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

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Tag: Kate Tucker
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Tag: "Kate Tucker"

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Kate Tucker Searches For The ‘Ghost Of Something New’

Having grown up in a family of truck drivers, OurStage artist Kate Tucker seems to have inherited from them a sixth sense for the state of the nation. It’s a type of understanding that isn’t based on national polls or facts, but on the accumulation of individual tales that, when woven together, depict the full American canvas. On her latest album, Ghost of Something New, Tucker offers acute insights into the national mood through intimate stories of love gone awry. Melancholy, yet hopeful, the collection of songs is at once a rumination on failed previous relationships as well as a depiction of a country that similarly cannot stop contemplating its own path and past.

In Tucker’s lyrics, descriptions of romantic disappointment continuously spill over into distinctly American despair. When she sings “Baby what you’re saying / It ain’t worth a dime / One more deal on main street / And you’ll be doing time,” the empty promises of a dishonest lover sound unmistakably like the deceitful Wall Street dealings that spawned recent financial crises. Populist rhetoric reminiscent of the occupy camps appears over the rollicking drum beat of “Revolution” as well; the singer asks her lover, “Don’t you want to start it / Start a revolution / Take it down to Houston?” While Tucker’s narrators may cling to the particularly American belief that it is always possible to start anew, they are more likely to ruminate on the improbability of that same dream, falling “back into the distance / Searching for some old ancient truth.”

Like her aimlessly wandering lovers who vainly mine the past for guidance, Tucker’s America can only weakly imitate its own outdated victories. Ubiquitous pop clichés are repeated in strange semantic inversions (“I’m gonna get you over”) and familiar instrumental conventions of folk and Americana emerge from the arrangements like ghostly spectres. Lap steel and harmonica hide in the background mix while weary, fuzzed-out electric guitars languish in gallons of reverb. Over the swell, Tucker delivers her lyrics in a breathy alto, at times no louder than a hushed whisper. While this all may give the impression that Ghost of Something New is disconsolate and moody, the album doesn’t discount hope as an impossible commodity. As the closing track “New Orleans” builds to a climax, its single-note piano line becomes subtly dissonant and faltering, but doesn’t fall apart completely. It holds on until the last moment in order to deliver a final delicate chord. In this moment, missteps don’t seem fatal, and the future isn’t bound inextricably to failures of the past. It’s a muted type of hope, but it exists, and it’s as much as the lovelorn narrators of Tuckers songs can continue to long for.

Download Ghost of Something New at Kate Tucker’s Bandcamp page!

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Get Professional on OurStage!

If you’re here on OurStage, then its clear that you’re looking to get your music noticed. Whether you compete in our monthly channel or sponsor competitions, or you’re more interested in our licensing opportunities, there are a few important tweaks that you should make to your profile and EPK. Even if you are the most talented, polished musician, the only way people will recognize your abilities is if you present yourself in a professional manner. So here are some tips that will help you step up your game and make the most of the tools we’re providing you!

Tell your story. Nobody knows you like you do. Why not tell anyone checking out your profile a little bit about yourself by adding a bio to your profile. Maybe you have an interesting story about how or why you decided to pursue music. Maybe you’ve had some incredible opportunities opened up to you, or some hardships which you’re battling against. Whatever your story is, your fans want to know! This is what makes you an individual, and shapes your musical career.

Fill out your entire EPK. If you’re looking to get noticed by top industry players, its important to make sure you are giving them all the information they need to know about you. So, make sure to fill out everything in your EPK. Some common areas which are overlooked are 1. adding links to other sites you’re active on, 2. keeping your calendar updated with upcoming shows and 3. filling out all the questions in the Artist Info section. Not only are these three areas of the EPK essential to fill out in order to get your EPK to 100% complete, but they’re also very important in showing your involvement and experience in the music world!

Continue reading ‘Get Professional on OurStage!’

OurStage’s Leading Ladies Have A Gift For You

Long gone are the days that women sit back and let men have all the fun. So far gone, in fact, that last month we decided to let the men sit back and watch as the women show off their stuff. And boy have we been impressed! The “Ladies Love Cool Jams” Competition—for pop, rock, hip hop and rap artists—has surfaced some incredible female talent. And now we want to give you the opportunity to get as hooked on these sensational ladies as we are!

