The DiY Report #92
July 24, 1999
Published via e-mail every Monday (give or take). Subscriptions are free.
GAJOOB, PO Box 3201, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110
You can get a copy of the new Homemade Music Magazine absolutely FREE by mail by sending your snail address to email@example.com. It is 32 pages newsprint, has an interview with former President (PUSA) Chris Ballew, features on Cowtown and The Shorty Blackwells, an article on creative music packaging, and a section with well over 100 contacts, resources, and activities in which home recording artists can be involved. The magazine also serves as a catalog for all the great music we now have available at homemademusic.com. Contact us also if you would like to be a part of our little association.
CONTACTS AND ACTIVITIES
rock-memorabilia.com has launched a new classified ads section with 9 classifications: Musicians/Vocalists Available; Musicians/Vocalists Wanted; Managers/Agents; Rehearsal Rooms/Recording Studios; Demos; CD Duplication/Pressing; Instruments For Sale; P.A./Lighting; and Notice Board. Contact: Roy Deane. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web Address: http://www.rock-memorabilia.com/audads.htm.
BANDS & ARTISTS
vidnaObmana this month celebrates his 15th Anniversary of being active as a musician in the field of electronic music and connected lendings. For this special occasion webmaster Patrick Ceuppens took the chanceof redesigning the entire official website and while vidnaObmana has been on an adventurous excursion exploring new musical territories, the new site is being called ‘the contemporary harmonic’, which will be the definition for a series of upcoming projects. Please join us in this celebration and dwell for a moment at the new site, upgraded with all the latest information and sounds. E-mail: email@example.com. Web Address: http://www.vidnaobmana.org.
petchanatz/klimperei now has an email address. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cactus Pears is a six-piece band from Athens, OH that plays melodic power-pop-punkfolk, featuring guitars, bass, drums, cello, mandolin and harmonies. Contact: Bryan Gibson. E-mail: email@example.com. Web Address: http://www.cactuspears.com.
HIGH RISK RECORDS is working on a CD compilation. Punk Bands are asked to get in on the action. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web Address: http://www.highriskrecords.com.
CONTESTS & AWARDS
Light Illusion Productions the Digital-Thunder-Rising-Studios and Steinberg are presenting the first worldwide MUSIC-AWARD for freedom! This Music-Award is only for new talents without a record-deal, and the first prize is a record-deal ! You can send an E-Mail for ordering the “ticket” . Please tell us, in which country you are living. E-mail: info@Lightillusion.com. Web Address: http://www.lightillusion.com.
Kosmic Free Music Foundation is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing free access to original music on the Net, and exploring new ways of distributing artistic creations to the widest possible audience. We aspire to provide a channel between artist and audience seperate from the monopolistic worldwide entertainment industry whose business mechanisms are inevitably at odds with the purposes of art. KFMF was founded in 1991 as the Kosmic Loader Foundation, and became the Kosmic Free Music Foundation in December of 1994. There are currently about thirty members, including musicians, graphic artists, programmers, and slave laborers. Membership is at this time by invitation only. We write music in file formats that allow you to download our music and play it back on your computer at near-CD quality. As part of our desire to reach the widest possible audience, we also utilize new technologies like the streaming audio of RealAudio and Perceptual Audio Encoding methods like MPEG Layer 3. Our FTP site and World-Wide Web sites transfer gigabytes of music and information and receive thousands of visitors from every conceivable area of the globe, daily. We also continue to maintain official BBS (Bulletin Board System) distribution channels in over 25 countries; many other BBSes carry Kosmic’s music unofficially. Kosmic reaches thousands and thousands of people and is committed to reaching those who haven’t yet heard so that we can continue to open minds and ears to new music. Web Address: http://www.kosmic.org.
FESTIVALS & CONFERENCES
Lizard Event takes place in Cornwall during the week of the eclipse (august 7-12th). This epic event will mix some of the freshest and grooviest live music ever with a host of funky activities and a truly relaxing vibe. The Lizard event will also be broadcast live across the Internet by livereality.com, with ten live streams covering the main stages, dance tents, activities and Live Roaming cameras that engage with the street performers, circus acts and magicians this is truly a Webcast not to bemissed. Lizard is the only eclipse event in Cornwall to be streamed live across the Internet and offers a guaranteed two minutes of totality viewing. If you need any more information please do not hesitate to ask. Contact: Emma-Jane Marsh, Aurora Interactive. Web Address: http://www.lizard.net.
Music Therapy 101 is a music seminar that seeks to educate students and industry professionals on the business of music. The next seminar will be held in Atlanta, GA on July 31. Panels include Publishing/Copyrights, Preparing for Financial Success, Indie Labels and Distribution and an interactive networking session. Registration is $50. Web Address: http://www.kemetic.com/mt101.
