We’re playing R&B: ‘Smokestack Lightning’, ‘I’m a Man’, ‘Road Runner’ and other heavy classics. I scrape the howling Rickenbacker guitar up and down my microphone stand, then flip the special switch I recently fitted so the guitar sputters and sprays the front row with bullets of sound. I violently thrust my guitar into the air — and feel a terrible shudder as the sound goes from a roar to a rattling growl; I look up to see my guitar’s broken head as I pull it away from the hole I’ve punched in the low ceiling.
It is at this moment that I make a split-second decision — and in a mad frenzy I thrust the damaged guitar up into the ceiling over and over again. What had been a clean break becomes a splinter mess. I hold the guitar up to the crowd triumphantly. I haven’t smashed it: I’ve sculpted it for them. I throw the shattered guitar carelessly to the ground, pick up my brand-new Rickenbacker twelve-string and continue the show…. -Pete Townsend, Who I Am: A Memoir
tin ear (n): Insensitivity to and inability to appreciate the elements of performed music or the rhythm, elegance, or nuances of language
In the early 1800s, a blind man from England named James Holman journeyed around the world — he may have been the most prolific traveler in history up to that point, Magellan and Marco Polo included — relying on the echoes from the click of his cane. Not until the 1940s, in Karl Dallenbach’s lab at Cornell University, was it irrefutably proven that humans could echolocate.-Michael Finkel, The Blind Man Who Taught Himself to See
Three- to seven-month-old infants showed more activation in a part of the brain when they heard emotionally neutral human sounds, such as coughing, sneezing, or yawning, than when they heard the familiar sounds of toys or water. That activity appeared in an area of the temporal lobe known in adults for its role in processing human vocalizations. The babies also showed greater response to sad sounds versus neutral ones in another part of the brain involved in emotion processing in adults. -Science Daily
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