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Too Hot For Country? Julianne Hough’s New video gets banned by CMT

julianne hough Too Hot For Country? Julianne Hough’s New video gets banned by CMTThe former Dancing with the Stars pro dancer’s second album has a tentative release date of 2011. The video for the first single “Is That So Wrong” is already creating a big buzz in the music and pop world.

The video has been banned by CMT for being too steamy. Too sensual. It starts out simple enough; Julianne is walking around in appropriate daisy dukes, cowboy boots. But soon enough, her article of clothing gets a littler looser, she starts dancing a little dirtier, and soon enough she does the splits in a bra and skirt.

For someone like Julianne, given her dancing background, she obviously does not see anything wrong with the video. During a performance, Hough reportedly said “This next song—funny story, I shot a music video for it, and Country Music Television kind of banned it.”

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Hip Hop Music: Then and Now

Hip hop music has been with us since the 1970’s; since its early years, the genre has been an evolving art form spanning a variety of styles inhabited by some interesting characters. Let’s take a look at the significant years in the development and growth of hip hop.

1970-1973

  • The Grandfather of Hip-Hop; Afrika Bambaataa started to DJ. He is also known to many as the Godfather of Hip Hop culture. As the founder of the Universal Zulu Nation, Afrika is also a visionary, historian and is recognized as the “Master of Records”.
  • Kool Herc, the Father of Hip-hop also known as Clive Campell DJ’d his first block party.

1974

  • Graffiti Art became widely visible in around New York’s subway cars.
  • Caz, Bambaataa, Herc and Flash played at block parties, house parties and were visible all over the Bronx neighborhoods.

1975

  • The art of “Emceeing” started to evolve in parties.
  • Kool Herc and the Herculoids was formed and its members Coke La Rock and Clark Kent formed the first emcee team.

1977

  • Hip hop focused its attention on the MCs while other DJs such as Disco King Mario, Casanova Fly, Disco Wiz and DJ Bam continued to perform around town .
  • Herc was stabbed three times in his party one night, and his career took a beating from which he never recovered.

1983

  • Gangsta rap came into play with Ice T as the pioneering artist. His singles “Body Rock” and “Killers” were released in the West coast.

1986

  • The Geto Boys was formed. It was founded by James Smith who was a native of Houston, Texas. Its original lineup included MCs Raheim, DJ Ready Red, Sir Rap-A-Lot and Jukebox.
  • The Geto Boys were the authors of the evolution of southern rap.

1993

  • “36 Chambers” was released by the Wu-Tang Clan.
  • “The Chronic” by Dr. Dre reached multi-platinum status.

1996

  • Jay-Z launched his highly-anticipated album, “Reasonable Doubt”. He started the “charismatic rapper” theme thus earning lots of admirers and inspiring many wannabes.
  • A new award-giving body was formed in the UK. It was called The Music of Black Origin and The Fugees came away with two trophies for that year.

2001

  • In an MTV show, Puff Daddy announced that he would change his name to P. Diddy.
  • Eminem pleads guilty to two charges of felony in an incident in 2000 where he caught a man kissing his wife, Kim Mathers. He was charged for pistol-whipping the man.

2005

  • In a Power 105.1 concert in New York, Jay-Z and Nas ended their long time feud.

There you have it; Hip-hop highlights through the years. It may be the same as before as it is now. But along the way, there are lots of personalities, happenings and events. All of these events helped shape hip-hop, and the hip-hop culture is still growing strong after all these. Listen to 977music’s very own DJ Tremble on demand here, or every weekend on the Hitz station mix shows.

Movie Awards Recap

Last night the 2010 MTV movie awards took place in Hollywood and were hosted by Aziz Ansari. He’s not only a comedian, but also stars in the television show on NBC called Parks and Recreation. He also writes and produces for films. Last year the awards show was hosted by Andy Samberg. He is also a comedian and actor who appears on Saturday Night Live or SNL. Hosting the movie awards takes a lot of work and preparation along with a fun, outgoing, and comedic sense of humor. MTV does not always have a comedian host the awards show, but in the past music starts such as Lindsay Lohan have been the host.

