Lyrics Lounge - Ich liebe musik bei Lyrics Lounge!

Lyrics Lounge: Session XV

February 11, 2011

Düsseldorf? Is that a kind of cheese? Where do you buy it? What does it do? It doesn’t take batteries? No seriously,  Düsseldorf is the  German birthplace of Kraftwerk, an electronic music band  formed by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider in 1970. When with asked the students in Lyrics Lounge about electronic music, they described it as Techno music. They did not realize that making music with electronics was the beginning of Techno pop and similar genres. On February 11, Lyric Lounge explored the topic “Electronic Music Appreciation + Krafterwerk” to introduce students to the origins of today electronic music scene and the digital instrument industry. We screened a documentary entitled Kraftwerk and the Electronic Revolution.


Lyrics Lounge - Songstress Chanda Rule came through to talk about jazz and being a world-traveling musician.

Lyrics Lounge: Session XIV

February 4, 2011

It is not uncommon for an American artist to go to Europe or Asia and make a name there. He or she maybe relatively unknown in the United States but will be famous abroad. This reality speaks to the importance of American music around the global. It also speaks volumes about the importance of diversifying your brand as an artist. There is nothing wrong with writing a few songs in another language or creating your tunes for more than one kind of audience. At our last Lyrics Lounge event, we talked to songstress and world-traveler Chanda Rule. Chanda performed a number of phenomenal songs accompanied by Steve Wallace. Then we discussed her travels and her experiences working in the music industry. Our theme for the day was “International Music: Get Out, No Limits On You.” At the end we rocked out the our WHAT? Of course, we rocked out with the traditional Lyrics Lounge open mic. 🙂

Pics From Chanda’s Visit. Smile!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lyrics Lounge: Session XIII

January 28, 2011

Is the integrity of the music business suffering due to the commercialization of art in culture? Many fans and music practitioners believe that it is. In a world where the proliferation of original music content is overwhelming, why does it seem as if the major radio channels, music charts, and music stores reflect such limited diversity? Today artist who sell stay in rotation for months (and even years). Subsequently, some believe that defining a successful artist in terms of “dollars and cents” compromises the true value of the music industry and makes it impossible for new artists to rise.

To discuss this issue, Lyrics Lounge screened Before the Music Dies (2006), an independent rockumentary directed by Andrew Shapter. The film critiques the American music industry and the increased commercialization of the art of music over the past thirty years. The film features interviews and performances from musicians such as Doyle Bramhall II, Erykah Badu, Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews, Branford Marsalis, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt and My Morning Jacket.

Our theme of the day was ” Get Rich or Die Singing.” The students rocked out to the open mic at the end. Fortunately, the tone of the film did not dampen their rhymes. ‘Til next week.

Lyrics Lounge - Musical Form and Historical Analysis of Antonio Vivaldi's The Four Seasons

Lyrics Lounge: Session XII

January 21, 2011

Welcome back! Yay. Lyrics Lounge made it to its third season, and it’s going stronger than ever. Despite the cold of the outdoors, Lyrics Lounge staff and student participants manage to keep it burning like hot fire indoors at ETC, our home and movement headquarters. We opened the third season in a major way. Students came from all over Harlem to be a part of the scene on Friday, January 21. However, what’s most awesome is that they came running for classical music. That’s right. Our main attraction at the season opener was a rendition of Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, as interpreted by award-winning composer and filmmaker William D. Caballero. Our theme for the day was “Classical Music Appreciation.” As far as the happenings, William opened with a performance of the first movement (Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, Ryom Verzeichnis 269, “La primavera” (Spring)) on violin. Then, the floor was opened to students’ questions. Finally, Lyrics Lounge ended with students freestyling to William improvising on the violin. Slammin’.

Lyrics Lounge - Some of the staff of ETC came to display their talents and inspire youth at the final Lyrics Lounge session of 2010.


Lyrics Lounge: Session XI

December 3, 2010

The Employment and Technology Center at Harlem Children’s Zone has a number of staff members with hidden talents. Perhaps the talents aren’t hidden as much as they are “under-witnessed” on the job. Nevertheless, there are a number of folks who are pursuing their dreams in the arts while they work to influence the lives of youth at HCZ. Consequently, Lyrics Lounge took a moment to celebrate the “stars” who grace the halls of ETC each day. On the bill were staffers Steve Wallace and Suraj Gopal, two amazing and dynamic musical performers. Our theme for the day was “Dream Anatomy: Chasing Your Dreams and Paying the Bills.” As far as the happenings, Steve Wallace opened the show with an awesome keyboard performance of some songs from his latest work Urban Soul. Suraj followed with traditional Indian tabla music. It was purely phenomenal, and the students had a number of questions for the pair. Later the students engaged in a friendly discussion about the importance of following one’s dreams. Finally, we killed it with the traditional Lyrics Lounge open mic. It doesn’t get any better.


Lyrics Lounge - Guest recording artist Darnell Levine comes to talk about the independent artist grind with ETC youth.


Lyrics Lounge: Session IX

November 5, 2010

It has become relatively easy to produce your own music these days and put it out. All over the world independent artists are reclaiming the creative process and taking their careers into their own hands. That’s why…on Friday, November 5, Lyrics Lounge discussed the ups and downs of being an independent artist in this new digital age. Our theme for the day was “Signed or Unsigned: Independent Artistry 101.” As far as the happenings, Darnell Levine, Kentucky-born singer-songwriter and entrepreneur, came through to bless our students with a performance of songs from his latest release. Afterwards, students were able to question him about his grind and the benefits of managing one’s own music career. Lyrics Lounge ended, of course, with our signature open mic. Rockin’.


Please Get My Good Side.

Check out some of these pics from Darnell’s performance.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Lyrics Lounge - Know Your Target Audience.


Lyrics Lounge: Session XI

November 19, 2010

Without question, the most successful artists know how to “self-promote.” Diddy, Kanye West, and a number of other major artists have shown us just how beneficial it is to “toot one’s own horn.” Consequently, Lyrics Lounge held a one-shot, crash course in marketing and promotions for our youth. Our topic was “Getting the Word Out: A Strategic Approach to Promoting Your Music.” Some of our topics were: 1) What is Cost Effectiveness, 2) Know Your Target Demographic, and 3) Commercial Marketability. As a final exercise, students were asked to design a promotions campaign for an aspiring artist. Their prompt: Imagine that an artist’s album is set for release December 25, 2011. What are some of the deadlines that should be met to ensure the album’s success? Finally we rocked out with the standard Lyrics Lounge open mic.