The Manik Music Rant: Zorch Factory Records

So, anyway, trawling around my list of links, e-mails subscriptions and Blog reader whatsits I come across a lone line advertising a free download of a French band Camp Z’s 6 track ep. Whoaw…free, I gasp..”This last release mixes electronic

backgrounds along with dark feelings, raw guitars and post punk energy!” says the blurb…colour me interested – I’ve sort of rediscovered the whole French/Euro coldwave genre of the 80’s as of late and have subsequently kicked myself at being so damnably Anglo-centric in my musical gleanings in those bad old days – ok, there was no internet, and the genre was largely ignored by the (Brit/USA) press of the day any mention of which was probably quickly passed by by the likes of I (not being able to see anything in the flesh as it were, also didn’t help), I mean, I thought Plastic Bertrand was all there was!! So, consequently I devote the latest Bullets From the Belfry (and this blog) to Zorch!

 

 

 

 

 

Subsequent investigation led me to Zorch Factory Records and their eclectic stable of artistes from Europe (and other parts of the globe) in the dark indie/goth/deathrock/postpunk/coldwave/electronica field of things that i generally immerse myself in. Headed up by Manu, member of aforementioned CampZ, his dream to present a forum, a home, a promotional tool for some of the many truly independent artists forging out into the interwastes trying to elevate themselves to better things. All the material is published under Creative Common License free to download. His aim to create a fanbase for the bands so that interest is tweaked, demands made and the music industry swings their way, whether interest by some established label or enough interest is created to make music sales of future product viable. Manu’s dream is based on love, not profit, the artists free to move on to greener pastures whne their boat comes in!

 

 

 

 

After hastily glomming the CampZ goodies : a dark buzzsaw caterwaul of postpunk excess- with strong leanings back to coldwave, overlaid with Manu’s harsh, angry vocals – no fake Brit/Amerikan tones here….without meaning to sound condescending, the French accent is perfect for this music! I went for the rest with glee.

 

 

 

 

Joy Disaster, also from France have a recent live concert recorded in Italy up for grabs. I suppose any band described as postpunk and having ‘Joy’ in their name is going to be compared with, ah, Joy Division…well yes, the comparisons are there, perhaps an early JD, maybe even Warsaw rather, harsh, brash, angry (I entertain the notion that if Warsaw formed today and listened to Interpol a lot…) Cyclic, all music is cyclic but in doing so it does not have to immitate, re-invention is part of the game, re-interpretation, it does not have to cater to some fixed audience to ‘fill a dance floor’ ( She Wants Revenge….pheeggh!!!). I take emotion over polish any fucking day – I see big things for Joy Disaster.

 

 

 

Mmmmmm, Mexican goth/punk/deathrock, I love it, ever since I frightened folk off the dancefloor with the likes of Los Meurtes Vivientes and the Ultrasonicas! The Acid Bats have a couple of releases on Zorch Factory, an 8 track ep, ‘Exhumacion’ and a earlier demo recording…fabulous stuff, can’t wait to ever be invited back into a dj booth with this in my must play box!! (If I promise to play at least one She Whines Revenge track, can I ? Can I???)

 

 

 

The more eclectic Crimson Muddle do a wonderful cover of Joy Divisions ‘Means To an End’ on their ep, their sound veering into almost steampunk territory, but still with that endearing coldwave feel.Lamentations Psychotiques and Nuit d’Octobre round off the ep in a darkly whimsical manner.

 

On and on, it’s like stumbling into a sweet shop of delights, Les Modules Estranges evoke the spirit of Siouxsie Sioux on tracks like Crash, Cocteau twins on say Am I Blind. lovely vocals, fragile guitar, veering toeards but not drowning in shoegazer territory. More tracks including remixes are available here.

 

From Spain come the enigmatically titled Red Crayon Aristocratic Club, think Yeah Yeah Yeahs meets Ladytron whilst picking up The Cranes on the way… A splendid cover of The Clash’s ‘Stay Free’ is a gem on the cd.

 

Germany’s Monozid have 2 ep’s available on the Zorch Factory site, think postpunk, think Chameleons, early Psychedelic Furs, Wire here.

 

Rounding off the podcast this week- The Trespass, perhaps the most traditional goth/deathrock band on Zorch,’ traditional’ being a misnomer really in that their roots are solid postpunk, a bit of Echo and the Bunnymen lilting through their epical sweeping songs.

