Classic Metal and Hard Rock – The Best Shock Rock Bands

-In no particular order

Arthur Brown – Burning Helmet

It’s safe to say that for once Alice Cooper borrowed some ideas from somebody else; case in point, Arthur Brown. Arthur Bown is most well known for the single “Fire” which is vindictive of the Arthur Brown experience. Brown extensively used fire to cause a stir in the audience while the whole band resembled some kind of medieval satanic cult. Brown himself was one of the first to use face paint/makeup to create a stage persona along with the music. His incendiary stage act was so controversial that he was even kicked off a tour with Jimi Hendrix. On one tour Brown descended on the stage wearing a suit and helmet welded from sheet metal that was doused in lighter fluid and set a flame. The band never saw huge success because of an unstable line-up and was therefore unable to gain the notoriety they deserve in the Rock world.

Motley Crue (Early Years 81-85)- Nikki Lights his legs on fire

What most people aren’t aware of when it comes to Motley Crue is the fact that they pretty much started as a shock rock band. Other than being the kings of 80’s rock and metal, Motley Crue started off with elaborate stage antics inspired by Kiss and Alice. During The Too Fast for Love era live performances The Crue aimed to shock and entertain the audience with Fire, Blood, Crazy Hair, ‘Scary’ Makeup, and outrageous outfits.

Nikki Sixx adopted the technique (from Blackie Lawless) of setting his leather pants and boots on fire during live performances which can be seen in the “Live wire” video. Also in “Live Wire”, the Kiss inspired blood dripping from the mouth technique is used by Mr Mars. Crazy thigh high boots, leather and studs, pale-face makeup, and larger-than-life hair were all used to initially shock audiences with such an extreme and wild image. Motley also experimented with the controversy of satanic symbols, not to mention pushing violent and sexual lyrics and imagery into the forefront. Perhaps Motley Crue are not usually paired with other shock rock acts because outrageous androgyny in 81-84 became the norm for the rest of the 80’s with the arrival of other Hair Metal acts. As well, the Crue toned down their image by 87. There always was a fine line between Shock Rock and Glam.

W.A.S.P. – Torture Rack

WASP, just like Motley Crue came from the sunset strip glam metal movement. Considering the fact the members of WASP and Crue played together in a band at some point (Sister), it comes as no surprise to see the similarities of these two bands in their early days. WASP is of course synonymous with the shock rock genre. They mixed Alice Cooper’s horror show with aggressive but catchy heavy metal tunes. Blackie is known for using raw meat in his performance and throwing it into the audience, as well as eating live worms on stage (although this was before WASP), dangerous fire use, and blood to get a reaction out of the audience.

WASP’s most well known ‘gimmick’ was the use of the torture rack in which they hung a naked woman and proceeded to mutilate her body (all showmanship of course). Randy Piper borrows some ideas from Ace Frehley’s bag of tricks with his smoking guitar. Stage antics considered, WASP got much of their shock rock credit from the PMRC’s filthy fifteen with the violent and sexual lyrics/image in songs such as Animal (Fuck Like A Beast).

Other techniques include: Chainsaw cod piece, pyro, and exploding cod piece (fireworks)

Alice Cooper – Beheading Himself

Credited as the godfather of Shock Rock, Alice Cooper was every parent’s worst nightmare in the 60’s and 70’s. Alice Cooper is a full on Macbeth Rock and Roll play. He coined pretty much every technique that has ever been used by any Shock Rock acts to follow. Snakes, makeup, guillotines, nooses, blood, thigh high boots, straight-jackets, etc… Alice Cooper explored the fears of Americans by experimenting with imagery and lyrics. Alice’s is one of the first to make concept albums. His lyrics ranged from tales inspiring youth rebellion to the clinically insane.

Alice Cooper’s wild stage shows inspired gossip and fear to spread among conservative America. One of the most prominent incidents during a live performance was the fiasco of a live chicken being ripped to shreds by a hostile Toronto crowd. Newspapers and media empowered the eerie Alice Cooper aura with reports of Alice beheading himself night after night. Alice Cooper is a combination of Bloody Tragedies, Houdini, and Rock and Roll.

