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Why Miley Cyrus' 'Bangerz' Tour Might Be The Most Important Tour Of The New Year

When will the public finally take Miley Cyrus seriously? And no, I am not asking that facetiously. I will admit that she certainly doesn’t make it easy, especially considering her slew of press-baiting stunts over the last few months that sent every media outlet into a seemingly permanent salivary frenzy. Still, whether or not she is in control of her public image “ the ultimate point of contention anchoring a furious celebrity blog-off several months ago “ her (or her management’s) decision to bring Sky Ferreira and Icona Pop on her upcoming Bangerz tour is a totally brilliant move: one that crystallizes and enlarges the cultural impact of what each artist has, up until this point, been doing separately in order to make pop music a safer place for women to rightfully do whatever the hell they want.

The album cover for Ferreira’s new record Night Time, My Time features the melancholy singer staring somewhat crazily and vulnerably out at the audience, nude and framed by dripping shower tiles in Van-Gogh green. It’s more disturbing than it is sexy. But of course, that hasn’t stopped scores of critics from accusing her of employing nudity simply to boost album sales. The story, as she’s told it, is that Capitol, her record label, didn’t want her to be nude in the first place, and even suggested using other photos from past years for the album cover. But Ferreira was adamant. “It’s hard enough to be a woman making music at all,” she told Pitchfork. “But I’m not going to start covering myself up just to seem more credible”I’m going to embrace my sexuality because I have every right to.”

If there’s any statement that makes Cyrus’ recent salacious stunts more understandable in light of the challenges facing female pop artists, it’s that one. While the double standard of female sexuality is (hopefully) not news to anybody, it’s even more pronounced in pop music, where any display of female sexuality is commonly demonized as a PR stunt or a money grab: essentially anything that constitutes the opposite of “authentic” music, which is supposedly focused on pure form and creation. This is, of course, total bullshit. To solely attribute financial motives to a female artist’s decision to pose nude is to subscribe to the same type of thinking that circumscribes female nudity to the porn set or the bedroom. It is to place rules around where and when it is correct for women in pop to make certain choices about their bodies, and strips them (pun intended) of the ability to even have that choice in the first place.
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Exclusive Q And A: Anberlin Talk Change, Songwriting, And Smashing With The Pumpkins

Anberlin have been perfecting their personal style of driving, melodic modern rock for about ten years now, but they’ve never made an album like this. Vital, the band’s most recent release, melds their signature sound with hints of electronic music, pushing the band in a vibrant new direction. They just wrapped up a tour with The Smashing Pumpkins and a fall headlining tour with Morning Parade. Needless to say, it’s definitely not a bad time to be Anberlin. We caught up with drummer Nathan Young to chat about the nuances of the band’s sound, the songwriting process on the new record, and what it’s like to open for Corgan and company.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Billy Corgan Writing "Spiritual Memoir"

Billy Corgan, frontman for The Smashing Pumpkins and famously cantankerous commentator on the current state of the music industry, is reportedly writing a “spiritual memoir” that contains “plenty of sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.” Though Corgan has insisted that the book “isn’t a rock ‘n’ roll autobiography,” he has already teased some of the eccentric personal anecdotes that readers can expect from a man who’s hobnobbed with the alt rock elite. In an interview with Larry Emdur and Kylie Gillies, the hosts of Good Morning Australia, Corgan revealed that he once hung out in a teepee at Neil Young’s house with Young, Marilyn Manson, Lou Reed, and “probably Harvey Keitel, or something.” We can’t wait to hear the end of that one. In May of last year, Rolling Stone reported that Corgan was already about one-third of the way through the book, having written about 300 pages. At that pace, Corgan could be on track to finish his memoir fairly soon. However, he’ll likely have to put writing on the backburner for the time being, as The Smashing Pumpkins are about to set off on a two-month-long North American tour. Check out the dates below.

