Running short of ideas after just 10 columns, I returned to old reliable — press releases. Note that in 1997 I compared the Rolling Stones to the iron man of baseball, Cal Ripkens, whose career lasted 21 years. The Stones were still rocking 24 years after I’d compared them to Ripkens. Drummer Charlie Watts died Aug. 24, 2021, at age 80.
Cyber Concerts 10/23/1997
by H.B. Koplowitz
Rolling Stones Cyber Concerts: The Cal Ripkens of Rock, The Rolling Stones, are touring again. They are also letting netizens help determine their play list. At the official “Rolling Stones Web site” <www.the-rolling-stones.com>, you can cast your cyber vote for which song you would like the band to play at its next concert, and then hear it cybercast. Visitors to the Web site can pick from a list of 20 Rolling Stones tunes not on their set list. At each concert, the band plays that day’s “people’s choice,” which is also cybercast live, starting at 7 p.m. Some of the choices are obscure tunes the band hasn’t played (or rehearsed) in years.
“We’ve always been fascinated by the interaction the Internet makes possible between artists and fans,” Mick Jagger said in a press release. “So this is an experiment, really, to see if there is a really inventive way that we can make the Internet become a part of our show, and make our show a part of the Internet.”
If the experiment works, the band will add the Web component to every stop on the tour, including a Nov. 9 concert with the WallFlowers at Dodger Stadium. But there’s already been incidents of cyber ballot stuffing in Chicago.
Synth Museum: The Rolling Stones and other bands are going retro, returning to analog synthesizers and drum machines. Where can you learn more about this vintage gear? At Synthmuseum.com, which claims to be the largest online museum of vintage electronic musical instruments.
The site has pictures and information on more than 275 analog keyboards, drum machines, modular systems and other instruments, from household toy keyboards to one-of-a-kind wonders that fill up a whole room. Photos and histories of the instruments are provided by people who create, repair or play electronic musical instruments.
The site contains such helpful nuggets of information as that the Moog synthesizer was invented in 1963 by a PhD candidate in physics, Robert A. Moog, with assistance from Herbert Deutsch. According to the narrative, “Moog” is pronounced wit a long “o” sound, loke rogue or vogue, not like fugue.” The narrative does not say how to pronounce the other guy’s name.
Vampires and Violins: Just in time for Halloween, “Leila Josefowicz — Violin for Anne Rice” is the featured recording this month at “Classical Insites” <www.classicalinsites.com>, a Web site for classical music lovers. The CD was conceived when Josefowicz, a violin virtuoso, learned that her recording of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto was a major inspiration to “Interview with the Vampire” author Anne Rice, when Rice wrote her latest novel, “Violin.”
Spanning 19th-century Vienna to present-day New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro, “Violin” is the story of two charismatic figures bound together by their obsession with music, yet locked in a supernatural battle. The CD features Rice’s favorite selections from Josefowicz’s recordings.
The Web site has a three-minute video clip of Josefowicz and Rice, and background on how the CD came together. Two complete tracks can be heard in streaming audio, including a new arrangement of Sting’s “Moon Over Bourbon Street,” which was inspired by Rice’s “Interview with the Vampire,” and 30-second sound samples from the rest of the recording. Not coincidentally, the book and CD were both released this week.
Autumn Leaves: If you can’t get out to enjoy the autumn leaves, don’t despair. The nonprofit Rails-to-Trails Conservancy claims it has the best colors of the season at its Web site. Rail-trails are multi-purpose public paths created from abandoned railroad corridors. Mostly used for bicycling, walking, horseback riding, in-line skating, cross-country skiing and wheelchair recreation, nearly 10,000 miles of rail-trailers have been created across the country.
I hate to pan the Web site of a group dedicated to such a noble cause. But it doesn’t really have any photography of fall finery, and its one drawing of fall shows a leaf that looks more like it came from a certain herb than a tree. The again, the Web site’s U.S. Trail Information Center has great descriptions of some 700 rail-trails across the country, along with local weather, bed and breakfasts, tourism offices and maps. So if you do want to get out and enjoy the fall colors, this Web site can help you plan your trip.
© 1997-2021 by H.B. Koplowitz, all rights reserved.