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Album Review: Kaki King – “Glow”

For fans of Kaki King, if you are like me, then you probably miss hearing her lyric-less ambient acoustic guitar playing. Understandably so, since this is originally how the songwriter-singer—because her vocals really are secondary to her songwriting—got her start and why so many people were drawn to her in the first place. Over the years, she has gradually incorporated a few more instruments and some soft singing into her music here and there, which was actually quite a nice for a change. But on her last album, Junior, King almost left the whole solo instrumental guitarist act behind, introducing a full rock band sound and an unmistakably Tegan And Sara influenced full singing voice. Many fans, while welcoming the new style, still felt a bit like something was missing. If you are one of those fans, then slip on your mittens, warm woolen hat, and scarf because the original Kaki King we know and love is back with an autumnal instrumental album called Glow. Continue reading ‘Album Review: Kaki King – “Glow”’

Latin Artists: Compete To Become El Headliner This October

Latin artists, get ready for your close-up! Once again OurStage and Tr3s are offering up some massive exposure.  When you submit your best Latin tune to the “Tr3s Latin Music Channel” Competition, the OurStage community of fans will decide which artist scores editorial coverage from Top 20, Music My Güey, Descubre y Download, and Blogamole—plus, of course, the bragging rights that come with the title of “El Headliner.”

Enter your best song into the “Tr3s Latin Music Channel” Competition by October 23 for the opportunity to get your music out to thousands of new fans. What are you standing around for? The spotlight awaits.

Austin Renfroe Rocks Out With Fresh Ernie Ball Strings

The road ahead is looking bright for Nashville singer-songwriter Austin Renfroe. He’s turning heads across the board with the attention of hundreds of thousands of online fans, critical acclaim, Sirius XM’s “Breaks The Band” title and a spot as a The OurStage Panel finalist. He also managed to grab the attention of our friends at Ernie Ball, which landed him the Ernie Ball Pop Grand Prize in October for his track “Honesty”. As a result, Renfroe got the hook up from Ernie Ball with a year’s supply of shiny new strings for his axe, so we just had to catch up with him to see how he likes ‘em. Check out the pics below!

Austin Renfroe Takes Ernie Ball Pop Grand Prize

These days it seems that there’s not much standing in the way of Nashville song-crafter Austin Renfroe. He’s sold hundreds of thousands of digital downloads, garnered critical acclaim and won Sirius XM’s Breaks The Band with his single “Taking Me Under.” Recently crowned a finalist on Episode 2 of The OurStage Panel, it’s clear that he’s got the talent to make some big waves— precisely the attributes that stand out to Ernie Ball.

Renfroe entered his synth-rock dance track “Honesty” in the Ernie Ball Pop Channel this October and watched it climb all the way to the Top 10. Ernie Ball loved Renfroe’s jams so much, they decided to hook him up with the October grand prize—a year’s supply of strings and accessories. Now that’s a prize like that is sure to give his career a boost. Stay hip to the OurStage blog to find out more about the win.

Want The Chance To Open For The Legendary 99.5 WZPL Holiday Party This Winter?

Somehow it’s already the last day of October, and the holiday season is quickly creeping up on us. While this can mean lots of stress (See: Cooking for a small army, Coming up with the perfect gift), we have an incredible opportunity to make this year your best yet! We’re giving you the chance to open up the legendary 99.5 WZPL Holiday Party, their annual Christmas show, this year. All you have to do is enter your song into the “99.5 WZPL Holiday Concert Opening Performance” Competition, and you could be performing alongside artists like The Fray.

Sound like something that will bring you lots of holiday cheer? We thought so! Hurry up though, because the deadline to enter your song is November 7th. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to rock Christmas in Indianapolis!

Help Discover The Next Pop Star On OurStage!

This month, Ernie Ball is giving OurStage’s talented pop artists the opportunity to win cool prizes by sponsoring the Pop Channel.  Amazing submissions are pouring in each day so we need your help to determine who will come out on top.  After all, a year’s supply of Ernie Ball strings and accessories is on the line. Head on over to the Pop Channel and let your voice be heard—judging ends October 29, 2011.

