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The Narrative To Release New Music & Video

The Narrative New York’s The Narrative recently teased fans with a big announcement…if they hit 20,000 likes on Facebook. With hardly any effort at all, the duo surpassed that marker and revealed plans to mix and master 12 new songs that were recorded nearly two years ago. Although the details on the potential release are still a little hazy, the band has also promised the premiere of a new music video and song in the near future. As much as we love the suspense and anticipation of new tunes, we’re a little anxious to learn when we can really hear them. At least with the band’s promise that “lots of new music and a music video [will be] coming your way from The Narrative in 2014″ we know the wait can’t be too long. Check out the full Facebook post from The Narrative here.

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Instagram Users Enraged At New Terms Of Service

Over the past few years, Instagram has worked its way up through the ranks of social networking apps and websites, earning itself a place of significance alongside Twitter and Facebook (which happens to own Instagram). Needless to say, when companies like these reach such a level, every little change they make to their product or rules falls under strong scrutiny by our society.

Therefore, as you can imagine, Instagram users did not take too kindly to the company’s new terms of service adjustment, which, according to the L.A. Times, stated that “Instagram had the right to turn images into advertisements without any approval from or compensation for users starting Jan. 16. ” part of Facebook’s drive to make money from the service it bought this year for $715 million in cash and stock.”

Backlash from users has been rampant, with threats to delete their accounts and move on to similar photo apps like Hipstamatic. In respond to the uproar, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom was quick to try and quell everyone’s concerns by publicly stating, “Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos,” he wrote. “We respect that your photos are your photos. Period.” While somewhat reassuring, this does not change the fact that the company tried create such a dubious policy. Some might say that the app service is on thin ice right now, as users will be on their toes, keeping an eye on Instagram’s next move.

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Pentimento Giving Away Album After Legal Threats From Panic Records

Alt-rock pop-punk outfit Pentimento have been through a rough patch for the past few months, dealing with the ugly legal side of the music industry. On their website, the Buffalo-based band explains that they have been at battle with their former label Panic Records over the rights to their recordings and the release of their debut self-titled album. The label has issued a legal threat to the band as well as to their current label Paper + Plastick and their second distribution label Black Numbers. As a result, the band has been unable to set any specific release dates or have any physical copies pressed. Even worse, they have decided to part ways with their labels in order to protect them from legal action.

Today, Panic Records released a statement in response to this matter, which you can read on their Facebook page. The message basically points out that “there are two sides to every story,” claiming that the band are responsible for the initiation of this legal debacle.

While the situation is still unresolved, Pentimento still want to get their music out, so they have made their debut LP available online for free, with the humble option of donating to help them cover the costs of recording. If you would like to support them, click here to read their side of the story, check out their music, and consider offering a contribution.

If you like Pentimento, you might also like OurStage’s own Otenki.

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Bob Dylan Updates His Facebook Status For The First Time Ever!

Ladies and gentleman, we’d like to welcome oldtimer Bob Dylan to the internet. The master of folk has finally figured out how to work that confounded computing machine and has even managed to personally update his facebook status for the first time ever!

What special occasion could possibly compel the legendary geezer to dust off his monitor and update the ol’ ‘book? Why, the election of course! Before Obama’s win was confirmed, Dylan took to his profile with the following message:

“Here’s pretty close to what I said last night in Madison. I said from the stage that we had to play better than good tonight, that the president was here today and he’s a hard act to follow. Also, that we’re not fooled by the media and we think it’s going to be a landslide. That’s pretty much all of it.”

Huh, not bad I guess. Better than my first status update at least: “Hot Pockets r good but I always burn my mouth :( lol.” Looks like Dylan is finally becoming one of us. Let’s just hope we don’t lost him to rage face memes and pictures of cats (He strikes me as a FarmVille kinda guy)… It’s a slippery slope from here…

If you like Bob Dylan, then you might also like OurStage’s own Joncallmusic.

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Refused Announce End Of Reunion

That’s right folks. It was fun while it lasted, but the gentlemen in Refused have decided to call it quits again. I guess they just wanted one last taste of the punk rock lifestyle before returning to whatever adult life they live now. According to Pitchfork, the band’s final show will be in their homeland of Umeí¥, Sweden on December 15. Part of the announcement on their facebook page:

“And now it is coming to a close. It’s been kind to us. And that old punkrock golem ‘The shape of punk to come’ has done good. The hatchet is buried, 1998 is not such a terrible memory for us anymore. We’re going home. And we’re doing it in style.”

You can read the rest of the message here. Hopefully some of you got to see Refused this year. Looks like this may be the final goodbye… unless perhaps they decide to give it another go in 2025!

If you like Refused, then you might also like OurStage’s own Throw The Goat.

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Exclusive Q and A: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Mine The Past, But Look Forward

The primal bellow of the The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion is unmistakable.  For over 20 years, the band has blazed a path uniquely and entirely their own, pioneering an inimitable, cacophonous, and burly blend of punk and blues. Though the band decided to take a break after 2004’s Damage, it wasn’t long before lead singer/guitarist Jon Spencer, drummer Russell Simins, and guitarist Judah Bauer were back together writing and recording again. The result of the last few years is Meat and Bone, a classic return to form for the New York three“piece. We recently caught up with Spencer to talk about the changing face of rock ‘n’ roll promotion, social media, and why the passage of time plays a big thematic role on the new record.

