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Behind the Mic: Beyond Basic Band Merch

No matter whose merch table you visit, chances are you will find t-shirts and CDs on display. They are both great promotional items and relatively inexpensive to mass produce. But music is a business, after all, and at the end of the day, your band is your brand. And, like a brand name, your band should do everything possible to stand out from the crowd. This means coming up with some slick designs and merch ideas. Here are some beyond-basic products that fans are lining up to grab.

Lady Gaga's iPhone skin from

Show some skin. Many people spend all day on their laptop. They use their iPod when they leave the house and spend a lot of time texting and making phone calls. How great would it be if your band could be promoted every time someone uses these three devices? Artists such as Fall Out Boy, Lady Gaga and No Doubt use Web sites like to sell band-customized “skins”- protective vinyl stickers that cover the entire back of a device. Your band can sell through these sites too, so design an awesome skin and start sticking!

Nevershoutnever gets crafty with their merch plans.

Toys, toys, toys: Toys are not just for kids. In fact, they are making a huge comeback in beyond-basic band merch. From U2‘s Lego set to Cinematic Sunrise‘s coloring book lyric booklet, toys are both fan must-haves and cool collector items. Arts and crafts merch is becoming popular too, thanks to performers like OurStage artist NeverShoutNever, who sells a make-your-own-bracelet kit, and Kanye West, who had paper dolls of his album logo. Some more great ideas include Frisbees, coloring books and stuffed animals (wearing your band’s t-shirt, of course).

VersaEmerge's limited edition laminate.

Badge of honor: The laminated tour pass is a triple threat. These limited-edition badges make fans feel as though they’re VIPs at your show. They also make great souvenirs that trump any collection of crumpled up concert tickets. The greatest part of the tour pass though, is that it can act as a real pass for fans, like a pass for an exclusive performance or a discount card for any purchase. VersaEmerge used this idea as a pre-order option for their latest album, Fixed at Zero. Fans could purchase the laminate, which had a download code on the back, and also use it to cut the line at the band’s merch table and signings at Bamboozle and Warped Tour. The possibilities for the tour pass are endless, so get creative with the design and make sure your fans feel like stars, too.

Merch is all about making your fans feel like they’re part of a community. The more creative and limited your merch is, the hotter an item it will be. Let us know what great ideas you come up with!

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

Mitten, in repose

A day in the snow, followed by blankets in front of the fire … a long drive in the early evening when the sun begins to dip behind the trees … these are the kinds of places where the music of Mitten can really work its magic. New Yorkers Joanna Katcher and Maia MacDonald worked together at an NYC radio station, and discovered that their love of percussive, shifting melodies (not unsimilar to Imogen Heap) made them simpatico. As Mitten, they create layered electro-pop—soft and complex. “Similar Sense” melds mewing guitars with percussive rhythms, bubbling synths and the cool, plain-sung vocals of MacDonald. All gossamer and bass, “Calvacade” gets the heart racing. The intensity may be muted here, but it’s still palpable. The duo gets cunning on “Green,” layering two vocal parts with panging guitars and the organic thump of drums. Elegant, subdued, intricate and unexpected, the music of Mitten casts a warm glow you’ll want to cuddle up to.

GuacaMusic: Reggaetoneros!

You’ve listened to it, you’ve even danced to it (or attempted to), but do you really know how to sing reggaeton? And most importantly, do you know what those lyrics mean?

From Daddy Yankee to Don Omar, you probably know at least one reggaeton artist. Most likely, you are also familiar with a couple of reggaeton moves (if you don’t, please learn one ASAP by clicking here). However, only a few lucky ones know how to sing this type of urban music, that combines reggae and dancehall with salsa, merengue, latin pop, cumbia, bachata and others.

You don’t necessarily need to be fluent in Spanish to understand a few of the most common reggaeton lyrics. If you are willing to let yourself go and want to learn how to sing—and even write—decent reggaeton, you’ve come to the right place. Here on OurStage, we have some great reggaetoneros, whose lyrics really make you want to get up and sing!


Let’s start with two of the most common themes in reggaeton lyrics: Love and Lust, a.k.a. Amor y Pasión. Any experienced reggaetonero knows that you can never go wrong when using the phrases te amo (I love you) te deseo (I want you) or even the more lonely te extranio (I miss you). Take, for example, “Yo Te Quiro” by Wisin Y Yandel or “Amor En La Pista“ (Love On The Dance Floor) by Tito Y Soylo, a dynamic duo from Caye, Puerto Rico that has put their own stamp on the world of reggaeton.

