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OS @ Warped Series: Phone Calls From Home

It’s officially summer, and Warped Tour has begun! In case you haven’t heard, we’re sponsoring our own stage for twenty-two dates and bringing over twenty-three artists out to perform on it. We decided to catch up with these artists to get the scoop on their summer plans.

Over the past few years, Phone Calls from Home have become a pop rock staple in their local scene. These boys will be bringing their exciting live show to Warped Tour all month long, with hopes of bringing feel-good vibes to fans new and old. Read on to find out how the band met, what they’ve been doing this year, and what they hope to accomplish on Warped Tour.

OS: How did you guys all meet and start the band?

PCFH: Dave, Zack, and Jason met in high school and they met Danny when they were on tour and played a show in Alabama.

OS: Like OurStage, Phone Calls From Home is a Boston-bred operation.  What’s your favorite local venue to play?

PCFH: We played at the Brighton Music Hall recently with Paradise Fears and it was great! Definitely a new favorite for us.

Continue reading ‘OS @ Warped Series: Phone Calls From Home’

Pixies Reunite, Indie Kids Rejoice, Blogosphere Explodes

If there’s one thing about the music industry that’s becoming increasingly common, it’s that no band breaks up forever. (In fact, OurStage even reported on that trend earlier this year. Just saying.) Which is why we weren’t exactly shocked last week when the Pixies—no stranger to reunions after breaking up in 1993 and touring together sporadically between 2004 and 2009—announced that the band might start working on a new record.

The band started dropping hints in an April 28 interview with Spinner. “That talk about making a record will be in the forefront next because it’ll be time, you know. It’ll be time,” said guitarist Joey Santiago. “We’ve definitely gelled as a unit and hopefully when we can all bury the hatchet—and we have—maybe we’ll go in there and hope for the best.” Santiago also revealed that U2’s famous frontman was part of the reason they considered recording a new album. “Bono even asked,” Santiago said. “He’s like, ‘Please make a record!’” Can’t argue with that!

In the wake of all the blog chatter and speculation, we’re left wondering if this forthcoming album is going to be as big for the Pixies as people think it is. “But Bono demanded it!” you’re saying. “The blogs are all aflutter with the news! How can this not be the biggest reunion since the most recent huge band reunion?” Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy for bands like this. There’s a strange dichotomy with blog buzz bands like the Pixies or Neutral Milk Hotel that have a cultishly loyal following but find themselves unable to translate that into mainstream success. Just because we music nerds like to blog excessively about them, that doesn’t always mean that their sales will match the hype.

The Pixies might have one advantage over all of the blog buzz BS, and that’s their fan base. The same alt-rock loving kids who jammed “Where is my Mind?” in the late ‘80s are now in their mid-thirties and forties, and they probably have a slightly steadier source of income than when they were selling ice cream over the summer at age fifteen. And bands like U2 and The Who have consistently demonstrated the importance of a fan demographic that has money to spend, selling out arenas and stadiums when they’re twenty years past their prime (at least). Fans who couldn’t afford their shows on a tight teenage budget can grab themselves some of the experience they missed out on growing up. There’s a definite benefit to having a following that still pays for music—and the Pixies have it.

Either way, this is sure to be a release for Pixies fans and music lovers alike to get excited about. And lest you forget how important the Pixies have been to those who followed or find yourself wondering why everyone’s making such a big deal about this, we’ve included a little playlist below filled with the bands who were inspired by the Boston-based rockers. Trust us, there are a lot of them, and they rule.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Call: Await Rescue

Welcome to Rock ‘n’ Roll Call! This blog series will feature reviews of albums and concerts from the best rock artists on OurStage, as well as interviews with both local and national bands. So be sure to check back to hear the latest in the rock community. Roll call, please!

For the first post, OurStage would like to introduce you to promising prog-rockers Await Rescue.

Await Rescue have solidified their position among Boston’s best acts with their latest release, the bonus edition of their Hold The Ground EP. The EP opens with a new track, “Fool My Eyes,” as frontman Johnny Cutulle’s begs listeners to “look alive” over drummer Matt Morse’s ticking rhythm.  The song soon explodes with the guitar work of Andrew Morse and bassist Jacob Yackshaw, providing an engaging introduction to this eight-song collection.

Peppering the familiar sound of bands like the Foo Fighters and Incubus with experimental twists and turns, Await Rescue refuse to hold back musically or lyrically. Cutulle even calls out his fellow rockers on the track “Clipped Wings,” as he growls, “you’re all the same/clip your wings and tell yourself that it’s all for fame.”

The band will be playing various shows around the Boston area this summer, so be sure to check them out if you can! You can also download Hold The Ground for free at their official website.

PUNK ON THE ROCKS: CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN BOSTON STYLE WITH BIG D AND THE KIDS TABLE

OSBlog_POTR_MASTERThe Boston punk scene has some long standing seasonal traditions. While the end of the year means The Mighty Might Bosstones Hometown Throwdown, and Saint Patrick’s Day means downing pints of Guinness with Dropkick Murphys, Halloween belongs to Big D and the Kids Table.

Big D gets into the Halloween spirit

Big D gets into the Halloween spirit

Boston’s Big D and the Kids Table have been pushing musical boundaries for 14 years. While they started life as a ska/punk band, over the years they have incorporated rap, traditional and 2 Tone ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, soul and do-wop into their sound. They even had local mashup kingpin DJ BC remix and mashup their back catalogu on 2007′s Strictly Mixed and Mashed.

While the music has changed over the years, their annual Boston Halloween show has always been a constant. This Halloween marks the 13th year of Big D’s holiday tradition. Costumes are not required, but many audience members choose to dress up any way, some of them opting for Big D-themed attire: “Perfect Scenesters” (inspired by the Big D song “Scenester”) and even a brave soul dressed as “The Kids Table.”

This year, the Big D Halloween spectacular is taking over The Paradise Rock Club for two nights of mayhem. The first show on October 29th features Big D headlining with Energy,  Brunt Of It and Big D guitarist Sean P. Rogan as support. The second show on October 30th features Roll The Tanks, Hayley Jane and the Primates and OurStage artists Tip The Van.

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Tip The Van

Fronted by singing sisters Nicole and Simone Olivia, the six members of Tip The Van have been bringing their blend of ska, pop-punk, indie rock and reggae to dance-ready crowds since 2002. “The Big D Halloween shows are an epic annual event and we have always wanted to be a part of the festivities,” said Nicole. “Being asked to play this year is a true honor. Since Simone and I sang on Big D’s latest release, ‘Fluent In Stroll,’ and went on Warped Tour with them, we’ve all become friends and it’s really exciting to be able to join in on this year. We can’t wait!”

Purchase tickets to the October 29th Halloween show here.

Purchase tickets to the October 30th Halloween show here.

Update: Both Halloween shows are now all ages!

GUITAR ROCK… SANS GUITAR

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The Clavinet is an electrophonic keyboard originally designed to play early European folk music – so using it to approximate the full-throttled yowl of an electric guitar is an ambitious task, to say the least. But then, Crash Kings have never been a band to shy away from a challenge. Boston brothers Tony and Mike Beliveau (bass, keyboards) moved out to L.A. and recruited drummer Jason Morris to round out their experiment. The result – hook-laden riffs, protean rhythms and unapologetically catchy melodies. The Clavinet is outfitted with a whammy bar and run through a distortion pedal, so heavy rock fiends will never miss the guitar.

Crash Kings’ debut for Custard/Universal – produced by indie veteran Dave Sardy – is fresh on the shelves. We suggest you make haste and add some clavinet rock to your collection.

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