 

All in all, a valuable cause to support..and download, and hopefully, eventually, lay hard cash down for! Zorch Factory Records, Bullets From the Belfry salutes you!!

 

http://www.zorchfactoryrecords.com/

 

Listen to some of the amazing Zorch artists here on the BFB Zorch Factory Records Special Podcast

http://nbtdarkelectric.podomatic.com/

 

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The CyberPR (Ariel Publicity) Interviews

NBT is extremely happy to have the RETURN of the Ariel Publicity/Cyber PR Interviews.

An aggressive cheerleader for independent musicians, Ariel Publicity built its reputation by working primarily with indie artists. They give back to the independent music community by educating artists through their website, and Ariel has been honored to speak at music conferences such as SXSW, NEMO, and The PMC.

In this new series of Q and A sessions Ariel talks to Pioneers and Groundbreakers, those people who business it is to adventure and explore deep with the New Media. Those whose Blogs and Podcasts and Internet shows truly make a difference for the independent artist in this thrilling time.

New Media Pioneer: Michael Butler of Mevio( see picture) and the Rock and Roll Geek Show

http://www.mevio.com

As the premier social media community, Mevio is the only network providing single-click access to the best in new media in audio, video, podcasts, and music to be delivered to your computer, iPod, mobile device, or television.

Q: What is the background story of how Mevio came along?

A: Mevio was originally Podshow. The company was founded by former MTV VJ Adam Curry and his business partner Ron Bloom.

In 2004 Adam had been messing around with audio blogging, before the term podcasting existed. He and Dave Winer were experimenting with adding enclosures to rss feeds and podcasting was born. Soon, podcasters were starting shows and shortly after, Podshow was started. They signed some of the early producers including my show (The Rock and Roll Geek Show), Dawn and Drew, Yeast Radio and some others.

 

Back then, people were playing whatever music they wanted on their shows. Then people started getting worried that the RIAA may not like that so Adam and some other creative minds started a place for bands who actually wanted to be heard on podcasts to post their music and The Podsafe Music Network was born. Shortly after, Adam and Ron asked me to quit my job as a house painter and work with artists on the network. 4 years later, it is THE place for bands, record labels and content creators to connect.

Q: What do you see the future of Mevio being?

A: I can’t speak for the entire company, since I only work on the music network but my goal is to have every record label, band and aritst on the network. I want independent content creators to have as much power in the music business as radio stations had in the good old days. It is my dream to have back catalog available to podcasters. I can’t speak for everyone but as a content creator, I want to play not only up and coming independent artists but also bands that were a part of the soundtrack of my life.

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

A: I am partial to 70’s rock and punk because that is what I grew up listening to. My favorite bands are still Cheap Trick, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Ramones and Joan Jett.

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

A: When I reach out to some of the major labels to try to get their artists on the Podsafe Music Network, some of them still think that posting an mp3 on a website is piracy. The indies have been posting mp3s on their own websites for a few years not but the majors are a little harder to convince. That being said, the majors are now starting new media departments so there may still be hope for the dinosaurs.

The Podsafe Music Network now deals with some of the largest digital music distributors and independent labels in the world and I am really proud of that.

Q: A recent study found blogs to be more effective than MySpace in generating album sales, do you feel podcasts has the same power?

A: I think the labels are slowly realizing that by releasing a song from their artists to blogs and podcasts does more good than harm and can actually help break a band. For example, last year, there was a band from Australia called Airbourne. No one in the US or Europe had ever heard of them. I started playing them on The Rock and Roll Geek Show and listeners seemed to really like them. They emailed the band and let them know they discovered them from my show. Soon after that, got a CD from the band’s management and offered an interview with the band. I interviewed the band and continued to sing their praises. Now that band has taken the country by storm and has released one of the best selling independent hard rock records this year.

 

The NBT Music Columns : The CyberPR Blog (Ariel Publicity)15

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The Man of the Night 

An Interview with Guy David of Night Guy Podcast

 

After starting with an electronic music podcast in Hebrew, The Night Guy found a desire to expand his audience and chat about his life a little; thus in January 2007 – despite a brief delay of the intended launch – the first English episode of The Night Guy podcast aired.  The debut was part musical and part autobiographical, and in August of 2007 the format expanded to Night Guy Electronic and Night Guy Rock.  Today we sat down with Guy David, the broadcasting guru behind the Night Guy podcast series.    

