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)