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Meet The Winners Of The Intel® Video “Superstars” Competition!

The first round of the Intel® Video “Superstars” Competition drew in thousands of content creators competing against one another in nearly every visual genre under the sun. From there we whittled it down to the best of the best in the semi-finals as the top competitors in each sub genre went head to head for the number one spots in Video Game Trailers, Music Videos, and Short Film. Suffice it to say we put these creators through the ringer.

But after two rounds of intense competition, nearly three months of judging and with thousands of fans making their voices heard, we have our winners in the Intel® Video “Superstars” Competition!

Continue reading ‘Meet The Winners Of The Intel® Video “Superstars” Competition!’

Bon Iver Announces Remix Contest

You might have what it takes to make folky singer-songwriter Justin Vernon – a.k.a. Bon Iver – sound a little bit less dour.

A remix contest has just been announced for the singer’s most recent release, Bon Iver, Bon Iver. “Bon Iver, Bon Iver: Stems Project” is the unwieldy but fitting title for the event: fans will be able to download and re-work the stems for a chance to have their work featured on a Spotify-exclusive Bon Iver release. There’s also a prize pool of $10,000 up for grabs, or $1,000 for each track to be remixed from the album.

Let’s speculate on the potential different paths one can take with these remixes. We already know that Vernon’s autotuned, dulcet tones lend themselves well to a hip-hop framework. Maybe an anthemic cut of “Holocene” in the vein of a Kanye West banger is in order? Or imagine turning “Beth/Rest” into a blown out, Skrillex-y EDM track. This would be pretty easy to accomplish with the new Dubstep Machine, an application that will let you drop the base from whatever website you’re on. I smell a hit.

Download the stems and check out the contest here.

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Exclusive Q and A: Man Overboard Talk Philly Pride and Punk Longevity

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsIt wouldn’t be hyperbolic to call New Jersey pop punk act Man Overboard a touring machine. Their schedule for 2012 has so far included dates in the United Kingdom, United States, continental Europe, Russia, and Ukraine. As if that weren’t enough, this summer they played every single date on notoriously brutal The Vans Warped Tour. We caught up with guitarist Justin Collier at their Mansfield, MA Warped Tour stop to talk stage dives, Russian punk shows, and why little girls love New Found Glory.

OS: You guys played a killer set earlier today, even though you had a pretty early time slot.

JC: I think that a lot of bands get really bummed out when they first come on the tour and find out they have to play either really early or really late. They think that if they play first, then nobody’s going to be there, and if they play last, then everybody’s going to be gone already. Even though some kids at our signing today told us that they missed our set because they didn’t get there until 1 p.m, I think a lot of kids do get there early.  Some of the people who arrive early and don’t have anyone to watch will think, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard of that band.  I’ll check them out.” And that’s half the battle of Warped Tour.  That’s what you’re here for—to get new fans.

OS: But by now, you guys have become a fairly established act on the tour, and it doesn’t seem like you need to try incredibly hard to get a lot of people out to see you.  There were a certainly a lot of people out there this morning.

JC: It’s different in different places, you know? When you play somewhere like Boston and there are 20,000 people out there, it’s a little easier than when you play Kansas and there are only 5,000 people for all of the bands on the tour. Being from a city like Boston or Philly, where I’m from, there are always good shows. There would be bands that I’d see in Philly and I’d think, “Wow, they’re huge,” but I’d see them somewhere else and realize that they weren’t as big as they seemed.

OS: Being from a place with very intense scene loyalty, like the Philly or Jersey area, how do you feel when you tour abroad? You guys have toured in some very distant places recently, like Russia and Ukraine. What effect do those experiences have on the feeling of musical place you get from your hometowns?

JC: It makes me really appreciate being from the city of Philadelphia. I think that I didn’t before, but now I do, because there are things like R5 Productions and other really great companies, people, and collectives that do shows and events and all kinds of cool stuff. I have a very high standard of how punk shows should be run, but then we would go somewhere like Russia and, not to their discredit, they just haven’t been bred the same way that Phildelphians and Bostonians have been bred to run punk shows. I’m used to some pretty cool shit, but other places are just different and you have to get used to it. It’s always an adventure going somewhere else anyway.

Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Man Overboard Talk Philly Pride and Punk Longevity’

Riffs, Rants and Rumors: Searching For Sugar Man With Rodriguez Documentary Director

In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, you could scarcely swing a Gibson acoustic without hitting a great singer/songwriter whose work went unappreciated by all but a tiny cult following. Some of them got a second shot at fame in the ‘90s and ‘00s through reissues and revivals of interest—Terry Callier, Vashti Bunyan, and Gary Higgins are among those that come to mind—but no underground balladeer has been aided in their comeback by a high-profile documentary film. Until now, that is.

In 1970 and ’71, the Detroit-based songwriter who went only by his surname, Rodriguez, released the albums Cold Fact and Coming From Reality, respectively, on the Sussex label, which was probably most famous for the classic catalog of another streetwise ‘70s troubadour, Bill Withers. Like Withers, Rodriguez served up a sonic cocktail of folk and soul, but with a pinch of post-psychedelic rock flavoring. Rodriguez’s songs also mirrored Withers’ early work in their mixture of sociopolitical and personal themes. But the Mexican-American artist born Sixto Diaz Rodriguez didn’t achieve the renown of his labelmate, or any renown at all, at least not as far as he knew at the time. Like so many talented contemporaries, Rodriguez wasn’t able to work the game in his favor despite being a gifted artist, and his records basically gathered dust. 1971’s Coming From Reality would be his last recording.

Continue reading ‘Riffs, Rants and Rumors: Searching For Sugar Man With Rodriguez Documentary Director’

Coheed And Cambria Announce Staggered Release Dates Of New Double Album

Epic sci-fi prog-rock concept masters, Coheed & Cambria are at it again with their new installment of The Amory Wars. Claudio Sanchez and company have announced on their website that their forthcoming release will be a 2-part album with staggered release dates. According to TheAudioPerv.com, “The first volume, The Afterman: Ascension, will be available on both physical and digital platforms October 9, 2012 via Hundred Handed/Everything Evil, and distributed through Fontana/Ingrooves. The second volume, The Afterman: Descension is slated for release in February 2013.” You can watch an HD teaser trailer for the albums below.

 

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Thurston Moore Gets Brutal With Black Metal Super Group

Though Sonic Youth’s status as a band is unknown (and let’s be fair, the outlook is pretty grim), Thurston Moore has been keeping himself very busy in the meantime with a number of different projects. First, there’s Moore’s new William S. Borroughs-inspired band Chelsea Light Moving. Moore also did a record with ex-wife Kim Gordon and Yoko Ono, YOKOKIMTHURSTON, that is waiting for a release date. But those musical moves are right in Moore’s wheelhouse. Who would’ve thought that the indie rock icon would go black metal?

That’s right, Thurston Moore is the newest member of Twilight, a seven member super group whose current roster includes members of Leviathan, Kreig, and IsisBlake Judd, a member of Twilight and the frontman of Nachtmystium, noted his excitement in collaborating with Moore during an interview with The 1st Five. “I had Sonic Youth records when I was twelve. And to now know that, not only am I having a dialogue with this person about anything, but dude’s gonna join a band I started, and it’s like…whoah,” said Judd.

It’s hard for any news surrounding Moore to come completely out of left field; the indie rock icon has expressed an appreciation for black metal in the past. ”I didn’t really start listening to black metal until maybe the last 10 years or something,” Moore said in an interview with Decibel Magazine in 2009. “I was into certain things, like the first Burzum record. I remember buying that in Scandinavia after I’d read about it somewhere.”

It is unknown at press time if Moore will be donning corpse paint for live performances.

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Go Periscope Takes Pop To The Future With ‘Wasted Youth’

Though many current synth pop artists attempt to recapture the vintage electronic sounds of the ’80s, OurStage act Go Periscope aims straight for the future and never looks back. With their new album Wasted Youth, Go Periscope’s Florin Merano and Joshua Frazier have released a dark and pulsating collection of songs that sound like the 21st century. While Go Periscope’s music does contain clear references to the ’80s synth sounds that inspired its members, the songs are more than just conduits for indulgent electro-nostalgia. In fact, Wasted Youth is unabashedly contemporary, with its obvious debts to EDM and dubstep on tracks like “Black Light Masquerade” and “Break Free.” The synth tones are expansive and thick, layering on top of each other to create rippling waves of sound that undergird Merano and Frazier’s heavily filtered vocals.

