We all start from the bottom. Climbing to the top depends on drive, talent, time, and, yes, some luck. But when Taylor Swift‘s 1989 World Tour rolled through our hometown of Boston last week, we were struck by two other artists who shared the stage with the superstar singer. Both HAIM, the band of sisters who are opening a string of dates on the tour, and Swift’s surprise guests Walk The Moon were once struggling artists who got started here on OurStage. HAIM first joined us in 2009, in time to seek a slot in our Lilith Fair competition that year. Walk The Moon is currently riding the success of their hit “Shut Up And Dance” (which they performed with Swift in Boston). We first heard them in 2009, when they were on that year’s July editorial playlist, and then spotlighted them here in 2011, before they blew up. We’re very glad to have had the opportunity to help promote them and serve as a platform for these artists to share their music and find new fans.
It weren’t so long ago we was telling you about It’s Got To Be Now, the new record from Boston’s Aloud, and how nice and good and rock it was likely to be. Now we are pleased to tell you that we were correct in our predictions and equally pleased to hip you to their new video, for the song “Back Here With Me Again.” Comprised entirely of live footage, the video deconstructs videos themselves, and features both kinds of guitar dueling, passive and aggressive, but never passive-aggressive. Enjoy it:
Hello Monday. Here’s some new music for you, courtesy of Mean Creek, the Boston rock and roll band that is slowly and surely approaching critical mass. With the release of album number four, Local Losers, Mean Creek is revealed as one of the most confident and thrilling guitar-based bands working it today. Sure, the hallmarks of their influences are evident, with nods to some of the very best of ’80s-’90s underground rock, but here those elements are subsumed to a pure and unique voice. At a mere 2:40 running time, you’ll want to go ahead and roll this video for “Anxiety Girl” a couple two-three times.
Boston’s newest festival is returning for its third installment this Memorial Day weekend, and will be taking over the city once more for a three day extravaganza. From May 23-25, acts like Tegan and Sara, Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Brand New, and many more will gather to perform inside City Hall Plaza. You can check out the confirmed lineup, along with an announcement video below. Keep an eye out for more details, as the festival promises to announce one more major act to complete an already incredible lineup. Pre-sale tickets will go on sale tomorrow and can be purchased here.
About a month ago, after One Direction dropped their latest release, Midnight Memories, most reviewers couldn’t help but point out the album’s shameless knock-offs of some of the biggest pop hits of the ’80s including “Jessie’s Girl,” “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” and pretty much any song by Asia, just to name a few. And, yes, while the songwriters behind the squeaky clean boy band’s smash singles make their musical points of reference pretty obvious to any listener older than 12, they also manage to pull off some patently ingenious lyrical references that slipped by most recaps of the album “ mostly because that was precisely what they were designed to do.
Upon a first listen, the first verse of “Better Than Words” sounds like pretty standard fare for a One Direction song: a just-generic-enough description of crazy, undeniable love that sweeps you up in its whirlwind of affection and excitement.
Better than words
But more than a feeling
Crazy in love
Dancing on the ceiling
But, if you haven’t noticed it already, each line is also a song in its own right. The second line. The third line. And, you guessed it. These aren’t just lyrics in a One Direction song, they’re built-in references to seminal pop hits. And they’re placed directly next to the title of the One Direction song, itself the very first line of the song.
Kanye West showed up and gave a quick talk to students at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design before a show in Boston over the weekend. He was accompanied by Virgil Abloh, creative director of DONDA, Kanye’s experimental design agency, which is sponsoring a lecture series.
Few people have the knack for sounding this thoughtful and completely off-the-wall at the same time. First, he gives everyone tickets for the show, which is nice, and then goes on to say that he believes the world can be saved through design, which, sure, obviously, and then expands upon that idea, extolling the virtues of independent thinking:
I believe that utopia is actually possible when we’re led by the least by the least knowable, the least dignified, the least tasteful, the dumbest, and the most political…so…in no way am I a politician…I’m usually at my best politically incorrect [LAUGHTER] and very direct. I really appreciate you guys’ willingness to learn and hone your craft, and not be lazy about creation.
Kanye is magical. Here’s video.
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