Bucks Music Business

Bucks Music Business; a platform connecting music industry news, views and clues about music industry happenings from students at Buckinghamshire New University.

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  1. Conor Maynard – ‘The new Justin Bieber’.
 As a contender of MTV ‘s list of brand new for 2012, Conor Maynard has tough competition along with the likes of Lana Del Ray and Michael Kiwanuka .
The 17 year old from Brighton started by filming himself on a webcam and posting his videos to Youtube. Connor explains ‘"I started with a cheap webcam in my room, now I’m signed. The pressure’s on to write songs that will be as good as the ones I’ve covered online."
There is no doubt that this teen has got talent, however, personally, I have a slight problem with his performances. All of them show Conor singing away at a piano with a microphone and a pop shield. However the after effects that have been used on the recording are more than displeasing to hear. It is so extremely obvious that he has undeniable talent, so why do the producers at EMI seem to think it’s completely acceptable to use such audible auto tune? 
The first video you see is Conor at his home and follows him throughout his daily activities such as travelling to vocal coaching lessons and then off to a stylist. The marketing team at EMI have got this completely correct as you start to get to know conor as a person. The next videos are of him singing and the after effects just niggle away at me. I believe, if they just recorded Conor, there and then, he would instaniously receive more likes. 
‘Only girl in the world’ by Rihanna is one of Conor’s cover songs. He sings ‘Connor makes you feel, like you’re the only girl in the world’. Alongside his cheesy dance moves, comes a rather cringey rap break’. EMI if you’re listening, please stop trying to make Conor like the biebster!  Even a cover of ‘Yeah 3x feat Justin Bieber’ is in the collection of videos his website has to offer. Haven’t you learnt, that when everyone is zigging, you zag. His acoustic vibe would be much better suited to an audience of thousands.  
Saying that, teens across the world will fall in love with the cutey that is conor and with nearly 55,000 followers on Twitter, Conor’s career seems to be having a kick start already.
 
Lauren of BMB  

    Conor Maynard – ‘The new Justin Bieber’.

     As a contender of MTV ‘s list of brand new for 2012, Conor Maynard has tough competition along with the likes of Lana Del Ray and Michael Kiwanuka .

    The 17 year old from Brighton started by filming himself on a webcam and posting his videos to Youtube. Connor explains ‘"I started with a cheap webcam in my room, now I’m signed. The pressure’s on to write songs that will be as good as the ones I’ve covered online."

    There is no doubt that this teen has got talent, however, personally, I have a slight problem with his performances. All of them show Conor singing away at a piano with a microphone and a pop shield. However the after effects that have been used on the recording are more than displeasing to hear. It is so extremely obvious that he has undeniable talent, so why do the producers at EMI seem to think it’s completely acceptable to use such audible auto tune?

    The first video you see is Conor at his home and follows him throughout his daily activities such as travelling to vocal coaching lessons and then off to a stylist. The marketing team at EMI have got this completely correct as you start to get to know conor as a person. The next videos are of him singing and the after effects just niggle away at me. I believe, if they just recorded Conor, there and then, he would instaniously receive more likes.

    ‘Only girl in the world’ by Rihanna is one of Conor’s cover songs. He sings ‘Connor makes you feel, like you’re the only girl in the world’. Alongside his cheesy dance moves, comes a rather cringey rap break’. EMI if you’re listening, please stop trying to make Conor like the biebster!  Even a cover of ‘Yeah 3x feat Justin Bieber’ is in the collection of videos his website has to offer. Haven’t you learnt, that when everyone is zigging, you zag. His acoustic vibe would be much better suited to an audience of thousands.  

    Saying that, teens across the world will fall in love with the cutey that is conor and with nearly 55,000 followers on Twitter, Conor’s career seems to be having a kick start already.

     

    Lauren of BMB  

     
     
  2. Joe Jonas - Fastlife

    By Beth McGrath

    I’m not one to hide behind my guilty pleasures and I’m going to hold my hands up right now and admit that I absolutely love the Jonas Brothers and have even gone as far to fly to another country to see them. A year ago the band went on a break whilst Kevin got married and Nick went away to explore a solo project and starred in Les Miserables as Marius in the summer of 2010 in London, Link Larkin in Hairspray at the Hollywood Bowl in LA in August 2011 and soon to take over Daniel Radcliffe in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway.

    Joe Jonas shied away from the music industry so it seemed, but has recently come back out solo efforts of his own.  Joe has undertaken a shift in musical direction from the pop-rock stylings of Jonas Brothers, drawing influences instead from urban genres, electro-pop and R&B.

    My first shock was the parental advisory sticker sitting in the corner of the CD of Joe’s debut solo album “Fastlife”. Granted this is mainly because of a remix on the album with Lil’ Wayne, but the lyrics of the songs on this album are far from the sweet disney-fied pop of the Jonas Brothers’ work. Joe’s music video for second single “Just in Love” caused some controversy between younger fans being not what I would describe as risqué, just not exactly expected from someone who’s career started and grew with Disney. VH1 says of the video, “It’s a smart play: as he toes the line of ‘adult’ representation regarding sex, which everybody notices, he slyly introduces a more grown-up aesthetic in the background. And for our money, it works.” It seems that people seem to forget that Joe is not a 16 year old boy singing what Disney approved, he is a 22 year old man who has grown up and wishes to express this. 

