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Anberlin Announce Final UK Tour

anberlinLast month Anberlin fans everywhere were hit with the bombshell news that following a final album and tour, the band would break up. Though the news came as a bit of a shock, the band has so far stayed true to their word, having just recently announced their last run of UK dates in Glasgow, Manchester, and London this August. U.S. fans can catch the band live on this year’s Vans Warped Tour.

Although album details are still preliminary, the band has announced a re-signing to former label, Tooth & Nail Records, and seem to already be working on the new album. Check out their final UK dates below.  Continue reading ‘Anberlin Announce Final UK Tour’

Paramore Announce UK And Ireland Tour Plans

Now a month into the release promotion of their new self-titled album, Paramore have announced plans to venture overseas in the months ahead.

Kicking off their Fall touring efforts, Paramore’s stretch of UK and Ireland dates will run throughout the month of September. Not every date has been confirmed, but we do have a handful of dates and venues available now. No on sale dates have been announced.

Paramore will see the entire world in the months ahead, so keep checking back for updates. Continue reading ‘Paramore Announce UK And Ireland Tour Plans’

Featured Artist: Unquiet Nights

There’s nothing like a little UK rock to get your blood pumping midweek. Hailing from Belfast, Ireland and extending their reach as far as London and Rome, Unquiet Nights have been gaining notoriety since their 2011 release, 21st Century Redemption Songs. Taking ’90s influenced rock and roll to the next level with radio friendly riffs and gritty vocals, it’s no surprise that they’ve seen exposure through radio play on BBC and G3 and provided the soundtrack for several television and Internet broadcasts, including ESPN.

If that weren’t enough, the band has also broken into the OurStage Top 40 for Indie Rock with their song, Someone’s Love On Drugs.” The charm of that single was enticement enough to check out the rest of the band’s catalog. 21st Century Redemption Songs may come in at only 35 minutes, but these guys make every second count. Where “Someone’s Love On Drugs” captures a softer side of the band, “We Were The Ones” charges ahead full force with unrestrained vigor, setting the tone for high energy, catchy tunes throughout, and making for an album that is simply bursting with ambition and potential.

Check out “Someone’s Love On Drugs” below.

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Refused Announce End Of Reunion

That’s right folks. It was fun while it lasted, but the gentlemen in Refused have decided to call it quits again. I guess they just wanted one last taste of the punk rock lifestyle before returning to whatever adult life they live now. According to Pitchfork, the band’s final show will be in their homeland of Umeå, Sweden on December 15. Part of the announcement on their facebook page:

“And now it is coming to a close. It’s been kind to us. And that old punkrock golem ‘The shape of punk to come’ has done good. The hatchet is buried, 1998 is not such a terrible memory for us anymore. We’re going home. And we’re doing it in style.”

You can read the rest of the message here. Hopefully some of you got to see Refused this year. Looks like this may be the final goodbye… unless perhaps they decide to give it another go in 2025!

If you like Refused, then you might also like OurStage’s own Throw The Goat.

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Exclusive Q and A: Wade from Gallows Talks About Upcoming Album And Tours

About a year ago, the cutthroat British hardcore/punk band known as Gallows parted ways with their iconic frontman Frank Carter due to creative differences. Around that same time, Canadian post-hardcore band Alexisonfire decided to call it quits after over a decade of international success. However, these two losses birthed something new. Guitarist and vocalist of Alexisonfire, Wade MacNeil, joined Gallows in place of their former singer, and since then the band has been barreling through the international punk scene with a reaffirmed disdain for all the terrible things in the world. Despite the obvious geographical differences, the band has not let this lineup change slow them down one bit. With a new self-titled full-length being released, followed by months of touring in both continents and a farewell tour with Alexisonfire, Wade talks about the past year and what lies ahead for Gallows.
OS: Through the titles and lyrics of your new records, you seem to be making a clear statement about your status as a band, particularly with the EP title Death Is Birth followed by your upcoming self-titled album. Do you see this as a new beginning? If so, what would you say it is the start of?

