Rock Biz

The Indie news Beat for the Week of February 15, 2007

February 15, 2006 Edition

* Reflects On Steve Jobs’ DRM Reversal
* Amy Speace Nominated As ‘Emerging Artist Of The Year’ For The 2007 Folk Alliance Awards
* Polarity/1 Signs Up To MusicDish Network Development Program
* Kobo Town Brings Independence To Canadian Music Week
* Music is the Weapon
* MusicDish Founder Eric de Fontenay To Speak At Canadian Music Week
* Majestic Twelve Singer Kenyata Sullivan Gets Book Deal Reflects On Steve Jobs’ DRM Reversal

As the President and CEO of, I have always been an advocate of DRM FREE music and have put that position into practice at Our position has always been that DRM FREE music will in fact make the pie considerably bigger for all those involved in the music industry, from consumers and manufacturers of electronic devices to record labels and artists.

Apparently, Steve Jobs has come full circle. Apple has benefited substantially from its unique business relationship with the BIG 4 (Universal, Sony BMG, Warner, EMI). I was therefore encouraged to read that Apple is embracing the virtues of a DRM FREE world. Looking at it objectively, it quickly becomes obvious that the majority of music today is sold on a medium that is DRM FREE, primarily CDs. The medium of choice today for music delivery is still the compact disc – ten times more CDs are sold in dollars than downloadable music. My point is aligned with Steve Jobs’ new conclusions: CDs are not copy-protected, because most consumers do not play them on DRM managed devices. So why are we trying to fit a round peg in a square hole?

As I look at the state of the BIG 4, (our industry’s version of the "AXIS OF EVIL"), they currently control 70% of the music sold on a worldwide basis. They need to embrace the paradigm shift that the new world order will be DRM FREE music! Music will be controlled by the people, and not by the majors. I believe that the independent musician, in particular, stands to gain from DRM FREE music.

Imagine a world where music can be played on any device, any medium at the control of the users. The world of silos will need to be torn down. Downloadable music that can only be played on proprietary devices – Microsoft on Zune, or iTunes songs on iPods, or Sony’s downloable music on Sony music players – will be replaced with music that can be played on any device in a cross-platform, DRM free environment. We need to continue the fight to put music back in the control of the artists that create it and the fans that buy it – and I commit to doing its part.

Great job, Steve, on finally being open to seeing how music will one day ubiquitously be available.. DRM FREE!


Moses de los Santos
"Where the MUSIC makes a splash!" is a musician friendly independent CD/Music store that sells music sent to us directly from musicians all over the world.


Amy Speace Nominated As ‘Emerging Artist Of The Year’ For The 2007 Folk Alliance Awards

This year’s International Folk Alliance Conference is sure to be a special one for New York-based singer/songwriter Amy Speace. In addition to playing eleven showcases at the conference, including official Wildflower Records and CD Baby showcases, Amy has been nominated "Emerging Artist of the Year" for the 2007 Folk Alliance Awards being held on Wednesday, February 21.

Amy’s album "Songs For Bright Street" has been attracting attention, having been selected in’s Top 25 Indie Release of 2006 while grabbing a "Best New Country Song 2006" nomination from Independent Music Awards for "The Real Thing." Over the last year, Amy has been asked to open for Little Feat, Heartland, Phil Vassar, John Corbett Roger McGuinn, John Gorka, Peter Mulvey, Tracy Grammer, Sloan Wainright, and Steve Forbert.

Amy Speace & The Tearjerks Folk Alliance 2007 Showcases
Marriott Hotel and Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis

Wednesday 2/21
10:30pm Sacred Yard, TBA
1:00am Focus Music Presents, Rm #1828

Thursday 2/22
11pm Rumbling & Tumbling, TBA
* 12am Wildflower Records Presents, Performance Alley, Jackson Room
1:30am Grassy Hill Ent., Rm #1812

Friday 2/23
3:00pm Vic’s Kick Ass Women, Rm #1812
* 10:30pm CD Baby Presents, Performance Alley, Jackson Room
11:30pm Wildflower Records, TBA
12:30am Kyser Capos, Rm #1705

Saturday 2/24
12:30am Wildflower Records, TBA
1:30am Fox Run, Rm #1910
(*) Official showcases


Polarity/1 Signs Up To MusicDish Network Development Program

MusicDish, LLC, an Internet music magazine publisher and artist marketing/development firm, announced the addition of NY-based composer and recording artist Polarity/1 to its MusicDish Network roster. MusicDish will provide full online management support, including brand development and marketing, as well as seeking licensing and business opportunities for his extensive CD catalog, including "Speechless," "Heavy Meadow" and "Prettier Than You".

Polarity/1 was recently included in the "MusicDish CD Sampler" which was pitched to labels, publishers, distributors from across the globe at MIDEM 2007, and will also be represented at Canadian Music Week, being held at the Fairmount Royal York Hotel in Toronto from March 7-10.

