Posted on 16 May 2011.
As much as the year 2010 brought sadness around with the earthquake in Haiti, it brought pride, culture and paradigm into the world of music. Artists from around the world came together to raise funds for Haiti by producing a concert. It really showed how much passion each artist has for what they sing and sometimes write. One cannot help but hear the beat of each artist’s music wherever they are and wherever they go. The effect is infinite and the world would not be the same without the following top 10 musical artists of 2010.
1. Black Eyed Peas
From I Gotta Feeling to Meet me Halfway to the Time, Black Eyed Peas defined 2010 on the top 10 charts. Black Eyed Peas revolutionized fan favourite songs such as “The Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing. One cannot help but picture and imagine Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey dancing in the movie, while listening to the new version of the song by Black Eyed Peas. This song was a great tribute to Patrick Swayze and an excellent way to give rebirth to 1980s and those who loved that era, while still attracting newer fans.
2. Justin Timberlake
One cannot forget the tear jerking performance Timberlake performed at the Hope for Haiti charity concert. The sound of Timberlake playing the piano resonated in viewers’ ears. As you were hearing “Hallelujah” you could not help but feel the pain for Haiti and wanted to help. His message was clear and you could see the passion in Timberlake’s face as he was singing the song and playing the tune. He continued to put his best music forward with “Carryout” alongside Timberland, which hit Top 10 charts as well. Timberlake is an excellent role-model for all new musical artists beginning their careers.
3. Lady Gaga:
Without a doubt, Lady Gaga overturned the world of music. She altered public opinion as well as worldview on different issues. She publicly addressed various rumours people had with regard to her and her sexuality. She’s partnered with various pop sensations such as Elton John and Beyonce Knowles to make her message resonate. From Poker Face to Bad Romance to Alejandro, Lady Gaga has topped the charts continuously in 2010.
4. Justin Bieber:
Who has not heard of this top teen sensation? He has captured the hearts of almost every teenage girl around the world. Die Hard fans line up on the streets trying to get tickets to see Bieber, the person who they look up to and adore. His personality and charm has constantly caused his songs to hit the Top 10 around the world. Furthermore, his ability to pair up with artists such as Ludacris made him who he is today.
One cannot help but associate Usher with the song “OMG”. The term uses a vulgar term almost every person in the anglophone world uses to describe the feeling many men have when it comes to a woman. His songs continuously connect with everyday individuals, making him more popular and easy to relate to; especially with “There goes my Baby” and “OMG”.
Posted in Featured, People
Posted on 28 April 2011.
The world as we know it today has been shaped by artists over the centuries. The buildings we live in, the cars we drive, the food we eat, our furniture and the movies we go to and all the songs we listen to are created by artists. Artists are in tune with the world and God. They create because they have to, they have no choice, it is their nature. This is how the world progresses. It can be an author, a musician, a painter or an architect. The world as we know it today has been invented by artistic geniuses. Our every move and word spoken has been shaped by artists who came and went away down the centuries. Let us have a look at the important artists who created in the past so that we could live in a cultured present.
Michelangelo was born on 6th March, 1475 in Italy. His full name was Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni. He died in 1564. His life is full of beautiful creations by him. He was a sculptor, painter, architect and poet. Two of his statues Pieta and David are so beautiful that viewers are spellbound in their presence. A masterpiece of his painting talent is the Sistine Chapel in Rome with its picture from Genesis called The Last Judgment. He contributed to the building of St Peter’s Basilica.
Shakespeare was born in 1564 and died on 23rd April 1616. His contribution to English literature is enormous. He is famous as the Bard of Avon. He wrote about 38 plays and more than a hundred and fifty sonnets and poems. His famous players are Hamlet, Macbeth, Twelfth Night and Julius Caesar. Shakespeare had his plays performed in London and he became famous during his lifetime. The plays are so important and the lines spoken in them are etched in the memories who love to watch Shakespearean Theatre. Many movies have been made from his plays.
