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: sufjan stevens
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Tag: "sufjan stevens"

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FUN. Cover Christmas Classic, “Sleigh Ride”

I know today is Halloween, but we just can’t wait for the upcoming holiday season! There are so many great things in store, one of which being the Holidays Rule compilation released yesterday by Hear Music, a joint venture between Starbucks and Concord Music Group. The release features holiday (mostly Christmas) classics covered by some of today’s most noteworthy artists such as the one and only Paul McCartney, The Shins, Andrew Bird, The Civil Wars, fun. and many more! If you’re ready for a glimpse of Christmas future, heat up some hot coco and listen to fun.’s cover of “Sleigh Ride” streaming here! If that doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, then you might be a Scrooge.

If you like fun. then you might also like OurStage’s own Ivory Drive.

More Like This:

Sufjan Stevens, New Video Includes Christmas, Claymation, Zombies, Bloodshed, And More!

Prepare yourselves for the best video of the year. Experimental indie artist Sufjan Stevens has a new video for his song “Mr. Frosty Man” from his upcoming 58-track Silver & Gold Christmas box set. The footage is a full 2 minutes of complete claymation carnage, with zombies, brains, bloodshed, a heroic snowman, references to The Evil Dead, and an unfortunate Santa Claus. The song itself is a silly sloppy garage style romp of out-of-tune guitars and “whatever’s around” percussion, and like most Sufjan Stevens songs, it doesn’t seem to resemble anything else he’s made. The Silver & Gold box set will be released on November 13th. Check out the video for “Mr. Frosty Man” below.

If you like Sufjan Stevens, then you might also like OurStage’s own The Tiny Tin Hearts.

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Riffs, Rants and Rumors: Getting Drunk and Stupid With Dots Will Echo

Dots Will Echo is a computer programming term and a duo from New Jersey. Dots Will Echo are melodic power-poppers and Crazy Horse-backing-Captain Beefheart sonic provocateurs. Dots Will Echo are a brand new band that’s been around since the ‘80s. Dots Will Echo are wild-eyed rock & roll maniacs and amiable suburban family men. Dots Will Echo are Nick Berry and Kurt Biroc, though Dots Will Echo was once Nick Berry and a bunch of other guys, and has occasionally just been Nick Berry. Dots Will Echo has a double-length album coming out July 24 on Sufjan Stevens’ label, Asthmatic Kitty, entitled Drunk Is The New Sober/Stupid Is The New Dumb.

To make sense of all the above, let’s go back to the beginning with the stalwart tender of the Dots Will Echo flame, singer/songwriter Nick Berry. “I started writing songs when I was nine,” remembers the Garden State native, “maybe younger. I remember being a little kid, I had a friend down the street, and we wrote songs as a kind of competition, I didn’t even play an instrument at the time.” But Berry’s interests took a more outré turn while he was still in high school. “I was in an avant-garde band,” he says, recalling that group’s theatrical onstage escapades, “My friend Roy had built a gigantic instrument he called a Googis…he had rented a truck to get it to this one gig, and the guy [the truck driver] had taken off. He had no way to get it home, so he took a hammer and destroyed the thing onstage. We had a song called ‘Rubella,’ which was just all guitar feedback and oscillators, and at one point we would just lean the guitars up against the amplifiers and then run out into the audience screaming. And every time we did it, it was the kind of thing nobody could process [laughs], these people just had the look of a deer in the headlights. One gig there was a dog there, and I started chasing this dog around the audience…blowing free jazz on a clarinet while this dog is barking. And the guy that owned the dog joined the band.”

Continue reading ‘Riffs, Rants and Rumors: Getting Drunk and Stupid With Dots Will Echo’

Superlatones: The Exchange Student

Lately, it seems that we are hearing more and more from new and unexpected partnerships between artists of different genres. This is why, through “Superlatones,” we are creating our very own directory—a musical wish-list, if you will—of artists who have yet to join the collaborative bandwagon.

It has long been said that music is a universal pleasure—an idea we can all appreciate and understand regardless of creed or country. Here at OurStage, we like to keep this philosophy alive by welcoming artists from all over the world, because there is no better way to grow and mature in sound than to share your passion with fellow musicians. This week, “Superlatones” celebrates this thought by bringing you a dynamic duo all the way from the UK to share a little inspiration from across the pond.