NeatNoise carries ER-20 HI-FI Ear Plugs, by Etymotic Research. The ER-20 uses a patented tuned resonator and an acoustic resistor to give flat attenuation. The benefits include: Less reduction of the high frequencies than foam plugs; Natural sound quality; Music and speech heard clearer; Reusable and washable; Great for concerts, musicians, airplanes, marching bands, studios. This is a good inexpensive, reusable flat response plug. Price: $18.00. Contact: Ellen Kelly M.S. CCC-A Clinical Audiologist. Phone: (732) 238-1664. Postal Address: The Center for Speech and Hearing Sciences, Inc., 44 Milltown Rd. East Brunswick, N.J. 08816. E-mail: email@example.com.
Badger Promotions promotes punk/hardcore bands at the old railway in birmingham, UK. They’ve also started a small label called Iron Man, working with P.A.I.N./Howard Marks, Legion of Dynamic Dischord (members of p.a.i.n.) and I.O.D.(ex-Visions of Change)used to be called DDT. Check out Badger’s site and see what you can find, there’s loads of info that might be of use especially the links pages and the resources. Badger Promotions has a discussion group you can join by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact: mark. Phone: 0121 456 5545. Fax: 0121 454 0550. Postal Address: BADGER PROMOTIONS / IRON MAN RECORDS, 78 Alcester road, Birmingham, B13 8BB, UK. E-mail: email@example.com. Web Address: http://www.music.mercia.org.
spacejam has real audio, digiart exhibitons & midi files. hot cds from underground artists for cool prices. Contact: Michael Korotschenko. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web Address: http://www.spacejam.de.
FifthSun Recordings, UK is looking for house, trance or breakbeat tracks by new artists. Based in Glasgow, Scotland, we will reply to every demo sent, and as an independent will be releasing only quality underground dance recordings…. If you have a demo please get in contact with us for our postal address, and we will get in contact with you asap…. Contact: Dave. E-mail: email@example.com. Web Address: http://www.fifthsun.co.uk.
Duckweed Records is a small independent label based in Seattle, USA, and Oxted, UK. We are devoted to bringing an international flavour to music, specializing in home-recorded musicians from all corners of the globe. Duckweed Records began in mid 1998 as a forum for aspiring artists to vent their creative urges in a supportive, personal environment with the potential to reach other music fans worldwide, generate feedback, etc. Our purpose is to foster diverse forms of musical expression. Anything goes here, from modern, experimental, lo-fi, rock, folk, blues, jazz, funk, punk, electronic, etc. Please feel free to contribute to our ever-expanding circle! Contact: Mark. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web Address: http://members.tripod.co.uk/duckweed.
Buzz Factor is a FREE E-mail Newsletter which Helps Independent Bands and Small Record Labels Create the “Buzz Factor.” “Now music people can learn how to overcome destructive patterns and think outside of the box by using the tips included in each issue of “The Buzz Factor.” It’s a short, twice-monthly e-mail newsletter that provides inspiration and low-cost marketing ideas to promote your band, record label or new release. This innovative resource is offered by music marketing coach Bob Baker, author of “The Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook” and “101 Ways to Make Money in the Music Business.” Baker is a former music magazine editor/publisher who founded and directed the St. Louis Regional Music Showcase, an annual music conference in the Midwest. To subscribe to “The Buzz Factor,” just send a blank e-mail to the address listed here. Contact: Bob Baker. E-mail: BuzzFactoremail@example.com.
PANUCCI features some powerful and weird music with prog-rock elements, new wave rhythms, and industrial sounds at their mp3.com site. “Most work done on an old 4-track FOSTEX deck, then vigorously scrubbed for hiss with SOUND FORGE and COOL EDIT PRO. Lots of free downloads and previews.” E-mail: BertMack@compuserve.com. Web Address: http://www.mp3.com/PANUCCI.
Let it Rot! has just released Pyroclastix / Flatline Construct split CD, 60+ minutes of brutal harsh noise abuse. $8.00 (ppd) , $5.00 Wholesale (3+ copies). Postal Address: P.O.Box 57, Keene ON, K0L 2G0 CANADA.. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Radical Records latest release, A Tribute To The Exploited: Punk’s Not Dead, was released on Tuesday, June 15th, amidst much fanfare on Bleecker Street, NYC, home of Radical Records HQ. With pre-orders of over 2,500 units, and Punk Rock’s recent resurgence, it’s almost guaranteed the Exploited Tribute will knock most Puff Daddy-associated ventures off the charts, according to delusional label head Keith “My Name Ain’t Slim Shady” Masco. Radical’s Record Release party for Punk’s Not Dead is Sunday, June 20th at Coney Island High, NYC, with Blanks 77, Dehumanized, Niblick Henbane, TheCuffs and I.C.U. – Doors open 4PM – All Ages, $8. Radical guest list closes Friday eve. Web Address: http://www.radicalrecords.com/pages/pnd.html.