1. Anna Soltys and the Familiar‘s “Little Bug” is an eerie, yet upbeat indie pop song that shows off Anna’s cool vocal stylings over layers of unique arrangements.

2. Kaleigh Baker‘s “Sugardaddy” is an incredible blues-rock song that shows what a force to be reckoned with she. From start to finish, Baker impresses us with her vocal range and attitude.

3. Kate Tucker‘s ”Roman Candles” showcases Kate’s hauntingly lovely voice, while at the same time impresses us lyrically.

4. Lyric‘s “Death of a Poet” is simple and acoustically-based, yet delivers a literary-inspired treat for hip hop fans that is incredibly powerful.

5. Mad June, Montreal’s own all-female foursome gives you “November” a song that takes a stand against discrimination, and yet has a hopeful, upbeat feel to it.

6. Alt Rock group, The Chloes, amp it up their song “Crash This Party” which does a great job of showcasing the talent of all four ladies in an authentic way.

7. Another fun tune is Waiting to Run‘s “Lovesick (feat. The Poets Dance)”, which has a beat that makes you wanna get right up and dance.

8. ”Best of Me”—by singer-songwriter Sara Lindsayis an upbeat song that puts a smile on our faces. Sara’s voice and positive attitude about life shine through.

Download the entire playlist here for free, and we guarantee you’ll see why we’re raving about these lovely ladies!

Backstage With Kate Tucker

It goes without saying, but there are some pretty interesting and talented artists here on OurStage. We’ve been lucky to be part of the incredible journey that is the life of an independent musician, and you’ve been lucky in the fact that we brought cameras along with us. Starting today we’re going to be sharing a brand new video series with the OurStage community highlighting the highs, lows, inspirations and achievements of some very special OurStage artists. So sit back and relax, because you’re Backstage With OurStage.

Check out the first video below of singer-guitarist-songwriter Kate Tucker giving us a behind-the-scenes look at her life and music and offering insight into growing up in a family of truck drivers, what inspires her and winning an opening spot at LILITH 2010.

Lilith Local Talent Search Winners Announced For Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.!

As the West Coast winners tune up and prep their set lists for the massive crowds expected at their respective Lilith 2010 tour stops, another set of winners in the “Lilith Local Talent Search” Competition is ready to be revealed.  With each announcement, the anticipation for this ground-breaking tour becomes greater and greater.  There may be no hope for me, but at least now the artists in Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. can breathe a little easier!

Lilith Winners
Boston Cleveland Detroit Hartford
Winterbloom Kate Tucker Jetty Rae For the Love of Sloane
New York Philadelphia Washington D.C.
Rosi Golan Joy Ike Corrin Campbell
Due to a touring conflict, Rosi Golan will no longer be performing at Lilith in New York. Danielia Cotton will be taking the stage on July 31.

THE SURREAL LIFE

katetucker

Kate Tucker

Kate Tucker sings songs of unrest – sad, whispered tales of leaving … arriving … waiting. Though her indie folk-pop shimmers and sways, luring you into the melody, Tucker herself remains at a distance – an echoing voice belonging to an ethereal girl just out of reach. It’s the same enchanting mix of sparkle and twang you’ll find with another girl from the Pacific Northwest, Neko Case – but with a little Mazzy Star melancholia thrown in for good measure.

In her song “Faster Than Cars Drive,” the singer-guitarist shows she can haunt you, sweetly, slowly and with a country western crackle. “In Your Dreams,” wisps of electronic beats, xylophone and guitar float and pop against Tucker’s gossamer vocals. When the melody finally breaks into a canter, the headiness ebbs, but the feeling of surreality remains. Kate Tucker may be a tricky catch, but she’s one artist you’ll definitely want to follow down the rabbit hole.