Love and lust go hand in hand with another one of reggaeton’s main topics: Women, or better said mujeres. Although some reggaetoneros have been accused of humiliating women in their songs, that isn’t the case with Tito Y Soylo. Play their song “Dos Mujeres” to empathize with a man who can’t choose between two loves.

In reggaeton world, las mujeres are a big part of la fiesta, another main theme in a lot of its songs. When planning your next social gathering, please do not rule out OurStage hits like “El Party” by Profecia Feat Fenomeno, or “Vamos Pal Party” by Kitana.

As a consequence of all that partying and loving, reggaetoneros sometimes get into trouble. Pay close attention to the lyrics in “Disen y Comentan” (Translation: “They say and they comment”) by Yohan, a song about a guy fairing death as he is being chased by someone who wants to harm him.

The good thing about learning how to sing reggeaton when you aren’t fluent in Spanish is that one word can be repeated many times. Take the song “Siguelo” by OurStage artist Funky. Once you learn the word “Siguelo” (which means “Follow it”) you will be able to at least mumble this song

Got it? Singing reggaeton isn’t as threatening as it seems! Go get your Spanish dictionary if you need more inspiration, but don’t forget many of the songs are highly metaphorical, so choose your words wisely. Enjoy this playlist!

OurStage Revamps Artist EPK

For the last several months, OurStage has been interviewing talent buyers and other industry professionals to learn more about their needs. As a result of these interviews, OurStage has modified our EPKs. Our hope is that these changes will make the EPK a more effective tool for both artists and industry professionals. This latest version of the EPK is more streamlined—allowing industry pros, who are looking to help artists take their next career step, easily find the information that they need.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the “Artist Info” tab has a new look. Instead of the old “question and answer” format, the “Artist Info” tab is now a series of fields for artists to fill in with information about their draw, discography, who they’ve opened for and more. This change makes the “Artist Info” tab easier for industry professionals to read. OurStage will transfer as much info as we can from your old “Artist Info” tabs to your new one. You should visit your “Artist Info” tab to make sure that the transferred data is current, and to fill out the new fields.

The new look of the "Artist Info" tab

The EPK bio format is also new. The bio in the “Overview” tab of the EPK will now have a limit of 150 words. This is to encourage artists to focus on their achievements and to keep industry professionals from being overwhelmed. If your EPK bio is currently over 150 words, it will stay at it’s current length for 90 days to allow you time to write a new, shorter bio. For tips on what a great EPK bio should include, click here! After 90 days, all EPK bios will be shortened to 150 words.

The last change is the addition of a new “Artist Preview” section to the EPK “Overview” tab. The “Artist Preview” section will include a field for a 50-word mini bio, the primary & secondary genres of your music, and your hometown. You will be able to write and edit your mini-bio by clicking the “Edit” button on the “Overview” tab of your EPK. The ability to select your primary & secondary genres from your EPK will be available in the next few days.

We understand that, while change is good, it can also be difficult. Please email us at with any questions or concerns you may have about the new and improved EPK features, and be sure to check out the revised EPK FAQs.

Tricks of The Trade: What Small Venues Are Doing To Bolster Ticket Sales

Like larger venues, clubs are trying to sell tickets to financially strapped fans by deploying social media, dangling discounts and free goodies and even sleeping with the enemy: neighboring rock clubs!

“Venues are forced to get creative,” said Samantha Bullock of INDIGENOUS Promotions, who works with bands LESANDS and Tape Deck Mountain and promotes The Rumble, an eight-city network of free indie-music showcases.

Clubs are pushing more value in experiences and spreading the word with technology. At The Casbah (San Diego), tweeted codewords get redeemed for discounts. The Roxy Theatre (West Hollywood) experiments with ticket incentives like posters or parking validation.

The Roxy on the Sunset Strip

“Some people thought the phone would never stop ringing, [but] the economy was a real wake-up call for the [Sunset] Strip,” said Nic Adler, who co-owns the 500-capacity Roxy Theatre. Competition from other creative enclaves added to area woes. Adler aimed to nix the club-against-club mentality and promote the region as a rock bloc. This ‘all boats rise with the tide’ philosophy encouraged the Whisky, the Cat Club and others to come along for the ride.

When @TheViperRoom arrived on Twitter, @TheRoxy tweeted its 10,000 fans to herald its nemesis, ushering in an era of Strip Solidarity. A Sunset Strip Music Festival is even held each summer to promote the scene and venues.