 T: We recently spoke with Anji Bee, who is both musician and podcaster, just as yourself, tell us a little about you music and also if you see the dual role of podcaster/musician as an emerging trend?  

G:  I think allot of musicians are discovering the podcasting media as a means of promoting their music. That’s how I started back in March 2006 with my first podcast, The 16th. I think both podcasts as a media and music have allot in common. They have many parallels  in structuring and the amount of creativity that goes into them. That might be the reason that so many musicians are drawn into podcasting lately.

T:  Do you play your own tunes on your podcasts?

 

G:  On The 16th I play my own tunes. That’s what this podcast is about really, my own music. On the Night Guy podcast I played my tunes on the first episodes since I was talking about my life, and some tunes where relevant to what I was saying. I also try to match other music to what I’m talking about. I currently focus more on other people’s music since there are so many great musicians who should be heard, and I want to help out any way I can. I also want to celebrate my love of music by playing the music that I like, and I happen to like the music of independent artists more then the corporate record companies driven junk.

T:  What got you involved in second life and what benefits do you see in it as a form of social media?

 

G:  I came into SL out of curiosity, then I discovered there’s a thriving art community in SL. I’m a digital artist as well as a musician and a podcaster, and I discovered it was really easy to open a virtual art gallery in SL, so at first I tried to use it as a means of promoting my art. Later, when I got more involved in podcasting, I discovered there are many podcasters hanging around in SL. Since I live in Israel, it’s the closest thing I have to meeting them, so I started hanging out on Podcaster Island and Podshow Island and lately on Edloe and Nowhereville where most of my podcasting friends hang out. I’m also planning on performing my own music in SL partly using a stream and partly using virtual music statues I created especially for this. Music has been one of the most exiting things to come into Second Life. Where else would I be able to see Lovespirals live? There are no geographical limits anymore, only time zone limits.

 

T:  Any other forms of emerging social media/social networking your  involved with that our readers may not be hip to yet?

 

G:  I guess I pretty much go to the same places everyone goes. I have a MySpace page, a FaceBook page and I also Twitter allot. Social networking is about communicating with other people, so I just hang out where everyone is. I see no point in hanging out in a virtual empty room 😉

 T:  What advice would you have for an aspiring podcaster in building listenership?
G:  Podcasting is a community. Collaborate. Find podcasters that are going your way, doing things that are either close to what you’re doing or things that you find interesting. Take The Chillcast with Anji Bee for example. One of the first podcasts I listened to is Dave’s Lounge, and they did this thing where they switched for one episode, Anji did a Dave’s Lounge episode while Dave did The Chillcast. That’s how I found out about The Chillcast. Now I listen to both regularly.  Find innovative ways of collaborating with other podcasters, and people would have a better chance of hearing about you. I’ve been a consistent participant on the 100 Words Stories podcast’s Weekly Challenge (http://podcasting.isfullofcrap.com), and I know that not only some of my listeners come from there, but also some people I now consider friends came from this.

T:  What’s next for Night Guy? 

G:  The Night Guy podcasts are now in hiatuses. I’ve been developing a new comedy podcast in Hebrew, so I took some time off to do this. When they return in mid March, there would be some changes in them. Night Guy Electronica is going to be based on the playlists from my old Hebrew podcast for now, while the scope of Night Guy Under The Rock is going to grow and include more music genres. On Night Guy I’ll be focusing more on interviews, short stories and essays about the future. I’ve been fascinated about some of the developments I’ve been reading about in the fields of Nanotechnology (building machines on molecular scale) and Claytronics (matter that can be shaped in the real world the way CG graphics shapes virtual matter on a computer), and I want to talk about how those things would affect our lives in the near future.

 

For more from Guy, check out NightGuy.podshow.com

The NBT Music Columns : The CyberPR Blog (Ariel Publicity)12

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The Technological Challenge with Ajay Chandriani

By Trevor Dye When you’re submerged in the world of technology, it all seems to come second nature, but what if it didn’t?  There’s a constant debate about the rapid technological advancements in our society and how fast we can adapt.  Recently, we asked Ajay Chandriani of Mixed Bag Sound System to share his views on the state of the change.

 What was your reason behind starting Mixed Bag Sound System?

