Τρίτη, 27 Απριλίου 2010

Mark Knopfler

If you have ever been fortunate enough to see the Notting Hillbillies you may well have heard Brendan Croker introduce the Mark Knopfler song Why Worry as "Why Bother." And, I must admit, in thinking about writing a biography of Mark I have many times asked myself the same question - why bother ? What could possibly be said about Mark Knopfler, his songs and guitar playing, that has not been said a million times already ? But, then, just recently, I received an e-mail from a fan in Thailand asking for biographical information on Mark Knopfler so I guess there are some folks out there who still need to know what I thought every fan knew already. So, here goes....

Mark Knopfler was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on the 12th of August 1949. He was around seven years old when the Knopfler family moved to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the North-East of England. Mark attended Gosforth Grammar School. As a young boy Mark was inspired by his uncle Kingsley's harmonica and boogie-woogie piano playing. Later, in his teens, he set his heart on an all too expensive flamingo-pink Fender Strat, just like Hank Marvin's, but in the end he had to settle for a £50 twin pick-up Hofner Super Solid and £50 was a lot of money in those days. Like lots of other guitar-toting schoolboys of the 1960s, he served an early apprenticeship by forming and joining anonymous schoolboy bands and listening to guitarists such as Scotty Moore, Jimi Hendrix, Django Reinhardt and James Burton. At sixteen he made a local TV appearance as half of a harmony duo along with school-friend Sue Hercombe.

At school Mark had demonstrated a flair for English and in 1967 he went to study journalism for a year at Harlow Technical College. At the end of the course he secured a job in Leeds as a junior reporter on the Yorkshire Evening Post. After two years he decided to further his studies and commenced a degree in English at Leeds University. It was whilst Mark was living in Leeds that he met a local blues singer/guitarist by the name of Steve Phillips. Mark wrote newspaper articles and reviews on the music scene in and around Leeds. By an odd coincidence, Mark's boss was another man by the name of Stephen Phillips. This has caused some confusion over the years and a number of Steve Phillips biographies have claimed erroneously that Steve himself worked as a journalist. Mark and his boss - the other 'Steve Phillips' - went to see Steve playing in Leeds. Steve fondly recalls how Mark's first words were "Steve Phillips, meet Steve Phillips."

Steve and Mark found that musically they had much in common and they went on to form a duo called The Duolian String Pickers. By day Mark continued working as a reporter and, later, as a full-time student, while Steve took a job restoring paintings and furniture at Leeds City Art Gallery and Temple Newsam House. They played together on and off over the next five years. Some of their work is featured on Steve's 1996 Just Pickin' album. "He was a good guitar player", Steve says wryly of the young Knopfler, "in a B.B.King sort of way." Steve was to have a profound affect on Mark's guitar playing introducing him to the intricate lead technique of black blues guitarist Lonnie Johnson and the subtle skills of country blues guitar, the elements of which Mark was eventually to weave into his own unique style of guitar picking. This was, in fact, a very important stage in Mark's development as a guitarist. He was later to tell Jack Sonni that it was not until he began to finger-pick that he found his guitar 'voice'. While living in Leeds Mark made his first record. It was recorded in a room that had been converted into studio in a house in Pudsey. The song was called Summer's Coming My Way and it featured Steve Phillips on twelve-string guitar.

On graduating from Leeds University in 1973 Mark decided to go to London and try to break into the rock scene. He scanned through the music press and finally answered the biggest advert he could find in Melody Maker. That led him to an audition and a two month stint with a blues band called Brewer's Droop. Mark played guitar on three songs they recorded at Dave Edmunds' Rockfield Studios in Wales. The band's drummer was a guy called Pick Withers. Pick had turned professional at the age of seventeen and was a very experienced drummer. Having left Brewer's Droop Mark took up a job as a lecturer at Loughton College in Essex where he remained for two years living in a rented flat in Buckhurst Hill, sometimes giving guitar lessons at Staples Road School. Then brother David came to stay for a few weeks en route to London. The Knopfler brothers would often sit up late into the night playing songs and, without knowing it, to some extent laying the foundations of what was to become, in time, Dire Straits. It was the mid-1970s, David moved on to London and Mark went on to form a working band with friends at Loughton College. They called themselves the Café Racers.

David came to share a flat at Farrer House on Deptford's Crossfield Estate, South-East London, with a Leicester-born bass player by the name of John Illsley. John recalls first meeting Mark. "I'd been out all night and came in about ten in the morning. I walked into the kitchen, started making myself a cup of tea, walked into the lounge and there was this guy lying on the floor with his head propped up against a chair. He was fast asleep, fully clothed in denim with leather boots. He had a guitar slouched over his waist." David had often spoken to John of his guitar-playing brother and John guessed correctly that the guy sprawled out on the lounge floor was indeed Mark. It wasn't long before John found himself on stage with Mark. One night the Café Racers' bass player was ill and John was asked to stand-in. Mark and John immediately struck up a great working relationship and both realised that, despite having built-up a good reputation on the local pub scene, the Café Racers had a limited future. In April 1977 Mark gave up his flat in Buckhurst Hill and moved in with David and John.

John quickly realised that not only was Mark a talented and excitingly different guitar player, he was also a gifted song-writer. During the summer of 1977 the three musicians found themselves playing and rehearsing Mark's songs. Yet, something was missing - a drummer. Mark, recalling his brief stint with Brewer's Droop, said he knew of a drummer who would be ideal for the sort of music they were developing. Mark had been very impresssed with Pick Withers back in 1973 and so Pick was invited to the Farrer House flat and the four musicians began doing gigs together under the name of Mark's old band, the Café Racers. John recalled that "playing with Pick Withers was fantastic...I'd never played with anybody as good as him." Later, a friend of Pick's suggested a new name for the band - Dire Straits. The die was cast. The band's first gig took place on the open space at the back of the Farrer House flats, the electricty provided by a power cable running from the stage into a socket on the wall of John's first floor flat.

Punishing rehearsals and live gigs followed. There was just enough room in the back of John's estate car for the band's equipment and they earned just enough money to pay for PA hire and a round of beers. On the 27th of July 1977 Dire Straits recorded the now famous demo tapes of five songs - Wild West End, Sultans of Swing, Down To The Waterline, Sacred Loving and Water of Love. In what was probably October they recorded Southbound Again, In The Gallery and Six Blade Knife for BBC Radio London and, finally, on the 9th of November demo tapes were made of Setting Me Up, Eastbound Train and Real Girl. Many of these songs reflected Mark's experiences in Newcastle, Leeds and London, and were to be featured on the first Dire Straits album the following year: Down To The Waterline recalled images of life in Newcastle; In The Gallery is a tribute to a Leeds sculptor/artist named Harry Phillips, father of Steve; and, Lions, Wild West End and Eastbound Train were all drawn from Mark's early days in the capital.

The demo tapes were given to BBC Radio London DJ Charlie Gillett. Charlie played the tapes calling upon record company executives to sign this new band: enter John Stainze and Ed Bicknell. It is said that Phonogram A&R man Stainze was in the shower listening to the radio when he first heard Dire Straits. A few weeks later he signed the band to Phonogram's Vertigo label and Mark secured a publishing deal with Rondor Music. Towards the end of 1977 Ed Bicknell was working at the NEMS agency when he got a call from Stainze asking him to fix up some gigs for Dire Straits. Ed was invited round to Phonogram's offices in December where he heard the Charlie Gillett demo tapes. He was then taken to Dingwalls Club in North London to meet Dire Straits. The date was the 13th of December, 1977, and as he walked into the club they were playing Down To The Waterline. Ed recalls, "The first thing I noticed was that it wasn't necessary to stand at the back of the room; they were very quiet. I'd just done The Ramones, who were deafening......The second thing I noticed was that Mark was playing a red Stratocaster, which immediately made me think of Hank Marvin, who I had idolised in the sixties." After hearing two or three numbers Ed decided that he wanted to manage the band. He was organising a tour for Talking Heads and was able to put his new band on the bill as the support act. Dire Straits were paid £50 per night for the Talking Heads tour; a ten-fold increase from their fee at Dingwalls. The rest - as is often said - is history.

