The Wonderful Ones 2008 Part Two

wonderful-ones1

And so we continue

Listen to These artists On the NBT special Christmas Show Going Out
19th Dec 08
http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/
Also catch the brand new NBT photo gallery featuring a whole bunch of the artists here:
http://jalbum.net/browse/user/album/82358/

Caroline Herring
‘Lantana’ the third release from Ms Herring, seemed to be shipped from another time and place, steeped in folklore and gothic country dreaming, it became a personal favourite for me, its gentle lucid nightmarish qualities revealing secrets with every listen.
http://www.carolineherring.com

The Histrioniks
Thin, the new release from the Histrionik duo was possible the most delightfully disturbing collection this year. Edgy new Wave and garage, it clung to bona fide punk roots while never losing sight of incredibly catchy hooks and melodies. It had an extremely dark heart though( a good thing ).

Larry: 2008 was an exciting year for The Histrioniks. We released our third CD, “Thin” on our own label, CatErratic Records. We were fortunate to get a publishing deal which will hopefully bear fruit in 2009. In addition to significant internet radio we have received some very positive reviews including an exceptionally creative and thorough critique from Martin, our NBT master of ceremonies. The title song, “Thin” along with “Too Black” and “Shattered Youth” have been the most represented.
For 2009, The Histrioniks are recording several demos that will more than likely be posted on our website. “Sleeping with a Ghost” is our current demo which we sent into NBT for airplay in December. Let us know what you think. There are no plans for a new Histrioniks CD in 2009 but there is a side project in the works that should be finished by the summer. Martin will in possession of a copy as soon as the CD is released so hopefully all of you rock ’n rollers out there will dig it.
To all of our fellow NBT artists we wish you a Happy Holiday season and a prosperous and prolific musical 2009. Of course, as always, our sincere thanks to our friend Martin for making NBT possible.
Cat and Larry The Histrioniks Baltimore, MD USA

Email: levy201@comcast.net
Myspace: www.myspace.com/thehistrioniksWebsite: www.thehistrioniks.com

Luke Jackson
Imagine a collection of lost kinks songs recorded in Sweden by a Canadian artist with a full orchestra guided along with a British film soundtrack sensibility.
And you are only a third of the way in capturing the essence of ‘..And Then Some’

Luke: 2008 was a fantastic year for me. I started it off shooting the video for “Come Tomorrow” in the freezing Canadian Winter. I had finished recording my new album “…And Then Some” in late 2007 and I spent most of 2008 getting ready to release it, which finally happened on November 4th, auspiciously the same day that Barack Obama was elected president! OK, he’s not OUR president, but the less said about Canadian politics the better.

2009 is going to be a mindblowing year. I will be becoming a Father at the end of January, all things being equal, and that is going to eclipse anything else that goes on in my life and career. Still, I hope that by the time my wife and I come up for air, I’ll be able to hit the road and play some dates in Europe and the States. Oh, and there’s a video in production for “Goodbye London” that is not like anything else you’ve ever seen!

http://www.myspace.com/luke_jackson

Richard Kapp

Richard calls himself the ‘Mad Musical Scientist’ but to my mind he is FAR more subtle than that, hiding a passion and an extremely warm heart and soul under the veneer of the gentle cynic. Richard composes brittle show tunes for the thoughtful and the jaded alike.
http://www.richardkapp.com/

Holly Long

I wrote this on the NBT blog about Holly’s ‘Leaving Kansas’
The darkness of mortality and the brilliance of redemption, this is an album of personal strength and victory over fear and falling.
The stories captured here are sharply focused, uncluttered and so very real. This is no doom and gloom epic, but is also no shiny happy people holy missive, it realises that even in redemption there is space for dirt and truth.
And truth can be harsh, as in opening track, ‘Brokedown’ where no punches are pulled, but , Whether this is sung to the mirror or directed to another character, the words may just set the woman free.
And the singer knows that when she sings ‘Trust Me’ it cannot be wrapped in sweetness but must allow for the edge of darkness to be believed.
And the singer knows that to haunt (as in ‘bones’) is to seduce and where there is pain light will always follow. You can be saved by the romance of the harmony and the shimmer of the piano.
And
If anyone fails to be moved and drawn into the world of ‘He and I (For Truman)’ then that poor listener is lost indeed.
A beautifully dark uplifting release.
http://www.hollylong.com/Tunes.html

Lotos Nile

Kissy Black and the Lotos Nile team, (specially Patrick Steven Patterson who deals directly with NBT) are the kind of promoters/distributors that go that extra hundred miles for their artists. Never once indulging in hype or hard sell, they remain one of the most dedicated and trustworthy sources of fine music on the net.
In May NBT was honoured to host a special Lotos Nile show
http://www.nextbigthing.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=334852
http://www.lotosnile.com/

Marcie
Dance, Trance, Techno and just good Pop Electronica are genres that NBT DIDN’T feature too broadly this year,( a state I hope to rectify HUGELY in 2009.) Thank goodness then for Marcie, who brought thrilling dance grooves and sleek chic dance floor rhythms into the dusty NBT barn!
Not only that but this multi tasker hosted the unique podcast `behind the lyric’ which she described as an audio commentary behind the songs we hear at the late night discos.
Marcie: 2008 was an amazing year! I saw the release of quite a few tunes, and had a #1 on the Beatport. com, the recognized leader in electronic dance music downloads. I am proud that a variety of releases made their mark on the scene. I think the highlight of the year was getting steady support from XM radio and the worlds top 10 DJ’s, Paul van Dyk, Armin van Buuren, Markus Schulz, Ferry Corsten, Matt Darey! 2008 saw the release of my EP with Scottish Producer, D:FOLT, and I’m quite proud of the ideas on that album.

