Musical Genres – Music Is Life


Music is a whole culture unto itself. According to, a musical genre is an expressive style of music, which is an accurate description; music is all about expressing ourselves and the different styles of music we use to do so.  That is exactly why we have genres, to express ourselves and what we believe in through every type of music. A musical genre is more than that, though. It’s a collection of artists and bands that share the same style and a similar approach and song structure to their music and the way they write it.  Musical sub – genres separate audiences, while genres bring them together as a whole. Music isn’t just music for most audiences, it’s a lifestyle. They live for the music and what it means to them.


Musical genres are the basic style of music that encompasses several sub-genres. Examples of these are Country music, Rock music, Pop music, Blues, Classical music, Folk, Hip-Hop/Rap and Soul. They are based on different rhythms, beats, context, and the cultures of the artists making the music. Genres are different from radio formats, because they don’t cover as many styles of music. Radio formats are the opposite of a genre. The goal of a radio format is to appeal to the largest possibly audience that they can. An example of this is the Classic Rock format on the radio. Everything from punk rock and heavy metal to progressive rock and folk rock is included in this format. You also have Top 40 radio , which covers whatever singles are popular at that given time, usually including every genre , from indie rock to pop, heavy metal, punk, country, rap and techno. The Alternative Rock (also known as Alt Rock) radio format includes Britpop, College Rock, Indie rock, Post-grunge, Post- Britpop, Dream pop, Indie pop and Neo- psychedelic music.


We as music fans, have to have genres. Fans need genres because they separate our music from everything else out there. Everyone has different tastes as far as what they like to listen to. Music sub genres separate audiences by separating us, but at the same time, making us part of something whole because of the Genre the audience is listening to. Genres are what unifies the audience (similar to a radio format, when you think about it because it includes all of the sub genres).If you understand a music genre and its sub – genres; you’ll understand its audience.  A sub genre tells you many things about its audience, whether it’s their political views or what they stand for socially.

festival-crowd-at-hultsfred-festival-826966-m (1)

I believe that genres bring fans together. Every genre and sub – genre causes a sort of movement. It inspires generations and speaks to them. Music bonds those fans as they use it to fight for what they believe in, get through the tough times in life and make a statement. It’s all about emotion. Music genres help musicians and singers alike express themselves. Music is a way to let out all emotions, whether it’s anger, sorrow, pain, lust, love or happiness. It’s a way to tell a story or make a statement.


The best way to explain this is that a music genre isn’t just music for the fans, it’s a whole lifestyle. An example is that with punk music, it’s all about expressing anger and outrage at the establishment. They do not want to be told what to do, and they aren’t afraid to show it. You stop at nothing to express your anger. Your clothes tell who you are. Punk fans literally injure themselves for their genre, because what they are trying to express through their music means that much to them. This is one of the main reasons why I believe that genres have not outlived their usefulness. If something means so much to the audience, there will continue to be more and more genres in the future that will do the same thing.


Radio, however does not share the same feelings as music fans on genres. Most of them couldn’t care less about musical genres. They are more worried about attracting listeners for their station, therefore using radio formats instead of genres or sub – genres when choosing what to play. Radio incorporates the broadest playlist that they possibly can, so that they please everyone.


Each genre has several hundred sub genres that come with it. Due to these, genres are able to overlap and combine to form new sub-genres. Some of the hundreds of sub-genres for Rock music are Punk, Hardcore, Heavy metal, Shock rock, Grunge, Alternative rock, Indie rock, Glam rock, College rock, Country rock, Post hardcore, Progressive rock, Blues rock, Deathcore, Emo, Folk rock, Garage rock, Thrash metal, Southern rock, Rockabilly, Screamo, Horror punk, Pop punk , Acid rock, Soft rock, Art punk, Art rock, New wave , Gothic rock, Raga rock, ska – core, Christian rock, Acid rock, Britpop, Punk jazz and Proto-punk. Sub-genres of the Pop music genre are Synthpop, Pop rock, Pop punk, Latin pop, Bubblegum pop, Country pop, ska-pop, Pop-folk, Adult Contemporary music, Lounge music and Psychedelic Pop. Country spawned sub – genres such as Southern Rock, Americana, Bluegrass, Hellbilly, Bluegrass Gospel, Appalachian Folk, Country- Punk, Southern Soul, Western, New Country and Psychobilly.


