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Alicia Keys Going On Ten Years of Success

It’s hard to believe Alicia Keys has had 10 years of success under her belt. Keys’ has proven she is not a one-hit wonder since releasing her hits in 2000, “Rock Wit U” and “Rear View Mirror” – both of which were featured on the soundtracks to the films Shaft and Dr. Dolittle 2, respectively.

What is Keys doing now, ten years later? She is currently touring on her “Freedom Tour”, which has been around the world and is now in the United States.

Alica Keys was born Alicia Augello Cook. She was raised by a single mother in the Hell’s Kitchen area of Manhattan in New York City. Keys loved classical music and began playing at the age of seven. Keys was not only musically inclined she was also highly intelligent. She graduated from the Professional Performing Arts School at the age of 16 and as Valedictorian. She then attended Columbia University, which was followed by the signing of her first album with J Records. Although Keys released singles for soundtracks, it was in 2001 that her commercial success came with the release of Songs In A Minor. The album sold over 12 million copies worldwide. Keys also earned five Grammy Awards, became the Best New Artist and won Song of the Year for “Fallin”.

In 2003 she released The Diary of Alicia Keys, which was another success, nationally and worldwide. Selling eight million copies, again she obtained four more Grammy Awards.

Keys sound and style was not only popular, the television and movie industry was also interested in her character. She made several appearances on the TV series Charmed. In 2007 she also was in the film Smokin’ Aces and The Nanny Diaries. After releasing another successful album “As I Am’, she appeared in the movie The Secret Life of Bees, which earned her a nomination at the NAACP Image Awards. Being before audiences wasn’t new to Keys when she released her first album nor when she stared on Charmed. In 1985, Keys actually made an appearance on The Cosby Show, when she was four, playing the part of Rudy Huxtable’s sleepover guest.

In 2007, Keys released her third studio album, “As I Am”. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The album’s lead single “No One” peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Sons, becoming Keys’ third and fifth number one single on each chart respectively. The album’s second single, “Like You’ll Never See Me Again” was released in late 2007 and peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.

If this wasn’t enough, Key’s released her fourth album, “The Element of Freedom” in 2009, which became her first chart-topping album in the United Kingdom.

Keys, being multidimensional, of course has other irons in the fire beyond her albums. She plans to continue acting as she signed on to remake the film Bell, Book and Candle, a 1958 comedy, in which Keys stars as a witch who casts a love spell to lure a rival’s fiancé. Keys’ is also expected to play a 1940s biracial piano child prodigy in a film entitled Compositions in Black and White.

Ten years ago Alicia Keys worried she would be a one-hit wonder, today she is possibly wondering what it is she can’t do and become a hit at.

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. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

Cheap Trick Pulling Another Tour Out Of Its Hat

Some bands never die – Cheap Trick may be one of them. This 70s band is now talking about going back on tour with a full run of album shows. Frontman Robin Zander said they are thinking about doing again what they did in the 90s. Guitarist Rick Neilson felt that the 90s shows created somewhat of a trend. At the time, the group played its first three studio albums during multi-night stands, resulting in the creation of the 1999 live album “Music For Hangovers.”

Cheap Trick was originally formed in 1974 with band members Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and Bun E. Carlos. The band grew in popularity as ‘power pop music’ with a hard-edged yet melodic pop sound. The band was compared to the Beatles with an edge, Cheap Trick’s biggest hits include: “Surrender”, “I Want You To Want Me”, “Dream Police”, and “The Flame”. VH1 labeled the band #25 on their list of 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.

The band released its first album, labeled “Cheap Trick” in early 1977. The band developed a large fan base in Japan and the continued to push forward in popularity. Their second album “In Color” was released later that same year and was more pop-oriented than the first album. Despite their attempt to lighten up, the album failed to chart in America. Cheap Trick tried again with a third album released in 1978, “Heaven Tonight”. Again, not much of a following in America, but the band became megastars in Japan.