I once asked Ed Bicknell's former assistant, Liz Whatley, when it was that she realised Dire Straits were going to be really big. She replied that it was the first time she heard Romeo and Juliet. By the mid-1980s Dire Straits had released Brothers in Arms, one of the best selling albums of all time, and had been tagged 'the biggest band in the world'. By that stage the recording and touring personnel of the band had changed more than once. David left. Hal Lindes, guitar, and Alan Clark, keyboards, joined. Then came Tommy Mandel, keyboards, and Mel Collins, saxophone. Pick left and was replaced on drums by Terry Williams. Keyboard player Guy Fletcher became a member of Dire Straits for the Brothers In Arms album. Jack Sonni, guitar, and Chris White, saxophone, were brought in for the subsequent world tour. By the time Dire Straits commenced the 1991/92 On Every Street tour Mark, John, Alan, Guy and Chris were left from the mid-80s line-up. They were joined on stage by Phil Palmer, guitar, Paul Franklin, pedal-steel guitar, and percussionists Danny Cummings and Chris Whitten. Others who have been featured on Dire Straits' recordings include Roy Bittan, keyboards, and Joop De Korte, drums.

The Brothers In Arms tour saw Dire Straits play 234 shows in twelve months to combined audiences of about 2.5 million. Within a couple of weeks of the tour finishing Mark was producing Tina Turner but, at the same time, felt he needed to get back to his roots. Long-time mates Steve Phillips and Brendan Croker had teamed-up to form a duo shortly after Mark had left Leeds in 1973. In 1986 Steve was in London and called in to see Mark who said he fancied coming up to Leeds and sitting in with Steve and Brendan on one of their gigs. This resulted in the three of them playing together at The Grove pub in Hunslet, Leeds, on the 31st of May, 1986. The following year Mark offered to produce Steve's next album but Steve suggested that a new album should feature both himself and Brendan. Guy Fletcher was brought in to help out on the technical side. From this evolved the Notting Hillbillies. Ed Bicknell is an accomplished drummer in his own right and during a meal in a Notting Hill wine bar, Mark sat next to him and said "OK, Ed; we've formed a band, and you're the drummer." Paul Franklin joined on pedal-steel guitar. There followed an extensive UK tour to promote the 1990 release of the multi-platinum selling album Missing......Presumed having A Good Time. Also in 1990 Mark was able to release the Neck and Neck album, a joint project with the greatly admired Chet Atkins.

Mark brought Dire Straits back together for the 1988 Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Concert which featured Eric Clapton who was standing-in for Jack Sonni as Jack had just become the father of twin girls. Mark, John, Alan and Guy appeared on stage at Knebworth in June 1990 along with, among others, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Ray Cooper and Phil Palmer, to help raise funds for the Nordoff Robbins charity. Then came the On Every Street album. The resulting extensive world tour, which played to more than four million people, was punishing and exhausting. After it was over Mark felt that he needed to take a break from the pressures of live performance and studio schedules.

Over the years Mark has collaborated with many artists. He has at one time or other worked with people such as Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Randy Newman, Buddy Guy, Tina Turner, Phil Lynott, Willy DeVille, Eric Clapton, Waylon Jennings, Chet Atkins, Phil Everly, Vince Gill, Paul Franklin, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Paul Brady, The Chieftains, Ben. E. King, Mary Chapin-Carpenter, Joan Armatrading, Scott Walker, Jeff Healey, The Judds, Jimmy Nail, Bryan Ferry, Aztec Camera, Steely Dan, Sting, Sonny Landreth, James Taylor, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. He has also devoted a great deal of time to charity work for institutions large and small. Dire Straits did a total of three concerts for the Prince's Trust in front of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales. They appeared at the 1985 Live Aid Concert and the 1988 Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Concert. In 1995 Mark was featured on the chart-topping Dunblane single Knockin' On Heaven's Door and in September 1997 was one of the artists who performed for Sir George Martin's Music For Montserrat Concert at the Royal Albert Hall. The Notting Hillbillies, too, have performed many charity concerts helping to raise money for a range of deserving causes. Mark has been the recipient of countless awards and accolades, not least among which was the conferring in May 1993 of an Honorary Music Degree by Newcastle University of which he is justly proud.

Mark Knopfler has always been a songster, to him the song is king. It is said that he has never really understood why his music is so popular. In this he is not alone. When reviewing the Sultans of Swing compilation album in November 1998, the writers of Mojo magazine commented "overwhelming sales testify to Mark Knopfler's song-writing ability and guitar expertise, and there is certainly something intimate and friendly in that smokey voice and fluid guitar, though the scale of Dire Straits' success remains mildly baffling." Some have tried to answer this by arguing that Mark's music has an instant appeal. Perhaps a better explanation comes in Robert Sandall's liner essay for the Sultans of Swing compilation. Sandall noted, "As the fires of punk raged around them, they made no secret of their love for styles of music which the cultural commissars of the day had recently declared irrelevant....What part could this lot possibly play in the brave new world of anarchy, media manipulation and anti-musicianship? Apart from their consummate skill as performers, it was their complete disregard for all the fashionable nonsenses of the moment that rescued Dire Straits from the fate which swiftly overtook most of their punky contemporaries. While others lived and died in a blaze of publicity and disappointing record sales, they took the world by stealth....Dire Straits were, above all, superb communicators.... The heartfelt simplicity of their music - chiefly derived from Mark Knopfler's gruff vocals and elegantly burnished Fender guitar tone - came across in songs that sounded both fresh and timeless, and which also possessed a breathtaking accuracy."

Mark also found time to score the music to numerous films. First came Local Hero in 1983 followed in 1984 by the Cal and the Comfort and Joy soundtracks. These were followed in 1987 by The Princess Bride and two years later came Last Exit To Brooklyn. Further soundtrack work has seen the release of Metroland and Wag The Dog, both of 1998, and the soundtrack album to the film A Shot At Glory released in 2001.

In 1996 Mark began his career as a solo performer with the release of the Golden Heart album. The album was simply a step forward in the evolution of his music, "It's just moving forwards...", he said, "... just trying to be better." Mark's solo career has allowed him to hone his rare talent as a singer/song-writer. His second solo album, Sailing To Philadelphia, was released in 2000. Autumn 2002 saw the release of his third solo album, The Ragpicker's Dream, but, just as rehersals were about to begin, the planned 2003 tour had to be cancelled due to a serious motorcycle accident. Thankfully, Mark made a full recovery from his injuries and was on the road again in 2005 to promote his fourth solo album, Shangri-La, released in September 2004. One year on saw the release of The Best of Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler: Private Investigations compilation album. 2006 has seen the release of a number of albums to which Mark has contributed and also of the much acclaimed and Grammy nominated All The Roadrunning CD with Emmylou Harris promoted by a tour of Europe and North America. 2007 saw the release of another solo album, Kill To Get Crimson, followed by a 2008 promotional tour of Europe and the USA. Mark's sixth solo album, Get Lucky, was released on the 14th of September, 2009, with a tour to follow in 2010.

There remains another side to Mark Knopfler, a very private side. By the mid-80s Mark was being referred to by some as the "quiet man of rock and roll." He is shy by nature and gets embarrassed when fans tell him how much they have been affected by his songs and how his music has changed their lives. It is a matter of public record that Mark has been married three times. His second marriage produced his twin sons, Benji and Joseph, born in 1987, and his third marriage to Kitty Aldridge has been blessed with two daughters, Isabella, born in 1998, and Katya born in 2003. After more than thirty years at the top of his profession, Mark Knopfler remains at heart a family man who loves nothing better than to spend time with his wife and his children.

Source: http://www.mark-knopfler-news.co.uk/frameset.php?frame=/biogs/mark.html

Albums

Golden Heart
Sailing to Philadelphia
The Ragpicker's Dream
Shangri-La
One Take Radio Sessions
The Trawlerman's Song EP
The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler: Private Investigations
Kill to Get Crimson
Get Lucky

Παρασκευή, 23 Απριλίου 2010

Trey Songz

Since making his recording debut in 2005, Trey Songz has patiently and artfully crafted some of the most acclaimed and compelling R&B music of the decade. His first two Songbook Entertainment/Atlantic albums, "I GOTTA MAKE IT" (2005) and "TREY DAY" (2007), yielded a trio of top ten singles, "Girl Tonight," "Last Time," and "Can't Help But Wait." And when the latter song garnered Trey a coveted Grammy nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, it marked the validation of the faith shown in Trey by the late Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, who hailed him as one of "the most promising R&B artists we have had since we started the company 60 years ago." Now, with the 2009 release of "READY," Trey Songz is more than ready to claim his place in the pantheon of R&B greats.