    Whilst Joe is still signed to Hollywood Records a part of the Disney Music Group and Universal Records, that’s about as much as he’s connected to the Disney Channel these days. Considering that most of Joe’s fans are now in their late teens, mostly over the age of 18, it’s a great move. 

    The first single “See No More” still has the typical pop rock soundings but contains usage of synths and contains an R&B presence. The song was co-written between Joe and Chris Brown who also provides backing vocals throughout the chorus.

    The second single “Just in Love”, released yesterday in the UK and produced by Rob Knox is more a dance track with latin influences and a thumping beat. Joe explained that, “This is a song I wrote when I was going through a relationship with somebody. She was arguing with me, and all I could do was say ‘Listen, I love you, but we don’t need to go through this.”

    Not all the tracks are accompanied with a heavy beat as the album slows down considerably with “Sorry”, rumoured among fans to be penned as an apology to Taylor Swift, although ladies man Joe could have also wrote this for ex girlfriends and actresses Camilla Belle or Ashley Greene. The song seems a sincere apology, explaining his pain of the breakup. “You’re the atmosphere / And now you’re gone I can’t live / Tell me what to do / I feel the pain all over my body. / Was it the things I said? / Can I take them back? / Baby, cause without you there’s nothing left of me….. / Baby, what can I do to show you I’m sorry?”

    Allison Stewart wrote a positive review for Washington Post. Stewart wrote that “Fastlife, is exactly what it should be, a fizzy, danceable, R&B-steeped club pop album that greases Jonas’s transition to pop adulthood.”

    Title track “Fastlife” has an electric, fast, chorus that showcases the urban influences within the album. Joe is said to of chosen this as the title track as “Fastlife” describes crazy lifestyle that he lives. 

    Whilst I agree that a lot of people will still consider Joe a pop act before anything else, this is a great start to expand his fan base and show others that he can venture into other genre’s successfully. He gets a lot more UK airplay than the Jonas Brothers ever did, and I have even caught people singing the lyrics to “See No More” and them not even realising that it was a Joe Jonas song.

    Fastlife comes out in the UK on October 24th and the second single, "Just in Love" is out now on iTunes. Joe is currently supporting Britney Spears on the European leg of her tour and can been seen at the following dates in the U.K and Republic of  Ireland:

    The O2 Arena, Dublin - Mon 24/10/11

    Odyssey Arena, Belfast - Tue 25/10/11

    The O2 Arena, London - Thurs 27/10/11

    The O2 Arena, London - Fri 28/10/11

    The LG Arena, Birmingham - Sun 30/10/11

    Wembley Arena, London - Mon 31/10/11

     
     
  3. Charlie Simpson by Beth McGrath


    Most people will probably remember Charlie Simpson from the now defunct pop band “Busted” or from the band he left Busted for - alternative rock band “Fightstar” who are currently on hiatus whilst the band work on separate projects. 

    26 year old Simpson has had quite a career over the past 10 years. Joining Busted in 2001, Simpson spent 3 years a part of a chart topping, multi BRIT award winning group before tensions over his other band “Fightstar” arose, ultimately bringing Simpson to the decision to leave Busted and focus on Fightstar full time and the band split up in 2005 as a consequence. Simpson said “It was a real fun thing to be doing, and I got on well with everyone I was doing it with, but on the other side, the music wasn’t really fulfilling me. I have good memories of the time, because we were travelling the world and doing some amazing things, but then as far as self-fulfilment goes, it wasn’t really doing a lot for me, so I have these mixed views when I look back. But there’s no doubt that it was an amazing thing to do.”

    Fightstar were formed a year prior to the split. They released their first EP in 2005 before releasing their debut studio album the following year which has a peak chart position of 28, and have released 2 further albums both charting within the top 40, plus a b-side compilation album which charted in the top 100. 

    Currently whilst Fightstar are on a hiatus, Simpson has created a solo career for himself. 

    Simpson went in to the studio in June 2010 to start recording his full-length debut album with producer Danton Supple. The album was funded through Pledge Music and as one of the main incentives for the campaign, fans received an EP called When We Were Lions on Christmas day 2010. The full-length album was finished in February. The first single from the album called “Down Down Down” released on April 11th, charted at #65 on the UK Singles chart, and #9 on the UK Indie chart. The second single “Parachutes” released on August 7th charted at #44 on the UK Singles chart and #5 on the UK Indie charts. 

    Simpson’s debut solo album Young Pilgrim was released on August 15th, 2011 through independent label PIAS Recordings. Heavily acoustic and folk influenced the 12 track album was fully written and composed by Simpson himself. This album shows Simpson in a completely different light to his previous work. Usually on an album there are a few songs that you really love, a few that you like and one or two that just don’t tickle your fancy but with this album I am yet to find the odd one or two that I skip past. This is a wise move for Simpson with the album recently charting at #6 on the Official UK Album Chart and has received a lot of praise.

