Press Shuffle: Songs To Mend Your Roots To

Gather ’round, kids”it’s story time!

Culture and history have been kept alive throughout the centuries by oral tradition. A large part of this tradition has been storytelling through music, and this concept still lives to this day. We use dialogue to tell a story, and we use music to tell emotions. Music is about making the listeners feel a story. It’s about achieving an emotional response: if the emotion of the music and the emotion of the lyrics are congruent, the song becomes an immensely powerful, evocative force. Folk musicians excel at this type of songwriting, and strive to convey their unique view of common, quotidian lifestyles and situations in a compelling manner. The examples we’ve collected for you today focus on lyrical storytelling, with music that never detracts from the song.

Chasing Blue

It’s All Water” – Chasing Blue: Love and a broken heart has fueled more songwriting sessions than anything. This track gives listeners a snapshot of a frayed relationship close to the end.

The Collector” – Bobby Caputo: A wonderfully worded story of self-reflection, appreciating what you have, and”of course”love.

Colorado Rain” – Fiske and Herrera: Life is about living. As simple as it sounds, many forget this simple tenet. To know where you’re going, you need to be aware of where you’ve been.

Hey John” – Cici Porter: “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” The unusual shuffled feel of the song makes this a unique tune within this list.

Scenic Route” – Jesse Terry: The hard times in life are only temporary, and we’ll work ourselves out of them soon enough. We’ll remember them with a smile.

California” – John McKenna: Sometimes we want to hang on to a cherished moment for as long as we can. The world keeps going, and we have to go with it.

Oh Heart” – Kim Wempe: Introspective songs are the meat and potatoes of folk songs. Take a life experience, see what you’ve learned, and tell others through song. This track is a perfect example of how it’s done.

Have any tunes in particular that you care to share? Disagree with any of the picks? Want a theme in particular to be Shuffled? Let us know by dropping a comment!

Listen to previous Press Shuffle playlists over at

Press Shuffle: Songs To Be Rebellious To

Punk rarely introduces itself. And it’s not like it needs an introduction (although, if you’d like one, we’ve got just the place for you to do so): this controversial culture has been touted as the voice of the anti-authoritarian youth since the ’70s and its cultural significance is undeniable. Since then, it has been adapted and transformed through its contact with other styles of music and ideologies, proliferating into dozens of subcultures, each with their unique blend of, let’s say, unrefined rock. Regardless of the musical and stylistic changes the genre has experienced throughout the years, punks have always been aggressive, dogmatic and eternally misunderstood for their unconventional lifestyle (not to mention questionable fashion choices). Love it or hate it, the music is here, doesn’t care what you think and is rearing to rock your socks off.

Bobot Adrenaline - YOU'RE MOSHING

Dumb Bomb” – Bobot Adrenaline: Short, sweet, and to the point. This is punk rock at its purest. One of the finest tracks in the OurStage Punk Channel.

Pieces of Four” – Sinister Trailerpark Magic: This trio of Canadian siblings brings to the genre a quality often overlooked in punk: good songwriting. Their songs usually clock more than than your typical punk track, but keep the listener involved with their eclectic style.

Personality Overload” – The Beat Seekers: In a sea of over-produced pop-punk songs, “Personality Overload” provides a balance between catchy and gritty that is infectious.

Gasoline Whiskey” – The Boston Thieves: Reminiscent of early Mí¶torhead, this band (interestingly from Chicago, considering their name) bring the speed and energy that get your blood pumping. If they need a song that will get people going at a concert, then here they have it.

See You In Hell” – The Resignators: Ska revival is one of those sub genres that will never die. It’s too much fun for us to let it go!

Kill The Youth” – Our Future Leaders: Even with a compressor smashing this song to a flat mush, it manages to blaze its way into our head. This proves that music comes first and will always shine. Also, lo-fi punk? YES PLEASE!

My Pint” – The Bastard Suns: Recipe for a sick punk anthem: play fast, play furious/write about hanging out with the bros and having a good time/mix with a few pints of alcohol/add gang vocals to taste.

Have any tunes in particular that you care to share? Disagree with any of the picks? Want a theme in particular to be Shuffled? Let us know by dropping a comment!