Genres helped the development of rock and roll because it enabled artists to combine all of their influences. Musical genres such as the blues, country music, gospel, Tin Pan Alley, Hillbilly, rhythm and blues, and R&B influenced what became Rock and Roll. These genres allowed artists to incorporate all of the instruments, rhythms, beats and styles that shaped the Rock and Roll genre. Many of our genres that we have today would not be the same as they are if it weren’t for Rock and Roll and the genres that helped to evolve it into what it was.


At the time, genres tended to divide the audience, which is still true in some cases. A lot of the issues in the late 40s and 50s had to do with race, which is not as big of an issue now as it was then. Other things that caused this divide were social issues and unrest. Musical taste, as always was a reason why the audience was divided. I believe that either you like the music in a genre and believe what it stands for, or you don’t.


Over the past decade, digitally based music distribution systems, such as iTunes and Napster have become more and more popular. I believe that this has been helpful to artists because it has made it much easier for music fans to explore new genres and find music in the genres and sub – genres that they already listen to.  Artists also tend to get more in royalties when using digital distribution methods. This is because no money out of sales has to go to marketing, packaging, retail, retail overhead, publishing and promotion like it does artists are using cd or records as distribution for their music. Radio distribution makes it harder for an artist because radio stations choose what gets played and there are a lot of factors that go into whether or not they actually play an artist’s music. Since radio usually plays whatever songs are most popular at the time, it is less likely that an artist or band without many big hits will get played a lot, if at all.


Digital distribution, records and radio play are forms of music distribution do affect the life and longevity of a music genre. As technology increases, artists have more ways to get their music out there, gaining more fans. This can increase the longevity of their genre. Digital distribution also allows more people to find different genres because they have more access to them. Radio distribution can help keep a genre around longer, if its songs are big enough hits to get a significant amount of radio play, therefore staying relevant.


I believe that in the future, something will happen politically or socially that will occur that has a unifying affect, much like the folk and British invasion music of the 60s, when they were all fighting for and against things politically and socially through their music. There are many issues that could cause this. It could be another war, or some kind of political upheaval that sparks a movement. Music will start to become more though provoking and serious. When the music gets back to being more about getting a point across, people will unite together. Genres will not continue to splinter into smaller fragments and cause us to have more and more sub-genres as it has over the past couple of decades.


Genres are a part of music that created the culture that surrounds it. Music genres have the power to bring music fans together and tear them apart. Sub – genres have the power to start a movement and create a lifestyle. The main point is, musical genres are more than just a title for a certain type of music, it’s the culture that comes with it.


Frosty Coffee Pie Recipe


1/4 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed
1 chocolate crumb crust (9 in.)
3 cups coffee ice cream, softened
1 package (5.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup cold strong brewed Bit O Java coffee
1/4 cup cold 2% milk
1-3/4 cups whipped topping
1 cup marshmallow creme
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips


Spread ice cream topping into crust. In a large bowl, beat the ice cream, dry pudding mix, coffee and milk until blended; spoon into crust.
In another bowl, combine the whipped topping and marshmallow creme; spread over top. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Cover and freeze until firm.

Yield: 8 servings.


Twitter: @bitojavajessica @bitojavajoel @bitojavaruss

Rock Goddess Orianthi On Steven Tyler, Coffee and Her Favorite Albums.

orianthi- deluxe edition cover for digital

Over the span of 17 years since she first saw her idol, Santana play live in Australia with her dad,  Orianthi has gone from a girl with a guitar and a dream to a full blown Rock Goddess with major street cred in the guy’s world of Rock N Roll. She’s had the opportunity to tour with everyone from Micheal Bolton to Alice Cooper and was set to go on the ill fated “This Is It” tour with Michael Jackson , prior to his death. She’s shared the stage with several artists, including Aerosmith, Carrie Underwood, Marilyn Manson, James Durbin, Mary J Blidge and John Mayer, proving that she can mesh with any genre.