The Rumble crowd at Bar Pink San Diego

This year, big tours have dropped dates. Promoters tried to fill seats with $10 tickets and Coachella addressed sticker shock by offering concert goers EZ-payment plans. Clubs are brainstorming, too. Some venues are short selling unsold tickets opting to make bank from booze sales while Sunset Strip ‘Tweet Crawls’ connect the rock-spot dots. They have even directed fans to other club doors, Adler swears.

Becky Ebenkamp

Becky Ebenkamp is a Pop Cultural anthropologist and former West Coast Bureau Chief for Adweek Media. Becky has a radio show called Bubblegum & Other Delights that airs 7 to 9 p.m. PST every other Tuesday on

Judges Needed For Final Stretch Of The Intel Superstars Competition

Last month, Intel and Cakewalk partnered to sponsor the Intel Superstars Competition powered by OurStage. The competition takes place across three genre’s of music; rock, pop and country.  The Top 5 artists from each of the three competition channels will receive prize packages including personal computers based on Intel Core Processor technology along with Cakewalk music software. Submissions have flooded in since July 1st so it’s no surprise the three channels collectively contain over 3,000 entries! This many entries requires a lot of judging, and that means these artists need YOUR help now more than ever to make it to the top. All the judging takes place on Facebook, so be sure to head over to Intel’s Facebook page to vote for your favorite artist.

Q&A With Mike Herrera Of MxPx

Most people have trouble keeping up with one or two musical projects at a time. Try being the frontman for upwards of four bands in addition to a solo project. Mike Herrera, bassist and lead vocalist for pop/punk veterans MxPx, is keeping up with his workload without any complaints. Whether writing the upbeat west coast punk that MxPx has become so famous for or applying his abilities to the rowdy, folk/Americana of Tumbledown, you’ll be hearing even more from Herrera in the coming weeks.

OurStage caught up with the multi-instrumentalist to talk about his different projects, his upcoming tour and the recent departure of longtime MxPx drummer Yuri Ruley. Check out the Q&A for his answers and read on to find out Herrera’s exclusive announcement of the name for the upcoming Tumbledown record.

OS: MxPx has always had a Christian vibe, without actually defining yourselves as “Christian music”. Why has it been important for your genre to remain neutral like this?

MH: I guess a lot of it is a personal thing. I don’t know if it’s the genre, but it probably has something to do with it. The most basic way to describe it is: I grew up going to church. So when I started doing music and stuff, it was part of who I was (and am). In my mind, things got a lot more complex as I got older. That’s the main reason why I sort of started neutralizing everything. It wasn’t necessarily a very conscious decision. As I got better at writing songs, I didn’t have to be so obvious, even though most of our lyrics are pretty basic. We aren’t talking about “Aqua Seafoam Shame” or anything like that. Wow, that’s a weird Nirvana reference. Anyway, it’s kind of a weird thing because I respect all of our fans no matter what they believe. Some of our most hardcore fans are atheist, and others are religious.

MxPx has always been about the struggle to grow up and come of age. I think the religious stuff took over in the media, but not so much in the band ourselves. I was very young for the first few records, so I was still going to youth group and stuff. But once we started touring and meeting people and playing with other bands, it all kind changed. It’s all about growing up really.

OS: You guys have been hugely important to the sound of the punk scene, and your albums have seen quite the evolution. Do you think you have strayed far from your origins, or is that even a consideration when working on new projects?

MH: Well, we definitely have strayed far from the original sound. The thing is, we’ve gained new fans the whole time. From our first album, Pokinathca, we were seniors in high school. Now we have the latest album Secret Album, which coincidentally was produced by the same producer as our first album. Producers don’t get screwed with that whole “Oh man, you’ve changed”. If you don’t get better as a producer, or make things sound better or more slick, then you usually aren’t going to get rehired. So that’s the easy analogy. Same for writers, directors or whatever it is. You just have to keep getting better. That’s what bands do. And you can’t really go back. Once you learn something and practice something, it’s hard to go back.

I think it’s been a gradual change, and that’s what has made it natural. Each time we get new fans for new albums, they go back to the album before. It’s a little different but not too far off from what they just picked up and liked. However, if you go back to the first album you might be like, “Woah this is a completely different band”. Each day, there’s a new snapshot of who we are.

OS: So Yuri had to leave the band for family reasons, right?

