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Hip-Hop production at its best

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In an age where the word “producer” can just mean so many different things, it’s important to distinguish the genre. In the hip-hop world, producers drive the industry by keeping an ever-growing genre replenished with new beats, songs, and sounds. Southern California-based producer/rapper/artist, d.C. is the very definition of “moving forward” in hip-hop. Although he may not be well-establish in the mainstream, d.C. has worked with independent acts all over the country (California, New Mexico, Philadelphia, New York, and even the UK), producing beats, collaborating, and otherwise transforming that “standard hip-hop” sound.

d.C. combines fresh sounds from all genres into his projects, without taking that standard “sampling” approach. Sure, he’s got influences and idols. But d. C. just takes things in a new direction. After winning the Producer/Beats channel at OurStage in November 2008 with his song “Five Steps“, his success continues to grow. It is clear that this producer is definitely one to watch in 2009.


In his own words, “The world is a beautiful place and making music is the only way [he sees] fit for [him] to add to its beauty.” Check out all of his projects over at his OurStage fanclub.

The Next Fifty: Indie Rock

Some of us don’t believe in rankings or ratings. Sure, they seem to democratically evaluate things. But, some of us just want to go against the mold, don’t we?

Well in this spirit, I went into the Indie Rock channel on February 3rd, 2009 at 10:30 AM and, get this: I skipped past the top 50 and listened to “the next fifty”. I picked out 10 songs that, frankly, probably aren’t getting the attention they should be simply because they aren’t in the top 50 of the channel. So, check them out below, and follow them in the coming weeks. Maybe it will change your mind about some of those lowly 75′s or 86′swhile you’re scanning your favorite channels…

Top 10 January 2009 Winners

So it’s febuary again. We’re past all that “New Year’s” talk and hoping for winter to be over soon. What better way to pass the time than listening to a playlist of the top 10 winning songs from the January 2009 channel competitions. You, the fans, have locked in your vote, and the results have been recorded. I’ve put together a playlist of the top songs from the each of the Male Singer, Folk, Alternative Rock, Americana, Gangsta Rap, Punk, Pop, Contemporary, Blues, and R & B/Soul channels. And here they are:

Vivian Darkbloom would like to play

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Hey! You! Put that video game controller down and get over here! I’ve got something that might interest you…

Today, in the Boston Globe, OurStage band Vivian Darkbloom was featured for an unusual choice of musical equipment. Guitarist Rob Morris has fashioned a Wii Remote (the controller for the popular Nintendo Wii game console) to his guitar as a means for controlling his effect usage. He uses the remote’s motion-sensing capabilities to allow the tilting of his guitar, as fed through computer software, to control how his guitar sounds.

Read the full article here and check out Vivian Darkblooms fanclub, and see if you can make your own Wii-powered guitar!

Noise Pop Festival Announces OurStage Winners!

Noise Pop is approaching again and the 2009 festival is shaping up to have an outstanding lineup. The Noise Pop channel on OurStage was a great success and OurStage artists are right on the front lines again this year. The winners from the channel are:

Scissors For Lefty: This upbeat, garage rock band was chosen by NoisePop to play the 2009 festival in the Noise Pop channel competition in October of 2008. They liken their sound to that of The Kinks and The Flaming Lips, among others. The classic, distinctive vocals are well supported by the thick, driving guitar lines and drum beats. Check out the teaser for their upcoming EP, which was the song that won them a spot in the upcoming festival!

Kings and Queens:This indie/alternative band has its influences placed in Neu!, Roxy Music, and Nick Drake. Appearing out of the conclusion of a previous project, “The Pleased”, Kings and Queens forge a new sound of their own with tight, yet ambient riffs underneath subtle vocal lines. Congratulations to these guys on their noise pop selection for November of 2008. Swing on over to their fanclub and listen for yourself!

Harbours: This band finds its sound intertwined with the indie pop genre and a hint of ’60s pop. The band’s self-proclaimed influences include Gino Washington, Spoon, and Badfinger. Their light vocals with tight harmonies compliment the driving, indie instrumentation so well that it seems that you just couldn’t have it any other way. It’s no wonder why Noise Pop took notice of their channel placement in December of 2008. Check them out!

Dizzy Balloon: “It’s not lazy, or boring, or melancholic. It’s a new generation of energetic, optimistic, well-crafted pop rock.” This self-statement by the band is simply the best way they can be described. Why settle for something average and run-of-the-mill when you can sit back and listen to these guys? With well-crafted guitar parts and cutting synth tracks, there’s just simply no reason not to give this band your full attention. Not to mention, their reputation of being a phenomenal live act. That’s why they are your winner for January 2009.

