The NBT Review 69

Starlit Apocalypse

Air

Endless – SNMT (Black Flower Music)

Plus Brand new Tracks from an upcoming release

I decide to listen to this music in the basement of my postwar (forever tween modern and ancient) German small town flat. I have this feeling that the ambience of the musty dark room full of wounded and dead appliances will suit these tunes. That as the sounds drift over the discarded machines of fun and comfort, and cardboard boxes packed to overflowing with no longer loved or listened to vinyl and comics begging for a future generation to love them, the rust and the glitter, the oil and the blood contained within the ragged rhythms will reveal themselves.

I have Three sets to go through plus new songs yet to find a home, and as a tense grey storm brews out there on the street I press random, then press play, lean back against the hard concrete and let the musicians have their chaotic way with me.

So if you expect some sort of order, the stability of one collection then the next, you are in the wrong place. This is for the senses, for the emotions provoked.

Oh I love the slow crawl into AWAKE that the first tune offers, airspace full of the crackle and shock of the moody electric. On this Floating Bridge, one must tread carefully, because it shudders and this is no silent vacuum of stars, here the squeaks shoot out sharp, always tempting the delicate balance to betray itself.

In this Graveyard, the ghosts are bloated, stumbling raw, they puff outward abrasive, yet believe (to the very core or their distressed hearts), that they can hug you, wrap around your soul, blanket like. So they chatter picking fraught phrases from the static. They are lost and there is something beautiful about that.

Now it’s time to fly once more, into a drift that is both unsafe and gentle, a shy startled seductive trip somewhere Between Space. The calm is deceptive though and The Turbo Lolita burns, as she drags us into her, this is Ragnarok , but no Gods on this level, these are men women, demons swimming in the heat, the confusion of yesterday’s failed flirting and tomorrows heavy rampage. They throw out the thoughts in waves that, to LoveYou is to fall, is to surrender to this fine noise, to perhaps find the melody where you may and ride it deeper (not AWAY) but inwards.

Then abruptly the Charm of an orchestra full of the scared and the hesitant brave, take a seat in the empty auditorium watch the blur on stage, the colours shifting as the music finds ways to heal itself. the Deep White entices, you want to dream here, though the unease shifts, sighs in its sleep abandoned baby birds, (clockwork or digital or just projection?) nag at us, to not relax too much, don’t let the REM movement take over

With this music

You may never come out.

Find out for yourself how one band makes so much chaos and beauty. Download from a vast selection of great albums here

http://blackflowermusic.com

You can hear tracks from all these sets on the next NBT Dark Electric podcast going out on the 17th June

http://nbtdarkelectric.podbean.com/

And Black Flower Music will be the featured label in July on the http://nbtmusic.de website.

                              If you use Internet Explorer you can stream snippets of a couple of SNMT’s Tunes here

                               http://www.nextbigthing.co.za

                           (After the intro Click on the ‘#Just want to look around# text it will take u thru to next page)

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 Manik Music Rant episode ONE

manik.jpg

Chris Moon aka Manik plays in several strange and wonderful ‘difficult alternative’ bands and will be hosting the NBT offshoot podcast for darker music ‘Bullets From The Belfry’ starting in feb 2008.

 http://www.myspace.com/manikmoon 

An alternative dj in South Africa…that in itself is an oxymoron…look, I love music, i just feel that everyone else should feel the same.

My musical appreciation started in the 70’s, and like any young lad if it was loud and raucous it was great. Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Uriah Heep ruled the roost, Status Quo and Thin Lizzy were heroes and David Bowie the ultimate rebel. A couple of friends and I started a mobile ‘disco’  because we wanted to bounce around to the kind of music we liked, not the drek dished out at the local school hop.

By the late 70’s, rock was disappearing up its own sphincter and the disco kids wanted Donna Summer and Saturday Night Fever – on repeat. I wanted something else – I ‘found’ The Ramones, my mates were distressed, what’s this, no complicated chord structures and no guitar solos, no nodding along knowingly. On the disco kids’ side….no shiney shirts, doo-wop choruses and carefully synchronised  dance moves to a bog-standard m.o.r. beat….. I abandoned the mobile disco thing. Look, I know a dj  , is supposed to, play to the crowd, but what do you do when the crowd knows squat? 30 years later, things haven’t changed. Alternative to me is exploring new sounds, new experience, new innovations, these days I get requests for tracks 20/30 years old!! Not that I’m averse to the odd classic, mind, but Siousxie Siousx’s (bless her) ‘Peek-A-Boo’  aint one- not with the wealth of what the Banshees have put out….(She has a new album, its great, what do you mean you can’t dance to it ‘cos you haven’t heard it the necessary 15.4 times?). 

