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NOW PLAYING: BSINGLETON’S STAFF PICKS

OSNowPlaying_Bsingleton
“Now Playing” features playlists as well as information about the person responsible for the mix. Up next: B Singleton‘s staff picks!

About me: I’m an intern here at OurStage and write the “Country Call ‘Em” feature every Sunday morning. I love country music, driving in my car, painting and decorating. I’m really creative and couldn’t decide how to mix that in with my natural talent, talking, when I went to college. So, I settled on Communications/Journalism. I also pride myself on being an amateur rap star.

Favorite Artists: Keith Urban, Sugarland. Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Lady Antebellum.

Favorite OurStage Artists: Act of Congress, Rob Carona, Autumnz End, LoveCarsWeather

If I were a rock star for a day I would be: Kanye West

Because… No one would love me more than I’d love myself! Also, to be able to spit sick rhymes and mix beats without people laughing at me. That would be fun.

Check out my playlist:


Share your playlist! Go HERE to find out how!

50 STATES IN 50 WEEKS… WEEK 14: TEXAS

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Home of: Buddy Holly, George W. Bush, Roy Orbison, Howard Hughes, Tommy Lee Jones, Janis Joplin, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Destiny’s Child, Dixie Chicks, At The Drive-In

Fun Facts: State flower; bluebonnet, state song; “Texas, Our Texas,” state insect; Monarch butterfly

The Venues: Everything is bigger in Texas, and music festivals are no exception. Austin hosts two of the biggest: Austin City Limits and South By Southwest.

Now in it’s 8th year, Austin City Limits features Kings of Leon, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Coheed & Cambria, Dave Matthews Band, Mos Def, Thievery Corporation, Pearl Jam, Ben Harper And Relentless7, Sonic Youth, Passion Pit and more from October 2nd to October4th in Austin’s Zilker Park, with a slew of big name after parties at the city’s many venues. If you’ve got tickets to the sold out show, be sure to check out OurStage artists The Airborne Toxic Event and Here We Go Magic.

What began as a simple music festival in 1987 has become one of the biggest music, film and interactive conferences in the world. South By Southwest (SXSW) helped launch the careers of artists like Amy Winehouse, The White Stripes, The Strokes and Lilly Allen, and features music’s current stars along with the hottest undiscovered acts. The next SXSW conference will run from March 12th to March 21st, with the music conference running from March 17th until the 21st.

Lined with quality live music venues, the legendary 6th Street has done a lot to help Austin earn the moniker “The Live Music Capital of the World.” Emo’s, located just off of 6th Street, is an Austin favorite for both locals and festival-goers because of its indoor and outdoor stages.

The Music:

BWQQUNEDCMCD-320x240White Rhino – Austin locals White Rhino play heavy, psychedelic rock that falls somewhere between Queens of the Stone Age and Motörhead. “Rhodesia” from their self-titled debut album is about as rock and roll as it gets. The band is currently touring around the Southwestern United State, including a stop at Emo’s with Monotonix on September 25th.

l_41a554cf3d144505bc3b9df999a66a6bOso Closo – Oso Closo’s theatrical, jazz-influenced progressive rock combines piano, string arrangements and dueling guitars. Their theatrics landed them a part in last summer’s production of Tommy at the Dallas Theater Center. Check out “Straight Out The Gate” to see why Jim Heath (The Reverend Horton Heat) and Bryce Avery (The Rocket Summer) count themselves as fans. The band is currently on tour promoting the release of their second album Today Is Beauty’s Birthday.

UMCMSIEMMXJN-320x240El Tule – Relative newcomers to OurStage, El Tule have already landed themselves a Top 10 finish in the July Latin Channel and a feature on AOL Music. “La Sirena” showcases the band’s combination of Latin, Afro-Cuban, Rock and Reggae music. El Tule’s music will be featured in the soundtrack of the upcoming film Pepe & Santo vs. America starring noted Mexican actor Rafael Amaya.

m_cbb78c5334fc41ffa077bde2edd2257bYou’re Done For – Starting a pop punk band in a city where rock and metal rule the music scene might not seem like the best idea, but that’s what the members You’re Done For did. Their plan seems to be working: the band completed a Southwest tour in 2009, picking up new fans along the way. Check out “Everybody is Listening” from their EP Shhh…Everyboy’s Listening. If you like what you hear, let them know! Your basement could be the next stop on their House Party Tour.

