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Tag: "summer music"

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Metal Monday: Cool Off With Cold Weather Jams By Black Thai, Voyager, Black Sheep Wall, And More

It’s summer, which means it’s hot. Really hot. In fact, this is one of the hottest summers ever so far. What does this mean? It means what you need now, more than ever before, are some really solid jams to help you keep your cool. Luckily, we’ve got a handful of metal songs here that should definitely do the trick. Lots of slow, heavy songs—perfectly matched for lazing about in the shade on a blazing day. Now go grab a cold beverage because there’s only so much music can do to beat the heat!

Download The OurStage Rock n’ Popsicles Playlist

It’s official, people—the “Rock n’ Popsicles” playlist has arrived. Twelve of the most sweltering summer tracks from the OurStage rock and pop community are yours for the taking! We launched the “Rock n’ Popsicles” Summer Song Competition to track down the best undiscovered warm-weather anthems and, boy, did we find them. Summer means different things to different people – and we think this playlist pretty much covers it all. So it’s time to grab your friends, throw on some flip-flops, light that grill and let the summer jams commence. Download the OurStage “Rock n’ Popsicles” playlist now to celebrate your summer the best way possible.

OurStage “Rock n’ Popsicles” playlist track listing:

  1. The Reel – “Time of Your Life”
  2. Skyler - “Summer”
  3. RIA – “Alright”
  4. New Haven – “Hot Day”
  5. Mon Chéri - “Psyche”
  6. Late Cambrian – “Eastern Stone”
  7. IV Elmendorf - “Dreams Come True”
  8. Darlingside – “Surround”
  9. Common Ground – “Live It!”
  10. Califarians – “My Guitar”
  11. Amy Kuney – “Simple Things”
  12. Adam Ezra Group“Colder Days”

Get Lyrical: Calico Trail’s “Sweet Southern Small Town Summertime”

We’ve all heard the old joke: “What do you get when you play a country song backwards? You get your dog back, your wife back, your house back, your kids back…” Okay, sure. A lot of country songs deal with some pretty similar themes, and they aren’t always the cheeriest. But that’s why we count on bands like Calico Trail to mix things up for us. Their song “Sweet Southern Small Town Summertime” is anything but depressing. The Nashville-based songwriting collective uses it as a celebration of the joys of, well, being in a small town during the summer.

Calico Trail knows what makes us love the hot summer months, and finds a way to reference all of the things that make the season so universally appealing while rhyming them in a charming fashion. “Fishing poles” are paired with “swimming holes,” “flip flops” are rhymed with  “bikini tops,” and “lawn chairs” are matched up with “county fairs”. While there are a few southern summer standards that aren’t too familiar to us (“big ol’ tractors driving right through town” for example) the song’s lyrics still resonate. They also leave us with a few unanswered questions — such as, is the South really a place where “ice creams cones are fried”? Because that sounds right up our alley.

Much like small towns, Calico Trail’s song is enjoyable because they keep it simple. The twangy chorus is only one line, “Sweet Southern Small Town Summertime,” and its laid-back delivery begs for you to sing along. But don’t let the folksy chorus fool you, the verses of the track are so packed with colorful, sunny imagery that the seven-piece can take a break for a few lines. Can’t you just feel the summer sun shining on your skin as cool lake water laps around your ankles? Sounds pretty relaxing, no? After hearing this bad boy, we just might pack our bags and head for Tennessee. So roll down your windows, hit the highway and give “Sweet Southern Small Town Summertime” a listen below!

Have an interesting story behind your lyrics? Let us know at!


Ah yes, Memorial Day weekend – act one in the trilogy of big summer barbecues. While the 4th of July and Labor Day get most of the glory, Memorial Day offers you that first taste of summer. Whether you’re sitting in traffic while heading to the beach or swatting at mosquitoes in your backyard you’re probably going to need a soundtrack. What better way to accompany burgers and brews than with a playlist featuring some of the funkiest tracks on OurStage? Be sure to check out this video of “Tha BBQ” by DK aka Wayne Watts from his album Tha Firelane Project. Bring on the potato salad!


Traditionally, summer implies a feeling of bliss and a time to relax, but it can go by so quickly. Do you ever have that feeling when you’re having such a good time that you just want to put things in slow motion, take a step back and relish the moment? I call it the Dawson’s Creek moment. Every teen show has it; the slow motion, happy montage that wraps up the season. 