South Africa is small, musically (yes it has a wealth of ethno-centric music, but we are talking ‘rock’ here). There has always been a  serious lack of exposure to new music – back in the 70’s there was one radio station that played ‘pop’, by the 80’s on that there was one dj who attempted to break new ‘alternative’ music. The only place to hear music even remotely off the mainstream was in music clubs – discos by any other name- and they were few and far between. Being a small market means directly that in heads through the door, alternative music had/ still has a very small market. Clubs that cater for such don’t last long, those that do, some become legend, some bland out and cater to the masses. I don’t like the term ‘alternative’ any more, its meaningless, its been out-marketed. Alternative today means ‘rock-in-general’, quite frankly, an alternative to R n B, house, ‘disco’. Labels are evil – look, I go to a ‘goth’ club today and hear…….well basically house with gloomy vocals..hooray, either that or metal…. *clicks on rant mode * 

Metal aint goth!!, It aint even ‘alternative’ (in the original context), its distorted testerone-driven over amplified play-by-numbers drivel performed by misanthropes with bad make-up and no sense of humour!!

 

*end of rant *

 Anyway, where was I…..there was a time I’d nip down the nearest (only?) alternative club and hear a wide variety of sounds, from electronica to rockabilly, ska to rock, metal even, ‘disco’ even. The emphasis was on new, ground-breaking, the only skill being to keep a thread going. Clubs that would be a meeting place of like minded- music freaks, alternative in music, alternative in thought. A place where some eager young pack with a couple of instruments between them would have the opportunity to do stuff – good or bad!! Dodgy photostatted fliers with forthcoming events, always something happening, something new, something to look forward to over a few pints – a musical meet-n-greet! Glory days.  We’ve gone backwards, that’s gone. Now, music has become so Balkanised that you’ll hear one genre-all night- each ‘artist’ trying to sound like each other, the only skill demanded that the dj ‘beat-mix’ , the only demand that the dj keep the dance floor packed the masses catered for and soothed with similar sounding, uncomplicated rhythm-pah! As cutting edge as a plastic butter knife. The internet-good and bad – good that its a never before dreamed of wealth of access to new music, at your fingertips, listen to it NOW. Bad in that it is also a wealth of bands that sound like bands that sound like…..Bad in that, hey, why go to a club when all I need is here, why go and physically interact with real people with other real interests in other things, other music………    

The NBT Music Columns : The CyberPR Blog (Ariel Publicity)13

trevar.jpg

Man Behind the Monitor: Bill Prevost of rifRadio

 Aside from being a steadfast advocate of the unheard underdogs, Bill Prevost of rifRadio meshes cause related substance with entertainment on his Internet station “Radio Iraqi Freedom.”

 T:  How did rifRadio get its start?

B:  I’ve always been a big defender of the underdog. About four years ago, I got increasingly tired of the way that our military was being constantly disrespected and maligned by the mainstream media. I decided that the best way to show my support was to create a music station that might bring a little bit of home to them wherever they were. You can’t do this over the airwaves unless you are fortunate enough to get a large conglomerate like Clear Channel to syndicate you and that was not financially feasible for me. But the Internet, now that was a possibility. It’s not as restricted and I was allowed more freedom. The “rif” in rifRadio stands for “Radio Iraqi Freedom” and will be forever dedicated to those who put their lives on the line everyday so that I can do this. Something that should never be forgotten. If you want an idea of the alternative take a look at what China is doing with the Internet. ‘Nuff said.

T:  What encouraged you to dive into Internet Radio as opposed to other forms of broadcast?

B:  I think what I liked most was the freedom to do things the way that I thought they should be done. Not having to follow the archaic protocols and standards that the regulated industries have adopted. For instance, I play complete albums because the artists of that album had a particular message or idea that they were trying to convey. I’m not going to get into any deep discussion about this, I don’t think that I need to. A few examples of this though would be almost any Pink Floyd, Yes, or Alan Parsons Project album. Even Boston’s first album, the one that they cut in their basement because the record companies said that they weren’t good enough, has a very fluid format.

