Archive for December, 2009


Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Contributing Writer & Photographer  : Rashon A. Massey

What can I say?  I have been sleeping for far too long, isolated in a locked basement growing with depression.  Music becomes a mans window to the outside when this happens.

The last time I was feeling this way, it was in 2007 and I was living in a friends attic room of his house, causing a ruckus with some help from my comrades Stemz, Seedz and Solo Cupz.  Crazy times that became fueled with gasoline leaking from my speakers. An oil, rich sound from the first Wolfmother album; ah yes, before they disbanded and reemerged this 2009 with “New Moon Rising” for the Twilight New Moon soundtrack.

This time around, I found myself seeking refuge in the wailing harmonies, gut-wrenching, new n’ crude truth of raging blues and heartfelt emotions of Dr. Dog.  This is one of those band names that you’ll read and either say, “OMG! You’re so four albums too late,” or “I think they were on this one festival bill I went to in 07…or was it 08. Actually,  nah – I never heard of them;” for me, it was definitely the latter.  Scouring the net for all the bio makeup I could cake upon my musical soul, I came to find this special gem of a group had been side by side with me for years along the festival circuit.  From the last standing Langerado to Bonnaroo, and I never once caught them.  I never even got a nudge of the elbow from a fellow Festie that this ‘was one band I had to see’.  So I don’t feel bad about running a couple miles to jump on the back of this bandwagon.

I finally caught the group at this years Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival in Chicago.  Closing out the show in a performance that shook me, I was able to witness and be part of an experience you…just remember for years to come.

Now, catching up on their albums (I have their latest release, 2008 FATE on repeat ALL DAY. EV’RY DAY), my instinctual reaction to the band is like what I felt when I heard My Morning Jacket and Kings of Leon YEARS ago – these guys will be HUGE; moreover, they are WAY better than Kings of Leon any day in my book (I say this largely in part to not understanding several damn things Caleb Followill was spewing on the first couple albums).

The guys will be up to some mischief in 2010 and we will certainly bring you some wonderful video coverage to come.  In the meantime, check out the video from an NPR session and photos from the CBBFestival.  The Myspace, I am sure, has the albums available for streaming so if you weren’t in the loop – don’t feel bad.  Just catch up.

AND ONLY LISTEN THROUGH HEADPHONES!  For the audio-wonderland they create is a true daydream at any given moment.

Free Album 2010 Artists to Watch by SPIN

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

SPIN – While we revel in our memories of a glorious 2009, we can’t contain our excitement for 2010. These 10 artists are set to make big noise in the year to come — and we’ve compiled a song from each into an exclusive FREE album!

Simply click the “Get It Now” button below and enter your email address, then check your email for a message from SPIN Media (please be patient — it may take several minutes.) It’ll have instructions for downloading your free album. If you don’t see the “Get It Now” button, try refreshing this page.

For the scoop on each of the 10 to Watch in 2010, read on!

    “Dream City”
    Hometown: Philadelphia
    The Skinny: Produced by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy (and released by his label, DFA, in conjunction with Astralwerks), Free Energy is as replete with cowbells, Thin Lizzy riffs, and soaring choruses as it is devoid of ironic winks.
    BUY: iTunes | Amazon

    “Answer to Yourself”
    Hometown: San Diego
    The Skinny: If “garage rock” connotes beer-soaked simplicity (or beer-soaked simpletons), then the Soft Pack — known as the Muslims when their jagged, catchy single “Extinction” pricked up ears last year — may reclaim the term for smart kids.
    BUY: iTunes | Amazon

    Hometown: Boston
    The Skinny: The band’s furious second album is an imposing slab that bridges the gap between Slayer-style thrash and Pantera’s vicious bounce. The simultaneously brawny and brainy sound has led to burgeoning guitar-hero status for David Davidson.
    BUY: iTunes | Amazon

    “Life Magazine”
    Hometown: New York
    The Skinny: Former frontman of blood-vessel-bursting hardcore acts Give Up the Ghost and Some Girls crafts a collection of brooding pop that could be mistaken for a swarthier Magnetic Fields.
    BUY: iTunes | Amazon

  • THE xx
    “Basic Space”
    Hometown: London
    The Skinny: On top of sexy, melodic moodscapes, Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim, both 20, sing about reckless longing in the kind of soft, intimate whispers lovers use behind closed doors.
    BUY: iTunes | Amazon

    “Lewis Takes Action”
    Hometown: Toronto
    The Skinny: Heartland, the new album from rail-thin singer and multi-instrumentalist Owen Pallett (who’s arranged music for Pet Shop Boys and Grizzly Bear — and just dropped his Final Fantasy moniker), is an expert melding of gossamer pop and explosive symphonic maneuvers.
    BUY: Amazon

