Friday, January 21, 2011

Number 1 Songs - and the future of music - the final class of the semester :(

Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry, and is one of the oldest trade magazines in the world. It maintains several internationally recognized music charts[specify] that track the most popular songs and albums in various categories on a weekly basis. The two most notable charts are the Billboard Hot 100, which ranks the top 100 songs regardless of genre and is based on physical sales, digital sales and radio airplay. Meanwhile, the Billboard 200 survey is the corresponding chart for album sales.

Let's take a look at four decades of #1's Compare and Contrast - - Hmmm

#1 Song January 2011 (So Far...)

#1 Song January 2001

#1 Song January 1991

#1 Song January 1981

#1 Song January 1971

Well - what do you think?

Music App Class:

It has been real. This is it for a semester of the Blogodome. Be sure to stay tuned for another rousing semester starting on Monday 1/24/2011.

Mr. C

Thursday, January 20, 2011

An egregiously inept attempt to cover 30 year of rock in 25 minutes in (Three Acts)- Zeppelin, Hair, and Flannel

Act One - Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin II is the second studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released in October 1969 on Atlantic Records. Recording sessions for the album took place at several locations in the United Kingdom and North America from January to August 1969. Production was entirely credited to lead guitarist and songwriter Jimmy Page, while it also served as Led Zeppelin's first album to utilise the recording techniques of engineer Eddie Kramer.

Led Zeppelin II furthered the lyrical themes established on their debut album, creating a work that became more widely acclaimed and influential than its predecessor. With elements of blues and folk music, it also exhibits the band's evolving musical style of blues-derived material and their guitar and riff-based sound. It is one of the band's heaviest albums.

Upon release, Led Zeppelin II earned a considerable amount of sales and was Led Zeppelin's first album to reach number one in the United Kingdom and United States. In 1970, art director David Juniper was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Recording Package for Led Zeppelin II. On 15 November 1999, it was certified 12x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales in excess of 12 million copies. Following its initial reception, it has been recognised by writers and music critics as one of the greatest and most influential rock albums ever recorded.

Act Two  - Hair

Glam metal (also known as Hair metal and often used synonymously with Pop metal) is a subgenre of hard rock and heavy metal that arose in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the United States, particularly on the Los Angeles Sunset Strip music scene. It was popular throughout the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, combining the flamboyant look of glam rock and playing a power-chord-based heavy metal musical style.

The genre rapidly lost mainstream interest from 1991 to 1993 with the rise of grunge and the release of albums such as Nirvana's Nevermind. It experienced a partial resurgence around the turn of the century, due in part to increased interest on the internet, with the successful 'Glam Slam Metal Jam' music festival taking place in summer 2000.

Musically, glam metal uses traditional hard rock and heavy metal songs, incorporating elements of punk rock, while adding pop-influenced catchy hooks and guitar riffs. Like other heavy metal songs of the 1980s, they often feature shred guitar solos. Aesthetically glam metal draws heavily on the glam rock or glitter rock of the 1970s, often with very long backcombed hair, use of make-up, gaudy clothing and accessories (chiefly consisting of tight denim or leather jeans, spandex, and headbands). The visual aspects of glam metal appealed to music television producers, particularly MTV, whose establishment coincided with the rise of the genre. Glam metal performers became infamous for their debauched lifestyles of late-night parties, which were widely covered in the tabloid press.

"Sweet Child O' Mine" - Ninth track on the album and third single of the band. Released on August 18, 1988, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the band's first and only number-one single in the U.S. It reached number six on the UK Singles Chart.

The lyrics of the song are written about Axl Rose's girlfriend (at the time) Erin Everly. The guitar lick at the beginning was a coincidence, as Slash warmed up by playing a circus sounding tune as a joke.

