Mumford & Sons

Although they are often labeled as indie rock and folk, Mumford & Sons’ undeniable success suggests they are on their way to becoming a major label. In just four short years, they have achieved what all musicians dream of: Since debuting in the UK in 2009, Mumford & Sons reached number two on the UK Album Chart. Similarly, Mumford & Sons has reached number two on the Billboard 200 since debuting in the US in February 2010. Just this week, their album Sigh No More was number six on iTunes.

So who is Mumford & Sons?

Mumford & Sons is a folk band from London. They spontaneously came together in 2007. Each member had been playing various instruments independently prior to meeting. After an impromptu performance, the band bonded over their love for music and their desire to create unique, powerful melodies. The band began rehearsing in the fall of 2007 and was touring extensively by 2008. Since their debut, Mumford & Sons have been blessed with sold out performances and chart-hitting singles and album.

Who makes up Mumford & Sons?

Mumford & Sons is comprised of four friends in their twenties: Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, “Country” Winston Marshall, and Ted Dwane. All of the members are multi-talented, which adds to the distinctiveness of their music. Marcus Mumford plays guitar, drums, and the mandolin. Ben Lovett plays keyboard, accordion, and drums. “Country” Winston Marshall plays banjo and dobro. Ted Dwane plays string bass, guitar, and drums. All four members provide vocals.

What is their music like?

Despite the unique instruments and confident, folk sound, Mumford & Sons plays music that all people can relate to. They sing about love, heartbreak, and fear. Their lyrics are poetic and romantic, and their melodies are moving and inspiring. Mumford & Sons sing about the same topics as every other artists, but their soul and sound is unlike anything you’ve ever heard before.

What matters most? DJ Service or DJ Equipment?

While working at a Bridal Expo recently, I was surprised to have a bride ask me a series of questions about the equipment we used.  “What type of speakers do you use?” She inquired.  “We use top of the line, JBL powered speakers,” I said.  “What type of software do you use?” She continued.  “We use PCDJ v5.3, it is extremely stable and we have been fully digital since 1999,” I answered.  At this point, I began to think she was either very familiar with audio equipment, or she had been influenced in some way.  The latter came to be true.

What had happened was one of the other DJ companies she had encountered that day had told her that equipment was the most important factor when selecting a DJ.  Ok, let’s assume that is true.  Consider this.  You go golfing with Tiger Woods.  At the beginning of the day, you are both issued the same exact brand of golf clubs and the same exact brand and style of golf balls.  You play 18 holes.  I’m sure you can predict what the outcome will be.  The fact of the matter is that the equipment had no influence on the outcome even though both golfers were using the same equipment.

In the DJ world, any professional DJ working in the Chicagoland must own good equipment or they would not be working.  The difference between DJs is not the equipment, it’s the service the DJ company provides.  Any DJ company trying to sell you on equipment is doing so because they do not have another leg to stand on.  A reputable DJ company should sell you service, not equipment.

A professional DJ company should allow you to meet your actual DJ at your initial consultation and should give you the flexibility to plan your reception and call the shots.  A professional will not spend hours trying to sell you lighting and extras. A professional DJ should be concerned with giving you the experience you imagined by allowing you to be the center of attention instead of the other way around.  Finally, a professional DJ should act as your unofficial event coordinator and allow you to rest easy and know that you are in good hands.


DJ equipment is only a tool used in providing outstanding customer service. High quality equipment is mandatory for any high-end DJ company. If a company is selling equipment and the “cool factor”, they are lacking in customer service.

Arcade Fire

The band Arcade Fire was formed in 2003 in Montreal by the future husband and wife duo of Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, Win’s brother William Butler, Richard Reed Parry and Tim Kingsbury. Together with drummers Dane Mills and Brendan Reed, this line-up self-released an EP later that same year. The eponymous release (often referred to by fans as the Us Kids Know EP) was sold at early shows. After the band achieved fame, the EP was subsequently remastered and given a full release.

The promise shown by the band in its early live shows allowed it to land a record contract with the independent record label Merge Records before the end of its first year together.

When asked about the rumour that the band’s name refers to a fire in an arcade, Win Butler replied: “It’s not a rumour, it’s based on a story that someone told me. It’s not an actual event, but one that I took to be real. I would say that it’s probably something that the kid made up, but at the time I believed him.”