She’s shown time and time again that she’s not just a pretty face with a guitar. She has enough grit and tenacity to match any of the guys out there with added soul and passion that leaves people in awe at the end of every show. Most importantly, Orianthi has inspired other girls that want to rock to pick up a guitar and go for it , to do what feels right to them, no matter how society sees it.

The “Queen Of Shred”,who’s been inspired by the likes of guitar legends , Jimi Hendrix, Steve Vai and Santana has recently released the Deluxe Edition of her 3rd album, Heaven In This Hell, produced by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame which features the duet “Sex E Bizarre”, with Steven Tyler.

 You can purchase Heaven In This Hell (Deluxe Version) here:

Orianthi- Dave Stewart

Fresh from playing a New Years Eve concert in Maui with Richie Sambora, Weird Al, Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper & Steven Tyler and on a break from touring, talented rock goddess, Orianthi, took the time for a phone interview to talk everything from working with Steven Tyler and playing for Santana to her love of coffee ,  favorite albums and her advice for aspiring female musicians.

Orianthi : Where are you calling from?

Jessica: Ohio

Orianthi: Cool !

Jessica: You just got back to LA , how’s that going?

Orianthi: Yeah, I just got back in LA from playing New Years in Maui. That was a blast and prior to that, touring around with Alice Cooper for the last few months. I mean, that’s been a real blast. I’ve been touring with Alice for about 3 years now and I always love doing that. I’m actually heading out again with Alice in March and now I’m recording new material and doing various things with my fans. Which is recently what I’m doing is auditioning players from around the world to play a show with me here in LA this February, so I’m going through a lot of auditions on YouTube and there’s some incredible players coming from Russia, Japan and Australia and I’m going to fly them out here to play a show with me.

Jessica: Awesome! We saw you in Cincy when you were on tour with Alice this past summer.

Orianthi: Oh cool! Yeah, I mean getting out there and celebrating Halloween every night and celebrating it with all of you is a lot of fun.

Jessica: What’s your favorite song to play live on tour with Alice?

Orianthi: There’s so many, I mean his whole set list. I love doing “Billion Dollar Babies”. That’s just a good song , just the guitar parts and everything, I love and then “Go To Hell” I love too. There’s just so many good songs.”Poison” of course, is good. He doesn’t have a bad song. There all so good, you know?

Jessica: Yeah. We recently interviewed Ryan Roxie & he told us about some of his most memorable & funniest moments on tour with Alice. Do you have any that stand out as the most memorable for you?

Orianthi:  Yeah I mean there’s just so many all the time you know? When I first joined in the band, I had to sort of become aware of everything that was going on onstage and I’d be jumping off of the speakers and not aware of confetti cannons behind me that were about to go off in front of my butt and they get shot across the audience, so I remember it was the first week or two and I was like doing my solo in front of the cannons and the sound guy had to run around & start yelling at me and I moved, thank God, because that would have been a bad injury and hard to explain in the hospital. So, yeah, that was one of them. I’ve been stuck in elevators for hours actually when we went to Paris I got stuck in an elevator , which was scary. I think it was 3 stories and they had to bring the electricians through and had to get oxygen in & I thought I was going to die. Those were the early days and you know , nearly getting stabbed by Alice using knives and stuff. It’s always madness. With the whole rock n roll family of Alice Cooper there’s just always crazy stuff going on. I’ve been chased in parking lots and then falling over and spraining my ankle and it being twice the size and trying to get a boot on and play an entire show like that is quite painful. That happened in Russia , I think. There’s always something going on. The guys are like brothers to me, you know. Alice is hilarious. They’re always having fun when we’re off – stage and I think that shows when they’re onstage. They’re like a bunch of kids or something. They all love music and jamming out.

