INDIE NEWS BEAT
May 8, 2006 Edition
* Indieoffice.com Releases New Suite Of Booking & Promotion "Powertools"
* Bandit A&R Newsletter Gets Great Review From UNSIGNED MUSIC MAGAZINE
* SCM Releases New Artist: "The Specialist" – A Musical Explosion
* Justice Trough Music Streams Neil Young’s Historic Living War CD
* Vernon Neilly Explodes On To Billboard Charts
* Dream Pop Band Molotov Elysian: Debut Performances
* Who Let The Dogs Out?
* Manhattan At Dawn Inject Nu-Jazz into Rock with Debut Album
IndieOffice has released what CEO Charlie Cheney calls "the ultimate instrument for booking and promotion" available immediately online and in retail. The all new IndieOffice and IndieOffice Lite are affordable, powerful, and easy to use database software packages to manage fans, press, tours, finance, merch sales, and more.
Designed to solve the key organizational issues facing musicians at home and on the road, the IndieOffice packages run on both Macintosh and Windows computers and are packed with the sexy online features like personalized mass email, integration with online maps, and data exchange with Palm, Outlook, Act, and ListBaby. You can also quickly print labels & contracts and track conversations from contacts found in the Musician’s Atlas Online, Galaris, Pollstar Online, and the Indie Bible. It even has a built-in "Email Kiosk" to replace your paper based email sign-up sheet at shows… yes, the days of retyping illegible email addresses are over, let your fans type for you. All this at a ridiculously low "musician friendly" price; IndieOffice Lite is on sale through May 30th, 2006 for only $24.95 (a 50% savings). And remember, this is NOT a "monthly subscription" price, it’s a one time fee, that’s it!
"No one else offers such a comprehensive database management tool at such an affordable price." said Cheney, "In fact, comparable systems in real estate, catering, or construction start at $2000 and move up from there."
The music press are chiming in with high praise as well; NoCover Magazine calls it "an incredible way to stay organized"; Performing Songwriter says it’s "fabulous and will have you up and running in no time"; and American Songwriter Magazine raves "it works because it was made by someone who knows what it’s like out here on the independent scene."
You can try it for yourself for free. Fully functional demo versions of both IndieOffice and IndieOffice Lite are available online for free download to "try before you buy". The web site is also packed with step-by-step tutorial videos, a detailed user manual, an interactive user forum, and even a place to post your blog.
Review by Ian Cole, Editior of the UNSIGNED MUSIC MAG April 2006
First, the publications aim is to provide indie artists with open music opportunities and even though the publication is out of the U.K. and most of the opportunities are within the U.K., there are some U.S. opportunities as well.
So, what would we expect from a publication aimed at giving the indie artist leads to possible career opportunities? Well, we would expect the following.
* The information must be accurate (contact info, website links, etc)
* The information must be timely (it doesn’t help to tell me about last month’s opportunities. I need to know NEXT month’s opportunities.)
* The information must be detailed (I need to know who, what, when, where and how)
* The information must provide value to the artist (is it worth the money)
So how does Bandit stack up against our criterion? Let’s see.
Accuracy Score 97% – We checked out all of the links in the newsletter to make sure they were valid and all except three worked properly. One website link actually took you to your email app, one link was dead and the last one had a space between the website name and the dot in dotcom.
Timeliness Score 100% – All of the opportunities we checked were still very valid and not "oversold", in other words there weren’t so many submissions that the companies didn’t care anymore.
Details Score 98% – All of the opportunities contained enough detailed information to let you decide if it was something you would want to pursue or not. There’s not much they can give you in the way of compensation, but knowing who, what, when, how and where is all we can ask for from anyone. The 2-point deduction is for the inaccurate links, details…details…details.
Value Score 100% – OK, so how does all of this stack up? Well, you can subscribe to the Bandit A&R Newsletter a number of ways.
1 Issue = 10.00 pounds (app. $12.00 USD)
3 Issues = 25.00 pounds (app. $30.00 USD)
12 Issues = 77.00 pounds (app. $93.00 USD)
These rates are to have the newsletter delivered via mail; email rates are slightly less. If the issue we reviewed is any indication of the number of leads you’ll receive in each issue (24) then on average you should receive almost 300 leads per year, which equates to $0.33 USD per year per lead. Now that’s a good value, especially since just
one of these leads could easily create an ROI much greater than you thought.
Bandit’s editor John Waterman has done a great job of bringing good, solid information to the readers at a very fair price. Do we recommend the Bandit A&R newsletter – YES!
SCM Releases New Artist: "The Specialist" – A Musical Explosion
SCM, Inc. announces the launch of The Caribbean sensation artist known as "The Specialist".
