TruSource Technology DL2 Integrated Digital Mixer

December 2012 - Music Connection




DL2 Integrated

Digital Mixer




Step up to an entirely new level of sonic innovation. Mackie DLM

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delivering a staggering 2000 watts of power in the most compact

design ever. It also features the first-ever integrated digital mixer and

groundbreaking system processing. After all, you’re the one putting

blood, sweat and tears into perfecting your performance. Your PA had

better be able to keep up. The New Shape of Sound – Mackie DLM

How can


so small

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and find out how Mackie

packed in all that sound!


© 2012 LOUD Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. “Mackie” and the “running man” are registered trademarks of LOUD Technologies. Refrain from standing on the DLM after 12 or more drinks. And by “drinks” we mean grape juice.



The ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO puts you face-to-face with

the most successful songwriters, composers and producers

who generously share their knowledge and expertise.




Celebrity Q & A’s

Master Classes

Songwriting & Composing Workshops

Publisher & Business Panels

DIY Career Building Workshops

Showcases and Performances

Attendee Song Feedback Panels

Networking Opportunities

State-of-the-Art Technology Demos

Leading Music Industry Exhibitors


We are excited to again offer the

tremendously popular One-on-One Sessions

– a valuable opportunity to spend 15 minutes

with a songwriter, composer, music supervisor

or music industry executive.

Register early because they fill up fast.

Connect with ASCAP EXPO on

Twitter and Facebook to find

out news, panelists, programming,

and connect with other attendees:


APRIL 18-20, 2013






ASCAP pays members for live

performances at venues of any size.


Cover Stories

Taylor Swift

It has been a few years since an 18-year-old Swift was on

our cover, and we catch up with her now about how she

has managed her career, including her recent collaborations

with pop wizards Dan Wilson, Jeff Bhasker, Butch

Walker, Max Martin and others.


By Gary Graff

70 Best Career Tips of The Year

Culled from all of our 2012 issues, these expert tips by artists,

musicians and tech-people cover a wide spectrum of topics: social

networking, recording, marketing, songwriting, live sound,

film/TV placements, choosing a manager

and much, much more.

Compiled By MC Associate Editor Andy Mesecher


Top 25 New Music Critiques of 2012

Here are the best unsigned recording artists we heard

this year. Plus a full page of Top Prospects!


Favorite Signings of 2012

Music Connection's Signing Stories section celebrates the most savvy,

significant and inspring artists and bands who signed deals during

the past year.

Compiled By MC Senior Editor Mark Nardone

Here’s what happens when

you get the chance to go faceto-face

with an industry pro at

a popular conference like the


By Dan Kimpel

Close Up


New Toys

Book Store

Up Close

Studio Mix

Business Affairs

Song Biz


Mixed Notes

CD Reviews

Live Reviews

Compiled By Mark Nardone and Andy Mesecher

Stocking Stuffers..............................................................................By Barry Rudolph

Gifts for Under A Grand..................................................................By Andy Mesecher

Producer Crosstalk: ZK Productions......................................................By Rob Putnam

Exec Profile: Evita G. Kaigler............................................................By Andy Kaufmann

Songwriter Profile: Allan Rich...............................................................By Dan Kimpel

Hot 100 Live Unsigned Artists & Bands.............By Mark Nardone, Bernard Baur & Karen Emmert

Artist Profile: Nikhil Korula Band.............................................................By Brett Bush

Tip Jar: What Singers Should Tell Their Managers....................................By Lisa Popeil

The opinions expressed in Music Connection, as well as all Directory listings and contact information, are provided by various sources in the music industry.

Music Connection is not responsible for any business transactions or misadventures that may result from your use of this information.


Nicole Goddard

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December 2012






E. Eric Bettelli



E. Eric Bettelli


Denise Coso



Hillorie Rudolph



Mira Abas


Gary J. Stephens


Barry Rudolph


Denise Coso


Karen Emmert



Mark Nardone


Cesare Perrino


Mukul Chauhan


Andy Mesecher


Bernard Baur


Dan Kimpel


Tom Kidd


Andy Kaufmann

Rob Putnam


Jessica Aves, Allegra Azzopardi, Bernard Baur, Fuchsia Black, Brett Bush, Stefan Broadley, Karen

Emmert, Gary Graff, Eric A. Harabadian, Oscar Jordan, Andy Kaufmann, Dawna Kaufmann,

David Kershenbaum, Kim Mack, José Martinez, Dean Moore, Paula Muñoz, Jessica Pace, Rob

Putnam, Tim Reid Jr., Daniel Siwek, Matt Schild, Brian Stewart, Laurier Tiernan, Albert Vega,

Catherine Veit, Jonathan Widran, Ellen Woloshin.


Jessica Aves, Allegra Azzopardi, Bernard Baur, Daren Cornell, Jody Domingue, Scott Dudelson,

Karen Emmert, Kevin Estrada, Oscar Jordan, David Klein, Thomas Long, Kim Mack, Cindy Miley,

Paula Muñoz, Jessica Pace, Scott Perham, Rob Putnam, Tim Reid Jr., Daniel Siwek, Brian

Stewart, Dave Stone, E. H. Tiernan, Albert Vega.

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Self Powered 15" Two-Way Loudspeaker

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Max SPL 132 dB Intuitive onboard 3 Channel Mixer User Adjustable Bass and Treble Controls

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© 2012 Harman International Industries, Incorporated



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Aspen’s Place Recording

Les Paul and Aspen Pittmann

By Jonathan Widran

Tucked away from the maelstrom of Hollywood in laid back San Fernando,

CA, Aspen’s Place Recording ( is

a turnkey vintage “live” recording studio dedicated to producing fullband

live multi-track recordings with a modern meets old school approach.

Clients have the option of using the latest Pro Tools rig after tracking the

way records were made in the golden age of rock and soul.

To understand the deep musical heart and soul that goes into the technology,

gear, vibe and space of this one-of-a-kind studio, it’s best to know

the background of its owner, Aspen Pittman, who opened the facility in

2011. In 1978, he founded Aspen & Associates, a consulting company

that developed music and audio products. Early A&A research discovered

ways to improve vacuum tubes for guitar amps and led to one of the industry’s

most successful products: Groove Tubes. Creator of numerous

award-winning, patented, globally popular studio microphones and tube

based signal processors, Pittman has sold over 120,000 of various editions

of his renowned The Tube Amp Book.

In June 2008, Pittman sold the Groove Tubes brand and entire product

catalog to FMIC (Fender), and he continued as a consultant to Fender and

Groove Tubes through June 2011. Then A&A was resurrected to continue

the business development of his award-winning SFX technology (Stereo

Field Expansion), the patented process that magically produces a 3D stereo

soundfield from a single cabinet for live performance (currently under

license to Fender and other companies). And in his free time, Aspen has

brought his 45 years of collecting and creating great tone to launch his

“bucket list” studio; Aspen’s Place Recording.

Built on the historic site of the original GT factory, Aspen’s Place Recording

offers a classic “big room” recording environment, measuring 48x18-ft.

with a 12-ft. ceiling, with a dual amp isolation closet for recording several

smaller combo amps in a soundproof room. The big room is acoustically

designed to have just the right amount of live and dead areas and has

20+ specially designed Bruce Black (Media Rooms Technology) multisurfaced

“Gobos,” which offer reflecting, diffusing and absorbing surfaces

that can be configured as a “drum cave.”

“What we offer is the ability for a band or ensemble to come in and

literally track in real time live in our big room with all tube analog on the

front-end in a musically creative environment,” says Pittman. “Of course

we can layer it one track at a time, but we uniquely offer bands the chance

to record live with high-def studio quality results. Although the trend in

recent years is to record in home studio setups, young bands are open to

us because most love to record live but their options are usually limited to

a club where the adverse room acoustics get in the way of sonic purity.

“In most studios favoring the one track at a time approach, there’s no

live feeling or connection between band members,” he adds. “But here,

everyone is isolated into a perfect sonic environment where they can hear

through headphones exactly how the song is being tracked, which produces

an immediate and intimate feel for the song. It’s also faster, and

much more fun!”

Another advantage to recording at APR is Pittman’s vast collection of

vintage gear (including classic items he created) that are included in the

hourly rate. Among the options are: the Neumann U47 and U67 tube mics;

a 1965 Hammond A100 organ with dual Leslies, a 1955 Steinway studio

upright piano, 32 channels of tube pre-amps that he designed, including

the Variable Impedance PREamp (VIPRE), the Glory Compressor and the

Stereo Unit Preamp (SUPRE). Recent upgrades include Pro Tools 10 and

two of Avid’s new 16 channel converters, a 5.1 JBL LSR4326 surround

system, Pittman’s own GT classic EQ1 5-band variable passive EQs, and

well over half a million dollar locker of mics, vintage instruments and backline

tone toys.

“We can do it all, big or small, but with heart. We have all the tools and

capacity for large format live recording,” Pittman says “A band can record

live in one big room with line of site to each member, achieving a perfect

mix from a perfect signal chain in a perfect room.”

Contact Aspen @ Aspens’ Place Recording, 818-512-4500

8 December 2012


Chad Batchelor

APAC Dir. of Sales, Mackie/Ampeg

LOUD Technologies Inc.

LOUD Technologies Inc. (“LOUD”)

has announced the appointment of

Chad Batchelor as APAC Director of

Sales, Mackie & Ampeg. Based out

of the company’s Singapore command

center, Batchelor will partner with all

APAC Mackie and Ampeg distributors

to leverage these partners’ strengths,

and LOUD resources, to continue the brands’ region-wide growth. Prior

to joining LOUD, Batchelor managed Ampeg, EAW and Mackie brand

distribution in Singapore; earlier he built distribution and retail footprints

for such brands as Denon, Sennheiser, Innovason, Neumann and Turbo

Sound. For further information on Batchelor’s new position, email Adrian


Gator Michaels

VP of Promotions

Blaster Records

Blaster Records has announced the

hiring of an in-house radio promotion

team to continue the growing needs of

the indie label. Taking the promotion

helm is veteran Gator Michaels as VP

of Promotions. Michaels is a longtime

industry executive with an extensive

background including a decade in country

radio, followed by a long tenure in radio promotion. He spent eight

years leading the promo team at Warner Bros. Nashville, orchestrating

hits for Faith Hill, Randy Travis, the Eagles, Kid Rock and many more.

Michaels began his promotion career working as an independent promoter

with Young-Olsen & Associates. Contact

for additional promotions within Blaster.

Sean Nagasawa

Marketing Coordinator

AT&T U-verse

Sean Nagasawa has joined the AT&T

U-verse team as Marketing Coordinator.

Working as part of the Member Marketing

department, Nagasawa is a part of a

team specializing in market strategies

that pertain to over four million AT&T

U-verse subscribers—which includes

music channels and live music events.

Previously he held the title of Executive Assistant in the Interactive Games

division for 20th Century Fox. There he partnered with different developers

and publishers, overseeing production from start to finish as well as routing

assets and approving milestones. Nagasawa has a B.A. in Music Industry

and a minor in Business Administration and Marketing from CSU, Chico.

Contact him directly at

Steve Yegelwel

Senior Vice President of A&R

Mercury Records

Mercury Records, a division of Island

Def Jam Music Group, strengthens

it’s A&R initiative with the appointment

of Steve Yegelwel as Senior Vice

President of A&R. Yegelwel will oversee

current and new artist projects, while

actively seeking out, discovering and

signing new talent to Mercury. Yegelwel,

who is based in New York, comes to Mercury after five years as President,

S-Curve Records, since 2007. He joined S-Curve in 2000, serving as

Executive VP, Artists & Repertoire, until the company went on hiatus in

2005. From 2007 to 2012 he was involved in the A&R process for all of the

label’s artists. Contact

Dallas Austin

Sr. VP, A&R, Island Records

Island Def Jam Music Group

Island Records, a division of Island

Def Jam Music Group (IDJ), further expands

and strengthens its A&R senior

management staff with the appointment

of Grammy Award-winning producer,

composer and musician Dallas

Austin to the position of Senior Vice

President, A&R, Island Records. Austin

will oversee current and new artist projects, while actively seeking out,

discovering and signing new talent to Island. A listing of artists with whom

he has worked in the studio include Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson,

Janet Jackson, Madonna, Monica, P!nk, Shakira, Gwen Stefani, Usher,, and countless others. For further information on this appointment,

contact Renata Muniz,

Kristin Palmer

Publicity / Artist Development

Average Joe’s

Average Joe’s Entertainment has

hired publicist Kristin Palmer to handle

publicity and artist development

for the company. Palmer, with over

seven years of music industry experience,

joins Average Joe’s after most

recently running her own company,

Palmer House Publicity. “I’m honored

to be a part of the Average Joe’s team,” explains Palmer. “Average Joe’s

is making waves in the entertainment industry and I’m excited to have

the opportunity to contribute to the forward way of thinking that this company

does so well.” Palmer can be contacted directly through one of the

following outlets:; 615-733-9983, office;

770-815-6256, cell.

Mike Rubsamen

VP, Distribution & Merch.


Mike Rubsamen has been named Vice

President, Distribution & Merchandising

for GoDigital, an L.A.-based film distributor

specializing in digital delivery.

Rubsamen will oversee the company’s

operations team, client and platform

relations, and the product management

of all film releases to the global marketplace.

Prior to his directorial debut, Rubsamen was instrumental in

solidifying GoDigital’s now standardized quality control process for preparing

films for digital release. A lover of both music and film, he first

dabbled in music publishing before ultimately venturing into the film space.

Rubsamen graduated with a double major in Music Industry and Finance at

California State University, Chico. Contact

Tom Soper

Sr. Director, Advertising Sales

Music Choice

Music Choice has announced the promotion

of Tom Soper to Senior Director

of Advertising Sales. The announcement

was made by Mark Melvin, Vice

President, National Advertising Sales.

Soper has been at Music Choice since

2007 and most recently served as

Director of Advertising Sales. He has

been successful in creating long-term partnerships with advertisers across

every division of Music Choice including SWRV, Video On Demand,

and Music Channels. Soper will also continue to expand Music Choice’s

advertising opportunities into new markets, specifically multicultural and

mobile. Contact

December 2012 9


Focusrite Forte USB

Audio Interface

Focusrite’s Forte is a portable,

desktop USB 2.0 audio interface

for Macs and PCs with two analog

inputs and four analog outputs.

Its sleek modern industrial

design starts off with a beautiful

backlit OLED status display, four

touch-sensitive icon buttons and

a single, large aluminum controller


Forte uses two of Focusrite’s

high-end remote controlled

RedNet pre-amplifiers with

24-bit A-D and D-A converters

operating at sample rates

up to 192kHz. The included

Forte Control software driver

configures and stores the unit’s

settings of any combination of

input source selection between

two 1/4 inch-TRS and/or two XLR microphone inputs. Also stored is the

configuration of the two, six-channel stereo mixers —including the level of

the incoming source audio for near zero latency monitoring.

Forte’s four touch buttons determine the function of the controller knob

for: record level, monitor volume, headphone loudness and basic remote

control of any popular DAW system. The default DAW control function is

stop/start by tapping the knob and horizontal zoom in/out when turning the


All four source inputs are clearly marked on their female connectors

on Forte’s included loom (fan out) cable and I like that I can keep all four

analog sources connected at all times.

I went to work recording guitar and vocals. I set my buffer size to 32

samples in Pro Tools 10.2 and put up a 44.1kHz session with 16 tracks

already recorded and setup for recording a few overdubs. This system

sounds smooth as silk. On Forte itself, changing monitoring and record

levels using the knob “on the fly” is just like using analog. I recorded

vocals and direct electric guitar and there is abundant gain available for

old, low output ribbon mics as well.

I like the way the GUI software is written too—any

input source change is accompanied by an automatic

input gain reset to minimum to avoid “accidents.”

Whenever phantom power is required, a warning comes

up to see if the power supply is connected, plus there is

a phantom powering lockout—you cannot inadvertently

apply phantom to line inputs.

Focusrite’s Forte desktop 2 x 4 USB 2.0 interface

sells for $749.99 MSRP. Visit

Yamaha FS700S and FSX700SC

The FS700S is a smaller-body version of Yamaha’s

popular solid top acoustic guitar, the FG700S. Its full

tone comes from a traditionally shaped acoustic

guitar, but with less bulk, making it more

“friendly” to children, students, travelers and

women. The new FSX700SC is the more

contemporary-looking cutaway version and it

features a one-way System 55T piezoelectric

pickup and preamp system that includes a digital

tuner, three-band EQ and an adjustable mid

frequency slider.

Both models feature solid Sitka spruce

tops and die-cast tuning machines and

fill out Yamaha’s line of FG-inspired 700,

720 and 730 models with a number of

shapes and sizes. The FS700 is $322 and

the FSX700SC is $483 MSRP. Check

out for much



Sanken Microphones CU-55 Condenser Mic

The CU-55 is Sanken’s latest addition to their famed line of studio

microphones. It is a sideaddress,

cardioid (only)

condenser microphone with

a 16-mm capsule encased

in a resonant chamber like

the Sanken CU-44x. This

new microphone is said to

have a flat frequency (40Hz

to 20,000Hz) response

on axis and exhibit very

little proximity effect (low

frequency buildup when

cardioid microphones are

close to sound sources).

The CU-55 uses the same

diaphragm material as

the Sanken CU-100 and

CUW-180 microphones and

makes a good choice for

acoustic instruments like

guitars, cello, harp and

piano. Capable of 147dB

SPL with its -10dB pad

switched in, the CU-55

easily handles close-mic

applications such as brass,

guitar cabinets and drums.

The CU-55’s small

dimensions (113mm long

by 30mm diameter), sideaddress,

and ability to not “fold” under the pressure of high SPL make it a

good choice for getting into tight positions around drum kits. It is +48-volt

phantom-powered, lightweight and unobtrusive looking—it sort of melts

into the backline if you were to use one for live stage sound. Being a

professional tool, I like its matte brown finish and price point. An optional

accessory worth getting is the S-55 Elastic Suspension Holder (shown


The Sanken CU-55 sells for $1,195 MSRP. Find more information at or

Novation MiniNova

MiniNova is a compact synthesizer that features a new real-time vocal

effect called VocalTune. VocalTune uses the included microphone to

pick up your voice and automatically tune it to the note being played on

the synth—all in real time. MiniNova is a 37-note synth with smaller keys

and the sound and effects from the UltraNova synth.

This live performance synth has an arpeggiator for real-time rhythm

performance editing plus the Animate function to add up to eight dramatic

modulations “on the fly” at any time the mood of the party tells you.

It comes with 256 amazing factory patches and the space for 128 more

user patches. MiniNova has three oscillators, 36 different wavetable

sources, up to five effects, two filters, six envelopes, three LFOs, a large

knob (you can’t miss it in the dark) and easy-to-use scroll wheels which

are used for search and recall of any of the patches.

There is the parameter matrix with 24 sonic tools under the control

of four large knobs in addition to the dedicated filter cutoff knob. For

patch library management, MiniNova connects to your computer over an

included USB cable and uses free software to store, modify and rename.

Lastly, I like that MiniNova is not a closed system—it has two 1/4-inch

mono jack outputs, stereo headphones jack, and most importantly, XLR

jacks for routing sounds through the vocoder and the unit’s on-board

effects. This allows its effect engines to be used in your studio just like

outboard gear. With full MIDI

facilities, sustain pedal

jack and 9V DC power

supply, MiniNova sells

for $624.99 MSRP. See




10 December 2012









Hey, remember the ‘80s? A lot of

bad clothes perhaps but some

way-cool, aggressive distortions.

Tight, muscular grind with buzz-saw

harmonics never went out of fashion

and the Boost Distortion delivers

that fast punchy tone. It features its

own unique SAG control that adds

an expressive,tube-like response to

every pick stroke.


Putting an overdrive pedal in front of a

hard-pushed amp has been the secret

weapon for generations of guitarists

wanting to punch up the midrange and

add sustain. The Boost Overdrive is

packed with voluminous amounts of

screamin’ tone. Just hit the Boost switch

to go bigger and badder. The unique

SPARKLE control adds upper harmonics

for an open, snappy sound.


