Thursday, March 8, 2012


Frank Zappa
Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. While in his teens, he acquired a taste for percussion-based avant-garde composers such as Edgard Varèse and 1950s rhythm and blues music. He began writing classical music in high school, while at the same time playing drums in rhythm and blues bands; he later switched to electric guitar.
He was a self-taught composer and performer, and his diverse musical influences led him to create music that was often impossible to categorize. His 1966 debut album with The Mothers of Invention, Freak Out!, combined songs in conventional rock and roll format with collective improvisations and studio-generated sound collages. His later albums shared this eclectic and experimental approach, irrespective of whether the fundamental format was one of rock, jazz or classical. His lyrics—often humorously—reflected his iconoclastic view of established social and political processes, structures and movements. He was a strident critic of mainstream education and organized religion, and a forthright and passionate advocate for freedom of speech, self-education, political participation and the abolition of censorship.
Zappa was a highly productive and prolific artist and gained widespread critical acclaim. He had some commercial success, particularly in Europe, and for most of his career was able to work as an independent artist. He also remains a major influence on musicians and composers. Zappa was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. Zappa was married to Kathryn J. "Kay" Sherman from 1960 to 1964. In 1967, he married Adelaide Gail Sloatman, with whom he remained until his death from prostate cancer in 1993. They had four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen. Gail Zappa manages the businesses of her late husband under the name the Zappa Family Trust.
Birth name: Frank Vincent Zappa
Born: December 21, 1940. Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Died: December 4, 1993 (aged 52),Los Angeles, California, U.S. due to prostate cancer
Genres: Rock, experimental, jazz, classical, blues
Occupations: Composer, musician, conductor, producer
Instruments: Vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, synclavier, bicycle, drums
Years active: 1955–1993
Labels: Verve, Bizarre, Straight, DiscReet, Zappa, Barking Pumpkin
Associated acts: The Mothers of Invention, Captain Beefheart, Steve Vai


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Friday, March 2, 2012


The Cure
The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with frontman, vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member. The Cure first began releasing music in the late 1970s with its debut album Three Imaginary Boys (1979); this, along with several early singles, placed the band as part of the post-punk and New Wave movements that had sprung up in the wake of the punk rock revolution in the United Kingdom. During the early 1980s, the band's increasingly dark and tormented music helped form the gothic rock genre.
After the release of Pornography (1982), the band's future was uncertain and Smith was keen to move past the gloomy reputation his band had acquired. With the 1982 single "Let's Go to Bed" Smith began to place a pop sensibility into the band's music (as well as a unique stage look). The Cure's popularity increased as the decade wore on, especially in the United States where the songs "Just Like Heaven", "Lovesong" and "Friday I'm in Love" entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart. By the start of the 1990s, The Cure were one of the most popular alternative rock bands in the world. The band is estimated to have sold 27 million albums as of 2004. The Cure have released thirteen studio albums, 10 EPs and over thirty singles during the course of their career. Since 2010, they have been working on a fourteenth studio album.
Origin: Crawley, England
Genres: Alternative rock, gothic rock, New Wave, post-punk
Years active: 1976–present
Labels: Fiction, Suretone, Geffen, Polydor, Elektra, Asylum, Sire
Associated acts: Malice, Easy Cure, The Glove, Siouxsie and the Banshees
Members: Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Jason Cooper, Roger O'Donnell
Past members:Michael Dempsey, Matthieu Hartley, Phil Thornalley, Andy Anderson, Boris Williams, Perry Bamonte, Porl Thompson,  Lol Tolhurst


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The Ramones
The Ramones were an American rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. They are often cited as the first punk rock group. Despite achieving only limited commercial success, the band was a major influence on the punk rock movement both in the United States and the United Kingdom.
All of the band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname "Ramone", though none of them were related. They performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years. In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played a farewell concert and disbanded. Little more than eight years after the breakup, the band's three founding members—lead singer Joey Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone, and bassist Dee Dee Ramone—had died.
Their only record with enough U.S. sales to be certified gold was the compilation album Ramones Mania. However, recognition of the band's importance built over the years, and they are now cited in many assessments of all-time great rock music, such as the Rolling Stone list of the 50 Greatest Artists of All Time and VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. In 2002, the Ramones were ranked the second-greatest band of all time by Spin magazine, trailing only The Beatles. On March 18, 2002, the Ramones—including the three founders and drummers and Tommy and Marky Ramone—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2011, the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Origin: Forest Hills, Queens, New York, United States
Genres: Punk rock
Years active: 1974–1996
Labels: Sire, Philips, Beggars Banquet, Radioactive, Chrysalis
Associated acts: Tangerine Puppets, Sniper, Bad Chopper, Los Gusanos, Dust, The Voidoids, Blondie, Uncle Monk, Misfits, Osaka Popstar
Past members: Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Joey Ramone, Tommy Ramone, Marky Ramone, Richie Ramone, Elvis Ramone (Clem Burke), C.J. Ramone

