As human beings we use music in myriad cultural contexts–to celebrate, to encourage, to separate, to uplift. But never more than in the past thirty years have these functions evolved so drastically. The way that the craft is processed by culture has undergone a huge change from the days of the album as the epitome of the art form, through the days of the 45, and on to today, where a single mp3 distributed through a social networking venue such as Myspace can cause intense international interest in an act seemingly overnight.
Music aficionados Pitchfork have attempted to capture the essence of these changes with the publication of the upcoming book The Pitchfork 500: Our Guide to the Greatest Songs from Punk to the Present, which traces what they deem the most important songs since the days when the pizzazz of David Bowie, Lou Reed, and Iggy Pop gave kids an alternative to the sweetened pop that the Beatles popularized the previous decade. Employing the cunning writing style that the web site is known for, Pitchfork provides an enlightening view to modern music and its impact on society as a whole. While most readers are sure to immediately recognize many of the hits (Madonna’s “Holiday,” Weezer’s “Say it Ain’t So,” Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U”), the guide leaves room for some of the more undercurrent sensations that had more of an effect on future influential performers than they did during their own era.
What is surely one of the first guides to approach music in this way, Pitchfork seeks to enlighten us as it escorts us down memory lane. Set to hit bookstores on 11/11/08, The Pitchfork 500 may just be the template that future music historians refer to when assessing the value that the power of the singular song has played in the collective conscious of the 21st century and beyond. Pre-order here. Selected highlights after the jump:
According to recent local news, the local watering hole the Meridian room has closed. While it was rumored that it was gone forever, Unfair Park reports that it will indeed return. But under new management. You see, as of today the Meridian Room officially has new owners. And you can plan to hit up your favorite Expo Park haunt again by Thanksgiving. Hurray!
Preseason basketball is here and it seems that at least one local establishment is decidedly unsatisfied with all the negative attention that Josh Howard has recieved as of late. SMU-area haunt Milo Butterfingers had this to say about the Wake Forest product, who at this point seems a far ethical cry from his fellow Demon Deacon alums Tim Duncan and Chris Paul. Not only does the bar hang this signed jersey upside-down, but they make sure as many people see it as possible by putting directly next to the front entrance. We’ll keep an eye on the status of this–maybe Josh can play his way back from the Land Down Under if he can put together some solid play after the first quarter with any kind of consistency.
P.S. Note the Barry Sanders Oklahoma State(?!) jersey that the bar also proudly displays–right-side up.
Eric Wareheim, of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! fame has created a stunnig video for MGMT’s song “The Youth.” If you like these comedians like I do, this video is a must. Also, worthwhile for anyone with even a passing interest in breakdancing.
Those familiar with what is perhaps the grooviest part of the city of Dallas are familiar with Matilda St., who along with McMillan serve as the preferred conduits for those inhabiting the Lower Greenville area. I mean, everyone knows that only tourists and cops drive on Greenville. So you cab imagine this east Dallas native’s surprise when I went to visit my mom today and saw that both signs at the street’s intersection with Mercedes have been replaced with impostor “Mitilda” signs. I mean, who spells it like that? With all the street name change business going on in this town as of late, maybe someone actually took some initiative. Or maybe this is some new sort of vandalism that can mark its origins to my home town. Probably not.
In the first three decades of the existence of the Dallas Cowboys–perhaps the greatest sports organization on the planet–only nine players and the revered head coach Tom Landry were inducted into the Ring of Honor at Texas Stadium. Only the words “Bob Lilly” and its accompanying “74” have been there longer than the name of Don Meredith, beaming upon legions of Cowboy fans from its blue stripe just beneath the press box. And Dandy Don deserved 1,000% to be up there because of his importance to North Texas.
He grew up a 100 mile drive down I-30 in a small town called Mount Vernon and played his way to number one recruit status. He turned down a scholarship offer from Bear Bryant at Texas A&M in favor of Dallas’ SMU, where he founded the university’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter. He finished third in Heisman voting in 1958. Then he went on to become the only kid from a Dallas high school or college to come start for America’s Team. They slapped his name up on that Ring of Honor in 1976. That’s Twenty-Two years ago for those keeping score.
So can anyone tell me why the ample brain trust that is the SMU Hall of Fame Committee has just now decided to retire Meredith’s hallowed number 17? It’s been a long time coming, but you’d think that someone would have noticed considering that SMU and the Cowboys shared the same field as tenants of the Cotton Bowl. The committee consists mainly of members of the Letterman’s Club, but unfortunately I couldn’t find any info on this organization on SMU’s interwebs. My guess is that they don’t want to be reached, considering the tardiness of this decision and the fact that they are the same people behind this.
So it’s pretty safe to say that DJ Z-Trip is a genius. Well, he’s put out yet another one of his precious mixes, this time focusing his laser on the upcoming presidential elections. Clocking in at just under 55 minutes, the theme is Obama and the tunes are pumpin’. Uplifting, too. Download it from Z-Trip’s site, for free, here.
Dandy Don Meredith excelled at every level in North Texas football. The legend Dallas Cowboy quarterback will finally get the ultimate recognition from his alma mater SMU, over two decades after he earned similar honors from America’s Team.