Monday, August 20, 2012

OurStage on 8tracks: Best of What's Around

Best of What’s Around from OurStage on 8tracks.

We sought to provide you with only the best music for this Friday’s 8tracks playlist. Chris Pureka, Bronze Radio Return, Stepdad and Blondfire have already made it big in the OurStage scene, and side by side with radio hits like Gotye and the Black Keys, this playlist is sure to get you pumped. Besides, you know you’re in good hands with our Vice President of  Community and Artist Relations, Kristin, behind these tracks. So what are you waiting for? Press play and get ready for the weekend!

Black Keys Apologize to Nickelback (Sort Of)

After an interview with Rolling Stone in which drummer Patrick Carney calls Nickelback (amongst other things) “watered-down, post-grunge crap,” the Black Keys seem to be apologetic for their remarks against their fellow musicians… sort of.

“I didn’t mean to single them out actually,” says Carney, in what both he and bandmate Dan Auerbach agree might be the worst apology ever. “It just came out. There’s much worse bands than Nickelback … maybe.” When asked what they would do if they ever met Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger in person, Carney goes on to say, “He’d probably punch us in the face. I wouldn’t talk to him.” Check out the interview above.

The Big Bang

Lloyd's Garage

The Napa region of California is known for its viticulture. True story. But the area’s equally fertile when it comes to musical exports. Lloyd’s Garage hails from Napa, and, like a fine Sauvignon Blanc, delivers a mineral blast that shocks the palette with two simple ingredients: guitars and drums. The duo, made up of Seth Heitzmann and Lloyd Llewelyn, channels the no-frills, feral energy of late ˜60s garage rock. Their choice of instruments alone garners comparisons to White Stripes and Black Keys. But it’s a fair shake. Queue up No Victim for an onslaught of wiry guitars, thrashing drums and the electric snarl of Heitzmann’s vocals. Even though Oh Lovely deals with a fatal car crash, the song is less a requiem and more a soulful, clanging revival. Why mourn the dead when you can wake them? Return To Sender echoes the sentiment. Guitars chug, drums stomp and strut and cymbals crash. Lloyd’s Garage likes to give their listeners a licking. But trust us, it’s one you’ll love.

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Gordon Pinsent reads excerpts from Justin Bieber memoir

Get your LOLs right here, folks. First up, a memoir written by a 16-year-old. Ha! And, it’s entitled First Step 2 Forever.  The laughs don’t end there. Here’s a video of the esteemed actor Gordon Pinsent doing a dramatic reading of Justin Bieber’s riveting tome. Enjoy”we did.

Alicia Keys gives birth to Egypt

Not the country! That would be sooo 3150 BC. Alicia Keys and husband Swizz Beatz (born Kasseem Dean) welcomed a baby boy this week named Egypt Dauode Dean. May he grow up to become a very successful pharaoh.

The Bad

Glastonbury Festival shelved for 2012 due to toilet shortage

We wouldn’t wish more port-a-potties on anyone, but this does give us pause. England’s Glastonbury Festival has been canceled for 2012 due to the Olympics taking place in London that same year ¦ and the ensuing toilet shortage. Athletes are such loo-sers.

Kanye’s album cover art banned? He wishes.

Kanye West is a legend in his own mind. But he may also be a victim in his own mind as well. The rapper griped on his Twitter page that Wal-mart had censored the cover art for his upcoming album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Tweeted the rapper: So Nirvana can have a naked human being on they [sic] cover but I can’t have a PAINTING of a monster with no arms and a polka dot tail and wings. Oh the injustice! Is it too much to ask for a man to be left in peace with his armless polka dot monster? IS SOCIETY SO INTOLERANT”what’s that? Wal-mart didn’t censor the cover? Oh. Uh, never mind. As you were.

The Ugly

Cantankerous singer pegs bottle at Mumford and Sons

Mark E. Smith of the band The Falls was getting ready for his set at a Dublin music festival when a terrible caterwauling struck his ears. Next door, the hugely successful English folk band, Mumford and Sons, was warming up. I just thought they were a load of retarded Irish folk singers, Smith explains. So, understandably, he threw a bottle at them to encourage them to silence their plaintive yawping. The bottle fell short of its target and Mumford and Sons went on to sell one trillion records.


Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Greyson Chance signs to Interscope

Bieber, beware! There’s a new kid on the block, a tween heartthrob by the name of Greyson Chance whose got the same shaggy mop and babyface as you, but with even more youth. That’s right, gramps. Chance, a 12 year-old musical prodigy became an Internet sensation thanks to a YouTube clip of him performing Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi on piano to a rapt audience of 6th grade girls. Looks like Gaga’s own label, Interscope, nabbed Chance. Whether they planted him on YouTube to drum up interest or stumbled upon him like everyone else remains to be seen. One thing’s for certain, kid’s got talent. Watch him killing it below.

Joy Division honored with children’s symphony

To commemorate the 30-year anniversary of Ian Curtis’ death, schoolchildren from the singer’s hometown of Macclesfield, England will perform songs from the Joy Division canon with help from the Northern Chamber Orchestra. The concert is slated to take place from July 29th “ Aug 7th.

The Bad

Ronnie James Dio dies


If you’re a child of the ˜80s or a vintage metal afficionado, Ronnie James Dio needs no introduction. For those who aren’t familiar with the name, Dio was 5’4 inches of pure metal fury, lending his powerhouse vocals to bands such as Rainbow, Black Sabbath and (of course) Dio. The singer and songwriter succumbed to stomach cancer this week at the age of 67. R.I.P.

