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Top Artist Fanbase Names, Or; Where Do You Fit In?

The social media explosion allows fans to be more connected then ever before. Duh.

You can Skype with one of your friends as you both live stream a concert from one of your favorite artists and simultaneously take a picture of your screen with Instagram, which will also allow you to post your exploits to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Foursquare.

We are no longer people interacting with one another. Our clicks and key strokes are electrons that ping across a neural network made of fiberoptics. With the creation of new online matter generating and accelerating the sharing of content with fervor that hasn’t been seen before, our communication culture is turning entropy on its head.

One way that this new social paradigm has spilled into music culture is the new intensity of fandom. Major stars and cult performers alike can be more connected with their fanbase than ever before. As such, we wanted to take a look at some of the more noted fanbases and some of their communication habits.

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Murder By Death Streaming New Album

Western indie folk rock band Murder By Death are streaming their new album Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon on MTVHive.com. Based out of Bloomington, Indiana, the 5-piece will be releasing their sixth studio album under Bloodshot Records, with the help of an incredibly successful Kickstarter fundraising campaign. The album is due out September 25th. Click here to listen.

 

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The Premium Headphone Market Is Now A Billion Dollar Industry In The U.S.

Used to be that convenience was the name of the game with music consumption. Our players got smaller while our music libraries got bigger, and for listening on a mobile device it was all about the tiny, unobtrusive earbuds that likely came prepackaged with your mp3 player of choice. However, according to a recent report on music consumer habits by market research company The NPD Group, it looks like that the times, they are a-changin’.

In Headphones Ownership and Applications, the NPD Group notes that the premium headphone segment of the audio market – a segment which is made up of headphones with a retail price point north of $100 – has grown dramatically in the past year. What was once a niche market that was the purview of audiophiles and musicians, premium headphones now make up 43% of all headphone sales in 2012. This shift in consumer tastes was reflected in a 65% growth in unit sales in the first half of 2012 alone and has made the headphone market into a billion dollar industry in the US.
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Fans Can Win A Fender Guitar And Amp Combo By Judging In The Intel “Canada Superstars” Competition!

Our neighbors to the north are a pretty cheery bunch, eh? Everybody knows that the people of Canada are known for their warmth despite (or maybe because of) their cold surroundings. But Canadians are also a pretty creative bunch as well! We wanted to give some special attention to the musical and aesthetic works that have come out of the Great White North, so we teamed up with Intel to bring these artists the Intel® “Canada Superstars” Competition. But we can’t pick any competition winners without you, the fans, making your voice heard. And while discovering new talent and shedding light on the efforts of an underappreciated artist should be it’s own reward, we decided to sweeten the deal.

Fans have a chance to win a Fender® Modern Player Telecaster Plus, and a Fender® Mustang II 40 Watt Guitar Combo Amp to go along with, for judging in any of the seven competition channels in the Intel® “Canada Superstars” Competition! But you only have until September 30 to judge in the competition and get in the running to win the Grand Prize. So start judging already!

Chamberlin: “Maryland” Above The Valleys Part II

The members of Vermont’s Chamberlin haven’t just written an album about the difficult road back from betrayal and resentment. They’ve lived it. When founding members Mark Daly and Ethan West left for Nashville to write the band’s latest EP Look What I’ve Become, they took the Chamberlin name with them, informing bassist Chuck Whistler and drummer Jamie Heintz that they would not be playing on the EP. After recording the album, Daly and West realized the vital need to reconcile with their bandmates. Once they the band at their Vermont cabin, though, their keyboard player quit on the spot.

The second part of their “Above The Valleys” video series finds the rest of the group reunited at their Vermont cabin, describing their recovery from the setbacks that almost broke the band permanently.  Over the melancholy strains of “Maryland,” the fourth track from their EP, Whistler recalls being dropped from the group for the album’s recording: “I didn’t even say anything. I was – pissed isn’t even the right word – I was pretty hurt…It took a little bit of repair to get back to where we were.” Despite encountering the type of obstacles that would have derailed a less devoted band, the group looks like they have never been better. “Every once in a while,” West says, “people bounce back stronger.”