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German music composer and pianist. He wrote many famous symphonies. He was born on 17 December,1770 and died on March 26, 1827. He was born in Bonn. He went to Vienna to study and further his musical career but the death of his mother brought him home to Bonn for five years. He went back to Vienna again in 1792 where he studied under Joseph Haydn. As the years progressed he wrote concertos, symphonies and piano sonatas. His many famous symphonies are the fifth and the ninth. The prolific Beethoven continued writing music even after he turned deaf.
4. Auguste Escoffier
Auguste Escoffier was a French chef. He was born on 28 October in 1846 in Villeneuve-Loubert, France. He died on 12th February 1935 at Monte Carlo, Monaco. Escoffier was known as the king of chefs in France. He is credited with developing modern French cuisine. It was because of Escoffier that Chefs became respected by society. He published the book Le Guide Culinaire, which is a text book for chefs even today. Kaiser Wilhelm II gave him the title of Emperor of Chefs.
5. Antonio Stradivari
Antonio Stradivari and his family members are famous for making the celebrated violins. He was born in 1644 and died in 1737. He was the manufacturer of violins, cellos and guitars. These are priced in millions of dollars today. By 1680 Antonio had a reputation as a violin maker. From 1700 to his death he made darkly varnished and a little longer violins. A cello currently used by Yo-Yo Ma is a Stradivarius. A Stradivarius was owned by the fictional character Sherlock Holmes. The violins are made of a mixture of three trees, that is, spruce, willow and maple.
Posted in Featured, People
Posted on 14 March 2011.
Classical music composers seem to have flourished mainly in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the twentieth century there have not been too many classical music composers who have achieved a great deal of fame or have left an impact on the music scene.
Here is our list of the Top Ten Classical Music Composers of all times – in no particular order:
It was only after his death in 1750 that people realised what a great musical genius Bach really was. Till then he was mainly known as an organist and many considered his music to be old fashioned. He came in at a time when Baroque style of music was just beginning to come into its own and the Renaissance age of music was beginning to flounder. He gave us a synthesis of the two and gave us gems such as The Brandenburg Concertos and the Goldberg Variations.
German by birth, Beethoven moved to Vienna, Austria to learn and study under Haydn. He is considered to be among the most famous and influential composers of all time. Even though his hearing began to deteriorate by the time he had reached his late twenties, he continued to compose, conduct and perform. He composed in several music genres and for a variety of instrument combinations.
The most famous composer of the Classical era, Mozart composed over 600 works. He showed early promise as a musical genius, since he was performing on the keyboard and as a violinist since the age of 5 and was composing from the age of 6. His style was brilliant and he combined the elements of the dark and passionate with the graceful and light and gave us memorable operas such as The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni.
Probably best known for his immortal version of Ave Maria, and his Symphony Number 9, Schubert was a genius who incorporated the vision of Mozart in his compositions. Many consider him to be the greatest songwriter of all times and of melodic, lyrical compositions. He composed masses, symphonies, ballet, string quartets and sonatas.
The inventor of the string quartet, and of the modern symphony, Haydn was also an exceptional opera and mass composer. He created the string quartet when one musician failed to turn up for one his recitals and he had to join in as the second violinist with another violinist, violist and cellist. He went one to give us his famous cello concerto.
Posted in Featured, People
Posted on 06 March 2011.
Folk music is characteristic of each country and normally consists of music which has been brought down through the ages and is connected to the culture and traditions of each country. For the purposes of this list we shall take into consideration artists who are specialists in all types of American Folk Music. You will be surprised as to how many of them achieved a great deal of fame in the popularity charts of music of all types
1. Woody Guthrie:
“This Land is My Land” is considered to be his hallmark song. He wrote for the masses, with simple words and thoughts which seemed to encompass all that the common man was thinking and feeling. He travelled all over the country with migrant workers and encapsulated their experiences and the country’s traditional ballads and lyrics within his songs. He was undoubtedly the most influential folk musician of all times.