"Many people tell me that I don't get my just due," says Trey. "They may know my singles, but between my records, I've also released mixtapes like 'Swagga Like Songz' and 'The Ladies Choice.' Now, 'READY' embodies everything I am as an artist. Everybody can be happy with the album, from the hip-hop to the R&B crowd."

"READY" draws music and lyrics from such accomplished producers and songwriters as Eric Hudson, Sean Garrett, Stargate, Bryan-Michael Cox, Soul Keys, Jermaine Dupri, Soundz, and long-time collaborator Troy Taylor.

On the album's first official single, "I Need A Girl," Stargate (Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel S. Eriksen) deliver their signature guitar-led production. The Norwegian-born, NYC-based pair previously worked on Trey's Grammy-nominated "Can't Help But Wait," and decided to revisit their magic on "READY."

From the street single, "Brand New," to his self-described male version of Mary J. Blige's "Be Without You" in "One Love," the Virginian draws on a range of influences to craft an album that will thrill his longtime fans and happily surprise all newcomers to the Trey Songz story. Indeed, with its blend of hip-hop, R&B, and pop ? exemplified by tracks like "Black Roses," where Trey croons over a distorted guitar ? "READY" demonstrates his growth on every front. The third time around, Trey displays a new vocal maturity combined with his renowned ability to twist notes and keys effortlessly, while presenting an increasing breadth of subject matter.

"With every move you make you have something to prove," says Trey. "There's always room for improvement. I'm growing, as a person, as an artist, and as a man. My clothes fit differently, my braids are missing? I'm changing as a person and the music is the better for it."

Born Tremaine Aldon Neverson, Trey was raised as a military brat, with his family eventually settling in Petersburg, Virginia. Ironically, as a teen he wasn't particularly interested in singing. Only after continuous encouragement from his mother, and drawing on his grandmother's example as a devoted church choir member, Trey entered a local talent show at 14 years old. He won that competition and several more, eventually amassing 19 trophies. At 15, Trey crossed paths with producer Troy Taylor, who's worked with everyone from Boyz II Men to Lionel Richie, and Taylor immediately recognized Trey's talent.

After high school, at Taylor's invitation Trey moved to New Jersey, where he developed his vocal, writing, and production skills. Trey soon found himself driving from the Garden State across the river to New York City. As he learned to record songs, Trey completed a proverbial musical boot camp, absorbing music by artists like Prince, Marvin Gaye, and Steely Dan during his commute between the two states. To earn his keep, the Virginian worked as Taylor's vocal production assistant and transformed that experience into his debut album, "I GOTTA MAKE IT," after signing with Atlantic Records in 2003.

On the business end, Trey began his production company, Songbook, in 2004 with Taylor. The company houses several producers but Trey doesn't want to overstep his boundaries or stunt anyone else's creative growth. "We've been honing Songbook," says Trey carefully. "We make sure that we don't keep people from what they have to do. I don't want to get the talent if I don't have a place for it. A lot of people sign artists that they'll never release, just to have them. I'd rather let you find your own way."

Among Trey's numerous activities, he ? along with fellow Atlantic artist Flo Rida ? wrote and produced a street-smart rendition of "Jingle Bells" especially for clothing giant GAP, which proved to be a sensation during the 2008 Christmas season.

In August 2008, Trey added the philanthropic organization Songz For Peace to his repertoire, launching the charity with community activist Noonie Ward in Chicago's crime-ridden Southside before bringing his message to his native Petersburg. The youth-centered organization, which attracted 500 kids at its opening event, travels to different cities speaking to teens about the dangers of violence and life's positive opportunities. Songz for Peace is scheduled to visit several more cities across America this year, including Washington D.C., Atlanta, and Baltimore. "The violence within the youth is rising at an alarming rate," says Trey earnestly. "I get to speak on that, and children listen to me."

Deftly balancing and separating his roles as artist, businessman, and philanthropist, Trey has delivered his best work to date with "READY." "I've always been the underdog of my class," says Trey. "But this time nothing can stop me from achieving all that I want."

Albums


I Gotta Make It
Trey Day
Ready

Source: http://www.treysongz.com/bio/

Τρίτη, 20 Απριλίου 2010

Lady Gaga


Lady Gaga (born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta on March 28, 1986) is an American recording artist. She began performing in the rock music scene of New York City's Lower East Side. She soon signed with Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records, upon its establishment in 2007. During her early time at Interscope, she worked as a songwriter for fellow label artists and captured the attention of Akon, who recognized her vocal abilities, and had her also sign to his own label, Kon Live Distribution.

Her debut album, The Fame, was released on August 19, 2008. In addition to receiving generally positive reviews, it reached number-one in Canada, Austria, Germany, and Ireland and topped the Billboard Top Electronic Albums chart. Its first two singles, "Just Dance" and "Poker Face", co-written and co-produced with RedOne, became international number-one hits, topping the Hot 100 in the United States as well as other countries. The album later earned a total of six Grammy Award nominations and won awards for Best Electronic/Dance Album and Best Dance Recording. In early 2009, after having opened for New Kids on the Block and the Pussycat Dolls, she embarked on her first headlining tour, The Fame Ball Tour. By the fourth quarter of 2009 she had released her second studio album The Fame Monster, with the global chart-topping lead single "Bad Romance", as well as having embarked on her second headlining tour of the year, The Monster Ball Tour.

Lady Gaga is inspired by glam rock musicians such as David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, as well as pop music artists such as Madonna and Michael Jackson. She has also stated fashion is a source of inspiration for her songwriting and performances. To date, she has sold over ten million albums and over thirty-five million singles worldwide.

Albums

2008: The Fame
2009: The Fame Monster

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Gaga

Kings of Leon

Kings of Leon is an American rock band that formed in Nashville, Tennessee, United States in 1999, consisting of brothers Anthony Caleb Followill (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Ivan Nathan Followill (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and Michael Jared Followill (bass, backing vocals), with their cousin Cameron Matthew Followill (lead guitar, backing vocals). Each member of the family group is known by his middle name (second given name) as opposed to his first given name.

The band's early music was an upbeat blend of southern rock and blues influences but the band has gradually expanded their sound to include a variety of genres and a more alternative rock or arena rock sound. Kings of Leon achieved initial success in the United Kingdom with nine Top 40 singles, two BRIT Awards in 2008, and all three of the band's albums at the time peaking in the top five of the UK Albums Chart. Their third album Because of the Times also reached the #1 spot. After the release of Only by the Night in September 2008 they finally achieved chart success in their native United States. The singles "Sex on Fire", "Use Somebody" and "Notion" all peaked at #1 on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks. The album itself was their first ever platinum-selling album in the United States. It was the best selling album of 2008 in Australia, being certified nine-times Platinum.

Album

Youth and Young Manhood (2003)
Aha Shake Heartbreak (2004)
Because of the Times (2007)
Only by the Night (2008)

Κυριακή, 18 Απριλίου 2010

Megadeth

Megadeth is an American heavy metal/thrash metal band from California, America, formed in 1983. Founded by guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson following Mustaine's departure from Metallica, the band has since released twelve studio albums, six live albums, two EPs, twenty six singles, thirty-two music videos, and three compilations.

As a pioneer of the American thrash metal movement, Megadeth rose to international fame in the 1980s and was ranked as one of the "Big Four of Thrash", along with Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, who were responsible for creating, developing and popularizing the thrash metal sub-genre. Megadeth has experienced numerous line-up changes, due partly to the band's notorious substance abuse problems. From 1983 to 2002, Mustaine and Ellefson were the only continuous members of the band. After finding sobriety and securing a stable line-up, Megadeth went on to release a string of platinum and gold albums, including the platinum-selling landmark Rust in Peace in 1990 and the Grammy nominated, multi-platinum Countdown to Extinction in 1992. Megadeth disbanded in 2002 after Mustaine suffered a severe nerve injury to his left arm. However, following extensive physical therapy, Mustaine reformed the band in 2004 and released The System Has Failed, followed by United Abominations in 2007; the albums debuted on the Billboard Top 200 chart at #18 and #8, respectively. Megadeth, along with their new lead guitarist Chris Broderick, released their twelfth studio album, titled Endgame, on September 15, 2009, which debuted at #9 on the Billboard 200.

