The Suffocation of Democracy | by Christopher R. Browning | The New York Review of Books

Seriously, read this:

… within several decades after Trump’s presidency has ended, the looming effects of ecological disaster due to human-caused climate change—which Trump not only denies but is doing so much to accelerate—will be inescapable. Desertification of continental interiors, flooding of populous coastal areas, and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, with concomitant shortages of fresh water and food, will set in motion both population flight and conflicts over scarce resources that dwarf the current fate of Central Africa and Syria. No wall will be high enough to shelter the US from these events. Trump is not Hitler and Trumpism is not Nazism, but regardless of how the Trump presidency concludes, this is a story unlikely to have a happy ending.

Source: The Suffocation of Democracy | by Christopher R. Browning | The New York Review of Books

An Analysis of 80's Music

I recently did an analysis about 80’s music for a client (yes, I do stuff like that). It’s actually a very detailed and vast analysis that took me quite some time for research and putting the results together, but I decided to take out some of the things that I thought would be most interesting for you (and me).

Also, I limit this version of the analysis here to the US American Billboard charts, as the US has by far the biggest market for music on the planet, almost 10 times bigger than the #2 in the game, which would be China. That fact alone is stunning, if you ask me.

Here’s some results:

3 Most Charting Artists (in the Top 100)

1: Madonna (1.6%)

madonna

Most successful song: “Like A Virgin” (Keynote: E-Flat minor / Tempo: 120 BPM / high energy)

2: Hall & Oates (1.5%)

hall_oates

Most successful song: “Maneater” (Keynote: B minor / Tempo: 89 BPM / normal energy)

3: Michael Jackson (1.4%)

michael_jackson

Most successful song: “Billie Jean” (Keynote: F-Sharp minor / Tempo: 117 BPM / normal energy)

Personal note:

“Billie Jean” is one of the very few songs by Michael Jackson I really like. In fact, I love this one only. It has a perfect groove, perfect songwriting and arrangement. No surprise it was so successful.

I knew Madonna and Michael Jackson would be in the Top 3, but Hall & Oates?? And even higher than MJ, who had the most #1 hits in the Billboard charts in history, by the way? I must have been sleeping under a rock … really surprising.

Energy

Calm music (ballads, downtempo etc.): 20.8%
Typical/normal energy level music: 46.2%
High energy music (dense sound layers, uptempo): 33%

3 Most Used Keynotes

1: A major (8.3%)
2: G major (8%)
3: A minor (7.7%)

That didn’t surprise me really, although I saw G minor on top. Top selling rock acts like Pink Floyd or Dire Straits wrote most of their most successful songs in G major. In the basic Pop music field, it seems like A major dominated.

3 Most Used Words in Titles

1: you (18%)
2: love (14.7%)
3: me (13.7%)

Put that together and you have “You Love Me”. Nice. Yeah, the 80’s were — still — dominated by “love” in combination with “you” and (logically) “me”. I haven’t done research on that now, but I’m sure the most used words don’t look very much different today, apart from “love”. The 80’s were definitely pretty cheesy.

  • Average tempo: 116.5 BPM
  • Average track length 80’s: exactly 4:00 minutes
  • Average track length today: 3:58 minutes

There was a peak in duration in 1992 (4:15 minutes) and a low in 1959 (2:22 minutes). From 1969 on, the duration of songs was steadily rising, until 1992. From there it went down towards 4 minutes again.

Poll

Why Frank Sinatra Was The Man

Frank SinatraFrank Sinatra gave an interview for Playboy Magazine in 1963, and it’s pretty stunning. During the interview he was asked:

If you think you’re stepping over the line, offending your public or perhaps risking economic suicide, shall we cut this off now, erase the tape and start over along more antiseptic lines?

And he said:

No, let’s let it run. I’ve thought this way for years, ached to say these things. Whom have I harmed by what I’ve said? What moral defection have I suggested? No, I don’t want to chicken out now. Come on, pal, the clock’s running.

I have to say, I never liked his music, but this man has become one of my heroes today. Because he’s absolutely right, and he’s had some balls.

But here’s what the interview is about, actually:

I don’t believe in a personal God to whom I look for comfort or for a natural on the next roll of the dice. I’m not unmindful of man’s seeming need for faith; I’m for anything that gets you through the night, be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniel’s. But to me religion is a deeply personal thing in which man and God go it alone together, without the witch doctor in the middle. The witch doctor tries to convince us that we have to ask God for help, to spell out to him what we need, even to bribe him with prayer or cash on the line. Well, I believe that God knows what each of us wants and needs. It’s not necessary for us to make it to church on Sunday to reach Him. You can find Him anyplace.

And:

There are things about organized religion which I resent. Christ is revered as the Prince of Peace, but more blood has been shed in His name than any other figure in history. You show me one step forward in the name of religion and I’ll show you a hundred retrogressions. Remember, they were men of God who destroyed the educational treasures at Alexandria, who perpetrated the Inquisition in Spain, who burned the witches at Salem. Over 25,000 organized religions flourish on this planet, but the followers of each think all the others are miserably misguided and probably evil as well.

But read for yourself.

Music for the history books

I will never get over the fact that they’ve quit: VIBRASPHERE. I’m sure people will listen to this in 400 years, and it will still sound fresh and new:

Quote:

We are very sorry to inform you that we have decided to close down the Vibrasphere project. This is due to several reasons, but mainly we feel it is time to move on to other projects within the music. After all 12 years is a very long time for any music project. We are very grateful to all the fans, promoters, labels, djs and other people that has supported us in the past 12 years. We have many great memories from these years and sincerely hope that at least some of you will remember our music also in the years to come.

Guys, if you happen to read this post … please, come back. You’re leaving a big emptiness where you’ve once filled it up with wonderful inspiring music.

DJing back then

DJing has a long history in German speaking countries. The 2 videos below are from Austria and the former German Democratic Republic. Very insightful. This was kind of a serious business and profession back then! 😀

German language only, of course.

Austrian DJ school

Kind of a “DJ meeting” in former Eastern Germany, where DJs where called “Record Entertainer”