The NBT Wonderful Ones 2010 Part One Of Three

another hectic year another huge collection of new acts discovered. When i say new acts, well new to me, and to new to some listeners, a lot of the bands and artists have been playing, creating for ages, making music that seduces and provokes and revigorates.

What was amazing for me , was the the sheer diversity of the tunes on offer, from ghostly industrial landscaping to tender folk ballads, from exuberant indie pop, to things full of complicated time changes and sneaky shifts.And what amazed me even MORE, was that even the most glittery pop concoction, or most basic lo fi rock out, all had  these things in common: passion, care and love.

These were NOT songs made by committee with one eye on sales and the other on offending no one. this was music made for the joy of it, sure the bands want to ‚‘make it‘ want to have that illusive hit, but its the song first, the hustle later. something the majors could learn from, (if they only stopped being so damn SCARED of the independents that is).

So ok.. here are the bands, singers, performers,labels, promoters that made this year even better than the last. ladies and gentle beings here in no particular order are this years Wonderful Ones.

Parts Two and Three to followThe NBT Visual Page can be seen HERE

Marco Mahler

And what a way to open proceedings: the prince of the subtle complicated, seeming low key but deeply textured and incredibly moving Mr. Mahler kept doing what he does best and created his finest work to date.

Marco in his own words:”I released a new album (“Laptop Campfire Speed”) this past summer, for which I received a good number of great reviews (including one of my all-time favorite reviews of my music from NBT), but it didn’t sell as well as I was hoping, which I think is partly due to the changes in the music industry over the past decade, partly because of a very limited marketing budget, and partly because I didn’t tour in support of the album, for which I just couldn’t find the time to get it all organized (I try to do too much myself I think).

I recorded some new ideas this past fall which might turn into something this next year, and maybe that tour will happen after all.

Thank you to NBT for the support, and everybody else who spread the word, bought a copy, or helped out in other ways. Happy holidays and an amazing new year!

“http://www.marcomahler.com/


DarkLily

In ‚’Illusia‘ Vyolette Johnson created a world  that seemed almost magical victorian tragic romantic and wistful, the NBT review said..”Her creations are measured and classical almost aloof, yet never too detached, they engage us, bombard us with thoughts and regret and deliverance.

http://www.darklily.co.uk/

Tokyo Rosenthal

in my review of his 3rd album i compared Tokyo to Elvis when he was a country rocker, but of course there is more to it than that,  in a mix of protest, love ballad and intimate rock workouts, ‘Ghosts‘ was just a pleasure.

Tokyo in his own words:

‘2010 was perhaps my most amazing year ever and the busiest too. It began with the release of “Ghosts” which hit #5 on The Euro Americana Chart, got about 50 rave reviews and the airplay world wide was my best ever. Not to mention that “Mister Tell Me ‘Bout The Great Depression” was #2 on the NBT Chart and “And Then You Sang” also reached #2 on The Hot Disc Chart in Australia and Europe.

Touring was major for me this year as I hit the UK for the fourth time, played The Bitter End in NYC twice, made my Nashville debut, and played about 100 dates finishing up the year in Canada in Montreal and Ottawa.

2011 plans include a new album coming out in May, a West Coast Tour in February, Texas in March, and back to the other side of the pond in the Fall.

http://www.tokyorosenthal.com

Apollo‘s Sun

what we said when nominating him for Artist for October on the NBTMusic website, ‘Something fresh blows in the darkness, invades the smoke filled room full of jabbering idiots and fragile egos making sounds to just fill in the vaccum of their existence. Suddenly here is a hip hop artist that deals in the subtle, that creates deeply moving sometimes disturbing tunes for the thoughtful and the restless.

Mr Billy Krouse aka Apollo’s Sun makes albums that you want to set time aside to listen to, that you want to hold your finger over the ‘play’ button for tiny seconds until you are quite ready, that you almost want to keep just to yourself like that exotic chocolate, or that new Scorsese movie, but find yourself trying to send it to those (whose taste you value) as often as possible.‘

Pollyanna
Folk was really only the starting point for the France based Pollyanna, there were hints of jazz and even old time country swing within it‘s (deceptively) quiet grooves.

Isabelle Casier in her own words:

‘A word to label 2010? Easy : GERMANY.I spent several weeks touring here in various wheather conditions. Thanks toSongs&Whispers, my mental booker and label in Bremen. It’s true, what they say :you have great audiences here, and it helps you get better on stage. I feeltotally like the Beatles, now.

At the beginning of 2010, I had an agonizing band, and I was just recovering fora long writer’s block. At the end of 2010, I have 20 new songs, I met greatmusicians to play with, including a violinist from Hannover, Guido Eva. And, inFrance, two jazzmen, a drummer from Brittany, string and wind players… Ihave a lot of plans with them.All in all, I played some 70 shows this year, which is a lot for someone who still has a dayjob.

My plans for 2011 : come back here to support my album “On Concrete”, that’s just been released on this side of the Rhine, and work on new stuff. I shouldrecord not one but probably two albums! I’ll also play in the UK in january, and go back to New York in spring.