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The Killers
The Killers are an American rock band that was formed in 2001, by Brandon Flowers (lead vocals, keyboards) and Dave Keuning (guitar, backing vocals). Mark Stoermer (bass, backing vocals) and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. (drums, percussion) would complete the current line-up of the band in 2002. The name The Killers comes from the bass drum of a fictional band in the music video for the New Order song "Crystal".[3]
The group has released three studio albums, Hot Fuss (2004), Sam's Town (2006) and Day & Age (2008). They have also released one compilation album, Sawdust (2007) and one live album and DVD titled Live From The Royal Albert Hall (2009). To date, the band has sold over 6 million albums in the United States, over 5 million albums in the United Kingdom, and over 15 million worldwide.
Origin:Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Genres: Indie rock, alternative rock, post-punk revival, New Wave
Years active: 2001–present
Labels: Island, Vertigo, Marrakesh
Members: Brandon Flowers, Dave Keuning, Mark Stoermer, Ronnie Vannucci Jr.


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Gnarls Barkley
Gnarls Barkley is an American soul duo composed of the artists Brian Joseph Burton (known professionally as Danger Mouse) and Cee Lo Green. Their first studio album St. Elsewhere was released in 2006; along with its first single "Crazy". Both single and album were a major commercial success and have been noted for their large sales by download. The duo released their second album The Odd Couple in March 2008.
Origin:Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Genres: Alternative rock, alternative hip-hop, soul
Years active: 2004–present
Labels: Downtown, Atlantic

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Serj Tankian
Serj Tankian (Armenian: Սերժ Թանգեան [ˈsɛɾʒ tʰɑnˈkʰjɑn]; born August 21, 1967) is a Lebanese-born Armenian-American singer–songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, playwright, record producer, poet, and political activist. He is best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter, keyboardist, and occasional live rhythm guitarist of the rock band System of a Down.
During his musical career, Tankian has released five albums with System of a Down, one with Arto Tunçboyacıyan (Serart), as well as two solo albums Elect the Dead and Imperfect Harmonies and a live orchestral version of the former incorporating the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra named Elect the Dead Symphony. In 2002, Tankian and Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello co-founded a non-profit political activist organization, Axis of Justice. Tankian also founded the music label Serjical Strike Records.
Tankian is ranked 26th in the Hit Parader's Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time.
On August 12, 2011, Tankian was awarded the Armenian Prime Minister's Medal for his contributions to the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the advancement of music.
Birth name: Serj Tankian
Born: August 21, 1967 (age 44) Beirut, Lebanon
Genres: Heavy metal, experimental, alternative metal, progressive rock, nu metal, alternative rock, art rock, classical
Occupations: Musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, poet, political activist
Instruments: Vocal, piano, keyboards, synthesizer, sampler, theremin, guitar, bass guitar, violin, harmonica, melodica, bouzouki, dulcimer[disambiguation needed ], drums
Years active: 1992–present
Labels: Serjical Strike, Reprise, American, Columbia, Axis of Justice
Associated acts: System of a Down, Axis of Justice, The F.C.C.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012


Peter Tosh
Peter Tosh, born Winston Hubert McIntosh (19 October 1944 – 11 September 1987), was a Jamaican reggae musician who was a core member of the band The Wailers (1963–1974), and who afterward had a successful solo career as well as being a promoter of Rastafari.
Peter Tosh was born in Grange Hill, Jamaica, an illegitimate child to a mother too young to care for him properly. He was raised by his aunt. He began to sing and learn guitar at an early age, inspired by American radio stations. After a notable career with The Wailers and as a solo musician, he was murdered at his home during a robbery.
 Birth name: Winston Hubert McIntosh
Also known as: Stepping Razor
Born: 19 October 1944
Origin: Westmoreland, Jamaica
Died: 11 September 1987 (aged 42)
Genres: Reggae, ska, rocksteady, R&B
Occupations: Singer, musician, revolutionary
Instruments: Piano, guitar, organ, vocals, keyboard
Labels: Intel-Diplo


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Manu Chao
Manu Chao (born José-Manuel Thomas Arthur Chao on June 21, 1961), is a French singer of Spanish roots (Basque and Galician). He sings in French, Spanish, English, Italian, Galician, Arabic and Portuguese and occasionally in other languages. Chao began his musical career in Paris, busking and playing with groups such as Hot Pants and Los Carayos, which combined a variety of languages and musical styles. With friends and his brother Antoine Chao, he founded the band Mano Negra in 1987, achieving considerable success, particularly in Europe. He became a solo artist after its breakup in 1995, and since then tours regularly with his live band, Radio Bemba.
Birth name: José-Manuel Thomas Arthur Chao Ortega.
Also known as: Oscar Tramor.
Born: June 21, 1961 (age 50),Paris, France.
Genres: Alternative rock, ska, punk, reggae, Latin, salsa.
Occupations: Musician, record producer.
Instruments: Vocals, guitar, bass, keyboard.
Years active: 1984–present.
Labels: Nacional Records (U.S.), Because Music (France), Virgin Records.
Associated acts: Mano Negra, Radio Bemba Sound System.


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