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FROM THE CMJ RELAY ARCHIVES: OURSTAGE PICKS VOL. 14

cmjdotcom_webWelcome to our fourteenth installment featuring CMJ’s OurStage Staff Picks from the CMJ Relay Blog. CMJ is well known for their industry leading New Music Report magazine, which contains music reviews, artist news and interviews with the best artists being played on college radio.

Or, the Whale

“Call and Response”
Alt Country Channel
Four-part harmonies and pulsing bass put the heart in this up-tempo tribute to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, eliciting strong sympathy with its driving melody and lush vocals.
RIYL: Jayhawks, Old 97s, Fleetwood Mac

Lady Maverick

“Reminiscin’”
Alternative Hip-Hop Channel
Acoustic guitars paired with funky beats keep Lady Maverick’s solid rhymes about her African roots and old-school hip-hop fresh and emotional, while still allowing the girl some serious street cred.
RIYL: Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Bacci

Einar Lunga

“It is going to be your darkest day”
Folk Channel
Lunga has a talent for the subtle and offbeat whispers of somber darkness that feel introspective without toeing the “woe is me” line. This is tender, dark folk done right.
RIYL: Devendra Banhart, She And Him, Joni Mitchell

FROM THE CMJ RELAY ARCHIVES: OURSTAGE PICKS VOL. 8

cmjdotcom_webWelcome to our eighth installment featuring CMJ’s OurStage Staff Picks from the CMJ Relay Blog. CMJ is well known for their industry leading New Music Report magazine, which contains music reviews, artist news and interviews with the best artists being played on college radio.

Phillip Morris

“The Nightmare Before Christmas”
Hip Hop Channel
Phillip Morris referencing skin flute solos and Hunter Thompson in the same song can make you crack a smile, proving witty hip-hop can thrive in the hands of the capable.
RIYL: Eminem, Ludacris, MF Doom
WEB: http://phillipmorris.us/

Alfred Brown

“Second Sketch”
Rock Channel
Driven by a thick and bluesy guitar lead, “Rock N Roll” is aptly titled. Simple and catchy, Wiser Time go straight for a no-frills classic rock grind.
RIYL: Black Crowes, Johnny Lang, John Mellencamp
WEB: http://www.wiser-time.com/

LoveLikeFire

“Unlighted Shadow”
Pop Channel
Insistent drumming and whirling keyboards help lay the sturdy foundation necessary for singer Ann Yu’s escalating vocals to penetrate your subconscious on this track the L.A. quartet.
RIYL: Eisley, Strokes, The Cure
WEB: http://www.lovelikefire.com/

FROM THE CMJ RELAY ARCHIVES: OURSTAGE PICKS VOL. 4

cmjdotcom_webWelcome to our fourth installment featuring CMJ’s OurStage Staff Picks from the CMJ Relay Blog. CMJ is well known for their industry leading New Music Report magazine, which contains music reviews, artist news and interviews with the best artists being played on college radio.

Sassy Kraimspri

“Toy Boy”
Hard Rock Channel
Toy Boy is angry, impassioned chick-rock at its most deliriously screeching apex.
RIYL: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Le Tigre, Bikini Kill
WEB: http://www.myspace.com/sassykraimspri

Wiser Time

“Rock N Roll”
Rock Channel
Driven by a thick and bluesy guitar lead, “Rock N Roll” is aptly titled. Simple and catchy, Wiser Time go straight for a no-frills classic rock grind.
RIYL: Black Crowes, Johnny Lang, John Mellencamp
WEB: http://www.wiser-time.com/

Tom Marino

“Days Of Wine And Roses”
Jazz Channel
Traditional, elegant, yet surprisingly unpretentious, “Days Of Wine And Roses” is a smooth blend of flugelhorn, sax and piano. A perfect track for a night on the town, uptown that is.
RIYL: John Coltrane, Herb Alpert, Dexter Gordon
WEB: http://tommarino.net/index.html

FROM THE CMJ RELAY ARCHIVES: OURSTAGE PICKS VOL. 3

cmjdotcom_webWelcome to our third installment featuring CMJ’s OurStage Staff Picks from the CMJ Relay Blog. CMJ is well known for their industry leading New Music Report magazine, which contains music reviews, artist news and interviews with the best artists being played on college radio. The New Music Report contains top played charts compiled from college radio stations all across the US. CMJ is also well known for hosting the CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival , a city wide festival in New York featuring the best emerging artists and film makers.

