The Wonderful Ones
The Best Acts of 2007 featured on NBT
Those who lived and were (at least mentally) young during the birth of Jazz or Rock or Punk will know what I mean.
The beginning of a new time in popular music, dangerous to some, exciting to many others.
A new way, a new life-force, a new country.
Misunderstood and feared, those who held the ‘old’ powers tried to defeat it, manipulate it, and worst of all, just pretend it did not exist.
And as this giddy screaming, giggling, life form took shape so too did NBT.
We had existed before this, but 2007 was the year that our soul was found and our mind grew bright.
And I would like to showcase just a few of the Wonderful Ones, the artists who made 2007 beautiful and complete. So showing no favourites and in no order of importance, let us begin.
I will say a few words about each act and then let some of them tell you, gentle reader, about their own thoughts on the past year and the one to come.
To me he is the soundtrack to autumn. There is wildness in the quietness between chords and sadness behind the wry smiles. His music is a great old tree, burning gold, reaching for the ever colder air. He soothes and provokes at the same time.
Breadfoot:Uhm and here’s what I got to say about 2007-08;
2007, yeah, uhm a curious year. Slack-ass distributors, crackhead mutha’f**kers camped out on my stoop, and worrying about where our country is headed done wore
Left Brooklyn. Landed in Bynum, an old mill town on the Haw in North Carolina. Now pretty much settled, am hopin’ mostly to get back to workin’ on the follow up to Tea with Leo, which is gonna be called Salvatella.
So yeah, for 2008 I’m figurin’ my trip is gonna be to get that new disc recorded, keep my old pick-up running, enjoy the green & the quiet and when I can, poke a stick in Washingtons’ squinky, constitution trashing, wrecklessly legislating eye.
When Ryan Adams gets you down because of his lack of quality control on his hundredth release of the year, take a spoonful of Mr Holder’s immaculate Americana bar band soul boogie elixir. You will be dancing the rough and rumble for weeks afterwards.
NBT enjoyed collaborations with a few brilliant companies in 2007, one of which was the wonderful Ariel Publicity. Multi platform (like NBT) and dedicated to getting new independent music out into the world, AP provided not only promotion, but educational resources and intricate networking skills and started debates on many subjects important to any band or label or site that wanted to get anywhere on the world wide web.
As well as all this, Trevor Dye writes a weekly column for NBT, which showcases and interviews important contributors and podcasters from all over the internet.
Bringing back purity of form and honesty to grunge and poppunkRock, This new York based band sidestepped the lethargy of the mainstream. Through a fierce grasp of what it means to be independent and an uncanny skill with hooks and melody, rocked hard all over the net, the virtual and real world and in too many NBT shows to count.
DJ of Gee Davey: 2007 has been a fun and exciting year for Gee Davey. It feels like we really matured, not only as a band, but as an entity. After releasing Sparticle last year, we all sort of took a bit of a breather. But this year, we came back rested and ready. We engaged in a massive, at least for us, push on the CD, including a promotional sweep of all the major College radio stations in the US and Canada, several local tripleA stations, international pod casts, and online radio streams. I’m happy to say that Gee Davey can now be heard regularly in places as wide and diverse as Alaska, Germany, Japan and Russia.
2008 promises to be our most ambitious year yet. We have just completed recording a small EP package for another promotion, but this will be bigger and better. We have geared up our live show to go out in support of our new material, and hope to coordinate a massive push in early 2008, with more radio play, a new video, live performances, social networking and of course the support of those like NBT that have been with us all along.
So that’s our little story. Gee Davey will be reaching for the stars in 2008, and this year we may just get one.
Strangers In Wonderland
A devious wedding took place in Sweden some too far away time ago. Folk slept with Pop Electronica and triplets were born, Mood, Music and Magic.
Crystal vocals and subtle distortion could be heard across Wonderland and the world of NBT too. The strangers had arrived.
The Morrisons/The Legendary Ten Seconds
the jinglejangle of postpunk and post folk and future cool. I think these guys have featured om more NBT casts than any other. And they never seem to run out of passion, ideas or just the lightest, coolest, uplifting tines in this alternative universe. For a traveller on these sometimes too dark roads, you have made my journey easier.
As personal as that first cup of coffee on a winter morning or those quiet dangerous thoughts just after the late movie has finished.
Lauren Fincham: For me, 2007 was a breakthrough year. I learned yet again, what being a real friend actually means. My heart was rescued by Anya – my blue-eyed white Samoyed demon-dog. AND, through some minor health issues and tedious life lessons, I finally completed my 3rd CD – with 2 videos!!
For 2008 my personal wish is to be better organized in promoting and succeeding in my creative and music endeavours. My wish for the world is for me and others to be more conscience of how we treat one another and the planet.
Cheers, namaste, aloha, and au revoir!
In 2007 Lauren joined up with Carol Statella the multi talented string poet, and together they gave the traveller a new dream to visit. A soundtrack for shadows made by firelight, dancing on the wall.
