The Clash – Idealistic Rebellious Rockers

History,Reviews 13 June 2014 | Comments Off

The Clash - Idealistic Rebellious RockersRock and roll history is incomplete with the mention of one of the greatest punk rock bands of all times, The Clash.

A punk rock band, put together by Joe Strummer (rhythm guitar and lead vocals), Paul Simonon (vocals and bass guitar), Mick Jones (vocals and lead guitar) and Nicky ‘Topper’ Headon (percussion and drums) in 1976 during British punk’s original wave. Most often considered an idealistic and fiery band, they blended reggae, funk, dub, and rockabilly elements in with the punk.

Both Mick Jones and Joe Strummer were exceptionally talented songwriters, both singers with their own style and distinct voice. Not far behind The Jam, The Clash portrayed the image of being rebels with a cause: ‘restoring the protest and passion of rock and roll’.

The band members:

The lead singer and rhythm guitarist, Joe Strummer (John Graham Mellow), was born on Aug. 21, 1952. Spending most of this childhood and formative years at a boarding school, he was already into performing on London streets. In his early 20s, he founded the 101’ers, a pub rock band. At the same time, Mick Jones, born on June 26, 1955, was part of a hard rock band called the London SS. Hailing from a working class family from Brixton, Jones has been fascinated with rock and roll since early childhood.

The London SS was formed in an attempt to replicate the wondrous sound of the Mott the Hoople and Faces. Paul Simonon was Jones’s childhood friend, born on 15 Dec. 1956, joined the London SS in 1976 after being inspired by The Sex Pistols. Topper Headon (Nicky Headon) was born on 30th May 1955, and joined the band later.

The band 101’ers disbanded in 1976 after a Sex Pistols concert, and soon before their song “Keys to your Heart” came out. Joe Strummer, and the 101’ers’ guitarist, Keith Levene, joined the London SS, post which the band was revamped and renamed The Clash. Continue reading “The Clash – Idealistic Rebellious Rockers” »

Never-ending story of Rock & Roll

History 29 June 2014 | Comments Off

Never-ending story of Rock & RollHowever hard it may be to believe, but the fact remains that Rock and Roll was not always a genre of music. Most historians, musicians and music lovers, trace the origins of the genre to a time period between the late 1940s and early 1950. Originating in the USA, Rock and Roll combines elements of the African and American genres of music, mashing blues, jazz, gospel music and jump blues with country music and the western swing.

1954 is believed to be the year when music revolutionized and people’s tastes changed. Rock and Roll took base from R&B, with an honorary mention to the legendary innovator Little Richard, who, in the 1950s completely changed the music scene. With numerous R&B artists considered pioneers in the Rock and Roll genre, indluing Joe Turner, Ray Charles, Muddy Waters, and Willie Mae Thornton, Richard’s words rang true. He has said that” R&B had a baby, and someone named it Rock and Roll”.

Rock and Roll started out with attracting the youth, specifically teens who did not want to listen to the music their parent’s preferred to listen to. Rock and Roll music was being aired to the radio, and the teens from Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit and New York started tuning in, getting hooked to this new kind of music. While a lot of “black” audiences were familiar with this type of music, for the “whites” it was something absolutely fresh and new. Continue reading “Never-ending story of Rock & Roll” »

How Music Affects Your Brain

Science behind Music 13 July 2014 | Comments Off

How Music Affects Your BrainMusic has been known to bind people across borders, race, nationality, culture or color. A tool for expressing and communicating emotions and feelings, or a message, music is not bound by the technicalities like language. For most people music is a way of relaxing, just being, be it listening to your favorite tracks, or composing and making music. A lot many times, music, irrespective of the unit it is being played on, tends to overwhelm. But why does no other sense make us feel the way music does? Music in films, or concerts, or sometimes even at the restaurant you’re dining at can make you feel like you’re in a different world.

Music is different for everyone. The understanding of music is different from person to person. Something that may be noise for some may be music for others, while some may find opera boring. Music is a perceptual illusion, the understanding and comprehension of which is based on the individual ability of each person to process the structure of the musical piece. A piece of music is a complex blend of different sounds and sequences, and each person’s brain comprehends it differently.