Lizzy Borden

Here is another shock rock band that was yet again influenced by Kiss and Alice Cooper. The band’s name is inspired from a woman accused and acquitted of murder in the 19th century. Clearly borrowing from Alice Cooper, the lead singer is also named Lizzy Borden. The band’s music was pure metal influenced from bands such as Maiden (especially vocally), Sabbath, Priest, Kiss, and Alice Cooper. They are most well known for their video “Me Against The World” which showcases their outrageous glam androgyny used to shock audiences. In the early days they borrowed many tricks from Alice Cooper lyrically and visually including hacking up a woman on stage with an axe. In the 80s Lizzy Borden was an example of a heavier Glam metal band that garnered a huge underground following.

Kiss – Gene Simmons breathing Fire

Kiss is recognized as another pioneer in the Shock Rock genre. Alice Cooper was yet another influence on Kiss very early on. Kiss started as a Glam Rock band but after seeing Alice Cooper decided they would have 4 Alice Cooper’s on stage and drastically changed their image. Of course we are all well aware of Gene Simmons breathing fire and spitting blood. Kiss became one of the major targets of religious and parental organizations as well as influencing decades of bands to follow. Their stage show is constantly cited as one of the biggest around and Kiss is considered entertainment both musically and visually. Ace Frehley plays guitar with smoke spewing from his pickups, while Gene Simmons flies to the highest peak in an arena (with wires of course).

Their face paint and outfits are synonymous with Hard Rock and Heavy Metal style. Although their antics may seem more like pure entertainment versus shock value it’s important to consider the impact they had in the 70’s. The make-up never came off till the 80’s so Kiss surrounded themselves with controversy and mysticism that garnered the band even more attention. The band caused a stir with their sexual lyrics and their logo was accused of being racist (The SS in the word Kiss looked similar to the Nazi SS symbol). Like most/all shock rock bands, presently, Kiss’ antics are more just a simple form of entertainment and hardly shock most audiences but they continue to thrive due to great music.

King Diamond

King Diamond is Gene Simmons’ Demon meets Alice Cooper. Originating from Denmark, the band came to prominence in the 80’s with their blend of Heavy Metal Riffing and ghostly falsetto vocals. Diamond created a satanic stage persona in the vein of previous shock rock pioneers but unlike the rest was not using Satanism only for shock value. Diamond follows LaVeyan Satanism which he considers more of a philosophy than a religion.

Source by Alistair Crowley Fiend

Periods of Music – Baroque, Classical, and Romantic

Classical music of the common practice era is divided into 3 main periods, that each have distinct styles and forms. While there is a little overlap between each period, it is universally recognized that the baroque period came first, followed by the classical, and romantic romantic periods respectively.

The Baroque Period (1600-1760)

The baroque period is characterized by music that is very structured and in “high form”. It also is known that many of the compositions that were written in this musical era were extremely contrapuntal and contained many fugues and fugue like passages. Contrapuntal music, or music with counter-point, is polyphonic in nature and features at least two musical voices, or melodies. These voices work against each other, and when one voice is stagnant for a while the other voice tends to doing something interesting melodically. A fugue is a formal method of counter point, where one theme is repeated in different voices complementing it. The baroque era is represented by such composers as J.S. Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, George Friderick Handel, Arcangello Corelli, Claudio Monteverdi, and Henry Purcell.

The Classical Period (1750-1830)

The classical period takes place from the middle of the 18th century to about a quarter’s way through the 19th. The classical period brought many changes to music as the greatest proportion of music was played for the wealthy upper-class nobles. This called for a drastic increase for comic operas, it also called for a decrease in the importance of a continuo part. The continuo is the harmonic fill beneath the music, commonly played by several instruments including a harpsichord.

Classical music is marked by a clearer texture than baroque music and was increasingly homophonic. Homophonic means that a chordal accompaniment supports a melody above it. The orchestra of the classical period increased and the harpsichord was replaced by the piano-forte. Early piano music was very simple and light in texture but as the classical period went on, it became richer and more sonorous.

The main kinds of compositions were sonatas, trios, string quartets, symphonies, concertos, serenades and divertimentos. The sonata form developed and became the most important form. It was used to build up the first movement of most large-scale works, but also other movements and single pieces, such as overtures. The most famous composers of the classical period include Mozart, Beethoven*, Haydn, and Schubert. (*Beethoven was a crucial factor in the movement towards the romantic period and can be classified as both classical and romantic)

The Romantic Period (1815-1910)

The romantic period does not necessarily refer to romance love. instead the pieces written during this time are considered to be more passionate and expressive. Chromaticism and dissonance grew more varied as well as modulations and the properties of the 7th chord. Composers such as Beethoven and Wagner used many new chords that increased the harmonic language of the time. Composers of the romantic period include Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Weber, Chopin and Franck.

