Friday, March 6, 2009

Mitch Friedman Teams w/ XTC On New Quirk-Pop-tacular CD 'Game Show Teeth'

Brooklyn's Mitch Friedman has just released his fourth album of idiosyncratic, funny, original quirky pop - GAME SHOW TEETH.

Featuring Andy Partridge and Dave Gregory of the legendary British new wave pop band XTC, Friedman has created a playful, mature and varied album of 13 eccentrically catchy songs, full of wit and impressive wordplay. GAME SHOW TEETH is his most commercial and accessible effort to date, and shows an artist who has come to fully master his trade. Produced, performed and engineered almost entirely by Friedman, it is as accomplished and technically adept as it is musically vibrant.

Even Ray Davies, song-writing legend and lead singer of The Kinks, has become a fan of Friedman's unique skills as a wordsmith. Having attended a Davies song-writing course in England, Friedman took the advice of the sixties legend that every song must have a clear structure and composed "This Is a Song" - an amusing tribute to the simple formula that can be found in so many beautiful pieces of pop.

He sent the song to Davies - who describes Friedman as a "funny and interesting little man" - and the Londoner then played it for his students as part of his lesson on song structure. You can't get much higher praise than that! Be on the lookout for the surprising and innovative music video for "This Is a Song," which Andy Partridge praised as "a piece of minimalist perfection, and perhaps the invention of a new genre - Obviousism."

The variety on the record comes from the wide range of influences that have all had an impact on Friedman's sound. "I Have Never Lied" tips its surreal hat to fellow Brooklyn quirk-rockers They Might Be Giants (with whom Friedman also shares the acclaim of being the creator of an award winning children's record - 2005's concept album for kids, PURPLE BURT.)

It is a testament to his abilities that some of his musical heroes have become repeat collaborators. The aforementioned Andy Partridge and Dave Gregory of XTC have added their expertise for the third time to a Friedman record - with Partridge providing his jaggedly jazzy guitar licks to "Little Masterpiece," and Gregory contributing several guitars and bass to the hyperactively folky "The Man That Talked Too Much."

Other special guest stars include the ‘godfather of DIY/home recording' R. Stevie Moore, Joe McGinty (former keyboardist for The Psychedelic Furs, Amy Rigby, Martha Wainwright, and now musical director of New York City's Loser's Lounge tribute series,) and indie-pop songstress extraordinaire Andrea Perry.

Add in to the mix, the hilariously irreverent artwork and photography and you have an album that should amuse, entertain and thoroughly enhance any discerning pop aficionado's life.

For more information, please visit

MusicDish Founder Eric de Fontenay To Speak At IBS Conference

MusicDish Founder and President Eric de Fontenay has been invited to speak on two panels at the 68th Annual IBS (Intercollegiate Broadcasting System) World Convention: 'Publicity, Marketing and Promotions' and 'Beyond Radio: Utilizing New Technology to Become a Media Content Provider'. Being held at NY's Hotel Pennsylvania, the conference gathers school & college radio stations/ webcasters/ podcasters from across the United States.

Publicity, Marketing and Promotions
Friday, March 6, 6:10 - 7:05 PM
The radio industry today is more dependent on creative and skilled promotions, publicity and marketing staff than ever before. In this session, panelists from both college radio stations and the professional workplace will help you plan to position your station for maximum success and listenership.

Beyond Radio: Utilizing New Technology to Become a Media Content Provider
Friday, March 6, 7:20 - 8:15 PM
This session will provide an overview of new innovations in the world of technology and telecommunications. A panel of experts in the field will discuss ways in which college radio stations and programmers can best utilize the range of technological options available to them to become more than just a radio station, but a media content provider.

About Eric de Fontenay
Eric de Fontenay has devoted his career to understanding and developing solutions for the emerging telecommunications and digital markets, having worked on a wide range of issues including the development of e-marketplaces, the impact of broadband and the state of digital distribution and rights management. A thoughtful and outspoken member of the new media revolution since the early nineties, Eric has been invited to speak at leading industry forums such as MIDEM, Canadian Music Week and Harvard Law School and has been published in numerous publications and books.