Besides, there are specific benefits of listening to music:

  1. Improves creativity: listening to music when working or trying to finish trying tasks can help in finishing it faster. Moderately loud music, not too loud, can actually help in boosting creativity and thinking of smarter solutions. Music that plays as a part of the ambience brings out the most creativity.
  1. Predicting personality with music:A study conducted by the Heriot Watt University actually broke down specific character traits of people listening to different genres of music. For instance:
  • Jazz fans are creative, easy going, outgoing and have a high self-esteem.
  • Blues fans are outgaining, easy going, creative, and gentle besides having high self-esteem
  • Opera lovers are gentle, creative, and have high self-esteem
  • Classical music fans are introverts, at ease, creative, and hold high self-esteem
  • Rappers and rap lovers are outgoing and hold high self- esteem

Continue reading “How Music Affects Your Brain” »

Karaoke Makes Good Practice

Music 21 January 2015 | Comments Off

Karaoke Makes Good PracticeIf you want to get good at anything, practice is always a big part of the equation. Sure enough, you can read about a skill or activity, maybe even watch other people doing the thing it is you’re interested in doing, and you can pick up some of the particulars that way. But until you’ve tried it out for yourself and seen how you perform compared to those others, you won’t even know if you’re any good, or where you could improve, or how much you really know about an activity. Singing is something people train their whole lives to do well, but did you know that karaoke makes good practice for singing?

It’s true. You might not think it, since most people who karaoke have probably already had a few drinks. But any kind of practice, whether it’s in a professional or amateur environment, is still something upon which you can build your skills, even when it comes to singing. While any radio will work fine for reproducing more modern music, you might need a turntable to listen to older vinyl, or a karaoke machine that works with MP3 files to play songs when you don’t actually own the media you want to play. iTunes and similar programs are very useful for filling a karaoke machine in this way.

There are different types of karaoke machines to consider as well. Some just play music while others come with an included projector which pastes lyrics up against a wall, a curtain or some other solid screen meant to make the images more legible. Some karaoke machines are more analogous, requiring tapes, CDs or other media to play music, and others are more electronic, working solely with data to produce songs when commanded. If you want to learn more about the different types of machines, is a nice place to do some searching.

As for karaoke being good practice for singing, it certainly is. Karaoke and the musical arrangements which are usually popular in a karaoke setting will open your mind to new types of songs, melodies, beats and other aspects – sure, you’ll probably hear a few songs you already know very well, but you’ll hear just as many if not more that you’ve never heard before. It’s this high degree or variety which makes karaoke such a useful training tool. Sometimes you’ll be straining to make high notes, or singing so fast you lose track of the words, and these are both great practice for the real thing.

I’d be lying if I said there were no bands that got their start doing covers in small bars and clubs – essentially an aggrandized form of karaoke, all things considered. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. It also helps if you keep in mind that karaoke actually means something like tone deaf in Japanese, the language in which the term originated. Don’t take yourself too seriously and you’ll soon find your skills seriously improving when it comes to maintaining pitch, tone, depth and other aspects of singing.

Some Science Behind Music

Health,Music,Science behind Music 24 September 2014 | Comments Off

Some Science Behind MusicI see several joggers putting on their headphones, while jogging or walking in the park. The sight of people with headphone working on their computers is also not a new one. This habit of hearing music while you storm through your daily workload is actually beneficial for your brain and your work consequently. Music has become an inseparable part of our lives. Not only does it sooth, relax and boost our attitude, it also has some very advantageous effect on the working of our brain.

Here are some of the ways in which music brings us joy.

Nature Of music

Though we can readily identify a particular music as happy or sad, it is not just the subjective reference that gives us the feeling. Music makes positive effects on the brain of listener. Our brain is designed to react to sad or happy music in different way. A short piece of music, when played to the participants in a study revealed that a neutral expression was associated with sad or happy based on the tone of music. Though this occurred with other facial expressions, it was more pronounced in the neutral expression.