My radio show, “Marcie presents Behind The Lyric” had a stellar year, getting picked up by numerous stations worldwide, and featuring many established chart topping artists, as well as new faces! The best thing about the show is that it gives listeners a glimpse into an Artist’s personal creative process. I find working on the show to be a constant source of inspiration for me, and I love that there is now a ‘family’ of artists who have been on the show. Hearing from each other gives us a new respect for our art. Each episode has its own unique character due to the eclectic mix of featured guests! I am grateful that so many guests have opened up to the fans, and shared an intimate part of themselves on my show.

2009 is going to be just as exciting! I’m always in the studio working on new material. Some people tell me not to try to write as much as I do, so I do not risk burnout or over-exposure… but until I run out of things to say, I will keep writing. Sometimes my songs appeal to other people, and sometimes they are just for myself, but either way, songwriting has become an indispensible part of my life. I appreciate all the support from fans, and from sites like NextBigThing. Sharing my creations with you is the greatest blessing I have.
http://www.myspace.com/webmarcie
http://www.myspace.com/behindthelyric

The Jaik Miller Band

With vocals that get right under the skin and scratch at the soul and gritty tightly constructed pop tunes, the Jaik Miller band made you want to go for a drive with the radio on..LOUD.
Recalling and utilizing a very American grasp of country tinged rock and pop, the band calls on the quirky ghosts of the 80s (violent femmes even tom petty) with the irony and sadness of the hectic NOW.
http://jaikmillerband.net

Sheri Miller
One of the most read interviews on NBT this year was with Sheri, as we talked about subjects as diverse as Diamanda Galas, Magic and Charles Bukowski, revealing a singer songwriter intensely creative and forever searching.
Sheri: 2009—-I’m pretty excited, as I’m already half-way through writing my next record, and I’m pretty pleased with the songs so far.
I’ve been road-testing them live at shows, and have gotten really enthusiastic audience reactions, a true litmus test. I hope to start recording this record
next year…cross your fingers for that! And in January 2009- SOON, SOON, I will debut my new music video for “Waste My Breath” on a big screen and all
over the internet. We filmed it in October 2008, in Soho and South Street Seaport of New York City, with over 30 amazing girls lip-synching the lyrics.
They were fantastic, and it was wild to see all these young ladies lip-synching lyrics I had written. Please keep checking back to http://www.sherimiller.com
and myspace.com/sherimiller for updates on the video! And I’d also love if you’d sign up for my email list on either site, to keep you posted on new
shows, videos, free music give-aways, and exciting news. Oh yes! Bring on the 2009!

2008—-After years and years of keeping my head down low in the trenches, playing shows, practicing for hours, and writing hundreds of songs, I
released my debut EP “Mantra” in February. I’m quite proud of it, and it was also received warmly from the press, with some very nice critical acclaim.
I got to play some wonderful shows in NY and LA, ranging from Hotel Cafe to Bowery Ballroom to B.B. King’s to The Living Room, both stripped-down
solo and with a full band (and live string section!) I just found out this month, that I’m featured in Music Connection Magazine’s “Hot 100 Unsigned
Artist” list in their December 2008 magazine. I think you can buy Music Connection magazine in newstands nationwide. I also cut back on my huge
Starbucks coffee addiction, which is a plus, started eating slightly healthier (less buttercream cupcakes and Philly chicken-cheesesteaks) and have
started listening to classical music again. So I’m grateful for 2008, I really feel like I have a lot to be thankful for. Including NBT- a great podcast, and a
wonderful source to discover great new music. Thanks so much, you guys!
www.sherimiller.com

OurAfter
From the NBT review of Tabula Rasa
John Phillips started this turbulent year by writing a blog for NBT about the independent music scene in Pennsylvania, a rare text of promise and optimism and now his band finishes the year with the release of a five song EP that seeks out new sounds while keeping what worked so well in their previous release.
The EP is full of pure pop moments, allowing rough edges to slide into the perfect polish, injecting tinges of darker edgier rhythms from indie grunge influences (Envious Eyes) to the more anthem like sounds of ‘Echo’ that recall Joshua Tree period U2.
The band talks of a ‘mainstream crossover,’ with this EP, and in the creation of these songs have set their sights high, high in the charts of the indie playlists, on the radios and podcasts across the world.
http://www.myspace.com/ourafter

Amy Raasch
Singer/songwriter/actress/poet there was nothing it seemed to us that Amy could not do, and do extremely well. She had her own 52 songs project to keep her busy and/or slightly insane and released the album ‘Love Or Inertia’ to much acclaim. NBT called it ‘’a love letter to the lost, and a shy note to the soon to be found’’
Amy:
If you’ve ever made a dream come true, you may have discovered a fascinating dynamic of human nature: it isn’t long before all you want to do is make the next one happen!
Such was the experience of releasing my debut album, “Love or Inertia,” in 2007. Making that album was the most difficult thing I’d ever done — a true labor of love — and it was thrilling to play songs from it live. Yet as the months progressed, I began to register a growing ache to return to the well of the songwriting process. So, in the dark hours before the dawn of 2008,“52 Songs in 52 Weeks” was born.

I decided I would post the new tunes on YouTube, in a raw, acoustic form — usually learning them as tape was rolling! Minus the luxury of waiting for inspiration to strike, I had to dig for it. And minus the luxury of abandoning too many ideas — for being “not good enough,” “impossible to finish,” stylistically untried, etc — I was forced to loosen my grasp on perfection. The shockingly positive reviews garnered by some of these “risky” songs taught me that I didn’t necessarily know everything about my own songs, and freed me up to take even more chances.