Check out these acts and other great Texas artists in the playlist below!

Who are your favorite OurStage Texans? Where do you like to see live music in Texas? Let us know in the comments!

METAL MONDAYS: ICONIC METAL VOCALISTS

Metal Monday OurStage Blog

“Run to the hills, run for your lives.”

Imagine that lyric sang by say, the singer of Coldplay instead of Bruce Dickinson (of Iron Maiden fame). Not quite the same “oomph” huh? In some styles of metal, it is all about the power and gusto in which a singer delivers their lines. Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford, Matt Barlow, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie James Dio, Hansi Kürsch, — these are some of the singers who have mastered the art of true heavy metal delivery. Whether it is wailing falsettos or sinister cries, a metal vocalist must keep in mind his voice has to reach to the farthest corners of whatever venue the band is playing at, as well as make a connection to each and every audience member. More so than any metal styles, heavy metal is about emotion. Standing up and fighting for rights, feeling the pain of oppressed people (albeit real or fictional), the woe of a lost lover, epic battles – these are the types of things heavy metal bands sing about, things that cannot be aptly expressed without an apt enforcer on the microphone.

Here at OurStage, we have some talented heavy metal bands, many of which are strongly influenced by greats such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, etc. (some even were around back then). After scoring through the ranks of metal here at OurStage, I’ve compiled a list of eight powerful songs featuring vocals that best exemplify the spirit and energy captured in true heavy metal.

50 STATES IN 50 WEEKS…WEEK 13: COLORADO

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Home of: Amy Adams, Jello Biafra, Jessica Biel, DeVotchKa, 3OH!3, The Apples In Stereo, The Fray, OneRepublic, Lon Chaney, the String Cheese Incident, Cephalic Carnage, Dressy Bessy

Fun Facts: State flower; Rocky Mountain columbine, state song; “Where the Columbines Grow,” state animal; Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep

The Venues: This September 12th and 13th, over 50 artists will take over Red Rocks Amphitheatre for the 2009 Monolith Festival. This year’s lineup features Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Mars Volta, Method Man & Redman, Of Montreal, Doom and Chromeo, with local DJs spinning between sets. Named “Best Live Music Venue in North America” by Pollstar, Red Rocks is a geologically formed Amphitheater that has been hosting performances for over 100 years.

The Larimer Lounge is a dive bar in the best sense of the term that showcases indie up-and-comers like Great Lake Swimmers, A Place To Bury Strangers and French Horn Rebellion.

The Music:

m_56e18a2064bd420d91b26b10de1fa498The Haunted Windchimes – The Haunted Windchime’s country-tinged folk has lead them to share the stage with bands like DeVotchKa and Magnolia Electric Co.Leaving Here” showcases the band’s trademark harmony vocals. This fall, The Haunted Windchimes will be playing a string of shows, including the Monolith Festival, with fellow OurStage artist Caitlin Rose.

Rojos CalientesRojos Calientes – Rojos Calientes combine Andean musical traditions with bluegrass, country and a little bit of gypsy jazz to create their own genre, “Latingrass.” The first track from their 2009 release Corazon, “Tantos Anos” earned the band a Top 10 finish in the July 2009 World Channel. Check out AidanR’s Q&A with Rojos Calientes here.

Odd SquaadOdd Squaad- You may recognize Odd Squaad MC H2 from 2001′s Hard Knock Life Tour DVD: His backstage freestyle earned him fist-bumps and handshakes from Jay-Z and DMX. H2 and the rest of the Squaad use their wit and talent to combine hip-hop and country on “Half of Y’all.”

RenegadesRenegades – Friends since highschool, the two members of Renegades (RNGDS) make synth-laden, 80s-inspired dance music. The band has played with Hollywood Undead, The Chain Gang of 1974, and 3oh!3, whose Sean Foreman used to play keyboards for Renegades gigs. “Dawn Rider” is a must-listen for fans of Walter Meego and Justice.

