The NBT Review 50

With The Eye Of A Skeptic… – Bill Price (Grass Magoops Records)

This is old time Country dance, girl boy harmonies against a roots rocking band led by the jubilant skitter of the Cittern (a sort of large bodied mandolin.) This is not all though; this is the personal political, the thoughtful, the wishful, the dreamer making songs, the watcher singing.

We hear about the Junkman who learns about life in the bits and pieces he collects, the secrets we throw away without even knowing it. We debate within a blues swing room about the soul of modern art then to the strains of a lilting lullaby like tune we are taken flying.

In his dreams, in this flight,  years roll by jumbled, villains are given the chance to be heroes , history is scrambled and re-sighed re-written and hope is rescued from the cynic’s prison.

Price may see these things, these choices, with the eye of a skeptic, but his belief in good, in the right decisions maybe being made, the fact that the future is really fragile and can be broken into something beautiful; is what makes this collection a gift.

In the song ‘’Foot In The Dirt’’ the simple act, the lucid description of how it feels..Just to cast away the heavy of the day and ..Walk, touches this listener because that escape has often been MY escape too.

So jump slow and jump calm into these songs and stories, get caught up in the seemingly effortless virtuoso playing of all involved and welcome this gentle raconteur into your home.

http://www.billprice.info

Analog Love – Cassis and the Sympathies (Wunderblumenmusik)

Benign, serene coming down from the clouds willfully we slow dive into Analog Love, a neon lit lounge, default setting on sultry, though  soon enough we allow the lady to take our hand and dance us into a wide open cinema land.

This is new wave old romantic, ambient, impulsive, addictive, a darker Julee Cruise, a content Nico, still slightly dangerous, a sweetly lethal bubblegum, deep blue tripping over the rhythm disguised as sighs.

There is that skewed perspective that Lydia Lunch gave on Queen Of Siam, though this time the chanteuse is backed by a mixture of Yello and seemingly old time wicked jazz musicians playing for their souls.

In these songs disturbing desire is just, always JUST,  a finger click away. These are invitations to a languid version of Hell, an acceptably edgy version of Heaven. Piano and Accordion entice and bewitch in the guise of slick warped ballads, tears and escape, they urge us to close our eyes and

Sink.

A cool journey away from the modern normal.

http://www.cassisvision.com/

Hear Tracks from BOTH these albums on the NBT Podcast going out on the 23rd Feb 2010

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

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The CyberPR (Ariel Publicity)New Media Pioneer Interviews 17

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Adam Hiniker

EarCandy New York

Q:  How long have you been broadcasting/blogging?

We created Ear Candy about a year ago and recorded shows sporadically for the first nine months. It was just December that we started doing a weekly show.

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

In my opinion it has to have an edge or some very apparent emotion behind it. I don’t necessarily think a song has to be cutting edge or innovative to be great (though it helps) as long as an artist shows skill in their craft and confidence in how they deliver it.

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

The genre I listen to the most is hip hop, it’s an extremely raw form of expression considering the overhead is very minimal and  so much can be said in just sixteen bars of a hip hop verse. I grew up listening to hip hop and always liked it for superficial reasons but in the early nineties I discovered their were acts out there that wrote about things I could actually relate to and that’s when I started getting ideas about producing music.

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

With all of the podsafe music resources and the fact that most artists and labels are more than willing to let us play their music these types of changes haven’t affected us much.

Q: A recent study found blogs to be more effective than MySpace in generating album sales, do you feel that that is a true statement?

Yes, I think their is a lot of random solicitation on myspace, however when someone blogs about an artist or album it’s a form of reference for the reader who generally values the bloggers opinion. Blogging is a great form of promotion for artists and also gives music fans an opportunity to be a journalist, I think this drives sales in a way that making mix tapes used to but on a much larger scale.

http://www.earcandynewyork.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 NBT Review 22

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 Dag För Dag (Pre-Release EP)

Within the tension of the restrained feedback, do we hear playground ghosts?

The girl sings loud fierce in empty spaces, abandoned industrial rooms, there seems to be no standing still, arms in self hug internal, but a glorious dance and sway.

The echo of the drama, the theatre of the letting go.

Post rock, Post Modern, post sticky useless labels, a touch of young marble giants here, a shatter of newNew wave, beautiful voice and dirty guitars, Isolated Pirates on a scrawled animated Sea.