Degyshop.com is the newest music presence on the internet. The site launched for consumer business on June 1st. This musicians’ network extends well-beyond the, now, common music distribution locations on the web. Degyshop.com is devoted to independent and indie label musicians only. The network will distribute music and merchandise for the artists, but will offer them the benefits that so many independent artists are looking for today. Degyshop.com brings musicians to other musicians allowing the exchange of ideas and information, but also brings industry personnel to the musicians. Degy Management’s president, Ari Nisman, said, “This forum will allow musicians the opportunity to knock down doors that were once shut tight to independent music. Degyshop will begin to form bonds between independent musicians with labels, clubs, radio, the press, festivals, producers, production companies, and more. We hope to revolutionize the state of independent music, breaking down the barriers for indie musicians to grow.” Degy Management Services, Inc. is the parent company of the new Degyshop.com network. “Indeed, there are many independent, music distribution sites out on the web in 1999, but Degyshop.com hopes to be the portal for the music consumer, musicians, and industry personnel. Degyshop.com can truly be a one-stop for anyone involved with independent music,” Nisman remarked. “So many of these music sites are asking the artist to drive the consumers to the site. That’s unfair to the artists to solely take a reactive step in driving business to their music. Fans of these artists are most likely there for one reason, to buy a single album of the artist they know. We want to bring music consumers from all walks of life to Degyshop.com and to the Degyshop artists.” Degyshop.com is now uniting with several online music sites, e-zines, and print music zines to bring the music consumers to the site. Degyshop.com also plans to launch an aggressive advertising campaign in the coming weeks. Musicians who are interested in the Degyshop.com network are being asked to use the special sign-up link at www.degyshop.com, which currently boasts information about the site and musician sign-up forms, or to call the Degyshop.com office. Members of the press who are interested in Degyshop.com’s PPP (Press Partnership Program) or advertising on the site are encouraged to contact the office directly. Contact: Ari Nisman. Phone: 888 859 DEGY. Fax: 804 346 9324. E-mail: email@example.com. Web Address: http://www.degyshop.com.
Magic Valley Mastering a subsidiary of Magic Valley Records, is offering mastering services and short-run CD replication to indies and small labels at very reasonable prices. If you’re familiar with how important mastering is, you know getting your product professionally mastered is essential. We can work from CD, DAT, ADAT, vinyl, or cassette. Phone: 512-842-1311. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Imprint offers excellent pricing on printed CD and 7-inch packaging and posters. Phone: 800.739.0253. Fax: 941.497.7614. Postal Address: post office box 3880, venice, florida 34293. E-mail: email@example.com. Web Address: http://www.iloveimprint.com.
Idol Communications is a Management Group representing a number of unsigned Australian artists and producers working in a diverse range of musical genres. Contact: Peter Idol. Web Address: http://www.idol.com.au.
RIFFAGE.COM provides promotion tools for musicians – FREE! Chat rooms, merchandise sales, gig listings, and more. We host your songs online, then deliver listeners. Web Address: http://www.riffage.com/onelisttext2.
Quality Music Promotions is an independent radio promotions company specializing in promoting indie bands, record labels and unsigned acts to college, commercial specialty, and Internet radio. “We have had much success in breaking acts at all formats of radio and have had several acts gain major recognition at both college and specialty radio charts and in some cases helped to spark major label interest in a band. With over five years experience in radio promotions working acts at various major and indie record labels and tired of working acts that we didn’t believe in, Quality Music Promotions was born. QMP prides itself on helping bands to reach that level of recognition that is only usually obtainable with major support. With a staff coming from both a radio programming and record promotions background as well as having a hand in helping to break music acts locally, QMP is dedicated to helping promote a band’s interests at a maximum level that the bigger radio promotions companies charge an arm and a testicle for. We strive to meet the needs of all our clients, providing radio promotions on a local, regional or national level to any medium, to help support whatever goal you need to meet, no job is too big or too small! Interested? Contact us for more details or send in your material to see if you are ready to hit those airwaves! Phone: 714.754.0159. Postal Address: 3303 Harbor Bl. Ste G-14, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rockmine is still looking for demo CDs and tapes of unsigned bands to promote on our Audition Room section. Anyone is welcome to submit material and we do not charge for including material in the Audition Room. Web Address: http://www.rockmine.com/Audition/.
Rude Promotions handles PR for touring independent bands. A recent note says, “They have radio and press at every town our acts are in. . . ” Contact: Rudy. Phone: 909 595 7071. E-mail: email@example.com. Web Address: http://www.rudeworld.com.
Independent A & R specializes in shopping indie artists to labels and radio. They’re looking for new talent. Postal Address: Independent A&R, LLC, PO Box 8148, Haledon, NJ 07538. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web Address: http://www.indiear.com.