In the band's 25 active years, Megadeth has had 20 official members, with Dave Mustaine remaining as the driving force and main songwriter.

Megadeth is known for its distinctive instrumental style, often featuring dense, intricate passages and trade off guitar solos. Mustaine is also known for his "snarling" vocal style, as well as his recurring lyrical themes including politics, war, addiction, and personal relationships.

Megadeth has sold close to 25 million albums worldwide, with five consecutive albums being certified platinum in the USA. The band has also been nominated for seven consecutive nominations for Best Metal Performance.

Albums

Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good! (1985)
Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? (1986)
So Far, So Good... So What! (1988)
Rust in Peace (1990)
Countdown to Extinction (1992)
Youthanasia (1994)
Cryptic Writings (1997)
Risk (1999)
The World Needs a Hero (2001)
The System Has Failed (2004)
United Abominations (2007)
Endgame (2009)

Taylor Swift

Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989 in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania) is an American country pop singer-songwriter and actress. In 2006, she released her debut single “Tim McGraw”, then her self-titled debut album, which was subsequently certified multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. In November 2008, Swift released her second album, Fearless. Fearless and Taylor Swift finished 2008 at number-three and number-six respectively, with sales of 2.1 and 1.5 million. Fearless has topped the Billboard 200 in 11 non-consecutive weeks; no album has spent more time at number 1 since 2000. Swift was named Artist of the Year by Billboard Magazine in 2009. Fearless won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2010.

In 2008, her albums sold a combined four million copies, making her the best-selling musician of the year in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Forbes ranked Swift 2009’s 69th-most powerful celebrity with earnings of $18 million. In January 2010 Nielsen SoundScan lists Swift as the top-selling digital artist in music history with over 24.3 million digital tracks sold. To date, she has sold over ten million albums worldwide.

Albums

Taylor Swift (2006)
Fearless (2008)
TBA (2010)

Source: http://www.last.fm/music/Taylor+Swift/+wiki

Lil Boosie

Hatch grew up in a poor neighborhood of Baton Rouge, and his father was absent from his childhood. He played basketball while attending high school but was expelled for drugs, so Hatch decided to become a rapper. He worked with rapper C-Loc and his group Concentration Camp and made his debut on C-Loc's fifth album, It's a Gamble in 2000. Shortly afterwards, Hatch released his debut album For My Thugz as Lil Boosie in 2003.Lil Boosie joined growing record label Trill Entertainment which was backed by the late Pimp C of UGK. Soon after, Trill independently released the album For My Thugz. Later, Boosie teamed with label mate Webbie, on the albums Ghetto Stories and Gangsta Musik. Boosie's major label debut, Bad Azz, was released in 2006. It contained the single "Zoom" featuring Yung Joc. In 2007, Boosie and Webbie performed on the remix of "Wipe Me Down" by rapper Foxx. Streetz Iz Mine, a mixtape with DJ Drama, was released in 2008, and in the same year Boosie appeared on singles "Independent" by Webbie and was among several rappers featured on "Out Here Grindin" by DJ Khaled. and Superbad: The Return of Boosie Bad Azz was released in 2009. "Better Believe It", featuring Webbie and Young Jeezy, is the first single off of Superbad.

Albums

2000: Youngest of da Camp
2003: For My Thugz
2006: Bad Azz
2007: Trill Entertainment Presents: Survival of the Fittest (with Lil' Boosie, Foxx, Webbie and Trill Fam)
2009: Superbad: The Return of Boosie Bad Azz

Source: http://en.wikipedia.or/wiki/Lil_Boosie

Miley Cyrus

Miley Ray Cyrus (born Destiny Hope Cyrus; November 23, 1992) is an American pop[2] singer, songwriter and television and film actress who rose to fame after starring as the title character in the Disney Channel series Hannah Montana. Following the success of Hannah Montana, a soundtrack CD was released in October 2006 featuring Cyrus on eight songs from the show. Cyrus's solo music career began with the release of her debut album, Meet Miley Cyrus on June 23, 2007, which included her first top ten single, "See You Again". Cyrus's second album, Breakout, released on July 22, 2008, was her first album independent of the Hannah Montana franchise. Both albums debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. Cyrus's first extended play, The Time of Our Lives, was released on August 28, 2009. The lead single from the EP, "Party in the U.S.A.", became Cyrus's highest charting and Hollywood Records's fastest selling single, reaching number two in the Billboard Hot 100 and the top ten in various nations.

In 2008, Cyrus appeared in the Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert film. Cyrus also starred in Bolt in 2008, and recorded "I Thought I Lost You" for the soundtrack, earning her a Golden Globe nomination. She starred in the film spin-off of Hannah Montana, titled Hannah Montana: The Movie, which was released on April 10, 2009. In 2008, Cyrus was listed in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World. Forbes magazine ranked her #35 on the "Celebrity 100" list for earning $25 million in 2008. Her rank improved to #29 in 2009.

Albums

Meet Miley Cyrus (2007)
Breakout (2008)
The Time of Our Lives (2009) – EP
I Can't Be Tamed (2010)[114]

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miley_Cyrus

Παρασκευή, 16 Απριλίου 2010

Kid Cudi


Kid Cudi released his first mixtape, A Kid Named Cudi, in collaboration with New York street wear brand 10.Deep as a free download. The mixtape features a guest appearance from DC rapper Wale and caught the attention of Kanye West which spawned his signing to the GOOD Music Label.

In early September 2008, he performed at the 2008 VMAs along side Travis Barker and DJ AM. Kid Cudi is featured on Kanye West's 2008 album, 808s & Heartbreak, singing with him on the track named "Welcome to Heartbreak", providing additional vocals on "Paranoid" and helping with songwriting on "Heartless". Even though it hasn't been released as a single yet, "Welcome to Heartbreak" managed to peak at number eighty-seven on the Pop 100 and a music video for the song has since come out.

Kid Cudi was featured in XXL magazine and BBCs featured on the longlist for the BBC News website's Sound of 2009 poll of up-and-coming acts. He has also been featured in Complex magazine, The Source magazine, and Rolling Stone magazine.

He is finishing up his debut album Man on the Moon: The Guardians for a Summer 2009 release.

On February 17, 2009 Kid Cudi made his TV debut on Snoop Dogg's new MTV talk show Dogg After Dark performing Day 'n' Nite at the end of the show. Two days later on February 19, 2009 Cudi appeared on BET's 106 & Park to debut the video of Day 'n' Nite with Kanye West.

Cudi is featured in Solange Knowles music video "T.O.N.Y"

In March 2009, Cudi announced a deal at Universal Motown where he will release his debut album Man on the Moon: The Guardians in Summer 2009.

Source: http://www.cudifresh.com/2009030658/bio/kid-cudi-bio.html

Albums

Man on the Moon: The End of Day (2009)
A Kid Named Cudi (2008)

Muse


Muse are an English rock band from Teignmouth, Devon. Since their inception, the band has been composed of Matthew Bellamy (lead vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica), Christopher Wolstenholme (bass, backing vocals), and Dominic Howard (drums and percussion). Muse are known for their energetic and extravagant live performances and their fusion of many music genres, including progressive rock, classical music, heavy metal and electronica.

Muse have released five studio albums – Showbiz (1999); Origin of Symmetry (2001); Absolution (2003); Black Holes and Revelations (2006); and The Resistance (2009) – one live album, HAARP (2008), and a compilation, Hullabaloo Soundtrack (2002).

Black Holes and Revelations earned the band a Mercury Prize nomination and a third place finish in the NME Albums of the Year list for 2006.[5] Muse have won many other music awards throughout their career, including five MTV Europe Music Awards, five Q Awards, eight NME Awards, two BRIT awards and four Kerrang! Awards.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muse_%28band%29


Albums

Showbiz (1999)
Origin of Symmetry (2001)
Absolution (2003)
Black Holes and Revelations (2006)
The Resistance (2009)

Πέμπτη, 15 Απριλίου 2010

Whitney Houston

Whitney Elizabeth Houston (born August 9, 1963) is an American singer, actress, and former fashion model. A relative of several prominent soul singers, including her mother Cissy Houston, cousins Dee Dee and Dionne Warwick and godmother Aretha Franklin, Houston began singing at her New Jersey church as a member of a junior gospel choir at age eleven. After she began performing alongside her mother at night clubs in the New York City area, she was discovered by Arista Records label head Clive Davis.