I also found inspiration in the lives of others. As an actor, putting myself in someone else’s shoes has always come naturally, but what crystallizes from a true story into a song is unpredictable and revealing.
“On the Shores of Elsinore,” a bluesy rocker sung from the perspective of a 14 year-old, African-American girl, is one such tune. Confronted with racist boys in big, red trucks in the desert town where her family seeks a better life, she refuses to be bullied even when her life is threatened. “Rooftops of Babylon” expresses the confusion of an Iraq war veteran reviled in whispers she overhears around her hometown, and “Version of Me” shoots from the hip of a defiant teenager gone missing.
All of these people taught me more about life, as did the process of continuing to work even as my own life was plowed through with unprecedented intensity. As a result, I enter 2009 at my humblest, most honest and clearer about my dreams than ever. I am excited to see what will be revealed. My deepest wish is that it will inspire others to make their own dreams come true…one after another.
Your thoughts and opinions on the new songs are welcomed and encouraged. Sign the mailing list at amyraasch.com to share the journey — and to help shape the new album!
http://www.amyraasch.com/

Red Rock Management
Ritchie Koning and the guys at this German based distribution and promotions label are dedicated to getting the best rock and alternative bands to the worlds ears, and introduced NBT listeners to bands from all over including Norway, Italy, the UK and of course Germany. From Industrial to metal to quirky experimental electrix they slipped right into the NBT eclectic.
http://www.redrock-management.de:80/

Sarathan Records

Jonathan Kochmer (owner) and Kara McGraw (head of Marketing) say it all so I will let them take the stage without further ado.

Jonathan: 2008 has been a very busy year for Sarathan Records! Some of the highlights have been our newest releases (War Tapes’ EP, Feral Children’s “Second to the Last Frontier” and Peter Bradley Adams’ “Leavetaking”. Also, I got to tour with my trip-hop band Two Loons for Tea throughout the US for three months, supporting our 2007 release, “Nine Lucid Dreams”. What a blast!

Like all companies throughout the world, big and small, we’re saddened and have been affected by the various global economic crises. But the situation has forced us to think very critically about how we spend every dollar and every minute of our time, and happily, this disciplined outlook has allowed us to simultaneously cut costs, increase efficiency — and to substantially increase sales and our artists’ profiles. A big part of this success is due to the earnest efforts of our growing team of talented interns, both at Sarathan headquarters in Seattle, as well as across the US and Canada. Thanks to all of you!

We’ve only been a full-fledged label since 2006 — so we’re thrilled that 2009 promises to be the year that our artists, and the label, truly explode onto the global music scene. Our 2009 releases will include full-lengths by War Tapes, Abra Moore, Feral Children, Peter Bradley Adams, Two Loons for Tea, our newest artist Thunder Buffalo, and others to be announced later. We’re proud to have such hardworking and talented artists, staff, interns and partners, and look forward to getting our music into the ears and hearts of everyone who might enjoy it. We believe that musical tastes in 2009 will continue to be diverse, which is one reason why we have such an eclectic roster. We also recognize that 2009 is likely to be a very challenging time financially for everyone — but feel ennobled by and proud of being able to offer the gift of music to everyone.

Kara McGraw: Sarathan Records is but one of the many start up companies to take inspiration from Amazon and Microsoft and struggle to come into their own in downtown Seattle. As it is with many labels, the concept of Sarathan started with one band — in Sarathan’s case, Two Loons for Tea. As the reputation of Two Loons for Tea grew, the company gradually expanded to embrace a uniquely eclectic roster of artists whose styles range from singer/songwriter to hiphop to rock. Its small crew of avid music-lovers huddles in a building, once known for being the WTO Anarchist headquarters. Sarathan’s walls picture large, stylized roses and giant hummingbirds that inspire its team to seek out the sweetest things in life: inspiring art, creative music, and good fun!

The year 2008 has carried its share of trials and triumphs for this little indie label. It started off with a bang when the label signed three fantastic artists: War Tapes, Peter Bradley Adams, and the vivacious Feral Children. The responsibility of preparing for three great summer releases transformed Sarathan into a buzzing hubbub of excitement and activity. The marketing team grew to help cover tour and release promotions, and routines were more firmly established to preserve organization during the expansion. As a result of Sarathan’s efforts, Peter Bradley Adams’ album has seen a surge in radio plays, reaching top twenty in the non-com charts and exhibiting some impressive staying power in AAA stations. War Tapes have performed with big names such as Tiger Army, The Bravery, and VNV Nation, and Feral Children been featured alongside Fleet Foxes, Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), and The Ettes. Most recently, Sarathan was proud to announce that Two Loons for Tea was honored as finalist in the 2008 Independent Music Awards.

Despite these successes, this year’s recent financial crisis has unfortunately taken its toll on Sarathan. After cutting as many extraneous costs as possible, Sarathan realized it would have to let go a few of its beloved employees. Heartbroken, yet determined that the “show must go on,” Sarathan looks toward 2009 with faith in its artists and hope for a bright new year.

http://sarathan.com

Dudley Saunders
Simply: Dudley Saunders made the NBT Album of the year by a solo Artist. Ok it seems to have been released in 2007 BUT we only heard of it in 08, The Emergency Lane deserves to be heard by ANYONE who likes the music NBT plays and writes about.
Dudley: “In 2007, I discovered that the old print media had stopped covering underground artists. But in 2008, the blogosphere bucked the mainstream and started to champion THE EMERGENCY LANE – and did a better, smarter job of it than old-media ever did. The result? Burnside Distribution just picked up THE EMERGENCY LANE for an official re-release. I owe it all to podcasters and bloggers who had minds of their own.

And in 2009? I’ve just written and recorded my first song for an independent feature film (which, so far, they like, so keep your fingers crossed). In the spring, I’ll be singing Chris Rael’s song-cycle ARABY in New York. And I’ll be regularly releasing acoustic versions of the songs I’m writing for my next CD, NOVELSONGS – all songs inspired by – you guessed it – novels!
http://www.dudleysaunders.com

Phyllis Sinclair
This gentle Protester….
Phyllis: The beginning of 2008 found me preparing to package my second album, Fathomless Tales from Leviathan’s Hole. It was important to me to present this album in a way that would intrigue because I wanted its stories to be heard. The sentiment of “Fathomless Tales….” didn’t stray far from my first album, Fence Posts and Stones.

