The Music Mag | Unsigned UK Music Blog | Get Your Music Heard
Published on Thursday 19 April 2012 16:29
A Hoghton musician has made it through to the finals of a national competition.
Alex Danson and his Blues Rock band, Moist, has taken the judging panel of the UK’s biggest original music competition, Live and Unsigned, by storm.
More than 10,000 acts entered nationally, for a chance to perform at London’s O2 Arena, scoop the £10,000 main cash prize, and go on the Live and Unsigned festival tour.
Acts taking part in the live Area Final Showcase will have the chance to perform to a professional judging panel, including judges from Radio One, Kerrang and Choice FM.
This year’s competition also offers acts an extra chance of exposure as it is being filmed for broadcasting on Sky TV in an exclusive fly-on-the-wall documentary, Live and Unsigned: Uncut.
Event director of Live and Unsigned Chris Graystonsaid: “When you consider the amount of entries we had this year it’s a big deal to have got to this stage, and be just one performance away from fulfilling the dream of performing at The O2, one of the best music venues in the world.”
For more information and tickets go to the website www.LiveandUnsigned.UK.com.
• Live and Unsigned is the biggest original music competition in the UK for unsigned bands and artists. Attracting over 40,000 musicians to enter this year, it has set itself apart from its predecessors by promoting originality. It’s established as the definitive music competition for original acts and it’s open to all genres of music from Heavy Rock to Rap.
According to Pop Muzik, the 1979 hit single by M, the four corners of the tastemaker’s world were once “New York, London, Paris, Munich”. According to The Geographic Flow of Music, a considerably less catchy research paper by Conrad Lee and Padraig Cunningham of University College Dublin, the surprising modern equivalent would be ”Atlanta, Oslo, Montreal, Paris”.
Well, perhaps. The study, which uses such intriguing measures as “Euclid. Normalized Coldplay”, is based entirely on listener data from last.fm, and has more to do with Gladwellian networks of mavens, connectors and salesmen than any of the musicians hailing from those cities. Oslo, for example, isn’t even the most musically fertile city in Norway (that would be Bergen), let alone Europe. And Lee, taken aback by all the online attention, admits that he doesn’t know why some cities are more influential than others. But his preliminary study does suggest that, even as the internet erodes the importance of local scenes, musical influence moves in mysterious ways.
In truth, all the explanations for sudden efflorescences of creativity are retrospective. Today’s pop music backwater is tomorrow’s capital of cool. French pop was so widely derided until the mid-90s that journalists profiling Air or Daft Punk were obliged by law to crack wise about Johnny Hallyday. The Pacific northwest was musically insignificant until the grunge boom, at which point weekend flights from LA to Seattle were booked solid by AR men waving fistfuls of cash at any band who had ever played the same bar as Nirvana.
The explosion of a new scene turns critics into amateur ethnographers, suddenly wise about the cultural impact of maritime trade and heavy industry. Sometimes you can isolate concrete socioeconomic factors that allowed musicians to thrive during certain periods: Bristol’s multiracial population in the 80s; Atlanta’s rising black middle-class in the 90s; Berlin’s cheap rents today. Other possible causes are more nebulous. Histories of grunge tend to mention the nagging northwestern rain, while accounts of the Human League and Sheffield’s synth-pop vanguard inevitably cite the steelworks. But rain and factories aren’t magic ingredients. Just ask Gdansk.
It’s because talent is such a slippery, unpredictable quality that every theory is retrofitted according to isolated success stories. Say what you like about the significance of sailors bringing rock’n'roll records back to Liverpool from the US, but the Beatles were great because they were the Beatles and not, say, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. The Manic Street Preachers didn’t trigger a landslide of bands from Blackwood, south Wales, even though they were decisively shaped by the town. Some areas glow with talent for a brief, wondrous period and never experience anything like it again. The initial excited questions – “Why here? Why now?” – give way to “Why not again?”
