8 Do's and Don'ts Of Making Your First Video

So you’ve spent hours in the studio tracking your epic debut concept double album. Now what? If you’re thinking of making your first music video as the next step in your career, don’t get all flustered yet. You don’t have to be OK Go to make an awesome budget-friendly video but you do need some good ideas, a healthy amount of pre-planning, and some serious dedication. With that in mind, here are a few things to strive for and to avoid when shooting your first silver screen masterpiece.

Do: Stage a live performance

The live performance video is a classic for a reason. It’s simple, easy to set up, and doesn’t require your awkward bassist to pretend that he knows how to act. Perfect. Just remember to have adequate lighting “ even workman’s halogen lights will do “ and a tripod so that you can capture at least one full steady take of the band in addition to your cameraman’s love of zoom-in close-ups. Just remember to synchronize your playing with what’s actually happening in the song. You don’t want to look like this:


New Album Trailer, Exclusive Performance From The Dear Hunter

The Dear Hunter mainman Casey Crescenzo has announced the April 2 release of a new album, Migrant. The announcement was accompanied by the debut of an album trailer, which you can view here. The Dear Hunter is known for defying the traditional norms of album releases, notably having released his first three albums as a three act narrative of sorts, which was followed by a nine-EP concept collection called The Color Spectrum.

Crescenzo says he tried a new approach this time around: “When I started writing this record, I made sure to limit myself to an instrument and my voice…” As you’ll glean from the trailer, the songs clearly grew into something much greater.

We had the opportunity to hear what Casey sounds like with just voice and guitar when he stopped into our studio to perform for our exclusive Songs of the Revolution series. View those performances after the jump:


The Tower And The Fool Perform New Song

New England folk rockers The Tower And The Fool have gone through a few lineup changes since their formation a few years ago. They originally started as an acoustic duo-fronted band, but have now downsized to a more electric 4-piece with Alex Correia as the one remaining frontman. Click here to check out their new song called “Let It Ride” from their live performance at Great Scott in Allston, MA last week.

Correia used to be the frontman for Boston post-hardcore band Therefore I Am before they broke up in 2010. The band will be coming together again for the first time in 2 years for two “end of the world” reunion shows tomorrow night and Saturday night at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA. The first show is sold out, but tickets are still available for the second one. Click here to buy them online.

If you like The Tower And The Fool, then check out OurStage artist Mieka Pauley.

More Like This:

Therefore I Am To Play End Of The World Reunion Show
Acoustic Basement To Tour In February 2013

Watch The OurStage Panel Finale Now!

Featuring performances by The Well Reds, Austin Renfroe, Britni Elise, and Matt Bailie. Special guest performances by Hot Chelle Rae! Get more info and learn how to be included in future seasons here.

Vocal Points: Live Vs. Recorded

There’s something exciting about discovering an artist who not only records fantastic music, but can also perfectly duplicate their music onstage. In this auto-tune age, an artist who can rock just as hard every night in front of hundreds, sometimes thousands of fans as they do the studio”where they have multiple takes to nail that high note”is a rarity. That’s why I continue to go to live shows. Enduring all the mediocre acts is really worth it when you finally come across an exceptional talent. Vocally, I’ve always been blown away by James Taylor‘s live performance and how well he re-creates his sound live. His gentle and soothing voice translates perfectly to live performance, he is a master at utilizing the tone of his voice to mesh, but also to contrast his simple arrangements.  His low-key delivery is able to captivate his audience and get them intertwined in his magnificent stories.


UTG: Footage of What Could Be Sonic Youth's Final Show Ever

Sonic Youth may have very well performed live for the final time last night. Don’t worry, we have the footage.

Taking into consideration Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon’s recent separation, the future of Sonic Youth has been unknown for months. Last night’s show at the SWU Music and Arts Festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil was the last on their website and no statement about future plans have been announced or revealed. You can view video from the show of the band performing Death Valley ’69³ after the jump.

Even if this is the end of Sonic Youth’s live run, that doesn’t necessarily rule out future studio albums. I know the future looks bleak to fans, but try and stay positive until we have more definite answers. We’ll let you know as soon as anything changes.

View original article on Under The Gun Review.

Live Wired: Female Vocalists Take The Stage in Pro Performance Videos

We’re exploring the world of Pro Performance Videos here on OurStage once more for this week’s Live Wired, and have come up with some wonderfully unique live footage from a couple of different female vocalists. Both artists have beautiful voices that are captivating, even when watching their videos through the computer screen. While both performances are on the simpler side, this approach only enhances their talents and helps to shine a light on both their songwriting skills and connection with the audience. We were lucky enough to get the chance to talk to these artists about their respective performances as well as their experiences with live music, and gain some insight into their backgrounds as musicians.