Vintage pedal hounds know that

germanium fuzz sounds are way

sweeter than silicon fuzz…but only

when the temperature is just right and

doesn’t spike. The Boost Fuzz solves

that problem by nailing that creamy

germanium tone, consistently all night

long. This SAG control allows notes to

bloom and sing at your command, for

dynamic, organic performances.


When you need a huge, 360-degree,

room-filling bass tone, step up to the

Bass Boost Fuzz. Get the fat, gritty

sounds of the ‘60s fuzz bass and put

some musical rage in your low-end.

When you need more focus and

edge, dial in the +CLEAN control to

add just the right amount of direct

tone to your mix.

Designed and Manufactured in the U.S.A.


Rukus Solar Bluetooth By Etón

It’s not often that the words “solar” and “Bluetooth” collide in the same

sentence. The Rukus Solar Bluetooth sound system receives a signal

from any Bluetooth cellphone or iOS device and provides amplified music

to go with your sunny days—it uses a 40-sq. inch mono-crystal solar

panel to keep its internal lithium-ion battery charged. The solar panel

faces upward and the two speakers fire away toward the party.

In addition to keeping the two full-range drivers pumping music at poolside,

the Rukus Solar will also charge its own battery and keep any cell

phone alive all day long via a USB charge port—I was wondering about

that? It takes about six hours in direct sunlight for a full charge or use the

included AC adapter on cloudy days.

The Rukus Solar uses a super thin E Ink Surf segmented display to

provide status of the Bluetooth connectivity/setup, solar charge indicator

and battery strength. This new technology does not require constant battery

drain to display information and is viewable in direct sunlight with a

wide viewing angle—a perfect fit for a battery/solar powered device.

Complete with an elastic pocket on the back to hold and cushion your

cell phone while charging or pushing music to the unit, this is a very well

thought out product. This system almost configures itself—if you can “pair”

your cell phone for Bluetooth connectivity then you will be rockin’ Rukus in

the same amount of time.

The Rukus also comes in a non-solar version with a 14-watt stereo

amp and the ability to be powered via wall outlet or AA batteries. Rukus

Solar sells for $150. Rukus is $100. Both include a three-month subscription

to on-demand music service MOG. For more information about Etón

and its products, visit

Sontronics Halo Dynamic Microphone

The Sontronics Halo is a moving-coil dynamic microphone purposebuilt

for use on guitar amps/cabinets. The cardioid pattern Halo is based

on the company’s STC-80 handheld vocal dynamic—a mic that was getting

popular use as an alternative to the typical, “go to” guitar amp dynamic

microphone. All metal construction, the Halo has an “old-time” look—its

shock mount consists of four springs that suspend the microphone’s

tubular body in the center of a circular frame. A one-piece assembly,

apart from the shiny nickel metal front grill, the mic and angle-adjustable

threaded base is powder-coated flat black.

The published frequency response is from 50Hz to 15kHz with a noticeable

lift in a broad swath of midrange frequencies. My first test was comparing

it to the Shure SM-57 dynamic on a Paul Reed Smith “30” head

and cabinet amp. I placed the Halo in the same starting position I would

use for the SM-57. I had both microphones plugged into mic inputs of a

SSL G Series console.

Besides having more high and low frequencies, the

Halo requires slightly less pre-amp gain for an

equivalent recording level and is slightly more

responsive to “peaks” than the SM-57. For

single note playing, solos and standouts

overdubbing in the studio, the fat tone

coupled with good pick attack was a winner

for clean guitar tones.

Back at my studio, I tried the Halo on

my ZT Amps Lunchbox Junior for some

quirky and distorted sounds. I pushed

Halo (aimed slightly off-axis) into the

mighty 5.5-inch speaker of the Junior

and used my boutique RTZ 9762 mic preamp

to record it. The Halo responded to

repositioning just as any dynamic mic with

the proximity effect working well to further fatten

the sound.

Sontronics’ Halo approaches the sound of a cardioid

condenser with its low and high frequency extension

and offers a good alternative microphone for

recording electric guitar amps. It sells for $185 MAP

and is covered by a lifetime warranty. Much more

about it is at


Solid-State-Logic 500 Series EQ and

Dynamics Modules

When it first

came out, the

game-changing SL

4000 E-Series SSL

consoles made

its bones with the

SL 611 console

channel strip that

featured its seminal

four-band EQ and

VCA-based dynamics

sections. The

popularity of those

sections and the

Quad bus compressor—which

in early

days were only sold

with the rest of the

console attached—

prompted SSL to

eventually introduce

the X-Rack

outboard rack with

those two and eight

other SSL processors

made into

modules. But now

SSL offers both the

E-Series EQ and

Dynamics sections in the popular API 500 Series modular rack format and

I can’t wait to get a pair of these into my studio.

Faithful to the circuitry and key components that define the sound of

the original, the E-Series Dynamics Module for 500 Series rack uses the

same true RMS converter side-chain, while the gain element is an alldiscrete

design identical to the Class A VCA chip used in the original unit.

The compressor switches between hard and soft knee compression and

has a choice between linear or logarithmic shaped release time curves.

The E-Series EQ Module for 500 Series racks features the two different

EQs found on the consoles produced between 1979 and

1987 with the ability to switch between them. Affectionately

known as the “Brown” and “Black” EQs, the SSL channel EQ

is a four-band design with fully parametric LMF and HMF sections

and a choice between shelving or peaking (bell-shaped)

equalizers for the LF and HF sections.

This is a great way to get the sound of SSL into your API

500 Series rack. For more about them, check out

Taylor Guitars 400 Series Fall Limited

Tasmanian black wood, a cousin of Hawaiian koa and

with a similar tone profile, is a new choice of tone wood

for the 410ce, 412ce-N, 414ce, 414ce-N, 416ce, and

baritone 8-string instruments by Taylor Guitars. Each

model features a three-piece back, with a Rock

maple mini-wedge and is topped by Western Red

cedar, while the Baritone Limited is offered with a

sitka spruce top for clear response. It is said that

the cedar top yields a springy, woody, warm low

end. Maple also graces the fret board inlays as does

a new fishbone rosette design that surrounds the

sound hole. There is a satin-finish for the back

and sides to preserve a natural, classic look,

and a Venetian cutaway.

Each Fall Limited is equipped with the Taylor

Expression System® and arrives in a hard shell

case. These models are available only through

authorized Taylor dealers worldwide. Much

more is available at







Merry Christmas! As busy, hectic and crazy as it gets leading up to the holidays, for me, the week between Christmas

and the New Year is always sublime, especially when I get to play with all my cool new gear. Below are various items

that may make any musician’s holiday season even more entertaining.

I’ve got a head start with veteran

mastering engineer Bob

Katz’ new book iTunes Music

from Focal Press. I’m only

about half way through this 144

paperback but the full title says

it all: iTunes Music: Mastering

High Resolution Audio Delivery:

Produce Great Sounding Music

with Mastered for iTunes.

Katz was inspired by Apple

Computers’ early 2012 launch of

their Mastered for iTunes (MFiT)

initiative and their development of the tools to

make Apple iTunes downloads sound as best

as they can be. Record labels and music producers

are now encouraged to deliver music to

iTunes in high-resolution formats that ultimately

produces better-sounding downloadable music

files than are currently available. With a foreword

by renowned mastering engineer Bob Ludwig,

iTunes Music is an excellent resource for any

mastering engineer, recording engineer or music

producer who loves to deliver great sounding

music and wants to make sure it stays that way.

$30 from Focal Press.

Apogee Digital

has JAM, a studioquality

guitar interface

to record, practice

or jam anywhere

using either an iOS

device or your Mac

computer. The current

trend in audio

interfaces is for them

to not only work with

multiple operating

systems (MAC & PC),

but also work with

your iPhone, iPad or

via the USB port of

your computer. Jam is

small enough to fit in a guitar case and provides

an instant interface connection between any guitar/bass

instrument. I like the LED metering for

status/input level monitoring, the simple control

knobs, instrument pre-amp gain up to 40dB—

plenty of gain for low output piezo pickups, the

44.1/48 kHz and 24-bit A/D conversion

plus the locking output connector. It

sells for $99 MRSP. See

Dial A Note - Dial

Harmony is a music teaching

aid and reference tool

in the shape of an eightinch

diameter wheel made

from thick card stock and

printed in color. No music

reading is necessary to

use it but it does provide a

way to learn music theory,

chord building and harmony

creation. Changing the key of

the song is easy—just follow the color bands

around dial. Dial A Note includes all 12 keys,

the Nashville Number System, natural chord

qualities, diatonic scale degrees, both major and

minor degrees of scale, and Greek Mode scales.

It sells for $13.95. Visit http://ducksdeluxe.


Steve Vai along with Metal Sidecar have

repurposed the long unavailable Ocean Way

Microphone Locker CD-ROM into a smart

phone/tablet app. Originally created in the ‘90s,

the CD-ROM made available for virtual audition

Allen Sides’ vast collection of classic microphones

at Ocean Way Recording studios in

Hollywood, CA.

There are pictures, specifications and salient

information about 66 different microphones

including venerable classics from AKG, Audio-

Technica, B&K, Beyer, Coles, Neumann, RCA,

Sanken, Schoeps, Sennheiser, Shure, Sony

and Telefunken. Then there is the Instruments

section with pictures, notated musical ranges

and generic descriptions of the 33 musical

instruments used in the orchestral as well as

contemporary music. The fun starts with the

Combinations section where you can pair a certain

microphone and an instrument to hear what

it would sound like. Microphone selection is a

subjective process based on the source, mic

placement and the type of sound you’re trying

to achieve.

Everything you hear is the “gold standard”

in quality using excellent and collectible

examples of classic microphones

recording pro session cats playing

great sounding instruments

in top-notch studios! My

Christmas wish from Steve

Vai is that for this app’s

next update, we hear him

play some of the electric

guitar/microphone combinations!

Priced at $9.99, the

Ocean Way Microphone

Locker App is available at

iTunes and is great gift idea

for everyone from a beginning

studio to seasoned pro.

Also a good

gift idea for guitar

players is

On-Stage Gear’s

SLD200 Series of

steel slides. The

SLD200 Series

gives guitar players

a wide choice

of sizes and tonal


at an affordable

price that would

even make the

Grinch smile. The

SLD200 Series

is comprised of

traditional chromeplated

steel slides

available in ring

sizes 6 (SLD206),

9 (SLD209), and 11 (SLD211). The thick-walled

variant SLD209T imparts a darker tone thanks

to its greater mass, but they are all machined

from heavy gauge seamless steel and include a

custom-sized storage pouch with a snap-spring

closure. The slides start at a list price of $7.99

and are available now. For more information on

SLD200 Series slides, along with all the other

On-Stage Gear products, see http://onstage

Affixit has announced the release of PicStix,

an adhesive gel strip designed

exclusively to hold guitar

picks in place anywhere

on your guitar,

amplifier or other

surfaces without

damage. I liken

these to Postit


for guitar

picks: a readherable,


gel strip


can place


handy on

their guitar,

bass or

banjo to store picks for quick access. The gel

strip is removable, reusable, leaves no residue,

and is completely washable. PicStix holds all

shapes, material and sizes of guitar picks and

is a perfect way to hold thumb picks. It sells for

$5.49 for a 2-Pack. More information is available

at or call 800-764-9017.

Merry Musical

Christmas! e

16 December 2012

December 2012 17



There is no doubt that there are more digital interfaces available today than bottled

water brands in 7-Eleven (and all of us original Mbox owners are kicking ourselves).

But PreSonus stepped it up by presenting a package for beginning

engineers, songwriters looking to record demos, bands on tour, and the

like. Retailing at just under $300, the Audio Box Studio comes complete

with HD7 headphones for monitoring/playback, PreSonus’ M7 condenser

mic, StudioOne DAW and the AudioBox Digital Interface—

which has two XMAX mic/instrument pre-amps with the ability

of 48+ phantom power, and a pair of balanced TRS outputs.

This bundle is compatible with both MAC and PC.



These are exactly what you think: Bobbleheads of punk rockers. Included in the collection

are Andrew WK, GG Allin, Joe Queer (the Queers), Keith Morris (Black Flag, the Circle Jerks),

Milo (the Descendents), Damian (Fucked Up), Mike Watt (Minutemen, the Stooges), Jeff

Clayton (ANTiSEEN), J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Roky Erickson

(the 13th Floor Elevators), Wendy O. (the Plasmatics), Joe Shithead Keithley (D.O.A.),

Dwarves (Blag the Ripper and HeWhoCanNotBeNamed), Tesco Vee (Meatmen) and Mojo

Nixon. Most of these collector items run for under $20. Other collections include Iggy Pop,

Lee Scratch Perry, Wayne Kramer (MC5) and more. Visit


Now in its 50th year, (and you

thought Music Connection

was vintage…) Audio-

Technica has decided to

release a special limited edition

ATH-M50s/LE Anniversary

Headphone in a silver-colored

metallic finish. The closedback

cushioned earcup

design creates maximum

isolation, encasing 45-mm

large-aperture drivers with

neodymium magnet

systems that put

out 15Hz - 28kHz

(geek talk). The

really long

(11-ft) cable




screw on/off


adapter from

1/4-inch to

1/8-inch and a

protective pouch.

MSRP $209. Check out



It’s not our job to tell you what to buy. It is our job, however, to

inform you that there are several audio packs out there other

than GarageBand’s limited soundbanks. Recently released is

one of those counter-options: EastWest’s Hollywood Orchestral

Woodwinds Gold Edition. This 145 gig—yes, you read that

right—library was tracked at Hollywood CA’s EastWest Studio

1 by Emmy Award-winning engineer Shawn Murphy (Indiana

Jones, Star Wars). Instruments include: alto flute, bass clarinet,

bass flute, bassoon, clarinet, contra bass clarinet, contra

bassoon, eb clarinet, english horn, flute, flute 2, oboe and

piccolo flute. A larger Diamond edition is also available.

See MSRP $995.


Not every band can afford a rehearsal studio, and even worse, not every

town has a place to jam. So instead of renting out a storage unit and

buying a generator, JamHub has come up with a clever concept

of headphone rehearsing. With up to six channels,

the “TourBus” model allows musicians

to adjust their own mix—also great for

those looking for an alternative to

the drunk monitor mixing guy

at the local pub. Moms and

neighbors will rejoice.

Retails for just under $700.

Two- and four-channel versions

are also available.


18 December 2012






Weighing in at just a hair under 25 lbs., the Casio Privia PX-150

is an 88-key digital piano with Scaled Hammer Action, 2-track

Recorder, 18 Tones, Built-in Effects, 128-note Polyphony, USB

Connection and Duet Mode (a function that allows teachers, or

friends, to play along with the same notes). The keyboard is also

available in black and retails for $999. Higher-end models are also

available. See


This is a field recorder that beats carrying around a full

briefcase for two-tracking. Some points of

interest: 1) It allows you to simultaneously

record with the

XY on-board mics (90- or

120-degree pattern) and

the two TRS inserts,

so you can track a

show from the front

of house engineer’s

perspective as well

as receive a board

feed (add a nice DSLR

on a tripod and your

YouTube video quality

has just improved tenfold).

2) It has an on-board

reference speaker… of

course carrying headphones

is ideal, but should something

go awry, you have a second form

of monitoring to ensure you’ve

received signal. 3) The h4n has the

ability to record up to 24-bit/96kHz,

and with a USB cord you can turn this

thing into an audio interface. Retails under

$470. Check



The Reddi is an all-tube DI Box with Level Control, Ground Lift and Neutrk Combo

Jack ( If you’re a

bassist looking to be the loudest, save a few bucks and look for a cheaper product.

But if you’re looking for warm, solid tonality that

only analog tubes can provide (one Dual

triode 6N1P Tube to be specific), then

check out this beast. Standard

TRS input and XLR out

and 1/4-inch

Thru with

a level



for the


or studio

owner in

your life.


Reftone is a passive

close-field reference


that lets you

hear full-range

audio clearly,

especially at

low volume

levels. The

result is a

more accurate


of sound and

the ability to

work longer without

fatigue. Reftone monitors

provide a consistent and

accurate playback system for professional and

home studios, as well as laptop rigs, edit bays, DJ booths and mobile recording setups.

Using classic audio principles in its design, Reftone allows you to focus on intelligibility,

providing excellent midrange detail to help you create mixes that translate better. Its passive

design—a proprietary driver sealed in a high-quality wooden cabinet—means you

can match Reftone speakers with your favorite amplifier and get the tone you want. $299

each. See


Pictured is DW’s Pacific PDP CM6 kit. This new line of kits, called the “Concept

Series” allows users to pick birch or maple shells in several configurations, depending

on which model you choose (CM5, CM6 or CM7). The pictured kit includes: 18x22-

inch Bass Drum, 8x10-inch, 9x12-inch, 12x14-inch Floor tom, 14x16-inch Floor Tom

and a 5.5x14-inch Snare. An affordable kit for beginners or pros and studios in need

of quality backline, the CM6 retails for $839.99. Cymbals and stands not included. See

December 2012 19



For the Coffee Table... We Got Power! Hardcore Punk Scenes From 1980s Southern California

By David Markey and Jordan Schwartz (hardcover) $39.95

In 1979, punk was over... but by 1981, hardcore was

born. As teenagers in 1981, David Markey and his

best friend Jordan Schwartz founded We Got Power, a

fanzine dedicated to the first-generation hardcore punk

music community in their native Los Angeles, CA. Their

text and cameras captured the early punk spirit of Black

Flag, the Minutemen, Social Distortion, Red Cross/Redd

Kross, Suicidal Tendencies, the Descendents, White

Flag, the Last, the Gun Club, Saccharine Trust, Sin 34,

Nip Drivers, Circle One, M.D.C., Big Boys, Youth Brigade,

D.R.I., the Butthole Surfers, Firehose, and many

others at the height of their precocious punk powers.

Never before seen, except in crude fanzine form, these

detailed and richly narrative photos are now collected to

present an intimate portrayal of a uniquely fertile creative



By Peter A Carlin (hardcover) $28.00

With unfettered access to the artist, his family and

band members—including Clarence Clemons in

his last major interview—acclaimed music writer

Peter Ames Carlin presents an intimate and vivid

portrait of a rock icon, warts and all. Carlin traces

Springsteen’s often harrowing personal life: from

his lower working-class childhood in Freehold, NJ,

through his stubborn climb to fame and tangled

romantic life, and finally to his quest to conquer the

demons that nearly destroyed his father.

Creative Sequencing Techniques for Music Production

By Andrea Pejrolo (softcover) $44.95

For all levels of expertise, the book shows how

to get the most out of the four leading audio

sequencers, Logic, Pro Tools, Digital Performer,

and Cubase. Using real-life examples, Andrea

Pejrolo demonstrates a wide range of technical

and creative techniques, giving tips and new ideas

to help take your work to the next level. If you are

producing music and looking to build your skills in

orchestration, composition and mixing you will find

all the techniques and practical advice needed in

this book.

All You Need to Know About the Music Business;

Eighth Edition

By Donald S. Passman (hardcover) $32.00

Passman offers his advice for creating, selling,

sharing, and protecting your music in the Information

Age in this updated eighth edition. Detailed yet easyto-understand,

this comprehensive guide—which

has sold hundreds of thousands of copies over the

past 20 years—draws on the author’s experience

and up-to-the-minute knowledge of industry trends.

In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death & Duran Duran

By John Taylor (hardcover) $27.95

John Taylor, Duran Duran’s co-founder, takes the

reader on a wild ride through his life. From the ‘80s

through today, from Rio to All You Need is Now,

Taylor writes about the music, the parties and the

MTV video. A tale of dreams fulfilled, lessons learned

and demons conquered with cameos by Bowie,

Warhol and many more.

20 December 2012

September 2012 21


SoundExchange President,

By Jonathan Widran

Michael Huppe

This marks the third time since 2008 that Music Connection has had

the privilege to profile SoundExchange, the Washington, DC, based

nonprofit performance rights organization formed to protect artists’

rights and meet the needs of the digital music era.