Listen to previous Press Shuffle playlists over at

Press Shuffle: Songs To Be Silent To

Time and time again, listeners shy away from instrumental music simply because it usually lacks an immediately relatable trait. It doesn’t have the traditional lyrical hooks and memorable vocal lines that popular music is known for and our modern ears are accustomed to. And, while the proficient composition and performance of instrumental music usually requires a certain level of musical skill, listening to it does not. The genre only asks for open ears and an open mind. Now, there are many ways in which we can approach instrumental music”as a pure, unadulterated representation of emotion, as a chance to fuse musical influences without the restrictions of convention, as background music for a film, slideshow or life, and so forth. The beauty of instrumental music is how open it is to interpretation by the listener. Much like in visual art, instrumental artists can channel a message without telling the audience explicitly what they were trying to convey.

Jeff Cochell

Somehwere” – Jeff Cochell: First off, something familiar to the ears. Rock and folk musicians have flown the instrumental flag for a while now, and this style of acoustic guitar work has been explored by bands all the way from Pearl Jam to your local singer-songwriter playing at a coffee shop’s open mic night.

Spirit Of India” – Meir Shitrit: Fusing traditional Indian instruments and scales with western songwriting, a style was popularized in the ’60s by pioneers like John Coltrane and George Harrison, this track shouldn’t feel too far away from home.

Russian Concertino” – Giancarlo Angioni: The beauty of well-performed flamenco is lost on no one. The passion that goes into the playing and the sensual vibe that surrounds it has been captivating listeners for decades.

Salsalito” – Level 10 Band: Latin jazz always brings rhythmic energy to any playlist. The danceable power of the clave is undeniable, and rightly so; these ensembles usually feature a large rhythm section with multiple percussion players.

Mediterranean” – Fahir Atakoglu: Atakoglu is a personal favorite here in Press Shuffle. It’s easy to see why: this level of talent and skill isn’t something you come by too often, and we’re not ones to let it slip through unnoticed.

Snizzle” – Justin Hellman: Small combo jazz is simply timeless. It’s the right music for so many occasions; from rainy day music while you read a book in your favorite living room nook to a night out to a bar with the guys, they’ve got you covered. The versatility of this music is unmatched.

Temporarily Destabilized” – CHON: Instrumental metal tends to focus on complex songwriting and technical playing, and this is a perfect example of the outcome when those two. Not only do the gentlemen from CHON knock it out of the park with their musicianship, but they do so time after mind-blowing time. Prepare to have your brain melt out your ears.

Have any tunes in particular that you care to share? Disagree with any of the picks? Want a theme in particular to be Shuffled? Let us know by dropping a comment!

Listen to previous Press Shuffle playlists over at

Press Shuffle: The Not-Quite-Halloween Edition

Ghouls, ghosts and gore: With Halloween just around the corner, we thought we’d provide you with the right music to get you pumped for the weekend. As always, we aren’t taking the conventional route here in Press Shuffle. Rather than going for the gratuitous metal Halloween playlist (although you should expect a heavy dose of headbangin’ evil from next week’s Metal Monday post), we’re taking a lighter route. With Halloween, we convert that which scares us at any other time of the year into a great celebratory mocking, complete with delicious candy and humorous charades. So why not reflect this with your music? Sure, our playlist focuses on the lighter side of the festivities, but if you look into the songs, the Halloween spirit is right there.


Pachelbel’s Panic” – D.P.A.: Your very own haunted house soundtrack.

Ghost” – Robyn Dell’Unto: Back to normal. Or so it seems? Paranoia, talking birds, hearing voices, a haunted house? Count me out! At any rate, Robyn’s voice has a ghastly presence to it, and if you mix that with her breathy delivery, you get the unique vibe that this song thrives on.

Morning Coffee” – Junction 688: These guys are obsessed with their coffee (or, more specifically, their pumpkin spice morning java) to the point of delusion. It scares us just to think what they’d do if they didn’t get their morning cup.

I Still Remember” – Churchill: Autophobia is an extremely common condition, and understandably so. Everyone has an intrinsic fear of loneliness, and this fear can materialize in many ways. Some things are just best to forget, and sometimes it’s necessary to get away and hope that time will work its magic.