Jessica: What was your favorite venue to play on this last leg of the tour?

Orianthi: We played a couple of haunted venues, which were interesting because I’m actually really scared of ghosts. I’m scared we’ll get possessed by them. So we took a tour around, I think one was actually in , I think Chicago, somewhere around there & it was super haunted and it had just a lot of character too and any venue that’s really old and has just amazing artwork and the way it’s constructed, you know, is always cool to play. There’s a lot of history there and always the energy from the crowd , too. We played Wacken Fest in Germany , which was about 90,000 people and that was insane. You look out and you can’t see the end of the people and it’s just, it’s just madness and you go out there and you fly and you let go of everything and you just have fun and celebrate music and feeling that energy is just powerful. That many people together & just having a good time, it’s addictive. Once you’ve done that you just stay on a high for quite some time. So we did that in Germany and that was a blast.

Jessica: You just played at the Kennedy Center Honors for Santana. I know he is one of your biggest influences musically. What was that experience like?

Orianthi: Oh yeah, I mean Santana is the reason why I play electric guitar. He’s been such an inspiration to me. He’s an incredible guitar player and the way he plays is almost like, like a voice, you know? He doesn’t play guitar like a guitar and it really affected me when I first heard him and getting to go out there and preform for him and celebrate his music and to be there and to be part of that was just crazy. It was a really surreal moment. You’re up there with Santana and Obama looking at you and you’re playing Santana’s solo with all of these great people and an incredible band and a great crowd. It was just a really surreal, awesome night.

Jessica: You recently released the deluxe edition of Heaven In This Hell, which features Sex E Bizzarre , a duet with Steven Tyler. What was it like working with him?

Orianthi: I love Steven Tyler, he’s great. I’ve known him for some time and we’ve done quite a few shows together and I just thought his voice would be perfect for that song and he heard it and he liked it. We were at his house and cranked it up and said I wanna sing on this and I met up with him in LA and we talked about it more and then he called me because Marti Fredrikson produced his record and that song and we wrote it together and he sang on it and I heard it and I was like wow , this is awesome! So that was pretty crazy, I mean, you know the fact that he wanted to do it and did it and I loved it, I mean , he killed it on it.

Jessica: You’ve maintained a level of class, despite the “LA” environment. What advice can you give to young female artists that want to follow the path that you, Joan Jett and others have blazed & not lose their focus on the music?

Orianthi: I don’t party a lot. I don’t really do that. Well , I do, but to me it’s all about creating and I’m here on this Earth to write music and to perform and to inspire. That’s my path, you know. That’s my duty to do that and the entertainment aspect of it all is a bunch of different things as far as being creative and trying different things and what not and I’m a fan as well as an artist. Everyone’s so different as to how the put themselves out there and how they entertain people and play their music. I think it’s just important to be true to yourself and whatever feels right at that time is what you should be doing and you know whatever’s right for you may not be right for someone else or maybe it’s right for someone else and not for you. So that’s the way I look at it. Everyone’s so different and I don’t judge because I think it’s great when everyone is so different. It’s colorful. No one’s the same. If everyone was doing the same thing, it would be boring. As I said, whatever feels right to you.

Jessica: Awesome. We know you are a huge coffee fan. What kind of coffee do you prefer?

Orianthi: Oh gosh, yeah! I drink so much coffee, it’s actually ridiculous and it’s something I’ve been doing since I was really young because my grandma, she’s Greek, but I used to drink Turkish coffee when I was really young, about 7 or 8. For some reason , the smell of it, wanting it and there’s just something about it which I love and if I go without it, I’ll get headaches. It just gets me going and I love the organic coffees from Whole Foods , which I get here. I have an espresso machine as well. At one point , it was really pretty ridiculous. I had about 7 coffee machines, no joke. I’m not joking. My mom came over from Australia and was like your kitchen is just like an issue, you need to put them away. So, we packed up quite a few of them. I didn’t need them all. Obviously, it’s not necessary. It’s nice to change it up every now and then , because I love my espressos and I also love brewed coffee and I had the Keurig machine at one point and I also like the drip coffee maker and the french press.  There’s so many different ways and I’m pretty much a coffee snob too because if you make coffee wrong, it’s just not right. You’ve got to have it right and I make it on the tour bus too, um, but I’ve been told that my coffee is kind of like tar. It’s very , very strong, so the guys in the band, they’re always diluting it. They’re always boiling the kettle to add a bunch of water t it and I’m like whatever… Bunch of pansies!


