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Showing posts from 2017

Musical Personas of David Bowie

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For over five decades, David Bowie's career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation. His music and stagecraft significantly influencing popular music. During his lifetime, his record sales estimated at 140 million albums worldwide, made him one of the world's best-selling music artists.
Some performers make use of a persona, the independent characters used in the artist's shows and albums. In music, a persona does not always mean a change. Bob Dylan's charisma is due largely to his almost stereotyped image, always with a harmonica, guitar, and with his distinctive hair, nasal voice, and clothing. The persona also serves to claim a right or to draw attention to a certain subject, like Marilyn Manson and his interest in death and morbidity.
This article explores Bowie's personas or alter egos that he developed to facilitate a unique performance. Before Bowie, the Beatles created Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band identity in 1967. However, Bowie'…

Bernard Butler, The Dramatic Guitar Player

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Bernard Butler has been noted as one of Britain's most original and influential guitarists. He was voted the 24th greatest guitarist of the last 30 years in a national 2010 BBC poll.
Butler achieved fame as the guitarist of Suede, forging a songwriting partnership with Brett Anderson. The Mercury Prize winning debut 'Suede' in 1993 was the fastest selling record chart topper in years creating a media frenzy. 

Butler is often seen performing with a 1961 cherry red Gibson ES-355. In Suede, he turned heads for his uniquely dramatic playing style with eerie ambient sounds, crunching riffs, a clean-ish - jangly tone, or a fuzzy - over driven tone.
Suede perform "Animal Nitrate" at the Brit Awards in 1993
Butler co-writing and playing guitars on every Suede recording until 1994. He quit the band after recording Suede's second album Dog Man Star. The defining Dog Man Star, a sprawling concept of rare ambition resulted in Butler’s untimely exit.

Suede continued witho…

Richard Ramirez: The Strange Fascination of A Notorious Serial Killer

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Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez or Richard Ramirez known as the Night Stalker, is not an actor, musician, best-selling author, or controversial head of state. But, he has received so much publicity.
Richard highly publicized home invasion crime spree terrorized the residents of the greater Los Angeles area, and later the residents of the San Francisco area, from June 1984 until August 1985. Most of the attacks occurred at night and he would enter the homes of his victims to perform a variety of attacks. He used the number of different weapons, including handguns, knives, a machete, a tire iron, and a hammer.
Read the list and timeline of Richard's victims here
At his first court appearance on 22 October 1985, Richard accused of being the Los Angeles area serial killer. He was gesturing a two-fingered "devil sign" to photographers and muttered a single word: "Evil." 
Then at court on 24 October 1985, Richard raised his left palm showing a pentagram drawn on it, a s…

Brainwashed: A Warm Goodbye From George Harrison

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God God God  You are the wisdom that we seek 
God God God  The lover that we miss  God God God  Your nature is eternity  God God God  You are Existence, Knowledge, Bliss
Brainwashed by the military  Brainwashed under duress  Brainwashed by the media  You're brainwashed by the press  Brainwashed by computers  Brainwashed by mobile phones  Brainwashed by the satellites  Brainwashed to the bone

- "Brainwashed" by George Harrison -

Almost a year after George Harrison's death, Brainwashed, his twelfth and final studio album was released on 18 November 2002. Brainwashed is the messages of spiritual solace, ecological warning, vaguely liberal snipes at capitalism, and the reality of dying, with positive vibrations. 
The recording began as early as 1988 and continued to do so in a sporadic manner over the next decade and a half. Progress was delayed due to his work with the Traveling Wilburys, Ravi Shankar, and his work on the Beatles Anthology.

After recuperating from being attacked and st…

Jay Chou, The Musical Genius

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Cultures make music. The desire to string notes together into something like a melody seems to be innate to humans.
There is the degree of variation that exists across cultures in terms of how people hear, evaluate, and create music.

Some cultures have a background in musical harmony. Their musical traditions involve playing their traditional instruments with multiple notes at the same time.

The melodies we prefer may not be quite so universal. But, if the melody is good enough to make people feel something, no matter what kind of music or language the artists are singing: Chinese, Indian, or Spanish, people can still enjoy the music.

Jay Chou, a Taiwanese musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, film producer, actor and director, combines Chinese style music and Western music.

The combination of Chinese and Western music is not something new. Some musicians have done it long before Chou makes music. But, Chou makes it different. He established the complexity in his musical arr…

The Second Life of Suede

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Suede might be the defining band of their era. They appeared to have everything: fantastic songs, a striking image, an incredible guitarist (Bernard Butler who departed from Suede in 1994 and replaced with Richard Oakes), and a singer who realised that a truly great rock star is often a piquantly ridiculous figure, just like David Bowie.
Suede's lyrics strike the balance between decadence and elegance, and seek meaningful, one-on-one connections.

After attracted much attention and continuous success since their debut album in 1992, in early 2000's, Suede lost their demon.
Their fifth album, A New Morning (2002), became a commercial disappointment. Then the band disbanded in 2003.
7 years later, in March 2010, all members of Suede played in front of the audience for the first time after they break up. They played that emotional performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London as part of the 2010 Teenage Cancer Trust shows. Brett Anderson said:
"It was of my favourite shows of…

Richey Edwards, An Intellectual In A Rock Band

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Richey Edwards, a lyricist and rhythm guitarist of a Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers, disappeared on 1 February 1995, aged 27, on the day when he and lead singer - guitarist James Dean Bradfield were due to fly to the US on a promotional tour.
On 23 November 2008, Richey was officially declared dead (in absentia). Richey's younger sister, Rachel said:
“I had to go into the solicitors’ and put my hand on the Bible and declare that I believed he was dead.
“That was surreal. I didn’t really think that. You presume the death to wind up their financial affairs. I hope people don’t think we have given up on him because we haven’t.”

Richey was born in December 1967 and grew up in Blackwood, Wales. He went to the local comprehensive school and then attended Swansea University, graduated with a 2:1 degree in political history.

Richey and bassist Nicky Wire were Manics main spokesman. Although Richey showed little musical talent, his real contribution to Manics was in the design. An…

Wuthering Heights: The Ghostly Atmosphere of Kate Bush Biggest Hit

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On 5 January 1978, Kate Bush released her debut single, a phenomenal song that become her biggest hit: "Wuthering Heights". The song appears on her debut album, The Kick Inside.
It became a number-one hit on the UK Singles Chart, stayed at the position for four weeks. It made her the first female artist to have a self-penned number one hit in the UK.
"Wuthering Heights" also hit number one in Ireland and Italy. Reached the top ten in Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. "Wuthering Heights" proved to be successful in New Zealand, where it spent five weeks at number one, and Australia, where it stayed at the top of the charts for three consecutive weeks.
"Wuthering Heights"was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry, denoting sales of over half a million.

__________________________ The teenage Kate Bush had written over 100 songs when she was discovered by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, who recommended her to EM…