In those years, the company—whose services to artists and sound

recording copyright owners (SRCOs) are equivalent to what ASCAP and

BMI provide to songwriters—has grown exponentially. The stat at the top

of their homepage ( says it all: “Royalties Paid:

$1 billion.” Two years ago, that number was just over $500 million. Other

updated stats are equally impressive. SoundExchange has more than

2,000 licensees; tens of millions of lines of data reported monthly; 24,000

copyright holder/label accounts; 70,000 performer accounts; 15,300 new

registrations in 2011; 23 international agreements; nearly $204 million

distributed YTD in 2012 (Quarters 1 and 2); and nearly 100 employees.

The dollars involved have exploded due to the changing consumer

model of the music industry, including the explosion of Internet, satellite

and cable radio stations—including SiriusXM, Pandora, iHeartRadio,

TuneIn Radio, Music Choice, AccuRadio—and just recently the mobile

radio function of Spotify.

The Copyright Royalty Board, which is appointed by The U.S. Library

of Congress, has entrusted SoundExchange as the sole entity in the

United States to collect and distribute these digital performance royalties

on behalf of featured recording artists, master rights owners (like record

labels), and independent artists who record and own their masters.

“The services we deal with are using a statutory license in federal law

that allows these services, if they meet the requirement of the statute, to

register with the copyright office, stream recordings and send us royalties

and play data,” says SoundExchange President Michael Huppe. “We take

care of everything else.”

“There’s still a gross inequity in our country where AM and FM stations

pay songwriting royalties but nothing to the recording artist,” he

adds. “That’s a battle we’ve been fighting for decades, but we’re happy

to make sure that the performers and copyright owners, which can be the

artists themselves or their labels, get paid when their work is accessed

via non-interactive digital, cable and satellite systems. For much of

SoundExchange’s existence, our biggest priority was getting our name

out there and getting people signed up. As we’ve grown, we’re occupying

a different place in the music industry. We’re at the hub of a lot of legal

issues related to digital music. We’re an association that looks out for the

entire industry, promoting the long-term value of music and letting people

know how important it is to our culture.”

SoundExchange was created to collect the revenue stream created

by 1995’s Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act (DPRA).

Before ‘95, US record companies and recording artists were not entitled

to collect royalties for the public performance of their sound recordings

(even though their counterparts in other countries did). Under the rules of

the Digital Performance Right and Sound Recording Act (DPRA), passed

by Congress in 1995, the percentage breakdown per performance is this:

45 percent for the featured performer, 50 percent to the SRCO and five

percent for the background vocalists and session musicians.

When SoundExchange launched in 2000 as an unincorporated division

of the RIAA—it was later spun off as an independent organization in

September 2003—it gathered $6.3 million in royalties, which represented

performances from the time the law was passed in the mid-‘90s till 2001.

The artists accrue royalties automatically under the law, yet many who

are unfamiliar with the SoundExchange are skeptical, and so fail to register

to claim the cash. Huppe says that when SoundExchange takes in royalties,

they have three years to pay them to whom they are owed. The organization

has currently amassed over $30 million in unpaid royalties to over

50,000 people that are three years and older, and he and his staff make

ongoing efforts to find and register those who have money coming to them.

Contact SoundExchange, 202-640-5858

22 December 2012

! "#"$%&'()*





“Music Connection were one of the first music magazines to write

about Live From Daryl’s House, when it was a fledgling web show.

They have adapted with the changing music scene, as well as the

ever changing technology.” —Daryl Hall

“Music Connection was a HUGE

part of exposing Mötley Crüe.

The rest is history. Happy anniversary,

guys!” —Nikki Sixx

“I feel tremendous gratitude to Music Connection for the incredible

support over the years, both for the Bangles and my solo projects. Congratulations

on 35 years of great music journalism.” —Susanna Hoffs

“Music Connection... the go to place to find musicians, sell or buy instruments,

locate affordable rehearsal & recording studios. An indispensable

source of trade for all things music.” —Slash

“Still on my regular reading list, and they’re still doing

a great job covering our industry and the creative

community, making an important contribution to

our collective development and well-being.”

— Neil Portnow, Recording Academy President/CEO

“My favorite pages of MC are the endless lists of bands, clubs,

managers, agents, studios and of course the musicians looking 4

musicians section!! And the reviews - oh the reviews...Jane’s first

MC review I remember it well — ‘Iggy Pop meets Ted Nugent

with Keith Moon on drums.’” —Stephen Perkins, Jane’s Addiction

“When I first started to perform, I reached into Music Connection

to get reviews (of myself—I must admit) and I also read the

articles. We were a great musical eco system—all of us...”

—Perry Farrell, Jane’s Addiction

“Had it not been for MC, our story may not have reached the

thousands of eyes it did. We owe a great deal of our early

success to MC for giving us the chance to be seen and heard.”

—Dave Navarro, Jane’s Addiction

* Music Connection wants to thank all of the artists and industry pros for their contributions!




Recording Academy has launched

“Give Fans The Credit,” a campaign

to help ensure that all music

creators are credited for their work

on digitally released recordings.

Now, The Academy’s Producers &

Engineers Wing is teaming with its

UK-based counterpart, the Music

Producers Guild (MPG), which has

for several years lobbied its own

initiative, “Credit Where Credit Is

Due,” to combine resources to find

solutions to this industry problem.

Songwriters, non-featured performers,

producers and engineers work

tirelessly and make significant

contributions to recordings, but with

dissolving liner notes, these creators

rarely receive credit on digital

music devices. The “Give Fans The

Credit” campaign addresses these



issues by opening a petition and a

brainstorming discussion to create

a more robust crediting information

system on digital music platforms.

Visit http://givefansthe

for more information.


YEARS AWAY: Kent, OH poppunk

band Light Years have

entered Pennsylvania’s Studio 4

with producer Will Yip (the Wonder

Years, Circa Survive, Title Fight).

The band plan to stay for three

weeks to record their debut fulllength,

slated for a spring release

via Escapist Records. The LP will

be the follow up to their 2012 EP,

Just Between Us. Light Years will

be documenting the recording. For

that footage and tour updates, visit


Okay, so not everyone believes the Mayan calendar, but

producers, engineers and industry folk partied like it was

1999 anyway. This year’s AES convention in San Francisco

marked the 133rd convention for the Audio Engineering Society.

Pictured below (l-r), are various industry heavyweights that took a

second to pose for our very own Brian Stewart. For a full wrap-up,


The most important ingredient

to any great recording is a great

song. It all begins there. A good

production on an okay song still

results in an okay song. But a

great song can live with minimal

production and it’s still going to

be great.

–Bill Appleberry

(Stone Temple Pilots,

Taking Back Sunday)

Interviewed in MC Oct. 2012

Impromptu party after the show at The W Bar with engineers Ryan Hewitt

and Joe McGrath; SAE Los Angeles/San Francisco Bridget Gardner; KMD

Event Coordinator Karen Dunn; and engineer Lenise Bent.

SPARS board member Sherri Tantleff, Universal Mastering Studios Pete

Doell, LAFX co-owner Anne Vicari and co-owner-engineer Dan Vicari.

Hanging out at the P&E Wing SPARS party: producer Jimmy Douglass,

producer-engineer Ed Cherney, Record Plant President Rose Mann Cherney

and producer-engineer Elliot Scheiner.

Concord Music Group’s Gregg Field, engineer-producers Dave Reitzas

and Chuck Ainlay, and CRAS administrator Kirt Hamm.

Grammy P&E Director Maureen Droney, engineer Chris Lord-Alge and

studio designer Vincent Van Hoff (Jeff Greenberg of Village Recorder,

pictured behind).

24 December 2012



// CRAS Dinner Party at AES //

The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences held an elegant dinner for

executives at AES. Pictured at the CRAS dinner party are (l-r): Paula Salvatore,

Capitol Studios Senior Director of Studios; Candace Stewart, EastWest Studio

Manager; Steve Genewick, engineer; Flash Ferrucio, engineer; and Drew

Waters, Capitol Studios Head of Studio Operation.

// Biz Markie Is Just A Friend… of Omega Studios //

Biz Markie stopped by Omega Recording Studios, located in Rockville, MD,

right outside of Washington, DC, for one of his many sessions. Pictured (l-r):

Markee and Omega engineer Cephas Jackson. For further studio updates, see

// Grundman Mastering

Executes Black Ops //

Multi-award-winning composer Jack Wall

(Mass Effect, Jade Empire, Myst), has written

the music for Call of Duty: Black Ops II and

mastered the soundtrack album at Bernie

Grundman Mastering with engineer Patricia

Sullivan. Pictured in session at Bernie

Grundman Mastering are (l-r): Sullivan; Wall;

Brian Tuey, Audio Director, Treyarch; and Alex

Hemlock, Music Editor, Composer Assistant.

David Goggin

Cephas Jackson

// SAE Opens In Windy City // //Tales From The Left Coast

Nears Completion //

The SAE Institute has opened its seventh

US campus, in Chicago, equipping all

four Production Suites at the brand new

19,000-sq.-ft. facility with matching

Argosy studio furniture products. Each

of the suites is outfitted with an Argosy

Mirage Edit Desk with accompanying

Single Monitor Arm, a Mirage R11 Rack

and a pair of Classic Speaker Stands. Visit for full details.

Musicians from the new L.A. rock band, Sky King

have been putting the finishing touches on their

forthcoming release, Morose Tales From The Left

Coast, at the Barry Paul Recording Studios in North

Hollywood, CA. Pictured (foreground) Barry Paul,

studio owner, chief recording engineer; (background

l-r) Walter Morosko; lead guitarist, vocalist; Larry

“Fuzzy” Knight, producer, musical arranger, bassist;

and Garth Farkus, rhythm guitarist.

Are You Ready To Take Your Music To The Next Level?




December 2012 25

toneprint ®

Beam any TonePrint wirelessly in seconds.

Fuel your creativity anytime anywhere!


Zack and


TonePrint® App

These pedals are awesome. Period. Add

TonePrints and you get custom tones by the

greatest guitarists in the world.

Forget emulation, let’s talk collaboration!





Hall of Fame






Producing in the Shadows of Atlanta

By Rob Putnam

Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount—known collectively as ZK Productions

—write, mix and produce from Vintage Song Studios in suburban

Atlanta, GA. From the start, they worked together on 8-track recorders

in basements. In their late teens they interned at Atlanta’s Tree Sound

Studios and soon began to look for bands to produce on their own. They’ve

since worked with artists including Jimmy Eat World, All Time Low and

Ludacris. The album that proved pivotal for them was Cartel’s Chroma.

What the duo enjoy most is collaborating

with artists on songwriting. “The

co-writing is so much fun,” Odom says.

“Often bands come in with a song that’s

already done but they don’t have exact

ideas for where drums or guitar parts

will go. The basics are finished but

they rely on us to put all the production

behind it. Over the last year, our work

has been about 60 percent production,

40 percent songwriting.

“We started producing around 2004

or 2005 and we’ve never worked in

the city,” he continues. “We’re more

comfortable safety-wise being in the

suburbs. A lot of studios in Atlanta have

been robbed. We try to keep our place

discreet. Only we and our artists know

where it is.”

For any producer, impediments to

solid sound are always lurking in the

shadows. But a band once presented

The three most important

things they’ve learned about

the business are:



the pair with an altogether different challenge; one that was highly counterintuitive.

“They wanted to go for a raw and sometimes lo-fi overall vibe,”

Odom explains. “We love to hear things sound great so that was going

against the grain a little. We were very excited about making that record but

at the same time it was challenging to go ‘Ok, I specifically do not want that

to sound good.’ We liked it in the end but it took a lot to get there.”

The team mixes most of what they produce. Fortunately for their mastering

engineers, they remain mindful of mastering concerns; of not turning

over a heavily-compressed mix. “We try to get it exactly where we want it,”

Odom says. “But we try to give the mastering guy a lot of room, level-wise

and as far as dynamics. We use Ted Jensen [Sterling Sound], Tom Baker

[Precision Mastering, Hollywood] for our heavier rock stuff and Michael

Fossenkemper [TurtleTone Studio] for a lot of indie-budget stuff.”

Although advances in recording technology have made things eminently

easier in the studio, the pair finds that sometimes those advances have hidden

costs. “Software and hardware updates and things that no longer work

with each other: that’s always a major frustration,” Odom asserts. “In the last

five years, that kind of nonsense is the biggest thing we’ve had to deal with.”

“Sometimes when we update things, they become incompatible,” Mount

adds. “You had something that worked perfectly before it was updated.”

Potential complications aside, they don’t avoid new gear. “We just

updated our studio with a new SSL mixing console,” Odom says. “We have

the AWS 900, which is like a combination of the analog realm and being

able to control Pro Tools. There are so many things they’ve incorporated

into this console that everyday we’re learning new things. And we use our

vintage UREI Silver Face 1176 compressor all the time. It’s got that nice,

aggressive rock sound.”

Recent projects include new works by We Are the In Crowd (Hopeless

Records) and Set It Off (Equal Vision Records). Upcoming projects include

Waking Heroes and Cartel. “They had a couple of people do mixes and then

did a blind-listen test,” Mount recalls. “They picked our mix over the others.”

Contact Mike Kato / BK Entertainment Group,, 818-728-8200

26 December 2012

December 2012 27


BACKGROUND: After a disenchanting

run at a singing career,

Evita Kaigler decided she’d get

close to music in a different

way—by becoming an attorney.

Many of the challenges and misconceptions

she’d been forced to

overcome in following that path,

she realized, didn’t need to exist.

Hence, she created Future Music

Attorneys, a non-profit program

dedicated to educating aspiring

entertainment lawyers through

seminars and an online presence.

Having grown exponentially

between the program’s first and

second installments, FMA’s future

looks brighter than ever.

Evita G. Kaigler


Law Offices of Evita G. Kaigler

Future Music Attorneys

Years with Company: 6

Address: Atlanta, GA

Phone: 404-249-4327

FAX: 404-601-0803



Clients: Big K.R.I.T., Joey Bada$$, Jarren Benton

“There isn’t a client I have where I don’t know

the music. Knowing the music helps me figure

out the conversation I need to have.”

Fantasy, Meet Reality:

Music chose me; I didn’t have a

choice. I was an artsy kid, always

in my own world, and music was

there. I had to be involved with music

somehow. I thought, I want to be

a performer. I had stars in my eyes.

I remember standing in line at auditions

saying to myself, this is not

what I had in mind. It was my dream

meeting the real world.

A New Path:

I began reading books about the

industry and came across Donald

Passman’s, All You Need to Know

About the Music Business. It was

amazing. This is the bible of the industry

and it’s written by a lawyer.

Clearly, this is a guy who’s in demand

and involved in music.

First Steps:

Law school was tough, because

I was there to get to the music but

none of my classes dealt with that.

Graduation came around and I did

not have a job offer for what I wanted

to do, so I started my own practice. I

began to understand I had to build a

brand for myself, just how an artist or

producer would. Eventually, people

start paying you, not much at first or

at all. Then you get that client that

you’ve been with from the beginning

and they become successful.

Cast Wide:

In my third year of law school, I interned

at a label called Sho’Nuff

Records. A mentor of mine asked,

“What are you doing to become a

part of the community?” I hadn’t

thought about that. I thought I would

graduate, tell people I loved music,

know I was smart and they’d hire me.

I had contacts through the labels. I

would go to open mic nights and

meet people. I would work on small

deals. I also worked with a company

called Music Is My Business

for about two years. I wasn’t getting

a check from it, but I would meet

people through that. I didn’t have a

formula; I just cast my net wide.

A Little Knowledge:

When I graduated, I knew what I

wanted to do but I had no help. I had

to learn through trial and error. Once

I got some traction in my career, several

students reached out to me. At

one point, I was taking everyone on,

mentoring as much as I could. It got

to the point where I couldn’t physically

take the time to meet with everyone.

And there are lawyers who

have different insights and students

should be able to benefit from those

as well. I began to think about what

I could create that could get information

out there and provide access to

a profession that seems to be secretive

and closed off.

It’s Free!:

The first year, it was $25 for the

whole year. There was one panelist

who didn’t want to contribute his

time because the students were being

charged. I thought, if this is going

to hinder my program in any way,

I don’t want that to happen. I’m incurring

all the costs to build the program

and get information out there. I

would love to see the program align

with a brand or do strategic partnerships

with corporations that can foot

some of the costs.

Where To:

I would love for this program to be

internationally recognized as the

go-to resource for students who are

interested in this profession. And I

would love for music business programs

and law schools with music

law classes to use us as a resource

for their students. Eventually, I see

this program having seminars and

programs in different states.

Get Out There:

There’s so much you can do to immerse

yourself in the culture. Think

broadly about how you can generate

a good experience for yourself

before you even become a lawyer.

You’ve got ASCAP, BMI and SES-

AC doing tons of events. You’ve got

NARIP, music conferences, concerts…

All of that stuff is relevant. If

you know the culture, the music, the

trends, the charts, the language, the

people, how they create, how they

move, it makes you a solid consultant.

Music law is not just about the

paperwork but [also] being able to

manage the careers of your clients.

Break It Down:

There are three areas that musicians

have to focus on: their music,

their business and their brand. Every

issue they’re going to have in

their career falls under one of those

umbrellas. It can be overwhelming,

but if you break it down you can find

pieces that you can shape and mold.

Become more practical in how you

approach your career. I’m a believer

in using the music that’s in your gut.

Start with that and then find a way to

shape and mold it to where people

want to consume it.

Getting Serious:

The business piece is where I come


in. You’ve created a song—it’s not

just a record, it’s intellectual property.

What are the different pieces?

If you’ve got partners in a band,

we need a partnership agreement,

which nobody likes. That’s the business

piece—this is now not just your

craft. This is about the business of

your craft.


What does your brand mean?

What’s the experience your brand

conveys? What are the strategic

alliances that make sense for you?

How are you connecting with your

consumer? You don’t have to have

your music reach the entire world

in order to be successful. Someone

has to consume it, someone has to

invest in it, somebody has to believe

in it. What are you doing to create

that experience? Write out your

goals, visions and to-do lists.

Lemons vs. Lemonade:

I’m reading the Clive Davis book he

wrote in 1976. I’ve always looked at

Davis as someone who started as a

lawyer and became an icon. When

he went to Columbia Records, he

was dealing with the same issues

we’re dealing with now. He was

a lawyer, not a music guy, but he

studied the industry and the trends.

That’s inspirational, because it says

to me this can be figured out and I

want be at the forefront of figuring it


That’s another thing I love about

where we are—you can’t tell me the

ideas I have are right or wrong. Nobody

knows. It sucks that we don’t

have a machine you can plug your

music into and know exactly how

you’re going to get paid, but you’ve

got an opportunity to break ground.

It’s not going to be easy, but if you

study the history and try to have

some insight as to where we’re going,

be creative and innovative, you

can do this and do it well. You’ve

got to put on a couple different hats

and roll up your sleeves. The people

who are willing to do that will get the


Contact Dos:

Provide me with a link of something

that showcases who you are musically.

There isn’t a client I have

where I don’t know the music. Knowing

the music helps me figure out the

conversation I need to have. Also,

it gives me a picture of the brand

you’re building, the direction you’re

going. Leave your name, a callback

number and the nature of your call,

whether you’re looking to have a

consultation or a particular deal.


I love music way too much to be

passive. How am I contributing?

This program is one of those ways.

People are learning and utilizing the

information. It’s going to make the

music space much healthier. Fifty

years from now, I want people to

think of Clive Davis, Quincy Jones

and Evita Kaigler. That’s the goal, so

I’ve got a lot of work to do.

28 December 2012


Music Connection’s

Business Affairs

delivers up-to-date

information about the signings

of new artists, significant

developments at major and

indie labels, as well as news

of managers and attorneys who

are active in the A&R aspect

of the music business. So

that MC can provide the most

current information possible,

please send any industry news,

buzz or rumors that need to be

verified to




The competition is a novel

approach to other music contests.

It offers prizes, recognition, exposure

and the chance to be heard

by a group of high-profile industry

judges, including well-known recording

artists. Unsigned Only also puts

the Grand Prize winner in direct

contact with influential record label

executives who are the ultimate decision-makers,

for an opportunity to

be mentored by record company

presidents, A&R reps etc.

The Grand Prize Winner will be

awarded $10,000 in cash (plus additional

prizes) and one-on-one mentoring

by an elite group of record

company executives. First Place and

Second Place winners will also be

selected in each category. Winners

will be announced in July 2013. Go



The site partners with emerging artists

to effect a positive change in

the music industry. It’s a place for

artists to be in full control of the

pricing, distribution and analytics of

their digital life. You may sell your

original content at a price of your

choosing and stay in total control.