 

I needed an outlet for my stressful job that involved recruiting people for one of the top three search engines. I don’t sing, paint (except for some weird computer art), or play any instruments (I put those away decades ago) so the options for an outlet were limited. Playing music everyday (CD or radio in the car) alleviated my stress to a certain degree, but not enough to soothe the nerves. To make matters worse, regular radio was boring, repetitive, limited to stars and their hits, and didn’t have enough new music to introduce to the masses. It felt like a waste of time and a total rip-off for the listener who was/is looking for something fresh to put in the ears. How many times can you listen to ‘Stairway to Heaven’ – come on, a band like Led Zeppelin has more in it’s catalog than that one track, or a couple of its other hits. You get the idea. That’s how it is with all other bands that are popular. Injustice to the listener (and artist) is what I call it considering the amount of good unheard music there is in the marketplace. Unheard also applies to the vast catalog of songs by popular bands that never get played. I was terribly fed-up with the broadcast state of affairs and turned OFF the darn radio in disgust. Imagine turning on the radio to one of your favorite preset stations and knowing what the next song was going to be on the playlist, or knowing the artists that got repeated everyday, every hour, every minute. What a bloody wash!!!

 How did it get started? 

I met up with a friend from my dot com past one day and he reminded me about my dream of being a DJ, my vast music collection that I could introduce to the masses, and a little broadcast site from our early days that was now one of the big boys of Internet radio – http://www.live365.com. I remember, the day this site launched I was absolutely elated with the concept of the everyday little guy having control over his own little radio station and playlist. I was thrilled beyond words, but had to shelve this in the dark corners of my mind due to time constraints in the real world of getting a dot com newcomer up and running. Anyway, fast forward about six years, I’m stressing, meeting a buddy for lunch, he reminds me of this shelved dream, I go home and check out the site, fork over the subscription, and launch as Mixed Bag Sound System in March 2006. Don’t make a dime from this venture (wish I could), but I’m happy as a clam getting music out to listeners in over 40 countries and counting. Thanks to Ariel Publicity for contacting me and introducing me to tons of new bands and sounds (no, I’m not getting paid for this plug), and my listeners the world over thank you. I am so darn happy playing music I own and like, and I know my listeners love what they’re hearing. You will hear Led Zeppelin on my station, but it won’t be ‘Stairway……….’ I rest my case.

 Do you consider yourself tech savvy overall? 

Yes, completely and totally. I asked my son the other day if he knew how to play a record, and he was clueless. What more can I say. I come from the era of the record player. My house even had one of those wind-up Gramophones that played 78rpm’s, although that belonged to my granddad. I have seen all the technologies (records, eight track, cassettes, Walkman, CD, etc.) evolve through my lifetime and I have bought and used every one of them including the current favorite, the iPod. Our generation has been very fortunate to experience the birth and growth of various technologies through the past few decades, and we have grown alongside them. Tech savvy, you bet!!!!

 What do you think it takes to be tech savvy in today’s world and what are some of the key components of that skill set (like what are the most important things to know to get by I guess)? 

Tech savvy really applies to the older generation, and I stated my case in the previous question. We had to grow with each new technological advancement or be left behind. The current generation, or those starting with the ones born in the 1980’s had the tech savvy gene inborn (Walkman, CD’s, video games, mp3’s, etc.) and didn’t have as much to develop or didn’t have to take a major leap forward. It’s all similar and connected now. All thumbs is what I say – texting, gaming device controllers, etc. It all comes instinctively now, no training required. PacMan was amazing when it came out. It was a whole new ball game and experience getting your thumbs into action. I don’t like texting, and would rather pick up the phone and call you, but my dad who’s almost 80 loves texting, as does my 15 year old. Go figure. The only thing you need to be tech savvy nowadays is to have money to buy every new technology that hits the shelves, and the gumption and patience to work the gizmo. How many 80 year olds have you seen with iPods and iPhones and computers. Plenty…….

 Do you think certain generations will be left behind, or is there potential for everyone to adapt to technological changes? 

Every technology nowadays is plug and play and easy as pie to use. Cable, mobiles, Internet, you name it, is getting easier everyday.  You no longer have to be a programmer to be able to use computers, or a rocket scientist to understand or use other technology. Companies profit and consumers benefit when everything is easy to use and made for the masses. Mass consumption is the name of the game, and the only way you’ll get left behind is because of you and your reluctance to adapt to changes.

 What’s in store for the future of Mixed Bag? 

