Part Two can be found here:
You can see pictures of Most of the artists mentioned here on our special visual page
And of course HEAR them on the NBT Podcast, talking and singing rare tracks, cool festive ditties and songs not yet released. That goes out on the 21st Dec 09.
2009 was a funny old year. Full of doom and gloom and displays of sadness, some heartfelt, some purely for the camera. Reality music shows increased in viewership and the cynical sad little man that is Mr Cowell even went online to complain about people daring to vote for Rage Against The Machine to top the Uk charts over Christmas. It would spoil his no talent ‚product‘ hopes and dreams he said..The major music companies kept up their moans and groans and attempts to muzzle independent musicians and websites. They tried to make You Tube take away most of their content hoping to entice browsers back to watching/listening to the 10 artists that they could be bothered to promote, and for every artist they turned ‚‘invisible‘ on the site another Three new exciting acts popped up ! And weirdly after years and years of saying that a big reason for music being so expensive was the artwork and packaging etc.. the price of buying the major label stuff online wasnt really that much cheaper. It was the year of the comeback.. Eminem, Jennifer Lopez and Robbie Williams, all of whom, thankfully didnt do nearly as well as their owners had hoped. The biggest comeback of course was Michael jackson who had to take the radical step of dying to achieve his years success. His record company took the opportunity to flood the stores with everything he ever made, grinning and slobbering their way to the bank happy in the knowledge they wouldn’t have to waste time promoting or helping any new talent.
But… you know what?
Outside the mainstream, away from the rumble and mumbles, the music just got BETTER.
It stayed honest and it took chances and it captured hearts and minds and souls by the millions.
And NBT remained part of that.
Here, in no particular order, are the Wonderful Ones of 2009.
Darren Gaines and the Key Party
The Bar-room Balladeer, the RocknRoll Poet this was the howl heard 20 seconds before closing time and the whispers FELT in bedrooms hours later.
The Key Party in their own words:
2009 was a year. The Key Party was called “menacing” and “tuneful.” My Blacks Don’t Match was called “a perfect rainy day record for those times when you feel like something a little soulful and sad on your stereo” (Jersey Beat) and the full-length made some top records lists of the year including, of course, Next Big Thing’s. We played some wonderful shows as artist-in-residence for The Gershwin Hotel, Manhattan and had a stripped down version of The Key Party short listed as one of the top live shows of 2009. Our subversive lounge music was dubbed “noir rock”. Lastly we graced our first glossy magazine cover (well our name if not our faces) in a wonderful interview in the Spanish Mag, Ruta 66 (December 2009).Some of my favorite quotes from the year were:
“a poker game between Jim Carroll and Lou Reed, the shock sweetened by jiving horns and vocalist/violinist Sara Syms adding grace to the battle… There is a true sense of urban epic in these songs.” – Next Big Thing
“The band may play in a very stylized genre - think every noir style ever invented, from Tom Waits to Lou Reed – yet so much of their material is out-of-the-box imaginative.” – Lucid Culture
“a musical mud sluice leading to a bluesy underworld that is as endearing as it is frightening… you get the sense that Darren Gaines was raised in a world where you’d be happy to keep a family of sewer rats as pets, or even friends. Despite the dark and dingy analogies that I’ve been overusing in this opening paragraph, the fact is that, simply put, I love this album.” – itsnothebandihateitstheirfans
“… eleven swaying, jazzy and devilish sounding tracks, which by conclusion you are ready to attend the party again!” – The Fire Note
2010 will be another year. The Monsters! are coming… The primary focus of TKP will be Billboards! (our next PROJECT). We’ve completed two songs including Monsters! which is available as a teaser track on Next Big Thing. Billboards!, intends to be an out of the ordinary release…
Mixing elements of Prog, Folk, Ambient and even Electronica and Dance, HuDost raged hard, gleefully, against the dying of the light. Making the world glow just a little bit more wherever their music was performed.
HuDost in their own words:
Oh, to summarize a year…what a strange process. Years are the selection of segments of time that blend into the whole. They, and time for that matter, are the strange encapsulation of human perception of the life process…the measurements of moments of birth, growth and disintegration of form before that which is being observed becomes the material and conceptual basis for newly generated life. With the daily and yearly enshroudments of “time” we lose sight of the whole…an expansive, unidentifiable universe in which time is irrelevant. With that said, 2009 has been a phenomenal year.
We toured for eight months out of the year, performing at a good number of wonderful performing arts centers and festivals (Including headlining NPR’s World Fusion Festival, FloydFest, the Levitt Pavilions, Tim Robbins’ WTF Fest, and many others). In May we released our new album ‘Trapeze’ which was produced by Grammy winner Malcolm Burn (Emmylou Harris, Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan) that was recorded right after I (Moksha Sommer) was diagnosed with a brain tumor and prior to surgery. I have gone through an astounding healing process using music as the primary tool to regain language abilities. Every year is a strangely intriguing mixed brew in a bucket…the question, of course, is whether it is half empty or half full. I have done a census and the members of HuDost think it is definitely half full and getting fuller. After all, we will be touring Germany in 2010!!!