Monkeybars lets you retain all rights

and earn rewards. You can even

use “reward value” to give back to

the fans that support you and incentivize

them to promote you on social

networks through the power of fanto-fan

sharing, thereby turning fans

into digital street teams. You can

learn more at


company, which designs, manufactures

and markets, premium in-ear

headphones, will highlight outstanding

new artists in a brand new

“Feature Artist” section of its website

each month, This is your chance to

get premium exposure via an exciting

new platform. Any interested

artists may go to

for complete details.

Artists know that their fans live

on their smart phones, searching,

browsing, and purchasing merchandise.

With ConnectCode you can

deliver a mobile experience with your

content, build lists, track stats and put

social media to work for you. It’s easy

and affordable at only $10 per month.

The codes are free, there are no start

up fees and no contracts.

See http://smallbusiness.connect and check it out.

Green Day has canceled or postponed over 20 tour dates following the

announcement that frontman Billie Joe Armstrong is in treatment for

substance abuse. All of the trio’s remaining 2012 tour dates, including a

West Coast run through December, have been cancelled. The dates had been

announced in mid-September in support of the group’s new trio of albums,

Uno!, Dos!, and Tre! Additionally, the North American leg of Green Day’s 2013

tour, set to kick off in Green Bay on Jan. 7, has been postponed. “Obviously

the timing isn’t ideal, but Billie Joe’s well-being is our main concern,” says

bassist Mike Dirnt. Green Day also bumped up the release of Tre!, from Jan. 15,

2013 to Dec. 11, 2012. For updates, go to


Buckcherry have announced that their next studio album, Confessions, will be

released by their new label Century Media Records. It will drop in early 2013

via Century Media in the United States and Eleven Seven Music worldwide.

“This is, by far, our most ambitious record,” claims frontman Josh Todd, who

co-founded the band with guitarist Keith Nelson in 1995 after the duo met in

a Los Angeles tattoo shop. The record is based on the seven deadly sins, and

is part of a larger vision that includes a film written by Todd, who based the

album’s lyrics on his childhood and transformation into adulthood. For more

information, go to

In addition to a directory

with reviews, there are also

discussion forums on DIY music

topics and a blog focused on the

music industry. The site is meant to

be a “hub for artists, managers and

independent labels to connect with

approved and experienced providers

to launch a project (large or

small) or put together their dream

team. You can see what it offers at

Site members can

even create their own contests to

challenge other members to create

music about a specific topic.

Members are ranked based on the

feedback they receive. Prizes are

rewarded to the top five members

in each individual ranking at the end

of the year. If interested, go to http://


website allows artists to explore an

alternative model for business—one

that is both equitable and sustainable—by

providing a platform for

creating, funding and distributing

music through an “artist collective.”

After a successful debut at

2012, the company has added several

new services and partnerships

such as (for a flat-fee, royalty-free

digital distribution service)

and (for flat-fee, royalty-free

publishing administration).

Obtain additional information at

Initially featured on American Idol

with music director ,

Chromatik has since grown to count

musicians from hundreds of music

organizations among their private

beta users, including

and hundreds of

K-12 and higher-ed institutions.

Musicians can sign up for the free

web application at http://chromatik.

com and in the App Store.



Aptly titled Back From The

Dead the record is being distributed

by In North

America. Several randomly selected

people, who order the record via

Adler’s website, will receive a personal

phone call from Adler and the

band. To check it out, go to http://

45th Anniversary of The Velvet

Underground & Nico The tribute

album features indie artists

among others.

famously said, “The album may not

have sold many copies, but everyone

who bought it formed a band.”

You can log on to http://castleface for additional details.

December 2012 29



Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records

to distribute all physical and digital

releases for the label’s entire catalogue

and future releases in the US.

Gabriel founded Real World Records

in 1989, and has developed it into a

respected label of diverse, world-class

music from across the globe. In fact,

there are almost 200 albums in its

catalog. Go to http://realworldrecords.

com for more information.

Razor & Tie has announced the

addition of Hatebreed to its North

American label roster. The band

recently completed work on their

forthcoming studio album, which will

be released in January 2013 via

Razor & Tie in North America and

Canada and on Nuclear Blast in

Europe. The release will be the

band’s sixth official record to date,

and the follow up to their self-titled

album. In a joint statement, Pete

Giberga VP of A&R and John

Franck SVP of Marketing for Razor

& Tie commented, “Hatebreed’s

anthems coupled with their do-ordie

work ethic continues to make

them a dominant force in hardcore

and metal today.” To find out more,


Metal giants Bullet For My

Valentine have announced that

they will release their fourth studio

album, titled Temper Temper in

February 2013. The album was produced

by Don Gilmore (Linkin Park,

Pearl Jam), who worked with the

band on their previous album 2010’s

Fever, and was recorded in Thailand

and Wales. For additional info, go to

Hinder will unleash their fourth

full-length album for Republic

Records, Welcome to The Freakshow,

on Dec. 4, 2012. The record

is preceded by the anthemic first


Environment of People Foundation supporters gathered for the 4th annual

"New York in Hollywood" fundraiser honoring actress Laura San Giacomo

and CBS Studio Center President Michael Klausman for their dedication and

commitment to the CSUN Music Therapy Wellness Clinic. Pictured (l-r): Laura

San Giacomo; Dennis Dreith, President EOPF; Shari Hoffman, Secretary-

Treasurer EOPF; and Michael Klausman, President CBS Studio Center.

30 December 2012

single, “Save Me,” impacting airwaves

and available at iTunes.

Welcome to the Freakshow was

co-produced by drummer

Hanson and Marshall Dutton in a

hometown studio. Instead of simply

sticking to a tried-and-true formula,

the group decided to smash boundaries,

experimenting with rock, pop

and even a little country. You can

visit for more


to the dance scene with a new

EP, Downtown Rockers. The title

track from the new recording features

Tom Tom Club’s characteristic

upbeat fusion of electro and funk.

The song pays tribute to the many

bands and artists that created the

downtown music scene in New York

City in the ‘70s. The song was

mixed by Ed Stasium, who also

recorded and mixed Talking Heads

in 1977 and umpteen Ramones

classics. For more information, visit


Music photographer Jimmy

Steinfeldt has published his first

book of iconic images, titled Rock

‘N’ Roll Lens. Compiled over his

30-year career, the book is a collection

of his most popular photos

including: Michael Jackson, Paul

Turner, and Madonna. Steinfeldt

also includes personal anecdotes

about the artists and the time he

spent shooting them, giving a

unique perspective to the shots. To

find out more, or to order the book,

go to his official website at http://jim


and iFanz, is officially a

DIY Spotlight:

Music Connection

Have a successful DIY strategy to share? Email

Martian. How so? His name was

embedded on a microchip put on

board NASA’s Jet Propulsion

Laboratory science lab. As a result,

if aliens ever decide to dissect the

Mars Rover, his name will be found

among the 18,000 names that took

part in the program. Additional information

can be found at http://face


two new artists to its roster.

Both are indie acts making their mark.

The first is Mariel Loveland, the lead

singer and guitarist for the four-piece

indie punk band ; the

other is Katelynn Tomney, a singersongwriter,

guitarist and music teacher

from New York City. To learn more

about Daisy Rock and its artists, go



is more sexually arousing than

touch. The study was commissioned

by digital music service Spotify to

examine the relationship between

music, romance and seduction.

The resulting data was surprising.

A 25-year-old soundtrack scored

highest in the seduction department.

Apparently, music from the ‘80s

film, Dirty Dancing still gets motors

running. But, that wasn’t the only

finding. Not surprisingly, the study’s

author, music psychologist Daniel

Mullensiefen, also discovered that

“men are more willing to adjust their

tastes in music in order to ensure

greater success in the bedroom.”

are working with VH1 Digital and

Logo Digital to create exclusive

entertainment experiences that

connect fans directly with talent.

Spreecast is a social video platform

that brings people together for faceto-face

conversation. To check it out,



on the music industry. Music

apps for mobile phones, tablets and

PCs have become one of the latest

trends in the industry’s shift toward

near exclusive digital consumption.

And, it’s been reported by a variety

of tech sites that the number of them

available to consumers is increasing

at a significant rate.

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“We Had a Hit Single with Jesse McCartney,

and it all Began with TAXI”

Adam and Andy’s success

through TAXI is a little bit

different from all the other

stories you’ve probably heard.

They got their biggest deal after

their membership ran out!

Here’s how it happened:

“We joined TAXI in 2001 and

found that it was a great

motivator for us. We were

members for two years. We

learned a lot, wrote a ton of

songs, and got a few film and

TV placements -- some through

TAXI, and some on our own.

We submitted a song we

wrote with Jenn Shepard called

“You Make Me Feel” to one of

TAXI’s Industry Listings. We

didn’t hear anything back for a

while and eventually our TAXI

membership ran out. Thankfully,

we began to get so busy with

production and writing gigs that

we decided to wait and renew

our membership at a later date.

Little did we know that

TAXI had sent our song to a

Andy Dodd and Adam Watts – TAXI members


company that was looking for

material for a young, male Pop

artist they were developing.

Later that year, Jesse

McCartney’s managers called

us saying they had just heard

“You Make Me Feel” on a CD

they got from TAXI and wanted

to have him cut the song.

Although Jesse decided not to

record “You Make Me Feel”,

his managers asked us to write

more songs for him. We wrote a

handful and they ended up

putting his vocal on two of the

tracks we produced, “Take Your

Sweet Time" and "Beautiful


“Beautiful Soul” got played

on Radio Disney, and Jesse’s

The World’s Leading Independent A&R Company


management got the song to a

label executive at Disney. Soon

after, Jesse was signed to

Hollywood Records. “Beautiful

Soul” became his first single,

and we both signed publishing

deals with Disney Music


Jesse McCartney’s album

(entitled “Beautiful Soul”) has

gone Platinum in the U.S. and


“Beautiful Soul” went to #3

on Radio and Records CHR Pop

Chart, #5 on Billboard’s Top 40

Chart, #19 on Billboard’s Adult

Top 40 chart, it’s a Platinum

Digital Single Download, it’s on

the Gold-selling ‘Cinderella

Story’ Motion Picture

Soundtrack, the Gold-selling

‘That's So Raven’ TV

Soundtrack, and the video was

nominated for Best Pop Video at

a 2005 MTV Video Music


All of this came about

because Adam and Andy sent a

song to TAXI. Call for our free

information kit.

December 2012 31



DaBet Repositions, Renews

DaBet Music Services, which opened its

doors in January 2009, has a refined mission

and new business address effective immediately,

according to company president and founder

Angela Rose White, daughter of the late awardwinning

composer David Rose.

DaBet Music Services now will serve primarily

as a consulting company that provides organization

and basic evaluation of music catalogs,

copyrights, income streams and management

for music catalogs, focusing its publishing and

administration services on existing clients such

as Shakim Williams, Paul Casey, Martha Robi

Publishing and Franchesca Robi (Gilchriese).

White decided to change her company’s focus

after frequently discovering that songwriters/publishers

or their heirs and representatives were

not aware of the fundamental aspects of song

ownership and copyrights.

One of DaBet’s current projects involves coexecutive

producing the debut album of Franchesca

Robi, daughter of the late Paul Robi, an

original member of the Platters, one of the most

successful music groups of the 1950s rock & roll

era. Her just-released album, titled Remembering

The Platters: Songs of My Father, features several

of the group’s No. 1 hits including “Only You,”

“The Great Pretender,” “Smoke Gets In Your

SESAC awarded

Catt Gravitt its

Songwriter of the

Year trophy for

her massive hits,

“Alone With You”

recorded by Jake

Owen, “Why Ya

Wanna” recorded

by Jana Kramer

and “Amen” as

recorded by Edens

Edge. Song of the

Year honors went

to “A Woman Like

You,” written

by Jon Stone.

Pictured (l-r):

Gravitt and Stone.

Eyes,” “My Prayer” and “(You’ve Got) The Magic

Touch.” Media contacts are Barry Smith / Bonnie

Winings SWPR Group, 818-760-7131. Complete

details at

Ole Goes to Church

in Music City

When Eric Church picked up Album of the

Year honors at the 46th annual CMA Awards in

Nashville for his platinum-certified record, Chief, it

capped a big evening in that category for writers

for the publishing company ole, who had seven

songs on three of the five nominated records,

among them, Ryan Tyndell’s two co-writes on

the winning album as well as a cut on Dierks

Bentley’s nominated record, Home.

Tyndell co-wrote Church’s No. 1 platinum

single, “Springsteen,” a tune that was nominated

as Song of the Year and played an integral part

in the success of Church’s album, Chief, which

was Executive-Produced by ole GM Nashville

Creative, Arthur Buenahora. The record also

contains the Church/Tyndell co-write, “Keep On.”

“Springsteen,” co-written by Church, Tyndell and

Jeff Hyde on the ole Bus as part of the ole Write

Where U R Tour 2011, ultimately spent two

weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs

chart. It is also up for Song of the Year honors at


Tom T. Hall was named the 2012 BMI Icon at the Society’s 60th annual Country

Awards in Nashville, TN. Dallas Davidson and Luke Laird shared the Songwriter

of the Year honors. “Take a Back Road,” which Laird wrote with fellow BMI

songwriter Rhett Akins, was named Song of the Year. Pictured (l-r): Tom T. Hall;

Del Bryant, President and CEO, BMI; and Jody Williams, VP Writer/Publisher

Relations, BMI.

the upcoming American Country Awards (ACA’s).

Tyndell is also co-writer of the track, “Breathe

You In,” with Bentley and fellow ole writer Marty

Dodson on Bentley’s CMA nominated Home.

Other ole co-writes on the album include “Gonna

Die Young” (Bruce Wallace) and “Heart of a

Lonely Girl” (Charlie Worsham). Ole’s Monty

Powell co-wrote two songs on Lady Antebellum’s

nominated album, Own the Night,

including “As You Turn Away” and “Somewhere

Love Remains.”

Find more details at

Marty Panzer at UCLA


Beginning on Jan. 17, 2013, UCLA Extension

begins its new season with the 19th year of a

Master Songwriting class, “Writing Lyrics That

Succeed and Endure,” 12 course sessions

taught be hit lyricist Marty Panzer. Well known as

a long time Barry Manilow collaborator and the

co-writer of epic pop hits like “It’s a Miracle,” “This

One’s for You,” and “Even Now,” (Manilow) as

well as “Through the Years” (Kenny Rogers) and

a vast amount of music for Disney, Panzer has

been awarded 35 gold and platinum albums, plus

four million-play awards, and amassed record

sales in excess of 70 million units.



Michael S. Simon

has been promoted

to President and

CEO for Harry Fox

Organization (HFA).

Simon was previously

the organization’s

Senior Vice President

of Business Affairs,

General Counsel

and Chief Strategic

Officer. For more

information about

HFA, visit http:// and


Over the course of three days, ASCAP honored 10 extraordinary women in the

music industry during its fourth annual Women Behind the Music series. Pictured

(l-r): Bernie Lawrence-Watkins, Crystal Nicole, Tameka “Tiny” Harris and Jennifer

Drake, ASCAP, arrive at the Women Behind the Music event in Atlanta.

32 December 2012




Panzer covers a wide range of topics including

what is most valued in a lyric; reviewing the great

songs; expanding one’s horizons; the craft of lyric

writing; overcoming stumbling blocks; developing

a personal style; collaboration; handling rejection;

the new marketplace; new opportunities in film,

theater, and animation; and artistic objectives:

writing lyrics that make a difference, writing lyrics

to be proud of, and creating works that survive in

an age of disposable product.

Scheduled guest speakers (subject to availability)

include acclaimed songwriters Larry

Gatlin and Keith Follese and a leading music

industry attorney, author, and professor, Michael


Past guests have included Manilow, composers

David Zippel and Stephen Schwartz, legendary

songwriter Cynthia Weil and executive Chris

Montan, President of Walt Disney Music.

Prerequisite is prior experience writing lyrics.

The Hal Gaba Scholarship is awarded to the six

highest-achieving students enrolled in this course.

Scholarship recipients receive four additional

master class sessions, as well as individual consultation

with Panzer as required.

For further information about this program,

call 310-825-9064.

Outside of Southern California call 800-825-

9064, email, or visit http://

Taio Cruz (pictured)

was named Songwriter

of the Year

at ASCAP’s London

awards for a second

successive time as

Steve Mac scooped

the Song of the

Year prize. The US

society honored EMI

Publishing’s Cruz

with the accolade

at its 32nd annual

London awards.

Mac’s Song of The

Year honor was given

for co-writing “You

Make Me Feel,”

recorded by Cobra


Songs of Love Seeks


Songs of Love is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization

dedicated to creating personalized, original

songs for kids who are seriously ill, free of

charge. To do this, the organization works with

freelance songwriters. Ideally, they are looking

for singer-songwriters who can produce their own


The songs are requested for a child or medical

contact who fills out a form with information

about the child and sends it to Songs of Love.

They assign each song to an appropriate writer

(depending on type of music requested, age of

the child, writers’ availability, etc.) and send the

writer a scan of the form about the child. The

writer uses that info to create a song for that child

and sends the finished song, in MP3 format, to

Songs of Love. They then process and send the

song to the child from the Songs office on a CD

with their name and the Songs design and logo.

Among the notable songwriters who donate

their talents is Los Angeles-based Dave Kinnoin,

a recording artist on Song Wizard Records, who

has released six CDs, tours nationally, and has

done over 1,000 children’s concerts in the US and

England since 1987. He has written songs for Jim

Henson TV, Video, and Interactive; Disney Audio,


Song Biz was on hand at the Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles for a festive

night celebrating Everso Records and the label’s co-founder Shelby Lynne on

the release of the well-appointed box set Revelation Road Deluxe Edition. An

intimate audience was privy to an acoustic performance, a quick interview,

and a courtyard reception. See

Video, and TV; Davidson & Associates; Simon

and Shuster Interactive, and others.

To be considered as a songwriter, please

submit a sample of your work (as MP3 file or on

CD) and a cover letter to

or Songs of Love Foundation, Attn: Anis Arafat,

PO Box 750809, Forest Hills, NY 11375.

CueSongs: Catalogs Online

CueSongs, the digital music licensing hub has

concluded agreements with BMG Rights Management,

adding to deals for online licensing with

EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV, Universal

Music Publishing and Warner Chappell, in

addition the big indies such as Imagem, Music

Sales and Peer Music. CueSongs was launched

in beta in January this year, and was co-founded

by Ed Averdieck, formerly head of Nokia Music

and OD2, and former Genesis songsmith and

solo artist Peter Gabriel. Take a listen at http://

!"#$%&'"%() *+,) -./01234) ,15146)







Warner/Chappell Music has appointed Ben Vaughn—an intern for the company

at the beginning of his career—to the newly created position of Executive Vice

President of its Nashville office. Running EMI’s Publishing County division,

Vaughn was responsible for signing Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum and Rhett

Akins to EMI, as well as working with Alan Jackson, Jerry Flowers and more.



Song Biz Profile

subject Terry

Callier, a Chicago

singer and songwriter

who in the

‘70s developed

an incantatory

style that mingled

soul, folk and jazz

sounds around

his meditative

baritone, then

decades later

was rescued from

obscurity when his

work found new

fans in Britain, has

died in Chicago,

IL. He was 67.

December 2012 33




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By Dan Kimpel

With multiple Academy Award, Golden Globe and Grammy nominations,

songwriter Allan Rich is no stranger to the upper echelons

of the music industry. While his catalog of hits includes “I Don’t

Have the Heart” (James Ingram); “I Live for Your Love” (Natalie Cole);

“I Drive Myself Crazy” (‘N SYNC) and “Run To You” (Whitney Houston),

these days, he and his longtime writing partner, Jud Friedman, are intent on

creating diverse outlets and fresh opportunities for their songs.

Rich, who has written for a roster that includes Barbra Streisand, Tina

Turner, Rod Stewart, Luther Vandross, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Chaka

Khan, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, Oleta Adams,

Barry Manilow, Peabo Bryson, Toni Braxton, Charice, and many others, has

a spectrum of new cuts: records both stateside and abroad, a song in a new

musical debuting in London’s West End, and the end title for an upcoming

major motion picture.

