The Community Coup Playlist

Imagine, they didn't even know each other before working at OurStage, and now... bffs

Ever wonder who is responsible for rewarding you your prizes, writing the OurStage blog posts and putting in all the extra elbow grease to keep the Web site running smoothly? Well, that’s us”interns hand picked by OurStage’s greatest to help run the community. But as the summer months quickly approach, it is almost the end of our stories here at OurStage. Others will replace us and the show will go on.  Before we go, we wanted to give OurStage  a little present. We picked songs that we thought deserved some recognition.  From rock to hip hop and electronica, we love it all.  Whether these tracks have won contests or flown under the radar, they all deserve a good listen. So here we are, the keepers of the community room dishing out some of our favorite  OurStage tunes.

[Editor’s Note: While they referred to themselves as “interns”, our co-op students are very much full time employees during their time here. They are valued and knowledgable members of OurStage’s community team and will be sorely missed.]

Brian here”that’s right, the guy who’s been bringing you Rapper’s Delight and Kickstart OurHeart for the past few months. I picked out a few sleepers from deep within the OurStage reservoir that I think deserve a little consideration. A hip hop song, of course, from a Brooklyn cat named Ahptimus Prime; an instrumental rock journey, by Shane Scheib, that will take you through a few generations of rock in under five minutes and a killer Chicago-style track from blues connoisseur Chris Dair. Enjoy!

Ahptimus Prime

Hey all! Emily here”I’m the blogger behind Get Lyrical and the weekly national artist Q&A’s on OurStage. Are you a fan of plucky guitar and warm harmonies? What about jangly, upbeat male-female duos? Gang vocals paired with breakdowns that’ll knock your socks off? I sure hope so, because you’ll find all the above and more in my playlist selections of Statue of Liberty, Madison Violet and Hands on the Stereo. Enjoy!


Madison Violet

If any of you know me (Dayton) from The Beat Generation, you know I have a handle on most things electronic and awesome. But did you know I have great taste in all other forms of music as well? It’s true! Here are a couple of OurStagers I wanted to make sure get some extra special attention. Sarah Aument is a singer-songwriter based out of Syracuse, NY whose soothing coo and gentle instrumentation are perfect for rainy summer days and quiet fall afternoons. LONGSHOT is a little bit harder; a Boston hardcore band that reminds me of my younger days with their gang vocals and intensity. Light Alive has been tearing it up in the Electronica Channel, and they’re about as slick and sweet as all get out. And I saved the best for last with Doctrine (who is CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED in my opinion) bringing dirty, filthy dubstep to OurStage. It’ll make your head nod.

Sarah Aument

As the monthly prizing girl (aka Chelsea) here at OurStage, I come across a lot of extremely talented musicians every month. Though each winning song is deserving of its success, there are a few artists that always catch my attention. The songs that I chose have all won monthly channels, but in very different genres”rock, singer-songwriter and pop. My playlist has catchy rock piece by Orange Avenue,  softer song with influences loosely tied to blues by Derek Stroker and a bubbly and sweet pop tune by Sierra Noble. Although the styles of music are very different, there is one common theme between these three songs”the talent of the musicians.


Sierra Noble

Hello OurStagers! Marissa here”although I don’t write any blogs, I am sure you guys have seen me in action on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Foursquare. While digging deep into the OurStage vault, I found some songs that I really enjoy.  A light-hearted and airy song by Ben Carter, We Are Friends, a pop-punk song you can mosh to by At The Edge and a catchy hip hop tune from by my boy K.i.T. Check them out, I dare you.

There you have it. So sit back, relax and enjoy these sweet, sweet tunes. We can all assure that you won’t be disappointed.

GuacaMusic: Samaritan Revival

Some people say music transcends language and cultural barriers. They argue that a song can inspire you even when the lyrics are in a language different than your own and you can’t understand a single word of it.

