33 Things September Edition

Every month, we will compile the best, weirdest, most interesting music and sound news from the past 30 days and serve it up to you in one handy, easy to digest list. May we present 33 Things that happened in September. This list is brought to you by our 33 1/3 intern, Greta Moran.

  1. Pope Francis is dropping a rock album. Just to forewarn you: the remaining 32 things to follow are not quite as momentous.
  2. Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 series is also dropping a few things, namely Metallica and Beat Happening!
  3. The release of these books makes me feel like a smiling cat riding a U.S.A. spaceship.
  4. Briefly returning to the topic of famous, God-like figures, Beyoncé gave a free concert in Central Park this month as part of the Global Citizen Festival.
  5. Other performers were there too, but this minor fact seemed to be neglected by popular news sources, as evidenced by this hilarious headline. 
  6. This is a public service announcement to respect the Beygency. 
  7. This month a rapper released a mix tape entirely based on Dragon Ball Z — a reminder that humanity is deeply strange and awesome.
  8. We always knew sound was transportive, but now it might literally be able to transport objects (specifically water droplets, coffee granules, and fragments of polystyrene).
  9. This month NPR tackled an age old question: Why artists’ bios can’t be better.
  10. This video of Bjork explaining television is a perfect union of our 33 1/3 and Object Lessons series. It’s not from September, but Bjork exists outside of time.
  11. I’m not sure why this classifies as breaking news, but it has recently been discovered that minerals produce beautiful music.
  12. If mineral music isn’t your thing, you can always sit back and enjoy the electromagnetic fields produced by moons and planets, as captured by NASA.
  13. Does water flowing sound the same in space?
  14. Lujendra Ojha, one of the research scientists who discovered water on Mars, happens to be a metalhead. Discovering water on mars is still so metal though.
  15. These scientists also probably just killed the “Where is water?” subplot of the Mars One reality show.
  16. Which musician on the 33 1/3 list do you think most resembles the very vocally talented lyrebird (in terms of vocals)?
  17. Nothing really compares to good, old-fashioned, human-made jazz. (Sorry NASA, minerals, and lyrebird).
  18. Speaking of Jazz, God bless Phil Woods, one of the best saxophonists to grace this planet, who passed away.
  19. Jason Hamacher, a punk musician from D.C., has become an unlikely musical archivist of Aleppo, Syria.
  20. A few of Bloomsbury’s authors are participating in Books for Syria to launch next month. (If you’re this far down my blog post, you probably spend all your time reading books anyway, so contributing will be easy.)
  21. Patti Smith forever. I am unbearably excited about her new memoir, M Train, due out next month! Here’s an excerpt. 
  22. Just in case you need a reminder of how mind-shatteringly beautiful Patti Smith’s writing is, here is a NPR segment of her reading her previous memoir, Just Kids.
  23. This anti-street harassment music video released this month by The Pretty Greens is amazing.
  24. Is the “rock critic establishment” dead? Do rock critics no longer serve as the gatekeepers of taste?
  25. Rock critics may no longer shape our tastes, but sound shapes how we evolve, according to Seth Horowitz. 
  26. Lin-Manuel Miranda, writer of the Broadway hip hop musical Hamilton, won a McArthur Genius Grant this month. Apparently, he thought it was a cable company calling to beg him to reconsider the recent service cancellation.
  27. Here is Miranda performing a rap about Hamilton that was cut from the musical. (If this is what is cut, imagine how great the parts that made it into the musical are.)
  28. These teen girls playing a Metallica cover should also probably win a McArthur Genius Award. Regardless, they are my heroes.
  29. Father John Misty covered Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” in the spirit of the Velvet Underground. Yet soon regretted it when Lou Reed appeared to him in a dream and said, “I am not your plaything.” Fair enough.
  30. Fortunately, Ryan Adams was able to do an entire cover of Taylor Swift’s album without any apparitions involved. At least not yet…
  31. If anyone is wondering about the finer semantics of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off,” look no further than here.
  32. Ok, so if Father John Misty treated Lou Reed like a plaything, may Father John Misty be considered a player who is gonna play, play, play? Or is FJM considered a stayer who was previously a player? And can you truly play someone who is not a plaything?
  33. Of course, any blog post that culls things from the internet would not be complete without a cat video.

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