My funniest experience this year? My first rootsy folk event : FestivalMaritim in Bremen, where I made friends twice my age wearing wool hats, French people from the coast, and where I played with Guido for the first time, after only one rehearsal of 20 mn. Things went fast : we’ve just played together a very special show with a quartet at Sendesaal in Bremen on Dec. 11. Playing witha chamber orchestra was simply not thinkable a few months ago… I was sooooo 2010, back then!‘

http://www.pollyanna.org/

Aaron English

we called him a Piano Man, and indeed he seemed to bridge that difficult gap ‘tween the  alt pop of a Peter Gabriel and the songwriting finesse of early Billy Joel.

Aaron in his own words:

‘Thanks to the release of my third album, 2010 was a breakthrough year for me: I had my first Top 20 radio hit, and released my first music video. As the music industry shifts and evolves, it appears that we still love to discover our music in two very old and time-tested ways: by listening to the radio and watching videos. Both successes were very exciting for me, and I look forward to hitting the radio charts and getting more videos up on the new Mtv – better known as YouTube.

It’s exciting to be living through this time of transition – in the global music industry, in our global society, and certainly (ahem) in our global economy. As the world gets smaller and smaller, thanks to the Internet, there’s an ever-increasing sense of “we’re all in this together”.

The times we’re living can be a terrifying roller-coaster ride, sure. But the uncertainty and instability also means that these are also times of seemingly limitless horizons. I look forward to 2011, and beyond, simply because I am _dying_to_know_what_happens_next._

Me, I’ll be touring the States, solo, which I’ve never done before (I’ve always toured with a supporting band). It’ll be just me, my piano, a board full of loop pedals and a variety of traditional folk instruments from around the world. Again, I’m terrified by the uncertainty, but excited for the possibilities….’

http://www.aaronenglish.com

Count To Fire
If any band i heard this year could give Calexico a run for their money it would be this one. As i put this together i notice they have just got a pretty cool review in the dec edition of Uncut. way to go guys.
http://www.myspace.com/counttofire

The Adventure Spirit

another band to sneak in a jazzy old time feel into their pop playfullness was Melbourne‘s Adventure Spirit. their track Golden Spells made it into the NBT trax of the year as well!

The Band in their own words:

‘For us, 2010 was a year of branching out. We launched our new album Grand Standard in September and took the chance to tour a bit more and saw a lot more of our country- it’s never looked greener. We shot our first video clip, Whiskey & Wine and enjoyed watching it on ‘Rage,’ Australia’s most famous music video show. Grand Standard got a fair bit of radio airplay in Europe, more than at home which helped shape our plans for 2011.

Next year we plan to tour a lot more of Australia but also to make a brief tour of Europe. This is quite a challenge, as we live so far away, but we’re determined to make it. Thanks to the web, it’s a lot easier to share our music with people who like it. We want to get to as many clubs, bars and cafes as possible, so we can play for them all.’‘
http://www.theadventurespirit.com/

BirdEatsBaby

Making the list for the third time in a row!, and releasing their second EP Bigger Teeth, it was a busy year for the Birds, as their sound grew into something quite epic.
the Band in their own words:
‘2010 was the year we the conquered the Secret Garden Party festival, toured Europe with none other than Bitter Ruin and recorded our second EP, ‘Bigger Teeth’. We also created another music video for ‘I Always Hang Myself With The Same Rope’, and were interviewed on BBC 6 music. It has definitely been our most productive year so far… and we’re only just getting started!

2011 is Birdeatsbaby’s first time in America – we cannot wait to play to our US fans! We’re starting off with a four date tour down the East Coast and then we head to Jason Rubal’s studio in Pennsylvania to record our second album, ‘Feast of Hammers’. This is due for release late next year, and we will probably be hitting the festivals again next summer too…‘
http://www.birdeatsbaby.co.uk/

19 Mirrors

a giddy mix of new wave and disco, with heavenly femme vox layered on top. it could only be indie cool from Tokyo, with only an EP and a handful of digital trax out, 2011 seems bursting with promise for this young band.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/19-Mirrors/97860389218

Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt

A late arrival to the halls of NBT, Sean brought his huge soundscapes to our world, a Berlin based American, there was something incredibly other-worldly about his compositions.

http://www.avachorda.de/

Richard Kapp and the Gowns
Another artist to make it up here for the 3rd time Richard formed a big(ish)band, broadened his horizons without losing an iota of his charm, and sent out his second truly great album into the world. his country ballad ‘Another Town’ (with Ina Simone) became a dominant presence on the NBT office playlist.

Richard in his own words:

I am happy to say that 2010 was a really great year for me and my band “The Gowns”. First of all we shared stage with the wonderful BirdEatsBaby two times this year. In Summer we met in UK and played two gigs with them in Brighton and London (which was our first UK Mini-Tour and we were really excited!) and then they came to Vienna again in October along with a fantastic act called “Bitter Ruin”.

We had a really great time. Mishkin, Keely (of BirdEatsBaby) and I even performed a song that we wrote together one day before our gig. We decided the song should be about me being a kind of weird cheese addict, so we called it “The Cheesy Freak”. I think the audience really liked it …although I think that I could have performed better if we had more time for rehearsal, hehe. 🙂

Another Highlight was meeting up with Cassis and Matt Keating, who were on tour and asked me if they could play a gig with me in Vienna which was very exciting for me. Both are excellent musicians. It worked out and we had lots of fun including a enthusiastic audience on that evening.

