Do Americans appreciate music as much as they used to?

Today, Americans listen to anything they want.

For no cost.

Mediums such as Spotify, YouTube, and their peer companies allow free access to nearly all of recorded musical history and this has been gradually becoming the precedent for future generations of music fans.

Accessibility to all music has its pros and cons. The ability to hear diverse sounds that one might never be turned onto otherwise is the most substantial advantage. Others include the power to play music when and where ever the user desires. These prove to be heavenly features modern mediums provide us.

But is complete accessibility always beneficial for a listener? Does it affect how much they appreciate music as art?

With the ability to listen to any track, the notion of the album becomes, in terms of the broad scope of listners, irrelevant. Listener’s over the years have been conditioned, by their all-encompassing accessibility, to not desire to comprehend an artist’s work in full. When it’s easy to listen to what we want, and when we succumb to our “need” of instant gratification, we tend to satisfy ourselves with that specific hit we love, for a means of our entertainment.

Entertainment holds quite a warm place in the human heart, but does entertainment always reflect a mature view of human emotion? The point I try to make is that modern media attempts to place “value” on works that entertain, and entertain only, rather than works that affect the human soul as pieces of art.

The oversaturated online libraries within easy reach allow a sense of urgency that make listeners forget what it’s like to just sit down alone by a fireplace with a glass of wine, spinning their favorite record in its entirety, being covered all over by the atmosphere of that artist they love and filled with a sense of emotional value.

Sentimental moments such as those never have the oppurtunity to occur today because the listener had already listened to some of that artist’s hits along with irritating commericals on the car ride home from work.

Do Americans not appreciate music as much today because they aren’t willing to give themselves over to the full experience that the art was intended to create? Do Americans not want to sit alone in a musical atmosphere for forty-ish minutes and reflect on their ideas every once in a while?

If modern Americans do not care about music as much as former generations, would it be because cheap entertainment has become more prominent than expressive musical artistry in the majority of casual listeners’ daily lives? Ask yourself, does the top 40 in general over the past decade reflect intentions of appeasing the human urge to instantly gratify themselves on the aesthetic values of music or does it reflect intentions of providing a deep human to human connection based in a marriage of both the aeshetic and contential values?

Maybe, if previous generations cared more, it was because they purchased and actually owned their music. They could access the art that meant something to them by paying with money that they worked for. The art possessed not only an emotional value, but a specific monetary value. People, because they had paid for it, made more conscious efforts to enjoy and analyze the record and “get their money’s worth” so to speak. This, as the listener’s record collection grew, would be a basis for which music they thought was valuable and why they did or didn’t.

Paying for the music drives the urge to give more attention to the art that was just bought. Whether the attention is positive or negative, the listener, for the sake of knowing the value of what they purchased, actively listens to the work.

From the listener’s perspective, music being free and omnipresent is something truly divine; but what listeners cannot see is the ways in which powerful artists financially lose resources to create better work, the ways valuable sentimental moments become less and less likely to occur, and the ways commercial media, that romanticises well-produced, yet mediocre “appeasements” of shallow sentiment, devalues credible artwork.

Why do critics rate Sgt. Pepper’s as the greatest album of all time?

Despite having made records with more substantial subject matter, eastern textures, and experimental production on their previous two records “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver,” the Beatles were still largely seen solely as the divinely charming pop-performers of the English world. They carried the images of uninhibited fun, youthful energy, cheap-sentiment, and teenage love.

These images along with their compelling personalities were limiting them artistically and these images are why the Beatles’ fans prior to “Rubber Soul” listened. Their fans for a large part wanted to be entertained; they didn’t want to have to critically interpret a work of art. In June 1967, the world’s most powerful POP group would deliver a record devoid of any pop sensibilities altogether; they would deliver a work of art, and art solely.

Sgt. Pepper’s is the culmination of Dylan-influenced satire, acid flavored tone colors, classical aspirations, eastern philosophy, diverse instrumentation, a harmonically/rhythmically open palette, and studio experimentation. Read More

Authenticity, Is It Important?

Authentic: adjective

Definition: genuine; real; not false or copied

When making or performing music does being authentic matter?

Bob Dylan. James Brown. Taylor Swift. Ray Charles. Childish Gambino. Jim Morrison. Ed Sheeran. Elvis Presley. Kanye West. Beyoncé. Iggy Pop. Chief Keef. Mick Jagger. 2 Chainz. Michael Jackson. Janis Joplin. Freddie Mercury. Rae Sremmurd. Johnny Cash. Nicki Minaj.

Though it’s difficult to compare any of these artists, what is it that they all have in common?

Let us not discuss which of these artists make “good” or “bad” music because that is subjective and ultimately decided by the listener; but lets discuss them concerning authenticity.