In many cases, obscurity is a boon. While cosmopolitan hubs such as London or New York will always attract musicians from all over – today the latest so-called “Brooklyn band” probably has its roots somewhere else entirely – most exciting local bands and scenes, like mushrooms, flourish in the dark. Many groups can trace their distinctive aesthetics back to limited options, such as the racks of their town’s only record store or the playlist of a celebrated local DJ, and a more general sense of being excluded from the tastemaking circuitry of big cities. The Arctic Monkeys came from High Green, a village so small you can get off the bus at one end and emerge in a field 10 minutes later. On their debut single, Fake Tales of San Francisco, they taunted indie poseurs: “You’re not from New York City, you’re from Rotherham.” Even as it had the well-turned bathos of a Victoria Wood line it made a serious point: don’t deny your origins, however unglamorous, but draw on them.
But technology is working against geographically specific scenes. History suggests that idiosyncratic music is often informed by boredom, isolation, distance and limited access, conditions that the internet alleviates. This is the age of peripatetic young bohemians flitting from capital to capital; DJs whose natural habitat is the airport VIP lounge; hybridising laptop producers whose music seems to come from everywhere yet nowhere; omnivorous global hipsters for whom music is as mobile as their phones. That doesn’t by any means guarantee worse music but it does make the peculiar integrity of local scenes harder to maintain. For producers and listeners, from Oslo to Atlanta, the rapper Rakim’s famous maxim is increasingly true: It’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at.
• Follow Comment is free on Twitter @commentisfree
1 of 1
The campaign challenges unsigned bands to creatively use a suite of Microsoft products, social networking and a smart online presence to promote their band and rise up through the MUZU TV leader board to compete for the top prize.
The band that secures the biggest online fan base at the end of the eight-week initiative will be crowned winner of the competition, and will bag a prize worth over €10,000.
It consists of a digital marketing campaign for the band across Microsoft platforms including Windows Live and MSN, an acoustic session in the MUZU TV studio and a lot in the line-up at Dublin’s Academy venue on Abbey Street.
Bands can enter the competition via the Competition App on www.facebook.com/unsignedandonline and use their newly created band channel on Muzu.tv to generate views towards winning the competition.
Article source: http://www.rte.ie/ten/2012/0419/unsignedbands.html
He showed us how to dance, what music to listen to, and gave us something to do on New Year’s Eve.
For generations of Americans, Dick Clark was more than just a TV host; he was the person who helped shape key memories in our lives.
In judging Clark’s accomplishments, some might use his giant television empire as the benchmark: He made millions of dollars as a television entrepreneur, showing far more business savvy than you’d expect from someone with a slightly derisive nickname, “America’s oldest living teenager.” Game shows, award shows, bloopers, the American Music Awards — hours of television were filled by Dick Clark Productions, and Ryan Seacrest’s career follows Clark’s blueprint.
But for most Americans, their memories of Clark are personal. He came to them in their living room with “American Bandstand,” counting down the hits, introducing the latest dance moves and hair styles, and chatting up the pop act of the hour who would stop by lip-synch their new songs.
Or they would join him on New Year’s Eve, a friendly face for the dateless, or those who just wanted to stay away from the crowd. His other television institution, “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” is still going strong at age 40. Lady Gaga was the star of Clark’s last New Year’s show this winter.
“American Bandstand” was a simple idea blessed with perfect timing. Television was new in the early 1950s, and a Philadelphia station began showing a version of a teen dance party in the afternoon. Clark, a DJ in the city, took over as host in 1956.
It soon went national. One of the country’s biggest generations, the post-World War II baby boom, was heading into their teen years, itching to dance to this new sound of rock `n’ roll.
Clark spun the hits, as the camera panned to kids trying out the freshest dance moves. It was a required stop for the day’s hitmakers, and exposure on “American Bandstand” could send a song soaring up the charts. He’d ask an audience member to listen to a couple of brand-new songs each week and rate their hit potential, launching the immortal phrase: “It’s got a good beat, and you can dance to it.”