It was a wonderful experience to connect with such talented musicians and work things out together in such a smooth, friendly and supportive way. None of this would have happened without NBT by the way as Martin was so kind to connect me to Cassis. Same goes for the fantastic gang of BirdEatsBaby to which I listened on a NBT podcast last year for the first time and then decided to get in contact with them on myspace (after I was totally thrilled by their music). So, thank you so much NBT for all the support regarding indie musicians.

Another highlight of 2010 for me was that I got the opportunity to write a jingle for a short TV show on an austrian channel called “Austria 9” (anyone who reads this and needs someone to write a jingle or something else for TV or a movie: I am available.;) and that a guy from Germany, after listening to my song “Sweet Melody” on the web asked me if they were allowed to perform it on his wedding. This was really a big honour for me. And last-but-not-least our album “Lunchbox” finally got a distribution here in Austria and is now available in all the big stores here which is wonderful.

Meanwhile, me and “The Gowns” are currently working on our next album, which is going to be released in May, 2011 and will be called “Uniform Pose”. I am looking forward to this a lot. Also, I am currently in talks with some musicians regarding another UK tour and if all goes well, I might play my first gig in New York with Cassis and Matt Keating. So, things look bright here and I hope that they do for you aswell. There are so many talented musicians that can be heard on NBT and I wish everyone of you great success and joy in 2011 with everything you do! Have an awesome 2011!!!

http://www.richardkapp.com/

Farrad

We didnt get too much pop soul funk sent into NBT this year, huge pity by the way, but Farrad‘s release ‚‘The Time Is Now‘ more than made up for it. a very now take on Prince Cheekiness and dancefloor polish, the album of remixes was divine too

http://farrad.com/

Lonnie Kjer and Stefan Mork

not content with releasing the haunting 13 songs, the band vid-blogged about it‘s creation, catch that here:

http://www.youtube.com/KjerMork#p/f/5/HTGTxo79F4s

Richie Lawrence
want to get transported from chilly Europe to a the home of Sultry Americana? then spin Melancholy Waltz and its totally possible.

Richie in his own Words:

In January of 2010, after 40 years of playing and performing, I was able to release my first solo record, Melancholy Waltz.

Cary Baker (Conqueroo), a highly respected publicist from Los Angeles, upon hearing the CD said, “Yours is a very deep and unique album”, and then he passed on it.  As it turns out, his statement was very indicative of what was to come. // “ Brilliant songs..” said Peter Holmstedt (Hemifran) //   “.. a wonderful recording. Your ability to capture your emotion, while one of the most difficult things to do in recording, was done with ease.” Billy Fields (Warner/Elektra/Atlantic) //   “When there is regret it is gentle and when there is love it is profound and utterly moving.” NBT //  “First there is the uncommonly handsome artwork…then there is the music of a rare beauty and simplicity revolving around the impressive piano playing of Richie Lawrence” Rootsville, Dani //  “Excellent pianist with passion” Hollandsposten.se, Gert-Ove Fridlund//  “Melancholy Waltz….is a particularly truthful album”. From the Balcony by Dr. Teeth //  “there’s something powerful and joyful about his piano compositions that’s hard to explain” Blogcritics.org, Brian Fitzpatrick.   I am thrilled by comments describing passion, impressive playing, great songwriting, emotion, and above all, Truth and Honesty in performance.  Cary Baker and many others admired and passed on the record, and I have sold very few.  And it doesn’t matter.  I’m writing more songs and I can’t wait to start recording a second Richie Lawrence CD.  2011 here I come.Thank you NBT and Martin for including me in all that you’ve done.

http://www.richielawrence.com/


Million Dollar Mouth

from the NBT Review:
‚’In some reviews they are called tasteful, and while that’s well meant, I think it does them a disservice, because it implies that the band play it safe with their songs. This is so not the case, sure these are creations aimed straight to the heart of the chart, but they are also pulsing real things tensed up with pop steel.‘

http://www.milliondollarmouth.com/

Ripple Music
The dedicated guys at Ripple sent me so much good music this year. all very much left of centre, all slightly freaky, some lo fi, lots progressive, all operating purposfully in that strange wasteland where deviants and poets and boogie practioners party hard. They were a kool aid acid antidote to the mundane and the ordinary. Not only did they give new bands a chance but resurrected cult heroes from the not too distant past. Working with them wasnt work it was simply playtime! 🙂

Ripple co-founder John Rancik in his own words:

When Ripple Music debuted on The NBT Network in August of 2010, the business of pedaling records was fast and furious, and things hadn’t really even begun to happen yet!

Since June, the month that saw the very first Ripple Music release, the label has produced ten pieces of physical product (5 CD’s, 2 double LP’s, 1 single LP, and 2 7” singles), landed U.S., Europe, and Japan distribution deals, sold out of the first vinyl pressing of Poobah’s Let me In, and garnered excellent press and radio airplay for all of its acts.

2010 has undoubtedly been a year of growth and great success, and all of the hard work that’s been put into making this label successful is all a precursor to an even bigger and better year in 2011!

2011 will kick off with a bang as Ripple Music is preparing a deluxe re-issue of the debut Stone Axe album as a CD/DVD package, followed closely by the Heavy Ripples double 7” project that will include the burly sounds of Stone Axe, as well as Sun God In Exile, Mighty High, and Grifter.

