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Christopher Owens Quits Girls

Christopher Owens, singer and songwriter of the space pop duo Girls, announced via Twitter today that he has quit the band.

The critically acclaimed group released their second full-length, titled Father, Son, Holy Ghost in 2011. No word yet on whether JR White, the band’s producer and bassist, will continue to work under the name Girls.

Bummer.

Dave Matthews Band Debut Four New Songs From ‘Away From The World,’ Announce Release Date And Tracklist

Back in February we covered how Twitter and Facebook had proved that the Dave Matthews Band and Steve Lillywhite were back in the studio for the first time since 2000′s failed Lillywhite Sessions. Five months later, Steve Lillywhite continues to engage curious fans through Twitter, and the perennial touring juggernaut that is DMB is back on the road debuting new songs from their upcoming release, which fans can expect September 11th. I got the chance to catch their two-night stand in Hartford, Conn. Also in attendance both nights was none other than super-producer Lillywhite himself. Lillywhite had been teasing fans for weeks about listening to the new album in his rental car, and even Tweeting a picture of the burned disc.

Quite the brave move, considering the leak of his last studio effort with the band nearly led to their demise, and a decade long producer/band drought. Nonetheless, Lillywhite grabbed a couple of hardcore DMB fans while leaving the Hartford shows, and invited them to his car to give the album a listen.

The DMB fan community erupted with excitement as the news started to trickle out that someone had heard the new album, and suddenly Corey Manicone was a micro-celebrity. Over the next few days he answered as many fan questions about the album as he could remember; most importantly confirming that the new songs being played on the tour up to this point were all on the album. And later confirming the fourth and final new song to be on the album as well.

Read on to watch live performances of the four new album songs debuted thus far, and check out the full tracklist.

Continue reading ‘Dave Matthews Band Debut Four New Songs From ‘Away From The World,’ Announce Release Date And Tracklist’

Nickelback Will Never Get Into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, According To Nickelback

Chad Kroeger doesn’t think we’ll be looking at his photograph in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame anytime soon. In a feature run yesterday by the Edmonton Journal, the frontman of the multi-platinum band Nickelback remarked on the critical perception of his group.

“We may be dead by then but I think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will probably show up the same time as our first GRAMMY,” said Kroeger.

It seems at times that mocking Nickelback has become something of an international passtime. People of every age, creed, color, and political affiliation can get behind their distaste for the Canadian hard rock band. Back in 2010 the band was notably out-liked on Facebook by a pickle. But to the band’s credit they’ve handled their lack of acclaim quite well.

The group has even struck out against haters before in print and over social media. In the same feature Kroeger went on to comment on the fan petition around their halftime performance during the Detroit Lions Thanksgivings Day game, stating that the move only served to increase ratings for the game. The band has also taken on detractors through their Twitter feed, going tweet-for-tweet with disparaging commentators (even if the responses aren’t particularly clever).

Not that the band is losing sleep over a lack of critical love or GRAMMY trophies. The band has sold 50 million albums worldwide and is the second best selling act of all time in the U.S. after The Beatles. Obviously, someone’s listening. So don’t expect Nickelback to change their tune anytime soon.

 

SoundCloud And Twitter Team Up

Earlier this week, Twitter increased the number of partners who could take advantage of their Expanded Tweets function, which allows users to view photos, play videos, preview a story, and even listen to audio right from their timeline. YouTube and Instagram have been integrated for some time now, but this recent batch of partners is notable as SoundCloud is the only music-streaming site.

SoundCloud integration will embed the ubiquitous HTML5 waveform player into twitter cards, giving users the ability to play, like, and share music without ever leaving the Twitterverse.

“Partnering with Twitter for this rollout allowed us to create a richer experience for our users [...] Overall, we’re super excited that SoundCloud can unmute tweets,” SoundCloud founder and CEO Alexander Ljung told Rolling Stone.

Rapper Azealia Banks Tweet Freaks: Quits Twitter, Maybe The Rap Game?