Now, when your lying on the beach or driving in your car with the windows down catching that warm scent of freshly cut grass and the summer blues wash over you, OurStage will be right by your side with this perfect soundtrack. 


It seems like it was just yesterday that Bob Dylan riled up a lot of die hard acoustic fans by switching to an electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival. In reality, this memorable event took place 44 years ago in 1965, six years after the very first Festival in 1959.

Pete Seeger and His Banjo

Pete Seeger and His Banjo

A lot has changed since then but as the Festival celebrates its 50th year this summer, much remains the same. Renowned folk artist Pete Seeger, one of the original founding members of the Festival, will take the stage once again. (Seeger recently hit another milestone himself: his 90th birthday!) Joining him will be fellow folk classics like Judy Collins, Joan Baez, and Arlo Guthrie.

This year the full lineup says “In with the old, but in with the new too.” Folk fans of all ages are sure to find something they’ll love with the addition of popular current artists to the classic event. Neko Case will be there, along with Ben Kweller, The Decemberists, and Iron & Wine. You can see the full lineup at

The Newport Folk Festival has a rich history filled with hugely famous names. It helped get Bob Dylan off the ground; his 1963 Newport appearance is widely regarded as his first major national performance. Dylan returned the next year with singer/songwriter Joan Baez, who had performed back at the very first Festival in 1959. So many huge names have performed in Newport over the years, the list would make any summer concert event tremble. Try Johnny Cash, Howlin’ Wolf, Emmylou Harris… if you’re looking for classics, this New England staple has got your number.

Ben Kweller with His Guitar

Ben Kweller and His Guitar

This year it all takes place July 31st through August 2nd at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island. Tickets go on sale TODAY at 10 AM! You can go just one day or multiple days. Don’t miss your chance; more information about purchasing tickets is available here. There will be arts and craft vendors selling their products at the Festival, plenty of open air space to enjoy and surely some good food and drink. 

We hope to see you there for a weekend of great music and memories to last a lifetime. Fifty years from now when the 100th anniversary rolls around, you’ll want to be able to say you were there.


Break out the coolers and start planning those road trips because summer is on its way. There are few things in this world that can draw masses of people halfway across the country to spend their minimal savings on a single weekend. A summer musical festival is one of them. From hippies craving nostalgia to college students scraping together their loose change for months, these festivals see such a draw of people that I’m sure they aren’t giving too much thought to these rough economic times. On that note, I’m going to take you on a tour of the five most notable warm weather festivals that deserve your attention this year.


sxsw-2009First on the itinerary is the week-long party of southern hospitality that is the SXSW music festival in Texas. The unique thing about this festival is its location: it doesn’t really have one. Rather, this celebration of music scatters mainstream and up-and-coming acts all across the Lone Star State to select bars, clubs, and outdoor spaces. Unfortunately, here comes the bad news, this festival happened a few weeks ago. If you went this year you probably enjoyed such names as Third Eye Blind and Ben Harper and Relentless7. If you’ve been following our coverage you know that over 80 OurStage artists played SXSW. Make sure to check out this festival next year if you missed it; it’s a great way to start off your own tour of summer music fests.


Fantasy is Easy … but what about winning $5,000 on OurStage?

** Special Note: In honor of the last day of Finals Week, we (Alyssa, Julie, and Quinn) are profiling the artists who made it to the number one spot in their respective channels. **


The Honors are boys after my own heart! Their tune ‘Fantasy is Easy‘ is at the #1 spot on the Newport Folk Festival channel as I type. Now I, personally, got about 2 hours of sleep last night and it’s been a super stressful day at OurStage (I mean it’s the last day of finals week … so it’s to be expected). But I’m listening to the track as I type to capture the feeling in my post … and, I’m not even kidding, this song is actually de-stressing me!

Fantasy is Easy has got a mellow, folky vibe that makes you want to get your friends together in a park for a lazy game of frisbee or wiffle ball … or maybe just watch other people play … regardless of the activity there’s definitely lemonade involved… and people are laughing… and it’s sunny. The harmonica interlude is a nice touch too! There’s no doubt that The Honors bring some serious musical competition to the game right now. You can listen to them here in my blog but if you want to help them win the $5000 grand price go to and show your support.

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