Japan continued to support the group and all three of Cheap Trick’s albums became gold records. When the group toured the country for the first time in 1978, they received a welcome that was compared to Beatlemania. During the tour, Cheap Trick recorded two concerts for their loyal Japanese fans at the Nippon Budokan. Video footage was also filmed at the first concert. Ten tracks taken from both shows were compiled and released as a live album titled Cheap Trick at Budokan, which was intended to be exclusive to Japan. The album suddenly became a popular import in the United States, and demand for the album became so great that Epic Records finally issued the album in the US in 1979.

The album “Cheap Trick At Budokan” went triple platinum in the United States. Finally the track “I Want You To Want Me” became recognized in the United States and skyrocketed to #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album became Cheap Trick’s biggest selling single. The second single “Ain’t That A Shame” also peaked at #35.

In 1979 “Dream Police” was released. The album didn’t do as well as expected as it was considered an ‘experimental’ style. Before the album was released, Petersson left the group. He rejoined the group in 1987 and helped them record “Lap of Luxury.” Their song “The Flame” became the band’s first ever #1 single.

Like all bands, in 1991, Cheap Trick released their “Greatest Hits” album. The group pressed on throughout the 90s to produce more albums and they even changed their sound to a little more hard rock. The band toured with other bands including Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam. By 1997, they attempted to re-introduce themselves to a new generation. With failing record labels, the attempt was difficult to pull off.

Finally the band released another album in 2009 entitled “The Latest”. The album was issued on standard CD as well as limited pressings of vinyl and 8-Track tapes.

What will Cheap Trick do in 2010? Will they attempt to go on tour, yet again and find renewed success? Time will tell.

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. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

How to Prepare for SXSW Music

South by South West, also referred to SXSW, is a three part conference and festival that includes interactive, film, and music. It is a weeklong event that takes place annually in Austin, TX. SXSW Inc. is a private owned company that is headquartered in Austin that works all year to get the best lineup of musicians, actors, and media industry professionals. The first festival took place in 1987 and has been going strong and growing in attendance every year. How should you prepare for such a big event? Here are some tips for preparing for the SXSW five days of music portion of the festival.

If you are traveling from out of town, the first step is to book your hotel and travel arrangements. Hotels in the downtown area, where the festival takes place, fill up in advance. Making your hotel arrangements should be done first and early. There are a lot of places to stay downtown so that you can walk to different music shows. If you stay somewhere that isn’t of walking distance, you can arrange to rent a vehicle or take a taxi cab. The cabs are very busy during the week so renting a car may be more convenient. There are a lot of Pedi-cabs, bicycle driven buggies, which can take you around downtown.

Once you know where you are going to stay you can start packing. You will need comfortable walking shoes because you will be walking around the many different venues to check out as many shows as you can fit in during the week. You will also be standing and dancing a lot throughout the festival. Dress comfortable yet trendy. There are a lot of day parties and dinner parties, so it’s good to pack a few really nice outfits. Most importantly, you want to be comfortable. Austin has really great weather in March and you can expect the temperatures to be in the 70s.

Before you head down to the festival, you should look at the music schedule to see who is playing and where and when they take the stage. Music starts during the middle of the day and lasts until two in the morning. There are a lot of up and coming bands, and bands from all over the world at SXSW. You can listen to the bands’ online music to hear if you are interested in seeing them. Take advantage of the music lineup and research some of the bands and venues. If you want to be more spontaneous, you can walk around downtown and listen to the bands from the street. Once you hear a sound that you like, show your badge and walk into the bar or music venue where the band in playing.

If you stay out from noon until the early morning hours, be sure to stop and eat lunch and dinner. You want to have enough energy to walk around and check out as much music as you can fit into the day. It is also very important to stay hydrated. There will be a lot of free alcohol at the events and different venues, but be sure to switch up the alcoholic drink for some water. Please remember to follow all drinking laws and be safe. Austin has great barbeque and Tex Mex restaurants, so if you are interested in local cuisine, talk to your hotel concierge or do some research online for great eats you may want to try.