Further releases in the year will include vinyl releases of Venomin James’ first album, Left Hand Man, the ten year anniversary re-issue of the first Mos Generator album, a newly recorded Poobah album, Santa Barbara’s melodic modern rockers Tripdavon and a deluxe re-issue of their album Sketches From Silence, Grifter’s new full length album, a brand new Iron Claw album, and even more that hasn’t been finalized yet.

On top of all that, Stone Axe was recently added to the Roadburn Festival, which takes place in Tilburg, Holland in April, and Ripple Music will be working in a sponsorship role with The Soda Shop.com on their annual Fuzzapalooza Festival.
. . . and don’t even get us started talking about 2012!!!

http://www.ripple-music.com/

Tori Sparks

With her album the ‘Scorpion In The Story’ Tori took us on a journey across America, easing us musically into the lives of ordinary and extraordinary souls and their day to day battles. it was her skill in capturing the tiny details that got us hooked.

Tori in her own words:

2010 was sheer madness in the best possible way. I was on the road more than ever before, in a total of eleven countries, and made some amazing new friends all over the world. I was touring in support of our 2009 release “The Scorpion in the Story,” which reach the Top 20 in theEuropean Americana Charts and the Top 5 in Sweden.

Thank you so much to everyone – audience, press and radio folks, promoters – who helped make itsuch a whirlwind-but-fantastic-year.

In spite of the world-wife economic downswing, music fans seem to be going strong. Viva a revolution. (I also taught myself Spanish, learned to make a proper omelette, and finallyrealized that I will never learn how to play the banjo.)

2011 is bound to bring some new adventures – I’ve found that one can never predict the roller coaster ride of the days to come, but I expect thisyear to be particularly fun and crazy.

I’ll be touring out west in theU.S. in the early part of the year, topped off by an appearance at Southby Southwest. Almost immediately following the tour, I’ll be pulling uproots and moving to Barcelona, Spain. Mucho tapas will be consumed, Ican’t wait!

I will be touring in the UK and Europe through 2011, so I hope to see each of your lovely faces while I’m out there on the road. Our fourth album “Come Out of the Dark,” featuring guest vocalists ShawnMullins, Mike Farris, David Mead, and Paris Delane will be released onGlass Mountain Records in the summertime. All info will of course be onToriSparks.com, please stay tuned for details! …Somewhere in there, Iwill get some sleep…http://www.torisparks.com/


 

THE NBT Review 98

Bigger Teeth – BirdEatsBaby (Independent Release)

If earlier BirdEatsBaby releases were indicative of those small town
cinemas from stranger times, all romance and slightly twisted in the way they
spread the dream, this EP dares to go widescreen, the cabaret grows epic, the
soundstage morphs into a garden of distraction and the players now become real
indie pop stars.

The cool thing is, while achieving this; the music loses none of its
charm, its delicious sleaziness or cruel power and in spite of the added
polish, the heart and soul still shines through.

The collection starts deceptively with a sparse vocal harmonic interplay,
then a grunted countdown and the circus slides into our town, hints of future
scares, random violence, exotic encounters blur past fast, then it clicks back
to the minimal.

The Replacement is Coco Rosie gone frenzy breathless, a pogo creature of
a tune the counterpointing semi operatic vocal/piano layer just adds a poignant
tension.

Then martial drums, Cure guitar slithers and it’s a modern POP
masterpiece/centerpiece, this is a calling card to the world, about future chart
domination, this is the kind of song that while it is playing the listener
wishes, needs, to see this beautiful thing played damn loud, live. A hint of
the best of those Prog groups of old, Curved Air, Family, even Alice Cooper,
mixed with the arch camp thrill of a Siouxsie, who knew a thing or two on how
not to let a rocknroll jive interfere with the bubblegum deviance. This is ‘Enemies
Like Me’, a song that seems destined to be play listed as often as is possible.

‘Gone’ is Liza Minnelli on speed with a dash of that typical
BirdEatsBaby craziness, and yes the charming Devil IS in the details, the twinkle
here the shiny distorted waltz break-away leading us through to be caught unawares
by the exquisite new folk of the kinda heartbreaking Rosary, heartbreaking that
is, in that sing along rejoicing way of course.

This, my friends, is the sound of the breakthrough, the Birds are gonna
be huge.

http://www.birdeatsbaby.co.uk

Camouflage Baby – The Histrioniks (CatErratic Records)

This is a kind of fearless indie pop, a nervous lyrical artist
vibrating up against the normal, their songs a blur in the sunshine, maybe visiting
the now from some harsher darker suburbia, it’s the sound of stoplights ignored,
distilled into a brittle modern dance, too sharp to fit into what passes now as
American punk, it reminds me of the raw honest Replacements,(not quite so
shabby ) or perhaps that ragged beautiful Exene led X, though by now the band
has a distinctive mood-sound all of their own, instantly familiar to those who
have loved earlier collections. When I try to pinpoint the secret that sets
this band apart, I think, there is a love of Brit-pop refinement within the
songwriting that lifts it away from the slacker easy alternative, so the dirt within
is not thrown at you but has to be dug for.

While listening to this, I am taken back to earlier this week and a curious
hopeful search for good indie American tunes, and getting song after song of
either ancient hard rock dressed up in new glitter, or soft adult orientated
whimpers pretty much designed by boardroom committees. Thank goodness then for the
arrival of the Camouflage Baby.

