About Austin KruegerAustin works as a cost analyst for TDS Telecom in the Government and Regulatory Affairs team. He has a marketing degree from UW-Whitewater and has worked in various departments including marketing, sales and network services since joining TDS in 2004. He is a huge sports fan – if he’s not at work, odds are you can find him at Miller Park, Lambeau Field, Camp Randall or the Kohl Center watching the game. In his spare time, he’s chairman of a local non-profit, avid music fan, rec sports MVP and an early adopter when it comes to most new technologies.
Jimmy Eat World caught their big break with the release of "Bleed American" in July of 2001. Working with a new producer, the music was much more radio friendly than past albums resulting in four Billboard singles. “The Middle” reached number one and supported the album which has sold nearly three million worldwide to date. While the pop side got a bit away from their punk roots, the pop-punk revolution was just beginning in the U.S., and Jimmy Eat World is largely considered one of the pioneers of the genre.
Contrast in style makes the music world go ‘round. For every Barry Manilow there is an offsetting Metallica out there. And while my last featured artist, Mariah Carey, is about as quintessential pop as it gets, this week’s highlighted band, well…isn’t. System of a Down has a heavy metal sound with the matching hard vocal—but if you can roll with that type of rock; this Grammy-nominated band is unlike any you’ve heard before.
Selling half a billion records is an accomplishment only The Beatles and Elvis can lay claim to—but selling a quarter billion is still one heck of a feat. Today’s featured artist has hit that mark and is the third best-selling female artist of all time. No doubt her fifth album, "Daydream" contributed to that status (it was nominated for six Grammy Awards alone!). Today you can score it for only $5.
If winning Grammys is a sign you’ve got musical chops, Don Henley’s got them. His sophomore solo effort, Building The Perfect Beast was an instant success, spawning three major singles and being critically regarded as the smoother, more adult-oriented sound of Henley’s career. He won one of his eight Grammys for the single “The Boys of Summer” on this album that you can score today for only $5.
Very few artists have displayed substantial longevity in the music business. Either due to band breakups, changes in sound, or the untimely demise of a band member, it’s rare for an act to see chart topping hits span multiple decades. Not the case for today’s artist. Having top-40 hits in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s; he’s still going strong touring, writing and for some reason, manufacturing custom-made motorcycles.
You probably remember Macy Gray from her hit song, "I Try" but today's featured album is her sixth studio effort. "Covered," which you can probably guess, is an album of all covers. Covers are a much underutilized tool in the business today and Gray is able to take songs like “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica and turn it into a super funky, soulful track. Or a staple like “Creep” by Radiohead and make it sound nearly original. For $5, you can rediscover her unique vocal style and score a great album to boot.
Simon and Garfunkel seem to be one of those bands where you remember where you were and what you were doing when you first heard them. Tracks like “The Sound of Silence” or “Mrs. Robinson” are so iconic even to this day; it’s hard to not be aware of the classic duo. Their sound evolved a bit over the years to shed the folk rock label, but there is no denying their place in music history because of their original stuff. Well worth $5 bucks for sure, but also worth your hour today.
Their mix of southern rock and blues is often imitated but never duplicated. When a Skynyrd tune comes on the radio, you have no doubt who it is. When "Second Helping" hit the charts so soon after their first album, critics were looking for a reason to shoot it down—but they couldn't. “Sweet Home Alabama” helped drive this album to #12 on the charts and the band to a place in music history.
If last week’s post was capitalizing on the mainstream of the moment, today’s blog and artist would be nearly the polar opposite. We’ve all probably heard some of the songs made by today’s featured act, but he’s certainly not a household name. The track “Coconut” is one I think just about everyone knows, but don't be fooled by the novelty of it—the whole album is great blend of original production and writing.
Lady Gaga has been making toe-tapping music with substance for almost a decade, and her staying power has shown by her recent appearances on the biggest stages—from the Super Bowl to the Grammys in under 10 days time. Today you can score her second album for only $5.
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