The Simpsons' 30 Best Musical Cameos: 30 - 15

Categories: Columns

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Still from The Simpsons' episode "Flamin' Moes"
Look out! It's a Simpsons list, and Aerosmith are invited

Can there be too much of a good thing? Perhaps. Fans of The Simpsons have likely been asking themselves that question for years now, given that the beloved Fox TV show has been on the air for 25 years now and, arguably, past its best for quite some time. But for the past week, we've also been indulged to the fullest by FXX's brilliant idea to air a marathon of all 552 of the show's episodes back-to-back, beginning last Thursday, August 21.

Being the diehard Simpsons fans that we are here at DC9, we couldn't help but get in on the fun. Some of the show's most memorable moments have included cameos from famous musicians, so we decided to round up our favorites. But, in the spirit of the marathon excess, there was just too much to choose from. So today is the first part of our list of the the show's 30 best musical moments. Check back in tomorrow for the conclusion.


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"Smooth" is the Greatest Song of All Time

Categories: Columns

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A great moment in music history.

By Diane Martinez

This summer marks the fifteen-year anniversary of the greatest song of all time. I KNOW. I couldn't believe it either, but fifteen years have come and gone since the first time you heard "Smooth" by Santana, featuring Rob Thomas. FIFTEEN. YEARS. CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THAT!?

"Smooth" is a song that has transcended both time and space. Santana's guitar riffs. The lyrics. Rob Thomas' hair. It's hard to believe that the heavens smiled upon us and gave us this great gift. Santana has worked with more than his fair share of music stars throughout the years, but "Smooth" remains one of the guitarist's best collaborations. But why? Why is this the greatest song of all time? I'm glad you asked. I'll tell you.


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OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder is a Pop Songwriting Secret Weapon

Categories: Columns

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Courtesy the artist
Ryan Tedder is even more successful when he's not writing for OneRepublic
You could very well be a OneRepublic fan and not even know it. Or at least a Ryan Tedder fan. OK, you could be a fan of Tedder's work and not even know it. You see, Tedder's day job might be singing as OneRepublic's front man, but it's his side gigs that have won him Grammys. OK, he's only won one, but been nominated for, like, three.

Pretty much if Tedder touches a song, whether he helps write or produce it, then there's a good chance it will dominate pop radio. So ahead of OneRepublic's appearance tonight at Gexa Energy Pavilion, here are some of Tedder's biggest hits for other artists.

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Country Music's 10 Biggest Pop Crossover Successes

Categories: Columns

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Courtesy the artist
Sorry T-Swift, but Shania Twain wrote the book on country crossovers
The line that designates what is and is not country music is muddier than most of us are willing to admit. What is abundantly clear, though, is that country music appeals to more people than just rednecks and sappy beer drinkers. Taylor Swift may think she's reinventing the wheel in her journey from plucking a banjo to the top of the pops, but country crossover artists have made moves into the mainstream for decades, arguably more so than artists in any other genre.

Before Taylor Swift, country crossover stars sold millions of records to people who would have never considered themselves fans of the genre. Whatever you think about "poppy" country, there's no denying the massive appeal of these ten artists who got their start in Nashville.

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How to Know Which Version of Your Favorite Band You Should Support

Categories: Columns

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Courtesy the artist
There's always room for another Mike Love joke
At some point in the career of a band, the members of the group reach an impasse with their relationship and go their separate ways. Of course, there's always money to be made, so the parties involved make the decision to hit the road and play their hits anyway. The only thing is, they do so separately because they can't stand each other. Oops.

In recent years, as the stadium-sized egos of classic rock bands have passed into their golden years, this has become an ever-more-frequent issue. Sadly, it often leads to mass confusion for fan base who don't know which group they should be loyal to and fork over the cash to see. Case in point: some version of '80s metal legends Queensr├┐che is playing Trees tonight. Lucky for you we have 5 sure fire tips to help you make your decision.

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Taylor Swift and Country Music are Breaking Up, But Do They Need Each Other?