It seems criminal to pay $3.99 for a product this good. But that’s exactly what Arcade Fire offered with the release of their latest homerun, “The Suburbs.” The talented group of Canadians emerged from relative obscurity last year when their riotous hit, “Wake Up” became the soundtrack for the film version of Maurice Sendak’s childhood masterpiece, “Where the Wild Things Are.” Suddenly, at any given moment, hundreds of thousands of people were compelled to scream… “Oooooohhh… oohhhhhh ohhhh ohhhh ohhhhh ooohhhhh ooohhhhh ohhhhh ohhhhh ohhhhh…” and then ask, “Who sings this song?”

Yes, that is Arcade Fire, and they are back. “Wake Up” was actually four years old and a song from their original album, but it finally attained the recognition it deserved. These eclectic indie stars mesh a pensive, angry lyric with enough genuine rock out to make listeners weep and shout all the same. All the while, they are playing their part in bringing art rock to the mainstream. Their wide variety of instrumentation and experimental stylings produce one of most distinctly unique voices in the music scene today. And this is all before, “The Suburbs.”

Now, Arcade Fire is launched into the forefront of the American music scene, and their albums not just anticipated by fans of obscure indie bands, but even those who prefer mainstream rock. It’s only fitting that their diligence paid off with much deserved acclimation. They currently produce an album every two years, and not because they are lazy. They are dedicated to excellence from their church, which doubles as a studio, as Paste Magazine profiled.

“The Suburbs” offers more of the same brilliance. The band delves into complex issues of both the political and personal variety, but offered up in a “we’re all walking the same path” type of manner. This is voice of communal struggle and the shared pain of both life and art. It only fits that Arcade Fire would be so popular now; they aren’t telling us things anymore, they are talking with us.

source: Wiki

Spotlight on Adele

“Should I give up… or should I just keep chasing pavements…” It’s hard to believe that Adele’s catchy hook is now two years old. It’s even harder to believe that her first album, “19” is titled after her age, and she’s now just 21 years old. Most would expect something more like Miley Cyrus less like Paul McCartney from a 19-year-old. Yet,  Adele gives us an album so wrought with maturity and emotional honesty, aided by her smoky, timeless vocals that we find ourselves thinking this must be a woman well on in years.

It’s not that a girl singing about heartbreak is ground breaking. But “Chasing Pavements” is much more than a heartbreak song. Instead of a teenage girl crying for a boy to return, Adele cynically croons about the futile pursuit of love. Her lyrics beg the question… Is it even worth it anymore? Further, her beautiful rendition of “To Make You Feel My Love,” originally written by Bob Dylan, is good enough to seem like an original.

What we get in Adele is a rare quality. Her vocals aren’t definitively unique (artists such as Duffy and Amy Winehouse offer the similar smoky/jazzy throwback feel), but her ability to convey passion and emotion at such a young age is truly divine. This quality distinguishes Adele from simply having a voice, to being a voice.

Adele attended the prestigious BRIT School, alongside Leona Lewis (also the alma mater of Amy Winehouse), with the intentions of finding and furthering talent she found. Ironically, the talent she found was her own, and after developing a huge MySpace following, Adele signed with XL Records.

With one successful album in the bank, now we all await anxiously for the next piece of genius to pour from Adele’s lips.


Usher is the ultimate multi-hyphenate superstar. Singer, dancer, producer, actor, composer, designer, businessman, entrepreneur. It’s hard to believe that although he’s barely over 30 years old, Usher has experienced a successful career that has spanned nearly two decades.

Usher’s career began at the age of 11 when he was part of the singing quintet, NuBeginnings. His time with the group was short-lived and by 13, Usher began pursuing a solo career. Like many aspiring pop stars of his day, he competed on Star Search where he garnered the attention of an A&R representative from LeFace Records. In a short matter of time, Usher was signed to the label and began working on his first album.

The first single he released was for the Poetic Justice soundtrack in 1993. The following year, at the age of 15, Usher released his debut, self-titled solo album with several tracks produced by Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. The album rose up the Billboard charts and sold over 500,000 copies.

From that point on, Usher continued to release addictive R&B albums, produced by mega-stars. His second album, My Way, was certified platinum six times and earned Usher his first Grammy award nomination. Around that time, Usher also launched a successful acting career appearing on the TV sitcom Moesha and in films such as The Faculty and She’s All That.