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. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

Amy Lee and Evanescence To Release New Album

It has been two years since anything new has come from Evanescence. Some of this may be due to the rotation of band members. But now, the group has pulled it together, pulled in some new talent as well as winning producer Steve Lillywhite and are ready to release their album in late fall of 2010.

If you are looking for the same sound Evanescence has released in the past, you may be disappointed. If you are looking for something fresh and new, then the album may be for you. Lee explains that the album will sound more changed, reversed and distorted. Lee also adds that the album is going to be a mix of ‘sarcastic aggression.

Who is on the album? Amy Lee of course, guitarist Terry Balsamo, bassist Tim McCord, drummer Will Hunt and new member, also named Will Hunt, who is a producer and songwriter.

The rock band Evanescence was formed in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995 by Lee and guitarist Ben Moody. The two met at a youth camp in 1994. Their first songs together, written by Lee, included “Solitude” and “Give Unto Me”. The band at first recorded private albums and then later released their first full-length album “Fallen” in 2003. The album sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and the band won two Grammy Awards. In 2004, the group released another album, “Anywhere But Home”, which sold more than one million copies worldwide. And then in 2006 they released “The Open Door”, which jumped back up to five million copies sold.

The name of the band, Evanescence, also was a process of evolution. Lee and Moody originally tried on names such as Childish Intentions and Stricken. They decided upon Evanescence as it meant to ‘disappear’ or ‘fade away.’

As the group rose to the top, so did the opinions and criticisms. In efforts to identify the band, publications such as The New York Times and Rolling Stone coined them as gothic metal. Other publications called them gothic rock or nu metal. Blender magazine went so far as to label them as “goth Christian nu-metal with a twist of melancholic Enya.”

When the band originally began recording, they were promoted in Christian stores. Not wanting to be pigeonholed into the Christian rock genre, Evanescence asked to be removed from such store’s shelves. In 2006, Amy Lee told Billboard that she had opposed being identified as a “Christian band” from the beginning.

The band progressed without being labeled. But not without problems. In 2007, John LeCompt had been fired and drummer Rocky Gray decided to quit. On May 17, 2007, drummer Will Hunt and guitarist Troy McLawhorn from the band “Dark New Day”, would replace the two. The band continued to tour as they started the process of working on their new album for an August or September 2010 release.

Lee is co-writing the album with Will Hunt. The pair decided to start writing together after arranging “Sally’s Song.” Amy Lee stated, “The sounds and influence he brings to the table — programming outer-space awesome sounds you can’t even recognize. I went through a phase where I didn’t know if it was solo time, or go write score music, or what. And then once we wrote together, I realized this is totally Evanescence.”

The new album to be released will also be the band’s first with veteran producer Steve Lillywhite, who has produced for the Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews Band and, most notably, worked on eight U2 albums.

Lee said she is excited about the new album and feels it is a change in direction. She adds, “I’m just at a place where I know who I am. I’m not trying to prove anything this time. Last time I had a lot of weight on my shoulders. This time I’m just having fun with music.”

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. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

Sound Editing and Mixing

There are many components for making a box office hit movie. You need the best actors in the industry, talented producers, creative directors, and last but not least music. Sometimes, the soundtrack for a movie is the most anticipated album release for music fans. Music soundtracks can increase a movie’s ratings from good to great. Another similar music feature that enhances a movie is the sound editing and mixing. It is recording music or sound effects for movies and television.

The eighty second Academy Awards were last night and Oscars were given to the best actors, actresses, movie soundtracks, best movie of the year, and there is an even award for best sound editing and sound mixing. It is such an important aspect of a movie, and sound editors are incredibly skilled and creative. They can make an explosion scene rattle your home or theater or make prehistoric animals come to life on an animated movie for example. How can you create sound for a dinosaur walking when there aren’t any real recordings? How can you create ocean sounds on the set of a fake beach? These are some of the tasks a sound editor has to accomplish.

