If you’ve looked at the Billboard Rock Charts lately you may be wondering what’s happening to the state of the genre. With chart-toppers like Grouplove, fun., and M83, it feels like the industry is in need of a good ole rock revival. Enter Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown. The Nashville quartet have made it their mission to perserve all that is holy with rock ‘n’ roll and are converting followers one live performance at a time.
Last week the audience of the East Village haunt Arelene’s Grocery were treated to an electrifying performance by Tyler Bryant (vox, guitar), Graham Whitford (rythymn guitar), Caleb Crosby (drums), and Gabe Anderson (filling in on bass). The band was in town for a few days to attend the premiere of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer (Bryant played guitar on the film’s score), to attend OurStage’s Artist Advisory Board meeting, and to showcase at the New Music Seminar. Check out their performance of “Kick The Habit” live at Arlene’s:
This past Wednesday, executives representing OurStage.com met with with members of the newly formed Artist Advisory Board to discuss the direction of the company and the future of music. Board members included Tyler Bryant, Graham Whitford, and Caleb Crosby of Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, Mieka Pauley, Jesse Terry, Xolie Morra, and Jonquil Anderson (emcee TAMPPA). During the inaugural meeting, OurStage previewed a slew of artist-centric offerings designed to fortify revenue streams for independent artists.
Later that evening, members of the board represented the online music discovery community during the New Music Seminar (NMS) showcase at Arlene’s Grocery in the East Village. The night kicked off with an acoustic set by Xolie Morra (accompanied by David Nolf), followed by Jesse Terry (recently nominated by NMS as one of the Top 100 “Artists on the Verge”) who was accompanied by drums, rhythm guitar and backing vocals. Mieka Pauley took the stage for an impromptu a ccapella rendition of “Marked Man”, track seven off her forthcoming LP, The Science Of Making Choices. Rounding out the bill was Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, whose highly anticipated first full length record drops this summer. The showcase closed with a set by NYC hip-hop duo, Metermaids.
Check out the songs by the OurStage Advisory Board and NMS showcasing acts:
NYC is the place to be in June. Why you ask? Because OurStage has assembled a killer lineup to rock our showcase at this year’s New Music Seminar at Arlene’s Grocery. Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown, Metermaids, Jesse Terry, and “New Music Seminar Showcase at Arlene’s Grocery” Competition Grand Prize winner Xolie Morra of The Strange Kind will be taking the stage. Morra beat out over 900 other acts for the chance to play this year’s stage with her track “Over My Head”. Check out more from Xolie in the playlist below, and be sure to swing by our showcase on June 20 at Arlene’s Grocery in NYC.
Participants must be eighteen (18) years of age or older at time of entry and must reside within the forty-eight (48) contiguous United States. Only submission materials that are determined, at the sole discretion of the Sponsors, to be classified as Pop, Rock , Hip-Hop, Alternative Hip-Hop, Rap and R&B as defined on the OurStage FAQ’s will be deemed valid entries.
Nikki Lynette has never been one to play it safe. Despite being told she didn’t fit into a genre, Nikki powered through, creating her own blend electro, hip hop, rock and pop. Slap on some fishnets and leather and mix with Nikki’s energy and excitement, and you’ve got a star in the making. So much so that after entering (and coming in second place) in OurStage and New Music Seminar’s Artist On The Verge Competition, MTV caught a whiff came calling with a licensing deal. Go backstage with Nikki below to hear more about how it all came together.
It all started with a tweet. These days all you need is a little social media savvy and some good luck to score free stuff on the Internet. That’s how the cookie crumbled for Becky Clawson, who scored free tickets to this year’s New Music Seminar in Los Angeles, just for liking yours truly on Facebook. A friend had entered the sweepstakes and reposted the info on Twitter, recalls Clawson. I thought, Nobody actually wins these things (well, I mean, of course someone does… but no one I know ever does), but what the heck. It sounded like a great opportunity and was super easy to enter.