The show moved to Saturday afternoons in 1963, and continued to wield great influence. Chubby Checker’s “Twist” dance craze owed much to the teens shown gyrating on “Bandstand.”
The music changed, but “Bandstand” kept an open mind. Clark was a big fan of Michael Jackson and his family. Later video clips showed him awkwardly interviewing members of Talking Heads about their cerebral punk sound. In the early 1980s, former Sex Pistol John Lydon brought his new band P.I.L. to “Bandstand” and they wreaked havoc, bringing the audience onstage and not even pretending to play their instruments or sing along to their music.
Maybe they were trying to “punk” Dick Clark, as a later generation might say, but don’t miss the bigger point: They showed up to be on his show.
MTV eventually killed “Bandstand”; people didn’t need a once-a-week appointment to see people dance to songs on TV when they could watch music videos at any hour. The show’s influence didn’t disappear: MTV’s “Total Request Live,” big in the boy band era, was simply “Bandstand” for another generation (with a much shorter shelf life).
But Clark still remained a presence in most people’s lives, albeit on a more occasional basis, with his “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” When it arrived in the early 1970s, it represented a generational change. Television had stuck by bandleader Guy Lombardo for New Year’s long after his shelf life was over, and viewers needed something new.
Clark’s party brought all of the fun, but none of the cold winds or spilled champagne. He showed the ball drop in Times Square and let people watch excited celebrants from the warmth of their living rooms, but of course, with a musical soundtrack. Al Green, Helen Reddy and Three Dog Night performed at the first “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”
It remains the most popular New Year’s Eve program to this day.
Even after a severe stroke affected Clark’s ability to speak clearly and Seacrest joined him as co-host, Clark still made it a point to show up every year at Times Square, tenderly kissing his wife to celebrate another year. The show never remained frozen in time, either. Clark always brought on the hottest stars; Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey and Justin Bieber were among his more recent revelers.
It’s a holiday tradition that will live on without him, but forever defined by him.
Article source: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-04/D9U81L500.htm
Songwriter from Langton Herring through to finals in unsigned music contest
5:00pm Thursday 19th April 2012 in Local News
By Samantha Harman
A YOUNG singer-songwriter is a step closer to her record making dream after reaching the next stages of a music competition.
Sarah de Warren, 18, is through to the area finals of Live and Unsigned and will make her bid to go further on May 19.
Sarah, of Langton Herring, said: “I am so excited, but I know it’s going to be a hard competition. The Grand Final will be held at London’s 02 Arena.
“It would be amazing to have the chance to perform there,” she said.
The Bryanston school pupil performed with a cellist at her regional audition in Camden, north London She said: “I went to the first round in Hayes and about a quarter of the acts got through to the
area finals, and from there I’ve got through to the regional finals.
“The judges said they really liked the mix of sound between the cello and the keyboard.
“I try to do something different every time. I’m always writing new music.”
Proud mum Hilary Warren said: “We’re all very proud of Sarah and what she’s achieved and hope she can get to the final.”
The winner of the national competition will receive £10,000 towards the development of their act, UK promotion, music classes and time in a recording studio. Sarah said: “The prizes are all really
useful stuff to help the winner’s career get that step further.
Sarah’s area final will take place in Hayes, Middlesex on May 19.
Comment now! Register or sign in below.
Before MTV, “American Idol,” “The Voice” and “X Factor,” Dick Clark changed the way teenagers connected to music with his TV show, “American Bandstand.”
Clark even helped make New York’s Times Square seem like the world’s crossroads from 1974-2012, thanks to the annual airing of “Dick Clark’s New Years Eve” celebrations.
Now celebrity tributes from around the world are pouring in for the ever-youthful icon, who died at 84 following a heart attack on Wednesday.
