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Who Are the BoDeans?

The South by South West music festival just took place in Austin, TX. There were hundreds of great bands and musicians from all over the world. Some classic hit bands from the 80s came back to give outstanding free performances for their fans at Auditorium Shores. Hit bands such as The Stone Temple Pilots and Cheap Trick showed up for long lasting fans from their earlier years. People of all ages came to the free concert series to see the BoDeans perform. They rocked the house and had everyone in the audience singing and dancing along with their music.

The BoDeans were formed by musicians Sam Llanas and Kurt Neumann in Wisconsin back in the early 1980s. Slash/Warner records signed them on with their music label after a full band was formed by adding a bassist and drummer. They immediately began to record their music, and the first album called Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams was released in 1986. Soon after, they were voted the Best New American Band by the Rolling Stones magazine.

Since the release of their first album, they have released eight more albums. The most recent which will be released in April of this year is called Mr. Sad Clown, and it will be their ninth studio album. You may remember one of their hits if you watched the 90s television program Party of Five. The song Closer to Free from the album Go Slow Down was chosen for the theme song of the series. It instantly brought them more fans and increased their level of fame and exposure. The song was also used in the movie Heavyweights.

Their music is categorized under the genres of alternative rock, roots rock, and rock. Their music has topped the mainstream rock and adult contemporary charts. The band has seen some new members since the original formation back in the 80s. The current members, who include the two original founders Kurt and Sam, and: Noah Levy, Eric Holden, and Bukka Allen. Kurt does the vocals and plays the electric guitar, and Sam performs vocals and the acoustic guitar.

The band has been very successful and has a loyal following of fans that have stuck by them since the 80s. Two of the band members have worked on solo projects but still continue to fuel the success of the band as a whole. The two founders Kurt and Sam have worked on solo projects. Kurt Neumann recorded an album in the late 90s called Shy Dog, and Sam Llanas recorded his album in 1998 called A Good Day to Die.

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.

Canadian Pop Star Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne was born in Belleville, Ontario, Canada, and she is twenty five years old. Not only is she a Canadian pop star, her music has become popular in the United States and all over the world. Avril is more than just a pop star, and she also has an entrepreneurial spirit among other talents. She broke through in the competitive American entertainment industry. She is one of the top ten selling American artists and continues to top the Billboard music chart with her unique voice and music sound.

Worldwide, she has sold nearly thirty million albums and was named the number ten pop artist in the music industry. Her music is so unique that it is hard to categorize her as just a pop star. She brought a new look and sound to the entertainment industry. She incorporates punk, pop, rock, alternative rock, post-grunge, and powerpop into her albums. She hit the music scene in 2002 and records under the labels RCA and Arista. She is currently only working with RCA label.

Her first album which was released in 2002 is called Let Go, and one third of the record sales from that album were sold in the United States. She sold 16 million copies worldwide. Two years later she released her second albums called Under My Skin, and then in 2007 she released her third album called The Best Damn Thing. She is currently working on a fourth album that is due to be released sometime this summer.

She contributes a lot to her albums. She is an amazing songwriter. She not only sings, but she also plays different musical instruments. Her voice is amazing and so is her playing talent. She plays the electric guitar, drums, piano, and acoustic guitar.

In addition to selling millions of albums worldwide, she has also appeared in movie and television roles. Her most current act on television was appearing as a guest judge on the hit show American Idol. Her fame and talent made her a very qualified guest for the show. She has also appeared on episodes from shows Saturday Night Live, MadTv, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. In 2006, she played a college activist in the movie Fast Food Nation.

Her entrepreneurship shows through in her clothing line and perfume line. She designs clothes for her brand called Abbey Dawn. Her fragrance is called Black Star and is sold throughout Europe and North America. She works with the Canadian Canon brand and designs cameras and is the face of their brand.

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.

The Many Faces of Chris Cornell

Whether you have listened to Rage Against the Machine, Soundgarden or Audioslave, it is possible you have heard the voice of lead singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell. While Cornell has performed in other bands he is primarily known for the above.

Chris Cornell had been performing, singing and writing music for many years but didn’t come to the forefront of the music industry until he started the band Soundgarden in 1984. Along with Alice in Chains, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam, Soundgarden became one of the most successful bands from Seattle’s emerging grunge scene in the early 1990s.

