Coheed and Cambria

Coheed and Cambria is an American rock band from Nyack, New York. Formed in 1995, the group's music incorporates aspects of progressive rock, punk, metal and post-hardcore.
All of Coheed and Cambria's albums are concept albulms that tell a science fiction storyline called The Amory Wars, a story written by lead singer Claudio Sanchez, which has been transcribed into a series of comic books, as well as a full length novel. The band has released six studio albums, three live albums, and several special-edition releases.


Shabütie (1995–2001)
In March 1995, after the split of Claudio Sanchez and Travis Stever’s band called Toxic Parents, they formed a band with Nate Kelly called Beautiful Loser. The band featured Stever on vocals and guitar, Sanchez on guitar, Kelley on drums and Jon Carleo on bass. The group was short-lived, breaking up by June 1995 after an argument over gas money. Stever left the band, and the resulting trio was named Shabütie, a word taken from African tribe chants that means "naked prey" in the film The Naked Prey.
The band spent nearly a year experimenting with a multitude of different musical styles, including punk, indie, acoustic, funk and heavy metal. When Carleo left the band in August 1996, Kelley recruited Michael Todd to take his place. Todd, who was primarily a guitarist, picked up the bass specifically for Shabütie. As Shabütie, the band wrote dozens of songs and released their first studio demo Plan To Take Over The World in 1999. The band also released The Penelope EP in 1999, shortly after which Stever rejoined the band.
Kelley left the band during a performance in late 1999. Josh Eppard (then the drummer of his brother's, Joey Eppard, band 3) replaced him. The band went on to release Delirium Trigger in 2000, still featuring Kelley on the drums, but listing Eppard in the liner notes.

Starting out (2001–2004)

Several songs that appeared on Delirium Trigger were based on a series of science fiction comics written by Claudio Sanchez called The Bag.On.Line Adventures, which was later renamed The Amory Wars. Sanchez's side project originally developed during a 1998 trip to Paris, where the band members decided to rename themselves Coheed and Cambria, named after two of the story's protagonists, and adopted the concept story as a theme that would unify their future albums. This side project also created Coheed's official logo, the Keywork, a symbol for the planetary alignment of the Amory Wars universe.

In February 2002 the band released its first studio album The Second Stage Turbine Blade after signing with Equal Vision Records. Influenced by the post-hardcore group At The Drive In, the band's first release also featured a guest appearance from Dr. Know of the hardcore-punk band, Bad Brains, as well as the revised "Delirium Trigger", "33", and "June song Provision" from the Delirium Trigger EP. The band also released its first single and music video, "Devil in Jersey City". The band eventually played several tour dates in the United States and Japan, as well as a brief stint on the 2002 Vans Warped Tour. In August 2002, Coheed and Cambria started working with manager Blaze James, who would help propel the band to larger stages and a wider fan base.
Following extensive touring with groups Breaking Pangaea, Linkin Park, The Used, and Slipknot, in October 2003 the band released its second studio album In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth:3, also on Equal Vision Records. Featuring the singles " A Favor House Atlantic" and "Blood Red Summer" and corresponding videos which received airtime on MTV, the band supplemented the release by touring with various artists such as Thursday, Thrice, AFI, and Rainer Maria. Coheed and Cambria also made its second appearance on the Warped Tour and performed additional European shows. The album peaked at No. 52 on the Billboard charts and was certified Gold by the RIAA.

Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV (2004–2006)

The band also supported the release by filming an August 2004 concert at New Jersey's Starland Ballroom. The performance was converted into the band's first live DVD, Live at the Starland Ballroom, which was released in March 2005.
The success of In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 attracted the attention of the record label Columbia Records, with whom they signed a multi-album contract. The band stopped touring to record their third studio album and first major-label release Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness in early 2005 for a September 2005 release.

Their most commercially successful album to date, Good Apollo Volume One has sold almost 1 million copies and peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard charts. The album represented a departure from their previous melodic post-hardcore influenced rock toward a progressive rock sound. The single "Welcome Home" was described by John A. Hanson as "a heavily Led Zeppelin-influenced metal tune". The band supported the album with American and European tours accompanied by The Blood Brothers, Circa Survive, Dredge, Head Automatica, and Avenged Sevenfold, tours culminating in the release of the exclusive iTunes EP Kerrang!/XFM UK Acoustic Sessions and their second live DVD The Last Supper: Live at Hammerstein Ballroom.

Departures and No World for Tomorrow (2006–2009)

Claudio Sanchez released an album from his side-project The Prize Fighter Inferno in October 2006 titled My Brother's Blood Machine. Like Coheed and Cambria's albums, it was a concept album, related to Coheed and Cambria via a character that appears in both stories: Jesse, "The Prize Fighter Inferno". The album was intended to be a prequel to the Coheed and Cambria albums. Claudio says "when we were called Shabütie, the initial idea for Coheed and Cambria was to be an acoustic/electronic side project. So I guess The Prize Fighter Inferno is kind of the original idea for Coheed and Cambria."
In early November 2006, Josh Eppard and Michael Todd left the band for personal reasons, forcing Matt Williams and the band's drum technician, Michael Petrak, to fill out temporarily the band's rhythm section for a handful of shows. In April 2007, bassist Michael Todd rejoined Coheed and Cambria, and the band entered the Los Angeles-based studio with new producer Nick Raskulinecz. The following June Chris Pennie, formerly of the Dillinger Escape Plan, joined Coheed and Cambria as its drummer, but due to contractual restrictions with his previous record label, Pennie did not appear on the band's fourth release. Instead, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins recorded the drums, making use of several ideas Pennie had previously written in correspondence with Sanchez.
The band's fourth studio album, and second release with Columbia Records, Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow, was released in October 2007, debuting at number 6 on the Billboard charts. The album's first single, "The Running Free", was released to radio in August 2007. The second single was "Feathers" with a video starring Rena Riffel. The band has continued touring, headlining portions of the 2007 Warped Tour, a tour supported by Clutch and The Fall of Troy, and opened for Linkin Park's 25-city U.S. tour, which forced the cancellation of Coheed and Cambria's performances on Australia's Soundwave Festival. In addition to the return of Todd on bass and new drummer Pennie, the band also recruited a touring keyboardist and backup vocalists for its live performances.
In November 2007, their song "Welcome Home" was included as a playable track in the video game Rock Band, and a cover of their song "Ten Speed (of God's Blood & Burial)" was later made available as a download for Rock Band. In 2009 two more songs were made available for download, "The Running Free" and "A Favor House Atlantic", for the video game Rock Band, later joined in 2010 by the songs "Guns of Summer", "Here We Are Juggernaut" and "The Broken".
The band prepared a four-month world tour beginning in January 2008. They later headlined at The Bamboozle 2008 music festival.
The band headlined the 2008 Kerrang! Tour in the U.K., where the band performed and recorded a cover of "The Trooper" by Iron Maiden, which is featured on Kerrang!'s Iron Maiden tribute album, Maiden Heaven, that came with the July 16 issue. They were nominated for Best International Band and Best Music Video (for Feathers) in the 2008 Kerrang! Awards.
In October and November 2008, the band played Neverender, a four-night concert series in which the band played one album per night. The event was held in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and in London in early December. Neverender: Children of The Fence Edition, a CD/DVD box set of their Neverender performance, was released on March 24, 2009.
In 2009 the song "Welcome Home" was also used in the trailer for the animated movie 9.

Year of the Black Rainbow (2009–2011)

Coheed and Cambria toured through most of early 2009. Between January and March, they toured with Slipknot and Trivium on the Slipknot-headlined All Hope Is Gone tour. In August 2009, Coheed and Cambria toured in support of Heaven & Hell on their tour in support of The Devil You Know. On September 16, 2009, they performed at the Puyallup Fair alongside Brand New and Jaguar Love. In October they performed at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, Texas. They also performed at the Wacken Open Air festival, at the UK leg of the Sonisphere Festival tour, and at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago.
Coheed and Cambria finished recording their fifth studio album Year of the Black Rainbow in 2009. It is a prequel to their conceptual story, having events that take place before The Second Stage Turbine Blade. A novel was released to accompany the album co-written by Sanchez and Peter David. The album was released on April 13, 2010 in both a standard, iTunes special, and deluxe edition (with the deluxe edition including the "Year of the Black Rainbow" novel and a special Year of the Black Rainbow "Black Card" that provides the holder early access to some Coheed shows.)
"The Broken", "Guns of Summer" and "Here We Are Juggernaut" were released on the Rock Band music store on April 20, 2010.
Sanchez recently stated that with the Coheed and Cambria saga completely chronicled on the group's first five albums, he has been contemplating the direction of future releases. "I've thought of telling stories of the future and stories of the past, maybe getting involved more in the story of Cyrus Amory (sic – Sirius Amory in the stories), the fellow who figured out the value of the Keywork," he said. "Or even stories that kind of parallel the one that we’re telling. It’s kind of up in the air. I’ve started writing music for that next record, and I'm kind of hoping that maybe in doing that it's going to tell me which one to do.”
On July 10, 2011, bassist Michael Todd was arrested and taken into police custody in Attleboro, Massachusetts on charges of armed robbery. Wes Styles acted as a temporary replacement for the remaining dates. On August 4, 2011 Todd and the band parted ways by mutual decision.
The band recorded a cover of the ZZ Top song, "Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers", for the tribute album A Tribute from Friends and new song "Deranged" was released on the soundtrack for the video game Batman: Arkham City on October 18, 2011.

Line-up change and The Afterman (2011–present)

Claudio announced at New York Comic-Con in "" in October 2011 that the upcoming album was written and that the recordings would begin in November. He also confirmed that the band were continuing to write music following the Amory Wars storyline, and hinted that fans would be surprised by which character was followed in the new album.
In November 2011, Chris Pennie departed the band by mutual agreement due to creative differences. Two weeks later, Pennie was replaced by the band's former drummer Josh Eppard, and the following April the band announced via social media that their replacement bassist would be Zach Cooper, previously of the band AM to AM. According to a video on the band's website, Coheed manager Blaze James "cold-called" Cooper to audition for the bass position, based upon a personal recommendation.
In June, the band completed the recording of their sixth studio album at Applehead Studios. The following month, Coheed announced via their website that the upcoming album would be a double album called "The Afterman." The first part, titled The Afterman: Ascension, was released on October 9, 2012 and the second, titled The Afterman: Descension, will be released on February 5, 2013. It has been produced by Coheed and Cambria, with Michael Birnbaum and Chris Bittner. 'The Afterman' will tell the story of Sirius Amory, the namesake of the concept, as he explores the energy source holding together the Keywork (the 78 worlds in which the Amory Wars is set) and finds that it is in fact an afterlife for departed souls. In the same month, Claudio announced at San Diego Comic Con that Entourage producers Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson will develop his comic book series The Amory Wars into a full-length live action film.
On August 28, 2012, the band released the music video for "Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute", the first single from The Afterman: Ascension, on their Vevo channel and two weeks before the album's release, the band premiered the studio version of the title track "The Afterman" on Rolling Stone.

Musical style and influences

Sanchez has several times stated he is envious of his father's era of music, and that the band is influenced by groups of that era, such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Police, Misfits, Queen, and Thin Lizzy. Apart from these roots, Sanchez also acknowledges an eclectic array of influences, including post-hardcore group At the Drive-In, and heavy metal pioneers Iron Maiden. Contrary to rumors, bassist Michael Todd said the band was not influenced by Saga and that he had never heard of that group. Many draw similarities between Rush and Coheed and Cambria, but Josh Eppard stated in an interview that neither he nor the other band members were Rush fans or influenced by Rush. They began listening to Rush after their second album. Influences of punk rock have been cited as well, especially the Misfits and Bad Brains. Dr. Know of Bad Brains plays a guitar solo on the track "Time Consumer" from Second Stage Turbine Blade. Sanchez and Stever's early band Toxic Parents drew many similarities from Jane's Addiction and Misfits. Sanchez has stated that The Amory Wars, the story on which Coheed and Cambria base its lyrics, has similarities to other stories, especially to the Star Wars trilogy. For example, when the character Coheed returns home to his wife Cambria, she says, "Somehow I’ve always known," a line that Princess Leia said to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.


