Monday, December 27, 2010

China & IPR: Are The Days Numbered for Baidu's MP3 Search?

A running joke in China is that the CD market is so bad, that you can't even give your music away to the CD pirates. This is why organizations like the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), a coalition of seven trade associations representing over 1,900 US-based copyright companies, have been determined to avoid the same situation with respect to the online market:

"Sadly, all current signs suggest that the online market is replicating the same kind of problems that have affected the physical environment -- poor enforcement, government toleration of open and notorious theft, and a myriad of discriminatory market access barriers that undermine the ability to provide legitimate materials to the Chinese public."

One of the biggest thorns for US copyright owners is Baidu, which serves as the poster-boy for "deeplinking" search engines that provide an estimated 50% of pirate music files in China. Baidu has been operating a very popular MP3 search platform since 2006 that allows users to search and download music in a variety of formats. Despite what would appear clear and blatant infringement in the West, a Beijing court last January ruled against the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), finding that simply providing search results does not breach Chinese copyright law (though many observers blamed the IFPI for not mounting a very good case).

While 2010 might have opened with a disaster, the year appears to be closing with real progress. The 21st session of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) held this month reached "a series of intellectual property rights commitments... build[ing] on China's recently announced Special Campaign against counterfeiting and piracy." The plan announced in November represents the most comprehensive and coordinated strategy thus far.

Chinese trade representatives, led by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan, also confirmed their commitment to support the early completion of a new Supreme People's Court (SPC) Judicial Interpretation clarifying that those who facilitate online infringement will incur liability. In addition, a joint Chinese-U.S. sponsored seminar would be held on April 21, 2011 to specifically address the liability of intermediaries.

"IIPA welcomes China's commitment on online infringements by libraries and on SPC clarification on issues of secondary liability for online infringements. A new Judicial Interpretation is sorely needed and we look forward to its issuance as soon as feasible in the new year followed by adequately resourced actions by Chinese authorities to enforce it."

One might take these commitments of course with a grain of salt. Prior bilateral negotiations between China and the US have yielded similar (though not as specific) assurances of change with little to show for it. Why would this be different? For several reasons, foremost of which China realizes that it must assume its role as the world's second largest economy. As Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao noted in a recent videoconference on IP protection and enforcement in Beijing, protecting intellectual property rights is essential to constructing an innovation-based country, a key focus for the Chinese government. As if to underscore this, a recent report by Thomson Reuters estimated that by 2011 China's annual patent registration number would surpass those of Japan and the US.

Does this mean that Baidu's MP3 search engine faces a real threat? Not likely, at least for now. Issues like protecting patents, software and trademarks, the latter of which accounts for nearly 70% of all IPR infringement cases in China. These are the priorities for both the US and China. And the Chinese government is not likely to hobble one of its internet superstars when there are many small fish to fry in the meantime. But at least we're moving in the right direction.

Eric de Fontenay

Friday, December 24, 2010 The Social Network Against The Grain Of The Music Industry

On January 3th 2011,, the social network that turns its back on the music industry will be launched on the Internet. The website's services will allow artists whom do not want to sign with record labels to share their playlists and to receive donations directly from Internet users. They will also be able to advertise their concerts throughout the world via a geolocation system that connects artists and internet users. is a website where unsigned artists and Internet users are connected directly via a real time publication system. Innovative technologies will be available to unsigned artists who would like to develop themselves without record labels. is set to be launched on January 3, 2011 and a festival of fair music is expected this summer. All the know-how of Reshape-music supports its services on the technological skills and know-how of the label Reshape-music, the first fair music label in Europe combining technologies and Art Direction. All the services proposed are made for the development of smaller artists. The two founders of have complementary profiles: Jeff CALY was immersed in the music industry from an early age. Founder 5 years ago of the label Reshape-music, he is a music enthusiast who likes discovering new talents. Julien Mille meanwhile is a developer. He masters the web's languages he discovered during his studies in Computer Engineering. Together, they form the bedrock of, a social network of a new generation that will forever change the balance of power between small marginalized artists and music industry. "We are proud to offer a site for artists, where they have the possibility to receive donations, directly from the Internet." said Jeff Caly. "It is time for artists to turn aside from the music industry." Said Julien MILLE. online exclusive and innovative services allows to discover unsigned artists, but also to be notified when a concert is held in a venue near the user and if any of his friends are going. Artists, meanwhile, will be able to create or expand their community and move from virtual meeting to real, during concerts. In addition to its online services, the site advocates a new vision for the music market's future, much more in tune with our times. "We have the ambition to create a fair trade channel in the music as it exists for coffee or cotton."

The press is invited to a press conference on January 20th, the day before the MIDEM, for a presentation of the website and of the first artists joining this new philosophy.

Press contact:
Jeff CALY - Label Reshape-music
2 rue Andre Messager - 75018 Paris
Telephone : +33 (0)
Email :
Site :

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gonzalez Y Gonzalez Presents Fiesta Grande 2011, NYC's Best New Year's Eve Party For Salsa & Latin Music

Celebrate New Year's Eve 2011 at NYC's legendary Mexican restaurant, bar & salsa club, Gonzalez y Gonzalez. Bring in the New Year, salsero-style, with live Latin beats, delicious Mexican cuisine and the city's best margaritas.

Come to Gonzalez y Gonzalez where our New Year's Eve Fiesta is for the salsa dancing enthusiast. Renowned timbalero Ralph Irizarry and his ensemble will perform live their trademark sound of "Salsa Pura” and "Son Cubano." Groove to electrifying Latin beats as DJ Charlie mixes the best merengue, salsa, reggaeton, bachata and more all evening.

Savor the culinary flavors of Mexico with a three-course dinner. Enjoy the best margaritas, mojitos and more with our premium open bar. And make some noise as you countdown to the New Year with a midnight champagne toast. So bring your friends and family and join us at Gonzalez y Gonzalez for a real fiesta caliente and make this New Year's Eve a memorable one.


Doors open at 8pm; Bar closes at 4am
Basic Admission $25; $15 admission after 12:30am


=> Table For The Entire Evening In The Music Room
=> Four-Course Dinner
=> Premium Open Bar (4 Hours from 9pm to 1am)
=> Half Bottle Of Champagne For Every Two Guests
=> Includes Admission Fee
=> Complimentary Coat Check


=> Table For The Entire Evening In The Front Room
=> Waiter Service At Your Table For Food & Beverages
=> Three Course Dinner
=> Premium Open Bar (4 Hours from 9pm to 1am)
=> Includes Admission Fee
=> Complimentary Coat Check


=> Table For The Entire Evening In The Front Room
=> Waiter Service At Your Table For Food & Beverages
=> Three Course Dinner
=> Includes Admission Fee
=> Complimentary Coat Check

- Limited space available. Purchase tickets to guarantee seating.
- Listed VIP ticket prices are plus 8.875% tax and 20% service charge
- Premium open bar does not include shots

Purchase tickets Monday-Friday 11am-5pm
by phone 212.473.8787 or in person at Gonzalez y Gonzalez

For more information, visit our website
call 212.473.8787 or email

21+ with proper ID to enter; proper attire required

Mexican Restaurant, Bar & Salsa Club
625 Broadway, NoHo, NY 10012
located between Bleecker & Houston Streets |

Subway: N & R to Prince. B, D, F & M to
Broadway/Lafayette. 6 to Bleecker.

Discount parking @ Washington Square Village Garage (212.253.9061). We validate your ticket ($10 for 4hr). Entrances are on Bleecker & West Broadway or West 3rd St. and La Guardia

African Flava - Denise Gordon - The Best of African Music (One World - One Love edition)

African Flava - Denise Gordon - The Best of African Music (Video Link):

The track “African Flava” by artist Denise Gordon from the album The Best of African Music (One World One Love Edition) is a world music lovers dream. With an upbeat tempo that has an African rhythm infused with a bit of a reggae sound, it’s a feel good song that makes you want to celebrate the motherland by getting up and dancing. Singer Denise Gordon who normally records in the R&B genre, shows that she can hang with the best of them in the world music arena with this video which is fun and colorful, displaying African art and symbolism throughout.

The tracks of the album "The Best of African Music (One World - One Love edition), have been carefully selected and compiled by Didier Kussu.
The outcome is the best Christmas gift of 20 lovely songs for true music lovers.

Featured artists are Akon, Keri Hilson, Nneka, Paul Play Dairo, NAS, Damian Marley, Ed Jatto, Obiora Obiwon, Tate Simms, Adonye Green, Blackface Naija, Seun Kuti, TEA, Shaman's Dream, Jason Farnham, Cesar Funck, Proofsound, Denise Gordon, Miss Maawa, Sunburn In Cyprus, Afrotech Project, Basiru Suso, Eddie "SEA" Caldwell, Gene Katsuro among others.

