Friday, July 22, 2011

Chinese Songwriters Are Mad and They Ain't Going To Take It Anymore

A fair amount of fuss was made regarding Music Copyright Society of China's (MCSC) announcement that it had reached an licensing agreement with Baidu, China's top online infringer of copyrights. MCSC even announced that they had received their first royalty payment from China's largest search engine (Yes, Baidu is like merging Google with the old Napster). Finally, a major breakthrough that should please everyone, especially Chinese songwriters, right?

Not quite. On the same day MCSC made their announcement, famous chinese songwriter and producer Xiaosong Gao posted an open letter on his sina blog titled "A letter to my colleagues of the Chinese Songwriters Copyright Alliance." He was joined by several songwriters such as Xiao Ke and Yadong Zhang in launching the Chinese Songwriters Copyright Alliance (CSCA) a couple of days earlier to fight the egregious copyright infringement by Baidu and negotiate on behalf of songwriters not represented by MCSC. Within days, CSCA soon attracted hundreds of new members.

Xiaosong Gao established MaiTian Music, which used to be China's largest record label, and now lives in the Los Angeles where he works in film and music sector. He also served as Director of Entertainment for, one of the most popular portals in China. So Gao certainly has a stake in what happens in China on the copyright front, the credibility to speak out and understanding of China's online market.

Gao notes in his open letter that CSCA's first step will be negotiating a comprehensive agreement with Baidu and assuring enforcement. "It should be complete legalization rather than meaninglessly building up a legal music platform while the large amount of pirated links remain available on Baidu's MP3 channel. Baidu MP3 channel is where pirate music sites get their site traffic by simply paying for Baidu advertising, then resell that traffic to pornographic sites or other counterfeit goods services. It gives me such pain knowing this dirty food chain is actually fed with the most beautiful music!"

While I was not aware of the link between pirate music sites and porn, Baidu's MP3 search page is perhaps the most flagrant form of open piracy I've ever seen. And this from Google's equivalent in China - in other words, not just some website, but THE website that all Chinese surfers use. I was outraged to see that MP3 search page still online today, even after the MCSC agreement and launch of Baidu's 'legal' music service Ting. What's the use of a legal music service if the pirate service is just a click away on the same site!

Gao has acknowledged the first steps forward made by MCSC and Baidu in creating a legal environment for music. But, he has also noted that MCSC only represents a small amount of songwriters. Nor is the Baidu-MCSC agreement nearly comprehensive enough as it only deals with royalties owed moving forward, not addressing royalties or compensation for past activities on the site. To make matters worse, not only are most Chinese songwriters not member of MCSC, but those that are have been given no information as to the terms of the Baidu-MCSC agreement.

This later point is significant. If there is one thing truly lacking in China's music industry, it is transparency. Artists and labels continually complain that they often have no idea whether the numbers they are given by mobile carriers are true, that is when they get reporting. This is not insignificant as there has been a rash of arrests at China Mobile for fraud and embezzlement, particularly in the music department. Considering Baidu's long history of flouting copyright, songwriters are right to be suspicious of any backroom deal struck.

But the issue of transparency goes beyond just Baidu. Yan Xiaohong, deputy director of the National Copyright Administration, noted at a meeting of the Chinese Movie Copyright Association that "the distribution of royalties by collective management organizations should be fair and transparent," to the point where the organization should be accountable to each individual member.

The fact is that if there were trust in institutions such as MCSC, songwriters wouldn't feel the need to form another organization to represent their rights. They would just rush to sign with MCSC and collect their check, right? But might they actually be implicitly signing a poison deal with Baidu by joining MCSC?

Gao goes on to express his anger that songwriters are the most vulnerable, neglected and silent group in the music industry while suffering the most by piracy. "No one ever paid any attention to protect our rights as 99% of our income was stolen. Facing the situation in Mainland China where the market is dominated by 98% of pirated CDs, musicians are struggling to survive on the remaining 2% that is the legitimate market."

End of story? Not quite. An April 19th article in reported that CSCA co-founder Xiao Ke was complaining that Baidu was ignoring CSCA, not having responded to their April 6th open letter to Baidu outlining four basic principles (takedown, apologize, compensate and common development) to advancing negotiation. Yet, Xiaosong Gao was interviewed the next day in the same outlet praising Baidu "for the large degree of improvement" it had done in recognizing the piracy issue and compensating songwriters. The title of the interview? "Xiaosong Gao's music "crusade" against Baidu harvest results: receives upfront royalty". And so, the soap opera that is China's music industry goes on.

