Tag Archives: Christmas

Tegan Marie Releases “A Christmas Tree” Video

tegan marieTegan Marie, the adorable twelve year old country starlet who recently joined Kelsea Ballerini for a duet, just released her brand new video for “A Christmas Tree,” her original Christmas song.

The track comes at the ideal time, as many people are blasting the holiday tunes and getting themselves into the spirit. Check out the video below and let us know what you think in the comments:

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Q&A: The Stolen’s Dom Cuce

the stolen.jpgNew Jersey has a penchant for churning out some of music’s biggest up-and-comers in the music word, and alternative five-piece The Stolen are no exception. The band have been working hard since they first stepped onto the scene and show no signs of stopping anytime soon!

Planet Stereo had the chance to sit down with Dom Cuce, vocalist of The Stolen, to talk about life on the road, creating music, and just what’s on his Christmas List this year.

 

Planet Stereo: Hey, how are you?

Dom Cuce: I’m good thanks, finally took a break for lunch [laughs]. How about you?

PS: I’m well thanks. You’re in Nashville today, is that right?

DC: Yeah, we’re really enjoying it! It’s a really cool place to be!

PS: Yeah, it must be. Everyone seems to be there today [laughs].

DC: It is! We just finished up lunch, so we’re enjoying it, and it’s a great place for musicians.

 

 

PS: You’re currently on tour with The Big Time and We Are Forever. How is the tour going so far?

DC: So far, it’s been awesome. Our first day of the tour was in Indianapolis. We’d never met them prior to that, so we’d never spoken to them, and we didn’t really know what to expect. We finally met them, and they’re just awesome guys; they’re great musicians, great people, you know, just cool people to hang around.

PS: So no pranks yet?

DC: Not yet! I’m assuming we’ll wait until the end of tour! [laughs]

PS: I also saw a video from the first day of tour, and it looked like you guys were already off to a very interesting start…and you guys seem to eat the strangest things on the road!

DC: [laughs] Yeah…eating on the road is pretty crazy. Personally, I try to eat as healthy as I can. So everyone will go and get these crazy fast food things, and I’m just going to go and get a salad or something. But yeah, on the road, you eat some crazy things, uh, at two a.m. there’s not really much to choose from.

PS: No kidding. This is when everyone sends a silent ‘thank you’ to WaWa and their fresh foods.

DC: Yeah, you take what you can get on the road sometimes. […] Being from Jersey, WaWa is always right around the corner for us, so we just always go there.

PS: And every state seems to be getting them!

DC: Right?! We stayed with a buddy in Orlando last summer, and we were right down the road from a WaWa, and we’d been on the road for a few weeks, so we hadn’t seen one. So we went there for, like, every meal. It’s an addiction.

PS: Speaking of touring, you guys do a lot of it! I mean, you just grind it out consistently. How do you guys even function being on the road this often?

DC: I feel like, well, tour is our norm. We’re so used to it now, and, while it’s not necessarily something we look forward to all the time, it…at least, for me, anyway, it feels like what we’re supposed to be doing. It feels right to be on the road, and like, we all have other things we need to do; I’m in school online, and so are two other guys in the band, so, we just have to be on top of everything. You can’t wait to do your school work, you have to do it when you have the time. So touring for us, like I say, is the norm, and it feels right, so it’s easy to function for us.

PS: What is something you’ve learned on the road that you wish you’d known back in the day?

DC: Hmm…That’s a tough question, but I like it. You know, I’ve actually learned a lot more about cars. Like, back in the day, when I was in high school, I really don’t know much about cars, and after all the vans that we’ve been through (we’ve been through a couple already), they’ve had their fair share of problems [laughs]. I’ve learned a little more about cars and stuff in general. I guess I could say that I wish I knew then what I know now about vehicles.

PS: Knowing how to solve the problem when the van breaks down.”

DC: Yes! [laughs] Pretty much!

PS: So, back to the music, you recently released your new single, “Chardonnay,” which, I have to say, sounds so upbeat, but the lyrics are so sad! Where did that come from?

DC: Um…it’s kind of like, the way that we looked at it for the music video, kind of “deer in headlights,” this girl is trying to take out this guy, and he’s not really sure, kind of oblivious, stuff like that. We tried to translate that meaning into the video, if you’ve seen it?

PS: I did. It was really well done. I liked it.

DC: Oh, thank you so much. Yeah, we just wanted to make a different video.

PS: So when you’re writing, do you try and stay consistent with your sound, or do you just write the song and hope that it fits in?

DC: Well, recently with our writing, we now have a direction that we know we want to go towards. We recorded [Adults EP] with Jesse Cannon and Mike Oettinger, these two guys, and it was a good start for us, and we started releasing singles. Then we released “Chardonnay,” and figured out that we wanted to go in that direction, and everything we’re writing is going that way. We’re all really pleased. It’s the best stuff we’ve written since we started writing our own songs.