Each and every one of these artists are undeniably successful; but why?

One thing that they all share is the widely underestimated ability to have confidence in performing as themselves. Set the music aside for a moment. Just analyze the humans who made it.
They aren’t faking anything on that stage. They’re outrageously comfortable with how they sing, how they move, how they look into the eyes of their audience.

Do you think that Mick Jagger for one second takes any time to think what people might be thinking, good or bad, about his dance moves?

Do you think James Brown ever thinks he’s screaming past the point of musicality?

Do you think Taylor Swift ever questions the depth of her lyrics?

The answer is: of course not. They do what comes natural to them.

A major part of their performance success is that they do not question themselves. Ever.
Each of the artists from the list has a personality they are unashamed of in every way. Their music, whether “good” or “bad”, depicts their own personalities with accuracy, urgency, and reality. No one can argue that. What they create represents who they really are in their hearts.
To achieve authenticity as a musician is to first establish what YOU naturally love doing, hearing, playing, and singing. Then it is to build up a comfortability to act on your subconscious urges that call for certain musical actions to be taken that you might or might not feel embarrassed about taking.
If Lonnie Donegan couldn’t risk criticism by throwing his head back and wailing in all abandonment on British television, would we ever be blessed with the Beatles today?
To parallel this: if you couldn’t free yourself of your musical inhibitions, could your audience ever appreciate the depth and passion of your music?

In the end, be yourself, be proud, and be bold. All your favorite artists do that, so why not you?

4 Traits of Successful Artists

1. Music is ALWAYS on their mind

  • They wake up each day thinking about or listening to music and go to sleep at night with those same thoughts they carried throughout the day.
  • They always have new tunes playing so they can be constantly inspired by new ideas to incorporate into their own work. For successful artists, this comes as a natural desire to study diverse sounds and be influenced.
  • They saturate themselves in the music at all times of day until they breathe the music.

2. They have an unbeatable work ethic

  • They make a lot of time for their work and give themselves over entirely to the music. Many abandon their day jobs or their social lives to make more time for their art. Music is their first, if not only, priority.
  • They are very aware of their goals and the discipline required to reach them. They practice, write, and create for hours longer than their musical peers and will not let themselves stop until they achieve the exact sound that is in their heads. They always go the extra mile.
  • They LOVE FAILURE. They see failure only as a requirement for success. They love it because they learn from their mistakes and thirst for improvement. They refuse to give up even after a thousand failures; and this is why they succeed. Talent is wonderful, but it is hard work that makes a true artist.

3. They understand the business

  • To them, promoting their work is almost as big of a priority as creating it. They understand the need to market what they spent months creating. They develop and maintain an image that represents their work fully but also sticks in their audience’s mind.
  • They network with other artists, fans, and studios; making sure to always present themselves to their peers as a humble, respectful, positive, and charming voice in the scene. They take time to develop a loyal fanbase by having intimate conversations with their fans. They are other-worldly, truly delightful communicators.
  • They make themselves known by playing live shows as much as possible and keeping a warm presence on all relevant social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
  • Overall, they are more than confident to invest time and money in themselves.

4. Authenticity

  • They are comfortable with who they are and can have a completely positive outlook on their ideas. They form their own unique sound because they are only trying to please themselves and they believe everything they create.
  • Their motives are purely to give brilliant art to the world.
  • They unashamedly display their true personality. It’s just the artist being natural, and an audience can really resonate with the honesty in which the artist carries themself. They show that they are a real human being with real emotions.

Your artist image resource: how to dress well as a musician

artist image resource: how to dress well as a musician

Your artist image resource : how to dress well as a musician

Every famous musician you can think of has something that makes them stand out, right? Think of the most influential bands/artists off the top of your head. What unique style do you see? Pinpointing how to dress well as a musician can be one of the most arduous tasks.

You might be wondering where to start: whether you are a boy or a girl, jazz, blues or rock musician. Just remember your image can start trends. Keep it simple and stick with a white t-shirt and jeans or go all out in a cocktail dress. Let us help with the process. Use this as a resource to your ultimate artist image:

  1. Are you going to go with the stereotype of your genre or against?
    • With- The Beach Boys- American rock band from California, follow the California style
    • Against- My Chemical Romance- American rock band from New Jersey- you wouldn’t say their music is anything close to emo or heavy metal but their look shows differently
  2. Have the mindset you can make anything happen
    • Miley Cyrus for goodness sake sings on top of a giant hotdog
    • Lana Del Rey with the flower headband that is now part of the “basic white girl uniform”
  3. How outlandish are you willing to be?
    • Lady Gaga will continuously be ridiculed for her outlandish, yet publicity producing ways
    • Might not be outlandish, but iconic- Willie Nelson and his braided, bandana hair
    • Or you can just think you are equivalent to God, like Kayne West, and other artists like The Chainsmokers will make songs about wanting to be you
  4. Get a slogan going
  • I am a Fanilow of Barry Manilow
  1. A look with a “lifetime membership”
    • e. Kiss– Gene Simmons is now 65 years old and still rocking his black and white face paint
    • John Lennon sunglasses for Ray ban need I say more- all these hipsters are sporting them around

At this point it doesn’t matter what you choose to make “happen” you just need to STICK WITH IT

Hey, it’s the Third Thirdsday Recap!


