Changes to the monthly competitions

Hi and welcome back to Amazing OurStage. We want to let you know that there will be changes to the prizes we are offering. Every month will be different.
This month we are awarding prizes of $100 to winners of the competition finals. In the future there will be prizes to help your musical career. Check back to find out.

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Tag: All Songs Considered
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Tag: "All Songs Considered"

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David Lowery And The Impossible Question

David Lowery is a name you might not be familiar with unless you’re a passionate follower of ’90s alt rockers or music industry wonks. And there’s probably some heavy overlap between those two groups. Well, he is getting more buzz in the last couple of days than he has since his band Cracker was in MTV’s Buzz Bin, thanks to a blog post he recently wrote in response to an NPR intern, regarding nothing less than the future of music commerce.

Lowery was a founding member of both Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven. Both groups navigated the tempestuous waters of the music industry in the late ’80s and early ’90s and both managed to find moderate success. Cracker is likely known to many fans of AOR and MOR radio for their singles “Low” and “Teen Angst (What The World Needs Now).”

But David Lowery is a music industry renaissance man. He has done stints as a college lecturer at the University of Georgia and as a trading analyst, specializing in quantitative finance. Suffice it to say, the man is smart. “I like to think that I am uniquely qualified as an artist, entrepreneur and geek,” Lowery wrote in a blog post from April 15th titled “Meet The New Boss, Worse Than The Old Boss?” He continued, “I can out geek most of you.”

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Tour De Force: Amber Rubarth

Let’s be honest. There are tons of singer/songwriters out there, and the majority of them more or less sound the same — somber guitars, soft-spoken vocals, cliché lyrics, nature metaphors. However, when you come across an artist who actually has something to say and can say it well, the result can be powerful and moving. It is absolutely incredible what a singer/songwriter can accomplish with only their words, their voice and their instrument. Amber Rubarth is one of these artists. Her songs are hilariously candid and painfully poignant, often all at once. Her fearless songwriting and unique voice lend a palpable air of sincerity to her music.
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Tour De Force: The Antlers

The Antlers are a perfect example of one of those bands that fly under the radar for years, but completely take off once their music sees the light of day.  Robin Hilton of NPR Music recounts his introduction to the band a year ago: “All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen came by my desk holding a rare copy of the then-homemade Hospice CD by The Antlers. ‘You’ve got to hear this,’ he said. We trotted off to one of NPR’s studios — a dark, cavelike space with an unusually good surround-sound system — and popped in the album. As the opening notes crept from the speakers, along with the eerie, ambient rhythm of a hospital respirator, I was transfixed.” Thus began a cascade of NPR, SXSW and label support from Frenchkiss Records/Mom + Pop Music.  Peter Silberman, frontman and founder of The Antlers, had been writing and recording songs in his Brooklyn apartment since 2006, but it wasn’t until about a year ago that people really began to take notice.
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The top 5 ways I discover music

We all have our own ways of sifting through the immense amount of great music and finding what we like, and the OurStage editorial staff is no different. We’re collecting our favorite music discovery outlets and will be sharing them with you over the next few weeks. You’ll get to learn a little more about us, and discover some great new music along the way! If you and I don’t share the same music tastes don’t worry. We’re a diverse bunch and I’m sure you’ll find a blogger you agree with!


WERS is the independent radio station broadcasting from Emerson University in Boston. Their motto is “independent music for the independent mind” and they hold true to it. One of my favorite things about living in the Boston area is that I get WERS on the radio; they accompany me to and from work everyday and my exposure to new music is limitless because of it. Over the past few years they have delivered artists like Jose Gonzalez, Adele, Antje Duvekot, Tunng, and The Bird and the Bee straight to my ears. If you’re in the Boston area, you should definitely check out their 60th Anniversary Concert featuring Pete Yorn this weekend. If you’re not in the Boston area, you can still discover great new music by listening to WERS online.

2) Grey’s Anatomy

Cliché? Possibly. Does it tell you a little more about me then I’d really like to share? You bet. I have to come clean, though. I love Grey’s Anatomy and their 5 seasons of music programming has done a lot of good for my iPod! My favorite finds include Ingrid Michaelson, Emiliana Torrini, KT Tunstall, Roisin Murphy, Jamie Lidell and Lenka.

3) NPR: All Songs Considered

I don’t listen to it often, but when I do I always end up downloading something new. I can thank the good people at NPR for motivating me to add Beirut, Andrew Bird, Okkervil River, Devotchka and John Vanderslice to my music library. You can get the podcast version and take it with you on the go. This show is definitely worth checking out; they will introduce you to great new artists, give you inside information and offer a fresh perspective all at the same time!

4) Festivals

I’m lucky that my job takes me to lots of music festivals all over the country. In the past 2 years I’ve been to Noise Pop, Bumbershoot, Virgin Music Fest and Newport Folk and Jazz. I’ve walked away from each one with a new artist to add to my list of favorites including She and Him, Kristin Hersh, Xavier Rudd, The Dodos and The Mountain Goats.

5) OurStage Favorites

Working at OurStage, I spend a lot of time crawling through the site’s charts, talking to our members and sharing music finds with my co-workers. I’ve put together a playlist of my all-time favorites for you to enjoy and, hopefully, start your own music discovery journey:

Young@Heart @ Newport Folk

Anybody who has seen Fox Searchlight’s documentary Young@Heart knows why I was looking forward to this interview. Watching them at Newport confirmed they are much more than a novelty act. Young@Heart is a great band, producing profound interpretations of modern bands like Sonic Youth, The Flaming Lips, and Radiohead (Newport organizer and Paste Magazine mogul Jay Sweet was in tears during their rendition of Fake Plastic Trees).

FYI: The chorus just released their new album, Mostly Live, this past week. I’ve listened to it and it’s incredible. Buy it here. Your life will be better if you do.

It was a pleasure talking with their leader Bob Cilman and chorus members Dora Morrow, Jack Schnepp, and Steve Martin. I’d also like to say thanks to Brock Lynch (chorus member not featured in the video) who introduced himself to me backstage and regaled me with several entertaining stories. He even sent me a number of great Y@H clippings in the mail. Thanks Brock!

More great coverage of Young@Heart at Newport can be found at Bob Boilen’s excellent All Songs Considered blog.

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No Sleep ‘Til Montreal: Quinn goes to Osheaga

After an exhausting, rain-soaked, yet exhilarating day at the Newport Folk Festival, I packed the car and headed north to Montreal for the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival. It looks like Chan Marshall (Cat Power) made the same journey because she plays here tonight. I doubt, however, she made the trek in a 1999 Mercury Mystique.

But I’m certainly not complaining. Not with a bill containing MGMT, DeVotchKa, Iggy and the Stooges, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and CSS (among many more).

Unfortunately for Montreal, it looks like I brought the rain with me. That didn’t stop poppy rockers Louis XIV from kicking things off with an energetic set. They weren’t life changing (watered down Strokes?) but they were fun and easy on the ears. More coming soon…

P.S. Highlight of yesterday at Newport? Well, aside from the Young @ Heart Chorus, meeting Bob Boilen whose weekly show, All Songs Considered, is a must listen for me every week. If you don’t subscribe to the ASC podcast, do so.

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