Categories: Columns

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Rachel Parker
Taylor Swift say goodbye to country music yesterday. Or is it till we meet again?
If you haven't heard the earth-shattering news, Taylor Swift, after the debut of the video for her new single "Shake It Off," unceremoniously quit country music and announced that her new record was a pop album. Unfortunately for fans of Swift's particular brand of folksy and boring love ballads, they'll have to tune the dial over to KISS-FM to hear her new album, 1989, instead of expecting to hear it on their favorite country stations.

Moving into pop means exposing your music to a much broader audience, something that artists of all genres have done, even if it has meant losing credibility in their home genres. What is exceptionally rare, though, is Swift's proclamation that this record is pop when it, stylistically, is barely different than her last. So what does it really mean for country?

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10 Reasons 1994 Was Pop Music's Greatest Year

Categories: Columns

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Courtesy of the label

By Art Tavana

Was 1994 the best year for pop music in history? Quite possibly.

Sure, some of it was terrible, but overall it was amazing: Nordic black metal, Britpop, pop punk, trip hop, and the best R&B of the '90s (Boyz II Men were peaking). Hip-hop's Golden Age was winding down, but a new, arguably more compelling era for the genre was beginning, with the debut works from Nas and Biggie Smalls. Green Day would establish pop punk as a force for years to come, while across
the pond Oasis and Blur were stirring the pot. Hole, meanwhile, unleashed a powerful post-feminist statement. It was also the year Beck gave slackers a good name.

But that's just part of the story. Here are 10 reasons why 1994 was the best year for music, ever.


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Robin Williams' 10 Greatest Musical Moments

Categories: Columns

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Still from "Good Morning Vietnam"
Robin Williams' career was full of memorable musical moments
It's not unfair to say that Robin Williams' tragic passing this week hits home more than most. Generations of kids have grown up with his work, entertained by his wild, manic impersonations and, later, inspired by his deep pathos in films like Dead Poet's Society, Good Will Hunting, and Patch Adams. He elicited such engaged sympathy towards his characters, that he nearly managed to have audiences rooting for his sinister, lonely sociopathic character in One Hour Photo.

Yet Williams also had a fantastic sense of musicality, starring in many animated musicals, and was possessed of the odd theatrical habit of erupting into song every other sentence, even in real life. In memoriam, here's a look back at Williams' greatest musical moments:

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Tim McGraw's Craziest Fan Interactions

Categories: Columns

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Daniel Kramer
You made need to sit down for this one, Tim
Life is pretty simple, really. Don't mess with Texas -- or Tim McGraw, for that matter. Where's that bumper sticker, America? Country music fans know McGraw as Faith Hill's loving husband of 18 years. And hell, he's even been sober for six years. But sometimes he gets angry.

Tonight, Texas will be reunited with McGraw once more as he visits Dallas for a show at Gexa Energy Pavilion. Based on recent form, this night could get a little feisty. So, to make sure you're ready for what's to come, here are five videos of McGraw in concert reacting to fans who either pissed him off or got a little too handsy.

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William Clark Green is a Hidden Gem of Texas Country Music

Categories: Columns

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Courtesy the artist
William Clark Green, purveyor of red shirt country
In terms of what is classified as country music, the definition seems to be expanding at a faster rate than ever. Southern rock, folk, and even hip hop have all recently cemented with Nashville artists that have historically been resistant to a whole lot of change. Fortunately, scenes cropped up across the country to provide a space for artists who just didn't quite fit the mold that Nashville had created for them.

In Texas, that scene really flourished. The local popularity of red dirt country has meant that artists have been innovating and creating their own style of country music in this state for decades. Texas country has now been around long enough to have their own legends, some of whom have finally started to see mainstream success. There are some artists, though, who have been changing the genre in the background but are only just finally starting to get their due at home and nationally. William Clark Green, a songwriter from a small town outside of Tyler, Texas, has been performing across the state for years now, and critics and fans in Texas and across the country are starting to take notice.

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