The Dynamic Duo:
Dry the River
and James Vincent McMorrow

Continue reading ‘Superlatones: The Exchange Student’

Woodland Creatures

Jessie Murphy In The Woods

Most bands have an m.o., whether it’s simply the love of making music or the dream of power and influence. For Jessie Murphy In The Woods, the drive comes from Murphy’s desire to recapture a perfect autumnal moment from her childhood. And that desire has yielded songs that are literate, bright and haunting. The group is comprised of Murphy, Marcia Wood, and Amy Wood—all music teachers. Between the three you get a quixotic assemblage of woodwinds and brass, percussion and strings. There’s an economy to JMITW’s chamber pop arrangements that gives each idea its own space. “God Save Owen Wilson” is as funny as it is sad—the somber flutter of flute and a baleful horn in the distance juxtapose whimsically with a mock-heroic refrain about, well, Owen Wilson. The vibe is Sufjan Stevens in heels. “New York City Lights,” on the other hand, is folksy romanticism, sung without affectation. The orchestral, theatrical “In The Woods” tries to conjure the faintest whiff of that perfect autumn day, invoking the “virgin forest” with urgency. Even if the moment is forever out of reach, the music that’s produced in its wake is worth the loss.

 

 

 

[Ed. Note: You can download "God Save Owen Wilson" on the OurStage Facebook page for free, where it is featured as one of OurStage's Editor Picks for the month of May.]

Tiny Hearts, Big Ideas

The Tiny Tin Hearts

With influences that range from Sufjan Stevens to Fela Kuti to Bruce Springsteen, The Tiny Tin Hearts defy categorization right out the gate. The Austin band brings banjo, French Horn, cello, violin, trombone, piano, lap steel, guitars, bass and drums together for a joyful jumble of sound. They’re not ones to play it straight and simple, which makes them a consistently fun listen. Based on the true story of Mexican aviator Emilio Carranza Rodriguez, “The Aviator” is a sprawling anthem of tumbling pianos, shimmering tambourines and a blaze of guitars. “Navesink” is an intricate folk melody that showcases the entire genus of stringed instruments, from electric guitar to violin and banjo. It’s lovely and complicated—two words that apply to virtually all of the band’s canon. But, lest you think you’re beginning to understand their method, they serve up “Gnoissienne No. 2,” an elegant, classical waltz. Ambition can take on many forms, and The Tiny Tin Hearts seem to have them all mastered.

Download of the Week: Metermaids

OSBlog02_MTVNeedleHay_Metermaids_02Last year the NYC hip hop duo Metermaids blew up all over the Internet with their slick rhyming over Sufjan Stevens’ “Chicago.” “A Breakdown in Chicago, or How to Sabotage Your Own Happiness in Two Easy Steps” was featured on their highly-downloaded mashup EP Nightlife. Their clever selection of rock and pop samples with breakbeats over heavy hitting rhymes have garnered the attention of critics from WIRED to The Village Voice to Playboy Magazine. Currently Metermaids have all their EP’s available for fans on a “pay what you want” basis. Armed with an arsenal of solid tunes and a killer live show, it comes as no surprise that they would be crowned as one of MTV Music’s “Needle in the Haystack” featured artists. This week’s OurStage “Download of the Week” is off Metermaids’ recently released Smash Smash Bang EP. “Planes Down” brings out Metermaids in full fledged rock mode — a little something for all you Rage Against the Machine fans to enjoy.

Folkin’ Around: Fresh Faces in Folk

OSBlog02_FolkinAround_01It’s not often you come across younger artists or listeners with a passion for folk music.  But lately more and more youngins are picking up guitars and showcasing some raw talent, giving music lovers hope for the future of homegrown acoustic.  Why are these younger musicians turning to folk?  With the majority of labels geared toward catchy, Top 40 artists — with danceable and often superficial songs— it seems the new “cool” thing for young musicians to do is go acoustic.

Continue reading ‘Folkin’ Around: Fresh Faces in Folk’

 


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