And so we have a hat trick! All three of the Thirdsdays have been a hit! Lots of fresh new faces at this one, all of whom were jammin’ just like the regulars. Not to mention, mother nature supplied the perfect background with that crazy thunderstorm. Thirdsday was the best rainy day activity by far!

Kole Sievert, the singer for Stone Kole’d’s interaction with the band and audience clearly displayed her passion for music. The “melody,” as Kole referred to it, definitely stole the show! The melody mashup combined short bits of songs from Cher: If I Could Turn Back Time & Bare Naked Ladies: One Week. This gal can sing any genre of music and kill it! Bringing it back to good ole east Tennessee by singing the great Dolly Parton’s Jolene, the set supported local, just what SoKnox Studios loves.

Next up were The Jank, some slick dudes in their suits and sunglasses. No lyrics needed when music is this good. Some of their surf-inspired set includes: Uprising, A go go guitar, Guadalajara, and Rumble. Rumble can be caught on PsychoBrainfood’s  WDVX set “Rumble” as the introduction song. Leave it to Doug Lauderdale to make the power go out during The Jank’s set with his request to have Rumble played one last time. Catch you music lovers next time for the fourth Thirdsday! Thank you all for your support! Don’t forget to go like our Facebook page SoKnox Studios.

Home Recording vs. Pro Studio: How to Record Better Audio

home recording vs. professional studio: how to record better audioPicture courtesy of Knoxville Music Warehouse.

Many believe in this day and age that a professional recording can be captured in a home recording studio. While home studios can serve a valid purpose for capturing ideas on the fly, many are unequipped with the tools needed to create a broadly respectable recording that out-of-home studios offer


What does a pro studio offer that home recording studios cannot?

1. Treated/Soundproofed Rooms

  • Spaces intentionally designed with higher acoustic qualities for both recording AND mixing; so music can be created and edited in an audibly trustworthy environment.
  • Walls mounted with Bass Traps, Diffusers, and Absorbers to prevent sound reflections from harming the final recording
  • Separate rooms treated specifically for vocal clarity. (Ever wondered how recording studios capture such better vocals?)
  • Noise Leakage Prevention

2. Access to Higher Quality Gear

  • Wide array of microphones of all types (dynamic, condenser, and ribbon microphones)
  • Well maintained amplifiers and instruments onhand for the artist’s use

3. Professional Audio Engineers

  • Experienced in professional recording, mixing, and mastering
  • Unbiased ears concerning the sound quality of projects
  • A desire to capture the artist’s vision of the recording

4. Efficiency

  • Engineers experienced in micing and setup for every instrument
  • Gear set up completely upon arrival
  • Convenience to record many tracks simultaneously
  • Better performances drawn out from the slight pressures of time constraint and environment conducive to hard work
  • The artist only has to concentrate on creating a truly powerful performance

Who are the SoKnox Team?

Tim High

Head Audio Engineer

Expertise: Mixing, Mastering, Micing, and Tracking
B.A. in Music Technology
Loved Genres: Jazz, Country, Heavy Metal, Bluegrass, Rock
Top Five Artists: Government Mule, Primus, Doc Watson, John Coltrane, Primus

“Getting the right sound at the source is most important. Then adding dimension, depth, and atmosphere so the listener can almost see the sound is the end goal!”        – Tim High

Chris Sagosz

Audio Engineer, Producer, Songwriter

Chris Sagosz
 Expertise: Mixing, Live Sound, Public Relations
B.S.C., With a Concentration in Audio Engineering
Loved Genres: Punk, Metal, Reggae, Funk, Classic Rock, Electronic
Top Five Artists: James Brown, New York Dolls, T-Rex, Giorgio Moroder, Parliament Funkadelic

Navigating frequencies and surfing soundwaves.” – Chris Sagosz

Kevin Arellano

Audio Engineer                             “Music saved my life.” – Kevin Arellano
Kevin Kidstuff #cropped

ExpertiseMixing, Tracking, and Live Sound
A&R School of Recording,            El Paso, TX
Loved Genres: EDM, Heavy Metal, Rock
Top Five Artists: Slipknot, Disturbed, Tiësto, Hardwell, Above and Beyond