By Eric de Fontenay
this article was co-written with Xingyue Peng

Robert Lauri - Face to Face

In his latest innovation, “Face To Face,” Robert Lauri takes us on a musical voyage, cascading through the sounds and visions of the big, bright and beautiful city. The video transitions along with the music to other settings and moods, giving the viewer an visual and auditory stimulating experience. Lauri is at his best in this improvisational jazz piece, with a great horn section that builds towards the end, and well placed flute melodies. The video and track are great for cruising, a nice social gathering, or a quiet evening with that special someone.

Robert Lauri - Face to Face

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Release: Jami Junde "Big Black Birds" (Awnry Girl Records) Out August 9!

Genre: Alt-Country, Americana
Label: Awnry Girl Records
For Listeners who like: Lucinda Williams, Buick Six, Kathleen Edwards
Digital Release Date: 08.09.2011

About Big Black Birds
Inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven...Big Black Birds is about the conversations between Jami and the black birds that followed her all over Colorado, California, Thailand, and Indonesia while she was writing this album. The album is built from her experience as an alt- country troubadour, weaving tales of travel, self-realization and death.

This album was produced by Jami Lunde and Eben Grace (Grace Designs), and features a guest appearance from her long time friend Chris Funk of The Decemberists, who plays moog, lap dulcimer and electric guitars on the Wilco-esque heavy song Raincloud.

In addition, Jami made use of the vast talent pool of amazing players in and around Lyons, Co : Todd Patrick Livingston (Hit and Run bluegrass, Missy Raines, Ralph Stanley jr, ), Jack Leahy (Gregory Alan Isakov, Paper Bird) Brian Schey (Great American Taxi) along with Ian Morlock (Kort McCumber & The High Road) and Greg McRae on Keys, guitar and percussion. Falling in the neighborhood of Lucinda Williams with her full band, Buick Six, and Kathleen Edwards, Jami is proud to have written all the songs on the album and to have worked with such notable talents. Big Black Birds was Recorded at Macy Sound Studios in Denver, Coupe Studios in Boulder, North Fork Studio in Lyons, CO and Funk Studio in Portland, OR from June 2009- December 2010.

Jami Lunde is celebrating her digital release date at The Walnut Room / Denver on August 9. Tickets available at

Press/Radio Contact:
Randall Frazier

Redline Addiction - "Sadie (with The District Revival)"

"Sadie (with The District Revival)" is the first single to be released from "Letters." The track has a nice intro with acoustic guitars and cello, and is an emotion evoking piece expressing true love for the lovely Sadie to whom life and love have not been kind. The singer soothes her with sweet promises and strong lyrics, beautifully matched by a mix of electric and acoustic guitars, the cello, and a harmony sung just right."

Redline Addiction - "Sadie (with The District Revival)"

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Breakout Los Angeles Band BARD Gears Up To Open For Ryan Cabrera

Rising heroically on the Los Angeles music scene is breakout alternative soft rock band BARD. With their epic poetry skills and melodic power, "BARD" is set to release their debut EP titled "No Sleep," now available on iTunes.

BARD, a seven member soft rock ensemble, is headed up by three leading men, Lucas Christenson (Vocals, Guitar), Steven Crandall (Guitar), and Jacob Craner (Piano). Additional players include: Kaitlin Wolfberg (Strings), Grady Hutt (Bass), Zak Dunn (Electric Guitar) and Alfred Jasso (Drums).

On Friday, July 22, BARD will open for Billboard-charting recording artist Ryan Cabrera at the Key Club in West Hollywood, CA. Showtime is at 9:30 P.M. sharp. The Key Club is located at 9039 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069.

"Opening up for Ryan Cabrera is a breakthrough moment for BARD," states Lucas Christenson. "Personally speaking, I'm a big Cabrera fan. It is pretty awesome that we are going to be sharing a stage together. We've got an amazing set planned for everybody."

BARD will also perform at The Whisky a Go Go on Friday, July 29 at 12:30 A.M. The Whisky a Go Go is located at 9901 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069.

Christenson and Crandall became friends several years ago, back in their home state of Michigan. They began writing music together and decided to venture out West to Hollywood, CA to pursue their dreams in the music business. Once in Hollywood, the two band mates met Craner and thus created "BARD." As a creative unit, the three musicians collaborate to create all of their own original material.