Yang May Ooi
Is a writer and blogger, specialising in cross-cultural issues and social media.
Promotes, discusses, hypes and BELIEVES in the Net. The Blogs the apps, the fads and the innovations, she knows its a brave cool new world and everything she writes spreads the message.
Yang May in her own words:
The high point of 2009 for me was the publication of my book International Communications Strategy, co-authored with cross-cultural communications expert, Silvia Cambie. The book explores the rise of emerging economies such as India and China, and also the rise of emerging technologies like social media and their impact on global business communications. We spent much of the summer promoting the book with interviews and articles in mainstream media as well as on blogs and podcasts. Writers like musicians have to do the rounds of promotions and publicity, too, and we’ve been finding that making connections through blogs and Twitter has been just as relevant at reaching our target audiences as being profiled in journals and so on.
The lows of the year? I started running earlier in the year and it was frustrating not having enough time to build upon a promising start. I’d got myself fairly fit and then let things slide so I’ve had to huff and puff and claw my way back from flabbiness this autumn! Here’s hoping that I can keep the running up through the winter into a fit and fabulous new year…!
The archive release of the year.
NBT got to interview Barbara Stowe, the daughter of Greenpeace Founder Irving Stowe and discovered a woman that still believes that through Action and Belief wrongs can be righted and that the spirits shown all those years ago still exists to this day.
From the Greenpeace Canada website: ‘’The two-disc CD takes you back to October 16th 1970, when 10,000 people gathered in the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver to hear Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Phil Ochs and support the very first Greenpeace action ever taken – the legendary voyage to Amchitka to protest nuclear bomb testing.’’
Read the interview here:
Electronica that dares to dance dirty and dance seductive, sometimes playing at being angels, sometimes hi-lighting the devils within themselves this Brisbane group made some truly beautiful music this year.
Dizzy Gotheca in their own words:
In September we released our second EP ‘A Little Closer To The Truth’ which we are really proud of. Scene Magazine describes the EP as ‘a journey of love, hope and evocative electronica bliss’. This avante pop electronica exploration features tracks we worked on with esteemed local producers Lawrence English, Joe Panetta and Wernher Pramschufer. It features the QSong nominated track ‘Little Beat’, the infectious and gritty dance/pop of 313 and the ethereal hymn Sky Over Israel.
I (Heidi) also organised a fashion show which we played at. It featured the amazing avante garde designer ‘Athan Jon’ collaborating with visual artist Anthony Jigalin and body painters, as well as beautiful summer dresses from my sister’s label ‘Mariposa’, and some other great bands and DJs. Our Anthony (Smith) organised ‘Holes and Poles’, a Brisbane queer band fest… Anth also made our first hand made home made video clip which we filmed (with a camcorder) on beautiful Bribie Island (see http://www.myspace.com/dizzygotheca). We got to play some great shows, including at the Hangar which is an awesome underground venue here in Brissie as well as Brisbane’s second Fete de la Musique.
We are doing a little DIY tour down the east coast of Australia early in March. We might make it to Japan and Europe at the end of 2010. We will be writing lots of new songs for sure – we held off writing much new stuff until our EP came out. You can also expect more hand made videos and podcasts ! We will be putting our first LP album together…hopefully! Hopefully the muses and gods of inspiration will be helping us.
And so we boogie back to the garage, raw poprock nuggets for the 1st decade of the new century, looking back jumping forward.
The Thromboes in their own words:
Well, here it is the closing of another year. The Tromboes CD, “She’s Like A British Car” came out this spring and for that reason 2009 was a productive year. The Thromboes are: Dave Powers , bass guitar; Bongo LaHair on drums, and Larry Levy on vocals and guitars. The CD was my first attempt at vocals so in a sense it was my coming out. I have to say that singing was the most fun I’ve had musically in years since I had no idea what the end result would be. I winged it! My lyrics were the driving force.
As always, Dave Powers, who I have had the honor and pleasure of working with on three Swiv-o-matic CD’s and three Histrioniks cd’s was keeping up the bottom end with his superb bass playing and musical ideas. Cat Levy put down harmonies on three of the songs. She was the lead singer on all three Histrionik CD’s as well and along with Dave are the most creative artists I’ve ever worked with. So again, 2009 was a productive year for me.I am planning another CD due out next year that will either be another Histrioniks CD or another Thromboes CD. Perhaps, you the NBT audience, can weigh in. Write to me at either myspace with any ideas or suggestions.