2. Bob Dylan:
For over fifty Bob Dylan has been the patriarch of the folk music industry. Songs such as “The times they are a-changing” and “Blowing in the Wind “are all part of his repertoire and even in 2009 he produced a brand new fabulous album “Together through life “. He has performed many types of American folk music including blues, gospel and rock and roll. In 2008, the Pulitzer Prize awarded him a special citation for his “profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.”
3. Pete Seeger:
“Where all the flowers have gone” and “If I had a hammer” are songs which every folk music aficionado will be familiar with. Pete Seeger, who wrote these songs, has been responsible for the revival of interest in folk music. He has also been a major activist in various fields such as disarmament, environmental issues and civil rights. Many of his songs reflect this activism and have become staples with folk singers worldwide.
4. Joan Baez:
An unusual voice and vocal style which is unique to her, Joan Baez has been very influential in the field of folk music for many years. She has released over 30 albums and even though her music covers all genres of music such as rock and roll and blues, her forte lies in her ability to interpret songs of various songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie and Paul Simon among others.
Baez has performed publicly for over 50 years and has released over 30 albums. Fluent in Spanish as well as in English, she has also recorded songs in at least six other languages. She is regarded as a folk singer, although her music has diversified since she first came into fame, encompassing everything from folk rock and pop to country and gospel music.
5. Peter, Paul & Mary:
America’s most popular folk music group, Peter Paul & Mary began singing together in 1961, broke up to pursue individual careers in 1970 and rejoined in 1978. They have sung songs by all the top folk music lyricists and managed to have most of them on top of the box office lists. Their simple vocal styles and their harmony together have been responsible for their immense success.
Posted in Featured, People
Posted on 29 August 2010.
Today musicians are less than average and parade about looking pretty and croaking a few words every now and then. The following musicians were remarkable in every way possible even though they were differently abled- the singers today should learn something from them.
1. Itzhak Perlman
Itzhak Perlman is considered to be the best violin player of his time. He had polio but he worked very hard and was able to walk with the help of crutches. He uses a scooter or his crutches even today and was invited for Obama’s inauguration recently.
2. Edgar Winter
Edgar Winter was a part of the successful group, The Edgar Winter Group. He suffers from albinism which basically means that he is extremely vulnerable to light. He never let this get in his way and is multi-faceted- he plays the percussion, the keyboards, the saxophone and sings beautifully.
3. Paul Stanley
Paul Stanley is the lead vocalist and a well-known guitarist of KISS. He was born with a deformity called Microtia because of which the outer part of his ear is almost entirely absent. He grew his hair out during high school and kept it that way for a long time after.
4. Bret Michaels
The doctors told Bret Michaels that he had type 1 diabetes when he was only six years old. He was encouraged to interact with other kids his age who were suffering from the same problem and grew up to sell 25 million albums with his band.
5. Kenny G
Kenneth Gorelick or Kenny G had acute asthma but went on to fulfill his dream of becoming a saxophonist. He sold over 48 million albums and broke several records in the United States of America. If you are a fan of jazz, you should look definitely listen to all his albums.
Posted in Featured, People
Posted on 04 July 2010.
These singers influenced lots of other contemporary singers during their time and continue to do so. One can think of them as teachers who imparted their knowledge but were not given enough credit. Here’s a list of the top 10 underrated singers.
1. Richie Havens
Richie Havens is both a guitarist and a singer who is known for performing at Woodstock. The way he played the guitar was very unique and the style so created was rhythmic without having a proper pattern. If you listen to his music, you will hear a faint drumming sound which is actually the sound of foot tapping. He was famous in his own village and was only locally successful.
2. Ian Curtis
This vocalist and lyricist died in 1980 after committing suicide. It has been believed that he got overly anxious as a tour was around the corner and was also finding it difficult to deal with his epilepsy. People thought that he was merely dancing when he had seizures on stage. This underrated singer has left behind a remarkable legacy.