OurStage band Samaritan Revival could prove this theory in just a few seconds. This popular Christian singing group is originally from Honduras and travels the United States performing in mostly English-speaking churches and religious events. Their goal is to inspire people by singing in Spanish, while also offering them the opportunity to understand the lyrics by providing translations during their performance.

Sounds simple, right? Well, what started out as just a local project is now a worldwide ministry with three albums recorded in Nashville and a distribution deal with New Day Christian Distributors out of Nashville, Tennessee.

Go to Samaritan Revival’s OurStage profile and you will understand what the buzz is all about. The band is getting great reviews from fans and recently made into the Top 40 in our Latin Channel. And that’s not all. After finishing a tour of around 60 cities in the US and a two country tour in Central America, the group will be starting a new tour in March of this year that aims to reach close to 100 cities throughout the US.

While all of Samaritan Revival’s songs are inspirational, we especially like their piece Liberame and Hasta que el mundo escuche. Both of these are catchy, fun and refreshing, so even if you can’t make sense of the lyrics, you will love the music and the way it makes you feel. Now if you do speak Spanish you will most likely put Samaritan Revival among your favorite OurStage bands.

So what are you waiting for? Go listen and get inspired. ¡Provecho!

Announcing The Show Us Your Hits Mardi Gras Competition

Everybody knows that throwing the best party in town requires some serious dedication, especially when it comes to picking out the right tunes to keep the crowd dancing all night long. This is especially true on Mardi Gras, the biggest party day of the year. We’re willing to bet that come March 8th, you’ll be stocking your pockets with colorful beads, donning some ridiculous-looking masks and heading for a night of dancing and good times. That’s why, in honor of this year’s Mardi Gras celebration, we’ll be throwing a little party of our own.

OurStage is calling out all purveyors of the party song to the Show Us Your Hits Mardi Gras Competition. Do you have a song that you know will make the crowd jump to their feet and dance? We’re talking about the kind of tunes that made artists the likes of Andrew W. K., Lil’ John and Ke$ha legendary in the club scene. If so, this channel is right up your alley. At the end of March, OurStage editors will be combing the channel in search of the best songs to add to a special OurStage party playlist to be given away as a free gift to the OurStage community. Enter your song by March 22, 2011 so you aren’t tardy to the OurStage Mardi Gras party! For official rules and competition information, click HERE.

Ernie Ball Sponsors The Hard Rock Channel In March!

Ernie Ball is gearing up to get the hard rock party started. A party where big riffs, hooks and choruses come up first on the guest list and a set of trusty strings hold down the fort. Ernie Ball will be hooking up one lucky artist in the Hard Rock Channel in March with a year’s supply of free strings. That’s 52 sets of guitar strings and 12 sets of bass strings to keep the hard rock gurus riffing well into 2012, not to mention some added accessories to sweeten the deal. If you’re a hard rock artist with the right stuff, then enter your best original song by March 23rd for a shot at this killer prize. If you’re a fan with a passion for hard rock, then don’t forget to make your opinion count by judging in the channel and helping the best undiscovered talent on the web find a place in the spotlight. Judging closes on March 29th, so hurry over and judge now! For official rules and competition information click HERE.

Announcing The Coors Light Search For The Coldest Competition

Think you have what it takes to open for N.E.R.D. or PacDiv? If your daydreams frequent the bright lights and the big stage, OurStage and Coors Light may just have your ticket to the big time. We’re excited to announce that this March, we’re joining forces with the mega brewers of the “Silver Bullet” to launch the Coors Light Search for the Coldest Competition”a three month long leviathan of a competition with a list of prizes so long we had some difficulty fitting them all into one announcement.

Starting, March 1st, all hip hop artists (that are at least 21 years old) are encouraged to enter their best original track into one of four regionally- based Coors Light Search for the Coldest Competition Channels (North, South, Mid-West, West). One winner from each of the regional channels will open for hip hop masterminds Pharrel and co. of N.E.R.D.. All four opening performances will be videotaped and uploaded to OurStage in June for the fans to determine a Grand Prize Winner, who will then go on to perform at this year’s Essence Festival in New Orleans, LA.  If you want a shot at this awesome opportunity, enter your best original track by May 1, 2011. Be sure to check out more rules and information for the Coors Light Search for the Coldest Competition.