This is my baby, my dream, and it’ll be around as long as the listeners are tuning in. I try not to bore my listeners with retreads and based on the stats, so far, so good. A big question mark in keeping this dream alive is the Internet Radio Equality Act that has been seesawing in Congress. The record companies want to raise royalties for hobbyists (such as myself) on Internet radio while giving regular radio all the breaks. If royalties go up, I won’t be able to afford my subscription and I’ll shut down the station. I’ll regret losing my hobby, but darn if I’m going to pay these guys another dime more than I’m shelling out now. The artists, exposure to their music, listeners, and sales will suffer, but to heck with these greedy glut companies. They are already suffering a slowdown in sales, and this is just the beginning of the big wallop the consumers are heaving back at them. Enough is enough!!! I have a closet full of vinyl and cassettes, thousands of CD’s at an average $17 a pop (something that costs $2 to produce) and I say no more. Buzz off. I am a hobbyist doing this for fun, promoting new and older music, not making a dime, not sharing in the sense where listeners can download the tracks, so why rip me off when I’m promoting your product (that I bought) on my hard earned dollar. I buy the music, it’s my time, I pay to be on the bandwidth, promote your product without you compensating me, so where’s the justice in making sure I go silent. A time is coming when more bands like Radiohead will sell their album on an honor system minus the middleman…….coming soon to a website near you!!!! Here’s hoping these corporate suits back off and let us hobbyists do what we do best…….introducing music to the masses on our dollar. If they don’t want the free plug, you know what they can do with it…….

 Check out more from Ajay at http://www.live365.com/stations/djeclectic  

The NBT Music Columns : The CyberPR Blog (Ariel Publicity)11

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Woman Behind the Monitor (and the Mic):  Anji Bee  “The Sexiest Voice in Podcasting” Anji Bee of the Chillcast talks about the show and her double life as both podcaster and musician.   T:  How did the Chillcast get its start?   

A:  I guess you could say The Chillcast got its start with college radio DJ’ing. After 3 years of doing various shows and working in management at a college radio station, I was pretty well hooked.  Then I discovered Internet radio, and started creating both live and prerecorded Internet radio content – including interviews with indie bands like Hungry Lucy and Sunburn in Cyprus.  Eventually podcasts were invented, and I put 2 and 2 together.  Podcasting was better than radio because listeners could tune in whenever was most convenient for them – which seemed really revolutionary!  My first podcast was actually  Chillin’ with Lovespirals, which Ryan and I launched to help promote our 2nd album, Free & Easy.  Shortly after, I started getting permissions from indie band friends to create a weekly music show podcast – because you have to understand that at this time the podsafe music movement was barely getting started!  Adam Curry had just begun his Podsafe Music Network — which is actually how he and I met and became friends, when Lovespirals joined the site.  Adam played us on the Daily Source Code, and then we started talking back and forth on his podcast about Creative Commons vs BMI and all those kinds of things.  To make a long story a bit shorter, I put together a few fledgling episodes of The Chillcast, hosting them on the Internet Archive site and C.C. Chapman, who was really active with PodShow at the time, pitched the show to Adam and PodShow management, and I was signed as one of the first group of podcasters to the new PodShow Podcast Network.

 T:  What have you learned from operating on both sides of the broadcasting world, as a podcaster and as a musician?  

A:  Good question. Podcasting is a great way to communicate with your fans, to give them a sense of who you are as a person, as well as to inform them of your latest projects. You can really build a sense of brethrenship, not only with your fans, but fellow indie musicians and fellow podcasters. Podcasts are more intimate than a newsletter, less time consuming than a forum, and both more immediate and long lasting than a personal appearance. I’m surprised more bands aren’t doing podcasts, actually.

 T:  With over a half million downloads of the Chillcast, what is the top tip you would give aspiring podcasters in terms of building such an impressive listenership?  

A:  Consistency. Being consistent with the quality, content, and output of your show is really important. Listeners want to know they can rely on you to provide whatever experience it is you’re providing on a regular schedule. If done well, your show becomes a part of your subscriber’s life that they look forward to, and you don’t want to let them down!

 T:  Chillin’ with the Lovespirals was one of the earliest band podcasts, what was the impetus behind such inspiration and foresight?  

