ringlunatic: (Radiohead (live Victioria Park June 25))
Grammy rehearsals with Radiohead: 'There's a surreality to it all'

The 51st Annual Grammy Awards are Sunday night, and the rehearsal schedule for today is stacked with big names -- U2, Paul McCartney, Coldplay and Stevie Wonder -- but the day got off to an especially compelling start as Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead strolled in, shook off the rain and performed "15 Step" to the impressive accompaniment of the USC marching band.

Radiohead has racked up a fair number of Grammy accolades through the years (the band enters Sunday with five nominations for "In Rainbows," including its third career nomination for top album) but trophy galas are simple not its scene.

"I've called through years but the answer was always a polite no," said Ken Ehrlich, executive producer of the show since 1980.

This year, the answer was yes, and there was crackling energy in the venue as the band ran through its number.

Yorke arrived looking more like a fan than a star with his scruffy leather jacket, bed-head hair and khaki-colored backpacker. He danced a little jig in the aisles as USC's Spirit of Troy warmed up with -- of course -- the Fleetwood Mac hit "Tusk."

The crew of the show is hard to impress, but by the third take it was all eyes on the stage as Yorke gave an animated interpretation of the song, one that somehow sounds both cerebral and tribal.

"Can you make my voice sound a little bit less shiny," Yorke asked the sound team. "Take the top off -- I like the idea of belting it out with these guys."

The USC band members were clearly thrilled with the prospect of a national spotlight as temporary members of Radiohead. Afterward, Greenwood said the marching band was an idea that he and Yorke brought with them to L.A.

"It's something we've been wanting to do with this song for a long time," he said.

He also said he was a bit dazed by the Grammys and its big tent, which has room for the band as well as the Jonas Brothers and Lil Wayne. "We never encounter any of these worlds," Greenwood said. "There's a surreality to it all."

-- Geoff Boucher


I'm SO excited! In fact, if I'm able to find a good stream for the Grammys then I will probably suffer through it just to see their performance.

Picspam of excitement! )
ringlunatic: (Thom!In Rainbows)
White to record with Yorke

Jack White will hit the studio with Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke as soon as he is fully recovered from his neck injury.

The White Stripes singer is suffering from a slipped disc and has been ordered to rest for two months.

But he reveals Yorke will be the first person he calls when he's ready to perform again - and he's already got a few songs ready.

He says, "We've known each other for a while now. But the doctors said I couldn't perform for two months. I've been writing a lot instead."


If this is true... ZOMG yes please!
ringlunatic: (Art!DaVinci was a Trekkie)
Banksy's animatronic hot-dogs have sparked complaints from people "unhappy about seeing two hot-dogs performing a sex act", he said.


ringlunatic: (Art!DaVinci was a Trekkie)
Looking at beautiful art can act as a painkiller

Beauty is truth, the English romantic poet John Keats once wrote, but according to the latest scientific research it is also a painkiller.

Looking at a beautiful piece of art has long been said to have the power to heal emotional wounds but the new research also claims it offers a distraction from physical pain.

The research carried out by the University of Bari in Italy could help vindicate hospitals who are accused of wasting money on art and decor as it suggests a pleasant environment helps patients overcome discomfort and pain.

A team headed by Professor Marina de Tommaso at the Neurophysiopathology Pain Unit asked a group of men and women to pick the 20 paintings they considered most ugly and most beautiful from a selection of 300 works by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Sandro Botticelli.

They were then asked to contemplate either the beautiful paintings, or the ugly painting, or a blank panel while the team zapped a short laser pulse at their hand, creating a sensation as if they had been pricked by a pin.

The subjects rated the pain as being a third less intense while they were viewing the beautiful paintings, compared with when contemplating the ugly paintings or the blank panel.

Electrodes measuring the brain's electrical activity also confirmed a reduced response to the pain when the subject looked at beautiful paintings.

While distractions, such as music, are known to reduce pain in hospital patients, Prof de Tommaso says this is the first result to show that beauty plays a part.

The findings, reported in New Scientist, also go a long way to show that beautiful surroundings could aid the healing process.

"Hospitals have been designed to be functional, but we think that their aesthetic aspects should be taken into account too," said the neurologist who published her findings in the paper Aesthetic Value of Paintings (And) Affects on Pain Thresholds.

"Beauty obviously offers a distraction that ugly paintings do not. But at least there is no suggestion that ugly surroundings make the pain worse.

"I think these results show that more research is needed into the how a beautiful environment can alleviate suffering."