Jessica: I have one last question for you. What are the 5 albums you cant live without?

Orianthi: My top 5 albums? Let me get my iPod, because I have a very eclectic music collection here. Um, well definitely Jimi Hendrix, I’m going to go with Santana, Live in Mexico, um, oh gosh , what else do I listen to? It always changes. Oh what was I listening to the other day? I love Kings of Leon, um Jack White and any artists, because I have so many records that I listen to and there’s so many playlists.. INXS Greatest Hits, I have to put them in there because I love them. That’s more than 5 , right? *laughs*

Jessica: Yeah, I think so. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us!

Orianthi: Thank you! See you at a show soon.

Orianthi- balcony color

You can find out more information about Orianthi & upcoming Alice Cooper tour dates here:

Official website:
Twitter: @Orianthi
Instagram: @theqof
Alice Cooper Official Website:

Photos Courtesy of: Karen Webb.

Photos Credit : Dave Stewart.

A special thanks to Orianthi for taking the time to talk to us!


Jai Java’s Angel’s Blend

I’ve switched gears the past couple of days away from Costa Rican’s and pure Guatemalan beans and have been sampling “Angel’s Blend” from JaiJava.


Jaijava is a new roaster on the scene with a small but quality catalog of coffee’s, when you place your order, your beans are roasted and packaged within hours of shipment. We received the Angel’s Blend a few days ago and upon opening the craft-paper bag to get a snout full of savory bean aroma, I had to sample!  The first cupping came via the excruciatingly slow route of my 20 year old drip machine, this thing is so outdated that R2D2 is likely it’s uncle.

First taste was a bit shocking, I think I might have grimaced a little. As previously mentioned I have been drinking nothing but very strong coffees that have a flavor palette towards the bitter end of the spectrum and the Angel’s Blend is not only lighter in roast but also possesses a range of flavors closer to the sour/sweet end.  The next morning I ran another cupping via the Aeropress and as my taste buds had now been shocked out of their complacency began to examine the coffee in detail.

The beans are moderately roasted, what do I mean by that? I find them to be on the fine line between a light and medium roast. Roasting was even and consistent, for “new guys” JaiJava seems to have the whole consistency thing nailed down. The coffee is an obvious two bean blend, one of the beans looks in my humble experience to be perhaps a peaberry and this experience with peaberry flavors bears out in the taste of Angel’s Blend as well.

After grinding to a medium/coarse grind the beans unleash a citrus and coffee aroma that is light. Brewing aroma is delicate and not at all overpowering, it had me craving bacon almost immediately.  Resulting flavors are oranges and limes with some cinnamon and oak highlights. The coffee is a light and smooth cup that is easy to drink a lot of. It does hover on the tart side on the finish but each drink leaves you wanting a repeat and each empty cup has sent me scrambling immediately back to the pot.


Angel’s Blend is an excellent all-around coffee for those that prefer a less-robust and more colorful cup. It’s also a wonderful pairing with dark chocolate or pretty much anything chocolate! For those of us that sometimes like to relieve  the days stress with an after dinner cup of coffee instead of a Cabernet or beer, the JaiJava Angel’s Blend holds promise for a flavorful cup that will not interfere with winding down the day.

