Monday, March 19, 2018

AEROSMITH Just Keeps On Rockin'

Aerosmith at their Guitar Hero Press Release
Photo  by ChrisGampat 
For over three decades, Aerosmith has been one of rock's most revered and popular bands, crafting classic songs full of raw guitar runs and intensely energetic vocals. The band first reached fame in the 1970's with a string of hits including "Dream On," "Sweet Emotion" and "Walk This Way." During this period, Aerosmith's music defied easy categorization, falling somewhere between hard rock/blues and early punk, with occasional power ballads here and there. The band enjoyed major popularity throughout the 1970's, but a split from 1979-84, and the serious substance abuse and drug addictions that contributed to their decline, would nearly relegate them to the annals of history. However, in 1984, Aerosmith was born again. They went on to enjoy the resurgence in popularity that has made them one of the top-selling and most popular rock bands in the world today.

Throughout their rough and rocky history, Aerosmith defied failure and even defied mediocrity in a fast-paced rock-and-roll world abundant in tragedy and also-rans. Aerosmith signed with Columbia in 1972 and debuted their first album simply titled Aerosmith, which included a hit single, "Dream On". After constant touring, the band released Get Your Wings in 1974, which did quite well on the charts, but it was Toys in the Attic in 1975 that established Aerosmith as international superstars. Originally pegged as Rolling Stones clones, Toys in the Attic showed that Aerosmith was a unique and original talent in their own right. Part heavy metal, part glam rock, and part punk, Toys in the Attic was an immense success, starting with the single "Sweet Emotion", then a successful re-release of "Dream On", and a new song from the album, "Walk This Way". Both of the band's previous albums re-charted as a result. Aerosmith's next album, Rocks, went platinum swiftly and featured two hits, "Back in the Saddle" and "Last Child".

Their next album, Draw the Line, was not nearly as successful, though the title track proved to be a minor hit. While continuing to tour and record into the late 1970's, Aerosmith acted in the movie version of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, covering the Beatles hit "Come Together." As their popularity waned and drug abuse began affecting their output, Joe Perry left the band in 1979 during the recording of their sixth studio album Night in the Ruts and formed The Joe Perry Project. Perry's role in Aerosmith was initially taken by longtime friend and songwriter Richie Supa and then later by guitarist Jimmy Crespo who recorded the remainder of the album.

Aerosmith released its mammoth-selling Greatest Hits album in 1980, and in 1981 the band suffered another loss with the departure of Brad Whitford. Rick Dufay replaced Whitford and the band recorded their seventh album, Rock in a Hard Place. The album was considered a relative failure. The tour that followed this release is notable for Steven Tyler's collapse onstage during a 1983 performance.

On Valentine's Day 1984, Perry and Whitford went to see Aerosmith play. They officially rejoined the ranks of Aerosmith once more in April of that year. Steven Tyler recalls, "You should have felt the buzz the moment all five of us got together in the same room for the first time again. We all started laughing - it was like the five years had never passed. We knew we'd made the right move."

Aerosmith embarked on a lucrative reunion tour entitled "Back in the Saddle", which produced the live album Classics Live II. Their problems were still not behind them when the group signed with Geffen Records and began working on a comeback.

1985 saw the release of Done with Mirrors, their first studio album since the highly publicized reunion. It fared relatively well commercially, but it did not produce a hit single or generate much hope for their comeback. By the time the record was released, Tyler and Perry had exited drug rehabilitation. The group appeared on Run D.M.C.'s incredibly successful cover of "Walk This Way", blending rock and roll and hip-hop and successfully beginning Aerosmith's comeback. The group's next release was Permanent Vacation (1987), which included the hits "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)", "Rag Doll", and "Angel". Their next album, Pump, was received even better; Pump featured four Top Ten singles: "Janie's Got a Gun", "What It Takes", "Love in an Elevator", and "The Other Side". Aerosmith was definitely in the midst of a major resurgence.

Despite significant shifts in mainstream music at the beginning of the 1990's, the band's 1993 follow-up to Pump, Get a Grip, was just as successful commercially. Though many critics were unimpressed by the focus on power-ballads in promoting the album, three songs ("Cryin' ", "Crazy" and "Amazing") proved to be huge successes on radio and MTV.  The music videos featured then fresh up-and-coming actress Alicia Silverstone; her provocative performances earned her the title of "the Aerosmith chick" for half a decade. Steven Tyler's daughter, Liv Tyler, was also featured in the "Crazy" video. Aerosmith signed with Columbia Records again in the early 1990's, but they had to complete two contractual albums for Geffen before recording for the new label.

The next album, Nine Lives, was plagued with personal problems, including the firing of manager Tim Collins. Reviews were generally mixed, and Nine Lives initially fell on charts, although it had a long chart life and sold double platinum in the US alone. It was followed by a series of late '90's releases, mostly earlier material that was live or retrospective. The albums sold relatively well, but also marked the second decline in popularity and critical respect for the band.