The band's style is described as progressive rock by Equal Vision, Spin, and All music. Songs such as "Blood Red Summer" and "Three Evils (Embodied in Love and Shadow)" have been noted in many reviews of the band to also contain several elements of pop, as exemplified by one review by Sputnik music, which says "Coheed and Cambria manage to bring new life to a dying genre, and mix up the standard pop-punk scheme with creative and original riffs." The band has also been described as new prog, and on their first album, as post-hardcore.
Members Current

  •  Claudio Sanchez – lead vocals, guitar (1995–present)
  •  Travis Stever – guitar, backing vocals, lap Steel (1995, 1999–present)
  •  Josh Eppard – drums, backing vocals, keyboards (2000–2006, 2011–present)
  •  Zach Cooper – bass, backing vocals (2012–present)


  •  Nate Kelley – drums, backing vocals percussion (1995–2000)
  •  Jon Carleo – bass (1995–1996)
  •  Mic Todd – bass, backing vocals (1996–2006, 2007–2011)
  •  Chris Pennie – drums, percussion (2007–2011)


  •  Dave Parker – keyboards (2005–2006)
  •  Wes Styles – keyboards (2007–2010), bass (2011–2012)

Studio Recording

  •  Taylor Hawkins – drums (2007)

(Chris Pennie wrote the original drum parts but was unable to record due to contract issues)

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Marie Underwood (born March 10, 1983) is an American country singer-songwriter and actress who rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of American Idol, in 2005.

Underwood has since become a multi-platinum selling recording artist, a multiple Grammy Award winner, a member of the Grand Ole Opry, a Golden Globe Award nominee, a three-time Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Female Vocalist winner, a GMA Dove award winner, and he reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year. She is the first-ever female artist to win back-to-back Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards for Entertainer of the Year (2009/10).

Her debut album, Some Hearts, was certified seven times platinum, and as of February 2006, was the fastest selling debut country album in Nielsen SoundScan history. It was also the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history, as of February 2008. Some Hearts yielded three number one hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 Songs. Her second album, Carnival Ride, was released on October 23, 2007. It has sold over 3 million copies as of January 2010, being certified 3 times Platinum, and produced four number one hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs. Underwood released her third album, Play On, on November 3, 2009. It has been certified 2 times Platinum by the RIAA and has produced three number one hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs so far. As of May 2010, Underwood has sold 20 million singles and over 16 million albums worldwide.

Having 10 #1 Hits on Billboard Hot Country Songs, Underwood is tied with Reba McEntire as the Female Country Artist with Most #1 Hits on such chart from 1990 to present. She's also the only solo Country Artist to have a #1 hit on Billboard Hot 100 Songs in the 2000 decade, as "Inside Your Heaven" reached the top of the chart on July 2005. Some Hearts, Underwood's debut album, was named the Best Country Album of the 2000 Decade by Billboard, and she's the only Female Artist to appear on the Top 10 of Billboard's Best Country Artists of the 2000 Decade list, ranked at #10. She was also ranked #50 on the Artists of the Decade list by Billboard. In 2010, Underwood was #3 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs Artists, #4 on the Top Country Album Artists and #23 on Top Artists of 2010.

Lita Ford Still Rockin

Lita Ford was born on September 19, 1958 in London, England, and grew up in Los Angeles. She became the lead guitarist in the all-girl hard rock band The Runaways, whose debut album was released in 1976. With their punkish sound, provocative stage outfits and rebellious lyrics, the band shocked many in the rock world, and achieved mild popularity until they broke up in 1979. Ford then enjoyed a successful solo career in heavy metal, with such hits as "Kiss Me Deadly" and "Close My Eyes Forever."

Early Life

British-born, American rock musician. Carmelita Rossana Ford (known as Lita) was born on September 19, 1958, to a British father and an Italian mother in London, England. When Ford was four, her family emigrated to the United States, eventually settling in Los Angeles. She began playing guitar at the age of 11, and joined her first band as a teenager.

At age 16, Ford auditioned for a part in the all-girl rock band, The Runaways. Produced by Kim Fowley, The Runaways was a mix of teenage sex appeal and punk rock. Guitarist and vocalist Joan Jett and drummer Sandy West were impressed by Ford’s talent, and made her the group’s lead guitarist. The Runaway’s lead singer was Cherie Currie, and Jackie Fox played the bass. The band released their debut album in 1976, to the confusion and criticism of the rock world. Many critics considered them stereotypical “wild girls.” Despite this, the mere existence of an all-girl metal band was groundbreaking, and the group was successful in Japan.
Born on September 19, 1958, in London, England, Ford learned to play guitar around the age of 10 or 11. She joined her first band as a teenager, performing at local parties in Long Beach, California. In 1975, Ford auditioned for what would become the all-girl rock band The Runaways. She impressed guitarist and vocalist Joan Jett and drummer Sandy West with her musical skills, and they made her the group's lead guitarist. Cherie Curie served as the group's lead singer and Jackie Fox played the bass.

The Runaways released their self-titled debut album in 1976. With their punkish sound, provocative stage outfits, and rebellious lyrics, the band shocked and confused many in the rock world. Other bands and some critics did not take them seriously because of their young age and their gender. The group was groundbreaking for the time, and American audiences weren't sure what to make of them. In Japan, however, The Runaways enjoyed some success.

Solo Career

When The Runaways broke up in 1979, Ford took voice lessons and supported herself with various odd jobs, working as a fitness instructor and a perfume saleswoman. She broke into heavy metal again in 1983 with her solo album Out for Blood, followed the next year by Dancin' on the Edge. Little was heard from Ford for the next few years, until her most successful album to date, Lita, was released in 1988. By this time, pop-metal had broken through to mainstream audiences, and Ford's popularity skyrocketed. Produced by Mike Chapman, the album featured Ford's first hit, "Kiss Me Deadly.' She scored her first Top Ten single with the ballad "Close My Eyes Forever," a duet with Ozzy Osbourne.

Ford's success was short-lived, and she stepped out of the spotlight for more than a decade. In 2009, however, she re-emerged with her studio album Wicked Wonderland. That year, Ford toured with the heavy metal band
Queensryche. In 2010, a film based on The Runaways was released, with actress Scout Taylor-Compton playing a fictionalized Ford. In post-film interviews, Ford denied the possibility of a Runaways reunion.
Personal Life
Ford's success in the late 1980s was celebrated with a marriage to W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes. The couple divorced after two years. In 1994, Ford married singer Jim Gillette from the band Nitro. The couple had two sons together: James, born in May 1997, and Rocco, born in June 2010. The family moved to Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean, where Gillette started a successful building and real estate business. For the decade that Ford was off the scene, she devoted her time to her family, homeschooling her children for a number of years.

In early 2011, news broke that Ford and her husband were getting a divorce after 16 years of marriage. According to Ford, her difficult divorce helped inspire her new album, Living Like A Runaway—Ford originally planned to title the album "The Healing"—which was released in June 2012.

You can catch Lita Ford with Cry Wolf at the Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach CA. on Oct 3rd. Tickets can be purchased at and use the code "Pretender" at checkout for a discount.

Aretha Franklin - The Queen of Soul

Singer, performer. Born Aretha Louise Franklin on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee. Her father was Baptist preacher Reverend Clarence La Vaughan "C.L." Franklin, and her mother Barbara Siggers Franklin was a gospel singer. The fourth of five children, Franklin's parents separated by the time she was six; four years later, her mother succumbed to a heart attack. Guided by C.L.'s preaching assignments, the family relocated to Detroit, Michigan. C.L. eventually landed at Detroit's New Bethel Baptist Church, where he gained national renown as a preacher.

Franklin's musical gifts became apparent at an early age. Largely self-taught, she was regarded as a child prodigy. A gifted pianist with a powerful voice, Franklin sang in front of her father's Detroit congregation. By the age of 14, she recorded some of her earliest tracks at the church. She also performed with C.L.'s traveling revival show and, while on tour, she befriended gospel greats such as Mahalia Jackson, Sam Cooke and Clara Ward.

Life on the road exposed Franklin to adult behaviors and at the age of 15, she became a mother. Her second child followed two years later. After a brief hiatus she returned to performing, and followed heroes like Cooke and Dinah Washington into pop and blues territory. With her father's blessing, Franklin traveled to New York in 1960. After being courted by several labels, including Motown and RCA, Aretha signed to Columbia Records. She released The Great Aretha Franklin for the label that same year.

In 1961, the single "Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody" hit No. 37 on the pop charts. Franklin had a few top 10 singles on the R&B charts, but they failed to showcase the talent evident in her gospel music. She and new husband-cum-manager Ted White decided a move was in order, and Franklin moved to Atlantic in 1967. Atlantic producer Jerry Wexler immediately shuttled Franklin to the studios at the Florence Alabama Musical Emporium.

Paired with sidemen trained in soul, blues, rock and gospel—including session guitarists Eric Clapton and Duane Allman—Aretha recorded the single "I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)." In the midst of recording sessions, White quarreled with a member of the backing band, and White and Franklin left abruptly. As the single became a massive top 10 hit, Franklin re-emerged in New York, and was able to complete the partially recorded track, "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man."

Franklin cemented her reign in 1967 and 1968 with a string of hit singles that would become enduring classics. In 1967, the album "I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)" was released. The first song on the album, "Respect," an empowered cover of an Otis Redding track, reached No. 1 on both the R&B and pop charts, and won Aretha her first two Grammy awards. She also had top 10 hits with "Baby I Love You,'' "Think," "Chain of Fools,'' "I Say A Little Prayer," and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."

In 1968, Franklin was enlisted to perform at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She paid tribute to her father's fallen friend with a heartfelt rendition of "Precious Lord. " She also sang at the 1968 Democratic Convention. The following year, she and White divorced. Franklin performed again at the 1972 funeral of Mahalia Jackson. Spurred by Jackson's passing and a subsequent resurgence of interest in gospel music, Franklin's 1972 album Amazing Grace sold over two million units, becoming the best-selling gospel album at the time.

Franklin's success continued throughout the 70s, and as the artist took home eight consecutive Grammy awards for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance, she earned the title "The Queen of Soul." She worked tirelessly and expanded her repertoire to include rock and pop covers, but by 1975 her sound was fading in favor of the disco craze. In the wake of this new genre, an emerging set of young black singers such as Chaka Khan and Donna Summer began to eclipse Franklin's career. She found a brief respite from slumping sales with 1976's soundtrack to Sparkle, as well as an invitation to perform at the 1977 presidential inauguration. In 1978, she married actor Glynn Turman.

A string of chart failures ended Franklin's relationship with Atlantic in 1979. The same year, her father was hospitalized after a burglary attempt in his home left him in a coma. As her popularity waned and her father's health declined, Franklin was also saddled with a massive bill from the IRS. A cameo in the film The Blues Brothers (1980) helped Franklin revive her flagging career. Performing "Think'' alongside comedians John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd exposed her to a new generation of R&B lovers, and she soon signed to Arista Records. Her new label released 1982's Jump To It, an album that enjoyed huge success on the R&B charts and earned Franklin a Grammy nomination. Two years later, she endured a divorce from Turman as well as the death of her father.

