Franz Ferdinand Streams "Erdbeer Mund”

franz-ferdinand-underIt’s not every day you see popular artists tackling new tracks in a foreign tongue”but that’s exactly what Franz Ferdinand have done with their new track, “Erdbeer Mund.” Sung in German, the song comes as a B-side to the band’s new single, “Fresh Strawberries,” itself taken from their latest album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. No matter the language, the track is pretty catchy and worth a spin. You can check it out and download for free below, and catch the band on tour all through August.  (more…)

Watch "Bullet" By Franz Ferdinand

The newest video from Franz Ferdinand is “Bullet,” from their recent Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action LP. Shot in black and white, the video sees the Scottish quartet miming a performance on a soundstage. It’s really well done, with some cool camera trickery, and wins by focusing on the charismatic band members.


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Franz Ferdinand Perform New Single On 'Conan'

How does everyone in the world not like Franz Ferdinand? Backlash to success? Jealousy? Too soon for WWI buffs? We suppose we can understand. No, we can’t understand. The music is consistently smart, fun, catchy, and rocking. What more do you want? Don’t answer that, we don’t want to know what you want, weirdo. But, to cop a phrase, you could have it so much better with Franz Ferdinand.

The band went on Conan last night and performed their new single “Right Action” from the forthcoming LP Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, out August 27th. Watch the performance here and check out the official video below.


Get Back Loretta

Attention, those trying to define the music of Get Back Loretta: Cease and desist. Give it up. Save yourself the trouble. The San Diego band defies categorization at every turn, deftly weaving elements of ˜60s garage rock, ˜70s soul and ˜90s Britpop into their songs. Your incredible journey begins with Break Down”a garage rock-soul revival with big, beautiful harmonies. Think Franz Ferdinand, if they were rubbed in the dirt a little. Grown So Cold is a jaunty, gypsy-inspired dance in the pale moonlight, while Gotta Believe is driving, adrenaline-fueled piano rock. And, though its name might lead you to believe it to be anesthetic, Ketamine swaggers with bluesy, almost theatrical, panache, while singer Steven Bradford delivers the punch with his killer croon. That’s the thing with this band”no song sounds like the next, but all of them are total knock-outs.



The Black Rabbits Vs. The Strokes

In 2001, The Strokes released their landmark debut album, Is This It. Upon its release, the album was immediately successful and had a huge impact on popular music at the time. Coming after the grunge heyday of the ’90s, their simple no frills sound paved the way for other indie rock bands like The White Stripes, Franz Ferdinand and Arctic Monkeys to achieve mainstream success. Their immediate success, both critically and commercially, proved that vintage rock sounds could still be successful in today’s music scene. Without The Strokes, many of the rock bands we know and love today may not have even got off the ground. Here at OurStage we have many great up-and-coming rock bands, but one band in particular, The Black Rabbits, have a sound that is quite similar to that of The Strokes.

OurStage's The Black Rabbits

The Strokes









Like The Strokes, The Black Rabbits have a sound that takes its influence from classic rock, but also has a modern touch which makes them unique. If you listen to their song “Hypno Switch,” you can hear some immediate similarity to The Strokes’ song “Trying Your Luck.” Both songs are recorded at about the same tempo and are based around slightly distorted guitar chords. Like The Strokes’ singer Julian Casablancas, The Black Rabbits’ singer Jetson Black possesses a deep croon that is rough around the edges, but is still melodic and in tune. However, while “Trying Your Luck” has a relatively dark tone, “Hypno Switch” is a more upbeat affair with a really catchy wordless chorus. “Hurry, Hurry” is another track that is similar to the sound of The Strokes. With the guitar, bass and drums playing in almost rhythmic unison, the focus of the song is on Black’s vocals. The song is more somber than “Hypno Switch,” but Black’s deep voice still fit this style perfectly. “For Way Too Long Now” is another song in this vein, where simple guitar chords allow a catchy vocal melody to shine through. The chorus also finds Black using the kind of distorted growl in his vocals that Julian Casablancas has made famous.


