The NBT Review 25

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Holding Pattern EP – DizzyGotheca (Independent Release)

The indie sirens blare jagged across the new wave landscape, tender vocals shiverShock into subtle putdown. Frantic electro percussion rubs up against broken beat danceStep delight… and …

 This is only the beginning.

‘No I Have Not Told Anyone About Us’ is a slow burn lullaby of regret, building upon soul heavy percussion and synth spits that stutter over and under shivery confessions. No wry detachment for this group, they want you INSIDE the songs, deliciously trapped.

These are audio invitations, temptations, and an exploration in to what might happen when dark souls meet.

They find the menace, the allure, within the twisted strands deep in the heart of the wounded breaking machine. They make you love the noise and the chaos, leading you into the hidden vulnerable melodies beneath the metallic seemingly thoughtless surface.

Then comes the exquisite beauty of ‘Cocoon’, not since Kate Bush’s ‘Breathing’ have I heard such a perfect capture of willing isolation.

Special mention must be made of the remixes of two of the songs here and also the wonderful hand printed CD sleeve.

Find out more and how to get this cool music

http://www.dizzygotheca.com

Trying Got Us Nowhere – Elika (Fiercely Indie Records UK)

 Each song a confection that exhilarates and surprises, like’ The Whip’ which begins all jungle jangle summer smile and then sidesteps into crashing chords and frantic waves. Imagine if you will a young Madonna fronting the Pixies at their most Pop Secure.

This is a collection of foreboding dream journey songs, the sonic landscapes so thrilling and so artful in their growth that soon we are flying without being aware of it, caught up (as in the very best of dreams) in the moment;  wishing that the rhythms and thoughts be never ending.

Taking pictures of new wave waltzes and handing them (still settling into concrete focus) to those holding the indie shoegaze secrets within their guitars, Elika create a timeless afternoon of escape.

They capture sunbeams, slow them down to something serene yet spooky,  then throw them into the room to dance and shimmer for our pleasure.

Find out more

http://www.elikamusic.com

You can hear both these bands on this weeks NBTDarkElectric Podcast (march 27th)

http://nbtdarkelectric.podomatic.com/

 

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The NBT Review 24

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Trey Green  – Trey Green (El Stormo Productions)

Comedy in rock is a delicate and not usually successful balancing act. At one extreme the content is highly intellectual and/or highly politicized, great stuff for the chin strokers amongst us, but not warm enough for the masses, Or, the artist dumbs down his material, so that it becomes the equivalent of red neck kids dissing each other in the classroom.

1st (quick glance) at the cover and we take in the 50s hair and the cool dark glasses and the working class white T, and we wonder if there will be some kid rock style rock’n’laughter coming our way.

2nd (longer look) at the cover and we see no Illiterate Sneer, no Artless Hyuck-Hyuck, rather a wry self awareness and maybe, yes maybe a smidgen or three of sensitivity.

Time to listen.

The second look proves correct, what we have is a kinder Warren Zevon without the bitterness,  even when singing about what is probably one of the worst girlfriends on pop/Rock song history.

The thing is, the truly captivating thing is, Green is comfortable in the skin of the MUSIC within these song-stories, His band rocks out full and dirty but never leering or sleazy, there are more hooks per ounce than the best crafted Happy Punk missive from  Green Day, just with a total lack of eyeliner angst..YAY..

To this reviewer though, the songs that slip under the soul’s Skin are the serious tales like Last Flight, a haunting missive of some war, some lost fighter pilot and his crew, an epic in 3 minutes.

The gloom doesn’t last too long though, straight after comes a song that seems to have slipped away from a Joe Walsh solo album, mad crush indeed.

There are about 11 potential singles on this 11 track disc.

What are you waiting for? Go check it out.

http://www.treygreenmusic.com/

 

Bix Medard – Bix Medard (independent release)

Sometimes, the darkest place we know lies deep beneath the shiny glowing surface of our perfect pop heart.

The two cover songs in this otherwise wonderfully ‘all originals’ set are a take on the fragile tragic beauty and strength of a Josephine Baker standard, and a cute mischievous capture of a song that enigma and crazy 50s kitten Eartha Kitt brought to the worlds attention.

The drama starts straight away, barely there waves of piano, bass and a skittering scary percussion slide up against the sweet breathy vocalizing and then flute, just escaping from an ancient movie, and then,

the shadows take over.