Who are your favorite OurStage Coloradans? Where do you like to see live music in Colorado? Let us know in the comments!

PUNK ON THE ROCKS: SUMMER OF PUNK

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There were many shakeups in the music world this summer: Blink-182 reunited, Noel left Oasis and, on a sad note, we lost Les Paul and Michael Jackson, Ellie Greenwich and DJ AM. A lot was happening in the OurStage punk community as well, with many new artists joining OurStage and competing for the first time in the Punk Channel. Check out some of the best of this summer’s new additions in the playlist below!

NOW PLAYING: SOME OF HILLYHO’S FAVORITE THINGS

OSNowPlaying_HILLYHO
“Now Playing” features playlists as well as information about the person responsible for the mix. Up next: Hilly-ho!

About Me:O hai! I am Hilly-ho. I am currently a Fashion Design student at Mount Ida College. In my spare time, I like to sing along to songs on the radio and do little craft projects. Strangely, I also compulsively clean anything when I’m upset. Well, anything besides my car.

Favorite Artists: Blur, Queens of the Stone Age, Andrew Bird, Animal Collective, Shellac, Modest Mouse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs… etc. etc.

Favorite OurStage Artists: Darryl Blood, Mister Loveless, Golden Bear, Black Kites, The Daylights

If I were a rockstar for a day I’d be… Lady Gaga

Because… I would open my own fashion line as well as find a pair of pants. Glittery pants.

Check out my playlist:

HEY! YOU GOT ELECTRONICA IN MY ROCK MUSIC!

Artists listing laptops as members of their group; bands inducing genre-tags such as “nintendocore” – what could have possibly led to this? You may not believe it, but today’s electronica started back in the day. Here’s an extremely brief history of these events leading up to the current state of the genre:

  1. Rock bands with questionable color palettes decide to start to using electric organs (yes you, Pink Floyd and Deep Purple).
  2. The glorious keytar of the 80′s (bi-product of the hair metal plague) and delightful 80′s synth-pop becomes huge hits with the kids.
  3. Scratching records and intricate sampling, as well as industrial music (Static-X, Nine Inch Nails) becomes the new “in” thing to do.

This leads up to the turn of the new millenium, when HORSE the Band released their first full length album, Secret Rhythm of the Universe. HORSE the band is straight up Hardcore + Synths (8-Bit sounds; think old school Mario Bros. games) for the most part. Previously, this combination of music was largely unexplored but as HORSE the band’s following grew, and bands like Sky Eats Airplane and Enter Shikari formed, the musical boundaries stretched even further. Sky Eats Airplane recorded their first album with not much more than a Mac, Reason 3, Adobe Audition and a guitar (which undeniably influenced the band’s sound), and Enter Shikari are heavy on trance synthesizers (their song “Mothership” being a prime example).

Where does that leave us? Who knows. It all depends on what the kids latch onto next. It sure seems like things similar to scrunk and modern synth-rock could continue to gather steam and make it in the mainstream (check Bethany Leavey’s post to learn more about “scrunk”). Heck, OurStage band 3OH!3 is making waves in the mainstream with their new breed of pop-rock-electronica-hip-hop (assuming being in the Top 5 on the Billboard charts means you made it in the mainstream).

Check out some OurStage artist that have been pushing the genre boundaries in their own ways:

50 STATES IN 50 WEEKS… WEEK 12: WASHINGTON

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Home of: The Space Needle, Bob Barker, Kurt Cobain, Bing Crosby, Kenny G., Bill Gates, Jimi Hendrix, Adam West, Modest Mouse, Mudhoney, Bikini Kill, Gossip, Death Cab for Cutie, The Melvins, Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, KEXP 90.3 FM

Fun Facts: State flower; Coast Rhododendron, state song; “Washington, My Home,” state bird; Willow Goldfinch.

The Venues:

Over 150,000 music and art fans from all over the US and the World will be spending this Labor Day Weekend at Bumbershoot, Seattle’s 38-year-old celebration of music, comedy, art, film and performance. The 74-acre Seattle Center will host over 100 bands, including De La Soul, Sheryl Crow, Os Mutantes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jason Mraz, Metric, Modest Mouse and OurStage artists The Kindness Kind.

