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Jitta On The Track Releases “Trillmatic” Video

Hartford’s Jitta On The Track has found a lot of success here on OurStage and it seems the mainstream is about to welcome him with open arms. Later this month, Jitta will release his Alphabet Soup mixtape, and today we get a video for the record’s latest leak, “Trillmatic.” The clip features Jitta and fellow emcees Kyd Gwap and Dom McLennon performing in and around a baseball diamond. You can view the video below.

OurStage will be hosting an exclusive Tweet & A with Jitta On The Track next Thursday, November 15, at 4pm EST. Stay tuned for more information!

 

 

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Vanna Announce “Home For The Holidays” Tour

After almost 8 straight weeks touring around the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., Boston hardcore band Vanna will be coming home to wreak some holiday havoc on their native New England with a short “Home For The Holidays” tour. They will be performing for four dates, listed on the flyer below, with Lionheart, State Champs, and fellow locals Lions Lions, and Foreign Tongues. Sound Rink will also be offering special VIP ticket packages, which have yet to be announced. Unfortunately, the tour does not include a Massachusetts date, so local fans are just gonna have to bundle up and weather the cold if they wanna throw down for the holidays!

If you like Vanna, then you might also like OurStage’s own Actor|Observer.

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Improving Your Community: 3 Ways To Build A Local Following

Most bands who are just starting out often ask themselves the same question: “How do we build a local following?” And a good majority of experienced musicians would respond succinctly with, “Just play as many shows as possible,” which is certainly good advice. But an artist doesn’t just want fans. An artist wants a community, people who can get behind the music and the message.  This is the artist’s challenge. Luckily, there are some strategies that can really help get the locals on board (assuming the music doesn’t totally suck). Here are three good ways for you, the artist, to build a local following:

1.) Make a lot of friends (particularly within your genre/scene)
Okay, I know this seems like a crude piece of advice, but whoever tells you that being a musician is not a popularity contest is wrong if your goal is to have more fans. Even if you weren’t the most popular kid in high school, it helps to be outgoing. Seems obvious, but if you’re not already a charismatic socialite, this can be a challenge. Generally, every artist’s first few shows are attended by supportive friends. Later on, you may have some work friends, classmates, or even family members who come to a show every once in a while. However, if you get in with a certain crowd that you know is into your type of music, they will back you 100 percent.  This will provide you with an organic foundation for your fanbase since these people know you not just as musicians but as friends, and they can vouch for you when inviting other friends to come to your shows. Ultimately, the more friends you have that are into your music, the more personal your connection to your fanbase.  I know you like to think your music can speak for itself (and perhaps it can), but it helps to have some loyal comrades to help promote you. Consider it a sort of “street team.” Networking is just as much about social activity as it is about business. So stop playing video games, get off Facebook, and go meet some real people! Go to parties! Go to shows! Be present.

2.) Befriend other local bands with loyal fans
Don’t have many friends? Have trouble meeting new people? Well then one of the best things you can do is form strong ties with other local bands within your scene who already have somewhat of a strong, loyal following. Hang out, play shows together, sing on each other’s songs—before you know it, their fans will become your fans too. People love seeing bands work together; it’s all part of developing a musical community. The music scene is not just about one band, and it’s certainly not about rivalry. It’s about the whole movement, and the more you act like a team player, the more likely you are to gain real respect. In order to keep these types of connections going, always be sure to return favors and do what you can to help your fellow bands whenever possible. Too often connections are lost and bridges burned simply due to lack of reciprocation. Become a part of the collective musical effort, and your fans will do the same.

3.) Book and run your own shows with other locals
This is a path that more bands should be take advantage of, but don’t because of the extra work involved in booking your own shows. However, if you’re willing to put in the effort, be sure to talk to the right venues and the right people as you play “promoter.” Band-run shows are the best for everyone involved. There’s no middle man taking a cut of ticket sales, so all of the money (if any) goes back to the bands. When you are in charge, the show runs the way you want it to. One of the main advantages here is that both bands and fans will be more inclined to come to you for information and opportunities in the future. Bands are more likely to want to work with you because you hold a valuable key to the scene. This is a great way to make connections on a higher level, a level that shows how responsible and proactive you are (assuming you do a good job). When you start consistently booking solid shows, you and your band will be recognized as true team players in the community, making fans more inclined to support your work and spread the word. People love supporting a DIY effort

These are just a few ways in which you can easily build a community around your music. It has nothing to do with being a “rock star” and everything to do with being a hard-working, responsible, and dependable individual. People can see right through superficiality, so the best thing you can do is be true to yourself and to others, and lend a helping hand to your local music scene. If you do, others will respond with appreciation and respect. Now get out there and make some moves!

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The Civil Wars, Citing “Irreconcilable Differences,” Cancel Upcoming Tour Dates

First, let’s get this out of the way. Americana duo The Civil Wars, comprised of John Paul White (a little bit country) and Joy Williams (a little bit rock n’ roll) are married, just not to each other.

That said, news of the group’s cancellation of their upcoming tour dates read like divorce papers. “We sincerely apologize for the canceling of all of our tour dates. It is something we deeply regret,” in a message posted to The Civil Wars’ website and Facebook page. “However, due to internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition we are unable to continue as a touring entity at this time.”

Continue reading ‘The Civil Wars, Citing “Irreconcilable Differences,” Cancel Upcoming Tour Dates’

Bob Dylan Updates His Facebook Status For The First Time Ever!

