Thursday, March 22, 2012

5 Most Influential Women In Rock : Featuring Patti Smith & Suzi Quatro

Patti Smith the unconventional and ambitious “Godmother of Punk”, is an American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist. After seven years of working solo in New York, falling in love, busking and dealing with poverty, she formed The Patti Smith Group in 1974 alongside guitarist Lenny Kaye who has been a permanent member to the present day.

Their full band consisted of the two, along with Ivan Kral, Richard Sohl and Jay Dee Daugherty. Their first album, challenged the New York music scene by combining both punk rock music with poetry and spoken word. Patti Smith has written songs from simple, three-chord rock to free-form experimentalism and her creativity shows she can truly be classified as a musical artist. Her most widely-successful song is “Because The Night”, written collaboratively with Bruce Springsteen.

Patti Smith is also a huge idol for women as she has never relied on sex appeal for her success, actually having quite a plain and even androgynous look. She dressed simply like any male rock musician, not feeling that any alternative occurred to her. And why should it? She referred to herself as an artist, not a woman, and this no doubt eradicated any expectations for female performers; she showed people there was no limit when it came to expressing yourself.

Smith has inspired a number of modern musicians, such as Michael Stipe of R.E.M., Garbage and Sonic Youth. KT Tunstall supposedly dedicated her song, “Suddenly I See” to Patti Smith and if the lyrics “Suddenly I see, This is what I wanna be” aren’t obvious enough to point out Smith’s influence, I don’t know what is.

Dressed from head to toe in a leather playsuit and wearing one of the heaviest bass guitar models is a common look for Suzi Quatro, one of the greatest glam-rock, bubblegum pop artists out there. Bubblegum pop may sound a little unfamiliar, but typically refers to a music genre which ran between 1967 and 1972, and was thought to have influenced punk music.
Quatro has been playing music since she was fifteen years old, playing bass guitar for the all-female garage band, Pleasure Seekers, which she formed with her sisters, Patti, Arlene and Nancy.

In 1971, Suzi Quatro had been discovered by British record producer, Mickie Most, and had moved to the UK where she began her solo career. Although she had not been particularly successful in her native United States, Quatro received huge recognition for her early singles, “Can the Can”, “48 Crash” and “Devil Gate Drive” throughout Europe and in Australia.

The release of “If You Can’t Give Me Love” made her popular in the United Kingdom in 1978 and the following “Stumblin’ In” finally reached the US charts. By the time she was thirty years old, Suzi Quatro had released her Greatest Hits album and had become a huge influence for female artists, specifically Joan Jett and The Runaways, as well as inspiring the Riot Grrrl scene of the 90s.

Monday, March 12, 2012

5 Most Influential Women In Rock

From the beginning, rock music has too often been an all-boys club that excludes women from its inner circles. But not always: The following list celebrates the most prominent, influential and significant women in rock. Here we will take a look at the profiles of these Phenomenal Women in Music who have contributed their talents to help shape the rock music history, at a time when men dominated the airwaves and the charts.

On this three part series we look at each of these female musicians' role and contribution to rock.

Joan Jett is without a doubt one of the greatest influences in rock music. As a fearless, young and controversial musician, Joan Jett was incredibly successful in the 70s with all-teenage-girl band, The Runaways, formed in Los Angeles and consisting of full-time members Lita Ford, Cherie Currie and Sandy West. In a male-dominated rock music scene, this was something new and not easy to do. However, the band recieved a great response from Europe and Japan, before splitting after a four year run.

Joan is now best known for her work as Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, bringing us something even more powerful and well, ultimately just extremely cool. Some of her biggest hits include BadReputation” (which has been featured in a number of television shows and films), “I Love Rock N Roll” (although this was a covered and updated version of the original song by The Arrows), “DoYou Wanna Touch Me” (original by Gary Glitter), “Crimson and Clover” (Tommy James) and “I Hate Myself For Loving You”.

Joan Jett also produced many bands throughout her career under the label Blackheart Records, such as The Vacancies and The Eyeliners. As well as being involved in the music scene, she has also had various roles in film and theatre, her own radio show and most recently been a producer in the movie, The Runaways (2010), starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, which focuses on the relationship between Joan and Cherie.

As far as her influence on others goes, Joan Jett was considered to be a huge inspiration for the Riot Grrrl movement in the 90s, its pioneer being Bikini Kill, a band whose single, “NewRadio/Rebel Girl” was produced by Jett. It’s obvious that she has had a huge impact on many girl rockers out there, showing the world that a girl can indeed make it in a male-dominated music scene.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Silent No More, 'The Artist' Wins at the OSCARS

The silent cinema hit the world like a hurricane, destroying élite notions of culture overnight. As a feature-length art form, it lasted less than twenty years, from 1912 to 1929, yet more than ten thousand features were made in that period in the United States alone. From the beginning, the silent cinema was an art devoted to physical risk and to primitive passions, to rage, lust, ambition, and obsession (silence made emotions more extreme in many ways), and it produced obsession in its huge audience.

The Artist which focuses on Hollywood era between 1927 to 1931, won five Academy Awards at the
84th Annual Academy Awards 2012 including best picture, becoming the first silent film to triumph at Hollywood's highest honors since the original Oscar ceremony 83 years ago.

The black-and-white comic melodrama won oscars for Best actor ,Best director,Best picture,Best Orginal music score and for Best Costume Design.

French composer Ludovic Bource won the Academy Award for original score for his work in this
movie.In composing for Michel Hazanavicius' film , Bource referenced such genre touchstones as "Sunset Boulevard" and the music of the late film composer Franz Waxman. Yet Bource also immersed himself in the work of early Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein and classical masters such as Johannes Brahms.

This was the first nomination for Bource, as well as the composer’s first major international film. In the 100 minutes of "The Artist," Bource's music touches on a lifetime of sounds, from Bollywood melodicism to noir-like diversions. Bource earlier won the Golden Globe for his composition.

The Artist's success at the OSCARs only show that people are still in love with silent movies.And if you're one among them then 'The Artist' might interest you.