And how those shadows dance.

These rhythms, these candleFlicker ghosts disturb and seduce, songs of fluid dangerous hours with a partner you are not quite sure of, but very much want to spend the evening with.

This danger is addictive.

Not since Keren Ann’s No-Lita have I been so quietly and completely captured.

Find out more and buy this amazing release here

http://www.myspace.com/bixmedard

http://cdbaby.com/cd/bixmedard

Hear both these Acts on the Ever Eclectic NBT Podcast this Friday 20th March 09

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

 

 

  

 

 

The CyberPR (Ariel Publicity)New Media Pioneer Interviews 16

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New Media Pioneer: Pete Cogle, one of the podcasters at the Association Of Music Podcasting

Host of  the PC Podcast, featuring eclectic music from around the world: http://pcpodcast.blogsome.com and

The Dub Zone, featuring the very best dub reggae: http://thedubzone.blogsome.com and

PCP{2}, a deeper look into the musical genres explored in PC Podcast: http://pcp2.blogsome.com

 

Plus he is the co-host of

Made In The UK, featuring some of the very best UK music, for the world: http://madeintheukshow.co.uk

AMPed, the weekly digest of the Association of Music Podcasting at: http://musicpodcasting.org

Q: How can a podcaster become a part of Association of Music Podcasting (AMP)?

 

Firstly, you need to have produced at least 5 episodes of your podcast. We want to make sure you don’t “podfade” after your first couple of episodes.  Secondly, all of the music must be podsafe. AMP is about the music that doesn’t get airplay on mainstream radio. Unless artists have specifically made some of their music podsafe, we can’t play it.  We also charge a small membership fee, which helps with hosting and other activities.

 

Most importantly you need to be good at podcasting. Before becoming a member, your podcast will be peer reviewed. We take into consideration the podcaster’s passion about their music, their broadcasting style, the quality of their broadcasting equipment, the quality of the music they play and even the sample rate they create the podcast at.  Not everyone makes the grade.

 

Q: What is the background story on how AMP came about? 

 

AMP’s history goes back to late 2004, long before I joined. Chris MacDonald, Derrick Oien, Bob Goyetche and Jason Evangelho all had important parts to play in setting up the association long before podcasting became a mainstream term.  Back then, Apple was reluctant to accept music podcasts into their iTunes store, because they were worried about licensed music being freely distributed under their umbrella.  AMP became the first association to offer Apple a “safe harbour” knowing that AMP member’s podcasts would be podsafe. AMP was also the first association to offer episodic downloadable media, and start creating a library of music. This library later went on to become a profit-making enterprise as the Podsafe Music Network.

AMP was, and remains, a non-profit making association, and after a hiatus in mid 2005, George Smyth got things moving again. After revamping the website and building some tools to automate the process of making a collective podcast, the AMPed podcast became a weekly event in the podosphere.

I joined the association in March 2006 and have been a regular contributor since then.  Like many new members, initially I just submitted tracks to be played on AMPed, and occasionally became the host.  More recently I’ve taken over a few more duties, like webmaster and membership secretary.  Now many of the members have regular roles maintaining the podcast feed, making sure we all submit music on time, organizing the host rota and hosting the show.  Everyone gets to do as much as they want to do. We’re a good team.

 

The best thing about the association is that we all have a voice. We’ve had some great suggestions from new members and old members alike and we keep moving forward.

 

Q: How do you go about choosing which shows to feature on http://amped.musicpodcasting.org/?

 

Each podcaster can submit a track to AMPed each week.  If everyone submitted a track the show would be 3 hours long, but we generally get enough submissions to fill a 40-60 minute show. It’s entirely up to the podcaster which tracks they want to play, but as they have only one track to chose, it means AMPed ends up being the best of the best. AMPed is also work and child safe.

 

The week’s host is the final arbiter of what tracks make the show, and the running order. All the hosts have a different style and like different kinds of music, so it’s as much of a journey of discovery for them as it is for the listeners. I’m sure some of the hosts groan when I’ve submitted a track sung in Russian or Cambodian, but hey, I like that stuff, and I think the listeners deserve to hear it. You don’t hear that on mainstream radio!

 

Q: How does AMP keep changing?