This creative and inventive artist brings a whole new out-look to "world music", in fact you could say he is the missing element, with his music project, "Pickin Up", The Specialist has brought Caribbean music to a whole new level!
The Specialist, has successfully bridged the gap between old-school reggae and dance-hall, mixing R&B with Latino beats and controling the whole mix with his own unique style of (as he states) "love and harmony." His history and vision has created a sound that is both familiar yet soul quaking in it’s new approach assuring you just won’t get enough. "The Specialist" has a deep rooted history in the reggae world, playing on the same stage as reggae mega-stars "Peter Tosh" and "Robert Nester Marley" just to name a few. The single "High Grade" was released a month ago is in rotation and can be heard on most stations across the US.
Justice Through Music, a non-profit dedicated to using music to change the world for the better, is coordinating with Neil Young to promote his new historic CD, Living With War. The entire CD can be heard on the JTM site, including the controversial tune, Let’s Impeach The President. The CD has gotten great reviews and JTM was one of the first to hear it at a private listening party last week. The CD expresses a hope for peace and an anger and sadness for the fatalistic decisions of the Bush Administration.
Justice Through Music has been a pioneer for the past five years in using famous bands and artists to promote civil rights. More and more artists are coming to JTM to get out their political message, including recently, Pink, Eminem, the Dixie Chicks, and many others.
Last week, JTM launched a new campaign and contest for the best protest music videos in coordination with the alternative band, Op-Critical. Filmmakers can submit their own videos of Op-Critical tunes or bands can submit videos of their own tunes, and the winners will receive a generous financial prize and massive exposure on the Internet and on cable TV. The first video in the campaign was filmed at Arlington National Cemetery and it portrays the sadness and suffering of a dead soldier’s wife and children.
Just 2 weeks ago, Boosweet Records recording artist Vernon Neilly’s new single from the award winning CD "G-Fire II" was released to the world via AC/UAC commercial, satellite, cable, internet stations across the globe. Having an immediate impact at radio, the single "Unconditional Love" () was the #1 most added single at AC radio, and picked up early indicators at UAC radio according to BDS reports. Going into week 2 the single was still firecracker hot as it remained in the top 5 most added singles at #4, jumping up the chart (fmqb) from #148 to #69,and added an incredible +129 spin increase over the prior week.
For most any artist major or independent to jump out of the gate with those kinds of numbers after only two weeks of a release, would have them jumping up and down for joy. The best news was yet to materialize though, and did when the Nielsen Soundscan report rolled in last week to show that not only did Vernon’s "G-Fire II" CD spike at retail, but exploded onto the Billboard Chart at #12 Contemporary Jazz Albums. "Unconditional Love" is one of the hottest singles out right now, and is especially getting overwhelming response from the 24-54 female demographic, because of it’s very lush, romantic musical track, and passionate vocal delivery.
The "Unconditional Love" single can be downloaded at Boosweet Records website, or can be found at emusic.com, apple.com/itunes, rhapsody.com, sonyconnect.com, walmart.com, and all major digital download retailers. The Full "G-Fire II" CD can also be downloaded at these sites, but is also available at most major and major independent record stores, and most major online retailers such as amazon.com, allmusicguide.com.
Molotov Elysian, on the rise as the hottest new Dream pop band, brings to stage their first set of live performances in two major U.S. cities, performing at TT the Bear’s in Cambridge on 06/01/06 and at R&R in New York City on 06/06/06 event "The Road to Hell is Paved with the Best of Intentions." Daisuke Fuchigami (artist/sound designer) and Leah Chandra (artist/vocalist) co-write and create sound collage compositions that balance otherwise opposing aesthetics. Dream pop, marked by sonic textures and elusive vocals, is a sub-genre of alternative music merging shoegaze elements with traditional pop songwriting.
Molotov Elysian takes this genre to a new level with greater extremes and takes the next step for post-rock. Together, the members embody their name – one’s contrasting of fragmented, abstract, sound explosions against the other’s richly melodic and ecstatic song. Fuchigami, a Japanese-native who has lived in Germany and the U.S., produces their distinct sound which contrasts strong resonant noise with soft and appeasing harmony. He crafts the sonic textures and harmonic arrangements through a series of computerized transformations – sampling, programming, mixing, and processing.