    Simpson headlined Fresher’s Festival at Bucks SU to a packed out room. The setlist was comprised of his singles, “Down Down Down” and “Parachutes”, plus a collection of other songs from Young Pilgrim, including my favourites “Cemetery” and “Farmer & His Gun”. Being the first time I’d managed to see Simpson perform live on his solo venture, he definitely didn’t disappoint.

    Young Pilgrim is available to buy on iTunes, HMV e.t.c now.

    Later this month, Charlie embarks on a UK tour, playing the following venues:

    Bristol Anson Rooms - Wednesday 19th October 2011

    Wolverhampton The Slade Rooms - Thursday 20th October 2011

    Norwich Waterfront - Friday 21st October 2011

    Leeds Cockpit - Monday 24th October 2011

    Manchester Academy 2 - Wednesday 26th October 2011

    London O2 Academy Islington - Thursday 27th October 2011

    Brighton Concorde 2 - Friday 28th October 2011

    For tickets, go to www.seetickets.com.

     
     
  4. Glastonbudget 2011

    Oasish, Money For Nothing and Mercury might not be the real deal, but if Glastonbudget wasn’t one of the most fun ways to spend a weekend in Leicestershire, then slap me in the face and call me “ducky”. 
    Not only did you get the mockstar versions (which in most cases are uncannily close to the bands they were emulating) of the biggest acts on the planet, but there were also the dozens of unsigned local musicians, the dressing up and the fairground rides, all making for a thoroughly entertaining bank holiday weekend.
    Friday night was Britpop versus America, with Oasish and Blurb battling it out against The Fillers and Four Fighters.
    I think Britannia had the edge on that one.


    It was all about the 80s on the Saturday, with Atomic Blondie, Mercury, State of Quo, Guns 2 Roses, Duran Tribute and Money For Nothing.


    The Dire Straits tribute performed a great headline show, getting everyone dancing and swaying to perfect sound-alike renditions of Walk of Life, Romeo and Juliet and encore Money For Nothing.


    However, it was a bit of a shame that Mercury were on so early on in the day. With a set including Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, Bohemian Rhapsody and We Are The Champions and a great Freddie in singer Joseph Lee Jackson, perhaps one of the biggest acts in the world would have been better suited to a slot higher up the bill.
    International superstars, featuring the likes of Stereotonics, Coldplace, One Step Behind and Ex Original Simple Minds, was the theme for Sunday, another hit-filled day.
    All in all it’s a brilliant weekend of music and all for less than £60 including camping.


    Although I’m reasonably confident Michael Eavis hasn’t got too much to worry about yet, it’s easy to see why more than 7,000 people are choosing Glastonbudget over Glastonbury.

    Check it out May next year.

     
     
  5. Battle Of The Bands: 30.07.2011 
Finally, a night off work and off to Bedford’s premier music venue - Esquires.
If you didn’t know, Esquires has been changed in the past year or so due to new owners, Rob & Tracy. The club seems to have kept up with the times and they’ve done a great job with the club room Holy Moly’s.
6 bands in total were competing to get through to the Three Counties Finals which is at the Sno!bar in Milton Keynes - another favourite venue of mine.
Myself and Oli went along to support Quiz Team Assemble, a band I first saw back in April at Oli’s NAS Music Night.
Quiz Team played another amazing set - there’s not too much I can say about these guys that I haven’t said before. They played crowd favourites such as Bridges, Don’t save yourself & also a few new songs too which I was extremely impressed with.
QTA seemed to have one of the best crowd appreciation/followers of the night as they set up on stage & started their set. This, no doubt, gave them confidence and Joe had no problem with audience interaction as always. All of the lads played with precision, perfection and contentment. Kudos to Joe, Bill & Will for really merging their similar playing patterns so well - as they always do.
The drummer, Evan played topless which I could tell pleased a few of the girls watching. Especially 2 girls next to me who happened to be taking photos of the less dressed drummer and set it as their phone wallpaper ;) Bet you didn’t know that haha! As the band members jokingly pointed out, there’s not much more I can say about Evan and his skills. Just that he played a really good set and I was also really impressed and enjoyed the song that had recently written.
The same principle for votes was the same as The Bear - You buy a drink - you vote for your favourite band. Semi-skimmed, a rather quirky band including trumpets and trombones went through on the crowd vote.
I was so happy and proud when the host declared that Quiz Team had gone through to the Three Counties Finals! You could really see that the band were ecstatic with winning and this was a moment which showed real friendship between the boys.
I really wanted QTA to go through & bought many drinks in which I blame the boys for!!  However, as Evan happily pointed out to me the band ironically won on the judge’s vote rather than the crowd vote :\
The boys also won Battle of The Bands the previous night at The Corn Exchange. I was extremely pleased for the boys when Joe phoned to tell me and felt so proud of their achievement and to know how happy & confident this would make them for the performance I would see the following night.
I wish the band all the luck for the three counties and look forward to seeing them play again!
photography by Callum Appleby
by Lauren Troiano of - BMB

    Battle Of The Bands: 30.07.2011 

    Finally, a night off work and off to Bedford’s premier music venue - Esquires.