In 1985, Aretha released another smash-hit album. The polished pop record Who's Zoomin' Who? featured the single "Freeway of Love," as well as a collaboration with the popular rock band the Eurythmics. The record became Aretha's biggest-selling album yet. Her follow-up album, 1986's Aretha, also went gold, and the George Michael duet "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)'' hit No. 1 on the pop charts. The next year, Franklin's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame marked the first time a woman had ever been awarded such an honor. The same year, the University of Detroit credited her with an honorary doctorate. In 1993, she was invited to sing at the inauguration of Bill Clinton, and in 1994, Franklin was given a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys. Over the next few years, she became the subject of multiple documentaries and tributes.

In 1998, Franklin reprised her former role in Blues Brothers 2000, released the gold-selling "A Rose Is Still A Rose," and stood in for Luciano Pavarotti, who was too ill to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award. Her rendition of "Nessun Dorma" commanded stellar reviews.

In 2003, Franklin released her final studio album on Arista, So Damn Happy, and left the label to found Aretha Records. Two years later, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and became the second woman ever to be inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame. In 2008, she received her 18th Grammy Award for " Never Gonna Break My Faith"—a collaboration with Mary J. Blige—and was tapped to sing at the 2009 inauguration of president Barack Obama. Most recently, Franklin's released her first album on her own label, A Woman Falling Out of Love.

Aretha Franklin. (2010). Retrieved 11:58, Oct 5 2010 from

Bob Dylan

"I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom." - Bob Dylan

Crooning Bob, Hidden Muse

Recently a Japanese writer named Junichi Saga was astonished and flattered to learn that passages from one of his books apparently found their way into a few of Bob Dylan's lyrics.
In Bob Dylan's 2001 song, "Floater", he croons - "My old man, he's like some feudal lord, got more lives than a cat." "I'm not quite as cool or forgiving as I sound" "Sometimes somebody wants you to give something up, and tears or not, it's too much to ask."

On page six of Junicihi Saga's book, "Confessions of a Yakuza", he writes - "My old man would sit there like a feudal lord." "I'm not as cool or forgiving as I might have sounded." Then on page 182, writes - "Tears or not, though, that was too much to ask."

The practitioner of Chinese medicine resounded that the revelation of Dylan calling upon his own work was surprising. This could be counted as a literary theft of sorts, but the author has stated he has no plans to sue. "Why would I sue? To take something that made people around the world happy and try to exploit it for money - that's poverty." stated Saga.
"This shows that people in other countries can relate to the harsh realities of prewar Japan, which was a poor, struggling nation. I'm just happy somebody read my book and liked it.", said Saga. "My book hasn't even sold that well, and it's out of print in Japan." He further added he has estimated to have only made about $8,475 from the publication.

Several years ago, Saga bought his first Bob Dylan CD, "The Best of Bob Dylan".

Masked & Anonymous

Would you reach out a hand to save a drowning man if you thought he might pull you in?

This is the tagline for Bob's film called, "Masked & Anonymous". In it, Bob plays, Jack Fate, a singer whose career has gone on a downward spiral and is forced to make a comeback to the performance stage for a benefit concert. For this film he was joined by some of Hollywood's hottest and brightest, all of which reportedly signed onto the film at scale rates. The cast includes: John Goodman, Jessica Lange, Luke Wilson, Jeff Bridges, Penelope Cruz, Reggie Lee, Angela Bassett, Steven Bauer, Larry Campbell, Bruce Dern, Alex Desert, Treva Etienne, Dan Frischman, Tony Garnier, Laura Elena Harring, Ed Harris, Shawn Michael Howard, Val Kilmer, Bruce Kirschbaum, Antonio David Lyons, Cheech Marin, Chris Penn, George Receli, Giovanni Ribisi, Mickey Rourke, Sam Sarpong, Charlie Sexton, Jon Sklaroff, Christian Slater and Fred Ward. On top of all of that, T-Shirt King friend, Keri Bruno, pulls 2nd Unit Directing duties on the talent heavy film.

The film hit theatres in a limited US release on July 25th, 2003

 Robert Allen Zimmerman

At 5 foot six inches, Robert Allen Zimmerman might be a slight man, but under the name Bob Dylan, he is a legendary giant of a musician.

 Elston Gunn

Robert Allen Zimmerman was born May 24th 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota. His father, Abe, was employed by the Standard Oil Company there, but when Robert was six the family moved to Hibbing, Minnesota. The one riddling note about Hibbing is that is very often the coldest place in the United States. Yikes. Growing up there he taught himself piano and guitar and formed several high school rock bands. Around this time he toyed with the stage name, "Elston Gunn".

 A Star Is Born

By 1959, Robert entered the University of Minnesota and began performing under the name Bob Dylan at clubs in Minnesota and St. Paul.

A Legend Mends A Legend

In 1960 he traveled to New York to perform in various folk clubs throughout Greenwich Village. While in New York he spent time with his idol, Woody Guthrie at his hospital room. 


Late in 1961 he landed a contract with Columbia Records and the following year his debut album was released with two original songs. A year after that, "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" emerged with an all original album, including a song that became an anthem of the '60's - "Blowin' in the Wind".

 Bringing It All Back Home

In February 1964 Dylan and a small group of friends drove south out of New York City and stopped in unannounced to see poet 'Carl Sandburg' in North Carolina. Disappointingly, Dylan left only 10 minutes after arriving when he realized he couldn't get the venerable man of letters to take him seriously as a fellow poet.

He popped folk-rock into the mainstream after touring with Joan Baez with his own flavor of electric/acoustic swagger, culminating with his hit song, "Bringing it all Back Home". Soon after the Byrd's turned his song "Mr. Tambourine Man" into another hit with their cover version of the famous tune.

 Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid

Following a motorcycle accident in 1966, which took him out of the limelight until 1969. Around that time, Sam Peckinpah asked him to compose the score and appear in his film, "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid". This would be the only the beginning of a long and continuing relationship with Hollywood and filmmaking.

 Grammy Time

In 1974, Bob Dylan and The Band hit the road to promote their first number one album, "Planet Waves". The next year they had another chart-topper with the release of, "Blood on the Tracks". He followed that with several Rolling Thunder tours, a film called, "Renaldo and Clara" and then stunned the music world with the release of his fundamentalist Christian album, "Slow Train Coming". A song from this album garnered him his first Grammy.

Pope On The Red Line

In May 1997, he was stricken with histaplasmosis, a possibly fatal infection of the heart sac, but recovered to take on a tour of Europe. He kicked off the trip by September, starting off in Rome by special request of the Pope.

 In Their Father's Footsteps?

His son Jakob Dylan has made a good time semi-emulating his infamous father with his own band, The Wallflowers. However, his Jesse Dylan has taken a slightly altered route to stardom, opting for the glamour of Tinsletown. His first major directing gig is about to be released, "American Pie 3". Jesse also directed a film called, "How High" and appears with a special thanks credit on "The Matrix Revisited".

 Albums Of The Year

He is truly legendary, his 1997 album, "Time Out of Mind" and his 2001 album "Love and Theft" were both voted Album of the Year by the Village Voice's annual critics' poll. Seems like a no-brainer to us.

 Hollywood Hit List

He has composed and recorded songs or had his recorded songs used in the following films:

Gods & Generals
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Vanilla Sky
Remember the Titans
High Fidelity
Wonder Boys
The Hurricane
American Beauty
Hope Floats
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
The Big Lebowski
Jerry Maguire
Breaking the Waves
With Honors
Band of the Hand
American Pop
Renaldo and Clara
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

 Jack Fate

The small $10 million dollar film, "Masked & Anonymous" in 2003, was directed by veteran TV comedy director, Larry Charles, who has also helmed shows for, "Mad About You", "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm".

He appeared on the TV show, "Dharma & Greg" playing, who else but himself. When he met Conan O'Brien at a concert in 2008, Bob was quoted as saying, "I know you from the TeeVee."

 Award Monger

He has received numerous awards of note, including: The Polar Music Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 2000, The Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France in 1990, an honorary doctorate from Princeton University in 1970 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Bruce Springteen at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel in 1988.

 The Missing Beatle?

He appears on the sleeve of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club".

At the famous "Johnny Cash at San Quentin" concert, Johnny Cash introduced a song he co-wrote with Dylan by describing him as "…the greatest writer of our times."

Beck - A Modern Musician and Poet

Life Story

Beck was born Beck David Campbell on July 8, 1970 in Los Angeles. His parents seemingly passed his unique set of artistic talents onto him, as his father, David Campbell, was a musician, and his mother, Bibbe Hansen, was a visual artist. One can definitely see and hear these influences in Beck’s work.

Beck’s parents separated early in his life, and Beck adopted his mother’s last name. He stayed in Los Angeles with his mother, and it was here that he gained his first outward exposure to the world of music. Beck spent much of his time in Los Angeles dabbling in interests that included hip hop, rap, rock and roll and Latin music, and eventually, all of these styles were morphed into Beck’s work.

In the mid-1980’s, Beck dropped out of high school and began to educate himself through travel. Beck visited many places, including Germany, before eventually “settling” in New York City, where his musical boundaries were widened once again by his exposure to the punk and anti-folk scenes.

Beck paid for much of his poverty-ridden lifestyle by simply performing on the street with a hat or guitar case, and it was this experience that not only taught him the value of stage presence, but it also reinforced the belief in Beck that the responsibility of putting on a show along with just playing music was a crucial element in an artist’s success.

In 1990, Beck moved back to Los Angeles, where he lived in a series of hovels and worked several low-level, dead-end jobs to augment his income he made by street performing. During this time, Beck tirelessly searched out venues that would allow him on stage to perform, and his tireless efforts eventually led to “the break” that every musician needs.

Career Takes Off

Beck was discovered in Los Angeles by the founders of Bong Load Custom Records, and the first single Beck recorded for them is still his biggest hit to date. The single Loser was released in 1993, and the demand for this single astonished everyone involved with the project. Radio stations everywhere were looking for copies of the single to satisfy their listeners. Eventually, a bidding war between highly-visible record labels led Beck to sign with Geffen Records.

Since then, Beck has produced eight subsequent “official” albums as well as several independent releases with smaller labels. Every one of Beck’s albums has sold at least 200,000 copies, and his biggest seller was the 1996 release Odelay, which sold over 2,000,000 copies worldwide.


Musical experts from every corner of the globe have struggled for years to find an appropriate artist for comparison. The list is long and varied, which speaks to just how unique Beck’s style really is. Several prominent artists that have drawn these comparisons include Prince, The Beastie Boys and even Bob Dylan.

Beck’s unique style of music is no more or less memorable than the stage show he provides. Props are often used, and humor is always a central part of any performance. Beck also enjoys collaborating with other artists both in the studio and on tour, and he has appeared and/or worked with the likes of The Flaming Lips, David Bowie and Jack White of the White Stripes.

Beck will continue to thrill and sometimes baffle the music industry with his style and eccentricities, and his tour this summer will encapsulate all that he’s learned and accomplished in his career.