WM: It’s the rebirth of old ideas, old politics, old attitudes.  I’ve stopped waiting for a new band to come along and challenge the way people think and live their lives.  I want us to be that band.  I want us to be the soundtrack.

Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Wade from Gallows Talks About Upcoming Album And Tours’

Susan Boyle: Great Singer, Unpleasant Neighbor?

Susan Boyle seems like a sweet woman. Preternaturally talented with an agreeable disposition, Boyle is one of the more pleasant creations of the reality television machine. But if reports from the UK this week are to be believed, living next to the “I Dreamed A Dream” singer sounds like a nightmare.

Boyle’s neighbors have filed a noise complaint with local authorities, stating that living next to the multi-platinum singer is “unbearable.” Allegedly, Boyle has a penchant for singing at all hours of the day, belting out some of her signature tracks like “Unchained Melody” and “I Dreamed A Dream” over and over, for hours on end.

“It is so loud, you can’t hear the telly,” says Teresa Miller in The Sun. Miller is one of the neighbors that shares a wall with Boyle’s flat and who, most likely, possesses an extremely pronounced English accent. “You wouldn’t get Bono from U2 standing in his house singing his songs at the top of his voice. Maybe she’s practising for her next track or the next time she’s going to see Simon Cowell, but it’s unbelievable.”

Boyle and her neighbors have apparently had a long standing row, with Boyle becoming more of nuisance since achieving her fame in 2009. Friends of Boyle have come to the singer’s defense, saying that it is Miller and the neighbors that are really the troublemakers. “They are the ones causing all the trouble,” one anonymous source told the The Daily Mail. “Susan doesn’t even do her practice in that house. She has her piano in what she calls her “posh house” on the other side of town and does all her practice there. So it is very unlikely she would disturb these neighbours with her singing.” Neighborly drama and posh houses? How droll.

Riffs, Rants & Rumors: That ’70s Show – A U.K. Art-Rock Renaissance?

From high-profile NPR darlings [that's not a pejorative distinction] like The Decemberists to more underground-oriented acts such as The Globes and Teeth of the Sea,  there’s no shortage of current bands banging around whose sound suggests the presence of more than one Roger Dean-designed album cover in their collections. With such a proliferation of second (or even third)-hand prog-rock influences in the air, it should probably come as no huge surprise that there seems to be a lot of activity lately on the old-school front, as first-generation UK art rockers (Great Britain is, of course, prog’s spiritual home) rise up in various formats and configurations to offer up something new to the world that they helped shape.

Of course, music was never meant to be the aural equivalent of a yearbook photo, presenting the same face to the world regardless of how the person in the portrait may have evolved. Classic albums, naturally, remain their own irreplaceable, immutable selves ad infinitum—King Crimson‘s Red, Brian Eno‘s Another Green World and Yes‘s Close To The Edge, for example, will always offer the same sonic satisfaction no matter how many years go by. But the artists who made those internationally beloved, incalculably influential albums have never stopped growing. Unless you go all Star Wars on them and freeze them in carbonite a la Han Solo, or stick them irretrievably onto the oldies circuit, all true artists will keep on changing.

The generation of envelope-pushers (and we’re not talking about stationery salespeople here) who made the aforementioned milestone recordings are suddenly popping up with new albums that showcase a very different sensibility from their firestorming days of old. It’s almost as if there’s been a consensus among those artists to pursue a subtler, lower-key kind of sound circa 2011. Nowhere is that feeling more overt than on the new album A Scarcity of Miracles by Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins. Thinking man’s guitar hero Robert Fripp, has of course, been the driving force behind King Crimson from the beginning, and sax man Mel Collins played with the band in the early ’70s. They joined with singer/guitarist/keyboardist Jakko Jakszyk, who had played with Collins in 21st Century Schizoid Band (an outfit full of former KC members playing the band’s old repertoire) in what’s being billed as a King Crimson “projeckt,” which also includes longtime Crimson bassist Tony Levin and current KC drummer Gavin Harrison in supporting roles. The barnstorming brashness of classic King Crimson (or even more recent King Crimson), however, is completely, and quite purposely, absent. Instead, the album is filled with dreamy, atmospheric tunes full of hushed vocals, delicately textured guitars (hardly any of the old Fripp fire) and contemplative sax solos, having more in common with some of Fripp’s work with David Sylvian than anything that’s ever flown under the Crimson Banner.