For more info:

MarilynMusic Collaborates On Holiday Music Catalog For 2011

Michael Gaines of MarilynMusic is currently collaborating with Emmy award nominated singer/songwriter Lenna Bauerly and noted songwriter Eric Palmquist of Disney Studios on a series of Christmas and holiday themed songs that are intended for various artists. The trio is also developing a catalogue of holiday tunes for release during the 2011 Holiday season. While the emphasis is on Christmas/Holiday Season songs, the growing catalog will encompass all the major holidays such as Mother's Day and Thanksgiving.

Lenna Bauerly ( has written songs for a considerable number of others, and made her debut in 2007 as an artist herself, reaching #29 on the Billboard Club Play Chart with a remix of her pop song "Evenly." Lenna is one of the most played artists on the CBS hit show Guiding Light, which is the longest running drama ever, entertaining television fans for over 70 years. Her second remix single "I can hear the money," was remixed by Mark Picchiotti (Kylie Minogue, Enrique Iglesias) and Luigie Gonzalez/Finbarr Massi. The track reached #35 on the Billboard Chart Club play.

A songwriter and industry veteran of nearly twenty years, Eric Palmquist has held executive positions with Quincy Jones Music Publishing, Famous Music & was Vice President at Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. He currently is Senior Manager, Global Income Tracking, Disney Music Publishing, and is a Board Member of the California Copyright Conference.

About MarilynMusic
MarilynMusic is the partnership of musicians/composers Michael Gaines and Casey Conrad. Gaines and Conrad created MarilynMusic to combine their knowledge and love of a broad range of musical genres with the tastes of today's pop audience. The prolific team has numerous tracks expertly produced, with new material constantly being created. Gaines and Conrad collaborate on every aspect of the music from the writing to the finished production.

MarilynMusic released their debut EP Pure Rock in May 2010 - a whirlwind tour through rock and roll history. Each song offers a different timbre and seems to draw influence from a different place. In September 2010, they also released the track "Black Wave Coming," a heartfelt testament to the tragic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. With sounds ranging from the Beatles to Coldplay, all of these tracks are unique and definitely pure rock.

Eric de Fontenay

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Christmas Wish" by Mashanda Huskey

Mashanda Huskey's very special "military message" version of "Christmas Wish" reminds us all of the sacrifices being made by our armed forces and their families who are spending Christmas apart this year. With a vocal style and performance reminiscent of Lee Ann Womack, the song is beautiful, moving, and deeply touching. This is one track that really accomplishes its purpose, as it tugs at your emotions and puts American names and voices on a war that we sometimes think of all too nonchalantly, incorporating heartfelt, personal Christmas wishes from U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The special military message version of "Christmas Wish" can be heard on over 100 radio stations nationwide.

Audio Link:

Penny's Gang Records (PGR) is a faith-based, innovative, multi-genre record company based in Bishop, CA with distribution through Fontana.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Stephen Michael Apatow - The American Way

Six weeks out of surgery and two weeks into chemotherapy/radiation for tonsillar cancer, H-II: Stephen Michael Apatow recorded and produced the soundtrack “The American Way”. It’s reminiscent of a late 80’s/early 90’s rock/country tune, with just a hint of Depeche Mode, due to the somewhat muffled lyrics. The track starts off slow and turns into a mid-tempo tune. Clearly, by his motivation and triumph, this is the Land Of The Free.

To obtain a copy the MP3 soundtrack, direct an email request, subject line: "The American Way" to:

The American Way:

'Now or Never' - Eutheria

Eutheria takes their fans to an altered state of consciousness, with their latest track "Now or Never." The track is an Electronica/Trance groove with feel good lyrics and hypnotic rhythms, which invites you to be "picked up from the ground," and takes you on a euphoric escape, with only one thought in mind, "it's now or never!" If you are looking to get energized with positive vibes and a great beat, then you'll definitely want to get your hands on "Now or Never."

Eutheria have released their debut album entitled 'Forever'. The five track EP is being offered as a free download at Eutheria's official website,

'Now or Never' by Eutheria:

The Amazing Insurance Salesmen At 2Kolegas Christmas Party On The 25 Of December 2010 !

"The Amazing Insurance Salesmen", this year's China Global Battle of the Bands winner, will be playing as headliners for this year's Christmas party at 2Kolegas on the 25 of December.

Joining them will be "DH and the Hellcats", "The K", and "Skarving".

Don't miss it, it will be fun !

"The Amazing Insurance Salesmen" is a band lead by French man Zhang Si'an, with"Free the birds" drummer Maomao from China and bass player Maikel from Holland. The band plays original experimental music and songs inspired by bands such as Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimi Hendrix and music genres like Jazz, Blues, Bossa nova, Fusion, Classical music etc... The band formed in the summer of 2009, when French singer Zhang Si'an was looking for a way to go back to rock music after ten years of playing folk music, chinese inspired folk songs and Jazz. He asked two of the best musicians in Beijing to join him in a journey to create a new experimental rock sound. The music of the band is very unique in Beijing. It flows between short melodic punk-rock songs and long instrumental guitar driven progressive rock improvisations sounding like David Gilmour and Carlos Santana. The band has and still is playing in Beijing’s most famous venues such as 2Kolegas, Mao livehouse, Yugongyishan, the What Bar, D22, Club 13 etc... The band also played in music festivals including the Beijing Haidian Park festival and the Beijing Nanluoguxiang festival." The Amazing Insurance Salesmen" are currently recording their first demo, which should be available in a few months.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Penny's Gang Records Brings Home Christmas Wishes From U.S. Armed Forces

Reminding us all of the sacrifices of our armed forces and their families spending Christmas apart this year with the release of a very special "military message" version of "Christmas Wish" by Mashanda Huskey from the recently released collection of original and traditional Christmas music, "Miracle Christmas Night" (PGR).

Incorporated in the military message version of the inspired holiday song, "Christmas Wish" are heartfelt, personal Christmas wishes from U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. From the personal greeting of Major Mike Anderson's message from Kandahar, Afghanistan to his wife and child at home in Colorado Springs, CO – to Corporal James Pulis stationed in Afghanistan sending Christmas wishes to his wife and two children back home in Minnesota – the military message version of "Christmas Wish" is a tribute to the men and women of the armed forces.

The special military message version of "Christmas Wish" can be heard on over 100 radio stations nationwide.

"Christmas is such a blessed time and one of our most precious blessings is our freedom," says Penny's Gang Records President, Penny McCoy. "It's important to think of the families who will spend Christmas apart this year because a father, mother, son or daughter is away fighting for that freedom."

"Miracle Christmas Night" offers up an inspired collection of original Christmas music, "Miracle Christmas Night." Featuring PGR recording artists Patrick Paegel, Bill Cody and Shelley James, as well as guest appearance from superstar artist Wanda Vaughn (The Emotions) and a spoken word introduction by Stevie Wonder. "Miracle Christmas Night" offers up a heartfelt collection of Christmas songs that reminds us all that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.

Founded in 2006 by Olympic athlete, author and entrepreneur Penny McCoy, Penny's Gang Records (PGR) is a faith-based, innovative, multi-genre record company based in Bishop, CA with distribution through Fontana.


Industry Interview: How Midi Festival Is Leading China's Live Music Boom

Shan Wei with his all time favourite band from Germany, Deine Lakaien

After the successful launch of of the Changjiang Midi festival in October, I had the pleasure to speak to Deputy General Manager Shan Wei about the growth of Midi Festivals since 2000, the role of music festivals in nurturing and expanding China's rock and metal scene and their importance to today's bands, labels and music companies.

This year was the 12th Midi Music Festival aka Changjiang Midi Music Festival. How has the festival evolved over the years?

Midi is the first festival in China to ever bring the concept of an open air rock festival to Chinese people. It started on a very small scale (one stage only with a gathering of approximately two thousand) inside the Midi music school in the early years until this year in 2010 when it was held twice - in May in Beijing and October in Zhenjiang. Whether it was held in a downtown park or in a countryside field, it was successful enough to attract around twenty thousand festival goers each day with multiple stages and music genres. A lot of people look at it as a miracle, but I think the point is that Midi and its team, its acts and its fans continue to grow with China's rock scene and live music market - the success of one increases the success of the other.

For example, during the first Midi festival in 2000, I was there just for fun as a rock fan as well as a music editor for China Radio International. Muma, a well-known Chinese rock artist was there too when he was just one of the Midi school students and an inglorious young performer. I kept going to the Midi festival and would see Muma play at the Midi festival year after year, but we didn't meet until 2005 when I started to manage festivals elsewhere (Beijing Pop Festival, for which I certainly took some inspiration from the Midi festival). Then I became Muma's manager and we worked together and shared the festival experience. I joined Midi in 2009, and Muma continued rocking and headlining different festivals in addition to the Midi festival. Whether you believe it or not, I believe every rock music fan in China has his or her own personal story of Midi and the story must go on. We are all like one big happy family through the Midi festival, which is ever evolving.