In 2004, Usher’s album Confessions propelled him to superstardom, selling over one million records in the first week and earning him three Grammys, two MTV Video Music Awards, four World Music Awards, four American Music Awards, and eleven Billboard Music Awards. Over the years, Usher has sold over 45 million albums worldwide and has collected five Grammy awards, four American Music Awards, eight Soul Train Music Awards, four BET Awards, three Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award, six Teen Choice Awards, a Blockbuster Music Award, three R&B Hip Hop Conference Awards, nine ASCAP Awards, and 17 Billboard Music Awards.

In addition to his impressive music career, Usher has also found success as a Broadway star (in 2006’s Chicago), a philanthropist (as the founder of Usher’s New Look Foundation for disadvantaged youth), a businessman (as part owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers), and an entrepreneur (as a fragrance designer). He also started his own record label, US Records, to sign rising young stars such as teen sensation, Justin Bieber.

First Dance Mashup

We just finished the first dance mashup for Hillary & Jason. They gave us the songs they wanted and we mashed them up. They are heading to a dance instructor…can’t wait to see their dance. Click the link below to listen.

First Dance Edit

What is a B.O.B.?

What is a B.O.B. ?

Rising R&B/hip-hop artist Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr. better known as B.o.B. bounced onto the music scene earlier this year. B.o.B. first signed onto a record label at the age of 17, but is finally reaching America’s iPods in 2010. His first single titled “Nothing on You” featuring Bruno Mars set the stage for his upcoming album release. “Nothing on You” begins with about 20 seconds of B.o.B’s smooth vocals with a hint of that whispery-sexy tone that reels the listener in, especially the women. Soon after, the hip-hop kicks in, and before you know it, you’ve got a #1 hit. It’s no wonder that the ladies find a particularly heightened interest in B.o.B. with lyrics like:

Beautiful girls all over the world

I could be chasing, but my time would be wasted

They got nothin’ on you baby.

Clearly, this is what every woman wants to hear. But B.o.B.’s musical intelligence and success does not stop there.

Released at the end of April 2010, his album titled B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray quickly topped the charts including the Billboard 200. B.o.B creates a mixture of R&B and hip-hop with a rock influence throughout this album. At a young age of 21, B.o.B.’s musical collaborations include songs on his first album with renowned artists such as Eminem and Lupe Fiasco. Not to mention he is signed on with T.I.’s record label Grand Hustle.

Airplanes, another single featuring Paramore’s Hayley Williams, has garnered much attention and increased his fan base. Airplanes can be heard on the trailer for the upcoming film Charlie St. Cloud starring heartthrob Zac Efron.

Critics compare B.o.B.’s musical stylings to artists like Kanye West. It’s that blending of beats and melodies with a catchy tune that gives B.O.B. mass appeal.


If Lady Gaga and Madonna had a love child, the offspring would likely look and sound like pop starlet Ke$ha (Kesha Rose Sebert). The young diva burst onto the scene in 2009 and instantly garnered attention for her eccentric style, edgy music, and strange behavior. She first found success as a backup singer on the hit single, “Right Round” by hip-hop artist Flo Rida. Shortly thereafter, she was signed to RCA Records and given the chance to record an album of her own.

Despite the fact that success and fame are new to Ke$ha, a life in the music industry is not. Her mom was a successful songwriter and Ke$ha practically grew up in the recording studio in her native Nashville. At the age of 17, she dropped out of school and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career on her own. It didn’t take her long to attract the attention of record producer Dr. Luke who has worked with the likes of Britney Spears, Katy Perry, and Kelly Clarkson. It was Dr. Luke who gave Ke$ha the opportunity to record on Flo Rida’s album and later produced Ke$ha’s debut album, “Animal.”

Her first single “Tik Tok” was a #1 hit and her debut album has sold over 400,000 copies. Her electro-punk music style, interesting fashion sense (“garbage can chic”), and unique song content (puking in Paris Hilton’s closet) have made Ke$ha into one of pop music’s hottest rising superstars.

Although her music and stage presence can be deemed wacky at best (she once peed in a sink during an British awards show), Ke$ha wants fans to know there’s a certain depth to her music. “I want my music to be fun, unapologetic, rowdy, quirky, humorous, and interesting,” she says, “but with substance behind it. I’m an emotional person underneath all my fronting. I want people to listen to it and feel like they can relate.”

Who is Lady Gaga?

