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Meet The Winners Of The Intel® “Canada Superstars” Competition!

We made it folks! After three rounds of competition, hundreds of entrants from all over the Great White North and thousands of fans making their voices heard, we have our winners for the Intel® “Canada Superstars” Competition! These seven acts represent some of the best that their respective genres, and Canada, has to offer. Musically speaking, in any case. So without further ado, here are your winners and their winning entries! And thanks to all of the musicians who entered the competition! You really gave these guys a run for their loonies. Continue reading ‘Meet The Winners Of The Intel® “Canada Superstars” Competition!’

Clear Channel Is Paying Radio Royalties To Artists! (If You’re On The Right Label)

Clear Channel looks its taking it upon itself to change how royalties are paid to artists played on the radio. On Thursday the media conglomerate announced that it had struck a deal with Glassnote Entertainment Group that would provide income to the label and their roster of artists for broadcasts of their music through terrestrial and online streaming Clear Channel stations.

While many of the nitty gritty details of the deal remain undisclosed, there are two big takeaways. First, Clear Channel would payout a percentage of their revenue to Glassnote, home of top selling folk-rock act Mumford & Sons and indie darlings including Phoenix and Two Door Cinema Club, for over the air broadcasts of their artist’s music. This stands in stark contrast to the history of radio royalties in the United States.

Continue reading ‘Clear Channel Is Paying Radio Royalties To Artists! (If You’re On The Right Label)’

Win A Fender Guitar And Amp By Judging The Intel “Canada Superstars” Competition!

Are you constantly on the lookout for the latest rising music stars? Are your headphones attached to your ears at all times for fear of missing a beat on the latest upcoming talent? If this sounds like you, and you’re a Canadian resident, then OurStage and the Intel® “Canada Superstars” Competition need your help!

Intel® “Canada is looking for their next superstar, but they cannot do it without your vote in the seven competition channels. In return for your efforts, you’ll be entered alongside other OurStage users to win an incredible prize package, with one Grand Prize winner receiving a Fender® Modern Player Telecaster Plus along with a Fender® Mustang II 40 Watt Guitar Combo Amp!

You only have until September 30, to judge and be entered to win, so what are you waiting for? Get judging!

Click here to view the competition FAQs.

Click here to view the official rules.


Your Country’s Right Here: Aimee Wilson Weaves Poignant Stories into Song

It’s easy to hear the relief in Aimee Wilson’s voice when she talks about her new album “Unto Us the Sun.”

To create the August 28 release, Wilson composed on both sitar and guitar as inspired by the Sacred Harp tradition. The result is a whirl of mix of traditional folk and indie rock with a dose of spirituality and Celtic influences put into it.

“My music is a dialogue with God, as I understand him,” said Wilson of the songs that resulted from the eight-year long process. “It’s a way of getting to something more than myself. It’s this instinctual reaching and listening that’s happening through me.”

What led Wilson to that music was everything from the study of literate to working with at-risk women at a safe haven in Philadelphia. The Tennessee native didn’t set out to write this album, though. Having learned to play guitar at an early age and the sitar several years ago, she has continually turned to music as a way to express her thoughts and feelings. That manifested into her 2004 debut album “Timbers Fall.”

So with her background in literature and her way of turning to music to express herself, perhaps it’s not surprising that the songwriting muse would visit her as she worked with chronically homeless women at 1Philadelphia shelter. Their lives are in full evidence in the lyrics that tell stories of loss, exposure and ultimately hope. Beyond that, Wilson continually talks about how much she took away from her experience at the shelter.

“I started realizing what I was learning from the women I got to know there,” Wilson said. “I had just gone through a loss myself before I started working at this shelter. There was something healing about being around others who couldn’t hide their heartbreak, who could have that honest and courageous conversation. I’d hear something in my head as I was going about my day. When I had a chance, I’d grab the instrument and work it out.”

When she recorded the album, Wilson included an array of instruments from the Chinese erhu fiddle to the hurdy gurdy, along with a full Sacred Harp-style vocal ensemble to completely tell the stories.

Yet while the album is lush and full, the completion of the project is almost a surprise to Wilson.