Look What I’ve Become is out now on iTunes! Catch Chamberlin on a lengthy US tour this fall, and be on the lookout for an upcoming Songs of the Revolution session with them right here on OurStage.

Metal Monday: How To Close A Career The Isis Way

Perhaps one of the touchiest subjects in all of music is the decision of when an artist or band should call it quits and throw in the towel–especially if they’re one of your favorites or an incredibly revered act. Some artists, such as Ella Fitzgerald or Willie Nelson, have the capacity to be great late into their lives; others perhaps not so much (at the risk of offending someone, I’ll let you think of your own here). In some instances, such as the case with Isis, they decide to call it a day before many fans were really ready or it seemed sensible to do so. Many people, including myself, were shocked and a bit saddened by the news that Isis decided to break with a fantastically crafted goodbye letter to everyone via their blog. But this wasn’t actually the end of Isis, not completely anyway.

Not long after their May 18th announcement, Isis announced the dates of their farewell tour, released information about the series of live EPs that would come a year later, and alluded to other plans that would would be announced in the future. Not too long ago now these plans came to fruition when Isis revealed the details for their upcoming collection, Temporal, which will be released on November 6th. This is a collection of rarities, unreleased remixes and each of the band’s music videos–not just a “best of” release.
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Hydra Head Records Faces “Imminent Demise,” To Cease Operations In Near Future

In what amounts to a heavy blow to the extreme music community, Hydra Head Records has announced that it will soon be closing up shop. The news of the 20-year-old label’s “imminent demise” was revealed in a blog post penned by co-founder and ISIS vocalist/guitarist Aaron Turner.

“Hydra Head Records has never been a smooth-running operation,” writes Turner. “We’ve spent the majority of our existence excitedly scrambling from one thing to the next, taking on more than we could ever possibly hope to achieve, and never quite finding solid footing in the midst of our self-induced whirlwind of chaos.”

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Transit Cover Third Eye Blind

Boston pop-punk band Transit have been getting really into acoustic performances this year, having performed on the Acoustic Basement stage almost every day at the Vans Warped Tour this past summer. The unplugged renditions of their own songs were incredibly well-received by fans and newcomers,  as were the few covers that they played.

Today the band released a video of themselves covering one of their “personal favorite” songs, “Motorcycle Drive By” by Third Eye Blind. Filmed and recorded at Maximum Sound Studios near Boston, MA, this is a heartfelt rendition that fits well with the band’s sound, showing where some of their inspiration comes from. Check out the video below:

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Riffs, Rants & Rumors: Murder By Death’s Dark Dreams

“We’ve always been outsiders, it seems,” says Adam Turla, frontman for Bloomington, Ind. band Murder By Death. Though he’s talking specifically about the band’s history with record labels, the idea could easily be expanded to encompass Murder By Death’s career as a whole. After all, a band that comes off like a blend of Nick Cave, The Pogues, and the evil siblings of The Decemberists isn’t the sort that’s easily pigeonholed. But judging by the Bloomingtonians’ sixth album, Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, that’s a quality that has served them well.

Though MBD’s latest outing finds them on esteemed, alt country-oriented Bloodshot Records, their last two albums found a home on Vagrant Records, a label initially best known as an emo stronghold. “We never really fit in,” says Turla. “Whatever label we sign to, there’s people who are like, ‘Huh, that’s weird.’ Vagrant was excited about working with us, and we’d seen that they’d had some successes with bands like Hold Steady and Lemonheads when we signed with them. We thought, ‘Okay, that could work.’” Continue reading ‘Riffs, Rants & Rumors: Murder By Death’s Dark Dreams’

Green Day Plot First Installment Of Tour Dates For Album Trilogy, Release Music Video For “Nuclear Family”

A few things to go over. Numero uno, vererable pop punk outfit Green Day has three new albums, ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡Tré!, coming out in the near future. But you already knew that. Numero dos, the band has just announced a string of dates, likely the first leg in a three part installment, to support ¡Uno!’s impending release. Numero tres, the band also released the video for ¡Uno!’s first single “Nuclear Family.” I know that’s a lot of information to digest. But let’s just dig in after the jump, shall we?

Continue reading ‘Green Day Plot First Installment Of Tour Dates For Album Trilogy, Release Music Video For “Nuclear Family”’

 


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