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 competitions finals.In the future there will be prizes to help your musical career. Check back to find out.

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Satellites & Sirens Release ‘One Noise’

Nashville’s Satellites & Sirens have released their much anticipated new LP One Noise. The synthesizer pop maestros who first came to our attention as winners of our Rock Boat competition launched a Kickstarter campaign in February to help fund the release. Now, with the help of the band’s fans, the album is here for our listening pleasure. Get it now on iTunes.

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Matt Farley Is The World’s Most Successful Song Spammer

matt farleyA piece published today on BDCWire profiles a Massachusetts musician named Matt Farley, who has invented a one-man niche industry. Farley creates click-bait songs to load onto iTunes and streaming services like Spotify by using names of artists, celebrities, movies, and common search terms (“How to ask a girl to the prom,” for instance). The curiosity clicks that these songs have received earned Farley $23k last year.

Author Ryan Walsh interviewed Farley and found a very honest and open subject. Audio clips are included in the piece, including some from Farley’s older, more serious musical efforts, and Walsh speculates that this new career as a song spammer might have something to do with the personal frustrations so common to being an unknown musician.

It’s some interesting stuff, especially in these days when musicians are struggling more and more to figure out how to make a buck.

@OurStage

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Of Mice & Men Stream ‘Restoring Force’

ofmicemen2012_620_413_70A week ahead of release date, Of Mice & Men have unlocked their latest full length, Restoring Force for stream via iTunes Radio. You can stream right here, and get ready for their upcoming tour dates with Bring Me The Horizon, Issues, letlive., and Northlane by pre-ordering the album through MerchNOW and iTunes.

 

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Beyoncé Drops Surprise “Visual” Album, Uploads Preview Video Clips

BEYONCEChristmas came a little early this year for Beyoncé fans. Dropping her self-titled fifth album exclusively through iTunes this morning, Beyoncé says about the surprise 14-track album, “I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it. I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans.”

The album features collaborations with husband Jay-Z, Frank Ocean, Drake, and more. View the track list below. As a bonus, you can now see preview video clips of each song, uploaded by Beyoncé to YouTube. And you should, since the singer is calling this a “visual album.”

Continue reading ‘Beyoncé Drops Surprise “Visual” Album, Uploads Preview Video Clips’

Lorde, The Beatles, Lady Gaga Contribute To Philippines Relief Album

What do The Beatles, Lorde, Cher, and Lady Gaga all have in common? No, this isn’t a bad joke. In fact, it’s pretty cool. The iconic superstars will be just some of the mega-acts contributing to a new relief album for Typhoon Haiyan. Coming in at a whopping 39 tracks, Songs for the Philippines is available on iTunes, with all proceeds being donated to the Philippine Red Cross. View the track list below and donate here. Continue reading ‘Lorde, The Beatles, Lady Gaga Contribute To Philippines Relief Album’

Happy Birthday: iTunes Turns 10

Eleven years ago, if you wanted new music, you needed to stream it online (if you had a fast enough Internet connection), or blindly purchase new albums in stores and hope the full-length was as good as the single. Napster was a thing, as was bit torrent, but neither was as large a presence as they are now. The music industry knew it had to change before the illegal realm passed the commercial world, and so ten years ago yesterday (April 28) iTunes was born.

Opinions of the software and service continue to vary wildly, but there is no denying that iTunes is a prominent force in the music industry. Ten years after its launch, it continues to outpace the competition, even if some of the updates have been met with widespread criticism, and no app or product is currently poised to dethrone it anytime soon.

To celebrate iTunes hitting the decade mark, Apple put together highlights from the product’s life up to this point. Click here to check out their efforts.

Sound And Vision: No Doubt Rides Again–But Can Gwen Stefani & Co. Rise Again?

The ’90s are about to face a crucial test, one that might determine if the Clintonian era even has a shot at matching the staying power of the Reagan ’80s, a decade that continues to resonate more than 20 years after it ended. Welcome back, ’90s stars Soundgarden, SWV, Garbage, Brandy, Matchbox Twenty, Green Day, the Wallflowers, Blur, Aaliyah (via creepy interloper Drake) and No Doubt.

A decade is a long time in life, and an eternity in pop music, especially when you’ve spent one in a state of virtual inactivity, as did No Doubt, the band that will release its comeback album, Push and Shove, on September 25 (the same day Green Day returns with Uno!, the first of a trilogy of albums that the rock trio will release in the coming months). When No Doubt put out its last studio album, Rock Steady, in December of 2001, George W. Bush was less than one year into his first term as President of the United States, Friends was the No. 1 show on TV, and dated acts like Shaggy, Crazy Town and Ja Rule were scoring No. 1 singles on Billboard’s Hot 100.

The world, still reeling from September 11 exactly three months earlier, had yet to hear of Barack Obama, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, iPads, iPhones and American Idol. Britney Spears was the biggest female pop star on the planet, and she was in love with Justin Timberlake, best known as heartthrob No. 1 in ’N Sync, the world’s biggest boy band. In this post-millennial world, Rock Steady went double-platinum in the U.S. and produced three hit singles, including the Top 5 hits “Hey Baby” and “Underneath It All.” Continue reading ‘Sound And Vision: No Doubt Rides Again–But Can Gwen Stefani & Co. Rise Again?’

Is Bruce Willis Suing Apple Over Music Ownership?

The tech-blog rumor mill was in high gear over the weekend when a number of outlets reported that action movie star Bruce Willis was planning on bringing suit against Apple over the ownership of his music.

