Video Playback Error

The Adobe Flash Player is required to watch videos on this page

Download of the Week: Sierra Noble

Multi-instrumentalist Sierra Noble has performed for audiences as far out as outer space and as wide as the entire world. The 20-year-old Canadian repeatedly amazes crowds with her fiddle and guitar-playing talents. As part of this week’s Needle in the Haystack feature, you will hear about Noble’s experience being selected as 1 of 6 “Hero Fiddlers” in the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, as well as her many other accomplishments.

With her music videos “Possibility” and “Try Anything” placing in the Top 20 on CMT Canada and a prime gig opening  for Bon Jovi on their tour stop in Winnipeg (thanks to the recent “Wanted: A SuperBAND Tonight” competition on OurStage), Noble’s résumé is filling out quite nicely. Her album, Possiblities, was selected by Astronaut Julie Payette as 1 of 20 albums she brought aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in July 2009. If that’s not a good enough reason to download her free track “Possibility” I don’t know what is!

Poptarts: Hailey Wojcik

Hailey Wojcik is disturbingly hilarious. With lines like “Let’s get hit over the head, just not so hard that we’re dead, but so hard we forget all the things that we’ve said,” her break-up songs are the perfect medicine for any downtrodden lover. In her song “Anglerfish” she sweetly sings, “I hope it doesn’t work, I hope you make each other as miserable as you made me. I hope it blows up in your face” and then later wishes syphilis on her partner. She obviously has no qualms about speaking her mind, and that’s exactly what makes her so great — she says things that most people are afraid to say or admit they feel. Her honesty and violent-yet-comical imagery turns her songs into stories.

Wojcik was a creative writing major at school in Michigan which probably explains this unique poetic talent. She even lists JD Salinger as one of her greatest influences, and judging by her unabashedly candid lyrics, this comes at no surprise. In her recently released mini-documentary about making her latest album Diorama titled “Hailey Wojcik: Inside The Diorama” she cites science and anatomy as one of her greatest influences — after all she is the daughter of zookeepers.

Hailey recently was featured on the homepage of competing for the mtvU Video Of The Week and is currently competing in the Lilith Local Talent Search to win a chance to perform at Lilith 2010.  Check out her latest release right here on iTunes and her series of self-produced music videos here on her YouTube page! You can also listen to her music in OurStage playlist below!

Tour De Force: Lady Lamb The Beekeeper

Aly Spaltro, the force behind Lady Lamb The Beekeeper, is a perfect example of the adage “great things come in small packages”. Although she stands a mere 5’2″ in stature, her huge voice and poetic lyrics make her seem at least six feet tall. After seeing her live at TT the Bear’s Place in Cambridge, MA (check out pictures of the show taken by Kathrynoh below) it’s hard to say what exactly her strengths are. I was equally blown away by her vocals and her lyrics, as well as the fact she could completely rock on the electric guitar. She stood up by herself with an assortment of instruments—acoustic and electric guitar, banjo and harmonica—and absolutely killed it. Although she didn’t have a backing band, I never felt the performance was lacking, probably because she plays not only with her instrument but with her entire being. She makes you feel each song, even if  you don’t want to.  I’m pretty sure she is Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan’s love child.
Continue reading ‘Tour De Force: Lady Lamb The Beekeeper’

Temim Fruchter 0f The Shondes: The Personal Is the Political

What comes from Brooklyn, New York, is super political and makes great music? It’s the Shondes the fabulous riot grrrl style darlings that pick up where Sleater-Kinney left off. Shondes drummer Temim Fruchter was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family. She first met fellow band mates, violinist Elijah Oberman, bassist Louisa Solomon and former Shondes guitarist, Ian Brannigan at a protest during the 2004 Republican National Convention. With such an auspicious meeting how could The Shondes not bring politics into the mix?

The Shondes Strike A Pose

The Red Sea, the band’s debut album was released at the beginning of 2008. The occupation of Palestine and gay pride were prominent themes. The Shondes’ sophomore effort, My Dear One (on Fanatic Records), came out just last week and is, as Temim reveals, “a breakup album.”

And then there’s that family connection to Elvis Presley! I wanted to know more.

