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The Editorialist: Band Names – What Came First, The Ocean Or The Ghost?

Anyone who has ever started a band knows how difficult it can be to come up with an original name. And the more bands that pop up every day, the harder it gets. You would hope that this would encourage artists to push themselves to really think outside the box and come up with something truly unique, but we all know that’s not the case. The result is an over-saturation of bands whose names all incorporate the same words, themes, ideas, and imagery to the point where they almost become indistinguishable from one another. Some words and terms, in particular, are used in excess just because they sound cool or familiar. I’ve found”and I’m sure many of you may have noticed this same trend”that two of the most commonly overused concepts in the indie/rock and punk/hardcore scenes are the words “ocean” (or water-related imagery) and “ghost.” Don’t know what I mean? Allow me to provide you with a list or examples. From small local bands you’ve never heard of to huge international acts with devoted fans, the following are just a few of the many bands who either didn’t know or didn’t care how many other bands used similar monikers incorporating these terms: (more…)

OurStage Artists At SXSW

Here at OurStage, we’re counting down the seconds until SXSW. Not only do we have the OurStage Panel Finale Extravaganza to look forward to, but we’ll be seeing awesome live performances from some of the best musicians in the world!

If you’re going to be at SXSW too, we hope you’ll take the time to catch showcases from OurStage artists like Andrew Belle, The Niceguys, Stepdad and Jukebox The Ghost. Check out our OurStage artist showcase schedule with venue, date and time information and listen to all fifteen artists in the player below. Don’t miss out, it’s gonna be wild!

88 MPH: Jukebox The Ghost Resurrect The 'Alberti Bass'

Anyone who has seen OurStage artist Jukebox The Ghost perform can attest that the band puts on one hell of a show. Pianist Ben Thornewill rocks back and forth so wildly that he almost falls off his stool. Guitarist Tommy Siegel careens across the stage and drummer Jesse Kristin pounds away on the skins with a huge grin spread across his face. Their sonic output is so full it’s easy to forget they lack a bassist, the traditional fourth member of any rock band. That makes sense because Jukebox The Ghost is no ordinary rock band.

Combining dance beats, instrumental complexity and pop songwriting, the group stands out as a unique act in the crowded indie rock scene.  Their supporting tours with Ben Folds and Barenaked Ladies haven’t hurt their cred either. For the past year, they’ve been riding a wave of positive reviews of their sophomore album Everything Under The Sun and will tour Europe this fall. While it isn’t exactly a homecoming for the Philly-based band, the group’s sound is deeply indebted to the European classical tradition. Specifically, the legacy of one Domenico Alberti.

When people list the most famous classical composers of all time, Alberti generally isn’t up there with Mozart and Beethoven. In fact, the majority of the piano sonatas and operas that he wrote are barely remembered and rarely performed. His one lasting contribution to classical music was the Alberti bass, a left-hand piano pattern that outlines the three notes of a triadic chord. For any three-note chord, the Alberti bass pattern arranges the notes in the order of lowest pitch, highest pitch, middle pitch, highest pitch, as shown in the video above.

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