    If you didn’t know, Esquires has been changed in the past year or so due to new owners, Rob & Tracy. The club seems to have kept up with the times and they’ve done a great job with the club room Holy Moly’s.

    6 bands in total were competing to get through to the Three Counties Finals which is at the Sno!bar in Milton Keynes - another favourite venue of mine.

    Myself and Oli went along to support Quiz Team Assemble, a band I first saw back in April at Oli’s NAS Music Night.

    Quiz Team played another amazing set - there’s not too much I can say about these guys that I haven’t said before. They played crowd favourites such as Bridges, Don’t save yourself & also a few new songs too which I was extremely impressed with.

    QTA seemed to have one of the best crowd appreciation/followers of the night as they set up on stage & started their set. This, no doubt, gave them confidence and Joe had no problem with audience interaction as always. All of the lads played with precision, perfection and contentment. Kudos to Joe, Bill & Will for really merging their similar playing patterns so well - as they always do.

    The drummer, Evan played topless which I could tell pleased a few of the girls watching. Especially 2 girls next to me who happened to be taking photos of the less dressed drummer and set it as their phone wallpaper ;) Bet you didn’t know that haha! As the band members jokingly pointed out, there’s not much more I can say about Evan and his skills. Just that he played a really good set and I was also really impressed and enjoyed the song that had recently written.

    The same principle for votes was the same as The Bear - You buy a drink - you vote for your favourite band. Semi-skimmed, a rather quirky band including trumpets and trombones went through on the crowd vote.

    I was so happy and proud when the host declared that Quiz Team had gone through to the Three Counties Finals! You could really see that the band were ecstatic with winning and this was a moment which showed real friendship between the boys.

    I really wanted QTA to go through & bought many drinks in which I blame the boys for!!  However, as Evan happily pointed out to me the band ironically won on the judge’s vote rather than the crowd vote :\

    The boys also won Battle of The Bands the previous night at The Corn Exchange. I was extremely pleased for the boys when Joe phoned to tell me and felt so proud of their achievement and to know how happy & confident this would make them for the performance I would see the following night.

    I wish the band all the luck for the three counties and look forward to seeing them play again!

    photography by Callum Appleby

    by Lauren Troiano of - BMB

     
     
  6. LOVEBOX 2011 – FRIDAY 15TH JULY

    LONDON VICTORIA PARK

    ED SHEERAN

    My housemates bought me tickets to Lovebox for my birthday for mainly 2 people I’ve always wanted to see. Ed & Example. Ed Sheeran casually walked on with his infamous paw printed guitar and went straight in with his set. He was so inspiring and got the whole crowd singing along to the favourites. His set list comprised of a song I hadn’t heard of before which was vocally stunning, Warfaring Stranger, The City and of course The A Team. Up and coming from BBC Introducing, Ed has certainly come along in his past few years at trying to crack the industry and lets the public know this through his lyrics in ‘You need me, I don’t need you’.

    The crowd really seemed to know his lyrics, even the fast rapping in some parts of the song. We were right at the front, practically on the bar for watching Ed and therefore got to see all of his effortless talent up close and personal.

    Before performing The A Team, Ed explained the story behind it. He went along to a hostel that looked after homeless people during the Christmas week and they had simple rules such as ‘No drugs, no swearing, no sex & no alcohol.’ He claimed he met a girl called Angel and she liked to break all of these rules, not caring and carrying on her way. The main volunteer stated to Ed that the worst part was at the end of the week when he had to close down the shelter and ‘kick everyone out’. Ed was inspired by this and Angel and preceded to sing his current chart single. This gave out a more emotional vibe to the audience as we carefully listened to each lyric and sung along, this time with understanding rather than the memorable catchy chorus.

    He also invited Mikkil Pane to rap along to his other version ‘Little lady’ – one discovered first by fans rather than The A Team. I had only heard this version once very briefly, but listened to the lyrics intently and was extremely impressed by his lyricism. All in all a fantastic performance and a real crowd pleaser.

    Ed ended by declaring his next single would be the infamous SBTV ‘You need me, I don’t need you.’ The atmosphere whilst watching Ed was quite relaxed however excitable audience members kept reminding him just how well he was doing and how much everyone loved him. The song involved crowd participation – a favourite for everyone. I had previously seen Ed try this in Glastonbury and so immediately knew what to do. He split the crowd in half and had one side sing ‘You need me man, I don’t need you’, whilst the other sung ‘My eyes are red’. This went down really well and created a sense of unity between the different demographics within the audience.

    Ed used his usual looping pedal which was a sensation to watch live – he is incredibly talented and an absolute favourite of mine.

    Ed performed a really good set and I have no doubt that he will be headlining very soon.

    BEARDYMAN

    I didn’t quite know what to expect when my housemate Hannah told me Beardyman was ‘sooo good’ and that he performed everything with his mouth and his mouth alone. A middle aged white man – quite average looking – came onto stage with a table full of electrical goodies and his voicebox. I was amazed when he was looping all of the intricate sounds that he was creating live on stage. Everything he performed was live and improvised which amazed and shocked me. I just couldn’t believe that all of the sounds that I was hearing were looped by him live on stage. The talent and energy this guy has really amazes me and he has got a lot of new fans I’m sure after watching his performance.