"Working with BARD has been a dream come true for me," states Abel Rivera, BARD Manager. "These kids can play their butts off. And, Lucas can SING! Their music is beautiful and real."

Music Executive Abel Rivera represents the band as manager. BARD's music can currently be heard on ABC's "No Ordinary Family," while live bookings continue throughout Southern California at popular venues such as House of Blues and Whiskey A GoGo.

Purchase BARD's debut EP "No Sleep" on iTunes at:

Stay connected, like and follow BARD:

Bard started in a small town in northern Michigan with members Steven Crandall and Lucas Christenson. The two headed to Los Angeles, California to build their music careers. Halfway through the long trip to California, disaster struck. Driving down an Interstate in Nebraska their trailer caught fire and everything was lost. Determined to keep on, the two continued in their journey to the City of Angels. Once settled, Crandall and Christenson began writing new songs and eventually met Jacob Craner, who impressed them with his stunning key work. As a team, with all of their abilities fused together, it's pure magic. As fate intervened, all of their hard work is paying off. Theres No sleep for the lonely!

Visit for more information.
Media Contact: Media Giants, Jim Strzalkowski, (310) 652-2283, or Heath Hamaguchi, (213) 926-1183,

Singer Tony Adamo And Drummer Mike Clark Recording Dates

August 26 and 27, 2011
Tony Adamo Recording
Northern Lights Studio
Santa Rosa, CA
All day long and into the night with Rob Dixon, Delbert Bump, Steve Homan and Mike Clark

MusicDish*China Brings Rock Band Pale To Chinese Social Media

The media was abuzz last week with news of Radiohead's entry into China's social media universe on the very popular Twitter-like site weibo. But they are not the only band making the plunge into Chinese SMS. Houston-based rock band Pale recently started building their brand in China through MusicDish*China.

"As a result of the Chinese government blocking most western social media sites, often referred to as the Great Firewall, western bands have absolutely no presence in China, no way to build a fanbase in the world's largest music market," said MusicDish founder Eric de Fontenay. "You literally need to go to them and, for independent bands not fortunate enough to share in Radiohead's fame, start from scratch building that fanbase. And just as in the West, DIY music marketing starts with social media."

'Catastrophic Skies' MV on Mogo

MusicDish launched Pale's digital entry into China with a premiere of their extended music video "Catastrophic Skies" on Mogo, the largest original music video platform in China. MusicDish started by focusing on douban, China's main music sites where they have a label page, and weibo which they use to interact with their growing fanbase. In addition to their douban artist page where fans can read their bio and updates in Chinese as well as songs and videos from their album, MusicDish also recently set them up with on Taiwan and Hong Kong's major platforms for indie music, Indievox and Alive Not Dead respectively.

MusicDish*China started working with Pale in greater China earlier this spring when founder Eric de Fontenay attended several conferences in Taiwan, China and Singapore last May where he introduced the band. "The initial reaction to the band was very positive from attendees at China Sounds (Shenzhen) and Music Matters (Singapore)," said Mr. de Fontenay. "But its the online reaction by Chinese fans that has been the unexpected surprise for us and will help bolster our case for the band, especially as we start organizing their tour."

In addition to building Pale's social media brand, MusicDish*China has been developing its own brand in greater China through partnerships with major music festivals and local promoters. MusicDish*China is a media sponsor for the Ocean Midi Festival and Rock Naadam 2011: China Tour, both being held this August.

About PALE
Sonically compatible with bands like Dredg, Radiohead and Muse, life for the Houston-based quartet PALE started almost a decade ago when they came together based on a common love of powerful, thought-provoking music. Pale's new CD, 'In The Time Of Dangerous Men' is on A-Blake Records (co-owned by Blake Barnes and Pale) and is the result of over a year of soul-searching and musical experimentation that showcases Pale at the top of their game. The 12-track outing, produced by Grammy winner Steve Christensen, is a deep, pensive look by Pale at the world around us.

About MusicDish*China
Launched at MIDEM 2010 in Cannes, France, MusicDish*China is the latest online brand from MusicDish LLC, a digital music company, providing a unique insight into China's emerging music industry. Focused on Greater China, MusicDish*China is building its brand as well as that of its artists and partners through partnerships with major stakeholders such as festivals, promoters and producers as well as its in-house social media marketing.