“With the industry being what it is, you need different streams of income,”

Rich says. “It used to be that if you wrote a great song you could pitch it

and it would find a home. That’s not the way it works now. Artists have

become more involved in writing songs rather than leaving it to professional

songwriters, because there is a lot of money in publishing.”

Rich and Friedman are casting a worldwide net for outlets. The two cowrote

“E’ L’Amore Che Conta/Hostage,” a No. 1 hit with Italian diva Giorgia;

“Sexaholic” with Right Said Fred, and have cuts with artists ranging from

Rachael Leahcar, the star of the Australian The Voice, as well as X Factor

winner Melani Amaro, Canadian Tenors, composer/performer Yanni, and

other artists in Russia and India.

Rich and Friedman are on the big screen with “After the Rain,” the end title

to Playing for Keeps, released this Christmas, with Gerard Butler, Jessica

Biel, Dennis Quaid, Uma Thurman and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Rich will be traveling to London for the December premiere of the musical

The Bodyguard, starring Heather Headley. The show will include the Oscarnominated

song “Run to You,” performed as a duet. “Heather also put it on

her own album with Keith Thomas producing. It is so beautiful that it will

make you weep,” enthuses Rich.

A persuasive emotional quotient drives the Rich/Friedman collaborations.

“Our greatest strength is the ability to move and touch people in a song,”

Rich confirms. “Today, when it’s more about great beats and great sounds,

this is still something that is very meaningful to us.”

While Rich, who considers himself “electronically challenged,” lets Friedman

generate the electronic wizardry, he provides a valuable service. “Jud

uses me for my ears,” Rich explains. “He calls me his ‘emotional Geiger


Even with over two decades of collaborations with Friedman, Rich says

there are challenging moments. “If he says he doesn’t like an idea, or if I

don’t like one of his, it still hurts. We’re obviously big enough to say, ‘Let’s

move on,’ but I think we both get a little disappointed sometimes. We like our

ideas to be appreciated.”

As a mentor at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, Rich is energized and

inspired by the next generation of hit crafters. Among those whom he has

advised is Sunday Lane, an independent artist whose songs have been

included on the CW’s One Tree Hill and Separated at Birth and E!’s Mrs.

Eastwood & Company.

Rich is encouraging but realistic. “Young songwriters have to want this so

bad that their desire has to overcome the rejection that happens every day.

And in addition to learning their craft, they have to be enterprising and they

need to be detectives.”

Networking, he says, is crucial. “I’m a true believer that the person sitting

next to you could be the most important collaborator in your life, or the

person who creates your sound.”

For this Brooklyn-born songwriter who is devoted to the sincerity of the

song, Rich says that fortitude and fortune go hand-in-hand. “No matter how

much success we’ve had, most of us are still out here kicking and screaming,

and wondering how the next big thing is going to happen.”


34 December 2012




For songwriters and publishers it doesn’t just pay to sign with us, it pays monthly. As the most progressive

PRO in the U.S., we’re proud to offer our songwriters monthly royalty payments. Why wait for the end of a

quarter when you could be paid months sooner? So you can spend more time thinking about making music

and less time worrying about getting paid.


September December 2012 35


From the creator of Family Guy, Ted is the

irreverent, hilarious story of the bond between a

man (Mark Wahlberg) and his teddy bear, Ted

(voiced by Seth MacFarlane), who came to life

as a result of a childhood wish—and refused to

leave his side ever since. Walter Murphy, best

remembered for his 1976 disco hit, “A Fifth of

Beethoven,” provides the score. Ted is on Bluray,

DVD and Ultraviolet on Dec. 11th. For

all things Ted, visit

Sony Classical has the release

of Mychael Danna’s Original Motion

Picture Soundtrack of Life of

Pi, a journey of adventure and a tale

of personal discovery based on the

best-selling novel by Yann Martel. The

music, in the composer’s words, “guides

viewers by means of emotions through

a film that raises big philosophical and religious

questions.” The Indian flute is associated

in the music with Pi himself, the mysterious woodwind

sound of the Persian ney with the tiger. A

Los Angeles studio orchestra recorded the score,

while the use of an Indonesian gamelan and typically

French instruments––celeste, accordion––

does justice to the cultural breadth of the story.

Danna also co-wrote the film’s original song, “Pi’s

Lullaby,” with Indian vocalist Bombay Jayashri,

who performs the song in her native Tamil

language. For further information, contact Beth

Krakower at CineMedia Promotions, 310-439-

1403 or

Kids of all ages are invited to keep the

holidays happening by visiting The Bob

Baker Marionette Theater, the longest running

children’s theater in Los Angeles, CA,

as it celebrates the most requested return of

Bob Baker’s Nutcracker staging now through

Jan. 27, 2013. This marionette version of the

ballet classic has been one of the world

famous puppeteer’s most beloved holiday

productions since it was first presented

in 1969. Employing over 100 of Baker’s

famous marionettes, this family performance

features all the characters from

the beloved story based on recordings

ranging from the familiar to the eclectic.

For a complete schedule or to purchase

tickets, visit http://bobbakermarionettes.

com or phone 213-250-9995.

The Georgia Entertainment Gala,

billed as a night of immaculate elegance

showcasing the talent that Georgia has

to offer in the film and television industries,

happens Jan. 13 in Atlanta, GA. This Black Tie

Evening includes an awards ceremony created

to honor the excellence of Georgia’s film industry

professionals along with live entertainment.

To get additional information or to find out how

you can be involved, check out http://gaentertain

Tribute artist Peter Mac has announced his

plans for the fall, a show called Judy & Company

in which he gives a series of famous and beloved

women their 15 minutes of fame!through

a series of quick changes throughout

the show. The New York-based

artist performs theatrical (singing,

dancing and speeches)

shows as Judy Garland, Liza

Minnelli, Bette Davis and

Katharine Hepburn among

others. He is currently in residence

at Oil Can Harry’s in

Studio City, CA. Check out or contact

Peter Mac

Now in its 15th season in New York,

Lincoln Center’s acclaimed series American

Songbook will expand its scope and offer two

series that celebrate the best in American singing

and songwriting.!“American Songbook in The

Allen Room” will run from Jan. 30 - March 2 after

an opening night featuring film and Broadway star

Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon, Disney’s Aladdin

and Mulan).

The series will present 15 nights of music

from Broadway old and new, rhythm & blues,

country, pop, gospel, blues, rock, jazz and folk.

Then from March 29 - April 20 a new chapter in

the Songbook story will begin with “American

Songbook in the Penthouse,” a series of

weekend-only performances by performers and

composers presented in the Stanley H. Kaplan

Penthouse, an intimate cabaret-style room.

A full schedule is at http://americansongbook.

org. Contact Caitlin Kasunich, 212-875-5999 or

(Crowded House). The first of a trilogy of films

from Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson

(The Lord of the Rings Trilogy), will be released

in the US on Dec. 14th. Contact: Beth Krakowerat

CineMedia Promotions, 310-439-1403 or beth@

On Dec. 11, Cherry

Red Records will release

Gregg Allman

I’m No Angel: Live On

Stage in North America

via MVD Entertainment

Group. The DVD features

a full length concert

from Allman and his

band at The Cannery,

Nashville in November

1988. Amongst the

songs featured are Billboard

chart hit single

“I’m No Angel” and a

version of the Blind Willie

McTell song “Statesboro

Blues” (a famous

part of the Allman Brothers

Band’s live sets). Contact Clint Weiler at

MVD Entertainment Group, 800-888-0486 ext.

115 or


Now available for school productions is the

full-length rock musical Swedish Style written by

Turkish composer-producer Ayhan Sahin and

lyricist Selcen Pamuk. Set in the early ‘80s, the

production follows the stupendous success and

quiet decline of Swedish pop super group ABBA,

here called Opus 10. Swedish Style was originally

staged in the mid-‘90s at the Operetta House in

Sahin’s native Ankara, Turkey, with subsequent

performances in Copenhagen; Reykjavik, Iceland;

and a symphonic version staged in Istanbul

by the acclaimed Presidential Symphony Orchestra.

The concept album for the musical comprises

a full-cast vocal production featuring five

principal singers and an eight-member ensemble

mastered for use in licensed productions of the

show. For more information, contact Janet Castiel

at Redwood Entertainment, Inc., 212-543-9998 or

KuKaZi is a start-up company looking for original

material to feature in their growing music library

for television and promotional placement.

Email them at

Bombay Jayashri

WaterTower Music has announced the

release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected

Journey Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

at all retailers on Dec. 11th. The Hobbit: An

Unexpected Journey features original score by

Academy Award winner Howard Shore recorded

at famed Abbey Road studios by the London

Philharmonic Orchestra. Additionally it includes

an original song entitled “Song of the Lonely

Mountain,” written and performed by Neil Finn

The Hobbit

36 December 2012

An Internet and terrestrial radio show on the

Southern Star Network, billing itself as the “No.

1 Internet Visual Radio Network in the World,”

is looking for independent artists in all genres to

feature. Submit your song MP3 with a short bio,

web address and picture along with your publishing

info acct/registration, so that you can receive

royalties, to



An Emmy-winning production company is

looking for superstar kids. If your child is the next

major actor, singer or dancer, send name, age,

photo, city & state, parent name and contact info


In Las Vegas, the search is on for two male

and two female R&B/hip-hop dancers. Performers

will be given music on site for the audition.

Contact Tina 702-528-9308 for location and appointment.

There is no pay.


Award-winning film composer George S.

Clinton!has been named chair of Boston’s!

Berklee College of Music’s

Film Scoring Department,

offering the world’s only

undergraduate film scoring

degree as well as a unique

minor in video game

scoring. Clinton will build

on the 32-year legacy of

the department and ensure

that graduates have the

skills to thrive in a field that

is undergoing continual

transformation. Clinton

has scored diverse films

including the Austin

Powers movies, Mortal

Kombat, Bury My

Heart at Wounded

George S. Clinton Knee, Harold & Kumar

Escape from Guantanamo

Bay, and!Cheech & Chong’s Still Smokin. He

has mentored young composers internationally

and at the Sundance Institute for over a

decade. Contact Margot Edwards at the Berklee

College of Music, 617-747-2004 or medwards@

Alberto Iglesias, Spain’s most acclaimed

composer, was named Composer of the Year at

the 12th World Soundtrack Awards, the closing

event of the 39th Ghent Film Festival in Belgium.

Iglesias received the honor for his work on Tinker

Tailor Soldier Spy, Le Moine (The Monk) and La

Piel Que Habito (The Skin I Live In). In addition,

Iglesias also received the coveted Best Original

Film Score of the Year honor for Tinker Tailor

Soldier Spy. For complete information, contact

Michael Collard at Rogers & Cowan, 310-854-

8137 or

Alberto Iglesias

Mark Isham

Grammy and Emmy winning film composermusician

Mark Isham (Dolphin Tale, Crash,

Warrior) returned this fall to score three television

productions, two of which reunite him with

movie directors Frank Darabont (The Mist, The

Majestic) and Gary Fleder (Don’t Say A Word,

Imposter, Kiss the Girls). LA Noir, directed by

Darabont, was recently picked up by TNT for six

episodes. For further information, contact Alex

May at Costa Communications, 323-650-3588 or

Jody Watley

Stars came

out for the

red carpet


of Loving

the Silent

Tears: A New

Musical at

the Shrine

Auditorium in

Los Angeles,

CA. The show

was inspired

by a poetry


titled Silent

Tears, written

years ago

by worldrenowned




and artist



Ching Hai.

The musical


two-time Grammy winning artist Jon Secada,

Grammy winning icon Jody Watley, and

Broadway stars: Tony winner Debbie Gravitte,

Tony winner Kiril Kulish, Emmy winner and

Tony nominee Liz Callaway, and Tony nominee

Patti Cohenour. Proceeds from the one-nightonly

performance benefited Broadway Cares /

Equity Fights AIDS, Amnesty International,

Animal Defenders Worldwide and World Wide

Veterinary Service. For detailed information,

contact Traci Coulter at TCO PR, 323-951-9246






LIMITS 2012: Since its

inception in 2002, Austin

City Limits has brought

together some of the

hottest acts to rock “The

Music Capital.” This year

was no different as the 10th

anniversary lineup included

Red Hot Chili Peppers,

Jack White, Neil Young

and Crazy Horse, the Black

Keys, Iggy & the Stooges,

the Avett Brothers, the

Roots, M83 and so many

more. Additional photos

can be seen at http://

For a full recap, see http://

MOOGFEST 2012: The annual event that honors the remarkable vision of Robert Moog and his amazing

musical inventions that changed the course of music, MoogFest came to a close last month. The

two-day, multi-venue event was held in Asheville, NC—a place Bob Moog called home for the last 30

years of his life. Festival goers toyed with new inventions, got their hands on the newest industry

gear and heard live performances from Primus, Explosions in the Sky, Miike Snow, the Magnetic

Fields, Ahleuchatistas (pictured) and many more. See


GREEK: Paul Weller

performed at The Greek

Theatre, L.A. on Oct. 19

in support of his latest

release Sonik Kicks. He

was welcomed backstage

by Paola Palazzo, VP of

Talent for Nederlander

Concerts. See the Greek’s

upcoming schedule at


com and visit http:// for

Weller's upcoming

our dates.



DRUM MAT: Producer Billy Block, of Nashville, TN

(pictured), won an Aurelex Drum Mat through Music


“Friday Freebie”

contest. Every

week, we give

away pieces of

gear or services

to lucky winners.

Prizes this fall

have included


headphones, a

JamHub Bedroom,

free mastering

services and much

more. To see what

MC is giving away

this week, head

over to http://


com and look

in the top right

corner for the

words “Friday



Harry Shearer rocked the Grammy Museum with guests

Fountains of Wayne. Shearer and the band took a minute

backstage to snap a photo. The team also performed on

Conan. Pictured (l-r): Chris Collingwood, Jody Porter,

Shearer and Adam Schlesinger.


38 December 2012







“Never have I been informed better

on the local and the international

music scene. Thank You, MC, for all

these Invincible Years!“

Robin DiMaggio

producer (Paul Simon, David Bowie,

Steve Vai, Diana Ross, Chris Isaak)

LOS ANGELES GETS WEIRD WITH LUCHA VaVOOM: Fans were costumed head-to-toe for the

“Aztec Horror” presentation of Los Angeles, CA’s Lucha VaVOOM. Taking place at the Mayan

Theatre in downtown L.A. on “Halloween weekend,” fans were entertained with Mexican wrestling,

burlesque dancing, comedy bits and more Mexican wrestling. For a full recap and to see

upcoming dates, visit


“I kept track of the music industry by reading

Music Connection. Totally––it was a big deal.

It was such a cool thing to flip through the

pages and recognize names and root for

emerging artists I knew.“

Sara Bareilles

!HONORING AL SCHLESINGER: Over 200 people honored industry figure Al Schlesinger at a tribute

dinner sponsored by NARIP in Los Angeles, CA. Schlesinger has worked as a songwriter, record

producer, publisher, label owner and music attorney for over six decades, mentoring countless

industry professionals, artists and music business students. The event's guests included Grammy

winner Jackie DeShannon, Bread frontman David Gates, 21-time Grammy winner Al Schmitt,

former CEO of Capitol Records Joe Smith and others. Pictured (l-r): Artist manager Bill Leopold;

Schlesinger; double-platinum lyricist Lisa-Catherine Cohen; NARIP’s Tess Taylor; and producer

Michael Schuman.


“Music Connection is an invaluable source of

information for the independent artist community

and music industry alike. As CEO of a ‘2.0’

digital label and music publishing company,

MC is an excellent source of potential clients

for our company.”

Scott Austin

CEO, Authentik Artists, Inc.

“Music Connection ran an article about [legendary

producer] Richard Gottehrer. He'd just started

an online music company. I got his contact

details from the magazine, reached out to

him, and that shaped my career.“

Herwig Maurer

film composer, Oscar nominee (Zombieland, Passion of the

Christ, Secretariat)

December 2012 39


!"#$%"&' Artists & Bands

Compiled by Mark Nardone, Bernard Baur & Karen Em


Alana Lee

Alexander Cardinale

Ali Handal

Aloha Radio

Arlene Kole

Banshee Bones

Barry Smolin

Belmont Lights

Bill Trujillo


The Blind Eyes


Bow Thayer/Trainwreck

The Boxing Lesson

Brandon Schott

Cala Elaine

Camille Bloom

Charlie Rae

Checkpoint Charlie

Cherish Lee


Connie Lim

The Controversy

The Couch

Coyote Kolb

Daniel Robinson

Dave Widow/The Lineup

Dead Horses

Deborah Crooks

The Dig

Donner Social

Doug Ferony

Drag the River

Droll Brothers

Elaine Faye


Foster Timms

Gina Zavalis

Glen Martin


Hayley Jane and the Primates

Holly Elle

Horizontal Ladies Club


Inside Neon

Jeffrey Deaver’s ‘XO’ Band

John Carpenter

Johnnie Ferro

Joseph Eid

Kat Calvosa



Hot Rock

Surf Rock


Progressive Hard Rock

Melodramtic Pop




Power Pop



Psychedelic Epic Rock

Indie Pop

Indie Rock

Indie Rock






Alternative Adult Contemporary

Indie Rock

Roots Rock



Retro Rock


Indie Rock




Art Rock

Soulful Pop

Alternative Pop


Adult Contemporary





Alternative Pop

Power Pop







Anaheim Hills, CA

Los Angeles, CA

North Hollywood, CA

Orange County, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Hollywood, CA

Los Angeles, CA

San Diego, CA

Las Vegas, NV

Detroit, MI

St. Louis, MO

Los Angeles, CA

Boston, MA

Austin, TX

Glendale, CA

Hollywood, CA

Seattle, WA

San Diego, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Austin, TX

Boston, MA

Buffalo, NY

Cincinnati, OH

Los Angeles, CA

San Francisco, CA

New York, NY

New York, NY

New York, NY

Fort Collins, CO

Los Angeles, CA

San Diego, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

New York, NY

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Boston, MA

Nashville, TN

Los Angeles, CA

Minneapolis, MN

Tokyo, Japan

Nashville, TN

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

New York, NY

40 December 2012


!"#$%"&' Artists & Bands

Compiled by Mark Nardone, Bernard Baur & Karen Em


Alana Lee

Alexander Cardinale

Ali Handal

Aloha Radio

Arlene Kole

Banshee Bones

Barry Smolin

Belmont Lights

Bill Trujillo


The Blind Eyes


Bow Thayer/Trainwreck

The Boxing Lesson

Brandon Schott

Cala Elaine

Camille Bloom

Charlie Rae

Checkpoint Charlie

Cherish Lee


Connie Lim

The Controversy

The Couch

Coyote Kolb

Daniel Robinson

Dave Widow/The Lineup

Dead Horses

Deborah Crooks

The Dig

Donner Social

Doug Ferony

Drag the River

Droll Brothers

Elaine Faye


Foster Timms

Gina Zavalis

Glen Martin


Hayley Jane and the Primates

Holly Elle

Horizontal Ladies Club


Inside Neon

Jeffrey Deaver’s ‘XO’ Band

John Carpenter

Johnnie Ferro

Joseph Eid

Kat Calvosa



Hot Rock

Surf Rock


Progressive Hard Rock

Melodramtic Pop




Power Pop



Psychedelic Epic Rock

Indie Pop

Indie Rock

Indie Rock






Alternative Adult Contemporary

Indie Rock

Roots Rock



Retro Rock


Indie Rock




Art Rock

Soulful Pop

Alternative Pop


Adult Contemporary





Alternative Pop

Power Pop







Anaheim Hills, CA

Los Angeles, CA

North Hollywood, CA

Orange County, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Hollywood, CA

Los Angeles, CA

San Diego, CA

Las Vegas, NV

Detroit, MI

St. Louis, MO

Los Angeles, CA

Boston, MA

Austin, TX

Glendale, CA

Hollywood, CA

Seattle, WA

San Diego, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Austin, TX

Boston, MA

Buffalo, NY

Cincinnati, OH

Los Angeles, CA

San Francisco, CA

New York, NY

New York, NY

New York, NY

Fort Collins, CO

Los Angeles, CA

San Diego, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

New York, NY

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Boston, MA

Nashville, TN

Los Angeles, CA

Minneapolis, MN

Tokyo, Japan

Nashville, TN

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

New York, NY

40 December 2012

%&'( 100


MC’s annual, eagerly awaited Hot 100 list spotlights the live performers who made us sit up and take notice in 2012. Those

involved in determining the results of this year’s poll included not only Music Connection staff members, but freelance

journalists, club bookers and other industry professionals from across the US. To enquire about a live review of your band,

be sure to check out Music Connection’s unique, always-free AMP Social Space; it’s for musicians only—no friends or fans.

