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Soundcheck: Hot Ticket Tours

With the new year comes new talent, new music and new must-see shows from some of our favorite artists. While more hot ticket tours are sure to be announced as the months go by, here’s a few we’re already gearing up for in 2012.

Rick Ross: Although he’s been relatively quiet since last year’s numerous health scares, it seems Ross is ready to get back on the scene with a year full of features, releases and live gigs. On January 13, he will be at LA’s Nokia Theatre with Busta Rhymes, Y.G. and Eric B; following up with a show two weeks later at Webster Bank Arena in Connecticut.  In February, he’ll hit the stage for “The Maybach Massacre” featuring Waka Flocka Flame at Uno Lakefront Arena in New Orleans. This year is looking good for Mr. Ross, who began production last week on the video for his single, “Rich Forever” from his upcoming mixtape of the same title.  The video reportedly features Meek Mills, Drake, DJ Khaled and French Montana.

Bow Wow: The Young Money artist took to Twitter to confirm that he would be embarking on a world tour in 2012 in to promote his album, Underrated. He’s planning to hit North America, Europe, Africa, Australia, Japan and South America, but no official confirmation has surfaced.  Only time will tell if Bow Wows global bounce back comes to fruition, or is just wishful thinking.

Lil Wayne & Eminem: Though no dates have been confirmed, Eminem and Lil Wayne are rumored to be coordinating an international tour together for 2012.  Weezy first announced the news in November on his Facebook account, posting “Headed to Fiji, Australia, then S. Africa…on tour with Slim Shady…a blessing…thx to those who supported C4! 2x platinum! Love y’all” With his album, The Carter 4 going double platinum, and Eminem being the show-stopping performer he is, there’s no doubt this tour will be the hottest ticket in town.  The two already have numerous successful singles under their belts, including “ No Love”, “Drop The World” and ‘Forever”.

Continue reading ‘Soundcheck: Hot Ticket Tours’

Vocal Points: View From The Top

The significance of the Billboard Hot 100, which compiles the Top 100 singles based on radio popularity, in the music industry today has certainly diminished. But despite new music industry road maps, the chart remains an interesting measure of what sells in a huge commercial way. So, let’s take a look what role the voice plays in each of the following chart-toppers’ success on Billboard from the week of November 26, 2011. Here are the Top 10 artists in order.

1. Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris, “We Found Love” While Rihanna’s hits are always fun and catchy, the way that her voice sounds recorded (a bit whiny) has never blown me away. And then there’s the fact that some of her stuff is diluted with pitch correction software, which shows in live performance when she’s often off key. All that aside, this particular song is not offensive, but its just very bland.

2. LMFAO – “Sexy And I Know It” DJs Redfoo and SkyBlu may have no vocal talent, but at least they don’t pretend to. They have fun and the song is what is, and that’s why it works. Continue reading ‘Vocal Points: View From The Top’

UTG: Gym Class Heroes Stream New Album

Gym Class Heroes are streaming their upcoming release, The Papercut Chronicles II, over on the bands’ Facebook. This material seems to be a healthy departure from their past releases and is pretty catchy.

The album drops this coming Tuesday, November 15, through Decaydance/Fueled By Ramen.

Give the album a spin and be sure to let us know what you think of it!

View original article on Under The Gun Review.


Download of the Week: I Fight Dragons

Video games, superheroes and infectiously catchy power pop are the fuel behind Chicago’s I Fight Dragons journey from obscurity to the national spotlight as this week’s Needle in the Haystack featured artist. Armed with Game Boys and guitars, the group spearheaded their way into the OurStage and CMJ charts this past summer with tracks off their stellar Cool Is Just a Number EP. However, the band isn’t just a treat for the ears — they’ve earned quite the local rep for their live show playing old school video game controllers, like the beloved Nintendo powerglove, alongside traditional tools of the trade. After a recent signing to Photo Finish Records, the Nintedo-crazed six piece is gearing up to share the bill with 3OH!3, Cobra Starship, and Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes on the Too Fast For Love Tour starting in April. Give a listen to this week’s free track, “Heads Up, Hearts Down” and see what all the buzz is about for yourself. Keep your eyes peeled to OurStage and the MTV Music blog to get better acquainted with the I Fight Dragons crew.


cmjdotcom_webWelcome to our ninth 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.

Kill Mercy

Metal Channel
With brutal screams and shrieking guitar squeals, Kill Mercy’s sound is driven down with authority. They bring great skill to the table playing the difficult-to-execute math rock style.
RIYL: Norma Jean, Unearth, Bane


“Beat Riot feat. Peter Hook”
Electronic Channel
Portuguese electro pop-rockers boasting catchy hooks and dance beats could very well be “the next big thing,” with members of Joy Division and Scissor Sisters lending a hand.
RIYL: New Order, MGMT, Klaxons

The Blackout Project

“Future Celebrity
Hip Hop Channel
Head-bobbing beats paired with emcee K-Nice’s humble, poetic thoughts make The Blackout Project’s future look bright.
RIYL: Gym Class Heroes, Atmosphere, Being “hood”

Get ready for The Action!


Ska is a genre that always seems to fall just short of mainstream. It’s already on its third wave of revival, and there is no shortage of bands that combine the traditional ska sound with a new, punk-influenced sound. The Action! is a band that does this in a raw and energetic way.

Sometimes artists get caught up in their image or popularity and lose sight of their original goals. For The Actionthe-action-1! however, it’s been all about the music from day one. After taking a break in 2003, because their schedule didn’t allow them to focus enough on their music, the band got back together in 2006. Since then, they have fused an energetic ska sound that can be pitted against Reel Big Fish or perhaps even The Toasters. With jazzy intros, bluesy verses, and catchy choruses that just won’t leave your head, The Action! certainly deserves your attention.


The Action! is gaining significant credibility particularly in their home community and has been featured in local TV commercials. Gaining more widespread appeal, the group has also been featured on the internationally released ska compilation, How I Punked Out of Skallege (Red Dragon Records). Well known acts such as Reel Big Fish, The Toasters, Gym Class Heroes, and the Planet Smashers have noticed The Action!’s rising potential by offering the opportunity to open at their shows. Currently, the band is editing the footage for their first music video that will be released soon. Join their fanclub and be sure to check our their latest release, Exploding Radio.


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