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50 STATES IN 50 WEEKS…WEEK 2: MICHIGAN

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Home of: Henry Ford, Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr., Motown Records, Madonna, Eminem, The Stooges, Alice Cooper

Fun Facts: State flower; apple blossom, state bird; robin, state song; “Michigan, My Michigan”

The Venues: With a lineup including The Dead, Bob Dylan, Broken Social Scene, Girl Talk, Toots & The Maytals, Ani DiFranco and OurStage artist Underground Orchestra, the second annual Rothbury Festival in Rothbury, Michigan is the place to be for live music this summer. Of course, there is more to the fest than just three days of awesome music: This is a party with a purpose. In addition to the live acts, there will be discussion panels between experts and concert goers about green living.

The Music:
mdd_group1bwMy Dear Disco – Ann Arbor, Michigan’s My Dear Disco may call their track “For Your LoveDancethink Music, but I call it instant party. I haven’t wanted to dance this much since Junior Senior! Any song that can inspire a lifelong member of the wallflower club like me to bust a move is worth a listen.

l_8fe271d5b7a3ed5bdf89f31e29dabcf71Mason Proper – Mason Proper’s noisy pop has been burning up the OurStage charts since 2007. “Lock and Key” is a great piece of indie pop with soulful vocals over strong beats, jangly piano and electric guitar.

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P.E.A.C.E. The Poetess – P.E.A.C.E. is the spoken Word category winner of the 2008 Detroit “Bring It” talent competition. Her powerful track “Music” speaks to the ability of music to both inspire and comfort. Think you don’t like poetry? Give P.E.A.C.E. a chance.

rqjdpoupytjn-320x240Petal Shop – Petal Shop combines the talents of Detroit folk/americana groups Sprout and The Lobiaurs. “Fake-A-Frown” is minimalist, modern folk with sweet boy-girl vocals.

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

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

BREAKIN’: AN OURSTAGE BREAKDANCING PLAYLIST

Summer Heights High's Jonah Takalua busting a move

Summer Heights High's Jonah Takalua busting a move

Amongst music scholars, breakdancing is considered to be one of the four foundational elements of the hip hop culture in addition to DJing, MCing and graffiti art. With its humble beginnings in the Bronx  during the late 70′s at a time when gang violence ran rampantbreakdancing became an alternative medium for rival gangs to compete with one another. Hip hop pioneers such as DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash selected records featuring catchy drum break sections and mixed them together in a continuous “loop” while their MC’s egged on the “B-Boys” and “B-girls” to bust their best moves. No doubt hip hop’s early DJs inspired several generations of electronic musicians and record producers, such as Fatboy Slim and Rick Rubin. Today, the torch is carried by some great artists on OurStage like Metermaids a hip hop duo who put their own spin on Sufjan Steven’s “Chicago.”

 

Feel like you’re ready to krush groove? We suggest you put on your best kicks and start the circle because it’s time for an OurStage breakdancing set!

BLACK BUSINESS SPACE PLAYLIST

Entertainment is all about image. If an artist projects the wrong image, then people may not even bother to listen to their music, let alone buy it.  All too often, artists get caught up in “playing a role” maintaining an image or style and forget to stay true to themselves. There are few genres where this is more true than hip-hop but, luckily, help is on the way.

Black Business Space is an organization that seeks to reverse the negative image that African American artists often project to help further their music careers. BBS has come to OurStage with  an impressive roster of R&B singers, rappers and poet-performers. If you’ve spent any time judging in any of these channels, you’ll probably noticed their clients in the upper ranks. From optimistic, uplifting hip-hop to beautiful Christian soul, these artists are making strides to create good music as well as support a positive image for African American musicians. Check out the playlist and head over to their profile page. It may inspire you to get back to basics and project a new image of your own onto the world.