First up, we have Tina Lundelius from Maryland, who is new to the world of live performance, but certainly is fitting in quite well. Having already won many awards for her songwriting, she’s gotten the chance to play in huge music cities including Nashville and Los Angeles. In the video below, she’s performing her song “Live Life Wide” with just an acoustic guitar. It’s nice and refreshing to see a quiet performance, but one that’s filled with emotion shown through both her face and voice. While Tina told us that she puts a lot of effort and preparation into each performance, especially this one, she likes “for each performance to be unique and slightly different from the last so I like to feed off the audience’s reaction”. She is focused on really connecting with her audience through her music and tries to “make them feel like I’m not just standing in front of them and playing some songs”. We were especially intrigued to hear about the differences between American and European audiences, as Tina is currently in England performing her music. She explained that “Europeans are just interested in fresh and talented music” and that while in America, audiences can sometimes come across as rude, she told us that “entire pubs will go silent when I begin to play”.


Live Wired: Discover More Pro Performance Videos On OurStage

Back in August, Live Wired shared with you some of our favorite live recordings courtesy of the Pro Performance Videos Channel on OurStage! We’re back again with even more videos we think you absolutely need to watch. This time, we had the chance to talk to the talent behind some of the performances we loved about the multitude of factors that go into making a live performance great. Read on for some first-hand experience on how bands prepare for the big show and how different the whole experience is.

First up, we have Andy Rumsey from Spokane, Washington who amazed us with his emotion-filled voice and great stage presence in his performance of “The Slow Vibration” on March 31st at The Empyrean. We all love the simple, raw sound of a singer armed with an acoustic guitar, but there’s something about seeing the spectacle live that adds so much more. It’s clear from watching Rumsey on stage that he loves what he’s doing. Even though he doesn’t have a band behind him for support, he keeps his energy high the whole time, and his passion is so clear and contagious. After speaking to him, there seems to be two main factors that make these kinds of performances possible. First, is the audience. Andy told us that he loves interacting with the crowd and that they “in some way help to shape” his music. More importantly, is his pure love for singing. He told us that he is constantly singing, explaining, “I can’t say that I ever feel more natural and relaxed that when I am singing”.

Riffs, Rants & Rumors: Iggy Pop's Road Rage

The attention-grabbing image on the front cover of the new Iggy Pop box set, Roadkill Rising, offers an apt”if a bit unsettling”visual metaphor for the punk patriarch’s career. It’s a pulp-horror-style illustration of an undead-looking Iggy rising up from between two broken white lines on a moonlit highway, most of his musculature free of flesh and dripping blood, as he stares solemnly forward with a grim sense of purpose.

Not only has the real-life Iggy come disturbingly close to this depiction physically”with his leathery skin long stretched tight over a lean, lupine frame, and his onetime penchant for making onstage torso incisions”he has also embodied the image via his lifelong rock & roll mission, best described by his classic Stooges-era song, “Search and Destroy.” The man called Pop has been all about bringing his message to the people in the most visceral way possible since The Stooges started out in the late ’60s. Describing Iggy’s onstage agenda, former Minutemen bassist and current Stooges member Mike Watt recently told your humble correspondent “We’re there to work the gig, so he’s plugged into the people, but it ain’t schtick”he’s right in the moment.”

By the time Iggy ends a show, he’s usually stripped to the waist, sweating from every pore and has fostered a mental, spiritual, and musical connection with everyone in the house. Even in his 50s and 60s, he could frequently be found inviting a hardy phalanx of audience members up on stage, battling with venue security guards and physically and verbally exhorting the crowd to let loose in whatever way possible. And it’s that aspect of the rock legend’s work that Roadkill Rising spotlights over the course of its four discs of live recordings.

Due out May 17 on the Shout! Factory label, Roadkill Rising is a staggeringly exhaustive document of Iggy’s onstage antics throughout his post-Stooges career. Produced by David Skye, the set starts off in 1977 at the beginning of the Stooges frontman’s solo career, and moves through each era of Iggy’s development, going all the way up to 2009. There’s one disc per decade, covering pretty much every phase of Pop’s career, from the early, Bowie-assisted days of The Idiot and Lust For Life, through his various mainstream resurgences in the mid ’80s and early ’90s (the era of “Real Wild Child,” “Candy,” et al), and pushing onward to the twenty-first century reconstitution of The Stooges.

