Brooklyn’s Late Cambrian is our new Artist of the Week. No strangers to the OurStage community, this three-piece rock combo has seen several placements at the top of our fan-ranked charts, as well as in the overall Best of the Best, and they first won the opportunity to appear at Maine’s KahBang Festival (to which they’ve been invited back repeatedly by festival organizers) as a result of their popularity on OurStage.
We’ve been psyched to see them grow from an undiscovered gem into one of the more fast-emerging bands on the independent scene. Their video and single Ryan Gosling was a minor hit, securing serious international airplay. The band has toured relentlessly and, having just performed a showcase at New York’s CMJ festival, is headed out on the road again this fall, supporting Wheatus.
In an era when pop-rock bands are so often disposable carbon copies of each other, Late Cambrian breathes new life into the genre. The songs are smart and catchy, the sound is jittery, angular, and immensely danceable “ yes, a rock band you can really move to. This year’s LP, Peach, expanded the band’s palette to great effect, adding more complex arrangements and lofty atmospherics to the core elements of chiming guitars, driving rhythms, and smooth harmonies. Gone are the obligatory, sometimes obvious nods to Weezer and other ˜90s power pop godfathers, and in their place is an original and clever synthesis of influences that ends up sounding like nothing but Late Cambrian; like nothing but now. Check out the video for Ryan Gosling, as well as fall tour dates, below.
The 2nd winner in our yearlong Ernie Ball Save Your Strings Competition has been selected. For phase one, with your help, we found a great, undiscovered pop act, Biscuits & Gravy. This installment of the competition was a hunt for the top rock band, and the winner is¦ Pennsylvania’s The Jellybricks.
The Jellybricks aren’t exactly an out of nowhere band of newcomers. In 2012, they released their fifth album, Suckers. They’re a road-tested working band who have been lauded by Rolling Stone and SiriusXM’s Steven Van Zandt. The last few years have found the band honing their sound, and evolving away from pure power-pop and toward something new, with elements of ˜70s glam and vintage garage (no wonder Little Steven was hooked). But it still circles back to the basics “ undeniable melodies, crunchy guitars, and killer harmonies.
Check out the winning track, Rock ˜n’ Roll Suicide, to hear what convinced the Ernie Ball judges to award The Jellybricks with a year’s supply of strings and accessories, plus a chance at the Grand Prize “ an Ernie Ball endorsement and a Music Man guitar for each player in the band.
Next up is our Save Your Strings Country edition, and then Ernie Ball will select the big winner from among the three genre winners.
Starting today, Intel is launching the 2013 installment of the Superstars competition, and together with OurStage they hope to kickstart the career of music’s next breakout act in the months ahead. Want to be considered? Read on.
We’ve got the bases covered with eight genre-exclusive competition channels for singer-songwriters, pop divas, rock stars, country giants, rap moguls, músicos Latinos, R&B crooners, and Electronic beatmakers.
For the first round, we’re looking for the best of the best in Rock, Pop, Latin, and R&B. Fan judging for Round 1 begins on August 15th. If those genres aren’t for you, stay tuned for Round 2 starting on September 22nd.
If your track makes it to the # 1 spot in your channel, you’ll win a package that includes an Intel® Ultrabookâ„¢, Blue Microphones microphone, Creative Labs speaker, Gibson Brands Inc, electric guitar with case*, HMDX Bluetooth wireless speaker, Orange amplifier, Sonos wireless speaker, and a V-MODA metal headphone. The Top 20 from each channel will be entered into Round 3, which will determine the overall Top 20. From those finalists, the grand prize winner will be selected by a panel of judges.
*NOTE: The electronic winner will not receive the Gibson Brands Inc. electric guitar, but will receive the Gibson Brands Inc. Stanton USB Mixstation.
If you’re ready to launch your career, click here and submit your best song today!
The Wandas rarely deliver exactly what you expect. When this writer happened upon their afternoon set at South By Southwest a couple of years ago, they were about three-quarters of the way through and had nearly reached the crashing crescendo that would find them spilling off the small roofdeck stage and into the enthusiastic crowd, instruments held aloft, strummed, banged, and fedback, for what seemed like the entire last song.
The band and I happened to be leaving the venue at the same time and when I told them how I’d enjoyed the set, they handed me their self-titled 12 LP. Based on their show, I looked forward to a hooky, high-octane garage rock romp. Yes, a romp, dammit. What I heard was indeed energetic rock and roll, but it was deeper, more thoughtful and introspective. It was the first new album I’d heard in a while that contained honest-to-god guitar work, in the vein of Television and Neil Young. It was psych and pop and jamming, all rolled into a concise musical language. I knew what they meant.
Now, a new album for 2013. New Interface (A Design with Friends for the Future) was released June 25th. And once again, the band has confounded expectations with appreciable growth. Having fully realized on their first album the often-elusive cohesion of being in a gritty yet cerebral rock band, The Wandas have added a diverse songwriting palette, highlighted by increasingly elaborate and deliberate production.
Folk-rock? Roots-rock? The gentlemen of Darlingside weren’t too sure about either of those monikers as it relates to their music, and so they became the Northeast’s top string-rock outfit. Call it whatever you want, but we took notice of this band after they placed at #1 in the OurStage Rock channel twice, with an additional five Top 10s, four Top 40s, an Editor’s Pick, and a two-week appearance in the Best of the Best Top 20.
But what finally made Darlingside a lasting favorite was stumbling upon a video performance of their song Blow The House Down, recorded live back in 2010. String-rock starts to make more and more sense, as these guys clearly aren’t just a folky act leaning more heavily on the bluegrass side of things. The strings they employ have a more classical tint to them. The tension created between that proper school of music and their otherwise loose “ and indeed rootsy “ melodic vibe.