    METRONOMY

    By this time we were right at the front of the stage and could see everything clearly in front of us. Again, I’d never heard of metramony but I was impressed with their talent. An indie 4 piece played about an hours set and it consisted of old and new material. I really enjoyed the keyboard player who happened to perform a saxophone solo too which impressed me a lot.

    The band are quirky and fun, with a suprising female drummer! She was incredible, had amazing energy and kept the band together.

    The bassist was extremely talented and I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. He was jumping around left right and center, dancing around to everything, really making the crowd feel their energy and appreciate their talents.

    We danced around and enjoyed their set.

    EXAMPLE

    I first saw example when I was around 15 years old, around 2007/2008 in a small venue called Esquires in my hometown of Bedford. He was an unusual white male rapper, who used comedy and samples of famous songs to entertain the crowd. I was introduced to him by a good friend of mine, Oli Monks, and we danced and sung along to all of his hits.

    Example has come on such a significant journey since then and I have been so lucky to follow it and for him to still be one of my favourite artists. I watched the crew set up his stage for half an hour and was blown away by the amount of lighting, technical sets, staging and general organisation that took place. Baring in mind, in Esquires, Example’s ‘set’ was Example himself, a keyboard player and a bass/guitar player. Just him and his small group of musicians.

    This time he had it all – a drummer, guitarist, bassist/keyboard player and the man himself. His energy has always astounded me. Throughout his whole set he kept the crowd hyped and played an incredible set. His band are a group of really talented individuals and Example himself, as always, was incredible. It amazes me that he started off rapping about comic issues and now he’s headlining a festival with a nearly sold out UK tour, a UK number 1 single and a completely new, dance vibe.

    His set is still ‘grimey’ leading back to his history and most of his well known songs turned into grimey dubstep/drum and bass drops, then continuining with the original song. This had all the audience ‘bouncing’ as he likes to refer it to and also encouraged ‘moshpits’ - something I never thought I’d witness in the ‘new’ days of Example. His ability to keep the audience entertained and the eye contact, focus and skill in hyping the crowd and keeping them hyped really shows his passion for his music.

    He played classics like ‘Watch the sun come up’ as well as playing newer songs such as ‘Stay Awake’ and the chart topping hit ‘Changed the way you kissed me’. His lighting and band and energy throughout the entire hours set was mind blowing and the emotion of complete bliss came over me.

    I felt like a ‘proud mum’ as I watched him perform this amazing set. A fantastic artist that I have followed for years and thoroughly enjoyed as always. I believe Example will do so well in the next few years and wish him the best of success.

    by Lauren Troiano - of BMB

     
     
  7. Ludovico Einaudi
You know when you find a piece of music or artist that you discover or find out about that not many others do? That feeling of passion for the artist and the enjoyment of its secret is purely a favourite of mine. I have listened to Ludovico Einaudi for about 3 or 4 years now. An ex-boyfriend of mine used to be a fantastic pianist and used Einaudi’s work to inspire him. This is how I came around to find this wonderful musical creature.
Surely you’d be thinking, why am I sharing this precious piece of information with you? Like my lecturer Simon Poole stated ‘if you find a piece of music yourself and then everyone finds out about it – you generally dislike it because it’s now ‘mainstream’ or because your mum sings along to it and that’s just not cool’.
That’s the magic with Einaudi – there are no lyrics! Greg James previously blogged and played Einaudi’s record on his show on radio1 the other week. This at first infuriated me because soon, many of my peers at university or friends at home would listen to him and rave about him like I have done for many years. However, then I realised. The pure magic that Einaudi creates would be heard by every single person listening to the radio at that time.
I would explain his classical piano music as delicate, precise and suited for any mood. Generally, I find that his album ‘Le Onde’ is a beautiful one for working to. It is enough for the faint ear to concentrate on without too much interference into thought and of course, work. The inspiration that the music makes you generate, is really mind blowing. I would urge anyone to listen – give it a go – it may be your best piece of work yet.
If you told a teenager or a university student to listen to classical music whilst doing work – let alone whilst doing anything – they would generally ignore you or laugh in your face…right? This is where Einaudi is different. I performed a piece of dance to this music and have also used it in drama pieces, as well as suggesting his music to other performers. Everyone’s reaction was the same – What was that piece of music you used? Who is the performer of the song you used? It seems to receive a completely interested and intrigued audience.  I was exactly the same when I was first introduced to it and many others at the time such as Sigur Ros, Yann Tiersen and more of the same genre. At the time, I was 16 and probably into the likes of Rihanna, Sean Kingston & The Kooks. Don’t get me wrong, all artists are great in what they do, but, I feel the artists I mentioned previously are ‘zagging’.
‘Zagging’ is a coined term by Marty Neumeier which expression follows as this: When everybody is zigging…zag’.
You will see this pattern a lot in music today. Lady Gaga zagged. Sure, her songs are pretty much a work of art with a fantastic voice like many other female artists in the music world today, but what makes lady gaga different is that she zagged. Elaborate costumes, weird actions, controversial videos. The list is endless for the pop diva. She zagged and has become extremely successful with it. If you follow her story, little Stefani Germanotta, was just a singer in her own band gigging up and down America trying to get a break. Then she evolved herself into Lady Gaga with the entire ‘weird’ package behind her and she became successful overnight. Her music didn’t change. She wrote one of her most beautiful songs ‘Speechless’ whilst ‘being’ Stefani Germanotta and released it as Lady Gaga – however the arrangement when performing this song seems to be one of her most normal.
Nikki Minaj…hasn’t she just tried to ‘zag’ but by completely copying Lady Gaga? Elaborate costumes, weird actions…hold on a minute, doesn’t this sound familiar? Don’t get me wrong, Nikki is still definitely extremely successful but who gets talked about most? Nikki Minaj is zigging along to Lady Gaga. If she zagged, well things might be different for her.
The Avant garde to mainstream debate kicks in here. I said that people like Einaudi, Sigur Ros and Yann Tiersen were all zagging at their time of release. Sigur Ros’ albums consisted of weird, compelling noises as songs and a funny Icelandic man called Jonse singing in an extremely high pitched tone over it. Fantastic, dynamic and surprising – an eclectic mix of songs on the self-titled album. However, the band soon became less Avant garde and became mainstream. It used to be that you could probably only buy their albums on their website or in a small underground record store tucked away in Camden market. Now it seems, through the media, that Sigur Ros are no longer Avant garde and simply used in every sad or emotional scene or advertisement on television.
I am afraid that Ludovico Einaudi could become mainstream now that Greg James has played his music on air. I was almost angry when this happened to Sigur Ros and some awful dance Ibiza remix came out called Popiholla (instead of the infamous moving piece of music called Hopipolla). However, I do not fear this will happen to Ludovico Einaudi. His pieces of music are moving, easy listening and designed to be that way. It would certainly be a challenge for anyone to create a trashy dance version of his perfect songs (please no attempts!) I would like him to become more mainstream, in the terms that everyone has a little bit of Einaudi in their lives. It makes me calmer, it thought provokes me and just makes my day whenever I listen to it. Please, just spare a little time for Ludovico Einaudi…