Brian Eno

Speaking of Sylvian, he may be of a younger generation than Fripp and Collins, but he could certainly be grandfathered in, as it were, to the old-boy network of English art rock. Besides memorably utilizing Fripp’s guitar work on his own albums, he did, after all, have a striking —if short-lived—duo with Fripp in the early ’90s. But Sylvian’s own new album, Died In The Wool, makes the JFC trio sound like the MC5 by comparison. That’s not to say that it’s unimpressive or underwhelming in any way, mind you, merely that it makes the most of minimalist techniques and super-sparse arrangements, with half the tracks being re-workings of songs inspired by Sylvian’s previous album, Manofon, and half being unheard material from the same sessions.

Of course, Brian Eno, who began his career with original art rockers Roxy Music and created some pioneering duo recordings with Fripp before becoming a vital force as a solo artist, has been treading an ambient path for many, many years, and adjectives like “atmospheric,” “subtle” and even “subliminal” are used in connection with his efforts about as often as “play ball” has been heard in Yankee Stadium. Eno’s new album, Drums Between The Bells, is certainly no exception, but even though it’s full of ambient-oriented electronics, it does contain some more visceral grooves, and even a fair amount of vocal tracks, with Eno himself opening up his mouth on a couple of tunes.

Meanwhile, when he wasn’t busy with the JFC trio, Fripp seemingly found time to join an all-star cast of prog rockers guesting on the latest solo album by former King Crimson singer/bassist John Wetton, Raised In Captivity. Admittedly, this one is much more of an in-your-face outing than any of the aforementioned albums, moving in an AOR-ish direction that has more in common with Wetton’s post-Crimson cash cow, Asia, than anything else. Regardless of what your feelings may be about such things, the record nevertheless features a jaw-dropping array of prog heavyweights—besides Fripp, there’s Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, current and past Yes keyboardists Geoff Downes and Tony Kaye and former U.K./Curved Air/Roxy Music member Eddie Jobson, among others. Would that the results lived up that stellar guest list, but you can’t have everything.

Naturally, no assessment of art-rock o.g.’s returning to active duty would be complete without the inclusion of Yes, the standard-bearers for classic, symphonic-style prog. Conveniently enough, there happens to be a new Yes album, Fly From Here, just around the corner. It’s the band’s first studio album in a decade, and their first ever with new singer Benoit David, replacing founding member Jon Anderson. It’s the second non-Jon Yes album, though —1980′s Drama featured a post-Buggles/pre-Art Of Noise Trevor Horn on vocals (and former Buggle Geoff Downes on keys). With Downes returning to the fold for this album, and Horn back in the production chair, this is actually looking like a bit of a return to the Drama era. Hell, Roger Dean even did the album cover. “So, can a new Emerson, Lake & Palmer album be far behind?” we hear you cry. Keep your shirt on, prog-head, we’ll cross that inter-dimensional bridge when Dean paints it.

The Beat Generation: Which Country Does Dance Best?

Dance music is to the world music scene as soccer—or football, depending on your preference —is to world sports. Both have global followers and feature spectacular, grand annual exhibitions (soccer has Champions League and Europa Cup among others and Dance music has Ibiza Rocks and Ultra Music Festival). And, let’s face it, Americans aren’t the best at either. We can’t win ‘em all, guys.

The other parallel between soccer and dance? A lot of countries would lay claim to being the best at either. While trying to pick a definitive winner in either subject would result in a lot of bickering and hurt feelings, we’ll avoid making any definitive statements. And since we’re a music site, we’ll refrain from talking about sports for the time being. That said, there are a few obvious front runners on the dance scene. We want to give a nod to OurStage’s international community and see what different countries have to offer. So, let’s take a look at who might be best at getting the world to dance, and check out what the OurStagers can bring to the table.