Fence Posts and Stones told the story of Hannah, an Aboriginal woman who died in the north end of the city of Winnipeg, and her unique way of coping with the difficulties that met her there while she struggled to maintain her dignity and Aboriginal identity. It also contained songs like “Sleep Baby Blue Eyes” a lullaby which included spoken word in my Cree language, and “North Coast Fisher Wife’s Prayer” all of which I worked hard at writing with integrity and respect for its subjects and subject matter.

My challenge with this new work was to meet, and hopefully surpass, the success of Fence Posts and Stones so that these new stories like “Main Street” and “Sayisi Song” would also be heard amidst “Encinitas” and “Lost for Words”, which I also value for entirely different reasons. The goal for this new album was to, once again present struggle as a powerful impetus for positive change, to view difference as an avenue for exciting exploration, and to shed light on the challenges faced by Canada’s Aboriginal people in a way that everyone could relate to in small way. After wrestling with album titles for over a month, I decided on Fathomless Tales from Leviathan’s Hole, because I felt that that was exactly what this album was: a collection of stories that most everyone could relate to, and which allowed the listener to be taken beneath the obvious surface beauty of life to explore deep, dark and often vulnerable places.

The surprise one finds is that beauty is found here too: to view, to feel, to explore. The stories and packaging of Fathomless Tales from Leviathan’s Hole were designed to allow the listener to be willingly led to witness and explore a side of life whose beauty is often hidden.
I feel that I have met this goal to a great degree since this album was selected as one of the Top Recommended Albums of 2008 by American Music Belgium and was nominated for Best Folk Acoustic Album by the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards.

Along with gaining interest in my music, 2008 presented a deep personal loss. My mother, the last surviving member of her family, the last fluent Cree speaker of our family, and the strongest link to our Cree culture passed away. Her passing leaves a huge hole in our family. She had a unique and humorous way of saying and doing things that were obviously an effect of the colorful and expressive Cree language that she loved so dearly.
As the eldest member of the family, I feel a renewed sense of responsibility to ensure that those things that make us Cree stay alive. Her passing has somehow ignited my determination to document our historical experience and chart our cultural future. How this will reveal itself in my music will be a surprise to us all.

Regardless, my goal in 2009 is to continue writing songs with the same degree of empathy and compassion, to not compromise my sound for one that is more accepted, and make music that everyone can relate to in some small way. I have a lot of work ahead of me in 2009 but as they say….”inch by inch” A valued friend once said to me “Don’t look up the hill and see how far you have to go. Look back down and see how far you’ve come.” Great advice! Best wishes to my fellow songwriters in 2009, health and happiness to all who listen and who support independent music. Peace.
http://www.phyllissinclair.com

Strangers In Wonderland
Another band, another duo who found the magic: in the dark places in the dreaming and in our fragile reality.
Swedish sugar coated spikes of sonic shivers.
http://www.strangersinwonderland.com/

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The Wonderful Ones 2008 Part One

wonderful-ones

The Wonderful Ones 2008 Part One

Listen to These artists On the NBT special Christmas Show Going Out

19th Dec 08

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

Also catch the brand new NBT photo gallery featuring a whole bunch of the artists here:

http://jalbum.net/browse/user/album/82358/

 

Well it’s been 12 long hectic eclectic months since i last featured The Wonderful Ones. In that 12 months the NBT Project became ‘’the little Resource that could.’’

Listenership of the podcast nearly trebled, the readership of the NBT blogs soared to five times as much, the offshoot podcast for darker music was born, and the Alternative country podcast is almost ready for the tear and glare of the internet universe.

Again I was amazed and thrilled to find so much good music out there in Independent Land. Music of honour, strength and passion, Punk, Pop, Soul, Dance, Rock n Folk, all the tribes were heard from, and NBT found itself in the weird position of trying to fit three years of new music in just 356 days.

So. Here they are

The Bands

The Artists

The Resources (labels, promoters, distributers)

The Wonderful Ones of 2008.

Below (in Alphabetical Order) is a bit about each of them, as well as thoughts from the bands/artists themselves about this past turbulent year and their hopes for 2009

Ariel Publicity/Rhoda

Those who are regular readers of NBT, know that we host the Ariel ‘New Media Pioneer Interviews’ which showcase those brave souls/podcasters/bloggers who spend their time promoting independent music on the net. But of course AP is much more than that; it is tireless in its efforts to expose new artists to the world, to get them seen on as many stages (virtual and worldly) as is possible. I asked Ariel to choose and artist for selection onto this blog and here is Rhoda.

A native of Uganda, Rhoda was raised in the Washington, D.C. area, where East and West African rhythms, pop, jazz, Broadway, R&B, and hip hop music imbued her childhood, creating a unique hybrid in her musical sensibilities. As a member of various choral groups, from school and church choirs to a female a capella group while attending the University of Virginia, Rhoda’s musical instruction includes five-part harmony and piano. Her talent emerges from deeply within, guided by a natural force of love and passion for all things creative.

Rhoda: The year that was 2008 has been yet another wonderful year in my musical journey. Early in 2008, I joined a rock band as one of three lead vocalists performing at various charitable events, including fundraisers for local school communities and AIDS research, with some incredible celebrities, including Paul Shaffer, American Idol Ruben Studdard and American Idol contestant Kimberly Locke. As the year progressed, I continued to bring the West Village, Harlem and even Jersey City’s respective houses down performing with the greatest funk cover band in the land, Loose Booty.  And in September of 2008, I released my second solo album. The album Rhoda is my deepest treasure; my collection of soulful songs of the heart which explore some of the most significant relationships of my life.