The 12 volunteers, six female and six male, were picked randomly from the student body at the university and were aged between 22 and 38. They were asked to choose their favourite paintings from the website http://wwar.com/artists/.

Pictures they liked included Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh and Botticellis Birth of Venus. Pictures they found ugly included works by Pablo Picasso, the Italian 20th century artist Antonio Bueno and Columbian Fernando Botero.

One of the problems with the study for those wishing to reduce pain is the subjective nature of beauty.

Edvard Munch's The Scream was deemed by some people as beautiful.

"These people were not art experts so some of the pictures they found ugly would be considered masterpieces by the art world," said Prof de Tommaso.


Interesting. I only can't understand why people would find Picasso (okay, maybe depending on the work. I know lots of people don't really like the really abstract stuff), Bueno and Botero's work ugly.
ringlunatic: (Tom Waits)
Floyd founder Wright dies at 65

Pink Floyd keyboard player and founder member Richard Wright has died aged 65 from cancer.

Wright appeared on the group's first album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, in 1967 alongside lead guitarist Syd Barrett, Roger Waters and Nick Mason.

Dave Gilmour joined the band at the start of 1968 while Barrett left the group shortly afterwards.

Wright penned songs on classic albums including The Dark Side Of The Moon and Wish You Were Here.

His spokesman said: "The family of Richard Wright, founder member of Pink Floyd, announce with great sadness that Richard died today after a short struggle with cancer.

"The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this difficult time."

He did not say what form of cancer the self-taught keyboard player and pianist had.

Live 8

Wright, a founder member of The Pink Floyd Sound - and other previous incarnations including Sigma 6 - met Waters and Mason at architecture school.

Pink Floyd achieved legendary status with albums including 1973's The Dark Side Of The Moon, which stayed in the US album chart for more than a decade.

Wright, known as Rick earlier in his career, wrote The Great Gig In The Sky and Us And Them from the album.

Waters left the band in 1981, performing his last concert at London's Earls Court.

Wright, together with Gilmour and Mason, continued to record and tour as Pink Floyd during the remainder of the 1980s and into the 1990s, releasing their last studio album - The Division Bell - in 1994.

In 2005, the full band reunited - for the first time in 24 years - for the Live 8 concert in London's Hyde Park.


ringlunatic: (Beatles!Octopus)
Beatles hits reveal how music helps recall vivid memories

Memories of the Beatles collected from around the world have helped scientists to understand how music can help us to tap into long forgotten events.

In the biggest online survey of personal memories ever conducted, more than 3,000 people recounted their most vivid memories relating to the 1960s pop band.

Participants ranged in age from 17 to 87 spanning 69 different nationalities in the six months study.

The aim was to see how Beatles associations shed light on the psychological effect of autobiographical memory.

'Autobiographical memory is essential for our sense of self,' said researcher Dr Catriona Morrison, from the University of Leeds.

Most respondents were 'silver surfers' between the ages of 55 and 65 who would have been in their teens during the Beatles hey day in the 1960s.

The memories showed an expected 'reminiscence bump' - a time in life which is remembered especially vividly and often coincides with the teenage years.

In the case of Beatles memories, the bump occurred somewhat earlier than usual, the scientists found.

'What's interesting is that the majority of memories cluster in the early teenage years,' said Dr Morrison, who will outline the research at the British Association Festival of Science at the University of Liverpool.

'The early teenage years are the years during which you are making your musical decisions. By the age of about 14 most people have made up their mind, and that's the age when music makes the most powerful impression on us.'

The Beatles song that generated the most memory associations was 'She Loves You', the biggest selling single of the 1960s.

Although 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' sparked off the most memories for Americans.

However the researchers were struck by the similarity of moods, feelings, scenes and situations relayed by Beatles memories around the world.

'We were so impressed with how vividly people could recall memories, sometimes from more than 40 years ago, especially when many eloquent and vivid memories appeared to have been little recalled in decades,' said Dr Morrison.

'This shows the power of music in shaping and reliving sometimes long-neglected memories.'

With the exception of John Lennon's murder, memories were on the whole overwhelmingly positive.

Dr Morrison added: 'We argue that music is more than auditory cheesecake. It's a means by which people can account for themselves both as an individual and as part of society.'

Colleague Professor Martin Conway said it was possible that happy memories of the Beatles could be used therapeutically to help people suffering from depression.


This doesn't surprise me at all. The Beatles have never failed to cheer me up, even when I feel particularly down. That's why I love them so much.


ringlunatic: (Default)

May 2009



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