Music Vacations: Memphis

Memphis is a city in the south-west of the state of Tennessee at the meeting place of the Wolf and Mississippi Rivers. It is the largest city on the Mississippi and the third largest in the whole south-east USA. It is also the home to many pioneers of a variety of music genres across the years including Memphis soul, Memphis blues, gospel and of course rock n’ roll.

“Graceland” by Jan Kronsell – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Some of the most famous names in the business got their careers off to a start in the city including Aretha Franklin, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes and BB King.

Where to stay

As you would expect with a city of this size, there are no shortage of good quality king sized beds available...

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Makeup and 80s Rock

Since the 1980s, there has been an unbreakable bond between rock music and makeup for both men and women. If you think of the 80s, you think of brightly colour eyes, pale faces and the more extreme cases of makeup so over the top that no-one recognised the musician without it!

So if you are a fan of 80s rock and want to carry off the look or if you are in a tribute band and want authenticity to your act, here are some great 80s makeup tips.

Getting the look

The great thing about modern makeup is that it takes a lot of the hassle out of the job. With the best makeup brushes, great quality eye shadow palettes and a huge range of foundations for every skin type, it is simple to find something that gives you the look you want...

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Top Tips for 80s Costumes

If you are going to a fancy dress party then as a fan of 80s rock, you have a really huge amount of inspiration to make use of. Male or female, there are styles that can be tailored to suit everyone and individual touches to add here and there to make sure no-one looks like you do.

“HeavyMetalJckt” by A metalhead in Boston. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Black

If the big bold colours of the 80s aren’t for you, then you can’t go past black. Be it leather or denim or perhaps a simple black t-shirt, black was the fall back colour for many 80s rockers and can be perfect for a tribute costume.

Taking the black theme on are concert t-shirts...

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Outdoor Party Music Considerations

When the weather is warm and you move your party outside, there are a few essential things you need to have a great time.

Good food (like stuff cooked on one of the Best Gas and Propane Smokers), good company (close friends, not randoms) and to make it all really flow, good music.

That last one needs special consideration, because depending on the time of day, you need your music to fit the bill and compliment your social gathering, rather than detract from it.

Here’s a simple guide.

Early afternoon

Generally the most tame time of day to call people to your place, an early afternoon party means that food is going to take on extra importance during the day. This is because, during these hours, people will be getting hungry and your party will be their first meal since the morning.

So in thi...

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Music Vacations: Liverpool

If you are a music fan, particularly of the Beatles, and are looking for a holiday destination that can take in that love, then perhaps consider a trip to Liverpool. The home of the Beatles has a number of different tours and attractions centred around the band and the musical history of the city that will be worth the trip.

“The Beatles Story ” by Fsamuels. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Visiting Liverpool

Liverpool is a city on the east side of the River Mersey Estuary and was established as a city in 1880, though the settlement has roots going back as far as the 12th century. Its development was largely due to the status as a major port and the famous RMS Titanic had Liverpool as its port of registry...

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A Band Most Influenced By Motorcycles

Rock music and its life style have always been associated with the motorcycle life-style, velocity, the sense of adventure, freedom, are common elements both in rock music and in motorcycle culture. No band transmit the elements of freedom and velocity, better than Steppenwolf playing “Born to be wild”. When hearing Steppenwolf’s interpretation of “Born to be Wild” composed by Mars Bonfire my first desire is to jump onto a motorcycle and ride away on it to wherever life wants me to go.

The Canadian rock band Steppenwolf made its first appearance on the motorcycle culture with the movie Easy Rider, since the song “Born to be Wild” is part of the movie’s soundtrack...

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Best Hiking Boots For A Music Fest

The music world comes to Austin, Texas every March. SXSW is famous for the music, and for the people, who come together to enjoy what’s new in music, appreciate favorite bands that have been around for years, and glimpse the new technologies changing the world of entertainment. Looking around at the take your best hiking boots to the SXSW festivalfootwear you spot during this March gathering and you see some of what you might expect. The infamous cowboy boot worn with the jeans covering all but the most spectacular designs mixed with those folks in sandals, or Gucci. Look carefully, however and you will notice something interesting this mix, as more than a smattering of this crowd is in hiking boots...