Wake Up” – Variance: The other option is to do nothing, and hope for the best. This should tell you which kind of person you are. Passive reactivity probably isn’t the best course of action.

Ghost” – Blameshift: Most of us have had relationships that don’t end too amicably, and probably not for the best reasons. Few things are more realistically terrifying than having bitter thoughts invade your every thought and dream. A literal situation of being haunted by the past.

Pumpkin Patch” – Every Dying Day: This song takes the prize for the creepiest lyrics on the playlist. The minor chord riff in the chorus is so undeniably catchy and the drums drive this tune home with the perfect match up of power and simplicity.

Hesitation” – Ronny Criss: Fears usually stem from the feeling that we are powerless to do anything about the particular situation we’re  in. Sometimes, they stem from having too much power: in this case, the artist holds the happiness of another in his hands. Would you hurt yourself to spare another some pain?

Have any tunes in particular that you care to share? Disagree with any of the picks? Want a theme in particular to be Shuffled? Let us know by dropping a comment!

Listen to previous Press Shuffle playlists over at

Press Shuffle: Music To Tailgate To

Sunday is here at last. You’ve been waiting for this day all week. You’re wearing the colors, painted your face and are ready for the games to begin. Whether you’re at the stadium parking lot with a cooler full of frosty brews or heating up the grill in your back yard, you need the right music to get the gang pumped. Lots of detailed planning has gone into making this the event of the season, so why falter on the most important  part of the party (OK, second most important after the game). Press Shuffle wants to make the best of your football season, so update your tailgating tunes with a mix of rock and urban music with this playlist from our artists here at OurStage.

Music not included.

I Don’t Wanna Stay” – Independence Drive: This track is perfect to play while everyone’s showing up and you’re getting ready to host. Energetic enough to get you started, and a great lead-in to the bigger party tunes to come.

The TruthWagon” – JayJohnson: Grooving southern rock is made for sunshine and BBQs. Perfect song to set up the mood for what is going to be a great day. Play it loud.

I’m Gone Shine” – T. Beasty: Work hard, play hard; what is football if not this?

Cup In My Hand” – Jamen: Tailgating is all about getting ready for the game, and this tight club banger will get the blood flowing.

Everything’s Bigger” – Zack King: Considering the new Cowboys Stadium and its accompanying Jerry-tron, we’d be inclined to agree with King. The only thing that isn’t big are the points racked up by “America’s Team”.

Played The Game (ft. Camden)” – Soufside: If you want to be a winner, you’ve got to take your chances. Coming out on top requires wit, courage and strength. Let’s hope your team has them all.

Touchdown” – P.K.: If you don’t recognize why this track is included, you’re in the wrong playlist.

Have any tunes in particular that you care to share? Disagree with any of the picks? Want a theme in particular to be Shuffled? Let us know by dropping a comment!

Listen to previous Press Shuffle playlists over at

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Press Shuffle: Music To Unplug To

Recently we delved into high-energy music here at Press Shuffle. We’ve taken you from the enthralling rhythmic trance of dance and electronica to the backbeat-driven intensity of rock and roll. This week, though, we’ve decided to give ourselves a bit of a challenge. We’re redefining the meaning of “energy”. We’re taking you from the high spot we left you off last week and giving you a smooth landing.

Acoustic music has been generally associated with low-volume situations, and therefore lacking the power and energy of other electronically-enhanced music. It’s also garnered that connection due to the popularity of the so-called “Unplugged” shows that many bands have been keen on since the early ’90s. Not many bands can make an electric-turned-acoustic song carry the emotional weight and power it originally had; acoustic in popular music has become synonymous with watered down and simplified. The allure of acoustic music lies in the raw nature and intimacy of the performance. Of course, the energy that this music conveys to the listener is completely different to that of rock and club music; you won’t see anyone jumping to the beat of the music or throwing horns to the performers. But it can be just as intense. So, let yourself be immersed into this playlist, and feel the vibe. We guarantee you’ll feel light and happy by the time this playlist is over.

Eclectic Approach