Posts tagged ‘Songwriter’

May 17, 2011

Iggy Pop

iggy pop by xavier martin

Iggy Pop (b. 1947), born James Newell Osterberg, is an American musician. He is considered an influential innovator of punk rock music. He began calling himself ‘Iggy’ after his first band in high school (for which he was drummer), The Iguanas. He was lead singer/songwriter of influential protopunk band The Stooges and became known for his outrageous and unpredictable stage antics. Inspired by the antagonism of Jim Morrison, Pop was the first performer to do a stage-dive, which he started at a concert in Detroit. Other exploits of Pop include rolling around in broken glass, exposing himself to the crowd and vomiting on stage.

Osterberg was raised in a trailer park in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He began his music career as a drummer in different high school bands in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He later moved to Chicago where he played drums in blues clubs, helped by Sam Lay (formerly of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band). In 1968, he and his new band, ‘The Stooges,’ signed with Elektra Records, again following in the footsteps of The Doors, who were Elektra’s biggest act at the time. Reportedly, Pop called Moe Howard to see if it was alright to call his band ‘The Stooges,’ to which Howard responded by merely saying ‘I don’t care what they call themselves, as long as they’re not the Three Stooges!’ and hung up the phone).

May 16, 2011

Dan Hicks

 

dan hicks

Dan Hicks (b. 1941) is an American singer-songwriter working at the intersection of cowboy folk, jazz, country, swing, bluegrass, pop, and gypsy music. His songs are frequently infused with humor, as evidenced by the title of his tune, ‘How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?’ Taking up the guitar in 1959, he became part of the San Francisco folk music scene, performing at local coffeehouses. Hicks joined the San Francisco band The Charlatans in 1965 as drummer.

In 1968, Hicks formed Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, whose fourth album, 1973’s Last Train to Hicksville, gained the group critical and popular acclaim. Thus, it was a great surprise to many when he chose that moment to disband the Hot Licks. Asked why in 1974, he said, ‘I’m basically a loner… I like singing and stuff, but I didn’t necessarily want to be a bandleader. The thing had turned into a collective sort of thing — democracy, vote on this, do that. I conceived the thing. They wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for me. My role as leader started diminishing, but it was my fault because I let it happen; I cared less as the thing went on.’

 

May 6, 2011

Thom Yorke

thom yorke

Thom Yorke (b. 1968) is an English musician who is the lead vocalist and principal songwriter of the alternative rock band Radiohead. He mainly plays guitar and piano, but he has also played drums and bass guitar (notably during the Kid A and Amnesiac sessions). In July 2006, he released his debut solo album, The Eraser.

At birth, his left eye was fixed shut; he underwent five eye operations before he was six years old. He has stated that the last surgery was ‘botched,’ leaving him with a drooping eyelid.

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April 3, 2011

Daniel Johnston

Hi, How Are You

Daniel Johnston (b. 1961) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and artist. Johnston has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder which has been a recurring problem throughout his life. In 1990, on a two-seater plane piloted by his father Bill, Johnston had a hypomanic episode believing he was Casper The Friendly Ghost and removed the key from the planes ignition and threw it out the window. His father, a former Air Force pilot, managed to successfully crash-land the plane. Although the plane was destroyed, Johnston and his father emerged with only minor injuries. As a result of this episode, Johnston was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital.

Interest in Johnston increased when Kurt Cobain was frequently photographed wearing a t-shirt featuring the cover image of Johnston’s album ‘Hi, How Are You.’ In spite of Johnston being resident in a mental hospital at the time, a bidding war to sign him ensued. He refused to sign a multi-album deal with Elektra Records because Metallica was on the labels roster and Daniel was convinced that they were possessed by Satan and would hurt him. He also dropped his manager who brokered the deal, because Daniel believed he too was possessed by Satan. Ultimately he signed with Atlantic Records and released Fun, produced by Paul Leary of Butthole Surfers in 1994.

March 10, 2011

Giorgio Moroder

Moroder

Giorgio Moroder (b. 1940) is an Italian record producer, songwriter, and performer. His work with synthesizers during the 1970s and 1980s had a significant influence on New Wave, house, and electronic music in general. Particularly well known for his work with Donna Summer during the era of disco, Moroder is the founder of the former Musicland Studios in Munich, which was also used by Led Zeppelin, Queen, and Elton John. In addition to his work with Donna Summer, Moroder also produced a number of electronic disco hits and a score of songs for a variety of others including David Bowie, Irene Cara, and, Blondie.

In 1984, Moroder compiled a new restoration and edit of the famous silent film ‘Metropolis’ and provided a contemporary soundtrack to the film with pop hits from Pat Benatar, Adam Ant, Billy Squier, Loverboy, Bonnie Tyler, and Freddie Mercury. He also integrated the old-fashioned intertitles into the film as subtitles to improve continuity, and he played the film at a rate of 24 frames per second. Since the original speed was unknown this choice was controversial. Known as the ‘Moroder version,’ it sparked debate among film buffs, with outspoken critics and supporters of the film falling into equal camps.

November 28, 2010

Diplo

lazerproof

Thomas Wesley Pentz (b. 1978) better known by his stage name Diplo, is a Philadelphia-based American DJ, producer, and songwriter. Together with DJ Low Budget, he runs Hollertronix, a club and music collective. He also founded and manages record company Mad Decent, as well as the not for profit organization Heaps Decent. Among other jobs, Pentz has worked as a school teacher in Philadelphia.

During his rise to notability, Diplo worked with and dated British musician M.I.A., an artist who is credited with helping expose him in his early career. Later, Pentz and fellow M.I.A. producer Switch created a Jamaican dancehall project titled Major Lazer. Since then, Diplo has worked on production and mixtape projects with many other notable pop artists. Pentz’s alias, short for Diplodocus, derives from his childhood fascination with dinosaurs.

October 26, 2010

Dr. Luke

dr luke

Lukasz Gottwald, better known as Dr. Luke, is an American songwriter, record producer, and remixer. Luke performed with the Saturday Night Live Band band for ten seasons until 2007. He has co-written and co-produced a string of commercially successful songs including Taio Cruz’s ‘Dynamite,’ Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Since U Been Gone,’ Pink’s ‘U + Ur Hand,’ Avril Lavigne’s ‘Girlfriend,’ Katy Perry’s ‘I Kissed a Girl,’ Britney Spears’ ‘Circus,’ Miley Cyrus’s ‘Party in the U.S.A.,’ and Ke$ha’s ‘Tik Tok.’

He was named one of the top ten producers of the decade by Billboard in 2009 and the Songwriter of the Year at the 2010 ASCAP Pop Music Awards. He is a frequent collaborator with Swedish music producer and songwriter Martin Karl Sandberg, aka Max Martin.