Carol Statella of Rosary : 2007 has been a holy blur. Since spring, opportunities to play and listen and absorb have come in quick succession–to where it’s now time to STOP and daydream, get fallow. Winter is a good time for that.
Ronnda Cadle & The String Poets made a CD that we are endlessly proud of.
Playing with Lauren Fincham (in Rosary) and my dear friend Ron Hipp (fingerstyle extraordinaire) has been nourishing and boundary stretching. Rosary’s EP is in production, and we plan to make it available soon. I hope we’ve made some people feel good when they listen, or just Feel.
In 2008 I want to bring more technical tools to the table in service of expression, and to generate more original sounds in addition to responding to the sounds of others. Whenever I go onstage, I think about what each audience member went through to get to the venue that night. I wonder why they came…what their inner landscapes are like, and how we as transmitters of music can dance in those secret places.
May the muses dance with you in 2008
I wrote this as a review for Ron’s release ‘Lone Wolf’ on CDBaby. This is the sound of the Cowboy, the Truck driver, the Poet, the Ordinary Guy. This is the sound of the great open spaces at long past midnight, when the heart is fearful and the soul is lonely. This is the sound of a brightly lit bar, full of noise laughter and raw, honest music.
This is not afraid to sing of friendship and love and loss. This doesn’t conform to fad or fashion and doesn’t pose. It is as pure as dawn in the mountains and as truthful as city street traffic jams.
Ron Rutherford: 2007 was a banner year for me and my music. I launched my album, Lone Wolf, headlong into the podisphere in the fall and met some of the most helpful and supportive personalities in the music business, namely Host/Producer/Podcasters and their shows. The album has been well received with over 50 plays of my songs on a variety of podcasts since early September 2007. I must also thank Internet radio for being so friendly, accessible and supportive by embracing my album on the air. And, a very special thanks goes to you Martin for airing Lone Wolf tracks for your listeners on many of your Next Big Thing shows…the support is much appreciated!
It’s a brave new artistic world and freedom abounds for independent music everywhere as no longer do the old guard music business gatekeepers run the game of when and where ones music can be recorded, promoted, marketed, distributed, aired and purchased. I’m looking forward to 2008 and fully expect the new media revolution on the Internet to further solidify its stronghold on being THE best avenue and platform for all music of any genre aside from live performance opportunities.
My goals in 2008 are to continue to make connection inroads with the independent scene on the web and work an ever-widening footprint with site presences. Visibility and communication are key to staying actively in touch with peers, friends, and fans through social networks and music sites to get the word out and broaden the horizons for Podcasters and independent music in general. There is amazing music being created out there all the time by an army of great independent music artists and I for one can’t wait to hear what the next big thing is in 2008…no pun intended.
Also in 2008 I plan to record my next album tentatively entitled Coyote Dream. I have been very active at writing new material this year and am very excited to unleash the tunes into the wild and send them on the podcast prowl for all to enjoy.
All tunes by rock bands should be this insanely catchy and crystal pure in their production. Colour Cold have been one of the most delightful bands to work with and release their debut cd ‘Safe From Silence’ in March 08. With elements of hard rock, grunge and metal never overshadowing the pure pop writing this is a band that will OWN the new year. Elizabeth Tsikkos Guitarist for CC, writes a regular column for NBT letting the world in on the highs and lows of an independent band broadcasting all the way from South Africa.
Elizabeth of Colour Cold: With 2008 approaching, we look back and realize the significance of our debut album “Safe from Silence” and how it has changed our perception of the word “independent” for not only our band, but also the many independent artists who we admire and today enjoy great success.
We always knew our first album would be independent, not realizing how important this would be for us as a band and also as songwriters. It is great when fans contact us and ask for new music to be uploaded to our websites, the music that we wrote purely as Colour Cold and gave to the world untouched by anyone except the band and our producer.
Looking back through 2007, we are thankful to everyone who helped and inspired us. 2008 will give you Colour Cold at the start of a long journey, trials are over, and bags are packed. We approach the New Year with more knowledge and crazy ideas than ever before.
There is no way of knowing what the New Year will hold for us, and that is our greatest gift!
We will meet you in the New Year!
Towards the end of 07, it was an absolute pleasure to work with Ollie Hammett and Mark Saunders who provided NBT with one of its best shows ever. Mark talked to Martin Heath of Lizard King Records, and it was shiver inducing to realise that between these two men they were responsible for over 40 top ten UK hits! The show also featured a track from Santogold which made it into the NME’s top twenty singles of the year. Proving once again that NBT is the country you go to find the future.
Another lady who writes on occasion for NBT, this artist makes music for flying. No need for airplanes just plug your mind and soul into one of her creations and you are soaring over exotic strange lands, experiencing the rhythms of gentle dreamers. Her music makes you think of giggling schoolgirls, sensual tangos, dusty attics and sunlight ballrooms.
