Thursday, July the 7th is the 71st birthday of one of the most well known drummers in music history. Richard Starkey, better known as Ringo Starr, survived childhood illnesses, grew up in a rough neighborhood, and joined what would become the biggest band in the world: The Beatles. Though some may have doubted his talent (the best drummers are always underrated), he went on to a successful solo career that has spanned over 40 years. Let’s take a look at some of his career highlights.
On “P.S. I Love You”, the B side of their first single, producer George Martin hired session musician Andy White to play the drums because he doubted Starr’s abilities, but Ringo contributed to the track by taking over the maracas.
Below is a teaser video for M83’s forthcoming (currently untitled) new album. The video ends with four simple words: M83 New Album Soon. As the equally concise title of this brief post makes clear, M83 will tour soon, too. The dates are listed below, as well as on the band’s website—a site that wins the Internet for the best URL ever.
Also, check out the Pitchforkarticle on how this new album is really a double album. No need to be coy, Mr. Gonzalez.
Singer songwriter Brigitte DeMeyer moved to Nashville from the Bay Area last year. Her new material (her next album Rose of Jericho is due to drop at the end of August) shows the notable influence the Tennessee blues and Southern gospel have had on her. This is especially notable on the rollicking “Amen Said the Deacon” whose snaky chugga chugga rhythms make you want to jump up and testify. When DeMeyer sings about Adam and Eve and getting to heaven, you are ready to take a bite of the apple and learn more. The grit in her voice works to wear down the listener’s resistance and give in to the truth of the song. “Maybe all that churchin’” doesn’t mean a thing, but the Lord can be found in mysterious ways. Let us pray in song, sister!
Kids music act Hullabaloo along with Stefan Shepherd of the Zooglobble kids music blog hosted a little something called the Kindie Songwriting Club (I’m guessing that’s Kid + Indie…). The idea was for multiple songwriters to write a song about the same subject. A reader pitched the idea of “Green Beans Everywhere”, and that’s the one they ran with.
So now Hullabaloo is offering all five resulting songs for free from Bandcamp. The songs were written by Steve Denyes, Johnny Bregar, Matt Clark, the Hollow Trees, and Charity and the JAMband, respectively. Now, go and eat your greens.
In 2003, a last herd of sheep made its way through Montana’s Absaroka-Beartooth mountains, taking over three months and covering some 150 miles. That journey is documented in Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor’s superb documentary, premiering on PBS on 5 July. For long stretches, the film observes sheep in motion—trekking along dirt roads, up and down mountainsides, through densely green forest trails or snowy fields. As a parable, the story of sheep seems unsubtle: they are herded, they are unthinking, they go along. As poetry, the film is stunning. With no narration and remarkably little conversation among the herders, it reveals the loneliness and day-to-day difficulty of living among sheep, as human labor and desire are reflected by their surroundings—their bleating charges and also the land they all traverse. “I’d rather enjoy these mountains than hate ‘em,” says one man. You need faith, persistence, and extraordinary patience to herd sheep, whether the job is handed down in families (as it is so often), a refuge or an adventure. The herders spend most of their days apart, that is, on opposite sides of their herd, atop their horses, directing dogs and smiling occasionally at each other. The film is neither nostalgic nor romantic, but instead shows how this hard life has effects, good and bad, that it presses workers to their own edges and also helps them to discover themselves as well as the world around them.