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LoveSick Radio Opens For The Fray, Picks Up New Followers And Thanks The Fans

Ohio pop rockers LoveSick Radio won over the OurStage fans and judges with their song She Said Boys Don’t Matter,” propelling the track to the top of the charts in OurStage’s “99.5 WZPL Holiday Concert Opening Performance” Competition. Not only did the band gain new fans and invaluable exposure, they also got the opportunity to perform at the legendary 99.5 WZPL Holiday Party in Indianapolis, IL alongside bands like The Fray and Simple Plan.

Guitarist David Harris gave us the scoop on all the performance details and it’s pretty clear they had a blast—hanging out with The Fray, building their fan base and rocking out to a large audience.  ”The show was a great time. We have never played that venue before in Indy. It kinda felt like making out with a girl you just met. So you’re excited and nervous at the same time.”

Nerves aside, the guys are no strangers to the big stage. “We have been lucky enough to do a few radio shows like this before thanks to some radio stations taking a chance on the band and playing our music. Also thanks to OurStage and our fans. We have been lucky enough to open for Bon Jovi & Kid Rock at Meadowlands Stadium in NJ. Also Hanson & Rooney in MI. We love the energy a large crowd gives off. We feel very at home on a big stage.”

Continue reading ‘LoveSick Radio Opens For The Fray, Picks Up New Followers And Thanks The Fans’

Vocal Points: Voices To Look For In 2012

As great as 2011 has been, it’s time to start fresh. So, while you’re making your New Year’s resolutions, start thinking about what music will be your soundtrack to 2012. Here are some of the voices we’re looking forward to hearing more from in the year to come!

Paramore, who made news in late 2010 for their split with founding members Josh and Zac Farro, are scheduled to release a full-length album in early 2012. So far, we’ve heard singles “Hello Cold World”, “Renegade” and most recently “In The Mourning”. Still, we’re wondering how the full-length album reflects any change in the band’s style. And it’ll be particularly interesting to see if Hayley Williams‘ voice is strong enough to keep fans hooked.

We’re also looking forward to having John Mayer‘s voice back in 2012! His fifth studio album, Born and Raised, which was initially scheduled for the end of 2011, will now be coming out in 2012, as soon as Mayer’s voice has completely recovered. And since the album’s already mostly completed (just missing vocals) it looks like we don’t have too long to wait!

Mumford and Sons won’t be keeping us waiting much longer either. According to the band, their next LP will be more mature, sounding a bit like “Black Sabbath meets Nick Drake”. And after the success of Sigh No More, its hard for us to imagine the band’s follow-up being anything less than great. Our fingers are crossed. Continue reading ‘Vocal Points: Voices To Look For In 2012′

Kenton Dunson Vs. Kanye West

It’s been a long, strange road for Kanye West. After he dropped out of college to pursue his music career full time, he became a successful producer, making beats for high profile rappers like Jay-Z, Mos Def and Talib Kweli. However, despite being an in-demand producer, he struggled to be taken seriously as a rapper. Luckily, Jay-Z was willing to give him a chance and signed West to his label, Roc-A-Fella Records. West went on to release his debut album, The College Dropout, in 2004, and it instantly became a commercial and critical success. West was praised for his lyrical themes, which eschewed the gangster rap persona that was popular at the time in favor of more socially-conscious topics. Since then his career has been marked with plenty of ups and downs, but the recent success of Watch The Throne, his collaborative album with Jay-Z, has cemented his position as one of the strongest artists in hip hop. His rise to the top was due to dedication and perseverance, something OurStage rapper/producer Kenton Dunson has in spades.

OurStage's Kenton Dunson

Kanye West

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like Kanye West, Kenton Dunson is a talented producer as well as a rapper, producing all the beats that he raps over. You can hear some similarities in their production and rapping styles if you compare Dunson’s song “Beautiful Fight” with West’s song “Champion.” Both songs use a pairing of synthesizers and choppy vocal samples to create a unique sounding beat with a distinct rhythm. Like West, Dunson’s lyrics don’t deal with the typical fare of gangster rap, because he chooses to focus on more personal experiences. In this song, Dunson recounts the struggles he has gone through and continues to deal with in order to achieve success as an artist. He also shares Kanye West’s penchant for clever wordplay, with the line “they say that I’m sleepwalking, I’m living the dream” being one of the most notable here. “Take Off” is another of Dunson’s songs that bears some resemblence to Kanye’s music. Production wise, this song uses many of the techniques that helped make West famous, including looped vocal samples and backing string arrangements.

