X Factor hopefuls
5 years of sucess
JLS aka Jack the Lad Swing have well jacked it all in to go there separate ways. For once in my life I was not surprised by this break up. Since the rise of 1D the boys popularity declined resulting in them  resorting to becoming the latest trend of Americanization.

Back in there debut days the boys were unstoppable with thier cheeky charm and catchy songs. Their music was pop but pop at its best with a clever hint of rnb.
Than its like the boys got bored and along came the sampling and changing of vocals on songs. JLS have four incredible voices and to hear them using voice enhancers really annoyed me.

They took the road changing their sound that I just didn't like and many fans were loosing interesting as every album was different. Too much to take if you ask me.
Why they didn't stick to the sound of their early days confuses me.

So we have lost another boy band but this one I don't think will be missed in the music industry bar the legions of fans who are short of killing themselves by the twitter updates there posting. But another boy band is ready to take on their crown (Union J )
Bringing back the retro ‘Barberpop’ sound from the 40’s while featuring a few beats of hip hop these 4 girls from Newcastle are onto something sweet.

The band is made up of 4 talented singers, Rachel Cook, Jennifer Davies, Zita Frith and Rosie Winter who have released their stunning 3 track EP, Barberpop. Filled with vocals that are pitch perfect and perfectly thought out beats it’s enough to get you hooked.

Each and every song on the EP flow into one another with ease, with lyrics that are bound to get embedded in your head. The girl’s voices blend so effortlessly together proving that these girls were born to sing together. The beats are funky and modern with the Barberpop style it’s enough to make you want to dance. There is defiantly room in the charts for these girls.  

The songs tell a story of love heartbreak and playing men at their own game which is exactly what ladies want to hear. Superb debuts from the new girls on the block. Keep an eye and ear out for these girls because I’m sure 2013 will be there year.

It’s still clear to see that Pete is struggling to cope since the death of his brother Andrew. As the tour takes him to Leeds, Road Manager Carl plans a boys day out to em shoot pigeons. As the freezing weather gets a grip Pete isn’t in the mood.

We see Peter get his children ready for school and been the doting father that he is. He decides to visit Andrews grave were back in the car he completely breaks down. It’s a very sad moment that many viewers will fight to hold back the tears.

As his last gig of the tour comes to close we see all Pete’s family and friends turn up to a bitter sweet concert for him as the tour has been so successful but at one of the hardest and toughest times of his life.

 We see Pete head to Malta with girlfriend Emily to receive the award for Best International Artist at the Malta Music Awards. We see people appreciate him for his music as he performs and not just for his celebrity status.

As the episode closes we see Pete redecorate Andrews’s room as it holds to many sad memories. As he turns to daughter Princess for help we see a grief stricken Pete break down. An episode were we get to see a very vulnerable Pete where we all realise that while he is a celebrity he still is a normal person who is learning to deal with his grief after losing his brother.

Peter Andre is back and the cameras are on him once again with the return of his hit ITV 2 show, My Life. In this episode we see that Pete is still grief- stricken following the death of his brother Andrew, who untimely lost his battle with cancer last year.

We see Pete hit the road to finish the postponed dates of the arena tour that he cancelled due to Andrews’s illness and death. It’s just four weeks since Andrew passed away and we see Pete struggle through rehearsals and meeting his legions of adoring fans. The only solace he gets is when he performs on stage.

We see Pete brave his first public appearance since the death of his brother to the National Television Awards. But don’t fret he has his gorgeous girlfriend Emily by his side. We get to see the loving father that he is to his two children when they head out on a family trip.

As Pete heads to Bournemouth he meets a young girl who suffered from a life threating illness whose dying wish was to meet him, pushed him to breaking point which causes him to leave the room of the meet and greet. A scene that would even make a grown man cry. Never far away is the past as we see Pete having to make a comment on twitter that he hadn’t done any interviews or commented on the dilemma of Katie Prices new marriage.

(Published 15th April http://musicreviewunsigned.com/2013/04/15/sarah-dooley/ )

At just the tender age of 16 Sarah Dooley from Dublin Ireland is taking YouTube by storm. With over 1,700 subscribers and 224,000 views it’s no wonder that she is number 2 on the pop raver nation chart.

Sarah told me that ‘’My passion for singing just came out of nowhere I always loved music and would always listen to music and somehow any worries or cares seem to fade when I listen to it.’’

Sarah was just 14 when she decided to start covering songs and place them on YouTube.

‘’My mum overheard me and ran up the stairs and asked me to repeat the song I had just sung and said OMG Sarah you have a voice and booked me into my first recording studio… Since then I have never looked back.’’

Sarah counts Christina Perri as her inspiration due to her passion and hard work that she puts into her music. Sarah described that she covers songs that suit her voice but also she likes to cover the songs that she likes to singing along to.