What makes the MTV movie awards so unique is that there is a lot of audience participation online for the awards being handed out. Fans can vote for their favorite actors and actresses as well as movies they loved. It is a star studded night that brings together musicians and actors. You may think that because MTV is a music station that they should not host movie awards. However, the channel has become known for hot television shows and movies as well. A lot of singers are also actors and appear in big box office hits. Beyonce and Eminem are just two examples of music performers that have appeared in starring roles in movies.

The movie awards incorporate singers, bands, actors, and comedians in to the performances to make the awards great! There are live performances by singers and bands who are music video and traditional and Internet radio stars. The night would not be complete without outstanding musical performances. Some singers also appear in spoofs of other movies during the awards. The night would not be complete without outstanding performances by actors and musicians.

Every year there are ten awards that are given out at every movie awards show. The ten awards are: best movie, best WTF moment, best performance by a male and female, best fight, best breakthrough performance by a male and female, best kiss, best villain, and best comedic performance. They also nominate someone for the lifetime achievement award also known as the MTV generation award. In the past, other awards have been handed out for best action sequence or best virtual performance for example.

The 2010 winners for the MTV movie awards took home a gold plated bowl of popcorn. The winners for the awards are (from the MTV official website):

Best Movie – The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Best Comedic Performance – Zack Galifianakis

Global Superstar Winner – Robert Pattinson

Best Male Performance – Robert Pattinson

Biggest Badass Star Winner – Rain

Best Villain – Tom Felton

Best WTF Moment – Ken Jeong

MTV Generation Award – Sandra Bullock

Best Kiss – Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattinson

Best Scared Performance – Amanda Seyfried

Best Breakout Star – Anna Kendrick

Best Female Performance – Kristin Stewart

Best Fight – Beyonce Knowles vs. Ali Larter

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.

80s Music Online: Background on the Genre

By Jamie Macedo

80s music 80s Music Online: Background on the GenreWho can forget 80s Music Radio? The 80s was a time period which transitioned into its own music genre, lead in part by dramatic changes in recording technology, notably the widespread use of samples, synthesizers and keyboards. Before today’s 80s music streaming online, the genre incolved of the most dramatic changes in music. The defining changes to the music industry in the 80′s occurred in the 1981 with the launch of MTV (a.k.a. Music Television). Ironically, the first video ever played on MTV was “Video Killed the Radio Star”, by The Buggles. This new music platform quickly gained mainstream popularity and was clutched tightly by artists such as Duran Duran, Madonna and Michael Jackson, turning the once auditory centric music industry into an visual explosion of audio and visuals.

80′s Music: Genre Revolution

vinyl record 80s Music Online: Background on the GenreIt could be argued that the biggest mark on 80′s Music was artist’s heavy reliance on the synthesizer, which came around 1980. However, perhaps more intriguing is the movement from artists in existing genres towards new and uncharted waters. Many unique genres which sprouted up and become accepted mainstream genres were in their infancy in the 80′s.

Metal – Metallica and Megadeth become increasingly popular in the early to mid 80′s.

Alternative – Alternative bands start to enter mainstream music.

Indie Rock – Indie rock bands have their roots in the early 80′s

Teen Pop – Teen pop also hails to the 80′s. This new genre includes groups like: New Kids on the Block, Tiffany, Stacey Q, and The Bangles.

Pop Music – Pop music in general became extremely popular, becoming a global phenomenon

Hip-hop – While Hip-hop began in the 70′s, in the 80′s Hiphop became mainstream and had a strong influence on pop music in the late 1980′s

Latin Music – Latin music begins taking strides, with artists such as Julio Iglesias and Juan Gabriel making waves.

Top 40 Music of the 80s: Key Events

 