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!

Help One Lucky Artist Win A Mentoring Session With Don Ienner

When it comes to the music business, Don Ienner is a name synonymous with success. His priceless advice and guidance has furthered the careers of legends like Billy Joel and Pink Floyd and guided the passage of modern stars such as The Dixie Chicks, Franz Ferdinand, Nas and Lauren Hill.

In this month’s Artist Access Premium Member Competition, OurStage is giving Premium Members the chance to win a mentoring session with Ienner”only you can help them get there. Judge in the Artist Access Competition by June 30, 2011 and help make a big difference in one artist’s career. For some top tracks from the competition, listen to the playlist below.


Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Record Store Day has banner day in sales

Record Store Day began in 2007 to both celebrate and breathe a little life into the independently-owned record stores still in existence. The event takes place the third Saturday of April every year. Artists from all over the world release limited edition material to drum up sales. This year’s participating acts included Foo Fighters, Flaming Lips, Guided By Voices, Franz Ferdinand, Rolling Stones, Radiohead and Decemberists. According to Nielsen SoundScan, independent stores album sales rose 39% last week due to the event. Last year’s Record Store Day resulted in a boost of only 3%. Great news for indie record stores and their tatted and bespectacled clerks in Yo La Tengo t-shirts who get to keep the dream alive a little longer.

Coachella, Coachella, Coachella. Oh”and Coachella.

Much of this week’s music coverage consisted of round-ups of the many artists taking the stage at the Coachella Music Festival. We’ll distill it down to the finer points for you. Cee Lo got pissed when he was forced off the stage after running over the allotted time, making his performance of his hit, F— You, entirely a propos. Kanye West did right by his fans and delivered a galvanizing, 140-minute set that covered all his hits. Arcade Fire delighted Rihanna and thousands more with their performance, which ended with glowing bouncy balls being dropped over the audience while the band sang their hit, Wake Up. Check out the video clip below.

The Bad

TV On The Radio mourn loss of Gerard Smith

TV On The Radio bassist Gerard Smith passed away this week after battling lung cancer. The band canceled five shows and released a statement on their Web site that read, We are very sad to announce the death of our beloved friend and bandmate, Gerard Smith, following a courageous fight against lung cancer. Gerard passed away the morning of April 20th, 2011. We will miss him terribly. R.I.P.

Lil Wayne, Lady Gaga release album covers

We’re just curious as to which one is your favorite: Lady Gaga as half woman, half bike, or Lil Wayne as half kindergartener, half gangsta.

The Ugly

Beyoncé releases Girls (Who Run The World)

Beyoncé released her new single, Girls (Who Run The World), this week and for some the jury’s still out. The track is an ambitious, sprawling jam that samples Major Lazer’s Pon De Floor. We’re not sure if the word hook applies here, but give it a listen down below and decide for yourselves. Oh, and if you want to see two guys seriously displeased with the latest offering from Sasha Fierce, click here. A word to the wise”when you’re recording a show for YouTube, don’t leave to take a phone call from your sister in the middle of it.

The Game detained in Canada

The Game was en route to Nova Scotia from LA for a show at the Halifax Forum when he was detained by customs agents in Canada. The rapper will either be deported or jailed for violating Canada’s immigration entry laws. (Apparently jerks aren’t allowed to enter Canada. Folks!)


Music As Marketing: Dialing Up Lady Gaga’s “Telephone"

Q: If a Tweet falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

A: Who cares.

Why debate philosophical malarkey while Justin Bieber is out there hogging 3% of our Twitter servers, and Lady Gaga gets to be the belle of the MTV ball by wearing a meat dress?

The point is, marketing methods that were formerly described as DIY (social media, shock frocks) are being deployed by artists who don’t need to focus on frugality, and that makes the playing field that much more crowded for unsigned acts. What’s an indie band to do to get attention on a budget? Kick out the jams.