    “Bye Bye Symphony”
    Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
    The Skinny: On the sextet’s self-titled major-label debut, power ballad “Bye Bye Symphony” kicks like a mule and glitters like a diamond. Bonus: Frontman Eric Nally is teaming with the Darkness’ Justin Hawkins to write new songs for Meat Loaf!
    BUY: iTunes | Amazon

    “Uncomfortable Truth”
    Hometown: Warri, Nigeria
    The Skinny: Concrete Jungle, Nneka’s debut Stateside release, would sound like a starmaker in any language. Spurred on by poignant piano and crisp drum breaks, Nneka’s voice (think a less spacey Erykah Badu) alternates between righteously bold and heartbreakingly fragile.
    BUY: iTunes | Amazon

  • J. COLE
    “Lights Please”
    Hometown: Fayetteville, North Carolina
    The Skinny: Jay-Z invited Cole, the first artist signed to Hova’s newly formed Roc Nation label, to drop a guest verse on The Blueprint 3‘s aptly titled “A Star Is Born.” Cole is working on his upcoming as-yet-untitled debut with producer No I.D. (Kanye West, Alicia Keys).
    BUY: iTunes | Amazon

    “Deadbeat Summer”
    Hometown: Austin, Texas
    The Skinny: Full of danceable beats, carefree vocal melodies, and synth atmospherics inspired by Vangelis’ Blade Runner score, Alan Palomo’s debut album as Neon Indian, Psychic Chasms, plays like ’80s pop refracted through a, yes, neon filter.
    BUY: iTunes | Amazon

Thom Yorke Crashes Climate Change Summit

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Thom Yorke Hopeful,

Pissed Off

After Ambushing

Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen

Christina Lee |Paste – Although Copenhagen’s ongoing Climate Change Conference has prompted prominent world leaders to speak out against global warming, the fighting words of Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke stood out the most in yesterday’s conference news coverage. He had walked into the city’s Bella Center feeling slightly optimistic, though now, thanks to recent developments, the man is straight pissed.

“Hysteria and confusion is in the air,” he wrote today on Radiohead’s official blog, Dead Air Space. The reason: U.N. leaders have requested to take extra time over the weekend to reach an agreement regarding the climate-change strategy. To Yorke, this is a rather baffling request. “I pray that something comes out of this process. That all of these people for all these years, all these flights to Copenhagen all this hot air has some meaning,” he wrote, referencing the 15 years in which the city has held such a conference.

Members of the press spotted Yorke wandering around just moments after he arrived at the center, with a press pass around his neck. “Do you imagine they’d let me in otherwise?” he said bemusedly a group of reporters. Yorke had not bothered to register as per U.N. request, though as he expressed to journalist after journalist who approached him, he felt that he had to be there. In 2005, Yorke teamed up with grassroots organization Friends of the Earth to launch their Big Ask campaign, requesting an 80 percent cut in U.K. greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The British government eventually implemented it to law in 2008, though with non-government organizations (NGOS) now thrown out of the climate-change debate, Yorke remains concerned. “I think the nature of negotiations like this, it looks like it’s just a big thick cloud, and no normal person can see through it,” he told reporters yesterday. “That, to me, makes me angry because, you know, the basic principles are the basic principles, and, you know, it’s a lot of uptight, middle-aged men doing the negotiations, that need to be seen through their particular little spheres of self-interest and look into the bigger picture.”

Danger Mouse & James Mercer Free Song

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Danger Mouse & The Shins’ James Mercer Form Broken Bells
Free Song Available Now

Danger Mouse and The ShinsJames Mercer have created a new group called Broken Bells. Their self-titled album is set for release on March 9 via Columbia. You can get a free download of the song “The High Road” by entering your email address at the Broken Bells website here.

The duo recently worked together on the Danger Mouse/Sparklehorse album Dark Night of the Soul.

Artists Win the Opportunity of a Lifetime

Thursday, December 17th, 2009


Aspiring Artists – Enter to Win the Opportunity of a Lifetime

December 10th, 2009, New York, NY – The New Music Seminar (NMS) and announce the “Artists on the Verge” Winter New Artist Search.  Enter to win this once in a lifetime opportunity aimed to help break aspiring artists’ careers in the music industry though direct exposure and personal mentoring from some of the most influential and connected industry leaders of the new music business.  The winner will also receive a special prize musical package including free musical equipment, video promotion, publicity services, legal work, CD pressing and much more.

Entries are open to all unsigned artists in the Urban, Rock or Pop genres, and will be accepted until December 22nd, 2009 at

Ten Finalists – A Judge Panel consisting of music industry leaders will select ten finalists from the top 20 ranked artists from each of the “Artists on the Verge” OurStage Channels.  These ten finalists will have their A&R promotional packages and EPKs delivered to 20 top record labels in North America for consideration.

