AP is reporting that Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova have officially been released from prison, following an amnesty approved by Russian president Vladimir Putin. The two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot were imprisoned in 2012 for staging a protest performance at a Moscow church.
Their story, and particularly that of Tolokonnikova, who went on two hunger strikes before going missing for several weeks in the course of a transfer, has drawn international attention to both the injustice of their imprisonment and also to the conditions of Russia’s prison system.
The amnesty for the prisoners (a number of unrelated prisoners were also released) is widely viewed as a public relations move in advance of Russia’s hosting of the upcoming Winter Olympics. The newly-released punk rockers made it clear that they share this view.
I think this is an attempt to improve the image of the current government, a little, before the Sochi Olympics”particularly for the Western Europeans, Alyokhina said. But I don’t consider this humane or merciful. This is a lie. We didn’t ask for any pardon. I would have sat here until the end of my sentence because I don’t need mercy from Putin.
She said she would have refused the amnesty and stayed in prison if she’d had the choice.
More like this:
Pussy Riot Members Receive Amnesty, Will Go Free
Pussy Riot Member Reportedly In Serious Condition, Family Denied Access
Pussy Riot Declared Guilty Of Hooliganism, Receive Two Years In Prison, Remain Punk As Hell
Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman has devised a new marketing strategy for the world’s largest traveling festival that may add a significant boost to their overall ticket sales. This summer, parents taking their children to Warped Tour will be given a free ticket in exchange for helping their teens experience Warped.
Recognizing the value of happy parents is not exactly a new idea for Warped Tour. In year’s past the festival has hosted a ‘reverse daycare,’ which offers parents an escape from the chaos of festival grounds, as well as a number of other amenities. This latest move, however, is certainly the largest. By letting parents know they can not only watch over their children, but do so without paying extra money for something they themselves have little interest in, Warped Tour organizers are raising the likelihood parents will be willing to allow their teens to attend the traveling festival. It’s no longer about dropping your kids off at the gate and hoping for the best because now parents can enter without any cost to them and see the culture their child will be apart for the following twelve hours.
If you are interesting in participating in the free ticket program, simply escort your child to the tents outside the festival grounds marked for tickets and claim your pass.
Now that warped Tour has hopped on the free tickets for parents bandwagon, do you think other tours should follow? Comment below and let us know.
The holidays may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean the season of giving is over. This week #FreeTicketFriday returns, and fans will be given the chance to win a pair of tickets to the US-based concert of their choice*. All you have to do to enter is:
1) Follow @OurStage on Twitter
2) Retweet the #FreeTicketFriday tweet (posted at 1pm EST on Fridays).
That’s it! Once you retweet, you’ll automatically be entered to win a pair of tickets. So who will it be? Taylor Swift? The Killers? Ke$ha? Let us know who you’d choose in the comments, and don’t forget to enter every Friday at 1pm EST.
* = some restrictions apply. See official rules for details.
Warped Tour and Feed Our Children NOW!, an organization which helps coordinate food drives across the country, have teamed up to offer charitable Warped Tour attendees a shot at free tickets. All you have to do to enter is donate to Unite The United or Feed The Children NOW!, and get friends to do the same. You can check out all the details after the jump. (more…)
According to Hypebot, the music streaming service/app Spotify will be extending its free listening period in the U.S. If the service followed their European model in America, listening times would be cut by at least 10 hours per month.
To the relief of their non-premium users, this morning’s announcement stated that Spotify will extend their free period indefinitely: “We’ve been so overwhelmed by the US response to Spotify that we’ve extended the honeymoon for unlimited free listening.”
The news is unexpected since the combined income of advertisements and Spotify Premium memberships – making up just 10% of the company’s revenues – only covers a fraction of their operating costs, which include paying artists and rights-holders for every stream. As Spotify moves to extend free service in America, it will also be launching a huge funding campaign with a $3.5 billion valuation. To date, the company has raised $100 million.
Jazz musicians pride themselves in creating their own unique style and color. They spend many, many years crafting their musical identity and work hard to keep it fresh. In this vein, traditional instrumentalist and composers began exploring outside of their national and musical borders for inspiration. It’s been more than half a century since greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis reached out to the world and brought its music to prominence in our country, and contemporary artists are still tapping into this enormous resource today. Fortunately for us, we’ve got the Ernie Ball Jazz Channel here in OurStage and it’s chock-full of original instrumental tunes that are constantly pushing the boundaries of genre. We’ve gathered a select few to showcase the variety of the style, and highlighted some of their outstanding features. There’s no need to be a music buff to enjoy this playlist; the only prerequisites are open ears and an open mind.
“Penguin Scramble” – Dean Taba: Starting straight off with a head that screams of contemporary north east jazz, this track jumps into a quickfire succession of instrumental solos. Each player gets their moment in the spotlight, and serves as a great introductory tune to what modern quintets are all about.