Act Three - Flannel

Grunge (sometimes referred to as the Seattle sound) is a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged during the mid-1980s in the American state of Washington, particularly in the Seattle area. Inspired by hardcore punk, heavy metal, and indie rock, grunge is generally characterized by heavily distorted electric guitars, contrasting song dynamics, and apathetic or angst-filled lyrics. The grunge aesthetic is stripped-down compared to other forms of rock music, and many grunge musicians were noted for their unkempt appearances and rejection of theatrics.

The early grunge movement coalesced around Seattle independent record label Sub Pop in the late 1980s. Grunge became commercially successful in the first half of the 1990s, due mainly to the release of Nirvana's Nevermind and Pearl Jam's Ten. The success of these bands boosted the popularity of alternative rock and made grunge the most popular form of hard rock music at the time. However, many grunge bands were uncomfortable with this popularity. Although most grunge bands had disbanded or faded from view by the late 1990s, their influence continues to affect modern rock music.

Mother Love Bone was an American hard rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1988. The band was active from 1988 to 1990. Frontman Andrew Wood's personality and compositions helped to catapult the group to the top of the burgeoning late 1980s/early 1990s Seattle music scene. Wood died only days before the scheduled release of the band's debut album, Apple, thus ending the group's hopes of success. The album was finally released a few months later. Although Mother Love Bone is remembered by many as a very talented band in its own right, its legacy, for some, is overshadowed by Wood's death and the bands that its former members would later form.

MTV restrictions on violent imagery prevented Pellington from showing Jeremy putting the gun in his mouth and pulling the trigger at the climax of the video. Ironically, the ambiguous close-up of Jeremy at the end of the edited video, combined with the defensive posture of Jeremy's classmates and the large amount of blood, led many viewers to believe that the video ended with Jeremy shooting his classmates, not himself.

Pellington himself dismisses this interpretation of the video. He said, "Probably the greatest frustration I've ever had is that the ending [of the "Jeremy" video] is sometimes misinterpreted as that he shot his classmates. The idea is, that's his blood on them, and they're frozen at the moment of looking." He had filmed a scene where Jeremy is shown putting the gun in his mouth, but this footage was edited with a zoom effect for the MTV version of the video so the gun was not visible. Pellington also filmed a slightly different take of the classroom Pledge of Allegiance sequence. In the MTV version of the video there is a brief shot of Jeremy's classmates making a gesture that could be either the American Bellamy salute or the Nazi Hitler salute; in the original cut of the video this scene is longer.

After "Jeremy", Pearl Jam backed away from making music videos. "Ten years from now," Ament said, "I don't want people to remember our songs as videos." The band did not release another video until 1998's "Do the Evolution", which was entirely animated.

In 1996, a shooting occurred at Frontier Junior High School in Moses Lake, Washington that left three dead and a fourth injured. The legal defense team for the shooter, Barry Loukaitis, stated that he was influenced by the music video.

After the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, MTV and VH1 rarely aired the video, and mention of it was omitted in retro-documentaries such as I Love the '90s. It is still available on the internet, on websites such as YouTube. It can also occasionally be seen playing at Hard Rock Cafe locations. The video has been getting airtime on VH1 Classic and MTV Hits programming as of 2006, and is currently in circulation via late night playlists featured on Scuzz. The video was included in MuchMusic's list of the 12 most controversial videos. The reason was because of the topic of suicide, and recent school shootings. The scene of Jeremy with the gun in his mouth was not shown. It was also included on VH1's countdown of the "100 Greatest Songs of the '90s" at number 11, with several clips of the video shown, including part of the ending. The uncensored version of the video was shown as part of the retrospective "Pearl Jam Ten Revisited" on VH1 Classic in 2009 prior to the album's re-release, including the shot in which Jeremy puts the gun in his mouth.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Final Frontier: Spitting Bars - Old Skool-

Old school hip hop (also spelled "old skool") describes the earliest commercially recorded hip hop music (approximately from 1979–1984),and the music in the period preceding it from which it was directly descended (see Roots of hip hop). Old school hip hop is said to end around 1983 or 1984 with the emergence of Run–D.M.C., the first new school hip hop group. However, some old school rap stations cover 1980s hip hop in general, occasionally extending even into the 1990s.