Again, congrats to these bands. Check them out, tearing up the stage at Noise Pop 2009 if you get the chance. Want more Noise Pop music? Check out last years winners!

OurStage Artists Featured on AOL!

Congratulations to Plushgun, Williams Riley, and NeverShoutNever! for their recent feature pieces over at AOL. After being featured here at OurStage in our blog, AOL has featured their music on their site. Check these artists out!

Plushgun: The soft indie sounds of this band as paired with the bold synth soundsdefine the name even before that first catchy chorus enters.Having begun the songwriting process like everyone else (acoustic guitar + small bedroom = musical genius?)Dan Ingala decided to take things in a new direction.Check out the catchy melodies and crunchy synth lines by joining their fan club!

Williams Riley Band: Tired of that same old “country” music you hear on the radio? Have a listen to Williams Riley Band then. The smooth, alternative melodies mixed with the traditional instrumentation make for a truly unique experience in the country/americana genre. Make sure to check out Makes Me Go La La to hear it for yourself!

NeverShoutNever!: If you haven’t heard of this young, online sensation then, well, where have you been? All it took was an acoustic guitar recorded in his basement to start up a chain reaction of word-of-mouth campaigns and online buzz, skyrocketting this self-starter into the public ear. Go behind the scenes with NeverShoutNever for a video shoot in this exclusive OurStage feature.

Congratulations again to these artists for their AOL Music Features. Keep up the good work!

It’s Groundhog Day…again.

Having trouble figuring out how to celebrate Groundhog’s Day? Afraid you might get stuck repeating the same 24 hours over and over? I mean, it’s possible, isn’t it? Well, don’t you worry! As the big day approaches, I’ve put together a playlist of OurStage songs that you can listen to again and again, no matter how many times you’ve smashed that stupid alarm clock. So kick back, have a listen, and hope for an early spring.

Singer/Songwriter Alissa Moreno


This multi-talented singer/songwriter may appear to have coasted through the music industry “under the radar” as of late. However, if you haven’t heard of her yet, you will soon.  Her recent successes on OurStage in our female singer channel are only the beginning of the mark she has left in the industry. Born on a Navajo Indian Reservation, Moreno has been musically inclined and classically trained since the age of two. Recently her song “Hey World” was featured on the MTV series “The Hills”. Her success as an artist, however, isn’t the only feather in this musician’s hat. Her most notable and recent achievement is the Grammy nomination of her song “Every Day” as performed by Rascal Flatts. Overall, her success as an artist as well as a songwriter establishes Moreno as one of the most important rising musicians in her genre today. Check her out on OurStage and jump on her bandwagon!

Kilroy: Energetic Rock with a Classic Style

Kilroy plays loud, kick ass, blues heavy Rock ‘n Roll.” This self definition by the band could not be more accurate.  From their gritty, bluesy riffs, to the sharp, nostalgic vocals, Kilroy is putting themselves on the map within the rock scene with everything they do. Late last year, they were featured on MTV’s “Buzzin’” as background music during a scene with Shwaze. The episode can be watched for free here or purchased on itunes.  Additionally, the band has been invited to perform their song “Shake ‘Em Down” in a video for FoxSports, being paired with a high ranking college football team (the Badgers).
Additionally, the band’s talent has caught the eye of renowned producer Butch Vig who has worked with such acts as Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, and Garbage. Their latest LP is now available for purchase.  Recent star-studded endeavors aside, this band demands your attention as their retroactive yet indie sound explodes into the mainstream.

Check Out new rising indie artist Molly Marlette


Lately, singer/songwriter Molly Marlette has been gaining a lot of momentum in the music industry, particularly in the form of online buzz. In a world full of online indie artists, it can often be hard to sift through and find the memorable ones. Everyone seems to have something different to say. Molly takes her music in a different direction than most. This minimalist songwriter finds value in writing a unique song with the least amount of instruments and accompaniment possible. Her focus is therefore on her melody, her words, and her message. From her recent front page feature on YouTube for one of her videos at the end of last year to the earlier feature of one of her songs on an MTV playlist at soundtrack.mtv.com, Marlette is making her mark in online communities everywhere. Additionally, she was even featured on our front page right here at OurStage.com earlier last year. Even if you like to stay away from online buzz you may have heard her song “Constantly” on the hit television series “One Tree Hill”.

There is just no escaping the far-reaching qualities of this artist’s appeal. Still think she’s just another one of those indie artists trying to institute an image that was once unique but now all too clichéd? Well think again. I hope I have inspired you to zip on over to her OurStage profile and join her fan club. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

 


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