In 1857, Frenchman Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville patented his invention for recording sound, the phonautograph. Twenty years later, in 1877, someone first realized that his phonautograms could also play back recorded music. It was the same year, coincidentally, that Thomas Edison patented the phonograph and thus the age of recorded music began. In 2015, former Amoebite Matthew Messbarger posted an NME “Best of 1990” on my Facebook timeline and I decided to began reviewing the best songs of each year, from 1877 to the present, in random order.
Outside Earth, humans visited the moon for the last time. The Space Shuttle program began. Mariner 9 became the first artificial satellite to orbit another planet (Mars). The Pioneer 10 launched from Cape Kennedy and would become the first human-made object to leave the solar system. In art, Andrei Tarkovsky‘s science-fiction masterpiece Solaris debuted and although perhaps not masterpieces, Eolomea and Silent Running entertained. With all of that space travel its no wonder it was glam rock‘s’ annus mirabilis. Capitalizing on the space craze, David Bowie‘s 1969 song, “Space Oddity” was re-released and Elton John, doing his best Bowie, released “Rocket Man” (which was later covered byWilliam Shatner which was later covered by Chris Elliott).
Eric Brightwell is an adventurer, writer, rambler, explorer, cartographer, and guerrilla gardener who is always seeking writing, speaking, traveling, and art opportunities — or salaried work. He is not interested in writing advertorials, clickbait, listicles, or other 21st century variations of spam. Brightwell’s written work has appeared in Amoeblog, diaCRITICS, and KCET Departures. His work has been featured by the American Institute of Architects, the Architecture & Design Museum, the Craft & Folk Art Museum, Form Follows Function, Los Angeles County Store, Skid Row Housing Trust, and 1650 Gallery. Brightwell has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Magazine, LAist, Eastsider LA, Boing Boing, Los Angeles, I’m Yours, and on Notebook on Cities and Culture. He has been a guest speaker on KCRW‘s Which Way, LA? and at Emerson College. Art prints of his maps are available from 1650 Gallery and on other products from Cal31. He is currently writing a book about Los Angeles and you can follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Click here to offer financial support and thank you!