And so we continue
Listen to These artists On the NBT special Christmas Show Going Out
19th Dec 08
Also catch the brand new NBT photo gallery featuring a whole bunch of the artists here:
‘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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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’’
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.