SEPTEMBER 22   ¢¢¢   MEXICO CITY, MEXICO

SEPTEMBER 23   ¢¢¢   MONTERREY, MEXICO

OCTOBER 2   ¢¢¢   MTS CENTER, WINNIPEG

OCTOBER 4   ¢¢¢   SCOTIABANK SADDLEDOME, CALGARY

OCTOBER 5   ¢¢¢   REXHALL PLACE, EDMONTON

OCTOBER 7   ¢¢¢   ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER

OCTOBER 10   ¢¢¢   COMCAST ARENA, SEATTLE

OCTOBER 12   ¢¢¢   BILL GRAHAM CIVIC, SAN FRANCISCO

OCTOBER 13   ¢¢¢   VIEJAS ARENA, SAN DIEGO

OCTOBER 14    ¢¢¢   GIBSON AMPHITHEATRE, LOS ANGELES

OCTOBER 18   ¢¢¢   CHAIFETZ ARENA, ST LOUIS

OCTOBER 19   ¢¢¢   ALLSTATE ARENA, CHICAGO

OCTOBER 20   ¢¢¢   ROY WILKINS AUDITORIUM, ST. PAUL

OCTOBER 23   ¢¢¢   PALACE OF AUBURN HILLS, DETROIT

OCTOBER 25   ¢¢¢   AIR CANADA CENTRE, TORONTO

OCTOBER 27   ¢¢¢   AGGANIS ARENA, BOSTON

OCTOBER 28   ¢¢¢   BELL CENTRE, MONTREAL

OCTOBER 31    ¢¢¢   BARCLAYS ARENA, BROOKLYN

NOVEMBER 2   ¢¢¢   SUSQUEHANNA BANK CENTER, CAMDEN

NOVEMBER 3   ¢¢¢   PATRIOT CENTER, FAIRFAX

NOVEMBER 4   ¢¢¢   MOHEGAN SUN ARENA, HARTFORD

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Josh Homme Billy Corgan
Lady Gaga Kanye West

We Wait, We Anticipate But Where's The Release Date? The Records We Longed Forever For

If you don’t know anything about PJ Harvey, know this: The lady has bigger balls than you do. She’s the type to never be afraid to do exactly what she wants and as an artist she’s defined by her creative adventurousness. Her career has spanned nearly two decades, she’s never been accused of repeating herself and her records are generally met with both critical praise and applause from her sizable cult fanbase.

That said, the lady has a lot of clout and fan goodwill: currency she can spend as part of her artistic license. Still that doesn’t prevent a statement like the one she recently made in an interview with The Guardian UK from being deflating.

“Ten years,” she says. Ten years until what? “If it takes ten years [to record a followup to Let England Shake] then I would rather wait and know that I felt each piece was strong than feel that it was time to put something out but five pieces are a bit weak.” Let England Shake only came out this past February and it’s admirable that Harvey is making considerations as to her next record, to stick a date that far in the future has to be a bummer for her hardcore acolytes. That said, many will wait for as long as Polly Jean wants. If she doesn’t want to crank out a record, it’s her perogative.

I mean, if she can get away with her hair being a bird, she can get away with a lot. Photo by Seamus Murphy

She’s a perfectionist, evidenced in that same interview by the claim that Let England Shake was the end result of “hundreds of completed songs” and poems being paired down into a cohesive twelve track LP. Her comments made us think of some of the other records that artists have made their fans wait for and whether it was all really worth it.

If you’re a Billy Corgan fan these days, then congratulations, you are officially part of the most forgiving fan base on the planet. While “The Smashing Pumpkins” made a “comeback” in 2007 with Zeitgeist, most would agree that the record just didn’t hit as hard as Siamese Dream or Millen Collie and the Infinite Sadness despite the seven year gap between Zeitgeist and 2000’s Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music. That said, Corgan has already determined that his next project is going to be another labor of love.

