Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Telstar: The Satellite That Inspired a Pop Song

The game-changing satellite lead to a number-one song composed by an innovative producer.
by Rich Watson 

When AT&T created Telstar, the communications satellite, in 1962, it brought the world closer together. After its launch, more people could see images and hear events from across the planet than ever before.

Its manufacturers probably never imagined it would inspire a hit song.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Five Sounds and Instruments Heard in Herbie Hancock’s Hip-Hop/Jazz Amalgam “Rockit”

This electric eighties jam from a jazz veteran helped make hip-hop mainstream.
by Rich Watson 

The song “Rockit” by Herbie Hancock came around the time when hip-hop music was still new and unfamiliar to mainstream audiences. By combining the art of “scratching” vinyl records with a jazz sensibility, it helped legitimize the sound born of DJ house parties and inner city streets.

Hancock used more than scratches and samples on the song, though.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

BRW: Behind the Blind 4

Megan Haskell (with Greta Boris) was one of the authors from the online writing seminar I attended last fall. On her Substack, she recommended a technique I’ve begun applying as a means to develop better writing habits.

In a notebook, I write goals, broken down by year and by month. I list things I want to do on a daily or weekly basis, such as fiction or non-fiction writing, or social media interaction. I keep daily track of my progress. I also list what I’ve achieved on a monthly basis.

Of course, I have to remember to do this. At times I forget.

The idea is to achieve consistency and self-accountability. I don’t expect to hit every item on my list every day, but if I can get into habits on a regular basis, hopefully I can make better progress. “Something is better than nothing,” Haskell says. 

I try to remember that.