Sound editing and mixing has to be done together to be effective and sound good. Sound editors have to create sounds and sound effects that can then be mixed onto the correct places in a movie. Sound editors create the sounds and sound mixers place them in the film. The difference between the two is production and placement. Sound mixers also have the task of finding the best songs for a certain mood or ambience. Movie soundtracks don’t include the sound effects, such as explosions, beach noises, walking, etc.; they are a compilation of songs used in a movie. Some soundtracks have pre-recorded songs and others ask musicians to write a song specifically for the movie.

It has become a popular trend for musicians to cross over and also act in movies as well. A lot of musicians that act in films also help to produce the soundtracks. Christina Aguilera’s career started to take off when she recording a song made for the Disney movie Mulan. Some bands or singers that aren’t well known can become house hold names if they are chosen to be on a soundtrack. The songs that are chosen have the ability to affect the tone of the movie and add emotional value and recognition for the audience.

Sound editing and mixing adds inherent value to a movie and have to be done precisely and require a lot of thought, planning, and creativity. It is a great job to have on a movie set and the audience gets a lot from the effects and soundtracks.

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. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

Whitney Houston and Her Comeback

Whitney Houston has certainly been around the block and back. Where is she today? Performing again and trying to get her career on track. In December of 2009 she released “I Look to You”, which has already been certified platinum by RIAA for sales that exceed one million copies in the united states. Houston also released again, her 25th anniversary edition of her debut album titled Whitney Houston – The Deluxe Anniversary Edition.

To welcome Houston back, in January of 2010, she received the BET Honors Award for Entertainer citing her lifetime achievements and comeback success. She was also nominated for two NAACP Image Awards for Best Female Artist and Best Music Videos.

Whitney Houston was born in 1963 into the music industry. Her mother, Cissy Houston and cousins Dee Dee and Dionne Warwick, as well as godmother Aretha Franklin, helped coach her along through her childhood as a singer. Houston began singing at her New Jersey church and then with her mother at nightclubs in the New York City area.

She went out on her own and released her first album Whitney Houston in 1985. It became the best selling debut album by a female artist at the time of release. People were intrigued by her voice and wanted more. In 1987 she recorded her second album Whitney, and it became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.

In 1992 she married singer Bobby Brown and simultaneously took up acting. Her first role was in The Bodyguard. The film’s soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Its lead single was the remake of Dolly Parton’s song “I Will Always Love You”.

Houston continued acting, playing roles in Waiting To Exhale and The Preachers Wife. The soundtracks for each movie contributed to furthering her success and the size of her pocketbook. Add to this the renewed contract with Arista Records in 2001 for $100 million, Houston became one of the highest earning females in the industry. And with good reason. Still, today, Houston is ranked as the fourth best-selling female artist in the United States with 55 million certified albums. Rolling Stone magazine named her as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

By the new millennium, Houston’s marriage of eight years began taking a toll on her. People close to her saw the changes in the late 90s as she began showing up late or missing appearances altogether. On January 11, 2000, when airport security discovered drugs in she and her husbands luggage while at a Hawaiian airport, rumors of serious drug use began to surface around the couple.

To top off her self-sabotaging ways, Houston didn’t renew a $100 million contract with Arista Records in 2001. Her publicist said she was under great stress due to family matters. Houston also canceled more and more performances.

In 2002 Houston granted an interview with Diane Sawyer, where she spoke about the rumored drug use and her marriage. She denied using ‘crack’ but did admit to using various substances at times, leaving the public questioning how she could let herself get so far down.

Trying to pull her career back together, she released her fifth studio album Just Whitney in December of 2002. The album received mixed reviews but her reputation carried it to #9 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart.