Bitojava Rated 4.0 overall and 4.4 for blends


Spiced Coffee Sponge Cake with Coffee Butter Frosting Recipe

Spiced Coffee Sponge Cake with Coffee Butter Frosting


4 tbs ground Bit O Java coffee
3/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup melted butter
Coffee Butter Frosting (recipe follows cake recipe)

Combine coffee and milk in a saucepan, bring to a boil. Steep over low heat for 10 minutes. Strain through several layers of cheesecloth into a measuring cup. There should be 1/2 cup flavored milk. Keep milk warm over low heat.

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves. Reserve.

In a large bowl, beat eggs for about 2 minutes at high speed until thick. Slowly add sugar & beat for 4-5 minutes until very light.

With a mixer at low speed, slowly beat in flavored milk until just blended. Beat in vanilla. With mixer at low speed or by hand, fold in flour mixture just until blended. Do not over- beat.

Gently fold in melted butter.

Pour into 2 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 20-25 minutes until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely. Frost with Coffee Butter Frosting.

Yield: 1 two-layer cake

Coffee Butter Frosting

1/2 cup brewed hot coffee concentrate (1 cup ground coffee to 8 ounces cold water)
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla

Combine coffee, sugar, salt & egg yolks in bowl, beat by hand over simmering water until thickened. Beat by machine until cold. Beat in butter 1 tablespoon at a time, then beat in vanilla until thick enough to spread.


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Stauff’s Coffee, Costa Rican “Los Lobos”


It’s time for another coffee selection dear readers and none too soon. I’m currently sitting by the wood stove, as the temperature sits at -5 and the wind howls around our little abode. It seems we have a real winter finally and nothing fights the creeping icy chill here in the Appalachian foothills like a steaming hot cup of GOOD coffee. So as darkness quickly envelops our frozen valley, I will give you the low down on Stauff’s Coffee House’s ” Los Lobos”  Costa Rican.


Stauff’s is probably the best known coffee house in Columbus Ohio, and while visiting the city last weekend, my brother (whom I have successfully turned from Folgers to good coffee) and I decided to swing by. Stauff’s is located in Grandview,  which is just South West of the OSU campus. Oh and Stauff’s is always busy. We were there at 2PM on a Saturday and it was packed. In addition to the baristas working the bar, they have a highly knowledgeable staff that will assist anyone in picking out a coffee from their very large collection of beans.

I wanted either a Costa Rican or some of the Indian Monsooned Malabar. One sniff of the “Los Lobos” Costa Rican sold me however; and a bit over $22.00 later I  departed with a pound of beans.  This is one of the most expensive non Hawaiian coffees I have tried, but was it worth it?


The pre-grinding aroma is very strong and earthy, after grinding the aroma is almost peanut butter, much like a Monsooned Indian coffee would be.  Both in the pot and in the press it fills the room with a olfactory goodness that accompanies a stack of pancakes very well.  The beans are medium/dark with a little visible oil. They are roasted to even perfection and no burned or un-roasted beans were seen.


I have had this coffee via the Aeropress and by the Drip machine and honestly other than it being a bit stronger from the Aeropress I found no significant difference. The flavor is very smooth with just a hint of bitters, and in the case of this coffee,  the overwhelming taste is that of Dark Chocolate and perhaps just a faint touch of almonds in the finish. I would rate this coffee a 4.2/5 only because the chocolate tones override most anything else that’s there. This is not a subtle cup. In fact, I would be tempted to declare it the Alpha Male of the Costa Rican beans that I have sampled thus far. Brew it up just right and it will keep you warm, make one mistake and it will bite you.

So there you have it, a coffee set apart from the pack, dark as an snowy winters eve, neither bitter nor sweet when properly respected,  it just is.  Was the price worth it for this coffee? I’m not certain yet, and right now I have to stoke the fire….. maybe that’s not just the wind I hear howling.



Candy Cane Coffee Recipe


Candy Cane Coffee


*1-2 cups Freshly brewed coffee of your choice
*1 tbsp milk
*1 tbsp sugar
*Candy Cane


Pour the brewed coffee, sugar & milk into a glass.
Place candy cane into glass.


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