Saturday, October 17, 2009

MusicDishTV: Jimmy White - "So Far Behind"

This is the latest video from award-winning Pop/Adult Contemporary artist Jimmy White. Since 2006, White has been nominated an impressive five times at the New Music Awards and won the 'Crossover Artist of the Year' award in 2007. Jimmy White's music is available for purchase through iTunes, Amazon, or CDBaby.

Friday, October 16, 2009

MusicDishTV: Fiona Joy Hawkins - "From The Outside"

"From The Outside" by Fiona Joy Hawkins, album Blue Dream (2008).

Fiona Joy Hawkins (born 1964) is an Australian composer. She was born in Cessnock, New South Wales, to a creative family, and trained as a classical pianist. Her first album, Portrait of a Waterfall charted at #1 on the New Age Reporter (NAR) World Charts in 2005. Her classical release, Angel Above My Piano, earned the NAR Lifestyle Music Award for Best Piano Album of the Year for 2006. She has been a finalist multiple times in both the Musicoz Awards in the jazz and classical categories, and the Los Angeles Music Awards in the New Age/Ambient Instrumental category.

Bethany & Rufus Roots Quartet "Live A Fip" CD Debuts October 22, 2009 In Europe


New World/Folk/Roots duo Bethany & Rufus along with Fulani flutist Yacouba Moumouni and Afro Haitian drummer 'Bonga' Jean-Baptiste will release a new CD, entitled "Live A Fip" on October 22, 2009. The Bethany & Rufus Roots Quartet "Live A Fip" CD features 12 tracks, and will debut in Europe on the Daqui Records label.

The "Live A Fip" CD release was a natural extension of Bethany & Rufus' collaborations with Jean-Baptiste and Moumouni. Bethany & Rufus, who share the same label with Moumouni, also shared the stage with him for one song during the 10th anniversary celebration of Daqui Records. They knew instantly that their political beliefs and musical chemistry would bond them together, catapulting them forward with continued performances. The trio became a quartet when 'Bonga' Jean-Baptiste was invited to perform with them the following summer at Les Nuits Atypique. During a promotional radio spot for the festival on Radio France in March 2009, the quartet was asked to perform live on the Live A Fip radio series, and the rest is history.

The Bethany & Rufus Roots Quartet's Live A Fip CD's strength lies not just in each artist's singular talents, but in their capacity to combine their abilities in a way that complements each member of the group to bring about a sound that is unique and groundbreaking, while incorporating concerns about global injustices, violence, and inequalities. Live A Fip is the product of a world where people and societies are interconnected, converging, and in turmoil.

One reviewer describes "Live A Fip," as "like nothing you've ever heard before. Styles from everywhere and anywhere come together seamlessly. One hears distinctly Afro-Cuban rhythms pop under driving bass lines, folksy lyrics and screaming flute. "Death Don't Have No Mercy" is particularly characteristic of this mixing and meshing. The cello is inescapably funky, the bongos complexify the rhythms, the flute line seethes with fiery reverberance, and Bethany's vocals lament the world in a way that only American folk music can."

Bethany Yarrow's voice has a deep resonance, a profound yearning that blends perfectly with the earthy sound of her band. Perhaps her voice sounds so good in this group because all of the instruments have a distinctly vocal quality about them. Yacouba Moumouni's flute imparts an especially human sound, a personification of woody vibrations that conjure images of life in its rawest form. 'Bonga' Jean-Baptiste's rhythms are complex and gel with Rufus Cappadocia's funky bass lines. Cappadocia's sound is also unique. His five string cello sound is rich in overtones that compound the earthiness of the group, and Yacouba's chants send shivers through your spine.

The whole album feels alive and growing. These are the sounds of life piercing a dry and crusted earth, its roots twisting and crawling, crackling and snapping. This music transcends the genres in which it finds its origins. It's not roots music, or blues, or funk, or jazz. While it contains elements of all of those styles, it is also unmistakably new and impossible to characterize in the traditional musical panacea. This pure, vibrating, swelling sound is open and honest. The Quartet is sincere and their music, all recorded live, makes you feel what they feel. This is an original and refreshing CD.