Barbara Gilles: 2007 has been a great year, and I sense that it has been great for NBT too, I see how many artists were broadcasted and promoted, and for what the musicians in the christmas show (and in every show) say, I know that I’m not the only one who considers you a good friend and an excellent professional. And it makes me happy, because it’s always great to know that one’s friends are doing fine.
My duties for this year are still not finished. Tomorrow I will play a 2 pianos ravel concert with a friend, and on sunday there are two more gigs to go. Only after that I’ll consider myself on vacation (something that I too desperately need).
When I come back from the beach, I’ll start recording my new songs, , although it takes me so much time to make every little step…
The term bittersweet could have been invented for Richard and his music. Also the words Wry and Elegant and Quirky. Piano pop at it’s very best, Richard also proved that in the NBT universe distance means absolutely nothing, and wrote and performed on a duet with Barbara Gilles that was the perfect soundtrack for any listener falling in love or just lost in thoughts about who they really were.
The Heise Bros/ The Hit and Mrs
Nelson and Robert Heise brought the maverick spirit of Big Star, the Replacements and the DBs into the NBt world. Using folk and country rock as a start and a way with a rough and ready boogie and a finely tuned sense of Pop with a capital P, the Brothers bands brought excitement back into what was all too often a polite and bland business.
The Heise Bros: 2007 was actually a quite year on the The Heise Bros. & The Hit & Mrs. front. While The Hit & Mrs. released the critically acclaimed ‘Buried in the Backyard of My Heart’, The Heise Bros. band rested. This was partly due to the Bros. moving back to Ohio from Minnesota. In 2008 one or the other bands is going to release a new album. The recent thought is to record a Christian country album to boost sales from zero to something, so in the vein of that idea we recorded ‘Praise Jesus’ for NBT. ‘Sultry Lips’ is an extra track from the ‘Buried in the Backyard of My Heart’. Hope you dig the tunes. In 2008 we hope for an end to the war, Obama for President, to become huge rock stars and Nelson’s baby to be born healthy and happy.
-Nelson, Robert, Stacie and the rest of the THB & TH&M gang
In an Alternative Universe Dusty Springfield conceived a love child with any member of the Runaways, while The Pixies and the Bangles danced all night and then made out in the back seat of the Folk singers car. The universes collided and the Histrioniks were born, and gave us their short sharp thought provoking tunes.
Listening to a Neykov tune always becomes a personal thing, it is music for fears and desires kept secret from others, but wishing that everyone could understand. Gentle Folk hymns.
Lionel Neykov: “The past year was crucial for me because I put out my first record. I spent 18 months writing and recording songs locked a room a big red brick wall and very little sunshine. And this process really changed me. I figured out what I really wanted from music, re-evaluated a few things… Holding the finished CD was amazing, being able to say “I made that”, it’s a great feeling. But it was even better to see people buy it and respond to it, that was the true reward. I started this project with big dreams of success and glory and ended up wanting none of it. Just the pleasure to sing my songs, to share my stories, and maybe raise a few spirits. So what are my hopes for 2008? That more and more people get to hear my music, share it with others and spread the word to all the corners of the world.”
when it came time to write this about Robert, i was frankly stumped for a few minutes, because trying to pin down the essence of his music is just too damn difficult. He is a chameleon, one second channelling the ghosts of the Small Faces, another making perfect powerpop, the next second writing soulfunk tunes and the very next indie at it’s most gleeful
One simple thing: the Eagles WISH they still made music this cool.
Lisle Engle: Music has always been a constant in my life. I sang on my first record in 5th grade and got to perform with the Savannah Symphony for their Christmas Concert. I played trumpet in the Jazz band in High school. My father was a minister and played folk songs to the smiles of many. Finding bands like U2, REM, Dead Kennedys, The Clash…. And on and on…. Brought new ideas and ways of thinking that were very different from my private school southern upbringing. I have been fortunate enough to be able to take what I have heard and learned, and be able to transform it all into an expression of my own. I have found that the constant ebb and flow of life have brought songs into my life and then out again… And over time have created a diary of sorts for the waves of experience that have washed over me and then away again. Now at the ripe old age of 41, I now have the ability to create and record as I feel; without the intrusion of the industry machine, telling me what to write, what to say, what will sell. These people who run the business really have nothing to contribute to the creative process of writing great music. Such music comes from the heart and from a desire to express to the world, what the songwriter is feeling and thinking about life that surrounds us all. Most of the bands that I love have never sold a million records. That is probably why I love those bands. Great music mostly comes from the artists on the fringe that are not concerned with the bottom line of record sales, but instead yearn to tell the world something about how they feel about life and their position in it. I now have a child coming to me and my lovely wife Eliza in June and believe that this experience will open doors yet undiscovered to me. I look forward this year to following a new path and seeing where it leads me. I’m happy that the Web has opened everything up to the individual and has stripped the industry of it’s ability to sell mediocrity to the masses. That will continue I’m sure, but fortunately I will not be a part of it. I will continue to write and sing and play what life brings to me and, hopefully, be able to share a little bit of what I am feeling with the rest of you! Happy Holidays! No Turning Back!