Contact Info:
Eric de Fontenay
skype: musicdish

Monday, July 18, 2011

Shhh...Jazz Musician Kenny Love's CD Is CAsE SEnSiTiVe

Kenny Love, who after having an independent music career, spent a subsequent twenty-year period as a radio/video promoter and media publicist representing fellow musicians, has now returned to his creative Jazz artistry and released cAsE sEnSiTiVe. cAsE sEnSiTiVe is a 10-song experience that engages the listener through musical peaks, lyrical valleys, and poetic arrangements. Opening with a driving upbeat selection titled Glide, the release has been entered into the International Music Awards. It will also be entered in seven categories of the Grammy Awards this August, including a category specific to the compact disc's humorous and visually arresting front cover.

"I am elated to return to the creative aspect of my music career," said Love. "While I have released a number of singles in the past, this is my first opportunity to experience and enjoy releasing a complete Jazz recording."

Although the compact disc was only released in June, several digital pre-release singles that are on the recording were picked up immediately for broadcast airplay during the preceding months of March and April by radio stations based in the United States, Brazil, France, Denmark, and Sweden. These digital pre-releases led the industry in setting the proverbial stage for radio stations to embrace the compact disc upon its official release date.

cAsE sEnSiTiVe is now being promoted in the United States and Canada by the national veteran radio promotion firm of Gorov Music Marketing. To review responses that Kenny Love and cAsE sEnSiTiVe are generating from Jazz radio stations and Jazz fans alike, go to

FOR: More Information, Interviews, Review Media Kits (specify Digital or Print):

Contact: Dwayne Michaels or Pat Dean (Media Publicists)
The KEL Group -
(972)330-4083 - -

Barley Station Releases A New Kind Of Country Genre Blend In Their Contagious Debut Single 'I Found You'

They coined the term “pop-a-billy” referring to their bending, mixing, and blending of genres - the paradoxical, if not paradisiacal, combination of rockabilly with pop on some songs. However, Barley Station’s music is punctuated throughout with elements of alternative pop/rock, folk, experimental at times, and rootsy alternative country. Their music features two and three part harmonies, catchy guitar riffs, driving rhythms, and contagious melodies.

It’s no wonder that Barley Station is rapidly climbing the charts at
“Songwriting is back!” proclaimed IntoMusic, a UK website, referring to the work of Barley Station’s core singing/songwriting team, Randy Wane Belt and Steve Meyers in their previous band, The Barnacles.

‘I Found You’ combines the elements of melodic pop/country with a distinctive rockabilly with a Johnny Cash kind of country feel. The mix of songs in the works for the full length album generally run somewhere in between and on top of the two singles and promises to deliver a tasty mug of sound. The songs are available via to Apple iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon MP3, Emusic, and many other digital outlets.

They are currently working on their debut CD expected to be independently released before the end of the year and have just released this single in anticipation of that.

“Many hardcore genre purists even like what we’re doing, though some don’t, but its who we are, and we can’t change that. It’s just how we write and how we’ve been influenced”, explains Randy. He adds, “I was once told by a hard core country fan that mixing pop into country (or folk) in one of my songs is like spitting in beer! Though he seemed to come across as rather offended by our genre bending, the person proceeded to say he couldn’t help but like that particular song.” That kind of response comes as no surprise as songs penned and sung by Randy in his prior band had won several male vocalist awards at and have been featured tracks despite fitting more into an “other” category rather than neatly into any one genre.

Barley Station’s core is no stranger to radio and press. Under the banner of their previous group, The Barnacles, Randall and Steve achieved the release of several CDs, national and regional tours, given radio interviews, and had airplay on over 200 land radio stations, including college, public, and some commercial radio. They received medium rotation on TABC’s ‘Best of Rock’ show and enjoyed everything from light to heavy rotations on other stations. Their genre blending sounds gave them a constant #1 pick up rate (over 90% consistently) with their radio promotion firm. Barley Station will be a group to watch as they take those previous successes to new levels.

Both Randy (guitars, vocals) and Steve (drums, vocals) have different musical backgrounds. Randy is chiefly a self-taught multi-instrumentalist and has a background in acting and musical theater while Steve has a masters degree in music and is a band director for K-12 in Kingston School district in Missouri. Bringing those factors together creates a perfect musical balance for the duo.

Fans can also check out their facebook page.