I asked her would she ever consider entering X Factor and she replied ‘’No I have entered one competition and I got through to the Semi Finals of the All Irelands where I got knocked out….. it has knocked my confidence for six …’’ I was shocked when Sarah admitted that her fear of the music industry was holding her back.

‘’A singing career would be perfect but on the other hand I feel I may not be able to handle the slating and abuse that comes with been successful. But hopefully when I am mature and wiser I would be able to handle it.’’

With her YouTube channel views always on the rise Sarah is humble for the lovely comments that are posted about her singing. The fact that her cover of Rihanna’s Stay has soared past the 100 thousand mark she was shocked by the reaction ‘’I remember saying to myself my goal was to get at least 100,000 on one of my covers and without thinking about it has risen quite quickly and still continues to rise.’’

Asking Sarah of the chance of hearing original material on YouTube she admitted she has always wanted to write her own material. ‘’I have tried and nothing I guess the time is not right yet and maybe when I am older and experience relationships I will be able to write my own music.’’

Sarah told me how she doesn’t play any music instruments but that she would love to. She admitted that she tried to learn the keys for Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri and she ‘’found it came quite easily to me’’. Maybe a video of her guitar learning skills may appear on YouTube one day.

Sarah is also an avid Irish dancer but admitted that she will never mix the two together. ‘’They both mean different things to me and give me totally different feelings’’. Having been dancing since the age of 9 and winning the Dublin’s, Leinsters (twice), All Irelands and the Words it’s a wonder how Sarah fits in anytime for signing.

‘’It’s the only thing that keeps me going. (dancing) But it’s nice to know that I have talent in singing also and maybe one day my future will be singing who knows.’’

In ten years’ time Sarah hopes to be successful happy and living in L.A. ‘’I would love to inspire people in whatever path I take.’’ If her voice is anything to go by this young Irish girl has a very bright future in front of her.


A Frankfurt School critique of boy bands

Man Bands - Westlife, Boyzone, Take That
Boy Bands - One Direction, Lawson, JLS
The Frankfurt School is best known for their theories which when I read the work of Adorno made me think of the music industry in a way that I never thought of before.

I have always known the music industry appeals to the mass cultures of the population with genres appealing to both high and low cultures. Taking my love for boy bands of the latest generations I am aware of the hidden agenda. This agenda been money and the breaking of teenage girls hearts.

Adorno said that you didn't need a brain for pop music as it was just mass produced. Yes he is right especially when it comes to boy bands. They are all one in the same and the theory of the boy band has become standardized.

We'll start the man bands that are like the fathers of pops. If i played you a song by all three bands (check out below) you could mistake all three to be the same. Same beats melodies and topic of love to appeal to all the girls swooning at their feet. To make us think that they are singing and writing these songs just for us. You can call it mass produced rubbish because that is exactly what it is but teenage girls fall for the melodies and bam you have the power of the boy band. 
Even when you take the new era of boy bands like JLS, 1D and Lawson they are still releasing the same mass produced stuff that the industry spits out because as a business they know what sells. Why break something when it ain't broken.

To win the battle of the boy bands they have to fight to seem like they are individual to the rest of them on the pop circuit.  Take new boy band on the block Lawson using their guitars to try show they are not a standardized boy bans. JLS have thier colours of red, blue, yellow and green, Westlife had thier suits and stools to keep them up away from the rest of the competition.

You can see that Boy Bands are a standardized product of the music industry. Pop Boy Bands are just mass producing the same beats, rhythms, looks and attitudes across the genre but hey it works so why change it?
Everybody is aware of the hit Disney trilogy High School Musical (HSM) which dominated TV screens, CD sales, merchandises and eventually cinema screens over the three year franchise.  Critics called it the modern Romeo and Juliet with a twist to tell the youth generation not to stick to the status quo.

This text resembles Leavis approach on popular culture. Leavis always stated that film plays on ''cheap responses''. HSM does just that. The film is loaded with experiences that relate to its target audience with school years and the problem they face through peer pressure, self esteem cliques etc tat are explored throughout the three films.

These are emotions that the ordinary teen of today's society go through. They react to these responses that are cheap as they know that the young generation will lap it up and make Disney money by buying into the franchise.It can be argued that people learn to adapt the social norms of high school and accept what will be. There is also another argument that HSM does not portray real life.

When you think about it it is a little far fetched. Who would meet a guy on a holiday end up singing karaoke with him and then be transferred to a new school to become childhood sweethearts. That stuff only ever happens in Disney and Leavis theory of film by ''not learning, just watching'' could not be further from the truth for this particular Disney franchise.

 Irelands best known unsigned band Frantic Jack have just played to a 10,000 strong crowd in India.  Headlining the Alcheringa Festival in Guwahati, India it is the band’s first major gig outside of the Emerald Isle.

