Friday, August 26, 2011

Rock Naadam on C1 TV - Boys Climbing Ropes and Moon Tyrant

In July 2011, Shanghai local rock bands Boys Climbing Ropes, The Horde and Moon Tyrant went to Ulaanbaatar and Darkhan, Mongolia to perform for the first Rock Naadam tour. The tour, which brought China-based bands to Mongolia for the first time, followed with dates in Ningbo, Nanjing and Shanghai featuring great Mongolian rock bands A-Sound and The Lemons. That tour was unique in that it not only drew more fans to Mogolian rock music, but also served as an exchange with China's rock scene.

On July 8th, Boys Climbing Ropes and Moon Tyrant performed on "The Big Break" TV show in Mongolia's nationwide channel C1 TV that has become well known for broadcasting music performances. Here are two video clips from the show, in which Moon Tyrant and Boys Climbing Ropes were playing.

Shanghai-based Moon Tyrant was founded on July 4, 2009 after years of planning and air guitar practice. The band is composed of four musicians from Panama, Tasmania, New York and New Jersey, and their music sounds like metal meshed with indie, jazz and straight ol' rock-n-roll.

Boys Climbing Rock is a Shanghai based indie rock band composed of four members - Morg, Dev, Pei and Jordo - that just came coming off a tremendous performance at Midi inaugural Shanghai 2011 festival.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tony Adamo - "This Time It's Real"

If you’ve ever been in love, you know the feeling you get when that special someone comes along and everything within you shouts, “This is it!! This is the one!!” Well, Tony Adamo has captured the sentiments of that with a remake of Tower of Power’s hit “This Time It’s Real,” and he hit the nail right on the head. The strong Tower of Power horn section does an outstanding job and a funky sax solo makes the song even more enjoyable. This track is definitely a groove and will entice the listener into reminiscing about the emotions you have when the right person is in your life. With his special soulful sound, Tony delivers another stellar performance. “This Time It’s Real” is a happy song that will put you in a good place. You can dance, chill, or just cruise to this one, but whatever you do, you’ll enjoy it.

Tony Adamo - "This Time It's Real"

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Taiwan's Mavis Fan Follows Her Own Yellow Brick Road

While my recent trip to Taiwan could only be described as a crash-course in the country's music sector, I had had the pleasure to see Fan Xiaoxuan, aka Mavis Fan, perform a year earlier at MIDEM with her band 100%. I immediately became a fan of the "Little Witch of Music" for her ability to straddle pop and rock influences and spot-on vocals into a seamless high-energy sounds.

Mavis has come a long way though and climbed many hurdles to arrive where she is today. Thrust into fame in the mid-90s as a "sweet girl" pop star for the children's market, her records sold over a million copies each, maker her an idol for an entire generation of children. But as happens with so many young pop star, she faced a crisis of following her typecast role or venturing off to follow her own voice. Luckily for us, this Dorothyesque singer chose to chart her own unique (and some times muddy) path down the yellow brick road as you'll see from this video.

So I considered it a special reunion when I met up with Mavis and guitarist Tony Chen (Allen) in Taipei this May to discuss her musical career, how she's grown with her fans over the years and life with her band 100%.

I actually have the pleasure of first hearing you live at MIDEM in Cannes 2 years ago? How was it playing at MIDEM? Was that your first time in France?

[Mavis] This was the first time we went to France, and we were very very excited to have such a great opportunity and also such an amazing way to experience a new culture by playing music there. We were super stoked to be able to bring our music to MIDEM and play for an international audience, however it was a bit nerve racking because I had to speak in English while on stage.

I was a bit concerned there would be distance between us and the audience because of that language barrier. But in the end thankfully, it seemed the audience had a connection to the music, which gave us that much more confidence while playing! We did get lots of positive feedback after the show. When we perform, we feel as long as we give 110% on stage, that energy will be felt by the audience.

What other countries have you toured in?

[Mavis] Aside from France, we spend a lot of time in Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan.

How do those fans differ in the way they react to your music?

[Mavis] Because China is such a big place, with many different cities and provinces, it seems each place has a different vibe to it. It's really interesting to see the different reactions from fans from place to place.