Then fragile Words. A country ballad refracted, reflected, distorted; the harmonies of light and dark.

Thank God it’s better now, this indie world, where subtle dark moments created with such seeming ease can drift across our computers and our homes, new best friends in the hard days to come.

A superb collection.

Catch the band across Europe and at the SXSW festival and watch out for a review of their upcoming gig with the Handsome Furs at Gebaude 9 in Cologne in April.

Look/Listen closer

 http://www.dagfordag.com/

Dark Mist EP – Marilyn Roxie (Independent Release)

Ahh, the heartbreak of the clockwork toy. As a child I couldn’t help but notice that even the jolliest of tunes was somehow rendered some what melancholic when played from a music box and in the opening track of this EP Marilyn Roxie captures that feeling with sweet simplicity.

This is a set of miniature sound poems, soundtracks perhaps to long lost TV shows, fragmented by the click of the remote, making a secret kinda sense as they flicker across midnight heavy living rooms.

Some are gone before we even realize it, leaving but a spirit, an essence of otherworldly loss and emotion, others are more complicated, sliding the fear and the danger and the soul across us, trapping us willingly deep into their stories.

Stand out track for me is Green Leather with its intimate eastern tinges and seductive swoon.

Minimal as this fine music is, in each tune there remains, in each new listen, a wealth of images and thoughts to discover.

Go to Marilyn Roxie’s MySpace and get this and many more EPS. And read her great blog as well

http://www.myspace.com/marilynroxie

http://afutureinnoise.blogspot.com/

(Love) An Asylum Amongst The Convulsions – Jordan T West (Independent Release)

This has been the long slow sultry season of the male/female Duet, especially for those who craft their songwriting with a country or shy folk slant, and the opening track of this thoughtful collection continues this trend.

In ‘The Procreation Song’, as well several other tracks here, West’s whispering vocals are counterpointed by the haunting clarity of Lindy Enns, at once removing the clutter of preconceptions and inviting the listener to join in this small circle of casual confessions.

As we continue into ‘lucky number 9` the isolated instruments warmly join together, sliding into introspective side of jaunty, and when the sad violin sneaks up to, lies down with, the minimal percussion of stand out track ‘Heart Hurts’ we are moved, captured and confided with.

The lyrics set out personal sagas of ambiguity, people do sad, silly hurtful things, but the singer remains hopeful, remains true to the power of what love might bring him, them, and us.

There is strength in this gentleness.

Find out more here

http://www.myspace.com/jordantwest

 

Hush – Claire Holley (Independent Release)

It starts with an escape.

A solitary woman alone but not alone, the world around her perfectly described and formed within the song.

Then as if old photos of happy people burn strangely into something else, we wonder about the unspoken tragedy(in the minds eye,  a double image of funerals superimposed )that lies throbbing, thrumming at the heart of ‘Wedding Day’.

The skill of the songwriting is breathtaking.

These are songs that Neko  Case or even Chan Marshall would be proud of, showing a attention to detail and atmosphere and proudly sigh fully entranced with the  sound of country music storytelling.

From the blues tinged ‘Stars fell on Alabama’ to the Guitar driven gentle instrumental, the haunting ‘Going West’ this performer never falters , never sinks into cliché.

It ends with an escape.

Into the comfort of dreams, safe in the knowledge of the mothers love, the song’s love. We watch we listen, from the doorway perhaps, and calmness descends.

Investigate further

http://www.claireholley.com

Hear all these artists next week on the NBT Podcast (20th Feb)

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CyberPR (Ariel Publicity)New Media Pioneer Interviews 13

ariel20th

New Media Pioneer: Kevin Breuner of the CD Baby Podcast

 

Kevin is a podcaster, blogger, and sync licensing agent.He resides in Portland, OR where he developed and maintains the podcasting and sync licensing efforts for CD Baby.

 

Podcast – http://cdbabypodcast.com

Blog – http://kevinbreuner.com

Twitter – kbreuner

 

Q: How long has the CD Baby Podcast been broadcasting?

 

A: Our first episode of the DIY Musician Podcast posted back in May 2007, so we have been podcasting for a year and a half.

 

Q: What do you try to acheive with each podcast?

