No Rest For The Wicked! AC/DC stamps out retirement speculations

Brian Johnson, Angus Young

AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and Angus Young doing what they do best (photo: blogs.app.com)

In 1973 one of the most prolific and beloved bands in rock and roll history was formed. Forty years and 14 studio albums later, AC/DC is still going strong and, thankfully, putting an end to speculation that the band is ready to retire.

While it has been confirmed that rhythm guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is stepping aside due to serious health issues (our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family), the band has released a statement on its website confirming that their days of driving the bus along the “Highway To Hell” are not yet at an end:

“After forty years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health. Malcolm would like to thank the group’s diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support.

“In light of this news, AC/DC asks that Malcolm and his family’s privacy be respected during this time. The band will continue to make music.”

We wish all the best to Malcolm Young and his family (photo: flickr.com)

We wish all the best to Malcolm Young and his family (photo: flickr.com)

The “continue to make music” bit has fans excited over the thought of not only more live performances, but maybe even the possibility of a new album. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, frontman Brian Johnson stated, “We are definitely getting together in May in Vancouver. We’re going to pick up some guitars, have a plonk, and see if anybody has got any tunes or ideas. If anything happens, we’ll record it.”

On a personal note, I’ve been an AC/DC fan since junior high school. For me nothing will ever rival their Highway To Hell (1979) and Back In Black (1980) albums. When I heard the rumors of Malcolm’s illness and the possibility of the band’s demise my heart dropped. Now, after learning that Brian and the boys are pushing forward I have no doubt that this is what Malcolm wants and my fingers are crossed that they’ve got one more good album left in them.

Perfect “Pitch” – MLB players karaoke for children’s charity

 

Liga Nacional Serie de Campeonato de Juego 4 en St. Louis

Cardinals’ pitcher Adam Wainwright (photo courtesy of thatbaseballblog.com)

Professional athletes and charity events have gone hand-in-hand for years. Some charitable events are cake-walks with the athletes having to do little more than show up, shake some hands, say a few kind words, then enjoy whatever festivities follow. While this is still admirable, it’s those who are willing to go that little extra mile that really draw attention, especially when that extra mile might include the possibility of personal embarrassment. :-)

In this regard, St. Louis Cardinals pitchers Adam Wainwright and Trevor Rosenthal pitched a perfect game at a recent charity event to benefit a local children’s hospital. The twin flamethrowers joined forces to perform a karaoke duet of “Love Is An Open Door” from the hit animated Disney film Frozen.

Though their performance conjures up more images of Abbott and Costello than Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, their willingness to “leave it all on the field” for charity is awesome. Gentlemen, we here at Karaoke Cloud salute you!

Past, Present, Future: The Women of Hip Hop

Female rappers, Lauryn Hill, Queen Latifah, Nicki Minaj

Photo courtesy of bet.com

It’s a man’s world. That could easily be the slogan for the male-dominated industry of hip hop. As an aspiring female rapper it takes skill, drive, and a certain ‘it’ factor to break through. Consistency, a solid fan base, and surviving the ups and downs of the business keeps you relevant.

In honor of women’s history month, Billboard featured a female MC each day during March. The end result is a list of the 31 greatest female hip hop artists of all time. From pioneers like MC Lyte and Queen Latifah, to women like Lil Kim and Trina who owned their sexuality, to groundbreaking artists like Missy Elliot, they all had an impact on the genre and culture. Through each generation women rappers have offered the female perspective. None have done it quite like Salt-N-Pepa, Lauryn Hill, and Nicki Minaj.

Salt-N-Pepa

Photo courtesy of arktimes.com

When you think of female rap in the 80′s Salt-N-Pepa should automatically come to mind. Hits like “Push It,” “Shoop,” and “Let’s Talk About Sex” solidified their position as the best-selling female rap group of all time. Their distinctive style, energetic vibe, and empowering female anthems made members Salt, Pepa, and Spinderella icons. They served as a voice for women of their time. They joined forces with R&B group En Vogue on “Whatta Man” for a smash hit collaboration that was true to their essence. They undoubtedly helped pave the way for future female MC’s.


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Nirvana Reunite with Show-stopping Collaborations

Nirvana, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,  Joan Jett, Krist Novoselic

Photo courtesy of http://www.rollingstone.com

It was truly a night to be remembered. The 29th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony honored Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam), Peter Gabriel, Linda Ronstadt, KISS, and Nirvana at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The night was full of nostalgia and recognition of the newly inducted artists, but it was clear that Nirvana stole the show. It was the reunion everyone had been anticipating. We had only seen it once when the grunge band teamed up with Paul McCartney in 2012 during a benefit for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Last night, Nirvana reunited on stage for the second time since the suicide of frontman Kurt Cobain. Yes, it was a big deal.