Year Event
1980 - Joy Division singer Ian Curtis commits suicide
- John Lennon is murdered outside the Dakota Building in New York City
- Accidental death of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham
- Death of Tim Hardin
- Death of Vinicius de Moraes
- Iron Maiden release their debut self-titled album.
- AC/DC release Back In Black.
1981 - MTV first airs
- Death of Bob Marley
1982 - Death of Thelonious Monk, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Glenn Gould
- Michael Jackson releases Thriller, the best-selling album of all time
- Blondie disband
- The compact disc is introduced
1983 - Death of Muddy Waters
- New Order release “Blue Monday”
- Def Leppard releases Pyromania
- The Police’s Synchronicity tour starts
- Metallica releases their first album Kill ‘Em All
- Madonna releases her 5x Platinum self-titled debut album.
1984 - Death of Marvin Gaye
- Release of Bob Marley & The Wailers collection Legend, the best-selling reggae album of all time
- Madonna releases “Like A Virgin” which goes Diamond
- Akhnaten by Philip Glass premieres in Stuttgart
- Prince releases the album and film Purple Rain
- Van Halen release the Diamond-certified 1984, which contains the #1 single “Jump” and becomes their last studio album to feature David Lee Roth on vocals
1985 - Death of Rick Nelson
- Live Aid and Farm Aid benefit concerts
- Whitney Houston releases her first self-titled album which becomes the most successful feminine debut album of all time
- The famous hard rock band ‘Guns N’ Roses‘ was formed in LA, USA.
1986 - Aerosmith re-records “Walk This Way” with rap group Run-DMC which blends rock and rap music, introduces rap music to a mainstream audience for the first time
- Bon Jovi releases Slippery When Wet which stays at #1 on the Billboard 200 for 15 weeks, the longest ever for a hard rock album
- Madonna releases the hit album True Blue
- Pixies form in Boston.
1987 - Michael Jackson releases the album Bad, which is the first and only album to have 5 consecutive #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.
- Guns N’ Roses releases Appetite for Destruction
- Def Leppard releases Hysteria
- U2 release the mult-platined album The Joshua Tree
- Whitney Houston releases her second album Whitney with one of the biggest hit singles of 80s I Wanna Dance With Somebody
- Death of legendary record producer John H. Hammond.
1988 - Living Colour releases first studio album Vivid;
- Bon Jovi releases New Jersey, which charts five consecutive Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, the most ever for a hard rock album
- Formation of the Traveling Wilburys
- Death of Roy Orbison.
1989 - Madonna releases the hit Like a Prayer album.

80′s Music Radio Online: The Current Phenomenon

rick astley 80s Music Online: Background on the GenreRick Astley’s Rick Roll is one big hit which was originally created in the 80′s, but gained massive popularity only within the last few years as an 80s online streaming radio sensation. This artist, and more precisely the song they created in the 80′s, has been seen on YouTube over 36 million times in just the last few years.  Even spawning its own internet meme, “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley, is arguably the most popular 80′s song on the internet today (although this popularity is not necessarily reflected in online music radio and not exclusively for its own musical merits). The music video is typically shared with others via a bait and switch method, in which a person provides a link to some material online (typically obfuscated) with the intent of leading others to believe the material is relevant to the current topic of discussion. Once they click the link, the visitor taken to a page where a Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” video is playing, this scenario is now colloquially known as  “getting Rick Rolled”, or “RickRoll’d”.

Mix Music Before Online Radio

By Michele Kadison

ac mix tape Mix Music Before Online RadioAdult Contemporary music, also called AC, mix music online, or The Mix, is a category of mainstream music geared towards 25 to 54 year olds. The Mix is generally divided into three categories that satisfy sub-groups within this demographic: Soft (or lite) AC, Hot AC, and Urban AC. Individual tracks in streaming music “club mix” radio stations, for example, often overlap between categories, but on-the-air radio as well as Satellite radio stations, cater to each of these four categories, sometimes with overlaps as musical tastes evolve and as artists begin to cross over into multiple formats.

Before Mix Music Online: The Early Days

In the early days of radio, the top 40 was played on AM stations, regardless of what type of music it was, be it ballads, R&B, or more rock oriented styles. In the 1970s music began to become divided according to demographic groups and their preferences. Specialized radio stations began cropping up, playing music specific to various genres. As music and the listening demographic became more diverse, radio programmers had to find creative ways to classify sounds which appealed to maturing age groups. As listeners began to get older and evolve toward the mix music online listeners of todya, their tastes changed, gearing more towards vocal-based music from the 1960s and on. Adult Contemporary music was born out of this need to create a pocket for people looking for softer, less demanding sounds.

The FM dial was the first place to introduce “beautiful” music, which was also called “easy listening.” The FM stations featured popular vocal-based hits from the 60s as well as more current ballads. In 1961, Billboard published an Adult Contemporary music chart, which in 1979 became just plain Adult Contemporary. As the genre evolved, rhythmic dance tracks and teen pop were added, but still maintaining a mainstream feel that stayed away from hard rock, alternative, and hip hop.