Houston released her debut album Whitney Houston in 1985, which became the best-selling debut album by a female artist at the time of release. Her second studio album Whitney (1987) became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts as well as her prominence on MTV enabled several African-American women to follow in her success.

Following her marriage to singer Bobby Brown, Houston appeared in her first starring role in the feature film The Bodyguard in 1992. The film's original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Its lead single, Houston's cover version of the 1974 Dolly Parton song "I Will Always Love You", became one of the best-selling singles in music history.[2] Houston continued to star in feature films and contributed to soundtracks including Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher's Wife (1996). After the release of her fourth studio album My Love Is Your Love (1998), she renewed her recording contract with Arista Records in 2001 for a historic $100 million. She subsequently released her fifth studio album, Just Whitney the following year with One Wish: The Holiday Album being released in 2003. Amidst widespread media coverage of personal and professional turmoil, Houston's marriage to Brown ended in 2006.

Houston is one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums and singles worldwide. She is ranked as the fourth best-selling female artist in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America, with 55 million certified albums. She has been listed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

Albums

1985: Whitney Houston
1987: Whitney
1990: I'm Your Baby Tonight
1998: My Love Is Your Love
2002: Just Whitney[189][190]
2009: I Look to You

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitney_Houston


Jay-z


Shawn Corey Carter was born 4 December 1969 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. Raised in Brooklyn, Carter was a school friend of the Notorious B.I.G. He first started releasing records in the late 1980s. In 1990, he appeared on records by his close friend Jaz ("The Originators") and Original Flavor ("Can I Get Open"), and later scored an underground hit single with 1995"s "In My Lifetime". Drawing on Jaz's dealings with mercenary labels, Jay-Z set up his own Roc-A-Fella imprint in 1996 with entrepreneur Damon Dash and Kareem "Biggs" Burke. His debut set, Reasonable Doubt, went on to achieve gold sales and produced the US number 50 pop single "Ain't No Nigga"/"Dead Presidents", featuring future rap star Foxy Brown. The album, which reached US number 23 in July, attracted fans with a mixture of hard-hitting street lyrics and rhymes, epitomized by the collaboration with Notorious B.I.G. on "Brooklyn's Finest". The follow-up In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 was released in the aftermath of Notorious B.I.G.'s murder, and debuted at US number 3 in November 1997. Featuring guest appearances from Puff Daddy, Lil' Kim, Too Short, BLACKstreet and DJ Premier, this sombre and intensely personal album included the stand-out tracks "You Must Love Me" and "Where I'm From". Although in demand as a guest artist, Jay-Z found the time to write, produce, and direct the semi-autobiographical short Streets Is Watching. The gold-selling soundtrack introduced several of Roc-A-Fella's rising stars, including Memphis Bleek, Rell and Diamonds In The Rough, and featured the hit single "It's Alright". Jay-Z then became a major star with the hit singles, "Can I Get A ... " and "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)", the latter built around a line from the musical Annie. One of the more bizarre samples to be used on a hip-hop track, the single nevertheless became an international hit (UK number 2, December 1998/US number 15, March 1999). The album of the same name featured hotshot producer Timbaland, in addition to the usual team of Ski and DJ Premier. Guest rappers included DMX, Foxy Brown and Too Short, on a package that diluted Jay-Z's hard-hitting lyrical edge in an attempt to corner the crossover market. Vol. 2 -- Hard Knock Life easily succeeded in its aim, staying at US number 1 for five weeks before finally being deposed by Alanis Morissette's new album. Despite a hectic schedule as a guest producer/writer and rapper, Jay-Z still found the time to enter the studio and record tracks for his new album. Released in December 1999, Vol. 3 ... Life And Times Of S. Carter confirmed his status as one of hip-hop's most popular artists when it topped the album charts the following month. The following year's The Dynasty: Roc La Familia 2000, another US chart-topper, was originally planned as a supergroup collaboration with fellow Roc-A-Fella rappers Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek and Amil.

Source: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0419650/bio

Albums

Reasonable Doubt (1996)
In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 (1997)
Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life (1998)
Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter (1999)
The Dynasty: Roc La Familia (2000)
The Blueprint (2001)
The Blueprint²: The Gift & The Curse (2002)
The Black Album (2003)
Kingdom Come (2006)
American Gangster (2007)
The Blueprint 3 (2009)

Τετάρτη, 14 Απριλίου 2010

Avec Tristesse

It all began in 1998, when Pedro I. Salles and his friend Márcio Kelmanson decided to set up a project of home-made recording with the one objective of expressing themselves musically without barriers, labels and other people's opinions. The name of the project was La Dance Macabre. Márcio would take care of the grunts and drums while Pedro would take care of the rest. It was then that the a song named Ad Infinitum appeared, which some years later, would have the lyrics modified and retitled as The Crown Of Uncreation. In 1999, Márcio moved to England and Pedro wrote other three songs by himself, The Failed Saviour (that was never released), In Vain I Cry and She, The Lust. After they were recorded, all in his computer, Pedro decided to set up a band to execute these songs. As he was a bass player for many years and in this project he just wanted to "explore", he decided to take over the lead vocals and the guitars, and went in search of a guitarist, a bassist, a drummer and a keyboard player. After many unsuccessful attempts, the first formation rehearesed for the first time at the beginning of 2000. The members were Letícia Figueiredo on the keyboards, Marcus Feital on the guitars (today he is the official photographer of the band), Pedro "Tikinhu" on the drums and Raphæl G. (the one and only) on the bass guitar. Some rehearsals were made, but arround April, Pedro dissolved the band, just maintaining Raphæl G. in the band because he was the right person for the position, due to his great ability with the bass and his experimental vision that fit perfectly with the initial proposal of the project. By that time, the name Avec Tristesse had already appeared, based on the sad melodies that were heard in the songs, that were all made in a spontaneous manner, in order to naturally find a style, or better still, an identity for the band.

After some weeks, Nathan Thrall, a friend of a friend of Pedro I. Salles, entered (and never left) the band. As a trio, they enriched all the songs Pedro had composed until then, apart from Failed Saviour and adding a new one called Paean, in which Pedro swears to have dreamed the main riff before it was ever written. At the same time that two new members entered the band (Alexander Woden on the guitars and Bruno Campbell on the keyboards), Pedro and Nathan settled some recording dates with a studio. As the keyboard player and the guitarist had entered the band recently, hey didn't have time to learn or create songs, leaving almost all the keyboards and guitars for Pedro to record. Throughout the recording, some tunes were composed, for example De Sombre Amour Et Souffrance, were created and improvised during the recording sessions.

Close to the end of the recordings, arround the end of 2000, there was a general discussion among the owners of the studio. They then decided to close the studio and left the band with the unfinished material, divided in two different medias (ADAT and Cakewalk files) synchronized between themselves. After some difficult months, they found a studio that could synchronize those two medias. The band then finished the recordings and made a pre-mixing to try to arrange some record deal. Somber Music was interested in releasing their album, however, the band was still to run across with more problems. The first was the studio they were working with, that also closed because of internal problems, as always. Plus some months were lost until the band found a studio that passed the part that was in the computer to digital tape (ADAT), making it possible to continue the working process in any regular studio. Another problem was the financial one. Pedro, who was paying all the recording with his own salary, found himeself unemployed. With some savings and extra money collected from the only show made by the band until today, on April 21, 2001, they got to close some mixing dates with the studio FastForward, very famous in the metal scene, in the end of 2001. When the band got in touch yet again with Somber Music, they said that their schedule was full for one year and that it could not release the album at that time, but they presented the project to Hellion Records that identified themeselves with the band and provided the necessary financial help to close the mixing and to do the mastering. Because of musical differences, Bruno Campbell and Alexander Woden left the band.

Source: http://www.sweetslyrics.com/bio-Avec%20Tristesse.html

Discography
2002 - Ravishing Beauty
2004 - How Innocence Dies


Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold is an American rock band from Huntington Beach, California, formed in 1999. The band has achieved mainstream success with their 2005 album City of Evil, which includes singles such as "Burn It Down", "Bat Country," "Beast and the Harlot" and "Seize the Day." The band's success followed with their self-titled album, that includes singles such as "Critical Acclaim", "Almost Easy", "Afterlife", "Scream" and "Dear God".