Boston, Brad Delp in particular, also was the encouragement to me to listen to “Indie” music. I’m the person that watches the movies that the critics give thumbs down to. I find that they are usually better than the ones that they do like. For the last few years, the big music companies been sitting around whining about piracy and downloads. This is not because the artists lose out. To the contrary, it’s because they lose out. A couple of great reference articles are interviews with David Byrne (Talking Heads) and Thom Yorke (Radiohead) in the January 2008 issue of Wired Magazine. They have seen the industry eat artists on a daily basis. It used to be all about the money. Not how much the artist would make, but how much they would make at the expense of the artist. They also have seen the future and it is a future that benefits the artist as well as the industry. In my opinion, (and I say “in my opinion” only out of some sense of political correctness, something I greatly despise), the recording industry downfall began with the likes of Madonna. Think about it. Could you imagine Robert Plant, Johnny Winter, Eric Clapton or any of the greats of the past with backup dancers? Alvin Lee, (Ten Years After) wrote a line that I think says it all. “Go tell Madonna it don’t do nothin’ for me”. Why is it necessary to have 38DD and big asses bouncing around the stage? Don’t you think it kind of distracts from the guy that spent his life learning to play the 12-string or the message that the band is trying to get across?

There is so much talent out there that isn’t getting out because the recording industry starts to milk them for money the second that they get any recognition. You can’t make it if you don’t pay. How ridiculous. If that doesn’t stifle creativity and ambition, what does? Groups like TSC (Te Stone Coyotes), Jupiter One, Blood Red Sun, Telling On Trixie, artists like Pete Berwick, Papa Satch, and Bill Kelly are where the future of music lies. I sincerely hope that they read the articles that I mentioned.  The sky is the limit if they get it right.

I was fortunate to have found CyberPR (arielpublicity.com). Of all of the publicity companies that I am in communication with, they have what I consider some of the best talent available. I’ve found that they can distinguish between the good ones and the great ones.

T:  As a radio broadcaster, do you have a favorite radio personality that you’ve been inspired by?

B:  In music radio, no. I have tried to combine the attributes of three stations that I grew up listening to in the 70′s and early 80′s. I’m from the Denver area and back then we had a station called KLZ FM, (they later became KAZY). I had a friend at the time that was a DJ. I would go as a guest with him to a little place in the bottom of the Brooks Towers called Ebbets Field when he would MC. I listened to such greats as Leo Kottke and Lynyrd Skynyrd, (a few days after their release of “Pronounced”) and others. Unfortunately it became too commercial as time went by and I switched to KBCO in Boulder. I liked their laid back style and my favorite DJ was Ginger. They too became very commercial over time and that led me to the Ft. Collins college station KTCL. The students ran it and occasionally they would “buck the system”. They also played local music and the stuff you didn’t hear on commercial FM. Those days are gone. I try to do the same now. I still have to play the stuff everyone remembers, but I can also slip in the stuff that you only heard if you bought the album.

T:  What is the biggest challenge you face as an Internet Radio station manager?

B:  It would probably be promotion. I have an edge as I did concentrate on the military. I’ve been told that I am one of a very few Internet radio stations allowed on bases, but as you can guess, I have no way of knowing other than word of mouth. I am working on some new and exciting ways of promoting my station, but I don’t want to fall into the same old commercial trap. You can get that anywhere.

T:  What advice would you give an aspiring station manager looking to grow their listener base?

B:  I could tell you that but then I’d have to kill you. No, I guess I would just say do what feels good. The Internet is wide open. Use it wisely. Try to get an idea of what people want and make it work with what you want. Respect your listeners; they are what it is about. Find a cause or ideal that you want to advance and do so with intensity and respect. I can’t say that word enough. I have two. The appreciation of those who would die for me and the advancement of what I see as the future of music. Self-marketing and incredible talent are the next wave in the music industry. I’m a firm believer that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. The rewards are security, accomplishment and satisfaction.

T:  What’s next for rifRadio?