Starting off his career as a telecom consultant, Eric worked on some of the most pressing regulatory and policy issues confronting major stakeholders from Europe to Japan and New Zealand. He has been at the forefront of tackling issues facing the publishing industry, including author rights, digital content management, syndication and other business models.

Turning toward the evolving online music industry, in 1997 Eric established MusicDish (formerly Tag It) as a new media firm utilizing emerging technologies and models to produce, package and distribute original web-based content. Eric launched what has grown into some of the leading voices in the growing debates challenging and shaping the industry through trade e-publications MusicDish and Mi2N. Under his leadership, MusicDish expanded into artist development through saturated marketing and online branding, using innovative strategies such as syndicated and relationship marketing, online street teams and p2p viral distribution. Eric continues to be a frequent speaker at conferences worldwide and currently manages Toronto-based 'kaiso' band Kobo Town.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bethany & Rufus To Join African Music Greats In Mali

Roots music duo Bethany Yarrow & Rufus Cappadocia (Bethany & Rufus) have made the hop across the Atlantic to Bamako, Mali, where they have been invited to perform at the 3rd Edition Daoula Festival on Saturday March 7th from 11:00PM - 3:00AM (Mali time). The Daoula Festival "Rencontres Autour du Cotton (Meeting around Cotton)" is committed to helping raise awareness of the problems faced by the African cotton sector. The festival, now in its third edition, takes place March 6-8 and welcomes artists from all backgrounds, including Bono, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Quincy Jones and Dee Dee Bridgewater.

"It is a tremendous opportunity for us, and we are planning to record, both sonically and visually," noted Bethany Yarrow. "Our journey of singing these old folk songs - most of them African American - back in West Africa, which is, ultimately, their origin."

Bethany & Rufus will be performing alongside some of Africa's greatest musicians, including Kassé Mady Diabaté, Nahawa Doumbia, Toumani Diabaté, Cheick Tidiane Seck, Didier Awadi, Oumou Sangaré and Hadrien Féraud. They will be joined by Hatian Voodoo percussionist Bonga Jean Baptiste and singer and flautist Yacouba Moumouni, leader of jazz-pop-ethnic band Mamar Kassey, one of the few Nigerien musical acts known internationally, and much beloved in their home country.

Prior to their trip to Mali, Bethany was joined by her father Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary) for a memorial concert for Odetta Holmes, known simply as Odetta (December 31, 1930 - December 2, 2008). They were joined on February 24th at New York's Riverside Church by a who's who of people influenced by her - including David Amram, Maya Angelou, Harry Belefonte, Oscar Brand, Tom Chapin, Wavy Gravy, Maria Muldaur, Bernice Reagon, Pete Seeger, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Josh White Jr. and Peter Yarrow, among many others.

Bethany & Rufus with Bonga also gathered on February 21st at Carole Hart's home for a house concert in honor of her deceased husband Bruce Hart. An award-winning television and film producer/writer, Carole Hart is the brainchild behind the "For the Next 7 Generations" movie, whose soundtrack Bethany & Rufus have been collaborating on.

The full-length documentary tells the story of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers from around the globe - the Arctic Circle, North, Central & South America, Asia and Africa - who have come together because they were told in prophecy that their ancestral ways of prayer, peace-making and healing are vitally needed in the world today.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

REVIEW: 12 The Band - 'Streets And Avenues'

This album takes reggae to a whole new level, incorporating jazz, blues, rock and R&B
By Michele Wilson-Morris, MusicDish eJournal

Unjustness, the struggle for equality, the journey between two lovers searching for something real, the deceitfulness of those in power, and the unwillingness of those who are not in power to continue to be oppressed...

Every now and then, you come across a song that is completely in touch with what's going on in the world. Today, I found not just one song, but a CD full of songs addressing these issues in such a deep and profound way that it touched my very soul.