From a 1980 version of “Nightclubbing” that begins with Iggy shouting to the crowd, “Can I get a girl to come up here with me and go Nightclubbing?” to an ’87 performance that finds him barking like a rabid dog as an intro to “Real Wild Child,” you can hear the former James Osterberg Jr. putting all his energy into breaking the boundaries between performer and audience by any means possible. As Iggy begins to enter his elder statesman period in the mid ’80s, his backing bands begin to sound a little less punky and a little more pro, but by the time he brings The Stooges back to life in the 2000s, that ragged-but-right rock & roll roar is as raw as ever. And no matter what’s going on around him, Iggy never offers up anything less than 100 percent of himself to his fans.

With a total of sixty-six cuts covering a span of thirty-two years, it’s tough to imagine a more comprehensive audio investigation of Iggy’s live work than Roadkill Rising. And while the inclusion of liner notes might have provided a bit more context for this massive musical document, in the end all you really need is Iggy raging in your ear in order to immediately understand what “Raw Power” really means.

Q&A With Foxy Shazam

You can try, but you probably can’t put an accurate label on Foxy Shazam. Their eccentric and eclectic mix of punk, soul and straight up rock ‘n’ roll has earned the band critical praise and performances at Lollapollooza, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Reading & Leeds. Following a summer tour with Hole and the release of their smash self-titled album, the band recently finished a two-month cross-country stint with Free Energy and is preparing for another huge year in 2011.

One might expect that outrageously energetic 24-year-old frontman Eric Nally lives an equally wild life. On the contrary”offstage, he is a soft-spoken, friendly father of two. We had the pleasure of speaking with Eric about touring memories, writing with Meat Loaf, modern day rock stars and what it’s like to lead a double life.

OS: You’ve just finished your fall tour with Free Energy. How were the shows and what were some of your favorite moments from the tour?

EN: We went to the UK for a week in between this tour and that was awesome. I loved that because we sold out London for the first time. It was big for me because we’re from Cincinnati, Ohio and it’s just really far from home. To sell a place out so far away is an awesome feeling; to bring your music to a different country and do that. I liked playing Montreal because Hollerado, the band that’s opening on this tour, is from there. All their crowd was out and it was just really fun.

OS: Foxy Shazam is well known for its incredible, off-the-wall performances. What inspires the band to become so theatrical on stage?

EN: I usually tell people, “that’s just the way we were born!” It’s just natural to us. We  don’t have to do any preparation or any pre-show rituals to summon these things on stage, they just come out naturally. It’s just the way we came out of our moms, I guess. When I’m on stage, I’m an entertainer…when I’m off stage, I’m a spectator. So I just kind of sit back and watch and soak everything in. When I go on stage, I let it all out.

OS: You’ve stated that Foxy Shazam are “not concerned with what category it falls into.” Do you often find that people are trying to fit you into a genre or compare you to other bands because they’re not sure where to place you?

EN: Yeah, that happens all the time. Anybody I ever meet that’s an artist…everybody wants to be themselves. But really, in the way that everything works now, it’s just what people have to do. I accept that. Everything needs to be compared to something else just so you can wrap your head around it easier, I guess. Either way, I don’t mind it, but people do try to compare or group us into a category. Every time it’s different, so it’s cool.

OS: You’ve said that you would never want to make the same record again and the evolution of the band’s music has certainly reflected that. How do you see Foxy Shazam’s music evolving in the future?

EN: I don’t know…every record we make kind of stands for where I am at that moment. I’d have to kind of be in the moment to understand, but that’s exciting for me. I really like not knowing. It’s kind of cool to not think about it and not prepare.

OS: In the song “Wannabe Angel” from your self-titled record, you sing, “For you I wear this mask, at home I take it off.” Is it difficult to transition between your life as a rock star and your life as a dad and husband?

EN: Yes, that’s exactly what I was trying to say with that. I feel like I’m a completely different person when I’m on stage. It’s kind of like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type thing and that’s awesome to me. It’s like how actors do…entertainers, really. It’s just who I am. Being a dad compared to being a professional touring musician…it’s just the complete opposite end of the spectrum. I feel so different when I’m not on stage.

OS: Earlier this year, you helped write some songs for Meat Loaf’s album Hang Cool Teddy Bear. What was your role in the writing process? Would you be interested in writing for other artists again?

