Arts Beat: Blues Music Then and Now

March 19, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Tuesday as part of the CCPA Diversity Week, 93-year-old Blues legend David “Honeyboy” Edwards made an appearance on SMU’s campus.? The performance, sponsored by the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs division of SMU and The Blue Shoe Project, was a combination of blues music and stories from Edwards’ life.

As I listened to Edwards’ hearty guitar strings and soulful voice, I realized that through the immense amount of change our country has gone through, blues music has always? remained consistent.? The sound, lyric and foundation of blues music has been successfully sustained from segregation through September 11.

Before Honeyboy came onstage, a younger man named Marquis(on tour with B.B. King) was playing a few of his original tunes.? ? He had the same heartfelt blues voice and even the same mannerisms as Edwards and? several blues predecessors.? Marquis’ lyrics described the common blues themes of tough economic times and marital? suspicion.? And although he is several decades behind Honeyboy Edwards, Marquis thrust the audience back into the 1930s as if that’s where he wrote his songs.

The? parallel I saw in the two performances was proof of the purity of blues music.? Edwards told stories that inspired his songs-living on a plantation, witnessing death and going to the local saloon- that were not only his history, but our country’s history.

Many people believe those times are over, but the truth is that history and tough times are ongoing.? The Blues are not history, they are a part of history.? The Blues are timeless and the performance for Diversity Week brought old and new reditions of Blues music onto the same stage- but they really weren’t all that different.

-Posted by Christine Ricciardi

Global News Blog: Music Streaming Service Uses Blog to Inform Users of Hacking

March 18, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Posted by Stephanie Minton

Spotify, a European based music streaming service, was hacked by people who stole the email addresses, birth dates and home addresses of subscribers. The company, which is based in Sweden, realized information was stolen from users only in recent days after the hackers sent a message to notify Spotify. It is believed that the hackers gained access at the end of 2008.

The company, founded in 2006, has more than one million registered users who can access music for free, with interruptions by advertising, or by paying a £10 a month they can access music ad free. Unlike other music streaming services, such as the Pirate Bay which is currently on trial for aiding in the illegal sharing of music, Spotify operates legally because they work with music companies and the music rights holders.

According to the BBC, Jim Butcher, Spotify’s communication manager, believes that about 10,000 accounts were hacked but warns anyone who created an account before December 19, 2008 to reset their password.

Spotify, besides employing a public spokesperson, also used their blog, to post an alert for their publics of the recent hackings. The blog post outlined the hacking incidence and apologized to the users. This is an important example that demonstrates how companies are utilizing different outlets, especially those used by the subscribers, to keep the public informed about information regarding the service.

Arts Blog: Throat Singing Attracts Crowd

March 18, 2009 by · Comments Off 

When I first heard that “Alash,” a Tuvan throat singing group from Central Asia, was coming to SMU, I thought instantly about “The Simpsons Movie” and Homer’s encounter with an Eskimo woman who initiates the throat singing. Of course, “The Simpsons Movie” was presented to be humorous, but throat singing is actually very beautiful and interesting.

The group Alash made a stop at SMU on March 18 before going to Austin for their appearance at the 2009 SXSW festival. I’m glad I did not miss this experience because it is indescribable.

The music was peaceful and reflected much on nature. The instruments were made of wood and emphasized the precense of nature in the Owen Arts Center lobby.

When the four men sang, it sounded as if the instrument took on a human-form. It was unreal and it seemed impossible. It sounded like whistling simultaneously from multiple throats, and it sounded painful. According to the group’s translator, it is not painful because the technique allows them to make multiple pitches simultaneously by relaxing the throat muscles.

Experiencing this interesting performance made me want to learn about other cultures, made me want to discover new music, and made me want to expand my horizon beyond the popular culture in the United States.

–Posted by Laura Vasquez

Arts Beat: Music Heaven

March 5, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Step into a world that you never knew existed or knew little about. Welcome to? Hype Machine, a blogging community that will make your wildest music dreams come true.? Blogs from all? over the world are collected and crash together to form a site that literally brings music to your ears.

The site changes? not only daily, but? most likely hourly.? You can check out what? artist,? song, album or blog? has been? hit up the most.? The direct link takes? you to? a blogging world full of playlists and albums for music junkies to sit back and indulge in. ? The beautiful thing about Hype Machine is how easy it is to find your new favorite band. Just spend a few minutes clicking around and you will stumble across more artists and music titles than you can wrap your head around–the majority of which you can listen to, since bloggers post songs for the artists’ benefit.

Spend hours reading music blogs and educating yourself on not only what artists are coming to a city near you, but also what the music community has to say about the thousands of albums being listened to. Just remember to support the artist if you love what you hear.

–Posted by: Brooke Morin

Arts Beat: Judge Every Book By Its Cover

March 4, 2009 by · Comments Off 

The old saying goes, “Never judge a book by its cover.” But when I found myself in Good Records yesterday, I realized that it is impossible not to take into account the cover of a book or, in my case, CD when making a purchase.

Going into a record store with no preconceived notion of what you’re looking for can be an adventure. You ask yourself an array of questions: Do I want something by one of my favorite artists or do I want to hear someone new? Which genre am I in the mood to jam to? Do I want the newest release or the band’s debut?

These questions help narrow down a search, but the the final decision is always made by the same standard: Which album’s artwork is more appealing and suits my mood for today’s rock and roll session?

And an album’s artwork says a lot about a disc. Take for example Of Montreal‘s Skeletal Lamping. The cover is an active display of swirling colors, floral patterns and naked people, somewhat like an LSD trip. And if you listen to the CD, that’s exactly what you’ll get. The songs are unconventional, strangely sexual and send the listener on an emotional roller coaster.

So the next time you are in a record or book store, take a step back and find what looks intriguing. And don’t feel guilty about being judgmental.

–Posted by Christine Ricciardi

Arts Blog: Dallas Welcomes Cut Copy at the Granada

March 3, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Posted by Laura Noble

Cut, copy… and paste? No, we’re not talking about a chain of techie commands. We’re talking about the Australian band, Cut Copy.

With a style considered by many to be indie dance with electronic influences, this trio of Melbourne cuties is coming to Dallas this weekend at the Granada Theater.

Their songs have swept stereos from frat parties to posh, Uptown night posts. This is one show that’s bound to be a hit for both the Urban Outfitters and Ralph Lauren crowds.

For those not yet familiar with the boys of Cut Copy, think Daft Punk and Fleetwood Mac meet Bloc Party.

Finally, now’s an excuse to don your most utterly ’80s apparel and dance all night.

Here’s to hoping they blast their biggest hit: “Lights and Music.”

Arts Beat: More full-length concerts on the way

October 2, 2008 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Russ Aaron

What’s the deal with this recent surge of full-album concerts? It seems to have started a few years back when Sonic Youth performed epic “Daydream Nation” from beginning to end.

Then everyone decided to follow suit. At this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival, Public Enemy, Sebadoh and Mission of Burma all played sets of full albums. Now, Van Morrison will be performing his 1968 album “Astral Weeks” in its entirety at the Hollywood Bowl on Nov. 7 and 8.

There’s even talk of a Jimmy Eat World “Clarity” tour. However, one must wonder if the emo rockers turned mainstream still have the ability to revisit the days when they were actually good.

Local Bands Head South for ACL

September 24, 2008 by · Comments Off 

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