Watch The Beatles arrive 1964 JFK:
While music seems like such a universally known and appreciated notion, something so simple such as distance can separate the distribution of music and artists. What does that mean? It means someone who is a household name in the UK has trouble selling a single record here in the States. This means that because of this musical “divide” which exists between nations, people all over the world do not have enough exposure to certain kinds of music, both mainstream and rare. For musicians, “going abroad” is one of the most common expressions yet one of the most difficult feats to accomplish. Take The Beatles. They never thought they’d make it in the United States, even after having so much success in Britain. When they did, it was the next level. For a musician, coming to the US and making it big has been the dream. For some, it remains a distance away while for others, they watch their dreams transform into reality before they can blink. But even forty years after The Beatles first landed in America, artists such as the Australian band Gotye and British teen popstars One Direction struggle to climb the US iTunes Top 100. When and if they do, the world goes wild. Fans, concerts, and ticket sales explode in a matter of seconds. Think about it, what would have happened to music if a band like The Beatles never came to America?
For a second, think of your favorite movie EVER. Now, think of that movie without any background music. Think of it without any sound at all. Now, you’re probably picking a new favorite movie because your old one isn’t so great anymore without music. Think about Star Wars, Gone with the Wind, Jaws, or E.T. Any epic battle scene without a heavy orchestra, the intimate romantic scene without some cliché violins, and a horror don’t-go-in-the-closet scene without a suspenseful, stabbing composition all become suddenly lifeless. The speed of sound denotes something more powerful than just the physical speed it takes to travel – it represents the communication and expression every note in any composition carries to the audience’s ears in order to convey elation, sadness, tension, romance, and trepidation. It’s the very fundamental medium through which all aspects which are open to interpretation in a film are transmitted to viewers. A background score can foreshadow and perhaps determine the reception of a movie, simply because its contribution to all factors of a film is so significant. A score gives a film personality, depth, and a rhythm. It allows scenes to flow, magnifies the power of a moment, and strengthens the clarity of emotion. The reason you probably don’t tend to actively think about and separate a score from a movie is because a good background score merely becomes an integral part of a film.
Even though the classic movie lovers can recite every line of this scene – unarguably one of the most powerful scenes in filmmaking – watch it again, and this time, really listen to each and every note. Music can make the emotions of a scene seen.
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When any important musical figure passes away, although his music continues to live on indefinitely in the mind, body, and spirits of fans, his memory and legend must be appreciated and respected. When Adam Yauch, member of the band The Beastie Boys, passed away recently at a young age of 47, fans everywhere remembered his contributions to and involvement with the band. With over 40 million albums sold worldwide, The Beastie Boys ranked as one of the highest grossing rap groups during the nineties. Even though the musician had begun treatment for cancer in late 2009, it failed when he was only 47 years old. Growing up in Brooklyn, NY, Yauch helped co-found the group along with band members, and the group began its shift from a strictly punk rock band to a hip hop/rap group. Throughout his career, Yauch actively participated in political activism and charity organizations. He was a member of the “Free Tibet” activists, and organized and partook in concerts and events to support the movement. He continued to begin his own film production company, through which he created and produced films capturing The Beastie Boys concerts and performances. The group undoubtedly shared tremendous success, producing over seven popular albums from License to Ill to Hello Nasty. Ultimately, it is undeniable that Adam Yauch’s influential participation and activism in music and other important issues will forever be remembered, recognized, and revered.
First seen at: @rollingstone.com
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Cover bands. The words that come to mind are: “unsatisfactory”, “inferior”, and “eh”. The Beatles? Awesome! The Fab Faux? Ehhh… It’s difficult to argue one way or another since cover bands have rightfully earned themselves a spot right in the center between ecstatic excitement and regretful displeasure. And can you blame them? Cover bands have made it their music mission to emulate a great set of beings that already exist and have existed. It’s not such an easy feat to accomplish. That’s why the competition and expectations for cover bands continues to increase with the talent of the original band being covered. That’s not to say that there aren’t some really incredible cover bands out there. Some of the bands that really strive to honor an original band are really talented. Namely, the Queen Extravaganza. This band has come so incredibly close to Queen itself, undoubtedly one of the most influential rock bands of all time. Because the band has found a group of people who fit together like the pieces of a puzzle, the whole band works. It successfully imitates Freddie Mercury’s flavor but does so in a classy way. The lead singer even has an uncanny and striking resemblance to Mercury himself…
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Sometimes we hear cheesy heartbreak or lovey dovey songs we can absolutely relate to. But other times we hear strange and obscure references in music and we don’t have a clue where they come from or to what they’re really referring. Contrary to common misconception, Lucy in The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” is not a blatant reference to LSD. So who exactly is she? What about the taxi in Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”? Is it an actual taxi she rides in? And what about Caroline in “Sweet Caroline” from Neil Diamond? An ex-lover? Nope. So what exactly inspires these artists to center entire songs on a certain subject?
When little Julian Lennon brought home a drawing he had made about girl in his class named Lucy, John pictured a psychedelic-esque song about a girl named Lucy, floating in the sky with diamonds. He thought his son’s drawing carried such a perfect vibe for a song. That idea turned into one of the greatest songs of the late sixties.
No, there was no literal “yellow taxi”. Not one that Joni Mitchell was a fan of, anyway. She was inspired by the greed and corruption, and environmental unconcern she witnessed during the seventies. The idea of an authority figure which “paved paradise, and put up a parking lot” led her to write a popular song expressing her condemnation of the government’s ability and tendency to capitalize the natural and beautiful.