The Alcheringa Festival (meaning Dream Time) is a cultural festival in India. More than 40,000 people attend each year to witness the grand celebration of youth, culture and arts. The difference this year has been that a rock band headlined the festival with none other than our very own Frantic Jack. Afsanoor Islam volunteer at the festival shared his delight ‘’Finally a Rock band headlining the fest’’.

Lead singer Daragh Fitzgerald described it as ‘’one of the most amazing experiences of my life. 10,000 strong singing Frantic Jack songs in India is a pretty surreal moment’’. He went on to explain that Cultural Ireland also made it possible for them to perform at the gig. Cultural Ireland are a company that promote Irish arts across the globe for those of you who didn’t know.

One attendee Aashish Kumar described Frantic Jack’s performance as an ‘’absolutely mesmerizing performance’’ and he also thanked the band for coming to India and that he hopes they will return one day.

Band manager and member of Frantic Jack, James Kearney couldn’t hide his excitement as he spoke to us ‘’What a weekend, first time to play India, first time to use fireworks at a gig and to top it off there was 10'000  people bouncing in front of the stage, unreal moment’’. Drummer Ricky Byrne added that it was ‘’ without doubt the best feeling I’ve ever had on stage Over 10,000 Indian fans singing our songs back to us it’s a small world’’.

In the mist of all their excitement they have exclusively revealed that before they flew to India they had just wrapped up the video for brand new release Living Proof. The date is yet to be confirmed but they assured us it won’t be too long. It will be the second single release from their second album Last One to Leave.

So i had my iPod on shuffle and bam Gavin De Graw '' I don't want to be'' came on. There in my bedroom I stood still shocked to the core. It was only a couple of hours ago my lecture was telling us to be aspiring media people. I mean I have always had dreams and goals but they were pushed to the back of my mind as life in uni took hold.

Here I was listening to the sog and One Tree Hill popped into my head (for those who dont know it was the theme tune for all 9 seasons'' and there was always one quote from that show that always stuck out to me ''you might wanna take a long hard look in the mirror and see if the person looking back at you is the kind of person you want to be'' said by Kieth Scott. It got me thinking yes i am the person I want to be but I don't have the job I want as of yet. See I am an aspiring magazine journalist with dreams of having a number one best seller.

In 6 months time I will be entering my final year of degree scary thoughts right there people. That is where it all begins for me to start on the road to  success and my chosen path way. In the meantime I will be doing all the placements in the industry that I can.  In 2 years time I hope to be in a magazine in London doing what I love. Writing is my passion and I know I wont stop until I do it for a living.

The ultimate goal in ten years time I hope to have my own music magazine that is on all the shelves around the UK and Ireland. For that to happen I have to ''dream big young and old and Dare to fail''. Its my time to shine so watch this space because I'm coming up........

All images: Google Images

Looking at all the music magazine on the shelves in a shop can be mind boggling at the best of times, let alone trying to figure out what genre your music fits into. I’m going to give you two genres of music that gives you three examples of magazine titles that will aid your band/artists.

Look at Frantic Jack an unsigned acoustic rock band from Ireland, struggling to get recognised here are my examples of title that will be of interest to them. 

  1. 1.      LocalMusic Review Unsigned (MRU).  Catering for unsigned music artists from around the world this online music magazine would be ideal for the band. With MRU catering for all genres of music Frantic Jack would fit the requirements. The publicity could generate word of mouth for the band.

  1. 2.      NationalHot Press Magazine. Nationally available across Ireland and the popular culture that is drawn upon by the magazine Frantic Jack will be perfect for the magazine. As Frantic Jack has a popular following in Ireland Hot Press would easily include a feature interview on the band leading to publicity.

  1. 3.      InternationalKerrang Magazine. Hard as it is for Frantic Jack to receive international exposure due to them been unsigned Kerrang would be ideal for their acoustic rock genre that they place themselves in. As a specialist magazine for the rock genre it will open them up to new audience.

Take One Direction the biggest boy band in the world right now. Falling into the popular culture genre they will have ease finding publications to cater for them as a band.

  1. 1.      LocalThe Sun Newspaper. As part of the popular culture of celebrities that the Sun newspaper has incorporated into their news policy it makes an excellent choice for One Direction. With this title they can maker front page news and gain valuable support on a local level with The Sun been locally available across the UK.

  1. 2.      NationalTop of the Pops Magazine. Specialising in popular culture and with boy bands always gracing the front page of the magazine One Direction will not be out of place. Targeted for pop music lovers on a national basis across the UK One Direction will gain more teenage girls to swoon over them.

  1. 3.      InternationalBillboard Magazine. One Direction are having amazing success in America and appearing in worldwide recognized Billboard magazine with be a huge boost for the band. Suiting the popular culture of the magazine their pop music would appear among the pages of the magazine. It would give them recognition and possibly a new fan base.

The point I’m saying is that there are many music platforms out there for artists these days many online and in print. The one thing to do is make sure that you can fir your music into a genre and always approach specialist publications with the hope getting some well worth publicity across various mediums.