 

Every new podcaster brings a new perspective on how to promote their podcast and their favourite music. We have members who really understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and we’ve completely revamped out website, http://musicpodcasting.org to pull in all the latest information from our member’s blogs and podcasts, straight to our front page.

 

We have other members who are really passionate about social networking, be that via Facebook, Myspace or last.fm.  We’ve recently started using Twitter to publicize when we have new podcasts available, and we’re looking at using Twiturm to “tweet” podcast “samplers” of the shows out to people on the move.

 

We also want to hear what our listeners have to say, so we’ve created a survey on the main page of our website http://musicpodcasting.org. They can tell us what they think of the show, what we do right, and what we should be doing better.

 

 

Q: What changes in content laws, broadcasting rights, etc. have affected any podcasters being able to air their music?

 

Back in 2004, there were no clear guidelines, but, as I mentioned, Apple were worried about allowing music podcasts into the iTunes store, especially after the legal ruling in the MyMP3.com case.  Because all AMP podcasts were vouched podsafe, this gave Apple the solution they needed and all the AMP member podcasts were approved.

 

Since then, many content laws and broadcasting rights have been suggested, and these vary from country to country. AMP has always been international and we have podcasters based in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Portugal, Australia and even Nepal, so it’s not easy to see which rules would apply. There are also more stringent rules for streaming services, than there are for podcast downloads, but as long as we keep within our guidelines of using podsafe music, we can continue producing podcasts.

 

Today there are a large number of resources that podcasters can use to get podsafe or Creative Commons licensed music, such as IODA Promonet, Magnatune, Jamendo and Music SUBMIT as well as the Podsafe Music Network, and, of course, Ariel Publicity.  We also get music from other sources such as Myspace, last.fm and from the artists directly, but we do need to make sure the artist, manager, or label gives us permission first. Ariel Publicity is a great service for us, because we know all the hard work has been done beforehand and we can legally play the music.

 

Of course, nowadays everyone knows what a podcast is. When AMP first started, artists were quite unsure of our motives or even what a podcast was.  It’s great to see some of the big artists like, Tom Waits, Bloc Party, Nick Cave or the Manic Street Preachers leading the way and making some tracks podsafe. This encourages up and coming artists to do the same.

 

Q: A recent study found blogs to be more effective than MySpace in generating album sales, do you feel that podcasts will have the same effect as well?

 

Absolutely!  I wear a T-shirt that says “Podcasting Is Selling Music” and another one of our members talks about “Promotion Not Piracy”. 

 

Myspace is great for artists to allow listeners to hear their music, but the listener has to go searching if they want to find something new.  If you find a podcast that you like, you can let the podcaster be your guide. We’ve all heard from listeners that they’ve bought an album that they never expected to like because they’ve heard it first on a podcast. 

 

I’ve played bands back in 2006 that none of my friends had heard of, and now they’re playing the main stage of the largest festivals in Europe. OK, that’s not all down to podcasting, but it’s part of the process. Mainstream radio only picks up on bands when they have a major record deal. Podcasters are playing the music months, even years before then.

 

If you want to hear something you’ve heard before by the Beatles or the Eagles, then feel free to go to Myspace or listen to mainstream radio. If you really want to hear something really new; something recorded this year, recorded yesterday, something that’s not even finished yet – then listen to a podcast!

 

 

 

The Shiver In the Dark

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An Interview with Izzie Voodoo

Voodoo creates a shimmering concoction of electro sounds, equally at home in the nu rave, indie and gothic tribes we threw a few devious questions her way and this is what came back…

 

NBT:  electro is bright shiny and very much modern (ie of the last 30 years or so) voodoo conjures up thoughts of darkness, mystery and the ancient..How do these two seemingly opposites meet in your act and your music?

My music’s always had a darker edge. It started out being far more eclectic , more guitar orientated, and much more ‘alternative’ and has grown into something which has more direction, has cleaner sounds, lately has far more space and gives way to the possibilities of having a more fun (but still  twisted) edge. Before, it was too dark and manic to handle that. I think my moods constantly battle with a childlike attitude to life and between highs that induce occasional hysterical giggling fits and a strange edge to my personality that’s drawn to anything dark, unnerving and unknown. The weird thing is that the 80’s type music that has had some influence on what I write was stuff from the commercial Goth era, whereas now I prefer to listen to more dance/electronica/pop stuff, and that must be where the crossover comes. I think it’s a decent balance though that might keep you on your toes.

