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Vans Reissue Designs From Rise Against, Circle Jerks And More

VansIn celebration of the upcoming SXSW festival, Vans have announced a special reissue of some of their most popular band shoe designs, including Rise Against, Bad Brains, Circle Jerks, and Motorhead II. The shoes will be released at the Vans Village lot of SXSW at noon each day, beginning March 12th. Only 50 pairs will be available, with 100 additional pairs available at the company’s website the following day.

First up will be Circle Jerks on March 12th, featuring the cover of Group Sex. Vans is currently working to make that a completely vegan shoe. Next up is the Motorhead II design on March 13th, followed by Bad Brains on March 14th, and Rise Against’s design featuring their Appeal to Reason cover on March 15th. Like Circle Jerks, the shoe will be completely vegan.

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You can check out the designs below, and get yours at the corner of 7th and Red River at this year’s SXSW. Can’t make it out this year? You can grab your new kicks the day after their festival debut here.

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Rise Against Stream “Sight Unseen”

Chicago punk outfit Rise Against made a new single available for streaming entitled, “Sight Unseen.”

Premiering online at some point in the last twenty-four hours, “Sight Unseen” is the latest song to surface off Rise Against’s forthcoming b-sides and rarities compilation. The song is a straightforward rock song with elements of punk riddled throughout. The date of the recording has not been revealed at this time, but it sounds like the kind of song that could have been released alongside The Sufferer & the Witness back in 2006. You can stream the single below.

Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides & Covers 2000 – 2013 is scheduled for release September 10. Comment below and let us know your thoughts on “Sight Unseen.” We’ll post more material from the album as it is made available. Continue reading ‘Rise Against Stream “Sight Unseen”’

Punk Isn’t Dead. It’s Just… Different.

Once upon a time, people used to listen to this thing they called ‘punk rock’, and they would put safety pins in their noses, get funny haircuts, and advocate anarchy in the streets. Nihilistic rebels and apathetic outcasts lurked in the back alleys and dark basements of a few select cities for the better part of the ‘70s, all the while building an empire before anyone even knew it was happening. However, after a brief detour through new wave, post-punk alterations, this sudden uprise seemed to fade away as rapidly as it began. But where did punk rock go? Where are the mohawks, the plaid pants, and the wayward misfits of the golden years we all used to know and love? Have they been lost into the dark abyss of what used to be, never to be seen again?

Yes. Well, mostly, anyway. However tragic it may be that the traditional Punks and Skunks are no longer bombarding the music scene with stripped-down, chugging guitar breaks and monotone shouting, the punk rock nucleus still lives on. Despite what the old-school anarchy stalwarts may claim, punk is by no means dead. It’s alive and kicking, with more teenage angst bursting at the seams than ever before. It just looks a little different and, of course, depends on how you choose see it.

So where is it, you ask? It’s blowing up all over the mainstream rock scene. Bands like Four Year Strong, A Day To Remember, and Rise Against, who have all made appearances on the Billboard charts, are leading the way for the contemporary punk movement. Granted, these groups aren’t ‘punk’ in the traditional sense, but they’re the product of years of development and evolution as punk rock has absorbed different trends and influences over the years. Continue reading ‘Punk Isn’t Dead. It’s Just… Different.’

OS @ Warped Series: Lost In Society

With summer right around the corner, we can’t help but be totally stoked for Warped Tour. In case you haven’t heard, we’ll be sponsoring our own stage for twenty-two dates and bringing twenty-three artists out to perform on it. Twenty-two acts will snag a performance at their local tour stop, and one lucky artist will get to perform on every date (tour bus included). In addition, there are a handful of other OurStage artists already booked to play various dates of the tour. We decided to catch up with them to get the scoop on their summer plans.

New Jersey’s Lost In Society are exactly what comes to mind when you think of  Warped Tour; loud guitars, fast drums and raspy vocals make them the perfect fit for the summer festival. Led by frontman Zack Moyle, this band has taken a truly punk rock DIY approach to their career, and their hard work has landed them on fourteen dates of Warped Tour this year. We caught up with Zack to talk about the band’s beginnings, what they love about Warped and what we can expect from them next.

OS:  Lost In Society started playing together in 2004. Tell us about how the band formed and how you decided on a name.

ZM: Nick [Ruroede, bassist] and I were in the same homeroom and we wanted to do a talent show in eighth grade, so we decided we were going to do a Green Day medley. We found a drummer, who was with us for about four years before Hector [Bonora, current drummer] joined. We started practicing together, and then eventually I started writing my own songs and we played that instead. I got the name when I was about ten or twelve, even before I could really play an instrument. I just knew I wanted to start a band, and I liked that name, so I just kind of chose it!

OS:  You guys are based in Asbury Park, New Jersey, which is known for its strong rock history. How did your local scene contribute to LIS’s career?

ZM: It definitely contributed, I always grew up around a lot of music, so that definitely influenced me to want to start a band and be a part of what’s going on here.