Take for example Chengdu - it's a very enthusiastic place. The fans there are very in your face, rocking out with us, taking pics, singing along, definitely not shy to enjoy the show. But on the other hand, take Beijing where the people are really cool, calm and intense. They appear more reserved at shows, but it just takes a while for them to warm up. By then end of the show, they are singing along and enjoying themselves just like anywhere else.

It would be an understatement to say that your music has changed over time. Tell me more about this transformation?

[Mavis] I started studying music from the time I was a kid. Any profession that ever appealed to me was based around music. When I was little, I would see on the back of CDs "Producer" and I thought to myself...hmmm, that sounds like a good job, even though I didn't really know what a producer did. But suddenly, somehow, I ended up on the path of a singer. At the time, I really hoped in the future I would be able to make my own music and create my own style.

When I first started, I was marketed as a young cute singer, the songs I sang and my image were 'cute' and they seemed to just keep getting cuter and cuter. I understood at the time that this was the path that I needed to take. But after a while, I realized that path and the path I wanted were getting further and further away from each other. That was when I decided to follow my heart and do what I loved musically.

Your fans grew up with you since they were young. How have they grown with the transition? Did you get a lot of pushback from them?

[Mavis] I'm really so lucky, because a lot of my fans and I have grown up together, we've also changed together. Of course some of the fans still prefer my old style of music, but others seem to have also gone down the same musical path as I have. It's really important for me to be able to create a relationship between my fans and I. I feel that music can be the common thread that connects us all. So in the end, it's more like we are old friends, not just a singer and her fans, and because of this, I definitely have a bigger responsibility to make my music even better.

What are the influences that shape Mavis Fan?

[Mavis] I honestly don't think I was influenced a lot by outside trends. For me, as soon as I started with the band, suddenly there were all these new possibilities. To have 4 people in a band rather than just my singing totally changes the creative environment. 100%'s style was definitely born from the four of us being together. But also I found that I really needed to change my singing style to fit the band. Obviously, I couldn't sing in my old style, so soft and angel like. It definitely wouldn't fit with the 100% band vibe.

Tell me something about the interaction between you and your band members in creating your sound and stage presence.

[Allen] We've all been really passionate about music for ages. There are a lot of societal and cultural pressures that we all feel, but we are all really lucky to have this band and be able to use our music as a medium to express and release those pressures.

[Mavis] Something that the band has given me is the courage to be on stage. I used to really get super nervous and stressed before any show. I hated doing it. Then before one show, they told me "You just gotta go out and have fun, if you are having fun, the fans will be too!" So, I said to myself, OK, I JUST GOTTA DO IT!! I went out there and didn't worry whether I'd forget a lyric or was a bit off. I just sang my butt off and had a blast on stage, and I think that really translated down to the audience as they also were going nuts along with me! That's when I realized that if I could give the fans that, the ability to go nuts with me and forget any of their stresses or problems for one night, that really is the best thing of all!

How do you use to interact with your fans on the Internet, across greater China? How do your fans keep in touch with you?

[Mavis] There are several sites like facebook, but our own official website is probably the one we use most. It's a more personal experience for the fans as well as myself. We can be in contact and leave messages for each other, just like old friends would.

So it's not Indievox or Weibo that you use a lot to interact with fans, but your own official site?

[Mavis] I tried using Weibo, but found it wasn't really my style. Of course, it's really easy to use, but I prefer posting message from the heart when I feel like it, not feeling like I have to be posting useless info everyday just for the sake of doing it.

Are you working on a new album?

[Mavis] I'd say right now we are all taking some down time. Over the past few years, we have been really busy playing, touring, recording and writing. We definitely need to take some time to re-charge our batteries and think about what our next step will be.

I also want to mention another thing about my website. There are so many fans that leave personal messages on it for us, stuff that maybe they feel they cant' tell their family or friends. These messages really have influenced and inspired me to write music about it on my last record, Innocent. And I really hope by writing songs like these, it can give our fans a positive message and helps them through any tough times they are going through.