Ladies and gentleman, we’d like to welcome oldtimer Bob Dylan to the internet. The master of folk has finally figured out how to work that confounded computing machine and has even managed to personally update his facebook status for the first time ever!

What special occasion could possibly compel the legendary geezer to dust off his monitor and update the ol’ ‘book? Why, the election of course! Before Obama’s win was confirmed, Dylan took to his profile with the following message:

“Here’s pretty close to what I said last night in Madison. I said from the stage that we had to play better than good tonight, that the president was here today and he’s a hard act to follow. Also, that we’re not fooled by the media and we think it’s going to be a landslide. That’s pretty much all of it.”

Huh, not bad I guess. Better than my first status update at least: “Hot Pockets r good but I always burn my mouth :( lol.” Looks like Dylan is finally becoming one of us. Let’s just hope we don’t lost him to rage face memes and pictures of cats (He strikes me as a FarmVille kinda guy)… It’s a slippery slope from here…

If you like Bob Dylan, then you might also like OurStage’s own Joncallmusic.

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Post-Election Songs: From Hopeful To Head-Scratching

Given that President Barack Obama had the hip-hop vote pretty securely in the bag, it’s only fitting that the day after his re-election is awash in a wave of celebratory tracks from artists big and small. Here are three notable songs paying tribute to Obama’s second term that range from the inspiring to the incomprehensible.

 

Young Jeezy“We Done It Again”

The newly minted Senior Vice President of A&R at Atlantic Records manages to cram Trayvon Martin, Hurricane Katrina, and the trillion-dollar deficit into a mere two and a half minutes. In the spiritual successor to his 2008 track “My President Is Black,” Jeezy sends out his message to “every ghetto in the world / Every little boy and little girl.” Though the new track is more cautiously optimistic this time around (“Waiting on a savior, maybe Barack”), it still a clear show of the rapper’s full support of the president.

Continue reading ‘Post-Election Songs: From Hopeful To Head-Scratching’

Taylor Swift Performs “Begin Again” On CMA Awards

Thursday night’s CMA Awards was without a doubt, a star studded event. With acts like Kelly Clarkson and co-hosts Carrie Underwood, and Brad Paisley gracing the red carpet and sharing the stage, audiences waited in anticipation for not only the night’s winners, but also the event’s highly anticipated performances. Among them, Taylor Swift.

Performing “Begin Again,” off her latest release, Red, Swift’s set mimicked the song’s French-inspired music video.

Though Swift did not receive awards for nominations in Vocalist of the Year and Musical Event of the Year for Safe & Sound with The Civil Wars, she did receive a standing ovation for her performance. Check out the performance right here and let us know-how did she do?

 

If you like Taylor Swift, check out OurStage artist Ria.

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Immigrants

All the way from London, England, yet coming from all over the world, Immigrants is our latest OurStage artist feature. Packing rock and roll vibes with English influence, Immigrants are the creation of four band mates, each from separate cultures, incorporating elements of Milan, Tabor and Berlin into their sound.

Although the four originally began as a blues group and influence is clear, listening to “Requiem For A Requiem”, there’s no doubt that Immigrants is full on, in your face rock. Check it out right here.

www.ourstage.com

 

Riffs, Rants & Rumors: Putting ZZ Top’s Fuzzy Past in Focus

What’s underneath those beards, anyway? Anyone who has ever lent an ear to the legacy of long-lived boogie rock legends ZZ Top can tell you that there’s a fair share of Texas blues in the band’s background. But as an elegantly appointed new boxed set makes clear, the backstory of Billy Gibbons—the Top’s singer and guitarist since their ’69 inception—also boasts a heaping helping of psychedelia.

Moving Sidewalks – The Complete Collection, just released by reissue specialists Rockbeat Records, chronicles the journey of a young Billy Gibbons through the Houston music scene of the mid-to-late ‘60s on his way to forming the band that would become a rock & roll phenomenon. If you’ve ever yearned to peek beneath the fulsome facial hair of the famous frontman, either literally or figuratively, all you have to do is open up this enticing package. Not only does the photo-laden 54-page booklet offer up images of a clean-shaven, baby-faced Billy in his teens as a member of The Coachmen and then the Moving Sidewalks, the two CDs encompass the entirety of both bands’ output. Continue reading ‘Riffs, Rants & Rumors: Putting ZZ Top’s Fuzzy Past in Focus’

Dave Grohl Rejoins Queens Of The Stone Age

For any Queens Of The Stone Age fans, this is HUGE news. Dave Grohl, the legendary frontman/guitarist for Foo Fighters, ex-drummer for Nirvana, and generally king of all things rock has returned to the kit for buddy Josh Homme‘s pioneering stoner rock outfit. Although it’s sad that the band had to part with former drummer Joey Castillo, having Grohl back in the mix is, in a very real way, like reuniting all of the Sankara stones from The Temple Of Doom… minus the human sacrifices, of course.

Grohl contributed drums and percussion to the famous, and arguably best QOTSA album, Songs For The Deaf in 2002. His driving rhythms mixed with Homme’s deep, distorted guitar tones made for one hell of a head-banging classic. Now, with confirmation from the band’s Facebook page and BBC Radio 1, we can expect more from the rock legends in the near future.

If you like Queens Of The Stone Age and/or Foo Fighters, then you might also like OurStage’s own Europa.

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