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50 STATES IN 50 WEEKS… WEEK 6: MINNESOTA

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Minnesota

The North Star State

Home of: Bob Dylan, Prince, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Judy Garland, The Mall of America, Hüsker Dü, Motion City Soundtrack, The Replacements, Atmosphere, World’s Largest Ball of Twine.

Fun Facts: State flower; lady slipper, state song; “Hail Minnesota,” state bird; common loon

The Venues: Boasting four days of music and camping, the annual 10,000 Lakes Festival (10KLF) is held every year at the Soo Pass Ranch in Detroit Lakes, MN. This year the festival lineup includes Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic, Wilco, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, and Ozomatli in addition to OurStage artists My Dear Disco, Roster McCabe and Colfax. The building known as First Avenue has been an integral part of the Twin Cities music scene for the past three decades. While artists from Jefferson Starship to Run DMC to Jimmy Cliff have played there, the club is best known as Prince’s regular venue and the setting for his iconic movie Purple Rain. To see local and national bands cut their teeth, and enjoy some kitchy retro decor, the Turf Club is the place to go.

The Music:

l_28a46d6ce6534e74b4d2f88a0f8e65ce1Clawthroat – St. Paul’s Clawthroat play honest, simple, straightforward folk rock. The sparse instrumentation on “Halifax” lets their smart lyrics shine. You can tell this band puts their hearts and souls into their music.

guaqpfvztuxq-520x5201Bella Ruse – Whether you think its folksy jazz with pop hooks or pop-folk with a jazz twist, Minneapolis duo Bella Ruse are definitely on to something. On their Myspace page, the band describes their sound as “Ella plus a little folk, Feist plus a little jazz, Yael [Naim] minus the accent.” A typical set can include jazz standards and Broadway staples along with their own original music. You can hear their song “Heart of Everyone” on their debut EP.

bhtauiwceokv-520x5201Aviette – Minneapolis-based Aviette play progressive, catchy indie rock. Vocalist Holly Munoz sings like a more subdued but no less sincere Emily Haines (Metric). “Ghost Town” won Aviette the #1 Channel Prize in Indie Pop for July 2008. Their third full length album We Never Make Mistakes will be available through local St. Paul artist collective Draw Fire Records this October.

get1Sam Keenan – According to his OurStage profile, Sam Keenan spends his time “…Trying to blend the rich history of rock, hip-hop, folk and improvised music.” He succeeds with “Rosie’s Door,” a laid back song with sweet melodies and acoustic guitar layered over a hip-hop beat. In addition to making music, Sam has worked as a recording engineer for artists like Regina Spektor, M.I.A. and Ted Leo and The Pharmacists. He is also a part of the Draw Fire Records collective.

Check out these acts and other great Minnesota artists in the playlist below!

Who are your favorite OurStage Minnesotans? Where do you like to see live music in Minnesota? Let us know in the comments!

MARKETPLACE NEWS: SPOTLIGHT ON JOHNNY D’S

The OurStage Marketplace connects artists looking for gigs with venues looking for new talent. With amazing opportunities both around the USA and the world, the OurStage Marketplace is the place to be for up-and-coming artists!

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This week, we’re putting the spotlight on Johnny D’s in Somerville, MA. Family-owned and operated, Johnny D’s has been a Boston area institution since 1969. On any given night, you might see a zydeco band, a rockabilly legend, a West African fusion group or just straight up rock and roll. Their stage has been graced by a seemingly endless list of the best bands in the country, including the Dixie Chicks, the Dresden Dolls, Rufus Wainwright and Dick Dale. If an artist can fill a 300 person capacity venue, then they’ve probably played at Johnny D’s.

Johnny D’s recently booked OurStage Artist Air Traffic Controller using the OurStage Marketplace. Keep checking back for more availabilities!

For more about Johnny D’s click here
For more info about the OurStage Marketplace, check out the Marketplace FAQ section.

KNOW YOUR ROOTS: MUSIC HISTORIES THAT WON’T PUT YOU TO SLEEP

You’ve heard of The Ramones and The Sex Pistols, but how much do you really know about punk? Or hip-hop? Or even reggae? Here’s some recommended reading for those of you looking to find out more about you favorite genre of music and learn some kick ass music trivia:

cindarellas-big-scoreCinderella’s Big Score: Women of the Punk and Indie Underground by Maria Raha – How many female punk rockers can you name? What about indie rockers? Contrary to what most “Best of” and “Crucial Album” lists would have you believe, the punk and indie scenes are full of women who can rock just as hard as the boys. How many women? Enough to fill a rather large book, actually. Raha gives lady rockers from the Runaways to the Raincoats the recognition they deserve. The back of the book even contains full discographies for many of the women profiled.