MH: The easy answer is, because of his schedule and having a full-time job now, he not only had to pay bills but he needed benefits too. He has two kids now, and he obviously has health insurance needs and everything. It was just a “life” thing. There’s no way he could pay for life insurance on a punk band salary. We’d go on tour and be like, “Are we going to pay the bills with money from this tour.” It’s a really stressful situation when you’re a grown man with two kids and a wife. His wife also works and goes to school for being a nurse or something. He basically felt bad for us having to always ask him and he would have to say “no”. He didn’t want to “quit” necessarily.

We just did that Life In General retirement show in Vegas. It didn’t start as that but it just ended up being that. I really want to get Yuri to come do some more of those, at least our hometown in Bremerton. He really enjoys playing music. It probably kills him to have to quit something that he’s done his whole adult life.

OS:How has the band adjusted in terms of performing and coming up with new material, or is it too soon to tell?

MH: It’s much to soon to tell. I’ve always written most of the material on my own anyway, but maybe I’ll add a little emotional note to some of the songs relating to where we’re at currently with the band and with Yuri. I think that it’s one of those things where he needs to know that it’s okay for him to go, and that he’s welcome to come back anytime he wants. I’m probably going to write a few new songs and we’ll record at some point this fall. Maybe we’ll put something out at the end of this year. I’ve got quite a few projects happening right now, so I’m busy either way. MxPx has always been the head of the train, but now it’s kind of taking a back seat. So that’s a little strange.

I’m just kind of taking it as it comes. With Tumbledown, a lot of people ask why I started that band. It took me a while to start it. I had the idea around 1999, I wanted to start a folk/country band. Obviously, I wasn’t thinking exactly how it is now. It just took me that long to do it because MxPx was so busy. So I got home at one point, and just started getting some demo’s together.

OS: Tumbledown is significantly different than the punk-oriented sounds of MxPx (with a few exceptions including “Late Again” from Panic). How does your songwriting streamline into this new setting?

MH: Usually it’s pretty different. It’s funny because I thought the same thing about “Late Again”. At the time, I was just getting the Tumbledown ideas together around the same time. That song probably should have been a Tumbledown song, and it probably would have been if I had the band together. With my songwriting, I can change a few things (add different chords, or a few riffs or something), to make it more pop/punk or hardcore or even the folk/country thing. The lyrics, of course are completely different. The thing about “Late Again” is that it was just a fun song. It wasn’t really something that MxPx normally would. Then again, a lot of MxPx songs are kind of random. “Chick Magnet,” for example is really the only song we have like it. The lyrics are totally random is well. We’ve always done that kind of stuff.

In terms of songwriting, I usually have to be in a certain mindset. It also depends on what I have coming up. If people are telling me “Hey we need a new MxPx record,” then I’ll focus on that. Sometimes it takes a while to get into the certain mindset to write what I need to write. But once I’m there, it’s pretty easy to keep writing.

OS: You formed the MxPx Allstars last year with Kris Roe and Chris Wilson. How did this come about?

MH: Basically, what happened was MxPx had a tour in Japan. It was about the time when Tom and Yuri were both about to get hired at their full time jobs (they both work at the same place in different areas of it). They were both like “Look, I know it’s been booked for a while, but we can’t do it.” I hate canceling tours for one, but long story short: I came up with MxPx Allstars to do this tour. I didn’t want to recruit two other guys and just call it MxPx. So it was Kris Roe, a buddy of mine for a while, who also did a few Ataris songs during the sets. It was something different. MxPx songs were different than normal, but also adding the Ataris songs was awesome. It wasn’t like a cover band, because I wrote my songs and he wrote his. People were a little confused at first, but ended up really liking it.

OS: What’s the current timeline on your projects? You’ve got a solo tour in South America, right?

MH: Yeah, I’m going to countries I’ve never been to before as a solo tour, ones that even MxPx hasn’t been to. I’m going to be there by myself—Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica, Equador, Peru, Argentina and Brazil. I’m kind of in the middle of the Tumbledown album set for October. After my tour, it’s all Tumbledown. We’re working on the record right now, which is called Empty Bottle. I haven’t told anyone that, because I haven’t really started doing press for it yet. So you’re the first. We should have the artwork done soon. That’s the first release that I have coming out soon.

You really have to come see Tumbledown live to get what we’re doing. We’ll be on tour supporting the album, so come check us out!