The Mix: AC Evolution

ac ace of base Mix Music Before Online RadioAfter MTV made its debut, Vh3 was born as an Adult Contemporary version of its big brother. During the mid 80s you could see artists on Vh3 that fit into the AC category, which made it very inviting 30 to 40 year olds who did not feel as comfortable with the MTV format. Videos by Alanis Morissette, Hootie & the Blowfish, Melissa Etheridge, Ace of Base were in relatively heavy rotation, rivaling some of the harder rock videos seen on MTV. Eventually, mainstream AC music became infiltrated by artists with strong video exposure like Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club, Whitney Houston, and Tears for Fears. Additionally there began to be a profusion of artists who crossed over from one genre to another, helping to create what is called The Mix.

The Mix: Adult Contemporary Breakdown

Soft AC

ac avril lavigne Mix Music Before Online RadioBorn in the 1970s and evolving through the 80s, this has been the longest running AC format, and is still popular today. A combination of middle-of-the-road (MOR), easy listening, and soft rock, its appeal is to an older demographic of listeners in mix music online.

Soft AC generally keeps songs in rotation for many years as there is limited listener pressure to expand the format. Lately newer guitar-driven sounds have been added to the classics to create a more diverse mix without compromising Soft AC standards. Some of the artists include Avril Lavigne, 2 Doors Down, The Fray, Hinder, and Fall Out Boy. Added to this are musicians who are considered “cross over”, which includes country artists such as Faith Hill, LeAnn Rimes, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flats, and Darius Rucker who are all finding success on both charts.

Hot AC

ac akon Mix Music Before Online RadioHot AC is another area where the balance of music includes sounds from the early 60s to today’s mainstream hits. It seems that each Hot AC station has its own formula for determining format, where some stations include more classics than new mix music online, or visa versa. Today the format can often be harder to define as more and more music falls into “cross over” categories. Still, certain genres remain outside Hot AC programming such as Alternative, which is too far from the taste of mainstream listeners.

Since the 2000s however, Hot AC stations have added R&B as well as hip hop to their play lists. Artists like Akon, Amy Winehouse, Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas, Ne-Yo, and the Pussycat Dolls are heard on many of the Hot AC stations, as well as some conventional hard rock bands such as the Goo Goo Dolls, Bon Jovi, and Aerosmith. Dance music artists like Kylie Minogue, Rihanna, Paula Abdul, and Madonna are also part of the mix. Slowly Hot AC is stretching its boundaries by introducing bands like Linkin Park, Third Eye Blind, Pink, and Red Hot Chili Peppers if programmers feel that local listeners are receptive.

Mix Music Online: The Current Phenomenon

The modern Adult Contemporary format is currently in a state of flux as it competes with many top 40 stations. Some AC stations are dropping soft artists in favor of harder sounds. Artists like Daughtry, Nickelback, and Kelly Clarkson are staples on mainstream AC stations, as well as ballad singers like as Josh Groban and Nick Lachey. Because of changing demographics, which alter the standards for an adult format as people age, additional categories are forming to embrace changing tastes. Streaming music “club” mix tracks also create shifts as remixes give a new energy or dimension to old favorites.

ac sade smooth operator Mix Music Before Online RadioMainstream Adult Contemporary is a format that often gets the highest ratings with listeners aged 24 to 54. Urban and rhythmic AC is geared towards adult African American audiences, where airplay favors R&B, soul, and some hip hop artists. Musicians like Luther Vandross, Dionne Warwick, Patti LaBelle, Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston, Sade, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Mary J. Blige, and Des’ree are popular in this format among mix music online listeners. Rhythmic AC or “MOViN” features dance music, remixes, R&B, and early hip hop and caters to African American, Hispanic, and white audiences. Here everything from soul and R&B hits featured during the 60s through the 90s, including the Motown sound and disco are in rotation.

A final AC category has emerged in the past years called Quiet Storm. Usually this format is heard from early evening until late at night and features Urban and Soft AC sounds. Whitney Houston, Angela Bofill, Toni Braxton, En Vogue, Johnny Gill, Anita Baker, and Howard Hewett are good examples of artists that fit into this pocket, appealing to an adult demographic of all ethnicities.