Streets and Avenues, the debut album from 12 The Band, is one of the most powerful, refreshing, inspiring, and uplifting CD's that I've heard in a very long time. The 14 songs on this album take reggae to a whole new level, incorporating jazz, blues, rock, R&B, and just about any other genre you can think of with old school reggae/calypso. About half of the cuts are love songs, while the others tell of the challenges that we as human beings face trying to make it in this world. I don't say this lightly, so hear me well -- this album is SERIOUS and DEEP. No matter what your musical preferences are, there is something on Streets and Avenues for everyone.

Although I liked all of the cuts, I couldn't possibly detail them all here. But among my favorites were Togetherness, Prosper, Wrong Chord, Smile, Streets and Avenues, Consumed, Lady of the Night, and Las Lap - Prosper.

Togetherness is a wakeup call to us, and the message in this song reminds one of Bob Marley and his revolutionary sound and message of unity with more of a calypso flavor than heartbeat reggae. It's ire, reaching higher heights.

"The house was surrounded by police.
They say they mobilized their force and they come to suppress the peace.
He wore a brilliant disguise and the truth was a lie to design. They say that when the people hear this voice they will open up their eyes and realize it's revolution time.
Where there is peace, there is silence. Where there is hunger, there is violence;
But where there is love, there is togetherness.
This is a new world war and the plantation is closed and it's time for the slavery to cease.
Put love in your heart and the music will give you release...
He wore a brilliant disguise and the truth was a lie to design.
They say when the people hear this voice they will open up their eyes and realize it's revolution time."

Prosper exudes universal love between two souls as they move through their journey in love together. The arrangement is big with string, and French (or English) horns that add to this intimate and intricate piece.

"In sickness and health 'til death bring us together;
I shudder to think that it would ever sever.
The truth be the bond that adheres and links us together.
Cause a lie is a dagger set to put us asunder, forever asunder.
Prosper our way as move along our way."

Wrong Chord is a beautiful blend with excellent guitar and percussion. It's a nice groove with small dance hall breaks, but the message is not for the faint of heart.

"You Mr. Big shot, you have and we have not.
But we see through your disguise and we see through all your lies.
And we know mankind has but one destination
Which is to soar high above the trees and be a king of all he surveys and he sees.
You, Mr. Big Score, you have and you want more, never thinking about the poor.
Every day you say we will have a brighter tomorrow, but we need to live today."

Smile is a song for lovers. It is a fantastic and intimate blend of reggae with R&B. The quiet jazz trumpet in the background enhances the up close and personal mood of the piece. "Woman you capture me, you rapture me." And it gets better and better throughout the ride it takes you on.

The rock, reggae, jazz fusion Streets and Avenues has some of the strongest lyrics on the album. It starts off like a rock anthem and indeed would be at home in any rock group's repertoire. The song searches for an answer to an interesting question that we all ask ourselves - what is it all about, why are we here?

"Want to feel a real connection on a stronger foundation, not a brain washed salvation...
So I'm looking to the streets trying to find the avenues in the scriptures from a street prophet point of view."

12 The Band slows it down a bit on Consumed, which showcases jazz and blues sounds on a beautiful and romantic Ballad. It has a blues feel with a hard edge guitar solo.

"I see across a smoke filled room lady, and I'm consumed.
I have one question to ask of you lady. What you want to do?
I look in your eyes and I see the reflections, the mirror of your soul.
And lady, I long to make that long connection and put things on a roll."

Lady of the Night is almost entirely guitar with an occasional trumpet accent.

"Lady of the night, I smell your perfume. You're a flower in bloom.
It could never be right for you to make your money the way that you do.
And she said I know 'bout that, the mind of man I know. I know what men just do.
You see, my mommy, she turned a blind eye and daddy, he do... what he never should have do."

Las Lap - Prosper is a richly orchestrated, upscale version of Prosper, and is a great way to end the album. You can really feel the strings, the horns are clean, and there's a lot of guitar, but it works and works well.

Look, what more can I say? This is one CD that you need to run (not walk) and buy - quick, fast, and in a hurry. It has religion, revolution, and love, all combined in a basket of musical treats to satisfy the delight of any music lover with a zest for something foreign, and yet not. Streets and Avenues gets 5 out of 5 stars from this critic!