Continue reading ‘OS @ Warped Series: Lost In Society’

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Beyoncé and Jay-Z welcome daughter

This week the heavens parted, the earth shook and the angels bestowed a daughter to pop power couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé. As you’ve probably heard, her name is Blue Ivy Carter and she’s destined to become the most pimped-out kid in all of hip-hopdom. Jay-Z immediately released a track entitled “Glory” detailing her arrival. Hear what the proud papa has to say by listening to the song here.

Boyz II Men become Menz II Men

Boyz II Men embarked on a rite of passage long overdue this week. They finally became menz, thanks to Jimmy Kimmel. It’s safe to assume that back in school they used to dream about this every day. Watch their dreams come true below.

The Bad

No Doubt’s Twitter hacked to endorse Ron Paul

Kelly Clarkson may be a legitimate Ron Paul supporter, but not everyone’s a Paul-oholic. This week No Doubt, Nicole Scherzinger and Rise Against had to delete pro-Paul statements and calls for donations from their Twitter pages after their accounts were hacked. Looks like the #RonPaulRevolution is off to a clunky start.

Jason Isbell accuses Dierks Bentley of stealing

When former Drive By Truckers guitarist Jason Isbell heard Dierks Bentley’s track “Home,” he was moved. Not by sentimentality, but by rage. Isbell found the track to be a little too similar to his song, “In A Razor Town,” from his 2007 record, Sirens of the Ditch, and took to the interwebs to say so. Thus began a little twit-for-tat in which Isbell called Bentley a douchebag and Bentley accused Isbell of living in a fantasy world. Decide for yourself if Isbell’s beef is justified by listening to both tracks below.

The Ugly

Snoop Dogg arrested for marijuana possession

In the most un-shocking news story of the past twenty years, Snoop Dogg was arrested this week for rolling down the street, smoking endo. Now facing up to 180 days in jail if convicted of marijuana possession, the rapper is probably no longer as “laaaid back” as he was before.

Sinéad O’Connor asks for psychiatric help on Twitter

What would a week be without some sort of crazy antic from Sinéad O’Connor? This time the singer broke down on Twitter, asking her followers for emergency psychiatric help. Before you start worrying, O’Connor seems to be stable as of this post. But, like her marriage, that’s probably only temporary.

Miscellany

Get Lyrical: Rise Against’s “Help Is On The Way”

With all the crazy world events taking place right now—the civil war in the Middle East, the tsunami in Japan—tragedies that occurred not so long ago, like Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, can get lost in the shuffle. But while those disasters may be distant memories to many of us, Chicago rockers Rise Against aren’t letting go so easily. There’s still plenty of destruction in the Gulf region, as Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath saw during a recent trip to the region.  That’s what inspired “Help Is On The Way,” the first single from their new album Endgame, which features the quartet sticking to their socially-conscious roots.

The track’s first verse is dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, an indictment of the slow government response to the storm’s devastating effects. The verse is written from the desperate point of view of those trapped in New Orleans during the flooding, and vocalist Tim McIlrath’s lyrics voice the panic and abandonment Louisianians must have felt. “Can nobody save us? Will anyone try?/The bayou is burning, the severance is tight.” Coupled with the song’s intense music video, which tells the story of a family trying to survive the disaster, this verse sets a scene of total havoc and desolation.

In the song’s second verse, Rise Against recalls the BP oil spill. “Five thousand feet below/As black smoke engulfs the sky/The ocean floor explodes/11 mothers cry.”  The vivid imagery of the explosion combined with facts from the incident (11 people were killed when the barge blew up) make this verse a humbling reminder of the toll the disaster had on families as well as the environment.

And really, that’s what sets “Help is on the Way” apart. Sure, McIlrath calls out FEMA and BP’s failure to act during the chorus, singing “And all along they’re saying help is on the way.” And when the song crescendos and McIlrath howls “But it never came!” the full force of his words hit you like a punch to the gut. But the song’s sole purpose isn’t to point fingers and assign blame, it’s to remind us of the suffering that people endured. After all, amid all the political posturing, it’s easy to forget that there were real people, real families, destroyed by these disasters. But by humanizing these tragedies, by giving them a face, Rise Against ensure that we don’t forget so quickly.

You can check out Endgame on the band’s Web site, and if you’re ready for a good cry, watch the heartbreaking video for “Help is on the Way.”

Have an interesting story behind your lyrics? Let us know at pr@ourstage.com!

Punk On The Rocks: Spring 2011 Tours You Can’t Miss!

With winter winding down and springtime waiting in the wings, it’s almost time for bears and touring bands to come out of hibernation and begin roaming around the countryside.  Check out the bands below to find out which awesome bands will be coming through your town. No matter where you live, something cool will be going down in your neck of the woods this spring. Let’s just hope it involves more bands than bears.

Dropkick Murphys will be making every day St. Patty’s Day on the east coast and in the Midwest this spring. Their tour starts February 23rd in Niagara Falls and winds up with their annual St. Patrick’s Week shows in Massachusetts. Against Me! will be joining them on most of the dates on this jaunt. However, The Dropkicks aren’t the only Irishmen to be hitting these areas in March. Legendary Celtic punks The Pogues will be running a similar route in the first half of March with Titus Andronicus in tow.

