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Vibe Wants To Hook You Up This August!

VIBE is back on OurStage to keep up the heat for the month of August! They are giving one artist the ultimate chance to be featured on not only VIBE.com, but also Allhiphop.com.  Just think, the top destinations for today’s news in hip-hop could feature your freshest track and an exclusive Q&A. All you need to do is enter your best song into the Get Your Music Featured on VIBE.com music channel by August 22, 2010.

Take a look at some of the artists currently tearing up the charts:

Folkin' Around: Pocket Satellite

One of my favorite types of folk music is the male/female duet”like the Matthew Perryman Jones and Katie Herzig song “Where the Road Meets the Sun” which was featured on Grey’s Anatomy. Now, before I get to this week’s Folkin’ Around artist feature, I’d like to get you acclimated to the power of girl-boy harmonies in a folk song. Check out Jones and Herzig performing below:

I wouldn’t have picked this video if I didn’t think that this week’s OurStage folk pick carried on the same great sound that is every bit as organic and well-executed as “Where The Road Meets The Sun”.  Folkin’ Around artist Pocket Satellite was one of the first OS artists that caught my ear, particularly their song “We Chased Soldiers“. The UK band blends acoustic guitar, simplistic drums, graceful strings and, yes, two-part harmonies into some of the most soothing folk pop I’ve ever heard.
The band calls themselves “folk-glock”,  referring to both their instrumentation and the simplistic, relaxed sound that a “glock” often represents.  The band has played numerous shows around the greater London and Sheffield areas. They’ve been featured on BBC radio as apart of the Sheffield’s Raw Talent show with Iain Hodgson and have also opened for Kyte and Jenny Owen Youngs. Last year they released the playfully-named Toy Train EP. Keep an eye out for their next EP which they plan to release in September. I know I will.

Ernie Ball Sponsors The Singer-Songwriter (Female) Music Channel For August!

As August nears, Ernie Ball and Co. are changing their focus to the Singer-Songwriter (Female) Music Channel. This is an amazing opportunity for one high-ranking female singer-songwriter to have everything she needs to ensure she keeps cranking out the hits.  Artists must upload their best original track to the Singer-Songwriter (Female) Music Channel by August 22, 2010, to get a shot at winning a year’s supply of strings and accessories!

Take a listen below to some of the top artists currently in the Singer-Songwriter (Female) Music Channel:

Needle in the Haystack Follow Up: Sydney Wayser

To wrap up this week’s Needle in the Haystack, we caught up with Sydney Wayser for a few moments to see how social media has affected her career and to see what’s next!

Stay tuned for a new Needle in the Haystack on Monday!

This Week on Vibe.com

Check it! Every Friday on the OurStage Blog, we will be featuring exclusive content from the one-and-only VIBE.com. Stay tuned for weekly photos, music, news and reviews coming straight from the source that’s redefining hip hop.

The WINs & FAILs of Prince’s 20Ten

Maybe Prince’s head-scratching declaration that music distribution on the Internet is  completely over, a statement that was met by howls from the tech brigade, was propelled by solid reasoning. That said, how does the music sound? VIBE breaks down Prince’s latest offering. Continue reading on Vibe.com…

3 Reasons Kanye West’s ‘Mama’s Boyfriend’ Is Already Rhyme of The Year

“Pardon, there’s a lot of use of the N word, but I’m allowed to use it¦”

And on that apologetic and somewhat amusing note, Kanye West, in front of a largely white audience of Facebook employees, unleashes a powerful, barebones testimony of the black experience. Mama’s Boyfriend eschews blatant images of former notorious drug kingpins (sorry Ross), brazen gunplay or the standard female conquest. Nope, Kanye doesn’t take the easy way out. His a cappella performance of a new composition, which is tentatively set for his formerly titled forthcoming album Good Ass Job, is a layered dissection of African-American mother-son relationships fostered in a divorced/single parent home. Equal parts insightful, painfully serious, jocular, and introspective, Mama’s Boyfriend is also a leading contender for rhyme of the year. Here’s why. Continue reading on Vibe.com…

A Short Convo with…Dirty Money’s Dawn & Kalenna

Vibe.com guest editors, Dawn and Kalenna of Diddy’s Dirty Money, aren’t only criss-crossing the globe and wearing the hottest clothes out, they are respected singer/songwriters that were asked by Diddy, himself, to join his group. Sure, you make know Dawn from her Making The Band days but a lot has transpired since then. As for Kalenna, she may be a new face to you but she’s earned her strips writing with the likes of Rodney Jerkins and more. Continue reading on Vibe.com…

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Funny or Die sends M.I.A. to the suburbs

Watch your back, Funny or Die. After a New York Times article hinted that pop artist/politico M.I.A. may enjoy the finer things in life more than she would like known, the singer fired back by publishing the interviewer’s cell phone number on her Twitter page. Nerve=hit. Now Funny or Die is rubbing a little salt in the wound with this video parody of M.I.A.’s Paper Planes, which depicts the singer living in the tony Brentwood neighborhood with an au pair and a predilection for Monet and fine wines. Can’t wait to see M.I.A.’s graceful response to this one . . .  keep an eye on her Twitter page.

The Bad

Justin Bieber tries to escape crazed groupies on a Segway

Run, Bieber, run! Or, stand on a machine that will run for you. That’s what the teen pop star did when frenzied fans caught sight of him in an Arizona parking lot. Apparently being seen on a Segway is less traumatizing than being attacked by rabid tweens. Check out the video below.

The Ugly

St. Louis birds poo-poo Kings of Leon concert

Kings of Leon had to cut their set short in what is now being referred to as Pigeongate. After opening acts the Postelles and the Stills endured a torrent of pigeon droppings during their sets at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Kings of Leon took the stage with a little trepidation. Three songs in, an unidentified feathered sharpshooter released a load that landed near bassist Jared Followill’s mouth, causing the band to halt the show. In the words of Stephanie Tanner, How rude!

LiveNation, the promoter of the event, promised fans a full refund.

Miscellany

Lilith Winners Stand Side By Side With Top Female Acts

Last week, we caught up with Ashley Matte, Annie Bethancourt, Terra Naomi and Xolie Morra to hear about their experiences performing at the 2010 Lilith Fair. This week, we are featuring the latest batch of Lilith winners and their stories. In case you haven’t heard, OurStage partnered with Lilith in April to give aspiring female solo artists and female-fronted groups the opportunity to play at the famous festival on stops across the US this summer. Since last week, OurStage winning artists Sarah Swenson, Katie Todd, duo Amanda Lucas and Audrey Cecil, and The Airplanes have all performed their sets, and we caught up with them afterward to hear how things went. From their stories it’s clear that each artist had a unique experience, but what they share in common is the increased exposure to new fans and the chance to stand side by side with some of the world’s top female performers.

"I was the everday girl hanging out with rock stars for a day." ”Sara Swenson

Singer-songwriter Sara Swenson performed at the Kansas City stop of the festival alongside artists the likes of Emmylou Harris, Heart, Sarah McLachlan, and Ingrid Michaelson. It was an unforgettable experience, from the buzz of interviews and excitement of fans beforehand to the fun photos and feedback afterward,” recalls Swenson. “It was a dream to be on the same bill as Sarah McLachlan and the other ladies on the Lilith Tour, and both playing a set to an attentive and enthusiastic audience on a secondary stage and sharing the big stage with all of the headlining artists for the finale were experiences I’ll never forget.

"We had an absolute blast being part of such a high-profile event; it's something we'll never forget." ”Amanda Lucas & Audrey Cecil

Recently, singer-songwriters Amanda Lucas and Audrey Cecil combined forces to perform and write as a duo. At their Lilith performance in Indianapolis, Cecil and Lucas played songs to the largest crowd on the tour for the first performer of the day. Playing at Lilith Fair has created more of a buzz than we have ever experienced up to this point,” commented the duo. “By the time we were two songs in, our stage area was packed. Since returning from Lilith fair, we have had constant fan requests/chatter on our social networking sites and web page. In the upcoming year, Cecil and Lucas have plans to record their first album together and hit the road to play dates in many US cities.

"Performing at Lilith was pretty much one of the best things that has happened in our short career so far." ”The Airplanes

In St. Louis, songwriting duo Airplanes performed for new faces and learned a little about the festival business. Performing at Lilith was pretty much one of the best things that has happened in our short career so far. It was a really nice opportunity to perform with some great artists and to perform to crowds that we may not have been able to perform before otherwise. It gave us a really cool opportunity to gain a new fan base in a sense. I really learned that it takes a lot of hard work from everybody to really get a show of this magnitude up and running. From the sound people, to security, to both festival and artist staffs, it takes a real team to make the shows so awesome and so fun.
“Performing at Lilith felt absolutely incredible and surreal.” ”Katie Todd

At the end of the day, each winning artist had the opportunity to perform a special finale on stage with all the other acts on the bill. Katie Todd, winner for Chicago, recalls the experience: I really enjoyed the sense of camaraderie amongst all of the musicians. For the finale, Sarah McLachlan had all of the artists who performed that day up on the main stage singing ‘Because the Night’ by Patti Smith, and I’m still on a high from that experience. You can watch a video of Todd onstage with McLachlan, Heart and Mary J. Blige, to name a few, here.

Winners Announced For Drake Thank Me Later Artist And Backstage Correspondent Competition

Throughout the month of July, artists have been battling it out in the “Drake Thank Me Later” competition for a shot at opening for the Canadian hip-hop sensation at the Caribana concert in Drake’s hometown of Toronto. The competition was opened to acts in the alternative hip-hop, hip-hop, rap, R&B and soul genres at the start of July and since then, more than 3,000 artists have entered their music. Chosen from the top 30 entrants, Lokz aka Yuri Koller stood out to Drake and his team as most worthy of the grand prize. In addition to scoring an opening spot at the concert, Lokz will receive four free tickets to the show so his friends can join the crowd of thousands in cheering him on. Standing by to cover the whole event from backstage will be Megan Sumpton, winner of the Backstage Correspondent component of the Thank Me Later competition. Megan will receive VIP backstage access to the show and, in addition to chronicling Lokz’s experiences, she will be responsible for interviewing Drake and other artists at the show.  Megan was chosen from a pool of more than 300 applicants, who all submitted audition videos to prove they had the right stuff for the job. She was also hand-picked by Drake and his team for the job. Check out the links to hear Lokz’s winning song and Megan Sumpter’s audition tape.

Winning Artist Lokz

Winning Backstage Correspondent Megan Sumpter

Soul Searching: Edge

While searching for the next talented artists to feature on Soul Searching, the band Edge quickly came up on our radar. Their music seems to have influences from multiple genres, so defining them strictly as an R&B or soul band would be unfair. Edge describes their own music as rock/soul with influences ranging from Dave Mathews Band all the way to gospel music. After listening closely, we think you’ll find that their lead singer, and a few of their chord choices, are undoubtedly soulful. Not being able to place their music into one genre is what makes them unique and a very cool band to listen to. Edge is played on radio stations including KVTT 91.7 FM, 89.7 PowerFM and a few others. They’re also high up on the OurStage Best Of Charts for R&B and have been there for quite some time!

Edge’s lyrics are both uplifting and positive. The lead singer, Colin Edge sounds similar to Adam Levine of Maroon Five, with hints of Robin Thicke (especially on the song, Meant to Do sung mostly in falsetto). Take a listen and let us know what you think!

Festivus: Moogfest

Its been a big 12 months for Moog Music. The electronic instruments company has purchased a new $2.5 million property to house new offices and serve as a musical tourist attraction in Asheville, NC, and it also won the MIX Foundation TEC Award for Outstanding Technical Achievement, Musical Instrument Category. The award joins a long list of Moog achievements, including Guitar Player‘s Reader’s Choice Award, Electronic Musician‘s Editor’s Choice Award, Popular Science‘s Best of What’s New Award and NAMM Best In Show honors. And while rambling off a list of accomplishments similar to these is probably very exciting for industry insiders and instrument enthusiasts, there’s another list from Moog that this festival-goer for one is more excited about.

This past Tuesday, Moog was supposed to release the official lineup for 2010’s MoogFest, a 3-day festival slated for Halloween weekend celebrating the life and vision of the sonic pioneer and grandfather of Moog Music, Robert Moog. The festival has since moved the deadline back to August 10th, saying that still “need a little more time to put it all together”. Headliners Massive Attack, MGMT and Thievery Corporation were announced earlier this year and set the stage for such a synthesizer-heavy gathering, a genre quickly revolutionizing the indie roots of rock and pop. It makes sense, as Moog was one of the first companies to develop the synthesizer and went on to develop some of the most popular synthesizers ever.

MoogFest will take place at multiple venues across downtown Asheville, among them being the Asheville Civic Center Arena and renowned, world-classclub The Orange Peel. According to Moog’s site, the buck doesn’t stop with late-night sets coupled with the undoubtedly stunning lazer shows that accompany this kind of music. Patrons will also be able to attend workshops, engage with artists in panel discussions, take in visual art exhibitions, installations and film screenings and indulge their own musical creativity using an array of Moog instruments. No doubt a weekend providing a stimulating assault on all the senses. Tickets for MoogFest we also supposed to go on sale tomorrow (July 30th) but have been pushed back to August 13th. As always, we’ll keep you posted.