Radio programming, whether it is on-air or via satellite, will always be searching for better ways to satisfy listeners’ tastes and expectations. Programming will continue to eliminate and add artists as their popularity ebbs and flows. The one sure thing is that listeners are constantly aging, which creates a constant demand for music that falls in the Adult Contemporary category, whatever songs the format — and any mix music online radio — embraces in the future.

Classic Rock: Before the Online Radio Stations

By Michele Kadison

classic rock music Classic Rock: Before the Online Radio StationsThe popular definition of “classic” is something that stands up over time. What is traditionally known as “classical music”, encompassing composers such as Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart, holds the same criteria for any other type of music that continues to engage listeners. Tracks and criteria for each online classic rock radio station vary widely; by definition, Classic Rock is when a given album has generated more than one or two hit songs that are still popular today. Currently, the Classic Rock genre generally encompasses music from the late 1960′s through the early 80′s. As we move through time, these boundaries will certainly expand.

There is no one style that fits the full spectrum of the genre from the first classic rock to today’s online classic rock radio station picks. Each artist and band in this category has a stamp all its own, from the early Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin, and Queen to the Jefferson Airplane. Longevity and playability is the key to Classic Rock. With this in mind, we have many, many examples of what made this period so vital and revolutionary. Just take a look at any list of what are now considered Classic Rock bands to see the diversity in the genre.

Classic Rock: The Early Days

jimi hendrix Classic Rock: Before the Online Radio StationsSprouting up among the innovations of the 1960′s, where commercially successful singles defined the marketplace, Classic Rock emerged out of what dubbed “Album Oriented Rock,” or AOR. DJs recognized that they could successfully play various tracks off an album instead of relying on a top 40 single to draw in their listeners. Thus radio formats changed as artists and bands began to create more synthetic work, sometimes theme-driven and sometimes driven by the sheer power of their image.

Classic Rock Radio Stations: Revolutionizing the Scene

the beatles Classic Rock: Before the Online Radio StationsIt is hardly arguable that the Beatles revolutionized the music scene of the time, especially with albums like “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” which came out in 1967. Here was an unfolding of what would become emblematic of classic rockers: something indefinable, yet totally distinctive. Out came the wild flashy performers such as Kiss and Black Sabbath; anthem rockers like Queen; British rockers like Led Zeppelin and Mott the Hoople; new wave rockers like The Police, the Clash, the Cars, and Elvis Costello; glam rockers like David Bowie and T.Rex; Southern rockers like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bad Company; and psychedelic rockers with vivid stories to tell like Janis Joplin, the Doors, the Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, and Jimi Hendrix.

Everyone was different, everyone had something to prove, everyone had something to say. Whether the music was drug-inspired such as with the Doors, the Dead, and the Airplane; anthem driven as introduced by the Who and singer/songwriter Bruce Springsteen, or anything else in between, it all felt personal.

Classic Rock has another claim to fame, and that’s the birth of the rock impresario. Because the music was big, the venues had to change, and so the concerts were now held in stadiums that could hold enormous crowds. Two of the first big rock concerts were the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and Woodstock in 1969. Featured were artists representing the psychedelic aspect of rock, their songs reinforcing the Hippie anthems of peace and love. These concerts helped to unite people of like mind, creating the feeling of a grand tribe against the system.

pink floyd fireworks Classic Rock: Before the Online Radio StationsIn more formal settings, Pink Floyd was the first band to introduce light shows and fireworks on stage. Concert halls such as the Fillmore East and West had enormous cachet with music fans on both coasts. Merchandising came hand in hand with the new concert scene, and serious money began to be made outside of just record sales.

Some of the most riveting and revolutionary moments in Classic Rock came as a result of the politics of the time. Neil Young wrote “Ohio” as a funereal anthem to the student killings at Ohio State University in 1970. In 1971 George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan arranged an enormous concert at Madison Square Garden to help the people of Bangladesh, which opened up the gates for many similar money and consciousness-raising events that continue today.

the doors Classic Rock: Before the Online Radio StationsA new sexuality emerged as a result of the classic rockers. The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger upped the ante on his swagger, Jim Morrison of The Doors brought sex up front and center in every millisecond he spent on stage and off, David Bowie made androgyny into a sensual phenomenon, and Janis made it all so raw, with her rasping voice and her blatant freedom. Death became a kind of morbid rock n roll fashion statement, with many artists tragically succumbing to drug overdoses.