It wasn’t until the reality show in 2004 titled Being Bobby Brown, aired, that people saw how far she really sunk. Many wondered why she took part in the series as it portrayed her and her family in their lowest moments. The show was considered a train wreck.

Whether it was the show and seeing herself as she looked from the outside or time itself, by 2009, Houston realized she was a mess and in September 2006 she filed for a divorce with Brown. In 2009 during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, she admitted to doing drugs with Brown and how her mother wanted her in rehab.

Houston released her album I Look to You in August of 2009. The album entered the Billboard 200 at #1, marking Houston’s first number one album since The Bodyguard.

Houston has made full circle and continues to be an influence on the industry with her unique range of vocals. How long will she stay on top this time? Only time will tell.

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. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

Bands of Brothers

Boy bands have been around a while, but what makes them even more unique is when the boys in the band are brothers. Who are some of the top bands of brothers?

1. The Jackson 5- The Jackson Brothers, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and of course Michael got their start in 1964. They performed together until 1989. The group was known for their R&B, soul, pop and later disco. This band of brothers was a pop-music phenomenon in the 70s bringing to popularity the idea of family bands. Some of their top songs were “ABC”, “I’ll Be There” and “Dancing Machine.” Not only was the band a success, but the brothers also served as the first black teen idols. In 1976 the band left their label Motown and were forced to change their name. At the time Jermaine was replaced with his younger brother Randy. Later, independent careers were launched from the group, primarily by Michael Jackson, who went on to be a huge success.

2. Menudo – This Puerto Rican teen band was formed in the 1970s initially with two groups of brothers. They included Ricky Melendez, Carlos Meledez, Oscar Melendez, Fernando Salaberry and Nefty Sallaberry. The band achieved great success during the 80s, becoming the most popular Latin American teen group of the era. Their album Quiero Ser launched the group into stardom. Members of the band began getting replaced as the years went on. The last original member Ricky Melendez was replaced in 1984 by Ricky Martin. Martin’s career began from the band as he later went on to be a huge independent success.

3. Hanson – Brothers Isaac Hanson, Jordan Hanson and Zac Hanson formed this group in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Their career hit a high in 1997 with the hit song “MMMBp” earning them three Grammy nominations. The three young boys sang a capella recording popular songs like “Rockin Robin” and even their own material. All three boys started their careers as pianists. Isaac later began playing the guitar and Zac the drums. Creating their own garage band, they recorded two independent albums in 1994 and 1996. The boys were signed by Mercury Records after performing at the Kansas State Fair.

4. The Jonas Brothers – Nick, Joe, and Kevin Jonas make up this American pop rock boy band. The Disney Channel helped bring this band to its early popularity. The boys also started in the Disney movie “Camp Rock.” The band has released four albums; It’s About Time, Jonas Brothers, A Little Bit Longer and Lines, Vines and Trying Times. In 2008 the group was nominated for the Best New Artist award at the 51st Grammy Awards. They have sold over eight million albums worldwide.

5. The Naked Brothers Band – The band consists of brothers Nat and Alex Wolff. The boys began singing in preschool with friends, calling themselves The Silver Boulders. Nat wrote his first song titled “Mama Don’t Let me Cry” at the age of five. Nat was inspired by his jazz pianist-composer father Michael Wolff and music by The Beatles. The band name was coined when the boys as toddlers used to jump out of the bathtub shouting, “We’re the naked brothers band.” The boys were part of a mock documentary, filming them as if they were huge like The Beatles. Film production took place in the family’s apartment in New York City – Nat was 9 and Alex was 6-and-a-half. The film’s notoriety got hem signed with Nickelodean who put together a TV series “The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie”.

The boys started their first national-tour around the country called Nat & Alex Wolff: Fully Clothed and On Tour, in 2008.

Boy bands most likely will be around for a long time and bands when the boys are related makes it even a more unique phenomena.

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. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

 
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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.

    For more information please visit 977music.com.
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