Avenged Sevenfold emerged with a metalcore sound on their first two albums, but later changed their musical style into a more hard rock approach with City of Evil. The band themselves have received much credit for their worldwide mainstream success and were most notably proclaimed as one of the leaders and key bands in the New Wave of American Heavy Metal and were featured as second place on Ultimate Guitar's Top Ten Bands of the Decade. They are currently in production of their fifth studio album. During the end of 2009 the death of their drummer and founding member, James "The Rev" Sullivan was announced.

Discography

Sounding the Seventh Trumpet (2001)
Waking the Fallen (2003)
City of Evil (2005)
Avenged Sevenfold (2007)


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avenged_Sevenfold

Κυριακή, 11 Απριλίου 2010

Aventura

After more than ten years of sparring in the music business, these four young, dynamic musicians with a seldom-seen chemistry continue to auto-produce soulful, original music that gleams with excellence. They are the first “Bachata-boy band,” the first band to fuse the essence of bachata with R&B, hip hop and other American pop styles; the first Bachata band to perform in English, Spanish and “Spanglish.” Aventura is also the first bachata group to feature songs that address serious life situations, delighting fans in the process, such as buttonAmor de madre, buttonHermanita, buttonPapi Dijo and buttonLa Nina.

When Aventura performs its songs, Dominican/Caribbean culture fuses with the vivid tapestry of New York's dynamic melting pot.

Because the Santos boys are barely out of their teens, it seems incredible that they struggled for eight years before exploding on the scene in the summer of 2002. Their struggle was not merely the physical one marked by years of sleepless nights on the road; perhaps a greater obstacle was the traditional bachata audience, which tends to be conservative and one-minded as to how their beloved folk-based music should sound; this audience either “booed” them off the stage or refused to acknowledge them. After all, on a scene dominated by traditionalist stars such as Anthony Santos and rising romantic minstrels such as Zacarías Ferreira, Aventura's music was truly radical.

However, when buttonObsesion exploded on street level with little or no airplay, Aventura was catapulted to the forefront. The band's unique style was soon embraced fanatically by young Latinos in New York, much in the way rock & roll captivated teenage audiences in generations past. It also changed the face of Bachata forever. Like a super-cell storm spawns tornadoes, Aventura spawned sound-alikes. But there is only one Aventura!

If Aventura fever in the US and Latin America is a phenomenon, the band's impact in Europe has been utterly astounding. For 16 straight weeks the single “Obsesion” charted number 1 in Italy; the album We Broke The Rules topped the charts for months as well. From there Aventura charted number one in Spain, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Greece, Slovenia, Romania among others. In France, 20 days after release 400,000 singles had been distributed with 139,000 CDs. In Germany, “Obsesion” is currently at number 1 with 150,000 CDs shipped. “Obsesion” was covered by a German pop group Third Wish, and this version also appears on the charts a few slots below Aventura. In recent days, licenses have been entered into for the territories of Poland, Russia, Slovakia and Israel. “Obsesion” has penetrated the mainstream European market to the point that the “Smurfs” in Germany and Spain have created a parody of the song for inclusion in a future “Smurfs” record release.

Aventura has appeared on Top of the Pops, European MTV, and their equivalents in France, Germany, Italy and Spain. On three occasions they have taken the coveted Cassandra award in the Dominican Republic and Premio lo Nuestro in 2005.

In April, 2005 Aventura released God’s Project, its 4th studio production. It continues to be one of Sony's most important sellers having reached nearly 500,000 units sold.

Aventura's fifth album KOB Live (Kings of Bachata) was released on 2006.

The members of Aventura are Anthony Santos (lead singer and featured composer), Lenny Santos (musical producer and guitarist), Max “Mikey” Santos (bassist and rap artist) and Henry Santos Jeter (singer and composer).

Source: http://www.batanga.com/en/artists/aventura/bio

Σάββατο, 27 Μαρτίου 2010

Average White Band


Alan Gorrie -- Bass, Guitar, Lead Vocals
Onnie McIntyre -- Guitar, Vocals
Klyde Jones -- Keyboard, Bass, Lead Vocals
Fred ' Freddy V' Vigdor -- Saxes, Keyboards, Vocals
Rocky Bryant -- Drums
Average White Band are widely regarded as one of the best soul and funk bands in the history of music. Though perhaps best known for their timeless instrumental mega-hit 'Pick Up the Pieces' the band's strength actually lay in their consistently accomplished song-writing, stretching across several gold selling albums and multi- grammy nominations for the legendary Atlantic Records. Somewhat incongruously, given their Scottish roots, the six piece took the influences of their R&B heroes - people like Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Donny Hathaway and others - and developed their own 'authentic' sound which was eagerly adopted by black audiences in the US and elsewhere.

Whilst a good number of cuts - 'Cut The Cake' and 'Let's Go 'Round Again' to name but two - attracted chart action as hit singles, many other album tracks, like 'Schoolboy Crush' and 'Person to Person' became much sampled and turn-tabled 'rare' grooves. Many more tunes, such as 'Cloudy', 'A Love Of Your Own' and 'Nothing You Can Do' - amongst many others- stand alongside some of the finest soul 'album tracks' ever recorded.

The current line-up of the band - this time with noted US recruits augmenting founding members Alan Gorrie and Onnie McIntyre - continues to record and tour around the world to ongoing critical and audience acclaim. All this and more is perfectly illustrated in the band's latest release Soul And The City which showcases the breadth and depth of the band's material, all captured within the excitement of a 2006 live performance

Source: http://www.averagewhiteband.com/_news/bio.html

Σάββατο, 13 Μαρτίου 2010

Alkaline Trio


Normally, friendship, companionship or simply the music industries bring together various bands. Alkaline Trio is the opposite. This group was brought together sadly by heartbreak, angst and their own relationship with drinking in the year 1997. The Alkaline Trio group is composed of 3 members: Matt Skiba who was in charge of vocals and guitar, Glenn Porter who was in charge of drums and vocals, and last but not least, Rob Doran who played the bass and did vocals. Rather than starting in well-known cities, Alkaline Trio started making a name for themselves all throughout the Midwest, targeting people who had an interest in pop and punk, fueled by lots of emotion. Unfortunately, just like other bands and music groups, members of Alkaline Trio departed. As soon as the year 2000 hit, Glenn Porter left. This left Alkaline Trio as a Duo. Luckily, Mike Felumlee (a drummer) joined the group thereafter and made Alkaline Trio complete once again.

Source: http://www.recordhall.com/recordhall/Biographies/Pop-Biographies/alkaline-trio.html

Πέμπτη, 11 Μαρτίου 2010

Avion


Steve Bertrand - Lead vocals / Guitar
Josh Dunahoo - Guitar
Joey Clement - Bass
Ben Hazlett - Guitar / Keyboards
Jamie Wollam - Drums

Taking its name from the French word for "airplane," the Los Angeles-based rock group Avion is proving that the best way to success is old-fashioned hard work and a DIY attitude. Led by Steve Bertrand, former front man of the power-pop band The Tories, Avion has set out to make its mark with a keen sense of musical purpose and cultural vision.

After the amicable split of The Tories in 2002, Bertrand began writing for his yet-to-be-defined follow-up. Over the course of a year, he wrote some 22 songs, taking them frequently to a singer-songwriter night (which he hosted) at the Malibu Inn in Los Angeles, testing them on local audiences. After a short time it became "very clear which 13 songs needed to be on the record." Also very clear was the fact that Bertrand wanted the camaraderie of a band sympathetic to his musical ideas. "I didn't want to be the 'solo acoustic' guy," he admits. "I really missed the element of being in a group."

Scouting the LA area, Bertrand was fortunate to find a group of musicians that shared his sensibilities. Local drummer Jamie Wollam was enlisted first, followed by South Dakota transplant Joey Clement on bass. Josh Dunahoo on guitar and Ben Hazlett on guitar and keyboards came next, both originally hailing from Arkansas and New Mexico respectively. "Having written most of the songs on an acoustic guitar, I didn't really know what the finished versions would sound like until I played with the right guys," Bertrand says. "You hear the power of the song with the right band. That's what happened when we rehearsed for the first time. It was very cool."