Emotional quotient

Our emotions are affected by music in two main ways. One is the perceived emotion, while the other is the emotion that is felt. There are times when we understand the sadness in a particular piece of music, without feeling it deeply. So this is why there are people who get motivated by sad tunes, instead of becoming depressed. The music we hear is not associated with any real life situation, so it does not pose any threat to us making us perceive it without any true feelings, just like removed feelings we have.

Creative stimulation

Though people think that loud and peppy music is just right for creative work, it is not true. Loud music in fact is not the right option. Moderate decibel levels are apt for creativity and ambient noise is more effective in increasing the creative juices. The music raises the difficulty level of our brain’s processing, which stimulates the creative skills in us.  But in case of higher decibels, the creative feeling is blocked as we are too overwhelmed by the noisy music and find it very difficult to process information in a successful way. Just like the temperature and the amount of light affect our work, music too plays an important part.

Predicts personality

Though this may not be to your liking, it is still an aspect that is very interesting to note. When the favorite list of songs were researched on, the personality traits were easy to recognize. The characteristic used include open mindedness, agreeable nature, emotional strength, conscientiousness and extraversion. Of these five characteristics some of them were more precisely found out from the music listened to.

The study done by Heriot –Watt University concluded that Blues fans and Jazz fans had high self-esteem, creativity and were at ease, while classical music fans were introverts with the other factors the same as in the former two types. Rap, country and western music fans are outgoing, while reggae fans are not of hardworking type, but possess all the other characters. Country and western music fans were found to be hardworking and at ease. Indie and dance fans were not gentle and Bollywood fans were creative and outgoing. Chart pop fans were not creative nor were at ease as the others.

Distraction during driving

While most people listen to music while driving, it has been found that certain types of music were highly distracting and drivers were found to be aggressive and made more mistakes when listening to their own music choices. Safe and soothing music, which is favorable for the driving atmosphere was not liked by them. And studies also reveal that uninteresting and unfamiliar music is more beneficial rather than not listening to music totally.

Music training benefits

That learning music instruments is good for children is a well-known factor, but it has more goodness in it than you can possibly know about. A study done on children who had over three years of music training showed that they performed better than those who did not have any training in relation to

  • Fine motor skills
  • Discrimination abilities
  • Better vocabulary
  • Nonverbal reasoning skill
  • Analyzing visual information like identifying patterns, shapes and even relationships.

Thus music training gives various advantages to kids with its effect on the different skills they can develop. I’ve found than listening to music, while exercising also has a great impact, because of a similar reason.

Increased visual attention

In a study done on stroke patients it has been found that a better attention visually is stimulated by listening to classical music. In case of noise and complete silence the visual attention decreased showing that there is a definite relationship.

One sided conversations

In a related study on the noise factor it was found that phone calls where we hear a conversation one sided can be quite distracting. Those who overhear a cellphone conversation find it very annoying. While doing some work or just reading a newspaper in a restaurant, hearing an ongoing conversation on a cell phone where only one side of the conversation can be heard  is very distracting than when you are able to hear both sides. The one sided conversations are more in memory than when you hear both sides. This is because of the irregular nature of the conversation, which grabs the listener’s attention. When you listen to both sides, you can understand what they’re talking and it will soon be forgotten but not so, if you hear an incomplete conversation like the one sided one.

Exercise for body

Music as I’d said before is very good for exercising.  Listening to music dulls the fatigue caused in the brain and it stops sending signals to the body to relax. The music competes for the attention of the brain, thus distracting it from the pain you get while exercising. High intensity exercises like crossfit workouts benefit more from music. Further the music also helps to use our energy in a more efficient way. And finally music positively impacts your mood.

Songs to Listen While Longboarding

Hobbies,Modern Music,Music 1 August 2014 | Comments Off

Songs to Listen While LongboardingThe feeling of excitement and exhilaration you get when you ride a longboard cannot be explained with mere words. I love to longboard no matter where I do it. Sometimes I longboard in parks or parking garages, in flats, banks or even the big mountains, when I feel like I need some relaxing time.

