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12/12/12 Sandy Relief Concert: Performances By Springsteen, Kanye, Members Of Nirvana, And More


Last night, hundreds of celebrities came together, as they so frequently do, for a benefit event at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The purpose of the 12/12/12 concert was to raise money for the victims and survivors of Hurricane Sandy as well as provide hope and support for those still struggling. Performers included Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Roger Waters, Adam Sandler with Paul Schaffer, Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Alicia Keys, The Who, Kanye West, Billy Joel, Chris Martin of Coldplay, and probably the most talked-about performance of the night, Paul McCartney with the surviving members of Nirvana for their first reunion in twenty years.

According to Billboard, it was a powerful night of poignant entertainment, as many of the performers were from the New York/New Jersey area and chose songs that specifically related to the event. Springsteen did a Medley of “My City In Ruins,” “Working On A Building,” and Tom Waits’ “Jersey Girl.” His songs all hit home as did Adam Sandler’s comical rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” entitled “Sandy Screw Ya.” Click the links below to watch of some of these highlight acts.

Paul McCartney with Pat Smear and Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novaselic

Adam Sandler Performing “Sandy Screw Ya” (Rewrite of “Hallelujah”)

ABC News Concert Recap

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Musicians Rally Against Internet Radio Fairness Act

While artists have individually expressed quiet distate for the paltry royalties paid out by music streaming services such as Pandora or Spotify, a unified statement from a large group of allied musicians has been noticeably absent. At least until this past Wednesday, when over 100 notable artists signed off on a letter publicly criticizing the Internet Radio Fairness Act. The letter, publicized by the MusicFirst Coalition, a group comprised of musicians’ unions, artists, and record labels, demands that Congress refuse to “gut the royalties that thousands of musicians rely upon” by passing the bipartisan bill, which would dramatically cut the royalty rates that streaming new media services such as Pandora are required to pay.

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Bruce Springsteen To Headline NBC Benefit Concert For Hurricane Sandy Victims

While Hurricane Sandy’s destructive path through the East Coast delayed or cancelled almost all live music events in the Mid-Atlantic tri-state area, there is one show that will still go on. This Friday, Jersey boys Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi will play a massive televised benefit concert to benefit those affected by the record-breaking storm. Billy Joel, Sting, and Christina Aguilera will reportedly join the Garden State natives at the show, which will broadcast live on at 8 p.m. EST on NBC and NBC.com, as well as network affiliates USA Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, E!, Style Network, and G4. All proceeds from the telethon will go to the American Red Cross, which has been assisting victims in the aftermath of its devastating landfall this past Monday. Last night, at a concert in upstate New York, Springsteen dedicated “My City of Ruins” from his album The Rising to the storm-battered Asbury Park, the seaside New Jersey town where he and his band gigged regularly at the beginning of their career. To quote another appropriate song from The Boss, the Jersey faithful always seem to take care of their own.

If you dig Springsteen, check out OurStage artist Blake Guthrie!

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Riffs, Rants & Rumors: Elliott Murphy, Last of the Rock Stars

What do Jane Fonda, Johnny Depp, Gianni Versace, and Elliott Murphy have in common? They’re all among the recipients of France’s Médaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris, a high cultural honor that’s presented by the mayor of Paris himself. The most recent singer to be awarded the medal was French chanson legend Juliette Greco, but on October 1, New York-born singer/songwriter Murphy became the first American musician to be so honored, in a ceremony overseen by the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoí«. (more…)

Boulevard of Dreams

Hollywood Boulevard is where legends leave their names. All along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, entertainment icons share the same stretch of concrete: Michael Jackson; Diana Ross; Billy Joel. Just a stone’s throw away, an artist by the name of D. Hollywood (the D is for dirty) is plotting his own rise. A multi-instrumentalist, daredevil, and eccentric, Hollywood’s bombastic personality is inextricable from his rakish style of west coast rock. My Name Is Love is made up of lurching, low-throttle guitars, synths, and Hollywood’s wild child lyricism. My name is love and I’m a liar he sneers. Drums and vocals provide the meat of Chutes and Ladders. It’s lo-fi, extra dirty rock delivered in lashes. But Hollywood’s greatest moment comes in On Fire, an impossibly catchy anthem with big, swaggering guitars. I’m going out tonight, gonna set the world on fire, he promises. We believe him.

SoundTrax: Shower Stall Rock Star

This week, we’ve compiled a list of our eight favorite sing-a-long tunes to let the rock star living inside all of you shine. In typical SoundTrax fashion, I’ve done my best to avoid falling into a specific time frame or genre. These are all songs pulled from my personal library that I can’t help but belt out whenever they come on shuffle. While I would probably avoid some of these songs like the plague in my everyday listening, I’ll be honest: There is only so many times you can listen to Backstreet Boys’ I Want It That Way without feeling the urge to join in on the chorus.

Pivotal scenes from Almost Famous and Risky Business highlight the healing power of a sing-a-long (and how much fun it can be to rock out in your skivvies). The “Tiny Dancer” sing-a-long from Almost Famous is a personal favorite that I feel perfectly illustrates the spontaneity and sheer joy that can come from singing a well-known tune with your buddies.

For those of you who don’t feel comfortable belting out your favorite songs at your local karaoke night, the shower is often the only venue where you can truly express the vocal prowess you have. If you can’t sing, we ask that you don’t let the acoustics of your bathroom fool you: please keep the singing contained to the shower. There’s no need to terrorize the innocent patrons who didn’t realize it was karaoke night at the bar, or your kids sitting in the back seat of the minivan,

So grab your hairbrush, but please refrain from stripping down to a button-up and tighty-whities, and rock out to this playlist of rad sing-a-longs.