Just like that Clawson was entered into the New Music Seminar Live At The Roxy Sweepstakes on OurStage. It turns out that fortune would go on to smile on Clawson, as she was selected from among the many to be the recipient of the sweepstakes Grand Prize. Clawson attended the 2011 NMS conference in Los Angeles, and was kind enough to share her experience with us. Read on to hear more about her story, and be sure to check out the OurStage fan competition page, where you can get the scoop on more ways to snag more fan prizes from OurStage. For the NMS artist perspective, be sure to scope our interview with The Well Reds, winners of the New Music Seminar Live At The Roxy Competition.
OS: What was the vibe like at the New Music Seminar and The Roxy?
BC: The vibe at NMS was one of wide-eyed enthusiasm and anticipation. Many of those who attended seemed to be on a mission to complete the puzzle, so to speak. Everyone I met was eager to learn from the pros (the panelists) and discover the tools that would strengthen their product and business strategy and propel their career to new levels. At the same time, there was a real sense of camaraderie” the unspoken “we’re all here for the same reason” for the love of music; let’s support each other.”
OS: What are some of the ways that you discover new music on the Internet? Did attending the New Music Seminar give you some new places look?
BC: Pandora and Last.fm were once my primary online music discovery tools, but increasingly, Facebook has taken the lead, allowing friends to easily share audio and videos. I’d spent a bit of time browsing OurStage in the past, but after learning more about the company at Ben Campbell’s talk at the New Music Seminar, I’m eager to get involved with voting on the site to bring up-and-coming artists into the spotlight and connecting them with great opportunities and exposure.
OS: Was there a particular speaker at the seminar who stood out to you?
BC: It would be hard to pick just one speaker who topped the rest, so I’ll tell you about a couple of the moments that stood out for me.
RuPaul, while facilitating a discussion on creating one’s personal brand, asked Moby where he got his personal style. Moby, without hesitation, explained, “I grew up in a crack neighborhood. And I learned that if I dressed like I was homeless, I was less likely to get mugged.” RuPaul was totally taken off guard. The point? If your music is good, it will do the talking. Even if you look homeless.
Angela Hunte, co-writer of “Empire State of Mind”, told attendees that after the song’s success, a lot of people asked her, “So now that you know the secret (to writing a huge hit), when are you going to write the next ‘Empire State of Mind’?” or suggested, “Do that again.” But she replied, “I already did that. I’m not writing another ‘Empire State of Mind’. I’m on to the next thing ”something different”something better.” And I thought, “What a different music marketplace this would be, if everyone wrote that way instead of formulating hits.” Sounds magical.
BC: I promise I’m not simply trying to tell you what you want to hear when I say that The Well Reds were my favorite act I saw at the NMS after-parties. I’m a sucker for a well-dressed rock and roll band playing original and well-written songs you can shake your hips to. No over-the-top glam. No cheese”ok, so there’s always a little cheese when singing about the heart, but it’s good cheese. Overall, just solid rock most of us soul-bearing young adults can relate to.
Every year, the New Music Seminar (NMS) gathers the innovators of the modern music industry under one roof to discuss the state of the business and what’s on the horizon for upcoming years. This year, NMS teamed up with OurStage to give one artist a shot to perform at the 2011 closing party in Los Angeles at The Roxy Nightclub, where artists the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie have taken the stage. In addition, one lucky fan won round trip airfare and 2 free tickets to attend the conference and closing party just for liking OurStage on Facebook!
Atlanta pop-rock quartet The Well Reds stepped up to the artist challenge and entered their song 6 More Months, which climbed all the way to the Number 1 spot at the top of the channel landing them the gig. Facebook fan Becky Clawson won the fan prize and got to attend the conference and hang out at the closing party, attended by Pete Edge (President A&R Jive Records), Courtney Holt (MySpace Music) and OurStage’s own Ben Campbell to name a few. Fresh off their performance at The Roxy, Torin of The Well Reds sat down with us to talk about their performance experience. Check it out below!
OS: Did you get to meet any music biz big whigs at the party?