LAMETTA is a German unconventional, independent and non -commercial radioshow which is broadcast (since 7 years already) on Radio Antenne Muenster / Buergerfunk ( a local station with mostly students as a goal audience) and a fast growing Internet site with playlists, features, interviews, presentations of new albums, label and country specials and much more, specializing in Alternative, Electronic and Progressive Pop music. You can subscribe to their monthly newsletter as well by e-mailing email@example.com. E-mail: Lametta@gmx.net. Web Address: http://www.muenster.org/lametta/.
Cyberage Radio does weekly (sometimes twice a week) 4-hour traditional radio shows and makes them available on their web site for at least 6 months.. “LOTS OF MUSIC!! These shows are your best chance to hear and experience the great new and undergorund bands of the 21st century, first, before anyone else is playing them.. discover new innovative music always on the CYBERAGE!! we appreciate all the support and always happy to hear your e-mails, questions and comments! we’re here for the people and the music! We just changed our nights on KUNM to tuesday late nights… its gonna be a great change! lots more elektro and more of a mix. before we were coming on after the metal show, and it caused for more of a metallish intro. now we will be even more diverse and keep the great stuff going!”hello there,please put us down for. www.dsbp.cx -the best mailorder for elektro in the underground! www.cyberage.cx -the elektro-industrial internet radio show!our DSBP bands are-BIOPSY,DIVERJE,PRODUKT 13,CLONEDT,LATERAL TENSION,FEARvLOATHINC,and in-FUSED!thanks for the support! we can use any we can get! regards, Contact: TOMMY T. Postal Address: 237 CAGUA NE, ALBUQUERQUE, NM 87108. E-mail: tommyT@dsbp.cx. Web Address: http://www.cyberage.cx.
cybtrans.com carries lengthy articles on recording guitar, digital recording, and much, much more. Lots and lots of information here. Web Address: http://www.cybtrans.com.
Just Plain Folks is a songwriter and musician support group. We’re 3000+ strong and ready to help you in your quest. With our Huge Networking page, extensive links page, and our Mentors from all corners of the industry you’re sure to find something to help you along on your journey. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web Address: http://www.JPFolks.com.
VIDEO & FILM
CD Highway is a new music series nationwide in 45 million homes on PBS. “We profile known music artists such as B.B. King, Taylor Dayne, Wille Nelson, Lou Rawls, etc. along with obscure or up and coming music artits and bands such as Don Haney, Steve Lucky & The Rhumba Bums, Big Sky, 8 1/2 Souviniers, etc. We combine story driven interviews, behind the scenes footage and two or three songs from a performance with the goal of expanding the music horizons of our babyboomer audience and providing good music with another forum. Please submit a sample of your music and a bio/story. All music is listened to with respect. Contact: Kelli Tuck. Postal Address: 214 Main Street suite 340, El Segundo, CA 90245. E-mail: email@example.com.
WEB RESOURCES, LINKS, PUBLICATIONS
thorinsdimension has links to Musicians Friend, Sam Ash (formerly Thoroughbred Music) and other sites for deals on gear, equipment home or studio Also links to Gibson, Marshall, Fender, Jim Dunlop, Ernie Ball, links to bands and record companies. You can buy your cds, tapes and dvds through them as well. E-mail: Thorin@thorinsdimension.com. Web Address: http://www.thorinsdimension.com.
Doug Millaway just completed his web page with Real Audio and MP3 links. He is also in the process of setting up a page of indie producer links. Go to the site and e-mail him if you’d like to participate. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web Address: http://home.att.net/‾millaway/index.htm.
Nocturnal Movements reports that the website now includes an ADD A LINK section. Drop in and add your links today. Pass the info on to others, especially bands, DJ’s, Promotors/production companies, Labels, web zines, concert photographers, cd reviewers, and other supoortive members of music industry nocturnal movements. Web Address: http://www.zoiks.threadnet.com/nm/.
Bartshome9 has information of interest to guitarists on his web site. E-mail: email@example.com. Web Address: http://members.aol.com/Bartshome9/method.html.
indiemusicsite.com is now the home of DC Magnuson’s long-running and essential collection of resources for independent musicians. Reviews for indie CDs, Concert Listings, Database of Studios, Music Links,Home Recording Tips, and lots more. E-mail: Dave@HoohahRecords.com. Web Address: http://www.indiemusicsite.com/.
Music & Audio Connection is an International On-Line Resource for Music Enthusiasts, Musicians, Music and Audio Professionals. It is operated by Norris-Whitney Communications Inc., an international communications company involved in magazine and book publishing (http://musicbooksplus.com) and distribution, live event management, graphic design and on-line services. The Connection features files and information on Music, Audio, Video, Multimedia and Computers and on-line shopping on The Music & Audio Mall. Contact: Jim Norris. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web Address: http://musicandaudio.com.