 

With each episode, I’m always asking myself, “What can artists learn from this episode. Does this create discussion around topics that are really valuable to the indie music community?” Those questions are bouncing around in my head from the beginning to the end of an episodes production. I think with a podcast or blog, it’s incredibly important to stick to the intended purpose, and because of that, there are interviews that were never released. When it came down to it, they didn’t serve the purpose we want to achieve with the podcast. Ultimately, I hope that each episode continues to empower artists to take their music career into their own hands and make some realistic steps forward.

 

Q: What is the main goal of the CD Baby Podcast?

 

A: My goal with the podcast was to create an “honest” straight forward resource that CD Baby artists and the indie music community at large could use to help move their career forward. I always enjoy talking to other artists and musicians(I’m an artist as well!), and throughout my time at CD Baby, I’ve talked to thousands of artist that are trying to breakthrough with their music. What surprises me, is how many artists, both newbies and seasoned veterans alike, fall into the same traps over and over again.

 

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

 

A: So far, podcasting has remained relatively untouched. There are quite a few podcasts that play mainstream music (that has not been properly licensed), and I think we’ll start seeing the major labels take an interest in cracking down on the usage of that content. But the beauty of the podcast and the invention of the RSS feed, is that you can have direct access to people who are interested in what you are saying. There is no gate keeper telling you what you can and can’t do.

 

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

 

A: I do, and I’m actually surprised that more bands aren’t using podcasting to help promote their music. We actually interviewed a band that released a podcast before they even had all their members. The podcast chronicled their journey as they found the final member and wrote songs, recorded and so on. It immediately caught the attention of the folks over in the iTunes podcast section, and the band’s podcast received a front page feature before they had even played a show. By the time they had all their members and started playing out, people were coming out wearing the bands t-shirts they were selling through their website. The fans really felt a connection to the band. I will say though, for a band to have a podcast that builds their fan base, it must have a couple key components. 1. It must have a point – It can’t be people goofing off in front of a mic or telling inside jokes 2. It must draw the listener into the bands story – Save the shameless self promotion(They probably already are a fan) and give them the real you. 3. It has to be consistent – quite possibly the hardest part. Nobody will be interested in it if you do one episode every couple months. I’m actually in a new band here in Portland, and we have a podcast in the works. We’ve spent so much time really trying to define what it will be and how it will work just to make sure that it becomes a part of what we do. If we just made a random haphazard stab at it, it would be doomed from the beginning.

 

The CyberPR (Ariel Publicity)New Media Pioneer Interviews 11

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New Media Pioneer: Andrea Zuniga of Geek is Chic Podcast

http://www.geekischic.org

 

A podcast where technology is fashionable and practical!

 

Q: How long have you been broadcasting?

A: I am very excited to be fast approaching the one year anniversary of my Podcast! The first Episode of Geek Is Chic was released January 31, 2008. I recently just launched a new podcast called Daily Quote Podcast. That one has been in production for almost a month.

 

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

A: A good song for me captures your attention with a good beat, but is forever engraved into you with lyrics that connect and move you.

 

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

A: Although it may sound cliche, I have an incredibly eclectic tastes in music. My iPhone is proof of just that. You can find reggaeton and hip hop, jazz and soul, and really, everything in between. I genuinely feel that there is both good and bad every genre. The important thing is being open minded enough to connect with an amazing song. So I really don’t like to say I have a favorite genre. I love good music, wherever I can find it!

 

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

A: I think the fact that mainstream artists and the record industry are so protective of the use of their content has for me been a blessing in disguise. I have fallen in love with Podsafe artists. Thanks to fellow podcasters and Ariel Publicity I have discovered some of my favorite new music. The best part is that I can feel free to share with my listeners.

 

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

A: I wholeheartedly believe that Podcasts have an incredible power in generating album sales. It has been my personal experience that since I’ve been signing off with music at the end of every show, I ALWAYS get a couple dozen inquiries about the artists I played. I think the reason why it works is quite simple. Since the song recommendation is coming from a trusted source, listeners don’t feel they’re being pitched at. That trust your audience has in you not only makes them take the reccomendation to heart, but since already have a a built in rapport, they feel comfortable enough to ask you where to purchase the music, or find out more about the bands or artist.

 

The Wonderful Ones 2008 Part Two

wonderful-ones1

And so we continue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.myspace.com/luke_jackson

Richard Kapp

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

Holly Long

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

Lotos Nile

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

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

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

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

The Jaik Miller Band

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sarathan Records

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://sarathan.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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