3. Vini Reilly
Reilly was a singer and guitarist and his music belonged to the ‘post-punk’ era. His first album was groundbreaking and was released in 1988. He was a part of the musical movement fondly referred to as the ‘chill-out electronica’. Vini Reilly worked with Anne Clark, John Cooper Clarke and many more.
4. Gram Parsons
This underrated singer found mention in the top 100 Great Artists of All Time in the Rolling Stones magazine. He headed a prominent rock movement during the 1970s and was associated with bands like The Flying Burrito Brothers and International Submarine Band. His style was unique and completely new.
5. Jeff Buckley
This American songwriter, guitarist and singer had a beautiful voice and was thought to have great potential after his debut album was released in 1994. Unfortunately, before the audience could experience his music to the fullest, he drowned in 1997.
Posted in Featured, People
Posted on 09 June 2010.
The Beatles are nothing if not legendary and while all their performances have been memorable, the following 10 were particularly outstanding.
1. Abbey Road
This was the band’s last album but the fact that the EMI London Recording Studio changed its name to Abbey Road Studios, should give you an idea about how amazing the recording sessions were. After the release of the album, this studio became the most sought after studio and those who worked there were treated like celebrities.
2. Strawberry Fields Forever
This was the first song recorded by the band when they decided to stop touring and were told to pull up their socks. Needless to say, they followed it up and the final recording session was remarkable. However, Lennon did not like it as much as the rest of the band members. It influenced the likes of Jeff Lynne and ELO.
3. I Wanna Be Your Man
When this song was first recorded, none of the band members were happy with it. McCartney and Lennon felt that that they needed to change the sound in such a way that it would be at par with their debut hit single. The two members then vanished for about 15 minutes and came back with a much better version of the song. Mick Jagger says that he was greatly influenced by this song.
4. Rubber Soul
Brian Wilson was significantly influenced by this song even though the band felt that the original sound was not at par with the quality they were known to produce. If The Beatles did not perform this song at a concert, the audience would beg them to until they did- at least 4 times!
5. I Wanna Hold Your Hand
This single was not accepted by most recording studios in the United States. However, Columbia Records finally released it and it became the band’s first hit single. The song raised the bar for the band and all their subsequent songs were made to match up to its superior sound. Needless to say, all the contemporary bands were forced to see what they were up against and had no choice but to work even harder!
Posted in Entertainment, Featured
Posted on 20 February 2010.
An exceptional guitarist is one who is adventurous with his style, is open-minded and unafraid of going the extra mile. These guitarists make sure that their music is not just ‘good’, but beautiful as well.
1. Will Sergeant
Will Sergeant was part of “Echo and The Bunny” and is quit an under-rated guitarist. Some of the best and most innovative guitar playing of all time is featured in their album “Ocean Rain”. He was exceptional with the instrument and could play any kind of music, no matter how complicated the sound was. The best part was that his music was always his own and unique.
2. Noel Gallagher
Noel Gallagher’s solo in the track “Live Forever” may be simple but it is full of emotion and fits in perfectly with the rest of the song. In the song “D’Ya Know What I Mean”, his sound has been described as psychedelic as it was completely new. His guitar work in songs like “Columbia” and “Up in the Sky” is nothing if not hypnotic and it goes without saying that Gallagher knew what he had to do to make a song top the charts.
3. Jonny Greenwood
Jonny was a part of the well-known band “Radiohead” and tracks like “Paranoid Android” and “Just” are testaments to his talent. The way his fingers moved over the fret board was magical and he definitely goes down in history as one of the best guitarists of all time.
4. Kevin Shields
Kevin Shields was a part of “My Bloody Valentine”. His music was beautiful and it has been said that the sound of his music was a combination of volcano explosions and flowers. It was gentle and fiery at the same time and blew the listeners away every time. Nobody has been able to imitate his style till date.
5. Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page has been called the “riff master” even though his music has been said to be queer. For him, the guitar was like a toy, one that he commanded with great ease and for which he will never be forgotten. His moves were mystical and he is definitely the best among the best.
Posted in Entertainment, Featured, People