So... “Sweet Caroline” really sounds like a touching summer-y love song. It can be, if that’s how you want it to be. But Neil Diamond had different intentions. He recently revealed that his inspiration for the song actually originated from a photograph he saw of a little Caroline Kennedy (daughter of John F. Kennedy), standing next to her horse. Now, keeping that in mind, some of the lyrics from the song might seem a little questionable but that old photograph was behind the number one hit.
First Seen @beatlesbible.com
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The majority of musicians or bands average about 3-4 minutes per song – this means 3-4 minutes to say every word they want to say and to sing every note they want to sing. Then why put a two minute guitar solo in the middle? Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page has unarguably one of the greatest guitar solos of all time in Stairway to Heaven, coincidently (or not) also one of the greatest songs ever written. Of course, to some, guitar solos are heard as no more than an interruption, or an unnecessary interlude in the midst of greatness. But to the other 90% of the world, guitar solos provide a cathartic beginning, middle, end, or even pause in the emotional chaos which is a song. A guitar solo speaks for itself; it carries its own melody, its own movement, its own feeling, and its own tempo. You can hear each string resonating, each chord buzzing. You can understand every pain or joy. You can FEEL the guitarist’s passion in every callous behind every note. You can interpret every emotion the solo makes you feel, and feel the ringing somewhere deep inside you and you might not even know where that is. While lyrics, orchestras, and ornamentations force you to think or understand, a guitar solo allows you to purely appreciate, brainless-ly but not mindlessly.
Even though you’ve most likely heard it before, listen to it again. You’ll appreciate it even more this time.
The Guiness World Records cites Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” as the top-selling single of all time, being sold over 50 million times since 1942 when it was released. It makes you wonder…What really makes a song so appealing that 50 million people would buy it? A study from Duke University tells us that our attraction to any set of musical notes in a song can be accredited to the similar frequencies our brains have been trained to recognize and appreciate. Apparently, the words which we use on a daily basis actually all contain subtle pitches which fall in a traditional range of notes, making it easier for our brains to connect with. So, when we hear certain melodies together, our brains pick out the ones it resonates with the most, and those become your favorite songs, or the tunes that get stuck in your head. Apart from the melodic aspect of course, there is the rhythm, tempo, vocals (if any), and the overall “feel”. Slow songs usually put us in a more relaxed and delicate mood where as upbeat and energetic songs provide us with an adrenaline rush through our veins. There are so many reasons behind why each person likes or finds a certain song appealing which cannot be pinpointed, but you should think about why you like that song on the radio that you can’t get out of your head.
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Many listen to the Beatles to hear Paul McCartney’s smooth vocal ornamentation or the steady but strong beat of Ringo’s bass drum or just the melodic melodies of their music. But others see these beautiful technicalities simply as additions to the musical creativity and collaboration, the raw, pure talent, and The Beatles’ drive to work hard to “please please” themselves, and more importantly, others. One of the most mastered skills these men possessed was an ability to command guitar picking, strumming, and slamming. As a result of their continuous search throughout their careers for new creativity and innovation, George Harrison’s “reverse guitar” playing was born. Although “I’m Only Sleeping” is not amongst their many number one hits, it features a dreamy and wistful sound which was new to music audiences at the time. Harrison spent hours in the studio rehearsing to achieve the proper guitar sound which would be heard by reversing the normally-played guitar tape. Take a listen to the song and you’ll be given a historic backstage pass into The Beatles’ crazy and inventive guitar-playing methods
I’m Only Sleeping – The Beatles:
Any true appreciator of rock n’ roll is well-versed in all matters relating to the acclaimed Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. Musicians strive to be inducted, or even to be presented an opportunity to perform. Despite the dreary and atmosphere surrounding the coincidental 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking on April 14th, the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony did not cease to amaze attendees, performers, and fans. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Beastie Boys, and Guns N’ Roses were among the awarded inductees of the night. Popular performers ranged from Green Day, which performed a song fromAmerican Idiot to Sara Bareilles, who covered Laura Nyro with “Stoney End”. It isn’t difficult to appreciate the surprising magnitude and power of the ceremony – even though Axl Rose, lead singer of Guns N’ Roses chose not to attend the event, the night was a astonishing success.
It’s amazing to witness the power of the rock n’ roll community and the intense, purely musical bond between the performers and spectators. Critics described this ceremony as arguably the greatest Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame ceremony yet, and the audience admired every guitar note, every wail, every rock, and every roll.
First seen @rollingstone.com
Here is a handy piece of equipment that you might want to check out if you are an iPhone-wielding musician. The GuitarJack 2 is a handsome chunk of metal that will put a lot of mobile flexibility into your hands that you can now capture a ton of new sounds and tracks right from the comfort of your couch. You get four tracks to lay down your raw sound. This bad boy will cost you $149 and you'll probably want to buy the accompanying iPhone app that pairs with it.
Engadget reports on the GuitarJack is all positive:
This software essentially converts your iPhone (or iPod touch and iPad, according to the company) into a mobile 4-track recording station with WiFi sync capabilities to get those new licks on your desktop for further editing. If an Apple slate is your recording weapon of choice, you'll need to spring for StudioTrack. For $20, this software will enable 8-track recording on an iPad via the tablet's built-in microphone or add-on audio interfaces like the GuitarJack.