Friday, July 15, 2011

BLACK DAWN, Long Island's Hardest Alternative or Metal Rock Band?

BLACK DAWN is a group of four musicians, a faithful road manager, an ever-growing legion of fans (ranging from rowdy adolescents to toothless old men and women), a respect and appreciation for the sound of silence, and a suitcase full of aggressive and passionate hard-edged music.

The original incarnation of BLACK DAWN was created in 1992 when Tom Kelly hooked up with a local Long Island bass player, and once formed the band decided to name themselves as appropriately as they could, utilizing a name that deep down described their heavy, morbid, and intense music quintessentially. "We needed a name that is not happy, because the songs are not happy. This was the most unhappy name we could think of. For us, it implies an absence of hope. I suppose that, in a way, it recognizes those who are in a bad situation and know that they are not going to get out of it."

Originally intending to have the band be a hobby, over the years it has evolved into a very serious affair. "At first, it was probably just to be able to use and improve whatever musical ability we have. The shows would be a chance for us to party with our friends. We've kept the band going all this time because it is our art. It is what we would rather be doing instead of our jobs."

"BLACK DAWN has been labeled 'New York's Hardest Alternative Rock Band'. But Backwash Zine would beg to disagree. "...f*ck that. They're not alternative. They're metal. The way it's supposed to be...". The band describes their music as somewhere between Godsmack and Volbeat bringing elements of both hard rock luminaries into their aggressive style while still retaining their own unique and personal approach to hard rock which can only be accurately described as "BLACK DAWN".

Enzo: "Our music appeals to a large age group, one night we were playing a show and we had just finished a song and this deranged old man got up on stage and started dancing. He had three teeth missing and had his underwear hanging out of his pants. He liked us so much that he took his money out and starting handing it out to everyone in the band..."

Their self-titled debut, second album "Absence of Time", and live album recorded at the famed New York Club CBGB's has gained the band acclaim from both fans and critics alike. Both studio releases charted on dozens of college alternative and loud-rock radio stations throughout the Northeast and earned the band a folder full of praise. Their hard work and talent also got them noticed on the Long Island music circuit, where they ended 1997 as semi-finalists in the Long Island Music festival.

The band strives to stay fresh and vibrant in a genre that is muddy and dark; aims to be positive amidst lyrics that are manic, frustrated and angry; breathes new life into a musical style that is often over saturated by stale, "been there, done that" local bands. Much of this originality can be attributed to principle songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Matt Kotten. Although the music he writes is heavy and angry-sounding, his lyrics are passionate and emotional. "Our goal has always been to save people from having to listen to the same stuff. We like to give people something better than what they were expecting at a time when they did not expect it. Quick and sudden changes in time, rhythm, and overall tone are used to knock people on their asses when they think they are going to hear a typical ballad."

Rare is it these days that a band can manage to stay together so long and still be able to survive all the ups and downs and inner turmoil that being in a band constitutes, but BLACK DAWN attributes much of their longevity to the chemistry established between the band members: "We have been able to stay together this long because we have a formula between us that works. That formula is the most basic element of our sound. So we do whatever we have to in order to preserve it. There have been obstacles a plenty, and it only gets more difficult as time goes on and the band members' personal obligations become more and more demanding. In some bands, a band member will be kicked out for being late to practice more than three times. It is not like that in BLACK DAWN. Work and family come before the band."

The members of BLACK DAWN stay honest by being true to themselves and true to the music, and after years together, they know how to make the band machine work smoothly. Besides their obvious musical roles, they also have their unspoken roles within the band: Matt is the sensitive one - he brings the aggression into the songs. Tom is the serious one -- he brings stability and helps keep the music together. Enzo is the crazy one - he adds the power behind it all. James is the cool, collected one - he brings the soul into the music.

Their hard rock and metal Live shows have always been a crucial aspect of the genre and typically a proving ground for success. BLACK DAWN is no exception to this. The band strongly believes in their live show and ensures their fans truly get their moneys worth. "Shows are always supposed to be better than the studio recordings because they are live, which means anything goes. If you want to do an extended guitar solo, go right ahead. If you want to experiment with new equipment, effects, or fills that were not included on the CD, you can incorporate these changes at shows. The show can be an opportunity for fans to hear the songs in a more updated format" Their music has taken them touring all over the country including shows in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and Louisville.