PS: Well, you also recently released an old song, “Memoir.” What made you guys want to record the song after three years of it sitting on a shelf?

DC: It’s crazy! “Memoir” was always that song that we personally loved and we knew that other people loved it as well, and we’re like, “You know, let’s bring it back,” because we thought it was such a good song–not that we want to toot our own horns! But we’re very proud of it, and we just wanted to bring it back, and just see what people think, because we love the song.

 

PS: The funny thing is, it was such a flashback for you guys, and I had a flashback myself. When I saw your name, I was like, “I know that band. I know I know that band…” And I figured it out last night.

DC: [laughs] Oh yeah?

PS: Yeah, I actually interviewed you guys back in 2011 when I was working for Danny Says!

DC: Oh my god! [laughs]

PS: Wayyy back in the day!

DC: Yeah! Man, that is far back…

 

PS: I think I just aged both of us.

DC: Yeah, I’m only twenty and 2011 just feels like…wow. I was so young.

PS: [laughs] Me too! I think you guys were actually working with Scott Nebb at the time.

DC: Yeah! Scooter’s been a really good friend of ours for a while; he’s been on a couple of tours with us, and I think it was two summers ago, we took him on tour, and he was helping us out with so much stuff.

He’s a very smart guy, and definitely knows what he’s talking about, so it’s nice to have someone of that caliber out on the road with you.

PS: Definitely. And that actually leads me to my next question: what have you learned since 2011, working with producers and other musicians?

DC: Hmm…there’s so much that you learn. Producer-wise, we just recorded “Chardonnay” with Paul Leavitt, and you learn so much with that guy, like, the recording process, how to change the song, etc. There’s such a long list. I wish I could talk about it for hours, because I honestly have learned that much.

As for touring with other bands, I don’t want to say I didn’t learn anything, because we’ve learned from our experiences on the road; they’ve really molded us as individuals. Our friends have never had to deal with a van breaking down in the middle of a state, or something like that. There’s just different scenarios that we’ve learned in that others haven’t had the chance. You learn so much more by experience on the road than you do in a classroom.

PS: I don’t doubt it. That makes me question as well; you said you were doing school online. What are you majoring in, if I’m allowed to ask?

DC: Of course! I’m currently majoring in marketing. So I’m able to just take my laptop on tour, and whenever I can, whenever we’re at a hotel or anywhere with wi-fi, I do some work, and hopefully get it done before the deadlines.

PS: It’s funny, in my last interview, I asked about social media and how much it’s changed. Do you guys struggle to keep up with all of these platforms, now that it’s gone from the Big Three to the new…eleven, or whatever it is now?

DC: Yeah, with social media, that’s always something we’ve always been really on top of. As an individual, I love social media. I mean, not to the point that I’ll be sat having a conversation and on my phone the whole time, but I love the idea around it. Like, how you can spread something instantly, and how, even though it’s a sad event, with Paris, we had that information in an instant. So the Internet can spread so much so quickly, and we’ve definitely done our best to stay on top of that. We’re good at it. We like to stay on top of our social media, and posting, and staying in touch with fans.

PS: It sounds like you guys have a good system with it. You actually brought up exactly what my next question was. With the events in Paris, we have a lot of people questioning the safety of shows, but we’ve also seen the music community rallying together to mourn Paris and also stand up for that safety. Why now, more than ever, do you think music and the community are so important?

DC: Well, like you said, it was so unfortunate, and now people are questioning their safety and the safety of their children when they go to a show. I just think it’s important for everyone to come together for this, because it’s a terrible event, and I honestly believe that music is an escape. It’s so unfortunate that, you know, you go to that show as an escape, and something like that happens. But we all have to remind ourselves that one show, one horrible event, stops us from doing what we love. I think it’s important that we’re all aware, and that we know we have to be safe, but I think, don’t stop going to shows, don’t stop playing shows if you’re a band, just, you know, be aware.

PS: You guys are living proof of that, being on tour now. What’s in store for The Stolen after this tour and after the holiday rush?

DC: We’re always writing, and we always have an acoustic guitar on the road. So when we have free time, and no one’s doing school work, we’ll sit down and write. We always plan on touring, but after this tour, we’ll probably continue writing, although we already have a bunch of songs. But we want to write way more, and narrow it down to the songs that we think best suit an album, then we’ll record, tour, more writing, more touring. It’s basically the same, we just try to go harder every time.

PS: Speaking of the holidays, is there anything special on the gift list? I know there’s normally always something in the back of everyone’s mind.