From U.S. President Barack Obama to Janet Jackson, celebrities have been showing their love for the man who brought rock ‘n’ roll into the mainstream with “American Bandstand.”
Indeed, for some celebs Clark’s death symbolized the end of an era to television and in their own lives.
“I’m of a certain age where I grew up on Saturday afternoons watching ‘American Bandstand’,” Kevin Newman, CTV’s “Question Period” co-host said Thursday.
Teens in the 1950s and 1960s never saw what bands looked like or how they moved, said Newman. “American Bandstand” changed all that, giving North Americans the opportunity to see performers such as Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers and others in a new way.
“You got the album cover, but you never knew what the personalities were like. ‘Bandstand’ was that for me. You could actually see the acts that were part of growing up,” he said.
Years later, Newman worked with Clark after the Canadian reporter joined ABC News for a time, beginning in 1994.
“It was pretty cool. Dick Clark was one of the nicest men I ever met, but what a pro,” said Newman.
“He just understood television in his bones in a way that I think few people did.”
“For 40 years, we welcomed him into our homes to ring in the New Year. But more important than his groundbreaking achievements was the way he made us feel — as young and vibrant and optimistic as he was.” – U.S. President Barack Obama
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark. He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life.” — Ryan Seacrest
“Dick Clark changed the face of musical television. He was wonderful to many artists including our family. We will miss him. God Bless.” — Janet Jackson
“RIP Dick Clark – thanks for the many years of entertainment.” — U.S. Sen. John McCain
“He was an entrepreneur, a visionary and a major force in changing pop culture and ultimately influencing integration. It happened first emotionally. Music can do that. He didn’t do it from a soap box, he just did it.” — Motown founder Berry Gordy
“REST IN PEACE to the DICKCLARK!! U were pioneer n a good man!! Thank u sir.” — Snoop Dogg
“Very sad to hear about Dick Clark. What a great life. What a great career. Relevant until the end. He will be missed!” — Joan Rivers
“Dick Clark was eternally young. No matter what culturally phenomenon was happening, he always embraced it. RIP…” — Russell Simmons
“You may remember Dick Clark as the world’s oldest living teenager. I’ll remember him as the man who beat me in a pushup contest — he was 74.” — Danny Bonaduce
“In 1974, my first time on BandStand, I thought Dick Clark was the most handsome man in show business.” –Marie Osmond
“Dick Clark was a great friend, true legend, a master journalist. Nobody did what he did better. It was a pleasure to be in his company.” – Larry King
“Always a gentleman.” — baseball player and manager Tommy Lasorda
Published on Wednesday 18 April 2012 07:38
OLIVIA Lawson is aiming to reach for the stars in a national competition.
The 15-year-old, from The Broadway, Sunderland, has sailed through to the area final of the prestigious Live and Unsigned contest, a country-wide search to unearth new talent.
She impressed with a performance of a track from musical Miss Saigon as well a belting out a rendition of The Power of Love by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
She will now compete against other area finalists on May 12 in Newcastle in a bid to make it all the way to the grand final at London’s O2 Arena.
The Grindon Hall School pupil said: “I was put through by the judges but they said I needed to work on my audience interaction so I’ll be working on that for the next round.
“I couldn’t believe it when I found out I had made it through to the next round. I’m quite a shy person but this has given me the confidence I need.
“My whole life I have wanted to do something in music. I feel more comfortable performing for large crowds than small groups so it would be amazing to play at the O2.”
If Olivia went on to win Live and Unsigned she would scoop a slot at a music festival, studio recording time and £10,000 to spend on developing her act and music equipment.
The acts which receive the highest scores at the national final will perform at The Live Fest, an event showcasing the cream of the UK’s unsigned talent.
Chris Grayston, events director of Live and Unsigned, said: “Live and Unsigned is about originality, live ability and credibility.”
18 April 2012
Last updated at 17:16 ET
One of America’s best-known veteran television personalities, Dick Clark, has died aged 82.
