In 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. Continue reading How YouTube Handles Copyright Infringement »
A 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.
Continue reading The Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana »
Country 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. Continue reading 3 Things We Love About Country Music »
Country 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? Continue reading Classic Country Music vs. Mainstream Country Music »
There is nothing quite like being able to travel back in time by listening to radio shows that play old songs. It is like having a trip down memory lane–not just your memory lane, but the whole world’s memory lane; it’s a whole new experience for those who are too young to have heard the music of the past in real life.
Continue reading The Streaming Jukebox: How Internet Radio Keeps the Tradition Alive »
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.
Continue reading Rusty McNeil, the Other Half of Famed Folk-Singing Duo Dead at 81 »
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”.