By Eric de Fontenay

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pop/Dancehall Artist Transporta's New Single "I Want To Dance With You" Is The Life Of The Party

Pop/Dancehall artist Transporta has announced the release of “I Want To Dance With You,” which is the first single from his new EP entitled, Transporta: Life Of The Party.” The seven track EP is slated for release on September 5, 2011 on the Rich Entertainment label. The official music video for the single, which dropped onto YouTube one month ago, is receiving accolades from fans in Jamaica, China, Japan, Germany, and Paris.

“I Want To Dance With You” is a pop/dancehall groove that comes out of the starting gate with a burst and never slows down. With a nice hook and beats, the bass, synthesizer and harmonies combine to create an explosive track that club and party goers will enjoy getting their groove on to, working up a sweat in the process. If the quality of “I Want To Dance With You” is in any way indicative of the sweetness of the remaining 6 tracks on Transporta’s new album, Transporta: Life Of The Party, then he surely has a hit on his hands. Fast paced and funky, Transporta has recorded and produced a song that will have you on your feet and in a mood to dance.

The singer/songwriter was born in Kingston, Jamaica and became interested in music as a child watching his uncle perform at live shows. He moved the U.S. in 1995 at age 17 at which time he began dabbling in music and began to take it more seriously, performing with his uncle. After receiving advice from a friend that he should try songwriting, he did so and after performing that song for his advisor, it was clear that music was definitely one of his talents. Transporta joined the rock and roll band Neptune 66 at age 19, but it wasn’t until he met his now musical partner Philippe Trackman that things began to fall into place. In 2008, he won the Battle of the MCs talent show in West Palm Beach, FL. Transporta recorded his first single, “9 to 5,” from his first EP The Solution in 2009. When he and Trackman were informed that the movie Step It Up was being released, they tagged a song called I Want To Dance With You as being on the soundtrack, and uploaded it to YouTube, only to find that the song had been reposted about 20 times, and every reposting had more than 20,000 views. That was his reality check that people really did enjoy his musical style, and he decided to continue making music as a career. Transporta: Life of the Party, which will be released on September 5th, is his second EP.

Transporta’s musical influences are the Jamaican artists Bounty Killa and Vybez Kartel, as well as Michael Jackson, Usher, Biggie Smalls, and the Black Eyed Peas.

“I Want To Dance With You” is available for purchase at at: or iTunes at: .

Philippe Moise
Rich Entertainment
T: (561) 460-3534
T: (409) 996-4374

Hip Hop Artist Karolina Blue Drops 2nd Single, "Times Is Hard," From Debut Album Street Educated

Hip hop artist Karolina Blue announced the release of “Times Is Hard,” which is the second track from his debut album Street Educated. “Times Is Hard” follows his debut single, “Street Educated,” which was well received by critics and fans, and released on Karolina Blue’s own label M-Stars Entertainment. Both tracks and the full EP are available at all major online retailers.

“Times Is Hard” begins slowly with an electronic guitar intro and then goes right into a hard groove mode. The bass, percussion, guitar riffs, and background harmonies are the perfect backdrop for the story Karolina Blue is conveying. Lyrically impressive from beginning to end, “Times Is Hard” addresses the struggle of many black families that is all too common these days with a single mother raising several kids and struggling to make it through times that are almost impossible – not just hard. But he gives his mother props for the job she did with the hand she was dealt – something many more inner city youth should understand and be thankful for. “Though times are hard/We’ll make a way” “It must be the norm/Black kids being poor/And some of them black kids don’t have a mother to adore/Nor father in the house/So they’re looking at the world/Seeing no way out/”. “Times Is Hard” is definitely a solid, profound, and thought provoking track that is truly meaningful in today’s society.