Source by Garrett Law

Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer – Which Browser to Use

Well I was a Firefox user for years once, I have been seen many add-ons, used numerous of them, kept few deleted many especially those silly toolbars that get attached to it but then my computer got old and a little slow for all the updates from Mozilla and I was a bit worried about it.

But then to rescue my brother came along and asked me to switch to Opera browser – well it was well built sleek in design and very very much comfortable to use, its features like password acceptance and remembrance – specially when you press + together it gives you a list of saved passwords to select from and then automatically enters the password with the account id or user name. But lacked a critical point that you can not edit your passwords or view them at the time you forget them or want to use them on another computer or browser, well that was quite frustrating but I searched some forums and got a software to do that too. It also had a feature named turbo that says for slow connection, meaning to fasten your web experience, but what exactly it does it – it stops ads from downloading i.e. it downloads only the relevant content that is needed by the user, but in-case you need to view those ads(i.e never required but still) you can click on the play button given in the alternate of the ad.

But overall the Opera browser is good to use, good design and comfortable interface with a good time limit to upgrade itself – and doesn’t annoys you all the time by keeping itself updated and I will rate it 4 out of 5, well you can say I’m a fan of Opera, so let it be

But then came Google Chrome well what can I say about it – it’s built by Google all the features built into the smart, techy, cool, comfortable yet smooth function-ability. At first I never really used it as I was too much comfortable with Opera or was too much happy with it at that time, but then I actually wanted a new browser as I had two Gmail accounts and I cannot work with two Gmail ids at the same time on the same browser but Opera did solve that problem for me again it had this private tab feature within itself which when opened works like another browser for you at the very same time and also secures you by deleting all the private tab information at the time when you close your tab, different and unique

Sorry to derail from chrome, as I was saying chrome came like the struck of lightening to me and I actually installed it for another second browser sake thing, but then one day actually used and well the experience was fantastic and mind blowing it had a store added to it, theme panel(well every other browser has it), different add-ons for every kind of person and had an in-built sign feature to it and actually ran a bit faster than Opera or Firefox, it was an amazing experience to me well I actually never believed in them saying a for faster browser experience switch to Chrome – as I never really believed them, until that day, well it had everything, many of the minor details were taken into account before making it and truly it was a good experience to me.

And yeah I have also checked out the Apple’s Safari browsers but then its only built to accompany Mac computer’s – not that I’m saying you cannot download it for Windows platform, but it serves best to Apple PC’s, but as I reviewed it – was quite an elegant looking browser, keeping everything neat and clean and organized by itself and also having quite a user friendly interface, and its the safest browser after all.

Yeah I totally forgot to say about the Microsoft’s internet explorer – well what should I say about it same old interface slow, difficult to manage, hangs most of the times while sifting through tabs, making unnecessary updates, opens in hours, making me wait but it is just for everyone now, any site, any document, any where it WILL WORK – Good point about it is it will never shut itself down until you do it yourself. Good for everyone, trusted for years now.

My verdict

Firefox – Yeah its good from years but responds slow with too many add-ons (3.5 out of 5)

Opera – Too good for people needing to switch to something classic, may say elegance with comfort and fast to browse with ( around 4 out of 5)

Chrome – It is from GOOGLE – the God of internet, its supposed to be an edge ahead (4.5 out of 5)

Safari – Super elegant, cool, organized, a little smart, safest web browser, and the best part it is from APPLE – the giant of electronics (4.5 out of 5)

Internet explorer – Old, trust-worthy, never letting you down but slow and has less built in features but yet works great for windows (3.5 out of 5)

Source by Raghav Thakur

How to Put Music Onto a MP3 Player?

If you are one of those million people who had taken the chance to follow the trend by getting your very first MP3 player, you may be in for some help. Most newbies may not easily understand the mechanics of putting music files onto their MP3 players. Besides, these innovative musical devices are not being sold in the market with a pre-downloaded music files.

So if you are not yet knowledgeable of the device, these simple guides on how to put music onto a MP3 player will absolutely help you out and start rocking your world with blasting great music.

1. Get a good installation software for music management

The success of downloading music file onto your MP3 player will greatly depend on the kind of installation software that you have. Not all of these software are created equal. Hence, it is best to consider the right device first before you start making plans of downloading the newest music files from the Internet.

