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Arts
Performing Arts

Stuff from the B-Side

Updated 4 days ago

Arts
Performing Arts
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What is the story behind Stagger Lee? Why would astronauts need a DJ? Join Mark and John as they explore everything from the president's record collection to the future of digital music in Stuff From The B-Side, a podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Read more

What is the story behind Stagger Lee? Why would astronauts need a DJ? Join Mark and John as they explore everything from the president's record collection to the future of digital music in Stuff From The B-Side, a podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

iTunes Ratings

132 Ratings
Average Ratings
85
21
13
7
6

Bring it Back!!

By Artist from tx - Oct 01 2018
Read more
I love How Stuff Works Podcasts, please make more of this one.

Absolutely great

By clint wolf - Aug 17 2015
Read more
Terrific podcast. Still good after many years of no new ones. Too bad they stopped producing them.

iTunes Ratings

132 Ratings
Average Ratings
85
21
13
7
6

Bring it Back!!

By Artist from tx - Oct 01 2018
Read more
I love How Stuff Works Podcasts, please make more of this one.

Absolutely great

By clint wolf - Aug 17 2015
Read more
Terrific podcast. Still good after many years of no new ones. Too bad they stopped producing them.
Cover image of Stuff from the B-Side

Stuff from the B-Side

Latest release on Dec 10, 2009

Read more

What is the story behind Stagger Lee? Why would astronauts need a DJ? Join Mark and John as they explore everything from the president's record collection to the future of digital music in Stuff From The B-Side, a podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Rank #1: How Tone Deafness Works

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People who suffer from tone deafness have difficulties differentiating between one pitch and the next. Tune in as John and Mark explore the bewildering world of the tone deaf in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Mar 26 2009

13mins

Play

Rank #2: How random is the iPod Shuffle function?

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The iPod's shuffle function is meant to randomly move from one song to the next -- but how random can a random function actually be? Learn more in this podcast.

Mar 10 2009

12mins

Play

Rank #3: What is nerdcore?

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Nerdcore is a special type of hip hop custom-built for nerds. Tune in as the B-Side team takes a look at the underground genre of nerdcore -- from the history to the rappers themselves -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Mar 31 2009

17mins

Play

Rank #4: What are the best film scores?

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A good soundtrack can often make the difference between an above-average film and a cinematic masterpiece. Tune in as Mark and John review some of Hollywood's greatest film scores in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

May 28 2009

21mins

Play

Rank #5: How Steel Drums Work

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The evolution of the steel drum is inextricably tied to history of Trinidad and Tobago, where drumming was banned in the 1880s. Lend an ear as the B-Siders explore the amazing story of the steel drum in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Apr 09 2009

20mins

Play

Rank #6: How does music reveal your personality?

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In 2003, researchers compared students' personalities to their music preferences. Could they predict a student's personality based on his or her favorite tunes? Learn the results -- which might surprise you -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Jul 30 2009

15mins

Play

Rank #7: How Billie Holiday Worked

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Billie Holiday was a pioneering jazz singer and tremendously influenced generations of musicians. Join the B-Side guys as they take a look at the life and career of the legendary Billie Holiday in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

May 14 2009

23mins

Play

Rank #8: What makes Dave Brubeck's Time Out unique?

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Dave Brubeck is a legendary American jazz pianist known for his use of unorthodox time signatures. Tune in as Mark and John take a closer look at the work of this unique jazz icon in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Jun 30 2009

25mins

Play

Rank #9: The History of the Guitar

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Today, the guitar is one of the world's most well-known and popular instruments -- but where did it come from? Tune into this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about the history and evolution of the guitar.

Jan 29 2009

14mins

Play

Rank #10: The Great American Songbook

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From the 1920s into the 60s, the Great American Songbook covers iconic music of the stage and screen. Yet there's no definitive list of the songs and songwriters involved. Learn more about the history of the Great American Songbook in this episode.

Nov 19 2009

21mins

Play

Rank #11: Music Theory 101: Intervals

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The term 'interval' refers to the distance or relationship between two notes. In this continuing series on the basics of music theory, the crew examines different types of intervals, as well as their respective roles in classical and modern music.

