September 1, 2011 N4N

Studio Update-August 19-30

Musicbox East
Studio Update: Aug. 19th – 30th

​It’s the end of the summer, always a bummer. Until you realize there’s a recording studio and practice space across the street from your high school!!!… Did I mention that we have an open jam from 3 to 5 on Monday thru Friday? I’m looking forward to all the music that gets made this year and I can’t wait post it up on the N4N site either.

​Here’s a look at what we’ve been doing lately at Musicbox East:

Performance Room
​We had some great moments this week. We had Michael on the keys, Marble on guitar and I was on drums. We slowed down Crazy Train by Ozzy and played it over a hip-hop beat. Aaron and his friend sang and rhymed over it. Ummm.. It was pretty epic. We’ll continue to arrange and rehearse it so we can lay down a recording of it. We have a couple other ones developing as well…I think I’m starting to notice the embryonic stage of a band.

​Ceasar came back for a visit and laid down a nice one featuring Rico titled “Oh Honey”. Ceasar rhymed over an instrumental version of The Delegations, “Oh Honey” with Rico singing the choruses. Soon to be finished and posted.

​Joey came in a couple times and got a lot of work done too. I think he’s ready to compile his songs together as a product of his work.

Music Research Stations:
We picked up from where we left off with regards to what we think influences today’s popular artists to be the way they are. We began by picking one performing artist and analyze what their influences might be. The first name to come up was Lady Gaga. One of the kids suggested that Madonna was an influence. For the rest of the kids, it was their first time watching a Madonna video. We watched Holiday and Boarder Line and all the kids had heard the song but did not know it was Madonna.

I suggested we check compare Lady Gaga to Grace Jones.

Or David Bowie.


​We found that Lady Gaga’s influences were many and that they span across many different genres. The common thread was the strong expression of visual art they used to accompany their music. The kids all agreed that Grace Jones’s style was the most like Lady Gaga and we could also hear similar vocal styles in both Cher and Madonna.
​Next up was LMFAO’s Everyday I’m Shuffling. I couldn’t help but to think of the running man from back in the old school days. So we checked out some Video’s by Kid’N Play and MC Hammer. We had a good laugh…

​In these comparisons, we noticed right away that common elements were dancing and rhyming. The conversation began to come back around to music when I asked the kids, …. “Where’s the band?”
​This always seemed to be the golden era of sampled music in mainstream popular music and it redirected all of us to discover the artists they sampled: Super Freak by Rick James and Under Pressure by Queen & David Bowie.

​We successfully opened the gates to new music. This is something we will continue to explore. We will compare and discuss other artists and their influences as they come up… I’ll be sure to post the highlights.