The Beijing Midi Music School signed a 10 year contract with the Zhenjiang City Administration to support the festival. How important is the role of local administrations in logistics and marketing for festivals in China today?

Working with local government will definitely make festival management much easier and much smoother. There can be still challenges, but they can be worked out as long as we keep the spirit of the music in mind and know how to communicate with authorities, with a little patience. With the support of local administrations, the work with the venues, media, and government offices, etc., will be more effective in practice than previously. Moreover, the festival and rock artists can get more and more exposure through mainstream media.

The Changjiang Festival had an impressive list of foreign acts, such as Loudness, Soulfly, and Shadows Fall. What are some of the challenges in assembling such a line-up? And how have festival goers' tastes, perceptions and attitudes changed toward foreign acts over the years?

Shadows Fall(美国)
Sure, we got a quite loud and heavy line-up for this Changjiang Midi festival. As you know, China's rock scene emerged in the hard/thrash metal era, and its growth was inspired by western grunge, new metal, pop punk, British-pop and even some extreme music. With more and more festivals coming out in the last two years, we believe it is time to provide a paradise for the many metalheads in China. We realized, after doing weekend showcases in Zhenjiang, that everyone from local citizens to officers all love hard rock and heavy metal! The most challenging thing about working with this type of line-up is the technical part involved in production - balancing and fitting different technical requirements for those metal headliners who utilize the same stage.

As for foreign acts, I believe festival goers all love to see foreign artists especially for those they are really into, as well as constantly giving their great support to many of the Chinese bands.

The number of music festivals in China has literally exploded over the past two years. What is contributing to the sudden growth and how has it impacted the way music fans discover music? All in all, has the impact been positive for the live music market?

I think there are several reasons for the festival explosion in China:

1) The live music market is becoming the major way for music companies and record labels to raise awareness of bands, make profits and keep the music business going; that's why more and more companies and even individuals are becoming involved in music festivals.

2) Local governments, enterprises and media are starting to have open mind about rock music and culture. They realize that music festivals will be a good channel for promotion, cultural exchange and tourism.

3) For more and more young people, especially urban youth, being a festival goer is synonymous with being cool, fashionable, unique, and being seen as having a certain lifestyle.

With the live music market growing, it does change the way music fans get their music. The older generation listens to music first, and then goes to see a live performance. Younger generations prefer going to live performances where they find their preferences with respect to bands and music. They then begin to find out more about the bands they like and may even join the band's fan club online! I think that is definitely positive for the market.

What can we expect from Midi in 2011?

Bigger, Better, Cooler, More!

By Eric de Fontenay

Thursday, December 16, 2010

AAPCS: Xmass 2010 - The American Way - Free Mp3 Gift

Country Music Association Artist H-II: Stephen Michael Apatow has initiated the America's Action Plan for Community Service [1] to target the unmet needs of frontline service programs on the city/county level in all 50 states. The vehicle for this initiative is touch outreach, engagement of local artists and members of the arts and entertainment industry in venues that provide an opportunity for executive directors of frontline programs to spotlight:

1. The scope of unmet needs in their demographic area.
2. Nonprofit and service organizations working to address these needs.
3. An outline of How to Help: To focus financial contributions, inkind donations, volunteerism.

In conjunction with this effort will be an objective to establish an America's Action Plan Network Coordinator, that will provide a permanent direct communication pathway to reach every household, small business and corporation in a city/county area through at least 5 different pathways.

Xmass 2010 Appeal - Emergency Assistance for Unemployed/Underemployed

Since 2008, the economic devastation on the grassroots level has been largely absorbed by the household, small business and nonprofit organizational level. In conjunction with this transition, we have witnessed one of largest welfare level emergency funding program since the Great Depression, support over 15 million unemployed American's, an action that prevented the collapse of our state and local economies.

During this two year period, we have watched hyperinflation of food and energy costs spiral back to levels seen at the peak of the bubble, adding to the severity of the damage to our local economies. Among those in greatest need are the 17% unemployed/underemployed [2] populations that are struggling to survive. It is in response to these desperate needs, that we are asking our local municipal leaders, grassroots community service and interfaith organizations to organize emergency assistance that will reach these populations this holiday season.

"The American Way" Free Mp3 Gift

The lead Soundtrack "The American Way," from the album "Country Goes Global" has been the focus of Music Industry News Network and as a candidate for 2010 Country Music Song Of The Year. [3] As a gift from the Arts Integration Into Education Initiative, we are providing a free MP3 of the "The American Way" soundtrack, this holiday season..

To obtain a copy the MP3 soundtrack, direct an email request, subject line: "The American Way" to:


1. CMA Artist H-II: Stephen Michael Apatow Advances America's Action Plan For Community Service: Humanitarian Resource Institute, 3 December 2010. Url:
2. Unemployment Rate: Official (U3 & U6) vs. SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate: Url:
3. Top40 Charts - Nominate "The American Way" 2010 Country Music Song of the Year: Top40 Charts/Humanitarian Resource Institute, 13 November 2010.

Maya Solovey Makes Her LIC Bar Debut On December 20th

The holidays are no time for rest, especially if you're an international artist, a singer/songwriter and a chef to boot. Maya Solovey will be taking the city of New York by storm during December with four performances, which will be a combination of public and private shows. On December 15th and 21st, Solovey will perform at the Trump Apartments in Manhattan. She then performs at the LIC Bar (45-58 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, NY) on December 20th at 9:00 p.m. And on December 29th, Solovey will, in collaboration with Chef Mark Fahrer, present one of her culinary concerts in which the menu enhances the musical performance.

Commenting on her busy schedule, Solovey said, "There's nothing I'd rather be doing during the Christmas holidays that sharing the things I love most with people – music and food. The variety in the types of performances and the different venues make it even more exciting."

Maya's Culinary Concerts brings her award-winning music and culinary skills into the comfortable setting of your home. The combination of her multi-lingual music with seasonally organic and sustainably raised ingredients makes Maya's Culinary Concerts a truly 'sensational' experience — one that inevitably brings listeners closer to the music and artist.

As an international artist and a trilingual songwriter, Maya Solovey has merged the acoustic/folk songwriting tradition into the territories of pop, bossa nova, and even the high drama of cinematic scoring. Her music is a surprising, yet rational marriage between many cultures as she sings in Portuguese, Spanish and her native English tongue. Her new self-titled album, Maya Solovey, released July 15th, has already gathered notice from journalists and music critics. Her song "Eu Vi" was featured in a Ralph Lauren runway video for winter fashion week, while her song "Como Yo Lloro Por Ti" will be featured on a in a FIFA World Cup compilation, and another 3 songs will be featured in an upcoming shark documentary called "Shark Allies". Tom Moon, on air critic for NPR, and journalist for Rolling Stone and Spin Magazine said, "Here's a rarity: An original voice who really is original! Drawing inspiration from all over the map, Maya Solovey has developed a deep, enchanting sound that's unlike anything else out there right now."

Eric de Fontenay
Digital Music NY

Thompkins Marketing Inks Deal With Motor City Hits Records

Texas-based Thompkins Marketing & Media Group (Sugar Land, TX) is delighted to announce the signing of a long-term marketing & distribution agreement with Motor City Hits Records of Detroit, MI.

Thompkins Marketing is a multi-faceted communication network, specializing in music distribution and radio promotions, primarily to independent labels. The goal of this unique collaboration is to reignite the flame of great music that once emanated from Detroit and spread to every major city in the world.

TC Thompkins, the CEO of Thompkins Marketing, said "he is excited to partner with the fledgling label." With the lineup on this unique project," he continues, "it's hard to lose."

This compilation will be a compilation of some of Detroit's most famous groups and artist: The Four Tops (one of the last recordings with Levi Stubs), Dramatics (with the last recording of the late Ron Banks), The Miracles, LJ Reynolds, and Carla Cooke (Daughter of legendary Sam Cook), and others. Motor City Hits first release is scheduled for mid-2011.

Motor City Hits CEO Herb Strather is equally pleased: "Motor City Hits and I are pleased to have TC Thompkins on board. We now have a world class CD with a world class promoter & distributor," he said.

Legendary crooner LJ Reynolds, who is lead singer of the Dramatics, said of the agreement: "I'm thrilled to be reuniting with TC. We worked together on some of the Dramatics biggest hits such as "Me and Mrs. Jones," "I Going By the Stars in Your Eyes," "Be My Girl," and "I Can't Get Over You."

TC and LJ, along with Billy Wilson, who is the Assistant Director of Marketing & Promotions for Motor City Hits, the entire team is poised to release a plethora of enjoyable music for your enjoyment for years to come.


Music Pitch Sessions At MIDEM Sync 2011

Four Music Pitch Sessions, to unearth the sync sounds of tomorrow, will be among the highlights of Midem Sync on Monday 24 January, the day dedicated to synchronisation as part of the 45th MIDEM music market in Cannes.