B:  I want to be the source for “Indie” music. I want someone to call up a band or artist and say, “I heard you music on rifRadio”. I want the talent that is sitting out there to say, “I sent a demo to rifRadio….”. I am dealing with what I consider to be the best publicity agent out there right now. Eventually, I will have to expand, but for the immediate future I have every confidence in what I am doing and whom I associate with.

If I can make this thing work, I have plans to build a recording studio catering to Independents. I’m out in the middle of nowhere. I wake up to moose and deer in my yard.  I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I have fiberoptic Internet and all the amenities that I need. This would be the perfect place. I even have a producer in mind. I’m a long way from that, but not deterred. My station has been climbing steadily in my server’s ratings and my ideas to make it even better are just starting. I do believe that I will achieve my goals.

 

To check out what’s playing on rifRadio now, visit: http://www.rifradio.net

 For the complete interview with Bill, including a few referrals to insightful articles about the landscape of the music industry, check out: https://nbtmusic.wordpress.com/

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

trevar.jpg

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)10

trevar.jpg

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)9

trevar.jpg

Aliens From The Planet Zoltar

 An Interview with Todd Wachtel, host and founder of The Jersey ToddShow

 How did the Jersey ToddShow get its start?

 I drive to Court everyday, and my commute is about an hour and a half.  There was only so much “Wacky Morning Zoo” that I could possibly take.  Eventually,I stumbled onto some great podcasts that promoted indie bands, and I was absolutely hooked. Here was a medium completely uncontrolled by big business that allows me to hear bands that I never would through commercial channels. After a few months of listening to other podcasters, I realized that I could do it, too. As far as the essays, I’ve always been ranting in my head about one thing or another – so if you want to hear some music, you’re stuck hearing me ramble too. It’s a small price to pay.

 What advice/tips would you give an aspiring podcaster looking to expand their audience?
 
Network. Network. Network. Get in the communities, be it Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace. I truly believe that a rising tide rises all boats, and any success my show has had was due to the contributions and assistance of the Podcaster and listener community.

 Since Jersey is in he name of the show, do you subscribe to the New York/New Jersey rivalry?

Johnny Sack died in Federal Prison, while Tony Soprano is eating onion rings in a diner in North Jersey. I don’t think there’s much of a rivalry anymore.

You made an interesting contrast between the RIAA and the Islamic religoin, can you summarize that for our readers?

 I was having some fun, of course. (I pander to the jihadists and not the RIAA Execs.) In short, my theory is that the Muslim extremists are very upset about the Westernization of their culture, and I respect that very much. The Muslim religion is beautiful, and promotes freedom, sharing, and respect. The RIAA helps to promote ugly women who walk the streets without their heads being covered (Celine Dion), restriction on the free-flow of art, and lawsuits against grandmothers.  I think if the extremists knew who their real target of protest is, we’d all get along a lot better. Of course, its not something to lose your head over, and besides if I ever have to hear another Backstreet Boys single, I’d cut my own ears off. 

You obviously have a strong stance in terms of the RIAA, as we find this posted at the top of your site:

“I can’t believe that I missed the obvious joke:

From KChrisH on Twitter:
“@jerseytodd: every time an RIAA exec gets beheaded, an angel gets its wings :P (ref: show 103)””

Is there anything you feel that a fairly knowledgeable music professional might not know about the current situation with the RIAA?

They are aliens from the planet Zoltar sent here to enslave our planet through the subliminal messages on the newest Kidz Bop album. In all serious, every artist should take a look at the specific language of the RIAA and realize that there is “opt-out” language involved and a very specific procedure to not have the RIAA collect their revenues.  Its one way an artist can say that I don’t dig you suing single-mothers or children for irrational damages on my behalf.


Do you see a solution that can please all sides?

 Now that artists can effectively market themselves and distribute content electronically, the labels are going to need to seriously need to reevaluate their purpose. I’m not saying that music should be 100% free, and as a producer of content I support copyright protection – but the models need to change.

From a legal perspective, I think that a Judge needs to step up and challenge the RIAA on how they are deriving their damage claims, and I think legislators need to clean up the language in the Copyright Act. The market for a song is .99. If someone violates an artist’s copyright, that is what they should be require to pay in a civil court per song as compensatory damages.  I would even support punitive damages, if they were reasonable. But, in particularly egregious Check out the great music now spinning on The Jersey ToddShow (www.jerseytoddshow.com) 

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

trevar.jpg

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