Until then, a happy and healthy holiday season to all and best of luck with your musical endeavors. A special thanks to Martin for all his efforts and support. Without you my friend, none of this would ever be possible. You rock!
Spiky glam slightly gothic flirty industrial very dance floor.. the ingredients never stop sliding into this Popfantastic audio concoction.
Izzie Voodoo in her own words:
‘2009 has been an up -the- scales affair beginning with the welcome addition of Sarah Bird’s second vocals to iZZiE Voodoo’s live outfit. Sarah has brought yet another superb dimension to the Voodoo stage performance with her exotic (towering!) lively stage presence which adds to the verve, determination and excellence of our trio. With careful rehearsal this has now become tight and vibrant, enhanced even further by our new permanent backdrop of projected visuals, directed by bass player, Lawrence. This has bought us a well earned live reputation- the kind that generates requests for several last minute gigs in a week at different venues , in between our schedule.
February brought a surprise when the organisers of ‘Song of the Year 2009′ demanded ‘Control Freak’, a song which was still in the studio, should be nominated into the final rounds.
Deuce Management have been helping promote my studio material and ‘Control Freak is now finished with preparations being made for it’s release in early 2010, backed by ‘some weird video or other’. The rest of the year will follow, with a string of new singles rather than an album and many more gigs which are to be confirmed including an appearance at the Electronica venue at the Whitby Goth Festival. We are very excited- and so should you be!’
All Day Sucker
Harmonies and sun drenched power pop, glossy cinematic tall tales, with shiny wry coating this was an all day, all night party for the intelligent.
All Day Sucker in their own words:
2009 started off predictably with New Years Day and never really took off from there. The characters were two dimensional and never transcended their roles to make for any long lasting or meaningful impression. Although the plot took many unexpected twists and turns there was no real pay off. The story was ripe for high drama, true human emotion and true spiritual poignancy, however it became too self aware and settled for cliches and mundanity. Still, it did set itself up beautifully for a triumphant sequel in 2010 that could potentially make sense of the entire opus and exalt the entire story into a masterpiece to be reveled for all time.
This complicated simple stuff…This sparse set of minimal tunes took on the big subjects, love , hate and work and quietly became one of NBT’s most loved recordings of the year.
Detroit Rebellion in his own words:
”2009 was a year of reinvention for me.
I returned to playing music while reinventing my relationship to it… as well as the way I play
it. I went back to my earliest memories to begin again. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done
I am looking forward to 2010.
By returning to the past, I’ve got a new outlook on the future. I am excited about the idea of
writing new songs that incorporate a bit more ofwhere I’m going than where I’ve been i.e. future
D-Mitch and Spoonfull
It was always a pleasure to get good rap music sent my way, and ‘’Keep The Change’’ was a collection of the very best, using hip hop as a mere starting point and venturing into folk and soul and late night trip hop.
D-Mitch and Spoonfull in their own words:
2009 was a huge year for us. We started working on our debut full length, “Keep the Change,” in March and focused all of our efforts on its release throughout the summer. After putting out the record on October 31st, we took some time to promote individual songs online and perform a handful of local shows. In 2010 we plan to promote the new record, play some local gigs, and release several individual tracks online for free. We are also looking to tour Europe for roughly a week sometime in late spring if possible. All in all, it was a great year and we look forward to what 2010 has to offer. Thanks to Martin and NBT for allowing us to be a part of this fantastic podcast!
Memphis Reigns and Hypoetical
Staying in the hip hop genre for now, another collective who transcended borders and barriers, the Mind Mechanics of the Skeleton Crew Diaries arrived full of unforgettable hooks and shiver inducing urban pop tunes. An instant classic.
In their own words:
Very successful year for myself as an individual and the Mind Mechanics Crew. 2009 re-sparked my love for music. It resulted in the recording of the Skeleton Crew Diaries with D-Mitch and the Allied Forces EP with MC Piloophaz from France and long time partner in rhymes, hypoetical.
After such a long hiatus, it felt good to get back into studio.
2010 should bring many good things. My solo, The Frog Hill Legend is near completion and work onthe Mind Mechanics 2 album has begun.
Thank you to all the fans who kept our music alive. Happy holidays to all!
Been a great year for me in all aspects of life, especially creatively. Despite getting a pink slip,
I was able to re-route my path to music and focus on the arts again. I was glad to put out some
new works and collaborate with others who share the same passion for music. 2010 should be an even better year for me and especially the Mind Mechanics crew as we chip away at finishing a second full length LP. Nonetheless, I can’t thank all the fans/listeners enough for their continued support because when it comes down to it, we wouldn’t exist if there weren’t folks out there who listened to the music. Happy new year to everyone!