IndieBoard is a place to discuss the music business. The interface is quick and easy to use. The good thing about IndieBoard is that you don’t have to subscribe, junk posts are deleted, and you’re opening your opinions up to several people who would rather not subscribe to a mailing list. It’s a fun place. People seem a little more vocal about things since there is more anonymity. Drop in and see how you like it. Web Address: http://www.indieboard.com.
bandutopia.com has lots of info regarding all aspects of independent music, such as clubs, managers, promotions, publicists, press, radio, video, manufacturing, t-shirts, stickers, merchandise, touring, equipment, recording studios, record labels, legal help, distribution, all the details to help you do what you do best: play music! Web Address: http://www.bandutopia.com.
Check out gajoob’s updated web archive at gajoob.com. The reviews are now searchable by artist name and title of release. Reviews can now link directly to your online purchasing site of choice, as well as your sound files. Also, we’ve set up a new mailing list to which all our reviewers post their reviews as they are written. Go to http://www.onelist.com/subscribe/indiereviews to subscribe. It’s open to everyone.
Overdose On Tradition
Headcrash’s “Overdose of Tradition” contains 14 richly layered songs with fast rap vocals and trip-hop rhythms, the music sometimes leaning toward electro and other times rock. Whatever you call it, the energy never lets up except during the songs’ quirky and clever bridge sections, during which your body gets a chance to breath but your mind stays happily engaged. [MEDIUM: CD. CONTACT: Debra Brennan, Discovery, 2034 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90404, USA; PHONE: 310-828-1033 x 256; EMAIL: email@example.com://www.discoveryrec.com.] –Reviewed by Craig Conley.
True Do-It-Yourself-ers, the Providence, RI hard rock/alternative band Eviltwins have organized their own marketing and promotional machine. They carry out responsibilities and run up phone bills. They own and operate their own small recording studio, Drainpipe Studios, where they have recorded most of the material that has been released on their independent label, Side A Records. While searching for new opportunities and adventures, Eviltwins found themselves commissioned to create a new arrangement of a song from the first Eviltwins, Side A Records release, “Plaudit Augmentation Technicians,” to be used in a radio commercial played on over two hundred radio stations nationwide. Recently, songs from the album ‘IT’ have been licensed to MTV’s The Real World and Road Rules. It seems that the album wound up catching the attention of Matt McCartie, the music director of the MTV show ‘The Real World.’ After receiving a call from the shows office in California requesting use of the songs, there was a brief negotiation and contracts were signed. It’s no wonder that Eviltwins are finding success around every corner, as the quality of their music is it’s own marketing and promotional machine. [MEDIUM: CD. PRICE: $13.00 ppd. CONTACT: Clayton Craddock, Side A Records, PO Box 3786, Jersey City, NJ 07303, USA; PHONE: 201-222-0628; EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org://www.crazyjane.com/eviltwins.] –Reviewed by Craig Conley.
Breaking With the Wheel
Ostomy begins this compilation with a rough soundscaped track and is much improved from their earlier work. Much of this compilation is either of the industrial soundscape variety or the dark-core/death metal variety. With the exceptions being Door #13, which has an early 80’s sounding punk track “suspect” and Bertha Mason’s “groovin in the dark”, which was (now disbanded as the j-card reads) an all-girl band with a sound somewhat similar to that of a Luscious Jackson. Side two begins with Towpath’s “monsignor hayes” which is a dark-core or death metal track with a fairly interesting sound (odd high-pitched vocals that ascend into the patented death metal growl and the music is performed solid), but the lyrics are a bit lacking (unless you are heavily into death metal, I suppose). “breaking with the wheel” was (according to the j-card) the second most common form of execution and this hideous method dealt with a wheel, broken bones, the twisting of the human body and, finally,! death by way of injury or crow picking. This compilation, while a bit dark, will not make you feel as though you were being punished by way of “breaking with the wheel”. It is interesting and solid enough to find enjoyment. [MEDIUM: cassette. PRICE: $3 US, $4 elsewhere. CONTACT: Android Productions, 94 Fayette Ave., Buffalo, NY 14223, USA.] –Reviewed by Michael Breece.
STEVE KHAN & ROB MOUNSEY
You Are Here
“You Are Here” is a New Age instrumental album with Brazilian musical flares throughout and the type of recording that one might listen to while having a pleasant Sunday brunch on the back patio (one track “Still Life With Mockingbird” even provides bird sounds for you). There is a few tracks, however, that borderline on being danceable (with the more upbeat Brazilian rhythms). If you are looking for a smooth sailing album with solid acoustic guitar playing (Steve Khan) and keyboard accompaniments (Rob Mounsey) for your next bruncheon, you may want to give this one a listen. [MEDIUM: CD. PRICE: contact record label directly at: SIAM Records, 555 West 57th Street #1228, New York, NY 10019. CONTACT: The Creative Service Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918, USA; PHONE: 719-548-9872; FAX: 719-599-9607; EMAIL: email@example.com.] –Reviewed by Michael Breece.
