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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Dick Clark, also known as “America’s Oldest Teenager” had a huge hand in using television to bring

Dick Clark on American Bandstand

Dick Clark on American Bandstand
Photo from BackToRockville Music Blog

music artists to the masses.

Clark took over hosting duties on American Bandstand in 1956 1.  The show featured teenagers dancing while records were played.  Clark would interview the fans and find out how they would rate the records on a segment called “Rate-A-Record.”  Each episode also featured a music artist performing “live.” Okay, so they were lip synching, but it was still a unique way for America’s youth to watch these artists and see the songs in a (sort of) live setting. B. B. King was the only performer ever to not lip sync on the show 2.

In a time before Total Request Live, or VH1’s Storytellers, or MTV’s Unplugged, American Bandstandwas a way for people to tune in and watch musicians perform in their living room. It functioned as a gap between the radio generation and the MTV generation.  Music artists were able to make the transition from only being heard, to being seen. The show’s success was very  much due to Dick Clark’s hosting ability.  After took over hosting duties from Bob Horn, the show got picked up by ABC and was broadcasted nationally.

Clark worked his way up this job.  He started in the mail room of a Utica, NY radio station, where he then was bumped up to weatherman and news reporter 1.  He worked at several other radio stations

Dick Clark Interviewing Michael Jackson

Dick Clark Interviewing Michael Jackson
Courtesy of ABCNews.com

before filling in occasionally on Horn’s Bandstand.

Clark ended his run on American Bandstand in 19884.He continued to showcase music throughout his life. Clark once said “Music is the soundtrack of your life” 3. And he made it the soundtrack of his career. From American Bandstand, he hosted The Dick Clark Show, and more recently has been known for Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve. Unfortunately, Clark suffered a stroke in 2004, but continued to host New Year’s Eve from 2006 until he passed away in 2011.

See Dick Clark interview The Beach Boys on American Bandstand below:

 

What are your memories of Dick Clark?  What other influential figures/companies can you think of that helped bring music to television? Let me know in the comments!

Brian Fallon, lead singer of The Gaslight Anthem, stopped by the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge and recorded this acoustic cover of Foo Fighters’ ‘Everlong’.

Yes, he’s wearing sunglasses inside, cause he’s just that cool. Unfortunately, I am not a huge fan of this cover. I love The Gaslight Anthem and Foo Fighters of course, but this performance was not my favorite. When Brian performs songs acoustically in private sessions he tends to sing with little

The Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten

The Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten

emotion, which kind of drains this song. There were even a couple times that I cringed at because his strumming is a little off.

I bet if they did a full band cover of this, it would be fantastic. (See their cover of ‘Baba O’Riley’ here)

How do you guys feel about this performance? Does Brian pull it off, or are you a little disappointed as I am? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Also pick up Gaslights’ Handwritten NOW if you haven’t yet. It’s easily one of my favorite albums from this year!

Bruce Springsteen Live

Bruce Springsteen Live
Photo by John Leyba 

Adele’s 21 remains the only album to sell a million copies so far in 2012.  The music industry is very much in trouble, but that is nothing that we didn’t already know.  Still, live music continues to bring in a lot of money.  Live music made about one billion dollars in 1995.  In 2006, the business made about 4.6 billion.  Ticket prices continue to go up, but fans keep paying them to see artists live.

Why do we as fans keep paying the high fares and making the effort to see the artists in a live setting, especially if we can’t even fork over the cash to buy their albums?  I wanted to investigate this concept a little.  Here are a few possible reasons I can think of:

1. The Atmosphere

Seeing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band playing live in an arena of people screaming BRUUUUCCEEEE is exciting.  To be surrounded by fans who are just as enthusiastic about the Boss makes you feel welcome. It makes it a better experience than listening to The River alone in your living room.

2. Fan/Artist Interaction

I put together a podcast below investigating this topic.  In the interviews I conducted, my subject both brought up this idea that there should be a connection between an audience and the artist they are there to see.  The concert should work to bring the two together and make the the artist more accessible.  When the artist takes time to talk to the crowd and relate to them, it usually hypes up the audience and makes the show more exciting.

