Live Musician Central – Weekend Album Picks 1-31-09

Every week I pick the most heavily marketed top new releases for you to check out. I also pick a few classic albums.

   Every week at Live Musician Central I pick some of the top new releases available for you to download from both iTunes and Amazon.com music service.  These new release choices reflect the heaviest music industry marketing. There are two reasons I post up the most heavily music industry marketed albums. First, by checking out these releases you’ll be able to keep a finger on the pulse of the mainstream music industry. It’s still a very powerful business that heavily influences peoples buying choices. The second reason is that a large number of people are going to know these albums. So if your band is looking for new music to put in your bands setlist these would be good choices simply because your chance of people knowing the songs at your shows will be very high. You’ll also look very on top of things and current with your knowledge of music. So these albums are a great resource for your song selection. I will also post up links to top selling albums of all time for the reason of song selection as well.

   I use links to both iTunes and Amazon.com. iTunes is now the top music retailer in the U.S. so it goes without saying that people are going to be downloading their recommended new releases. I put links up from Amazon.com because their music service is an incredible bargain and their MP3’s are DRM free. You can save a bundle downloading entire albums from Amazon.com over iTunes. Amazon.com MP3’s are also ripped at an excellent sounding 256kbps and since they’re DRM free you can play them on multiple MP3 players including iPods and iPhones. This week Bruce Springsteen releases his new album. It’s music industry marketing at its finest as he releases the album the same week he plays the Superbowl XLIII Halftime Show. Go Bruce, you’re the Boss!!!
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Your Live Band Must Have A Stable Core Group Of Musicians

Your live band must have a stable core of three musicians that can carry an entire gig alone.

The Core = Guitar, Bass and Drums
The Core = Guitar, Bass and Drums

Over the years I’ve played in a lot of various live band lineups. I’ve played in 3, 4, 5 and 6-piece rock bands as well as some 20 person Jazz bands. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is the bigger the band, the bigger the problems. I’m talking about scheduling problems, personality conflicts, incompatible work ethic, weak skill levels and mismatched goals for the band. It can be a real challenge in a band with a lot of people to keep it functioning. Fortunately there is an excellent solution to this problem. All you really have to do is have a compatible, stable group of core musicians.

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Build Your Set List With Live Musician Central’s Custom iMix

Build your set list with proven hits using Live Musician Centrals custom iMix set lists.

  

Live Musician Central Downloadable Set Lists
Live Musician Central Downloadable Set Lists

   Earlier on Live Musician Central I wrote a post detailing the benefits of using iTunes custom iMix feature to create set lists for your live band to learn. You can check out that article here: Creating A Setlist Using iTunes iMix. There are a lot of advantages to using the iMix feature to create your band set lists. The top reason to do it is so that all members of your band can get the same version of the song from the same place. That way you don’t have your bass player learning the live version of a song, your drummer learning a studio outtake and your guitarist learning the radio edit.

   Today I want to point you to the Live Musician Central Downloadable Setlist page that has links to all the custom iMixes that I have created. These setlists were created using the Top 200 dance songs of all time. I created the setlists to have a flow to them that will work very well in a club. If you’re looking for a starting place to build up your band set list then these iMixes are a great place to start.


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Amazing Singers Paul Potts and Connie Talbot from Britains Got Talent

Two amazing singers emerged from the 2007 season of Britains Got Talent. Paul Potts and Connie Talbot.

   For today’s live artist spotlight I’m going to feature two amazingly talented singers that were discovered on the British television show titled “Britain’s Got Talent”. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if you’ve already seen these video clips as they’ve had millions of views on the Internet. The clips are from the 2007 season of Britain’s Got Talent and the winner has already been decided. If you don’t know who won, I won’t spoil it for you. Although I will say the winner was chosen from one of the two singers that I’ve posted clips of below.

   First up I have little Connie Talbot who is 6 years old. I am a jaded old musician and I’m extremely critical of other musicians. So it’s easy for me to write off this little girl since she doesn’t sing spot on, dead perfect. I have to remember she’s 6 years old!! So honestly, I am amazed at her skill. Second on the list is Mr. Paul Potts. A man who struggles with self confidence and who has the glamorous career of mobile phone salesman. So it’s a bit shocking to see such a boring old regular guy just kill it singing a very unexpected tune.

   I’ve posted up the auditions of both singers as well as a couple more clips that show their progression through the show. In the last clip, you can find out who won the Britain’s Got Talent competition.

6 Year Old Connie Talbot Audition (fast-forward to :55 to see her sing)

Paul Potts BGT Audition
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Make Singing Practice Fun With SingStar The Video Game

SingStar the video game is an excellent way to practice your singing as well as your live performance.

SingStar PS3 Bundle
SingStar PS3 Bundle

   I’m always looking for good ways to practice my live performance. You can only sing along in the car for so long before you’re bored to death and there’s really no way to practice your stage moves while driving. It’s also not a lot of fun to do boring old Karaoke especially at home without an audience. That’s where SingStar the video game comes in extremely handy.