Check out a small sampling of these fabulous pop artists in the player below:

Get Ready To Rock Around The Christmas Tree

We hate to jump on the early bandwagon, but it’s October, and according to Macy’s, Bed Bath and Beyond (and ahem, yours truly), it’s time to start thinking about the holidays. As you can imagine, we prefer to kick things off the rock ‘n’ roll way, so we’ve joined forces with 99.5 WZPL in Indianapolis to give singer-songwriter, rock and pop artists a head start on the jingle bell rock.

Enter the “99.5 WZPL Holiday Concert Opening Performance” Competition on OurStage by November 7, 2011, and you could perform at the 99.5 WZPL Christmas show in Indianapolis, featuring The Fray. Celebrate this holiday season the right way—with an extra dose of hooch in the eggnog and an electric guitar by your side.

 

Stars Go Dim Score Songwriting Session With Hit Maker Evan Bogart

Oklahoma pop-rockers Stars Go Dim won the Grand Prize for the “SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™” Competition back in October, and earned the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to open for GRAMMY-Award winning band the Goo Goo Dolls. In addition to the performance, the guys scored a one-on-one songwriting session with professional songwriter Evan “Kidd” Bogart who, in case you hadn’t heard, has worked with some of the biggest acts in today’s music industry including Beyoncé, Rihanna and Britney Spears to name a few. Bogart is synonymous with songwriting gold in the pop universe, having penned mega hits the likes of Beyonce’s “Halo” and Rihanna’s “S.O.S.” The guys met with Bogart last week to discuss all things songwriting, and we caught up with Stars Go Dim lead singer Michael Wittig to see how things went. Take a look at our most recent Q&A below!

OS: Did you guys have a song in mind to work on when you went in to the session?

MW: We had a couple of ideas that we’ve been working on before we went out to LA. We basically started working on the first idea we showed Evan called “Lose It”. We came in with a hook and a first verse and then finished the rest of the song in about 4 hours. The song turned out great! We plan on recording it later in March.

OS: Did you have any specific questions lined up for him?

MW: Not really at first. We just were excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with a great writer and his team. Towards the end of the session we just talked about the music industry in general and how to release music in today’s market. We also took time to watch YouTube videos and listen to artists that Evan thought were going to hit soon.

OS: What kinds of advice did Evan offer you?

MW: He basically said to keep on doing what we’ve been doing. It felt good to know that we are on the right track and that we saw eye-to-eye with his thoughts on the industry.

OS: Were you surprised by what he said?

MW: We were pleasantly surprised and it felt good to hear it from a well-respected player in the music industry.

OS: Has the session changed the way you look at writing songs? If so, how?

MW: You never know how writing sessions will go. Sometimes you click and sometimes you don’t. We felt that we clicked with Evan and the writing camp. It felt natural and the song came easy. It was a true collaboration.

OS: Did Evan share any cool stories with you guys about his experiences working with famous artists?

MW: All of his stories were cool. He has worked with a lot of great artists. What was really cool was his wall of signatures. Almost every person he has worked with has signed his wall. On another wall, he had a bunch of sheet music as wallpaper. Of course they were all hit songs. He called this wall, “The wall of inspiration.” I think we are going to steal that idea.

Guitar Center Fan Winners Announced

Congratulations to the 10 OurStage members who won sweepstakes prizes in Your Next Record with Keith Urban Competition.  Each week, Guitar Center awarded a $50 gift card to fans for judging in this competition throughout October, November and December.  Not only did they win the gift cards, but their participation in judging helped determine the artist winner who will get to record with Keith Urban! Fans really do win at OurStage!

Big ups to these guys for winning!