Signatures_KateB

FINE TUNINGS: BEAR CREEK STUDIO IS A FAMILY AFFAIR


BearCreek1

OSBlog02_FineTunings_BearCreekThe musical mystique of the scenic Pacific Northwest is world-renown, thanks to the success of a few local bands that sprang up from the damp environment in the early ‘90s—Nirvana, Queensryche, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam. Of course, you can’t have a great music scene without great studios for bands to record in. And hands down, one of Seattle’s best is Bear Creek Recording Studio in Woodinville, Washington. Bear Creek is a quick 20 minute drive from downtown, but the 10-acre horse farm and barn are in a world all its own.

Owned and operated by Northwest natives, Joe and Manny Hadlock, a married couple who purchased the bucolic property in 1975, Bear Creek has been the studio of choice for artists like Soundgarden, Foo Fighters, The Gossip, Fleet Foxes, Kate Tucker, Ra Ra Riot, Metric, Josh Ritter, Modest Mouse, Tragically Hip, Eric Clapton and Lionel Richie. Now Joe and Manny’s son and heir apparent, Ryan Hadlock, is earning his stripes as the studio’s chief engineer as well. As Bear Creek celebrates their 30 year anniversary – a huge accomplishment in such trying times – I asked Manny to share the secrets of their success.

CD: How did Bear Creek get started?

MH: I met Joe in 1970, the first day of college, in Ellensburg, Washington. Joe was putting himself through pre-med as a musician in a rock band. I became the band’s number one groupie and then their manager. We moved to Seattle after we got married and soon fell into a small recording project in a garage in West Seattle. Joe was in heaven in the studio, and it wasn’t long before people were actually paying him to produce their music. Joe won a recording contract at The Apple Blossom Festival battle of the bands, and then recorded a commercial for Washington Apples. He started working with Linda Waterfall as an engineer/producer. Robin Pecknold’s (Fleet Foxes) father was Linda’s bass player and that is how Robin ended up recording at Bear Creek last year. Joe and Ian Matthews of Fairport Convention wrote songs and recorded for Island Records during Bear Creek’s first year. Other bands he worked with in the early days of the studio were the Grass Roots, Dr John, John Mayall and Tower of Power. Plenty of touring bands showed up because we had one of the only two multi-track machines in Seattle. After “Our House,” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young became a big hit (I think that was the song), Joe and I found the farm and immediately started building a studio in the huge barn. Many of our hippie friends helped us, and we paid them back by recording their projects in the years that followed. We landed a great account recording commercials for Rainier Beer. That and a small loan from a bank helped us add the cool vintage gear. (Of course, at that time, it was bright, shiny and state-of-the-art.)

CD: When did you realize you had a real success on your hands?

MH: When Eric Clapton walked into our studio to play on Lionel Richie’s Dancing on the Ceiling album.

CD: How did you get started managing producers and who you have managed?

MH: I made a decision to manage producers the first day I walked into a studio and we decided to build our own studio. As we grew and started working with a wide range of artists, other writers and producers asked if I could help them with contracts and sales. Wayne Horvitz was one of my first outside producers. I did work for Microsoft and large, national ad campaigns at the time and we had more work than we could handle. My daughter Anne brought in [producer] Gordon Raphael after they discovered the Strokes, and I started working with them in New York City. That proved to be a great success. Later, when Gordon and Anne moved to London, I went over to help Gordon set up a label with Sony UK. We ended up briefly working with Regina Spektor on Soviet Kitsch.

CD: When did Ryan become interested in the family business?

MH: Ryan has always worked at the studio. From the time he was ten, he was the kid who cleaned up and set up. By the time he was fourteen he was recording his own bands. His break came when he worked with Black Heart Procession. They were all about eighteen at the time. Ryan went to college to study communications in London and then ended up at Evergreen in Olympia. He came back to Bear Creek as an intern and helped us build the addition of a huge room and a new control room. Around this time Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs brought Ryan to New Orleans for a few projects in Daniel Lanois’ haunted studio. When Ryan got back, he assisted on a Foo Fighters record. Then Blonde Redhead found him through Black Heart. Anne moved to London and all sorts of connections started to happen. She was signed to Shoplifter Records which was run by a wunderkind named Toby who now runs Transgressive Records. They recommended Ryan to their artists and now Ryan has a manager of his own through Transgressive.

CD: When did you know that both of your children were musically inclined?