   If you’re not familiar with SingStar it’s a singing game that you can play on your Playstation 2 or Playstation 3. It’s a step up from Karaoke and it will help you work on your live performance in several different ways. The game basically has a selection of songs along with the original artists music video for the song. SingStar is much better than Karaoke simply because it uses the original artists music rather than a cover band playing the music. To play you just plug in the microphones, select a song and start singing. The lyrics appear onscreen with a pitch indicator that shows you how well you’re singing in tune. The game will score your performance which gives you a good idea about where you need to improve your singing. Continue reading “Make Singing Practice Fun With SingStar The Video Game”

Playing Old Songs Versus New Songs With Your Live Band

Discusses whe the old songs fill the dance floor while the new songs sometimes clear the dance floor.

In Stereo Playing To A Packed Dance Floor
In Stereo Playing To A Packed Dance Floor

   In my many years of playing in a live band I’ve made a lot of observations about what types of songs fill the dance floor and what types leave people sitting in their seats. One aspect that has always fascinated me is how an old, well known song will pack the floor while a new song will sometimes clear the floor. It’s been something that I’ve struggled to define over the years. Having a new song clear the floor isn’t something that happens every time but it happens enough that I’ve thought about it quite a bit. So why does an old song such as Sweet Home Alabama fill the dance floor every time you play it while a hot newer song like U2 – Vertigo is hit and miss? They’re both excellent songs and have a great danceable beat to them.

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Sunday Funnies – Evolution Of Dance Video

Video demonstration of various dance styles through the decades of popular music.

   What always goes hand in hand with live music? Dancing of course! There have been many unique styles of dancing that have gone hand in hand with the evolution of popular music. This video is funny to watch because it’s an accurate demonstration of how certain dance styles are instantly recognizable when paired with the music of that era.    Continue reading “Sunday Funnies – Evolution Of Dance Video”

Live Musician Central – Weekend Album Picks 1-24-09

Getting most heavily marketed new album releases will help you stay relevant on the new music scene.

   Every week at Live Musician Central I pick some of the top new releases available for you to download from both iTunes and Amazon.com music service.  These new release choices reflect the heaviest music industry marketing. There are two reasons I post up the most heavily music industry marketed albums. First, by checking out these releases you’ll be able to keep a finger on the pulse of the mainstream music industry. It’s still a very powerful business that heavily influences peoples buying choices. The second reason is that a large number of people are going to know these albums. So if your band is looking for new music to put in your bands setlist these would be good choices simply because your chance of people knowing the songs at your shows will be very high. You’ll also look very on top of things and current with your knowledge of music. So these albums are a great resource for your song selection. I will also post up links to top selling albums of all time for the reason of song selection as well.

   I use links to both iTunes and Amazon.com. iTunes is now the top music retailer in the U.S. so it goes without saying that people are going to be downloading their recommended new releases. I put links up from Amazon.com because their music service is an incredible bargain and their MP3’s are DRM free. You can save a bundle downloading entire albums from Amazon.com over iTunes. Amazon.com MP3’s are also ripped at an excellent sounding 256kbps and since they’re DRM free you can play them on multiple MP3 players including iPods and iPhones. The new Mariah Carey album is out! Well, it’s not really new music but it’s filled with her #1 hits so if you’re looking to learn some Mariah Carey tunes, this would be an excellent album to own.
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Meat Puppets Concert Review Salt Lake City 1-22-2009

The Meat Puppets gave an incredible live concert in Salt Lake City, Utah on January 22, 2009.

Meat Puppets
Meat Puppets

   I had the opportunity to hear one of my favorite live bands of all time, the Meat Puppets on January 22, 2009 at the Urban Lounge in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Meat Puppets are a band that changed my entire way of approaching music when I was introduced to their music by a friend in 1986. The Meat Puppets taught me that you don’t have to be perfect to be great and that having a personal style was more important than being the fastest guitar player on the planet. My favorite album by the Meat Puppets is “Up On The Sun” which was released in 1985. That year my ears really opened up and I became able to deconstruct the music that I listened to and understand how all the parts meshed to create a sum that was greater than individual parts. The Meat Puppets were very instrumental in the formation of my personal musical vocabulary. So I was very excited to see them perform in Salt Lake City.

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Current Promotion From Musician’s Friend

Check out the current special offers and promotions at Musician’s Friend and Zzounds.com

   Musician’s Friend is really good about keeping their special offers and discounts current. Every live musician I know loves to save money anywhere they can. That’s why I try to keep all you readers of Live Musician Central updated on the best offerings from Musician’s Friend and other great online music stores. Today I’m going to link the latest great offer from Musician’s Friend which is currently the Earn Up To $150 In Bonus Bucks promotion. This promotion runs from 1-20-2009 to 2-3-2009 so make sure you get your orders in now! Click the banner below:

   There’s another great ongoing promtion at Zzounds.com as well. Click on the banner below to see some of the fantastic deals at ZZounds.com: