September 11th, 2001 Was a "Super Tuesday" of Album Releases

Categories: Recent History

Dream Theater
The Eerie Coincidence of Dream Theater's Live Album Released on 9/11
The music industry was in a very different place 13 years ago. Record stores were thriving, profits were record setting and certain Tuesdays each year were marked as "Super Tuesdays," when the various record labels would roll out several major releases at once, often resulting in fans making multiple purchases and sales surging. One such Tuesday was September 11th, 2001. It's interesting to look at the albums that were scheduled for a release on such a day, both in how they reflect the pre-9/11 industry as well as how some would go on to define the decade. This is our look at 9/11's Super Tuesday.

See also: The Top 15 Things That Annoy the Crap Out of Your Local Sound Guy

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Five 2013 Anniversaries You Forgot

Categories: Recent History

Glenn Francis, via Wikimedia Commons
Baby Bash
If nothing else, 2013 was a landmark year in commemorating other landmark years. Nostalgia's been booming business for a bit now, and taking the time looking back at these milestones has allowed the internet to succeed where the ever-depleting resources for music education have failed. However, we took a long, hard throbbing look at 2013's conclusion and realized for all the "...was TEN years ago!"-type hype, the internet missed exactly five anniversaries. In the 11th (or is that 12th, or perhaps 13th) hour, we've swung in to bring you the Five 2013 Anniversaries You Forgot.

See also: Hip-Hop Classics Turning 20 in 2014

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An Oddisee Crash Course: From PG to NYC

Categories: Recent History

Oddisee voice.jpg

One of the most intriguing new voices in hip-hop, Maryland MC Oddisee has amassed one of the most loyal word-of-mouth grassroots fanbases in indie-rap today. Acclaimed for his work both behind the mic and behind the boards (he's produced for Talib Kweli, Freeway and Homeboy Sandman), what makes Oddisee stand out is how his strong roots in rap tradition allow for him to thrive with a strong, entirely fresh sound. Oddisee rolls into Public Assembly tonight to support his new album, People Hear What They See, one of the year's strongest sleeper hits. We decided to mark this occasion and help initiate those still sleeping on him by looking at some of our favorite Oddisee songs.

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The Fall Of Curtis: How September 11, 2007 Changed Everything For 50 Cent

Let me indulge in a little bit of Jay-Z/Kanye fan fiction in the least 50 Shades of Grey way possible:

Def Jam President and retired rapper Jay-Z was fed up.

50 Cent had been sending subliminal barbs Jay's way for eight years, starting with a shot Mr. Carter's way on "How To Rob" when they were both climbing their respective hip-hop ladders. In 2007, with both at the peak of their careers, Fiddy was back at it, baiting Jay-Z with braggadocio lyrics and interviews about his then-fiancé, his money, and how he'd sold out.

Jay didn't know what to do, although he was well aware that a nasty feud with the Queens-born MC in the middle of his own corporate ascension would be PR suicide.

Enter Kanye West, who had been working on the follow-up to his mega-successful Late Registration and who was looking at a fourth-quarter release date.

"What if I dropped my album on the same day at 50 Cent's?" Kanye asked. "Yeah, I'll put my album out on the same day as 50's, start a sales battle."

A solution! And one that would take Jay out of the fray. After oodles of hoopla, September 11, 2007, rolled around, and Graduation and Curtis both hit shelves. A week later, the dust cleared, and 50 Cent was defeated—without Jay having to lift a finger.

While it's unclear how Kanye (and Jay) came to the decision to release Graduation exactly five years ago today, it's pretty easy to speculate that 50 and Jay's cold war was a prime motivator behind the biggest rap marketing circus this side of pretending Detox will ever come out.

