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5 Songs That Define the Sounds of the 1990s

Tuesday, November 11: 3:59 p.m.

Prodigy Firestarter music video singer 90s music

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Tom Dowd, Berry Gordy Jr., Les Paul, Sam Phillips and Phil Spector represent a 1950s and 1960s "recordist canon," pioneers of maverick recording methodologies responsible for shaping the sound of classic rock and roll. Their work not only forms the underpinning of rock music’s sonic characteristics, but also represents an oft-imitated body of audible stylistic, genre and aesthetic recording principles. Some of their radical, experimental and at times rebellious production techniques – Paul’s "Sound on Sound," Spector’s "Wall of Sound"and Phillips’ "Slap Echo" for example, have informed a continuum of established rock production standards.

However, the 1990s also marked a significant turning point in pop and rock sound recording. At a time when computer-based digital audio workstations (an electronic tool for recording, editing and producing audio files) were fast becoming the norm, many sound recordists of the era either rejected this new direction outright or blended technological and processual precursors into unconventional and individualized working practice. Such reinventions of technological and processual modes of production mirror those of the 1950s and 1960s ‘"recordist canon."

Here are 5 songs that helped define the sounds of the 1990s, and the producers who ...


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The Top 5 Things We Witnessed at the 2014 Nelsonville Music Festival

Thursday, June 5: 12 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The Avett Brothers headline Saturday night at the 2014 Nelsonville Music Festival

This past weekend, we headed for the rolling hills of Southeastern Ohio for the 10th annual Nelsonville Music Festival. Family-friendly, ecologically-minded and produced by the non-profit Stuart's Opera House, the festival aims to have an impact on the region and the attendees who will take those missions home. Here are a handful of the top elements and moments we witnessed at the gathering.

SLIDESHOW: THE 2014 NELSONVILLE MUSIC FESTIVAL

1) Pokey LaFarge 

The sound of Pokey LaFarge proves there is no such thing as "revival" music, rather, it lives forever. The Bloomington, Illinoise born musician combines elements of swing, country and folk for a unique blend of authentic Americana. Besides seeing Pokey and his 5-piece backing band (which includes bassist Joey Glynn, guitarist Adam Hoskins, Ryan Koenig on harmonica, washboard, and snare drum; TJ Muller on cornet and trombone; and Chloe Feoranzo on clarinet and saxophone) on the main stage, we witnessed an unplugged set on the front porch of the No-Fi cabin on the back of the festival grounds. It was a scene right out of the earliest of music festivals, where people tightly gathered to hear the songs of troubadours and traveling ramblers. 

2) Musicians interacting with ...


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Banned, "Dirty Water" and Punk: Interview with the Standells

Thursday, May 15: 4:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The Standells' "Dirty Water" banned in Boston.

With songs like "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White," "Why Pick on Me" and "Riot on the Sunset Strip," the Standells brand of cranked-up garage rock in the 60s earned them a reputation as among the godfathers of punk rock. The fact their music has been covered by the likes of Aerosmith, Minor Threat, Bruce Springsteen and U2 – not too mention a litany of punk acts emerging in 1977 – illustrates that their knack for punchy hooks has engendered them to musicians and fans alike.

With an instantly recognizable-and easy to play-guitar intro, "Dirty Water" became a garage band staple in 1966. Onetime Four Preps member Ed Cobb wrote the song, but the Los Angeles–based Standells version recorded in a  garage studio in southern California turned it into a growling classic. Once squeaky-clean, the Standells went proto-punk in a bid to glom onto the bad-boy image of British groups like the Rolling Stones and the Animals. Drummer/vocalist Dick Dodd (a former Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeer) sneered his way through this tale of unrequited lust and of vitriol aimed at Boston. That city retaliated by banning "Dirty Water," which didn't hurt sales. The canny Standells went on to ...


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Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) and Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls) talk History of Punk

Saturday, March 22: 11:43 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

On a stop at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, during their Punk Goes Acoustic tour, Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) and Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls) talk the history of the Sex Pistols, recording the punk rock classic anthem "Anarchy in the UK," "being the first" punk band and more.

Explore the history of punk rock at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio!

