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Friday, July 1, 2011

Wedesday, June 15, 2011

Bonnaroo 2011: Previewing The Good, Bad And Smelly

Here we go again. One of our favorite summer festivals starts in mere days and we’re road tripping down to Tennessee for the 10th Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Over the years, the 700 acre farm has played host to some of the most exciting, relevant and original acts in music, and this year’s lineup proves to be no different. We’ll be live tweeting throughout the entire festival with the help of battery- and car-charged devices, so be sure to follow us on Twitter (@ourstage) for updates. Keep an eye right here on the OurStage Magazine for posts recapping each day too! So, without further adieu, here are the highlights of this year’s Bonnaroo we’re most looking forward to, the scheduling decision we’re just not prepared to make and the downright disadvantage of attending a four day concert down south.

The Good

Eminem

We heard lots of gripes and grumbles about this year’s hip hop headliner. For a festival that made its name catering to jam bands and hippie dancers over the years, Eminem seems like an odd choice. However, no one promises a show like Marshall Mathers, and it will be interesting to see how his live performance translates to a crowd of 80,000 located in a field in the middle of nowhere. Maybe he won’t make the same mistake of asking the crowd to put their cell phones in the air like Jay-Z did last year. Did he forget that by Saturday everyone’s phones are dead?

Lelia Broussard

After some fierce competition, OurStage artist Lelia made it to the final round of the Rolling Stone Choose The Cover Competition. We can’t wait to see her battle it out on stage with the hopes of landing the most coveted cover in music journalism. Not to mention catch a glimpse of what kind of get up she’ll be rocking. Ain’t no party like a face paint party.

The Bad

Wiz Khalifa vs. Mumford and Sons

Given the overlapping 5:50 and 6:15  set times on separate stages, there’s little room for error here. With Mumford and Sons explosive year, its safe to say that their set will be way more crowded than last year‘s audience of 100 people. Guess it all depends on what kind of crowd we’re looking to hang with that day, as Wiz followers will most likely be a bit more “enlightened.”

The Smelly

No Showers

Yeah yeah, its just part of Bonnaroo. After five years attending the festival, you’d think we’d be use to the stench, but its still jarring to sit in 100 degree heat sans running water. So we’ll suck it up, because, really, what’s a little grime when you get to see 150 bands in four days alongside almost 100,000 kindred spirits. In the meantime, there’s always those portable shower things”even if they do call the bag that dumps a couple gallons of water on you a “bladder.”

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

OurStage Artists Invade SXSW

In just a few short days the South By Southwest Music and Film Interactive Conference and Festival will be kicking off, and while, for us, this signifies the launch of festival season (whooopiiieeee) it also marks some very exciting milestones for independent artists everywhere. SXSW showcases hundreds upon hundreds of artists every year, and has become a worthy credential in the careers of both established and up-and-coming artists. If you’re heading down to Austin next week, be sure to show some love to the many OurStage acts that will be performing, many of which have been featured on the OurStage Magazine in the last year. Gosh, we just can’t get over our taste-making skills.

Thursday March 17th

Geographer – Indie rock drenched in reverb, electronics and introspection, Geographer should have no trouble fitting into the SXSW scene. Read about them here and check out their 8pm set at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop.

Andrew Belle – OurStage hearthrob Andrew Belle’s debut full-length album The Ladder was released last year to critical acclaim and has been featured on the OurStage Magazine and Best Of charts for months. Catch him at 10pm at The Tap Room At Six.

Or, The Whale – We could tell you about how Or, The Whale has been on OurStage practically since the beginning, or how they gracefully incorporate seven instruments and four vocalists into one seamless act. But we think we’ll just let this OurStage Magazine profile, and this Daily Download post and this winner profile do the talking for us. Don’t miss them at 10pm at the Soho Lounge, right before Eilen Jewell.

Muck and the Mires – Nothing like a little Boston garage rock to cleanse the SXSW palate. Catch them hot off the trails of headlining the Dirty Water Festival in London at Skinny’s Ballroom at 10:15pm.

Eilen Jewell – Eilen Jewell is quickly becoming a hot name in the country world. Read her feature on the OurStage Magazine and catch her on the charts, the folk rankings love her! Playing at 11pm at the Soho Lounge.

The Plastics Revolution -The inaugural act for OurStage and MTV Music’s joint partnership Needle In The Haystack, The Plastics Revolution have been bringing powerpop to Mexico City in waves and will soon cross the border to rock the late night crowd at Mi Casa Cantina at midnight.

The Plastics Revolution

Friday March 18th

Jesse Thomas – Jesse has racked up more Top 10 wins than the average SXSW goer’s Foursquare check-ins. She’s been featured in OurStage playlists for rock and folk, and her raw, smokey voice and take no prisoners ‘tude even scored her a spot playing side stage to John Mayer in this past summer’s John Mayer “Side Stage Warfare” Competition. Don’t miss her kick ass at 7:30pm at The Ale House.

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper – The effervescent Lady Lamb has been an OurStage fav for a while now, having been chosen as another Needle In The Haystack artist and featured on the OurStage Magazine for her killer touring style and as an Editor Pick for 2010. She even graced us with her presence and rocked the room at OurStage’s first In The Round session at the end of February. See what everyone’s buzzing about at 8pm at Swan Dive.

Blacklisted Individuals – This hip hop duo doesn’t have to travel far to bring their “Working Class Muzik” to SXSW, being born and raised right in Austin. Check out the former OurStage and MTV Music Needle In The Haystack act at 9pm at The Marq.