“I didn’t really even set up to write music for an album,” he said. “They were just songs that I started writing on the sidelines outside of my day to day job. But as  the songs started taking on a life of their own and growing I just felt like I needed to do something with them and share them.”

Find out more about Aimee Wilson’s release on the Factorye website.

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Crossroads: When Fans And Bands Go Their Separate Ways

Many of us know that feeling when an album hits you just right during a crucial moment in your life. When everything you’re hearingthe sounds, the melodies, the emotions, the lyricsmatches everything you’re feeling. It all just seems to flow directly from the speakers to your heart and back again, as if there is some sort of etherial connection between yourself and the artist. Favorite records like these are what define us as music fans. They help us realize who we are and who our favorite artists or  bands are.

But we also know the opposite feeling, when that same artist’s newest release falls flat, just as well. When the effort just does not amount to the previous release(s) that we hold so close to our hearts. As fans, we often form connections to artists and their music that they become a defining aspects of our identity. So, when our favorite musicians go in a new direction, we sometimes feel offended or even cheated, as if they have betrayed us in some way, leaving us alone with the nostalgia of a better time. Continue reading ‘Crossroads: When Fans And Bands Go Their Separate Ways’

Your Country’s Right Here: Big And Rich Triumph With ‘Hillbilly Jedi’

Big & Rich’s Big Kenny had just finished rehearsals for the duo’s Wednesday appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, but he sounded as relaxed as if he was on summer vacation.

And why not? Hillbilly Jedi, the first album by Kenny (whose given name is William Kenneth Alphin) and John Rich in four years, has whipped listeners into a frenzy. Witness the rampant online buzz, with fans adopting Jedi nicknames and critics hailing the mix of country rock and ballads, many of which were written with Jon Bon Jovi and his longtime collaborator Richie Sambora.

“We couldn’t be more excited that this all came together and this is all blowing up. And I’ll betcha it’s gonna continue to keep on,” said Kenny with his trademark devilish drawl. “That first song on the album, ‘That’s Why I Pray,’ is poignant, and the rest are, too.”

Indeed, “That’s Why I Pray,” the only song on the album that the two didn’t co-write but which they performed on the Tonight Show, is something of a narrative of Big & Rich’s last four years. Although the song was written by Sarah Buxton, Blair Daly, and Danelle Leverett (one half of the Jane Dear Girls), Kenny said it sums up everything he and Rich feel about family, friends, and the priorities in life that led to the duo’s hiatus.

“It’s hard to start a family with a brother as a Siamese twin. We have spent so much of our lives together, rockin’ and writing rock and playing,” said Kenny. “We have written over a thousand songs, so to be able to respect each other enough to allow us to have the duality of our families and do some things that important to us says a lot.”

The two partners both spent time nurturing families and participating in an array of high profile charity work including Rich’s Celebrity Apprentice win and Kenny’s myriad humanitarian efforts.

“I couldn’t be more proud of John. That stuff is hard,” said Kenny, ticking off a list of charity work, much of it for the benefit of children, that they each undertook. “There are a lot more kids in school right now, kids in better places, thanks to us being able to take some time off.”

Once each man had checked some major goals off their individual “To Do” lists, Kenny said they found themselves in a place where “we just missed writing and singing together, quite honestly.”

That came to the forefront when they collaborated on the song “Fake ID” for the movie Footloose and decided to record it. From there, the two began performing together, quickly finding themselves back in the Big & Rich groove.

Bumping into buddies Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora found the foursome with a bit of time to finally collaborate on songs. The result, of course, is much of Hillbilly Jedi, a title that was made possible in part by Bon Jovi who called his friend George Lucas to unsnarl copyright red tape.

“He said ‘What do you mean you can’t use it? I’ll call George. He is a buddy of mine,’” said Kenny relating a response from Bon Jovi. “George answered his phone! He was at the Grand Prix in Monte Carlo. I told John when we do these radio interviews we should say we made that up because it doesn’t even sound like it’s true. It is though. We didn’t make it up.”

It’s also true that Bon Jovi has previously invited Big & Rich on tour, but the scheduling stars haven’t aligned on thatyet. Still, with Sambora putting out a solo album this week and Bon Jovi having one in the works, fans might want to keep an ear to the ground for tour news.