John Biord (Nashville, TN)

Paxton Campbell (Cleburne, TX)

Brandon Clark (Broken Arrow, OK)

Brandon Ghorley (Milton, WA)

Travis Kidd (Bixby, OK)

Gretchen King (Columbus, OH)

Ben Jenkins (Madison, WI)

Melanie May (Middlefield, OH)

Dan Staggs (Marietta, GA)

Mark Yamplosky (Charleston, SC)

If you missed out on these cool fan prizes, don’t worry. There are lots of other places on OurStage to win, like the Holiday Ho Down. Explore the site, answer some questions and win prizes! And stay tuned for more cool fan opportunities.

Artist Followup: Hometown Heroes Open For The Goo Goo Dolls

In October, Tulsa, Oklahoma pop-rockers Stars Go Dim won the Grand Prize in the Subway “Fresh Artists” Competition with their song “Get Over It,” which awarded the band the incredible opportunity to open for The Goo Goo Dolls at the Star 103.3 Jingle Ball in San Francisco, CA on December 10, 2010.  In addition to the to the performance, SGD will also receive $1,000 cash and a songwriting session with professional songwriter Evan Bogart, famous for writing hits for artists the likes of Beyoncé, Britney Spears and Adam Lambert! The guys in the band got the incredible opportunity to meet the members of the Goo Goo Dolls, as well as share the bill with Hedley and former American Idol winner Kris Allen. Leading up to the show, the band was featured and interviewed on Tulsa’s rock radio station KMOD, which also broadcast their winning single “Get Over It”  to thousands of listeners. The band later performed at a local Subway in their hometown, drawing a crowd of dedicated local followers.  We caught up with Michael Wittig, bassist for Stars Go Dim, after the show to hear all about their experience.

OS: How did your performance go? What kind of  increased buzz have you guys seen up to and after the show?

MW: Our performance at the Star 101.3 Jingle Ball with the Goo Goo Dolls and Kris Allen went awesome.  We’ve been told we played very well. I don’t know about the other guys, but I rocked the bass that night, ha.

OS: How did the audience respond to your set?

MW: The crowd was very receptive and showed it spending their hard earned money on us after the show. I was surprised by the amount of CDs/shirts we sold. We took pictures with some of them after the show and have kept in touch with some via Facebook since the show.

OS: How did it feel to have the opportunity to open for the Goo Goo Dolls? Did you get to meet them?

MW: We were very excited about the whole thing. The Goo Goo Dolls have had so many hits and great songs. We did get to meet them. They set up a private meeting for us with them and had a photoshoot. The guys were very friendly and encouraging. John even gave us a shout out on stage during their set.

OS: How did you get your fans to come and judge in the competition?

MW: We asked them very nicely :) Many of our fans have become good friends of ours. We made sure that a handful of them were able to attend the show on us. And when that doesn’t work blackmailing sometimes helps get those extra votes.

OS: What do you think is the most important way to market yourself as a band?

MW: Be personable with fans and give them your time. You just might get their time in return and win huge contests like this. Oh, having good quality music helps too!

OS: How do you plan to use this opportunity to further your career?

MW: Every time something great like this happens, it just helps build our story. Not many independent artists can say they’ve played with John Mayer, Chris Daughtry, Jason DeRülo and now the Goo Goo Dolls. Being able to add this to our history just makes it easier to land new opportunities. Being a part of events like this opens doors.

OS: What has been the most exciting aspect of this whole experience?

MW: Being recognized by Clear Channel and the Goo Goo Dolls out of so many other great artists. Also, getting to meet and watch the Goo Goo Dolls perform. It was pretty cool to watch them play “Name” and their other hits live. We travel so much we don’t really get a chance to “attend” concerts for fun. We definitely look up to them and their songwriting.

Stars Go Dim is scheduled to be interviewed by local radio stations in and around their hometown in the coming weeks, and their story has been picked up by a local paper who will cover their entire experience in the Subway “Fresh Artists” Competition from start to finish. Stay tuned to the airwaves for word from this up-and-coming band. Click below to check out the video of the band’s meet and greet with the Goo Goo Dolls.

 


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