A:  Well I mentioned this briefly in your earlier question, but the idea was to share information about the new album we were releasing, and what better way to promote an album than with the music itself?  We had shared audio interviews we’d done with radio stations in mp3 format on music sites for years, so I knew people liked to listen to us talk about our music and band experiences. We have all the recording gear here at our disposal, so it just seemed logical to produce our own audio content and make it available via our site. We had fun doing it, too. At that time, iTunes was just launching their podcast directory, so getting listed on that was a real thrill.

 T:  Why should a band be PodSafe?  

A:  Podcasts are a very low cost promotional tool. Unlike radio, it’s very easy to break into the podcasting world.  There are still relatively few bands vying for attention on podcasts. If your music is good, you’re bound to get noticed. And podcast subscribers are truly interested in music. These are the cutting edge people who have sought out an alternative form of entertainment; they’re serious. If they like something they hear on a show, they actually go out and buy it. I get email and comments all the time about buying music from my shows — in fact, I got one this week from a guy who was sad that Sun Dula Amen wasn’t on iTunes yet, because he wanted to buy it! And of course, I know for a fact that I sell my own CDs from podcasts, I see the proof from orders on the Lovespirals Webstore.

 T:  You’ve said, “an indie band can make more money selling less CDs without a big label” so where should the revenue be coming from?  

A:  Everyone’s experience is going to be different, but in the case of Lovespirals, we have personally been able to make more money selling less CDs having released our music on our own label. When you consider that standard royalties paid per CD are between $1 and $2, I mean, come on — you’re going to need to sell an awful lot of copies to make any appreciable amount of money! And even then, you’re only paid quarterly, so it will take a long time to see anything come in. When you sell your CDs yourself, especially directly from your own website or at live shows, then whatever money is made is all yours, right away. And then there’s the money made from digital sales and licensing. Its a lot of work to do on your own, I won’t deny that, and most people probably aren’t willing to take on the additional responsiblity, but we did and it seems to be working for us.

 T:  What’s next for The Chillcast and Lovespirals?  

A:  Lovespirals are continuing to promote our new album, Long Way From Home. We have a remix EP off of the first single, “Motherless Child,” being released digitally, and we have a remix contest lined up for the second single, “This Truth,” with Peace Love Productions. In all likelihood we’ll do a digital release with the winners of that contest in early 2008.  The Chillcast just launched a Video Edition, which is a new weekly feature for the feed. The first episode included a video by Karmacoda, and the second includes Beth Hirsch. As for the regularly scheduled audio show, I’ve got a great little chillout Christmas episode, and a really amazing extended DJ mix for New Years coming up.

 

For music from Lovespirals go to www.Lovespirals.com

 To check out what’s playing on the Chillcast go to AnjiBee.com  

The NBT Music Columns : The CyberPR Blog (Ariel Publicity)10

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Man Behind The Monitor:  Zack Daggy of MothPod Today we’re interviewing the creator of The Mothpod Podcast to learn a little about his show and ‘the New Media Water Cooler’ 

Trevor:  What got you into podcasting and how did The Mothpod get it’s start? 

Zack:  Well, I’ve been listening/watching podcasts since 2005, but I actually became involved with it in 2006. You see, I was interviewing for a scholarship at the journalism department of my university and the topic of how their online paper could be improved came up. The first thing that popped in my head was podcasting. So long story short, I left there being put in charge of putting together their first podcast, The only trouble was I didn’t know the first thing about RSS! So during the summer of 06 I had a crash course in podcasting that finally ended with me starting my own test podcast called The Mothpod. Funny thing is that this little “test” podcast started gaining an audience. Now 70+ episodes later I’m proud to say that The Mothpod has a solid fan base that it’s still growing.

 T:  What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a podcaster? 

Z:  Time. To be a podcaster, you have to be willing to dedicate quite a bit of time. A typical episode of The Mothpod takes a full week to create. 5 days of pre-production (selecting music, collecting audio bits, etc) 1 day to write the show notes/credits, and 1 day to actually record the show. For special episodes like my Rocktober episode, some times the pre-production work can take as long as a month.

 T:  You seem to be very active on Twitter, what got you into it? 

Z:  I first heard about Twitter on Geek Brief TV with Cali Lewis. It was introduced as “micro blogging,” and it seemed like something worth checking out. Of course, Twitter isn’t much like a blog, but more like a passive chat room. This I found incredibly addictive.

 T:  Why is Twitter important for a Podcaster, Internet Radio Station, etc.? 

