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Casey Desmond ‘Déjà Vu’ Launches Pre-Order

Party goers, 80s electro lovers, and light show seekers, if you’re looking for the latest album to rock out to during your at home dance parties, feast your eyes (and hands) on Casey Desmond’s latest offering, Déjà Vu.

The album contains 12 tracks, and for those interested in package deals, you’ll have the option of the compact disc package, multicolored vinyl package, or the monster of the three, the presale VIP package which includes vinyl, silk screened t-shirt, neon print of Déjà Vu, and four buttons. All packages include an immediate digital download upon release. You can preorder right here, and check out a video for Casey Desmond’s “Déjà Vu” below.

If you like Casey Desmond, check out OurStage artist Andrea Godin.

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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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Riffs, Rants & Rumors: The Cars Are Coming Back!

Look, this is 2011 after all—you’d think it would be safe to assume that every ’80s band with an inclination to reunite would have done so by now. After all, over the last year we’ve had brand new albums from such happily reconvened ’80s icons as Duran Duran, Devo, OMD and Modern English, to name just a few, and that’s not even counting the number of New Wave era bands currently out there on the oldies trail (Missing Persons, anyone?). For the most part, the major acts of the ’80s who remain dormant are either dead, alienated from each other or simply dead-set against revisiting old glories. But then along come The Cars to throw a monkey wrench into our carefully crafted presumptions.

For those who don’t recall, the Bostonians who brought the skinny-tie sound to the masses called it quits after 1987′s Door To Door, and the closest they came to a reunion was in 2005, when founding Cars guitarist Elliott Easton and keyboardist Greg Hawkes worked briefly with Todd Rundgren under the name The New Cars. Frontman Ric Ocasek and drummer David Robinson were seemingly uninterested in getting back behind the wheel at the time, and singer/bassist Ben Orr had unfortunately passed away in 2000. Still, this short-lived semi-revival was all the band’s fans had to hang onto…until now.

Last July, seemingly out of nowhere, Cars aficionados visiting the band’s Facebook fan page suddenly had their hopes raised for the first time, by a photo posted without comment or explanation, featuring all four surviving Cars playing together in a rehearsal space. Before long, the expectations that ran rampant were soon stoked by the posting of tantalizing clips from new Cars songs (as opposed to New Cars songs) “Blue Tip,” “Free,” and “Sad Song,” each of which sounded remarkably like, well, The Cars. And now, the final veil of mystery has been pulled away, and the full details of the Cars reunion have been revealed. Ocasek, Easton, Hawkes and Robinson will give the world the first Cars album in 24 years on May 10th, when they release Move Like This on Concord Records.

Instead of bringing a stranger into the fold to replace the late Orr, Hawkes will expand his duties to covering the band’s bass lines. Beyond that, all things relating to Move Like This seem to be in classic Cars mode, from Ocasek’s trademark chunka-chunka rhythm guitar to Hawkes’ video-game-soundtrack synth lines. While it hasn’t been officially confirmed so far, the producer is widely reported to be Jacknife Lee, the Irishman who has helped new artists bring an ’8os sensibility to their sound (Bloc Party, Editors) as well as aiding ’80s bands in making the shift to the 21st century (R.E.M., U2). There’s been no word so far about the boys taking their reunion to the stage, but come the summer, after the new songs have had a couple of months to work their way into the world’s ears, the idea of a Cars tour is sure to start looking good to all concerned. Until then, we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed and our wraparound shades firmly secured in anticipation.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Call: Floor Thirteen

Is it possible for an indie rock band to outsell major label pop stars? If you’re Canadian rockers Floor Thirteen —who outsold Miley Cyrus, Coldplay and Kid Rock in their hometown of Winnipeg when they released their debut album, Mmmm!, in June of 2008— the answer is “Hell, yes.”

With the aid of Grammy-nominated producer Brandon Friesen, Mmmm! spawned the hit “Blame It On Me,” which has since been featured in the video games Need for Speed:Undercover and The Sims 3 and on The Strombo Show. These opportunities has exposed “Blame It On Me” to millions of people in over 30 countries.

Mixing the sounds of Jet and Led Zeppelin, Floor Thirteen include both retro and contemporary influences in their music. There is certainly a classic rock feel to “Blame It On Me,” but the gang vocal-heavy anthem “Shut ‘Em Out” sounds more like an Aerosmith B-side from the ’80s. This versatility works to the band’s advantage, as their album contains something for rock fans of several genres.

In addition to having impressive placement deals, Floor Thirteen has also proven their ability as a live band, opening for the likes of Our Lady Peace, Buckcherry and 3 Doors Down. They’ve also played at MUSEXPO Europe in London and have been a featured artist on the internationally syndicated radio show Passport Approved.

As you eagerly anticipate the next installment from Floor Thirteen, check out their music in the player below!

Daily Dose: Thursday, September 18

  • ShoutOut to OurStage Infrastructure Guru Mark, discussing storage, OpenSolaris, ZFS, with SunMicro.
  • Renegades craft a modern take on 80’s new wave/synth pop. Smoke and Mirrors lands them somewhere comfortably between Bloc Party and Depeche Mode.
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