Is a "surprise show" packed with several hundred people that much of a surprise? Not really, but that's how Beck's gig was billed at Bimbo's last night in San Francisco. In town for the massive Outside Lands festival in Golden Gate Park this weekend, the singer squeezed in a show here at the last minute, and tickets sold out after going on sale at noon with little warning.
The show was a semi-surprise, but for the most part, the set list was not. It's been four years since Beck's last album, and in the absence of new material, the 90-minute performance drew from songs spanning most of his career, from his 1994 breakthrough Mellow Gold to 2008's Modern Guilt. The mild surprise these days lies not so much in what he'll play as in what order he'll play it. Most of his concerts, including this one, make room for favorites like the set-opening "Black Tambourine," "Girl," "Where It's At" (with a brief puzzling keyboard riff quoting Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon") and "Think I'm in Love," even if he did tease things out by waiting until the first encore to unleash the inevitable "Loser" (and, refreshingly, refrained from doing "Devil's Haircut" at all).
Even the most offbeat offering, a barely recognizable thumping blues-rock cover of Bob Dylan's "Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat," found release in 2009 on the War Child Presents Heroes benefit compilation. A little oddness peeped out elsewhere as well, with "Bad Blood" (from a soundtrack album to the HBO True Blood series) receiving only its second live performance. Oddest of all, the band tried out Neil Young's "Barstool Blues"without even having rehearsed it, as they cheerfully admitted onstage.
But if the mostly younger-than-Beck crowd was impatient to hear evidence of more recent original material, they didn't show it. The crowd's mood was made merrier by clouds of marijuana smoke, the contact high reaching the stage when the band stumbled over lyrics on "Lost Cause" and had to start over (and then launched into the second verse). "Don't hold it against us if we're playing these a little slower than usual," advised the unruffled star, sporting a natty black hat as he delivered his catalog with calm assurance.
While the five-man lineup Beck now fronts can't replicate all the sampling and miscellaneous special effects that give his studio work much of its exoticism, it also frees him to deliver a more straightforward sound unfettered by gimmickry. Few bands are as adept at combining rock and funk in equal measures, chest-thumping bass deftly supporting squealing rock guitar heroics. "Hotwax" mixed country blues (courtesy of Smokey Hormel's slide guitar), Steve Wonder and hip-hop without coming off as the forced genre-blender it would have sounded like in almost anyone else's hands.
And when Beck exchanged his electric guitar for an acoustic model for a sequence of rootsier songs in the middle of the evening, you almost wondered whether he might have missed his calling as a more sensitive country-blues-flavored singer-songwriter. He hit his most comfortable stride on the chorus of the most lilting of these, "Sunday Sun." Almost as if to make sure the crowd didn't get as comfortable as Beck, however, Hormel and bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen concluded the song with some ear-piercing, amp-humping feedback.
Indeed, Meldal-Johnsen was more animated than the bandleader, leaping onto the drum riser at a couple points. Beck himself rarely strayed more than a few feet from his microphone. Only occasionally did he utter droll asides to the audience, enigmatically announcing, "We have come to tell you about the rhythms of . . . Glendale" before launching into the title cut from Modern Guilt. No comments were forthcoming on his just-announced December 2012 "album" Beck Hansen's Song Reader, featuring 20 songs and "existing only as individual pieces of sheet music, never before released or recorded." Perhaps actually playing them in concert might have been spoiling the fun, at least before those buying the album have the chance to play the tunes themselves.
Beck did have one more genuine surprise to unveil, however, before the evening was over. Barely had the second encore, "Mutherfuker," gotten off the ground before he brought it to a halt, finding it not "grooving" enough for a Thursday night San Francisco audience. Revving up their engines again, the band launched into a far faster and funkier version, somewhat along the lines of how Sly & the Family Stone might have played it. "Okay, that's enough dancing," Beck barked after a few minutes, ever the contrarian. "Stop!"

Classic Rock Performers Who Have Had A Lasting Influence On Music

Classic rock is a fundamental part of American history. Many of today's leading bands can trace their styles back to the influence of certain musicians. While every song made available to the world has had an impact on the music industry, there are certain performers who will eternally stand at the forefront of music.

From folk rock to psychedelic rock, there have been many groundbreaking sounds and voices. Here are the top ten most influential classic rock bands in history.

Elvis Presley

While Elvis is not traditionally viewed in the classic rock genre, it is impossible to ignore his influence on the world of Rock-n-Roll. As the first to expose mainstream America to something other than traditional family music, he faced a tremendous amount of opposition from the mainstream.

Despite the extreme racism exhibited during the 1950's, Elvis never hesitated to give appropriate credit to his inspirations. Mainly African-American performers influenced Elvis' sound and style. Southern radio disc jockeys originally refused to play Elvis' singles, because they sounded "too Negro" for white stations to air.

It was not just Elvis' sound, but also his performance, that drew controversy. The movement of his hips in a suggestive manner sparked an entire decade of debate.

Despite the firestorm of criticism that surrounded Elvis' reign, his continuing popularity has ensured that Elvis' crown as the King of Rock and Roll would remain valid for decades, even decades after his death.

The Beatles

As the best selling musical act of all-time, it is hard to deny the influence of the Beatles, not only on the musical culture of America, but also on every aspect of human life. The Beatles included John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Star, and George Harrison.

Their innovative style defined the music of the 1960's -- twice. They began their career in England, and when they came to America, they were already a huge success in the United States. In their early years, they had defined pop music for a new generation.

As the hippy days of the late 1960's began to take hold of America's young people, the Beatles redefined their music again, with another new style of music lauded by the masses. Their very loud stance on drug use and war made them a controversial group, but their popularity never wavered. Although the Beatles retained the loyalty and admiration of their late 1960's audiences until the group broke up, the touring days of the Beatles ended in 1966 when John Lennon proclaimed, "The Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ."

Bob Dylan

Dylan has one of the most easily recognizable voices in the world. Raspy and full of passion, Bob Dylan's sound is distinctive. His songs are amazing and defined a generation obsessed with the themes of social unrest, an anti-war stance, and encouragement for the civil rights movement.

A traditional folk singer, Dylan's works transcended all genres and appealed to countless young Americans. His sincere lyrics spoke to many and made it possible to empathize with his many causes.

Jimi Hendrix

As the undisputed master of the electric guitar, Jimi Hendrix is a classic rock foundation. The self-taught guitar player refused to be limited by many of the conventional views of guitar players.

Prior to Jimi Hendrix's development as a guitar player, the electric guitar was considered to merely be a louder version of the acoustic guitar. Hendrix embraced the uniqueness of the electric guitar and showed his appreciation for it to the rest of the world.

Pink Floyd

Easily considered the greatest band of all time, Pink Floyd's unique style and showmanship defined psychedelic rock. Their concept albums were thematic masterpieces that appealed to countless audiences. The Dark Side Of The Moon, Animals, and The Wall each still stand out today as great Rock masterpieces.

The Who

Also known for their thematic records, The Who pioneered the idea of rock opera. Most famous for their collaborative efforts with every major musical figure of their time, Tommy The Rock Opera ensured the longevity of the band into the future.

Their success and fame were not limited to their unique approach to concept albums. Their musical skills are still highly regarded in both mainstream circles and in the entertainment industry. Their music is currently being used as the theme song for at least three of the most popular show on TV on the air today.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones have easily maintained their position as one of the longest lasting bands in recording history. Like most popular rock bands of the age, they were an England-based band that was more than happy to take on America.

Their grungy unkempt image became so popular; many artists are still attempting to master it. Their unique sound and high quality lyrics have kept them at the top of the charts for almost 40 years.


Cream, featuring guitarist Eric Clapton, was one of the most technically advanced music groups of their time. Their instrumental techniques became legendary and paved the way for other bands to focus on developing their instrument techniques, in addition to their lyrics.

The Doors

The Doors have always been one of the most controversial bands that had ever existed. Jim Morrison's wild behavior set the tone for the countless musical bad boys that would follow in his footsteps.

The poetic lyrics of The Doors, as well as their outrageous behavior, made them a crowd favorite.

Led Zeppelin

The road to heavy metal was paved by Led Zeppelin. Their first album was pivotal in its inclusion of distorted amplification techniques. Over the years, their experimentation included mixing acoustic and electric sounds, with the addition of synthesized melodies. The success of Led Zeppelin helped establish a strong base for the development of metal music.

Few people of their generation or the current generation realize that like Elvis, Led Zeppelin took most of their inspiration from African-American performers. As a lifelong fan of Led Zeppelin, it is was oddly fascinating to listen to some of the not-so-famous African-American rhythm-and-blues performers of the 1930's, and to be able to hear the Led Zeppelin songs we have loved for years in a whole new way.

Final Thoughts

Clearly, these ten bands had a significant impact on the evolution of Rock-n-Roll music through the generations, but it is more difficult to put them into an ordered list of important groups. Let's just agree that most of us love all ten bands on this list.

Soul Asylum

Soul Asylum was an outgrowth of a previous band, Loud Fast Rules, formed in 1981 by guitarist and vocalist Dave Pirner, guitarist and backing vocalist Dan Murphy, bassist Karl Mueller, and drummer Pat Morley. Soul Asylum began performing around the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and they quickly developed a core following. Pat Morley was later replaced by Grant Young in 1984.

Shortly before the group signed with Twin/Tone Records in 1984, they had changed their name to Soul Asylum. They released their debut album, Say What You Will in 1984 and quickly developed a core following and became known for their powerful, dynamic stage shows. Although the young band's inexperience was apparent, the album was a hellafied post-punk romp. Unfortunately it was largely overshadowed by releases from fellow Minnesotans Husker Du and the Replacements.

1986 was both a productive and distressing year for the band. Early in the year they released Made To Be Broken, an album that showcased their growth as musicians. After touring for several months and releasing a collection of outtakes and live tracks called Time's Incinerator, the band recorded and released their third album, While You Were Out before year's end. A collection of smartly written punk songs, the album received good reviews, but once again failed to break through to a national audience.

The improvements in the band were enough to get them their first major label contract. The band signed to A&M in 1987 and released “Hang Time” the following year, a stunning, riff-heavy record that finally provided the band the sound it deserved. However, after playing a series of acoustic shows in the early 1990's Soul Asylum was picked up by Columbia Records.

In 1992 they released “Grave Dancers Union”, which became their most popular album. The magical third single, "Runaway Train," propelled by a public service announcement-style video for missing children, helped push the single to number five and the album to number 11, and turned the band into a household name. The next year, Soul Asylum received the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song for "Runaway Train."

Soul Asylum’s 1995 release, Let Your Dim Light Shine, saw the track "Misery" reach the Top 20, followed in 1998 by Candy from a Stranger which would be their last studio album on Columbia Records.

In May 2004, bassist Karl Mueller was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent treatment. Karl Mueller’s diagnosis hastened the band’s resolve to commit another album together. His insistence on finishing the record became the driving force behind (and in front of) its completion. Karl Mueller recorded his last Soul Asylum album that year (2006's The Silver Lining). However, the cancer later returned, and he died at his home on June 17, 2005.

Renewed and revitalized, Soul Asylum founders Dave Pirner and Dan Murphy returned to rock’s front line with the July 2006 release of The Silver Lining, their first studio release of new material in 8 years since Candy from a Stranger. The Silver Lining, Soul Asylum’s ninth full-length album is every bit as quirky and off-centered rock as their fans have come to expect, an indication that the Minneapolis-bred band has lost none of its edge hardcore.

The album was not as commercially successful as some had hoped and the band was dropped from Columbia Records' roster. Pirner said, "It's sort of sad to say, but you could see the whole grunge-rock-band thing getting totally over-saturated and people were looking for something new." The band took a step back.

Soul Asylum completed their American tour in support of The Silver Lining in late 2006. In November and December 2006 they opened for Cheap Trick on their American tour. On March 10th, 2007, Soul Asylum joined Cyndi Lauper, Mint Condition, and Lifehouse to hold a concert to benefit Wain McFarlane, the leader of the legendary reggae band Ipso Facto, to help pay for the expenses of a kidney transplant.
Soul Asylum return to the road this summer, touring in support of Delayed Reaction (out 7/17/12), the group's first album since 2006. A series of summer shows starts at Common Ground Music Festival in Lansing, Mich., in Minneapolis, where the group formed.
"In summer tours, it's often not an intimate situation where you can pull out a lot of obscure material," says frontman Dave Pirner, who along with Dan Murphy is one of Soul Asylum's two remaining founding members. "It's often a big outdoor situation. You can't be up there experimenting and goofing around when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining. There are short attention spans all over the place. You've got to hit the stuff that works. The stuff that's obvious and easy to play and everybody likes usually maintains its place in the set list."
Last November marked the 30th anniversary of Soul Asylum's first show, at a Sons of Norway lodge in Minneapolis. "The whole thing was a joke," recalls Pirner, who was 17 at the time (he's now 48). "I remember the cops coming, the equipment blowing up and people getting in fights. The band basically got shut down. It was a classic punk-rock disaster." Soul Asylum recovered quickly, though, opening for Hüsker Dü at 7th Street Entry just two days later.
The Sons of Norway debut might have been a disaster, but a trip home from Northern Canada had the makings of something scarier. "We were giving some kids a ride home after the gig. We didn't have a place to stay, so we were looking for somebody to put us up," Pirner says. "The situation was precarious — back in the day, we'd just go places and not have any place to sleep that night. But this was extra-remote."