Click on the following link to listen to some of the tracks from the Bethany & Rufus Roots Quartet "Live A Fip" CD:

About Bethany Yarrow
Bethany is the daughter of Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary - one of the leading groups of the American folk movement. Peter, literally a living "memory-man" of American songs, considers himself as much a political activist as a musician. He sees music as a way of bringing people together, of reaching into their hearts and dissolving prejudices, to create a common humanity. Bethany has maintained this vision in her music as well... even when it was rock music. Today, her voice reflects all the nuances of America: Europeans, African Americans, Native Americans, and other immigrant cultures - because for Bethany, the United States of America is a mix of all these things.

In 2003, Bethany released her debut CD, entitled "Rock Island", to amazing (and amazed) reviews. Beautifully produced by Kevin Salem (Mercury Rev, Bad Brains, Chocolate Genius) and Knox Chandler (David Gahan, Siouxsie & the Banshees), the CD mixed the gloss of pop production with banjos, dulcimers, harmonicas, slide guitars, gospel choirs, and the sampled ghosts of some of the great blues singers in America. In totally unexpected ways, Bethany took traditional slave lullabies, prison songs, and murder ballads, and turned them into grooving electronic pop for a new generation.

Bethany's brand of folk has certainly struck a chord across the country, and ears are beginning to perk up noticeably… HBO recently featured her version of "Black is the Color" in their series Cat House, and listeners have been knocked out by her "fascinating" and "dramatic" interpretations. Her voice has been called, "mesmerizing", "intense", "powerful", "spell-binding"…. "A cross between PJ Harvey and Annie Lennox… Dido and Grace Slick…" Bethany has been dubbed a "musical medium", crossing genres and time, and in re-inventing these deeply American songs, Bethany has not only taken them into the future, she has made them deeply her own.

About Rufus Cappadocia
Rufus Cappadocia comes from Canada, where he studied the Japanese Suzuki method of learning music by ear, after which he trained classically with the Czech cello master Zdenick Konicek. But Rufus, who now lives in New York, says that he plays the folkloric music of New York; in other words, music from around the world: the Middle East, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean...

About Yacouba Moumouni
Yacouba Moumouni is a singer and flautist, leader of the jazz-ethnic band from Niger, Mamar Kassey. Moumouni is probably the best known Nigerien musician outside the country, and is much beloved in his home country.

Mastering the traditional flute, he joined the Ballet National of Niger and then formed Mamar Kassey, an eight man group featuring Moumouni and guitarist Abdallah Alhassane. Together they have toured West Africa, Europe, and the United States, and have become the most popular musical group in Niger.

In 1986 Yacouba accepted an invitation to join the traditional band Zongo. Together, they toured and performed in Korea, Libya, Algeria, and West Africa. Transferring to Orchestre Takeda, the house band at the musical academy Centre de Formation et de Promotion Musicale (CFPM), in 1990, Yacouba was mentored by the group's director and lead guitarist, Abdoulaye Alhassane. He remained with the band for five years. Together with other CFPM musicians, including Ahlassane, Yacouba formed Mamar Kassey in 1995. The band's debut album, Alatoumi, released in 1999 on the French Daqui label, was followed by Denke-Denke two years later.

About 'Bonga' Jean-Baptiste
Gaston Jean-Baptiste, known as "Bonga", is a musical virtuoso who has been performing and studying traditional Haitian drum, dance and song since the age of seven. He began playing drums in his family's peristil in his hometown of Croix-des-Mission in La Plaine, an area of Haiti known for culture and history.

Bonga is regarded as a master of the Afro Haitian drum, sought-after for his extensive repertoire of pan-African rhythms. A dynamic performer, accompanist, session player and educator, Bonga works on stage, in the recording studio, and in educational settings. He is one of the few drum experts and craftsmen outside of Haiti who continues to build traditional drums using techniques that are centuries old.

As a core member of the seminal Haitian roots bands, Boukman Eksperyans and Foula, Bonga was invited to the U.S. in the '90s when musicians were becoming a strong voice for the Haitian people. Since then, Bonga has continued to play solo and in ensemble and at numerous worldwide venues. He is a featured performer with Peter Yarrow, Grace Jones, Dan Zanes and Urban Tap, to mention a few. His drums opened the NY premiere of the Rolling Stones "Voodoo Lounge" tour and he is prominently featured on recordings by Wyclef Jean and Salif Keita.

Bonga's first CD, Kanzo (2000), incorporates elements of jazz, blues, and funk to create a dynamic version of mizik rasin. The recording features Lou Reed, bassist Fernando Saunders, and trumpeter Frank London. Bonga's second CD, Ayiti Afrika (2006), received critical acclaim.