 


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Punk Goes Acoustic: Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) and Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls) Bring Sex Doll Tour to Rock Hall

Friday, February 28: 2 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Former Sex Pistol and punk rocker Glen Matlock to perform live at the Rock Hall.

In a career that has spanned more than 30 years, 2006 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Glen Matlock has made indelible contributions to music as the original bass player with the Sex Pistols, founder of the New Wave act Rich Kids, and collaborator with a variety of artists ranging from Iggy Pop to fellow original School of ’76 Brit Punk Rockers the Damned to neo-rockabilly singer Robert Gordon – all while pursuing his own musically distinctive direction. Matlock released Born Running in 2010, and has been taking the coveted bass playing role in the reformed Faces with fellow Hall of Fame Inductees Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood.
 
On the other side of the Atlantic from Matlock, before joining the New York Dolls in 1971, Sylvain Sylvain was a member of the band Actress, also featuring the Dolls' Arthur Kane, Johnny Thunders and former fashion partner Murcia. He played rhythm guitar in the proto-punk group the New York Dolls (replacing Rick Rivets), from 1971 until the group’s final dissolution in 1977.

On Tuesday, March 18 at 7 p.m., in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's intimate Foster Theater, Matlock and Sylvain will perform an ...


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Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones Pay Tribute to the Everly Brothers on "Foreverly"

Tuesday, November 19: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The Everly Brothers circa 1958

The Everly Brothers' sound borrowed from Appalachian folk, bluegrass and country to form a dreamy, innocent style of rock and roll. Over the decades – particuarly in the Fifties and Sixties – the Everlys’ close-harmony style influenced the likes of the Hollies, Simon and Garfunkel, the Byrds and the Beatles, with Paul McCartney noting “They were and still are the very best.” Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its inaugural year, 1986, the Everly Brothers are featured in the Museum's Cities and Sounds exhibit, in the Rave On section. There, visitors to the Museum will find the outfits worn by the brothers on the cover of The Fabulous Style of the Everly Brothers, as well as a 1963 Gibson Everly Brothers model featuring a split pick guard surrounding the sound hole that was meant to represent the brothers’ familial resemblance.

Watch + Listen: Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones "Silver Haired Daddy of Mine"

While best-known for such hits as "Cathy's Clown," "Bye Bye Love,""Wake Up Little Susie," and "All I Have to Do Is Dream," in 1958, Don and Phil Everly surprised fans when they shifted tack, paying homage to their Tennessee roots. On Songs ...


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Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's Why Archives Matter

Friday, November 1: 1:34 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Inside the Rock Hall's Library and Archives

Recently, music journalist Ann Powers wrote a piece for NPR titled "Holding Music History in Your Hands: Why Archives Matter." In it, Powers notes that she's planning "to head next to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library in Cleveland, which has served thousands of visitors – students, scholars and plenty of just-fans – since opening last year." In advance of her visit, she connected with Rock Hall Library and Archives director Andy Leach, who shared a story of one young visitor connecting with the Sex Pistols, in a new way.

"A couple of weeks ago, our head archivist told me a story about a teenage boy who came in with his family," Leach explained. "They were all looking at books and periodicals and watching videos, and the kid asked whether we had his favorite album, the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks, on vinyl. He'd never actually seen a vinyl copy until then, and he was very excited. He very reverentially played the record in our Archives Reading Room while he pored over the album cover. He listened to the entire first side before it was time for his family to leave, at which point he begrudgingly rejoined ...


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The Roots and Definition of Rock and Roll

Friday, October 18: 11:15 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Tracing the roots of and defining rock and roll music at the Museum.

How do you define rock and roll?

Each year, with the announcement of the next class of nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a debate swirls as to what music is considered "rock and roll." The announcement of the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees – the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Kiss, LL Cool J, the Meters, Nirvana, N.W.A., the Replacements, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens, Link Wray, Yes and the Zombies – brought with it passionate discussions as to not only who should be inducted, but also how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and people all over the world interpret and define rock and roll. 

Visitors to the Museum in Cleveland will find a large type-and-graphics treatment featured in the Main Exhibit Hall, just before the Roots of Rock exhibit. It marks the unofficial start to a tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and explains the roots of rock and roll, and how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognizes rock and roll today. It reads as follows:

Rock and roll is a form of ...


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