6a00c11413e997819d00e398b789cd0001-500pi1Please Kill Me : The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain – The story of the birth and death of punk from the people who were there. Unlike most histories, which focus mainly on the musicians involved, Please Kill Me includes interviews not only with musicians but also with venue owners, producers, managers, journalists and fans. While some of the people featured attempt to debunk the mythology surrounding punk’s explosion in the the music world, others try to add to it. This book makes it clear that punk, like most music movements, was about people who wanted their voices to be heard.

cantstop1Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation by Jeff Chang – At some point in my educational career, I realized that if I was going to major in music industry, I needed to know more about hip-hop. A casual listener, I didn’t know much about the origins of the music or the culture that surrounds it. Enter Can’t Stop Won’t Stop. While it’s clear from page one that this is as well-researched as any music reference book, it reads less like a text book and more like a page-turner. The reader gets a thrill from watching Chang piece together the political, social and economic climates that came together in a perfect storm to create what we know now as hip-hop culture.

roughguidereggaeRough Guide To Reggae by Steve Barrow and Peter Dalton – The title of this book is a little misleading. The Guide actually covers Jamaican music from the 1950s to the present day, running the gamut from mento to ska to rocksteady to dancehall. In addition to pictures and information on the genre’s stars, it offers recommendations of artists’ best records and records that best represent the genres. The Rough Guide music books are a great way to discover lesser-known but talented artists in a genre you are already a fan of.

50 STATES IN 50 WEEKS… WEEK 5: ILLINOIS

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Home of: Miles Davis, Buddy Guy, Cheap Trick, Kanye West, Allison Krauss, Fall Out Boy, Alkaline Trio, Walt Disney, Richard Pryor, Touch & Go Records, Oprah Winfrey, The Chicago Cubs

Fun Facts: State flower; violet, state song; “Illinois,” state bird; cardinal

The Venues: The fourth annual Pitchfork Music Festival takes over Chicago’s Union Park from July 17th to July 19th. In addition to a stellar lineup featuring Built To Spill, the Flaming Lips, Beirut, Grizzly Bear and more, the festival boasts a record fair, handmade goods market and the Flatstock poster show. Chicago non-profit Rock for Kids will also have a presence at Pitchfork. Rock for Kids is dedicated to providing free music education for underprivileged children in the Chicago area. Stop by their tent to learn more about how you can help and maybe win some swag from your favorite Pitchfork artists!

The Metro has been a Chicago music staple for over 25 years. This former Swedish community center is dedicated to providing Chicago music fans with the best local, regional and national emerging artists. The White Stripes, Kanye West and Alkaline Trio have all played the Metro on their way to the top. Schubas is another favorite Chicago venue. Many of the tracks from Jason Mraz’s 2006 live, online only album Selections For Friends were recorded here. With live music seven nights a week and acts ranging from indie rock to americana to jazz, Schubas is great for catching a show or just grabbing a drink with friends.

The Music:

fixqfvufwesu-520x520Cobalt & The Hired Guns – Taking first place in channels as diverse as Punk/Ska/Psychobilly, Folk and Singer/Songwriter (Male), Cobalt & The Hired Guns is one of those rare bands that can play any genre of music well. “You Left Your Sweater…” is an uptempo,  alt. country boot-stomper with hand claps and gang vocals.

jwmauoihjljl-320x240I Fight Dragons – Love old school video game music? Chicago’s I Fight Dragons is the band for you! The band combines sounds from old Nintendo game sound cards with a serious dose of pop rock. Currently entered in the MTV VMA Best Breakout Chicago channel, “Heads Up, Hearts Down” is a great example of the band’s signature superpower pop.

day_3-the_science-chronicleZoser – Some rappers can only rap about how good of a rapper they are. Zoser is not one of them. While he certainly has swagger, he is also a gifted storyteller. Checkout the track “Wind Blows (feat. Mela)” from Zoser’s record Day 3: The Science.

l_bb08537b9b54d28804b56954f7656c4f1Daphne Willis & Company – Whether her Berklee and Columbia pedigree band is playing funky grooves or uptempo rock, it’s Daphne’s smooth, soulful vocals that steal the show. She’s been compared to Norah Jones and Jack Johnson, and you can see why on the track “What To Say.” With three Number 1 Channel Prizes and a feature on AOL Music, Daphne Willis & Company is going places.

Check out these acts and other great Illinois artists in the playlist below!

Who are your favorite OurStage Illinoisans? Where do you like to see live music in Illinois? Let us know in the comments!