The Music Pitch Sessions provide MIDEM participants with the opportunity to present their musical creations to influential music supervisors and to place their compositions in TV series, advertising campaigns or video games. MTV is looking to pick up an original piece of music for the American adaptation of the series "Skins‚" advertising agency Ogilvy is on the hunt for music that illustrates the smell of fabric conditioner Comfort for its upcoming international campaign, video game publisher Activision/Blizzard is scouting for tracks in various styles for the next version of its global hit DJ Hero and communication agency Grey Group is seeking an original sound for the launch of a new product by Pantene and its accompanying US ad campaign.

The Music Pitch Sessions allow participating artists to reach a wider public. The single "Shine‚" by singer Rosi Golan, was downloaded more than 60,000 times after being chosen for Pantene's ad campaign in 2008, which aired in more than 30 countries. Picked up two years ago by Activision/Blizzard for its game Guitar Hero, Welsh group The Answer went on to become the opening act for AC/DC during their world tour.

In parallel to the Music Pitch Sessions, the Midem Sync day features a panel discussion bringing together some key players in the booming sector of synchronisation, with a keynote speech by P.J. Bloom, star music supervisor of the worldwide hitseries "Glee."

Submissions for the Music Pitch Sessions are powered by Sonicbids and can be made on the MIDEM website.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"I'm So Afraid" - By Diane Marino And Robert Lauri

The very talented Diane Marino and Robert Lauri combine their musical worlds in an "international" duet of harmony and synergy in a French recording entitled "J'Ai Si Peur" (I'm So Afraid). The arrangements were done by Robert Lauri, who also composed the music along with Danielle Bennaim, with lyrics by Claudine Marousek-Dornhakl. The Marino-Lauri duet is unquestionably successful: Diane's voice complements Robert's beautifully, and the performance by both artists releases a magical harmony that tells the story of a couple who has been through the ups and downs of life and seen bad times, but who finally has found a love so strong and pure that they are finally no longer afraid anymore. Romantic to the core, whether you parlez vous Francais or not, you will enjoy this emotional and heart wrenching performance.

"I'm So Afraid" - Video Link:

Lyrics: J'Ai Si Peur (I'm so Afraid)

I'm so afraid to see happiness vanishing
I know that trembling does not help
But how can we sleep quietly telling ourselves that nothing
Can take this away, not tomorrow, not ever
I'm so afraid that everything will break and die
In less than a day, in less than an hour
Quicker than we see flowers wither

I'm so afraid to see pain come,
To see misfortune invade our happy home
But how can we protect ourselves from torment, from the wind,
from the rain and anger and the demons of the earth
Oh, I'm so afraid that everything will break and die
In less than a day, in less than an hour
Despite myself, I'm so afraid

To be afraid cannot it harm happiness, our happiness
I fear it; however we owe him well
To have put a large blue sky in our life, our life
Beautiful words of love which shine upon all our days
Oh Now that far from us are the torments
Far from us all bad winds
The rains which wet springs
Don't be afraid don't be afraid of our hearts
Nothing can change the mood
To make evil with our happiness
Do not say any more I'm so afraid

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tasha Taylor's "Merry Christmas Baby" Released To Radio

The youngest daughter of R&B Pioneer Johnnie Taylor, is offering her sultry, Christmas original, "Merry Christmas Baby" in advance of the release of her CD, TAYLORMADE, scheduled for release early next year. An accompanying "Merry Christmas Baby" video is now available for viewing at and at YouTube.

"TAYLORMADE is filled with remembrances, and sometimes more about how I feel about my mother's and father's feelings and relationship than about myself," Tasha elaborates. "'Merry Christmas Baby' is one of those songs on the album that has taken on a life of its own and now is really more evocative of my parents than about me."

Tasha's music is infused with the spirit of her legendary father and TAYLORMADE includes a funky duet by "Taylor and Taylor"—daughter and father—reprising Johnnie's first million-selling Stax Records' hit, "Who's Making Love." Tasha has just been tagged as a New! Artist to Watch by Clear Channel and "Wonder Woman" as a Blues Breaker on House of Blues Radio with Elwood Blues.

Tasha executive produced the album this summer at Noisy Neighbors Studio in Los Angeles with Stuart Benjamin, Rob Arbittier and Gary Adante producing. Award-winning bassist Nathan Watts was musical director of the impeccable tracks which feature Tasha Taylor on lead and background vocals, guitars and keys; Kerry Griffin on drums; Kyle Bolden and Jon Taylor on guitar, Rahn Coleman, Roman Johnson, Rob Arbittier and Mike Finnigan on keys, Kevin Ricard on percussion; and Joey Berkley, Zane Musa, Stephan Baxter, Nolan Shaheed, Brian Pareschi and Gerard Carelli on horns.


Trance/Electronica Artist Eutheria Releases Debut CD 'Forever'

ListenOut, Ltd. announced today that Trance/Electronica artist Eutheria have released their debut album entitled ‘Forever’. Moreover, the five track EP is being offered as a free download at Eutheria’s official website,

Commenting on the new EP, Tom Callahan of Eutheria stated, "I started writing songs for this album in April, and in November I began recording the CD. Most of the music you hear is electronic, but I also played the guitars and performed the vocals."

Eutheria is a melodic trance / electronic project formed in 2010 by Tom Callahan, who is also a guitarist in the emerging British band Silent Descent. Taking influence from artists such as Basshunter, Pendulum and David Guetta, Eutheria's focus is to create melodic, emotional music whilst keeping the energetic club vibe.

"My other projects have always been quite different from this one as my main focus is on the metal band Silent Descent. I’m always surrounded by rock and metal - but I was ready to do something different. I played around with several ideas and discovered some good sounds and styles with the electronica/trance genre, and it just evolved into this EP. My goal was to touch people’s emotions and really focus on producing something that was musically powerful."

The 'Forever' EP covers several different styles within the electronic genre. Opening tracks "Start Again" and "Now or Never" are hard hitting club dance tracks, along with the fourth song "Broken Free". The third track, "Question Yourself," takes a drum & bass style approach, while the final track "Forever" is a more chilled out, soulful track. Despite the variations in style, all tracks focus on being melodic, vocal based and emotive.

Visit to download the free EP Forever.

Tom Callahan
ListenOut, Ltd.

All About Jazz Partners With RocketHub To Make Jazz Mobile

All About Jazz, the largest online jazz resource and community, has partnered with RocketHub, a grassroots crowdfunding community developed for Creatives by Creatives, to actively engage jazz fans across the world and to crowdfund an innovative mobile application.

Crowdfunding establishes a web-based event that harnesses an artist's or entrepreneur's network and audience for funds, awareness, and authentic feedback. It is a powerful new way to build financial support and public groundswell.

All About Jazz Founder, Michael Ricci, summed up the project: "Imagine walking in Greenwich Village or in Paris or London or Tokyo or wherever and checking the All About Jazz calendar app to see who is playing that night near you – then buying a ticket while mapping your way to the club. We're talking the most comprehensive global jazz calendar where every city is represented, every night. And we can do it with your help."

To learn more and to get involved:

RocketHub Co-founder and CEO, Brian Meece describes the partnership as "a proud moment for our team and community. RocketHub has helped many jazz musicians reach new fans and attain funding for musical projects. It's an honor to be working with the biggest and best jazz hub on the Web."

All About Jazz is the leading and longest running jazz music web site, attracting both enthusiasts and industry professionals. A daily resource of impressive depth and breadth, publishes and syndicates a variety of jazz-oriented content. As a social enterprise, is committed to raising the awareness of jazz's cultural significance and historical legacy while playing an essential role in celebrating the creative leaders of today. It is a 9-time winner of the prestigious Jazz Journalist Association award for excellence in web publishing. As an AOL Music Network partner, its content appears weekly at

RocketHub is a grassroots crowdfunding community for Creatives by Creatives, founded by Brian Meece – singer-songwriter, Jed Cohen – actor/producer, and Vlad Vukicevic – tech-thinker/writer. The concepts behind RocketHub stem from the founders' own personal challenges as creative people; therefore RocketHub supports a DIY-ethos that is welcoming and supportive to all Creatives from around the world. "We are the creative underdogs with a mission to liberate creativity through our platform and educational support. RocketHub is the center of the crowdfunding revolution and the foundation of the new creative economy."

Sonicbids Partners With To Help Artists Make Connections And Reach New Fans

Sonicbids, the leading matchmaking site for bands and music promoters, today announces a partnership with, the largest real-time social media and viral marketing solution on the web, to launch a new application for artists to reach new fans. With the app, artists can reach millions of new fans by trading recommendations with like-minded artists and promoting to their fanbases through artist-endorsed status updates on social networking sites and mobile devices.