CD:  How did the Shondes get together?

TF:  Louisa, Eli and I have known each other for a while now. We became friends and were doing some activist work together in 2004. They had been in a band and wanted to start a new one, and I was excited about the prospect of starting a new creative project with good friends. Small technicality was that I didn’t play drums at the time. I had to learn pretty quickly!

Continue reading ‘Temim Fruchter 0f The Shondes: The Personal Is the Political’

50 States In 50 Weeks…Week 47: Wyoming

Fun Facts: State Flower; Indian Paintbrush, State Song; “Wyoming,” State Dinosaur; Triceratops

Home of: Dick Cheney, Teenage Bottlerocket, Matthew Fox

The Venues:

The Lander Bar in Lander  is located in a historic building, but the atmosphere isn’t the only thing that draws in the crowds. In addition to the eclectic groups of locals who hang out at the venue, The Lander Bar offers live music every weekend. Catch OurStage artist Screen Door Porch on August 21, 2010!

In addition to serving up gourmet cups of coffee, Coal Creek Coffee Company in Laramie also provides patrons with a wide variety of live music. From locals to touring artists, Coal Creek books a wide range of genres including jazz, bluegrass, folk, jam bands, Celtic and blues.

The Music:

Bryan Ragsdale – This “Modern Day Mountain Man” has been dominating the OurStage country charts with six Top 10 finishes on  the Traditional Country, Bluegrass and Country Video Channels. Not content to leave his music to the mountains of Wyoming, Bryan plays over 200 shows a year and has shared the stage with Wynton Marsalis, Willie Nelson, John Rich and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Bryan’s album Where Cowpokes Grow was a nominee for Country Album of the year at the 2009 The Independent Music Awards.

Screen Door Porch – Alt-Folk Americana duo Screen Door Porch is made up of Seadar Rose and Aaron Davis. The band recently traveled to Austin, TX from their home in Jackson Hole to showcase at SXSW and record their self-titled debut album, which was released in April 2010. The band is currently on a cross-country tour, but they will be using their suitcase for more than just traveling — Aaron often plays they suitcase as sort of a makeshift kick drum.

Reboot The Robot – Cheyenne’s Jon Ware is the proverbial “man behind the curtain” of solo acoustic rock project Reboot the Robot. Jon wears his heart and his Dashboard Confessional influence on his sleeve, playing catchy, emotional acoustic pop songs. This robot’s also a DIYer, having self-released his newest EP, When All We Have, on December 1, 2009.

Check out these great Wyoming artists in the playlist below! Who are your favorite OurStage Wyomingites? Where do you like to see music in Wyoming? Let us know in the comments!

Poptarts: The Vicious Guns

With even a brief introduction to Jennie and Richey Vicious of The Vicious Guns it becomes clear that these guys, in true Lady Gaga fashion, live and breath their art. They embody rock ‘n’ roll, have a flair for dramatics and even wear some pretty killer outfits. Although their personal relationship is slightly questionable – Jack and Meg White style – their talent and ability to rock is not. The Vicious Guns have collectively played with bands such as The Donnas, Vampire Weekend and Cheap Trick, and together showcased at SXSW this past March. Hailing from Toronto, this duo was hand-picked by Stephen Trask to portray the Angry Inch in his cult classic Hedwig & the Angry Inch for the musical’s 2009 Toronto run and garnered to rave reviews.

Their song “Newchain” was the first song I came across on OurStage, and it immediately caught my attention. The spacious guitars and Jennie Vicious’ voice are both reminiscent of ’90s garage rock similar to Six Pence None The Richer with an electronic twist. Their songs seem to span multiple decades, going from catchy ’90s pop to Madonna-esque ’80s dance pop with their song “Friends Aren’t Friends”. In “Migraine”  they go a little darker, showing their musical depth by layering and looping their vocals and creating a more ambient, chilled out sound.
The released their self-titled EP this past December, but have plans to release their first full-length album this summer. Check out their MySpace page for a full schedule of tour dates throughout June, July and August along with some very cool live videos. Take a listen to their songs on OurStage in the player below!

