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Liner Notes: The Subterranean Howl – “The Brink”

For Portland indie rockers The Subterranean Howl the inspiration to include the eerie tune “The Brink” came at the very last minute. A mishap in the mastering process rendered one of their previously-recorded tracks useless and the band felt the need to find a replacement. Band songwriter Simon Milliman rose to the occasion of filling the void for a radio-friendly track on the band’s Cover Your Ears (And Close Your Eyes) album with a very unlikely candidate. With sonic nods to Modest Mouse and Pavement, the track has become a fan favorite for judges in the Indie Rock Channel. On this week’s Liner Notes, Simon reveals his macabre muse behind “The Brink”.

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Needle in the Haystack: The Plastics Revolution Follow Up

OSBlog02_MTVNeedleHayFOLLOW_PlasticsRevolutionAll week OurStage and MTV Music showered The Plastic Revolution with Internet love. We caught up with them to see how it felt. Watch the video to find out:

Punk On The Rocks: Fire To Reason

OSBlog_POTR_MASTERLove. Loss. Lust. These are all emotions that commonly inspire musicians. Early twentieth century United States Supreme Court Justices don’t usually make the cut. Enter Conway, Arkansas’ Fire To Reason, whose name was inspired by highly quotable Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ statement, “Eloquence may set fire to reason.”  Continue Reading Punk On the Rocks: Fire To Reason

Tour De Force: Tony Lucca

OSBlog02_TourDeForce_01At first it may not seem like Tony Lucca, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears have much in common, and in reality this is true. Tony Lucca’s never been brutally mauled by the tabloids, has never been a ’90s teen idol or gone through a shaving head phase. He does, however, create some pretty awesome music. (Side note: Some may disagree with the correlation between Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and awesome music. However, you have to at least give props to JT and X-Tina for actual badass vocal talent, and Britney… well she’s got her first three-ish albums going for her.) Lucca was also a fellow cast member on The All New Mickey Mouse Club in the early ’90s, and was the only Mickey Mouse Club member to ever play a live instrument during a taping performance — a testament to his musical ability even at a relatively young age. 20080822tonylucca

When a person goes to see Tony Lucca live, it’s immediately apparent that the man has a huge amount of natural talent and stage presence. His voice is powerful, full of soul and depth, and seems to be able to switch seamlessly from soft and sultry to pure rock ‘n’ roll power. When he sings you can’t help but really feel his words. His song ”Melancholy Collar,” off of his latest full length album Come Around Again, is a perfect example of the versatility and power of his voice. It’s rhythm, melody, and overall feel showcase his vocal capabilities perfectly, but don’t just take my word for it. Check this out. Read more about Tony Lucca’s music and tour adventures!

Human Kindness

The Kindness Kind Seattle

A Bird's Eye View of The Kindness Kind

Fact: If you worship at the altar of Beth Gibbons, you’ll be a fan of The Kindness Kind. If you love the juxtaposition of lilting & heady and abrasive & crushing, you’ll want to put their music on repeat and ride from one extreme to the other. The Seattle band crafts spacious indie rock with a trip-hop glaze, melding Portishead-esque melodies with hard rock and jazz. “Lotus” has whiffs of “Paranoid Android” with its intro of guitars on low throttle. But it’s the ghostly electronic textures that nip at the edges, and the seductive swirl of singer Alessandra Rose’s voice that take the luminous melody somewhere else entirely. “A New Sense” vacillates between the heavy crunch of guitars and drums and an almost (but not quite) jaunty piano romp. The Kindness Kind reminds us that all that glitters isn’t necessarily gold — sometimes it’s a heavier kind of rock.

Signatures_KateB

iRock: Video Killed The Radio Star

OSBlog02_iRock_MASTER_01Generation Y (a.k.a. Echo Boomers) brought forth many new platforms of social networking with advancements in communications, media and digital technologies. As the world changes around us, music dramatically progresses with the births of new genres, new marketing strategies and, of course, the popularity of music videos. British synthpop/new wave group, “The Buggles” were right on the money when they recorded their debut single “Video Killed the Radio Star” in 1979. For the past few months music videos have been a hot subject for many of my friends in the industry. There’s speculation that many artists who are able to put together a professional-looking music video have a better chance to become noticed. But before we go into a long discussion about this (which will be a Generation DIY topic in the near future), here’s a list of music videos I found on OurStage that cover all the criteria I look for in a solid rock music video. Without further ado, this week’s OurStage iRock artist music videos!

