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A Bright Rhythm Nation

Monday, November 28: 5 p.m.
Posted by Kathryn Metz
Learning at “Women Who Rock: Songwriting and Point of View”

The handwritten lyrics to Janet Jackson’s 1989 song “Rhythm Nation” are currently on display in the Museum’s Women Who Rock exhibit: With music by our side/to break the color lines/let’s work together/to improve our way of life/Join voices in protest/to social injustice. The song exhorts social change in the face of injustice, using music – and by extension, rhythm – as a unifying tool. It’s the perfect platform to talk about song structure (verse, chorus, bridge, etc.) More important, “Rhythm Nation” provides a unique point of view from which to draw conclusions about its author and her era.

We use the chart-topping hit as an example of songwriting in our Rockin’ the Schools class based on women songwriters, “Women Who Rock: Songwriting and Point of View.” We developed the class curriculum (one of three Women Who Rock–based courses) with a strong English–language arts focus in conjunction with the Women Who Rock exhibit. This gives students the opportunity to really explore ELA concepts while learning about the importance of women songwriters from Tin Pan Alley to Top 40 radio. Male and female middle school and high school students appreciate the dedicated listening ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Education

Five Minutes with Fame: Neon Trees

Friday, October 21: 12 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Neon Trees

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is pleased to partner with Microsoft Zune for Five Minutes with Fame, an exclusive video series on the Zune Marketplace featuring singers, songwriters and bands at the forefront of today's music. After a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum, we sit down with artists to talk about their music, their road to success, inspirations, being on tour and of course, some of their favorite artists and artifacts highlighted in the Museum. This week's featured group is Neon Trees.

With influences that include Depeche Mode, Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin and Bruce Springsteen, it's no surprise that Neon Trees deliver a hook-laden New Wave sound with a hard hitting rock and roll backbone. Lead vocalist and keyboardist Tyler Glenn and guitarist Chris Allen first started playing together as the Neon Trees in their native Southern California in 2005. The two friends eventually moved to Provo, Utah, to attend school, and there met drummer and vocalist Elaine Bradley and bassist Branden Campbell.

Rechristened as a quartet, Neon Trees found an immediate musical connection, churning out a string of inspired tunes that addressed longing, love lost and found and adolescent angst. “We’re ...


continue Categories: Five Minutes with Fame

Remembering Steve Jobs

Thursday, October 6: 5 p.m.
Posted by Todd Mesek
Steve Jobs / photo by Matt Yohe

Steve Jobs famously spoke about “1,000 songs in your pocket.” That was in 2001. In a time when the rest of the world was still trying to understand e-commerce, Jobs had a vision. It wasn’t about giving the people what they want. It was about showing them something new, something they never dreamed about, something irresistible. His mantra was to make it simple, fast, convenient and easy to use. You could get nearly anything in one click. Music was not only easier to purchase, but also easier to carry, easier to store and easier to access.

Like the transistor radio in the '50s, the iPod altered the course of music by changing the way a new generation of fans found and consumed new music. Every day at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, we see teenagers who are seeking out seminal rock and roll artists. They're looking for the Beatles, the Stones, the Doors, the Who and countless other artists, some of whom haven’t recorded in 30 or 40 years. They’re passionate fans. They’re wearing the T-shirts. They know every song, and they’ve made their pilgrimage to the Rock and ...


continue Categories: Other

All the World's on Stage

Wednesday, October 5: 12 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Ancient South Indian dance by Mahima Venkatesh

On Sunday, October 9, the universal language of music takes center stage during the 13th annual World Festival at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. "The World Festival celebrates the wonderful cultures in our community," says Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Vice President of Planning and External Affairs Dr. Jacklyn Chisholm. "We get to enjoy music from around the world in a world-renowned Museum. What could be better!"

The celebration of culture will fill the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's main lobby from noon to 4 pm, as the greater Cleveland area's diverse ethnic communities come together to share traditions and musical legacies. The region's rich cultural mosaic will be complemented by musicians that include African Soul International, R&B vocal group Artistree, Brazilian jazz artist Moises Borges (pictured below), the Puerto Rican tropical band stylings of Nano Cabrera, Native American rockers Native Reign, lively Ancient South Indian dance by Mahima Venkatesh, traditional Greek dance by Sts. Constantine and Helenic Senior Hellenic Dancers, Middle Eastern dance by Wind and Sand Dance Company, and the sounds of Cleveland-based The Vernon Jones Blues Cartel. The 2011 World Festival will be ...


continue Categories: Event

Five Minutes With Fame: Robyn

Wednesday, August 24: 9 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Bookmark our blog for a new video from a different artist each week!

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is pleased to partner with Microsoft Zune for Five Minutes with Fame, an exclusive video series on the Zune Marketplace featuring singers, songwriters and bands at the forefront of today's music. After a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum, we sit down to talk with each artist about their music, their road to success, inspirations, being on tour and of course, some of their favorite artists and artifacts highlighted in the Museum. This week's featured artist is Robyn.

Much like her Swedish pop-loving brethren, Scandinavian singer-songwriter Robyn has a gift for crafting indelible melodies, though it's not all sunshine and bubblegum. Her songs often favor a R&B groove and she sings with soulful conviction, a style cultivated by listening to her parent's American soul records. Her latest releases reflect an ambitious rethinking of what a pop song can be – and spotlight a woman who rocks.

Prompted by continued frustrations with record labels after more than a decade of making music, Robyn returned in 2005 on her own terms, releasing a self-titled album on her newly formed Konichiwa imprint. The album featured collaborations with a host of fellow ...


continue Categories: Five Minutes with Fame, Exclusive Interviews

2010: A Music Year in Review

Friday, January 14: 11:41 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Over the last few weeks, several pundits have made splashes with articles declaring the death of “rock ‘n roll.”  After close examination, we here at the Museum see these arguments as more of a testament to the decline of the music industry and not the art form that we celebrate.  The statistics below are the underpinning for these writers’ arguments.  Additional hay has been made by the fact that other stats for the top songs of the year have been reviewed by certain critics and determined by them to include only two or three “rock” songs.  You can probably guess where this latter revelation or “fact” takes me……. how do you define rock

When you step back and take a look at history, so called experts have been predicting or claiming that rock and roll is or will be dead for almost as long as it has been around.  The reality is that more folks, and especially young people,  turn to this art form (as we righteously define it, e.g. rock, RnB, urban, hip hop, blues, etc.) to express themselves than they ever did.  Ya just don’t see gaggles of folk, jazz, or classical, combos spontaneously bubbling up ...


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