Top Three Finalists – The top three finalists will be awarded travel funds and passes to Los Angeles to attend the New Music Seminar on February 2nd, 2010 following the Grammy Awards. The three finalists will each receive a live mentoring and critique session by industry experts (led by superstar artists, producers, radio programmers, and bloggers) in front of the NMS audience.

Grand Prize Winner -The One Grand Prize Winner will be chosen at NMS to perform at the NMS After Party and will receive a comprehensive music consultation package that will include special music prizes, services and offerings from some of the smartest and most connected leaders of the new music business. (See full details below)

“Last year 105,000 albums were released but sadly, less than 50 artists doing it themselves broke 10,000 album sales for the first time.  The New Music Seminar along with OurStage is dedicated to helping new artists learn how to ‘cut through the noise floor’. This contest will provide the opportunity and the right tools for the most talented new artists to break in the new music business,” explains NMS Founder Tom Silverman.

“We are thrilled to partner with the such an important program such as ‘The New Music Seminar’ and to help deserving emerging artists increase their exposure and improve their craft,” shares Ben Campbell, CEO of OurStage. “OurStage is in the business of delivering life-altering opportunities for worthy artists – so this is really exciting for OurStage and our whole community.”

The Grand Prize Winner Package will include:

  • Travel funds to attend New Music Seminar in LA
  • New Music Seminar attendance
  • Mentoring & Consulting
    • Tom Jackson – The Premier Live Performance Producer and Consultant
    • Tom Silverman – Founder of Tommy Boy and the New Music Seminar
    • Dave Lory – Manager and Touring Expert
    • Martin Atkins – Author of Tour:Smart – expert on touring and the live experience
    • Linda Lorence Critelli - Free 1 hour consultation with SESAC on  “The business of songwriting and music publishing”
    • Pam Workman – Founder/Owner of WE + PR and Public Relations, in-depth PR consultation and strategy session
    • Joe Serling – Serling, Rooks, Ferrara, McKoy & Worob LLP - $5000 worth of billable time for legal work and consultation
  • Music Business Toolbox
    • Tour:Smart book – Signed by Martin Atkins
    • Music Success in 9 Weeks book  –   Signed by Ariel Hyatt
    • Musician’s Atlas Subscription
    • Trendrr Pro Gold subscription
    • Broadjam Subscription – One year to receive opportunities to get
    • your music used in TV and Films
    • Canadian Music Week – 2 Tickets to the convention in Toronto, March 2010
    • New Music Seminar Guidebook
  • Exposure
    • A&R package critiqued at NMS by industry experts
    • Performance at the New Music Seminar immediately after the final panel
    • MySpace promotion
    • Yahoo! Music – Exclusive front page video debut for your next video
    • Pandora targeted ad campaign
    • OurStage Feature
    • WE + PR campaign to promote winner
    • Ariel Hyatt PR Blog Campaign
    • Corey Denis Cyber PR Social Network Makeover
    • A&R Package sent by NMS to top A&R execs in North America (top 10 semi finalists)
  • Monetize
    • Sabian Cymbals
    • Guitar Center $1000 Gift Certificate
    • Rainbo Records1000 CD’s manufactured
    • Mozes Connect Subscription
    • Ross-Ellis 500 deluxe vinyl jackets (packaging only)

For more details on the entry rules and contest please go to:

About The New Music Seminar

From the co-founder and director of the original legendary New Music Seminar comes a conference for the Next Music Business.  Artists have never had so much power to control their own careers and build their success. This affordable, one-day event gives artists and their representatives the knowledge, tools and connections to step into the tomorrows music business today. Delegates get an intense program including a keynote speech and four Movements with an incisive curriculum redefining the music business from the artists’ perspective. Delegates all receive the New Music Business Guidebook filled with important do’s and don’ts by the experts, tips, information, forms and essential websites and blogs.  The NMS Schmoozatorium will have important exhibits by companies to help artists with their careers and amazing networking opportunities

About OurStage

OurStage is emerging as one of the hottest new-music discovery platforms on the web.  On OurStage, artists, fans and industry professionals all come together – to discover, judge, & enjoy the best new music and the best new artists online – as ranked by the fans.  Top-ranked artists receive significant career-building promotion and support from famous artists, fans, industry professionals and a broad assortment of partners, including MTV2, ABC Radio, Radio-One, AOL Music, Bonnaroo, Bumbershoot, PLUG Awards, Newport Folk Festival, JVC Jazz Festival Newport, Paste Magazine, CMJ, Noise Pop, and many others.  Founded in 2007, OurStage delivers music and related content to more than 4 million fans in over 140 countries each month.