MH: Anne was always an artist. She was interested in music, poetry and painting. She never watched television. She was always producing something. She played her first show of original material when she was thirteen. Ryan was more of a regular kid and got into music as a player in the neighborhood band. He built garage studios and brought his friends in to record. They had to work for their recording time by mowing lawns, cleaning stables, and doing farm work. Ryan was always a great communicator and stepped into being a producer easily. He has a deep-rooted talent for engineering.

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CD: Can you briefly describe the studio itself?

MH: It’s in a century-old barn surrounded by fields trees and a stream running through the middle of the property. The barn is big. There are several large rooms and a whole band can fit in the control room. With a 60 x 40 foot live room and another 20 x 40 space with many isolation rooms, you can record anywhere. There is also an apartment upstairs that sleeps six and has a full kitchen. It is a pretty sight driving in. I am surprised at how many of the artists who record here say they grew up in a place just like this. We get bands from England, Canada, Sweden and Australia so I think we provide a comfortable, easy place to create that eases the stress of recording. We love to spoil bands. And there is a big hot tub a hundred feet from the studio for breaks. Joe is also a consulting in designing other studios. He’s built several in the Seattle area, New York and London, including one for The Strokes.

CD: What are challenges for professional studios since home studios have become so popular and recording equipment has gotten so inexpensive?

MH: We are lucky to have a huge room – you can’t get that sound from a computer – so drums and vocals are still recorded by serious artists in a real studio. The Internet has saturated the web with music, both good and bad music, and shattered the need for labels, who need to sell records to stay in business. We have had to adapt to charging prices we charged 20 years ago because budgets have been halved. It is hard to run a place like Bear Creek that requires a big staff and is also residential. But fortunately, we are booked solid and have been for 30 years. Still, we are affected by the economic downturn. Our staff deserves better pay for sure, but we are getting by.

CD: Is it still fun?

MH: It is always fun to work with amazing artists. Our favorite part is having the band over for dinner at the farm house. Getting to know the musicians and hear about their lives is a reward in itself.I think the engineers and producers love it too, except for the grueling hours that many bands think they need to be in the studio. It is diminishing returns. Bands want the most for their money, but the ears they are relying on need to be sharp. So recording for more than eight hours a day in the long run is not really a good way to go.

CD: I know you have your own background designing stage clothes. How did you get started doing that?

MH: I interned for the Joffrey Ballet in high school and studied art in college. I made clothes for bands, beaded old army wear during the psychedelic days, and I even made covers for gear. I was killer at satin bellbottoms and leather guitar straps. I also made custom sheepskin coats for touring bands. I still love making rock band clothes. I can’t play a note of music and if I sing the bath glass shatters. But I can manage and sew.

Kate Tucker & Sons of Sweden @ Bumbershoot 2008

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It’s hard to imagine it going any better. A packed hometown crowd, cooperating weather, and beautifully played set by Kate Tucker & the Sons of Sweden.

Kate won the early afternoon Bumbershoot crowd over with her infectious smile and satiny voice while Mark Isakson (as the Seattle P.I. points out) provided an essential, pedal driven texture (think Joey Santiago, but quieter). The whole band played a great set and clearly won over a new crop of fans not far from their hometown of Ballard. It’s hard not to feel like we’ll be watching this band on one of the bigger Bumbershoot stages in the coming years.

Look for a new video this coming fall, or watch their OurStage grand prize winner from this past May, “Say Love.”

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Get Ready to Bumbershoot!

If you live in Seattle, you’re probably getting excited about the Bumbershoot Festival, which takes place over the coming Labor Day weekend and features artists like Death Cab for Cutie, Beck, and the recently reunited Stone Temple Pilots. We’re particularly excited here at OurStage, because three of our artists have won performance slots at this year’s festival: Beehive, Ashleigh Flynn, and Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden.

If you don’t live in Seattle and you’d like to experience Bumbershoot from home, here’s a playlist featuring songs by the three OurStage artists:

www.ourstage.com

Also, make sure to check out our video interviews with bands at last year’s Bumbershoot Festival, including Saturna, Alabaster, and Merrill.

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