talbot-Klič process.

April 3, 2011

Nicéphore Niépce

Niepce camera

Nicéphore Niépce (1765 – 1833) was a French inventor, most noted as one of the inventors of photography and a pioneer in the field. He is credited with taking the world’s first known photograph in 1825.

Among Niépce’s other inventions was the Pyréolophore, the world’s first ‘internal combustion engine’, which he conceived, created, and developed with his older brother Claude, finally receiving a patent in 1807 from the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, after successfully powering a boat upstream on the river Saône.

read more »

April 3, 2011

Speed Reading

spritz

Speed reading refers to a number of ways to increase the speed at which a text can be read where the important facts are still understood. A trained reader is able to read and understand between 200 and 300 words per minute of basic text. Better training can improve this speed to over 1000 words per minute.

With a lot of exercise it’s possible to increase reading speed further; the best readers can read between 3000 and 4000 words per minute, and understand about 80% of them (at that speed a short novel can be read in under 20 minutes).

read more »

April 3, 2011

Curveball

curveball

12-6

The curveball is a type of pitch in baseball thrown with a characteristic grip and hand movement that imparts forward spin to the ball causing it to dive in a downward path as it approaches the plate. Its close relatives are the slider and the slurve. A curve ball that a pitcher fails to put enough spin on will not break much and is colloquially called a ‘hanging curve.’

Baseball lore has it that the curveball was invented in the early 1870s by Fred Goldsmith or Candy Cummings. In the early years of the sport, use of the curveball was thought to be dishonest and was outlawed, but officials could not do much to stop pitchers from using it.

read more »

Tags:
April 3, 2011

The Devil and Daniel Johnston

the devil and daniel johnston

The Devil and Daniel Johnston is a 2006 documentary film about the noted American eccentric artist Daniel Johnston. It chronicles Johnston’s life from childhood up to the present, with an emphasis on his mental illness, and how it manifested itself in demonic self-obsession. The film was directed by Jeff Feuerzeig and produced by Henry S. Rosenthal.

Tags: ,
April 3, 2011

Daniel Johnston

Hi How Are You

Daniel Johnston (b. 1961) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and artist. Johnston has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder which has been a recurring problem throughout his life. In 1990, on a two-seater plane piloted by his father Bill, Johnston had a hypomanic episode believing he was Casper The Friendly Ghost and removed the key from the planes ignition and threw it out the window. His father, a former Air Force pilot, managed to successfully crash-land the plane. Although the plane was destroyed, Johnston and his father emerged with only minor injuries. As a result of this episode, Johnston was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital.

Interest in Johnston increased when Kurt Cobain was frequently photographed wearing a t-shirt featuring the cover image of Johnston’s album ‘Hi, How Are You.’ In spite of Johnston being resident in a mental hospital at the time, a bidding war to sign him ensued. He refused to sign a multi-album deal with Elektra Records because Metallica was on the labels roster and Daniel was convinced that they were possessed by Satan and would hurt him. He also dropped his manager who brokered the deal, because Daniel believed he too was possessed by Satan. Ultimately he signed with Atlantic Records and released Fun, produced by Paul Leary of Butthole Surfers in 1994.

April 3, 2011

Ron English

ron english

temper tot by ron english

Ron English (b. 1959) is an American contemporary artist who explores popular brand imagery and advertising. His signature style employs a mash-up of high and low cultural touchstones, including comic superhero mythology and totems of art history. He is also widely considered a seminal figure in the advancement of street art away from traditional wild-style lettering and into clever statement and masterful trompe l’oeil (the illusion of three dimensions). He has created illegal murals and billboards that blend biting political, consumerist and surrealist statements, hijacking public space worldwide for the sake of art since the 1980s.

Culture jamming is one aspect of his work, involving ‘liberating’ commercial billboards with his own messages. Frequent targets of his work include Joe Camel, McDonald’s, and Mickey Mouse.  English is as well-known for his photorealist technique and inventive use of color and comic book collage as he is for his unique cast of characters, including sexualized animals, skeletal figures, Marilyn Monroe with Mickey Mouse breasts, the corpulent fast food spokesman ‘MC Supersized,’ and one of his most significant creations, ‘Abraham Obama,’ a fusion of America’s 16th and 44th Presidents. English also takes inspiration from Andy Warhol, the band KISS, and various cartoons.

April 3, 2011

Green Wall of China

green wall

The Green Wall of China is a series of human-planted forest strips in the People’s Republic of China, designed to hold back the expansion of the Gobi Desert.

The project was begun in 1978, and is planned to be completed around 2074, at which point it is planned to be 2,800 miles (4,500 km) long. 1,390 square miles of Chinese grassland are overtaken every year by the Gobi Desert.

read more »

Tags: