Via The Presurfer, Scott, Harold, and Shea play “Eye of the Tiger” entirely on iPad apps:
To help promote his new book Doubles, author Nic Brown challenged his tennis-pro friend Tripp Philips to a match. This essay provides a glimpse into the world and mindset of elite athletes:
“You have no weapons,” he tells me two days later, over a lunch of cheap tacos and cheese dip. He reviews the match in this specific analytical way I’ve experienced with other professional athletes. To them, match review is engineering, not personal nicety. The performance is fact, not opinion. “No matter what,” he says, “I was going to have you off balance. And no matter what you did, I was going to be perfectly balanced. I knew where you were going to hit it before you hit it. It’s the difference between me and you. But if I played Roger Federer right now, he’d do the exact same thing to me.”
Nancy Griffin has a great article in Vanity Fair this month on the making of the “Thriller” music video. I was too young (the video debuted on MTV in December of 1983), but many remember the impact, and how over the subsequent year, this thing was huge:
“There was a month when you couldn’t turn the television on and not see ‘Thriller'” says [Director John] Landis.
The video sent the album’s sales back into the stratosphere, with Epic shipping a million copies a week; by the end of 1984, the album had sold 33 million copies in the U.S. Since then, Thriller has remained unchallenged as the No. 1 album of all time (current sales worldwide: an estimated 110 million).
Griffin talks about the already-fragile state of MJ’s psyche at the time and how Thriller‘s success would tragically become a source of great pressure for him over the years to come.
“There ain’t no second chance against the thing with forty eyes, girl.”
Gene Weingarten wrote this story for the Washington Post three years ago. Violinist Joshua Bell spent almost an hour playing in the Washington D.C. subway:
A onetime child prodigy, at 39 Joshua Bell has arrived as an internationally acclaimed virtuoso. Three days before he appeared at the Metro station, Bell had filled the house at Boston’s stately Symphony Hall, where merely pretty good seats went for $100. Two weeks later, at the Music Center at Strathmore, in North Bethesda, he would play to a standing-room-only audience so respectful of his artistry that they stifled their coughs until the silence between movements. But on that Friday in January, Joshua Bell was just another mendicant, competing for the attention of busy people on their way to work.
Click through for the read, and videos of the Metro performance.
I haven’t found a separate Bell recording of Bach’s “Chaconne” but here’s Itzhak Perlman (in two parts):
“On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind.” – Johannes Brahms, writing to Clara Schumann about the Chaconne
Here’s Gidon Kremer performing Bach’s entire Partita for Violin Solo No. 2 in D Minor (including “Chaconne”):
Eminem’s new album Recovery came out last week. This is the first single that is all over town right now:
“I guess I had to go to that place to get to this one.”
The video is great and all (click through for the HD version), but think back 10 years ago and try to imagine Eminem going sober.