Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyoncé, by British music writer and musician Bob Stanley, brings a fan’s passion and prejudices as well as a fine-tuned ear to an ambitious undertaking – and pulls it off with insight, wit, and style. Donovan more important than Dylan? Blondie over Patti Smith? Stanley’s bold positions connect pop’s many dots in fresh and fascinating patterns.
Your own TV DJ
N3twork wants to make Web TV feel more like regular TV. The service rounds up funny, newsworthy, and inspirational videos from across the Internet. Tell N3twork what you’re in the mood for, and it’ll feed you a seemingly endless stream of curated videos. While the app runs well on (newer) iPhones and iPads, it really shines on an Apple TV. That way you get a commercial-free, personalized television station, with your mobile device acting as the remote control.
O say you must see
Francis Scott Key’s anthem will shine in the Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of Our National Anthem, airing live on PBS’s “Great Performances” on Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. EDT. The Baltimore celebration will be cohosted by actor John Lithgow and singer Jordin Sparks. Singers Kristin Chenoweth and Melissa Etheridge will perform, among others.
A good kind of trouble
If you love the soul of vintage vinyl and long for the days of jukebox rhythms, meet the American blues rock band Vintage Trouble. Their latest album, The Swing House Acoustic Sessions EP, grooves with the muscular vocals of lead singer Ty Taylor (think James Brown). Their original songs, such as “Lo and Behold” and “Run Outta You,” seamlessly blend full-on rock and acoustic sounds.
Robert Plant’s world record
Midway through his new album, Robert Plant exclaims, “Turn it up!” The singer’s 10th solo record, lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar, deserves to be heard at volume. Though the album rocks out, it’s more lullaby than roar. The atmospheric music draws upon West African folk and blues, Welsh music, Appalachian bluegrass, and British trip-hop. Plant delivers emotionally affecting vocal performances on “Embrace Another Fall” and “Pocketful of Golden.” For the singer with golden locks and a golden voice, these are golden days.