by Lauren Troiano - of BMB

    Ludovico Einaudi

    You know when you find a piece of music or artist that you discover or find out about that not many others do? That feeling of passion for the artist and the enjoyment of its secret is purely a favourite of mine. I have listened to Ludovico Einaudi for about 3 or 4 years now. An ex-boyfriend of mine used to be a fantastic pianist and used Einaudi’s work to inspire him. This is how I came around to find this wonderful musical creature.

    Surely you’d be thinking, why am I sharing this precious piece of information with you? Like my lecturer Simon Poole stated ‘if you find a piece of music yourself and then everyone finds out about it – you generally dislike it because it’s now ‘mainstream’ or because your mum sings along to it and that’s just not cool’.

    That’s the magic with Einaudi – there are no lyrics! Greg James previously blogged and played Einaudi’s record on his show on radio1 the other week. This at first infuriated me because soon, many of my peers at university or friends at home would listen to him and rave about him like I have done for many years. However, then I realised. The pure magic that Einaudi creates would be heard by every single person listening to the radio at that time.

    I would explain his classical piano music as delicate, precise and suited for any mood. Generally, I find that his album ‘Le Onde’ is a beautiful one for working to. It is enough for the faint ear to concentrate on without too much interference into thought and of course, work. The inspiration that the music makes you generate, is really mind blowing. I would urge anyone to listen – give it a go – it may be your best piece of work yet.

    If you told a teenager or a university student to listen to classical music whilst doing work – let alone whilst doing anything – they would generally ignore you or laugh in your face…right? This is where Einaudi is different. I performed a piece of dance to this music and have also used it in drama pieces, as well as suggesting his music to other performers. Everyone’s reaction was the same – What was that piece of music you used? Who is the performer of the song you used? It seems to receive a completely interested and intrigued audience.  I was exactly the same when I was first introduced to it and many others at the time such as Sigur Ros, Yann Tiersen and more of the same genre. At the time, I was 16 and probably into the likes of Rihanna, Sean Kingston & The Kooks. Don’t get me wrong, all artists are great in what they do, but, I feel the artists I mentioned previously are ‘zagging’.

    ‘Zagging’ is a coined term by Marty Neumeier which expression follows as this: When everybody is zigging…zag’.

    You will see this pattern a lot in music today. Lady Gaga zagged. Sure, her songs are pretty much a work of art with a fantastic voice like many other female artists in the music world today, but what makes lady gaga different is that she zagged. Elaborate costumes, weird actions, controversial videos. The list is endless for the pop diva. She zagged and has become extremely successful with it. If you follow her story, little Stefani Germanotta, was just a singer in her own band gigging up and down America trying to get a break. Then she evolved herself into Lady Gaga with the entire ‘weird’ package behind her and she became successful overnight. Her music didn’t change. She wrote one of her most beautiful songs ‘Speechless’ whilst ‘being’ Stefani Germanotta and released it as Lady Gaga – however the arrangement when performing this song seems to be one of her most normal.