Tour De Force: Book Your Own Life

With the fall of the record industry, touring has steadily become one of the most important, if not THE most important, source of income for many up-and-coming and established bands. Today there is an influx of artists trying to book their own tours and get the best slots in pubs, nightclubs and concert halls all over the country. In some of the past “Tour De Force” posts bands spoke about the hardships of cold calling and the last minute scramble to fill out their tour schedule. Some have even been clever enough to make their own venue, playing in parks and squares of various cities. It’s a tough market out there and often times the only way to get ahead depends on your connections, who you know and what strings you can pull.

MAGNA MATER bowed down at the Middle East Upstairs 4/25/10.

There are some sites on the web dedicated to helping bands book their own shows, like Book Your Own F*ckin’ Life. When we spoke with The Winter Sounds, a band from Georgia who has been consistently touring since around 2006 and booking most of their own shows, they said that this site is a great resource for bands who need to fill out their touring schedule. Book Your Own F*ckin’ Life has also expanded to a new site that is dedicated to helping bands connect with venues.

THE FINE & DANDY TRIO foot stompin' fun at TT the Bears 4/2/10.

Although there are a lot of sites focused on helping DIY bands, getting shows in a small local market can be tough. This is where booking agents come in. Shred of Team Shred Productions is responsible for a large part of the talent buying, booking and promoting in venues around Boston. As a veteran in the industry, he’s a good guy to know. This former WBCN radio DJ has placed bands in venues all over Boston including The Middle East, O’Brien’s, Great Scott and Oliver’s/Cask ‘n’ Flagon. There is rarely a band in Boston that flies under his radar, and he’s famous for championing a raucous night of 6 shows at 5 venues across Boston aptly called Team Shred: Knight Out.

Touring bands should listen up! Shred took the time to give some really great advice about how to book your own shows and some of the most effective ways to get your band booked. Check out the Q&A after the jump!

Read Tour De Force’s Q&A with Shred

Feminine Wiles

Jerzy Jung

When Jerzy Jung sings “I’m going down,” on her song “The Anchor,” you might be inclined to go with—nevermind where “down” might be. Seduction’s a powerful thing, and Jung – a pop songstress from Hellertown, PA – knows how to wield it. “The Anchor” is haunting trip-pop consisting of quavering guitars, shadowy drum machines and Jung’s muscular voice. Think Evanescence’s Amy Lee meets Sara McLachlan. It’s sexy, heady stuff, but lest you think Jung is just a torch singer, lend your ears to “Black Dress White Dress,” a urgent little pop melody, or the graceful ballad “I Hope.” On the latter, an elegiac piano, twinkling xylophone and soft, marching drums each reveal themselves in fleeting glimpses. What’s more provocative – the hint of something or its full reveal? If your vote goes for Option A, you’ll enjoy the Jungian art of seduction.

A Q&A With Brandi Carlile

Hearing Brandi Carlile’s voice over the phone, it’s impossible to ignore her country roots and warm family wisdom.  Born into a musical home, she has always been an honest musician, never considering herself anything else.   Yet after 2 albums and hectic touring, Carlile has found a way to let even more of her true self show in her latest release, Give Up The Ghost.

Carlile breathes music and even embodies it through her charity work.  OurStage got the change to catch up with Brandi to talk about her evolution as an artist, touring and Lilith Fair.

OS: When did you first get involved in folk music?

BC:  I never made a conscious decision that music was what I wanted to do with my life.  I just started doing it so young that I never made a decision to do anything else.

OS: Did you family have anything to do with it?

BC: Definitely.  That’s largely important, my family, because it was such a constant thing in our household that it never occurred to me that I was anything other than a musician.

OS: How have you grown up with your music over the years?

BC: Well, it’s always kind of been a parallel to me.  It goes through all of the phases that I do the coming-of-age, departure from family, the wanderlust.  All of those things happen and they become songs.  It started out being a country and western influence on me, then wanting to be a departure from that when I thought I wanted to be involved in rock ‘n’ roll, and the marriage of those two concepts is where I’m at now.