The kids turned out to be National Front Nazis. "They were very aggressive," Pirner says. Bassist Karl Mueller — who would die of throat cancer in 2005 — eventually kicked them out of the van. "That it took the most passive of all four of us to make the call just shows me how shocking these kids were," Pirner says.

Soul Asylum's current lineup pairs Pirner and Murphy with an impressive rhythm section — former Replacements/Guns N' Roses bassist Tommy Stinson and drummer Michael Bland, whose credits range from Prince's New Power Generation to Nick Jonas' The Administration. The band's punk energy and Pirner's songwriting chops remain strong on new songs like Gravity and The Streets, but Delayed Reaction also has some twists, like the jazzy Cruel Intentions, which gives Pirner a chance to play piano during the band's concerts.
"It's just a whole different thing in the middle of the set, when I'm playing and singing and jumping around and yelling," he says. "Then I sit down at the piano and play a song, and I play an improvised solo in the middle of it. It's really refreshing for me. It throws the context all over the place, but it works. And it sort of has to, or we just pull it out of the set."

The Radiohead Story

Radiohead are that rare thing: a band that has maintained is artistic freedom over the years, despite being signed to a major label – and a band that has constantly developed. This week’s article looks at the story of how Radiohead got to where they are today, and hopefully you can take a few tips so that you can make it the Radiohead way.

The band formed back in 1986, when they were at school. Originally called “On a Friday”, they played their first gig in 1986, at the famous Jericho’s Tavern in Oxford. However, when the members left for university, “On a Friday” was put to one side, and it wasn’t until 1991 that they reformed, and started playing again in Oxford.

At the time, Oxford was becoming a haven for independent musicians. Ride were gaining a national reputation, and by 1992 were playing all the major venues across the country, and Supergrass had just formed, playing the local venues, on their way to international stardom. Radiohead benefited from being part of the local scene, and the early 90s were ideal for indie bands.

It was then that they became Radiohead, and they started releasing demos, including the magnificently-titled “Magic Hedgehog Demo”. These self-funded demos were sent out to local venues, industry figures, record companies, etc., and started the band’s road to success. Gradually, through hard work and persistence, they became very well known on the local scene – appearing on the front cover of a local indie music magazine, and playing regularly around Oxford.

Record companies began to take interest as the buzz grew around Radiohead, and it was EMI who were first to pounce, taking the band on their Parlophone subsidiary. In 1992, they released their first single, “Creep”, which barely registered on the British charts, but gained them significant interest with the music press. The indie music magazine NME, for example, made it their single of the week, and with the backing of the independent music press, the band had momentum.

They released their first album, “Pablo Honey”, in the middle of a period that saw British indie music enter a darker phase. The album was given a lukewarm reception by the music press, who had so appreciated Creep. However, the public took to the album very quickly, and its success meant that the band soon went to tour the States. The pressure on the band meant that they almost split up, and as the album became more and more successful, the band felt that they needed more artistic freedom.

And this is where “The Bends” comes into it. Generally recognized by music critics around the world as one of, if not the best album of the 1990s, “The Bends” was the product of a band’s desire to go it alone and to produce something extraordinary. Hiring a new producer who allowed them to do what they wanted, they released an EP (My Iron Lung) before the release of their second album, and went on to provide more musical depth than in their previous album.

Riding on the success that was Britpop, “The Bends” was a huge commercial success, far more edgy than the pop-rock of “Pablo Honey”. Lead singer Thom Yorke had become an idol for many indie music fans across the world, and Jonny Greenwood’s unique guitar style had already become iconic. From their origins as a young unsigned band in Oxford, they had gone international, gaining success in the States, which not many British bands manage.

Although Britpop inevitably helped the band succeed, it also cut short the longevity of other bands. Those that managed to change and adapt when Britpop became passé remained successful, but there were plenty of bands who couldn’t change, and soon fell by the wayside.

Radiohead’s attitude after “The Bends” was to explore new avenues, and the release of “OK Computer” saw the band in a more somber mood. Many saw it as a natural progression, and saw it as a much better album than “The Bends”, while others felt alienated by the band’s progression from the pop-rock of their first album.

The band’s recording techniques also changed. They decided to keep away from traditional recording studios, after several bad experiences, and actually recorded most of the songs for “OK Computer” at Jane Seymour’s 15th century mansion near Bath! By molding their settings to fit the characteristics of the band, they immediately improved their recording experience. Blending rock sounds with more ambient, technical sounds, the album shot to number one across the world.

With Britpop dead, it was a few years before Radiohead surfaced again. Having detached themselves from the scene, they now became a “word of mouth” band with an enormous fan base across the world. Music events were organized through the internet, with very little advertising required, and tickets were near impossible to come by. The band seemed reclusive, and were close to splitting up, with Thom York on the verge of depression.

The release of “Kid A” in 2000 shocked both fans and industry alike. Stripping down the guitars, the album was at first difficult listening – electronic, cryptic, synthesized, and with no stand-out tracks at all. It almost seemed as if the band were sticking two fingers up at the world, but it just went to show how brave Radiohead were in their musical direction. After several listens, Radiohead fans grew to love the album, and equally so with the quick follow-up “Amnesiac”. The albums blended electronica with jazz and ambient music, but maintained Radiohead’s lyrical hooks and character.

Again, the albums were given very little advance warning, and very little advertising. It was another case of the word-of-mouth buzz that Radiohead had been building up over the years, and with such a loyal fan base, Radiohead are the perfect example of a band that has done all the hard work, sent off the demos, and gone from the top of the local scene to the top of the international scene.
These guys show no signs of slowing down. With their new album “The King of Limbs” and a world wide tour continuing through the rest of this year, you can be sure this band will keep churning out music we will enjoy for many years to come.

So, did Radiohead “make it” differently from any other band? Well, probably not, if you look at it – they started off by gigging locally, making their reputation in their hometown of Oxford – and you could say that they were helped by two factors – the rise of Oxford bands in the early 90s, and the rise of Britpop bands in the mid 90s. After gaining their reputation, they kept up the hard work, and the most important thing is that they never stood still: no Radiohead album is like the previous one, making them one of the most innovative and interesting bands around. The internet fan base is another interesting factor, as Radiohead were probably the first band to really use the internet for their promotion, as opposed to traditional channels.

If you want to make it the Radiohead way, then, get yourself known locally, and most important: never stand still.

Deep Purple's Jon Lord dies at 71

Lord co-founded Deep Purple in 1968 and co-wrote many of the group's songs including Smoke On The Water. He also played with bands including Whitesnake.
He had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer since last August.
He died at the London Clinic on Monday, surrounded by family, a statement said. "Jon passes from Darkness to Light," it added.
Lord was influenced by classical, blues and jazz but played his Hammond organ with a rock attitude and helped Deep Purple become pioneers of progressive and heavy rock.
Tributes have been paid by musicians including one-time Deep Purple bandmate Joe Satriani, Iron Maiden and Anthrax.
Ex-Rage Against the Machine star Tom Morello wrote on Twitter: "RIP the great Jon Lord, Deep Purple's cornerstone/keyboardist. So many great great songs and that incredible SOUND of his! Thankyou."
Former Yes keyboard player Rick Wakeman was a friend and said he was "a great fan".
"We were going to write and record an album before he become ill," he said. "His contribution to music and to classic rock was immeasurable and I will miss him terribly."
Born in Leicester, Lord learned classical piano at an early age before being seduced by watching early rock 'n' roll star Jerry Lee Lewis and jazz organist Jimmy Smith.
He could have chosen a career as an actor after receiving a drama school scholarship, but started playing in pub bands including short-lived outfits with future Rolling Stones star Ronnie Wood and his brother Art.
He also worked as a session musician and is thought to have played piano on The Kinks' hit You Really Got Me.
After meeting guitarist Ritchie Blackmore through another project, the first incarnation of Deep Purple was born.
Lord's classical influence surfaced when Lord composed Concerto for Group and Orchestra, which the band performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969.
But the group refined their heavy rock sound and found mass success at the start of the 1970s with albums including Deep Purple in Rock and Machine Head.
In their classic years, the band also included Blackmore, singer Ian Gillan, drummer Ian Paice and bassist Roger Glover.
Lord continued to compose classical works alongside the group's output and, when they split in 1976, he joined other groups Whitesnake and Paice, Ashton and Lord.
Deep Purple reformed in 1984 and resumed at the height of their commercial prowess, playing to tens of thousands of fans around the world.
They sold a total of 150 million albums and Lord remained an ever-present amid numerous line-up changes until he left in 2002.
Still composing, he had signed to a classical music label and performed a concert to mark the 30th anniversary of Concerto for Group and Orchestra.
"Thirty years later the piece came back and changed my life again... It gave me the courage to step outside and carve a career for myself outside the band," he told an interviewer.
He broke the news of his cancer diagnosis on his website last year, telling fans he would continue to write music as part of his therapy.

His loss will be felt but his imprint will live on.

The Roots of Nirvana

No band develops in a vacuum; every band starts out thinking, at least a bit, of other musicians that they want to take after or rebel against. But Nirvana was the first great band of actual music snobs: record fiends who wanted to make it very clear exactly what they listened to. They all loved Led Zep , Aerosmith, CCR, Black Sabbath, Kiss and then some more Led Zep on top of that. Mostly, though, Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic had grown up as Pacific Northwest punk rock kids. They hung out with the Melvins in Aberdeen, Washington, were required by circumstance to define their position with respect to K Records and the Olympia scene and carried Flipper and Bad Brains records like shields to ward off poseurs. (Dave Grohl had a roughly equivalent experience growing up in the DC area.) When they hit the big time, they covered their favorite bands, got them to open for Nirvana, wore their T-shirts every chance they got. Kurt even oversaw reissues of his beloved Raincoats' lost work.