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A History Of Rock And Roll, As Told Through 100 Riffs Selected By A Guitar Store Employee Who Really Likes Jack White

Here is a video put together by an employee of the Chicago Music Exchange that purports to tell the story of rock and roll in 100 guitar riffs, which the guy manages to do in a single take. (They're not all perfect, but you try winding your fingers around the guitar parts for "Hot For Teacher" and "Thunderstruck" in a single go. Right.) As with any "here is the grand story of this somewhat large idea" project, there are quite a few narratives that unfurl in this video's 12 minutes; you can sort of watch the guy go from learning about rock and roll from classic-rock radio and MTV to reading blogs, or at least lifestyle publications that would never sully themselves with uncool things like rap-rock. More observations below.

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CBGB Reborn, Sort Of: Here Is A Picture Of Its Georgia Stand-In

Dylan Wilson
Next week, the CBGB Festival will take over a bunch of clubs around New York City in an effort to honor the legacy of the onetime Bowery staple, but right now in Savannah, Georgia, a movie about the club's history is being filmed. Starring Alan Rickman as CBGB impresario Hilly Krystal and his Harry Potter co-star Rupert Grint as Cheetah Chrome, as well as a bunch of other boldfaced names (Donal Logue!), the movie is slated to open next year. The bulk of the filming will apparently be done on a soundstage, but the movie's production people recreated the club's grimy exterior, awning and all, in the city's downtown. Can 2012 Georgia look as gritty as pre-Bowery-gentrification New York City? Find out below.

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The Beastles And Let It Beast, dj BC's Beastie Boys-Beatles Mashups, Are Back Online

The Beastles, Boston-based dj BC's well-received (but ultimately unauthorized and subsequently yanked offline) Beatles-Beastie Boys mash-up, is now fully available online. In memory of Adam Yauch, Bob Cronin (dj BC's alter ego) has decided to face any potential legal wrath from publishing companies and repost The Beastles and its 2006 followup, Let It Beast.

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Six Great '90s NYC Rap Demos

"Please listen to my demo!" That particular plea may no longer be heard coming from plucky upcoming rappers, what with the Internet age and all, but there's an undeniable pull about getting to hear the industry-ears-only dusty tapes that begat some of hip-hop's finest album moments. This week sees the release of a collection of Queen Latifah's Flavor Unit associate Latee's previously demo-only tracks; each is produced by future Jay-Z collaborator Mark The 45 King and hails from the early '90s, and the whole shebang is released as a premium-priced vinyl-only offering from the Diggers With Gratitude stable.

The Flavor Unit prospered from over the river in New Jersey, so here's a run-down of six great '90s New York City rap demo tapes that are now just a Mediafire muddle away. (Note: The Internet is filled with a lot of alleged and actually unreleased material; we've plumped for the perceived demos that come closet to offering up a stand-alone listening session, as opposed to one-off tracks. Curate this lot together as a playlist and you won't be disappointed.)

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The 17 Best Songs Of 2012 (So Far)

Tomorrow is the last day of March, as you might already know, and it also marks the end of the first quarter of 2012. What better way to close out a three-month span than to size up its musical offerings via playlist? Below, please find the contents of my "2012 awesomeness" playlist, a running-all-year diary of the songs that have hit my ear in a particularly pleasurable way. Among the 17 bands on it are Tanlines, Pop. 1280, fun., and Pistol Annies!

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New York Telephone Operated A Proto-Music Blog In 1978

Categories: Recent History

Well, not exactly—it was a hotline, "Musicline," and those people starved for music news could call it for 10 cents a pop. (For that price back then, you could also mail a postcard or go in on 40% of a Hershey bar.) But it wasn't a dead-in-the-water phone line that would go unupdated for days at a time; instead, it claimed to have an almost-hourly schedule—early in the morning would bring news of upcoming concerts; at 11 a.m. the recording would be given over to album reviews with "bits from the hits" (just like MP3s, except with much lower fidelity!); then there'd be a bit of news; 3 p.m. would bring a test on music knowledge; 4 p.m. would feature "Rock Star Rap—an interview wth a superstar"; and the day would close out with "Back Track: facts about the great acts." That's so organized! Ad below.

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