2. Install the software

You cannot download files onto your MP3 player if you will not install first onto your personal computer the software capable of managing your music files.

Music management software provides optimum services that enable you to organize your music files, convert different music format into mp3 and vice versa, or search good-to-download mp3 files in the Internet.

3. Identify the source

After installing the music management software, you have to determine now the source of your music files. This can be either a CD or a collection of music files from a virtual music store in the Internet. You may use your old music from your CDs and install them onto your MP3 player. In this way, you can listen to them anywhere, anytime.

4. Convert into MP3 format

In most cases, downloadable music files from the Internet are already available in MP3 format. So that would not pose much of a problem.

However, if you will be downloading music files from a CD, you have to convert them into MP3 format because most CD music files are not on this format.

You may use your music management software to rip the files from the CD and convert them into MP3 format using the applicable functions.

5. Connect, select, and party on!

The last thing that you have to do in putting your music onto a MP3 player is to connect your MP3 player to your PC via the USB port. Once accessed from the computer, you can now easily transfer your music files from your PC down to your MP3 player. Within a few minutes, you can already start listening to your favorite songs and party on!

Indeed, these tips on how to put music onto a MP3 player are easy to understand. With the right tools, the right software, and the best MP3 player, you can be sure of an enjoyable time ahead with sounds playing in your ears without the fuss.

Source by Albert Lee

3 Important Elements of Vocal Techniques That Can Lead Singers to Popular Music Success

Reality singing competition shows like Idol and X Factor give us glimpses of singing difficulty that could be ridiculed by many viewers. In The Voice, we can also watch how few singers have issues like difficulty transitioning between lyrics and phrases during the mentoring/practice sessions with celebrity singers. While we can always laugh and follow how the drama unfolds, these singing competition shows have never showed us any hints of how to deal with common singing issues. We can assume that the ones we laughed at have not yet received proper training in vocal techniques. Mastering various aspects of vocal techniques is essential if you want to become a successful singer in the popular music industry.

Whether you want to stay low profile or to achieve stardom, here are few important elements of vocal techniques that you should master:

Relaxed Singing Anatomy

Any elements of singing including high notes, long phrases, and vocal improvisation/effects should flow smoothly like speaking to an audience, our acquaintances, and our loved ones. One way to achieve this is by neutralizing and relaxing the anatomical structure of and surrounding your vocal cords. The most important parts that are involved in the production of sound are jaw, throat and larynx. Specifically, your jaw needs to be relaxed, your throat needs to be opened wider, and your larynx needs to be neutralized (or in the neutral position). A tensed jaw, tight lips, and a pushed/pulled larynx at the start of singing will impede the muscles or movement of the anatomical structure and this will in turn contribute to common singing issues and vocal cords malfunction.

Sustained Breath Support

Breathing in singing is different from the normal process of breathing where we continually inhale and exhale air out of our lungs. It has to do with maintaining air pressure in our lungs and resisting the urge to exhale that air pressure. The anatomy that plays the very important role in maintaining breath support is diaphragm. With the cooperation of your diaphragm, sustaining breath support is necessary when you sing higher notes, longer phrases/lyrics, and more difficult part of a song. Few ways that can help you work on maintaining breath support or breathing through diaphragm are yoga, vocal exercises, and breathing exercises.

Trained Vocal Muscles/Cords

Singing high notes, long phrases, and any challenging songs needs endurance that can help you to continually sustain your breath support. As part of building endurance/stamina in your vocal performances, you need to train your vocal muscles to help you face difficult parts of singing without struggle or strain. This can be achieved by regularly practicing vocal exercises like humming, lip trills and nays. Regular practice of vocal exercises can stretch or warm up your vocal cords, develop your vocal muscles overtime, and improve pitch. You can also train or develop your vocal cords further by practicing other types of vocalization like twanging, belting, and grunting if you want to improve your tone and sound quality.

Another thing that has not been mentioned here is the importance of proper posture. Mastering proper posture will enable you to relax the anatomical structure surrounding your vocal cords, to continually sustain your breath support and to improve your pitch as part of your routine vocal practice. Notice how each element of vocal techniques work together in developing your vocal potential further. Overtime, you should not be straining or struggling to reach that higher notes and getting out of breath to overcome long phrases/lyrics. Instead, you should be singing freely in any notes and any phrases to captivate the judges in any singing competition shows, your audience in concerts and your listeners at home.

Source by Curt Winger