Metal Monday: Why A Metal Band Name Matters

OSBlog02_MetalMondays_MASTERIf I were to ask you what type of music a band called Abigail Williams would play, what would you say? Was your guess symphonic blackened death metal? If you guessed otherwise, you’re incorrect. What about Skinless? They’re a brutal death metal band. Regardless of whether or not you guessed correctly, there is still an assumption made about a band based on their name, logo and accompanying image.

There are many reasons why an unknowing listener or potential fan can be lead astray by a band name. Here’s the skinny on 3 of the most common “offenders”:

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Download of the Week: The Plastics Revolution

OSBlog02_MTVNeedleHay_PlasticsRevolution_01With over 120,000 artists to discover on OurStage, it can be tough to take notice of every amazing act. That’s why MTV Music and OurStage are teaming up to present “Needle in the Haystack.” Each week, in conjunction with MTV Music, OurStage will be giving one deserving up-and-coming artist some extra love with free downloads and exclusive interviews. Get the latest scoop on the tomorrow’s hottest acts every week here at OurStage and the MTV Music Blog. And now without further ado, our first “Needle in the Haystack” artist…


Mexico City may not seem like a hotbed for danceable powerpop, but that’s nothing The Plastics Revolution can’t fix. Since 2008 this unsigned band has been building up their Mexican fanbase with infectiously catchy sing-a-long hooks and more swagger than you can shake a stick at. To get their name out there, the five piece entered their track “Cars From Mars” in the OurStage Indie Pop Channel this past November. The tune mixes lyrical silliness with Britpop sentimentality akin to bands like Mystery Jets and Arctic Monkeys. The fans fell in love with the song; voting it into the Top 10. The band released the track on their self-produced debut LP. In true DIY fashion, The Plastics Revolution is currently self-distributing the album, making it somewhat difficult to get a hard copy into the hands of fans outside Mexico. Luckily the band was kind enough to offer up “Cars From Mars” as this week’s free download so the whole world can get a taste. Expect more amazing music to come from these guys: The Plastics Revolution plans on releasing a follow up full-length in 2011.

Liner Notes: The Organ Beats – “Sleep When We Are Dead”

The Organ Beats are a 3 piece from outside Boston that have been around since 2008. Siblings Noelle and Danny LeBlanc started making music as preteens and were tour veterans before they were able to buy cigarettes. The 9 track album Sleep When We Are Dead was recorded in the summer 2009 in their friends’ small studio outside of Houston, TX over the course of 3 weeks. Currently, The Organ Beats are independently planning a northeast tour that is scheduled to kick off in mid-March 2010 to support the record. The title track, “Sleep When We Are Dead, ” was inspired by front woman Noelle LeBlanc’s unconventional summer vacation in Vermont:

Noelle LeBlanc

Noelle LeBlanc

Danny and I had toured China, Japan, Europe and the US, but after a decade of superficial, major label bull something inside me had snapped. I felt worthless and under-appreciated and found a moral obligation to leave behind the wasteful lifestyle. I decided to give back by joining a Conservation Corps in Vermont where I spent the summer sleeping in a tent,
living off the land and driving a veggie oil powered Vanagon. It was a life changing experience, yet it led me right back to my place in the spotlight. The beauty of nature had brought me back to ground level where the positive energy flows lucidly. I remembered why music was my life, because it is the only thing I’m good at… other than roaming naked and free in the wilderness.

Punk On The Rocks: Should There Be A Punk Grammy?

OSBlog_POTR_MASTEROn January 31, 2010 at 8PM, CBS will air the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards. With over 100 award categories in genres like Rock, Pop, Rap, R&B, Gospel, Bluegrass, Metal, New Age, Tejano and Hawaiian music, there is one thing that stands out to me — there is no Punk category. But should there be?

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