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Before They Were Rock Stars

auntiesocialmusic and before they were rock stars story
Rock stars and legends in music

Courtesy of Feral78

We often forget that our favorite musicians are normal people just like us. They get up in the morning and put their pants on one leg at a time, they have to go to the Dr’s office when they don’t feel good, and they even, gasp, had normal jobs and hobbies before hitting it big. Some of them scooped ice cream for a living, others waited tables, and some of them were bird lovers who spent their free time looking over bird house plans at www.birdgalaxy.com. Of course at the time, no one knew what they’d later become, but the point is that no one is born a famous musician. It takes hard work, loads of talent, and a lot of luck.

Here is a list of three famous musicians and what they did before making it big.

Eddie Vedder – Pearl Jam

Everyone’s favorite depressed Se...

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Master Chefs: Moby and Freddie Mercury

Mercury as Master Chef and talented musical artist

Music obsessed fans want to know every word, guitar riff, and note to every song their favorite musician is a part of. We also want to know as much about our favorite musician outside of the realm of music as we can. Why? It gives us a better understanding of who they are as a person, and what they’re about. Since it’s rare to ever get near a popular musician in real life, knowing about their personal life allows us to feel close to them, even if the best we’ll ever do is the $150 ticket in the 30th row of the pavilion.
We often think of musicians as other worldly. They aren’t real people who get the common cold, pay water bills, or cook dinner. No, they’re demigods that grace the earth with their presence and allow our ears the privilege of their craft...

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Great Celebrity Workout Routines To Stay In Shape

work out routines to music

Many music celebrities are turning to different forms of workouts. The North American Spine Society did a survey which revealed that seven out of ten people said they used the stairs instead of elevators and six out of ten people park their cars farther away to get a little walking exercise. At the same time, many adult music celebrities considered themselves as couch potatoes – a contributing factor to some of them being overweight. However, many young music celebrities are trying to maintain their beautiful figures and many of them have different forms of workout routines and maintain them through rigorous exercise and proper nutrition. Many of them have also incorporated certain supplements like the examples shown here, and as a result, many of them have ripped abs, great glutes, and ...

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Importance of Music Education

musical education importance in school

Music Education – Worth the time?

So many people question the presence of music in the elementary education curriculum. All this negative attention began when public schools began to cut extra curricular funding in an effort to make optimal use of struggling budgets. They cut Physical Education (exercise), Home Economics (cooking and knife sharpening), or even recess (playing). An opinion article at e-how written by Aaron Reynolds vaguely outlines the most common arguments against music education in elementary schools. Including that they are expensive, distract from the traditional classroom, and are “difficult to understand.” These arguments are a weak at best attempt to defend cutting music from elementary schools.

music classJust so we’re clear, none of Reynold’s attempts at an argument can h...

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Rock n’ Roll Sports Pump Up Music

music

Even if you’re an old codger you still blast those beats in the car prior to any sports game.

Beer league softball? Hell yeah, crank Queen and pretend you are an 18 year old kid again, with hair. And without the bad knees.

Face it – you listened to Jock Jams while running the layup lines when you were 14. Why not listen to some good old Jock Jams while you’re gingerly stretching those 42 year old hamstrings!

Without further ado the Great List of pump up beats.

“We will, we will rock you! DUN, DUN, DUN!””. A classic foot stomper and pre-game beer league hockey anthem. Nothing to get you charged up for a meaningless game of pond hockey quite like the classic Queen anthem!

What’s that you say? You just won that meaningless game of pond hockey? Crack a cold one (even though it’s prob...

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Music, Llamas, Cows and Neil Young

Neil Young

By Grayson McMillan

Anyone interested in music, and especially those who love the potent vocal talents of the 1960’s can tell you all about Neil Young and his five decades long music career. It’s no surprise the aging folk and rock singer owns his own studio, vintage cars, and a vast model train set up. What is a shock is that the collection sits on a large ranch located in the Santa Cruz Mountains outside of San Francisco where Young is more likely to be seen with a chainsaw in his hand than cradling a guitar. Young spends time trimming brush and trees and likely found the best chain saw reviews at www.bestchainsawguide.org site to help decide.

The Canadian born singer and songwriter is best known for the iconic “Ohio”, a song that memorialized the Kent State University shooting tra...

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Musicians and Mountain Biking

Beatles and Bicycles

By Grayson McMillan

Musicians and mountain biking are not usually synonymous. Still, there is music to biking itself, from the sound of the wind to the rhythmic movement of the pedals and spokes, humming along. While celebrities are not often associated with bicycles, beyond Lance Armstrong or other Tour de France participants, they do prove that even the famous among us do enjoy the music and action of mountain biking.