" reaches 123 million social media fans on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and mobile devices, empowering artists to reach and engage new fans in an affordable, targeted and authentic way," said Sonicbids Founder and CEO Panos Panay. "This partnership echoes our mission to help artists cultivate relationships with other artists and reach new fans. We’re excited to bring the app to Sonicbids members and help bands not only get gigs but also interact with their fans in a meaningful way."

As part of this partnership, Sonicbids artists will have access to the app to promote everything from new music, videos, tours and contests to helping artists engage with fans and expand their social media fanbases. Artists can create custom promotional messages and service them to other artists in their genre. Each time an artist recommends another artist to their fans, they earn Band Bucks, which can be used to send out their own promotions to reach new fans: one Band Buck equals reach to one new fan.

" helps solve the universal challenge that all artists face on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and mobile devices - reaching and engaging new fans.
This is not an easy problem to solve," said Mike More, CEO "We had to come up with a solution that was cost-effective and that artists would get behind. We thought about this challenge for a long time and thought that the best way for artists to reach new fans on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and mobile devices was to have similar artists recommend and endorse them. Getting these endorsements provides artists of any size the chance to reach enough new fans to move the needle. Now, we’re taking this a step further by partnering with Sonicbids. Making the process of booking and promoting shows easy and simple for artists is a common mission both Headliner and Sonicbids share. Our goal is to help artists by providing them with a powerful, easy-to-use, one-stop solution so they can spend less time managing their career and more time making great music."

To get started, artists log into their Sonicbids account and click on the app in the Featured Apps section of their homepage. If you don’t have a Sonicbids account, sign up for a 14-day free trial membership here.

About has grown to become the largest real-time social media and viral marketing solution on the web, with over 30,000 registered artists combined reaching over 123 million social media fans on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace - 5 million daily. It offers a free to low cost way for artists to reach new fans, authentically endorsing one another on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and on mobile.'s service is unique. Many sites offer bands opportunities to upload their content and ask their fans to share with friends, but only Headliner offers artists the ability to reach the fans of thousands of other bands through real-time social media recommendations. Whether your band is a platinum-selling major label artist or an indie artist just getting started, can help you reach more new fans than ever before. Promote your music with

About Sonicbids
Sonicbids is the leading matchmaking site for bands and music promoters. Our community includes more than 280,000 bands and 24,000 promoters and licensors from all around the world. With festivals, clubs, colleges, music licensing and much more, Sonicbids offers a diverse range of gigs for every kind of musician. In fact, last year alone, more than 71,000 gigs were booked on the site. The company was founded in 2001 by Panos Panay and continues to focus on its core mission of empowering the artistic middle class. Get a gig or book a band at

Adorned With YouTube Accolades, "Santa Is Coming" By The U.K.'s Mister Jack Arrives At ITunes December 13th

Sarah Mayal of Arival Records announced today that the track "Santa Is Coming," by Mister Jack, will be available at iTunes and all major online retailers on December 13, 2010. The accompanying video, which has already been released, climbed the YouTube Charts of the Most Watched Video rapidly. On December 1st, the video held the number one spot, becoming the frontrunner to other celebrated artists such as Nicki Minaj with "Fly" featuring Rihanna holding the number two spot and Justin Bieber's "Latin Girl" at number five. In fact, Mister Jack even overtook fellow U.K. celeb Cher Lloyd of the X Factor, whose video had been number one on November 30th, knocking her to number four.

With his new single, Mister Jack, the pop/punk/ska/reggae master of the U.K., brings to us some 2010 holiday cheer with a smooth Reggae Club mix. The guitar sets off "Santa Is Comin'," which is a fun song about getting together for a romantic Christmas night. The Reggae beat features a solid drum groove and horns that punctuate the hook without being overbearing. The female vocals make the hook work with Mister Jack, as he assures the ladies that Santa will be fulfilling their every wish (naughty or nice). The overall mix is perfect for having some fun on the dance floor this holiday season!

Mayal commented on the video's success, stating, "Mister Jack has a reputation for producing good music and presenting it in a very entertaining way. He is absolutely an original artist. If the video's popularity is any indicator of how the track itself will do upon its release on December 13th, we're in good shape."

Mister Jack's video, "Santa Is Comin'" begins with an animated Santa and reindeers pulling a sleigh that is about to trample a bearded male as he shouts to whomever will listen, "Santa is coming!" The music starts to play and the video switches to real life, with Mister Jack and his band playing in a bar. The song itself has a catchy reggae and ska feel to it with a slow beat that is reminiscent of Jimmy Cliff. The scenes switch from Mister Jack and crew shopping for holiday items in a department store, to frolicking outside in the snow, to Mister Jack being a little naughty with one of Santa's female helpers. Mister Jack sports a Beastie Boys look with his black top hat, Adidas track jacket and sunglasses. Lyrically speaking, Mister Jack is pondering his female counterpart's desires for this Christmas. Overall, it's a fun and festive holiday track that naturally incorporates Mister Jack's British humor. He appears to be having a jolly ‘ole time and is in good spirits. Then again, what man wouldn't be with two scantily clad females around him? Bring out the egg nog, because Santa is Comin'!

Born in Hammersmith, West London, in 1986, the artist known as Mister Jack has garnished many accolades over the years for his brand of music which is an anthemic mix of what he calls "power pop, punk, rock, ska and a hint of British humor". A self-taught guitarist by the age of 10, Mister Jack began writing guitar riffs while performing in U.K. punk rock bands from 2004-2006. He was honored with an exclusive feature in the Reggae section of, became the 18th most viewed musician on YouTube UK, and also awarded him numerous honors for his songs. He became the featured artist in August 2009 on Pax Stereo TV and his single "Pretty Damn Cool" on Arival Records had a total of 50,000 YouTube views. His latest single, pop reggae Christmas track "Santa Is Comin'," will be released in time for the Holiday Season on December 13, 2010.

"Santa Is Coming" can be purchased through iTunes at:


Sarah Mayal
Arival Records
+44 7534744451

Movielocker Launches State Of The Art HD Video Delivery Platform

After a successful beta phase Swiss-based Movielocker SA officially launches a new integrated HD enabled online video platform next Monday. Targeting a global generation of independent filmmakers and semi professionals as well as the niche interest with content segment the company offers a platform enabling hosting and streaming of HD content, a state of the art payment gateway and 2 step licensing. Movielocker, as the service will be called, joins an exclusive group of companies that is catering to a booming market where digital video clips are made available for sale directly by the producer.

"The future belongs to the Indies", as Jon Landau (Titanic) quoted recently.

"Everyone already recognizes that the user generated video market is essentially the world's largest market for free goods but quality videos will very quickly transform this into the largest movie market in the world," says Mai-Anh Demottaz, spokeswoman for the company, "however, the mystery for the movie industry has been how to monetize this market, and for independent filmmakers, how to reach it. Today, Movielocker delivers a streamlined solution that opens a significant new video market to the rest of the world."

A strategic alliance with the George Eastman House to distribute their archive is way beyond a marketing gag. Movielocker also won legendary independent filmmaker Jonas Mekas as a first supporter of their services. Mekas says: "Get a camera and start filming!" To cement its goal to support the independent film community Movielocker was essential in bringing The George Eastman House to honor Jonas Mekas with an honorary scholar award at a special award ceremony in April 2011.

A first in the market the Movielocker service does not require any up front costs and is backed up by the most price worthy three layer pricing model.

"We will promote independent films and videos to the worldwide market of movie lovers, which still have an enormous appetite and passion for movies, and will appreciate this new groundswell of indie movies leading to significant sales for any kind of filmmakers. Therefore, I believe Movielocker is the fastest and most effective sales channel for filmmakers ever" said Dmitry Volobuev, co founder of Movielocker.

Online video viewing is more ubiquitous than ever. "We reach 80% of US Hispanic households with quality broadcast programs," said Esteban Lopez Blanco, VP of Interactive at LATV Networks. "We know the worldwide online video market will reach 20 billion dollars in a couple of years. To capture our share of that market profitably, we need more digital distribution than ads alone."

Movielocker plans to expand its reach into viral promotion and marketing of videos online.

About Movielocker
Movielocker is comprised of a dedicated team of movie industry professionals and tech developers with a long history in the indie and major film community. Movielocker SA was founded in 2009 and is based in Boncourt, Switzerland.

Eric de Fontenay

Monday, December 13, 2010

[Singapore] Celebrate December: Naughty "Noor" Nice

Naughty "Noor" Nice: Christmas with Aya Sekine and Joanna Dong, Featuring Mohammed Noor on percussions.

Aya and Jo are both very naughty and super nice! This Christmas, join these cheeky chicks as they take Santa by his beard and swap his milk and cookies for a potent dose of their music*!

Venue: Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, Singapore
Date: 22nd December 2010
Time: 7.30 – 8.15pm, 8.45 – 9.30pm
Admission: Free!

*Aya and Jo play innumerable genres of music between them, but it is likely to be largely Jazz-informed, with some tongue-in-cheek humour.