“We are talking about some craziness with touring concepts for next year,” said Kenny. “We are going to continue Big & Rich and knock down even more walls, get even more fans. We are working together, putting together tour concepts we want to try that would be insanity. We want to give back to our fans in a big way and Bon Jovi had invited us on a world tour. They may just do that again. They’re wide open to working with us for this album, too. Who knows? The future is briggggghttttt!”

Find out more about Big & Rich on the duo’s official website.

Watch Big & Rich’s video for “That’s Why I Pray.”

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JUDGE The Intel® “Canada Superstars” Competition And WIN A Fender Guitar & Amp!

Resident Canadians, this is your chance to judge the Intel® “Canada Superstars” Competition for a chance to win some awesome prizes! We have seven different channels that all need judging, but only you — the fans — can help us determine who the winners will be. If you do, you will be eligible for our sweepstakes in which one Grand Prize Winner will receive a Fender® Modern Player Telecaster Plus Guitar and a Fender® Mustang II 40 Watt Guitar Combo Amp — a retail value of $615.24. So what are you waiting for? Click here to select a channel and start judging now!

Usher And Shakira To Replace Cee-Lo And X-Tina On ‘The Voice’

We previously discussed some of the big changes to The Voice as of Season 3, but there’s already huge news about Season 4: Usher and Shakira will be replacing Cee-Lo Green and Christina Aguilera as judges. With all of the recent drama surrounding new American Idol judges, we were hoping that The Voice would continue to keep their loveable set of coaches. Sadly, the show must go on, and so must the coaches’ own careers.

With a new album and subsequent tour, X-Tina will be replaced by Latin/pop crossover artist Shakira. Shakira seems like an odd choice, considering the other coaches are constantly dominating the charts, but we’re willing to give her a shot. Usher, on the other hand, is an excellent replacement for Cee-Lo (though we’ll certainly miss Lo’s crazy outfits…and pet cockatoo). He will be leaving the show to work on his upcoming sitcom.

Season 3 of The Voice is currently airing on NBC on Monday and Tuesday nights.

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‘The Voice’ Is Back: What’s New For Season 3?

Exclusive Q and A: Pony Boy Talks Poetry, Pop, and Production

Pony Boy, the brainchild of Marchelle Bradanini, is a self-described “junkyard country” group that sounds like a dusty old Ford rumbling down a deserted road. Having already put in time as a member of the eclectic Bedtime for Toys, Bradanini channeled her rediscovered love of classic country, blues, and Americana into her latest project. We caught up with her to chat about her poetic past, her distaste for manicured pop, and what really separates her from R. Kelly.

OS: You’ve been involved in some eclectic musical projects in the past such as Bedtime for Toys or you DJing project Pony vs. Tiger. What got you interested in the aesthetic of your current band?

MB: I started out just as a girl with a guitar influenced by Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan. Then, I ended up starting a band with some friends and that was about playing music that a group of people came up with collectively at a different point in my life. When that band broke up, I was trying to figure out what I was doing next. Oftentimes you get asked to DJ after playing a show, and I had a pretty decent vinyl collection. While I was working out exactly what the solo project would be, I started getting asked to DJ all over the place. The nice thing was that those gigs were for people who wanted rock ‘n’ roll or classic country, and it was a great opportunity to go back and rediscover all of these old, great artists that I love: John Prine, The Allman Brothers, and even Ram Jam [laughs]. There’s the electronic DJ scene, but then there are also people who want to hear actual songs that were initially released on vinyl. Getting into that scene was really great because I got to work on playlists all day. Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Pony Boy Talks Poetry, Pop, and Production’

Mumford & Sons Premier Music Video For “I Will Wait” Live At Red Rocks

On August 28th and 29th, folk rock sensations Mumford & Sons performed at the famous and awe-inspiring Red Rocks Amphitheater near Morrison, Colorado. From this experience, the band plans to release a documentary called Road To Red Rocks, including footage of the live performance, life on the road, and, in an interesting twist, fan submitted home-videos of their experiences before, during, and after the show. Now, after a three part series of promo trailers, the band have released their official music video for new single “I Will Wait” off their upcoming album Babel, which will be out September 24th. Click here for preorders, and check out the video below:

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