Digital Music Forum East: The State Of Your Digital Union

The music industry is basically treading water against a mighty current and progressively being swept away.
By Eric de Fontenay, MusicDish e-Journal

I recently had the opportunity to attend a portion of the Digital Music Forum East event last week, which was sort of a brainstorming pow-wow for music industry honchos who debated the best way to orchestrate a return to the industry's heyday (or at the very least stop the hemorrhaging they are currently experiencing).

In addition to the usual luminaries and speakers I'm sure you've all heard from at some conference podium, there were several notable German delegates at the conference, including SoundCloud Founder Alexander Ljung, Musicload's Joachim Franz, and Songbeat Founder Marco Rydmann who has been entangled in a lawsuit with Warner Music. Look for more information these gentlemen in upcoming issues...

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose (The more things change, the more they stay the same)

Much of the talk today is the 'perceived' growing dominance of the internet in developing artists and selling music, whether it be the indie download-only album or a belated embrace by major labels. So the acknowledgment of the continuing and very 'real world' dominance by traditional media was perhaps one of the most surprising fact shared during the conference.

NDP Group's Russ Crupnick provided some statistics that would probably raise a few eyebrows, such as:
* 66% of music purchasers only buy CDs
* There are 20 million fewer CD buyers today than in 2006; and the majority of them have not shifted to digital alternatives such as downloads or subscriptions
* Broadcast radio is still the leading music discovery source, second only to TV

For the complete article, visit MusicDish e-Journal

Monday, March 2, 2009

Day By Day At The Song Fest On Music Row

It's part festival, part music conference, part business networking opportunity and part gathering of old friends held in Nashville, TN every third weekend of June. The live performances, education and Open House are concurrently running events. Here's a day by day account from Friday morning and continuing on till Sunday midnight.

Day 1, Friday, June 19th, 2009
It's Friday 9 AM we start with some pro instruction. Richard Adler, Grammy, Platinum/Gold recording engineer & producer talks about the nitty gritty of being in the music biz. Then Dave Gibson shares some insights and plays a few songs that have worked for him. (Texas Tattoo, Big Heart, Red White and Blue Collar, Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys, Queen Of Memphis, Daddy Never was the Cadillac Kind, Ships That Don't Come In, Jukebox In My Mind, Lonely & Gone). Following Dave is Stan Webb, SESAC Legacy Award. "I'm From the Country"(and I like it that way.), and other commercial successes. Stan talks about the realities of becoming a long term professional songwriter.

After Lunch, Steven Sharp's inside knowledge from successes of running a major label talks about, "The Politics of Getting a Song Heard and Cut". Next, entertainment law expert Bill Whitacre will take your questions on copyrights, rules on co-writing and collaboration, publishing, artist deals, digital rights and more. Finally, wrapping up the afternoon session is Radio Host Karen Reynolds, who will speak on "The business and skills of the performing songwriter".

Friday afternoon @ 5:30 PM we begin firing off the stages. Starting at the Curb Music parking, lot, it's time to begin the non stop original tunes till Sunday midnight! There are scheduled featured writer segments intermingled with regular writers. About 6:30 the writers start finding their place in the mix at the various Video, Web Cast and other outdoor theme venues. Unscheduled Create-A-Rounds pop up throughout the evening. Some writers browse a Booth or drop off their CDs to display at the Writer's Table. The stages hum till about 2 AM. As the evening winds down the hard core gather and play unplugged at the after hours Open Sing Ring. Thus begins a life changing weekend, so pace yourself.

Day 2, Saturday, June 20th, 2009
It's Saturday morning @ 10 AM, the Writers who got some rest are up-and-about getting first hand experience of the Row. The second day of the Pro Instructors classes starts with a Guitar workshop with Dave Isaacs "Driving The Groove." Next Debi Champion gives pointers on "How to Host a Successful Writers Night". Lisa Aschmann explains her concepts behind the book, "1000 Songwriting Ideas." Pete & Pat Luboff will tell ya why "Collaboration is the Key to getting songs cut." and Tirk Wilder rounds things off doing Song Critiques for students.