Ryan Adams releases sci-fi metal-ish concept album ORION

Ryan Adams

Back in March prolific songwriter/perpetual critic provoker Ryan Adams (or Mr. Mandy Moore) promised us an album of Most Legit METAL. Well, it’s happening. Except, it’s not really metal, but more just really, really fast country with screaming and crap, says Adams. Today you can pre-order the screaming and crap (entitled Orion) online on Adams’ site. We’ve yet to be disappointed by any of Adam’s musical outpourings. Will Orion be a first? We’ll consult our astrological charts and get back to you.

The Ugly

Black Keys get physical in Tighten Up video

What happens when two young boys compete for the attention of a cute girl on the playground? Or when two grown men go after that girl’s equally comely mother? Blood, tears, donuts and a lot of hilarity. Enjoy.


Discourse & Dischord

The Good

OK Go debut another expertly timed music video


On Monday OK Go debuted their video for This Too Shall Pass, and reaffirmed their status as music’s most synchronized video stars. This time around, they joined forces with Synn Labs in Los Angeles to build a large-scale chain-reaction machine to serve as the focal point of the video. The results include lots of funny, bizarre and often poetic effects, not to mention some pretty badass paintball action. Check it out here.

The Bad

Kanye’s got a new blog

Kanye West

Well Kanye West is back at blogging, and his newly redesigned site has made his all-caps-stream-of-consciousness rants at least 10 font sizes larger. In this edition, Kanye laments the passing of Alexander McQueen and his mother, muses about the ancient Egyptians being robbed of their MTV awards and still finds space to remind us all that he is brilliant and sometimes his genius makes him cry. That and the booze. Read all about it here.

The Ugly

Mini Lady Gaga and mini Ke$ha prompt the question, What’s wrong with kids these days?

What makes you fear the future more “ a small child pretending to brush her teeth with a bottle of Jack to Ke$ha’s Tik Tok or a small child crawling pants-less across the stage to Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance? We’ll let you decide. We have to go lie down.



Big Brother

Big Brother

In a musical landscape populated by overbearing opinions, scarce enthusiasm, tangled rehearsal schedules and”worst of all”serious hobbyists, keeping a band together can be overwhelming at best. Rather than endure the hardships that have the potential to break up a group, Royce Haas (aka Big Brother) decided to travel a path seldom wandered: the one man band.

Among the millions of bands in pursuit of stardom today, rarely will you come across a group with less than three members. Yes, duos have proved their ability to throw down (Black Keys, The White Stripes, Rodrigo Y Gabriella), but seldom will you find the elusive one man band gem (musicians who play all instruments at once, not just write all parts and record them separately).  Largely a spectacle for novelty, one man bands do not receive the attention they deserve. Perhaps it’s the lack of personnel that usually allure avid fans, or maybe the finances of touring and recording are just too heavy a burden for one man to bear. Regardless, it truly is a shame these treasures are overlooked.

It all fell into place for Big Brother around 2006. Literally. He was playing guitar one day and some spare drum he had been fooling around with fell into perfect position at his feet right next to a pedal. Once he learned he could play them at the same time as the guitar, he was more or less obsessed for months. Despite the fluency of his recordings, he really does play them all at once, though not traditionally. Instead of having all drums strapped to his back and played via foot pedals, Royce places his kick and snare drums on the floor in front of him, and hits his hi hat with the head of his guitar. With three percussive instruments, one guitar and one voice; the man is doing 5 things at once.

What makes this oddity even more intriguing is his answer for coping with performance anxiety. Playing on stage in front of strangers is nerve wracking in a multiperson band, it’s scary as a solo musician and downright terrifying as a solo musician with 5 things to coordinate all at the same time. To combat this side affect, Big Brother played his first few gigs with peers on stage dancing around in bunny suits. With Big Brother’s sometimes shady content, a little comic relief can’t hurt. “You cannot see a bunny jumping on a trampoline and not smile.” And if performing alone isn’t difficult enough, touring is even harder. Big Brother keeps a mannequin by his side for company during car rides, and has even been known to dress him up like a person to prevent break-ins.

Big Brother Album ArtworkThe music? Drifting somewhere between the dirty delta and wild west, it’s almost as dark as the bags under his eyes. With topics ranging from fugitives on the run in murder ballads to an ode to a past addiction (appropriately titled “Heroin”), Big Brother’s content will not be overshadowed by his circus act. Accompanying these dark themes is a twisted depiction of patriotism. With relatives and friends serving in Iraq, this mutinous sentiment towards American society comes as no surprise from such a quintessentially blue collar artist. The guitar / percussion duo is raw at best, and I mean this in the best way possible. The sound is locked, as he doesn’t have to worry about timing with any other musicians. However despite these rhythmic marriages, the sound as a whole is suffering from an acute case of schizophrenia, as the guitar barges in with a testosterone- induced distortion at times and lays low, delicately supporting vocals, at others. Referencing rockabilly influences the likes of The King and blues icons John Lee Hooker and Robert Johnson, Haas produces a mix between the Fratellis’ (during his lighter topics) and Nirvana (at Cobain’s gloomier moments) ultimately churning noise the in the same vein as the Black Keys with the flamboyant appeal of Jack White.

Big Bro made the decision a few months ago to exit the unrewarding bar gig / tour lifestyle and shoot for something more original to better suit his style; street performing in America’s biggest city. If you happen to be walking around Times Square, keep your eyes peeled for a one man band with an enormous bunny dancing by his side. When you find him (he’s hard to miss) be sure to show the love! It might not be long until you’re dancing right by his side in a bunny costume of your own.