“Jeannine” – The Soiree Band: Reminiscing to the grandiose days of big bands, this incarnation of the Duke Pearson standard evokes the class and style of mid-century that is so impregnated in the definition of jazz. Laid back and smooth,
“Soothsayer Swing” – Chasm: Following a strong blues form yet decidedly jazzy, this song defies genre classification. Self described as “world fusion” (a tag we wholeheartedly agree with), this duo layers an impressive variety of instruments into a continuous, cohesive musical fabric, resulting in a very original piece.
“Brazilian Accents” – Kerry Politzer: A style brought to prominence by Stan Getz, this upbeat bossa definitely lives up to its name. The lyrical tone of the saxophone is a must for a song like this, and its melody sways to the beat in a rhythmic, dance-like fashion.
“Monsul” – Jorge Diez: With the popularity of artists like Pat Metheny and Juan Manuel Cañizares in the ’90s, the jazz guitar community exploded into a world music discovery frenzy. It was only a matter of time before they discovered a major source of this newfound tone and style; Spanish flamenco. While this track isn’t what many would traditionally “jazz,” it is a clear example of a jazz/flamenco fusion.
“Aheste” – Fahir Atakoglu: Tinged with Middle-Eastern harmonies and colors, this wonderful fusion tune brings the early Brecker Brothers recordings to mind, yet is incredibly successful in maintaining its own identity. A personal favorite.
“Venus Atmosphere” – Alexis Baro: Distorted guitars and a backbeat-driven drum beat make the presence of rock music clear in the tune. Funky at times, the rhythm section push the song throughout, while the trumpet and sax solos definitely make their presence known.
Have any tunes in particular that you care to share? Disagree with any of the picks? Want a theme in particular to be Shuffled? Let us know by dropping a comment! Listen to previous Press Shuffle playlists over at 8tracks.com.
It used to be very difficult to create an artist Web site. It wasn’t uncommon to hire an individual or team to build the site for you, since the tools to build the site without a strong background in HTML were nowhere to be found. Today it is becoming easier and easier to develop a site, and artists without the coding or design background, can still put together something that works great for their needs. Bandzoogle has been developing a solution for musicians to create effective Web sites for some time now but, they aren’t the only company in the game. Nimbit recently released their Quick Artist Websites which offers what could be an even quicker solution than the band camp web sites.
Nimbit recently created a WordPress plugin that instantly sets up a Web site for you, complete with bio, storefront, calendar, photos, videos and more. One of the most powerful things about the site is that it is all controlled from your Nimbit dashboard which allows you to collect fan data from their mail signups every time a transaction is made from a free download or paid download. The ability to update and manage your fan contacts, send messages using the Nimbit fan mail capabilities and update your Web site content all from one place is really valuable for the busy musician.
Although Nimbit offers speed of set up, ease of use and an all-in-one solution, there is one downside. This product seems to be geared towards existing users of the Nimbit platform, and isn’t nearly as fast if you don’t already have your products setup within your account etc. It’s not really all that fast if you’re not already a Nimbit user and you don’t have the basics of your account setup.
At the end of the day, this is a very cool resource for musicians and something worth looking into. Below is a video demonstrating more of the sites functionality.
Ever since the rise of the independent artist, free track giveaways have been a promotional tool rapidly increasing in popularity. Artists are giving away free CDs, MP3s”anything that can get their music to the masses. However, music is an artist’s most powerful asset, so why not use it to it’s full potential.
A lot of musicians are handing out free music like its nothing, just for the sake of exposure. Although this method isn’t completely ineffective, we think there is a better approach. If someone is interested enough in you as an artist to listen to your music, you’re going to want to know who this person is and engage them as a potential fan. You need to connect with them on some level, collect their email address, encourage them to join your Facebook artist page, get their phone number, etc. Bottom line: you need a way to reach out to these potential fans in the future. Luckily, there are a few tools out there that can help you with this.
Nimbit, Topspin, and Bandcamp are a few Web sites that help artists make more out of their free track offerings. They provide online tools that allow you to capture user data with every free giveaway. For example, in order to download a free track from one of these sites, a person must provide their email address. With some of the available tools, fans must provide their name, zip code and email address. This gives artists a sense of where their fan base is located which can be invaluable for touring purposes.
When you’re on the road, use mailing lists or download cards to capture user data. Maintaining fan connections for future marketing initiatives is vital to the success of your future releases. For those who don’t know, download cards provide your fans a unique key that they can enter into a Web site in exchange for a download. The best way to distribute these items is to make an announcement during your show that you have free download cards at your merch table, available for anyone interested in picking one up. This way, not only do you only give a download to those who like your show enough to go get one, but you also got the fan to go straight to your merch table.
We hope this gives you a better idea of how to better utilize your music to your advantage. Let us know if you have other suggestions that we didn’t mention in the comments section.