To request mp3 tracks for review as well as interview requests, contact:
Eric de Fontenay
+1 718 278 0662

Technology Review: Rockster+Pro Home Studio Recording Software Package


[Mi2N PR] New York, NY -- Rockster+Pro is an innovative new home studio recording software package that gives serious home studio musicians an effective and easy to use method of transforming amateur sounding analog tracks into digital tracks that have a professional sound. Created by the new music company Born to Rock, mainly known for its production of guitars and basses made from metal instead of wood, Rockster+Pro is one invention that delivers on its promise.

Most home audio recording equipment is lacking in acoustics and the ability to produce a rich, vibrant sound. Rockster+Pro solves that problem by allowing the artist to choose "one of seven presets or invent their own. A GUI panel provides controls for factory and user presets, reverb time, decay and mix, heat, drive, space and dither. Reverb controls are independently adjustable for reflections from rear, side, ceiling and audience so you can design your own concert hall's size, shape, and liveliness." Another great feature is that Rockster+Pro doesn't work in real time. It analyzes the entire file before processing it, and even gives you a warning of any overages before processing modifications so you can choose to re-record the track if you want to.

With Rockster+Pro, I was able to infuse a very unique musical color into dry sounds with just my digital audio workstation. Using different settings, I managed to make my very own cello-and-piano composition sound like it was in front of me, being played live.

I have worked with various audio editing programs over the past few years, and it has always been a struggle trying to use the software's controls and settings just trying to do something really simple. That's not the deal with Rockster+Pro. You've got a clear and simple panel, 15 controllers, all with values from zero to nine. You can store and recall presets when you find just the effect you need, ranging from just barely noticeable to something entirely different.

Rockster+Pro isn't good just for making your home studio recordings sound "live". Boosted, higher harmonic frequencies and a slightly longer duration for each note of the melody gives any recording sound a much more realistic feel.

I would have liked to be able to use Rockster as a VST plug-in with FL Studio or Cubase and apply its effects in real time before having to save the file each time.

Rockster has 12 knobs (3 groups of 4) that manipulate three aspects of a sound with each one of the aspects maintaining control from a different location -- rear, side, ceiling and audience. The first group (top left four knobs) controls the time delay, the second is for the decay, and the third group is for mixing.

The first example is an upbeat composition using an accordion, guitar and trumpet:

Example 1 - Upbeat Accordion-Guitar-Trumpet by sthprk

And after using preset 2:

Example 1 - Upbeat Accordion-Guitar-Trumpet after using preset 2 (screenshot 1) by sthprk

In this example, my audio file already had studio audience recorded, so it was closer to a live performance. But by manipulating it with Rockster+Pro's settings, I was able to create a much clearer sound. As you can see, I used one of the presets provided by the program. Adjustments to the original sound were applied as such: Time delay - rear set to 7, the side to 4, ceiling 3 and audience 2. Decay is set to low levels for all directions – rear 4, side 3, ceiling 2 and audience 2. The way the mixing knobs are set, the "rear" setting receives more amplification – rear 7, side 4, ceiling 3, and audience 2. Heat, drive and space are set to 4, 4 and 5 representing a medium sized venue.

The second example is a slow cello-piano duo I composed using FL studio:

Example 2 - Slow Cello-Piano duo by sthprk

And after using custom settings:

Example 2 - Slow Cello-Piano duo after using custom settings (screenshot 2) by sthprk

In this example, I had much calmer and low-key instruments (piano and cello). In Greece, we are more used to listening to a cello–piano duo in a smaller venue, with fewer people in the audience. At the same time, however, a smaller venue means a warmer ambience, and fewer instruments get to the audience with a distinctive and clear sound. That means less time delay, even less decay, more heat and less space.

Keeping these thoughts in mind, I tried to virtually create the best live sound possible, with the correct settings.
* Time delay is set to: rear 6, side 3, ceiling 2, and audience 1.
* Decay: rear 3, side 2, ceiling 1, audience 1.
* Mix: rear 6, side 3, ceiling 2, audience 1.
* Heat and drive were set to 6 and space set to 2.

It's pretty obvious by the examples above that Rockster+Pro is what it claims to be. I enjoyed using it, and would recommend it to any artist or musician who does home studio recording.