Songwriting Veterans Dominate Top Two Spots In USA Songwriting Competition

Results of the 15th Annual USA Songwriting Competition have been announced. Canadian singer-songwriter Alannah Myles and prolific Los Angeles songwriter Ken Hirsch won the top two positions of the 15th Annual USA Songwriting Competition. This also marks the first time that music industry veterans dominate the top two positions of the USA Songwriting Competition fifteen year history.

Toronto Canada based Alannah Myles and co-writer Nancy Simmonds won Overall Grand Prize as well as the first prize of the Rock/Alternative category with their song "Give Me Love". Alannah Myles is known for her Classic Rock hit "Black Velvet". "Black Velvet" hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1990, won a Grammy award in 1991 for the same song. That song has become a classic and is a mainstay on Classic Rock and Pop radio stations worldwide. With her latest win, Alannah Myles is launching a comeback. This also marks only the second time that the top prize went to a non-US based songwriter. The last time the top prize when to a non-US based songwriter was 2006 when Vikki Simpson of the group "The Waifs" won.

Ken Hirsch and co-writers Rosie Casey, Peter Roberts & Hillary Podell of Los Angeles, CA won first prize in the Pop category as well as Overall second Prize with their song "Is that So Bad". Ken Hirsch is a prolific songwriter with several hits on the charts and is well known for his number one hit "I've Never Been To Me". Like Alannah Myles's "Black Velvet", "I've Never Been To Me" has also become a classic hit and is a mainstay on Classic Pop, Soft Rock and easy listening radio stations worldwide. Ken has also written hits such as "Two Less Lonely People In The World", a top 40 hit for Air Supply which he wrote with late legendary songwriter Howard Greenfield. Ken Hirsch has his songs recorded by music legends such as: Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton. Ray Charles and Mary J. Blige.

Christopher Tin, an Honorable Mention winner of the 15th USA Songwriting Competition has been nominated for two Grammys at the latest 53rd annual Grammy Awards: 'Best Classical Crossover Album', and 'Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists' for his USA Songwriting Competition song entry 'Baba Yetu'. 'Baba Yetu' won an honorable mention award in the 2010 USA Songwriting Competition.

USA Songwriting Competition has a long history of having winners getting recording and publishing contracts, have their songs placed on the charts as well as having their songs placed on film and television. 2009 First Prize winner (country) was signed to Universal Records. 2005 First Prize winner (Pop) Kate Voegele was signed to Interscope Records the year after she won and had her winning song hit top 40 on the Billboard Charts, her latest album hit Top 10 on the Billboard 200 Album charts this summer. 2007 Overall Grand Prize Winner Ari Gold had his winning song "Where The Music Takes You" hit #10 on the Billboard Dance Charts. Darrell Scott, winner of the country category of the 2005 USA Song writing Competition had his winning song cut by award winning country singer Faith Hill. Judges include A&R managers from record labels such as Warner, Capitol Records, Universal, BMG/SONY Music.

The following is the list of winners of the 2010 USA Songwriting Competition:

Give Me Love - Alannah Myles & Nancy Simmonds; Toronto, CANADA

Is that So Bad - Ken Hirsch, Rosie Casey, Peter Roberts & Hillary Podell; Los Angeles, CA

OVERALL 3rd PRIZE Be Inspired - (T. Custis, T. Haddon) Ason; Upper Marlboro, MD

1st Prize - LATIN
Estas en mí - Miriam Duran & Daniel Vila; Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA

1st Prize – LYRICS
Hot Coals - Sherri Gough; Nashville, TN

1st Prize – R&B
Retail - Branden Abeyta; Denver, CO

Can't Keep It A Secret - Jacinta Brongeest, Tony Moran & Warren Largaso Rigg; Sydney, AUSTRALIA

1st Prize – FOLK
The Mistress - Hawksley Workman & Amelia Curran; Toronto, CANADA

1st Prize – COUNTRY
Lighthouse - Chaise Flanders & Doug Stokes; Nashville, TN

Give Me Love - Alannah Myles & Nancy Simmonds – Toronto, CANADA

1st Prize – POP
Is that So Bad - Ken Hirsch, Rosie Casey, Peter Roberts & Hillary Podell; Los Angeles, CA

1st Prize – HIP-HOP/RAP
Be Inspired - (T. Custis, T. Haddon) Ason; Upper Marlboro, MD

1st Prize – WORLD
Deix - Tais Alvarenga, BRAZIL

Light Longing - Catya Mare; Beverly Hills, CA

1st Prize – JAZZ
The Angels Share - Don Breithaupt & Jeff Breithaupt; Bolton, ON, CANADA

More - Raleigh Hall & Gordon Chambers; Jamaica, NY

I'm Allergic To My Job - Drew Jacobs; Latham, NY

1st Prize – CHILDREN
Honey Bee - Tina Jones; Gabriola Island, BC, CANADA

Honorable Mention Awards
1. Hechizo - (Jacqueline Grace Lopez) Jacqueline Grace; San Diego, CA
2. Good Goodbye - Erin Casey; Boston, MA
3. Hypnotize - Leandro Dannug; Quezon City, PHILIPPINES
4. Who Will Find Me - Adrina Thorpe; Costa Mesa, CA
5. Stay With Me - Dave Merenda; Los Angeles, CA
6. Saturday in June - Robert Gillies; Scotland, UK
7. Red Shoes - Edie Carey, Boston, MA
8. Drink You Away - Nikki Shae, Mark Zubek; Ontario, CANADA
9. Kiss My Rainy Day Away - Jenn Bostic & Charlie Hutto; Nashville, TN
10. Citadel - Vreny Van Elslande, David Crocco & Cela Scott; Los Angeles
11. Do You Want To? - (Kyle, Chris Lowe, Scott Romig) Dexter Freebish; Austin, TX
12. Unraveling - Liz Longley; Boston, MA
13. LA Sky - Matthew Murphy, Sara Haze & Michelle Atkinson; South Euclid, OH
14. Distract Me From My Hustle - Joycia Ramsey (MzSKANDALOUZ);
15. Baba Yetu (feat. Soweto Gospel Choir) - Christopher Tin; Los Angeles, CA
16. Song For Sheila - Ellsworth McMeen; Sparta, NJ
17. Sanctuary - Helle Hansen; Copenhagen, DENMARK
18. I am Wordless - Tonya Poe, David Garcia, Wayne Smotherman; Pittsburg, KS
19. Mrs Santa Claws - Bette Anderson; Oakford, IN 20. You, Me and O.P. - James Struthers; Winnipeg, MB, CANADA

Entries are currently being accepted for the 16th Annual USA Songwriting Competition. Winning songs of the 16th Annual USA Songwriting Competition will receive airplay on a nationally syndicated radio program "Acoustic Cafe" as well as Sirius XM Satellite Radio. This is the first Songwriting Competition that gives airplay to the winning songs, giving deserving bands, songwriters the recognition and exposure they deserve. Entrants stand to win a grand prize of over US$50,000 in cash and music gear from sponsors such as Sony, D’Addario Strings, Ableton, Audio-Technica, Presonus, IK Multimedia, and more, making this the largest prize package for any annual songwriting competition. Other sponsors include: New Music Weekly, Loggins Promotion,, Onboard Research, Acoustica, Livewire Musician, Sonoma Wireworks, Rockstar Texting, Image line Recording magazine and Premier Guitar magazine.

Songs may be entered in 15 different categories including Pop, Rock/Alternative, R&B and Country. Entries are accepted from now through May 31, 2011. For more information, visit:

The Best Of African Music (One World - One Love Edition) Exclusively Released On ITunes Throughout December

Crafted with groovy, positive, energetic but also melow and meditative music, "The Best of African Music (One World - One Love edition) is definitely one of the best compilation to come out this year.

Even though the album features some major names such as Akon, NAS and Damian Marley among others, "The Best of African Music (One World - One Love edition)" is overwhelmed with many independent and established artists who are not necessarily known internationally thus giving these wonderful musicians the opportunity to reach out to the worldwide audience. The fans in North America will have to wait because the full album will be available in 2011.

The tracks of the album "The Best of African Music (One World - One Love edition), have been carefully selected and compiled by Didier Kussu, based on the following criteria:
- Each track must contain some typical African music elements
- Songs with lyrics must be positive and uplifting
The outcome is the best Christmas gift of 20 lovely songs for true music lovers.

Featured artists are Akon, Keri Hilson, Nneka, Paul Play Dairo, NAS, Damian Marley, Ed Jatto, Obiora Obiwon, Tate Simms, Adonye Green, Blackface Naija, Seun Kuti, TEA, Shaman's Dream,
Jason Farnham, Cesar Funck, Proofsound, Denise Gordon, Miss Maawa, Sunburn In Cyprus, Afrotech Project, Basiru Suso, Eddie "SEA" Caldwell, Gene Katsuro among others.