    Nikki Minaj…hasn’t she just tried to ‘zag’ but by completely copying Lady Gaga? Elaborate costumes, weird actions…hold on a minute, doesn’t this sound familiar? Don’t get me wrong, Nikki is still definitely extremely successful but who gets talked about most? Nikki Minaj is zigging along to Lady Gaga. If she zagged, well things might be different for her.

    The Avant garde to mainstream debate kicks in here. I said that people like Einaudi, Sigur Ros and Yann Tiersen were all zagging at their time of release. Sigur Ros’ albums consisted of weird, compelling noises as songs and a funny Icelandic man called Jonse singing in an extremely high pitched tone over it. Fantastic, dynamic and surprising – an eclectic mix of songs on the self-titled album. However, the band soon became less Avant garde and became mainstream. It used to be that you could probably only buy their albums on their website or in a small underground record store tucked away in Camden market. Now it seems, through the media, that Sigur Ros are no longer Avant garde and simply used in every sad or emotional scene or advertisement on television.

    I am afraid that Ludovico Einaudi could become mainstream now that Greg James has played his music on air. I was almost angry when this happened to Sigur Ros and some awful dance Ibiza remix came out called Popiholla (instead of the infamous moving piece of music called Hopipolla). However, I do not fear this will happen to Ludovico Einaudi. His pieces of music are moving, easy listening and designed to be that way. It would certainly be a challenge for anyone to create a trashy dance version of his perfect songs (please no attempts!) I would like him to become more mainstream, in the terms that everyone has a little bit of Einaudi in their lives. It makes me calmer, it thought provokes me and just makes my day whenever I listen to it. Please, just spare a little time for Ludovico Einaudi…

    by Lauren Troiano - of BMB

     
     
  8. THE BEAR – BATTLE OF THE BANDS: ENVYFOUR, MISTER BRICK & QUIZ TEAM ASSEMBLE.

    It’s Thursday night and my friend of many years, Oli, told me we’re going to The Bear in Bedford to see Quiz Team Assemble. I agree, although we both have no idea where The Bear is.

     Turns out it’s battle of the bands and The Bear is next to Subway – anyone who goes out in Bedford town knows where subway is on the High Street.

    We get there and it’s fair to say we feel a little out of place. A rather Camden-esque typical person is the norm at the bar with a few locals too. We greet the band, sit down at the bar & await the music.

    EnvyFour were first up, a four piece local band.  As my friend Oli said, they resembled bowling for soup and were talented as well! The nerves seemed to be flattened as soon as they started playing and they seemed confident talking to the audience through songs. It must have been hard as it was a smaller venue which wasn’t exactly designed for music, and there were a few intoxicated ‘alternative’ women who seemed to want to comment on everything. I particularly enjoyed their unusual version of A thousand Miles made famous by Vanessa Carlton. All in all a good set.

    Second band up was Mister Brick. Turns out I knew the bass player from middle school – small world. This band were – well it’s safe to say they were different. Their music was neatly controlled and entirely different. I have never heard the vocal ‘style’ that the lead singer chose to adopt. Slight shouting but with a tune well held. I liked the kook-esque Luke Pritchard style that the drummer adopted. The drummer was talented – I’m assuming a jazz player from a young age. The band had a few technical issues and whilst waiting for the sound technician, improvised along to the spotify playlist the pub were playing – I was impressed and the little drum fills made me smile. The bassist’s eyes are something to look out for if you watch them in the future. The band were talented & their songs were good – although not to my personal taste.

    By this time my good ol’ buddy Stephen turned up and was the most intoxicated I have ever seen him. Not in a bad way, just amusing. Stumbling around and full of love, Stephen’s appearance added to my personal happy atmosphere.

    Quiz Team Assemble were up last & always a pleasure to wait for. I did not know that the gig at Oli’s NAS Music night was their first gig – I was extremely impressed when I heard this.  Joe introduced the band and continually asked the audience to buy drinks and vote throughout the set – always a winner. (a vote for a drink). Not much had changed since I had seen them – just a new slogan: Shit Band, no fans. The image, confidence and talent was still clearly there and also improved.

    I’m always impressed with these lads – young, talented and inspiring, quiz team assemble played another really good set. This time a little bit longer than the last gig and with a few new songs which is always refreshing. Recognisable songs included don’t save yourself and of course my personal favourite strokes cover of ‘Someday’. I always feel this song shows off the pure dedication and skill of the entire band’s instrumentation. Each member plays each gig with feel and precision. (Remember this for esquires boys!) The infamous upbeat summer tune had everyone singing along to the chorus and tapping their feet to the infectious drum beat.

    Bill (guitar), Will (bass) & Joe (guitar & lead vocal) always gel really well together in terms of timing and playing style – a must for a successful band. Again, I had a feeling that the lads just seem to have fun and seem to really enjoy playing gigs which is almost essential in a tough business as the music one is. People nowadays seem to forget that at the end of the day, talent, image and skill are significant but most importantly enjoyment is the key to success in the business.

    Sure, money and the lifestyle seems to be the dream that everyone wants to achieve but if you’re ‘real’ and authentic about making music then having fun playing gigs seems to be the most essential life line that a band can easily access to ensure stability and security in their career.