This set strays from the powerpop of previous installments in that it
flirts rather madly with the blues and stripped down country rock, but again, strangely,
its country rock as heard, seen, played by outsiders, and this is a very good
thing, cause it gives the tunes shiny hooks and angles, a welcome distortion of
the facts.

And that is the very essence of a Histrioniks release (and never more so
than this child) it doesn’t really belong neatly in any one genre, within any
too structured playlist, it is the stranger at the dinner table, the welcome uninvited
guest.

Stand out track out of a bunch of standout tunes,  is the ghost-dance called ‘The Last Three Days’
where the male and female voices blend and shiver outwards together and haunt
the airwaves.

http://www.thehistrioniks.com/

Songs from both these albums will be played on the NBT podcast going out
on the 21st of October 2010

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com

 

The NBT Wonderful Ones 2009 Part 2

Part Two

Part One Can Be Found Here:

https://nbtmusic.wordpress.com/2009/12/18/the-nbt-wonderful-ones-2009-part-1/

 You can see pictures of Most of the artists mentioned year on our special visual page

http://nbtmusic.jalbum.net/NBTWonderfulOnes2009/

And of course HEAR them on the NBT Podcast, talking and singing rare tracks, cool festive ditties and songs not yet released. That goes out on the 21st Dec09.

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com

Richard Kapp

The Austrian piano man, the song and dance magician, the elegant performer of those wicked sly fragile pop things. Richard conjured up a sublime David Sylvian like tune to my raggedy words and a new theme for NBT was born

Richard Kapp in his own words:

2009 was a wonderful year for me and my band. Not only did I finally find a band name for my band (It’s “Richard Kapp & The Gowns”), we also finished our second album “Lunchbox” just in time. I think that this is my best album yet and I am very excited. Also, magical things have happened through NBT. Last year when I was listening to the show “The Wonderful Ones” on NBT I stumbled upon the fantastic UK band BirdEatsBaby and sent them a message that I really enjoyed their music. The lead singer, Mishkin Mullaly replied and told me that she also liked my stuff. So we send a message here and there and finally thought that it might be a cool idea to share stage in Vienna. They were about to start their european tour at that time and as they already had a gig in Germany it was not that a long way to travel to Austria. First I was not really sure if this will work out, but it did. We had two gigs here together and especially one show was so great (what a frenetic audience!) that BirdEatsBaby told me after the show that this was their best gig of the whole tour. I felt reliefed and very proud on that night. They stayed at my place for five days and we had such a good time. There also was Joe Black, a superb musician, a real master of bizarre art. We enjoyed sharing stage so much that we decided to do it again in 2010, this time in UK. We are all looking forward to this a lot. This would not have happened without NBT and that’s why I want to thank Martin for all his hard work and support. I think that great things are ahead in 2010 and I hope that my new album “Lunchbox” will reach lots of people. Also, we produced a very cool musicvideo which will be released in January, 2010.  For more info have a look at my homepage http://www.richardkapp.com… you will be able to wach it there first. Another highlight for me was that BBC 6 music played a song of my album “Asterisk”. So, I can really say t hat 2009 was a successful year for me and my band and I hope it was the same for you. I wish everyone at NBT and all the wonderful artists that have been featured on the show a nonchalant christmas time and lots of success with their art in 2010!

http://www.richardkapp.com/                                             

 Trey Green

In these oh so serious times a bit of comic relief goes down a treat, backed with a genuine grasp of what works in a rock n roll song, Trey Green serves up the perfect antidote to the credit crunch angst.

 Trey Green in his own words:

2009 was a huge year – videos, recording with Tenacious D, recording a whole second album, some great live shows – but only after a very rough start.  Exactly one year ago today, I broke my hand very, very badly.  A Dutch girl kicked me at the party – we were all drunk as hell.  My fingers broke in half, all the way onto the back of my hand.  How was I to know that she was a competitive kick-boxer?  I literally couldn’t hold a guitar for six months.  At the time, I was getting spins on college radio all over the US, and some in Germany and England. DJ’s were asking for shows, asking about tour dates…everything for which a musician would hope, but I couldn’t even hold my guitar.  So the first half of 2009 was pretty frustrating.

We made two huge music videos in New York City in the summer with Cynthia Kirchner, the Revlon/Guess?/Victoria’s Secret supermodel.   One for Mad Crush, which is filmed in a single shot, and one for Smooth Breakdancin’ Guy, which has been playing on TV in the US, or so I’m told.  Even Cynthia dances in the video – she even did the splits…on concrete. 

In September, I met the guys from Bad Religion backstage at a Pearl Jam concert in Chicago and ended up working with their drummer, Brooks Wackerman, who is also the drummer for Tenacious D, one of my favorite bands.  Brooks plays on my new album, which we recorded in Tenacious D’s private studio in LA, North Hollywood (porn capital of the world), with John Spiker of Filter and Tenacious D on bass.  Got to hang out with John Koneski, aka Kones, Tenacious D’s lead guitarist, and Kyle Gass, who, of course, is Jack Black’s partner in the band.  What a great, hilarious guy!  Finished the vocals and guitar in New York this month – the new album should be out this winter.  Great year, fired up for 2010: new album, more videos, more shows.