Continue reading ‘Kenton Dunson Vs. Kanye West’

The Co-op Playlist

Everyone knows that the stars of OurStage are the artists. We would be nothing without them! However, there are plenty of unsung heroes working behind the scenes to make sure the wheels keep turning and everything is running smoothly. We are the OurStage Community Team; Co-Op students who work tirelessly answering emails, writing blogs and reviewing the songs entered into competitions. We’ve been working here for the past six months, but now it’s time to move on to new frontiers. Still, the experience we’ve had here has been amazing, and our parting gift to you is a playlist of some great OurStage music that has either flown under the radar, or is just so great that it merits a second listen. So kick back, put on your headphones and check out some of the best we think OurStage has to offer. You can listen to the full playlist right here!

The Well Reds

Cara: I spent the past six months writing Live Wired, and when I wasn’t spending the majority of my free time at venues around Boston, I discovered tons of great music while working at OurStage! My picks for the playlist include finalists The Well Reds from The OurStage Panel, who I was lucky enough to see perform, and tunes from Marie Hines, Talain Rayne and Cooper Brown—these are sure to make you smile. Enjoy!

Continue reading ‘The Co-op Playlist’

Live Wired: 2011 Tour Recap

It’s that time of the year where we pretty much feel obligated to make some kind of year-end list that sums up our favorite happenings or people in the music world. But hey, if the world ends in 2012, this could be our last opportunity to make one of these! Anyway, we’re switching it up a little bit—since this is Live Wired, we’re only going to focus on what what went on in arenas and small clubs across the world. Instead of simply making a ‘best of’ list, we’re giving out superlatives to some of the artists and bands who went on tour this year.

Top Grossing & Most Attended: U2 360° Tour

Starting back in 2009, U2 embarked on a worldwide tour and just didn’t stop until the summer of this year. Between all the records they broke and the extravagant set they treated the sold out crowds to each night, this tour was nothing short of amazing. It even grossed about $100 million more than the next best tour this year (Bon Jovi). Total Gross: $293,281,487 / Total Attendance: 2,887,972

 

Most Hyped: Watch The Throne Tour

Two of the biggest names in the world of music, Kanye West and Jay-Z teamed up and finally released their collaboration album Watch The Throne in August, and pleased fans even more by going on tour in support of the release.

 

 

Continue reading ‘Live Wired: 2011 Tour Recap’

Exclusive Q&A: Learning Japanese with Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsMe First and the Gimme Gimmes is a band that really extends itself into places most bands aren’t willing to go, both literally and musically. Drawing its members from various punk bands like NOFX to Swingin’ Utters, the supergroup also specializes in covers from a variety of wildly different artists ranging from Elton John to Boyz 2 Men.  In preparation for their third tour in Japan, the Gimmes Gimmes released the album Sing In Japanese where the band covers a multitude of classics in the realm of Japanese punk bands. Vocalist Spike Slawson sat down with OurStage to explain what makes a good cover, the difficulties a band faces when touring abroad and his thoughts on the Japanese punk scene as a whole.

OS: Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have always been characterized as a punk supergroup. When you first started, was it difficult to manage all the different elements that each member brought from their respective groups?

SS: Initially, it gelled right away, because I think a lot of people weren’t necessarily convinced they were right yet.

OS: The band pretty much exclusively in covers. What do you think is the most important element of making a good cover?

SS: Fidelity to the original, but with a new group of people in the room where it sounds like a different take to it. Carbon footprint, I don’t know.

OS: Has the band ever attempted to play original songs or has it been only covers?

SS: Only covers, only ever covers.

OS: Was there a specific reason for that?

SS: Well, I don’t know. It’s sort of like a process of elimination. There’s too many options in music, at least in my mind, where we would have no idea where to go. Making it only covers or making it only a certain style of music, it narrows the range a little bit. It just makes it simpler. Often the best song on a lot of these pop punk bands’ records was the cover, you know. Or like the only good song. So why not do a band of that? And several of us wanted to play out in a band that was less serious and the quickest way to get a live set together to play out was covers. Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q&A: Learning Japanese with Me First and the Gimme Gimmes’

Vocal Points: A Gift From Us To You

Christmas comes once a year, and this year we’d like to give you free downloads of songs by some of the best and most distinct voices on OurStage. The seemingly bottomless pool of talented vocalists on the site made it hard to narrow down our list. But, we’re sure our picks will satisfy your musical cravings. Enjoy!

“Colorado Rain” by Fiske and Herrera is a beautiful folk tune that combines Amy Herrera‘s sweet vocals with Jared Fiske‘s soft tones to create perfect harmony.