After leaving Soundgarden, Cornell joined the rock band Rage Against the Machine, a band that originally formed in 1991. Rage Against the Machine was known for its political lyrics. Labeled alternative rock to heavy metal, the band successfully continued until 2000. When the band broke up and recreated itself under the name Audioslave, minus band member Zack del la Rocha, Cornell became lead vocalist. Audioslave released their debut album in November of 2002 with hits such as Cochise, Like A Stone and Show Me How To Live.

While Rage Against the Machine lyrics were focused on being political, Cornell tried to tone it down when it came to writing for Audioslave. Cornell stated he did not want to become the new singer of Rage Against the Machine or any political band, but he would play benefits the other band members wanted to play. Despite his comment, Audioslave’s song Set It Off—was inspired by 1999’s WTO riots or better known as the Battle of Seattle. Cornell also wrote the anti-war song Sound of a Gun, and later Wide Awake, a song that was meant to be an attack on the Bush administration’s failure to act over the consequences of Hurricane Katrina.

The band was openly anti-Bush and against the Iraq War from the beginning; on March 17, 2003, only hours after President Bush announced plans to invade Iraq, the band performed live in Hollywood with messages reading “How many Iraqis per gallon?” and “Somewhere in Texas, a Village is Missing an Idiot”, scrolled across the stage. The music video for “Doesn’t Remind Me” was also critical of the Iraq war.

In 2002, Audioslave’s second album, Out of Exile, was released and debuted at number one on the U.S. charts. The album went on to achieve platinum status. It featured the singles “Out of Exile”, “Be Yourself”, “Your Time Has Come”, and “Doesn’t Remind Me”. Cornell admitted that the songs on the album were were the most personal songs he had ever written, emphasizing the positive changes in his life. Critics say the sound of the second album leaned less on guitar riffs than the first giving it more of a Soundgarden slash Rage Against the Machine flavor. Cornell’s voice stood out more in the album, possibly due to having quit smoking and drinking.

Audioslave later made history by performing in Havana, Cuba on May 6, 2005, becoming the first American rock group to perform in Cuba. The 26-song set concert was the longest the band had ever played.

Cornell continued writing and performing with the band, helping them release another album in early 2006 with the album Revelations. Cornell integrated 60s and 70s music as well as 70s funk and R&B to produce Revelations. Two of the songs, Shape of Things to Come and Wide Awake were featured in the 2006 film Miami Vice. Cornell followed this with another theme song You Know My Name, for the 2006 James Bond film, Casino Royale.

On February 15, 2007, Cornell officially announced his departure from Audioslave, stating, “Due to irresolvable personality conflicts as well as musical differences, I am permanently leaving the band Audioslave. I wish the other three members nothing but the best in all of their future endeavors.” Audioslave was officially disbanded.

Cornell continues to tour around the world with his eclectic and experimental lyrics and 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.

Remembering the 90’s

The 90s was a time of Bill Clinton, Friends and Sienfield. In regards to music, here are the top five songs and musicians along with a little trivia.

1.) Britney Spears: ‘…Baby, One More Time’

This Mouseketeer became a pop phenomenon shortly after this first hit single. Jive Records released the song on October 13, 1998. With a sexy and somewhat controversial video, the single peaked at number on the Billboard Hot 100 for weeks.

The song was originally written for TLC, claimed the song’s writer, Max Martin. Unfortunately for TLC the song was nominated for a Grammy that year, and has since become Spear’s most successful song performed. Britney said, “ever girl can relate to it”. This claimed to be somewhat true, as the song sold over 750,000 copies, earning a three-times golf certification.

2.) Nirvana: ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’

Off the release of Nirvana’s album, Nevermind in 1992, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, quickly became a hit. Some believe this song sparked a teenage revolution of alternative rock, which is still well recognized today. The song was Nirvana’s biggest hit, even getting a fluke remake out of Weird Al Yankovic.

‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ received many MTV Video Music Awards. Cobain stated, “I was trying to write the ultimate pop song”. Even after Kurt Cobain’s death critics recognized the song as being one of the greatest alternative rock songs of all time.

3.) Alanis Morissette: ’You Oughta Know’

Grammy-Award winning song written and performed by Alanis, herself, was placed on Morissette’s album Jagged Little Pill in 1995. The song’s love/hate lyrics were rumored to be about Morissette’s boyfriend Dave Coulier of TV’s Full House.