As 2008 draws to a close, I look back with an inspired and adoring eye, remaining ever-grateful for all the beautiful harmonies sung, every amazing solo played, every kind word of support and encouragement from MySpace friends, music bloggers, and warm faces in the audience, and most of all, for every moment I saw and felt someone moved by the music I feel so honored and compelled to create.  As I look forward to 2009, I see myself performing intimate acoustic sets at various venues in New York City and throughout the East Coast, I see many more endless hours of the funk brought to you by Loose Booty, and yes, I see album number 3 which me and my incredible producer, Kareem A. Walkes, have already started writing. It’s going to be a lovely ride. I hope you’ll join me.

http://arielpublicity.net

http://www.rhodankojo.com/

Bilkis

Bilkis aka Sophie brought a stripped down electronica/folk into the NBT world in 2008, melding the ghosts of This Mortal Coil, and Nick Drake and making shadows and blurs sensual again.

Bilkis: 2008 has been a productive year. I have spent quite a lot of time working at my craft of singing.

And started some recordings with Victor Kuc, I am excited with what we are producing… and although we haven’t had much time together for recording.. he lives in Poland I live in London… we hope to do more work together early next year. We produced a great cover version of Bel Biv Devoe’s Poison, which needs a few finishing touches before it can be released. And have started work on one of my own tracks which I should be done in the next month…(takes longer when you don’t live in the same country!)

 

In 2009 I’m going to be spending more time Poland. While I’m there I’ll not only be recording things and putting down beats for my own Album, but doing some collaborative work on tracks which are stylistically very different from what I do…I’m sure the result will be interesting!!

I hope to have releases also, a single near the beginning of the year… and hopefully an album later on in the year.

www.myspace.com/bilkis

BirdEatsBaby

As the days turned to winter and flirted hard with the snow reflected nights, NBT discovered warmth upon the cabaret stage with the crooked PopTheatre sounds of BirdEatsBaby. Look out for the debut album early 2009, and played an extreme amount of times by us.

BeB: Birdeatsbaby began the year fresh-faced and eager, filled with the hope and energy, which every hard-working band feels, thinking that this would be the year for us. So far, we have watched as the music industry buckled under downloading chaos, and descend further into the same old Indie crap. But we are not broken, we have kept playing, some were bad gigs, such as empty rooms and deepest, darkest Ipswich. We have also had the opportunity to play to wonderful, appreciative audiences, with artists such as Thomas Truax and Lou Hickey. We were one of the last bands to play the hallowed Pressure Point stage before its closure, and we were featured in an acoustic set at the Great Escape Festival.

                However, we are forever looking forward. This year will be the making of us, our album is ready and we will be releasing it around May 2009. To promote this, we are setting off on a grand tour of the U.K. and Europe, with our arch-nemesis Mr. Joe Black. With our combined efforts, we shall descend upon Europe and give them a show they will never forget. We shall prevail.

http://www.birdeatsbaby.co.uk

Deni Bonet

Classically trained Violinist Deni Bonet, has played with a shiver inducing who’s who of of the finest alternative folk indie and pop artists around including NBT personal faves, REM , Warren Zevon and Richard Thompson. But in 08 she brought out her album `Last Girl On Earth’ which showcased a great mix of the vulnerable and the sassy.

http://www.denibonet.com/

Joe Cassady and the West Coast Sound

This was music of subtle textures, it had a polished surface that enticed into a disturbing yet welcoming world that mixed the surreal with beat poet wanderings, then mixed it all up again with an seeming effortless folk rock boogie. The album, ‘What’s Your Sign’ had one of the best covers this year as well.

Joe: 2008 was a big year for us!  It started out on some pretty high notes with a lot of great recognition for our debut full-length CD, What’s Your Sign?  The first week of the year saw it named by USA Today music editor Ken Barnes as one of his favorite CD’s of 2007, that was followed by a similar recognition from Soundstage! magazine. We then began our European radio and media campaign for the record and were thrilled to have it very well received.  BBC2’s Bob Harris spun us two weeks straight on his show in the UK which was a huge honor and we were similarly honored with all the various airplay and press received we received, NBT included!

In May it was back to the studio again to begin recording our follow-up record The 47th Problem which will be out on the Avenue A Records label in February and which NBT is getting first cracks at previewing in the “Best of 2008” podcast.  Somewhere in between all of this we played 40 live dates and I hosted a weekly Americana Music series called “Avenue A Records Presents” at locations in New York City and New Jersey—it was a busy year!  In 2009 we will be releasing our new CD The 47th Problem in the U.S. and Europe and playing a ton of shows here in the U.S. in support of it.  Hope you enjoy it.  Have a great 2009!

http://www.joecassady.com

Colour Cold

With the release of debut album ‚‘Safe From Silence‘The far from Cold Bloemfontein South African band proved all of us that had been praising them to the mountains and over the oceans and beyond had been right. An example of what College Rock should sound like, taking dashings of EMO, Hard Rock and Power Ballads, and with ‘to die for’ pop hooks left behind the angst and self satisfaction of most of the ‘BIGname’ superstars.

CC: The year we decided to run!

It is always exciting to begin a new year. Something urges you to do better and elaborate plans fill January month to help bring the big world a little closer to your stage. The challenge is not the beginning of the year; it is keeping the excitement and drive long enough to help you through the challenges of those plans.

We began 2008 the same way we do every year, only this time we decided to run.

With a borrowed budget, late night recording sessions after work, phone calls that reached almost one hundred and e-mails to four countries, we released our debut album and performed to a sold out venue in our hometown. Two to three months passed and with June approaching, it all seemed to be slowing down. More phone calls and more e-mails… till suddenly we see one of our songs climb an independent rock chart up and up to number two. Reviews clearly state that a lot of effort was put into the album release and radio stations are now taking our phone calls and arranging interviews on shows we have been listening to for years.