On stage, he becomes part of the sound collage by adding the "molotov-ic" texture through his guitar, bow, and lap steel guitar. Chandra, a native Northeasterner and formerly of project Reflecting Skin, has a voice that has been described as reminiscent of Kate Bush, Tori Amos and Lisa Gerrard. However, defining her style as simply "mesmerizing" is not sufficient to portray such a spiritually soothing voice. Her strong interest in global music genres has not only nurtured her vocals but also gives them an energy that transforms into a gentle melodious message to our weary souls. Her inimitable singing of deliberately obscured lyrics heightens the etherealness of the "elysian" aesthetic.
Molotov Elysian’s debut single is found on Cleopatra Records’ compilation Unquiet Grave Vol.4, and their EP While We Were Sleeping () – released September 2005 – on iTunes and eMusic. The full-length is mixed, but not yet released. The band has already accumulated over 8000 fans on their myspace.com site since it first appeared last September. They also reached the top ten charts in 2004 on Broadjam.com, one of the world’s largest indie music web community sites.
Poetry Rock. Funk, Hip-Hop, Folk-Funk, Wacko-pop, and all around Party Animals – San Antonio’s seemingly unclassifiable Dog Men Poets have been described as a mind-boggling combination of various genres, several unique unto themselves. The band’s combination of pop-songwriting with soaring rock choruses, a steady funk rhythm section, hints of Spanish-folk influence, and hip-hop beats and vocals has drawn comparisons to artists as varied as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, George Clinton, the Beastie Boys, Gorillaz, and Stevie Wonder.
Whatever their pedigree, the people of San Antonio don’t seem to mind, and of late have been barking their praises loudly. Dog Men Poets were recently voted "Best Rock Band" and second best hip-hop act by the readers of the San Antonio Current, the authoritative source for local music in San Antonio, which earned them a showcase at the weekly publication’s "Best Of" celebration at the San Antonio Museum of Art. For you dancers out there the band was also selected as "Best Party Band" and "Best Ska Band" by Edge Magazine Readers in their online music poll.
This all follows a strong showing in last year’s reader poll which placed Dog Men Poet’s debut CD "Birth of the Cool" () at the top of local releases.
In addition to winning over the hearts of local music fans throughout Central Texas, DMP can be heard globally on over 86 stations; placing on Terrestrial radio’s Top 20 Alternative charts from Omaha to New Zealand. While gigging non-stop throughout the Lone Star state this spring, Dog Men Poets have also been preparing for a very busy schedule of high profile gigs and a summer tour. Last month saw DMP open for hip-hop collective Black Eyed Peas at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater and in Mid-August, they will be return to get down with KC and the Sunshine Band. In the meantime they will play Albuquerque’s Hyperactive Music Festival in June and trek through a mini-tour of the West Coast.
Signs that Manhattan At Dawn is not your average band:
1. Vocalist Frank Rosania firmly states, "I don’t like the microphone."
Evidence: Having played guitar in many local New Jersey favorites, Frank Rosania began a solo project in late 2005. He started recording at drummer Steve DeMaio’s Drop It Like It’s Hot studios and recruited longtime friend and bass player Timmy Lamb to help lay down tracks. It soon became evident that the chemistry between them was undeniable-this solo project had evolved into a three-piece band. Due to the overwhelming amount of intricate guitar parts Rosania had written, and the fact that he hated not being able to move around on stage as much as he would have liked, Manhattan At Dawn added a fourth member, guitarist Nick Brescia – to free him up and add some extra noise.
2. Manhattan At Dawn creates music with dramatic nu-jazz rock stylings- a melting pot of sounds which range from early 60s rock to disco and funk.
Evidence: Each member of Manhattan At Dawn has experience from previous bands that they contribute to the mix .The result is an organic sound that makes the band stand out from the pack without even trying. By combining the elements that are missing in rock ‘n roll today– jazzy progressions, blues leads, and rhythmic patterns–along with 80s and heavy punk rock influences, Manhattan At Dawn intends on bringing "the feel" back to rock. In the first six months songs were added to the band’s MYspace page, it received over 19,000 plays and ranked among the top NJ bands on the site.
3. The members all work together writing, playing, producing and recording other artists in order to learn more about each other musically.
Evidence: "We could have easily been another 15-minute stardom act," states the band. Instead, Manhattan At Dawn works with other artists, currently female musicians, writing pop songs for them. The band used an unorthodox recording style for its debut album, Hook, Line and Sink Her, due out in late Spring 2006. All the songs are self-produced and were created by tracking. The recording process took nine months, as the band worked once a week on the music and then took a week off to study what they did during pre-production. In total, the 17 track album was recorded in about eight weeks worth of time. Determined to make it on their own terms and relying on their keen business sense, the members of Manhattan At Dawn have created their own label to release the album on.
Provided by the MusicDish Network. Copyright © MusicDish LLC 2006 – Republished with Permission