OS: After your recent hiatus, what spurred you, Judah, and Russell to start writing together again?

JS: Playing concerts again. That’s what did it. In 2007, the label In The Red put out a compilation of a bunch of singles that we had done for them over the years. So, after that there was something of a renewed interest in The Blues Explosion, and in summer 2008 me and Judah and Russell figured, “Well why not take a few shows?” We went over to Europe and played a few festivals and enjoyed doing it, so we kept playing and took more concerts. About a year and a half ago we began writing songs and thinking about making an album. That followed along naturally, quite organically, out of the return to playing live and touring.

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Don't Call It A Comeback: Check Out The New MySpace

When Justin Timberlake took ownership stake in MySpace following the site’s acquisition by Specific Media, we weren’t sure whether the pop star had a brilliant idea up his sleeve, or whether he just wanted a million dollar personal server to store all of his selfie mirror shots. Thankfully, JT has spared the world from any more swoopy-haired profile pictures, choosing instead to steer the former social media giant towards a beautiful new design emblazoned all over with, yes, himself. A new promotional video posted yesterday shows the redesigned MySpace in action; huge, high-definition profile pictures move effortlessly across the screen, streaming videos play smoothly in the background, and Timberlake’s frozen, smiling mug appears at almost every turn like a creepy uncle who won’t leave you alone at Thanksgiving.

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Slipknot Bassist's Doctor Charged With 8 Cases Of Manslaughter

Paul Gray, the late bassist for masked metal band Slipknot, passed away in May of 2010 due to an overprescription of painkillers by a Des Moines, Iowa doctor named Daniel Baldi. Now, according to Rolling Stone, 50-year-old Baldi is being charged with eight counts of involuntary manslaughter from overprescription, including Gray’s death.

While Baldi has pleaded not guilty to every count, if convicted he may face “up to 16 years in prison.” This is not the first time the doctor has been accused of medical malpractice; three other previous “wrongful death suits” are being “included in the criminal charges” as well.

Gray, a founding member of Slipknot, struggled for years with an addiction to drugs, which makes Baldi’s decision to prescribe him high doses of narcotics that much more negligent in the eyes of the court. Today, the band released a statement on their Facebook page, which reads as follows:

“As the loss of our brother Paul Gray is still very fresh for us in the Slipknot family, this new development has us all in a state of anger and sadness. The fact that this person took advantage of our brother’s illness while he was in a position to help others has outraged everyone in our family. We can only hope that justice will be served so this can NEVER happen to anyone else ever again! Our thoughts go out to the families of the other victims. We plan to cooperate as much as we possibly can to ensure this tragedy is never repeated, and to make sure this man pays for what he has done.”

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The Re-Launching of Fiona Apple

Here we go again again! Another online article where the subject is Fiona Apple. For the last few weeks, it seems, it’s been virtually impossible to turn on the computer without stumbling across a new headline about the 34-year-old singer-songwriter. I can’t think of any other musical celebrity this side of Kanye West who, in recent memory, has gotten quite so much mileage out of being both ridiculously talented and endlessly quotable.

And Apple doesn’t even tweet (yet)”or date a reality TV star!

Her musical gift and her gift of gab pretty much ensured that the June 19 release of her fourth album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, would arrive with more fanfare than the expected critical gushing. In fact, after one week of release, the new set sold 72,000 copies, good enough for a No. 3 debut on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart, immediately making The Idler Wheel… the highest-charting album of Apple’s career.

That would be chump change in the coffers of Adele or Lady Gaga, but considering that Apple released her last album, Extraordinary Machine, way back in 2005, before the world had heard of Adele, Gaga, or Katy Perry, and the year in which Rihanna released her debut album, it’s as extraordinary as one-half of her last album title.

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Sound and Vision: Jennifer Lopez–The Most Powerful Woman in Pop?

Every superstar worth his or her weight in durability (See: Cher, all-time queen of the comeback) has been up, has been down, has seen fire, has seen rain, has had one of those full-circle careers that’s come around and around again and again. Professional fluctuations is a part of Hollywood life, and those who can weather those particular storms, come out in a better place, because as Kelly Clarkson sang on her recent No. 1 hit, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stronger.

And just how stronger is current comeback queen Jennifer Lopez these days? She may not be quite the tabloid draw she was a decade ago, but if you’ve watched American Idol during the past two seasons, or heard her 2011 hit “On the Floor” on the radio, on TV, on YouTube or, well, on the floor, you know that she’s flexing again.

Forbes magazine just ranked her atop its 2012 Celebrity 100 (up from No. 50 in 2011), which lists the most powerful people in entertainment. With an estimated income of $52 million in the last year, Lopez came in ahead of last year’s champ Lady Gaga (No. 5), Oprah Winfrey (No. 2) and Adele (No. 24).

Forbes‘s criteria for its 2012 appointment: being hotter than the rest (23,000 press mentions, 46 major magazine covers) and most sought after by fans (530 million YouTube views for “On the Floor,” 12 million Facebook “likes” and more than 6 million “followers” on Twitter). Not bad for someone who was so over”or so everybody thought”just a few years ago.

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