Small Room, Big Sound And The Next Huge Rock Band

Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown Perform at OurStage's NMS Showcase in NYC

If you’ve looked at the Billboard Rock Charts lately you may be wondering what’s happening to the state of the genre. With chart-toppers like Grouplove, fun., and M83, it feels like the industry is in need of a good ole rock revival. Enter Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown. The Nashville quartet have made it their mission to perserve all that is holy with rock ‘n’ roll and are converting followers one live performance at a time.

Last week the audience of the East Village haunt Arelene’s Grocery were treated to an electrifying performance by Tyler Bryant (vox, guitar), Graham Whitford (rythymn guitar), Caleb Crosby (drums), and Gabe Anderson (filling in on bass). The band was in town for a few days to attend the premiere of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer (Bryant played guitar on the film’s score), to attend OurStage’s Artist Advisory Board meeting, and to showcase at the New Music Seminar. Check out their performance of “Kick The Habit” live at Arlene’s:


OurStage Takes New York: Inaugural Artist Advisory Board Meeting And NMS Showcase

Artist Tyler Bryant and OurStage's SVP of Marketing Scott Nelson

This past Wednesday, executives representing met with with members of the newly formed Artist Advisory Board to discuss the direction of the company and the future of music. Board members included Tyler Bryant, Graham Whitford, and Caleb Crosby of Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown,  Mieka Pauley, Jesse Terry, Xolie Morra, and Jonquil Anderson (emcee TAMPPA). During the inaugural meeting, OurStage previewed a slew of artist-centric offerings designed to fortify revenue streams for independent artists.

Later that evening, members of the board represented the online music discovery community during the New Music Seminar (NMS) showcase at Arlene’s Grocery in the East Village. The night kicked off with an acoustic set by Xolie Morra (accompanied by David Nolf), followed by Jesse Terry (recently nominated by NMS as one of the Top 100 “Artists on the Verge”) who was accompanied by drums, rhythm guitar and backing vocals. Mieka Pauley took the stage for an impromptu a ccapella rendition of “Marked Man”, track seven off her forthcoming LP, The Science Of Making Choices. Rounding out the bill was Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, whose highly anticipated first full length record drops this summer. The showcase closed with a set by NYC hip-hop duo, Metermaids.

Mieka Pauley

Mieka Pauley

Xolie Morra & David Nolf

Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown

Jesse Terry

Check out the songs by the OurStage Advisory Board and NMS showcasing acts:

Legendary Music Manager Johnny Wright Looking to Assemble the Next Super Group

‘N Sync. Britney Spears. The Jonas Brothers. Justin Timberlake.  All chart-topping, international stars. Now, you could be next in line to be crowned pop music’s darling. Here’s how:

Music Manager Johnny Wright is teaming up with AOL Teen’s Cambio, the online entertainment platform “bringing you from fan to friend”, to launch the “On The Spot” talent search. Wright is looking for vocalists to video tape their performance of one of ten predetermined audition songs and upload it for a shot at joining the super group he wants to assemble.

For more details on eligibility, lyrics to the audition songs as well as information on how members of can automatically be entered for the chance to win a free iPad, go HERE.

Deadline for entry of Friday, January 28, 2011.

Editor 2010 Picks: Heavy Rotation Playlist

In 2010 hundreds of thousands of artists entered our monthly competitions, and millions of music lovers ranked their favorite tracks, positioning the Top 100 songs across thirty or more music charts every month. As a proud connoisseur of independent music, I’ve always made it a point to turn my family and friends on to new talents that “I” discover. With a talent pool as rich as the OurStage music charts, there is a never ending reservoir to tap into.

The “Lilith Local Talent Search” brought droves of female artists, “Your Next Record with Keith Urban” brought the country, Drake’s “Thank Me Later” Competition represented hip hop and promotions with Bon Jovi, John Mayer, Train and the Goo Goo Dolls rallied legions of pop and rock artists. While there were many winners who earned career-enhancing opportunities, editorial coverage and cash money, the front-runners only scratched the surface of artists whose talent need to be heard.

Press “Play” to hear songs that have been in heavy rotation throughout 2010 then continue reading to find out why these artists made this list.