Ka-blamo,

http://www.treygreenmusic.com/

Barbara Gilles

In 2009 Barbara gave birth to a soulful EP of heavenly  yet gritty jazz, and then just a week or so ago a baby boy named Juan Martin. AND still found time to send NBT a beautiful lullabye for the end of year show!!!  In may we called her EP with the Favoriti Quartet ..‘‘ An escape. A rescue, a sometimes sly often sensual deliverance, almost 22 minutes of beauty.’’  Seven months later it sounds and feels even more so.

http://www.barbaragilles.com.ar/

Lisa Bianco

In the year of the manufactured pop starlet, when all was artifice and sexploitation thank the bubblegum goddess for Lisa’s take on new wave and perky punk pop with true heart

 Lisa Bianco in her own words:

2009.  Released my album “Post Data”.  CMJ showcase.  New fans. OId fans. Rocked the stages of NYC/NJ/CT/PA including a haunted brewery twice (!).  Busted my van into a parking lot beam 12 AM.  3 Parking tickets.  Writing new songs.   Gave into getting a Facebook account. Finally got T-shirts. Finally got a Mac. Life experience priceless.

 2010.  The bubble finally bursts and music is real again (in the mass media psyche).  More and more touring.  Hit the studio for a new album.  Positive thinking. Enlighten the world.

http://www.lisabianco.net/

 BirdEatsBaby

 Bringing a delightfully skewed take on the dark heart and bright grin of theatre , glam and rolling rock, this most visual of the artists played on NBT are also one of the very few to make it onto the wonderful ones two years in a row!

 BirdEatsBaby in their own words:

Looking back on 2009, it was a big year for us. We released our first full album, Here She Comes A-Tumblin’, at the start of the summer. Then came our first tour, through the U.K. and Europe, playing to some very enthusiastic crowds. We organized the whole thing ourselves, it was a lot of hard work, and we loved every minute. We also released music videos for two of our songs on the album, The Trouble… and I Always Hang Myself With The Same Rope. Not forgetting playing with some great bands in the U.K., like the World Inferno Friendship Society and Belladonna.

                Next year will be bigger and better. We have another video scheduled for release in January, then we get started recording album no. 2. It will be called Feast Of Hammers, and we can’t wait for people to hear it. And hopefully another tour a little later on in the year. Meanwhile, we will continue to perform all over the U.K. throughout the year. We want more of everything next year, more shows, more music, more fun…bring on 2010!

http://www.birdeatsbaby.co.uk     

 Dune Tran

 The delicate sound of the internal, perfectly judged not too sweet pop sighs. Her music makes me think of the ocean and lonely beaches at the very heart of 3 am.

 Dune Tran in her own words:

I’d like to report that 2009 has been a Tran-tastic year filled with plenty of learning experiences and adventures!  I made my debut into the music community this year with my first album, “Heart Anchors”, a huge accomplishment for me and a dream come true.  This past year I focused on developing myself as a live performer because apart from a handful of open mic performances, I had never played any solo shows to showcase my own music.  I pushed myself to play as many gigs around the bay area as possible.  I’ve overcome obstacles such as finding band members, rehearsal spaces, learning about how to set up a PA, booking gigs, juggling schedules and last but not least, I worked on battling that old stage fright that has haunted me for some time.  The most adventure filled night was when I showed up to a wine bar with all my equipment and found that I had no microphone. The opening act and I raced to the nearest Guitar Center which fortunately was only 2 blocks away.  It turned out to be a fun night regardless.  I performed a total of 15 gigs this past year at venues which varied from dive bar to wine bar and coffee shop to fine restaurant. It’s been an amazing year for me!  I’m grateful to have the opportunity to pursue my dream to share my music and hopefully touch and inspire the lives of others through music.
 
I’ve also invested a lot of time into researching outlets for exposing my music.  I’ve learned a lot about the music business aspects of the industry, such as promotion, licensing, copyrighting, publishing, and distribution.  I know that there’s plenty more to learn.  Several huge successes in my books are making it into the Top 30 chart at CIUT, a radio station at the University of Toronto and getting asked to do an interview for a piece in a local paper, The Daily News, which was published just in time to promote my last gig of the year.  This has been a thrilling year!  I’m so honored to be included among NBT’s best of the year.  Yet another success!  Thank you Martin!
 
For 2010, I plan to focus on writing and evolving and hopefully becoming a better musician and songwriter.   I also want to venture into less familiar territories, whether it is touring outside of the bay area or making a music video or finding a place for my music in TV or movies.  Although there are plenty of obstacles ahead, I’m still ready to face my fears and pursue my dream of making music.

 http://www.dunetran.com/

 Doug Folkins

 Skillful writing and a rock heart swagger, and a keen eye for detail made Folkins the pub folkie of choice this year.

 Doug Folkins in his own words:

 2009 Challenges and Triumphs:

What a year!  In March I released my 5th Indie CD titled “Another Last Call” which was supported by an intense publicity campaign with Cyber PR (Ariel Hyatt) from New York.  I learned all kinds of new words like; podcast, blog, twitter, tweet, friend, social media, etc…  It has been intense, often frustrating but immensely rewarding.  The CD has garnered critical review all from Europe and North America and my songs are more widely played than I could have imagined.  Podcast and internet radio play has exposed my tunes to many people and I have meet some new great fans through these mediums.  Also my single “Calico Girl” charted 5 straight weeks on the Top 100 European Country Music Association charts peaking at #71.  I am still not sure “Calico Girl” is a country song.

