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Chart Catfight!: Look Who’s Hot on Carly Rae Jepsen’s Tail in the Battle of the Pop Divas!

Carly Rae Jepsen is in luck. It looks like she won’t have to ensure the continuation of her celebrity run after “Call Me Maybe” falls from its current summit by relying on the hoopla generated by her own Nipplegate—nude photos that ended up being someone else’s.

Thanks to a call from Adam Young, the one-man band behind Owl City, Jepsen is about to relight the fire under her rising star the old-fashioned way: with a new hit. “Good Time,” her duet with Owl City, just debuted at No. 18 on Billboard’s Hot 100, which means that her breakout No. 1 single won’t forever be alone on her hit list.

It’s pop symbiosis at its most effective: He saves her from that pop purgatory known as one-hit wonderdom, where he had been languishing since 2009, when the Owl City single “Fireflies” hit No. 1 on the Hot 100, and she helps get him out of it. Sure Katy Perry could have accomplished the same thing in the middle of a dead sleep, but that hardly would have been a meeting of near-equals.

Continue reading ‘Chart Catfight!: Look Who’s Hot on Carly Rae Jepsen’s Tail in the Battle of the Pop Divas!’

SoundTrax: Summer Festival Preview

As the summer festival series approaches, and the EDM movement shows no signs of letting up; producers and DJs are in full swing pumping out their biggest tracks of the year in anticipation of the neon-clad, twenty-something crowds that will descend on fields and desert landscapes all across the US during the summer months.  The “rave” scene in America is slowly morphing out of the awkward teenage years of the big beat ’90s and is beginning to solidify itself as a vibrant, respected aspect of the music industry. With this explosion of popularity, the production of these events has skyrocketed, which means no more illegal warehouses or abandoned airplane hangers. Now they’re out in the open for everyone to see. Featuring extensive light shows, interactive art exhibits, go-go dancers and even carnival rides, raves have become a multi-sensory experience like never before. And so, EDM artists have been forced to up their game in order to hold the attention of our instant-gratification-oriented generation.

SoundTrax: Summer Festivals from OurStage on 8tracks.

The rolling loops of Fatboy Slim, sliced with clever recognizable a cappella’s are no longer enough. The music has morphed, along with the culture, into something that can stand on it’s own. No longer are dance tracks just loop-based building blocks for a DJ to create a set out of—these are legitimate songs in their own right. For this week at SoundTrax, I’ve put together a list of tracks that I think are bound to make huge waves at this season’s summer festivals. Porter Robinson and Madeon kick us off with my two personal favorite tracks from the past month. TheFatRat and Lenno infuse some disco sensibilities into the middle portion, while David Guetta proves that you can be the king of pop-house and still make some respectable dance tunes. Finally, U Tern’s remix of Mark Ronson provides you with a jittery, down tempo tune to help release all the tension.

EDC NYC Lineup Announced!

Insomniac Events has finally announced the long-awaited Electric Daisy Carnival New York City lineup. If you can take the day off, the newly added Friday, May 18th date (4pm- 11pm) will kick off the event, with top dogs Fatboy Slim, Armin van Buuren, and the YouTube/Beatport sensation Madeon. The remaining two days, Saturday and Sunday, will start at 12 pm and go until 11 pm. On Saturday, expect to see Avicii, Sebastian Ingrosso, legendary house music pioneer Carl Cox, and Steve Angello. Sunday will consist of a fantastic closing lineup, including acts such as Bassnectar, Afrojack, Nero, and Richie Hawtin. Click here to check out the full EDC NYC lineup.

Electric Daisy Carnival…Plus One

If you live on the east coast, Insomniac Events just made your summer by adding an extra day to the NYC Electric Daisy Carnival and expanding the capacity for the original two dates. EDC NYC will now start on Friday May 18th and end on Sunday May 21st. If you already have tickets for May 19th and 20th, you can buy your tickets for the 18th tomorrow (Wednesday, April 11th.) According to the website, you will be sent an email containing a special invitation to get your tickets early. For the non-ticketed among us, tickets for all three days will hit the market again on Thursday, April 12th @ 12 noon EST. Now remember, on March 2, tickets for the initial May 19th and 20th dates sold out within a FEW HOURS. It will probably happen again this Thursday, so make sure you are in front of your computer and on Ticketmaster exactly when they hit the market @ 12 p.m.