Continue Reading Our Q&A with Brandi Carlile

The Bamboozle Wrap-Up

The weekend of May 1st and 2nd was the annual The Bamboozle festival held at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. OurStage had the opportunity to attend and attain coverage on all the great performances of the weekend as well as interview some up-and-comers and industry heavyweights. Let’s break down both days and give you the scoop on everything that happened behind the scenes!

Day 1
We arrived at the Meadowlands Sports Complex around noon only to see hundreds of concertgoers waiting in line to enter the festival. The view of the grounds from the parking lot was just a small teaser with carnival rides running alongside different sized stages, hundreds of food & beverage vendors and merchandise tents lining the outskirts of the festival. You could feel the energy of the surprisingly diverse and eccentric crowd within the gates just minutes after doors opened. Most years attendees of festivals such as Warped Tour or Bamboozle are of a younger demographic, and while this year was no exception, there were many different types (and ages) of people all there for one reason and one reason alone, the love of music and sharing it with family and friends.

Upon entering the media tent area, we were welcomed by pop-punkers and OurStagers Artist Vs. Poet for the first interview of the day. After meeting these extremely humble and happy bunch we had a feeling the rest of the weekend would follow this path; and it did. We had the opportunity to catch up the trio that make up VersaEmerge mid-way through the day. They had just finished their set and were still pumped from the great crowd response they received that afternoon. Alongside those two great interviews, we got a few words from We Came As Romans, Chiodos and Paper Tongues. Our blogger Internet Warrior also had the special privilege to speak with Chris Youngblood who is the creative director of To Write Love On Her Arms. If you haven’t had the chance or don’t know what TWLOHA is all about, then please visit their Web site and check out their mission statement and help spread the word.

Day 1 was mostly spent interviewing and meeting many young artists as well as a certain group that you may have heard of, Hanson. Alison had the opportunity to get a few words in with Isaac and Zac. Being behind the poles all day, we also got tons of cool footage and photos for you readers, like this shot of Paramore shooting video shorts with silly string.

After the hectic day of interviewing, we were able to catch a few performances to end our nightsolid headliners on the Skate and Surf Stage including Angels & Airwaves, Ke$ha and Paramore (to end the night). Right next door was the Sony Bloggie Stage that housed a reunion of Something Corporate and Canada’s hip hop heartthrob Drake, who brought on guests Birdman and 14-year-old Chelsea, a fan in the audience, onstage.

Day 2
From the beginning of the day, the atmosphere was quite different than day 1. Going from a hectic and crazy filled Saturday with tons of high energy in the air to a laid back feeling on Sunday was a great follow up. The headliners that held the down the fort on the Skate and Surf  and the Sony Bloggie Stages consisted of Say Anything, Matt And Kim, MGMT, Mute Math, Girl Talk and Weezer, appealing to the diverse demographic that had been troopers in the heat all weekend.

Day 2 settled down a bit more for us at the OurStage camp, giving us the chance to catch some great live performances of Motion City Soundtrack, Ke$ha (who performed both days), The Morning Of, Mute Math, Matt And Kim, viral video pioneers OK GOo, and a special reunion show by Boston’s Piebald, who we also got a chance to sit down and chat with. Along with a special interview with Piebald, we caught up OurStage artists Lovedrug and Death On Two Wheels along with The Morning Of, who will all be featured in the video we’ll be sharing with you later!

The Bamboozle festival this year brought forth an extremely diverse and eclectic line-up ranging from indie rock and folk singers to heavy hitting hardcore and metal acts to club bumpin’ DJs.  It was a sure hit and gave many different types of people something to enjoy and possibly turn new people onto genres they never gave the time of day before. Just like Blake of VersaEmerge said “Bamboozle is like Warped Tour but crammed into two days making it crazy and just fun.”

Be sure to check back for video footage featuring interviews from Artist Vs. Poet, VersaEmerge, We Came As Romans, Paper Tongues, Chiodos, Death On 2 Wheels, The Morning Of, Piebald, Chris Youngblood of To Write Love On Her Arms, and of course, Hanson.

Were you at The Bamboozle festival this past weekend, too? Tell us about it! We want to hear your experience and any fun stories you may have!


Exclusive Interviews
Featured Artists
OurStage Updates
Reviews and Playlists
Editors Pick