Karolina Blue (aka Shaun Maurice Armstrong) was born in Jamaica Queens, and was the eldest of five kids raised by a single mother, whom he watched struggle to provide for their family. Lacking a father figure, he turned to the streets and neighborhood hustlers. As many kids do, Karolina was interested in music and sports, picking up the saxophone at age 9, and playing in the school band at age 12. Financial considerations and bad living conditions caused his mother to make a very critical decision, which was to pack her family up and head to the south where she felt things would be better. They weren’t, and Shaun was introduced to drugs by age 13 and selling by the time he was 17. Dreams of school began to fade as hustling became his primary subject. But with no real connection to his biological father still, Karolina Blue hit rock bottom hard and fast, and in 2003, he was sentenced to 5 years in New York State penitentiary, causing him to miss the birth of his son. As an outlet for his frustration and anger, he began to write music, but it wasn’t until he met Giovonni Snow (a member of the South Jamaica Queens rap group called M-Stars) that things began to change in his life. The two became inseparable, writing countless songs and freestyles, and they made a pact to make music work for them. Once he was released from prison, Giovonni introduced Karolina Blue to the M-Stars – a group of talented rappers and singers. Shortly thereafter, Karolina enrolled at IAR (Institute of Audio Research). With the new talent surrounding him and his newly found knowledge and understanding of music as an artist and businessman, he formed the independent label M-Stars Entertainment and began performing at numerous spots around the city and Queens. Speaking about his music, he says, “I just want the people to feel me; music is my outlet for my anger and emotions. I want to encourage and inspire people to fight through their trials and tribulations, and push themselves to become better as I’m learning to do every day.”

Street Educated can be purchased at the following online retailers:!/iamKBLUE!/teamKBLUE

M Stars Entertainment

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Long Island Hard Rockers BLACK DAWN To Perform At John The Doorman's B-Day Bash

Black Dawn, a heavy metal band from Long Island, are ready to unleash their brand of punishing and relentless rock to old and new fans alike when they play at the Local 269 on Friday, September 9th. The JOHN THE DOORMAN'S B-DAY BASH presented by Castle 83-11 Lifers will also feature GODAMHATE, SOMEONELSE, and SYMPTOM 7.

Castle 83-11 Lifers NYC Presents BLACK DAWN
Friday, September 9th at 7:30pm
Location: The Local 269
21 & Up. $10 Admission Fee
269 East Houston Street (& Suffolk), NYC

BLACK DAWN has long been an established as a fixture on the New York Hard Rock scene. Since the early 90’s the band has been focused on doing mainly one thing: bringing their fans old and new the best metal in the New York area. Their live shows are an exciting display of an experienced band pushing their music to the limits, in order to deliver the best performance for the fans that they possibly can. Their exciting brand of Metal has taken them to gigs all over the country including Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and Louisville.

BLACK DAWN is a group of four musicians, a faithful road manager, an ever-growing legion of fans, a respect and appreciation for the sound of silence, and a suitcase full of aggressive and passionate hard-edged music. Based in Long Island, NY, the band has been labeled 'New York's Hardest Alternative Rock Band'. But Backwash Zine would beg to disagree, stating "...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 and currently have two studio albums out, "Age of Reason" and "Absence of Time," as well as live album recorded at New York's famed rock club CBGB.

Pet Conspiracy 2011 Summer World Tour - China, Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia

Beijing electro-punk quartet Pet Conspiracy (宠物同谋) are in in the middle of their 2011 Summer Tour, having just performed at Singapore's Baybeats Music Festival. The worldwide month-long tour kicked off on Aug. 8th in Qingdao, China at the the Ark Beach Music Festival, followed by performances at the Lethargy Festival and Rote Frabrik on August 12-13 in Zurich, Switzerland. The schlock and dance punk band will then jet off for a gig at The Annexe Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, followed by closing concerts back in China at Hangzhou's Code Space and Shanghai's Himalaya Festival (August 27-28 respectively).

Pet Conspiracy recently released their latest full-length album Chongwu Tongmou (宠物同谋). The quartet (Huzi, Edo, Mary & Fiona) first introduced the band's new sound to Beijing fans at Tango 3F (formerly Starlive) on June 4th and in Shanghai at the Mercedes-Benz Arena's Muse Mixing Room on June 25th. Online Chinese video network Niurenku created a short video expose maching clips from their Beijing release party and the music video to their single "Beyond."

"Expect an alchemical synthesis of sounds, lights, and creepy puppets, as this Beijing four-piece detonate dance rock catastrophe. Whomp whomp." Smart Shanghai

"Amazing highs of electronic synth sounds, paired with beautiful melodies, via punk/pop lashing in a single breath was all it took to get my attention," noted LA-based producer/engineer Manny Nieto who has been part of the pulse of LA's underground music scene since 1997. "If you like to get out of your seat and shake it, then this record will definitely have you hooked."