New Engr. Level
“Noisome”, exactly (and I don’t mean that in a bad way). I was expecting a techno sound with a name like New Engr. Level. There are rhythmic vibrations, but they are of the noise variety (such as rhythmic loops that sound like a car coming to a screeching stop or a gun being fired and the sort mixed with much static). The loops are well constructed and ear catching, but I would have preferred a bit more accompaniment or variety within the loops (side two does deliver a bit more variety, actually). All in all, though, it holds up rather well. If you are one who grooves on the repetitive sounds of machinery while you are working at the local factory or steel mill. Or enjoys the sound of a nice active construction site. This ones for you. [MEDIUM: cassette. PRICE: $5. CONTACT: Geoff Gick, 912 S. Madison, Bloomington, IN 47403, USA; PHONE: 812-333-6786; EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org.] –Reviewed by Michael Breece.
DOC WEST & THE YARD DOGS
Feed the Fire
This is a disc that feels like Central Oregon. A crazy mixture of standard country and western, folk, and blues, Doc West has put together an album of storytelling and life in this beautiful part of the Pacific Northwest. The album sounds like a soundtrack for running the freight trains, and the Doc himself sounds like an old rail rider- rattling off tales that are one part wisdom, one part down home hokiness, and another part travelling man. His backing band is an excellent country and western ensemble. There are great performances on pedal steel and mandolin- with other strong performances on drums, bass, and guitar. There are even appearances on keyboards, violin, flute, woodwind, and backing vocals.To get a little piece of life in the Great Northwest- lazy, wistful, and yet full of the tales of living- visit Feed the Fire by Doc West and the Yard Dogs. [MEDIUM: CD. CONTACT: The Creative Service Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918, USA; PHONE: 719-548-9872; FAX: 719-599-9607; EMAIL: email@example.com.] –Reviewed by Phil Simon.
Covered With Mulch
A tribute album to musical influences and celebrating the life of Tim Taylor, a friend of the band. Side one is surf music, from the most obscure waves on the most mysterious beaches. Several cuts come from the Shadowy Men on A Shadowy Planet. The reverb is set just right and the guitar twists and twangs true. It’s solidly played and at just the right tempo, not too fast, not too frantic, just cool. Side two salutes fuzz-twang guitar master Link Wray and once again they do justice to the influence. This album is well worth having, it’s cooler than most anything you’ll hear anytime soon, so pick up on it. [MEDIUM: cassette. CONTACT: Andy Valeri, Big Beef Productions, PO Box 303 WBB, Dayton, OH 45409, USA; PHONE: 937-258-1124; EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org://www.bigbeef.com.] –Reviewed by Kevin Slick.
Songs From D. Bable
Punk rock (or heavy metal, judging by the guitar solos) accompanied by a keyboard (bass) and a drum machine. The quality of the recordings are very Lo-Fi (which makes it difficult to hear the lyrics). Many of the tracks sound alike. If you are a metal-head, of some sort, there may be something here that you would be interested in. Otherwise… [MEDIUM: cassette. PRICE: loves to trade. TRADE: Yes. CONTACT: Doug Bable, 4069 13th Street #118, Saint Cloud, FL 34769, USA; EMAIL: email@example.com:¥¥www.geocities.com/soho/workshop/6940.] –Reviewed by Michael Breece.
THE IMAGINARY BAND
This is an album made up of spontaneous instrumental improv. With that in mind you have to expect some rambling and wandering as the players find the groove. With experienced musicians this can be as interesting as “the groove”. . Such is the case for the most part on this release featuring several well seasoned improv artists. The melodies/themes develop slowly and with confidence. There is a lot of space in the recording. This is a key to well executed improv – it’s more than just a couple of players all noodling around. The participants are listening to each other and that attention is relayed to the person listening to the recording. You can feel the ideas develop and the music grows in your own mind. It’s a meditative bit of listening and worth checking out. [MEDIUM: cassette. CONTACT: Dick Metcalf, Zzaj Productions, 5308 65th Avenue SE, Olympia, WA 98513, USA; PHONE: (360)704-5274; FAX: (360) 456-8982; EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org://www.olywa.net/rotcod.] –Reviewed by Phil Simon.
