Archive for the A to Z Category

“E” is for “Everyone needs to support this site —”

Posted in A to Z with tags , on February 25, 2009 by Chris
Kind of a cool logo, too.

Kind of a cool logo, too.

Just a quick plug for an awesome site that always delivers the goods — to artists and fans alike. Here’s a paragraph from their “About Us” page:

Artists want to know, connect with, and be supported by music fans. Music fans want high-quality, free (or variably priced) music and to be rewarded, not punished, for sharing the music they love with their friends. We believe that if artists and fans work together, everyone can get what they want.

Couldn’t have said it better.

You’ll see live recordings, latest releases — and all of it at affordable prices and with very lenient downloading rules.

Enough of a pitch — I should be selling snake oil. Oh that’s right, I do! Best darn stuff available too.

What are your favorite music blogs and sites?

D is for Distribution

Posted in A to Z with tags , , , , , , , on August 4, 2008 by Chris

It’s no secret that the internet has turned more than a few business models upside down. And it has spawned many new revenue channels even as it challenges the continued health of others — think of the struggle that music stores are having competing with music downloads.

But, if you take some time to understand the real impact of the internet on life, recreation, and business — and I consider myself a mere student in this area — there are some new opportunities that musicians, artists, and other creative types might find, well, liberating.

Continue reading

“C” is for Country

Posted in A to Z with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2008 by Chris

So why would I invoke the “C” word — Country — in a blog that celebrates pop music?

Well, as a singer / songwriter, I actually have a stronger allegiance to the craft of songwriting than to any particular genre. And even though there are styles that never get my full attention, I always keep a pre-set on the car radio reserved for the local country station. Continue reading

C is for “Coda”

Posted in A to Z with tags , , , , , on July 8, 2008 by Andy

Musicians (especially those who read music) know instantly what a coda is… it’s sort of a “final ending” that usually differs a bit from the rest of the piece. The “bullseye/crosshairs” coda sign is easy to find when you’re sight-reading your way through an unfamiliar chart on a gig (good thing!).coda symbol In playing popular music, I’ve heard it more often called an “outro” (as opposed to an intro)… a section of the tune that has a slightly different feel than the rest of the song, or one that “puts a bow on it.” Continue reading

B is for “Betcha By Golly, Wow”

Posted in A to Z with tags , , , , , , on March 16, 2008 by Chris

“You’re the one that I’ve been waiting for, forever now . . .”

It may not have been the pinnacle of pop musical expression but this song by the Stylistics in 1971 — along with so many other great songs from the soul groups of the 70s — still rings like a clarion call in my head. So many amazing groups — the O’Jays (“Love Train”), Spinners (“It’s a Shame”), the Chi-Lites (“Have You Seen Her”), and, of course, the Manhattans whose song “Let’s Just Kiss” didn’t just typify the genre but perhaps defined it for posterity.

The Stylistics (circa 1968) Continue reading

B is for “Bass”

Posted in A to Z with tags , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2008 by Andy

Bass: N. — the lowest-sounding member of an instrument family.

No mincing, no dancing around it, no pulling punches. The bass guitar is the most important, most influential instrument in pop music.

OK, I’m a little biased, but that doesn’t make it less true. Because of the success of an electrified bass guitar that was easy to hold and play, music’s focus changed from melody-driven to rhythm-driven. Hail hail, rock and roll, baby. Continue reading

A is for “Arrangement”

Posted in A to Z with tags , , , on February 26, 2008 by Andy

Arrangement: N. — a particular version of a tune and its harmony

As much as I like good strong songwriting, it’s often the arrangement that Does It for me. Yeah, I know that’s a little shallow, putting the glossy production cart before the horse, but I love ear candy a whole bunch, and I’m willing to forgive crappy lyrics or a banal chord progression if somebody has sweetened the song with horns, lush vocal harmonies, a modulation or two, or other sonic goodies. Continue reading

A is for “Accessible”

Posted in A to Z with tags , , , , on February 25, 2008 by Chris

Accessible: Adj. — easily understood

This is a term I’m always amused to see in a music review. It’s either a praise point or a snarky commentary, depending on the reviewer’s degree of elitism. Since my quick essay on this term shows up in a blog titled “Hopelessly Pop,” you can guess where I come down on this issue. Music is about an artist or performer communicating a viewpoint or idea to a multitude of ears out there. Getting more ears to tune in long enough to absorb the idea or viewpoint is usually a good thing. Continue reading