On the band's self-titled debut album, Avion has created 13 rich and vital new chapters in the ongoing evolution of pop music. Produced by Bertrand, with the bulk of recording done at his home studio, the album is a powerful collection of truthful and emotionally cathartic songs. Gliding elegantly between the bombastic blast of the album's opener, "Would You Notice" to the orchestral verve of "Love Is Here Again," the music of Avion shows boundless range and diversity. "There's so many different flavors on the record," Bertrand muses. "I had an older brother who loved pop music, so I grew up listening to the Cars and Cheap Trick. Their records would have a heavy song and then a slow one. That's missing from records now." Avion's first single, "Seven Days Without You," speaks to the sorrow of lost love with passion, intensity and an undeniably moving melody. "The song really revolves around that universal feeling you have after losing someone," Steve confesses, "when you're calling everyone you know and trying to fill your day with anything to keep from going crazy, doing whatever you can to somehow numb that nagging sense of longing." As he says about the inspiration for his music, "I could never afford therapy, so it's life, love, death, faith, anger, fear, it's all of those things." When asked about his favorite songs on the album, Steve demurs, saying, "It's like a pair of trousers. I have a different one every day."

Bertrand connected to his standards of pop music excellence at an early age. Growing up slightly south of the Canadian border in Newport, Vermont, Bertrand would tune into the local AM radio stations and listen to "whatever three minute pop songs were at the top of the charts." As a kid, his father took him to a Beach Boys concert where the young Bertrand experienced a transcendent musical apotheosis. "It was electrifying to me. When the lights came on, it hit me right there like a hammer over the head: That's what I was built to do!"

Following graduation from high school, Bertrand moved to Los Angeles to answer the calls of his own muses. After spending a couple of years "meandering around" getting acclimated, Bertrand founded the alt-rock band The Tories, who went on to sign with the legendary producer Phil Ramone. After the group's two critically acclaimed albums fell victim to the demise of Ramone's short-lived N2K label, The Tories called it quits. "We were everybody's favorite band that nobody knew," Steve says. "Towards the end of the band, I fell into the TV world of theme songs, penning the music for Christina Applegate's 'Jesse' on NBC and several other network shows. It was a great bridge between The Tories and the start of Avion."

After completing the Avion record, the real work began. Having experienced first hand the struggle of breaking through with his former band, and witnessing the current state of the ever-changing music industry, Bertrand knew from the start that he wanted to take a very "hands on" approach and put this record out himself. Joining forces with his "friend/business associate," Chris Dickson, Bertrand co-founded The Console, a multi-media company designed to foster and support music, film and television projects that may fall through the cracks or never see the light of day at larger companies. The Console's first project...

Avion.

"We met with our manager, David Christensen, and all agreed the best way to reach the most people with this record was to focus on getting on the radio," recalls Bertrand. As anyone in the music industry knows, this is no small task. "We had a shoe-string budget, nothing compared to the major labels," says Steve, "but we thought if we could find people that believed in the record, we could make it work." Hiring a small, but dedicated and passionate team of radio promoters, the band set out to conquer the charts without the benefit of major label support.

In true DIY fashion, after literally mailing hundreds of promotional albums to stations nationwide from Steve's living room, the band hopped in an RV and set out to see every radio station in the country. "We went to every station that would have us, and some that weren't sure theywanted us," laughs Steve. The band members knew they needed to make an indelible first impression, so instead of arriving in typical "radio promo" fashion with acoustic guitars and a stripped-down performance, they brought an ingenious portable version of the band's full-on stage show. "We showed up with amps, PA, the works and put on a full concert in the station conference rooms," remembers Steve. "It took a lot of people by surprise, but it worked and people started playing the record. Las Vegas added it, Buffalo added it, Denver added it, St Louis added it and it just snow balled." (As of this writing, October 2004, "Seven Days Without You" has hit #20 on Billboard's Adult Top 40 chart, without the benefit of major label support.)

Over the course of the group's 26,000 mile, 65-city sojourn into the wilds of DIY American radio promotion, Avion has become an incredibly tight and cohesive band. "There's a chemistry and a vibe that the five of us have together," Steve observes, with clear delight. "We did exactly what we set out to do, which was to tell a story without having to chase anybody and to show people that this was the real deal."

And the "real deal" it is. In late summer 2004, Columbia Records/Red Ink signed Avion in conjunction with the bands label, The Console, and will release their debut album nationwide November 2.

Source: http://www.sweetslyrics.com/bio-Avion.html

Τετάρτη, 10 Μαρτίου 2010

Avrigus


Avrigus are a 2 piece gothic doom metal band from Sydney, Australia. The band is comprised of Simon Gruer (ex-Cruciform) and Judy Chiara. They play epic and majestic gothic doom metal with dark ambient passages.

Avrigus first came into existence in 1990. Due to Simon’s role in Cruciform and the Sydney metal scene it wasn’t until 1998 that the very well received EP The Final Wish was released on Warhead Records. In 2001 the album The Secret Kingdom was released on Well of Urd Records, a division of the now-defunct Hammerheart Records.

In 2007 it was announced that Judy had left the band late in the previous year. Despite this Simon is continuing on with Avrigus and a new album called “The Hidden Citadel” is in the works.

It was announced in August 2009 that Avrigus’ new vocalist would be Megan Robins, whose partner Lee Tassaker (bassist/vocalist for Lycanthia) would also be providing vocals on the new album.

Source: http://beiwei38.com/artist/311/Avrigus/

Τρίτη, 9 Μαρτίου 2010

Avril Lavigne


Avril Lavigne was born in Belleville, Ontario, Canada on September 27, 1984. At 16, she moved to Manhattan and began work on her debut album. She dropped out of high school after the 11th grade when she secured a record deal. When Avril was almost 18, she released "Complicated" from her debut album titled: "Let Go," which went 6x platinum. As a petite skater girl from a small town, Avril has shown she is independent, full of confidence and determination, providing a good combination to make "Complicated" and Avril a musical breakthrough. "Complicated" went to number #1 on Billboards Top 100 while also earning her 5 Grammy nominations, MTV music awards, MTV European music awards and many more.

Source: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1245099/bio

Παρασκευή, 5 Μαρτίου 2010

Avulsed

Based out of Madrid, Spain, the quintet of Avulsed has maintained their lyrical grimness and death metal chops since their formation in 1992. Consisting of Cabra (guitar), Juancar (guitar), Furni (drums), Dave Rotten (vocals), and Tana (bass), the first full-length Eminence in Putrescence was followed by a handful of demos and the 1992 7" EP Carnivoracity. After their 1998 techno remix album Cybergore, the Colombian-based Quirofano Productions compiled all of Avulsed's demos and unreleased recordings for the compilation Seven Years of Decay. Their second album, Stabwound Orgasm, followed that same year.

Source: http://mog.com/music/Avulsed/bio

Πέμπτη, 4 Μαρτίου 2010

Awesome Car Funmaker


Awesome Car Funmaker is a spastic, energetic, crazy, party glam rock band from Madison, Wisconsin. Formed in June 2003, the four piece has played three hundred something shows to countless fans.

ACF has been compared to the likes of Queen, Van Halen, Motley Crue, Styx, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Tubes, Tenacious D, Guns 'n Roses, Franz Ferdinand, Art Brut, Kansas, Primus, Living Colour, At The Drive In, Rush, Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, System Of A Down, Hot Hot Heat, OK Go, Arctic Monkeys, Electric Six, They Might Be Giants, & David Bowie.

Awesome Car Funmaker puts on a theatrical show that consists of choreographed kicks, gallops, and jumping jacks. There's guitars flinging and keytars slinging. Lots of running, falling down, smiling, and excitement. All of this combined with snappy, catchy tunes make for a memorable live experience.

The name is a joke that went too far, derived from the first time the band members all met, and nobody was allowed to leave the restaurant before a name was decided upon. Nothing else fits, and after you see the show, you'll know why we are:

Ryan Corcoran: vocals/guitar
Adam Manos: drums
Brendan McCarty: keyboards
Justin Taylor: bass/vocals

Source: http://www.awesomecarfunmaker.com

Δευτέρα, 1 Μαρτίου 2010

Axamenta


AXAMENTA began their career by playing doom, fantasy and even death metal, but after a lot of lineup changes, they decided to make a radical shift in their musical style and began experimenting with a more technical and progressive approach. Their love for movie scores also made them replace the keyboards by orchestra samples, which gives them a unique sound in the Belgian metal scene.

