Saturday, May 13, 2006
One of the top-selling teen magazines, Seventeen, not only includes a variety of articles about the newest trends in make-up, hair, and clothing, but have recently picked up on the search for new talent in music. They showcase many new up-and-coming artists to help them make their way onto the scene. Billy Mann, a top producer and songwriter, has become one of the main staff writers for the magazine, spotlighting fresh new indie bands in his weekly column, “Indie Beat”.
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If you are wondering, “Indie” music, or more commonly used, “indie rock”, is referred to those bands that are not affiliated with the large, or major record labels. It’s a way of shortening “independent bands”. Indie rock and film have made its way to the forefront, getting much more attention than before. Billy Mann’s column is dedicated specifically to those bands in need of some recognition. Due to the popularity of the column, Seventeen has complied a CD of many of the artists reviewed by Mann. The debut collection of “hot new artists” was put together to represent the “coolest new music” today.
The CD definitely is packed with cool new indie rock bands. It is a nice blend of soul, rock, fuk, up-beat catchy melodies, and the classic riffs of the electric guitar. It opens up with a band named, Shout Out Louds, with an up-beat song, “Hurry up let’s go”. There is variety of alternative, pop-rock, and acoustic songs on the record. These bands stay true to the simple idea of just playing instruments and making music. More fresh new independent artists featured on the CD include: Faces on Film, Tegan and Sara, Apollo Sunshine, The Like, Dirtie Blonde, and many more. There are several girl voices on the CD that add a fresh and unique vibe after hearing the traditional male voices rocking out. Not too many bands have girl “front men”, but Billy Mann found some cool bands with different styles. If your ears like the sound of Modest Mouse and Franz Ferdinand, many of the tracks would be appealing to you. If you are more into the soulful raspy Jack Johnson acoustics, then Citizen Cope’s song, “Sideways” would be perfect for you. The feeling of the CD as a whole is very laid back and breezy. What I mean by breezy is that it is the kind of music you would play in summer; cruising on the road.
Although it is ironic for independent bands to be featured in a major teen magazine, check out Billy Mann’s top picks of the next big things from the independent music scene in Seventeen’s: Best New Music CD. If you find yourself agreeing with Billy Mann and the bands he chose, keep up him and the newest bands by reading his column, Indie Beat, in Seventeen magazine, or just simply go online to www.seventeen.com. If you can’t get enough of Billy Mann, online you can access all his columns and even pick his brain and read his daily blog.