Clark, who presented the long-running music show American Bandstand and an annual New Year’s Eve special, had a heart attack, his agent said.
He had continued working even after suffering a debilitating stroke in 2004.
ABC’s American Bandstand show introduced stars ranging from Buddy Holly to Michael Jackson to Madonna.
Continue reading the main story
American Bandstand, the show Dick Clark hosted for three decades, transformed pop music on television. The programme paved the way for many up-and-coming stars and inspired other music shows. It’s also credited with breaking down racial boundaries.
As a host, Clark was the ultimate professional, always calm under pressure and enthusiastic about the music his programme showcased. Millions of Americans also watched Clark’s perennial New Year’s Eve show.
Even after suffering a huge stroke eight years ago, his speech impaired, he continued to present Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, a programme which he launched in 1972.
Behind the scenes, he was a shrewd businessman, and Clark productions became a powerhouse in Hollywood. His friends and colleagues have been paying tribute to a TV superstar who will be greatly missed.
Paul Shefrin, Clark’s spokesman, said the presenter had a heart attack on Wednesday morning at Saint John’s Hospital in Santa Monica.
He had gone to the facility the day before for an outpatient procedure.
Clark was often referred to as “the world’s oldest teenager” because of his youthful appearance.
He made his 40th appearance on ABC TV’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve programme on 31 December 2011.
Clark was born Richard Wagstaff Clark in a New York City suburb in 1929, and began working in the mail-room of a radio station in the city in 1945.
In his 1976 autobiography, Rock, Roll Remember, he said he had idolised his older brother, Bradley, who was killed in World War II. Radio, he said, helped eased his loneliness.
Clark’s production company, Dick Clark Productions, created films, game shows, music programmes and beauty contests, including The $25,000 Pyramid, TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes, and the American Music Awards.
At one time during the 1980s, Clark had shows running on all three main US networks – ABC, CBS and NBC – and he ranked among the Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans.
He was also a partner of the United Stations Radio Network, which provided content to thousands of stations.
In 1985, Clark told the Associated Press news agency: “There’s hardly any segment of the population that doesn’t see what I do.
“It can be embarrassing. People come up to me and say, ‘I love your show’, and I have no idea which one they’re talking about.”
Clark married three times and had three children.
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17763412
A MUSICAL Swansea duo is now just one performance away from playing at London’s O2 arena.
Brothers Joe and John Collins were voted by judges as one of the best in the Regional Final Showcase in the Live and Unsigned competition in Cardiff.
The duo had battled against hundreds of hopefuls to secure a spot in the regional final.
They will now be competing against bands and artists in the South West England and Wales Area Final on Sunday, May 27, in Reading.
Live and Unsigned has attracted more than 50,000 entries over the past five years.
All the acts are battling it out for the chance to play at Live Fest at the 02.
Joe, 17, and John, 16, are both pupils at Bishop Vaughan School in Swansea and have been writing and performing together for several years.
The siblings perform under the name JayCee and write alternative rock songs which are intended to be played with a full band.
John said: “We’re absolutely delighted to get this far.
“It was great to get through the audition stage and even better to go through from the regional finals in Cardiff.
“We are hoping we will get a bit of luck in the area final in Reading and make it through to the grand final.
“Being brothers, we have had a similar taste in music, ever since we started having guitar lessons.
“As a result we have always written and played songs together, and it was a natural progression that we would end up performing together as well.
“For a while we have been playing cover songs in our local gigs, as much as we enjoy this, we would like to get recognised for our own music.”
Chris Grayston, events director of Live and Unsigned, said: “Live and Unsigned is all about originality, live ability and credibility.
“We don’t accept demos or submissions and everyone auditions live.
“We’ve got some fantastic prizes up for grabs this year in a £100,000 prize pool, including a new main cash prize of £10,000.
“The festival slots and other prizes available make this year’s competition our biggest ever.”
April 18, 2012 4:10 pm