Aerosmith's biggest hit of the '90's, and its only #1 single to date was the love theme from the film Armageddon, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing". This song was conceived by Joe Perry and Diane Warren, although Warren alone received songwriting credit. Steven Tyler's daughter Liv was featured in the movie. In 1999, they were in the Disney-MGM Studios ride (and later in the Walt Disney Studios Park ride), Rock 'n' Roller Coaster.  Aerosmith provided the soundtrack and theme for the ride, which is based on their recording session and following the concert.

The band started its next decade with the release in 2001 of Just Push Play, which charted well. They were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Later that year, the band appeared as part of the United We Stand concert in Washington D.C. for 9/11 victims and their families. Stubbornly, the band flew back to Indianapolis for a show the same night, refusing to interrupt their Just Push Play tour schedule.

In 2002, Aerosmith released the 2-disc compilation O Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits and embarked on the Girls of Summer tour with opening acts Kid Rock and Run-DMC. In 2003, Aerosmith co-headlined with Kiss on the Rocksimus Maximus tour. Their long-promised blues album, Honkin' on Bobo, was released in 2004. The Album continues to be a success, helping to inspire the resurgence of blues and roots music across the US and Europe. A live DVD, You Gotta Move, followed it in December 2004. The band also lent its well-known "Dream On" to an advertising campaign for Buick in 2004, targeting their audience, which is now composed largely of people who were teenagers when the song first charted.

In 2005, guitarist Joe Perry released his eponymous solo album. Many claims that it is in many ways truer to the Aerosmith of the '70's than any of their recent output. This is mostly due to its raw energy and lack of song doctoring. In October 2005, Aerosmith released a CD/DVD named Rockin' the Joint. The band hit the road for the Rockin' The Joint tour on October 30th with Lenny Kravitz and is still touring.

They expect to be on the road until some time around Spring 2006. Rumor has it that they will begin work on a new album at that time. It was announced in January that the band will embark on a 5-week tour with Cheap Trick in the spring. Rumors of a tour started a week before the announcement when Cheap Trick frontman Robin Zander joined the band onstage for "Come Together" during a concert in Tampa, Florida. Early reports also indicate that the band plans to resume touring in the fall of 2006, most likely in support of the new album. According to insiders, an upcoming tour may see them alongside Motley Crue.

More and newer Information on Wikipedia.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Learn Good SINGING Breath Control

English: Animation of a diaphragm exhaling and...
Animation of a diaphragm exhaling and inhaling
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Good breathing technique is crucial for voice control when singing and every self-respecting singer should learn and master this technique. Singers will never be able to sing powerfully, sustain a tone gracefully and sing with passion without mastering good breath control technique.

When you are drawing in breath for singing, breathe from the bottom of your lungs upwards. When good breathing technique is mastered, you will be able to feel the breath all around your lower abdomen, not just at the front. Your chest and shoulders may begin to lift as you draw in your breath but do not let them lift or else the singing voice will sound strained and tensed.

You will be frustrated with your singing effort if shallow breathing is your breath control foundation. Shallow breathing is air stored in your upper lungs where your throat and the upper chest meet. Correct and good breathing technique begins with the diaphragm and the breath support muscles.

The key to the correct use of diaphragm and breath support muscles is the expansion of your lower abdomen when taking in your singing breath. You have to exercise and develop this technique until it comes naturally to you as a breathing habit even when you are breathing normally when not singing.

As you are practicing your singing breath control technique, do take notice of how much noise you make when you draw your breath. This is because many singers believe that a noisy breath is a deep breath which is not true.

When you breathe, take sips of air and not gulps. Silent quiet breathing should be the aim of a good breathing technique. Again, practice silent quiet breathing until the technique becomes ingrained into your natural singing habit.

Noisy breathing is usually caused by a constricted throat and is an obvious indication of shallow breathing contrary to what many singers think. If you are afraid to expand your tummy when you are taking in your singing breath for fear of looking fat, this will lead to having tension in your tummy and your diaphragm with its breath support muscles will not be working at its peak as they ought to be.

Most singers are not even aware that they are holding back all these tensions. One of the most important techniques for good singing is to relax so that you can achieve the so-called 'floating voice'. With so much tension in the singing support system, the relaxed floating voice will be difficult, if not impossible to achieve.

This tension is probably caused by years of stomach in-chest out posture inculcated since young. Now, let's start with a vocal exercise to learn good singing breath control.

Start with taking a few silent quiet breaths. As you draw in the air, expand your lower abdominal all around including the sides and the lower back. Make a mental note of how a quiet breath feels like.

Next, release the air steadily and singing the vowel 'Ahhh' as you release the air with your tummy going back to its original position.

Have you noticed that the vocal sound quality that you have just produced is steadier and has a floating tone attached to it?

It must be emphasized that the amount of air required for good singing is actually very little and so a proper amount of air attached to a note should be just adequate.

Learning and mastering this singing breath control technique will take you on your way to becoming a much better singer.