Val Broeksmit/Bikini Robot Army

“Fragile Things”
Acoustic Channel
This is a great throwback to the classic rock era. The song takes its sound from a decadent time when intoxicating psychedelic funk flooded the airwaves.
RIYL: Steppenwolf, War, T. Rex
WEB: http://www.myspace.com/bikinirobotarmy

Five Foot Nine

“Jardin Du Luxembourg”
Indie/Alternative Channel
Male and female vocals light up the song along with organ and glitchy bleeps that lay down an outline for everything else to fit into place.
RIYL: Paul Simon, Talking Heads, David Bowie
WEB: http://www.fivefootnine.net/index.html

Edgar Allen Floe

“The Righteous Way To Go”
Hip Hop Channel
Accompanied by orchestral samples and laid-back beats, Edgar Allen Floe’s rhymes are as literate as his name suggests.
RIYL: Kanye West, Nas
WEB: http://www.myspace.com/eafloe

FROM THE CMJ RELAY ARCHIVES: OURSTAGE PICKS VOL. 2

cmjdotcom_webWelcome to our second installment featuring CMJ’s OurStage Staff Picks from the CMJ Relay Blog. CMJ is well known for their industry leading New Music Report magazine, which contains music reviews, artist news and interviews with the best artists being played on college radio. The New Music Report contains top-played charts compiled from college radio stations all across the US. CMJ is also well known for hosting the CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival , a city wide festival in New York featuring the best emerging artists and film makers.

Michael Leviton

“Summer’s The Worst”
Acoustic Channel
Leviton’s acerbic lyricism is offset by his jangly, upbeat ukulele playing.
RIYL: Jens Lekman, Magnetic Fields, The Boy Least Likely To
WEB: http://www.michaelleviton.com

Sum Majere Of The Lone Wolf

“Paranoid”
Hip Hop Channel
Lone Wolf is suspicious like Mr. Lif with spitting reminiscent of Blackalicious. Paranoid shows promise.
RIYL: Sun Zoo, Gift Of Gab, Aesop Rock
WEB: http://www.myspace.com/sum

tenminuteturns

Ten Minute Turns

“Sad Animals”
Indie/Alternative Channel
With driving rhythms that are backed by some serious horn action, Ten Minute Turns reminds you to dust off your dancing shoes with their tight harmonies and sharp lyrics.
RIYL: Spoon, Of Montreal, They Might Be Giants
WEB: http://www.myspace.com/tenminuteturns

FROM THE CMJ RELAY ARCHIVES: OURSTAGE PICKS VOL. 1

cmjdotcom_webCMJ (College Music Journal) is a publishing and events company located in NYC. CMJ is well known for their industry leading New Music Report magazine, which contains music reviews, artist news and interviews with the best artists being played on college radio. The New Music Report contains top-played charts compiled from college radio stations all across the US. CMJ is also well known for hosting the CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival , a city wide festival in NYC  featuring the best emerging artists and film makers. The bloggers over at CMJ Relay, the CMJ Staff Blog, have been highlighting some of their favorite OurStage finds for quite some time. Here’s the first batch of CMJ music recommendations from their archives:

weatherinside

The Weather Inside

“Streets Of Jerusalem”
Electronic Channel
Typical electronic groove, light and lofty, “Streets Of Jerusalem” is a pleasant and melodic journey.
RIYL: Air, Rio En Medio, Sia
WEB: http://www.myspace.com/theweatherinside

masonproper

Mason Proper

“My My (Bad Fruit)”
Rock Channel
Mason Proper is a pop/indie rock band from Michigan that infuses their songs with experimental noise and catchy melodies.
RIYL: Modest Mouse, Rogue Wave, the Shins
WEB: http://masonproper.com/

plushgun

Plushgun

“Just Impolite”
Pop Channel
“Just Impolite” is radio-friendly romantic synth-pop.
RIYL: Albert Hammond Jr., the Shins, the Postal Service
WEB: http://www.plushgun.com/

THE INDUSTRY BUZZ ABOUT ANNIE AND THE BEEKEEPERS

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Music insiders know the right balance of passion, musical talent, imageand most importantlywork ethic is what really makes an artist shine.  OurStage folk act Annie and the Beekeepers are putting their own spin on this classic formula while making its mark with mature composition, clever lyrics and a nostalgic yet earthy sense of melody.

Massachusetts native, Annie Lynch began writing music when she was thirteen-years-old, playing for friends at small coffee shops. It wasn’t until she met the rest of her band mates that she started considering music as a true career. When we spoke to Annie, she told us this was the starting point for the band’s songwriting collaboration. Squid Hell Sessions, the Beekeepers latest EP release, is the result of this effort. The band’s unique fusion of Folk and Blues, along with their straightforward writing style, afforded them the opportunity to perform at SXSW and CMJ in past years. They’ve continued to parlay their sound into upcoming spots in the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion and Midpoint Music festivals.

 

 

l_cdeb2a0385e369965a919ba83d0cb0f5Music aside, Annie and the Beekeepers have gained industry success in many other ways. The choice of “the Beekeepers” as the band name refers to the group’s tireless work ethic. Annie likens their sense of motivation to the same “strength in community” found within bee colonies. In this spirit, Annie unknowingly sets an example for indie bands who want to succeed while  staying true to their sound. She also expresses some seldom heard advice:  in the music industry, “we’re all just people in this together.” This concept encourages artists to go out into the world and make personal connections. Even if an artist feels like their won’t land that next club gig, they should take the time to write a letter. The talent buyer at the club is, after all,  just another person trying to help their venue and the artists who play there. The effort may just be the “in” an artist needs to get their foot through the door. In fact,  Annie and the Beekeepers  got their music played on the Emerson College radio station in Boston, MA (WERS) using this same strategy.