The image, styles and sounds of the old school were exemplified by figures like Afrika Bambaataa, The Sugarhill Gang, Spoonie Gee, Treacherous Three, Funky Four Plus One, Kurtis Blow, Fab Five Freddy, Busy Bee Starski, Lovebug Starski, Doug E. Fresh, The Fat Boys, The Cold Crush Brothers and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and it is characterized by the simpler rapping techniques of the time and the general focus on party related subject matter.

Check out the Bass Line to this tune -

See how this Bass Line is applied -

Scratching -

Scratching was developed by early hip hop DJs from New York such as Grand Wizard Theodore and DJ Grandmaster Flash, who describes scratching as, "nothing but the back-cueing that you hear in your ear before you push it [the recorded sound] out to the crowd." (Toop, 1991). Jamaican-born DJ Kool Herc also influenced the early development of scratching. Kool Herc developed break-beat DJing, where the breaks of funk songs—being the most danceable part, often featuring percussion—were isolated and repeated for the purpose of all-night dance parties.

Although previous artists such as William S. Burroughs had experimented with the idea of manipulating a record manually for the sounds produced (such as with his 1950s recording, "Sound Piece"), scratching as an element of hip hop pioneered the idea of making the sound an integral and rhythmic part of music instead of uncontrolled noise.

Christian Marclay was one of the earliest musicians to scratch outside of hip hop. In the mid-1970s, Marclay used gramophone records and turntables as musical instruments to create sound collages. He developed his turntable sounds independently of hip hop DJs. Although he is little-known to mainstream audiences, Marclay has been described as "the most influential turntable figure outside hip hop." and the "unwitting inventor of turntablism." Grandmaster Flash was the first person to release a song, "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel", with scratching on it in 1981.

Scratching in the Wild -

Friday, January 7, 2011

Jazz Part V: Be-Bop

Bebop or bop is a style of jazz characterized by fast tempo, instrumental virtuosity and improvisation based on the combination of harmonic structure and melody. It was developed in the early and mid-1940s. It first surfaced in musicians' argot some time during the first two years of American involvement in the Second World War. This style of jazz ultimately became synonymous with modern jazz, as either category reached a certain final maturity in the 1960s.

The word "bebop" is usually stated to be nonsense syllables (vocables) which were made in scat singing, and is supposed to have been first attested in 1928. Some researchers speculate that it was a term used by Charlie Christian, because it sounded like something he hummed along with his playing. Dizzy Gillespie tells that the audiences coined the name after hearing him scat the then-nameless tunes to his players and the press ultimately picked it up, using it as an official term: "People, when they'd wanna ask for those numbers and didn't know the name, would ask for bebop." However, possibly the most plausible theory is that it derives from the cry of "Arriba! Arriba!" used by Latin American bandleaders of the period to encourage their bands. This squares with the fact that, originally, the terms "bebop" and "rebop" were used interchangeably. By 1945, the use of "bebop"/"rebop" as nonsense syllables was widespread in R&B music, for instance Lionel Hampton's "Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop", and a few years later in rock and roll, for instance Gene Vincent's "Be-Bop-A-Lula" (1956).

Verse 1.) Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie -

Homework: Take a down beat magazine home and write a three paragraph summary of one of the main articles from that issue. (A main article for these purposes is a minimum of two pages of reading.) Be sure to include your own reactions to that article. 20 points

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Jazz Part IV - The Saxophone -

Antoine-Joseph "Adolphe" Sax (November 6, 1814 – c. February 4, 1894[1]) was a Belgian musical instrument designer and musician who played the flute and clarinet, and is best known for having invented the saxophone.

