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“The Voice”: Second Chances

One of the coolest things about The Voice is that it can give contestants a second chance at stardom. While some of these performers have only sung for friends and family, more and more vocalists armed with impressive resumes are coming to The Voice for their chance to really make it big.

Last season, there was Dia Frampton, one half of indie rock sister duo Meg & Dia (we even interviewed her, back in the day!). Their band had been a part of the Vans Warped Tour, was signed to a label and had a loving fan base, but they just couldn’t break into the mainstream. After soaring straight to the No. 2 spot on The Voice, Dia released her first solo album and has recently been on tour with her band, opening for her coach, Blake Shelton. Of course, season one winner Javier Colon had also been around the business; he had previously been signed to Capitol Records for four years, but never caught his big break.

Is "The Voice" a second chance for Charlotte Sometimes?

We’re just a few episodes into this season and we’ve already seen experienced talents like emo-alt rocker Juliet Simms and Alicia Keys’ backup singer Jermaine Paul. Last night’s episode added two more music vets to the mix with Charlotte Sometimes and Tony Vincent. Sometimes was signed to Crush Management at the tender age of sixteen, was featured on VH1 and, like Frampton and Simms, is a Vans Warped Tour alum. As she recounted in her backstory segment, she was diagnosed with a degenerative bone disease that had her battling for her ability to sing for years. Now fully recovered, Sometimes blew all four of the judges away with her take on One Republic’s “Apologize” before committing to Team Blake.

Despite the creepy makeup (ditch the lip gloss, please!), contestant Tony Vincent made quite the impression on The Voice last night when he sang “We Are The Champions.” Though ambitious, the song choice was not at all surprising, as Vincent had just recounted his time in Queen’s musical We Will Rock You. Vincent had also previously performed in Green Day’s American Idiot, Rent and more. Vincent brought down the house and ended up on Team Cee-Lo. We’re definitely excited to see what he does next.

Here’s to hoping the second time’s the charm, guys!


Sound And Vision: 10 Things to Look Forward to in 2012 (Featuring Soundgarden, the Stone Roses and Freddie Mercury — Alive Again!)

A US Presidential election, Summer Olympics mania (London’s calling—again!), Rihanna’s film debut (in Battleship, out May 18) and the possible end of the world. Those are a few of the things I won’t be looking forward to in the coming year. Fortunately, music will offer enough thrills to distract us from all that we’d rather forget. Here’s what’s topping my 2012 anticipation list:

1. Madonna makes fiftysomething fabulous all over again. Although I’m curious to hear what Madonna does with Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. on the final cut of “Gimme All Your Luvin’” when the single is released the last week of January, that’s not the main reason I’m excited about her upcoming twelfth studio album (due in late March), her first since turning fifty in 2008.  “Masterpiece,” a new song featured in the Madonna-directed W.E. (which goes into wide release on February 3, two days before her Super Bowl XLVI performance) and her reunion with her Ray of Light producer William Orbit, is an achingly beautiful ballad that recalls the best of ’90s Madonna while gently proving that she can still create pop magic all on her own.

2. Madonna vs. Elton John vs. Mary J. Blige vs. Chris Cornell vs. Glenn Close (!) at the Golden Globes. Too bad the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has disqualified Madonna’s “Masterpiece” from competition at the February 27 Oscars. Why? Because it’s the second song featured during the closing credits, and eligible songs must either be in the body of the film, or the tune that plays when the credits start to roll. Oscar’s loss. The January 15 Golden Globes showdown featuring five monsters of pop, rock and soul and acting will be just as star-studded—and as tough to call—as George Clooney vs. Brad Pitt vs. Leonardo DiCaprio vs. Ryan Gosling in Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama.

Continue reading ‘Sound And Vision: 10 Things to Look Forward to in 2012 (Featuring Soundgarden, the Stone Roses and Freddie Mercury — Alive Again!)’

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Justin Bieber Queen
Best Coast Coldplay
  • Biebs giving teenage girls everywhere a reason to want to become President of the United States.
  • People expecting a documentary about Queen Elizabeth are going to be so disappointed.
  • Chris Martin is really fitting into his role as the anti-Gallagher.
  • Sorry to all those hoping for more hipster drama.
  • Remember when we’d have to wait what seemed like eons for the next Radiohead release? Those were the days.
  • Wait, so that wasn’t Florence Welch dressed up as Katy Perry hosting SNL? We’re so confused.
  • You’ll forgive us if we don’t hold our breath for X Factor‘s chances for yet another season.
  • It’ll be like American Idiot, but with less obnoxious pop-punk anthems.

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Napster Taylor Swift
Freddie Mercury
  • Not sure about the rest of you, but the end of Napster just makes us feel old.
  • Sorry Taylor, the GRAMMY Nazi says no GRAMMYs for you.
  • BRUCE! We are so pumped for next year’s SXSW now.
  • All the people expecting to see a documentary about the planet Mercury are going to be so disappointed.
  • Apparently, it isn’t a music festival without some Stone Roses.
  • We can totally see Madonna being that annoying neighbor who has loud sex at 3 in the morning.
  • If it doesn’t have hair explosions, it isn’t Gaga enough.
  • Beyoncé, you’re missing out on the best excuse to the absolute delight that is eating ice cream with hot chili sauce.

MTV O Awards Shed Light On YouTube’s Most Amusing Music

Last Monday, as we celebrated Halloween, MTV gave out their second annual O Awards. MTV’s newest and definitely most unique awards show aired on a couple of different Web sites, as opposed to TV. This aspect of the show was fitting, as the MTV O Awards are all about our favorite Internet fads, celebrities and technology. Most of the categories still have to do with music, but they’re based on how we view and consume this music due to new technology, the internet and social networking sites like Twitter. Celebrities even performed and presented nominees via live feeds from various locations. It was a great way to embrace all of the positive effects that technology has on music. Here are some of our favorite parts and winners from the night!

Everyone loves a good cover song. But when YouTube popped up and gave anyone the ability to post renditions of songs by their favorite artists, there were bound to be ten horrible versions for every good one. Luckily, there are some gems that are so great, they make us forget about rest. Marc Martel won the Best Fan Cover Award when he won us over with his rendition of Queen‘s “Somebody To Love” for the band’s own competition. As soon as he starts to sing the first line, you know it’s going to be incredible. While no one can compare to Freddie Mercury, the resemblance in Marc’s voice is undeniable and the award was definitely deserved.

Vocal Points: What Makes A Great Rock Voice?

There are plenty of components that make up an outstanding rock band. From a great guitar sound, to a killer bass line, there is so much rock greatness out there to grab your attention. But what makes a great rock vocalist? What kind of singer can produce a sound that shapes a generation and even other singers to come? And most of all, what does it to take to have a voice that flat-out ROCKS? Well, lets look at a few of the most well-known, respected voices in rock history.

Freddie Mercury, Queen‘s phenomenal frontman, is one of the rock voices that has always impressed me. The texture of his voice, his low growl, and the ease that he would glide from one vocal register to another are all truly remarkable. Unlike many rock singers, Freddie Mercury had an incredibly versatile voice which was raw and ferocious, while still being incredibly melodic and listenable to a wide array of music fans. His voice was  huge part of what made Queen such a huge success, as well as the reason why they’ll continue to be an important piece of rock history.

Continue reading ‘Vocal Points: What Makes A Great Rock Voice?’


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