James: "The most important thing is that you never settle on just trying to please an audience by playing what you think they want to hear and see. If something is bothering you about what you're playing, then change it. If something is still bothering you after that, then don't play. Maybe complete silence is the sound you are searching for to complete that masterpiece..."

By Andrew Marles

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Alternative Rock Band Redline Addiction Releases Intimate Acoustic Album, "Letters"

Alternative rock band Redline Addiction has released its second full length album, entitled, "Letters." The album, which boasts 9 tracks, is available for purchase at, iTunes, and eMusic, and is a demonstration of the group's musical diversity and talent.

Hailing from the Washington, D.C. area, Redline Addiction is an alternative rock ensemble whose musical influences range from early 90s grunge to modern hard rock to folk. Redline Addiction signed to upstart label Counterpoint Records LLC in 2007, and in March 2008, their first full-length album, "Goodbye Miss Dolly," was released to rave reviews, showcasing each individual member's unique balance of talent and style, and setting the tone for the band's up-tempo and energetic live show. A year later, the band released "St. Elmo's Four," a tight collection of four hook-laden songs that exhibited the band's dynamic range.

Explaining the departure from the band's hard rock brand for "Letters," Chris McVey of Counterpoint Records stated, "Redline Addiction Band members Rusty and Gandy had written a group of intimate acoustic songs that they loved but were having trouble fitting them into their high energy rock shows. But they figured they could make a four song acoustic EP to give them a home. As they explored the themes in the songs, however, they decided to make a full length record. They also invited other musicians like The District Revival to appear on the record to showcase the talents of the DC music scene. What resulted was "Letters".

Critiquing "Letters," Mike Coleman of On Tap Magazine said, "Redline Addiction has been making appealing power pop for more than five years now, but the band has never sounded so confident and accomplished as on its latest disc "Letters." This album is a rock-solid record." Juli Thanki of District Noise also commented, stating that "Letters ... is a collection of radio friendly pop-rock. The stripped down sound suits Redline Addiction: from start to finish; this is an enjoyable listen with no filler tracks. Though the band is planning a louder, harder rock record to be released later this year, it would be nice to see them explore this sound a little more in the future. Definitely pick up Letters if you get a chance."

The ensemble continues to build on its regional following by playing various shows throughout the East Coast. The band is also earning international recognition as a result of its growing social media presence. In addition to playing a variety of recognized venues, Redline Addiction has participated in the Baltimore Music Conference and DC United's "It Takes More" Concert Series. The band was also selected as the featured band for the 2008 and 2010 Washington Humane Society Dog Walks. Redline Addiction's music was highlighted in The Science Channel's Feast of Predators, where the group wrote and performed the original soundtrack for the show. Its music has also been played on radio shows like DC101's Local Lix and 98 Rock's Noise in the Basement. Most recently, Redline Addiction was featured in MTV's TJ (Twitter Jockey) Search Competition and Firefly Vodka's official hard rock playlist.

Redline Addiction is currently recording a follow-up to "Letters," which will be a heavy hitting hard rock album, and is slated for a Fall/Winter 2011 release.

"Letters" can be purchased through the following major online retailers:
Amazon: 2&sr=8-1
iTunes: eMusic: html .

For more information about Redline Addiction or "Letters," please send an email to
Twitter: @redlineaddicts

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

CAVA Discusses The State Of China's Music Industry At Digital Music NY

CAVA @ DMNY pic gallery

On June 22nd, Digital Music NY hosted representatives from the China Audio Video Association (CAVA) to discuss the changing music and copyright environment in China at South Street Seaport's RED. MusicDish*China founder Eric de Fontenay was joined by the Administrative VP Mr. Ju Wang and Deputy Chairman Bill Zang, who is also the Chairman of the China Music Industry Committee (CMIC), VP of Shanghai Synergy Culture & Entertainment Group (SSCEG) and President of a-Peer Synergy. The event brought together people from all sides of the music industry such as lawyer, music producer, record label company, artists and students interested in China's music market.

CAVA @ DMNY pic gallery

Responding to the potential and difficulties of China's market, Mr. Zang noted that while China Mobile's annual income generated from music is over than 15 billion RMB, yet content owners have barely received 100 million RMB in royalties. There is clearly a growing market driven by widespread mobile penetration (over 950 million subscribers) and popularity of services like ringback tones (or 'color tones' as they are referred to in China), but this is for naught if there is not a more equitable distribution of the revenues.