RAS (Riders Against the Storm) – This husband and wife hip hop duo is both adorable and talented, winning the Lennon Award in the hip hop category in 2008’s John Lennon Songwriting Competition as well as being a finalist in OurStage’s “Get Out Of The Garage” Competition with Converse. Experience the magic at 9:30pm at The Marq.

Other Lives – Another OurStage artist that we’ve been gabbing about since the beginning, scored a free logo design from Alphabet Arm back in 2009. Other Lives cites lofty influences such as Jóhann Jóhannsson and Arvo Pí¤rt, but you’re more likely to hear Beatles and Rufus Wainwright in the execution, which is a sweeter deal in the end. Learn more in their artist feature on the OurStage Mag, where our Editor in Chief also cited them as an playlist pick. Catch them live at 10pm at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop.

Blacklisted Individuals

Saturday, March 19th

Lelia Broussard – Listen up, people, because Lelia is making some serious waves. Not only is she a contender for Rolling Stone’s Choose The Cover Competition, but the OurStage community loves her rollicking folk rock (as evidenced by her multiple Top 10 wins) and her hilarious videos that are quickly making her a YouTube sensation. Read more on the OurStage Magazine when we profiled her last year, and be sure to check out her set at The Tap Room at Six at 10:45pm, so you can say you saw her when.

OurStage Artists Competing For The Cover Of Rolling Stone!

Alright OurStagers, something really cool is happening. Rolling Stone, in conjunction with Atlantic Records, is holding a contest to find the next hot act, and FIVE OurStage artists are contenders! They’ve been featured as Needle In The Haystacks, on the OurStage Magazine, won OurStage competitions and ranked highly on the charts. Jimmy Fallon announced earlier this week that the magazine and Atlantic have hand picked sixteen unsigned acts to compete for the highest honor in music journalism, the cover of Rolling Stone, making the winning act the first unsigned artist to ever be featured on the front of the mag.

Click the images below to vote, tweet and “like” your fav OurStage artists on RollingStone.com. We already know you like them, we already know they rock, so let’s put those OurStage judging skills to work because we all know there’s nothing like the thrill that’ll get you when you get your picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone!

Skyler Stonestreet

Stonestreet’s infectiously adorable indie-pop has turned her into a fan favorite here on OurStage. She’s made regular Top 10 appearances in the in the female singer-songwriter channel over the years, and she climbed to Number 18 on the pop charts in 2011. Stonestreet is also a frequent guest in the OurStage Magazine; her track “Out To Sea” was the download of the week in November of 2009, and she was an artist feature in April 2010. It’s no surprise that she’s done so well with songs like “You” that are light and poppy but still substantial, Stonestreet is sure to charm her way into your heart.

Lelia Broussard

If you’re a fan of rollicking folk-rock in the vein of My Morning Jacket or Conor Oberst, then Lelia Broussard is the girl for you. Her toe-tapping rhythms and delightful melodies have made Broussard a standout she was featured in Folkin’ Around in July 2010 and her tracks often reach the Top 10 in the female Singer-Songwriter and Indie Rock Channels. She also reached the Top 10 in 2010’s Lillith Local Talent Search, and has toured extensively throughout the US. Check out her track “Shoot For The Moon” and see for yourself why Broussard would rock an RS cover.

Go Periscope

We’ve been blowing the horn on Seattle-based electro-pop duo Go Periscope since they released their self-titled debut in January of last year, making them one of our Editor Picks of 2010, and naming them Needle In The Haystack with MTV Music in January. Go Periscope’s Joshua Frazier even emailed us about the Rolling Stone competition, saying, “I just wanted to say thank you so much for the exposure you have given us. I feel like things are starting to move for our band and it’s because of opportunities to be heard, like the one you gave us. Thank you.” Give a listen to “Crush Me” while you check out their artist takeover we challenge you not to get caught up in the track’s funky rhythm.

The Gallery

The Gallery have shared the stage with artists like The Maine and We The Kings, but the band’s upbeat, southern-tinged rock sets them apart from the sea of neon-clad pop rockers. They’ve had several Top 10 finishes in the Rock Channel on OurStage and have climbed the best of charts in 2011, reaching Number 34 in rock and 49 in pop. They were also a critic’s choice on OurStage radio in Winamp, and their guitar-driven songs got them featured on iRock in January 2010. With tracks like the Tom Petty-esque “Who’s in the Right,” The Gallery show that they’re more than ready to grace Rolling Stone‘s cover.

Fictionist

Hailing from the unlikely city of Provo, Utah, Fictionist have been building buzz around their melodic indie-rock since they released their debut album Invisible Hand in 2009. And while they released a follow-up just last year, they’re back in the studio in 2011, planning for even greater things. Be sure to check out their track “Uptight,” which finished in the Top 40 in rock in January and is currently ranked Number 11!

Check out all 16 contestants at http://www.rollingstone.com/choosethecover.

Folkin' Around: Lelia Broussard

The polished and organic sound of Lelia Broussard caught my attention with her simplistic “piano and voice” re-realization of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark“. Her recognition that a great melody can stand on its own is mirrored in her latest single, “Scared to Feel“. Beginning with simple guitar strumming and personal lyrics, Broussard unfolds the song into an array of beautiful folk/rock instrumentation and a hint of angst. The fact still remains, though, that the message lies in the melody which easily floats above the accompaniment.

Broussard began her career early, moving to New York City when she was just 17. Her relentless songwriting and touring throughout the US landed her a publishing deal with Ronder Universal Music Group. She moved to Los Angeles, CA and began writing for her debut release On the 9, which was produced by Dave Trumifo (Wilco and My Morning Jacket).

Check out her song “The Grass is Greener” and listen to some more music on her OurStage profile.