Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Archimedes' Devil


A quarter of the way through "Follow The Music" and it mentions that Jac Holzman had a desk toy called an Archimedes Devil. I'd never heard of these and couldn't really find anything on the web until I came across the Cartesian Diver or Cartesian Devil a classic science experiment which demonstrates the principle of buoyancy (Archimedes' principle) and the ideal gas law. So now I know what it is and I have seen them in the past, but this is another reason why it is great to read because it either brings back things you've forgotten or lets you discover new things.

I'm still not up to the introduction of rock music to Elektra (though the book's cover has about four Doors albums and The Beatles have been mentioned) but several unexpected names have popped up, one of which was Joshua Rifkin a player with the Even Dozen Jug Band (I really need to look into what a Jug Band is (A group that uses unconventional or improvised instruments, such as jugs, kazoos, and washboards.)  DuckDuckGo and Wikipedia are a great reference library.

But it a semi parallel with Brian Eno's Obscure imprint , Jac Holzman came up with the idea of a budget Classical label selling good quality albums for $2.50 undercutting major labels, and Rifkin was a musicologist who wrote the sleeve notes, The label is Nonesuch ,and I first came across this and Joshua Rifkin when he covered some Scott Joplin ragtime and his version of "The Entertainer" was what brought ragtime to my attention, Marvin Hamlisch covered it for the theme for the film "The Sting" , so that's what we go with today for your enjoyment.

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