The saxophone consists of an approximately conical tube of thin metal, most commonly brass and sometimes plated with silver, gold, and nickel, flared at the tip to form a bell. At intervals along the tube are between 20 and 23 tone holes of varying size, including two very small 'speaker' holes to assist the playing of the upper register. These holes are covered by keys (also known as pad cups), containing soft leather pads, which are closed to produce an airtight seal; at rest some of the holes stand open and others are closed. The keys are controlled by buttons pressed by the fingers, while the right thumb sits under a thumb rest to help keep the saxophone balanced. The fingering for the saxophone is a combination of that of the oboe with the Boehm system, and is very similar to the flute or the upper register of the clarinet. Instruments that play to low A have a left thumb key for that note.

The simplest design of saxophone is a straight conical tube, and the sopranino and soprano saxophones are usually of this straight design. However, as the lower-pitched instruments would be unacceptably long if straight, for ergonomic reasons, the larger instruments usually incorporate a U-bend at, or slightly above, the third-lowest tone hole. As this would cause the bell of the instrument to point almost directly upward, the end of the instrument is either beveled or tilted slightly forward. This U-shape has become an iconic feature of the saxophone family, to the extent that soprano and even sopranino saxes are sometimes made in the curved style, even though not strictly necessary. By contrast, tenors and even baritones have occasionally been made in the straight style. Most commonly, however, the alto and tenor saxophones incorporate a curved 'crook' above the highest tone hole but below the top speaker hole, tilting the mouthpiece through 90 degrees; the baritone, bass and contrabass extend the length of the bore by triple-folding this section.

Verse 1.) A Little Known Large Thing-

Verse 2.) Saxophone in Jazz Music-

Coleman Randolph Hawkins (November 21, 1904 – May 19, 1969) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist.[1] Hawkins was the first important jazz musician to use the instrument. As Joachim E. Berendt explained, "there were some tenor players before him, but the instrument was not an acknowledged jazz horn".[2] While Hawkins is most strongly associated with the swing music and big band era, he had a role in the development of bebop in the 1940s,[1]

Lester Young, who was called "Pres", in a 1959 interview with The Jazz Review, said "As far as I'm concerned, I think Coleman Hawkins was the President first, right? As far as myself, I think I'm the second one." Miles Davis once said: "When I heard Hawk I learned to play ballads." Hawkins was nicknamed "Hawk" and sometimes "Bean".

Verse 3.) Coltrane-

The influence Coltrane has had on music spans many different genres and musicians. Coltrane's massive influence on jazz, both mainstream and avant-garde, began during his lifetime and continued to grow after his death. He is one of the most dominant influences on post-1960 jazz saxophonists and has inspired an entire generation of jazz musicians. In 1965, he was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame. In 1972, A Love Supreme was certified gold by the RIAA for selling over half a million copies in Japan. This album, as well as My Favorite Things, was certified gold in the United States in 2001. In 1982 Coltrane was awarded a posthumous Grammy for "Best Jazz Solo Performance" on the album Bye Bye Blackbird, and in 1997, was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
His widow, Alice Coltrane, after several decades of seclusion, briefly regained a public profile before her death in 2007. Coltrane's son, Ravi Coltrane, named after the great Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar, who was greatly admired by Coltrane, has followed in his father's footsteps and is a prominent contemporary saxophonist.
His revolutionary use of multi-tonic systems in jazz has become a widespread composition and reharmonization technique known as "Coltrane changes".

In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed John Coltrane on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.
Coltrane's tenor (Selmer Mark VI, serial number 125571, dated 1965) and soprano (Selmer Mark VI, serial number 99626, dated 1962) saxophones were auctioned on February 20, 2005 to raise money for the John Coltrane Foundation. The soprano raised $70,800 but the tenor remained unsold.

Verse 4.) Joshua Redman-

Boogielastic - (In class only-)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Jazz Part III - Emergence of Swing and the Big Band

Verse 1.) Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra

Fletcher Henderson (1897-1952) was a bandleader, arranger, composer and pianist, one of the most important names in Jazz history. He was born in Cuthbert, Georgia, his father was a former slave who was freed by General Sherman during the Civil War and who went on to become an educator during Reconstruction, and his mother taught piano. He attended Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia and graduated in 1920, where he was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter organization established for African Americans. After graduation, he moved to New York City to attend Columbia University for a master's degree in chemistry. However, he found his job prospects in chemistry to be very restricted due to his race, and turned to music for a living.