CAVA @ DMNY pic gallery

Mr. Zang also noted that the development of China's music industry is hampered by imperfections of the present legal system. Central to that discussion was Baidu's role in flooding the market with online pirated music. Even after being successfully sued by China Audio Video Copyright Association (CAVCA), Baidu's compensation ended up being less than 1 million RMB.

CAVA @ DMNY pic gallery

As such, CAVA has now proposed three conditions on Baidu. First, give record labels and artists a fair compensation for their economic losses as a result of piracy on Baidu. Second, take down all illegal MP3 links down. Third, cooperate with CAVA to contribute to the sustainable development of China's music industry. The conditions carry even more weight since Baidu joined the Alliance Of The Digital Music Industry (ADMI) which bound it to the "Alliance of the Digital Music Industry Convention." Mr. Zang also pointed out that the economic loss is not only monetary, but perhaps more devastating is the destructive impact piracy has had on Chinese music culture and the incentives to make music in the future.

CAVA @ DMNY pic gallery

Regarding piracy in China, Mr. Wang reinforced that the Chinese government is taking a very serious position on copyright issues and has taken strong efforts to cracking down on piracy. But often when the task is assigned at the local level, fears of losses to the local economy from enforcement (shutting down business and additional cost of royalties) may hamper enforcement on the ground.

Mr. Wang concluded by explaining how CAVA has expanded into a variety of activities at the local level that will have impact at the grassroots of the industry, such as the founding of National music industrial parks as well as establishment of music industry funding mechanisms. The association is also looking forward to working with western artists and professionals in order to learn from them as well as foster collaborations that would enable western musicians to develop our own mainstream art with Chinese characteristics.

The Game Takes Flight With David Cash In New Video Release

It's not many newcomers that can step into the arena spitting with the likes of The Game on their debut single or have their mixtape laced with lyrics specifically provided by J. Cole and Pharrell. But David Cash isn't your typical wanna' be artist. The Venice, Cali native on Nu West World Records, is breathing flames into the West Coast rap scene with a style that is infused with heat and fury. His lyrical fire smokes not only the competition, but also any notion that west coast rap is yesterday's news. The City of Angels has birthed a new rap sun, and David Cash is re-birthing the inferno that started it all!

With his new video release "City of Angels" Cash serves up a visual reminder of why southern Cali is the envy of the rap music scene nationally. Fully laying claim to the concept that 'Los Angeles is where you wanna' be,' Cash pierces our senses with a soundtrack and scenery that captures the essence of the land of La La, from the streets of South Central to the sunny shores of Venice Beach. Native son, The Game joins him in the video, adding credence to the emergence of this rising artist, alongside American Idol beauty Asia'h Epperson who lends a sizzling serenade with the song's refrain.

Cash turns up the heat with his 15-track strong mixtape release, "In Living Color" featuring J. Cole, Devin the Dude, Nipsey Hussle, Flying Lotus and Pharrell who all join him on the project with personalized, non-sampled submissions. Cash's slow, smoke hazed style entices us with tales of street lore from the bedroom to the beach. On "Curse of Gangsta" he takes us deep into the mind of a man tormented by his choices, then pumps up the volume on "Fame" with rap star Nipsey Hussle. When Cash teams with J. Cole on "Purple Rain" its a mack meets mack sexapade. Then Devin the Dude does what he does best, ad-libbing on "I Like What You Do" while Pharrell graces "Fences" with his one-of-a-kind flow.

Venice, California offered Cash a unique perspective of the 'west side.' Often referred to as the 'far west,' Venice Beach inspired him with a melting pot of influences, people and experiences. His more relaxed rhyme style boasts a distinctive variation from the aggressive rhyme patterns of emcees on the "eastside" such as Snoop, Ice Cube, and even The Game, yet his knowledge and recollection of the streets is no less intense. When on the mic, Cash raps raw, honest and real. His rhymes flow with the swagger and introspection of a veteran who has earned his stripes.

Expresses Cash, "I am David Cash. My heart swells and subsides to the sounds of my life. My music is an expression of everything around me. It may not always be pretty, but its real. Music is my escape. 'City of Angels' is just a prelude to what I am bringing to this game. Life has a tendency to mix things up and my music is gonna' do the same thing. I want folks to hear me, to feel me, to know me."