19-year-old Harlem, NY-based rapper Azealia Banks is not known for her subtlety or nuance. No, the spunky female MC has made a name for herself with tracks like “212,” a song which is as lyrically dense as it is lyrically explicit. Banks has also been fairly outspoken over her Twitter account, like many other rappers. But Banks took it to another level this past Friday. After it was revealed that Banks had ended her professional relationship with manager Troy Carter - with whom she had signed just two months prior - the rapper went on the offensive over Twitter.

“Guess what?: I’m still not going to let you manage me again. I’ve dealt with enough cyber bullying to see right thru this.”

“I will definitely be working BY MYSELF and saving MY 20% On management commissions while I avoid you sharks in the water….”

Banks went on to say that she would only work with a female manager or “a really gay man” in the future. Shortly after her tweet tirade, Banks deleted her account.

Banks later took to her Tumblr, posting that she was “NO LONGER WISHING TO BE A RAPPER.” This statement was later amended in a follow up post, with Banks saying that she would continue to rap, only that she did not “want the label and all the other crap that comes with the ‘rap game’.” Banks also stated that she would be communicating with her fans exclusively through her Tumblr going forward.

Carter, who notably manages Lady Gaga, had released a statement on the 7th, stating that he and Banks had ended their professional relationship “on very amicable terms.”

 

Hats Off To Fight The Fear – Winners Of The June ESPN Main Event Matchup

Another exciting month of the ESPN “Main Event” Competition is now in the rear-view mirror. For those of y’all out of the loop, OurStage artists Fight The Fear and Will Brennan went toe to toe for two weeks in May for a shot at an exclusive feature on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights boxing program.

Now that the dust has settled, we can finally announce a winner! Congratulations to Fight The Fear, whose track “The Swing” won over fans nationwide. The Connecticut quartet will appear on FNF TONIGHT at 10pm. Be there or be square, people. Check out more from the band on their OurStage profile or in the playlist below.

Also, a big congrats to OurStage artist Daniel Rinaldi, whose vote for FTF scored him a brand new iPod Touch in our Main Event iPod giveaway. Keep your eyes on the OurStage Twitter page for more contests like this in the future!

Sound and Vision: Jennifer Lopez–The Most Powerful Woman in Pop?

Every superstar worth his or her weight in durability (See: Cher, all-time queen of the comeback) has been up, has been down, has seen fire, has seen rain, has had one of those full-circle careers that’s come around and around again and again. Professional fluctuations is a part of Hollywood life, and those who can weather those particular storms, come out in a better place, because as Kelly Clarkson sang on her recent No. 1 hit, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stronger.

And just how stronger is current comeback queen Jennifer Lopez these days? She may not be quite the tabloid draw she was a decade ago, but if you’ve watched American Idol during the past two seasons, or heard her 2011 hit “On the Floor” on the radio, on TV, on YouTube or, well, on the floor, you know that she’s flexing again.

Forbes magazine just ranked her atop its 2012 Celebrity 100 (up from No. 50 in 2011), which lists the most powerful people in entertainment. With an estimated income of $52 million in the last year, Lopez came in ahead of last year’s champ Lady Gaga (No. 5), Oprah Winfrey (No. 2) and Adele (No. 24).

Forbes‘s criteria for its 2012 appointment: being hotter than the rest (23,000 press mentions, 46 major magazine covers) and most sought after by fans (530 million YouTube views for “On the Floor,” 12 million Facebook “likes” and more than 6 million “followers” on Twitter). Not bad for someone who was so over—or so everybody thought—just a few years ago.

Continue reading ‘Sound and Vision: Jennifer Lopez–The Most Powerful Woman in Pop?’

Deadmau5 Debuts Twitter Collaboration “The Veldt”

Inspiration can come from anywhere and, in the case of “The Veldt,” it was Ray Bradbury’s short story of the same title that inspired Joel Zimmerman’s latest creation. But, in a unique case of social media inspiring art, Deadmau5 found the vocalist for his newest track thanks to Twitter, uStream, and a bold move by an up-and-coming musician.

Last month, while broadcasting his production process (on uStream) during early instrumental sessions of “The Veldt,” Deadmau5 received a link (via Twitter) from Chris James to a vocal take the singer recorded, after reading the same short story. On the urging of his followers, Deadmau5 gave the track a listen, and before the night was over the two artists were on the phone discussing their plans to release the new collaboration. This weekend, Deadmau5 released the first official preview to the vocal edit, which should hold over Mau5heads until the release on June 25th.