The music of Polarity/1 is exactly what the name suggests: conjoined opposites – a mash-up of new: cutting edge electronica/hip hop/nu-jazz and old: roots music of America (blues, funk, country, early jazz), Brazil (samba, pagode, etc.) and West African groove science. "Polar succeeds in his mission of forcing you to pay attention and not lull into the sounds you ‘expect’ to hear," noted


Kobo Town Brings Independence To Canadian Music Week

Toronto-based roots-calypso act, Kobo Town will headline the official Canadian Music Week (CMW) ’10th Anniversary’ MusicDish Showcase hosted at The Trane Studio in Toronto on March 8th. The Trane Studio is located at 964 Bathurst Street. Kobo Town takes the stage at 10:30 PM. Other performers include Caroline Glass, Melissa Laveaux, Grüvoria and the Souljazz Orchestra. The showcase is free for all CMW badge holders and $10 for the general public. For more information, please visit or

Kobo Town produced and self-released their debut album Independence in November 2006. It was named by Blogcritics as the best International album of the last year. CBC Radio One’s "Fresh Air" and "Big City Small World" radio shows also chose the record among their Top 10 lists for 2006. Finally, The Live Music Report had this to say about the record after placing it on their Top 10 list of outstanding 2006 discoveries:

"It is daunting to attempt to describe a CD created by a poet with the eloquence of Trinidadian-born Drew Gonsalves. His "St. James" would fit nicely in an anthology of Caribbean and Caribbean-born poets that would also include the works of Linton Kwesi Johnson. Some heavy material, but there is levity too ‹ and rhythm! Lots of sounds to savour."

"Intoxicating calypso rhythms held straight with a reggae backbone is the best way to describe this Toronto based group’s sound… "Independence" shows how music can be the voice of the people and that the message always rises from ashes. One of the most beautifully intelligent releases…ever!" ­ IndependentsOnly


Music is the Weapon

Saturday, March 10 ­ Barrymore’s Music Hall ­ 8:30 pm

The people of Ottawa’s Roots-Reggae-Funk scene will take over the legendary Barrymore’s Music Hall on Saturday, March 10, as the pervasive sounds that are sweeping across the country cry out in support of two of Ottawa’s integral NGO’s ­ Canadian Friends of Sudan and Canadian Friends of Burma – in the fight for awareness of the injustice and insecurity plaguing their homelands and the international community’s failure to intervene.

The continued humanitarian disasters endured by the peoples of Burma and Darfur have risen and fallen from the eye of the international media. In response to this the Souljazz Orchestra, Kobotown and Jokko are presenting this special event in unity with the organizations and its members acting locally, nationally and internationally on behalf of the people of Sudan and Burma . The evening will bring recognition to the Canadian Friends of Burma and the Canadian Friends of Sudan, commemorating their important work and fuelling social justice activism with the revolutionary sounds of Afrobeat, Reggae and Calypso music.

Mz Revolution (reggae-dancehall, raga breaks)
Zattar (afrobeat, reggae, latin, funk)


MusicDish Founder Eric de Fontenay To Speak At Canadian Music Week

MusicDish Founder and President Eric de Fontenay has been invited to speak on the "The New Gold Rush: How To Make Money In The Digital Age" panel at this year’s Canadian Music Week. The panel, being held on Friday March 9th at 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM in Salon A of The Fairmont Royal York, will assess how digital revenue streams work now (or don’t) and how they might in the future.

Eric recently returned from MIDEM music conference in Cannes, France, where he gave a seminar entitled ‘Are You Ready To Innovate in the Digital Marketplace?’ "The music industry is moving faster than it ever has before," Eric was quoted in MIDEM ‘The News’ magazine. "You know need to innovate on a continuous basis, and not all music industry professionals are wired to do that. Music has been at the forefront of being challenged by technological change. It’s like a game of chess: you always need to be two steps ahead."

MusicDish will also be hosting it’s "10th Anniversary" official CMW showcase on March 8th at the Trane Studio, (964 Bathurst street – 2 blocks North of Bloor St. – Toronto). The line-up includes an impressive array of Canadian acts, including Kobo Town, Souljazz Orchestra, Rich Brown & rinsethealgorithm, Melissa Laveaux and Caroline Glass. Information and online tracks will be available shortly at


Majestic Twelve Singer Kenyata Sullivan Gets Book Deal

In addition to writing and recording songs for the third Majestic Twelve album due this fall, lead singer Kenyata Sullivan is developing a book about his experiences in the underground music scene to be released around the same time.

Specific details about the publication and release date will be announced later this year through City Desk Productions.

Peppered with previously untold stories about the famous and the infamous, the as yet untitled book takes readers on a journey through the indie rock scenes of the past few decades, ranging from the 1980’s underground cassette and zine cultures up to today.

Whether talking about watching Nirvana on Saturday Night Live with Joey Ramone, or poking fun at both the indie culture of "hipness" and the mainstream music machine, Sullivan’s book promises to be an engaging and eye opening read for anyone interested in a genuine and humorous "from the trenches" view of the indie rock revolution.


Provided by the MusicDish Network. Copyright © MusicDish LLC 2007 – Republished with Permission