The artists aren’t the only ones getting some love in the Coors Light Search for the Coldest Competition. Fans who judge will have a daily shot at taking home one of four sweepstakes prizes that includes a free pair of Sony headphones, an MP3 player, a t-shirt and a free MP3 download! One Grand Prize Sweepstakes Winner will win an all expenses paid trip to the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans in July! Judging is open to all fans until May 15th for the first round of the competition, and will re-open from June 20th “ June 24th for the final round of judging. So what are you waiting for? Get more details and head to the channel and make your voice heard now!

Announcing Guitar Center's Your Next Record With Travis Barker Competition

We are proud to announce that Guitar Center’s Your Next Record Competition is back!  Last month Brandon Green scored big in the “Your Next Record with Keith Urban” Competition. The music mega-store has again teamed up with OurStage to hook one winning artist up with the opportunity of a lifetime. This time world-renowned drummer extraordinaire Travis Barker is jumping into the mix to help one up-and-coming artist get their big break. The Grand Prize winner will win a trip to Los Angeles to record a three-song demo with Barker at Red Bull Studios. Barker will lay down the drum track on one single for the EP, which will be distributed worldwide by TuneCore.  But the buck doesn’t stop there. The Grand Prize winner will also score a $10,000 shopping spree to Guitar Center! The competition is open to all rock, hip hop and R&B artists, and closes for submissions on April 30, 2011. Check out more info and enter soon, cause YOUR next record could be with Travis Barker.

For all the loyal fans out there, Guitar Center will award an autographed snare drum signed by Travis Barker to one judging fan once a week, every week until May 15, 2011. That’s eleven chances to score free stuff at Guitar Center simply by judging for your favorite tunes!

Around the World in 80 Songs: Let's Travel the Globe!

Let’s do it. Let’s travel the world. Imagine going to places as far as Russia, Japan, Australia or Turkey. Imagine watching new scenes, trying new flavors and listening to new tunes, all from the comfort of your own personal computer.

This is exactly what world music can do. It can take you from one place to another in a matter of seconds, and make you feel like you are entering into a whole different universe.

Jules Verne traveled the world in 80 days. This blog will try to travel it in 80 songs. That is, 80 pieces that are fun, interesting and truly represent a specific country or region. We’ll visit places like India and the Middle East, and we’ll talk about what makes world music so unique.

You don’t need any visas, passports or travel documents to take this trip with us. All you need is an interest in music and an ear willing to explore what is beyond the things that it already knows. In each post, we’ll explore world music as an intersection where all types of genres meet.

What do you think? Are you eager to continue this journey and travel the world in 80 songs? Stay tuned for our first destination, visit our World Channel and let us know if there is a particular place you want to go to. Bon Voyage!

Legendary Music Manager Johnny Wright Looking to Assemble the Next Super Group

‘N Sync. Britney Spears. The Jonas Brothers. Justin Timberlake.  All chart-topping, international stars. Now, you could be next in line to be crowned pop music’s darling. Here’s how:

Music Manager Johnny Wright is teaming up with AOL Teen’s Cambio, the online entertainment platform “bringing you from fan to friend”, to launch the “On The Spot” talent search. Wright is looking for vocalists to video tape their performance of one of ten predetermined audition songs and upload it for a shot at joining the super group he wants to assemble.

For more details on eligibility, lyrics to the audition songs as well as information on how members of can automatically be entered for the chance to win a free iPad, go HERE.

Deadline for entry of Friday, January 28, 2011.

GuacaMuisc: A Bailar

If you love Latin music, you know there is nothing that complements it better than a good, sweaty Latin dance. Salsa, merengue, cumbia and bachata are only a few of the staple rhythms that get even the I-don’t-know-how-to-dance types moving.