The power of the burgeoning sound was undeniable. In 1971 Led Zeppelin recorded “Stairway to Heaven” on their album, “Led Zeppelin IV”, which to date has received more radio station airplay than any other song in history. The Eagles’ 1976 album, “Their Greatest Hits,” became so popular that it is still one of the biggest selling albums of all time, and the Grateful Dead had people quitting their jobs to following them all around the country.

Classic Rock: Historical Highlights

Year Event
1966 - The Beatles come out with “Revolver”
1967 - The Beatles release the album, ” Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band”

- The Monterey Pop Festival in San Francisco starts the big festival trend

1968 - Concert promoter Bill Graham opens the Fillmore East in New York
1969 - Woodstock makes history
1970 - The National Guard kills four students at Ohio’s Kent State University.

- Neil Young writes “Ohio,” one of the most forceful political protest songs in rock history

- Elton John makes his US debut and wows them with his performing antics

- Black Sabbath releases its first album

- Janis Joplin dies

1971 - Led Zeppelin records their huge hit, “Stairway to Heaven”

- George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan create the concert to raise money for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden in New York

- Jim Morrison dies

1972 - David Bowie debuts Ziggy Stardust, the first rock n roll alien
1973 - Graham Parsons, the visionary country rock artist, overdoses on heroin
1974 - The Ramones debut at CBGBs in New York, home to all rock rebels
1975 - Patti Smith releases her album “Horses” with her picture on the cover taken by photographer Robert Mapplethorpe

- Bruce Springsteen debuts his album ” Born to Run”

1976 - The Eagles’ album “Their Greatest Hits,” is first album in history to be certified platinum
1977 - The Sex Pistols sing their version of “God Save the Queen” and scandalize Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee ceremony

- The Bee Gees have a huge success with the soundtrack of “Saturday Night Fever”

- Queen’s “God save the Queen” makes it to #1 on the charts

1978 - Brian Eno releases “Music for Airports” and ambient music is born
1980 - John Lennon is murdered
1981 - MTV is launched
1982 - Michael Jackson releases “Thriller”

Your Online Classic Rock Radio Station: The Current Phenomenon

Most artists that emerged during the Classic Rock period had enormous influence on music to come. Musicians like Patti Smith, Brian Eno, Bowie, the Talking Heads, the Ramones, Bruce Springsteen, the Police, Ozzy Osbourne, and so many more have had an undeniable effect on the progression of music through their immense risk taking and creativity. As such, Classic Rock music will always have a place in the fabric of our listening habits, no matter how seemingly far away current musical trends seem to get from these roots. Radio stations continue to play the staples as listeners come back for more, not simply from nostalgia, but for the strong desire to hear great, timeless music. Whether you listen to music online or on local radio stations, the songs in a good online Classic Rock radio station will remain classic for all the right reasons.

Alternative Music Online: A Quick History

By Michele Kadison

Alternative music online, also known as “indie” music, emerged in the 80s as an alternative to music being played on commercial radio stations. It was first known as “college rock” as it was played by many college radio stations, reflecting the tastes of students who were tired of the typical classic rock format being played on FM radio. It wasn’t until the mid-80s that the name “Alternative” became standard.

Born of bands that rejected commercial, mainstream culture, Alternative artists began their careers playing in small local clubs and were signed to the new indie record labels such as SST Records, Twin/Tone Records, Touch & Go Records, and Dischord Records.

alt alternative music Alternative Music Online: A Quick HistorySpawning many sub-genres, this independent music scene became fertile territory for exploring forms of expression that would not necessarily be embraced by the mainstream. Thought Alternative was a catch-all word describing the general underground rock sound, there were many categories that defined the new artists coming out of the punk, new wave, and post punk scene.

Alternative Music: The Early Days

violent femmes Alternative Music Online: A Quick HistoryWhat we call today’s alternative music online originally evolved from the punk rock scene that was strong in the 1970s. Most of the first part of this phase gave birth to cult bands that found their way to listeners through word of mouth and local college stations. Many bands featured a fusion of sound, like the Feelies, the Violent Femmes, and the Velvet Underground who merged a punk sound with folk. The Paisley Underground created a more psychedelic sound, while groups like Husker Du and the Replacements appeared. Starting out as punk bands and then progressing to a more melody-driven sound over time. The Meat Puppets and the Minutemen had sounds that married punk with country and funk. Other early bands such as The Pixies, They Might Be Giants, Throwing Muses, Butthole Surfers, Sonic Youth, and Big Black each had their own unique artistry which continued to expand the Alternative dimension, presaging the Alternative music we have online today.