In case there was any ambiguity left about who Nirvana considered their ancestors, it's all laid out in Kurt's Journals -- the scribblings of an inveterate listmaker who clearly loved even writing the names of his favorite records, like talismans of good luck and good punk rock karma. Certain discs turn up again and again in Kurt's pantheons of music: some are multiplatinum warhorses (Meet the Beatles, Aerosmith's Rocks), others are hopelessly obscure (Fang's Land Shark, the self-titled Tales of Terror album). Most of them, though, are remarkable American indie-rock and hardcore albums from the '80s, with a few artier European post-punk records and the inevitable Leadbelly album thrown in. They're worth investigating for anyone who loves Nirvana: these are not just the raw materials Cobain and Novoselic and Grohl transmuted into gold, they're what the band aspired to.
The Best Of Leadbelly
Artist: Lead Belly
Release Date: 2003
When Nirvana played their wrenching cover of Leadbelly's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" (a.k.a. "In the Pines") on MTV Unplugged, it looked like an unexpected gesture toward the blues blood that still courses so powerfully through rock's veins. Actually, though, Kurt doesn't seem to have been so into vintage blues in general -- he just loved Leadbelly obsessively (and had previously recorded four Leadbelly songs with Screaming Trees' Mark Lanegan). This collection is a solid introduction to the "King of the Twelve-String Guitar," a roaring ex-con who miraculously pulled joyful music out of his personal horrors.
Surfer Rosa / Come On Pilgrim
Artist: The Pixies
Release Date: 1988
Kurt called this 1988 album "a die-cast metal fossil from a spacecraft," and some of the Pixies' favorite tricks -- endlessly looping riffs that had never quite been used before, tense clean-toned verses that bloom into explosive, distorted choruses -- showed up on Nevermind a few years later. Steve Albini's drumstick-to-your-skull engineering work here pretty obviously inspired Nirvana to hire him for In Utero, too. But most of what Nirvana got from the Pixies was an attitude: the sense of being off-balance and screaming while keeping one foot in tightly controlled structure.
Over The Edge
Artist: Wipers
Release Date: 1983
Kurt's "Top 50" list ultimately included three albums by Portland, Oregon's Wipers: Is This Real?, Youth of America and 1983's Over the Edge. Singer-guitar monster Greg Sage's band was ferociously chugging and deeply into its own alienation -- and operated independently of the music-business machine -- years before anyone else in the Pacific Northwest caught on to their techniques. Nirvana and Hole both eventually covered Wipers songs; "So Young," from this album, could very easily be mistaken for a Cobain original.
Singles 1-12
Artist: Melvins
Release Date: 1997
If you were a punk rock kid in Aberdeen, Washington in the mid-'80s, the Melvins were IT: they spiked their hardcore with brutal metal, they could play scorchingly fast or tortuously slow, they got to play in Olympia and Seattle and their practice space was the locus of the local punk scene. They also had a knack for doing screwed-up things on their recordings, and the 1996 series of singles collected here is classic Melvins -- tributes to the Germs, Flipper and Butthole Surfers, corrosive audio experiments and straight-up blasts of the grunge style they helped to invent.
Artist: Beat Happening
Release Date: 1988
In some ways, Kurt never quite fit in with Olympia's K Records, their flagship band Beat Happening and the "love-rock" scene around them -- too much tummy-rubbing, not enough gut-punch -- but he loved it enough that he got the K logo tattooed on his left arm, and its fascination with childhood fed his own. 1988's Jamboree, evidently his favorite Beat Happening record, is half pastel nostalgia, half savage dread, a la-la pop album that collapses into a puddle of screeching noise at the end.
Bayou Country
Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Release Date: 1969
Like a lot of other punk bands, Nirvana adored classic rock; unlike most of their peers, they embraced it -- one of Cobain and Novoselic's first attempts to play music together was a Creedence cover band. Kurt cited this 1969 album as a favorite of his, and you can hear a lot of John Fogertys throaty bellow on "Born on the Bayou" in the way he taught himself to sing; you can also hear how Creedence’s sturdy chording and simple melodies resurfaced in Nirvana's music. What Nirvana might also have picked up from Creedence, though, was the art of self-reinvention and presentation: remember, Fogerty is really a Cali kid, not a bayou native.
Artist: Kleenex / LiliPUT
Release Date: 2003
"Anything by Kleenex" was the way Kurt usually put it on his lists of favorite records. The young Swiss women who recorded first as Kleenex and then as LiLiPUT between 1978 and 1983 had a garbled discography, and this compilation of everything by them didn't appear in the US until 2001. So start with their delirious, glorious singles "Split," "Ain't You" and "Eisiger Wind," full of shrieks and chirps, and powered by the rhythms of people who are determined to play their way and nobody else's.
Kill Rock Stars
Artist: Various Artists - Kill Rock Stars
Release Date: 2003
In the summer of 1991, Nirvana were just another well-loved Washington band, and the other bands compiled here -- on the anthology that launched the label of the same name -- were their contemporaries and scenemates: their old pals the Melvins, Bikini Kill (featuring Kurt's ex-girlfriend Tobi Vail), label owner Slim Moon's band Witchypoo, Steve Fisk (who'd recorded the Blew EP), Heavens to Betsy (with a very young Corin Tucker, later of Sleater-Kinney) and a duo of Lois Maffeo and Pat Maley that went by the name of Courtney Love -- no relation... or almost none.
Extended Play
Artist: The Raincoats
Release Date: 1995
In the liner notes of Incesticide, Kurt told the story of how he'd tracked down "that wonderfully classic scripture," the Raincoats' 1979 debut album, in England. Songwriters Ana Da Silva and Gina Birch reformed the group in 1994 to open for Nirvana on the tour that never happened. They did, however, tour America, and recorded this EP for a BBC radio session: two new songs and two early favorites, performed with the sure-footed power and fresh-minded re-conception of the proper language, subject and sound for pop songs that had drawn Cobain to them in the first place.

Music Industry & Money

 Music is an art, however, when it comes to the music industry Music is about money!

If anyone or any company feels that your music will not make them money, there will be absolutely no interest in your music. That’s it in the nut shell. Remember, to always remember this. The Music Industry is about Money!

There are a few sources of money to be made in the music industry. They include but are not limited to:

• Record sales

• Songs played on the radio

• Movies and television soundtracks

• Concerts

• Song writing

• Producing

• Merchandising

• Advertising


If you are an artist and want to get into the music business, you need 3 very important very good people in your corner batting for you on a daily basis. They include:

Personal Manager – The most of important of the three. They should have contacts in the music industry, keep on eye on all your affairs, advise you on things to do, help promote your music, producers to hire, who to sign with when to go on tour, etc. The personal manager will receive 15% and 20% of an artists gross earnings and have good contacts with record companies A&R, Marketing / Sales, and Promotion departments.

• Music Attorney – A good attorney specializing in the music will know how to properly negotiate and structure the deals an artist makes. They should have good contacts and be trust worthy. Expect to pay between 100 and 200 per hour for a good music attorney. If an attorney thinks you will get signed, they forego a set fee and charge a percentage of artist’s earnings. In bigger cities, you’ll pay more than in smaller cities.

• Music Agent – Book concerts and special appearances. A Personal Manager will help the artist with selecting a good agent.

If you blow up and start generating the big money, then a good Manager / Accountant will be needed to handle your tax situation, review royalty statements, financing tours, offer invest advice and how to manage your money.

Getting recognized by mailing your demo to record labels isn’t impossible, however, 99.9% of the time your material will not get listened to. Even if you have the best song on the planet, it will not be listened to. Record labels want to limit their liability, so they do not listen to unsolicited music. Record labels don’t want to listen to numerous songs and then be held liable if someone claims their material was copied.

If you do decide to mail your CD to record label, send the “solicited” material. First get a contact, preferably an individual in the Artists & Repertoire (A&R) department. Call and first speak to someone. After sending your CD follow up to determine if the targeted individual received your material and another follow up call to determine if it was listened to. Submit 3 to 6 songs and send a bio and picture of yourself. Again this isn’t the preferred way to submit your material to major record labels.

Until you have music business advisors in your corner trying to promote you and there is a “buzz” going around about you, your demo will not reach the decision makers at the record labels. Record companies on a daily basis receive thousands of unsolicited CDs. Most likely your CD will be tossed into a bin located in a remote room filled with overflowing bins of CDs.

Record labels like to deal with artists who have a history of record sales. These are artist that may have produced and sold their own CDs locally or regionally. Record labels like to deal with artists who have performed their material and there is this “buzz” going on about them. MC Hammer, before he became famous, performed his own materials and sold his own records until a major record label signed him. MC Hammer had a lot of leverage in negotiating a good contract because he already proved on a local basis he could sell records.

Record companies want to limit their liability. If you are signed, you are considered an investment that will require some money and they want to see a premium return on their money invested in you. The more you can prove that you can sell record, the better chance you can get signed.

If you get signed to a record company, you the artist will go into the studio and record songs for the record company. The record company makes copies of the master recording and ships it to a distributor. The distributor is a wholesaler who then sells the CDs to retail outlets like Best Buy, Sam Goody and Wal-Mart and digitally to iTunes. The record company then pumps money into marketing by advertising and promoting your music with hopes of selling records, thus making you a superstar and becoming rich!

It is not as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of hard work by a talented group of people. Everyone has to work together to make this happen. There are usually many people behind the scenes working to make an artist a superstar.

Record companies often categorized into 4 groups: • Major label record companies - have the recording and operating resources to complete all function to sell records. Major label record companies are integrated in that they can handle the promotion, sales, marketing, and distribution to sell music. Major label record companies are Arista, Atlantic, Capital, and Sony.

• Major label affiliate labels – have special agreements with the major label record companies, where the major label may fund the smaller labels recording and operating expenses in exchange for a portion of the smaller label profits.

• Independent labels - distributes records through major labels. Independent labels have few employees. They tend to find talent, sign the talent, sees to it the music is recorded and contracts with major record labels to perform the promotion, marketing, and other functions.

• True independent labels – Has no association with a major label and distribute their music through independent distributors.

The A&R (Artists & Repertoire) Department

The A&R department is the talent scout. They are in charge of finding new talents. They are the eyes and ears of the record company. However, just because you get signed and because an A&R representative likes you it doesn’t mean your CD will ever get produced and released. Executives higher in the company could cancel your deal if they feel your CD will not sell. A record company will have to invest several hundred thousands of dollars to release your CD, so they will be extremely cautious on whom they release.

The Marketing and Sales Department

This department is responsible for getting the public excited about your music and first selling to retail stores the idea of carrying your CD. They are responsible for promotional merchandise, advertising your CD, in store displays, publicity, your CD cover, etc.

The Promotions Department

This department is responsible for getting your music played on the radio. The individuals in this department will visit the various radio stations to convince them to play your material. If your material doesn’t get played, no one will know how you are. People will look at your CD in the retail store and wonder who you are. There is also a direct correlation with CD sales vs. how many times a song for that CD gets played on the radio. More air time on the radio equals more CD sales for the record companies.

Remember music is art, but to the record companies, it’s about money. Keep in mind that it’s a business. Keep in mind everyone is out to make money. The minute people believe that you will not make money for them, you will be dropped and these same people will turn to seek other new artists that they believe will make them money. Unfortunately, the record business doesn’t believe in grooming people. If your first CD isn’t a success, you are out. There are rarely second chances. There are always other talented people behind you who what their shot at fame.


Most major retailers such as or will not carry a CD unless the record has a distributor. A strong distributor ensures that your CD will be available in enough places so your CD will sell to ultimately make money. Major labels use large distributors who are better able to get record stores stocked. After years of consolidation, there are only 5 major national wholesale distributors in the US who are owned by conglomerates who also own major record labels. They are:

• BMG (distributes Arista, BMG and RCA)

• EMI (distributes Capital and Virg.)

• Sony Music (distributes Columbia, Epic and Sony)

• Universal Music Group (distributes Interscope, Island/Def Jam, and MCA)

• WEA (distributes Atlantic, Elektra and Warner Bros.)

Distribution via the Internet Record labels and artists are increasingly using the web to distribute their music. Unknown artists can also use sites like mZeus or reverbnation to generate buzz about their music. However, unknown artists will still have to work hard to get the buzz going about their music. Ultimately, signing a contract with a major record label is the way to go. The major record labels have the financial muscle and people to give you a good shot at becoming famous.

Let’s face it. It’s all about money! Yes, the entertainment industry seems fun and exciting, but people are in it to make money period. As an artist the most important contract in the music industry is the record contract. The royalty is a portion of money from record sales paid to the artist for his/her music. The record contract which is a negotiated legal agreement between the record label and artist will state how much royalty an artist is entitled to among other things.

An artist should have a good understanding of how royalties are calculated. A good music attorney will help with this process by making sure the artist is paid what he/she deserves. A 13% royalty for one artist may be a lot of money, however a 13% royalty for another maybe “chump change”.

So this is how the numbers work. An artist successfully signs a record contract. The artist goes to the studio and work diligently to create a CD that the record company fully supports. The record company via its distributor sells the CD with a suggested retail list price (SRLP) of $17.99 to a retailer for about $10.99. The distributor will take 10% - 14% of the $10.99. Therefore the record company will get about ½ the SRLP of $17.99. Independent record companies may receive less than ½ the SRLP. Major record companies will pay artist royalty as a percentage of SRLP.