 

In addition to this big news, Insomniac also released the official starting times for each day, as follows:

  • Friday, May 18th 4:30 p.m. – 11p.m.
  • Saturday, May 19th 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 20th 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Riffs, Rants and Rumors: Listening In On Belle and Sebastian’s Late Night Tales

What do you listen to when the hour is late, the lights are low and careening power chords and wailing vocals just don’t suit the mood? Everybody’s got their own answer to that question, but those who dwell in the rarefied dominion of record geekdom are especially attuned to what makes a good after-hours mix, priding themselves on concocting the perfect combination of tracks to watch the wee hours drift by. That’s the idea behind the British Late Night Tales series, which brings in a different celebrity guest to curate each volume. In the past, LNT has tapped the talents of The Flaming Lips, Snow Patrol, Midlake, Arctic Monkeys, Fatboy Slim and many more, from varied stylistic sectors. Six years ago, indie-pop giants Belle and Sebastian were added to that list, and now they’ve got the rare honor of returning for a second round, delivering the latest Late Night Tales mix. To find out how the whole thing came together, let’s lend an ear to Belle and Sebastian keyboard man Chris Geddes, who was actually the main overseer of the collection. Continue reading ‘Riffs, Rants and Rumors: Listening In On Belle and Sebastian’s Late Night Tales’

Ultra 2012

Over the weekend, 160,000 ravers gathered in South Beach Miami for the 2012 Ultra Music Festival. Taking the crowd by surprise, the event attracted several iconic celebrities, all of which shared their appreciation for EDM.

For starters, Madona’s introduction of headlining DJ/EDM producer Avicii was quite memorable.”Electronic dance music has been a part of my life since the beginning of my career,” she told the crowd. “I can honestly say a DJ saved my life.” (A reference to Junior Vasquez.) Lastly, she proposed a question for the audience: “I have a few questions for you,” she shouted. “How many people in this crowd have seen Molly? Are you ready to dance? Are you ready for the next DJ, motherfuckers?”

19 year-old Porter Robinson and 17 year-old Madeon performed memorable sets as well. The YouTube sensation and glitch-electro DJ tore up the UMF Korea Stage. Despite their age, these youngsters have acquired an incredible fan base over the last year. Robinson alone has opened for Skrillex and Tiësto, topping the iTunes dance chart, and sold out his own headlining tour.

Afrojack brought some celebrity buddies as well. During his awesome performance, rumored girlfriend Paris Hilton and rap buddy Lil’ John waved to the crowd and showed their support.

Fatboy Slim broke some local rules by mixing LMFAO‘s “I’m in Miami, Bitch” into his set. However, I’m sure most of the natives didn’t mind because the performance with inarguably amazing – as you can see in the video below.

 

 

Electropolis: iPad and iPhone Production Toys

This issue of Electropolis offers recommendations for iPad and iPhone music production applications. These apps are pretty impressive production and performance tools/toys I suggest for both amateurs and pros. The cool thing is you won’t be paying more than a few bucks for them, a ridiculously low price compared to expensive computer programs!

Propellerhead’s Rebirth for iPad

ReBirth followed Propellerhead’s initial software, ReCycle, that got the company up and going in 1997. Although a discontinued retail item, Propellerhead offers the software for free, as well as an iPad and iPhone application that contains enhanced graphics. Originally inspired by Mr. Kakehashi, the founder of Roland, these Swedish lads went off to design digital emulations of some of the most classic and popular Roland synths of their time. In the 1990s, Roland’s popular TR- 808 &  TR-909 drum machines and bass synth, the TR – 303, began making their way into the track titles of the most popular electronic acts of the decade—such as Fatboy Slim’s “Everybody Needs a 303″ and Daft Punk’s “Revolution 909.” Today, these analog sounds have become absolutely legendary amongst the EDM culture, and they’re now available to be played on your iPad! ReBirth has been credited for its nearly dead-on replication of the original analog tones of these Roland devices. As a matter of fact, the emulations are so accurate that Roland has asked Propellerhead to acknowledge their inspiration—which they’ve been more than willing to do. As stated on the Apple’s Web site, it’s features include:

Continue reading ‘Electropolis: iPad and iPhone Production Toys’

Beat Generation: A (Brief, Brief) History Of Electronic Music

Welcome to Beat Generation. With this column, we’re going to try and cover as many strains of electronic music as we can, from house to techno, from ambient to glitch. We here at OurStage have noticed a resurgence of electronic music in pop music in the past few months. It seems appropriate then that for starters, we’re going to do a quick and dirty overview of the relationship electronic and pop music have had over the years, from the ’80s to today.