Z:  I like to refer to Twitter as “The New Media Water Cooler.” Almost everyone in new media uses Twitter to talk about what is going in there lives, or whatever gossip they my have overheard. It’s just a really great way of staying connected with your peers.

 T:  Has it impacted your listenership for the Podcast? 

Z:  In a six degrees of separation sort of way, I suppose it has. Through twitter I’ve been able to more easily collaborate with other podcasters, and thus produce a better show. Anytime you can improve your podcast, you’re bound to pick up more listeners. Of course, the increased Web presence of being on any social network helps too.

 T:  Are there any other social media/networking sites your very involved with that isn’t widely known yet? 

Z:  The latest one I’ve been playing around with has been Utterz. If Twitter is micro blogging, then Utterz is micro podcasting. You can post text, images, or audio in each post. Plus it will forward your posts to your Twitter page. It’s pretty cool.

 T:  What’s next for MothPod? 

Z:  Next for The Mothpod is project Mothpod New Year. It’s an extended New Year’s special that will feature 15+ tracks not yet available on The Podsafe Music Network. I contacted a bunch of bands and artists I worked with in 2007, and they were kind enough to supply some exclusive tracks to bring in 2008. So I’m really excited about it.

 

Check out Mothpod New Year, and all the other episodes at http://www.mothpod.podshow.com/

The NBT Music Columns : The CyberPR Blog (Ariel Publicity)6

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This week Trevor Dye interviews Yours Truly. It is an honour J

 Let It SpreadA Conversation with Martin Smit, the multi-platform guru behind Next Big Thing. 

When asked about the purpose of Next Big Thing, Martin Smit approaches it as a mission of broadening our horizons, “I guess my hope is to force the listener to overcome his or her prejudices… to make a country and western fan swoon over a perfectly formed hip-hop song and a metal-head become hopelessly devoted to a beautifully composed techno track.”  While these are lofty ambitions, they’re fueled by a very genuine motive, as Smit merely wants listeners to “fall in love with music all over again.”  The site started with a webspace – more a quirky web application than a website – and has evolved to thriving web 2.0 entity, complete with a blog, podcast, flickr site, and all the trimmings.

 NBT covers all genres of music, perfect for the most adventurous of listeners.  But there are obvious hurdles in promoting emerging bands, as Martin describes the power of the mainstream, “Their sole purpose is to get the guy out there in cyberspace to buy their product and only their product.”  In mass media culture, being a curious, adventurous listener seems like a counterintuitive thing.  “(Mainstream labels) know a lot of customers want what is only a few mouse clicks away and they also know that a lot of customers want, in fact NEED to be told what to buy and what is cool.”  This observation paints a bleak landscape for any music broadcaster focusing on the obscure or emerging.  This may not necessarily be the full story, however, as Smit became overjoyed when I inquired about, from his experience, how intelligent the average listener actually is when it comes to discovering new music?  He replied, “Thankfully Way WAY more intelligent than the majors give them credit for.  Sure there are a thousand slackers who will go buy a single by the Fray just because they are always on the front page of MySpace, But more and more, there are kids and parents and grannies and truck drivers who want to discover for themselves what or who will be the next superstar band or performer.”

 Even though listeners are willing to deviate from the mainstream conveyer belt, some bands are still going unheard and at their own fault.  “A Lot of bands are good at making great music but basically are AWFUL at promoting themselves. They don’t seem to get that creating the tune, the art, is only a tiny part of the process…the hardest part is getting that music heard and that it’s time consuming and difficult work.”  In Smit’s mind, a few bands have distinguished themselves, mainly through persistence.  “Bands like Rotten Cheri from New York and Colour Cold in South Africa are good examples of acts that go that extra mile, they send music to website after website, they make music available for play and they don’t stop, they keep promoting and working and playing.” (Check out their URLs in the blog roll opposite),  He continues, “What is amazing is I get SO many bands like this.” In 2008, expect NBT to continue its expansion, as Smit wants “to simply provide as many platforms as possible for all that brilliant music.”   Check out more from Next Big Thing:

Podcast: The NBT Podcast

Blog:  http://www.nbtmusic.wordpress.com

MySpace:  http://www.myspace.com/martinnextbigthing

Homepage: http://www.nextbigthing.co.za

Visual Page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nbtvisual

Thursday Night US Show:  http://www.luver.com/nextbigthing.html