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Opinion: My Problem With Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift internet radioI admit: I am not a staunch Taylor Swift fan. To be frank, I have very little respect for her music in general. Numbers, however, are numbers and Taylor Swift swept 2010 like a tornado. An article I read today stated that her album ‘Speak Now’ sold more than 4.4 million albums and her songs were spotted by SoundScan a record 1.128 million times. As if this wasn’t enough, Taylor Swift also holds the distinction of being the most sold artist ever in the digital music world. Although I personally cannot see the reason her music is so popular, the fact that there are so many people out there that are willing to spend money to listen to her music says something about her work and about the industry in general.

Country Music Internet RadioTaylor Swift is an integral part of what I like to call the marketplace music movement. I am sure she puts a lot of work into her music and I respect the fact that she writes her own songs; but the fact remains that from the inception of the song to its production to its deployment as albums and digital downloads, the underlying motivation for everything is profit-making. That does not go to say that her music is not well-written or well-produced. It does, however, stay within the boundaries of what music corporate executives feel will sell the most. Going by the numbers alone, I’d say that they’re spot on.

I think music, however, has the potential to do more. It is a canvas on which artists can experiment, push the envelope and excite us. And I think that part of the reason that music like Taylor Swift’s sells so much is because we as consumers demand it. It’s basic economics. My only hope is that some of the break out artists from the world of Indie music and alternative rock whet the public’s appetite for more progressive music. I wish Taylor Swift success, but deeply hope for a day where the best selling hits are of deeper substance.

How YouTube Handles Copyright Infringement

Youtube Internet RadioIn the last several years, thousands of Internet users have been sued by the Recording Industry Association of America, also known as the RIAA. The charges: copyright infringement. With widespread availability of high speed connections, it has become more and more convenient for people to just download their favorite music, music video or movies. Over the years, this trend has become such a common practice that the film-making and music industries eventually noticed drastic decline in their sales. This observation compelled the RIAA to sue Internet users who had been identified downloading copyrighted materials. page_go Continue reading How YouTube Handles Copyright Infringement »

The Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana

Internet RadioA small group of young musicians, most of them school students, are redefining the way music is played live. Christening themselves the Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana, or LOL for short, a group of seven students set about to change the landscape of music as they know it. They write, produce and, most importantly, play their music almost entirely on digital instruments. Today, the team uses everything from the Nintendo Wii to Apple iPads and Macbooks to video game joysticks. The closet genre that the Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana could be classified in would be science-fiction movie scores. Most of their music, however, sounds completely original and otherworldly. Other similar groups have sprung up, such as the Stanford Laptop Orchestra, which is shown in the video below.
page_go Continue reading The Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana »

3 Things We Love About Country Music

Country Internet RadioCountry music has been around for a long time; it began at the dawn of the 20th century and since its inception has been on an upward spiral; continuously evolving and changing for the better.

If asked why they love country music, fans and followers of the genre may give you several reasons. What we have compiled below are some of the attributes that characterize country music and that country’s fans have come to love. page_go Continue reading 3 Things We Love About Country Music »

Classic Country Music vs. Mainstream Country Music

Classic Country Internet RadioCountry music started gaining popularity and making its mark during the start of the century.  From humble roots in the United States, country has gained recognition all over the world and evolved to the point where have two basic “sub-genres” of country: classic country and mainstream country music.

The two styles differ dramatically from each other, yet share some basic similarities.  The way the music is composed, the rhythm is structured and chords are used are all entirely different.  So which one is better—classic country or mainstream country? page_go Continue reading Classic Country Music vs. Mainstream Country Music »

Rusty McNeil, the Other Half of Famed Folk-Singing Duo Dead at 81

Rusty McNeil succumbed to death due to complications of stroke on December 15, 2010. The folk-music historian was 81.

Born Joan Betty Wilmsmeier, Rusty (a name everyone tagged her with because of her red hair) and her husband Keith McNeil made news when they started touring the country on a converted school bus. Dubbed  ‘Amazing Grace’, the bus became their ‘house on wheels’ for Keith and Rusty along with their children and dogs for a span of 15 years.
page_go Continue reading Rusty McNeil, the Other Half of Famed Folk-Singing Duo Dead at 81 »

Ivory Queen of Soul Teena Marie’s Death Caused by Grand Mal Seizure

A grand mal seizure may have caused R&B singer Teena Marie’s untimely death at the age of 54.

The singer was found dead in her Pasadena home the day after Christmas. Marie was taking an afternoon nap in her bedroom where her daughter checked her twice while she was asleep. On the second time she was checked at 3 p.m., Marie was already unresponsive.

Pasadena, California police said the singer died of “natural causes” according to a TMZ report. The singer’s publicist, Lynn Jeter, said in her statement that Marie might have suffered a grand mal seizure. It was reported that the R&B artist endured the same type of seizure a month ago, but was immediately taken to the hospital, enduring another seizure while inside the ambulance.

A grand mal seizure, according to Mayo Clinic, is caused by abnormal electrical activity throughout the brain which features loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions. Most of the time, this kind is caused by epilepsy while in some cases; the seizure is triggered by extremely low blood sugar or a stroke.

The seizure was said to have caused Marie two broken ribs from a fall; injuries are common for people who suffered from a seizure this massive. Marie’s daughter, Alia Rose, called 911 when she found her mom unresponsive. Despite a very emotional disposition, Alia Rose made the report herself and told the operator that her mother “lost her color…her color is gone”.

An autopsy and toxicology will be performed later this week. By then, questions about Marie’s death will be answered fully, though even now, illegal drug intake has been ruled out as a reason for the songstress’ passing, as law enforcement officials found no traces of such drugs. Marie struggled in fighting addiction to prescription pain medication before, according to the Associated Press. She became addicted to Vicodin when her ex-lover and mentor Rick James passed away in 2004.

Later on, she dismissed taking such medication and had shifted to using herbal medicines. When her body was found, herbal medicines were recovered from her room (not marijuana, according to police).

“Lovergirl” by Teena Marie

Born Mary Christine Brockert, Teena Marie was also known by the nickname Lady T and was dubbed “The Ivory Queen of Soul”. She signed with Motown Records in 1976. The multi-instrumentalist was regarded as “one of the strongest voices in R&B and soul music”. Her hits include Lovergirl, Ooo La La La, and Square Biz. Marie was able to release 13 albums throughout her career, two of which went platinum, and the rest of which went gold. Her 1984 single “Lovergirl” was Marie’s biggest hit, reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Marie was supposed to head to Atlanta to perform a New Year’s show; Jeter shared Marie’s excitement about her scheduled performance, as it was the singer’s first after the seizure she experienced last month.

The late R&B star received four Grammy nominations. Cathy Hughes, founder of Radio One, described Teena Marie as “a black voice trapped in a white body” for the soulful artistry the late singer possessed. She had worked with big names in the music industry in her three-decade career and was regarded by Hughes as “one of the greatest vocalists of our time”.

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  • About the Author:
    Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile.

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