3.  Simply to see it Live

There are some really good artists that you just feel you need to see in a live setting.  Whether it be for their pure talent, or their personality, it just makes more sense to go see them perform.  When you experience a particular solo, or maybe your favorite song, those memories tend to stick with you when you think about the artist in the future.

Check out my podcast and listen to more support for these theories:


Are there other reasons that you go to shows for?  Tell me about some of them in the comments!

Coheed and Cambria 2012

Photo courtesy of TheAudioPerv.com

As you may have known from my tweet yesterday, progressive-rock band Coheed and Cambria live streamed their sold out show at Webster Hall last night on the internet.

The band just released their new album, The Afterman: Ascension on Tuesday.  It is part one of a double album, with The Afterman: Descension scheduled to be released in February.  Ascension is Coheed’s newest release since 2010’s Year of The Black Rainbow.

Coheed and Cambria's The Afterman: Ascension

The Afterman: Ascension album cover.
Design by: Heidi Taillefer

The band took the stage at 8:30 pm EST and performed for about an hour and 40 minutes.  They played a wide variety of songs from all of their studio albums, including five new tracks from Ascension.

They opened the set with two straightforward rockers from No World For Tomorrow, before giving the fans a flashback to their debut album with ‘Everything Evil.’  Lead singer Claudio Sanchez stepped away from the mic and let the fans sing the opening lines of each verse, allowing for some great crowd interaction.

I viewed this concert as a way for Coheed to show all of their fans their current lineup.  Bassist Zach Cooper is a new addition, since Michael Todd was removed from the band in August 2011 after being charged with armed robbery.  Fan favorite Josh Eppard is back behind the drums after leaving the lineup for the past two album cycles.  So I thought this performance was a great way for the band to show their current line-up in a live setting to all of their fans.

Cooper and Eppard both provided vocals during the high energy set.  Eppard looked like he couldn’t be happier to be back in the band and his drumming showed that he was ready to give it his all now that he resumed his position.

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This is from a few weeks ago, but I wanted to bring it up in case you may have missed it.  Alanis Morissette appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and performed a stripped down cover of Green Day’s

Billie Joe Armstrong Meltdown

Billie Joe Armstrong’s Meltdown at iHeartRadio Music Festival
Photo Credit: Christopher Polk

“Basket Case.”    Green Day were scheduled to appear that night, but singer Billie Joe Armstrong had checked in to rehab for substance abuse following his expletive-filled meltdown at the

iHeartRadio Music Festival.

It seems to me that she says “We love you Billy Joel” at the end, instead of ‘Billie Joe.’ I found that pretty embarrassing that she doesn’t even know the front man’s name… Don’t you think she oughta know it?  Maybe it was just a little slip of the tongue? Or maybe I’m just hearing things.

What do you think of Morissette’s version of the song?  Did you find it a nice tribute, or a disgrace to the original?  Let me know what you think in the comments!

Music on Television

Music can have a profound effect on people’s emotions. It can help keep us upbeat and happy. It helps keep us going when we’re depressed.   Many people, such as myself, consider it a huge part of their lives.

I made this slideshow that demonstrates how seeing and hearing an artist perform can really get someone excited and turn their day around.  I know that when I find out about a concert, I continuously count down the days until it is here.  The performance is always an escape from everything in the real world.

You can view the slideshow here, or by clicking on the above image!

I think even a simple short television performance can bring these experiences to you.  You can experience them from the comfort of your home, and just take a few minutes from your day to watch an artist that you enjoy bring some musical relief to your hectic week.

I personally try to reward myself for accomplishments I have made in school or towards my career with music.  I will go buy a new album, or try to find a concert to attend just to reward myself for getting my work done.  I know I have a particularly hectic week coming up, and I cannot wait to buy the new Coheed and Cambria album on Tuesday!  And as always, kicking back and watching a concert DVD or a performance on TV is always relaxing and enjoyable.

How does music help you?  Do you have any specific instances when music has saved you, or drastically improved your mood?  Please share your experiences in the comments!