And we’re suckers for frontman-bassists. Especially with that Rickenbacker. So please check out Darlingside, our Artist of the Week.
Click here to donate and download a great playlist to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.
OurStage is grateful to be an international hub for musicians and music fans, who are looking to share and connect with something new. But we also have a soft spot for our hometown of Boston, MA, one of the world’s most vibrant music communities. Like the rest of the world, that community was shocked on Monday to learn of, and in many cases to see firsthand, the horrifying disturbance of one of our biggest and best days – Patriot’s Day and the yearly running of the celebrated Boston Marathon.
As readers probably know, there are many victims today, and as a city and a nation, we are reeling. But as many have already pointed out, if someone was hoping to terrify us, they failed. Within moments of the blasts, average people became heroic, rushing to aid the victims, running toward the danger. Runners continued past the finish line to give blood, locals opened their homes to visiting marathon participants with nowhere to go, restaurants and bars sheltered all comers, and police and medical personnel performed at the highest level.
And the rest of us, like you, just want to know what else we can do. Well, what we do is music. Of the many memes that have made the rounds of social media in the last several days, one quote spoke brilliantly to us: “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more devotedly than ever before.” – Leonard Bernstein.
In that spirit, our friends at the popular Boston-centric music blog Allston Pudding worked quickly to compile a fantastic playlist of local music that could be offered for download to benefit the victims of the bombing. They put out a call for submissions, and the response was overwhelming, and they finally cut it off when they reached 130 tracks. So now, you can donate anywhere from $1 or more to get 130 tracks of eclectic, quality independent music, knowing that 100% of your donation is going to The One Fund Boston. Download it RIGHT HERE.
Over a quarter century ago, record players and the accompanying 12 vinyl discs were packed up in the attic, left to collect dust, and eventually sold at tag sales for a few bucks. But within the past few years, there has been resurgence in the demand for more vinyl among listeners. In 2011, vinyl sales rose nearly 40% from the previous year. Interestingly enough, the past 6 years prior to 2011 marked a steady decline in vinyl sales each year. In 2012, that number climbed nearly an additional 18% from 2011.
This week’s OurStage Pro Artist of the Week is Asheville North Carolina’s The Black Rabbits. The band made waves in 2010 after their debut EP cracked the CMJ Top 100, garnering some serious press and catching the attention of the great Stan Lynch, producer and drummer, formerly of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Lynch produced their first LP, Hypno Switch. The band’s rather varied take on rootsy-to-modern rock and roll is always catchy, moody, and compelling. Shades of The Strokes slip in via singer Jetson Black, while the musical canvas ranges from slick, driving, classic guitar rock to spare acoustic breakdowns. And everyone can dig a little guy-girl vocal interaction, no?
With a lot of road work under their belt and a new LP in the works (tentatively titled Requiem For A Princess), The Black Rabbits are poised for a breakout 2013. Listen to “Hypno Switch” below:
This is Tour Manager James checking in from the Orlando, FL date of Van’s Warped Tour 2012. For the last month, I have been riding aboard the OurStage.com tour bus with Larry G(ee) and his band, as well as a few stage hands, and thought it might be a nice change of pace to shed some light on my day-to-day life here on the world’s largest traveling music festival.
Every morning, I rise around 7:00am and check with our driver (Jens) to learn about our arrival time and whatever information he is able to offer about the venue. We arrive and I wake up Larry so he and I can begin promoting the day’s performance. We stroll the venue, setup merch, locate stages, promote on social networks, drink coffee, and sweat the equivalent of roughly two gallons of water before getting the day’s set times at 10am. Once that happens, the grounds become a rampage of managers and promo kids doing their best to get the word out about their act’s time. It’s hectic, it’s crazy, it’s Warped before gates.
Once the gates open, the real day can finally begin. The band and I regroup from our morning promotion then set off to promote within the gates until (and usually after) the performance. When Larry has somewhere to be, something gig-related to do, or when the band is in need, I’m there. When they perform, I’m there both as manager and photographer. On the rare occasion the day allows for me to have some time to explore the grounds, I do my best to catch as many sets as possible (most of which I’ve shared on the OS Warped Tumblr) and, if at all possible, shower.
Evening brings a cooler temperature, but our efforts never end before dark. I assist Larry and his band as needed, begin packing up our belongings, and do my best to catch a glimpse of the sunset before diving into some editing work on the day’s photos. It’s tiring, and most of the time you want to sleep for days on end, but the night Warped Tour crew BBQ keeps us up and lifts even the lowest spirits. It’s one of those rare moments when everyone from main stage to catering is really together, and not one has passed that’s let us down.
After all this, Larry, his band, the crew, and I return to the bus and exchange stories before bed. It’s a long, long day, but one you’re always excited to begin again in the morning.
I’ll be writing another entry next week highlighting my favorite moments of this tour, but for now, here are a few of my favorite images thus far:
More like this:
It’s time now for the next installment of Songs of The Revolution, our new series in which we throw free downloads around like we’re made of free downloads. Simply put, we catch some of our favorite artists as they come to town and record an exclusive session with them. As a nice little bonus, you can watch and listen to video recordings of the sessions before you download the tracks.
Now, if you’ve been following OurStage lately, you know that we’re big fans of New York-based artist Mieka Pauley. So much so that we just invited her to perform at our showcase for this year’s New Music Seminar and to join our newly-established Artist Advisory Board. And just to show that we can’t get enough Mieka, we grabbed her recently on her way to Cambridge’s Lizard Lounge, where she was having a release party for her new record, The Science Of Making Choices, and asked her to perform a few songs for us. Two of those songs, Marked Man and Wreck, are from the new record, while We’re All Gonna Die is a favorite from a 2009 EP. Check out these fantastic exclusive performances to see what all the buzz is about.