About The Best of African Music
The Best Of African Music is a compilation series with aim to create a platform in which fans around the world will have the opportunity to discover the great variety of music that the
African continent has to offer.
For more info:

Press Inquiries:
United Entertainment & Media Limited
Suite 404, 324 Regent Street
P: +44 20 7193 5457

The Amazing Insurance Salesmen - from Beijing and Hong Kong... to Kuala Lumpur!

[Editor's Note: When Beijing-based Rustic won the Global Battle of the Bands World title earlier this year in London, attention inevitably turned to China and who would represent it in the 2011 competition. While it might not be so surprising that the prize went once again to a Beijing-based band, being the birthplace of its indie music movement. But a multi-cultural franco-sino-dutch band called the Amazing Insurance Salesmen?

With influences ranging from Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd and good dose of fusion jazz, the band has played all of Beijing's hotspots (Yugong Yishan, Mao live house, D22, 2Kolegas) since the band formed in 2009. Band leader Zhang Si'an (aka Jean-Sébastien Héry) arrived in China in 2000 and stayed paying a Wednesday night residency at the "River" bar (later destroyed in 2003). What would follow are seven solo albums written and recorded in Mandarin, and member of indie bands The Incredible JSB!, The Maix Jazz band and the Amazing Insurance Salesmen, which brings us back to the GBOB China competition in Hong Kong. In Zhang Si'an's own words...]

We woke early in the morning to meet each other at the Beijing airport. I arrived early, and waited for Maomao and Maikel. We saw the band Rustic there and realized they were taking the same plane to Hong Kong as we were. After going through customs, we were finally seated on the plane.

Once we arrived in Hong Kong, the Global Battle of the Bands (GBOB) team was there to. We were quickly ushered to the Novotel Hotel in Wanchai, and realized we had been upgraded by the hotel, giving us access to bigger and more comfortable rooms (nice!!!). It was time to get ready for our showcase at The Wanch, one of Hong Kong's oldest venues When we arrived, Misery, one of the Hong Kong GBOB leg winners, was playing. We waited, listening to the music, drinking beers, realizing we had left mainland China, and not knowing what was lying ahead of us.

The atmosphere at the Wanch was very cool, and we had fun there. My feeling is that people there didn't expect to hear the kind of music we play coming from a Beijing band, and it felt good to surprise them. We were very tired after the day's travel and playing, and decided to go back to the hotel early.

The next morning, we went altogether to eat some good Hong Kong food, and then headed to Tom Lee, the local music instrument and equipment shop, to buy a few things and take a look at some gears. After that, we went back to the hotel and started practicing our songs for the final battle that was to take place that night at the venue Sticky Fingers. We practiced the songs and talked about what had gone well or not so well at The Wanch the night before. We decided to take the best of the show that we had performed at The Wanch and use it at the GBOB contest.

We still had a few hours to kill, so we headed to the Sticky fingers for a sound check, and then went out and walked for hours along the Hong Kong docks, watching all the tourists and the local people mixing together in an atmosphere only Hong Kong could create. We were talking about what to expect from the contest that night. I said to Maomao and Maikel that we would probably lose. At that time, I was convinced the Hong Kong band Senseless would win because not only were their lyrics interesting, they were in Cantonese, which was great for interacting with the local audience.

Shortly before the beginning of the contest, we went back to Sticky Fingers, changed into our performance outfits, and then waited and listened to the first band to play, which was Crossline. They were from Macao. Once they finished, it was our turn to get on the stage. We didn't know what to expect from the contest, but we did know that the best we could do was to enjoy ourselves, and do it like we do it in Beijing....

We really enjoyed ourselves playing those 8 minutes, and I think people in the audience felt that. There were still two bands to go. Senseless did well, and so did the band from Shenzhen -- Bolt Action. Then Rustic came on stage, and surprised the Hong Kong audience with their punk rock Beijing sound. We couldn't wait anymore and I went outside to have a smoke, and talked with a few judges, who told me they really loved our music, which seemed like a good sign for us. Then the moment for Chris B. to declare the name of the winner came, and she said our band's name -- The Amazing Insurance Salesmen. We couldn't believe it! It was a relief for us to win as it had been a lot of pressure on us from the moment we had won in Beijing as people had doubts about our ability to win again.

Nobody would have bet a multicultural band, with a French guy as the front man, a Dutch guy on the bass, and a Chinese guy from Henan on the drums would win in China to represent the Beijing music scene at the world final of the GBOB, but it happened!

We want to once again thank the GBOB team, Chris B, Wain and all the others.

We hope to win the Global Title in Kuala Lumpur!

By Zhang Si'an (aka Jean-Sébastien Héry)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mar Creation's 2010 Tri-Star Holiday Concerts' World Of Musical Beauty!

Mar Creation presents to us, for its 2nd year in a row, a lovely package of holiday sparkle with enough ribbons and bows to put a smile on any music lover's face. This year, the ladies take center stage with music from Japan, Brazil, and Finland – and all with that unique synthesis of genres that Mar is known for here and in Japan!

Yumi Kurosawa knows how to get to Carnegie Hall and beyond! She and her kotos (13- and 20-string) have been there and all over the world since her multiple competition debut wins in Japan in 1989 and '92 and permanently landing in New York in '02. At home she's appeared at the Apollo, Joe's Pub, and on WNYC radio, among other iconic NYC venues, also continues playing in Japan, performing her own compositions as well as the works of others. Ms. Kurosawa combines the best of traditional and contemporary styles and glides between genres with the power and grace of an elegant champion figure skater on her '09 debut album aptly titled, Beginning of a Journey (16 tracks, available on CDBaby, includes haunting intonations of Michel Legrand-like jazz, Indian overtones, and a compelling title track with violin and cello), and most recently completed a tour of Central America sponsored by the Japan Foundation NY.

The coolest of cool and the smoothest of smooth, pianist, vocalist, composer, and arranger MIKA combines her love of the sounds of Jazz, Samba, and Bossa Nova learned and shared over the years in Japan, Brazil, Taiwan, Paris, India and right here, with the support of her MIKA Samba Jazz Trio and MIKA Group. She moved her studio to NYC in '08 and has been continuing to go global. Her lineage comes through the likes of genre greats such as Fernando Motta and Amilton Godoy. MIKA's successful collaborations with artists such as Armando Marcal (Pat Metheny Group), Ricardo Silveira (Herbie Mann), Sergio Barrozo (Elis Regina), Jesse Sadoc (Marcos Valle), Andrei Vasconcellos (Djavan), Jorge Helder (Caetano Veloso) and Rafael Barata (Eliane Elias) have brought audiences new musical palettes to marvel at, from Sao Paulo's and Rio's clubs, and all over Japan. She performed in Japan to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Japan-Brazil immigration in 2009.

Finnish songstress Paula Jaakkola certainly has her sisu going on (with a strong will a Finnish woman can walk through gray stone), which brought her to this granite island in '99 and she fell in love with it and has been here ever since. She's sung with progressive rock, soul, and jazz bands, though her original training was in opera, and has played famous Village clubs such as The Lion's Den and C-Note. In 2004 her projects evolved into the band Kaiku ("echo"), performing original songs inspired by the Finnish Epic Kalevala tales with elements of pop, jazz, world, and Latin rhythms for which she received Performer of the Year from the Finlandia Foundation in '06. Their hip, smart, and playful sound garnered rave reviews: "listening to something this beautiful, it's easy to believe that myths are rooted in truth." - Now as a solo artist and songwriter, her goal is to have complete artistic freedom as her songs explore existential themes, expressed in her own words, borrowed from folklore, inspired by contemporary music from Joni Mitchell to Lady Gaga. Music that passes through stone to touch hearts.

Mar Creation is an independent record label and concert producer featuring a diverse lineup of talented international artists, spanning the genres of jazz, rock, pop, World music and electronica. For more information, please visit:

Date: Thursday, December 2, 2010
Time: 6:30pm (door) 7:00pm (show)
Place: Unitarian Society of Ridgewood
Address: 113 Cottage Place
Ridgewood, NJ 07450
Phone: (201) 444-6225

Date: Sunday, December 5, 2010
Time: 3:00pm (door) 3:30pm (show)
Place: Diamond Hill United Methodist Church
Address: 521 E. Putnam Avenue
Cos Cob, CT 06807
Phone: (203) 869-2395

Date: Saturday, December 11, 2010
Time: 2:30pm (door) 3:00pm (show)
Place: Victor Borge Hall at Scandinavia House
Address: 58 Park Avenue (bet. E. 37th & 38th Sts.)
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 779-3587

Tickets for the concert for adult are $20 in advance ($25 at the door), students are $15 in advance ($20 at the door) and children under 12 years of age are $5 in advance ($8 at the door).