Balancing out this equation and further highlighting the band’s organic style is the Beekeepers’ decision to stamp their album art by hand on 100% recycled cardboard packaging, purchased from Calumet Carton. These small steps allow an artist to add a personal touch to their albums while staying cost effective and environmentally friendly.

Let Annie and the Beekeepers add color to the musical landscape in your world.  Check out their latest release and join their fanclub.

Not everyone needs a Grammy

Did you catch the Grammys? Well you’re not alone. In fact, according to the New York Times 19.7 million viewers tuned in. More interesting, however, is the post-Grammy surge in numbers for all participating artists. The fact of the matter is when you win an award like a Grammy you get much more than just bragging rights you’re also going to see a significant increase in album sales.

Indie artists don’t need to win a Grammy to gain some momentum in this industry. In fact, I’ve got a few stories for you that prove just that. Plushgun, our favorite Electronic Indie band, signed to Tommy Boy Entertainment as a result of their OurStage story. Coconut Records increased their album sales by an incredible amount and Scissors for Lefty has been given the chance to play at Noise Pop this year thanks, in part, to their participation on OurStage.

Coconut Records:coconut-records
No doubt you’ve heard of this forward-thinking, catchy artist. I bet you didn’t know that he was once an unknown OurStager himself. After winning the Grand Prize in October of 2007, his song “West Coast” was featured as one of the top 10 “favorited” songs on OurStage. Then he appeared in a feature interview (part 1 and part 2) for OurStage with our very own Quinn Strassel. The story was picked up by blogger and online personality Perez Hilton. Coconut Records immediately saw an increase in album sales by about 1500% on iTunes. By offering unique Polaroids with each album purchase, Jason Schwartzman added a personal touch for his fans and put his name into the mainstream as a dynamic artist.

plushgunPlushgun:
Your favorite electro-indie pop band is no stranger to rising success. This group is the very definition of increased success through OurStage. As a steady contest winner month after month for almost an entire year, Plushgun certainly proved their consistency as a rising talent. The next step was to play some high profile gigs. They were afforded the opportunity to play at CMJ in 2007, and SXSW in 2008 through the festivals’ partnerships with OurStage. Their strong stage presence sealed the deal with Tommy Boy Records (who had been following them for several months online). The rest is history.

scissors-for-lefty1
Scissors for Lefty:
This indie rock band was already moderately well-known before becoming a member on OurStage. Last year, they played at SXSW as a part of the Rachel Ray feature stage. This band was no stranger to the spotlight. However, after joining OurStage and ranking high in the Noise Pop Channel, Scissors for Lefty has now been selected to play the 2009 Noise Pop Festival.

Whether you’re a band trying to hit it big, or an artist just trying to add a few fans to your following, keep in mind that you don’t need a Grammy to achieve success. Artists like Coconut Records, Plushgun, and Scissors for Lefty are great examples.

Artist Featured on CMJ Staff Blog

another-cynthia

Another Cynthina has been hanging around OurStage for quiet some time now, wining award after award.  For good reason too!  This week, CMJ thought they stood out as well, featuring them on the CMJ Staff Blog!

“A hybrid of indie rock, dance and pop, Another Cynthia a force of originality and passion. Smart lyrics and hook laden melodies – it’s really all about the songs…” – Another Cynthia

Get a sampling of their sound below and be sure to checkout the blog post!

Plushgun releases debut album “Pins and Panzers”

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Plushgun started like a lot of other musical projects: Singer Dan Ingala writing songs on his acoustic guitar in his “overpriced and undersized ‘bedroom’ in New York City”. He decided to go in a new direction from that point by adding edgy synthesizers to his songs. Now armed with catchy tunes and innovative instrumentation, Ingala sought out to find gigs to play. He then hooked up with the rest of the band to fill out his sound (Taylor Armstrong-Guitar/Vocals and Matt Bogdanow- Drums/Vocals).

Plushgun’s debut full-length album is as catchy as it is unique. The album starts with an ambient fade in, and ends just the same. But don’t let that fool you the “gun” is just as much present in this album as the “plush”. Songs like “How We Roll” and “Union Pool” add a harsher punch to the smoothness of a lot of the melodies. Even within the first song, “Dancing in a Minefield,” after the first few lines, you suddenly get hit with a barrage of driving synth tracks and quickly delivered lyrics. The CD peaks around “Union Pool” and ends in a decently subtle “ballad” with “An Aria“.

This isn’t the first time that Plushgun is making an appearance on OurStage as a feature, nor is it their first time in this blog. Having been in the top 10 in numerous channels for a total of over 10 months as well as gaining notable awards such as the Noise Pop critics choice and CMJ showcase, this band’s new album isn’t the first news piece about them. In fact, they have recently been featured over at AOL. Plushgun’s new album “Pins and Panzers” drops February 17th, and you can download it from iTunes or pick it up at one of their shows. In fact, they have a couple of release parties planned: February 18th, at Fontana’s in New York, NY and Febuary 19th, at Harper’s Ferry in Boston, MA. Keep an eye on this band as they are on the rise and check them out next time they’re in your area!

 


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