George Miller, commonly known by his internet pseudonym ‘Filthy Frank,’ is a musician and YouTube personality. He was born to Australian and Japanese parents, and attended Canadian Academy, where he graduated from in 2012. Aside from the comedic and often rap based music he creates under his ‘Pink Guy’ alias, Miller also creates more serious and traditional music under the stage name ‘Joji.’ He first became known for his absurdist YouTube channel, ‘TVFilthyFrank,’ which features music, rants and a bizarre ‘show’ featured in an alternate universe, with all of the main characters played by him.
Miller’s video titled ‘Do the Harlem Shake (Original)’ has been viewed 57.2 million times and spawned the ‘Harlem Shake’ meme. The earliest known video of Miller is a YouTube video titled ‘2cool4u92,’ uploaded to a channel sharing the same name in 2006 and features a young Miller performing a break dance move in front of the camera. Miller created the ‘Filthy Frank’ character during his time on his ‘Dizasta Music’ channel, where he created other content but started gaining popularity once he conceptualized Frank, who is described as the anti-vlogger of YouTube. The first known video on this particular channel was uploaded in 2011, and was titled ‘Filthy Shit.’
Troy Andrews (born January 2, 1986), also known by the stage name Trombone Shorty, is an American musician, producer, actor and philanthropist from New Orleans. A multi-instrumentalist, he is best known as a trombone and trumpet player but also performs and records on the drums, organ and tuba.
A highly sought after musician for his unique style and approach, he has worked with some of the biggest names in rock, pop, jazz, funk, hip hop and EDM. Andrews is the younger brother of trumpeter and bandleader James Andrews as well as the grandson of singer and songwriter Jessie Hill. He began playing trombone at age four, and since 2009 has toured with his own band, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue.read more »
Prince Rogers Nelson (1958 – 2016), known as Prince, was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. He was a musical innovator and known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, extravagant dress and makeup, and wide vocal range. His music integrates a wide variety of styles, including funk, rock, R&B, soul, psychedelia, and pop.
Prince was born in Minneapolis and developed an interest in music as a young child. He secured a recording contract with Warner Bros at the age of 18, and released his album ‘For You’ in 1978. His 1979 album ‘Prince’ went platinum, and his next three records—’Dirty Mind’ (1980), ‘Controversy’ (1981), and ‘1999’ (1982)—continued his success, showcasing Prince’s trademark of prominently sexual lyrics and blending of funk, dance, and rock music. In 1984, he began referring to his backup band as ‘The Revolution’ and released ‘Purple Rain,’ which served as the soundtrack to his film debut of the same name and was met with widespread acclaim.read more »
NWA (Niggaz Wit Attitudes) was an American hip hop group from Compton, California. It was one of the earliest and most significant popularizers of the gangsta rap and West Coast hip hop subgenres. Active from 1986 to 1991, the rap group endured controversy owing to their music’s explicit lyrics that many viewed as being disrespectful of women, as well as its glorification of drugs and crime.
The group was subsequently banned from many mainstream American radio stations. In spite of this, the group has sold over 10 million units in the US alone. The group was also known for their deep hatred of the police system, which sparked much controversy over the years. Their debut album ‘Straight Outta Compton’ marked the beginning of the new gangsta rap era as the production and social commentary in their lyrics were revolutionary within the genre.read more »
Max Richter [rik-ter] (b. 1966) is a British composer. He studied composition and piano at the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Academy of Music, and with Italian composer Luciano Berio in Florence. After finishing his studies, Richter co-founded the contemporary classical ensemble Piano Circus. He stayed with the group for ten years, commissioning and performing works by Arvo Pärt, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Julia Wolfe, and Steve Reich. The ensemble was signed to Decca/Argo, producing five albums.
In 1996, Richter collaborated with Future Sound of London on their album ‘Dead Cities,’ beginning as a pianist, but ultimately working on several tracks, as well as co-writing one track (titled ‘Max’). He subsequently worked with the band over a period of two years, also contributing to the albums ‘The Isness’ and ‘The Peppermint Tree and Seeds of Superconsciousness.’ In 2000, he worked with Mercury Prize winner Roni Size on the Reprazent album ‘In the Møde.’ Richter produced English singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan’s 2005 album ‘Lookaftering’ and Sneaker Pimps lead singer Kelli Ali’s 2008 album ‘Rocking Horse.’read more »
The Rock-afire Explosion is an animatronic robot band that played in Showbiz Pizza Place from 1980 to 1990, and in various Showbiz Pizza locations between 1990 and 1992 as Showbiz rebranded and the band was steadily replaced by Chuck E. Cheese characters. The characters in The Rock-afire Explosion were various animals ranging from a dog to a gorilla. They would perform medleys of classic rock, pop, and country music, as well as original compositions.