Kim Gordon, Nirvana, Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Photo courtesy of http://www.rollingstone.com

The performance of the night featured surviving members Krist Novoselic on bass and Dave Grohl on drums, along with guitarist Pat Smear. Who would fill Kurt Cobain’s shoes? Rumors swarmed after a picture of Novoselic’s bass, Grohl’s drumkit, Smear’s guitar, and Joan Jett’s stickered Melody Maker was shared on the Foo Fighters’ Instagram page. (Clever hint from Dave Grohl’s band.) But I don’t think anyone expected an array of women to front the band. Joan Jett, Kim Gordon, St. Vincent, and Lorde stepped up to perform classic Nirvana songs!

Joan Jett kicked it off with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” which instantly ignited the crowd. Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon was up next. She gave an energetic performance of “Aneurysm.” St. Vincent, who performed a cover of “Lithium” at Chicago’s Riviera last Saturday, took on the song once more. Finally, Lorde led “All Apologies” with the support of the other artists. Nirvana is being praised for their choice of powerful and fitting singers. Job well done, ladies.

It was the perfect tribute to Nirvana’s history and influence while honoring the legacy of Kurt Cobain. April 5, 2014, marked the 20th anniversary of his tragic death. This monumental performance and well-deserved induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame seemed to have come at the right time. Now who’s ready for the Kurt Cobain musical, biopic, and documentary? We know we are!

Konvenient Karaoke: Japan is at it again!

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“I’ll take a bottle of sake, a pack of gum… and two turns in the karaoke booth, please!”

Karaoke was invented in Japan and it has become an integral part of Japanese culture, so it should come as no surprise that the Japanese continue forward with the evolution of the industry. From a regular night out on the town to the culmination of a business negotiation/contract signing, karaoke is a celebratory part of everyday life on the island nation. Now it’s about to become a part of the shopping experience.

Family Mart, a popular convenience store chain in Japan, is joining forces with one of the country’s leading karaoke providers to place self-operated karaoke booths inside their corner markets.

karaoke booths are a hit in Japan (photo courtesy of weirdasianews.com)

karaoke booths are a hit in Japan (photo courtesy of weirdasianews.com)

Karaoke booths are all the rage in Japan, and in a country famous for it’s odd eccentricities, so are 24-hour convenient stores (go figure). Placing karaoke booths inside a corner market open 24/7 was simply the next logical step and a dream come true for insomniacs. It’s like the Japanese equivalent of turducken; sooooo good!

The first of these night owl havens is due to open on April 17th in Tokyo. Meanwhile, you can make any room your personal karaoke booth with our free Sing-N-Share app powered by Karaoke Cloud! See what I did there? :-)

Up and Running: DigiTrax celebrates the Grand Opening of SoKnox Studios!

 

DigiTrax Entertainment's SoKnox Studios open for business!

DigiTrax Entertainment’s SoKnox Studios open for business!

DigiTrax Entertainment celebrated the Grand Opening of their new SoKnox Studios in Knoxville, Tennessee last night (April 8th)!

The celebration was a huge success and included an art exhibit from local photographer Brian Murray, an outdoor karaoke party, and a performance by 3-time Emmy nominated singer/songwriter Mark Radice. Also in attendance were Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis, County Commissioner Brad Anders, several members of the Knoxville business community, and local musicians from all around the South East.

SoKnox-Studios-Ribbon-Cut-Blog

Ribbon cutting with (left to right) Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis, DigiTrax CEO Joseph Vangieri, Gary Douglas, Mayor Tim Burchett, and County Commissioner Brad Anders (photo courtesy of Kelsey Blalock)

Those in attendance were also treated to an impromptu acoustic set by local rock band “Sensible Madness.” The talented quintet made use of the instruments on display and thrilled party-goers with unplugged renditions of several of their original songs sending energy and positive vibes through the roof!

The staff and technicians at SoKnox Studios pride themselves on their ability to provide pretty much anything one might need with regards to music and animation for television, film, radio, games, apps, and more. They are also avid supporters of local artists/musicians and are working hand-in-hand with the local business community to revitalize and reinvent the South Knoxville area.

ACM Awards Royalty: George Strait and Miranda Lambert

ACM Awards, 49th Academy of Country Music Awards, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, country music

Photo courtesy of http://www.ktvu.com

Country fans everywhere tuned in to the 49th Academy of Country Music Awards. It was a night full of accolades and performances, hosted by country artists Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton. Two stars shined extremely bright at the MGM Grand Garden Arena: George Strait and Miranda Lambert.

King of Country George Strait was crowned Entertainer of the Year for the second time in his career. He received standing ovations for his win and his performance of his hit song “I Got a Car.” Miranda Lambert was the big winner of the night. She took home the award for Female Vocalist of the Year for the fifth time in a row. She now holds the record for most consecutive wins in that category surpassing Reba McEntire. “Mama’s Broken Heart” won her Single Record of the Year. She also shared the win for Vocal Event of the Year with Keith Urban who also won three awards, including Video of the Year for “Highway Don’t Care” with Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift.

Aside from their individual glory the two took the stage for a tribute performance to Merle Haggard who was honored with the Crystal Milestone Award. Merle celebrated his 77th birthday yesterday. Presenter Garth Brooks encouraged the audience to sing “Happy Birthday” as he went up to receive his award.

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