Yet, for all of its shine and polish, Wasted Youth speaks to the dark and increasingly unstable world around it. For a work that so heavily revolves around artificially engineered sounds, the album contains a significant number of lyrical references to nature. Fire, water, gold, and horses all appear as damaged or endangered elements in the wake of technology, which electronically manipulates the natural world described in the lyrics. Vocal lines are often sliced, rearranged, and panned until they sound like the inhuman sputterings of a dying computer. Clean vocals intertwine with computerized, bit-crunched harmonies that suggest the integration of human and machine to the point of indistinguishability. In the face of the mechanized depletion of the natural world around them, humans can only choose to “live in fantasy,” as the track “Make Believers” sadly emphasizes through the repeated line: “It was only a dream / But it was just like Heaven.” Ultimately, technology doesn’t just enable these escapist fantasies; it makes them necessary in the first place. At a time when people can’t let go of their smartphones and the world is becoming unyieldingly digitized, Go Periscope is making pop music for an uncertain future. Until then, the dance anthems on Wasted Youth implore listeners to party like it’s the end of the world.

You can buy Wasted Youth now at Go Periscope’s Bandcamp page!

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Exclusive Q and A: Taking Back Sunday Talk Warped Tour Ten Years After ‘Tell All Your Friends’

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsAny fan of early 2000′s pop punk knows that Taking Back Sunday‘s Tell All Your Friends is the go-to warm weather record. Ten years after the album’s release, TBS is still one of the biggest bands in the modern rock scene, so it’s no surprise that they’ve been drawing the biggest crowds at Warped Tour all summer. We met up with drummer Mark O’Connell and guitarist John Nolan at the Mansfield date to chat about having icon status on Warped, writing new material and the rumored 10th anniversary tour for their classic debut record.

OS: You haven’t been on the Warped Tour for many, many years. What’s it like to be headlining the whole thing this year?

JN: I think the weirdest thing is that this band has a status, I think, at this point, amongst the other bands. The younger bands kind of look at us like something. You know, like we’re these elder statesmen or something like that, which was not the case, obviously, in 2004. But yeah, it’s definitely interesting to be on this tour and to be in this kind of position like that, where bands look at you a certain way, and even the audience, too. But it definitely feels like we’re reintroducing ourselves to a lot of people at the same time, which is cool. I mean it’s been a good thing all around, I think.

OS: You’ve never done Warped Tour with the lineup you have now. What’s it like to have two new people out this time?

MO: Well he is one of the new people. [points at Nolan]

JN: He gets to talk shit about one of the new guys [laughs].

MO: And he’s a new-old guy, the old-new…whatever. But, I can say that it’s definitely more fun with John and Shaun [Cooper]. The original lineup.

JN: I personally think the band is much better with Shaun Cooper and John Nolan in it. I mean just, a completely unbiased position, I mean, it’s just better. Just better. [laughs] Everything is better.

OS: There are a lot of veterans out with you guys this year, like New Found Glory, Bayside, and Senses Fail. Is it nice to have bands that broke out around the same time you did on Warped Tour?

MO: Yeah. You know, we’re always right next to Bayside and New Found Glory, so they’re good dudes, we’ve known them for a long time, so it makes it nice to, you know, be able to wake up and see people that you know. Friendly faces, smiles, good friends. Good times.

Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Taking Back Sunday Talk Warped Tour Ten Years After ‘Tell All Your Friends’’

Strangely Enough, “Centipede Radio” Is Run By A Collective Of Animals

There have been scant details about Animal Collective’s ninth studio album, Centipede Hz, since it was announced back in May. There was the “Honeycomb”/”Gotham” single that came out just prior to the album announcement. (Neither one of those songs have appeared in the tracklisting for the new album, by the way.) That psychedelic and grotesque album trailer didn’t really say much, either. Well, the Collective, made up of Geologist, Deakin, Avey Tare, and Panda Bear, took a big old info dump all over the Internet this weekend in the form of their new weekly online radio show.

Continue reading ‘Strangely Enough, “Centipede Radio” Is Run By A Collective Of Animals’

Love and War

EarlyRise

“There’s nothing wrong with being different,” Orly Lari sings on “Wasteland” over a torrent of guitars and drums. And being different, to EarlyRise, means raging against the powers that seek to tear us down. Lari, along with co-conspirator/guitarist Raz Klinghoffer has created a leitmotif of unrest that carries over from one punishing track to the next. On “Wasteland” the bass gurgles, guitars shriek, drums thrash, and Lari’s climbing vocals offer the only succor from the storm. Every song is a battlefield. From the sinister slouch of “Become Mad” to the stuttering, crashing “Face Me,” EarlyRise delivers hard rock that’s as angsty as it is melodic. On the latter, Lari sings, “I’m not afraid anymore as I declare war.” You may as well surrender.

 


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