NBT: Musicians should be political….or not… Discuss

Not deliberately so, in my opinion- there’s nothing worse than a preaching tunesmith. If a song demands that you make a point, make the point, but then leave it be.

NBT:  which is better, the internal of the studio or the revelations on stage?

That depends on the crowd, for me. If there’s a great crowd and they like what they hear, there’s no other feeling (horrible cliché, but true), but since I’m a geeky tech head, I tend to be  a  bit too happy locked up in the  studio- with beer and liquorice allsorts.

NBT:     how does a self confessed control freak delegate when creating music..or is that possible?

It’s not possible J

 I do it all myself til it’s nearly done ,then ask for constructive criticism and get really unbearably arsey when someone tells me ‘this isn’t right’ or ‘that’s too loud’. After an hour when I’ve calmed down, I generally pull my head in because I knew it was wrong anyway but was too burned out to fix it. Graphic design and some of the mastering I delegate out or share because I think it’s important to get an outside look at what you do.

NBT:  The internet is innocent, crazy and brave, with a wink of an eye and a touch of a keyboard it can discover, delight and showcase. Will this wild child save or destroy independent music..your thoughts please. J             

Absolutely- but I think it will change   the way that people access independent music- has already. It’s part of the evolution process of the industry. Already it’s given so many artists an opportunity to be heard by thousands of people that they would otherwise have had no chance of doing – not because they aren’t good enough, but because they don’t move in the right circles and get the right breaks. The internet is a wonderful new tool for musicians who have recorded songs, who no longer need record labels to do the things record labels traditionally did. The one thing that I think is already suffering hugely as a direct consequence of the internet and of new media tools like mp3 players , and the ability to view home made videos of bands at the drop of a  hat on a  phone and such like, is the live scene- which certainly from a  small venue point of view, is virtually dead on it’s feet.    

 

You can buy her songs and learn about gigs and news here

http://www.izzievoodoo.com/

Izzie is also on this week’s episode of the NBT Podcast

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

 

                                                                                                   

 

 

 

The NBT Review 23

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The Skeleton Crew Diaries – Memphis Reigns and D-Mitch (featuring Hypoetical)

(Downwrite Records)

 

There is something beautiful and audacious about this beast before us. Like a still humming, ticking giant truck parked strange and solitary on a forgotten highway, or an abandoned warehouse, playing mystifying with light and shadow, this collection seems to have always been there, yet is new and startling for every listen.

No Urban clichés here, rather the creation of an uneasy shimmering atmosphere from the first sound out of the speakers and we are indeed deep in the city with no name.  This is a dark place full of scintillating orchestral sighs edging us on to dangerous thoughts with a fluid groove.

We are pulled into, down deep into, jazz clubs lined with mirrors, skewing reflections hazily, there is magic in this misdirection, this smoky dance.

Hypoetical pounds  against the bass cautionary, in ‘Postscript To Mars ‘ subtle distortion slinks against flutes and  the speakers flicker with sweet dread.

This is hipHop or Rap or left of centre rock that dares to be thoughtful while bewitching, slightly crazy yet seductive.

You can get this album free from the internet and you would be a fool not to.

http://www.myspace.com/mmechanics

https://download.yousendit.com/bVlEeEVRcG90d0YzZUE9PQ

 

So Shush – So Shush (independent release)

Flushed and fevered this recalls the brittle angelic shoe gaze PoP of not too long ago, when the charts were spikier, edgier.

The ghosts of Lush, haunt the beat here, then leave the band to create their own individualistic brand of ragged dreaming.

This is no retro wanting; no desire to copy what went on before, but a new slant on a still vibrant indie noise.

Stand out track for this reviewer is ‘People Need Something’ which has the wounded cool of Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ and the fragile noise of perhaps a St Etienne vinyl. Full of shadowy hooks, this gets nicely under the (soul)skin.

Not quite working but worth mentioning because of its brave intentions, `Lucid Dreamer`’ then leaves the pop world and dials up the keyboard madness of 70s prog, shape shifting abruptly into something almost Folk, but of an alternative reality.

Well worth downloading these tunes are available all over the web

Go to

http://www.myspace.com/soshush for links.

Memphis Reigns and D-Mitch are featured on this weeks NBT podcast

And So Shush will be featured this coming Friday

http://www.nextbigthing.libsyn.com