The Candidates:

France

Two words. French. House. Parisians have worked in years past to give us sexy, groovy music. Daft Punk, Busy P, SebastiAn, Justice, and everyone at Ed Banger Records, Fred Falke and Alan Braxe. The list goes on and on. France’s own David Guetta is on top of the world right now, producing mega hits for the Black Eyed Peas. OurStage’s Marty Lake borrows somewhat from the electro heritage of his home country his with the heavy beats, housey rave ups and the guitar sounding synth lines that make up his track “Let’s Have Some Wolves” which you can check out below.

The UK

Over here at The Beat Generation, we’re unabashed fans of dubstep. We’ve covered it a few times in the past and made our love known for England’s dirtiest musical exports like Benga and Skream. They also don’t slack when it comes to beautiful, slick dance pop—acts like Katy B and La Roux coming to mind. The Beat Generation also featured an OurStage Brit when Dan Gravelle graced the column. Temple Scene is another act killing it with their own sound. The band crafts deft synthpop with a definite rock edge. You can check out their song “What’s Done is Done” below.

The Netherlands

What country has seven of the Top 20 DJs and the Number 1 ranked DJ (Armin Van Buuren) from DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs of 2010? The Netherlands (obviously). The tiny country may have the highest amount of rump shaking per capita of any nation in the world. However, after the rave, after the after party and after the hangover after the after party, you need something a little gentler to come down to. That’s where Indojin come in. The 26-year-old Rotterdam-based producer claims R&B and world music as influences of equal measure on his sound. His song “Just Pop It” is currently charting in the Electronica Channel and you check out the beat heavy, melodic “Serene” below.

Honorable Mentions

Spain gets an obvious nod for being the dance party epicenter of the universe thanks to Ibiza. Israel needs to have some recognition for their contributions to electronic music in the past and their slowly rising profile in today’s scene thanks to bands like Infected Mushroom and Teflon Tel Aviv. Germany nearly made the cut thanks to current heavyweights like ATB and Paul Van Dyk, and because they gave us Kraftwerk. Finally, Australia was this close to getting on the list with their ascendant rising electro-rock cadre of bands like Cut Copy, Miami Horror and Bag Raiders. However, will.i.am once stated that it was a trip to Australia that led to his discovery of electro and influenced the Peas sound so much. Australia, you get points off for that.

Meet The Winner Of The MTV SKINS THEME SONG COMPETITION

The MTV “SKINS THEME SONG COMPETITION” launched in October, offering artists across the country a chance to have their song featured on the upcoming US adaptation of the smash UK teen drama SKINS. Daniel Chavez, also known by his moniker 3D Friends, came to OurStage with the hopes of getting his music out to some new audiences. The Austin, Texas-based songwriter considers his music a contribution to the “Chillwave” movement, comparing himself to artists such as Neon Indian and Bradford Cox.

Chavez entered his song “Lina Magic” in the MTV “SKINS THEME SONG COMPETITION” which caught the attention of the music supervisors for the show. Chavez will have his song featured as the theme song when the show debuts to national audiences in January of 2011. As a result of entering the competition on OurStage, his music will be broadcast weekly to millions of viewers nationwide. Stay tuned to MTV when Chavez’s winning song “Lina Magic” debuts on SKINS in January 2011. To hear the winning song now, or listen to more music from 3D Friends, head to Chavez’s OurStage profile HERE.

Artists Need YOU To Judge In The MTV Score Skins Music Project

Fans, it’s that time of the month again. The MTV “Score SKINS Music Project” Competition is entering the home stretch in order to give the top ranked artists in the channel a shot at getting their original song featured on the upcoming season of MTV SKINS.  In case you hadn’t heard, SKINS is a smash teen drama—following a group of teens as their lives are caught up in the world of love, sex and drugs—that originally made big waves in the UK. MTV is bringing the show across the pond with a fresh cast of characters, and are looking for great original music to accompany the show. This is your chance to help break your favorite up-and-coming artist to the masses by helping them get their song broadcast to millions of viewers across the US. All you need to do is JUDGE! Head to the channel now and vote for your favorite OurStage artist. You might just find some great new music along the way.

 


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