The best thing I like about longboarding is it lets me rid as I’ve always wanted to. I can see kids use it as mode of transportation, while some people like me use it for stress relief. There are some who use it for snowboard inspiration too.

Quite often I get questioned on how I handle it expertly and whether it is tough to ride it. Longboarding is easy to learn and any one can learn. There are no age barriers for longboarding. It’s a completely safe ride and keeps you de-stressed and happy.

I usually use the top rated longboard brands only as they are reliable and smooth to ride on. For any reference related to the longboard use and purchase, I visit When you add music to longboarding, the whole thing gets on a new dimension. The combo is so effective that you’ll simply love it!

Each and every longboarder has preferences and favorite songs or bands. The music keeps you active and pumped up, so you put in your best effort at longboarding and as a result enjoy it more.

Here is a list of some of the favorite music bands I listen to while longboarding.

•             MXPX – This has been one of my long time skating favorite. The tunes are so fast that it suits me just right. ‘Running Away’ and ‘Punk Rawk’ Show are my favorites in this band, which incidentally stands for Magnified Plaid.

•             CKY – This has been rocking the music world since 1996, and the videos and music from Camp Kill Yourself (CKY) are hot favorites among longboarders.

•             Dogwood – For fast music that is slightly on the heavier side, Dogwood is the best choice. Never Die and Building a Better Me are the best ones I hear when I’m all fired up and racing on the board.

•             NoFX – this band and Rancid have some really groovy music, but sometimes fails to match up to my expectation. But there are lots of skaters who love listening to these guys.

•             The Offspring – This band has some really wonderful music that keeps your adrenaline on high. Falling and One fine day are my favorites.

•             Fall Out Boy – You get a mix of punk and rock, which I love best. This band is part of Emo bands that blend rock and punk, and come up with some really exhilarating stuff. Bowling for Soup and Goldfinger are really on top with high punk and rock notes.

•             Dropkick Murphys -   This is an Irish rock band that has some really pumping rock music. Try out Captain Kelly’s Kitchen.

•             Slick Shoes – Though you have fast music, the words are softer making way for some fantastic longboard music. Listen to ‘Pretend to be the Same’ and you’ll understand why this band is on this list.

There are several others that I love hearing to like Flogging Molly, Sum 14, P.O.D, The Adicts and the list continues on. Whatever music you prefer, your longboarding experience will surely increase when you hook up with these songs.

Positive Impact of Melody on Your Mood

Health,Music,Science behind Music 31 July 2014 | Comments Off

Positive Impact of Melody on Your MoodI’d a friend who had a high stress job. Though the job paid well, he couldn’t cope with the stress that accompanied it. Constant deadlines, negotiations and pressure from his bosses all resulted in a complete nervous breakdown for him.

I think the way people lead their lives itself is a main cause for stress related disorders. When Monday morning arrives I can see people hurrying to work or school, and this continues all week, and there are some who work on weekends too! So the never ending cycle of rushing to work and putting up all kinds of hard work takes its toll on people. That is what happened to my friend.

Emotional stress can wreak havoc with your mind and body. This is why I always recommend listening to music. The therapeutic powers of music are well known. In fact music has been established as an effective tool in managing stress. Whenever I feel the stress getting too much to handle I prefer using sturdy grappling dummy, while listening to rock.

But stress management experts do not deal with the type of music I’m referring to. They vouch for the slow, melodious and quiet classical tunes. Hearing such music produces a calming effect on the mind and body. Lowered blood pressure, pulse rate and heart rate have been found to occur in response to this type of music. The stress hormones levels are also reduced.

Though music has great de-stressing effects, some people avoid this method as they are too stressed to hear the music. Some may think it a mere waste of time. But this is not so. When you hear music you can chase away the stress and feel refreshed. This will increase you productivity actually.

What you need is put your mind to the task. A small effort towards relaxing can do wonders to your perception and clear you mind of the cobwebs permanently. Instead of being drowned in stress, listening to music will give your rich rewards.