Skankin' To The Beat: Ska Is Dead

Bands casting a slightly wider net this spring include OurStage-ers A Day To Remember. The band will be co-headlining a country-wide tour (with a few stops in Canada) with Bring Me The Horizon along with supporting acts We Came As Romans and Pierce The Veil. The tour kicks off March 10th in Philadelphia. Rise Against will also be spending their spring on America’s highways and byways, starting off a five week tour with Bad Religion and Four Year Strong on April 5th in Las Vegas.

For those of you who like your music a little more on the ska side, the organizers of the Ska Is Dead tour have put together a “Young Guns” tour, highlighting some of the up-and-coming bands in the genre like We Are The Union, The Forthrights, Brunt of It and more. The tour runs from April 13th to May 1st.

Last but not least, our friends across the ocean—Australia—will be visited by Unwritten Law in March, Streetlight Manifesto in April and Against Me!, who will be making good on the Australian shows they had to cancel back in October, in May. Europe will be graced with the presence of The Queers, still hard at work promoting 2010′s Back To The Basement,  for the first half of March. Dropkick Murphys will be hitting the European festival circuit starting in April.

What tours are YOU looking forward to this spring? Let us know in the comments!

Ernie Ball Winners Rock Out With A Year’s Supply Of Free Strings

Every month, Ernie Ball selects one winner from one music channel to be the recipient of a years supply of free strings. Each month, a different genre is chosen and axe wielders of all shapes and sizes get the opportunity to win. We caught up with winners Fiction Reform and The Worsties to learn a little more about their playing style, major influences and favorite guitarists among other things. Check out their responses below:

Jesse Worstell (The Worsties)

Playing Style: “My style is a mixture between punk and riff rock. Lots of powerchords mixed with some riffy goodness.”

Favorite Players: Jimi Hendrix, Mike McCready, Tom Morello, Jack White, Prince

Major Influences: “I caught the music bug in high school so my biggest influence in the beginning was anything from the grunge era, especially Pearl Jam. A lot of the albums in the ’90s were easy to play along to, so they were pretty much my guitar teachers.

Currently Playing: “My main guitar is a black Gibson SG Standard. I also have an arctic white Fender American Telecaster and a white 1985 Japanese Fender Mustang.”

What was it like to win? “When we received the news that we had won a year’s supply of strings there was a lot of celebration, mostly because Ernie Ball was already my preferred string. It couldn’t have come at a better time. We’ve been on the road quite a bit and strings can be expensive, especially if you’re going through them so fast… and it’s not always easy to find a music shop while out playing shows. We don’t have to worry about that now for a while. It’s been one of the best prizes The Worsties have received for sure!”

Aaron Chabak (Fiction Reform)

Playing Style: “My playing style is mostly a blend of classic punk-rock power chording and blues licks that I picked up listening to Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. I like to stay minimalistic when possible because Brenna can really belt out the vocal melodies.”

Favorite Players: “My list of favorite guitar players is always growing. It started with Jimmy Page, Jerry Cantrell, Eddie Van Halen, all the guys in Bad Religion and Fletcher from Pennywise. Lately I’ve been into Matt from Muse, Zach & Tim from Rise Against and recently I’ve been going back over Descendents albums.”

Major Influences: “I can track most of my inspiration back to Dave Grohl. The first time I saw him play was with the Foo Fighters at Memorial Hall in Kansas City when they were promoting their first album. I’ll never forget how cool he was on stage. And that guy plays everything like a badass!”

Currently Playing: “Right now my main guitar is a Gibson Les Paul Standard and I recently got a goldtop LTD EC-400 that I’ve been really impressed with. The guys at Krank also turned me on to their new Nineteen80 series amp and it rips!”

What was it like to win? “Winning free strings is an awesome feeling! It’s easy to skimp on changing strings when you’re a starving musician and it’s horrible for your tone. Having a year’s worth of Ernie Ball’s keeps me sounding my best every night so I’m very thankful.”

You can check out the riffing of Aaron Chabak and Jesse Worstell in the playlist below:

FROM THE CMJ RELAY ARCHIVES: OURSTAGE PICKS VOL. 15

cmjdotcom_webWelcome to our fifteenth 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.

Sicarus

“Changing Faces”
Hard Rock
The strength of Sicarus’s “Changing Faces” lies not in its blistering guitar solos or insane bass pedal pumping, but in contrasting them with a powerful opening (and recurring) vocal riff.
RIYL: Mastodon, Rise Against, Saosin

Yung Papi

“Crown Me”
Hip-hop
Sampling the opening riff of Beethoven’s Edgemont Overture is an educated and compelling move that will go over most heads, but works brilliantly in this boisterous young rapper’s favor.
RIYL: Lil’ Wayne, Kanye West, Jay Electronica

Nicolay

“Grand Theft Auto (GTA)”
Hip-hop
The title says it all. This track is pulsing with a beat that generates enough adrenaline to take on the street racing, police helicopter evasion, gang wars, and girls described in the lyrics. Let’s see the 5.0 try and keep up with this!
RIYL: The Game, Young Jeezy, Lloyd Banks

 


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