EN: Absolutely! I love being associated with people that have rich history in music and Meat Loaf is obviously one of those people. I just co-wrote two songs with Justin Hawkins who used to be in The Darkness”he’s one of my best friends now. It was just awesome. We went there together and we wrote together and sat with Meat Loaf. It was great, I made a lot of good friends through that whole experience.  A lot of the other writers that were there were a lot older and have done stuff like that before. That was something that I couldn’t believe I was experiencing so early in my career.

OS: Are there any artists in particular that you’d like to write for?

EN: I would love to, whether it’s writing or whatever, work with Cee-Lo Green sometime. I think he has the best voice in music right now. I think it’s just awesome, it hits me in the right spot. It’s the perfect voice for me. I’d love to work with him someday.

OS: Foxy Shazam was one of the first bands featured on ChatRoulette for album promotion, but you aren’t a huge proponent of bands using social media. Can you share your thoughts on that?

EN: I feel like the rock star is kind of a dying breed, we’re becoming extinct. You don’t seem them very much anymore. I think one of the most important things about what that persona was, was that you didn’t know them. It was almost like a mythical creature. People would gather backstage for hours just to catch a glimpse…and you don’t get that anymore. People know everything that everybody does because of Twitter and Facebook and they’re updating constantly. Everybody’s so human now, I guess, which is fine. That’s how it’s always been, everybody’s just a person. But I think there was this certain mysteriousness about the artist and that’s not really around anymore. So I kind of try to keep that going. I think it’s important to have people make their own stories about you rather than know the hard facts because chances are the hard facts are extremely boring (laughs).

OS: Foxy Shazam has recently announced some big touring plans for 2011. Can you tell us about the tours and festivals you’ll be playing next year?

EN: In January, we have a tour with Circa Survive. That will be awesome because I’ve heard their new record is great. I haven’t heard it but I’m really anxious to! I’ve heard a lot about that band and I know a lot of people who know them and they say they’re great guys and that’s really important to me, to share a tour with people that are nice. I’m really excited about that one, I think it will be awesome. Then we go to Australia [for the Soundwave Festival] in February and I’m really looking forward to it. I just love taking my music to different countries. I’ve never been to Australia, so it will be awesome. We have a bunch of days off in between the shows there so I’m going to do a lot of sight-seeing.

Check out this live video of Foxy Shazam performing “The Rocketeer” and don’t miss them on their upcoming tour dates, listed below!

Dec 16 Detroit, MI – Shelter
Dec 17 DeKalb, IL – House Cafe w/Victorian Halls & ‘Richardson’ Richardson
Dec 18 Minneapolis, MN – Popsickle Festival w/Motion City Soundtrack, Minus The Bear & more!
Dec 19 Kalamazoo, MI – The Strutt w/Their Teeth Will Be of Lions
Jan 14 Richmond, VA “ The National w/Circa Survive and Anberlin
Jan 15 Charlotte, NC “ Amos Southend w/Circa Survive and Anberlin
Jan 16 Ashville, NC “ Orange Peel w/Circa Survive and Anberlin
Jan 18 St. Louis, MO “ Pop’s w/Circa Survive and Anberlin
Jan 19 Omaha, NE “ The Slowdown w/Circa Survive and Anberlin
Jan 20 Des Moines, IA “ People’s Court w/Circa Survive and Anberlin
Jan 21 Grand Rapids, MO “ Orbit Room w/Circa Survive and Anberlin
Jan 22 Columbus, OH “ Newport Music Hall w/Circa Survive and Anberlin
Jan 24 Cincinnati, OH “ Bogarts w/Circa Survive and Anberlin
Jan 26 Baltimore, MD “ Rams Head Live w/Circa Survive and Anberlin
Jan 28 Rochester, NY “ Water Street Music Hall w/Circa Survive and Anberlin
Jan 29 Albany, NY “ Northern Lights w/Circa Survive and Anberlin
Jan 30 Allentown, PA “ Crocodile Rock w/Circa Survive and Anberlin

Feb 26 Brisbane, AU – Soundwave Festival w/Iron Maiden, 30 Seconds to Mars & more!
Feb 27 Sydney, AU- Soundwave Festival w/Iron Maiden, 30 Seconds to Mars & more!
March 4 Melbourne, AU – Soundwave Festival w/Iron Maiden, 30 Seconds to Mars & more!
March 5 Adelaide, AU- Soundwave Festival w/Iron Maiden, 30 Seconds to Mars & more!
March 7 Perth, AU – Soundwave Festival w/Iron Maiden, 30 Seconds to Mars & more!