As an avid fan of la música Latina, I am convinced that Latin dancing is good for the body as well as for the soul. I really don’t think there is nothing more rejuvenating than Salsa or more fun that a good merengue.  Unfortunately, many people are afraid to dance to Latin beats for fear of being ridiculed.  Others believe that, in order to be able to do it, they have to enroll themselves in expensive dance classes.

The truth is, Latin music was meant for dancing and everyone with a pair of shoes can do it, as long as the songs are good. Here on OurStage we have a number of very exciting Latin pieces that not only will get you moving, but will also make you the king or queen of any dance floor.

Let’s start with Bailando! by Kephas, an awesome piece that won the Latin Channel prize back in March and has been in the Top 10 charts for several months. Kephas is a songwriter, producer, guitarist and vocalist who was born in Miami. His parents emigrated from Cuba and raised him on the sounds of their homeland: urbane big bands easing effortlessly into the rhythms of Africa; the hushed sanctity of a Catholic mass contrasting with the rituals of Santerí­a.

One song that will get even a rock dancing is Me encantan todas by Many Cepeda (also known as El Salsero Clásico), a song about a guy who is in love with every woman he sees. Check out Many’s OurStage profile for other great salsa pieces.

Samba anyone? For a more Brazilian type of dancing, play “Carnival” by Quinta Toka, a band that plays a crossover of different styles including samba, bossa nova and jazz. This song will lift your spirits anytime.

If you aren’t in the mood for salsa and prefer to dance club style, then play Chica Elegante by David Rolas and Crooked Stilo, or any song by DJ Prieto Black.

Are you dancing already? Here is a playlist that will make you never want to stop.


Daft Punk Creates New "Legacy" with Tron Soundtrack

The mainstream media may have been all agog about the Kanye West and Taylor Swift record leaks last month, but for a smaller, slightly more day-glo festooned segment of the music-fan populace, one record’s drop is far more revelatory.

That album is Tron: Legacy”the much-hyped 3D Disney tentpole out Dec 17th. Normally, a soundtrack album wouldn’t garner much attention (outside of the Twilight series) but this one’s extra-special.  Not only is it the score to a very-long-awaited sequel (years since the original: 28) but it’s the first album in almost 6 years from the beloved French electro duo Daft Punk”who, in that interim, have gone from rave-music favorites to festival headliners due to the strength of their repetitive, dance-happy songs and their high-energy live show which has won them accolades on all sides of the music arena.

The response to this buzzy burst: mostly, a lackluster sigh. Instead of bouncy synth jams like One More Time, the closely-guarded songs are more like minor-key vignettes”mood-inducers that sound futuristic retro. That’s thanks to the gurgling, ready-to-explode keyboard sounds in the background”and the nearly 100-piece orchestra in the foreground, breaking out string swells and oboe glares among Bladerunner bleakness.

Longtime fans may claim heresy, but I hear something else: progress. Sure, Daft Punk made their name on robotic chillness like Around the World but this is something more: heart-beats with old soul. The orchestrations are classic”some may claim too much so”but in being so timeless they’re also unquestionably cinematic, bursting with drama in a way a dance floor cannot. On top of that, it gives them room to explore their live set. With rumors of a 2011 tour abound”and though the spaceman-helmeted, pyramid-topped light show extravaganza set 2006’s Coachella ablaze”the largess and command that a full orchestra could give them could be wholly, truly epic.

But what’s flummoxing the most is: what did people expect? This is the soundtrack to a movie, not an album proper. Unless you’re, say, Paul Simon working on The Graduate or Badly Drawn Boy scoring About a Boy, writing for a movie’s all about subtext, not overtness”a lesson likely never learned by Kanye West or Taylor Swift, but practiced”and preached”by two out-there Frenchies. Respect.

By Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller is the LA editor of and has been writing about music professionally for over a decade for publications including the Los Angeles Times, Relix and