In recent years, Lady Gaga has burst onto the music and pop culture scene.  She is unique, creative, and a powerhouse performer.  Though she is unlike any other performer on the scene, she has been quick to capture the attention of fans, producers, and music moguls.  Everybody these days seems to be going gaga for Lady Gaga.

Born on March 28, 1986 as Stefanie Germanotta, Lady Gaga was instantly drawn to music and surrounded herself with all things performance related growing up.  She was dramatically different from her peers in high school, and though she reports being insecure at times, she remained a creative and free spirit.  She initially signed with Def Jam Recordings, though she bounced around, collaborating with different artists and producers, eventually collaborating with hip hop artist Akon and signing with his label, Kon Live Distribution.

In 2008, Lady Gaga got her big break with the release of her album, The Fame.  Critics, fans, and musicians alike fell in love with her eclectic style which combined dance, electronica, hip hop, and rock.  Her first single “Just Dance” became an overnight sensation, followed by the even more popular “Poker Face.”  She has followed up with a second album, The Fame Monster, creating hit after hit, with songs like “Bad Romance,” “Telephone,” and “Alejando.”  She has collected numerous awards at both the Grammy’s and the MTV Video Music Awards and was named as one of the “10 Most Fascinating People of 2009” by Barbara Walters.  She graces the pages of countless pop culture magazines, often for her over the top and unexpected fashion choices.  Now a household name, there is no denying Lady Gaga is a star.

So what makes Lady Gaga so popular, so irresistible, and so unforgettable?  Why is it that everyone from the corporate CEO, to the young teenager, to the involved mom can be seen grooving on the dance floor and shouting out the latest Gaga lyrics?  Our money is on the fact that she is one of a kind.  She is her own person, and she marches to the beat of her own drummer.  You never know what to expect from her, and yet her every move seems to keep us all surprised, curious and wanting more.  She is a hit with all ages, types, and styles, and we have a feeling Lady Gaga isn’t going anywhere soon.

Ceremony Music Tips

Ceremony Music Tips

Ceremony Music Tips

Hiring Your DJ to Play During Your Ceremony Makes Sense and Saves Money. A string quartet will run you between $300 and $500 per hour. Your DJ will charge you between $100 and $300 to run your ceremony.

When it comes to planning your wedding, a lot of attention is paid to the reception part of the day, but there’s also quite a bit to be considered when it comes to the ceremony itself.  One key question you may be asking yourself is, “Who will be providing the music for the ceremony?”  If you are having your ceremony at the same site as your reception, chances are your DJ will gladly provide music of your choice for your ceremony for considerably less (or at no charge) than it would cost to hire a string quartet or other musicians.

Live music is beautiful, but when you are on a budget, prerecorded high-quality digital versions are just as effective.  Your DJ will also have the microphones needed for your officiant and any readings you may have during your ceremony.

In terms of the music, you have unlimited options.  Some couples prefer traditional music and others prefer more contemporary options that reflect their personal taste.

The following are some examples in Ceremony Music Tips:


Canon in D
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
Ave Maria
The Four Seasons: Spring
Lohengrin: Bridal Chorus
Midsummer’s Night Dream: Wedding March


Storybook Love from the movie “The Princess Bride”
When I’m Sixty-Four: The Beatles
Over the Rainbow: Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole
All I Want Is You: U2
Lovers in Japan: Coldplay
Lucky: Jason Mraz
Into The Mystic: Van Morrison

For a great mix of traditional meets contemporary, look into the Vitamin String Quartet.  They perform classic string versions of music for hundreds of artists – from The Beatles to Guns ‘N’ Roses.

Also, be sure to check out Fred Benedetti for some great instrumental guitar selections.

To make your ceremony easier to envision, the following is a sample of a timeline including notes where a special song is typically played.

Ceremony Timeline

Guests arriving and seated by ushers (ushers distributing programs) Prelude music playing

Ceremony begins

1. Groom and officiant processional Select a Song
2. Grandparents then parents processional (Select a song – usually same song as number 1)
3. The parents will light the candles (if you decide on a unity candle)
4. Bridal party processional Select a Song
5. Bride’s processional Select a Song
6. Bride and groom give flowers to the parents (optional) Select a Song
7. Readings (this is not as popular these days)
8. Vows
9. Unity candle or sand ceremony Select a Song
10. Bride and groom recessional Select a Song