Oct 27 2009

14mins

Play

Rank #12: Why is the "Jaws" theme so scary?

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Bursting onto the scene in 1975, "Jaws" became the first blockbuster film. Much of the film's success comes from John William's score -- but why is the music so scary? Tune in as John and Mark figure it out in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Jul 28 2009

13mins

Play

Rank #13: Why is "Thriller" the world's best-selling album?

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As the world reels after the death of Michael Jackson, fans across the planet pay tribute to the King of Pop. Join Mark and John as they ask why Michael Jackson's "Thriller" is the world's best-selling album in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Jul 09 2009

32mins

Play

Rank #14: Music Theory 101: Time Signature

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Building on last week's exploration of tempo, Mark and John break down the use of time signatures. Lend our resident audiophiles an ear and learn more about music theory in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Sep 15 2009

16mins

Play

Rank #15: Why would classical musicians use drugs?

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Historically, musicians have a penchant for drug use -- the old association of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll has a grain of truth. Check out this podcast as Mark and John, HowStuffWorks.com's resident musicologists, take a look at this phenomenon.

Apr 16 2009

14mins

Play

Rank #16: Did The Beatles use the first concert monitors?

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When the Beatles toured the U.S. for the second time in 1965, the sound systems were terrible in many venues. That all changed in Atlanta, Georgia, however. Learn more about the first use of concert monitors in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Aug 25 2009

9mins

Play

Rank #17: Did Coldplay plagiarize Joe Satriani?

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When Joe Satriani listened to Coldplay's "Viva La Vida", he detected a familiar melody -- one so familiar, in fact, that he suspected an act of plagiarism. Listen as Mark and John compare the melodies in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Aug 04 2009

17mins

Play

Rank #18: The Legendary Les Paul: The Solid-Body Electric Guitar

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In this episode of Mark and John's continuing series on Les Paul, the B-Side crew takes a look at Paul's inventive side. Learn how this musician developed the solid-body electric guitar in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Sep 22 2009

14mins

Play

Rank #19: How Conductors Work

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Conductors lead groups of musicians in a simultaneous performance. Despite their prominent role, many people don't know what conductors actually do. Tune in and learn more about conductors in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Mar 17 2009

17mins

Play

Rank #20: Music Theory 101: Notation and Pitch

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In this episode of a continuing series on music theory, Mark and John explore notation and pitch, two fundamental concepts for any budding musician. Listen in and learn more about notation and pitch in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Sep 24 2009

9mins

Play

Before They Were Robots: Early Kraftwerk

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Kraftwerk is a legendary German electronic music band that has actively influenced the development of modern popular music. In this episode, Mark and John trace the development of Kraftwerk, as well as its effect on other bands and musical genres.

Dec 10 2009

27mins

Play

The Birth of a Folk Song: Stagger Lee

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In 1895, Stagger Lee killed William Lyons in an argument. Usually, a crime like this would disappear into the footnotes of history, but this event was different. Learn the true story behind one of America's most popular folk songs in this podcast.

Dec 08 2009

22mins

Play

The World's Oldest Music Company

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At over 380 years old, the Aedis Zildjian cymbal manufacturer is the world's oldest musical company. Learn more about this company -- and cymbals -- in this episode.

Dec 03 2009

17mins

Play

Who was Harry Partch?

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When American composer Harry Partch didn't enjoy the conventional 12-note scale, he created his own scale. He also built his own instruments upon which this scale could be played. Join Mark and John as they explore the musical pursuits of Harry Partch.

Dec 01 2009

16mins

Play

Are heavier records better than others?

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A standard vinyl record is between 120 to 140 grams, but audiophiles often think this is too flimsy -- why? Join John and Mark as they explore the eccentricities of vinyl records and determine whether or not the weight of a record makes a difference.

Nov 26 2009

13mins

Play

Is an encore necessary?

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During many concerts, bands return to the stage after their performance to crank out a few more tunes as the audience screams 'encore.' Explore the history of the encore -- and the philosophy behind the practice -- in this episode.