This pain-ridden song, with a shocking set of musical words, was one of the first attempts to state heartache so explicitly. The song became mainstream across the teenage universe, becoming a hit in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

4.) Cher: ‘Believe”

This spark of one of Cher’s many comebacks became the single, most-listened to, hit of her career. The song has been remade four times, to fit the club scene, dance re-mix genre and ballad arena. Earning a Grammy, this multi-platinum song was written collaboratively by six individuals (Paul Barry, Matt Gray, Steven Torch, Brian Higgins, Timothy Powell and Stuart McLellan).

The song, ‘Believe’ was released in 1998, and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. After it’s release, it also became a number one song in over twenty-three countries worldwide, within two weeks.

5.) Rob Thomas: ‘Smooth’

This collaborative effort between Rob Thomas (of Matchbox Twenty), and Santana wowed music audiences with its slick lyrics and amazing guitar riffs. Rob Thomas originally wanted George Michael to sing the song for the recreated lyrics he had constructed from the song, ’Room 17’.

The song became a hit in 1999, spending over twelve consecutive weeks at number one, on the Billboard Hot 100. The same year, ’Smooth’ won three esteemed Grammy Awards, including, Song of the Year. Rob wrote the song for his wife, Marisol Thomas.

When it came to music of the 90s, there were many hits from various genres, but the above songs are the ones most still have stuck in their heads.

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.

Top Paying Careers in the Music Biz

If it’s not in the stars to be the next Jennifer Lopez, or perhaps you are just waiting for your chance to step into P.Diddy’s shoes, there are several alternatives to being in the musical spotlight. Music is an ever-growing business, not only in that spotlight, but in other arenas surrounding it. From CD graphic designers, to sound check technicians and grade school music teachers, music career opportunities are everywhere. Here are the top paying music careers, for the year ending 2009:

1.) Music Director – Average Pay: $49,289/Year
A music director generally works with a musical group; orchestra, symphony choir, or otherwise. They develop and/or coordinate concerts, rehearsals and programming. This position often works with outreach programs, directing fundraising projects, activities and lectures. A musical director career requires a Bachelors of Arts in music, initially, and most likely will also require a Master’s degree in the field. If the fit is right between the musical director and the company he/she is working with, this is a long-term position in most cases.

2.) Sound Engineer for Live Events – Average Pay: $46,550/Year
These sound wizards normally have a mixed background in electrical engineering, music/fine arts and/or audio production. Who wouldn’t want to operate the microphone when a top artist hits the stage, ready to sing? Some of the best sound engineers have Bachelors degrees in Audio Production or Audio Engineering, but there are the few that get behind the scenes with their simple charm, connections and electrical know-how.

3.) College/University Professor of Music – Average Pay: $50,280/Year
Summers off aren’t the only perk of this high paying music career. These accomplished musicians have the opportunity to learn and talk about their craft all day! Professors of music are responsibly for developing solid curriculums, grading performance and assisting students in their musical goals. Music professors also attend several seminars, performances and other learning programs, themselves, to always be up on the music scene, new and old.

4.) Artist/Band Managers – Average Pay: $54,070/Year
The witty business persons take their own creativity and connections to market their particular artists. In charge of contract negotiations, scheduling, planning tours and building relationships with music’s heavyweights, this is a full-time job! Most managers have a degree in Business Administration, Business or Marketing. Although, there are several well-paid managers that have been successful without these credentials. It seems that an artist’s manager is always filling the gaps where they cannot. But the rewards and opportunities are endless.

5.) Film-Making Sound Editor – Average Pay: $68,620/Year
This may not be one of the most glamorous careers in Hollywood, but once a sound editor has proven his/her self in the film industry, the work is quite steady. A sound editor can spend hours in front of a computer monitor, scraping seconds of sounds varying from the waves of the ocean to screams of horror. Every movie, cartoon and television commercial requires a sound editor; and for anyone who has sat in front of the television long enough – opportunity is out there. The highest paying sound editors work with just as high-paid actors in movies seen internationally. Although, building a resume off of small gigs, temporarily, is a great start.

So if being a musician isn’t in the stars for you and yet you love music, at least you do have alternatives.

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.

The Many Genres of Country Music

Country music, which was popularized in the Appalachian Mountains and the South, goes back as far to the 1920s. It is a blend of gospel, folk, Celtic, and old traditional music. The blends of the different sounds made it appealing to all types of people; old, young, southern, country, rock, and even Northerners liked the sound. The legendary Elvis Presley made his debut as a country singer and his fame and fortune can be accredited to not only his great voice and stage presence, but to the sounds and popularity of country music. Country music has been through many faces as would any type of music that has been around for so many years. There are a lot of different types, or genres, of country music. Which genre do you like to listen to?

