Ariana Grande Should Explore Her Dark Side

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I'm going to take a wild guess and assume many Rocks Off readers are probably more rockers, metalheads, and punks than fans of teen pop music, so those folks may have no idea who Ariana Grande is. If that's the case, she's the latest in a long line of disposable pop stars created by record labels and executive producers.

Oh, the girl can sing, I'll give her that. She can also act. Your author has seen many an episode of her Nickelodeon show Sam & Cat on sleepless nights after getting bored watching the same hour of SportsCenter on an endless loop in the wee hours of the morning. She could not possibly be that dumb in real life, could she?

Well, turns out last year she revealed her true personality to us all. You see, as she told Complex, she has a dark side. She is haunted by demons. Personally, I think that is awesome, and deserves a lot more attention.


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The Eagle Soars Triumphant In Houston's Classic-Rock War

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Photos by Marco Torres
Dean and Rog on the air last week
This past New Year's Eve afternoon, as classic-rock fans across Houston were putting on their faux, pre-distressed Led Zeppelin '77 tour T-shirt to head out and ring in the new year (and presumably, to rock and roll all night), they might have been shocked when turning in to KKRW 93.7 FM The Arrow.

Instead of hearing familiar tunes from the the Stones, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, AC/DC or even Loverboy, they got an earful of Rick Ross, Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Drake. None of whom, I should mention, ever covered "Sunshine of Your Love."

In one of those no-warning, no-quarter moves that happens all the time across the dial, the Arrow was no more, with hip-hop/R&B-formatted "The Beat" now broadcasting on the frequency owned by Clear Channel.


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Killing the Music: The Mumfordization of Top 40 Radio

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Here a banjo, there a banjo, everywhere a twangy banjo.
Twenty-eight. That is the amount of times in one day that I heard the songs play. Between my daily morning routine, my various commutes throughout the city, and a quick visit to CVS, "Home" came on eight times, "Ho Hey" seven, "Little Talks" also seven, and "I Will Wait" six.

Phillip Phillips and company really have made this place their home... and this place is Top 40 Radio.

I guess it isn't exactly "news" that Top 40 radio kills music. A song gets popular and then completely destroyed through massive amounts of overplay. This is still happening to some of the greatest bands of all time. I often think that classic-rock stations seem to only be aware that the Rolling Stones have five songs, and three of those songs are "Brown Sugar." So why is it any more annoying this time around?


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Austin's New (C)KOKE-FM Can't Beat The Real Thing

Lonesome, Onry and Mean had been hearing about the new KOKE-FM progressive country station in Austin for a few weeks. One friend in particular kept raving about the station, so today we finally sauntered over to KOKE-FM (99.3) on the world wide web.

Back in the day when we were in Radio/Television/Film school at UT-Austin, KOKE-FM broke the mold for country radio when it announced its progressive country format that featured not only Waylon, Willie, Coe, Jerry Jeff, Jimmy Buffett, Michael Murphy, and Asleep at the Wheel, but also corralled such outlaws as Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen and the newly formed Gram Parsons band with Emmylou Harris.

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There was also space for Austin treasures like Freda and the Firedogs and Greezy Wheels.

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Happy Birthday, John Peel: Our 10 Favorite Sessions

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Today would have been the 73rd birthday of John Peel, one of the planet's most legendary, eclectic and flat-out best radio disc jockeys of all time. He died in 2004, but the nearly 40 years of outrageously good music that he helped bring to the masses at BBC Radio 1 beginning in 1967 form a pretty damn impressive legacy.

Peel actually got his start in radio in Texas, first as an unpaid presented on WRR AM in Dallas and then as the "official Beatles correspondent" for KLIF-FM during the height of Beatlemania.

In 1967, he returned to his native England, where he worked as a DJ for the offshore pirate radio station Radio London, breaking new music from LA and San Francisco among other tasty morsels. After Radio London folded, he was hired by the BBC's new pop music station, Radio 1, where he'd remain for the rest of his life.

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7Horse's "Meth Lab Zoso Sticker" Hits Radio Brick Wall

7Horse playing their AAA Top 40 single "Low Fuel Drug Run"

A 20-year member of Los Angeles rock ensemble Dada, drummer Phil Leavitt is no newcomer to the music business. Leavitt and Dada bassist Joie Calio formed their own band 7Horse last year, and dropped the hard-rocking debut, Let the 7Horse Run.

The first single, "Low Fuel Drug Run," managed to make the AAA Top 40 radio chart, a rare event for an indie band without a label.

After touring hard most of the year, Leavitt and Calio decided to release one more single from the album, a raw, explosive rocker with a riff from hell called "Meth Lab Zoso Sticker."

The response from radio has been, according to Leavitt, "dismal."


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