    Kudos to Joe whose vocals were definitely on form. Oli & I discussed that he reminds us of a younger Alex Turner – lead singer of Arctic Monkeys. His quirky and individual style really suits the band and their songs.

    QTA tried a new song with a slightly lower tempo – a brave move for the band. But it certainly went down extremely well. The change in dynamics throughout the set was perfect and unquestionably got them votes. My respect goes out to the four piece for recruiting this challenge and exceeding in it so well.

    Evan, as before, was exceptional. His talent on the drums never seizes to amaze me. Stephen also chipped in, in his drunken state ‘Evan is SOOO SICK at drums, like sooo sick’ and continued to repeat this information to me for most of the night and also unfortunate others who crossed his path. A really talented musician with plenty of dedication, dexterity & pure talent.

    The set was awesome and they’re a bunch of really great lads.

    Congratulations to the boys & also to Envyfour who got through the second round & are now going onto the county finals at Esquires on the 30th July.

    Check out Envyfour here:http://www.facebook.com/EnvyFour
    & Quiz Team Assemble here:http://www.facebook.com/QuizTeamAssemble

    By Lauren Troiano - of BMB

     
     
  9. May 2011 Album Reviews

    • May
      Stephen Marley - Revelation Part 1: The Root of Life

      Complete with various other Marleys. 
      I feel I should restrain from comparing this to Bob, it’s like defining a word and using the word itself in the definition, it shouldn’t be done. But, Stephen himself observed that “The messages here need to be heard again and we always hope that people can feel the connection and transition of our father’s spirit in us when we sing these songs” and this gives me the leeway to say that Stephen Marley’s raspy voice and singing style is very similar to his father’s and if you love Bob you will enjoy hearing his son offer rich storytelling and that hypnotic heart-beat of roots reggae of his new album.

      Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Sommittee Sart Two 

      Firstly it’s the Beastie Boys, Turn it up.
      Secondly watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdgLMslbDuY&feature=player_embedded It’s amazingly surreal.

      This album is pure Beastie Boys. They’ve managed to pull off the come-back album, with fresh modern beats and nostalgic earlier BB sounds. It’s fun and it’s the Beastie Boys and as soon as you hear that first bar of Make Some Noise or you see Elijah Wood loving life in the video, you’ll start prancing around in your chains, shades and hats as well. 

      Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues 

      Fleet Foxes return with another earthy album. Their sound is distinctive, pleasingly familiar, slightly psychedelic folk music. Pecknold remarked “I want to do all the vocal takes in one go, so even if there are fuck-ups, I want them to be on there. I want there to be guitar mistakes. I want there to be not totally flawless vocals.” Considering this, to an unknowing ear this album sounds pretty perfect. Yes, it is slower than the first, but no, this does not make it a let-down. It doesn’t strike out instantly but a few listens and a little absorbing and you will love the delicate lyrics and instrumentation they produce. 

      Lonely Island - Turtleneck and Chain

      Comedy feat. gold. Amongst others Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Snoop Dogg, Michael Bolton all make appearances. Without the lyrics this is a casual hip-hop album, but we all know what it’s really about, and the 40 million plus hits on YouTube back that up, they’re not cute animals, so it must be something funny.

      Death Cab for Cutie - Codes and Keys
      Okkervil River - I am very far
      Manchester Orchestra - Simple Math

      Just a mention, if male American Indie rock bands are your artistes of choice, enjoy these three. They haven’t developed an amazing ‘new sound’ or produced any Lady Gaga style controversy. If you are a fan, you will already know that they can grace your speakers. If you enjoy Bright Eyes, The Guggenheim Grotto , Chris Walla or similar and you haven’t heard these albums. Do.

    Sorcha Collister - of BMB

     
     
  10. Ronnie

    I’d never personally been to suck my acoustic nights at the student union at bucks.

    I always had cheer training which prevented me from going.

    However, I managed to attend the very last one.

    & what a pleasure it was.

    I’d heard about a girl called Ronnie. (Veronica Webb). More than a few people had said to me that she had an incredible voice. She was in my Music Management lectures and always had a lovely demure manner about her. You’d never guess this girl could belt out songs like she does.

    Ronnie started with Spit on a Stranger by Pavement.

    My goodness does she have a voice. Ronnie made singing look so effortless and easy singing away & strumming her guitar. This girl really does have, not only talent, but a unique talent. Her voice is beautiful and undemanding but also a little quirky which is refreshing to the ear.

    My lovely coursemate then went on to sing 2 songs which she had written herself. Clearly another talent that this girl has. They were both very different - sounds that were good to hear with intricate singing involved in parts. They lyrics were also detailed yet easy to follow.

    The songs were very easy to catch along to!

    (I still have the chorus of ‘I’m sick’ stuck in my head even now!)

    She then completed her set with the unexpected ‘Year 3000’ by Busted. This old school tune sure had everyone smiling away when the familiar chords and words started to play and everyone was dancing & singing along in their chairs.

    Check out the beautiful Ronnie for yourself here: http://www.youtube.com/user/bonnieronnie1

    by - Lauren Troiano of BMB