The story went that Willis – who, believe it or not, is made of flesh and blood much like you or me – was preparing his estate and wished to pass on his vast music collection to his daughter. It seemed that Willis is also a fan of iTunes, frequently purchasing and downloading tracks from Apple’s online music storefront. But in the process of bequeathing his earthly possessions to his kin he found that he couldn’t transfer ownership of his collection of songs to his daughter.

So, is Apple about to be on the receiving end of Willis’ particular brand of rootin’ tootin’, shoot-first-ask-questions-later style of ass kicking, legally speaking?

Short answer: no. Long answer: awwwww but come on, that would be awesome.

Continue reading ‘Is Bruce Willis Suing Apple Over Music Ownership?’

The Five Best Music Podcasts Of All Time (As Of Right Now)

Podcasting is the modern equivalent of pirate radio, with hobbyists and big names all competing for the same ears. It’s a medium that reward the nerdy and obsessive. It’s unglamorous. And that’s why we love it.

It seems that podcasting has been experiencing something of a renaissance as of late. The iTunes Podcast directory is rich with new programs and series that present the best in pop culture analysis, storytelling, comedy, and music at no charge to the listener. Since we’re so clearly enamored with podcasts, we wanted to share some of our personal favorites that cover music.

The Needle Drop

Anthony Fantano describes himself as “the internet’s busiest music nerd,” and that’s not hyperbole. Fantano runs the niche indie music blog empire that is The Needle Drop. Fantano specializes in audio and video reviews, covering albums and individual songs by artists big and small. While his YouTube album reviews are his bread and butter—he puts out a new one every week day—he also releases a weekly podcast covering new releases in, “rock, pop, electronic, and experimental music of the independent persuasion.” He covers a fair amount of rap and hip-hop as well. Warning: this podcast is only for the most curious and forward-thinking music nerds.

XLR8R Podcast

XLR8R describes their editorial mission thusly: “designed to break new artists and challenge cultural paradigms. XLR8R constantly strives to challenge its readers and provide a unique and inspiring experience.” Heavy stuff. XLR8R covers and tries to shed light on some of the most intelligent and left field electronic music floating in the broadband ether at the moment. Trance, house, electro, dubstep (mostly the U.K. variant), downtempo, and ambient are all on the table. For their podcast, XLR8R brings in some of the most unique, if not hottest, producers and DJs for exclusive mixes of their favorite artists. The best part? Most of the mixes feature meticulous track listings, with the artist name and a link to their relevant social media appearing as their song plays.

Who Charted?

Now for something more lighthearted. Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack are the multi-racial, mixed gendered duo that hosts Who Charted? Every episode features a new comedian or actor who joins Kremer and Vilaysack, or “”WieWie” and “KuKu,” as they discuss the charts of the week. Music charts, movie charts, if it’s in the Top 5 somewhere, they’re going to talk about it. Even though it’s not exclusively about music, the show gets bonus points for the humor, the audio of the songs included (music discovery!), and the wide breadth of comedy people they bring onto the show. If it’s not enough music or a bit too flippant for your tastes, I suggest paring an episode of Who Charted? with some of the musician-oriented episodes from the WTF with Marc Maron podcast. Example: Take Who Charted? episode 79 with Reggie Watts and follow it with WTF with Marc Maron episode 276, featuring The Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne.

NPR’s All Songs Considered

This one is a bit of an obvious choice. The wide majority of NPR acolytes are probably familiar with the All Songs Considered program. Hosted by the affable Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, the web-only series began way back in 2000 as the tentpole of NPR Music. The show is still going strong to this day with Boilen, Hilton, and anybody else helping to bring the freshest new music to their subscribers. The show doesn’t really follow a set format, with weekly episodes ranging in length from around a half and hour to a full hour in length. Also the show has that NPR sound and feel, so you’re going to know if you love it or hate before you even start to listen.

Outside the Lines with Rap Genius

Rap Genius has been blowing up the lyric analysis game lately. The site has become the go-to spot for crowd-sourced and direct-from-artist verse meanings. Capitalizing on their newfound popularity, the site is expanding the brand with the Outside the Line podcast. Only a few weeks old as of the publication of this post, the show features host SameOldShawn sitting down with hip-hop luminaries. In the first four episodes, we’ve heard revealing interviews from Jean Grae, RZA, Soul Khan, and Kool Keith with more choice guests to surely follow.

Any podcasts that we missed here that you think are cool enough to include? Let us know in the comments!

Spotify Launches New ‘Play’ Button

According to NME, Spotify today launched a new ‘Play’ button that allows users to embed on other websites any track from the streaming service’s library. Users now have the opportunity to post a track of their choice online and stream it from Spotify. In addition to embedding tracks, users will also be able to offer up albums and playlists of their choice.

In partnership with a number of media outlets, Spotify aimed at getting the word out in a collaborative effort with online sources such as NME.com. NME editor Luke Lewis said: “We’ve been creating Spotify playlists to enhance our blog posts for some time now, but we’ve never been able to embed them within the page itself. So this is a really cool new feature. It means that, from now on, when users read our album/track reviews, list features, or new band recommendations, they’ll be able to stream the tracks instantly via Spotify, within NME.COM – without firing up the application, or opening a new window.”

In regards to the app’s launch, Gustav Söderström, Chief Product Officer at Spotify said: “We’re hugely excited to be launching the Spotify Play Button today, in partnership with the brightest and best sites on the web, such as NME. From today, the Spotify Play Button gives sites the ability to share access to any song, album or playlist through Spotify, creating a personalised soundtrack to their website or blog. Spotify is lighting up the internet with music.”

NME reports that Spotify was recently valued at over $3.5 billion. In addition, NME stated Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster and one of Spotify’s key investors, claimed the service will overtake iTunes in two years.

 


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