Rates will vary of each artist depending on how successful their record sells. For a new artist who never had a record deal or has sold less than 100,000 albums will get a typical royalty rate of 12% to 14% of the SRLP. For an independent record label it maybe 10% to 14% of the SRLP. For established artists who have a track record of selling 200,000 to 500,000 albums the royalty rate maybe 14% to 16%. For artists who have sold over 750,000 albums the royalty rates maybe 16% to 18%. As you can see, the more successful the artist is, the higher the royalty. Additionally, royalty maybe based on how well the record sells. For instance, the record contract may state that an artist will get 12% for the first 100,000 units sold, 14% for 100,001 to 300,000 units sold, and 16% for over 300,000 units sold.

But hold your horses. If you sell 500,000 albums and have a royalty rate of 12% doesn’t mean you will get 12% of 500,000 at a SRLP of $17.98 which would equal $1,078,800. NO, this is because, as specified in the record contract, there are deductions (expenses) that have to be deducted.

To start off the bat, the record company will deduct a “packaging charge” from the SRLP which is typically 25% for CDs.

Second, more often the artist is responsible for paying the record producer a portion of his/her royalties. Typically a producer will receive 3% to 4% of the SRLP.

Third, in the record business, the contract may state that the artist’s only generates royalties on 85% of the unit sales. For every 100 albums sold, 15 of those albums sold, the artist does not get royalty.

Forth, the record company will hold a portion of the royalty money because the distributor typically has an agreement with the retail outlets to take back and credit the retail stores money from unsold units. This is very important, because a good portion of your album could be returned to the record company if the album doesn’t sell! The money that’s held back is called a reserve. Reserves maybe held for 2 years before it’s paid to the artist. Typically a major record label will hold a reserve of 25% to 40% of the royalties.

Fifth, advances paid from the record company to the artist are deducted from the artist’s royalty. Advances include but are not limited to the:

• Recording studio expenses (new artists to an independent my get an advancement of $0 to $80,000, new artist to a major record label $150,000 to $400,000

• Hiring independent promoters to help sell the albums

• Cost of making a music video (promotions and an inexpensive music video can cost $150,000 to $200,000.

When money is made from the record sales, these costs are deducted from the artist’s royalties. This is called recoupment. Therefore, if the artist’s record isn’t successful, the artist may never see a dime. If the royalties are less than the deductions, they artists may well owe the record company money by being in the red! This negative cost maybe carried over to the next album release. A good record contract will not allow a negative cost from one album to be carried over to another album (cross collateralization). If there isn’t another album the record company generally eats the loss.

There are many other costs that the record company will not charge the artists. This includes marketing and in-house promotions (free CD give away, etc.).

So how much does an artist make for a gold album (500,000 albums sold).

Check out the math:

CD (suggested retail list price SRLP) = $ 17.99 Less CD Packaging of 20% = $ -4.50 NET = $ 13.49 Times: Net artist royalty rate (12% - 3% to producer) = X 9% Gross royalty per CD (9% of $13.48) = $ 1.21 Times 500,000 albums = $ 500,000 SUB TOTAL = $ 605,00 Times: Royalty bearing % (15% o = no royalty) = X 85% Gross Royalty = $ 514,250 Less advances: Recording, promo, music video, tour = $ -350,000 TOTAL ROYALTY TO ARTIST = $ 164,250 - Reserves (35%) returned by retailer) = $ -57,487.50 (1) ACTUAL ROYALTY PAID TO ARTIST = $ 106,762.50

(1)Reserves will be paid to artist in 2 years if no CDs returned by retailer

Remember the artist still has to pay TAXES! Don’t forget Uncle Sam has to get his cut! Also, don’t forget the Personal Manger, the Attorney, the Accountant, the Agent and other numerous expenses.

However, there are many other royalties that an artist can acquire. They include, Record Clubs, Compilation CDs, Samplers (low-priced albums in which a few artists are featured), Premiums (albums sold with other products, such as cereal), Film Soundtrack Album, Music Video Sales, Greatest Hit’s Album, Foreign Royalties (song played in some foreign country radio stations pay royalties, unlike the US), Master Use License (music used in a movie, television, commercial, the Internet, CD-ROM and DVD), etc.

Of course because of the Internet, the rules royalties are changing. Many people now buy their music via the Internet. Just think, no packaging required and no distribution to traditional retail stores needed. Some websites allow customers to buy individual songs as oppose to an album. Changes are currently taking place on how royalties are calculated because of the Internet. Many attorneys are pushing to have royalties be based on each song sold as oppose to each album sold. So stay tuned!

Geoff Tate and Queensryche part ways.

Queensryche is moving forward without vocalist Geoff Tate, who will be replaced by Crimson Glory singer Todd La Torre. "Over the past several months, there have been growing creative differences within Queensryche. We want our fans to know that we hoped to find a common resolution, but in the end parting ways with Geoff was the best way for everyone to move forward in a positive direction," drummer Scott Rockenfield said in a statement. "We wish him the best of luck with all of his future endeavors. We can't wait to bring Queensryche to our fans with Todd behind the microphone." The statement also said that scheduled Queensryche performances "are on hold at this time and revised routing is being worked on. Fans can check the band's website for all of the latest tour information as it [becomes] available." Queensryche also includes guitarists Michael Wilton and Parker Lundgren and bassist Eddie Jackson. Rockenfield, Wilton and Jackson are among the group's original members. Tate joined the band after it formed in 1981. Guitarist and founding member Chris DeGarmo left Queensryche in 1997 and briefly rejoined in 2003 for Queensryche's "Tribe" album. Kelly Gray originally filled DeGarmo's slot, followed by Mike Stone, until Lundgren joined in 2009. La Torre said in a statement a few weeks ago, and reiterated during an interview on Ron Keel's "Streets of Rock & Roll" radio show that was posted online on June 14, that he still remains a member of Crimson Glory. Fans and media have speculated about the state of Queensryche, which marked its 30th anniversary last year, for weeks due to rumors of internal conflict. They were sparked by an unconfirmed posting on that Tate allegedly became violent toward other bandmates prior to an April show in Brazil after allegedly being fired. Then, during the Rocklahoma fest during Memorial Day weekend, Tate told the crowd "you guys suck" as he tried to get the audience to respond more enthusiastically. On May 29 the other members of Queensryche announced it was forming a project called Rising West with La Torre. Rising West posted June 5 on its Facebook page that it was "being denied access to our own Facebook page and website (meaning Queensryche)," which promoted other side projects, such as Tate's wine business and Rockenfield's recording endeavors. In response, Tate's step-daughter, Miranda, posted June 7 on Facebook that "it's about time to get some truth on the table" and denied that other members couldn't access the site, among other alleged problems. Rising West played Queensryche's older material at two sold-out shows June 8-9 at Seattle's Hard Rock Cafe. In subsequent interviews, Rising West and Tate deflected questions about the situation. When Rising West appeared June 7 on KISM Seattle radio show "The Men's Room," Rockenfield said it was "a day-to-day" process as Queensryche determined its next move, but the band would definitely continue. reported that during a June 15 interview on KISW, Tate said, "Just hang in there. Everything's moving along and everything's looking good" regarding the group. Queensryche was scheduled to perform June 11 to open for the Scorpions in West Valley City, Utah, but only Tate appeared, backed by his solo band. reported June 18 that Queensryche had canceled its Aug. 10 appearance at the Douglas County Fair in Oregon, with Eddie Money replacing the act. It stated that fairgrounds director Harold Phillips attributed the cancellation to a falling out between Tate and the band. Tate has continued playing dates on his solo tour, which coincided with Queensryche's dates for its current tour. Queensryche is a Grammy Award-nominated band that broke into the mainstream with the 1988 concept album "Operation: Mindcrime." The group has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, according to the statement. It's biggest U.S. radio hit was 1991's "Silent Lucidity," which reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Birth of the Blues in Britain

As the original Blues artists from the Delta, Chicago and Texas struggled to make their Music heard a few records were discovered by young British kids in the early sixties. The impact of these remarkable sounds on this generation took on a life all of its own and in a couple of years the Blues was the talking point of all Kids interested in music. It was cool to be into R & B and to know even a few of the names. What followed changed the World of Music for ever.

Chris Barber’s Jazz Band with the beautiful Otillie Patterson on vocals brought the sound of New Orleans to British traditional Jazz buffs in the late fifties and early sixties. This was just the beginning of a wave of new sounds that culminated in what came to be known as the British Blues Boom! On Banjo was the great Lonnie Donegan who became the Godfather of Skiffle a year or two later. All of the early musical melting pots were springboards for the next generation of musicians and within a couple of years the Music scene was to change forever.

My first exposure to the blues was on Barber’s wonderful L.P. “New Orleans Joys”. I forget all the titles now but the haunting sounds stirred up strange sensations and led me a few years later to have a lifelong passion for the Blues as I am sure it did with many young kids at the time.
The year 1962 saw the birth of several Blues gigs in London Clubs, notably the Famous Marquee which made its home in Wardour Street, Soho. The great Alexis Korner was to prove to be a nursery slope for what was to come. Cyril Davies on Harp, Dick Heckstall-Smith on the most wailing of saxophones, Mick Jagger (yes that one!) on vocals to name but a few. I guess that first Album recorded live at the Marquee…Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, started the trickle which very rapidly gathered momentum and soon the Blues was the talking point of all young music heads.

Playing at the Marquee shortly after, in 1963 was the man destined to become the Godfather of British Blues… John Mayall…. John’s famous band, The Blues Breakers went onto fame and fortune as many musicians joined and left in quite a procession over the next couple of years. John will be celebrating his 79th Birthday in November and is playing as well as ever. Check out his tour dates on his website . This gives lie to the notion that life is over at sixty and its all downhill from there on. The list of John’s protégées is a who’s who of the music business; a good proportion of whom are still playing today. John McVie, co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, Mick Fleetwood, Jack Bruce of Cream, Eric “Slowhand” Clapton, Peter Green, Aynsley Dunbar, Mick Taylor and many more.

The band that I believe was the turning point at this time was undoubtedly The Yardbirds, whose incredible energy and enthusiasm were absolutely unparalleled on stage. The Year was 1963, the man in question (well he was only 18 years old!) was Eric Clapton.

 The Legend was already underway at this stage and I believe Eric was responsible for the huge interest brewing in the Blues in Britain as the Yardbirds became household names on the R & B circuit. Many Guitars were sold at this time as young bloods attempted to emulate Clapton, some with success and many without. Probably one reason for the upsurge in Guitar bands as opposed to wishy washy pop sounds of the time was the discovery of the almost forgotten Gibson Les Paul which produced the sound closest to the Chicago Blues of a decade earlier. Eric’s use of this instrument took the Blues to a new height and no-one could escape the flood that was on the way. With the Yardbirds there was a mix of Gibson and Fender guitars in use. Eric initially played a Fender Telecaster with Rhythm Guitarist Chris Dreja using the Gibson 335, but the favorite in years to come particularly in ’65 and ’66 was the Les Paul.

In 1963 one of the first Bluesmen to arrive on this side of the Atlantic for a Tour was the legendary Harp player Sonny Boy Williamson who recorded a wonderful live album with the Yardbirds that was not released for several years. The restrained backing that the band provided to Sonny Boy showed them to be tight and controlled but Keith Relf the Lead singer and Harpist was a little put out at having to take a back seat to the Master during the gig. Many more Blues legends toured Britain and Europe in the following years which not only revitalized their own flagging careers but gave the budding white Blues players a chance to learn from the Maestros. These include Howling Wolf and the legendary Son House who had been a contemporary of Robert Johnson in the nineteen thirties. He certainly could make that National Steel Guitar sing sweetly!