 Looking into 2010:

For the year ahead, I am continuing to support my CD with live shows and festival bookings.  I will also continue pursing music publishing deals for my catalogue of over 55 recorded songs.  While I don’t have a new release scheduled for 2010, I hope to record a few tracks for singles and publishing as well as reworking instrumental versions of my previous releases.

http://www.dougfolkins.com/      

 Citizen K

2009 was the year we were welcomed into the dreamlike state of Citizen K. A Personal Favourite for NBT where songs gave up their secrets reluctantly then stuck around to chat and seduce.

Citizen K in his own words:

2009 according to Citizen K

 Well, it’s been a great year. After some hard work, we managed to get the album out in September and the response that followed has been overwhelming. Since I had no expectations what so ever as far as sales were concerned, every unit sold is a maracle. :-)…

 Challenges? Well, some minor health problems I don’t want to get into here, especially since I’m fully recovered now. And, optimistic by nature as I’ve always been, the good events always seem to overshadow the bad ones, by far.

2010 around the corner

 I don’t know what to expect. I’m a bore when it comes to revealing future plans. I know I’ll do some studio work next year, though. I have tuns of ideas for songs and I prefer to just go on and on and on.

http://www.paraplyrecords.se/

 Elika

 Constantly surprising, constantly thoughtful, we called Elika: Madonna fronted by the Pixies, and that was really only a third of the story!

Elika in their own words:

 To be honest, 2009 has been very difficult for us personally, so let’s just forget that one happened. 🙂

We are looking forward to releasing a lot of new material in 2010. Our new ep, “There Was No Summer” will be released this January by Chat Blanc records. It has 5 new songs and is the perfect companion to cold weather. Also, our next full length will be released in 2010. We’ve been working really hard on it and are putting the finishing touches on the mixes. Hopefully, it will be out by Spring/Summer. We think it is by far our best work yet!

http://www.elikamusic.com/ 

 Beth Wimmer

Mixing country earthy with folk sensitive, Ms Wimmer found her way back to the chaos of the NBT fold with a lovely collection of uncluttered honest songs.

Beth Wimmer in her own words:

 Thanks to this wonderful blog and podcast from NBT and to a few other terrific, online outlets for indie-musicians, my “2009: Year of Adaptation” has flowed with a bit more ease. The ‘adaptation’ has been my adjustment to the most monumental change in my life to date: from a busy, energetic life working three part-time jobs to make ends meet and support my music career in warm, sunny Southern California, USA to… living in the crisp, snow-kissed Alps of Europe, working solely as a musician, singing late into the smoky nights, sleeping away the mornings… and learning another language – German!

And if that weren’t enough of a huge change, well, my relationship status went from single (however creatively inspired by the elusive LOVE) to involved; in a deep, growing and soul-satisfying love relationship with a wonderful man. The only challenge that this has presented is that in my present, contented and peaceful state of heart and mind, I am not writing as many songs… seems the fire and feelings of love in turmoil had presented more muse for my songwriting. 

But I’m working on this. 😉 I’m letting the beauty and humor of this new, fulfilling love, along with the more-crucial-than-ever news of the world provide inspiration and depth for my new songs. This past year I’ve enjoyed lots of positive play and attention for my ‘Miracle Girl’ CD, and so in 2010 watch for a new Beth Wimmer CD! i plan to record in summer with a charismatic and highly talented group of musicians from Italy that I had the delight and privilege of playing with in 2009!

Thanks for reading… I wish you all Love, Creativity, Balance and Sweet Music in your hearts,

http://www.bethwimmer.com/    

 Broken Keys

 This mood and sound artist really clicked into the idea of NBT being music tourism. With tracks from his collection ‘’the sounds of the 504’’ he created movies in the mind of all the places he knows and cherishes.

 Broken Keys in his own words:

 Despite all challenges that I’ve experienced this year, 2009 has been a very productive year for me as an Independent composer/producer/artist. In hindsight, I’m always down for a challenge anyway. I have accomplished more this year than any other year that I’ve been involved with making music.  I have been granted the opportunity to sign with popular music licensing company’s such as PUMP AUDIO, MUSICDEALERS.COM, MATCHLESS MUSIC, MUSICSUPERVISOR.COM, GAMECUES, and more. I have also upgraded my equipment and sounds and am looking forward to putting these to use to come up with even more creative different styles of music.

 

In 2010, my focus will be to literally make a living doing what I love to and am addicted to the most…music. I have the making the music part down packed. Now it’s time to do more on the business end and make money. Make money without compromising my art that is. My main goal is to break out of my comfort zone and be more of people person and network. I’m sort of an introvert so this will be a task but, it’s necessary. In conclusion, I will continue to make music for the love of it. I feel like I have definitely paid my dues and look forward to big things happening. And one more thing, I will be putting out a Hip Hop album next year. It’s going to be something very special. Look out!!

http://amiestreet.com/music/broken-keys/sounds-of-the-504/

The Hit and Mrs

The off shoot turned ON, “Ashes Of Bridges‘‘  was the ever Multi-tasking Heise Brothers‘ most focused release so far. Showcasing a darkness and a melodic vulnerabilty the collection of outsider observations aimed straight for the listener’s heart.