The Crocodile, located in Seattle’s Belltown district, was at the center of the ’90s grunge explosion. Nirvana, Mudhoney and Pearl Jam all played at “the Croc” in their early years. The club’s sudden closure after 16 years in 2007 saddened many in the Seattle music community. A renovated Crocodile with new owners re-opened in March of this year.

Housed in the Historic Embassy Theater, The Triple Door is a relative newcomer to the Seattle music scene. Opening in the early ’00s, The Triple Door’s main stage hosts national touring acts while the smaller “musiquarium” hosts lesser-known local acts and open mics.

The Music:

MCHVQNOUCNWJ-320x240Shenandoah Davis – After teaching herself to play piano, Davis studied classical voice, piano, jazz guitar and harp in college. Although she swore off classical music after graduation, her musicianship and composition skills are noticeable in her utterly original music—the disparate elements of hand-claps, piano, xylophone and Davis’ own unique voice are blended together seamlessly in “Up & Over.” Imagine a more experimental Feist.

l_0129ce51f1fd0a089435f57cc89acb76Surrounded By Breakers – Combine old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll with the twang of Americana and the brashness of punk, and you get Seattle’s Surrounded By Breakers. “Born Under An Unlucky Star,” from the band’s self-titled album is a tale of a difficult relationship with a great bass sound.

ECBUQTVWDBUG-520x520The Thoughts – The Thoughts list their influences as “Neutral Milk Hotel, Elliot Smith, winter, sadness, introspection and brain holes.” “Northern Lights” is a nice piece of indie rock that manages to be introspective while avoiding clichés.

RGFDNLHJNHER-520x520Forget Me Nots – Former “Download of the Week” featured artists Forget Me Nots serve up another sweet slice of indie pop with “Glad.” Boy-girl vocals float on top of acoustic and electric guitars, violin, drums and bass.

Who are your favorite OurStage Washingtonians? Where do you like to see live music in Washington? Let us know in the comments!

FROM THE CMJ RELAY ARCHIVES: OURSTAGE PICKS VOL. 7

cmjdotcom_webWelcome to our seventh installment featuring CMJ’s OurStage Staff Picks from the CMJ Relay Blog. CMJ is well known for their industry leading New Music Report magazine, which contains music reviews, artist news and interviews with the best artists being played on college radio.

Marnée

“Down In The Valley”
Solo Performance Channel
Singer/songwriter Marnee sings very mature lyrics belying her 11 years of age with sweet whispering, yet full and rich vocals.
RIYL: Jewel, Sarah McLachlan, Joan Baez
WEB: http://www.myspace.com/marneeaugust

Don DiLego

“Falling Into Space”
Indie Rock Channel
Playful alternative rock that unapologetically obeys straightforward chord progressions and pop mantras.
RIYL: Spoon, Beach Boys, Wilco
WEB: http://www.myspace.com/dondilego

Check in the Dark

“Complicated Lullaby”
Acoustic Channel
This acoustic jam’s older influences accompany clanging bells, drums and high-stringed guitar picking.
RIYL: James Taylor, John Mayer, Jack Johnson
WEB: http://www.myspace.com/checkinthedarkmusic

CLAWHAMMER TIME: AN OURSTAGE BANJO PLAYLIST

Steve Martin Loves His Banjo

Steve Martin Loves His Banjo

Even though the banjo is linked to several ancient African gourd-based predecessors, it’s considered one of America’s finest contributions to the world of musical instruments. During the 1800′s, the work of slaves on America’s southern plantations gave way to the instrument we all known and love today.  Banjos come in a variety of sizes and string configurations.  Not surprising, banjo players also come in a variety too—Peggy Seeger, Doug Funnie, even Steve Martin! Yes, comedian Steve Martin is as fine a banjo player as you’ll ever find. You can catch his chops in action on his national tour kicking off in September. On select dates in October and November he’ll be performing with the all-star North Carolina bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers. If can’t wait one finger-pickin’ minute longer for your banjo fix, there are plenty of OurStage artists to quell your cravings. Now if only square dancing will come back in style…

 


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