mmert /////////////////////////////

Photo By Jody Domingue


Kate Sikora

The Kicks

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper

Laurie Horn

Le Paige

Lexa Raquel



Lola Spriggs

The Lonelyhearts

Luis Banuelos

Martin Leroux

Morgan Fisher

Mother Falcon

Mr. Fisher

The MuerTones





Per Se

Queen Caveat

Reasons Be

Rebecca Loebe

Riddle The Sphinx

River Whyless

Rodello’s Machine

Sam Sherwin

The Scorch Sisters

Sean and Zander

The Shackeltons

Shadows Entwined

Shevyn Roberts

Sierra West


Sink Swim

Skum City


Sour Boy Bitter Girl

Starvation Camp


TaQuita Thorns

The ThrowDown Band

The Towels

Tyler Bryant/Shakedown

Ugly Kids Club

Veni Vidi Vicious

Vinyl Soul


Wild Child

Indie Pop


Indie Rock

Adult Alternative Rock



Modern Rock




Solo Latin Acoustic

Acoustic Pop


Instrumental Indie Folk




Electronic Urban Rock


Electro Pop

Fusion Ensemble





Indie Folk


Singer-Songwriter/Indie Rock


Roots Music





Metal/Hard Rock

Alternative Pop/Punk



Indie Rock/Folk


Roots Rock


Blues Rock

Eccentric Rock


Indie Electro

Indie Rock

Latin Soul/R&B


Indie Folk

Boonton, NJ

Nashville, TN

Brooklyn, NY

Davisburg, MI

Los Angeles, CA

Tucson, AZ

Livonia, MI

Los Angeles, CA

Ottawa, Canada

Iowa City, IA

Austin, TX

Tokyo, Japan

London, UK

Austin, TX

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Ann Arbor, MI

Phoenix, AZ

Long Beach, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Austin, TX

Los Angeles, CA

Boone, NC

San Diego, CA

Montclair, NJ

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Chambersburg, PA

Los Angeles, CA

Houston, TX

San Diego, CA

Hollywood, CA

Thousand Oaks, CA

New York, NY

Linden, NJ

Fort Collins, CO

Los Angeles, CA

Providence, RI

San Jose, CA

Boston, MA

Los Angeles, CA

Nashville, TN

Nashville, TN

Tokyo, Japan

Hollywood, CA

Hollywood, CA

Austin, TX

December 2012 41





by Gary Graff

photos by Sarah Barlow

She did it again––and there’s no oops about it. With Red, her fourth album, Taylor Swift

notched her third consecutive No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200, selling more than

1.2 million copies––the best since The Eminem Show in 2002––and setting a variety

of landmarks: the only female artist to ever sell more than a million first-week albums

with two consecutive releases; the highest ever iTunes first-week sales (565,545

copies); the top one-week sales ever by a country artist; and the best single-week

sales for Target.

Swift also racked up sales by releasing four tracks, one each week, via iTunes

before Red’s release, with each reaching No. 1 in short order. It adds to a tally that includes more

than 22 million albums sold worldwide and more than 51 million digital downloads in the US, but

the 22-year-old Swift hastens to point out there’s some artistic ch-ching going on here, too. Unlike

2010’s Speak Now, for which Swift wrote everything herself, the distinctively pop-focused

Red finds her collaboration with the hit-making likes of Jeff Bhasker, Butch Walker, Max Martin,

Shellback and Dan Wilson, as well as previous pal Dann Huff. She also duets with Ed Sheeran on

“Everything Has Changed” and Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody on “The Last Time.”

Red is an album whose ambitions are as big as its sales, and Swift––who again filled the set with

songs drawn directly from her personal life––is counting on fans to know the material from to back

when she returns to the road March 13 for the first North American leg of a planned world tour.

42 December 2012

December 2012 43

Music Connection: Your album had a huge debut.

A great iTunes countdown roll-out of the

songs. It’s not foreign for you to come out of the

gate this strong, of course. Do you get used to

it, or have to fight getting used to it?

Taylor Swift: I never get used to that. I don’t naturally

feel like I am entitled to win. I don’t naturally

feel like if I put out a song it will go to number

one in hours. It’s like I got so used to having to

fight to get the song up the charts and having to

wait and having to hope that people would hear

it, that’s kind of where my mind stayed. And so

when we have something like this album, where

all the songs that we put out on the iTunes countdown

have gone to number one, it is absolutely

mind-blowing to me that the fans are that reactive

and that they’re that fast and that there are that

many of them who are so clued-in. It’s something

that I’m never going to get used to. I can’t imagine

getting used to it.

MC: The iTunes countdown for the new songs

was an interesting way to roll things out. What

was it like to watch it happen?

Swift: It’s so exciting to reveal, track by track,

songs that are so different from each other and

kind of keep people on their toes about what

could possibly be coming next.

MC: Red is your fourth album. You’ve been

through the big debut, the follow-up to show it

was no fluke and then the third one. What does

a fourth album mean?

Swift: Actually, the way I kind of categorize them

is like the first one came out and some people noticed

and we were really lucky and it sold millions

of copies, but I hadn’t had anything cross over.

So the second album, for me, felt like a breakthrough,

and then it felt like the third album was to

prove that it wasn’t a fluke.

MC: Which makes this one...?

Swift: This one is for the sake of adventure. I think

I try to veer away from whatever comfort zone I

developed in making my last record, and for my

last record, Speak Now, my comfort zone became

writing songs alone. It just became what I

fell back on and what I always did and just kind of

felt like what I naturally gravitated towards.

This time I wanted to challenge myself as a

writer. I wanted to challenge myself as an artist.

So I called up a bunch of people that I admired in

the songwriting-producing artists world, and I just

wanted to see if they would work with me and collaborate.

It was such an educational and amazing,

adventurous experience being in the studio with

people who I had always admired and people who

make music that’s different from the kind of music

I make, so you have a blending of two worlds.

MC: Did you have a hit list? What was the criteria

for the kind of folks you wanted to work


Swift: Well, I would come up with an idea and

I’d think, “What do I want the production for this

to sound like?” and a name would just pop into

my head. I’d come up with like a partial idea

for a song and I’d think Dan Wilson. Or, “Jeff

Bhasker would nail the drums on this.” Or, “Max

Martin would kill this.” And I’d bring them those

ideas, and that’s kind of how it worked. I had a

short list of people that I’ve been admiring for

years, not only because of being a fan of what

they do but being a fan of their ability to adapt

and change. Jack Bhasker produces fun., but

he also has done some amazing stuff for Alicia

Keys, and it’s all different sounding––the same

way that Max really reinvents himself all the time.

MC: Let’s hear about the Swedish adventure

with Max and Shellback, since we heard “We

Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” right

out of the box. What was it like working with

those guys?

Swift: Working with Max and Shellback was such

an exhilarating experience as a writer, because

they’re so in the moment and they’re so present

and they’re so excited, and that’s exactly how I

am. So you get us all in a room and it’s just like an

immediate green light. We just start writing and we

don’t stop and we would write several songs a day.

I love to work fast, and I love to work with people

who love making music. When there’s that level of

excitement in the room it makes me so excited to

get up and go in the studio with them the next day.

It’s just like, “What are we going to do tomorrow?!”

MC: How early did you nail “We Are Never Ever

Getting Back Together” with them?

Swift: We wrote a few songs before that, and

that was the song that we really kind of realized,

“We’re on to something here.” And from that point

we wrote two other songs that ended up making

the record.

MC: Tell me about one of those, “I Knew You

Were Trouble.”

Swift: The song is about an experience where I

knew that this guy was going to be bad news the

first time I saw him, and I had all these red flags

pop up and I ignored all of them and I believed

him anyway and fell for and ended up brokenhearted

like I knew I was going to. But instead of

thinking, “Shame on you, you broke my heart,” I

actually ended up feeling like “shame on ME, I let

you break my heart. I knew you were gonna do

that!” You know? It’s kind of an interesting feeling

when you realize that you’ve already learned

this lesson and you just ignored all of the common

sense that you’ve gathered up to this point.

MC: You’ve never been shy about taking care

of the guys who done you wrong in song, have


Swift: Writing about my life...helps me figure out

how I feel about things sometimes. Emotions can

be so messy and all over the place, and you can

44 December 2012

feel so many different emotions about one thing.

So when I write a song on how I feel about that

certain thing, it becomes simple and I can really

process it and I can feel like whatever pain that

situation may have brought me in my life was

worthwhile and justified because it was supposed

to come out in a song.

MC: So what are you going to do when you land

“the one,” the one that lasts for a long time?

What’s going to happen to the songwriting?

Swift: (laughs) I don’t know. I mean, I think that

there’s no emotion that’s simple, not even an everlasting

emotion. Not even unconditional love.

There are undertones to every emotion. I’ve

learned that. I think that one thing I tend to do is

go back to a feeling––something I used to feel or

something I felt for someone who I don’t know

anymore and kind of the sadness of it––and revisit

it. At the same time I get inspired by seeing

my friends’ relationships. I get inspired by watching

movies and thinking, “What kind of soundtrack

would this moment have?” So I don’t quite know

what will happen if I end up actually reaching the

state of general happiness when it comes to love,

but I hope that I can draw inspiration from all sorts

of places.

MC: You of course write personally. Do you find

this time out that you found yourself writing personally

in a different way? What do you find in

the evolution and the creative growth of mining

those emotions and turning them into songs?

Swift: For me what comes a little easier now is

the first thing that you get when you get an idea

for a song, the first little fragment. It’s like a puzzle

piece, right? And you have to then choose where

it’s going to go in the grand scheme of the song:

“Okay, this idea I just got, is it a pre-chorus? Is it a

post hook? Is it a first line?” And I think that what

the craft of songwriting teaches you how to do is to

take that spurt of inspiration and figure out where

I feel like, at 22,

I’m still very much

a student of music

and on my way to

where I’m going to

end up someday.

But along the way

it’s really fun to take

risks because you

look at some careers

and you see

people make the

same album twice,

and I never want

to do that.

that puzzle piece goes and how to build out from it

and create the rest of the puzzle to be as interesting

as that initial idea.”

MC: How did you wind up with Ed Sheeran on

“Everything Has Changed”?

Swift: Ed and I became fast friends as soon as we

wrote together. We have very similar processes;

we both love to grab a guitar and ad lib, and whatever

comes out some of it ends up in the song and

you go back and re-evaluate it and look at every

lyric and edit it. I really love working with someone

who writes in a similar way. And he’s also just really

cool to hang out with. My friends and I love

him, and he is someone that I’m so honored to

have on the record. The song is a duet, so hearing

his voice come on my album it feels really special.

MC: He’s a little kooky, though, isn’t he?

Swift: Well...aren’t we all? With him it’s childlike.

There’s this kind of childlike energy about Ed, because

he’s got such an amazing imagination, and

that’s so fun to be around.

MC: What do you consider to be the general tenor

of the album? It seems to take you into more

of a mainstream pop direction than you’ve gone


Swift: The album has 16 songs on it, and to say

that it’s eclectic would be pretty dead-on because

track-to-track there’s nothing that sounds like anything

else on the record. It was definitely an opportunity

for me to push the limits and paint with

different colors. I try to operate on an emotional

basis, which to me meant taking the general emotion

I was feeling, writing lyrics that I felt depicted

it and choosing production that I felt painted the

picture even more.

So if you are dealing with a really chaotic emotion,

like “I Knew You Were Trouble,” I wanted it to

be a chaotic, intense, emotional sounding song. I

wanted it to match the lyric.





5'*&67,&8 ! ),&01*&1-(







MC: Is there anything that felt completely left

field to you on Red?

Swift: I think that there are so many influences

that I have. I am such a music fan, and that’s why

you see me doing collaborations with B.o.B. and

then the next month doing a collaboration with

the Civil Wars and T-Bone Burnett for The Hunger

Games soundtrack. I love getting to be a part

of this musical world where it’s possible to learn

from people like that or from, say, Max Martin or

Dann Huff. I feel like, at 22, I’m still very much

a student of music and on my way to where I’m

going to end up someday. But along the way it’s

really fun to take risks because you look at some

careers and you see people make the same album

twice, and I never want to do that.

Swift Guest Spots

Taylor Swift has four albums of her own, but here’s

five key appearances she’s made outside of those:

MC: You have a tour coming up in 2013. How

are you approaching that?

Swift: I am so excited to see what songs the fans

I try to operate

on an emotional

basis, which to

me meant taking

the general emotion

I was feeling,

writing lyrics

that I felt depicted

it and choosing

production that I

felt painted the

picture even


like the most because that’s the first step. We always

see which songs are really the passionate

songs and the ones the fans are freaking out over

the most, and those are the ones that are definitely

in the set list. And, of course, you know the

tour will be a big representation of this record. But

you know it will be really amazing to see which

ones jump to the forefront.


“Two is Better Than One” (2009),

a Top 20, platinum hit on Boys Like

Girls’ 2009 album Love Drunk.

*“Half of My Heart” (2010) with

John Mayer for his Battle Studies

album, which peaked at No. 25 and

went gold.


“Breathless” (2010), a cover of

the Better Than Ezra song that

Swift contributed to the Hope For

Haiti Now benefit album.


“Safe & Sound” (2012), a collaboration

with the Civil Wars for

The Hunger Games: Songs From

District 12 And Beyond.


“Both of Us” (2012), a Top 20

release from B.o.B.’s Strang


MC: You’re mixing up arenas and stadiums

again. Do you have a preference?

Swift: Well, I like for it to be big––as big as possible.

I just want to be able, in this economy, to

make a show that will be entertaining enough to

warrant the fans leaving their house, spending

their evening with me, parking their car, waiting

in line, maybe buy a T-shirt. I want them to be

so happy that they decided to spend their time

with me––I think that’s my biggest objective. And

the element of surprise is still really important

in a concert, and showing scenes and images

and visuals that are magical. I really like to take

people to a different world and change things up

constantly, never showing them too much of the

same thing too many times in a row.

Contact Claudine Ottinger,

46 December 2012

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December 2012 47






First Off...

Learn the Industry: “Know the basics––how labels, managers and agents work, what a sync placement is, the ins and outs of publishing,

etc. Stay on top of changes, new technologies, new deals and the major players in the industry. Knowing the industry will help you

navigate your way and will show your label/distribution partner that you’re serious.”

—Heather Badower, Marketing Director, BFM Digital

Jan. issue

Benny Blanco

Think positive: “All you can do is your best to

adapt and make music. I wake up every day

thinking, ‘I’m never going to make another good

song.’ It’s a constant struggle for everyone. You

have to stay positive and think how you can keep

up with what’s going on.”

—Benny Blanco, producer-songwriter

(Ke$ha, Maroon 5) Sept.


“Some of the best songwriters aren’t really

strong musicians, and some of the best

musicians aren’t strong songwriters. At some

point I realized I had to get away from piano. I’m

not as proficient on guitar, and I thought, ‘Maybe

that’s a good thing.’ So to this day, I write mostly

on guitar.”

—Greg Wells, songwriter (Kelly Clarkson, Adele,

Katy Perry) Jan.

Branch out: “The people who stick around

in this business are the ones that don’t have

one particular sound. Producers who focus on

writing classic records, classic melodies and

the pure structure of a song [will survive]. Those

with the gimmicky themes will wash out.”

—Rico Love, producer (Fergie, Skrillex)


Discuss money: “If you can come to an

agreement that suits everybody in the band,

you’ve set a foundation for creatively moving

forward. Difficulties often come when there is

a principal songwriter in the band, leaving any

non-songwriting members wondering what

they’ll earn if any of the songs become hits.”

—Robbie Gennet, songwriter, author


Trust the kids: “A lot of producers are quick

to write-off an 18 or 19-year-old’s opinion on a

song. But I embrace it. I’ll trust an 11-year-old’s

opinion before I’ll trust a 40-year-old’s, because

kids have some sixth sense about what works.”

—PJ Bianco, producer (Jonas Bros., Demi

Lovato, Metro Station) Nov.

Your final career choice: “[Songwriting] is one

of the hardest ways to make a living, and I don’t

recommend that anyone do it if they have some

inkling of a ‘Plan B.’ … Most of my career has

been a complete commercial failure. There were

spikes if something would make money for a

label or a publisher, but these huge valleys of

not making money would go on for years.”

—Greg Wells, songwriter Jan.

48 December 2012

Make time for life: “This last year I did the least

amount of sessions since 2006, when I became

a full-time songwriter. But I had as many, if not

more, cuts and more singles on the radio than

ever. I think it’s because I gave myself time to

live a life. I had more to write about.”

—Evan “Kidd” Bogart, songwriter-producer


No more auto-tune: “As songwriters, it’s always

melodies. A couple of years ago it wasn’t cool.

Everything was auto-tuned and had the attitude

of being dark and cool. Now pop is coming

back. Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ is piano and

vocal and it’s a huge hit.”

—Carl Falk, songwriter (Nicki Minaj, One

Direction) July

Dare to be bad: “I’m a big fan of first thought/

best thought...You have to turn off the part of

your brain that is shrieking in protest at every

little thing that it perceives you’re doing wrong

or is derivative or bad in some way. If you write

something bad it’s not the end of the world.”

—Jonathan Mann June

You don’t have to be an expert: “All I know is

that I love the almost naïve approach I have to

writing a song, as opposed to someone who’s

had training. I don’t know every technical aspect

of songwriting, I can’t read music, but I can hear

things in my head, and I’m not over-analyzing

the song process because of technicalities.”

—Ladyhawke, recording artist April

Find a way to connect: “A

company can’t sit around

a table and say how they

can make people like you.

As an artist, you have to

emotionally connect. It

can’t be manufactured. It

can’t be put together in a

boardroom. That has to

be by virtue of the fact that

the music really connects

with people.”

—Amanda Palmer






Practice songs

until near-perfect

performances are

the norm. Tune and

repair all instruments

and gear. Determine

the aesthetics of the

sound you want to



To narrow down

potential studios, talk

with other bands and

do research online to

hear engineers’ final


Study songwriting: “What songs move you

so much that you listen to them or play them

hundreds of times? Examining songwriters will

help immeasurably in your own songwriting

progress. Familiarizing yourself with an everwidening

variety of chords and changes will

give depth to your songwriting.”

—Robbie Gennet, songwriter Nov.

Photo by Andrius Lipsys

same page: Talk

to engineers about

their taste in music

and recording, and

provide examples

of sounds you’d

like to emulate.

Determine personal

compatibility with


: A

low-pressure singlesong

demo for a

webpage allows you

to evaluate a studio

in action without

committing to a longterm


In The Studio

Choose a producer wisely: “[A

producer] you can communicate

well with is more important than

the gear they have. I would say

Steve Albini can do things with

a four-track that a lot of homestudio

owners that spent 50, 60

thousand dollars cannot achieve.”

—Adam Knight, AKAudio


Get the right headphone mix:

“You should hear yourself well

and not feel ‘crowded’ by the

volume of other instruments.

If needed, try the ‘one ear off’

technique; leave the headphone

off one ear to hear your voice

acoustically in the room. The

type of mic chosen and the

mic’s placement should match

rather than alter your voice and it

should capture your best sound.”

—Jeannie Deva, vocal coach


Behind the Glass


Make mistakes: “Every young

engineer should spend at least

three months just working on

4-track so they get to learn how

to make decisions. If you make

a wrong one, it doesn’t matter.

You’re not performing life-saving

surgery. Mistakes can be good.”

—Ken Scott, producer-engineer

(the Beatles, Pink Floyd) Jan.