Music has the power to attract our attention and retain it. While distracting us from our day to day worries, it also serves to perceive our emotions in a candid manner. This makes it a wonderful meditation tool as it helps to focus the mind.

Listening to quiet music is not the only option. If you are like me, you’d not get the relaxation you need from the quiet and melodious music. Upbeat tunes too can be listened to. Since individual preferences vary when it comes to music, you need to choose on what is right for you and also for the type of mood you are in.

I can hear you saying where’s the time to hear music? There are many ways in which you can do this without altering your routine. You can pay a CD in your car while driving to work, switch on the radio while you take a shower or hear music, instead of watching the TV in the evening.

Music releases tension, relieves pain and invigorates mind and body keeping you alert, alive and vibrant. With so many advantages I’m sure you’d find some way to include it into your busy schedule and reap the benefits.

Benefits of Music while Exercising

Health,Hobbies,Music 30 July 2014 | Comments Off

Benefits of Music while ExercisingKeeping fit has become an important part of our lives now. I see more and more people taking conscious effort to keep their body fit and stay healthy. The rise in lifestyle diseases had certainly opened people’s perception on exercise and fitness. I can see people of all age groups when I attend my CrossFit training classes.

Nowadays people are introducing as much fun to workouts as they can. Since workouts are must to stay fit and healthy there is no way out of it. But you can certainly make it more interesting and fun to do. That’s’ why I like my CrossFit training class. There is good music that makes you want to do the exercise more and I get good support from my CrossFit shoes. There are several advantages of wearing special shoes for CrossFit. It cushions your body and spreads the pressure evenly in the legs, so you do not feel the strain.

I usually visit the CrossFit news site as it gives me the latest improvements in the training sessions and various other updated workout information, which keeps me well informed and more in tune with the latest happenings in CrossFit world. Though music while working out has been in use for a long time, the concept has been more refined now.

It has been found that listening to your favorite music, while doing workouts will cause less tiredness and make you exercise more. It has been found from research that the music distracts you from the pain. More recent studies reveal that in addition to hearing music, creating and controlling music, so it is in pace with the workout will give a more enhanced effect.

The power of music does not end with reduction of pain awareness. There’s more to music than what meets the eye. Here are some of the benefits you can gain from music.

•             Faster beats help to forget the amount of exertion you make while doing strenuous workouts.

•             The fastness of the beat should not be overdone. The optimum fastness should be from 120 to 140 beats per minute, in case of moderate exercises.

•             People often associate a particular tune or song to certain memories and relate to the milieu in which they had original heard it. By channeling happy memories the motivational potency of the music in increased. This reflects on the workout performance greatly.

•             Exercises like running and weightlifting need you to set a proper pace. Music is based on rhythm. The rhythm helps to boost the workout pace, which in turn activates the motor receptors in brain and help you use your energy efficiently. Maintaining a steady pace becomes easy, when you do it with music.

•             Mood elevation is another important benefit of hearing music. The music frees up the mind and helps you to escape negativity. Further after the workout session the release of hormones also elevates the mood leading to a general feeling of elation.

•             Other than the various benefits I have mentioned the most significant reason that people listen to music while working out is it keeps you on your toes. An upbeat playlist keeps you moving no matter how much you detest your session.

Why Rock Stars Love Gardening

Uncategorized 29 July 2014 | Comments Off

Why Rock Stars Love GardeningBeing a rockstar may mean that you are at home in every club and arena in the world, while maintaining relationships with the rich and beautiful of even the most remote countries; however, it certainly doesn’t mean that you’ve got to choose your hobbies based on a coolness- or the excitement-factor any longer.

Quite the contrary, being an internationally well known superstar of the rock scene allows you to take up whichever hobby you please, without having to resort to the common and boring ones that every other rock star goes for; like collecting expensive sports cars and designer watches that cost even more than said sports cars.

