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4 Crazy, Early Foreign Language Versions of Beatles Songs

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It was 50 years ago this week that the Beatles first landed in the U.S. and set off a wave of Beatlemania from coast to coast with their historic appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. By the end of the 1960s, their music had spread worldwide, not only in their own recordings, but in versions translated into other languages and sung by local pop stars. Here are 4 of the …best?...strangest?...most dumbfounding? Whatever they are, you don't want to miss them.

1. Russian: "Let It Be"

Be careful with this one; you won't be able to unsee it. It's from a 1974 Russian film called Magic Lantern, and at the time this was one of the only state-sanctioned ways Soviet youth could get access to Western music. Here's what the lyrics are saying:

Everything's happened before in the world
People are always the same
That's how it was, it is, and always will be

Ah, refreshing Russian pessimism. The best part is at 1:04, where the woman singer reacts to the children's chorus joining in. You know that's the expression every pop diva secretly makes in her head whenever a children's chorus starts up in her song.

2. French: "When I Saw Her Standing There"

Johnny Hallyday, the first French rock star, has been huge in the French-speaking world for decades. His most recent album, a live recording of his Born Rocker Tour, just came out last year. Here he is 50 years ago, applying his signature rocker growl to "When I Saw Her Standing There (Quand Je l'ai Vue Devant Moi)". It will charm you, if you can just ignore the off-beat clapping of the audience.

3. Cantonese: "Eight Days a Week"

Chan Po Chu, otherwise known as Connie Chan, was the biggest teen sensation of 1960s Hong Kong. Here's a clip from one of her many films, where she and her friends use some of that newfangled music to distract a guard while they break out of prison. They sound so sweet and jolly. He'll never suspect a thing.

4. Hindi: "It's Been A Hard Day's Night"

I found this by chance on YouTube. There's not much information about it, but it's by Mahendra Kapoor, whose voice was featured on Bollywood movies for decades, and it's amazing. The syncopated beatnik handclapping, the sax solo, the male backup singers, the joyful background whoops and yelps—you never heard Beatles like this before.

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How to Make Miles Davis’s Famous Chili Recipe
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STF/AFP/Getty Images

Miles Davis, who was born on May 26, 1926, was one of the most important and influential musicians of the 20th century, and changed the course of jazz music more times in his life than some people change their sheets. He was also pretty handy in the kitchen.

In his autobiography, Miles, Davis wrote that in the early 1960s, “I had gotten into cooking. I just loved food and hated going out to restaurants all the time, so I taught myself how to cook by reading books and practicing, just like you do on an instrument. I could cook most of the great French dishes—because I really liked French cooking—and all the black American dishes. But my favorite was a chili dish I called Miles's South Side Chicago Chili Mack. I served it with spaghetti, grated cheese, and oyster crackers."

Davis didn’t divulge what was in the dish or how to make it, but in 2007, Best Life magazine got the recipe from his first wife, Frances, who Davis said made it better than he did.

MILES'S SOUTH SIDE CHICAGO CHILIK MACK (SERVES 6)

1/4 lb. suet (beef fat)
1 large onion
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground veal
1/2 lb. ground pork
salt and pepper
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin seed
2 cans kidney beans, drained
1 can beef consommé
1 drop red wine vinegar
3 lb. spaghetti
parmesan cheese
oyster crackers
Heineken beer

1. Melt suet in large heavy pot until liquid fat is about an inch high. Remove solid pieces of suet from pot and discard.
2. In same pot, sauté onion.
3. Combine meats in bowl; season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin.
4. In another bowl, season kidney beans with salt and pepper.
5. Add meat to onions; sauté until brown.
6. Add kidney beans, consommé, and vinegar; simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
7. Add more seasonings to taste, if desired.
8. Cook spaghetti according to package directions, and then divide among six plates.
9. Spoon meat mixture over each plate of spaghetti.
10. Top with Parmesan and serve oyster crackers on the side.
11. Open a Heineken.

John Szwed’s biography of Davis, So What, mentions another chili that the trumpeter’s father taught him how to make. The book includes the ingredients, but no instructions, save for serving it over pasta. Like a jazz musician, you’ll have to improvise. 

bacon grease
3 large cloves of garlic
1 green, 1 red pepper
2 pounds ground lean chuck
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 jar of mustard
1/2 shot glass of vinegar
2 teaspoons of chili powder
dashes of salt and pepper
pinto or kidney beans
1 can of tomatoes
1 can of beef broth

serve over linguine

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music
New AI-Driven Music System Analyzes Tracks for Perfect Playlists
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Whether you're planning a bachelorette party or recovering from a breakup, a well-curated playlist makes all the difference. If you don't have time to pick the perfect songs manually, services that use the AI-driven system Sonic Style may be able to figure out exactly what you have in mind based on your request.

According to Fast Company, Sonic Style is the new music-categorizing service from the media and entertainment data provider Gracenote. There are plenty of music algorithms out there already, but Sonic Style works a little differently. Rather than listing the entire discography of a certain artist under a single genre, the AI analyzes individual tracks. It considers factors like the artist's typical genre and the era the song was recorded in, as well as qualities it can only learn through listening, like tempo and mood. Based on nearly 450 descriptors, it creates a super-accurate "style profile" of the track that makes it easier for listeners to find it when searching for the perfect song to fit an occasion.

Playlists that use data from Sonic Style feel like they were made by a person with a deep knowledge of music rather than a machine. That's thanks to the system's advanced neural network. It also recognizes artists that don't fit neatly into one genre, or that have evolved into a completely different music style over their careers. Any service—including music-streaming platforms and voice-activated assistants—that uses Gracenote's data will be able to take advantage of the new technology.

With AI at your disposal, all you have to do as the listener is decide on a style of music. Here are some ideas to get you started if you want a playlist for productivity.

[h/t Fast Company]

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