The concept behind their new record Teargarden by Kaleidyscope can be a bit to wrap your head around, but here it goes: The album will be forty-four tracks, released one at a time online over the course of seven years. But that’s not all as Corgan just announced the scheduled release of Oceania, a ten track “album within an album” (so meta) as part of the Teargarden project. But hey, if they’re rolling out reissues of nearly all the Pumpkins classic output from the ’90s, then we should not look the gift horse in the mouth. We’ll let you slide on this one, Corgan.

Rappers aren’t absent in the discussion of delayed releases. Dr. Dre has been working on Detox since 2003 and a date has been set for its releases in nearly every following year. It’s tough to speculate on the motivation behind the push back but Dre has certainly capitalized on his fanbase’s want for new material. Every few months there would be snippets of songs and media bites to salivate beat hungry fans, keeping people satiated while whetting their appetites for new material. Ooooh, Dr. Pepper commercial with Dre songs! Aaaahhhh, Beats Headphones! Maybe because Dre stayed active in the meantime with other projects (producing Eminem and others, duh) allowed him to stay in the good graces of the fans and the press. So now, in 2011, when singles are trickling out with accompanying videos (!), we have to believe that the album is really coming out this year, right? Well, there’s no set release date but he’s making speakers for Chrysler now. So yeah, that’s something.

Finally, we can’t talk about overdue records without mentioning the obvious elephant in the room. Listen up, Axl Rose.

Chinese Democracy, /CHīˈnÄ“z diˈmí¤krÉ™sÄ“/, noun, Dimished expectations as the result of postponement or delay.

If someone called you the Chinese Democracy of anything, it’s going to be a diss. What other album can you think of that has a wikipedia page dedicated to its own gestation period? You all know the story; a decade and a half in the making with an expense of over $10 million to create. And you know what the most damming part about the whole affair is? The album was something of a non-entity. It wasn’t the spectacular success that Axl and nobody else believed it could be, critically or commercially speaking. It wasn’t a train wreck either. Reviews were middling but not unforgiving and the record has gone double platinum worldwide. The fact that it could not be a spectacle, an event to be witnessed, in any form is probably the gravest disappointment. Rock and roll is about giving people a show. If you’re going to put that much time and effort into your product, especially if you’re any of the big names mentioned before then you’d better make it worth the wait for your fans. Make sure you give them something to talk about.

Q&A With Ernie Ball Winner Travis Richter Of Naked On Roller Skates

Boston-based band Naked on Roller Skates rocked and rolled their way straight to the top of the Indie Rock Channel in January. The band impressed not only the OurStage fans, but also the judges at Ernie Ball, securing the competition grand prize. Thanks to Ernie Ball, Naked on Roller Skates will be rocking out with free guitar and bass strings for an entire year! We caught up with lead guitarist extraordinaire Travis Richter to chat about his musical influences, playing style and much more. Check out the interview below, and don’t forget to head to the Alternative Country Channel to listen to the artists currently competing for the Ernie Ball Grand Prize.

OS: How would you describe your playing style?

TR: My playing style is to develop parts around the melody.  I’m a very melodic player, so I’m always looking to find a riff or a part that compliments the song.  I like to fill in the spaces.

OS: Who are some of your favorite guitar players?

TR: First and foremost, Lindsey Buckingham!  He is my hero.  I was always a big fan of the hair metal guys, Vitto Bratta, CC Devile, Frankie Hannon, etc.  I also think Billy Corgan is an incredible player.  It’s hard to narrow your influences down.

OS: Who has influenced you the most as a musician?

TR:It was probably my former bandmaster in High School, Frank Forgione.  He was so passionate about music and he pushed me to be want to be great, not just settle for mediocrity.  He also instilled a work ethic in me that has carried on to this very day.

OS: What kind of guitar are you currently playing?

TR:Currently, I’m playing a Telecaster and a Fender Bullet.  I’ve recently switched to those from a Les Paul.

OS: What was it like winning the free strings?

TR:It was like getting laid for the first time, unexpected yet ultimately satisfying.

For more information about Naked on Roller Skates and to check out more of their music, head to their OurStage profile HERE.