MARKETPLACE NEWS: SPOTLIGHT GIG LANDED BY AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLER

The OurStage Marketplace connects artists looking for gigs with venues looking for new talent. With amazing opportunities both around the USA and the world, the OurStage Marketplace is the place to be for up and coming artists!

cpcfbplugqvc-320x240OurStage artist and current MTV VMA Best Breakout Boston front runner Air Traffic Controller will be bringing their catchy-as-hell indie rock to Johnny D’s in Somerville, MA tonight. They will be opening for local Boston band To The Wedding. Check out the Johnny D’s website for more info.

Artists: Interested in playing at Johnny D’s and other great venues? Check out the OurStage Marketplace for more performance opportunities!

Venues: Want to book talented artists like Air Traffic Controller? Sign up as a venue in the OurStage Marketplace!

Fans: Want to be the first to know what’s going on with OurStage artists? Follow us on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter!

MARKETPLACE NEWS: SPOTLIGHT ON GROUND ZERO

The OurStage Marketplace connects artists looking for gigs with venues looking for new talent. With amazing opportunities both around the USA and the world, the OurStage Marketplace is the place to be for up and coming artists!

icdyfdzgevwj-320x2402This week, we’re putting the spotlight on Ground Zero. Located in Suncook, NH, Ground Zero is a 4,000 square ft. music venue and teen center. What sets Ground Zero apart from the plethora of other New England venues—aside from the giant graffiti murals adorning the walls—is their dedication to all ages shows as well as their insistence on original music and positive attitudes. Ground Zero only books artists performing original music—no covers allowed—and doesn’t book any bands who promote hate, violence,  alcohol or drug abuse.

Ground Zero is currently looking for indie rock bands, metal bands, punk bands and singer/songwriters for July and August. Check out their listings in the OurStage Marketplace and submit your EPK.

For more about Ground Zero click here
For more info about the OurStage Marketplace, check out the Marketplace FAQ section.

50 STATES IN 50 WEEKS… WEEK 4: ALASKA

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Home of: Jewel, Mt. McKinley, Sarah Palin, the bald eagle, 36 Crazyfists, Portugal. The Man, the Iditarod

Fun Facts: State flower; forget-me-not, state song; “Alaska’s Flag,” state sport; dog mushing

The Venues: Every April, Alaska’s capital city of Juneau plays host to the Alaska Folk Festival. This free, entirely volunteer run festival celebrates folk music not only from Alaska but  Northwestern United States and Canada as well. The Bear Tooth Theaterpub in Anchorage, AK is a movie theater/live music venue. Also in Anchorage is the pub and brewery Moose’s Tooth. Together these venues work hard to bring big name musicians like The Wailers, The Hold Steady, and Citizen Cope to Alaska.

The Music:

xbpnyifruaww-320x240Static Cycle – Static Cycle’s modern rock sound is similar to Chevelle and 3 Doors Down. For their debut album, When We Meet Again, the band worked with Producer/Engineer Mike Brown (Papa Roach, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Garbage) to capture their live energy in the studio. Their single “Pressure” is fast becoming a favorite of fans and radio stations all over the US.

wztwwkoinqlz-320x240Southside Totems – Rap group Southside Totems represent the South Side…of Saxman, AK. The Southside Totems are of the Tlingit and Haida people, Northwest Coast Tribes indigenous to Southeast Alaska. “Tlingit Traditions” celebrates the members’ Tlingit heritage as a way of life.

oallinyynoms-320x240Theory of Hate – The weather isnt the only thing that’s brutal in Alaska. Theory of Hate is part of Alaska’s strong metal/hardcore scene. Check out their track “Inside Out” for guitar shredding, pounding drums and growling vocals.

Check out these acts and other great Alaska artists in the playlist below!

Who are your favorite OurStage Alaskans? Where do you like to see live music in Alaska? Let us know in the comments!

MARKETPLACE NEWS: SPOTLIGHT ON CME ARTIST SERVICES

The OurStage Marketplace connects artists looking for gigs with venues looking for new talent. With amazing opportunities both around the USA and the world, the OurStage Marketplace is the place to be for up and coming artists!

xfgbdvfkzrtp-320x2401This week, the spotlight is on CME Artist Services (CMEAS). CMEAS is a licensed UK-based music promoting agency that, along with endorsing their own roster of artists, encourages international acts to play in the UK. In addition to booking two annual UK tours, CMEAS also secures talent for several UK festivals including the One Planet Festival in Lancaster, UK.

The purpose of the One Planet Festival is to raise awareness about climate change and the sustainable practices that can be used to lessen it’s effects. One Planet incudes a film festival,  a sustainable exposition, great food and— of course— live music. Through OurStage, CMEAS is currently accepting submissions from artists looking to play the One Planet Festival, which runs from October 2nd to October 4th. Check out their listing in the OurStage Marketplace to submit your EPK.