Famous pictures of biking and musicians include one of the Beatles, where they are all on bicycle, giving new meaning to the song, Ticket to Ride.” The Beatles are also famous for the cover of the album, Abbey Road, where the four of them are in the crosswalk, on foot. In this famous black and white picture, the four sport bicycles and look stylish to boot.

A member of Rag...

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Keith Urban

Keith Urban 3

By Grayson McMillan

Keith Urban is one of the world’s most popular country music stars. He has been releasing successful albums for more than 20 years, and popularity is global. Although he was born in New Zealand and grew up in Australia, he has released quite a few albums in America and has established himself as an American country music star.

Keith Urban’s Early Career

Keith Urban was born in Whangarei, New Zealand in 1967, but his parents moved to Australia when he was 2 years old. He was already playing music as a teenager, and was part of a country band. At an early age, he developed a distinctive style of music that combined country and rock. His first album debuted in 1988 in Australia. His popularity quickly grew, and by 1991 he had 4 Number 1 country singles...

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Famous Artists and Their Diets

Katy Perry

By Grayson McMillan

We’ve all witnessed the magazine articles and TV interviews circling around famous artists and their diets. What happens in Hollywood is typically so far removed from real life that it can be hard to keep up. What we hear even less about are the famous or crazy diets done by music artists. From the note-worthy to the insane, these diets are sure to surprise you.

Beyonce

Even if you haven’t heard – or don’t like – her music, Beyonce is a household name, recognizable by all. She’s best known for songs such as “Single Ladies”, “Halo”, and “Run the World”. Beyonce is also known for being a bigger woman–possessing the type of curves a lot of women would love, and others would hate...

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Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

By Grayson McMillan

There is no literal “Edward Sharpe” in Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Instead, this indie-folk group is led by vocalist Alex Ebert. These “Magnetic Zeros” are, in fact, a revolving lineup that can reach as many as 12 members.
The group is from Los Angeles, California and began as collaboration between Ebert and female vocalist Jade Castrinos in a kind of loose music collective. If it’s still bothering you that there isn’t an “Edward Sharpe” in a band sporting that name, it might help you to know this fictional “Sharpe” guy is built around the protagonist in a story Ebert once wrote. The guy was no ordinary story character, however, but a kind of messianic figure.
The “Edward Sharpe” of Ebert’s imagination came to him during a tumultuous period in ...

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Famous Musicians Who Love Cats

Musicians that love cats

By Grayson McMillan

Cats are finally getting their due recognition as the lovable furry companions they truly are. Move over dog people – cat people are here to proclaim that being a feline fancier is very cool indeed. In fact, getting cozy with a cat has long been perfectly cool among some of the world’s most talented musicians.

Here is a Who’s Who list of famous musicians that find cats to be amazingly cool animal companions: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, Rod Stewart, Frank Zappa, Joan Baez, Freddie Mercury, Carly Simon, Joey Ramone (The Ramones), Morrissey, George Michael, Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Dog), CeeLo Green and Dolly Parton.

All of these famous musical icons are shown in photographs nuzzling up close with a ...

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Mumford and Sons

Mumford and Sons

By Grayson McMillan

Since exploding onto the music scene with their 2008 EP, Mumford & Sons have become famous for their folk-rock style. Their combination of bluegrass instruments like the banjo and mandolin with an alternative rock rhythm makes them one-of-a-kind. While they have received criticism for appropriating Americana when all of the members are British, most agree that Mumford & Sons is one of the best bands of the last decade.

The Early Days

Mumford & Sons started in December 2007 when Marcus Mumford, Ted Dwane, Winston Marshall, and Ben Lovett got together in West London. While Mumford had spent his earliest days in Anaheim, California, he spent most of his youth in England and studied at King’s

Mumford and Sons

Mumford and Sons

College School with Ben Lovett, so forming the band was a reunion...

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Steve Vai

Steve Via

By Grayson McMillan

Steve Vai is a guitarist, songwriter, and producer who has sold over 15 million albums worldwide throughout his extensive, musical career. His music is influenced by artists such as Jimmy Paige, Jimi Hendrix, and Jeff Beck. Steve Vai started playing guitar at the young age of 13 and taking lessons from guitar great, Joe Satriani. Vai continued on with his music education and attended the Berklee College of Music.

Vai started his music career with Frank Zappa. Frank Zappa recognized Steve Vai’s talent, and hired him to transcribe guitar solos. By 1980, Vai had grown to become a standing member of Frank Zappa’s band.

In 1983, he left to pursue a solo career, recording his debut, self-released album, Flex-able. Vai then began recording and touring with

Steve Via

Steve Vai

other band...

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