For more info as well as press copy for review, please contact:
Eric de Fontenay
MusicDish / Mi2N

Thursday, October 15, 2009

X: THC's "X: The Human Condition" To Kick Off Depeche Mode Halloween Extravaganza

New York, NY.- October 14, 2009: In development for over eleven years, X: The Human Condition has been designed to embrace the expanding possibilities of multimedia in entertainment. Now, the live, dynamic concert performance by the music group X: THC, enhanced by emotionally charged film visuals, previews its uplifting and stimulating shock to the senses at "The Depeche Mode Halloween Extravaganza", taking place at Don Hills, 511 Greenwich St., NYC, on Friday, October 30th at 8:00 pm. Admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door. (21 and over).

Other bands performing on this outstanding bill include Violator, J.Viewz and Ready Fire Aim, followed by a late night Halloween dance party, all hosted by the Depeche Mode Fanclub New York.

X: THC has partnered with the Jed Foundation and AFSP to donate a portion of the profits from X: The Human Condition to help these two non-profit organizations in their work, dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, self-injury and suicide. They exist to encourage, inform, inspire and invest into treatment and recovery. The inspiring music of X: THC combines the multi-layered hypnotica of smoothly grooving electronic beats, warm emotive alternative indie rock, coldly induced new wave post-modernism, lush, heartfelt, romantic blue-eyed soul & classic songwriting, with an otherworldly experimental soundscape.

X: THC breaks down the walls between musical genres, challenging categorization, while communicating performance through multiple sensory applications, known as "synesthesia".

The live music and film multimedia experience examines the human condition, pulling you in to an alternate reality...

Hypnotically delicious, it is a trance-inducing trip inside the human subconscious, combining hypnotic, surreal soundscapes with phantasmagorical, emotionally charged visual storytelling to create a unique and inspiring multi-sensory music and film experience.

X: The Human Condition alchemically fuses together influences of luminaries such as Tim Burton, Michael Gondry, Antoine St. Exupery, Darren Aronofsky, Guillermo Del Toro, Jean Cocteau, Rod Serling, The Brothers Grimm, and Joseph (John) Merrick, to create an imaginative, terrible beauty, both real and unreal, where the mind can make a hell of heaven, and a heaven of hell... X: The Human Condition. For press information about X: The Human Condition and X: THC, please contact Harvey B. at info (at) and visit

Reduced admission tickets:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kirsten DeHaan EP Release Party At TM Promotions' CMJ Music Marathon Showcase

Alternative Rock singer/songwriter Kirsten DeHaan will be introducing her recently released EP "Thorns On A Crown" to music industry professionals and fans gathering in New York for the CMJ Music Marathon. Kirsten was invited to host her NYC EP release event by TM Promotions during their official CMJ showcase on Thursday, October 22nd at BLVD/Crash Mansion (199 Bowery - Spring Street entrance), where she will be joining Nick Howard, Alyson Greenfield and My Other Friend. Kirsten and Alyson Greenfield recently shared the stage at Colony Cafe on the closing night of Woodstock's 40th Anniversary Film Festival (Oct. 4th).

Thursday, October 22 - 10 PM doors
Back Room at BLVD/Crash Mansion
199 Bowery (at Spring Street), New York
Free for CMJ badge holders; $8 for non-badge holders

"Thorns On A Crown" was recently released via major online retailers iTunes, Amazon, eMusic and Napster. Distributed by Oseao Media Group, the five song EP is sure to please. Kirsten's voice and signature style has a mixture of qualities that critics have called: "the sweetness of Liz Phair", "a soft, airy quality like that of Sia", and "the rich alto of Fiona Apple".

List of major online retail links: - Amazon - eMusic - iTunes - Napster

About Kirsten DeHaan
Kirsten DeHaan is a true jack of all musical trades. Not only is she a talented singer/songwriter and guitarist, she promotes her music via her label SirLady Records, does various philanthropic work for American soldiers in the Middle East, and is a big proponent of the New York indie music scene. DeHaan stomped onto the indie music scene in 2004 when she released her first album "Conform." Reviewers compared her music to that of Nirvana, U2, and Belly. Her music has been downloaded over 1 million times via various peer-to-peer sites and featured on the hit reality shows Made and My Super Sweet Sixteen.

Declaring "Conform" to be one of the most popular records next to the Killers and Ashlee Simpson by, Kirsten was one of five artists chosen for Men's Vogue/Hennessey Flaunt Your Taste Critics Choice Awards. Her latest offering, a five song EP dubbed "Thorns On A Crown" is by far her most mature work to date.