You can choose to be a superb hobby gardener, because, let’s face it, there are plenty of reasons why that would be the best choice for every rock star in the world. Just in case for you these great reasons aren’t as clear as they should be, here are two of the premier reasons why any rock star of your caliber needs to start gardening.

Too many vacant rooms in your mansion

There are only so many purposes that you can assign to all of the rooms in your mansion. After you are done designing the second home theater, that is equipped with more seats than people whose last names you know, maybe it is time that you resort to something a little more fulfilling.

Adding an in indoor garden for some of the prettiest flowers in your basement, on the first, second or third floor will allow you to never have to leave your house again when you want to breathe in some freshly produced oxygen, in between band practices. With the help of the latest grow lights, you won’t even have to pay any more attention to whether the room you would like to dedicate to your new hobby has windows.

Simply use the most expensive grow lights and within weeks you’ll have your own personal jungle somewhere in the midst of your mansion.

A lazy chef and too much space in the backyard

It sounds like a nightmare, not only is the combined space that you have available in your back-, side- and front yard so large that you don’t have the first idea of what to do with, but also is your chef and the leader of your Olympic pool sized kitchen as lazy as can be and simply refuses to drive to the nearby grocery store (even though he’d be allowed to take any one of the Ferraris in the eighteen-car garage of yours).

Luckily, there is a solution for all rockstars like you who are currently through these two problems. Build a (or two or three…) green house in your backyard! It will provide your lazy chef with as more garlic, thyme and basil than he can handle; at least when not using cheap grow lights.

But let’s face it with as much money as you have as one of the premier stars in the rock (and now gardening) scene, there shouldn’t be a problem for you to get the cutting edge technology that you, your lazy chef and your herbs deserve.

Internet Impact on Music Industry

History,Reviews 18 July 2014 | Comments Off

Internet Impact on Music IndustryThere’s no doubting the many impacts the Internet has had on the music industry. However, these impacts are kind of a mixed bag in terms of whether they are good, or bad, for the industry. The Internet has been like that for many industries too, like entertainment and movies, video games, and others. To get a better idea of how the Internet has changed things in music, you need to look from several different perspectives – that of the consumer, who buys the music; the singers and songwriters who make the music; and the producers and executives who market the music to the consumers.

First though, I got the idea to write this article from a bud of mine, who is an expert in the design development of a data center. He works for Citrus Solutions and does lots of data entry and monitoring for them, as well as updating their tables on occasion. He guarantees that good bands can still sell merchandise to their loyal fans, even if it’s becoming easier and easier for people to pirate music and other digital goods these days. That’s what I’m going to cover next – the impact of the Internet on consumers.

All businesses operate on the premise that someone, somewhere, is going to be willing to pay money for the goods or services a particular business provides. The music industry is no different. The thing is, the Internet has made it exceedingly easy for people to simply steal music, rather than paying for it, by using various file sharing, torrent and other downloading websites to track down and nab the tunes they want. Most people aren’t pirating music, even with how easy it is, because all those illegal reproductions can lead to some serious prison time. It’s a problem, but not as big a problem as the media makes it.

The Internet has made it much easier for independent groups and individual artists to gain renown and fans, without being attached to a big recording company. This is great news for budding young artists, musicians, songwriters and others who can’t secure a contract with places like Atlantic or Geffen Records, as well as those who simply don’t want to sign up with a recording studio. It’s not like the services they provide are free, after all. Pressing, printing, advertising, organization and other facets of recording can be costly, but they don’t need to be, thanks to the Internet.

Lastly, there are the executives, producers and distributors to think about. The Internet has taken away their stranglehold on up and coming talent, and made it possible for individuals and groups to remain unaligned with one corporation or another. Naturally, these companies are still looking to make money off the talent of other people, so many of them are modifying terms and sweetening contract deals to keep people coming. The days of those awful contracts the artists of Motown got are long over thanks to the Internet.

Overall, the Internet has helped the music industry more than hindered it. The only people really hurting are those who shouldn’t have been getting paid, anyhow. There is a bright future for bands and their fans, even if the executives are seeing their earnings drop.