If you’re looking for a spunky, hard-hitting song which flat out rocks, look no further. “The Other Side Of You” by June Divided proves once again that a woman can rock just as hard as any man. And front-woman Melissa Menago‘s strong voice never fails to impress.

On the complete other end of the spectrum is “I’d Rather Not Know” by country singer Adam Sanders, whose deep, hearty vocals make you melt. Sanders exemplifies how great country can tug on your heart strings.

Continue reading ‘Vocal Points: A Gift From Us To You’

Greg Banks Vs. R. Kelly

The last year saw a new resurgence of young talent in the R&B world. Artists like The Weeknd, Frank Ocean, The-Dream and even Drake pushed the boundaries of R&B and revitalized the genre with new ideas for a new generation. However, none of these artists would exist without the influence of R. Kelly. With a career spanning nearly two decades, Kelly has been cited by Billboard as the most successful R&B/hip hop artist of the last twenty-five years, with thirty-five Top 10 singles and eleven No. 1 singles. Not only does Kelly have commercial success, but he has also composed, arranged and produced almost all of his music—a feat many singers can’t achieve. While OurStage is not short on great R&B artists, Greg Banks recently made a big splash on our charts.

OurStage's Greg Banks

R. Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like R. Kelly, Greg Banks is an R&B singer who also writes his own songs. If you listen to Banks’ song “Goodbye Sex” you can hear the similarities between his style and R. Kelly’s. In fact, the song shares much in common with Kelly’s smash hit “Ignition (Remix).” Both songs are at about the same tempo, and they both use similar sounding chord progressions. Banks and Kelly use similar techniques in their singing like switching between longer held out notes and singing in double time. These two songs also deal with overtly sexual lyrical themes, a trademark of R. Kelly’s music. “Selfish” is another one of Banks’ songs that is stylistically similar to R. Kelly, specifically his song “I Wish (Remix).” Both of these songs rely on an acoustic guitar melody to provide the backbone of the song. The tracks also have similar lyrical themes, albeit in slightly different contexts—while Banks sings about his worries of the love of his life leaving him, Kelly laments the deaths of his friends and family.

Continue reading ‘Greg Banks Vs. R. Kelly’

Tr3s Features October El Headliner JL MadSkillz

Your October El Headliner, JL MadSkillz, crushed the competition last month in the Tr3s Latin Music Channel. With his hit song “Si Alguna Vez”, this Florida native gave us a track that’s sure to make us dance. If you haven’t checked the track out by now, go take a listen because we don’t want you missing out! The reign as El Headliner came with tons of features across the world of Latin Music on Tr3s and Tr3s.com. Check out what Lo Que Te PicaFree Latin Music, and Blogamole had to say!

Blogamole

Free Latin Music

Lo Que Te Pica

Exclusive Q&A: Future Islands Gaze Out ‘On the Water’

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsFuture Islands is one of those few bands whose bizarre name is actually very indicative of the kind of music they create. The group has become known for their unique post-wave synthpop sound, centralized around the haunting vocals of Samuel T. Herring, that makes you feel as though you’re stuck on a cold and deserted island filled with alien technology. Getting their start in North Carolina as fellow art majors at East Carolina University, Future Islands ultimately moved to Baltimore to become regulars of the indie community there. However, for their recently-released album On the Water, the band made a pilgrimage back to their roots both physically and musically. To tell us about this voyage back in time, vocalist Samuel T. Herring and guitarist/bassist William Cashion took some time to take us inside their creative process and how they were able to incorporate outside elements into their latest work.

Future Islands

OS: You’ve described On the Water to be a concept album about “two parallel journeys—one physical and one psychological”. Does this tie into your own experience as a band or as writers?

SH: Well the concept came secondary to the writing and recording of the songs, a definite afterthought in finding the common thread that tied the songs together to form the album. I do believe in those parallel journeys, however, in that this album moves us through a landscape while also on a journey for something internal from that external change. It definitely ties into my personal experience. Those songs are of my life, and my own questions and hopeful answers. I think it’s pretty indicative of our writing process too, creating first and finding the meanings later. Instead of over-thinking, and putting process before inspiration. The journey is inherent.

OS: The opening track starts off with ambient sounds—is this intended to set the mood for the entire album? Where did those sounds come from?

WC:  I have a fancy little hand-held digital recorder, and one night Chester and I went “sound hunting” around Elizabeth City.  The sounds at the beginning of the record were recorded across the street on the docks.

SH: We all had those recordings in mind and set aside for that purpose. It may seem redundant for some, but for anyone that grew up near the water or had a dock close to home that they would walk down to, it’s an essential form of nostalgia that sets the tone for the album.

Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q&A: Future Islands Gaze Out ‘On the Water’’

 


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