County pop is perhaps the most listened to today as far as country music goes. It is a blend of country and hip hop and is the sound of many modern artists such as Taylor Swift, Jessica Simpson, and Shania Twain. Pop country artists are classified under this genre if their country songs cross over and make it onto the top 40 radio pop list. This genre first appeared in Nashville during the 1960s. Most songs include musical sounds from guitars (electric and acoustic), bass, drums, and amazing vocals.

During the 1940s, Bluegrass made its way onto the music scene. It is a fusion of country music, jazz, ragtime, and traditional music. Typical sounds and instruments unique to this genre are: fiddles, guitars, bass, drums, banjo, harmonica, mandolin, and vocals. If you’ve seen the movie “O Brother Where Art Thou” then you’ve heard bluegrass. Dolly Parton is a popular, iconic figure that sings Bluegrass Country music.

Rockabilly, also known as hillbilly music, became popular in the 1950s. Honky tonk, swing, country, and rhythm and blues heavily influenced the sounds that are known as rockabilly. Guitar, drums, double bass, and piano are instruments you will typically find in these types of songs, and they are what make the sound unique. Elvis Presley was a major influence in making this type of music popular and was given the nickname the “Hillbilly Cat.” Buddy Holly is another name that comes to mind when you think of rockabilly.

Other types of country music or sounds that aren’t main stream are categorized as alternative country. The term was coined in the 1990s, but can be attributed to any type of country music that was played during a time when it wasn’t popular according to main stream standards. It is a vague term used to describe different genres and sounds of country music.

There are many different genres of country. Other genres are: Bakersfield Sound, Texas Country, Red Dirt, Western Swing, and country rap to name a few. You can listen to country hits as well as other genres of music on free Internet radio 977music.com.

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.

The Age of Hip Hop

Hip hop music, or as it is also called, loop, rapping, freestyle, DJing, scratching, sampling and beatboxing, stemmed from the Bronx during the 1970s. Professionals say that even though the term rap is used synonymously with hip hop, it denotes its own practices of an entire subculture.

To differentiate the terms, rapping, also called MCing, is a vocal style in which the artist speaks lyrically, in rhyme and verse, generally to an instrumental or synthesized beat. Beats are almost always in 4/4 time signatures and can be created by looping portions of other songs, usually by a DJ. Modern beats incorporate synthesizers, drum machines, and live bands. A rapper may write, memorize or improvise their lyrics.

The father of the term hip hop is Keith Cowboy, a rapper from the 70s who performed with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Cowboy came up with the word when teasing a friend who was in the U.S. Army, mimicking the cadence of marching soldiers he sang hip/hop/hip/hop. The term was quickly picked up by others during the time and it stuck.

Hip hop grew in popularity in the 70s with the increase in block parties, especially in New York City’s Bronx. At these block parties, a DJ was used, spinning popular genres of music. Getting creative, the DJ began isolating the percussion breaks of popular songs. This style was drawn out to include funk, soul and disco, drawing out the then short percussion breaks with an audio mixer and two records.

This in turn created various turntable techniques such as beat mixing and matching, scratching, beat juggling and remixing. DJ’s and MCs would then often add call and response chants, often comprised of a basic chorus, which allowed the performer to gather his thoughts. This evolved into the MC getting more varied in their vocal and rhythmic approach, incorporating brief rhymes with a sexual or scatological theme.

By the 80s, the usage of drum machines influenced the sound of hip hop. What was called over time sampling technology became more advanced. Lyrics began to change as well with words that were more metaphorical and complex. Some rappers brought the sound to mainstream audiences with appearances in commercials. Artists like LL Cool J also became a household name due to his success.

Hip hop was primarily an American sound and was almost completely unknown outside of the United States during the early 80s. When breakdancing became popular in places like Germany, Japan, Australia and South Africa, rapping and hip hop followed.

In the late 90s, hip hop started to diversify. The 90s is primarily known though for its hip hop rap artist Eminem. Eminem brought hip hop even further into main stream culture with his successful platinum album The Slim Shady. In the year 2000, Eminem sold over ten million copies of The Marshall Mathers album. Alternative hip hop became popular as well with artists such as The Roots, Gnarls Barkley and Mos Def.

By 2005, sales of hip hop music in the United States took a dive. Many questioned whether mainstream hip hop was dying. Speculation of the decline was that people were tired of the violence, degrading and negative lyrics.
Will hip hop continue to survive or will it evolve into another form and style of music as most music already has?

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.