If you've ever tipped back a beer at one of Grand Rapid's assorted open mic nights, chances are you've heard of Karisa Wilson. As one of the cities most revered artists, her name has gained prestige — only heightened when her debut album, Little Girl, won Album of the Year at the Jammies in 2008.
William Beckett lost his band and his label last year, but that hasn't slowed him down. He leapt into a new solo project that will release three EPs and tour across the country this year — all as an independent artist.
Beckett was the frontman of the pop-rock group The Academy Is... until the band disbanded last October. Beckett started the group back in 2003, and over the next seven years The Academy Is... produced three studio albums and four EPs.
Since 2004, Grand Rapids band La Dispute has been inching toward success one fan at a time. The members kept at it for four years, playing small shows here and there, until one e-mail changed everything.
Heavier Than Air Flying Machines might always be a question mark of a band. Nothing about the gritty, high-gain debut album, Siam (released last September), is typical, nor anything about the band's spastic live performance. But then again, that's just the point of the band.
Sometimes it only takes a single opportunity to open the door to success. Just ask singer-songwriter Christina Perri, whose song "Jar of Hearts" made its way on to the June 30, 2010 episode of the television show, "So You Think You Can Dance." Now, less than two years later, Perri has been seemingly thrust in to the spotlight.
"It's been bananas!" Perri said of the journey so far. "It was one great day that hasn't stopped for two years."
Trying to follow up the platinum Sound of Madness record, which features the double-platinum single "Second Chance," was no easy task for Shinedown, a band that has dominated rock radio since the album's release in 2008.
On Jan. 10, Rebelution released Peace of Mind, which has been labeled as the band's best work to date. The release also saw two versions of the album: acoustic and dub. The unconventional format seemed to work, as Peace of Mind debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard Top 200 and was No. 4 on iTunes.
The driving force behind every great band is a lot of great fans - and the guys of Go Radio know just how to make them.
The line stretched down the block on S. Division Avenue in Grand Rapids, with hundreds of devoted fans of rock's My Chemical Romance waiting in the rain to meet the band at an in-store appearance on Record Store Day.
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