The show was a pioneer in commercial animatronics in the 1980s, featuring life-sized characters capable of facial expression; some were even programmed in such a way that they could actually play simple melodies on musical instruments. The show was created and manufactured by noted inventor Aaron Fechter, through his company Creative Engineering, Inc. in Orlando, Florida; in addition to overseeing the production of the animatronics, Fechter also provided the voices for several characters.read more »
Darkside is the collaboration of electronic musician Nicolas Jaar and Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington who met as students at Brown University. Harrington was recommended to Jaar by frequent collaborator Will Epstein when he was looking for a third musician for his live band, with the three subsequently touring together to support Jaar’s 2011 album ‘Space Is Only Noise.’
Darkside first formed during a Berlin stop on this tour. Jaar and Harrington were writing in their hotel room together when their converter plug popped, filling their room with smoke and forcing them to finish the song in the hallway on a laptop. Upon returning to New York, they continued to write together, developing their sound in their Brooklyn studio.read more »
The Books were an American duo consisting of guitarist and vocalist Nick Zammuto and cellist Paul de Jong. Their releases typically incorporated samples of obscure sounds and speech. They released three critically acclaimed albums on the German label Tomlab, and released their fourth studio album, ‘The Way Out,’ on Temporary Residence Limited in 2010.
Zammuto and de Jong met in New York City in 1999 as they shared the same apartment building. De Jong invited Zammuto to dinner at his apartment, where he played him some of his collection of audio and video samples, including a Shooby Taylor scat record. Zammuto said of their meeting that ‘we both kind of knew at that moment that we listened (to music) in interesting ways and had similar approaches to music.’ Soon after, they began playing what they considered to be pop music, in comparison to their own works, under the name ‘The Books.’read more »
Darren Foreman (b. 1982), better known as Beardyman, is a musician from London renowned for his beatboxing skills and use of live looping technology. He was given the nickname ‘Beardyman’ because a name was quickly needed for a flyer for an early show, and he had a beard at the time.
As well as accomplished solo beatboxer, Beardyman was inspired by MC Xander to use music technology such as the Korg Kaoss Pad 3 in order to loop and sample his vocals. Through his use of looping tools he effectively produces whole DJ sets where the records are constructed live from his vocalisations, as well as live production of original material.read more »
Psychic TV (PTV, sometimes spelled Psychick TV) is a video art and music group that primarily performs psychedelic, punk, electronic and experimental music. The band was formed by performance artist Genesis P-Orridge and video director Peter Christopherson (after the breakup of Throbbing Gristle) with Alex Fergusson, musician and producer (a key member of Alternative TV for whom P-Orridge had played percussion).
The band began publishing a monthly series of 23 live albums in 1986, but stopped without explanation after only 17. The tenth, a picture disk most commonly referred to as ‘Album 10,’ could only be obtained by submitting tokens contained in each of the previous nine releases. The band subsequently earned an entry in the ‘Guinness Book of World Records’ for most records released in one year.read more »
KRK Ryden (b.1953) is an American visual artist. His surrealistic art style is reflective of his taste in cartoons and pulp art and his work is described as ‘colorful and visually appealing reflections on discarded icons.’ In 1977 Ryden changed his name from Keith to Keyth for ‘numberoligical [sic] reasons’ and to differentiate himself from his father’s first name. Ryden took up the theremin in 2003 and created a band called Ken the Magic Corner God. With his theremin, and Josh Mcleod on keyboards, they recorded one studio album. Their most famous performance was with Mark Mothersbaugh as Booji Boy (a character DEVO created) singing the song ‘U Got Me Bugged.’
KRK has done work for the band DEVO. He illustrated DEVO’s ‘Brainwasher Magazine’ and did the cover art for the band’s ‘Recombo DNA’ release. He appears annually at the band’s ‘DEVOtionals’ held in Cleveland, Ohio. The day before each DEVOtional, KRK holds a solo art show at the Asterisk Gallery. He did a two-man show with DEVO frontman Mark Mothersbaugh called ‘Dos Mutatos’; notable guests included Weird Al Yankovic and Jihad Jerry (solo project of Devo bassist and ‘chief strategist’ Gerald Casale). Keyth, who lives in Martinez, California, is the older brother of visual artist Mark Ryden. He created Keyth Ryden Visual in the 1970s, which was later changed to Keyth Ryden Kreations, or KRK, which also became his professional name. He is contemplating changing it to Glob Studios.
Darrell Lance Abbott, also known as Diamond Darrell and Dimebag Darrell (1966 – 2004), was an American guitarist and founding member of the groove metal band Pantera, as well as Damageplan. Abbott also contributed to the record Rebel Meets Rebel, a collaboration between Pantera and outlaw country music singer David Allan Coe.
Darrell is considered to be one of the driving forces behind groove metal (a subgenre of heavy metal characterized by a slightly slower tempo than most metal). Abbott was shot and killed while on stage during a Damageplan performance on December 8, 2004, at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio.read more »