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[playlist artist_name="HEZEKIAH " artist_url="http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/bbsvaluetour" song_name="Wild and Wreckless" song_url="http://www.ourstage.com/play/track/JEDLPBVTZQEQ-wild-and-wreckless"]
LoVe of All Time by: David Chance
[playlist artist_name="RhapsodE " artist_url="http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/bbsvaluetour" song_name="Whole Woman" song_url="http://www.ourstage.com/play/track/YCPJNDTIQJJG-whole-woman"]
I Will Bless The Lord by: RCE
[playlist artist_name="Hezekiah" artist_url="http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/bbsvaluetour" song_name=" i predict a riot feat. Keizah and Burgundy" song_url="http://www.ourstage.com/play/track/BXFPGOCCYOSV-i-predict-a-riot-feat"]
New Discovery by: NSpire
[playlistend]

OURSTAGE MUSIC THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN PART OF A MOVIE SOUNDTRACK

Film soundtracks are often the most memorable part of the whole movie experience. Music can evoke emotion, hint at what’s coming next or simply create an appropriate backdrop for a critical scene. On the flip side, it’s possible to watch a movie and question the music choices. Take Juno for example: the soundtrack is either totally brilliant or totally repetitive depending on whom you ask.

In the name of Pulp Fiction, I’ve  hand-picked some diverse OurStage tracks that should be included on a movie soundtrack. I dare you to disagree.

Getaway” by Jean Claude Garner:
This song definitely belongs in a buddy cop flick right as the boat chase ends and the credits roll. Just picture it: the good guys think they’ve finally won but one lone bad guy is speeding off into the sunset (in his boat, remember).  Obviously there will be a sequel.

forgetting-sarah-marshallSuper Bad Vampire Eyes” by Etcetera Etcetera:
WARNING: This song will get stuck in your head. I think it should have been featured in Forgetting Sarah Marshall because it sounds like a song Peter (the main character) would write about Sarah and how seeing her was driving him crazy. He’d definitely work this track into the Dracula-themed rock opera he was writing.

Never Too Soon” by New City Lions
No summer is complete without a feel-good-get-the-girl-find-yourself  teen flick.  This track will pump you up and make you forget your worries so it should definately play during the inevitable party scene, when boy and girl are ignoring the world around them.

Continue reading ‘OURSTAGE MUSIC THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN PART OF A MOVIE SOUNDTRACK’

MY TAKE ON WOMEN IN RRROCK

Am I the only one who’s sad that the Riot Grrrl movement is over? Alright, so I’m a bit too young to remember all of it. But if we’re going to split hairs here, then I’m also too young for Nirvana, which basically means my life is over. So let’s agree: no hair-splitting. 

Kat in her mid-90's grunge glory

Kat in her mid-90's grunge glory

I just wish I could have witnessed the riot in the flesh: Kat Bjelland blowing people away with her screaming vocals in Babes in Toyland. Nowadays, a girl in a rock band is a novelty. If I had a dollar for every “Looking for female bassist/guitarist/drummer” Craigslist ad I’ve seen for an otherwise all-male band, I could buy a new bass.

Really, what is it that makes us grrrls in bands some type of rare bird, present only for others’ amusement? Or, even worse, an object to be watched and critiqued with every pound we gain or lose?  Women in rock bands are often seen as the same thing: a pretty face to be watched closely in an otherwise “boys only” picture. But last time I checked it wasn’t 1950.

"You're pretty good for a girl." "Thanks? You're pretty nice for a jerk."

"You're pretty good for a girl." "Thanks? You're pretty nice for a jerk."

Not to sound too cynical but mainstream female musicians aren’t helping matters. Ask the average 15 to 20-year-old female to name the first “girl rocker” that come to mind, and I bet you’ll hear Avril Lavigne (she says she writes all her songs but her writers say otherwise), Gwen Stefani (is she still a rocker? or maybe a designer? or just a holla back girl?) or even Ashlee Simpson (she lip syncs and there’s nothing punk about that).

Now the question is, “what can we do to change people’s perceptions of women in rock?” The answer is simple: don’t tell people, show people. The only way to get deserving rocker chicks the RIGHT kind of attention is to share their songs and let the music do the talking. Check out the playlist below for starters. This short but sweet list of songs was hand chosen from my personal favorite OurStage ladies. And it’s not about production value or rankings, just rock.

*Note: Andrea from Tunnlvision isn’t the singer, she’s responsible for that killer bass intro in “On the Fly.”

Want to check out the coolest chick guitarist you probably haven’t seen before? Watch Boris guitarist Wata shredding.

GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT CLUB PLAYLIST

 

Chantel Hampton

Chantel Hampton

Girls can be catty. They can also be drama queens. But really, there’s nothing a little female bonding can’t fix. And what better way to blow off steam from the work week than with a night on the town with your homegirls! Need the perfect soundtrack for when you’re ready to put down the Sangria and hit the dance floor with your Elaine Benes moves? Here’s a great, club-hopping set featuring some of the finest divas OurStage has to offer. Be sure to give Boston’s rising superstar Chantel Hampton a good listen before you’re paying Madonna-level ticket prices to see her live.  Let your freak flags fly, ladies!

THE SOUNDTRACK TO SUMMER ROMANCE

Remember the good old days of summer love? When the boyfriend or girlfriend you meet at camp was the center of your universe for two whole months until you went home and  completely forgot about them? Of course summer love isn’t just for pre-teens.  The warm weather has a way of getting everyone in the mood. So whether you’re looking for romance this summer or already have it, these songs will set the stage. We chose tracks about summer loves past and present that are sure to make you reminisce about those golden days at camp.


NEW OURSTAGE TALENT PLAYLIST

Each month, thousands of artists in every genre of music upload their music to OurStage. And even though variety is the spice of life, the most avid music fan would be daunted by the task of listening to all of this music in order to discover the next big thing.  So, to help you find your new favorite band, we put together a playlist highlighting some of the talented new additions to the OurStage family. This playlist will take you all over the world — from America to Argentina, Scotland to Indonesia and Australia to Sweden (twice!) — so pack your bags, put on your headphones and get going!
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[playlist artist_name="The Bamboos" artist_url="http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/thebamboos" song_name="Step It Up feat. Alice Russell" song_url="http://www.ourstage.com/play/track/TTTBQLGLPKUT-step-it-up-feat-alice"]
Stay by: Oh My!
[playlist artist_name="El Grito Ska" artist_url="http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/elgritoska" song_name="Malditos Cobran" song_url="http://www.ourstage.com/play/track/EYDEUISKQGIV-malditos-cobran"]
We Come From The Same by: The Duke
[playlist artist_name="You Say France & I Whistle" song_name="Cats" artist_url="http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/yousayfrance" song_url="http://www.ourstage.com/play/track/VHGAAPYFACWN-cats"]
Prince Louis by: The Japanese Mafia
[playlist artist_name="My Dear Disco" artist_url="http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/mydeardisco" song_name="White Lies" song_url="http://www.ourstage.com/play/track/RKFQIFYHXRTT-white-lies"]
Love and Life by: OhNina!
[playlist artist_name="Chasing Canadia" artist_url=http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/chasingcanadia" song_name="Tides" song_url="http://www.ourstage.com/play/track/FIAGNLWEPWYZ-tides"]

A CASE OF THE MONDAYS!

Admit it. Whether you had a relaxing, exciting, or run-of-the-mill weekend, you still dread waking up in the morning once Monday rolls around. Somehow, someway Mondays (and not to mention rainy days) always bring you down. Funny how that always seems to happen. So before you head off to work to battle with a broken printer, leave for class without your homework assignment, or spill your coffee on your favorite fluffy slippers, check out these tracks to get you moving on the right track!

SAMBA THROUGH THE NIGHT

lubamasonWith the finale of this year’s season of Dancing with the Stars over, many of you will be looking for a summer dance fix. Look no further than the OurStage Latin Channel for a perfect mix of danceable tunes ranging from modern to traditional with a range of beats to satisfy both the fastest mambo and slowest, most sensual rumba routines. But before you get carried away on the dance floor, check out one of last month’s Top 10 winners, Luba Mason.

From Hollywood to Broadway, Luba has built up an impressive resume and her latest album, Krazy Love, highlights this artist’s true star potential. Her singing and acting career began with classical training in voice, piano and dance, which quickly led to performances in the Tony Award-winning The Will Roger’s Follies. Her Broadway debut was quickly followed by noted performances alongside such respected names as Matthew Broderick and Brooke Shields.

Krazy Love showcases the musical influences of Luba’s husband and Latin superstarRuben Blades with a fusion of smooth Brazilian melodies, flirtatious Latin vibes and a crisp pop undertone. It also features a band comprised of celebrated musicians that complement the album’s sound perfectly including well-known Brazilian musician Renato Neto (a pianist for the legendary musician, Prince) on piano & keyboards  and bassist Jimmy Haslip from the Yellowjackets.

Samba through night with Luba’s winning track along with some other top Latin artists from OurStage:

 


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