Stay tuned for potential tours with any of his projects as well as Empty Bottle, dropping in October. Tumbledown is currently planning a fall tour to support the release.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Call: Q&A with Motion City Soundtrack

For pop-rockers Motion City Soundtrack, 2010 has been—and will continue to be—a busy and successful year. The band released their fourth album, My Dinosaur Life, in January and followed up with performances at Bamboozle and the first half of Warped Tour. OurStage’s Jay Schneider caught up with vocalist Justin Pierre to talk about recording with Mark Hoppus, pushing the boundaries of pop rock and Motion City’s post-Warped Tour plans.

OS: So how’s the Warped Tour going for you guys?

JP: So far so good. We’re on the homestretch for us. We have six more shows including today and then we’re done. Just half of the tour.

OS: Some bands, after being on tour for so long, get excited to wear a t-shirt or something they haven’t seen in months when they finally get home. Are there any plans like that for you?

JP: Not necessarily the t-shirt, but I tend to keep myself very busy by doing many different projects. So I have like two weeks worth of projects that I’ve got planned, and we’ll see if I pull them off. They may involve a video shoot, some recording of stuff, some movie things and some hangout sessions with some friends.

OS: Yeah, that’s always good.

JP: Yeah, maybe some Red Dead Redemption. I just started playing it before I came out on tour, so I think I’ve forgotten how to do all the things. I can’t really ride a horse very well.

OS: I’m sure it’ll come back to you. It’s just like riding a bike.

JP: Actually it’s not like riding a bike, because I was in Japan a few years ago riding a bike for the first time in 10 years, and I fell off and totally sliced up my arm. So whoever said “It’s just like riding a bike” is full of shit.

OS: You just released a new album this year. It was produced by Mark Hoppus. What was that studio environment like?

Motion City mastermind Justin Pierre at Warped Tour

JP: It was pretty relaxed. This time we used his studio—the one he and Travis own and run. It was very interesting because, they had Blink rehearsals for their tour. So it was a very weird schedule. We were shuffling around between the main studio and the “B” studio. I don’t know. It was really relaxed more than anything—very easy. I think that’s what’s great about Mark. He just creates an environment in which you totally feel comfortable. As opposed to some people, who shall remain nameless…not “people” but “person”…Anyway, it’s a long story. There’re other experiences where it’s more stressful, where things are just chaotic.  Mark’s good at keeping it relaxed.

OS: It seems, for the new album, that you were pushing the boundaries a little in terms of your sound—maybe a little bit heavier than some previous releases. Was this a conscious effort?

JP: I think the only thing we were aware of was that we wanted it to be more of a “rock” record, as opposed to a “pop” record. I feel like the last record we did was very pop-oriented, and for this one, we wanted to just put a little more energy in. I feel like it was a success in that regard.

There’s a song called “Pulp Fiction” which is totally the brainchild of our bass player Matt Taylor. He tends to write these songs with just like keyboards and drumbeats. It started out as an electronic song. He sent it to me while I was actually in Japan, when I had the bike incident. It was so fun and easy for me to write lyrics, I wrote the entire first verse and chorus within minutes and sent it back. We ended up turning it into a real song, as opposed to an electronic/techno thing, where it started. So I would say that that was different. I think another one, like “Disappear” is very dark and a lot more aggressive. So, yeah I would say that that is a fair assessment.

OS: During Warped Tour and shows in general, it seems that you guys in particular like to mingle and hang out with the people who came out to the show- before/after the set, like at the merch booth for example. Why is that?

JP: I think when we do our tours, it’s really easy. It just kind of makes sense to go hang out with people. It’s only like 30 minutes or an hour out of your day. When we do longer tours, I tend to lose my voice, so I usually don’t talk. But on Warped Tour I’m talking all the time. My voice actually is going right now. It’s kind of on its last legs this week. Hopefully, it’ll hold together. I like actually talking and hanging out with people, and I don’t really get to do it that much. I guess that’s why—for selfish reasons. Most of the time I spend in my bunk, I spend it reading or watching X-files or something, and not talking with people. When I’m around people I tend to not stop. I just keep going and then I lose my voice.

Motion City Soundtrack are performing at the Leeds and Reading Festivals this year in the UK as well as Bumbershoot in Seattle, WA in addition to their own fall tour.

