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D. Hollywood Reps Alt Rockers In February, Wins Ernie Ball Grand Prize

D. is for Dirty… So begins the bio of D. Hollywood, winner of February’s Ernie Ball Alternative Competition.  D. is a Los Angeles-based producer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who describes his music as intelligent, quirky, radio rock. He’s rocked some of LA’s biggest venues including the Air Conditioned Supper Club and Club Moscow, and worked with acts the likes of J*Davey, Ryan Leslie, Terra Naomi, Chris Pierce, Dane Cook and more. If you’re into Gorillaz, The Bravery, Weezer, Foo Fighters, MGMT or The Cars (and how could you not be?), swing on by D.’s OurStage Profile and check him out. Big congrats to D. Hollywood, enjoy a year un-fettered with costly string purchases.

Soundcheck: Hip Hop Hits…And Misses Playground Music Festival

Hip hop heroes did more than disappoint this weekend when headliners for the First Annual Playground Music Festival skipped their sets, leaving fans and promoters scratching their heads and looking for refunds.

The event was billed as a two-day hip hop, rock and electronic festival, suited for all ages, and promised 200 bands over thirteen stages.  Hosted by Nick Cannon and headlined by The Game, E-40, Too Short, Big Sean,  New Boyz, Panic! At The Disco and The Bravery, it even boasted appearances by Lindsay Lohan and Pete Wentz.

When gates at Hidden Valley, Irvine opened at noon on Saturday, the mostly vacant parking lot was an early warning sign that the 30,000 capacity outdoor venue might not be packed that day.  Once inside, fans found their way across thirteen stages strewn throughout the Hidden Valley property, ultimately leading to the main stage, where Game was expected to perform his Number 1 album, R.E.D. later that evening.

With no signage or announcements of show schedules and stages, it was tough for fans to find the sets they came to see.  Luckily, we caught OurStage’s own ForestPunk delivering one of the best rap performances I’ve seen in years. The twenty-year old Los Angeles native spit thirteen tracks in his hour-long set, which included an eclectic range of thought-provoking prose over heart-pounding dubstep beats, up against his softer-sounding songs like Scary Monster over acoustic guitar. His set-closing number, Bad Monkey had tinges of Lupe-inspired sound fused with the insight and confidence expected from an artist twice his age.

As the night moved on, Shiny Toy Gunz and The Cataracs gave lackluster performances to an eager but small crowd.  As the lock neared 8PM, the sound plug was abruptly pulled and an announcement followed that Game won’t be performing tonight. Show is over. Please proceed to the exits. No talk of refunds or rescheduling followed, only herds of fans rushed through the grounds with no explanation as to why.  Too Short and E-40 also missed their headlining slots, with the entire night going up in smoke.

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iRock: The GoStation

Ever since the early 2000s, the rock genre has suffered from a mid-life crisis. Sure, rock has produced a slew of sub genres in its lifetime but many wear the masks of hip hop, pop,and electronica. What happened to The Verve? Oasis? Ride? The 1980s Stone Roses? You know, the real rock ‘n’ roll that not only captured listeners ears but their hearts. Did they all break up to form a supergroup? No, but you actually may think this is what you are hearing when you listen to this week’s featured iRock artist.

While the rock genre is in disarray and looking for its next savior, a group out of New York City has emerged out of the classic rock ‘n’ roll ashes to breath some fresh air into the world of 808’s, autotune and Grey Goose-inspired lyrics.Five members strong The GoStation embrace the natural rock sound and held on tight throughout the musical storm that hit the industry.  Their debut EP, Quiet Zone, received backing from various radio stations including Seattle’s KEXP, NYC’s 92.2 K-Rock and Q104.3 as well as XM/Sirius satellite radio. Building on this support, the band hit the road and performed at the CMJ, SXSW and NEMO festivals as well as opened for national artists like The Dears, Young Love, White Rabbits and The Bravery.  After making their mark on the local market and knocking on the door of the national scene, The GoStation recorded and released their year-in-the-making full-length album, Passion Before Function. They returned to Bill Racine‘s (Rogue Wave, The Flaming Lips, Phantom Planet) studio to bring this album to life.

If you’re looking for infectious, back-to-the-roots rock, then you’ve come to the right place. I couldn’t say it better than the band itself, just press play, and let the music do the rest.

iRock: The Alt-Rock Comeback

OSBlog02_iRock_MASTER_01Ever hear a song and think to yourself that it was written specifically about you? After some searching through the Rock Channels, I put together a playlist of songs I’d like to hear in the biopic of my life (who knows, it could happen one day). Using unique vocal styling, driven by drum and bass, as well as solid guitar riffs, these artists are giving the Alternative Rock Channel a breath of fresh air. With influences bleeding through the lines of indie rock, artists like Boston-based The Honors and Atlanta’s Rantings of Eva successfully transform the unique sounds from Snow Patrol, Coldplay and The Bravery with their own twists that keeps the listener wanting more. Next time you’re walking down the street, or coming home from a long day take a minute to take in your surroundings while listening to your current playlist. Your eyes may open up to something exciting that you’ve never seen before ” that’s the beauty of music.

I’d like to hear some of your own soundtracks ideas. It could be a collection of songs relating to your life, perhaps a series of events, or maybe just music that you like to sit back to and enjoy. No matter what you do, remember to keep it charged and ready to rock!

Found a band in one of the Rock Channels you’d like to share? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your suggestions and bet your fellow rockers would too.

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