In 1922 he formed his own band, which was resident first at the Club Alabam then at the Roseland, and quickly became known as the best "Colored" band in New York. For a time his ideas of arrangement were heavily influenced by those of Paul Whiteman, but when Louis Armstrong joined his orchestra in 1924 Henderson realized there could be a much richer potential for jazz band orchestration. Henderson's band also boasted the formidable arranging talents of Don Redman (from 1922 to 1927).

At one time or another, in addition to Louis Armstrong, lead trumpeters included Henry "Red" Allen, Joe Smith, Rex Stewart, Tommy Ladnier, Doc Cheatham and Roy Eldridge on trumpet. Lead saxophonists included Coleman Hawkins, Buster Bailey, Benny Carter and Chu Berry. Sun Ra also worked as an arranger during the 1940s during Henderson's engagement at the Club De Lisa in Chicago. Sun Ra himself said that on first hearing Henderson's orchestra as a teenager he assumed that they must be angels because no human could produce such beautiful music.

Beginning in the early 1930s, Fletcher's piano-playing younger brother, Horace Henderson contributed to the arrangements of the band. He later led a band of his own that also received critical acclaim. Although Fletchers band was very popular, he had little success managing the it. He was better regarded as an arranger - he started arranging around 1931, or so - and his arrangements became influential. In addition to his own band he arranged for Teddy Hill, Isham Jones, and most famously, Benny Goodman.
While Henderson's music was loved by the masses, his band began to fold with the 1929 stock market crash. The loss of financial stability resulted in the selling of many arrangements from his songbooks to the later-to-be-acclaimed "King of Swing" Benny Goodman.

Verse 2.) Chick Webb and the Club Savoy

Verse 3.) Ohh Yeah -- Duke Elington

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974) was a composer, pianist, and big band leader. Ellington wrote over 1,000 compositions. In the words of Bob Blumenthal of the Boston Globe "In the century since his birth, there has been no greater composer, American or otherwise, than Edward Kennedy Ellington."

A prominent figure in the history of jazz, Ellington's music stretched into various other genres, including blues, gospel, film scores, popular, and classical. His career spanned more than 50 years and included leading his orchestra, composing an inexhaustible songbook, scoring for movies, composing stage musicals, and world tours. Several of his instrumental works were adapted into songs that became standards. Due to his inventive use of the orchestra, or big band, and thanks to his eloquence and extraordinary charisma, he is generally considered to have elevated the perception of jazz to an art form on a par with other traditional genres of music. His reputation increased after his death, the Pulitzer Prize Board bestowing a special posthumous honor in 1999.

Ellington called his music "American Music" rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as "beyond category". These included many of the musicians who were members of his orchestra, some of whom are considered among the best in jazz in their own right, but it was Ellington who melded them into one of the most well-known jazz orchestral units in the history of jazz. He often composed specifically for the style and skills of these individuals, such as "Jeep's Blues" for Johnny Hodges, "Concerto for Cootie" for Cootie Williams, which later became "Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me" with Bob Russell's lyrics, and "The Mooche" for Tricky Sam Nanton and Bubber Miley. He also recorded songs written by his bandsmen, such as Juan Tizol's "Caravan" and "Perdido" which brought the 'Spanish Tinge' to big-band jazz. Several members of the orchestra remained there for several decades. After 1941, he frequently collaborated with composer-arranger-pianist Billy Strayhorn, whom he called his "writing and arranging companion." Ellington recorded for many American record companies, and appeared in several films.

Ellington led his band from 1923 until his death in 1974. His son Mercer Ellington, who had already been handling all administrative aspects of his father's business for several decades, led the band until his own death in 1996. At that point, the original band dissolved. Paul Ellington, Mercer's youngest son and executor of the Duke Ellington estate, kept the Duke Ellington Orchestra going from Mercer's death onwards.