Friday, March 16, 2018


English: Lionel Hampton during a concert in Aa...
Lionel Hampton during a concert in Aachen (Germany)
on May 19th, 1977
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One great jazz musician was Lionel Hampton. Lionel was a bandleader, actor, jazz vibraphonist and percussionist. He has worked with other famous jazz musicians such as Buddy Rich, Quincy Jones, and Charlie Parker. Lionel was raised by his grandmother in the south before he relocated to Chicago. In the 1920's he started playing the xylophone and drums. His first instrument was the fife drum.

When he was a teenager he played drums for the Chicago Defender Newsboy's band. When he lived in California, he played for the Dixieland Blue-Blowers. The first band that he recorded with was The Quality Serenaders, then he left again to go play with another band, Les Hite band. It was here that he began studying the vibraphone. Louis Armstrong asked Lionel to play the vibraphones on two songs. That is when he made the vibraphone a popular instrument.

While still with the Les Hite band, Lionel went to the University of Southern California taking music. He also worked with the Nat Shilkrer orchestra. In 1936 he was in the film Pennies From Heaven, starring Bing Crosby. He was next to Louis Armstrong but hid by wearing a mask when he was playing the drums.

In 1936 he was fortunate to meet Benny Goodman who came to watch him perform. Benny asked him to join his trio which consisted of Benny, Gene Krupa, and Teddy Wilson. It was then renamed the Benny Goodman Quartet. The year before, Lionel worked with Billie Holiday with Benny's orchestra. This group of artists was one of the first integrated jazz groups that performed openly in society.

Lionel recorded with several groups while still with Benny Goodman, but in 1940 he left to create his own big band. Lionel's orchestra was a hit in the 40's and 50's. "Flying Home" featured an Illinois Jacquet solo that began a new style of music, R&B. The song was so popular that he did another version called "Flying Home, Number Two", with Arnett Cobb. Lionel's music was a mixture of jazz music and R&B during this time. Some great jazz musicians that worked with him during this time were Johnny Griffin, Dinah Washington, Charles Mingus and Dizzy Gillespie.

As time went on, in the 1960's and after, his success lessened. He was still performing hits from the 1930's-1950's. In the 1970's he recorded with the Who's Who Record label, but still did not do as well as he could have.

Going the college route seemed to help a bit. His band played at University of Idaho's jazz concert regularly. In 1985, the named it the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. Two years later, they named the music school the Lionel Hampton School of Music. It was the only music school at a university that was named after a jazz musician. Lionel kept playing until he had a stroke in 1991 in Paris. Even though he had to stop performing as much, he did a performance at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in 2001, not long before he died. This jazz music legend will never be forgotten.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


English: A karaoke place in Wuhan, in Luoyu E....
A karaoke place in Wuhan, in Luoyu E. St. 
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Karaoke bars are quite popular these days. People come here to hang out and have fun. The word “karaoke” is derived from a Japanese word and means “empty orchestra”. It started in Kansai, Japan, in 1984, and spread to worldwide popularity. Music of any popular song is taken but the voice of the singer is absent or reduced. So, anybody who is interested can sing along using a microphone, usually, the lyrics are also displayed.Some restaurants also have adopted this concept and they either have their in-house singer or sometimes even visitors can sing.

Before karaoke music came in cassettes only but with technological advances they were replaced with CDs, VCDs, and DVDs.KTV boxes were set up for people to entertain their friends or just to have fun. KTV means karaoke music video where the lyrics are displayed along with the audio track. It has become quite popular in US, Canada, and other Western countries. People love it and it is a good source of entertainment.

Karaoke music popularity:

Karaoke music business has also picked up very fast and now one can find karaoke nights every day in almost every restaurant as it drives people to the place. Small karaoke box has been replaced by hi-fi sound equipment and to make the atmosphere catchier they even put lighting effects and have dance sessions. Now almost all kinds of music are available from rock to pop to hip-hop and even religious hymns. The fun part is watching even those timid and shy ones, after consuming alcoholic beverages become bold and march towards the microphone and sing their hearts out, sometimes even humiliating themselves.

Karaoke Machines:

Computer karaoke is also quite popular among the youngsters. Those who are shy to perform in front of people can now be a star and sing in their own room and also for those who want to improve their skills can also have practice sessions quietly in their room. You can pick karaoke software which can provide the means to hear music and also see lyrics on the screen. Quite a number of websites also offer this entertainment for their karaoke fans. All you need to do is download the files, load the song in your computer and you are set to begin.

A simple karaoke box consists of an audio input, an audio output and pitch controller. Some bars also have low-end machines where they try to suppress the voice of the original singer so that you can hear only your voice. These machines are cheap. But those high inbuilt machines have a technology that can electronically change the pitch level according to the key the singer chooses for the song.

Next time you step into a karaoke bar do not shy away thinking you will be the laughing stock. People come here to have fun and you will be surprised to see everyone cheering for you. Explore your singing talent! This is a terrific way to wind up your soul and just relax. After a hectic day, if you are looking for a place to enjoy and meet new people, this is the place to be. Some karaoke bars also hold karaoke nights, where all wannabe singers show off their talents, if you are one of them, go ahead and show everyone what you have!!