A Bathroom Suite
This maxi-single by the U.K. indie band Unit features three clever, spirited, pop-rock songs that lack nothing but pretention. The witty lyrics are reminiscent of their U.S. counterparts They Might Be Giants. A “bathroom suite” refers not a musical collection for the toilet but rather to an apartment equipped with its own porcelain facilities. The title track is a self-portrait sung in terms of interior decorating. It describes a man who deserves better home furnishings than his current relationship provides, including a means for disposing of the crap that he’s been putting up with. “We Have to Stop Meeting Like This” is about a guy who pursues the object of his affection by stalking through bushes and shrubs in the park at night, finally meeting his loved one in court and worrying that her face shows signs of worry and fatigue. The final track, “Mr. Style,” is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the fashion and musical trends of the 60s. Unit, currently at work on a new EP, is definitely a band to watch for. [MEDIUM: CD. CONTACT: Robin Price, Unit, Limehouse, London, E14 7TR, UK; EMAIL: email@example.com://www.unit.somewhere.net.] –Reviewed by Craig Conley.
Imagine the Beatles as a vaudeville pop act with intricate acoustic piano work, clever lyrics full of word play and humor, and flawless vocals. Fluid Ounces defies easy categorization, but the only label they need is “just plain amazing.” Their music is at times manic, at times deliberately dissonant, but always fresh and original. I don’t think I could say enough nice things about this band or their five track CD “Vegetable Kingdom.” They’re truly like nobody else. [MEDIUM: CD. CONTACT: Matt Meeks, Spongebath Records, 101 North Maple St., Murfreesboro, TN 37130, USA; PHONE: 615-896-0770; FAX: 615-896-0330; EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org://www.spongebath.net.] –Reviewed by Craig Conley.
Yea, Gutterock… I think that痴 a pretty fitting title and good description of the recording and style of music. Gutterock seems to capture for me Sinker痴 organic sound, raw energy, stellar arrangements and fine musicianship. Sinker starts the Gutterock CD with a big bang: “Shastasheen” is a wonderful alternative, punky, butt-rock tune with a progressive arrangement. An Australian three-piece band with dirty, live sounding recordings, Sinker writes some great tunes. I wonder if there is any cultural meaning or fun story behind the band痴 name “Sinker” or their album name “Gutterock”. These guys have a strong attitude, and I can only imagine how incredible their live shows must actually be to see. Sometimes the front-man and guitarist, Adam Adair, has a light rasp on his vocals, but for the most part I think they could be likened to a cross between the vocals of Rush (with Adair痴 high upper range) and Kula Shaker. If you are looking for an underground rock band with a nice rock-n-roll sound, loads of energy, and grungy songwriting from the gutter (whatever that means), then here ya go. Even though the style isn稚 innovative and there are no lyrics in their albums to help you understand what the hell is being sung, I think the breed of more sophisticated punk-rock that Sinker expresses (that goes way beyond the same four chords often found in punk-rock) is refreshing. Several of these tunes would be radio-friendly if the recordings were more “produced”. Yet, I have no reservations at all with recommending this imported CD. [MEDIUM: CD. CONTACT: Adam Adair, Shovel Records, PO Box 36, Burnley, 3121, Victoria, Australia; PHONE: 61.412.118.153; FAX: 61.3.9421.0866; EMAIL: email@example.com.] –Reviewed by Shane Matsumoto.
Big Fish Music Sampler Vol. 1
Big Fish Music hails from Japan and boasts that it is the largest independent music label there. The first track on the disk is a native tongue (Japanese sung, in which all of the tracks are) doo-wop song, which is refreshing. Grunge, George Michael-esque pop, folk, 50’s doo-wop, industrial, bagpipes, and other mildly strange mixtures are filtered through Japan on this disk. A female artist found on track 9, the CD sleeve is missing, so, I do not know her name, stands out the most. Her song is folk performed beautifully and seductive in a David Bowie circa early ’70’s way. There is also a lovely instrumental on track 13 that stands out as something special (it’s feel is like that of a hit-man that has finally figured out that what he does for a living isn’t what he should be doing). Also, the two odd doo-wop tracks (1 and 7) are so strong that I hope there is an album or two of this type of material (it seems that the Japanese handle doo-wop in an absolutely irresistible way).! I found this compilation, over-all, to be surprisingly refreshing with its odd sense of quirky. If you are in the mood to be uplifted and have fun, this compilation by Big Fish Music will complete the mission guilt-free. A few of the tracks are so overtly pop that they are not too far off from the Spice Girls or the like, but the fact that they are sung in Japanese keeps it from being overly nauseating. [MEDIUM: CD. CONTACT: Yamamiya Masayoshi, Big Fish Music, #102, 1-5-9, Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0012, Japan; PHONE: 03.3499.1511; FAX: 03.3499.1512; EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org://www.bigfishmusic.com.] –Reviewed by Michael Breece.