Alternative radio stations began to crop up, playing a wide range of artists. Los Angeles’ KROQ FM and Boston’s WFNX were two of the most prominent. When R.E.M. and the Cure gained their huge fan base, commercial radio stations got up to speed, providing more airplay to many indie bands.

Siouxie and the Banshees Alternative Music Online: A Quick HistoryMeanwhile in Britain, Alternative music had given birth to Gothic Rock, which came out of the 70s British post-punk phase. Bands like Bauhaus, Siouxie & the Banshees, and the Cure enraptured listeners with their dark feel and big synthesizer and guitar sounds that created what is often called “epic soundscapes.” The Goth subculture grew as nightclubs like The Batcave gained popularity with disenfranchised kids looking for a new tribe. The mid-80s saw bands like the Sisters of Mercy and the Mission rise to success on the UK charts while indie rock and pop bands like the Smith’s, Orange Juice, and Aztec Camera were signed to labels such as Rough Trade Records. Morrisey, former lead singer from the Smiths, went on to create an important solo career and other bands like the Jesus and Mary Chain, New Order, the Cocteau Twins, and My Bloody Valentine started getting more and more airplay, both in Brittan and elsewhere.

Alternative: The Evolution

In the Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and others entering mainstream radio play, helped Alternative music explode on the scene as a viable alternative to classic rock and pop. The end of the 80s saw many indie bands signing with major labels. R.E.M. and Jane’s Addiction both went gold, then platinum. The Pixies became a major success overseas; leading to the music industry increasingly becoming aware of the commercial possibilities of Alternative rock.

nirvana Alternative Music Online: A Quick HistoryIn 1991, Nirvana’s second album, “Nevermind” catapulted Alternative rock onto a level of visibility never imagined. Pearl Jam came out with “Ten”, Soundgarden with “Badmotorfinger”, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers with “Blood Sugar Sex Magik.”. Commercial radio stations were playing more indie music while more Alternative bands were signed to mainstream labels. The year also introduced a category called “Alternative Music” at the Grammy and MTV Video Awards. The new Lollapalooza festival featured indie bands. Created by Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction, he coined the name “Alternative Nation” for the bands joining the tour. Nine Inch Nails, the Smashing Pumpkins, Hole and many others became popular and available to mainstream audiences, especially with visibility on MTV and Vh3.

At the same time there were Alternative bands still leery of mainstream culture. New indie labels cropped up to accommodate these artists, such as Matador Records and Merge.

Upheavals came with the death of Kurt Kobain in 1994 along with Pearl Jam’s lawsuit against Ticketmaster for their high prices. In 1998, Lollapalooza couldn’t find a headliner and stopped dead in its tracks. Many popular indie bands broke up at the end of the 90s such as Rage Against the Machine, Stone Temple Pilots, and Alice in Chains, making way for new sounds to break though like the White Stripes, the Strokes, the Killers, Interpol, and Death Cab for Cutie.

There was also enormous growth of the genre in Britain during the 90s with indie bands like Oasis, Blue, Suede, and Pulp. Australia brought forward Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the Vines, and the Go-Betweens. Canada had its bevy of Alternative bands with Barenaked Ladies and Crash Test Dummies, and Iceland had the Sugarcubes, ultimately giving birth to Bjork’s solo career. Japan, Mexico, Argentina, and other countries generated their own versions of indie artists, which continue to this day.

Alternative Music Online: The Phenomenon Now

radiohead Alternative Music Online: A Quick HistoryIn 2009, Radiohead won best Alternative Music Album of the Year at the Grammys for their tour de force, “In Rainbows.” Beck, Death Cab for Cutie, Gnarls Barkley, and My Morning Jacket were other award contenders who have received enormous attention from listeners, radio stations, and CD stores. With alternative music artists online and on TV receiving constant visibility through MTV, Vh3 and other music television venues along with heavy radio airplay, we can be sure to see upcoming artists enjoying the same kind of successes with alternative music online as their forebears did on the radio.

 
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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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