We have achieved more in 2008 than the previous three years combined, but our greatest success has been the friendship and trust we have gained from people around the world who we have never even met.

The video documentary with Gee Davey was certainly a highlight this year. My hope for 2009 is that more artists come together and enjoy the gift of music a little more. I think that the business of music in general will stay on the same road next year, and those who keep their feet firmly on the petrol, or gas if you prefer, will have more success. For Colour Cold, 2009 will be a continuation of 2008, with more music off the shelf, live shows to film and great friends to meet.

And if you thought we run pretty fast, watch us sprint!

Liz Tsikkos COLOUR COLD

http://www.colourcold.co.za/

Ian Churchward/The Morrisons/Legendary Ten Seconds

No ‘best of year’ NBT blog would be complete without mentioning Ian, band member of  The Morrisons AND the Legendary Ten Seconds, Ian forever brings the spirit of John Peel into the NBT studio, which is one of the small things that keeps me going. He also composed the insanely catchy NBT theme tune.

http://www.freewebs.com/themorrisonsband

Feral Children

A private howl for every bedroom, a group gasp and the indie world dances, its the songs behind the stories of the smeared lipstick, the starlight sparkle of the bottle in the forest, the StagediveEternal.  ‘Second to the Last Frontier’ becomes NBT’s   Album of the Year by a Band.

FERAL CHILDREN’S Assessment of 2008:
2008 was a long year, a busy year for our band and ourselves. We started 2008 by playing a sold-out new years show, followed closely by the first of four tours. We saw the courting of ourselves by our current record label, Sarathan Records. We watched sunsets in the Moab Desert on the way to and from Austin. We played benefits for local and national causes. We wondered if we can tour Europe in 2009. We started writing a new record. We found ourselves in New Jersey at a bowling alley eating pork roll and tofu while a band set up 40 amps. We deafly drove home in four days. We’re home now finishing our preproduction for the first recording session of our next record, which will bookend 2008 quite nicely.2009 is anyone’s guess. We will finish recording our second record, possibly in more sections due to talk of tours. We’re still wondering if we can go to Europe or Japan this next year. Our only goal is to hopefully become better musicians through the process of touring and writing. Hopefully that will be the case.
Some of our reviews- 
Pitchfork 
CMJ
 
Visit us-
website

Lauren Fincham

One of the few Artists to make both the 2007 AND the 2008 lists, Lauren released the album ‚‘Perfect Pain‘and we had the pleasure of writing about it for our first ever NBT Review Blog.

Lauren: 2008 was a quiet, reflective year for me; I feel like I finally regained my creative focus.

 Most of my challenges were internal – emotional struggles with changing relationships and my own economic ups & downs.

I did get to reconnect with some important people that I’d thought I’d lost to drugs, but they’ve returned and are starting to share their musical gifts once again.

I am very grateful for that gift.

I also learned that my dog Anya is helping me to have more patience and know how to enjoy a nap.

 2009

 I really really want to travel more this year – I have been dreaming of going to Iceland for 3 yrs and haven’t gotten it together yet – but hopefully I will soon

I also would like to travel to a lot of the cities and countries to meet the awesome folks that support and play my music.

Maybe someone out there can help me come up with some ideas on how to do that?

 I have big plans to be bolder and more prolific with my creative ventures…

 We’ll see how that turns out.

http://www.12houserecords.com/lfincham/index.htm

 

 

Gee Davey

A time warp-tumble of now and then, hints of hardcore, grandfunky  SoulGrunge pop. Super shiny artifacts rolled reflecting on empty cold beaches and  the super light flares on the highways of the big city.

As well as releasing a captivating EP this year (She Sells Smiles) DJ and the guys collaborated with South African band Colour Cold to make a two part Video Documentary about both bands; check out both bands myspace pages for news on that.

DJ from Gee Davey: 2008 was a great year for us in Gee Davey –land.  We really, really, threw ourselves into our live show this year and we have really just been gigging anywhere and everywhere they would let us play.  This year was such a mosaic of shows, to think back on it now is fascinating.

In 2008:  we played for thousands of people under a beautiful sunset just yards from the water on the north shore of Long Island and we played for only seven people at one of the hippest clubs in New York City; we played during the hell of late August when the air conditioners broke, and we played at midnight during the first snowfall in December  (strangely enough, at the same club); we played at 1 in the afternoon and we played at 2 in the morning; we played with hard rock bands, modern rock bands, classic rock bands, jam, metal, psychedelic-trip, power-pop and cover bands, and some of the best bands we have ever shared a stage with.  We played on while sweat burned our eyes, and blood trickled from our fingers; while our equipment faltered, and our voices gave out.  But most importantly, we played on.

And just as we end every show we play, I give you the very last line of the night, from “Last Song”…

…and I’ll sing my song to you, it’s all I want to do.

Thank you very much 2008…    (and goodnight!)

http://www.geedavey.com/

Grand Atlantic

From Australia the BIG music, on their album ‘This Is..’ Grand Atlantic tapped in the orchestral majestic finding superb sweetness and infinite sighs within their beautiful pop songs.

Phil Usher: 2008 turned out to be a different year from what we had planned, but was a typically busy one for Grand Atlantic.  We began writing and recording our second LP in December 2007 and had hoped to finish up by April 08.  Of course being an independent band, there are many things to consider and we ended up finishing the tracking at the end of August.  The missed deadline wasn’t helped by our usual ambitious approach to writing and recording an album.  I am happy to say that the album has been mixed by the fabulous Magoo and was mastered in Nashville last week.  So we are already looking forward to a release in 2009 with many shows and hopefully some overseas touring. 

 

On the live front, we have done many shows this year in Australia, in and around our base in Brisbane.  Some highlights were the sold out Beatles tribute night, supporting some great Australian and International bands, and launching our new single “Tripwires” at the Troubadour to a capacity crowd.  We’re playing our last show for the year this week and then taking a break for Christmas etc…  2009 will be an exciting one with the release of our 2nd album entitled “How We Survive.”  We hope everyone has a great Christmas and would like to wish everyone a successful and happy new year.  See you out on the road in 2009!!!

http://www.grandatlantic.org/

 

The Heise Bros

 

Country garage, indie rough n rock, the simple pleasure of the unfiltered alternative to the gloss and posing of much of the music industry. The Heise Bros, became , for NBT at least, the spiritual children of bands like the Replacements and the DBs.

 

2008, as The Heise Bros. see it:  It started off with a bang, very literally. On December 31st, Nelson’s wife was getting induced for labor while the brothers had a New Year’s Eve gig to play. Fortunately, the doctor’s assured Nelson and his wife that Paige Susan Heise would not be born until the morning of the next day, Nelson snuck out of the hospital for an hour and played the show and came back to his wife side (with her permission, of course). Paige was born around 9 AM on January 1st, 2008. So things started well as Nelson was a new father and Robert a new uncle. But that did not prevent the boys from putting out their annual album entitled “III: The Return of The Heise Bros.”, featuring their new band mate Matt Egger. The brothers played a handful of acoustic and electric shows in 2008 in support of the new effort, and remain as always an unknown treasure to see live.

2009, as The Heise Bros. see it. This upcoming year will feature the brothers other band, The Hit & Mrs., follow up record. This will feature longtime drummer V. Stak. This tends to display the more rockin’ side of the brothers. Right now, they are working on the vocals and mixes. For your listening pleasure, the brothers will let you hear one of the rough mixes on NBT with a song called “Saint Maria” and a VU cover. Enjoy!

www.theheisebros.com

www.thehitandmrs.com

www.100under60.com

Hemifran

For any broadcaster/podcaster/blogger/radio head honcho, Hemifran is a pure wonderful blessing.

Run with elegance by Peter Holmstedt, hemifran concentrates on getting independent music from around the world, heard in Europe. Many of the bands on this very blog and on the Wonderful Ones Podcast are sourced to NBT by this company.

http://www.hemifran.com

The Wonderful Ones 2008 continues HERE

https://nbtmusic.wordpress.com/2008/12/18/the-wonderful-ones-2008-part-two/

 

 

 

The CyberPR (Ariel Publicity)New Media Pioneer Interviews 10

arieldec-fin

New Media Pioneer: Jason Tippitt of Mental Nomad Podcast and Pod Across America

 

http://mentalnomad.libsyn.com/

http://www.myspace.com/mentalnomadshow

 

Mental Nomad Podcast: Eclectic music podcast. I play almost every sort of music, though geared a little more toward singer-songwriters.

 

Pod Across America: Also an eclectic music show, but each episode focuses on one American state at a time.

 

Q: How long have you been broadcasting?

 

A: The Mental Nomad Podcast started in March 2007; it was initially a

twice-a-week show but has been weekly for about a year now, with a few

exceptions. The show’s eclectic, with an intention toward including

music from outside the United States and music from female vocalists

in almost every episode.

 

Pod Across America started in October 2008 and will be two episodes a

month, usually one episode per state. I started in Delaware, the first

state, and will go through Hawaii, the 50th state, in order … a few

states will get two episodes just due to the sheer number of musicians

from those states.

Q: In your opinion, what does a good song need to consist of?

 

A: To me, a good song is one that gives me some sort of emotional

reaction … thrilling to the highs, coasting through the lows,

laughing at a clever turn of phrase or feeling my stomach churn over

some emotional conflict that rings true to me.

 

A song can be really simple and yet really powerful: Bob Dylan’s

“Tomorrow Is a Long Time” and Queen’s “Bijou” are contain very short,

very simple lyrics but the mix of the lyrics, the vocal delivery and

the music turns them into something magical.

 

Most of the music I really enjoy has lyrics, and usually the lyrics

are in English. I do listen to some instrumental music, and I do

listen to some non-English-language music, but the instrumentalists or

vocalists really have to soar above and beyond for me to really engage

the music.

Q: What is your favorite band or favorite genre of music and why?

 

A: Attorney and writer Andrew Vachss has observed that “blues is truth,”

and I agree wholeheartedly. Blues gets down to the core of the human

experience, the raw truth of emotions laid bare. It’s naked and

honest, and even when the blues singer engages in bragging, the

exaggerations point the way toward his or her insecurities.

 

More broadly, music that tells a story is what really gets my

attention. Blues, certainly folk music, certain rap and rock ‘n’ roll,

the cabaret storytelling of a Tom Waits or the deeply emotional jazz

of Jimmy Scott … music with personality.

 

Q: What changes in content laws, broadcasting rights, etc., have

affected you most?

 

A: I feel unqualified to answer this question. I haven’t paid a lot of

attention to the legal issues, whereas I probably should pay more

attention. In early episodes, I was a lot quicker to download a song

from MySpace and play it, then ask permission after the fact. I

wouldn’t dream of doing that now.

 

Using a content provider such as the Podsafe Music Network and working

with publicists such as the folks at Ariel Publicity — where the

music is pre-cleared and podsafe — is the smart way to go, I’ve

found. I’d rather be able to find new music I might not have heard

before and play that than risk getting sued for playing a U2 song that

everyone’s going to hear all over the place, anyway.

 

So the limitations put in place by respecting the law challenges me to

look for the next Bob Dylan, the next Tom Waits, the next Emmylou

Harris.

 

Q: A recent study found blogs to be more effective than MySpace in

generating album sales; do you feel podcasts have that power?

 

A: I haven’t personally experienced any huge revenue surge from doing

podcasts and the blogs associated with them, though I do include links

to both the music I play and, to a lesser extent, to the videos that

strike my fancy from artists podsafe and non-podsafe.