DC: Oh, man! I don’t even know! Let’s see…this is tough. A PS4? Or maybe a new mic? Like, I’m not really sure [laughs]. I haven’t put too much thought into it. I was talking to my mom the other day, and she asked me, “What do you want for Christmas?” And I’m like, “I don’t know! I’m twenty years old! I don’t even know if I need anything!” I’m sure as the time comes, I’ll have something in the back of my head.

PS: Normally I hear a lot of bands say they demand homemade food for Christmas.

DC: Oh my god, yes! Touring is great, but sometimes, when you get to go home and sleep in your own bed, or eat homemade food, like, Thanksgiving, I can’t wait! We get home right before Thanksgiving, so you go from being on tour and going from restaurant to restaurant to sitting at home with your family to a nice home-cooked meal, it will be awesome.

PS: That and no more sleeping in bunks, you can wash your clothes, etc. It’s a big deal.

DC: Definitely. Like, for a Christmas list, I don’t really have anything, but for after the holidays, doing my laundry on a regular basis, eating home-cooked meals, and getting to sleep in my bed, that’s my Christmas list!

PS: Just go home with your tour bag, hand it to your mom and be like, “Happy Christmas. Thanks!”

DC: [laughs] Hand it off, be like, “That’s my Christmas present!” I kid, I do my own laundry, so I’d feel so guilty. I’d do it, walk away, and then come back, and just be like, “I’m just kidding, I’ll do it. I’ll go throw it in the wash now.” I’d feel guilty.

PS: Aww, so you’re the good son.

DC: I try to be.

PS: So my last question needs an asterisk, because I don’t want anyone thinking that this is a threat…

DC: Oh…[laughs]

PS: This is in no way a threat on your life, anything you hold near and dear, etc. But if this was your last conversation, and you knew you could choose your last words, what would they be and why?

DC: Um…wow. That’s tough, but it’s interesting. I can understand why people panic. [laughs] I guess I would want it to be more towards my family, but for the person to know the person that I am. Man, this is tough. I guess a piece of advice for anyone, “Just do what makes you happy.” As an individual, I believe it’s important to do something that makes you happy. Being able to tour with this band and see places that I never thought I’d see before, I guess I’ve always been happy, and I guess I just want people to know I was happy.

 

For more on The Stolen, click HERE. To purchase a CD or buy concert tickets, click HERE.

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Young Statues Stream “When The Lights Go Up”

Young Statues

 

There are a million reasons people say “bah humbug!” to the holiday season, but artists releasing new Christmas music is not one of them. Young Statues have released their new Christmas song, “When The Lights Go Up,” which you can stream below.

 

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Have Yourself a Merry Little Playlist

It’s here, kiddies! Every child’s favorite day of the year: Christmas. You’ve woken up at the crack of dawn, slipped into your slippers, run down the stairs, tore a couple of trees apart to get to the awesome present inside, and now you’re getting ready for a hectic (albeit fun) day with family, and you need a soundtrack.

Don’t worry, Planet Stereo has you covered. Here are 25 songs (see what I did there?) to get you in the Christmas spirit! We’ll get you…

…Arm-flailing, stuck to an icy pole…

xmas 2

…jumping on a gigantic Christmas tree excited.

xmas

 

1. “What’s This?” – Fall Out Boy covering The Nightmare Before Christmas

2. “When The Lights Go Up” – Young Statues

3. “Last Christmas” – WHAM!…or We The Kings, depending on your preference.

4. “Cold December Night” – Michael Buble

5. “Santa Stole My Girlfriend” – The Maine

6. “Winter Wonderland” – Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett

7. “Still” – Jocelyn Arndt

8. “I’ll Be Home” – Meghan Trainor

9. “Little Angel” – The Lost Brothers

10. “Yule Shoot Your Eye Out” – Fall Out Boy

11. “It’s Christmas and I Like You” – The National Parks

12. “Christmas Time Again” – BoyMeetsWorld

13. “Text Me Merry Christmas” – Straight No Chaser and Kristin Bell

14. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” – Idina Menzel & Michael Buble

15. “My Christmas List” – Simple Plan

16. “Lonely This Christmas” – Frank Hamilton

17. “Just Another Night” – Sweet Suspense

18. “Kiss Me Babe, It’s Christmas Time” – Owl City

19. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” – Mariah Carey or My Chemical Romance

20. “Merry Christmas You…” – The Breakdowns/Frank Turner

21. “Wrapped In Red” – Kelly Clarkson

22. “Winter Song” – Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson

23. “Without You” – Hey Monday

24. “Rockin Around The Christmas Tree” – Brenda Lee

25. “Mistletoe” – Lucy Hale

24. “Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass” – All Time Low

25. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” – Christina Perri or Sam Smith

 

Check out the playlist below:

 

xmas 3

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Last Minute Gift Guide For The Music Maniac In Your Life

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…”

No, really, it’s almost here, and if you’re anything like the Average Joe/Josephine (or, you know, me in past years), you’re running a little bit behind on getting gifts for people. Planet Stereo empathizes; some people are difficult to buy for, especially musicians/extreme music fans (let’s call them Music Maniacs). But no fear! We’re here to give you a quick last minute gift guide that will make everyone happy–including your wallet!