WR: We were very fortunate to meet and speak with a variety of industry executives. The “biz big whigs” were incredibly generous in taking a lot of time to speak with the attendees after the panel discussions. We were very impressed with the diversity and scope of music topics covered at the New Music Seminar. The panelists really represented an incredibly eclectic mix of music professionals¦ A&R, Marketing, Booking/Tours, Merchandise/Artists.
OS: Did you have an elevator pitch prepared in case you bumped into any major players?
WR: Not really. There was a lot of pitching going on and it was pretty obvious that a firm handshake and a polite “hello-my-name-is” worked much better than “I am the next big thing, you need to sign me.” We had flyers for our show at the Roxy with show information and band links that we personally handed out to as many of the panelists and attendees as we could. In the event that an industry executive was taking the red-eye out or not planning to attend the show we asked if it would be appropriate to give them a copy of our EP.
OS: What do you think the future holds in store for the music business? Where do the Well Reds fit into this future?
WR: I think the music business will continue to evolve. One of the biggest themes in the seminar was that is does us all a disservice to hold on to the romanticized idea of what was. There are artists that are still finding success throughout multiple traditional and digital media platforms, licensing songs, writing hits, building their fan base¦ I would hope that as The Well Reds continue to grow as a group, we will find sincere opportunities get our music out for others to enjoy. Our goal it to work hard, be professional, and to conduct ourselves in a manner where regardless of where we end up, we can look back without regrets wishing we had done this or that. I think Ourstage is a perfect example of a present day platform that can sincerely provide artists with an opportunity to reach a wide and educated audience. For contest winners, the experiences can be truly career changing.
OS: What was it like gigging in LA? Have you guys ever played there before?
WR: This was the first time we’d collectively played in LA as The Well Reds and it was really great to get to play at the Roxy. We went to the NMS Artist On The Verge contest the night before and were totally blown away with the band the The Daylights. When it came time for us to play we felt very comfortable in the venue. I cannot say enough nice things about the folks at NMS and the staff at the Roxy. Keith, Alex, Sam, Dave, Tom¦ all great professional.
OS: How did the audience respond to your performance?
WR: The audience was great and we definitely made some new friends. We usually measure show effectiveness based on the response of the sound man and Alex (from the Roxy) was very complimentary of our set. We were also able to get some folks out from some of the LA based companies we’ve been working with. Thanks go out specifically to Mike, Mitch, Cindi, Caitlin, Travis and Ramy for attending the show.
OS: How did you get your fans to come out and judge in the competition?
WR: We asked nicely and often on Facebook. I also think there was some residual Ourstage support from when one of our other songs “Violet” placed third in the public voting for the Ourstage Subway Fresh Artist competition a few months back.
OS: Are there any shout outs you’d like to make to the fans who voted for you?
WR:Just that we’re very appreciative of the time that people continue to invest in our band.
OS: What was the most valuable thing you learned at NMS?
WR: As a band we’ve been working with the understanding that each member has to take on a variety of roles within the group. The idea propagated by NMS that really resonated with me is that regardless of who you’re working with or what level of success you’ve achieved it is still absolutely imperative that you’re personally working on the different facets of your career: booking, licensing, perfuming, booking¦ No A&R rep, manager, or booker is going to instantly magically make it so you don’t have to work hard anymore.
The New Music Seminar Live At The Roxy Competition kicked off in December 2010, offering rock, pop and country acts a shot at a career-breaking prize”a chance to perform at the 2011 New Music Seminar (NMS) closing party at Los Angeles hotspot The Roxy. The votes are in, the battles are over and a Grand Prize winner has been confirmed. Meet The Well Reds, an Atlanta pop-rock quartet whose song 6 More Months rose all the way to the top of the channel and into the ears of the judges at OurStage.
The guys scored a performance spot on February 16 to do what they do best, rock out. This year, NMS rounded up the movers and the shakers of the modern music business (Michael Doernberg, Ben Campbell, Pete Edge, Courtney Holt, Tim Westergren and more) to discuss the current state of the music biz and what’s to come for the artists and leaders of tomorrow. So, you never know who might be in the audience listening. Join us in congratulating The Well Reds on their win, and stay tuned to the OurStage magazine to catch our interview the guys to hear all about their experience.