 

That said, I have absolutely discovered new music that I’ve

subsequently bought through blogs and podcasts. Blogs and podcasts

offer a great way to sample a lot of music that I wouldn’t hear on

heavily formatted local radio or even the music channels on digital

TV.

 

Podcasts come to you. Blogs come to you, if you syndicate their feeds

through a reader. They require less effort than logging into MySpace

or Facebook, slogging through the many pages of contacts you have, and

noticing when a particular band has updated the profile. So yes, I

think podcasts are a more forward-thinking way of marketing a band —

it’s letting other people be your street team, rather than trusting

people to find you.

 

The CyberPR (Ariel Publicity)New Media Pioneer Interviews 9

ariel30fin

New Media Pioneer: Bond of Bonds Big Leather Couch Blog

Just an old soul who decided he needed a place to express himself and stumbled into blogging.

http://bondsbigleathercouch.blogspot.com

 

Q: How long have you been blogging?

 

A: I began back in 1972 on the campus of RIT in Rochester, NY. I then went on air at the local FM station for a time. I have also worked with a company that distributes content to stations around the country who need to fill air time.

Recently, my music disbursement is mainly through my blog “Bonds Big Leather Couch” (http://bondsbigleathercouch.blogspot.com), where I review new artists, new CD’s and also put together history’s of artists and bands. I am also affiliated with BlogTalk Radio, where I am part of the team of hosts for “Doctor Blogstein’s Radio Happy Hour”. We have had many new artists on the air for interviews and are always looking for new talent to feature. I am also in the middle of trying to get airtime on the local community radio station here in Memphis.

 

Q: In your opinion, what does a good song need to consist of?

 

A: For me, a good song contains real musicians playing real instruments. I tend to lean toward rock, but enjoy all genres. When listening to a new CD, I am listening to the interplay between the rhythm section and the lead instruments as well as the depth of the music itself. A great song does not have to be complicated in it’s arrangement. Some of the great songs of our time are simple 2/4 – two chord songs. Lyrics are also important. I am looking for the story…the guts to what the composer was trying to get at. Of course, it is not always a straight line to their meaning, but that is part of the fun.

 

Q: What is your favorite band or favorite genre of music and why?

 

A: Favorite band has to be the Allman Brothers. They opened the door to so many other bands from the south including Skynyrd, Charlie Daniels, Marshall Tucker etc…I am partial to the Southern Rock genre, but also have a deep love for the San Fransisco sounds of the 60’s and the Delta Blues artists of early last century including Sonny Terry, Howlin’ Wolf, Pinetop Perkins…and I could go on for 3 pages!

 

Q: What changes in content laws, broadcasting rights, etc. have effected you most?

 

A: Not sure I have been effected by the new law changes, as I honor the artist’s rights to own their music. I tend to shy away from music that uses graphic language or that promotes violence, so i don’t have to worry about content, though that really is not a new concern.

 

In the 70’s Janis had many live songs where she would drop the F-bomb and we tended to not worry about it for a one time shout.

 

I do believe the record companies have gone to the extreme with the rash of court cases against individuals over peer-to-peer sharing. The rash of artists taking control of their own music through self-recording, or making individual distribution deals and by sharing their music on sites like MySpace and Facebook or on their own individual web sites is bringing the power back to the artist and stripping the record companies from owning everything.

 

Q: A recent study found blogs to be more effective than MySpace in generating album sales, do you feel blogs have that power?

 

A: As a blogger, I want to agree with that statement. I am not a user of the MySpace area, though i have visited the sites of artists I have been introduced to and want to find more about.

 

I can speak from experience that a number of the new artists or albums I have reviewed have generated a response from my readers and they went out and purchased product.

The CyberPR (Ariel Publicity)New Media Pioneer Interviews 8

ariel21

New Media Pioneer: Andrea Guy of Mossip Blog

http://community.livejournal.com/mossip/

 

Mossip is a community made by people who love music. We are here to provide you with Concert/Album Reviews, happenings in the music world and last but not least music gossip.

 

Q: How long have you been blogging?

 

A: The mossip blog is fairly new. We’ve only been up and running since July.

 

Q: In your opinion, what does a good song need to consist of?

 

A: A good song has to have a great lyric, a melody that’s going to stick in your head and a good vocalist to sing it. The best song in the world will be ignored if the singer is terrible. Just as a great lyric can only take you so far if the music behind it is awful. Take The Beatles All You Need Is Love, which is a great example of a good song. Its got a simple yet great lyric with a message. The horn section in the chorus is what makes the song what it is. Then there’s John’s lead vocal. Combine all three of these and you have not just a great song, but pop perfection.

 

Q: What is your favorite band or favorite genre of music and why?

 

A: The favorite band question is a tricky one, I love so many. My top two artists right now are The Moody Blues and Elvis Costello. I love both of them because of their unique songwriting, even though the Moodies and Costello are about as different as night and day. You might guess that I’m a classic rock kinda girl. I always have been. It seems like the artists from 20 + years ago were the lucky ones. Technology and Mtv hadn’t taken hold, so music was made by people that really cared about music, more so than image. You don’t see many artists like Cass Elliot today. If you don’t look like you could be on the cover of a magazine your chances of making it big diminish greatly.

 

Q: What changes in content laws, broadcasting rights, etc. have affected you most?

 

A: Thankfully there haven’t been any that would touch us too much. Our site provides reviews of albums old and new, musical gossip and discussion of things going on in the music world.

 

Q: A recent study found blogs to be more effective than MySpace in generating album sales, do you feel blogs have that power?

A: Blogs are a bit more organized than MySpace, so I definitely can see that. Both have their pros and cons though. The main thing that can make a blog more attractive, is its not confined to being on just one server, like Myspace and that allows for better site design and the ability to add whatever content the webmaster allows. Let’s face it, attractiveness is what draws people in. With blogs you have more ways of showing off your product, with Myspace you’re limited to what Myspace will allow you to do.