The Hit and Mrs in their own words:

We, The Hit & Mrs., had a nice 2009. We released the album “Ashes of Bridges” and Nelly ventured out into the solo star arena with his alter-ego Jebediah Goodthrust and released the self-titled album. Other than that the year was rather uneventful. Nelly and Bubba played a handful of acoustic shows and were showered with mixed reviews (some people have no taste). V. Stak’s graphic design empire Starch continues to grow and just revealed the new Hit & Mrs.’s website (www.thehitandmrs.com). As usual, 2010 will probably bring a new album from the members of The Hit & Mrs. in one form or another. Thanks for the support and have some happy holidays.

– Nelly, Bubba and V. Stak.

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/hitmrs2

Stacie Rose

Flying, darting from the tension of the real, into the stillness of the dream, she draws it in, rocks it out.

Stacie Rose in her own words:

Had an incredible 2009 working hard on my upcoming release “The Alter-Ego EP’s.” They will be like sweet & savory, ying & yang, vanilla & chocolate, thunder & lightning…You get the point!

Been fixin to do something like this for awhile. I’m not leaving my singer-songwriter roots behind…ooh no! Just doing some much needed artistic dabbling. My adventures in genre-bending have been well received (thank you, people!) and my fun-loving lust for collaboration has led me to this place.

I raised over $5,500 to help create “The Alter-Ego EP’s” this year with the help of Pledge Music, Skope Magazine and all my fans!
I won an honorable mention for my song HOPE in the 2009 New York Songwriters Circle Contest.

I also have a song placement in two films on the 2009 festival circuit: Dead End Falls and Pornography: A Thriller.

My newest music video for Love Saves was released this year. It was extremely well-received! Please view here: http://www.youtube.com/stacierose
“The Alter-Ego EP’s” will be released in early 2010! Thank you to Next Big Thing and all my supporters that help me to keep creating my beautiful music

The NBT Review 41

rev41

Here She Comes a Tumblin’ – BirdEatsBaby (Birdeatsbaby)

Once there was Cat-Scratch Glitter and wounded cabaret howls, charged shots of glowing liquid poured across lips of the harshest red. Everything shuddered, everything shivered, and the laughter was strange and sometimes cruel.

It was beautiful.

Now keeping those thrills, but adding extra dimensions, comes this collection.

Bravely, we are now not only shown the garish stage and the freaks, puppets, divas, exhibitionists, scary sexy monsters but… the quiet bedrooms, the rumpled beds where partners may or may not sleep, the view of empty streets from its lonely windows.

We are made curious about the sadness, the stillness that may go on BETWEEN these songs.

Make no mistake this is still a thrill ride, full of carnival hipsters hustling supreme, and frantic punters screaming along with the dangerous rides, but here, and there, and here again, not so hidden away, the girls and boys dare to show their tenderness, even their dreams, unfolded carefully and placed in our grubby hands.

On one page selling this CD they are described as emo, but please don’t be fooled, there is no soft boy rich kid pampered star angstNwhines here. The lipstick is smeared from the sheer exuberant kiss and the eyeliner stains are from tears arrived honestly from fits of giggles and tears that fought hard to escape the calm internal.

There are pop songs to be sung loud by party girls, alive and free holding tight to the simple expectation of a great night out, and there are lullabies of the crooked kind that soothe and push the soul into a welcome unease with extra measure.

There is magic here. Give it a listen to.

http://www.birdeatsbaby.co.uk/

Karkari –Mammut (Record Records)

I could tell you that Mammut sound like a frosty and refreshing mix of the best of those American 4AD groups (Belly and Throwing Muses) a bit of Bjork, a spoonful of Sonic Youth twisted into the pop sensibilities that Catatonia got so right. I could tell you that the band has had (already)  three number one hits in their native Iceland and managed to cause a stir at the SXSW festival. I could leave it at that, and move on, pretty happy that you curious gentle reader, will go seek out the band and their music. Or you could think I am spitting out (politely of course) a bunch of facts and you will remain sadly disenthralled.

I shall instead shake the songs up in a virtual hat of the finest cloth, and let them hit the senses, and report what occurs.

I am reminded of old toys, cherished by teenagers in smiling nostalgia for their innocent child hood, toys that are still picked up and loved and kept in view as new makeup is applied and new adventures of the heart dreamt about. These plaything have an endearing roughness to them, all is not shiny shiny and plastic disposable.

I think of glam rock bands strutting their stuff on small Televisions in untidy sitting rooms early Friday evenings, the smell of dinner overpowered by the sweeter smell of the night (clubs) ahead.

Some songs make me think of mosh pits and bodies and beer bottles disengaging themselves from sweaty hands and crashing kamikaze to the pavement to join the wrecks of their fellow soldiers. Some songs make me think of almost empty studios, musicians huddled in the centre of a landscape of once twisting now still cables and wires and leads.

Some songs make me close my eyes and fall back, not thinking of the getting UP. Some songs make me want to grin and cook and dance and shop.

See what they do for you

http://www.myspace.com/mammut

 

Catch both bands on this NBT podcast

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=526901

With much more to come.