Nov 24 2009

13mins

Play

The Great American Songbook

Podcast cover
Read more
From the 1920s into the 60s, the Great American Songbook covers iconic music of the stage and screen. Yet there's no definitive list of the songs and songwriters involved. Learn more about the history of the Great American Songbook in this episode.

Nov 19 2009

21mins

Play

What causes feedback?

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Everyone's familiar with the ear-wrenching screech that unexpectantly blasts from speaker systems during a public address -- but what exactly is it? John and Mark investigate the unpleasant phenomenon of feedback in this episode.

Nov 17 2009

13mins

Play

A Seasonal Guide to Music

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How do you feel about the seasons? Whether you're in love with winter, summer, spring or fall, odds are that certain tunes remind you of the turning seasons. Join John and Mark as they present a guide to the seasonal music in this episode.

Nov 12 2009

29mins

Play

What is a mondegreen?

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Have you ever misheard a lyric? If so, then you've heard a mondegreen. Mondegreens are surprisingly common throughout musical history. Join John and Mark as they explore perplexing -- and humorous -- mondegreens in this episode.

Nov 10 2009

18mins

Play

The History of The Grand Ole Opry

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As the oldest continuous radio show in the US, the Grand Ole Opry is a crucial part of country music's history. Listen in as Mark and John explore the history of the Opry -- including some controversial performances -- in this episode.

Nov 05 2009

17mins

Play

Why does NASA have a morning DJ?

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For an astronaut in orbit, the sun appears to rise every 90 minutes. This extreme change disrupts the usual cycle of waking and sleeping. Luckily, NASA cooked up a creative -- and surprising -- solution. Tune in to learn more about DJ CAPCOM.

Nov 03 2009

17mins

Play

How does a tuning fork work?

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Tuning forks have been used since the 1800s, and are still common today. Yet tuning forks aren't just for music -- they're also used for watches and medical evaluations. Tune in and learn more about the rise of the humble table fork in this episode.

Oct 29 2009

10mins

Play

Music Theory 101: Intervals

Podcast cover
Read more
The term 'interval' refers to the distance or relationship between two notes. In this continuing series on the basics of music theory, the crew examines different types of intervals, as well as their respective roles in classical and modern music.

Oct 27 2009

14mins

Play

The One-Armed Pianist: Paul Wittgenstein

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Many people assume that most musical instruments require two hands. Yet after the famous pianist Paul Wittgenstein lost his right arm in World War I, he resolved to continue his career. Listen in and learn more about Paul Wittgenstein in this episode.

Oct 22 2009

17mins

Play

How Didgeridoos Work

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Used for centuries by indigenous Australians, the didgeridoo was originally played as musical accompaniment to ceremonial functions. Join Mark and John as they explore the history of this unique instrument, from prehistoric times to the modern era.

Oct 20 2009

12mins

Play

Why were singers castrated?

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During the 16th century, European boys with good singing voices ran the risk of castration. Join Mark and John as they explore the bizarre world of castrated singers -- and the reasons behind the practice -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Oct 15 2009

16mins

Play

What makes an instrument's sound unique?

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Most people can easily hear the difference between an oboe or a sitar, even when the instruments are playing the same note. Join the hosts of Stuff From The B-Side as they explore the science behind the fascinating concept of timbre in this podcast.

Oct 13 2009

12mins

Play

Can a building be an instrument?

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As David Byrne biked through the urban landscape, he was struck with an enormous idea: Could an entire building become a musical instrument? Learn more about Byrne's idea -- and how he pulled it off -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Oct 08 2009

9mins

Play

What are the highest and lowest notes ever played?

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Join Mark and John as they look back through the history of opera and world records to find the highest and lowest notes ever reached by human voices. Learn more about the amazing range of the human voice in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Oct 06 2009

12mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

132 Ratings
Average Ratings
85
21
13
7
6

Bring it Back!!

By Artist from tx - Oct 01 2018
Read more
I love How Stuff Works Podcasts, please make more of this one.

Absolutely great

By clint wolf - Aug 17 2015
Read more
Terrific podcast. Still good after many years of no new ones. Too bad they stopped producing them.