The quick exchange on Twitter, and the phone call that followed, were captured in the 11 minute recording of the uStream broadcast, which you can check out after the break.

Continue reading ‘Deadmau5 Debuts Twitter Collaboration “The Veldt”’

Sound and Vision: The Pop-Star Chatroom: Collision and Communion on Twitter

For a good time, call…

On second thought, don’t.

That might have been what Justin Bieber was thinking in March when he found out he might be facing legal action for tweeting a fake phone number minus one digit to his 19 million Twitter followers, resulting in more than 1,000 phone calls being made to a man and a woman in Texas who threatened to take him to court. (The potential plaintiffs’ requests: an apology, concert tickets, free publicity and financial compensation for out-of-pocket expenses.)

It was a harmless enough prank, yes, but the next time Bieber tweets something, he might want to consider doing what so many pop stars are doing and tweeting it to someone who’s also famous—like his new BFF Carly Rae Jepsen, the recipient of several recent Bieber tweets, including one wishing a “happy easter” to his fellow Canadian and fellow Top 10 resident on Billboard’s Hot 100 (Bieber with “Boyfriend,” Jepsen with “Call Me Maybe”).

Who else is connecting on Twitter? “I love you, you cray,” Katy Perry tweeted on March 31 to Rihanna, who made news when she began “following” her ex Chris Brown on Twitter. Rihanna’s sometime collaborator Nicki Minaj had a brief war of words with Cher last November on Twitter over a third party’s misinterpretation of Minaj’s lyrics: “@cher did you know that b***h @NICKIMINAJ dissed you in her song DID IT ON EM.” Cher flipped. Minaj fans flipped, too, explaining that it was a “rap metaphor,” not a jab. Cher conceded defeat. Minaj offered, simply, “@Cher #stopit5.” Case closed.

Continue reading ‘Sound and Vision: The Pop-Star Chatroom: Collision and Communion on Twitter’

Sound and Vision: Is Chris Brown’s Comeback and GRAMMY Honors Another Slap in the Face to Women?

With Whitney Houston’s tragic, untimely death and Adele’s big sweep grabbing our near-undivided attention, the 2012 GRAMMY Awards were, in some ways, a two-woman show.

But if any guy came close to upstaging them, it was Chris Brown. And not necessarily in a good way. Brown, who performed two songs on the telecast, did not emerge unscathed from what was foolishly touted as his GRAMMY “comeback”—as if he is a supernova among stars, and three years is such an eternity. Some viewers were outraged that he was invited to perform at the ceremony at all, after what he did to his ex, Rihanna, during GRAMMY season three years ago.

The unfortunate irony of Houston’s passing on GRAMMY weekend is that, like Rihanna, she had been the victim of domestic abuse by another Brown, her ex-husband Bobby. And the honor of paying tribute to her went to Jennifer Hudson, whose mother, brother and nephew were murdered, allegedly by the estranged husband of Hudson’s sister, just a few years ago. If anyone knows that people often hurt the ones they claim to love, she does.

But that one display of good taste doesn’t let the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences off the hook. Brown’s inclusion in the ceremony almost felt like an unintentional f**k you to Houston, to Rihanna, to any woman who has suffered because of domestic abuse.

The big question, though, is this: Has Brown suffered enough? It has, after all, been three years since he pummeled Rihanna in a car. Is it time for us to move on as Brown and NARAS, apparently, both have.

For Brown’s many GRAMMY-night detractors (which included singers Miranda Lambert and Michelle Branch as well as actors Wil Wheaton and Eric Stonestreet), it might be hard to move on when Brown has never acknowledged the gravity of the situation in any meaningful way that didn’t seem like a public-relations pose. Whether he’s onstage, in videos, plugging his music on the morning talk-show circuit, or ranting on Twitter, he never seems sorry enough.

Continue reading ‘Sound and Vision: Is Chris Brown’s Comeback and GRAMMY Honors Another Slap in the Face to Women?’

 


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