Believe in others: “If you care about

manifesting [an artist’s] vision, you have to

jump into the trenches with them. And when

you connect on a deep level, you feel like you’re

living again. When you believe in people, it goes

beyond the music; it goes beyond the art.”

—Danny Jacob, composer (Phineas and Ferb)


Be a therapist: “There’s always that point when

an artist decides that they don’t like a song

anymore. They’re being irrational. They really

like the song but they’re stuck. You’ve got to be a

therapist and a strategist. Sometimes you have

to go to another song and then come back to it.

Other times you have to say no [to a break] and

stick to it. For [Katy Perry’s] ‘Teenage Dream’ we

rewrote the lyrics seven times.”

—Benny Blanco, producer-songwriter

(Ke$ha, Maroon 5) Sept.

Less is More: “[Producing] takes a lot of

listening, a lot of practice and trying not to do

too much to a mix. I still do new stuff on different

mixes all the time. Figuring out what [a mix]

doesn’t need is more important than what it


—Colin Leonard, mastering engineer

(Kimbra, Wale, Justin Bieber) Oct.

Respect the artist’s music: “You’re not there

for your individual sound. You’re there to shape

something for the artist and, more specifically,

for that particular album. … Sometimes it might

be a big, heavy layered thing, other times it

might be sparse. Ultimately it’s the artist that’s

going to live and die by the album. It’s about

what they want.”

—Joe Chiccarelli, producer

(Frank Zappa, the White Stripes) Feb.

Get a manager: “Many producers and mixers

who are red-hot say, ‘I don’t need a manager.’

That’s exactly when you need a manager,

because you need someone to keep feeding

the logs into the oven, the coal into the steam


— Joe D’Ambrosio, Joe D’Ambrosio

Management Inc. May

Don’t crush your mixes: “The bane of

mastering engineers is that people bring in

mixes that have been crushed with an L2

or some converter that takes away all of the

dynamic range. That’s one way to make it loud,

but it also kills the vitality.”

—Pete Doell, mastering engineer

(Adam Lambert, Frank Gambale) Oct.

December 2012 49



Practice speeches: “Speeches from the stage

should be treated as a part of the performance.

I am constantly amazed at seeing the most

natural, gifted and articulate stage performers

come up to an open microphone during a break

in the performance and talk utter drivel. Or a

lead singer making an impassioned speech,

only to have the drummer and bass player

launch into the next song halfway through the

speech, completely drowning her out. Every pro

band I work for has this kind of planning on their

set list.”

—Andy Reynolds, tour manager


Vocalize: “Why practice the hell out of your

instruments and leave the harmony vocals

to chance? Big mistake. Figure out who your

singers are in the band and put them to work.

Song ideas may develop from that. If someone

is not a singer but can manage some group

choruses or shouts, put them in the mix but

know their limits. Everyone in the band can be a

better singer than they are today.”

—Robbie Gennet, songwriter, author


Watch yourself: “The first step in rehearsing

the ‘show’ is for you to watch yourself in a mirror

while practicing or, even better, film yourself.

You can set up a Flip, iPhone or video camera,

then perform your set—either in rehearsal or

at a show—and film it. Do not watch the tape

immediately after you have captured it, however.

Wait a couple of days or even a week. Then sit

down (with the rest of the band if you are not a

solo performer) and watch. If you find it painful

to watch your own show, then think about

how your potential audience will view your


—Andy Reynolds, tour manager


Look ‘em in the eye: “When in rehearsal, set

up in a circle so that everyone has eye contact

with everyone else. The singer(s) should be

standing opposite the drummer. This positioning

prevents the sound from the drums being picked

up by the vocal microphones; drums are loud

enough anyway without the vocal microphones

amplifying them through the PA. Other band

members should then complete the circle, bass

players being next to the drummer and brass or

string players being next to the vocalist.”

—Andy Reynolds, tour manager


Audition your rehearsal studio: “Budget

studios have budget equipment; you will often

find that the high-end frequencies are missing

from the PA speakers. This is because the

components that produce those frequencies

have been destroyed through misuse or lack

of maintenance. Without the high-end in the

speakers, there will be no vocal clarity. This

means you will not be able to hear yourself sing

very well, and you will often end up shouting or

overstretching your voice, limiting your potential

rehearsal time, and maybe causing permanent

damage to your vocal cords.”

—Andy Reynolds, tour manager Aug.

DJ Performance

Tim Martell Oct.

Be Different: DON’T sound like other DJs.

Don’t be afraid to test waters and play some

“off the wall” tracks as long as your crowd stays

dancing. Being unique makes you memorable

and separates yourself from the herd.

Singing Tips...

...From vocal coach Jeannie Deva Sept.

Easy on the consonants: “Emphasizing most

consonants [when singing] will cause disruptive

pops and hisses. Think of your consonants

as needing the same amount of air as their

accompanying vowel sounds. Vowels are the

sounds of your voice, consonants are the

rhythmic articulators.”

Find your mic: “Which model you use will

either enhance or detract from the sound

of your voice. Mics are designed with their

own sound personality. If the mic doesn’t fit

the personality of your voice, you can

unconsciously tense up throat

muscles in an attempt

to compensate for the

electronic alteration.”

Know how to angle

the mic: “If you sing

into a mic from a

wrong angle, your

voice will be only

partially amplified.

Important tonal

characteristics will

be lost. Sing into the

center of the nose of

your mic––not the side

or across the top of it.”

Think Big or Go Home: Don’t sell yourself

short. Undercutting is frowned upon in the DJ

community. Many people won’t even hire you if

you lowball yourself. Go into every gig negotiation

with guns blazing; you will gain respect

from your peers and potential clients along the


Make Friends: If you are looking to work at

a club, you should get to know all of the staff,

including the doorman, the manager, the music

director and the owner. And make sure THEY

KNOW YOU! These folks are the gatekeepers

to future gigs.

Performing Live

Engage your fans: “Anyone in the music

business today will tell you that fan engagement

is one of the most important pieces of the

puzzle. Your fans are essential advocates,

and mingling at shows, interacting online and

developing relationships with them is one of

the most important things you can do to grow

your career. It’s also something that your label,

distributor, or promoter can’t do for you. Fans

want to hear from the artist, not someone

marketing the release.”

—Heather Badower, marketing director,

BFM Digital Jan.

Stop trying to make it big: “Start

trying to enjoy it more and realize

that it’s not about tomorrow. It’s

about today pretty much all of

the time. The most important

thing is I’ve got a gig tonight

and there’s nothing more

important than that.

People say, hold back

on your voice because

you’ve got another gig

tomorrow. I don’t worry

about the one tomorrow.

I worry about the one


—Ricky Wilson,

Kaiser Chiefs


Tyler Bryant

& the Shakedown


50 December 2012

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This is a free service


December 2012 51


Give your fans something a little extra:

“Perform free or low-cost ‘after parties.’ This

extends the show experience and rewards the

true fan. These can be promoted along with the

show, and even offered as a part of the ticket

package. Of course, you have to have fans to

begin with for this to work.”

—Bobby Owsinski, author, engineer Feb.

Focus your tour: “A lot of bands will form and

think they need to travel as much as possible.

Our approach was to travel our home state,

Ohio, and maybe a little outside of that. We

didn’t really promote the smaller shows. We

would show up at a venue and the goal was to

make friends out of those people rather than

bring existing fans. Then when we had one big

show, we put as much effort as possible into

promoting it and had people coming from all


— Josh Dun, Twenty One Pilots


Avoid booking splits: “I advise my clients to

avoid venues that demand a split.”

—Chris Fletcher, booking coordinator


Route the tour properly: “First, book an

‘anchor gig,’ one that pays most of your

expenses, like a festival, college gig or a fair

which can pay over $1,000 a performance.

Then, set up gigs to and from it. Consider doing

private parties, fraternities, sororities and house

concerts. Book every gig you can to make the

most of your time and mileage.”

—Chris Fletcher, Booking Coordinator March

Global Touring: “Don’t disrespect [another

country’s] culture. Be aware of it and learn

about it before you head out there. It will make

your experience more enjoyable and you will

gain more respect. The most enthusiastic fans

I’ve ever had were in Japan.”

—Bec Hollcraft, Stars In Stereo



More outlets than ever before: “The pipelines

are more open than ever in terms of the Web.

Anyone can follow you and buy your music

more easily than ever before using Facebook,

iTunes, Twitter, and music videos on YouTube.

However, it also makes it harder to stand out

among millions of other artists. That’s why

today’s independent artist has to be more

hardworking and clever than ever before.”

—Dan Merlot, placement specialist


Turn your van into

a billboard: “Park a van

or truck that has a banner

on it across from a show of a

similar act. Every fan entering

or exiting the venue will be

aware of you.”

—Bobby Owsinski

author, engineer


Make your contests worth something:

“The best contests ask [fans] to do something

creative instead of raffling it away. That’s fun.








)))*!"#$ G REAT %&'(("&*+,(

52 December 2012

Like, what about a contest where there was a

poster that you could print and fans had to put it

in a weird place and take a photo of it?”

—Pelle Almqvist of the Hives


The Label Grapevine: “Develop your fan base,

do as much as you can on your own and labels

will come looking for you. Usually a manager

Pelle Almqvist of

The Hives

who we have a relationship with or a record store

guy is [how we find artists]. That doesn’t mean

don’t send your music directly to a label. Send

something focused that you think will get your

point across. You don’t want to give the full-blown

picture. You want to create a bit of mystery and

make people want to dive in on their own.”

—Glenn Dicker, Yep Roc Records


Thinking Globally: “I get asked all the time,

‘Do you think our product’s going to sell

internationally?’ International is not one country.

Your product might not sell in Australia, but it will

in Europe. [You] can go on a territory-by-territory

basis. There are opportunities outside of the

United States. Life does not begin and end in

the U.S. and there’s money to be made.”

—Chris Callahan, Planetworks


Get Personal: “If you’re an artist today and

you’re not going to take a personal approach,

some other artist is going to out-compete you.”

—Steve Rennie, Renman Music and Business


Get a sponsor: “If you like a brand and use

it, find someone who can get that brand’s

attention. Explain why they need to sponsor

you, that your audience will buy the product.

Explain that you can sell the product by doing

promotional pieces, in-store signings or a

commercial. You will do video chats or create a

30-second spot they can run on the Web. It’s all

about remembering that you are doing this as a


—Brett Palmer, President/CEO, AbiJack

Management March

Give it away: “Don’t underestimate the value of

something free. Fans love free items, either as

part of a package (for example, buy a CD and

get a T-shirt free), part of a contest, or just being

one of the first five fans to email. Sometimes

items of seemingly little value have a wide

appeal. Backstage passes, seats on stage,

passes to the sound check, invites to a meetand-greet

and downloads of live songs are all

prized by real fans.”

—Bobby Owsinski, author, engineer




Compile a list of college radio stations:

“Target those that are within touring range. Go

to each station’s website to research shows

that might play your style of music. Most

December 2012 53


importantly, actually ‘listen’ to 10 to 15 minutes of

programming to make sure it suits your music.”

—Bernard Baur, professor, journalist May

Write a note: “I was looking at a CD this

morning and someone wrote, ‘Hey, I’m a big fan

of your show. I was listening last weekend when

you played blah-blah-blah.’ It was this personal

note. Even if this CD doesn’t look like something

I would listen to, clearly they have a sense of

what I like and what I listen to because they

listen to my show. Something like that will make

me give a record a second look.”

—Anne Litt, KCRW 89.9


No MP3s: “If you send me an MP3 and I like it

and play it on the radio, I’m the only one who’s

going to have a chance to play it on the radio.

But if you send me a CD in a jewel case, I can

give it to the music director and it gets added to

the station. It’s there forever and all the DJs get

to play it. Make sure the case has a spine.”

—Demolisten, KXLU


Film/TV Submissions


Send WAV: “Make sure to send WAV files

(no MP3s) for approval. No matter how many

times you explain to them that it’s an MP3,

they always get bothered about it sounding ‘too

compressed and lacking bottom end.’ Well, that’s

because IT’S AN MP3 and you’re listening to it

on COMPUTER SPEAKERS!!! Also, never send

a demo sample! Clients always say, just send a

Busking Tips

Andy Grammar


Work out a unique cover song, something

that everyone on the street will know. It’s

hard to grab attention with originals. If you

can get passersby to stop, your chances of

tips will double.

Once you have a crowd of 10+, make them

cheer: “Okay folks, on the count of three,

let’s all cheer to double this crowd!” People

are attracted to cheering.

Put love into your street stage. Small rug,

demo so I can hear how it’s coming along. So

you send a rough mix to them and the first thing

they say is, ‘It Sounds Like A Demo.’”

Pick the right contacts: “Make preliminary

calls to the music departments to see if they,

in fact, license music from outside contributors.

stool, TV dinner table with tablecloth. Little

touches make it seem more professional.

Play shorter sets. Limit yourself to 15

minutes and stop to sell CDs/clear the

move on.

It’s not them, it’s you. In other words,

listen to what the crowds tell you. If your

CDs aren’t selling, switch up your show.

Trust the crowd. It’s a great focus group!

Certain companies have exclusive licenses

with music libraries and are restricted in using

outside sources.”

Target music editors: “A lot times music editors

may temp in a piece of music and it will wind

up staying in the show as a final. It is good then

Post a free ad seeking musicians

Find jobs with working bands

Thousands have used

us since 1969!


Sterling Howard


54 December 2012

for editors to have your music at hand, so it’s

immediately available to be placed. In the past,

I’ve had a lot of success like this.”


BY DAN KIMPEL (author, educator) Sept.

Don’t butt in: “If five people are in conversation,

feel free to join them; four, sure, walk right up;

three, no problem. But beware: if two people are

engrossed in conversation, unless you know

them very well, it is never permissible to intrude.

Odds are, they’re discussing something private.

(Maybe even you!)”

Follow the 10-five rule for meeting and

greeting: “If you make eye contact with someone

within 10 feet of you, you must acknowledge

them with a nod or a smile. At five feet, you

should say something—‘Hello,’ or ‘Good evening.’

Don’t pretend you don’t see them.”

Be very conscious of your reaction to

alcohol: “For some, a drink or two can be very

helpful in assuaging anxiety, but nothing can be

more detrimental to creating a good impression

than being under the influence of demon liquor.

A wine spritzer––wine diluted with soda water––

may be a good compromise. Pace yourself.”

And Remember...

The Right Reasons: “Keep following your

dreams and start making it happen for yourself.

Do it for all the right reasons, because you

want to express your-self. And don’t do it for the

money because you’re going to be a rock star—

one percent of a million become stars.

“If you’re doing it for the money, go to school

and become a lawyer or open a business,

do something else, because if you’re trying

to become the next Godsmack or Pantera or

anything of notoriety, it’s probably not going to

happen. It’s a very hard thing to do.

“Do it for all the right reasons.”

—Scott Lee, Crimson Management



“Music Connection is

a valuable source of

music industry information.

I often refer

people to your Annual


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December 2012 55


Compiled by MC Senior Editor$%& ' ( $ )& ' * + , -$

Looking back at all the label debuts we covered in Music Connection in 2012, we cherry-picked the

following artists because each has a unique signing story, an essential perspective or insight, that can

benefit any artist, of any genre. For complete contact info on each of these artists or bands, including

management, booker or legal representation, just click on the act’s name.



Featured in every issue of Music Connection, our popular Signing

Stories give unique insights into how an artist or band came to

sign a contract with a particular label, publisher or management

company. These articles can help you in your own endeavors to gain

a contract in today’s ever-shifting music industry. Here we spotlight

a select few signings from 2012 that, regardless of the artists’

subsequent success, offered the best career advice.


Label: Contact: Web: A&R: NA

hinking of moving to hipster havens like Williamsburg

Tor Silver Lake? Well, think again. After New Jerseyans

Wesley Shultz and Jeremiah Fraites decided New York

City was too expensive to live as musicians, and too

competitive to be creative with their music, they moved to

Denver, CO, where they found a much more comfortable

environment and also recruited cellist Neyla Pekarek.

Generating a local buzz, the Lumineers self-booked an

extensive US tour in 2011 and self-released an EP. In due

time, they aligned with managers Onto Entertainment and

were soon signed to Dualtone Records. Singer-guitarist

Schultz has this to say of the band’s breakthrough success:

“Where we are now is attributable to our attorney,

Richard Grable, who has worked with Sonic Youth and

Interpol. It is essential to have an attorney who understands

independent music the way he does.” Schultz also

acknowledges the booking agent. “A booking agency

really spreads the word. It is so valuable. So many artists

think they can do that on their own, but they don’t know

how to be wary of certain contracts, certain clauses.”

l-r: Jeremiah Fraites, Wesley Schultz, Neyla Pekarek

56 December 2012


Label: Polo Grounds Music /

RCA Records

Contact: theola@sony


A&R: Bryan Leach

hen fellow Harlem

Wdenizen, RCA honcho

Bryan Leach, approached

Internet star A$AP Rocky,

the artist let it be known

he wouldn’t settle for

anything less than $1.5 million.

Amazingly enough, RCA blessed him with a

whopping reported mil advance. Similarly, he got

full creative control, isn’t bound by a 360 deal and

has his own label, A$AP Worldwide, under the

Sony umbrella, because he wouldn’t compromise.

“My advances go towards production and

the company,” avows the newly minted hustler.

“I’m not frivolous. I don’t spend money on shit,

acting like I’m balling. I’m not a baller yet.” Leach

made certain never to pressure the rapper. Instead,

he even facilitated rides between meetings

at competing labels like Atlantic, Universal and

Def Jam. “He wanted me to make it,” explains

the charismatic emcee, “regardless of who I went


Top 5 in all genres); but we’re

really taken with how Lynch

was able to develop a crucial

career bond with a sympathetic

manager. When the wannabe

performer moved to Nashville,

into a place behind the legendary

Bluebird Café, his open-mic nights

impressed the crew so much they

tipped off artist manager Pete Hartung,

who after watching a video

offered the young artist a management

deal––on a handshake.

Recalls Lynch, “He believed in me.

A lot of guys develop artists and

set up showcases. Pete already

had a relationship with Broken Bow,” which has

provided Lynch with a multi-album deal, tour support

and publicity. Lynch’s advice to other artists:

“Don’t ever give a dime to a manager or anyone

else trying to represent you. If they aren’t willing

to invest in your career, you don’t want to be

involved with them.”



Label: Sony Music

Contact: Heathcliff Berru


A&R: Drew McFadden / Will Larnach-Jones

hen it comes to signing her label deal,

WNorwegian electro-pop artist Mr. Little

Jeans, aka Monica Birkenes, credits the

Myspace craze from a few years ago. According

to the songstress, Sony Australia contacted

her via the site after checking out her profile.

Birkenes and her manager, Drew McFadden

(who she also met through Myspace), didn’t

take the interest seriously until Sony A&R

rep Will Larnach-Jones flew out to her thenresidence,

Stockholm, Sweden for her first

gig as Mr. Little Jeans. Birkenes adds, “A few

dinners, Skype and phone calls later and I was

on my way to being signed.” What MC likes

most about this Signing Story is the songstress’

emphasis on signing a deal only when ready.

Before the signing, she says, “I was concentrating

more on developing myself as a writer,

finding a sound that I wanted and hopefully

getting great songs together along the way.

The plan was always to have most things in

place before signing with anyone.”


Label: Island Def Jam

Contact: alexandra.

Web: http://bigkrit.


A&R: Sha Money XL

round 2009,


Jonny Shipes,

formerly with

Bad Boy, offered

rapper Big K.R.I.T.

(Justin Scott) a unique

deal—partner with him

for six months, free of

attachment, and see

what happened. “That was the first time somebody

offered to work for me for free,” marvels

the 25-year-old. Under Shipes’ tutelage, K.R.I.T.,

(King Remembered In Time), shot three videos,

including one for “King.” Soon, the joint was

dropping all over the ‘net, and drew the interest

of Sha Money XL, who’d helped make 50 Cent a

household name. Sha Money was impressed by

the reams of performance footage and the many

free, self-produced albums Scott had released

through his website, particularly K.R.I.T. Wuz

Here––proof that the artist could gain attention

without outside help. Sha Money then convinced

Scott to sign with Def Jam. Scott advises artists

to remain independent for as long as possible

and expose their early work, warts and all.

