Scientists show Drunk birds slur their Songs.

imrsBird, go home, you are drunk. (AP Photo/Rawlins Daily Times, Jerret Raffety, File)
Sometimes science means getting a bunch of finches sloshed. Or at least giving them blood alcohol levels of around .08 percent, which is pretty crazy by bird standards.
In a study published last week in PLOS ONE, researchers from the Oregon Health and Science University tempted zebra finches with spiked juice — but not because they wanted to help the lab animals ring in the new year in style.
The researchers study birdsong to learn more about human speech. Birds learn to sing in much the same way that humans learn to talk (in fact, a recent study found that birdsong and speech even rely on the same genes).
It’s much easier to keep a bird in a cage and study its brain than it is to do the same with a human toddler, so birds give scientists some of our best insights into the brain mechanisms that make speech possible.
If you’ve ever talked to someone under the influence of alcohol, you know that it makes speech more difficult. But there hasn’t been much research on vocal impairment caused by alcohol — mostly because scientists have so few non-human lab animals capable of “speech” to work with.
“At first we were thinking that they wouldn’t drink on their own because, you know, a lot of animals just won’t touch the stuff,” researcher Christopher Olson told NPR, “But they seem to tolerate it pretty well and be somewhat willing to consume it.”
And once the birds were buzzed, they started to slur their songs.
“The most pronounced effects were decreased amplitude and increased entropy,” the researchers wrote in the study.
So in other words, their songs got quieter and less organized.
Read more via Scientists show that drunk birds ‘slur’ their songs – The Washington Post.

Neil Young through the Years.

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For the first time, the Morrison Hotel Gallery is hosting an exhibition in all three of their locations – Long May You Run, a retrospective of Neil Young, charts his rise from Buffalo Springfield to refusing to settle down in his 70s.

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2080

See more on Neil Young via Neil Young: an artist through the years – in pictures | Music | The Guardian

Seeburg Select-O-Matic Jukebox,1948.

Myron Holbert, shown with the Seeburg Selec-O-Matic "200" library demonstrated for the first time in Los Angeles, April 2, 1948. It stores and automatically plays 200 selections which are accomplished by merely setting a lever to play either side or both sides of any record in the whole library and the whole library can be played without anyone touching the records. A revolutionary development is the playing of both sides of the record without turning it over. (AP Photo)

Myron Holbert, shown with the Seeburg Select-O-Matic “200” library demonstrated for the first time in Los Angeles, April 2, 1948. It stores and automatically plays 200 selections which are accomplished by merely setting a lever to play either side or both sides of any record in the whole library and the whole library can be played without anyone touching the records. A revolutionary development is the playing of both sides of the record without turning it over. (AP Photo)

In this photo from April of 1948 we see engineer Myron Holbert, who’s showing off the Seeburg Select-O-Matic jukebox.
The machine held a relatively enormous library of music — 200 selections!
And although the jukebox became a symbol of the postwar teen music explosion, it predates the 1950s.
In fact, it was during the 1930s that America saw an incredible rise in the number of jukeboxes filling dance halls and diners.
Source: This Was a Jukebox in 1948

‘Auld Lang Syne’ by Robbie Burns, 1796.

robert_burnsThe most commonly sung song for English-speakers on New Year’s eve, “Auld Lang Syne” is an old Scottish song that was first published by the poet Robert Burns in the 1796 edition of the book, Scots Musical Museum.
Burns transcribed it (and made some refinements to the lyrics) after he heard it sung by an old man from the Ayrshire area of Scotland, Burns’s homeland.
It is often remarked that “Auld Lang Syne” is one of the most popular songs that nobody knows the lyrics to. “Auld Lang Syne” literally translates as “old long since” and means “times gone by.”
The song asks whether old friends and times will be forgotten and promises to remember people of the past with fondness, “For auld lang syne, we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet.
“The lesser known verses continue this theme, lamenting how friends who once used to “run about the braes,/ And pou’d the gowans fine” (run about the hills and pulled up the daisies) and “paidl’d in the burn/Frae morning sun till dine” (paddled in the stream from morning to dusk) have become divided by time and distance—”seas between us braid hae roar’d” (broad seas have roared between us).
Yet there is always time for old friends to get together—if not in person then in memory—and “tak a right guid-willie waught” (a good-will drink).

guylombardi

But it was bandleader Guy Lombardo, and not Robert Burns, who popularized the song and turned it into a New Year’s tradition. Lombardo first heard “Auld Lang Syne” in his hometown of London, Ontario, where it was sung by Scottish immigrants.
When he and his brothers formed the famous dance band, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, the song became one of their standards. Lombardo played the song at midnight at a New Year’s eve party at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City in 1929, and a tradition was born.
Source: New Year’s Traditions

The ‘Bee Gees’ dominated the 1970s.

bee_gees_1977
A 1977 publicity photo of the Bee Gees for a television special, “Billboard #1 Music Awards.” From top: Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb.
The Bee Gees’ dominance of the charts in the disco era was above and beyond Chic, Giorgio Moroder, even Donna Summer.
Their sound track to Saturday Night Fever sold thirty million copies.
They were responsible for writing and producing eight of 1978’s number ones, something only Lennon and McCartney in 1963/64 could rival—and John and Paul hadn’t been the producers, only the writers.
Even given the task of writing a song called “Grease” (“Grease is the word, it’s got groove, it’s got a meaning,” they claimed, hoping no one would ask, “Come again?”), they came up with a classic.
At one point in March they were behind five singles in the American Top 10.
In 1978 they accounted for 2 percent of the entire record industry’s profits. The Bee Gees were a cultural phenomenon.
Three siblings from an isolated, slightly sinister island off the coast of northwest England, already in their late twenties by the time the Fever struck—how the hell did they manage this?
Pin ups in the late sixties, makers of the occasional keening ballad hit in the early seventies, the Bee Gees had no real contact with the zeitgeist until, inexplicably, they had hits like “Nights on Broadway,” “Stayin’ Alive,” “Night Fever,” and the zeitgeist suddenly seemed to emanate from them.
This happened because they were blending white soul, R&B, and dance music in a way that suited pretty much every club, every radio station, every American citizen in 1978.
They melded black and white influences into a more satisfying whole than anyone since Elvis.
Simply, they were defining pop culture in 1978.
Read further via Islands in the Stream.