For more about CME Artist Services click here
For more info about the OurStage Marketplace, check out the Marketplace FAQ section.

50 STATES IN 50 WEEKS… WEEK 3: MASSACHUSETTS

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As a lifelong Masshole, it gives me great pleasure to present my home state…

Massachusetts

The Bay State

Home of: The Boston Red Sox, the New England Patriots, Emily Dickinson, Paul Revere, Dr. Seuss, Aerosmith, Dropkick Murphys, Passion Pit, The Cars, The Modern Lovers,  The Dresden Dolls

Fun Facts: State bird; chickadee, state song; “All Hail Massachusetts,” state dessert; Boston cream pie

The Venues: Boston rockers head to The Middle East in Cambridge, MA. The Downstairs features national touring acts like Ra Ra Riot, The Walkmen and Cursive while smaller touring acts and local up-and-comers share the Upstairs stage. Over in Allston, the former sports bar know as Great Scott has a reputation for booking the next big thing before they become “the next big thing.” The Palladium in Worcester, MA is the place for local and national punk, metal and hardcore bands.  Western MA indie rock fans get their fix at Pearl Street Nightclub in the bohemian college town of Northampton, home of the Young@Heart Chorus and famous New Yorkers Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth. Massachusetts also has a strong DIY scene, with all ages shows being booked in basements, churches and VFW halls around the state.

The Music:

vegnypqmajej-320x240Gentlemen Hall -  Funky and extremely danceable, Gentlemen Hall sound like an edgy Maroon 5. Their song “Stun Gun“, previously featured in the OurStage Memorial Day BBQ playlist blog, is sure to get feet tapping and booties shaking. Several Boston bands play this kind of music, but no one does it better than Gentlemen Hall.

ybmpkslrybbl-520x520Domino Saints -Domino Saints blend Puerto Rican bomba and plena with reggaeton rhythms and socially conscious lyrics sung in both English and Spanish. “Buenos Dias San Juan” is a killer summer dance track will make any city feel like a tropical island. If you dig Domino Saints multicultural beat, check out Allston afro-beat warriors The Macrotones.

cpcfbplugqvc-320x240Air Traffic Controller -Air Traffic Controller’s smart pop songs tell everyday stories about life and love without sounding stale: Their song “Can’t Let Go” might be the sweetest song ever written about road rage. The band takes it’s name from frontman Dave Munro, who served in the US Navy as— you guessed it—an air traffic controller. The band’s debut album The One was produced by Boston’s former music-scene-fixture-turned-in-demand-LA-songwriter Bleu.

rylwmlwuudgy-520x520Ferris Wheel – Ferris Wheel has only been together for a year, but their elegant indie pop sounds just as polished as bands who have been playing for 3 times as long. “Paper Cranes” combines cello, guitar, drums, trumpet, bass and boy/girl vocals to form a breezy pop tune reminiscent of Fleet Foxes or Broken Social Scene.

Check out these acts and other great Massachusetts artists in the playlist below!

Who are your favorite OurStage Bay Staters? Where do you like to see live music in Massachusetts? Let us know in the comments!

MARKETPLACE NEWS: SPOTLIGHT ON THE DELANCEY

The OurStage Marketplace connects artists looking for gigs with venues looking for new talent. With amazing opportunities both around the USA and the world, the OurStage Marketplace is the place to be for up and coming artists!

This week we’re putting the spotlight on The Delancey. Located between hipster meccas the Lower East Side and Williamsburg, The Delancey can’t help but be one of New York City’s coolest bars. So it’s no surprise The Delancey maintains a loyal following among the skinny jean set but still draws a varied crowd from night to night depending on who’s playing. Past artists include Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Rye Coalition, Wyclef Jean (The Fugees), Tapes ‘n’ Tapes and Prince Paul (De La Soul).

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And The Delancey’s ambiance is as varied as its music. While the ground floor lounge offers a long bar, DJ booth and a cool breeze, the downstairs boasts a killer sound system and mirrored walls so bands can easily turn it up to eleven and rock out. Up on the rooftop, an urban oasis awaits—complete with tropical flora, a fountain, an umbrella topped bar and a breathtaking view of the city. Just pick a floor to suit your mood.

The Delancey is currently looking for acoustic singer-songwriters and indie rock bands on OurStage. Check out their listings in the gigs section of the OurStage Marketplace and submit your EPK!

For more info about The Delancey, click here.

For more info about the OurStage Marketplace, check out the Marketplace FAQ section.

 


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