Author Archives: Alan Cross

A Deeper Look at the Bizarre Tale of the Would-Be Kate Bush Paramour

January 16th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

You may have read recently about Frank Tufaro, a 32 year-old unemployed New York artist, who showed up uninvited at Kate Bush's seaside country estate in Devon.  Although he appeared at the door on December 26, the story has been kept quiet until now.

Frank came bearing a gift:  a $5,000 Tiffany ring made of gold, diamonds and sapphires. His goal?  To propose marriage.

The UK media is on the story but some Kate Bush fans have been documenting things for weeks.  This is truly bizarre--and frightening.

SFO’s Vinyl and Turntable Display

January 16th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Whenever I travel, I like to explore the airports through which my journey takes me.  Done right, they can tell you a lot about the city or country.  They can be fascinating public spaces.

I've been through San Francisco many times and I like the vibe of the place.  Terminal 2, home of American Airlines and Virgin America, has had a museum display called Revolutions Per Minute:  The Evolution of the Record.  

Among the vast array of artifacts on public view are:

  • A 1901 Berliner Gramophone in pristine condition
  • A portable 1958 RCA Victor 45 RPM turntable
  • An iconic modernist Elektrohome record player from the 1970s
  • A wireless (!!!) record player from 1941. (It had a built-in AM radio transmitter!)

If you're going to be at SFO between now and the end of March, it's worth a look.  Some pictures after the jump.

(Thanks to Pete for the tip.)

South Korea’s Godfather of Rock

January 16th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Unless you're from SE Asia, you probably have never heard of Shin Joong Hyun.  Born in 1938 and heavily influenced by the Jefferson Airplane and Jimi Hendrix, he was on track to become a seriously big star in his homeland until he got a call in 1972.

At the time, South Korea was ruled by a military junta.  Hoping to curry favour with the young people of the country, the government demanded that Shin write a song for leader Park Chung-Lee.  

Shin refused once, then twice.  Instead, he wrote a ten-minute psych track called "Beautiful Rivers and Mountains" (listen after the jump) which celebrated his country but didn't include any mention of the dictators running the place.  Gutsy move.

Not Paranoid Enough Yet? Try This: Going to Concerts Could Kill You

January 16th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

The adage says that there's safety in numbers.  But there can also be danger.

According to The Lancet, the British medical journal, the increasing number of large-scale events--sporting events, political rallies, state funerals, religious pilgrimages and, yes, music festivals--pose "substantial risk to global health security."

How?  Opportunity for the spread of infectious diseases. Violence. Terrorist attacks.  Accidents.

What Will This Mean for Music on YouTube?

January 16th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Quick:  name the most popular source for music on the web.  If you said anything other than YouTube, you are incorrect. More people go to YouTube than any other site when it comes to searching for music.  

When Google bought YouTube in 2006, critics said that by inheriting a myriad of copyright lawsuits, the video site threatened the overall health of Google.  But after making many lawyers very crazy (and others very rich), Google managed to hammer out a series of license agreements with the record labels.

Those agreements are almost up and Google has been in negotiation with at least three of the four major labels (I'm keeping EMI separate for now) to make sure users continue to access music through the site.

Ferrari Headphones?

January 16th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Are these supposed to help me listen faster or something?  From the press release: The Ferrari Cavallino Collection is influenced

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