Monday, May 21, 2007

The Snap! The Crackle! The Pop! The Hiss! The History of Popular Music

Noel Gallagher is a pretty fascinating guy. Instead of going into the studio to try to recreate the magic that was the first two Oasis albums, brother should just stay at home with his Benson & Hedges and write a book called, "The History of Music According to Me". A sort of music from A to Z as told by Noelly G. No ghost writer. No fuckin' editor. No outside interference, just Noel's thoughts and opinions straight from his brain to the written page. The tome would be a massive best seller and Noel could go on on a spoken word/stand up tour a la Henry Rollins and make the kind of folding green his bank account has not built up since he constructed the mighty "Wonderwall". I personally could listen to him speak for hours and love the way he is completely oblivious to the fact that he not only blurs the lines between music and stand up comedy, he continues to decimate them with every interview he gives.

I've read a story that when Noel first moved to London from Manchester he had to either walk or take cabs to get around because he couldn't figure out how to get around via the London Underground. Not only did he "Mind the Gap", he avoided it all together. True enough, when I was in London, I found the task challenging but, it was do-able. I'm sorry Noel, but you figured out how to brilliantly navigate your way around music history enough to steal, use, disguise and pass off as your own many killer riffs that had been already recorded, and yet when it came to workin' the Tube you were a complete boob?

Dumb uni-brower.

I recently stumbled upon a neat-o reworking of the fabled London Underground map, revamped to illustrate the history of popular music; how bands can be grouped and catagorized and how they connect and relate to one another. Each line, or subway route becomes a genre in the map, a map designed by one of those hard working, detail obsessed British music scribes. Not hard to figure why British music rags take a month and a day to read cover to cover, and often contain the sort of elaborate text, that like the amazing photo spreads, are of a quality that make them suitable for framing.

If you would like to download your own cool copy, click here for a P to the D to the F file. Print it off, tack it up somewhere and every day make a point to pick out a band that you haven't heard of before and make your aquaintance in whatever way ya roll. MP3's? Google? YouTube? Discovering new to you music has never been so easy. Easy like a Sunday...yeah, you know.

When one is discussing visual presentation of the history of music, one cannot help but mention the genius that is Peter Frame. He is the master behind all those great Music History Trees, the ones that break down in meticulous detail, the movements and the memberships of popular music groups. Pete's design style has become his trademark, much in the way that guy from Pearl Jam established his style with his distinctive, trademark handwriting. His flair with the free hand font went on to become the official font indentified with the grunge movement. Fontastic!

--Jeff Ament, design/handwriting, Temple of the Dog

--Peter Frame, Collection, Rock Family Trees

They have expanded upon Pete's Trees by creating some great biography programs about bands that Pete has mapped out. The Black Sabbath one is really great. Check it out at:

It's pretty lengthy, but save it for a rainy day, when the lightning is flashing, and the thunder is rolling and you are ready and willing to enslave yourself to the Evil Tritone!

To anyone out there currently in the seed stage of their music career...keep going! Learn and flourish and get your tree growin'! Oh, and if you ever get to a stage where you meet Noel Gallagher, encourage him to get to the Laff Resort STAT. And whatever you do, don't ask him for subway directions.

currently listening to: Stereolab, Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night


Invisible said...

LOL seriously!! I totally started singing ... easy like a sunday morning.

Oh I call shotgun! (can you do that on a subway?)

SamuraiFrog said...

I love you for posting this. I have a LOT of music but it's never enough, and any direction-pointing is good. Thanks!

Allan said...

Awesome maps...there is a giant music library in London that is calling me- can I find it?

Tritone? I'm stupid.

Godwhacker said...

I saw Oasis back in 2002 in a small outdoor amphitheater in Ft. Lauderdale FL. 3 songs into the set and Liam (the other brother) said "I just can't go on." They said something was wrong with his voice, but really his voice sounded fine. Personally I think the real problem was that he was high as a kite.

No problem though. Noel sent the rest of the band off stage and did an hour and a half solo acoustic set that was PHENOMENAL. They guy is a major talent.

Larry said...

Stereolab are probably due for a Pete Frame family tree too - they've been through enough bassists, drummers and auxiliary keyboard players.

All Blog Spots said...

nice blog

bonjourtristesse said...

Hey one and all! And Larry! Welcome to Hiwatt Central! :D got shotgun, sistah, anytime!!! Remember yer the boss applesauce! I think I could hear ya singing there for a second! Nice one! LOL!

SF!! Awwww, shucks, you are so welcome, glad ya liked does read a little like a music blueprint so a fun way to pick up some new(and yet classic) bands to listen to!! :D

hey Allan dearest! London IS calling for you...the union jack is seeking yer company!!! You will find all that yer music lovin' heart desires...just avoid Carnaby Street...TOURIST TRAP and not moddish hip in the true sense anymore...
The fabled Tritone...a musical interval that spans three whole tones...diabolic in tone and perhaps perfected by Iommi...Beethoven used it too to set macabre tone...

GW! I love Noel. I love Oasis! I love to take digs at it for my own deviant pleasures, but really I adore the man and his music. He is one person in the rawk that I would
love to sit down with and debate. I envy you for seeing them live in a smaller venue...great story and really reflects the dynamic of the band...Noel is the Chief! Liam is the whiny brat! But hey, it's never a boring story, morning glory!

Larry! Again, welcome! Oliver is darling, darling!!!
You are so right about Stereolab, so sad about Mary Hanson...they would definitely make a great and multi-branched tree! :D

bonjourtristesse said...

Hi All blog spots person! Looks like I will sign up!!

Allan said...

Had to go downstairs and listen to Black I know what tritone is...sheesh that Wiki piece made it sound like it was math...oh, it is math...nevermind:)
Talk soon! Be well, I'm with you!