 

FOR THE MUSICIAN

Ernie Ball Guitar StringsEarthwood, Slinky, Cobalt, Slinky Bass, Everlast (WARNING: Can be pricy!): Every guitarist/bassist could use some new strings for when they’re shredding on the guitar

ERN 2221 LIST

 

Vic Firth Drumsticks

41cG44VeYFL

 

Gig Survival Kit for Guitarists

Gig Survival

 

 

Pick Cutter

pick cutter

 

 

Music Shop Zippered Pouch – whether it’s for makeup/skincare/etc. on tour, or even just a cute little gift for the musician in your life, it’s the thought that counts!

gfm pouch

 

Vintage Gibson Black Guitar Knob Cufflinks – Keeps your favorite musician looking classy, while showing off their style.

gfm

 

Gifts For The Music Lover

Drumstick Chopsticks – Eat rhythmically; great also as a housewarming present!

Drumsticks

 

Music Note Art Prints – Nothing is cooler than the gift of art…except when it’s made up by music!

gfm2

 

Treble Clef Bangle/Bracelet – A cute, simple bangle that is a conversation starter.

gfm3

 

 

Music Box Subscription (at least one box!) – Coolest present for any music lover, especially one that likes to listen to some new bands.

image170-600x552

 

Did you gift any of these things? How did it go?!

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The Way Away’s Christmas Present to Listeners

The Way Away

Pop-punk band The Way Away are hoping to brighten listeners’ holiday season this year, giving away their album, Carry Onaway for free! On Friday, December 19th, the band will launch the free download, letting it run until Christmas as a gift of thanks to those who have supported the band and those who are just stumbling across their music. Click HERE to go to the Bandcamp page where you’ll be able to download Carry On. Below, you can see The Way Away’s video for their single, “Retrospect.”

The Way Away Carry ON

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Jocelyn Arndt Releases New Christmas Single

Jocelyn Arndt

Jocelyn Arndt released her new Christmas song, “Still,” earlier this week. The song is a beautiful ballad that speaks more about taking a moment to appreciate a time of calm, and stillness. The single can be streamed below:

 

The beautiful, melodic tune will enchant listeners with stunning vocal work and well-orchastraeted instrumentals. With violin provided by the Arndt’s 17 year old cousin, classical violinist, and Itzhak Perlman protege, Kate Arndt, this definitely needs to be added to your Christmas playlist.

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The National Parks Release Video & Christmas Song

the national parks
Ah! The season for Christmas songs is upon us! As someone who has been playing a narrow playlist (yes, I’ve only been playing my favorites) of Christmas songs, I have to admit, I’m looking for a few new ones to add to the list…
Thankfully, The National Parks just released an original Christmas song, “It’s Christmas, and I Like You,” for United Way’s “Sub For Santa.” You can view the video below!
I personally love this song and want to just keep playing it again and again. It’s everything a modern Christmas song should be.
The band also released their video for the hit single, “As We Ran,” which you can also view below. The single has been streamed over 360,000 times on Spotify, and their debut album, Youth, reached number 13 on iTunes Top 20 Singer/Songwriter Charts.
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The Lost Brothers Release Christmas Charity Single

The Lost Brothers

 

The Lost Brothers have released their new single, “Little Angel,” just in time for Christmas. The irish duo have offered the song as a free download, but asked that people make a donation to a children’s charity of choice this Christmas, or to purchase the single from any good download stores with 100% of the profit going to UNICEF (www.unicef.org.uk).

The track started seven years ago as a rough demo recorded in an attic in Portland, resting in the archives until inspiration hit earlier this year while crossing the Irish Sea during a winter storm. You can stream the song below:

 

 

www.thelostbrothers.com

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VIDEO: Sweet Suspense – “Just Another Night”

Sweet Suspense

 

As we all know, the day after Thanksgiving may as well be the week before Christmas. So of course, the X Factor’s Sweet Suspense has released their video for “Just Another Night,” a spirited video which premiered on Radio Disney on Friday, and being aired regularly. The single launched on iTunes on December 2nd, charting on its first day. You can view the video below”

 

 

Sweet Suspense competed on Season 3 of the X Factor USA, earning their spot in the top 12. The girls, Summer Reign, Celine Polenghi, and Millie Thrasher, were put together by Simon Cowell after their solo auditions. Now, Sweet Suspense is signed with Jason Derulo’s record label, Future History. Sweet Suspense is set to release more original music in 2015.
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