Also at 10 AM on Saturday the Open House begins. Fest Heads will be able to drop by participating recording studios, producers, publishers, publicists, consultants, managers, duplicators, and other trade related music businesses on or near the Row. These businesses will have an "Open Door Policy" from 10 AM-6 PM June 20th and 21st. These established Music Row businesses will offer tours of their facilities and answer questions about "What part they play in the biz?" Writers are encouraged to drop off and pick up samples of each others works.

Around noon, live music begins filling the Row again and the booths are open for traffic. Little clusters of writers develop, each sharing stories and talking shop. Everyone is laid back and having a meaningful experience thanks to the no contest, no talent search emphasis of the fest, making for a more relaxing atmosphere. At some point we present the Life Time Achievement award to the festival Grand Master. Last year Tom T. Hall took the honors and was presented the keys to Music Row. The stages close down again at 2 AM and the really late niters head for the after hours Open Sing Ring to watch the sun rise. By the end of the second day, Fest Heads have been effectively scattered from one end of the Row to the other.

Day 3, Sunday, June 21st, 2009
It's Sunday Morning 8 AM and thus begins a special Christian Music Segment at the Curb Music Parking Lot. A special emphasis on Contemporary Christian related music is pursued till noon.

10 AM, Survivors from Friday and Saturday hit the Row again! The Sunday session of the Open House begins. Fest Heads loaded down with business cards, CD's and goodie bags take advantage of the "Open Door Policy" till 6 PM.

10:30 AM, The 3rd day of Pro Instruction kicks off again and runs till about 6 PM. Starting things out is a guitar workshop by master Denny Sarokin. Then find out how to be "Ready for the Row" with Barbara Cloyd. After Barb, Bob Dellaposta will speak on "How to start and maintain a publishing company." Also critically acclaimed author and songwriter C J Watson will talk on "Everything Songwriting". Finally 15 year Music Row veteran Jo Crowe will help ya get your stuff ready to plug from publisher to label & also do song critiques for the gang.

At Noon all the stages begin firing back up, booths are open and everything hums along as usual. Some of the late-niter's begin straggling in and the party continues. Go with the flow, 12 more hours to go.

At 6 PM. If anyone wants to get married at the Fest then this is the time we do it, free of charge. Festival provides a Hall of Famer to minister the ceremony. The bride and groom read a poem or play a special tune to each other on stage, kiss and then head off to a reception nearby. Don't worry. I think there will be plenty of live entertainment.

In the evening about 8 PM we start winding down the video, web cast and other stages and Southern Fried Fest Heads start gravitating to the Curb Music Parking Lot as we get ready to Jam till midnight. Having gotten our musical fill, we yearn no more. Little elves clear the row of gear, stages, and by the next day it's like we never existed.

The week following the Fest some writers are still hanging around the Row, following up on leads and cementing plans for the future. For better or worse, at least you know your way around now.

The Nashville SongWriters Festival is many happenings in one. ASCAP, SESAC and BMI writers of all genres come together. Publishers, recording studios, producers, song pluggers, managers, and others are in attendance as a broad spectrum of the industry, past, present and future will be there getting the feel. Take in all or parts of the Fest and "Play it by ear".

Writers are encouraged to come as they are and find their place in the mix. Everyone who comes to the fest will have an opportunity to share their original lyrics, song or music. There are no set pre qualifications to play and no set registration fee to attend the Fest. Each individual determines how they can contribute to help be a part of this music magic. Many special guests and surprises await but the real featured writer is you.

So step outside the cliques and come hang with the gang. If you have a talent to contribute, the call goes out. Invite yourself to be a part of Music City history. The fest is now accepting sign ups for the June 2009 season. Throw down at this years congregation to celebrate the spirit of the songwriter.

The 3 day music peoples gathering is hosted by Music Fans and the general public are also invited to attend. Plenty of free parking. For more information visit, call 615-424-1491 / 931-296-4067 or email A Page available with links to all the instructors and venues listed above are at
Some scheduling aspects may vary due to VIP and Pro Instructor considerations at the live event.

