Tag Archives: music

Were Robert Johnson's recordings sped up?

A post over on Boing Boing ("The last mystery of the blues: were Robert Johnson's recordings sped up?") drove me right to my sound editor to see how Robert Johnson's performances may have sounded different from his recordings. Here's the result:

Robert Johnson Speed Demo

The audio is a 30 second clip of "Sweet Home Chicago" played once at normal speed (i.e., the recorded speed) and then a second time about 20% slower (2 semitones lower). (Note: I didn't labor over the crossfade between the clips.)

Pretty interesting, if you ask me.

Nick's Zappa Playlist

I twittered about an amazing playlist (or iMix, if you will) of Frank Zappa tunes that Nick Bradbury published, but it appears that iTunes has deleted the iMix because Zappa is no longer on iTunes. But it's an amazing playlist, so here it is:

  1. Peaches In Regalia, Hot Rats (1969)
  2. Camarillo Brillo, Over-Nite Sensation (1973)
  3. My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama, Weasels Ripped My Flesh (1970)
  4. Maggio, The Man From Utopia (1983)
  5. St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast, Apostrophe' (1974)
  6. Echidna's Arf (Of You), Roxy And Elsewhere (1974)
  7. Mother People, We're Only In It For The Money (1968)
  8. Cocaine Decisions, The Man From Utopia (1983)
  9. Five-Five-Five, Shut Up N' Play Yer Guitar (Disc 1) (1981)
  10. Can't Afford No Shoes, One Size Fits All (1975)
  11. G - Spot Tornado, Jazz From Hell (1986)
  12. Dumb All Over, You Are What You Is (1981)
  13. Teen-Age Prostitute, Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch (1982)
  14. Sleep Dirt, Sleep Dirt (1979)
  15. Tell Me You Love Me, Chunga's Revenge (1970)
  16. Pygmy Twylyte, Roxy And Elsewhere (1974)
  17. Baby Snakes, Baby Snakes (1983)
  18. Electric Aunt Jemima, Uncle Meat (1969)
  19. Po-Jama People, One Size Fits All (1975)


Rhapsody Rabbit Realization

Rhapsody RabbitI've always loved the Bugs Bunny cartoon Rhapsody Rabbit and wished I had a recording of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 performed by the pianist who performed it for that cartoon. Well, today I went down the rabbit hole searching for an answer.... And I found it. The pianist was Jakob Gimpel. I also found this fascinating story by Gimpel's son in which he hypothesizes that the pianist in "The Cat Concerto" (the Tom and Jerry version of Rhapsody Rabbit that won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for 1946) was Shura Cherkassky. (See: The Cat Concerto Controversy (Mystery Solved?).) Now, to find a recording....