Youtube Video:

Architect Of Progressive Jazz Fusion Scores A Touchdown With Latest Release

The architect of Progressive Fusion hits the mark with the release of his latest track "Touchdown," one of five tracks available on his latest album 'Triple Ripple'. "Touchdown" can be purchased digitally through various online retailers such as iTunes, Napster and is available in CD format through Amazon.
Purchase "Touchdown" for download on iTunes.

"Touchdown" is a full blown old school jazz rock composition. A huge phased sweep begins the Jazz Rock Trio performance from Anders. The Synth voicing with the bass feature lightning fast lines, along with an odd meter complexity over driving rock drums. This is a track for serious Jazz Fusion fans who remember music without compromise. The drums are full of decisive cymbal strikes that punctuate throughout the song. The surprise of Lyle Mays style Oberheim leads bring contrast to the ensemble, which is pounding out lines in unison. The modal harmonies and keyboard solo with a Chick Corea style lead is very effective. In fact, these guys could open for the Elecktrik Band! There is a nice change of textures to lighter bell sounds and the lyrical Metheny/Mays sound towards the end with continuous cathedral style bell tones later in the song. "Touchdown" ends on a strong note with sounds comparable to Lee Ritenour or ELP.

"Helmerson lets his creativity take him to new heights which ultimately resulted in him creating his own genre of music which he dubs Progressive Fusion; a combination of long songs with virtuosos performed in complicated time signatures, elaborate melodies and harmonies that are built on pentatonic scales that are neither major nor minor. This musical mastermind fuses jazz and rock to create a sound that amazes listeners with the power of superior technique and great composing." MusicDish - Read More

Born in Sweden in May 1959, Anders Helmerson has had a life-long love affair with music. In the 1970’s, Helmerson played in various short-lived bands and studied classical music in Denmark and Sweden, all the while becoming more and more interested in synthesizers and progressive rock. Helmerson completed his debut album, "The End of Illusion," in 1981. The album’s lack of success caused him to turn his back on music for the next several years. He worked as a surgeon in Copenhagen, a GP in Norway and a ship's doctor on a cruise-ship, eventually discovering Rio de Janeiro, the catalyst for his return to music. In early 2002, Helmerson release his second album, "Fields Of Inertia" on the Brazilian label, Som Interior Productions.



MarilynMusic's Pop-Rock Single Longs To "Carry Me Home"

Songwriting team MarilynMusic has released another new single from their expanding collection. "Carry Me Home" features singer/songwriter Luther Russell who has had several successful solo records, and also previously formed and headed the band The Freewheelers. The track is available now on iTunes and shortly on Napster, Amazon, eMusic and other major online retailers.

"Carry Me Home" by MarilynMusic on iTunes:

"Carry Me Home" is a mellow introspective song set to a mid tempo beat with a rock, pop influence. The guitar weighs in heavily on this track, and does it well. "Carry Me Home" creates a feeling of nostalgia and also hopefulness from the point of view of a contemplative man who is yearning for a much happier time in his life. The lyrics provide a visual of a man who is staring at his reflection while on a subway train; he compares a vision of himself presently to someone from his past, who he is obviously longing for dearly. The composers do a great job of taking the audience from the gaze of this hurting man to a time in his past, full of memorable moments shared with someone he probably still loves. The acoustic driven, mid tempo and well-arranged instrumentals take you to the mood of the song immediately even before any vocals are heard. MarilynMusic, known for the emotionality of their songs, once again comes through for their fans delivering heartfelt and thought-provoking music.

MarilynMusic is the partnership of musicians/composers Michael Gaines and Casey Conrad. Gaines and Conrad created MarilynMusic to combine their knowledge and love of a broad range of musical genres with the tastes of today's pop audience. The prolific team has numerous tracks expertly produced, with new material constantly being created. Gaines and Conrad collaborate on every aspect of the music from the writing to the finished production.

MarilynMusic released their debut EP Pure Rock in May 2010 - a whirlwind tour through rock and roll history. Each song offers a different timbre and seems to draw influence from a different place. In September 2010, they also released the track "Black Wave Coming," a heartfelt testament to the tragic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. With sounds ranging from the Beatles to Coldplay, all of these tracks are unique and definitely pure rock.

You can also listen to and read more about and follow MarilynMusic at:

Eric de Fontenay

"I'm So Afraid" - A Duet By Diane Marino And Robert Lauri

Take an accomplished singer, a talented pianist, and experienced arranger, combine them, and you get the dynamic and dazzling artist known as Diane Marino.

She combines solos that are sophisticated and elegant with expressive vocal pieces. With a warm and clear voice, Diana Marino reflects emotion in the simplicity of her vocal expression. Her albums combine "standards" with impressive versions of the bossa nova and samba, sung in Portuguese. Diane Marino offers us an "interpretation" in the truest sense and a piano accompaniment that is full of charm.

Produced by M & M Recording Records, Diane Marino has recorded, sung, and shared the stage with jazz legends such as Houston Person, Joe Henderson, Wycliffe Gordon, Tania Maria, Kirk Whalum, and many others.

From an early age, Robert Lauri has been an author, composer, arranger, songwriter, and performer. For more than 30 years, his musical career has been punctuated by several hits, and he has also enjoyed a successful international career.

His musical style reflects the melodic fusion of arrangements that rely not only on pop and country music, but also on movie soundtracks and ambient music. With a precise hand, Robert Lauri has managed to move many with his wide range of emotionally-charged and tender arrangements, making it virtually impossible to attribute one specific style to him.

He is a melodic visionary, unique in his genre. Each album is a key that opens the doors of "another world." In his albums, Robert Lauri crosses musical genres; his unconventional music with innovative tones provides lively rhythms, superb lyrics, and beautifully captivating melodies.

Diane Marino and Robert Lauri Duet – "I'm So Afraid" :

Robert Lauri authored the arrangements. The music is by Robert Lauri and Danielle Bennaim. The beautiful lyrics are by Claudine Marousek-Dornhakl. The Marino-Lauri duet is unquestionably successful: Diane's voice complements Robert's beautifully, and the performance by both artists releases a magical harmony.

The single "I'm So Afraid" is available on iTunes and will soon appear on major download sites.

The video was produced by the talented Italian artist, Anna Clara Passarelli. She has made many other music videos for Robert Lauri as well as the video "On the Streets Where You Live" for Diane Marino. Her videos always display a high artistic quality and level of the music they illustrate.

Video on Youtube:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

UK Progressive Fusion Keyboardist & Composer Anders Helmerson - The Exception And Not the Rule

Marching to the beat of his own drum, Anders Helmerson truly exemplifies what it means to be the exception and not the rule. From music to medical school and back to music, Helmerson is a well rounded artist who let his creativity take him to new heights which ultimately resulted in him creating his own genre of music which he dubs Progressive Fusion; a combination of long songs with virtuosos performed in complicated time signatures, elaborate melodies and harmonies that are built on pentatonic scales that are neither major nor minor. This musical mastermind fuses jazz and rock to create a sound that amazes listeners with the power of superior technique and great composing. His success was far from overnight, however.

Born in Sweden in 1959, Helmerson studied classical music in Sweden and Denmark while playing in various short-lived bands in the 1970s. He recalls a time, while studying in Stockholm he recorded a few electronic music with two friends of which some of his teachers wanted to hear, "they insisted on hearing it, so I played it for them, once I turned the tape recorder off, they stared at me. They said absolutely nothing. A couple of days later I was dismissed from school."

Helmerson took a steady self-imposed exile from music and composing altogether in 1981, after a failed attempt with "The End of Illusion," his debut album. He went on to attend medical school in Sweden, then worked as a surgeon in Copenhagen and finally as a cruise ship doctor to realize that his true passion lay, with music.

Through his travels, Helmerson would make his new home in Rio de Janeiro, and it is here that he revitalized his love for music. The array of Brazilian music coupled with the backing from one of Brazil's premier progressive labels, "Som Interior Productions," Helmerson, recorded the album, "Fields of Inertia," of which he described as "having the classical influences with a blend of techno."

Fast forward eight years later and Helmerson is proud to release his five track album, "Triple Ripple," which he was able to masterfully compose by drawing on his love for synthesizers and progressive music. With Bryan Beller on bass and Marco Minnemann on drums, this jazz rock fusion is a tour de force that truly radiates with his progressive fusion genre.

Anders Helmerson's music seems to change with the time and thus he cannot be packaged in a box. His sound is unique and his creativity is limitless as evidenced with his creation of progressive fusion. With his relentless energy and steady fusion of synthesizers, anyone with an appreciation of testing and pushing the limits is sure to enjoy his inimitable style. When asked his opinion of Triple Ripple, he eloquently stated, "1,876 bars measured to perfection. Making of Triple Ripple is done. It was a real journey." With his talent and ability to invent new genres and the luck that makes turns a musical flop into a cult-like success, Anders Helmerson's journey is almost certainly just beginning.

By Michele Wilson-Morris