The distinctive vocals of brothers Siayko and Boris Skalsky set Phaser apart–way apart. They communicate so much meaning through intonation alone that you could probably understand the songs even if they were being sung in a foreign language. With Richard Walker on guitar and Jack Hornady on drums, the crisp, melodic, somewhat mellow pop/rock songs of this Washington D.C. quartet are usually compared to the Beatles. There is indeed a British sensibility to the music, though it doesn’t come across as sounding derivative in any way. The comparison to the Beatles probably stems from the fact that Phaser’s natural ease makes them sound like confident veterans of the music business. If only most veterans of the music business sounded this good! [MEDIUM: CD. CONTACT: Phaser, 1730 U Street, NW #4, Washington, DC 20017, USA; PHONE: 202-332-3442; EMAIL: email@example.com.] –Reviewed by Craig Conley.
crush comes obviously from careful, soulful exploration. Meldrum has fashioned a work here that is utterly beautiful in its lasting simplicity. Meldrum’s songs are at times orchestral, at times solitary; its beats are direct rhythms, streetlamp blues, and they are woven in complex emotions whose melody is instantly part of you; acoustic whispers that speak of tragedy and hope in bare expression. You will play this CD when you want to be embraced by human spirit, not for its answers but more for its questions. [MEDIUM: CD. PRICE: $10.00. CONTACT: Scott Meldrum, Crushwerx Music, 201 Covina Ave., Suite 4, Long Beach, CA 90803, USA; PHONE: 562-434-0025; FAX: 562-434-0435; EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org://www.crushwerx.com.] –Reviewed by Bryan Baker.
Adonis. . . and other romantic delusions
Here’s an album full of strong melodies and throughful production. The arrangements serve the songs and everything sounds just right. This would be at home on any AAA radio station today and could stand alongside any of the top singer-songwriters on the charts. Diamond has a strong voice, that never sounds forced, just comfortable. It’s a familiar sounding music as well, not cliche at all. In fact I was hooked right in and had to hear every last note. I wasn’t really hearing anything surprising, it was just so well played and arranged it was a joy to hear the recording. This is a great example of straight ahead radio friendly music coming out of the indie scene and is among the best I’ve heard this year. Laura Diamond deserves your attention. [MEDIUM: cassette. PRICE: preview cassette release. CONTACT: Chris Berliner, 3 Wishes Records, PO Box 524, Oakhurst, NJ 07755, USA; PHONE: 732-695-0895; EMAIL: email@example.com://www.lauradiamond.com.] –Reviewed by Kevin Slick.
JEFFREY RYAN SMOOTS
Wings of Gold
Supported by David Beardsley on percussion, Jeffrey Ryan Smoots provides the vocals, guitar, bass, and keyboard on the album “Wings of Gold.” Smoots crafts radio-friendly rock songs which sound for all the world like they’re being played by a five-man band. With this much talent and energy, there must be some extra to go around… if not for fellow musicians then for the next JRS album. Progressive rock guitarist Jeffrey Ryan Smoots financed the home recording studio in his basement by designing websites and working as a database developer and jack-of-all-trades for a physician in Washington state. Most often compared to bands like Rush, Queensryche, and Dream Theater, Smoots explains that for “Wings of Gold” he and percussionist David Beardsley “tried to temper our progressive rock leanings with the straight-forwardness of pop and hard rock. We sought to achieve a paradox–create songs that are easily understood by the listener, yet are still challenging to play for the musician. We recorded the entire project ourselves at my studio.” The resulting intricate guitar work and finely-crafted progressive rock songs do not disappoint. My only suggestion is that Smoots’ excellent vocals be brought even more into the forefront of the music.[MEDIUM: CD. CONTACT: Jeffrey Ryan Smoots, , Everett, WA 98203, USA; PHONE: 425-259-1684; EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org://www.jrsmoots.com.] –Reviewed by Craig Conley.
into the red
This is a special CD full of great, great hooks with music that covers r&b, acoustic folk rock, heavy pop, and melodic trance. Maybe those styles seem a bit disjointed, but Jefferson Denim more than ably pulls it off and comes out with a sound of its own, standing out from the pack. These are extremely strong songs that should find a place in your heavy rotation. [MEDIUM: CD. CONTACT: Jefferson Denim, Kamikaze Penguin Records, 832 3rd St., Box 108, Santa Monica, CA 90403, USA; PHONE: 310-262-1926; EMAIL: email@example.com://www.lama.com/denim.html.] –Reviewed by Bryan Baker.
… the ice cracks
Colorformed takes the best elements of bands like the The Smiths (Johhny Marr’s guitar) and the melodic / dissonance of modern guitar bands and perfect pop sense of REM at their best, with all the great energy of all your favorite bands and delivers one hell of an album here. The vocalist has one of those voices that you’re not too sure about until maybe the first song’s chorus kicks in and he makes you a believer. Guitars that have so much character you’re crying uncle, and drums that pound like the breath of new life. Put this into this year’s best list for sure. [MEDIUM: CD. CONTACT: Colorformed, 2 Blackberry Lane, Queensbury, NY 12804, USA.] –Reviewed by Bryan Baker.
Copyright 1999 GAJOOB.
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