Cosmik Debris – Cool Stuff I Heard and Saw This Week (2/14/16)

Now who you jivin’ with that Cosmik Debris? – Zappa

TV Series about Sam Phillips and Sun records
–In an earlier post, I reviewed Peter Guralnick’s book, Sam Phillips, The Man Who Invented Rock and Roll. Well, it turns out that there’s some Sam fever out there to this day. Whether or not the book served as inspiration, it turns out that Nashville-based CMT network will be filming an eight-part adaptation of Million Dollar Quartet, the Broadway musical about Sun Records.

The thing is still being cast but the casting notice says it is, “the story of nothing less than the creation of rock ‘n’ roll. We see the new music unfold, changing society, paving the way for racial integration. Set in Memphis, Tennessee, it’s the story of Sam Phillips, a struggling audio engineer who has a dream of starting his own record label.

The series will document Sun Records’ transition from a black, blues-based label to becoming a force in rock and roll with the arrival of Elvis Presley. Phillips signed him, promoted him in the face of ridicule and hostility, but was soon forced to sell his contract to RCA to keep afloat. He used the proceeds to promote Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins’ ‘Blue Suede Shoes.’ Then he discovered Jerry Lee Lewis. The music that Phillips nurtured is the defining sound of modern times, still the foundation of contemporary popular music.”

Having read the book, all totally accurate. The show will be filmed in Memphis. Can’t wait for that. Who will play Elvis?

Scientists have identified neural pathways that react almost exclusively to the sound of music
–“It may be Bach, bluegrass, hip-hop, big band, sitar or Julie Andrews. A listener may relish the sampled genre or revile it. No matter. {Per an MIT study}, when a musical passage is played, a distinct set of neurons tucked inside a furrow of a listener’s auditory cortex will fire in response.” So we are wired (no surprise there) to dig music. Article here.

Springsteen plays Bowie
–In my last Cool Stuff post, I noted that David Bowie was an early fan and promoter of Bruce Springsteen and even recorded “It’s Hard to Be a Saint In the City.” And so it turns out that Springsteen is acknowledging Bowie on his current tour by covering “Rebel, Rebel.” Here ’tis.