David Cash will soon prove that he is hardly an artist limited to genres. His next release, "Luv Hate Luv" with Chrisette Michelle, sees him leaving his street jacket behind and exploring new realms.

Take flight with the "City of Angels" at and download "In Living Color" for free at

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

F.L.Y. DreamStar - "Kush and Pain"

Set in the backdrop of the inner city, F.L.Y. DreamStar’s video “Kush and Pain” is a cool slow tempo hip hop/rap track. The talented rapper uses his rhymes to tell the world that that he’s moving on and up. He proclaims that “Life’s a bitch and she’s having fun with me,” and it does indeed appear that he’s taking it all in stride, having fun and just rolling with it all. Interesting visuals as the video keeps it simple and real, shot mostly on railroad tracks surrounded by trees. The railroad tracks seem to be symbolic of his journey to “move on.” The music is a low mix of guitar and a smooth band, making this a groove that you can drive to or just sit and chill to. It’s a smooth display of this artist’s talents as his flow is unique as well as his voice.

F.L.Y. DreamStar - "Kush and Pain"

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Venomous Love Affair" - Cutting Edge

“Venomous Love Affair” by the indie rock band Cutting Edge addresses the attraction of Las Vegas and how it can seduce one before they are even aware of the seduction. Those of us who have been to Sin City knows that you can find anything you want there – gambling, drinking, women, or the night life in any form in which you may be seeking it. The music is full of universal sounds that surround you with a bit of everything. With the backdrop of Las Vegas, the music along with the old Hollywood stars is a strange, but effective mix to really keep you captivated as the video unfolds. The breaks, bass, and mystical flute are interesting and take you to a completely different place – a foreign place, full of mysteries. There’s so much going on in this video that you have to see it to believe it as it is many things – erotic, political, mystical, and filled with secret messages – all of which combine to form an amazingly strong sound and show. The track is from the album, “The Big 14 N’ More”.

"Venomous Love Affair" - Cutting Edge

8th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) Kicks Off

The 8th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) is currently accepting entries. IAMA promotes excellence in acoustic music performance and artistry. Acoustic artists in various genres can gain exciting radio and web exposure through this competition. Participating sponsors include D’Addario Strings, New Music Weekly, Loggins Promotion,,,, Kari Estrin Management,, Acoustic Cafe Radio Show and Sirius XM Satellite Radio. More sponsors will be announced shortly.

Unlike American Idol, IAMA is open to all independent artists and labels, there is no age limit and people from all countries can enter and best off all entrants do not have to stand in line for hours or days in order to audition. Entrants need to mail in an entry form along with a CD recording or enter online on IAMA’s website.

Win prizes in 8 different categories: Folk/Americana/Roots, AAA/Alternative, Instrumental, Open, Bluegrass/Country, Best Male Artist, Best Female Artist, Best Group/Duo. There will also be an Overall Grand Prize winner awarded to the top winner worth US$11,000, which includes radio promotion to over 250 radio stations in US and Canada. Therefore, winning songs will be heard on radio. Winners and runner-ups will also be featured on IAMA’s compilation CD.

Last year’s winner went to Canadian folk singer-songwriter David Francey who won the overall grand prize as well as the Best Folk Artist. David Francey is also a Juno awards winner (Grammy equivalent) and is a prolific singer-songwriter touring all over North America.

Judging is based on excellence in music performance, songwriting/composition and originality. Winners are selected by a panel of established artists and industry professionals. Other past winners include: Liz Longley (2010 Winner), The Refugees (2009 Winner), UK singer-songwriter Charlie Dore (2008 winner). Charlie Dore is most famous in the United States for her 1980 pop single, “Pilot of the Airwaves,” which hit Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts and shot to international worldwide fame. Fertitta and McClintock (USA), Jen Foster USA), Mistin’ (Australia), David Francey (Juno award winner from Canada), April Verch (Canada) and Millish USA).

Winners and finalists of the Awards will be featured in the IAMA website and e-newsletters, read by music press, talent buyers, promoters and other industry insiders. All songs submitted must be submitted must be original and submitted online or via CD, the artist may also perform original material not yet released and written by other songwriters or composers. Cover songs are permitted.

Early Entry Bonus: first 1,000 entrants entered by September 9, 2011 will each receive a free gift. Check out: