Paste has the premiere of the newest video from our onetime MTV Needle in the Haystack winner Andrew Belle. It’s an odd and oddly affecting story of vampires and werewolves and family, evoking feelings of grief, longing, regret, detachment, and reconciliation. That’s a lot for a six-minute clip. It doesn’t hurt that the song itself is a stark and sober ode to family and individuality, all wrapped up in a melancholy melody, with electronic sounds prodding an otherwise organic arrangement.
He told Paste: I wanted to take a shot at the well known prodigal son storyline. But, at the same time, put our own little quirky twists on it. I’m really thrilled with what we captured that day in Nashville. Will Holland was a blast to work with again, and Ashley Fisher delivered a really inspiring performance.
Here at OurStage, we’re counting down the seconds until SXSW. Not only do we have the OurStage Panel Finale Extravaganza to look forward to, but we’ll be seeing awesome live performances from some of the best musicians in the world!
If you’re going to be at SXSW too, we hope you’ll take the time to catch showcases from OurStage artists like Andrew Belle, The Niceguys, Stepdad and Jukebox The Ghost. Check out our OurStage artist showcase schedule with venue, date and time information and listen to all fifteen artists in the player below. Don’t miss out, it’s gonna be wild!
October is always a month for changes. The leaves start changing color, the weather starts getting colder and the feeling that winter is right around the corner starts to creep in. But October isn’t all bad! The brisk weather can be really refreshing, and Halloween” the one day of the year where adults get to play dress up and not look insane”is always sure to be a blast. So with that in mind, we’ve hand-picked a brand new playlist of OurStage songs to soundtrack your weekend of leaf raking or your awesome Halloween party. Head over to the OurStage Facebook page to download the mix for free, or check out 8tracks to listen to it along with our past Editor Picks playlists. So put on your headphones, kick back, and enjoy some great tunes.
Those Mockingbirds “Coast To Coast” – If you’re looking for some ’90s nostalgia you’ve come to the right place. This song has the influence of grunge written all over it.
Kim Wempe “Out Of My Closet” – The perfect mix of folk and blues for a lazy autumn afternoon.
Dirty Fuzz “The True History Of Rock And Roll” – The title pretty much speaks for itself. Loud guitar riffs and soulful singing evoke the memories of past rockstars.
The Trews “The World, I Know” – You can hear influences from the Rolling Stones to R.E.M. in this hard rocking tune.
Windoview “Uke Song” – Ukuleles seem to be all the rage these days, and this song doesn’t fail to disappoint. A soft and heartfelt indie pop song.
The All-Girl Boys Choir “Red” – Even though they’re only a duo, The All-Girl Boys Choir rocks out harder than most bands double their size. Don’t ever say that girls can’t rock too!
Andrew Belle “Static Waves” – Andrew Belle’s acoustic ballad gets a boost from a backup female singer and an accompanying string section for an epic sounding song.
Tess Dunn “Marionette Of Me” – An irresistible piano line and Tess Dunn’s catchy vocal melodies ensure that this track will remain stuck in your head for awhile.
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In just a few short days the South By Southwest Music and Film Interactive Conference and Festival will be kicking off, and while, for us, this signifies the launch of festival season (whooopiiieeee) it also marks some very exciting milestones for independent artists everywhere. SXSW showcases hundreds upon hundreds of artists every year, and has become a worthy credential in the careers of both established and up-and-coming artists. If you’re heading down to Austin next week, be sure to show some love to the many OurStage acts that will be performing, many of which have been featured on the OurStage Magazine in the last year. Gosh, we just can’t get over our taste-making skills.
Thursday March 17th
Geographer – Indie rock drenched in reverb, electronics and introspection, Geographer should have no trouble fitting into the SXSW scene. Read about them here and check out their 8pm set at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop.
Andrew Belle – OurStage hearthrob Andrew Belle’s debut full-length album The Ladder was released last year to critical acclaim and has been featured on the OurStage Magazine and Best Of charts for months. Catch him at 10pm at The Tap Room At Six.
Or, The Whale – We could tell you about how Or, The Whale has been on OurStage practically since the beginning, or how they gracefully incorporate seven instruments and four vocalists into one seamless act. But we think we’ll just let this OurStage Magazine profile, and this Daily Download post and this winner profile do the talking for us. Don’t miss them at 10pm at the Soho Lounge, right before Eilen Jewell.
Muck and the Mires – Nothing like a little Boston garage rock to cleanse the SXSW palate. Catch them hot off the trails of headlining the Dirty Water Festival in London at Skinny’s Ballroom at 10:15pm.
Eilen Jewell – Eilen Jewell is quickly becoming a hot name in the country world. Read her feature on the OurStage Magazine and catch her on the charts, the folk rankings love her! Playing at 11pm at the Soho Lounge.
The Plastics Revolution -The inaugural act for OurStage and MTV Music’s joint partnership Needle In The Haystack, The Plastics Revolution have been bringing powerpop to Mexico City in waves and will soon cross the border to rock the late night crowd at Mi Casa Cantina at midnight.
Friday March 18th
Jesse Thomas – Jesse has racked up more Top 10 wins than the average SXSW goer’s Foursquare check-ins. She’s been featured in OurStage playlists for rock and folk, and her raw, smokey voice and take no prisoners ‘tude even scored her a spot playing side stage to John Mayer in this past summer’s John Mayer “Side Stage Warfare” Competition. Don’t miss her kick ass at 7:30pm at The Ale House.
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper – The effervescent Lady Lamb has been an OurStage fav for a while now, having been chosen as another Needle In The Haystack artist and featured on the OurStage Magazine for her killer touring style and as an Editor Pick for 2010. She even graced us with her presence and rocked the room at OurStage’s first In The Round session at the end of February. See what everyone’s buzzing about at 8pm at Swan Dive.
Blacklisted Individuals – This hip hop duo doesn’t have to travel far to bring their “Working Class Muzik” to SXSW, being born and raised right in Austin. Check out the former OurStage and MTV Music Needle In The Haystack act at 9pm at The Marq.
RAS (Riders Against the Storm) – This husband and wife hip hop duo is both adorable and talented, winning the Lennon Award in the hip hop category in 2008’s John Lennon Songwriting Competition as well as being a finalist in OurStage’s “Get Out Of The Garage” Competition with Converse. Experience the magic at 9:30pm at The Marq.
Other Lives – Another OurStage artist that we’ve been gabbing about since the beginning, scored a free logo design from Alphabet Arm back in 2009. Other Lives cites lofty influences such as Jóhann Jóhannsson and Arvo Pí¤rt, but you’re more likely to hear Beatles and Rufus Wainwright in the execution, which is a sweeter deal in the end. Learn more in their artist feature on the OurStage Mag, where our Editor in Chief also cited them as an playlist pick. Catch them live at 10pm at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop.
Saturday, March 19th
Lelia Broussard – Listen up, people, because Lelia is making some serious waves. Not only is she a contender for Rolling Stone’s Choose The Cover Competition, but the OurStage community loves her rollicking folk rock (as evidenced by her multiple Top 10 wins) and her hilarious videos that are quickly making her a YouTube sensation. Read more on the OurStage Magazine when we profiled her last year, and be sure to check out her set at The Tap Room at Six at 10:45pm, so you can say you saw her when.
Last week, Get Lyrical gave you a taste of both the romantic and decidedly unromantic fare on OurStage. This week, we forego the happy love songs altogether and look into a break-up song that”despite being beautiful”is pretty much just depressing. The song is Andrew Belle‘s Make It Without You, from his 2010 release The Ladder. Grey’s Anatomy fans might recognize the tune from a May 2010 episode; it played while Alex signed her divorce papers and Callie and Arizona had their break-up talk. Grey’s music producers were spot on (as they usually are when they manipulate viewer emotions with a well-timed song), because Make It Without You is truly heart-wrenching.
At the song’s opening, Belle is planning to leave town when he gets a call from someone asking him not to go. He sings that he can’t stay, saying that somewhere, there’s a Northbound train. Those lyrics, paired with the song’s title, might initially cause listeners to believe that this song is intended to be an f-you to an ex. Lines like, This is the starting of a brand new day/I never liked this town much, anyway, only seem to prove this point. But despite this claim, and with the repeated mantra, I’ll make it without you, in the song’s chorus, Belle never appears certain that he actually will make it. His annunciation makes the track sound like a desperate attempt to convince himself that he’ll be okay on his own. And with a casual nod to his burgeoning alcoholism”I never cared much for the taste of gin/I still don’t now, oh, but it’s been helpin’” the listener has to wonder if Belle actually will make it alone.
Make It Without You fits perfectly as the tenth and final track on The Ladder, closing out a record whose major themes include transition and change. Its painful uncertainty and delicate melody make it an ideal song to play at the end of an album, a relationship or a tear-jerking television drama.
OurStage artist Andrew Belle is slowly but surely becoming the next big thing. First, OurStage and MTV selected the singer-songwriter as the local VMA Best Breakout Artist in Chicago. Then Belle’s music went on to be featured in shows like Grey’s Anatomy, One Tree Hill, 90210, MTV’s The Real World, The Ghost Whisperer and Keeping Up With The Kardashians. After releasing his debut LP under the direction of GRAMMYaward-winning mixing engineer Vance Powell (The Raconteurs) in February, Belle snagged the Number 1 spot on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter Channel. If that wasn’t enough, Belle was hand-picked by MTV Music as OurStage’s Needle in the Haystack in June.
To solidify his continuing climb, Belle debuted his music video for “Static Waves” on Paste last month. Check out the lovely, if not heart-wrenching, video for his duet with GRAMMYnominated Katie Herzig below, and stay tuned as this OurStage star continues to rise.