World’s Strangest

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Why Don’t You Hear Someone’s Accent in a Song?

Reader Jared wrote in with this question: “Why do singers I perceive as having accents (i.e. Adele, Bono, etc.) have those accents when they talk, but not when they sing?” Microphone image via Shutterstock I hear what Jared is saying. Or, rather, I don’t hear it. While there are certainly exceptions, I’ve heard a thick accent on [...]

The Late Movies: Guess the Theme 31

It’s time once again for the game that is, given the autumnal season, raking its way across the nation: GUESS THE THEME! All the clips below having something in common. Leave your best guesses in the comments. Janis Joplin – Me & Bobby McGee Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes Lou Reed – Walk On The [...]

Six-Word Fact Contest Winners!

Time to settle up our Six-Word Fact contest! The following people have all won mental_floss t-shirts. (Except Josh, who’s married to one of our researchers. Sorry.) I’ll be in touch about your prizes! Before sportscars, Ferruccio Lamborghini built tractors. — Junell * Indiana’s official state beverage is water. — Kristen * Twinkies originally had banana cream filling. — @ObitoftheDay * Eric Clapton lives in Columbus, [...]

Famous Bands Singing Nonsense

A couple of years ago I did a post called “Guitar Wizards Shred,” that featured the work of a Finnish guitar dude overdubbing famous guitar players’ solos with horrible flub-filled riffs that kind of matched the hand-work you see on screen. But I didn’t make a nod to the joke in the text of the [...]

The Late Movies: Musical Seniors

We all know that musicians like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are over-the-hill, but we usually don’t hear about too many people rocking away into the golden years. Some senior citizens, though, are showing that you don’t have to be young to be a rock star (or party like one). The Zimmers The Zimmers rocketed to [...]

The Late Movies: The Three Kings

The “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar” are Albert, B.B. and Freddie King (no relation). The three of them are among the greatest bluesmen and most influential guitarists of the late 20th century and are veritable American institutions (just as, if not more, important than barbecue and baseball). For each of the Kings, we’ve got [...]

The Late Movies: Guitar Virtuosos

This is by no means a complete list — instead, it’s a collection of videos of my favorite guitarists doing their mind-bending thing, whether that be shredding, flatpicking, fingerpicking, playing the blues, or jazz, or classical. See if you can watch any of these videos without your jaw dropping a little! Leo Kottke One of the best [...]

The Late Movies: One-Hit Wonders

They’re the songs you can’t get out of your head, no matter how hard you try. Even though you know every word by heart, you can’t remember the name of the band. Some one-hit wonders are a result of passing fads — Rick Dees’ “Disco Duck,” for instance — while others represent careers cut short [...]

The Quick 10: 10 “Fifth Beatles”

09.09.09: It’s Beatlemania all over again. At least, it is at my house. And to some degree, here on the _floss – we’ve covered Nine Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Beatles and Nine Women Who Inspired Beatles Songs. And now we bring you 10 people who have some sort of claim to the [...]

9 Things you probably don’t know about the Beatles

Today is 09/09/09, and you know what that means! The big Beatles Rock Band release. (GET IT? Number 9, number 9, number 9…) To get you in the mood, here are 9 rather obscure facts about those four lads from Liverpool that we bet you don’t know. (Nein?) 1. Before Lennon/McCartney there was McCartney/Lennon If you pick [...]