Tony Adamo Signed To Strokeland Records

Fred Harris, UrbanZone Records
Los Angeles, CA

Tony Adamo, power house singer/songwriter has been signed by Strokeland Records for music distribution and entertainment PR. Strokeland is home of the East Bay (Oakland/San Francisco) soul music sound. 'Doc' Kupka, the legendary baritone saxophonist and founding member of the super funk/rock band, Tower of Power (TOP), founded Strokeland in 1998 with Andy Ebon as Director of Operations. In 2006 Steve Finch took over as Director of Operations.

Strokeland will oversee the sale and distribution (America and Europe) of Adamo's CD, STRAIGHT UP DEAL produced by guitarist/producer, Jerry Stucker. Listen for past TOP alumni members in the horn section along with 'Doc' Kupka. Mic Gillette wrote the horn arrangements for "No Strings, Groove Therapy, Up in It, and Mercy, Mercy, Mercy." "Groove Therapy," written by Adamo/Sucker is about the funky doctor, 'Doc' Kupka himself. Take a listen to this extremely funky groove at

More info on Tony Adamo at

'We Welcome You To Come' MP3 by Grace LaJoy f. Zenobia Smith

Spoken Word Artist Grace LaJoy Give Us "We Welcome You to Come" Single Featuring Gospel Singer Zenobia Smith

Download a free MP3 of "We Welcome You To Come"

Buy Songs By Grace LaJoy featuring Zenobia Smith on iTunes

In the tumultuous and stressful times in which we live, everyone needs a form of release/relief. There are those who prefer a little jazz, those who like a nice hot bath, and then there are those for whom the only answer is our higher power. Even then, we need something or someone to help remind us that God is there for us, and the song "We Welcome You to Come" does just that.

One of the tracks from the CD "Songs By Grace LaJoy," the strength of this track is its simplicity. Featuring vocalist Zenobia Smith, the message is strong and clear with a straight forward delivery. Unadorned, but meaningful, its lyrics remind you to let go and let God: "We welcome you to come / Come and bring your burdens. / Come and bring your pain."

The track starts off nice and slow, luring you into the mindset of turning your cares over when you've done all you can do and life has you weary and weak. About midway through, it really builds, adding a choral backup before returning to the initial tempo. The musicians on this track do a great job with the piano, bass, synthesizer, strings, and drums. The vocals are big and the song is like a personal invitation to you to accept its message. This is a nice, "wave your hands in the air" song that will definitely strike at the core of your faith, reminding you that you are not alone.
-- Michele Wilson-Morris

Shane Hines And The Trance New CD Release "The Glory Journal" Thanks To Fan Benefactors

Sure the music industry is in a free-fall. That just means the talented have to turn the old business model on its head. One Washington, D.C. bad has done just that.

The new Shane Hines and the Trance CD, being released next month, is fully funded by fans. The band started a thing called Team Trance,, which allowed fans to contribute so the guys could get "The Glory Journal" produced - and they raised more than $34,000. This enabled them to engage Wilco's and Ludo's producer in Nashville. Pretty impressive testament to fan love.


What do they sound like? Vincent Van Gogh if he shredded guitar and had a 3-octave range. Lyrics: Wrath and hope - shaken, not stirred.

Early reviews are enthusiastic. compares Shane Hines to Roger Daultry. "The Glory Journal" is full of timeless rock music that sidesteps all fashions Shane Hines sounds like he's equally at home in an intimate club setting or on a stadium stage…Hines could become a surprise ticket on the live circuit. One for audiences starved of good rock music."

Stereosubversion :
"The melodies and choruses are catchy, but even more importantly the lyrics are well written, thought provoking. It's a balanced mix of upbeat rock anthems and slower, more melodic ballads. Hines' voice is clean and original for a rock band."

Eat Sleep Breathe Music:
This is an incredible story and shows dedication and passion. This band has triumphed. Impressive.

The Retriever:
Shane Hines and The Trance get introspective and have deposited rocking minerals in The Glory Journal. The CD collects styles of music from all over, very rare today. Hines lets the listener follow the beautiful image. What is even more impressive is his intonation. He sends his voice soaring. This band is unique, hot.