8/26-The Underworld, London, UK

8/28- Leeds Festival,Wetherby, UK

8/29- Reading Festival, Reading, UK

9/5- Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle, WA

10/14- Soma, San Diego, CA

10/15- Avalon, Los Angeles, CA

10/16- House of Blues, Anaheim, CA

10/17-The Regency Ballroom, San Francisco, CA

10/20- Portland, OR, Crystal Ballroom

10/22- Salt Lake City, UT, Avalon

Hip Hop Habit: Mike Mack & Harlem

Mike Mack & Harlem. Say that name a couple times over in your head. Now look at the picture down on the right. If their blunting moniker and shady street side pose don’t scream rough riding east coast smack-you-in-the-mouth ’90s rap then I don’t know what does. I’m not sure that’s more because Mike Mack looks (and sounds) remarkably like Biggie, or because the other half of this duo originally hails from (and goes by the name of) Harlem, but that assumption couldn’t be further from the truth for the group that define their sound as soul hop. Hell, they even reference Mr. Feeney and Screech in their rhymes.

Mike Mack and Harlem black and white seattleOut of all the duos covered in Hip Hop Habit, Mike Mack and Harlem seem to be the most well balanced. These two find themselves on different ends of the spectrum in geography, tone and physical size—three aspects of their style that when combined appear at first glance more like an experiment in contrast. Not surprisingly, both have followed strikingly different musical paths to reach where they are today. Mike was born in central Seattle and discovered his love for music after winning a spot in the choir that was selected to back up Celine Dion at the Key Arena when he was in 5th grade. For Harlem (real name Hugh Brown), the passion was basketball until a move to Seattle at the age of 13 introduced him to Mack and the enthralling forces of hip hop. That’s right—the twosome has been developing their act since their teenage years, drumming out beats on middle school cafeteria tables and freestyling on school bus rides home. After some trying lineup changes and temporary hiatuses, they’re now here to stay.

The group loosely defines their invented genre soul hop as smooth hip hop, the best example of which can be found in sunny feel good anthem “Check It.” Primarily featuring a chirping string sample from The Jacksons ostensibly recalling the late ’70s soul era, MM&H don’t let you forget their hip hop origins by throwing in a beat overcrowded with thumping bass drum. Lyrically, they use these optimistic instrumentals as an opportunity to defend the art form they love, of course without missing any chance to inject some good natured self affirmation as well with lines like “off the grid my lyrics are uncharted/ and the game’s integrity I’ve guarded” and a chorus howling “check it check it/ let’s take it to the essence/ this is real hip hop you gotta respect it/ the games in danger/ we gotta protect it.”

Mike Mack and Harlem Seattle Hip HopMike and Harlem relay their vision for the future in “Look Into My Eyes,” a track subtly sending listeners the message that they’re secretly in on something that’s going to be big. Simply put, if the two are ever financially strapped, this song would make potential investors feel very, very comfortable. Harlem’s tightrope flow perks all inspirable ears on the moving chorus, rapping “look into my eyes/ tell me what you see/ can you see the hunger that’s growin’ inside of me/ can you see the vision I’m trying to get you to see/ can you see the h-i-p h-o-p” with almost methodical deliberateness. To offset his crisp sound, Mack comes in during the verse like a midnight freight train, rhyming what most everyone is already thinking: “I’m sure you can see the hunger/ there’s no reason to wonder/ why every track I make strikes hard like thunder.” The beat is a lethargic jam, structured around effected bass and percussion interplay, and accented with synth chimes that when combined compose the sonic incarnation of cultivation.

For the time being MM&H are performing around beautiful Washington State from Seattle to Tacoma, but if their vision turns into reality, they’ll be hitting the road nationally soon. With plans to play a number of showcases this year, release their second album Soul Hop and land their songs on a variety of radio stations, chances are you’ll be hearing them sooner rather than later. As always, check out their material in the player below and let us know how you like them in the comments!

Judges Needed For The And Ernie Ball Channels

Throughout the month of August, OurStage artists have battled for their opportunity to win great opportunities from, and Ernie Ball. They’ve made it this far, but they need YOUR help to secure a spot at the top of the heap. and teamed up with OurStage to give artists in the Rap, Hip Hop and Alternative Hip Hop Channels a shot at scoring themselves the ultimate up-and-coming feature on BOTH Web sites. One grand prize winner in this competition will have their winning song and a Q&A  featured on both Web sites as well as be included in mash-ups by resident DJ’s at With your help, one aspiring urban artist could catch their big break.

Over at Ernie Ball, all eyes are on the ladies in the female Singer-Songwriter Channel this month to offer one lucky artist a year’s supply of strings.  One winner can cross guitar and bass strings off their weekly shopping list for an entire year! Head over to the OurStage music channels to begin judging now.


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