Songify covering 'Double Rainbow'

The latest marketing trend is… music. Yes, the actual music. Bands seem to be crafting and curating songs for maximum rock ˜n’ roll attention. That could mean anything from writing novelty lyrics (meme mentions, news-du-jour references, sentimental stalker ditties) to strategically chosen cover songs. One blog suggests doing away with a song’s bridge to get more chorus-verse-chorus pop power. Tribute songs about the Double Rainbow dude are charting on iTunes, we swear. Apparently, there’s a little Weird Al Yankovich in most every burgeoning beat group.

Now, all to often, I’ll see an artist puttering around in something like Twitter, diligently tweeting into a fan-less void, lamented Mike, author of a recent post at the blog GarageSpin. Making a splash in the music industry requires a lot of hype, and a lot of artistry. Hype drives awareness. Great music creates fans.

The indie rock/jazz duo Pomplamoose has built buzz by putting its unique musical stamp on covers of pop staples. Multi-instrumentalists Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn are not known for playing live, but Pomplamoose has garnered a huge fanbase on their YouTube channel, about 3.8 million as of October 2010.

Pomplamoose from 'Telephone' video

Join 5.3 million others and check out Pomplamoose’s cover of Lady Gaga’s Telephone on YouTube . The band’s take on the Michael Jackson classic Beat It and Simon & Garfunkel’s Mrs. Robinson are also crowd pleasers.

Cover songs are popular for a reason ” familiarity attracts fans of the original work, and can breed new fans, says Mike at the blog Garagespin.  If you can produce a creative spin or meme from an existing popular concept or creative work, you may attract attention and fans.  Perhaps this explains burgeoning indie rockers, The Beatles‘ rush to cover Gaga’s “Telephone” as well.

Whether you’re Joan Jett, Run DMC, Franz Ferdinand, Johnny Cash or a member of Glee‘s New Directions, it helps to know the basic decision chart you will need to plot out to master the perfect cover song. There are no right or wrong answers, of course. Do you choose a crowd pleaser or an under-appreciated gem that your group can own? Pick a song you truly love or one that you loathe for fun? Perform it by-the-numbers or give it a full makeover? Another option to consider: whether the song’s lyrics, artist or any other element have special relevance now or to some event in the near future.

Up and coming Detroit duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott) have gotten a bit of attention for their moody and thoughtful cover of the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows.” OK, so they also perform in dorky NASCAR-style jumpsuits plastered with the logos of Cheerios, Lysol, Hamburger Helper and other brand sponsors, but sometimes a band likes to make an ironic lowbrow fashion statement to contrast with its arty intellectual music.

Take that, Gaga!

[Editor’s Note: Check out these great covers by OurStage artists! ]

By Becky Ebenkamp

Becky Ebenkamp is a pop cultural anthropologist and former West Coast Bureau Chief for Adweek Media. Becky has a radio show called Bubblegum & Other Delights that airs 7 to 9 PM PST every other Tuesday on


In the early days of the music industry, a leak was as simple as a radio DJ copying an advance release and giving it to a friend. Today within minutes of someone sharing an album online, it’s available to anyone with an internet connection (and sufficient knowledge of where to obtain these files). It has become a daily habit of publications such as Digital Music News to announce leaks and add exposure to the growing leak issues in the industry. These recent leaks include hot shots such as Green Day, Eminem, Wilco and Franz Ferdinand.


Recently there has been a new front to this leak battle; Independent artists are starting to see the same issues as their Major label counterparts. One such example: Tori Amos’ latest album leaked on May 11th, it was due to hit stores only 8 days later.

Luckily, artists are fighting back with other promotions to promote buying their album. Those who pre-ordered Tori’s album on iTunes received a password to order tickets for her summer tour before the general public. The album also came with a DVD video; items like this are not usually included in prerelease leaks giving fans a reason to pick up the album. Artists like Tori also have another thing going for them: a loyal fan base who may download a leak but will still purchase the album for the extras and in support of the artist.

The industry is changing.  The classic music industry tactics are futile.  Labels must embrace change and adjust tactics for success as independent artists have, or they will soon fall to dust.