Belgium's Axamenta, the former band of current Epica bassist Yves Huts, have inked a deal with Shiver Records for the release of their new album, "Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture". The Cd was recorded at Hansen studio in Ribe, Denmark with producer Jacob Hansen (Mercenary, Raunchy, Aborted) and was mixed and mastered will at Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden under the supervision of producer Fredrik Nordström (In Flames, Soilwork, Dimmu Borgir, The Haunted, Old Man's Child). Pain Of Salvation singer Daniel Gildenlöw is featured as a guest vocalist on one entire song ("Threnody For An Endling"), for which he has written the melody and vocal pattern himself.

Source: http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=2474

Axel Fernando

Born in Rafael Calzada, a small town in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Axel Fernando began playing the piano at an early age, even gaining acceptance into the national conservatory, though he initially ended up deciding he would rather concentrate on more classic scholastic training. This didn't last too long, however; at 17 he realized it was music he truly wanted to pursue, and began practicing and looking for work. Axel got a small gig as a waiter and bar piano player in a soap opera, and when that was done, he went to the tourist spots on the coast to play for the vacationers who thronged there, moving back home when the season was over to plan his next step. His dedication paid off, and soon he was offered a job as pianist for a children's show, eventually being promoted to host, an opportunity he used to display his own original songs. Sony Music Argentina took interest in the young singer and offered him a contract, which he accepted, and in 1999 Axel issued his debut album, La Clave para Conquistarte, followed by Mi Forma de Amor in 2001.

Source: http://www.answers.com/topic/axel-singer

Παρασκευή, 26 Φεβρουαρίου 2010

Axel Rudi Pell


Axel Rudi Pell (born June 27, 1960) is a German guitar player, playing melodic heavy metal. He started off with the band Steeler (1984–1988) before leaving to start his solo career in 1989 with the eponymous band Axel Rudi Pell. During this time, he has played with such drummers as Jörg Michael, Mike Terrana and singers Jeff Scott Soto and Rob Rock. He plays a classic traditional melodic heavy metal, predictably guitar-heavy but less flashy than Yngwie Malmsteen, with an emphasis on softer ballads as evidenced by three separate ballad compilations over the years.

Axel Rudi Pell's latest album is Tales of the Crown.

SPV Records released a live DVD on February 25, 2008, titled Live over Europe, which includes the full performance from the Rock Hard Festival in 2007, and comes with a bonus disc which includes live footage from Pell's own archive.

Axxis

Axxis is a German power metal band which was founded in 1988. Their debut album "Kingdom of the Night", became the best ever selling debut album by a hard rock band in Germany in 1989.

Axxis albums

Utopia - 28/08/2009 (AFM Records/XU)
Doom of Destiny - 21/11/2007 (AFM Records/CH)
Matters of Survival - 17/07/2007 (Capitol Music Co./US)
Paradise in Flames - 20/01/2006 (AFM Records/CH)
Time Machine - 30/01/2004 (AFM Records/CH)
Eyes of Darkness - (Massacre Records/DE)
Back to the Kingdom - (Massacre Records/DE)

Source: http://www.nme.com/artists/axxis

Τρίτη, 16 Φεβρουαρίου 2010

Ayreon

A Rock opera concept solo project by ex-BODINE and VENGEANCE guitarist / keyboard player Arjen Anthony Lucasson. AYREON would make a sizeable impact upon the Rock world and inspire a plethora of imitators internationally. The grandly titled 'The Final Experiment - A Rock Opera' album, a tale of a 6th century minstrel, features many guests including KINGDOM COME vocalist Lenny Wolf, VAN EE's Robert Soeterboek, KAYAK singer Edward Reekers, ELEGY's IAN PARRY and GOREFEST vocalist Jan-Chis De Koeijer. Lucasson's old comrades in arms Jay van Feggelen of BODINE and Leon Goewie of VENGEANCE would also be in force.

On the musical side drums would be held down by Ernst van Ee of VAN EE and HELLOISE whilst bass was delegated to Q65 man Peter Vink and Jan Bijlsma. FINCH's Cleem Determeijer provided the elaborate keyboard work. The single, 'Sail Away To Avalon' finds GOLDEN EARRING's Barry Hay on lead vocals and flute. The 'Actual Fantasy' album was issued as a CD-ROM in the Netherlands which included video footage for 'Strangers From Within'.

Oddly, despite the mammoth world-wide success of 'The Final Experiment' AYREON would temper the grandiosity down for 1996's follow up 'Actual Fantasy', this record, with both Soeterboek and Reekers in evidence once again, coming across as a straight forward accessible Hard Rock album.

'Into The Electric Castle', over 100 minutes of music lavished across a two CD set, would break the band internationally. The guest list was even more edifying than the debut. For this outing individual voices portrayed story line characters with Sharon van Edel of WITHIN TEMPTATION as 'Indian', FISH suitably cast as 'The Highlander', Anneke van Giersbergen of THE GATHERING as 'Egyptian', Jay van Feggelen as 'Barbarian', THRESHOLD's Damian Wilson as 'Knight' and Edwin Balogh of TAMAS as 'Roman'. The whole affair was held together by the esteemed patronage of ROGER DALTREY of THE WHO as the main 'Voice'. GOREFEST and LANA LANE man Ed Warby took on percussive duties throughout with Robby Valentine of VALENTINE, Ton Scherpenzeel of KAYAK and Clive Nolan of PENDRAGON demonstrating their skills on piano and keyboards. 'Into The Electric Castle' had a huge impact on the international Rock scene which was soon awash with imitators.

Whilst the sprawling 'Into The Electric Castle' set had made it onto a double CD package the follow up 'Universal Migrator' was spread over two packages billed as 'The Dream Sequencer' and 'Flight Of The Migrator'.

'The Dream Sequencer' hosted the mellower side of AYREON. Donating for this outing would be Johan Edlund of TIAMAT, Floor Jansen of AFTER FOREVER, LANA LANE, Jacqueline Govaert of KREZIP, Neal Morse of SPOCK'S BEARD and THRESHOLD's Damian Wilson. Rob Snijders of CELESTIAL SEASON manned the drum kit.

The latter sequence 'Flight Of The Migrator' would prove to be AYREON's most heavyweight offering to date. It pulled in such guests as PRIMAL FEAR's Ralph Scheepers, HELLOWEEN frontman ANDI DERIS, ELEGY's IAN PARRY, TIMO KOTIPELTO of STRATOVARIUS, Russell Allen of SYMPHONY X and RHAPSODY, VISION DIVINE and LABYRINTH vocalist Fabio Lione. Most notable of all though was the undoubted coup of attaining IRON MAIDEN's BRUCE DICKINSON.

Luccasen found time amidst all this activity to make a guest appearance on ERIK NORLANDER's 2000 album 'Into The Sunset'.

Such was the success of the AYREON project that an album collection of demos and alternate takes arrived in early 2001 dubbed 'Ayreonauts Only'.

Lucassen would divert his energies briefly onto another ambitious venture entitled AMBEON releasing the 'Fate Of A Dreamer' album in 2001. Lucassen announced the formation of a new Sci Fi themed project STAR ONE in late 2001, a confederation of name musicians which included Dan Swanö of EDGE OF SANITY and NIGHTINGALE, Damian Wilson of THRESHOLD, Russell Allen from SYMPHONY X and countryman Floor Jansen of Doom merchants AFTER FOREVER.

Lucassen would form part of LANA LANE's touring band for 2002. He would also find time in 2002 to guest on the grandiose GARY HUGHES Arthurian concept album 'Once And Future King'.

Getting back into gear with the ever expanding AYREON saga Lucasson set about recording a sixth album, 'Ayreon: The Human Equation', during the latter half of 2003. Initial guest vocalist confirmations included Devon Graves of DEAD SOUL TRIBE, Magnus Ekwall from the THE QUILL, Heather Findlay of MOSTLY AUTUMN, Eric Clayton of Christian Metal band SAVIOUR MACHINE and Mike Baker from SHADOW GALLERY. During November OPETH frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt and STRAPPING YOUNG LAD mentor DEVIN TOWNSEND would also be confirmed. One of the last vocalists in line would be the relatively unknown Marcela Bovia from Mexican act ELFONIA, the lady having won her position on the record by sending in a demo via an online request. Notable guests on the keyboard front included URIAH HEEP veteran KEN HENSLEY and IQ man Martin Orford.

Source: http://www.metalstorm.ee/bands/biography.php?band_id=304&bandname=Ayreon