The Album that preceded the Flood was of course the 1966 rendition by John Mayall entitled simply “John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton ”recorded on the Decca label .This album marked the first vocal airing by Slowhand and he chose Robert Johnson’s “Rambling on my Mind” as his debut. The interrelating of Mayall’s gutsy Barrelhouse Piano together with Eric’s Les Paul and his tentative vocals, wrote a piece of Blues History that day in the studio. That Album sums up for me not only the musicianship involved and the passion of the music but the very essence of the British interpretation of the Blues. I have listened to this song so many times now and every time it’s hard to keep the emotions steady.

The Robert Johnson Legacy forms an integral and vital part of the Birth of the Blues in Britain and is responsible for the vitality of today’s thriving Blues scene on both sides of the Atlantic. There are no Blues Bands, past or present, who do not owe a debt to Robert Leroy and his magic. His genius and virtuosity with the bottleneck will live forever!

Shinedown’s new album “Amaryllis” is a must buy!! By M’chel Northrop

Shinedown has become one of my favorite bands ever since I first heard them several years ago. The love affair only grows stronger with each album. They hooked me with their songs like “Save Me”, “Heroes”, “Carried Away”, ”Call Me”, “Devour” and “Sound of Madness”. Then they seduced me with “The Crow and the Butterfly”&“If You Only Knew” and now they have solidified our relationship with their fourth album, “Amaryllis”.
They have great harmonies and I love the diversity that has grown with each of their albums. You will never hear the phrase muttered from anyone’s mouth that all their songs sound the same! It's hard to lock them into one genre anymore, they have a lot of different sounds. They've evolved into quite a well-rounded band.
I love lead singer Brent Smith's voice; he is an impressive tenor with a four octave range and a nice tone, yet he can bring a gruffness to it when he wants. Brent can roar with the best of them or soothe with his Serenade. He is also a great song writer who can touch you in the depths of your soul on a level everyone can relate to. You'll never confuse these guys for pretty boys, thank God, and man can they make music!!
Their first song “Adrenaline” gets your blood flowing and your head banging with their speed metal vibe. Then they roll right into their song “Bully” which is a little more commercial and has a message that everyone can relate to, no matter what your age. The title song “Amaryllis” is more melodic and just gets you swaying with the music.
“Unity” is going to be one of their breakout songs from this album, in my opinion. I’m looking forward to the video, which I heard from a bird on the wire, that they are editing now. This at the top of my list, which is hard to do with their music because I like it all!! “Enemies” is a hard-hitting and deep pounding, head banging song. I can totally see this in a movie soundtrack (which is nothing new for these guys, having written several, like “I’m Alive” for The Avengers movie).
“I'm Not All Right” This is a great song!! This is MY song!! It's official… I'm claiming this as my title song to my life… Ha Ha. This song just makes me happy!! For those of you who know me will completely understand.
“Nowhere Kids” will be a song of a generation. A lot of youth will relate. I can just envision the video now. “Miracle” is on the softer side ballad, if you will. I can just hear this song being dedicated to loved ones all over the world all ready.
You will be hearing “I'll follow you” on the radio and seeing it on the music video channels. It’s a great song that will appeal to the masses. When the piano starts and Brent starts singing, you can't help but swoon. Breakout the lighters, girls and boys, and let them burn bright while you sway side to side. This is a great Serenade.
“For My Sake” and “My Name (Wearing Me Out)” are two of those songs that are going to give you strength during a bad breakup. You'll be hearing these two songs blasting out of a Mopar powered car, driven by a heartbroken Hessian this summer. When you feel like crying, these songs will make you want to stand up and give a warrior yell while you're flipping the bird!!
Finishing off the album with “Through The Ghost” is like the cool down after an intense workout. Your heart’s pumping and your all sweaty… that's when you take in your deep breaths and stretch and exhale.
This is an all-around, full body, incredible album!! If you're into rock, you're going to relate. I personally love this entire album. There's not one song that I don't like, or would skip over, and for me that says a lot. I'm eclectic but I'm picky. Shinedown will be around for a long time to come, and I for one, am very happy about that!!
I can't wait to see these guys in concert!!

Couple of updates...

Hey Music lovers! 

We're still fixing up the little bit of construction left on Milk Crate Music. I have fixed the automatic email updates for activity on the website... Also, you will notice some image changes here pretty soon. We're really about to jazz up the site! 

I also want to welcome the newer members that have joined within the last couple of days. Rock on! If there are any suggestions or anything you would like to see on the site, please do not hesitate to let me know! 

Also, be sure to invite your friends to join! The more the merrier! :) 

WE ARE LOOKING FOR NEW SPOTLIGHT BANDS! Submit your band information to


Become the Opening Band

I found this article online which I thought would be a good read for all you "brand new" bands out there trying to break it into the business. It is a tough thing to do, but it's not impossible! What are your thoughts? 

Playing a show as the opening band is a fast way to get your music to a larger audience. Don't wait around for people to come knocking on your door, asking you to play their show. Follow these steps to get your name on the bill.

Time Required: Ongoing
Here's How--

Choose Your Targets:
What's the dream concert for your band? Who would you really love to play with? Make a short list of the bands that you want a chance to play with, and then find out who their agent and manager are. Get in touch with both the agent and manager, send them a promo package and let them know you're interested in playing with the band. At the same time, keep an eye on that band's touring schedule. When you know shows are in the works, reach out to the musicians' team and say, "remember me?" Agents and managers don't always get involved with picking the openers, but they often do, and being on their radar is always a good thing.

Make Friends with the Venues and Promoters:
As mentioned, agents aren't your only hope for getting on a bill. Often, the support bands are chosen by the venues or the promoters of the shows. If you are already a part of your local live music circuit, then these people should already be on your radar (and you on theirs), but if not, get out there and make yourself known. Let the venues and promoters in your area know your band is always on the lookout for a good support slot and that you hope they will consider you when they need an opener.

Putting it All Together:
This one combines steps one and two and may be a drag, but when the perfect opening band opportunity comes along, you'll be glad you did it. Make a contact database of all of the agents, promoters and venues that you have identified as helpful to you in your quest to be the opening band. Not only will you always have the info you need on hand when you need it, but your database will also help you keep track of with whom you are (and should be) sharing news about your band.

Incidentally, don't be afraid to be the "opener for the opener." That first band on a three or four band bill doesn't usually have the biggest crowd, but on your local circuit, your willingness to pay your dues on these kinds of slots can help you get bumped up the bill in the future.

Timing is Everything:
When you know that the perfect supporting act opportunity for your band is coming up, don't wait around for your contacts to think of you. Hit up the right agents, promoters, and venues and ask for the gig. Finding the opening band is one thing crossed off the very long "to do" list for people working on a show, so the first band that asks often gets. Act fast, and be the first to throw your hat in the ring.

Don't be a Deal Diva:
Generally speaking, being the opening act doesn't pay particularly well, at least in terms of cold, hard cash. The pay comes in the form of a chance to play in front of a larger audience than you would get on your own, and the chance to play in front of other people who can help you in your career - press, labels, managers, promoters, agents, and so on. If you refuse a good opening gig because you don't think the money is right, you'll only hurt yourself.

Do the Job:
Opening slots tend to beget opening slots, provided you deliver the goods. Be professional and polite, show up on time, grin and bear it if you get shafted on the soundcheck, play a good show, and stick within your allotted time. Thank the headlining band/agent/manager/promoter/venue for the opportunity. Reliability goes a long way in the music industry, and if you get a reputation for it, the offers will start pouring in. Learn more about how to be a good opening act.

Promote Yourself:
Many opening bands are lucky to get a mention on a concert poster, so you should take matters of promoting your opening gig in your own hands. Send out a press release letting the local media know about your upcoming show. Be sure to email your mailing list so your fans can come out and support you, and of course, update your website to include the show. You may not get a very long set as the opening band, but you should treat it as you would any other concert. Don't, however, try to pass yourself off as the headliner - make clear in all your promo material that you are the opening act.


Choose your Shows Wisely:
When you are making your shortlist of bands with whom you would love to play, remember that you're not just picking your favorite bands. Pick the bands whose audience you believe is a good audience for your kind of music.

Start Locally:
Getting in touch with agents and trying your hand at getting on regional/national tours as the supporting band is a good thing to do. However, especially when you're first getting started, actually landing this kind of gig can be a little tricky. Put an emphasis of being one of the go-to opening bands of choice for your local area by working with local venues and promoters. Sometimes this may mean you're the "opener for the opener" on a three band bill, but it is a great way to build an audience while building relationships with bands, promoters, agents, and venues that will be handy in the future.

The Show Isn't About You:
Sad, but true - the opening band can get the shaft in many ways. Your soundcheck may be cut to to five minutes, you may not get to share in the rider, you may not be getting paid much, if at all, and after all that, the audience may all be at the bar or talking through your set. Frustrating? Definitely. But no band has ever played a show that hasn't made an impression on someone, and if you want that impression to be good, stay professional and positive. Some show experiences may be better than others, but each show can be a stepping stone to something bigger.

Ask Before you Do:
Some headlining bands (or at least their agents and managers) can get a little huffy about opening bands selling their merchandise at shows - after all, if someone buys your album, they may decide not to buy the headliner's t-shirt. Find out before the show if you will be allowed to sell merchandise, and where in the venue you can set up. I know, I know, it's a bit annoying, especially if you are out of pocket to play the show anyway. Just focus on how well you will treat the opening bands when you're the headliners.

Beware the Buy-On:
On very large tours, you may find that the opening slot is filled through a "buy-on" - meaning that the opening band pays a fee to get to be on the tour. This kind of thing usually happens between major labels/major label artists and on stadium or arena tours. If you are an indie band (or an indie label), don't sell the car to stump up the cash for a buy-on gig. Before you go buy-on, carefully weigh up the risk and reward. If you're not going to return from the tour with any cash to, uh, cash in on the increased interest in your band hopefully generated by the tour, then your buy-on fee isn't money well spent.




Gemeni is a pop/rock vocal duo consisting of twin sisters Lisa and Gina Gomez. Combining tight harmonies, pop melodies and strong Broadway-esque vocals, the twin sisters are set on bringing individuality, uniqueness and and something original to not only the Orlando music scene, but to the Pop scene as well. Gemeni has performed in many venues around Orlando, Florida, including the Florida Music Festival, Deland Original Music Festival, The Social, BackBooth, The Haven, The Cameo Theatre, The Plaza Live, Will's Pub, and Natura among others.

 The two sisters began singing at the age of 5 at local talent shows and spread to local country fairs. They met a producer named Curtis in Stuart in 2001 and together they produced R&B/Hip Hop music... which didn't suit Lisa's and Gina's voices or identities at all. After co-writing/recording over 20 songs, in 2006, they stopped collaborating with Curtis.

After trying to become recording artists and failing to find out who they were as artists, they took the opposite approach: musical theatre. Lisa and Gina have performed in over 9 musicals and 1 opera and continued their theatre studies in college.

Throughout high school, the sisters didn't fit into any specific clique; they got along with all different kinds of people, therefore isolating them from almost everyone. They wanted to sing musical theatre, but everyone in the drama program teased them, saying that "they had pop voices". This criticism followed them through college as well.

The sisters garnered success in their university, appearing in a few main stage musicals, even though their major didn't specialize in musical theatre, but they missed the days when they could write music and express themselves as opposed to playing a character. Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert really inspired them to get back into music because the two of them preach self respect and loving yourself, no matter how different you are. 

Gemeni was recently featured on Dark Horse Comics main blog for winning a contest that featured Gemeni's single "A Stake in My Heart". Gemeni was also recently featured in a cameo appearance on a brand new Boyz II Men music video that will be premiered on "Dancing With The Stars". 2012 promises to be a strong year for the twins as they are officially releasing their debut album on iTunes with plans to promote it with upcoming music videos.

Wanna check out Gemeni? Visit their Milk Crate Music profile here:

Contact Us