Editor at Large and Director of Community & Content for

Heavy Rotation Artists:
Dirty Fuzz. Why? Cuz these UK rockers kick-it old school. Think Muddy Waters meet Zepplin.
The Story of Sound. Why? Hailing from Orange City, Florida, the quintet released their impressive debut EP earlier this year. Check out the killer breakdown in “The Razing”.
Transmit Now. Why? Provocative lyrics and you can dance to it.
Hotspur. Why? The cool kids at OurStage having been digging this DC based band for awhile, but this year the band won the New Music Seminar’s “Artist on The Verge” award and the industry took notice.
Sleeperstar. Why? Their epic Pop song “Disengage” ranked within OurStage’s Top 10 throughout 2010, and helped secure their opening slot for John Mayer.
Go Periscope. Why? Eighties inspired music for fist pumping at the disco. What’s not to love?
SOFIA. Why? Winners of the October’s 5k Grand Prize. ‘Nough said.
Dujeous. Why? Soul-fueled hip hop with guest vocals by the Sharon Jones!
IYEOKA. Why? Power-house vocals, infectious beats and uplifting lyrics raise the roof on “Millionaire”.
Tierra Heart. Why? Granddaughter of legendary jazz musician Julius Hemphill, this California natives gives Beyoncé a run for her money.
Chris Akinyemi. Why? Digging the R&B vibe this newcomer embraces on his debut EP, released this past summer.
Shane Gambles. Why? Country crooner Shane Gambles wets our taste for lovesick melodies on “Turn My Way”.
Katie Cole. Why? Cole’s  radio-ready “Lost Inside A Moment” feels like the pop crossover for an already established country star.
Ashlee Hewitt. Why? Love Taylor Swift but want to hear a song that isn’t overexposed? “About A Boy” will be music to your ears.
Grant Craig. Why? Enshrouded in mystery (read: one song uploaded to an otherwise empty profile on OurStage), Craig’s “Good To Be Alive” is reminiscent of Pete Yorn and catchy as hell.
Chris Pureka. Why? Because Pureka’s latest release How I Learned To See In The Dark is one of my favorite albums of the year. The internationally touring indie songstress has recently garnered press from Billboard and The New York Times.
Lindsay Mac. Why? Mac strums the cello like a guitar and is evocative of PJ Harvey, Morphine and Liz Phair.
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. Why? Wide eyed, low-fi and wonderously quirky, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper (aka Aly Spaltro) has won the hearts of tastemakers including the Brooklyn Vegan.
The Organ Beats. Why? Noelle LeBlanc was signed to a major and toured internationally with her band Damone but traded it in when she found her life at a crossroads and her brother available to get behind the drum kit.
Pomplamoose. Why? Before their quirky covers of hits like “Single Ladies” went viral on YouTube, and before becoming the duo in the holiday Hyundai commercial, they were on OurStage and we were blogging about them.
Shayna Zaid And The Catch. Why? Because they are another OurStage artist currently licensed to a national ad campaign that we can’t get enough of.
Who’s on your heavy rotation list for 2010? Share your picks in the “Comments”.

More Prizes, Greater Opportunities

In 2007, launched with the dream of helping the most promising independent artists illuminate their music and, hopefully, further their careers. To this end, we began to give away a monthly prize of $5,000 to the Number 1 ranked artist, but soon the artist community indicated they valued career-enhancing opportunities over a payout. In response, we worked to bring OurStage artists the chance to record singles with the likes of Keith Urban and T-Pain as well as the chance to open for national acts such as Bon Jovi and John Mayer. Each month we continue to provide artists with more opportunities to further their music careers. Now, what about the cash?

Since OurStage was able to make good on the request to offer more opportunities we thought it was time to address another long-standing artist request: distributing the 5k prize pot amongst the Number 1 artists in pop, rock, country, urban and specialty. Next month, the artists competing in these main music genres, and their respective sub-genres, will each have a chance to win 1k. This opportunity engages all artists in our community, not just the ones who perform songs in the most popular genres of music.

Beginning December 1st, the following genres will be eligible to win:

1K Prize for Rock

1K Prize for Pop

1K Prize for Country

1K Prize for Urban

1K Prize for Specialty

Alternative Indie Pop Alt Country Alt Hip Hop Acoustic
Hard Rock Pop Country Hip Hop All Instrumental
Indie Rock Singer Songwriter Female Southern Rock R&B Ambient Chill
Metal Singer Songwriter Male Traditional Country Rap Blues
Modern Rock Soul Christian
Punk Cover Bands
Rock Electronica
Soft Rock Folk
Southern Rock Funk

We will also continue to award 1K for the Best Video (country, hard rock, hip hop, pop and rock videos are eligible) as well as 1K for the Best Live Performance Video (open to all genres of music). See our FAQS for more information on our monthly prizes, eligible genres and our competition-judging season.

Kid Rock Joins Bon Jovi On Select Dates In July

On April 2nd superstars Bon Jovi announced their search for local bands to share the stage with them on select US and Canada dates of The Circle Tour. As if this isn’t already the stuff that dreams are made of, the band sweetened the deal by adding extra special guest, Kid Rock, on the bill. Check out this list of dates and locations that will feature emerging talent and special guests:

May 19    Hershey, PA: Hersheypark Stadium (Special Guest Fuel)

May 26    East Rutherford, NJ: New Meadowlands Stadium (Special Guest Train)

May 27   East Rutherford, NJ: New Meadowlands Stadium (Special Guest Gavin DeGraw)

May 29   East Rutherford, NJ: New Meadowlands Stadium (Special Guest OneRepublic)

July 9     East Rutherford, NJ: New Meadowlands Stadium (Very Special Guest Kid Rock)

July 15    Edmonton, AB: Commonwealth Stadium (Very Special Guest Kid Rock)

July 17    Winnipeg, MB: Canad Inns Stadium (Very Special Guest Kid Rock)

July 20   Toronto, ON: Rogers Centre (Very Special Guest Kid Rock)

July 21    Toronto, ON: Rogers Centre (Very Special Guest Kid Rock)

July 24    Foxboro, MA: Gillette Stadium (Very Special Guest Kid Rock)

July 28    Regina, SK: Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field (Very Special Guest Kid Rock)

July 30    Chicago, IL: Soldier Field (Very Special Guest Kid Rock)

July 31    Chicago, IL: Soldier Field (Very Special Guest Kid Rock)

Local rock, pop and country artists are invited to upload their best original song to be considered for the coveted 20 minute opening sets on The Circle Tour. Bon Jovi will handpick winners from the Top 30 highest-ranked artists on OurStage.