SoundTrax: Shower Stall Rock Star from OurStage on 8tracks.

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Licensing Landscape

We all know how much the music industry is changing. Technology is evolving and most people have ditched their CD collection for an iTunes library full of illegally-downloaded music. And while file-sharing seems to be the most prominent headline these days, there’s other music news to report. Music licensing has fast become a crucial aspect of the music industry, especially when it comes to making money. When someone owns the copyright to a piece of work, others must obtain a license from the artist in order to use said work. For example, music supervisors must get a synchronization license to use someone’s song in a movie or TV show. Recently, there’s been a lot going on in the world of music licensing. Here are some of the important music licensing stories we think you should know about!

  • YouTube settled in a lawsuit with the NMPA (National Music Publishers Association of America) by agreeing to pay publishers a portion of their ad revenue in order to keep their artists’ music up on the site (this includes fan made videos with artists’ songs in them). The important thing to know about music publishers is that they represent writers. Sometimes a performer of a song is also the writer, but that’s not always the case. So, only the writers and their publishers will benefit from this settlement.
  • Back in the ’70s, copyright law was revised to allow artists to reclaim their work (termination rights) after thirty-five years, so long as they apply two years in advance. Right now, record labels own the master recordings of huge artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. The first wave of recordings that this rule applies to is from 1978 and record labels are anxiously preparing to fight back. If they lose the rights to these recordings, they will lose a huge source of income.
  • A judge found that MP3tunes, in a case against EMI, was not guilty of promoting infringement. The Web site is a music cloud service that allows users to access their own music as well as the songs found through a search engine, which is the main point of concern. The case started out based on the allegation that 33,000 of the songs were infringing on copyright but the case brought it down to only 350 tracks.

The Boss

Sound And Vision: Director's Cuts — From Lady Gaga to Kate Bush, the Mixed Results of Tampering with Your Own Songs

I’ll never forget the day Basia lied to me. Twice. I was interviewing the Polish singer (best known for her 1988 hit “Time and Tide”) shortly before the release of her 1994 album, The Sweetest Illusion, which was coming five years after her previous album, London Warsaw New York. That day, she promised me two things: First, she would never again make me wait so long for new music. Second, she’d never release a run-of-the-mill greatest hits album featuring, well, her greatest hits. She felt that at the very least, artists owed it to their fans to reprise their hits as brand-new tunes, not just repackage the same old songs.

Her next studio album, It’s That Girl Again, wouldn’t arrive until 2009, nine years after she had released Clear Horizon”The Best of Basia, one of those run-of-the-mill greatest hits albums featuring, well, her greatest hits.

The morals of this story: 1) You can’t rush inspiration. 2) The first cut isn’t only the deepest”sometimes it’s the best, too. That’s a lesson Mariah Carey may have learned last year when she scrapped plans to release Angels Advocate, a remixed version of her Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel album, after a new version of “Up Out My Face” (Memoirs‘ best song) featuring Nicki Minaj limped onto Billboard’s Hot 100 at No. 100 and refused to go any further.

But apparently, Lady Gaga, the reigning queen of remix albums and EPs, still hasn’t received the memo. When she released Born This Way back in May, she put out a special edition that included a separate disc with remixes of five of the album’s songs. (Bryan Ferry did a similar thing with last year’s Olympia.) Divine inspiration or clever marketing ploy? Perhaps a little of both, but “Born This Way”-with-a-twang never would have spent six weeks at No. 1. The “Country Road Version” makes for an interesting one-time listen, but I never need to hear it again.

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Jenna Bryson Gains Insight From Industry Legend Don Ienner

Jenna Bryson isn’t your typical rising talent. You won’t find a long-winded backstory or moment of musical revelation in her bio”just Jenna, her songs and her humble personality. It’s these traits and more that helped the LA songwriter rise the ranks of the June Artist Access Premium Member Competition on OurStage, eventually landing her a mentoring session with one of the music industries most sought after resources”IMO president/ founder and former Sony Music and Columbia Records chief, Don Ienner.

In the nearly forty years of working in the music industry, Ienner has helped further the careers of legends like Springsteen, Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Billy Joel, Pink Floyd and has guided the passage of talents like John Mayer, Dixie Chicks, Alice in Chains, Jeff Buckley, Beyoncé, Matisyahu, Franz Ferdinand, Nas, Lauren Hill, Cypress Hill and many, many more.

Bryson and Ienner recently sat down for a chat in NYC and, well, we’ll let her tell you all about it herself. Check out Jenna’s video below”featuring a performance of her winnings song Happy and a personal recount of her mentoring session with Don Ienner. Want a mentoring session with industry powerhouse Rob Stevenson? Sign up for OurStage Premium Membership and enter the August Artist Access Competition now!

Jenna Bryson Wins Mentoring Session With Don Ienner

Don Ienner is a name synonymous with success in the music business. He’s helped further the careers of legends like Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and Pink Floyd, and guided the passage of talents such as Beyoncé, Nas, Alice In Chains and many more.

He’ll now be lending his time and expertise to one lucky OurStage Premium Member. Who might you ask? None other than Jenna Bryson, Grand Prize winner of the June Artist Access Competition. By submitting her song Happy, this So-Cal songbird has won a mentoring session with one of the music business’s most sought after and highly respected resources.

Join us in congratulating Jenna on her win, and stay tuned for her upcoming interview. For more info and music, check out Jenna’s OurStage profile. You’ll soon find that she’s as gifted and humble as they come.