Well, it’s about time. Electronic finally broke into the mainstream in a big way. Disagree? Have you listened to the radio lately? Did you see that Deadmau5 had a music video on MTV? It’s been a pretty long road from a genre that started as an obscure offshoot of rock to near total pop ubiquity.

You can argue as to when electronic music first came to be until the sun goes down but it’s clear that pop and electronic'Cars' made it into the Top 10 in America and went to No. 1 in the UK had their first real meaningful interaction during the ’80s, the era of big hair, Reganomics and synth. Gary Numan’s “Cars”, released in 1979, started off this trend for most listeners. The everpresent synth line of the song fits in well with the verse chorus verse structure and also worked as a bouncy instrumental counterpoint to the feelings of existential disconnect and uncertainty that Numan presents in his lyrics. Notable releases from this era included landmark singles from the Eurthymics, The Human League, New Order and Madonna. The popular electronic sound of the ’80s was rooted firmly to rock and disco traditions.

Now we’ll move onto the ’90s. The pop/electronic flirtation during this decade was apparent but more fleeting. The hot sound was coming out of the UK; Big Beat and Jungle were dominating the airwaves across the pond and it was only a matter of time before America got a taste of it as well.

The Fat of The Land eventually went double platinum in the US

Fatboy Slim enjoyed enormous and lasting success for the latter part of the decade into the early aughts. Groups like the Prodigy, the Chemical Brothers and the Crystal Method were at their popular peak, winning rock listeners with songs featuring heavy guitar.  The Prodigy were especially notorious, releasing the quick-to-be-banned video for their single “Smack My Bitch Up” and signing to Madonna’s Maverick Records.

And then we move on to the Aughts. The current new trend of trancey, dancey electro in the Top 40 is a little different, thanks in large part to the emergence of Lady Gaga. Her debut album, ‘The Fame, didn’t blow up. It was a seismic event that shook the musical landscape around it. This marked a move in dance music to embrace the pulse and beat of electro and techno over the influences of hip hop and R&B which were the previous standard.

While past trends in electronic music were driven by scenes, the current dance trend  in pop music is a reaction to what the kids are into. In business and in pop music, aping the competition is not considered unoriginal or frowned upon; for many, it’s the only way to survive. Everywhere you look in contemporary pop music, there’s examples of the co-opting of electronic music. Look at Christina Aguilera’s stylistic makeover. Consider the difference between Katy Perry’s first and second albums. Think about Ke$ha and her entire career up to this point. Even Britney Spears is jumping on the bandwagon. While putting together her new album, Spears was in London working with dubstep producer Rusko. In a genre known for emphasizing the heaviest and dirtiest of bass lines and an uncompromising sound, the collaboration left some people scratching their heads.  The first song leaked from that album, “Hold It Against Me”, features unmistakable dubstep touchstones, including the infamous “wobble,” or a shuddering electric bass line. While this may have some purists calling foul, it’s proof positive that electronic has not only arrived, but from the dance floor to the airwaves, it has already conquered the world.

BREAKIN’: AN OURSTAGE BREAKDANCING PLAYLIST

Summer Heights High's Jonah Takalua busting a move

Summer Heights High's Jonah Takalua busting a move

Amongst music scholars, breakdancing is considered to be one of the four foundational elements of the hip hop culture in addition to DJing, MCing and graffiti art. With its humble beginnings in the Bronx  during the late 70′s at a time when gang violence ran rampantbreakdancing became an alternative medium for rival gangs to compete with one another. Hip hop pioneers such as DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash selected records featuring catchy drum break sections and mixed them together in a continuous “loop” while their MC’s egged on the “B-Boys” and “B-girls” to bust their best moves. No doubt hip hop’s early DJs inspired several generations of electronic musicians and record producers, such as Fatboy Slim and Rick Rubin. Today, the torch is carried by some great artists on OurStage like Metermaids a hip hop duo who put their own spin on Sufjan Steven’s “Chicago.”

 

Feel like you’re ready to krush groove? We suggest you put on your best kicks and start the circle because it’s time for an OurStage breakdancing set!

 


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