“People want to know who they’re buying into,”

he advises. “Normally, there’s no trail. But what

about when you weren’t super jamming or you

didn’t have the money to go into a studio?”


Label: Fueled By Ramen



A&R: John Janick, Pete Ganbarg

ere’s a solid career strategy that paid off:

HPrior to label interest, the Columbus, OHbased

piano pop/rock duo Twenty One Pilots

built a fan base playing dynamic shows that

drummer Josh Dun says are inspired by “vulnerability

and energy.” As their local buzz rose, the

duo kept their sites close to home. “A lot of bands

think they need to travel as much as possible.

Our approach was to travel our home state,

Ohio, and maybe a little outside of that.” They

were also careful to be strategic about what and

when they posted on Facebook. “We didn’t really

promote the smaller shows. We would show up

at a venue and the goal was to make friends out

of those people rather than bring existing fans.

Then when we had one big show, we put as

much effort as possible into promoting it and had

people coming from all locations.” It was at the

Pilots’ biggest show, at a sold-out 1,700-capacity

Newport Music Hall, at Columbus’ LC Pavilion,

that they announced their signing with Fueled By



Label: Hollywood Records



A&R: Matt Harris

family friend can sometimes be the key to

A a label deal, and that is the case with this

all-teen, all-girl rock squad. Cherri Bomb had a

great connection in former Hole and Motley Crue

drummer Samantha Maloney, as sisters Rena

and Nia Lovelis’ mother had been in a band

with Maloney years before. “Sam was in a band

called Chelsea Girls, had heard us and asked if

we wanted to open for her,” explains 14-year-old

lead vocalist Julia Pierce. “She saw our potential

and wanted to take us under her wing.” Maloney

was instrumental in getting the girls on a number

of prestigious European festivals, playing with

acts like Foo Fighters and Smashing Pumpkins,

proving they could hold their own in front of major

audiences. Explains Pierce, “Hollywood Records

wanted us to be on their team, and they treat us

like family.”



Label: EST/Bad Boy/Interscope

Contact: randy.henderson@



hough this Cleveland

Tnative had boldly stood

up P. Diddy when the

mogul had initially pursued

him, the two did meet

up later in N.Y.C., where

Diddy took Kelly (Richard

Baker) to a hotel to

meet Jimmy Iovine. Both

industry titans professed

their belief in Kelly, the

first-ever white rapper to

win at Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theater. “They

didn’t want to [mess up my project] and paint it

over with corporate bullshit,” he remembers, “plus

the fact that he took me to Jimmy Iovine so early

was crazy.” MGK snagged a $1.5 million advance

on a two-album deal that includes an imprint for

his crew.


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December 2012 59


Nikhil Korula Band

Nikhil Korula Band

Touring Band Get Impressive Results…DIY Style

By Brett Bush

The Nikhil Korula Band (NKB) have created a large fan base and a

successful career––including major gigs with national acts––primarily

as a touring band, and festivals are a significant part of that success.

How do artists get those festival gigs, and make the most of them?

“Number one is the music,” says the Los Angeles based singer-guitarist

Nikhil Korula, who dishes up a jammy blend of rock, reggae, calypso, African,

Latin grooves and more. “The second most important thing is promoting it.”

Korula emphasizes that the fans are the primary component; they allow his

band to promote the shows so strongly. “When I see other bands, I ask

myself, ‘Will people only see that band once?’ I don’t want audiences to see

us only one time. So I think it is important to have different song lists, and

different arrangements to keep fans entertained.”

The NKB have seen those fans turn out at many festivals,

including two appearances at Bonaroo in Tennessee,

as well as the annual Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI,

opening for Ben Harper.

Korula attributes the success of the band to the amount

of time the ensemble put into the details: rehearsing,

songwriting and arranging. While gaining their chops as a

band on the Los Angeles scene since 2003, working clubs

such as the Viper Room and House of Blues, Korula and

crew were also social networking. But not on Facebook

or otherwise in cyberspace. “Word-of-mouth is the best

way to gain new fans,” says Korula. “I want us to be the

most talented band onstage, but off the stage, the most

humble,” he adds. “We love to sign anything; t-shirts, CDs,

etc., and meeting the fans is such a great part of it all.”

Getting the festival gigs? Korula attributes it all to

the fan base. “Once your band is established on the

festival scene, by achieving an audience the promoters

will come to you. Ninety-nine percent of the success in

getting festival shows is due to the audience response.

Promoters realize that, and will continue to book bands that have a strong

audience turnout. It is up to the band to make them want to come back, with

your music and with your interaction.”

Because the festival circuit is seasonal, the band is not a full-time job

for Korula and company. Korula teaches songwriter and music production

classes at Los Angeles Music Academy in Pasadena. The other members

of the band are professional musicians who do session studio work in Los

Angeles, so the drill that they go through to be in the Nikhil Korula Band is

not unusual.

Korula’s role is much like that of a jazz band leader, or an orchestra

conductor. “I’ll pull songs out of the vault, and also create different arrangements,”

he explains. That ability to perform ona-dime

is key to the band’s dynamics, for the


percent of

the success

in getting

festival shows

is due to the



performers and for the fans. “If it’s not exciting for

us, it’s not going to be exciting for the audience.

I want people to come back, bring their friends,

and see a different show each time.”

The NKB’s organic nature led them to record

on all-analog equipment at Heartthrob Studios

in North Hollywood, CA, with Doug Messinger

engineering. “It is such a pure sound,” says Korula,

“and captures our music in a better way than

the current digital recordings can.”

The self-managed, self-produced act’s Music

of the New Day is available on iTunes and via

the band’s website,

Currently, the group are at work on a soonto-be-released

EP featuring Jeff Coffin and

Butch Taylor of the Dave Matthews Band.

Contact Nina Gordon,

60 December 2012



26 Yrs. Pro Attorney / 35 Yrs. Pro. Musician

Legal Expert:

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December 2012 61



By Dan Kimpel

How do you hotwire your songwriting and composing career in

a quick 15 minutes? If you plan on attending the 2013 ASCAP “I

Create Music” EXPO, April 18 - 20, in Los Angeles, CA, you should

know that among the noteworthy opportunities offered in this threeday,

career-boosting confab are One-on-One Sessions—face-to-face,

15-minute meetings between participants and pre-selected music industry


“This is the perfect opportunity to get feedback from a pro who could

conceivably help you with your career,” says Lauren Iossa, ASCAP’s

Senior VP, Communications & Media. “When people say, ‘If I could only

get 15 minutes with…’ then a One-on-One Session is their 15 minutes.

We try to guide them, and to help them to make the most of it.”

The EXPO, now in its eighth year, is three packed days of classes,

panels, workshops, performance opportunities and master sessions

with legendary songwriters and trending hit makers. Past guests have

included Quincy Jones, John Mayer, Ludacris, Bill Withers, Justin Timberlake,

Carly Simon, Jackson Browne, Randy Newman, Tom Petty,

Bruno Mars and Dr. Luke.

“Walking around the ASCAP EXPO must be like the ideal high school

experience,” marvels Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe winning, Hall

of Fame songwriter Paul Williams, ASCAP’s President and Chairman

of the Board. “I get very ‘Jiminy Cricket’ with this feeling that we’re all

attached, that we can make a living and create something as composers

and songwriters, and are now surrounded by people with that same enthusiasm.”

There are 500 One-on-One Sessions, requiring an additional $30

processing fee for EXPO participants, available on a first-come, firstserved

basis. Attendees specify with whom they would like to speak in

a One-on-One Session—i.e., a music supervisor, a record executive, a

songwriter, a composer, a music attorney or an ASCAP executive. There

is a limit of one Session per person. Every year they have sold out.

In its EXPO guide, ASCAP explains the process of aligning the

participant with a corresponding industry counterpart: “If you want a

session, you will have a chance to answer questions about your Session

preferences. The answers you give will be used to match you—as best

we can—to an industry professional. We can’t honor specific industry

professional requests or requests for specific times. A week before the

EXPO, you will be emailed a tentative session time, day and name of the

industry professional you are likely meeting with. At the EXPO when you

pick up your badge at registration, you will be given your session time

and the name of the industry professional that your session is with. Short

biographies of the person you are meeting with can be found in the EXPO

Program Guide.”

At the Session, attendees can choose to ask questions, create a dialogue,

or to play music for feedback and critiques. Matching attendee to

mentor is done by the questionnaire, according to Iossa. “This is not a

random matching. We ask, ‘What type of career advice do you need?

What feed-back? To what level do you aspire?’ Then we work to match

the registrant to the appropriate industry guest.”

"When people say, ‘If I could only

get 15 minutes with…’ then a Oneon-One

Session is their 15 minutes."

—Lauren Iossa, ASCAP

It is also an ideal opportunity, urges Iossa, to meet ASCAP staffers and

songwriters who bring a wealth of experience and contacts to the sessions,

“These include board members and ASCAP executives in membership;

typically, heads of the genre areas. They have very broad knowledge, so

they’re often the perfect people to guide songwriters and composers to

whom they should be meeting, both at the EXPO and outside the event.”

For her One-on-One Session, singer-songwriter Neara Russell tells

MC that she requested a meeting with a music publisher to determine

if the songs from her CD Noise and Silence would be suitable for film

and television placements. She was paired up with publishing executive

Mark Friedman, who’s currently Senior VP of Creative for Verse Music

Group, and a former executive at RSP and Chrysalis Music. “I came it

An EXPO attendee poses a question to legendary

songwriter and performer Desmond Child.

62 December 2012


attendee plays

his music for


Jason Silberman

at a


Session. It

was one of 500



held at the

2012 event in



with specific questions, and two or three songs, that I especially wanted his thoughts on. Mark

ended up listening to my whole album, skipping through each track, and he gave me really good

feedback,” Russell recalls.

Defining herself as an electro-pop indie artist, Russell says that she was interested to know if

her music might be “too out there” for placements. “My mentor was really supportive,” the artist

recalls. “He said that to be unique in licensing is a really good thing and he encouraged me to keep

writing and developing my own sound.”

Russell says that one of the over-arching themes of the EXPO is the power of genuine music.

“And that the more original and well-defined you are, the easier it will be to find a place for yourself.”

Paul Williams concurs: “Let us hear who you are. Be authentic.” His experiences with the Oneon-Ones

are first hand: he was an ASCAP board member with whom EXPO registrants could

meet in these sessions. “Once you get that dialogue going, and sit across from someone and get

them to think about their work and their career as something very fluid—instead of defending the

choices that have been made—you can have a meaningful discussion.”

L-R: Ari Levine, Bruno Mars and Philip Lawrence—aka

production trio the Smeezingtons—at a panel Q&A.

Personal contact is key as synchronicity and spiritual serendipity are signposts along the

songwriter’s journey. “I will always tell people that, in my life and in my profession, opportunity

walked up to me in shoe leather and created expansion,” Williams recalls. “By collaborating with

one other human being, you can double the chances of meeting someone who is going to be

important in your career. To walk into a room full of your peers, you are immediately expanding

with every working relationship.”

The ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO, Williams believes, can provide that boost. “We’ve got a real

list of success stories, people who have met publishers and collaborators and have walked away

with something that has led to a real turn in their careers.”

EXPO registration is now open. The event welcomes all songwriters, composers and industry

professionals, regardless of performing rights affiliation.

Find out more about the EXPO at Hear Neara Russell at

December 2012 63

Music Connection is dedicated to helping unsigned and DIY artists get their music noticed, free of charge. Each

New Music Critique score is based on the merits of production, lyrics, music, vocals and musicianship. An average

of those scores is then calculated and posted. MC invites all unsigned recording artists to send us material in 2013

by first checking out our “Get Reviewed” area at the all-new completely revamped

Compiled by Mark Nardone and Andy Mesecher

Mike Sullivan



Seeking: Label, Mgmt, Booking, Film/TV

Style: AC, Singer-Songwriter

Username: mikesullivan

Nicole Goddard

weet, smooth and spot-on, Mike Sul-

"Crazy" has "hit" written all over


it. The singer wastes no time getting to

the hook and deploys his falsetto at just

the right times in a way that will leave the

ladies smitten. Sullivan's "man in love"

persona thrives again in the equally radiofriendly

"Just One Kiss"—what a pure, clean

voice this performer has, a blue-eyed-soul

instrument with wonderful sustain that

recalls Mayer, Mraz and Johnson at various

times. His lilting, uke-fueled cover of '80s

nugget "Lady in Red" is a smart choice.

Music Connection’s executive committee rates recorded music on a scale of 1 to 10. Number 1 represents the lowest possible score, 10 represents the highest

possible score. A final score of 5 denotes an average, competent artist.

64 December 2012







Username: beatkeeper




Username: thefeud




Username: kyliehinze




Username: shannonlabrie

9.0 9.0 9.0 9.0





Contact: anthony.grand


Username: alus




Username: joe hash




Username: Morgan





Username: Noah Gabriel

8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4



In order to be considered for review in the CD Reviews section, you must have a record deal with a major label or an independent label with an established

distributor. If you do not, please see our New Music Critiques section.

Lupe Fiasco

Food & Liquor II: The Great

American Rap Album Pt. 1

Atlantic Records

Producer: Various

Conscious hip-hop. That’s how most

people categorize Lupe Fiasco. But

you won’t find a “go out and vote” or

an educated elitist rapping on this, the

second installment of the Food & Liquor

series. Instead, Lupe brings back Ayesha

to set the stage for 16 tracks that plead,

“Wake up and make a difference.”

Those who felt the message was lost in

the pop-driven Lasers should give this

deeply-detailed piece of art a few spins

(specifically “Around My Way,” “Bitch

Bad” and “Unforgivable Youth”). As

Lupe proves once again, hip-hop can be

about more than just bouncing your ass

on a greasy pole—like anti-establishment,

world peace and chivalry. Wayne, Drake,

and the like should take note.

——Andy Mesecher



Epochal Artist / EMI

Producer: Various

Armed with a refreshed attitude borne

out of their newfound freedom from

label encumbrance, the aptly titled

fifth LP from these nu metal melody

smiths marks a new era for the band.

Featuring fuzzed-out guitars and deft

instrumental interplay, the disc brims

with primo grade hooks, most notably

on standouts “Livewire,” “Bring It” and

“Strength In Numbers.” The downside

is a creeping superficiality, where the

persistently mediocre lyrics fail to elicit

a core emotional response. The unavoidable

truth is that we’ve been here

before and also had it better. Look past

elitist critiques, though, and you’ll experience

a deviously catchy, high-voltage

collection that will inevitably find you

singing along.

——Andy Kaufmann

Neal Schon

The Calling

Frontiers Records

Producer: Neal Schon

Eric Dill

Forever Is Not Enough

Vigil Records

Producer: Various

Between The Buried And Me

The Parallax II: Future Sequence

Metal Blade Records

Producer: Jamie King, BTBAM

Neal Schon’s melodic guitar playing has

helped make Journey one of the most

successful bands in history. The Calling

has some of his most vibrant playing to

date. It’s a blend of rock fusion with lush

production, epic textures and stellar

guitar tones. He gets help from drummer

Steve Smith and keyboard legend

Jan Hammer. The title track combines

thick multi-tracked riffs, swirling melodies

and Schon’s idiosyncratic guitar

style. “Irish Field” offers Celtic melodies,

while “Fifty Six (56)” takes us to India

where tabla meets rock-fusion drumming,

sitar and wah interplay. This CD

demonstrates that Schon has still got it.

His signature style remains intact, while

the years have broadened tonal palette

and artistic vision. ——Oscar Jordan

Former lead singer of teen pop heartthrobs

the Click Five, Dill left the group

in 2007 presumably hoping for greener

pastures. This first solo full-length offering

from the handsomely chiseled

crooner tries to will that garden into existence

but instead things mostly wither

on the vine. The album’s radio-targeted

ditties are sprinkled generously with

hummable phrases and grin inducing

moments, yet every stretch of sweetly

expressed emotion is soon weighted

down by a bumpy patch of syrupy

dross that will needle jaded eardrums.

Maybe there’s a market for this brand of

elegantly packaged, blow dried ephemera,

but it’s a struggle envisioning an effort

this nonthreatening birthing a star.

——Andy Kaufmann

Since 2002, BTBAM have released an

album just about every two years. However,

with their 2011 release The Parallax:

Hypersleep Dialogues being the first in

a two-part series, we have now reached

The Parallax II: Future Sequence. This

band are like nothing you’ve ever heard,

and everything you know at the same time.

While prog-thrash-metal-surf-psychedelicclassic-jazz-acoustic,

slightly defines their

sound, it doesn’t begin to categorize the

soundscapes of this record. “Astral Body”

keeps listeners guessing the down beat

while “Bloom” takes die-hard fans to the

beach with a subtle surfer vibe—but no

track should be ignored. Like previous

records, The Parallax II honors the idea

of an album: 72+ minutes of spacey metal

serenity. ——Andy Mesecher ——Andy Mesecher

Brian Eno


Warp Records

Producer: Brian Eno

Colbie Caillat

Christmas In The Sand

Universal Republic

Producer: Various


King Animal

Seven Four Entertainment/

Republic Records

Producer: Adam Kasper

How does one determine a successful

ambient album when it’s not measured

by incredible hooks, infectious choruses

or engaging lyrics? Ambient music

has the sometimes impossible task of

moving you mostly just by letting you be.

And yet, it can’t do nothing, because then

you feel as if you’re hearing nothing; and

that can’t be good, can it? Can it? What

if it were the nothing, between the reverb

on the tenderly massaged piano and

the soft voice of a stringed-synth, that

moved you? Simultaneous movement

and still life. This is why Brian Eno has

had a venerable history providing music

for installations, be they in airports, art

galleries, and so on. This is why Lux is

his best “ambient” work in years.

——Daniel Siwek

The pop songstress may declare

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in a charming

duet with Gavin DeGraw, but otherwise

she’s all super-sunshiny and Cali-centric

as she offers Christmas to the millions

who live in climes without the glistening

treetops. Particularly playful is

the notion of “Santa in his bathing suit,”

taking a break from his duties on the title

track. While many will focus on Caillat’s

appealing duets with Brad Paisley,

Justin Young and Jason Reeves, what

stands out is the cool, free-flowing way

her dusky vocals interpret secular classics––and

the songwriting strength

of the four originals which fit snugly

alongside tried and true songs that are

somehow fresh through her sunswept


——Jonathan Widran

A dose of urban angst mixed with a touch

of lyrical genius, King Animal proves

that grungy rock isn’t just a ‘90s phenomenon.

Kim Thayil’s explosive, resonating

guitar licks (“Blood on the Valley”)

and lyrics imbued with explorative, philosophical

wisdom (“Bones of Birds”)

exude a fresh, mature sound still branded

with Soundgarden’s trademark

rhythmic-grunge feel. Chris Cornell’s

throaty, dreamy vocals vividly expose

a thoughtful array of inner tribulations

and anxieties, marked by cryptic and

insightful acoustical undertones (“Black

Saturday”). The electric-groovy lead

single “Been Away for Too Long” testifies

to their unique grunge roots, while

celebrating the band’s thriving rock &

roll revitalization. ——Danica Bellini

68 December 2012


TOP !"#$#%"&#'(!&$")$*+,*





Username: birthmarc





Username: honacostello

8.2 8.0




Username: pattym




Username: jessarae

8.0 8.0


Contact:, 267-978-3195


Username: brodyman




Username: justincarlson

8.0 8.0




Username: cathercist





Username: monksofmellonwa





Username: eitch




Username: noam weinstein

8.0 8.0




Username: ellisashbrook





Username: pk





Username: bobbofallenstar




Username: Swaré

8.0 8.0




Username: fools for rowan




Username: tneptune14

8.0 8.0




Username: fulcrum




Username: young dev

8.0 8.0

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: There is absolutely no charge for a New Music Critique. We critique recordings that have yet to connect with a label or distributor. To be

considered please go to and click on “Get Reviewed.” All submissions are randomly selected and reviewed by committee.

December 2012



In order to be considered for review in the CD Reviews section, you must have a record deal with a major label or an independent label with an established

distributor. If you do not, please see our New Music Critiques section.

Lupe Fiasco

Food & Liquor II: The Great

American Rap Album Pt. 1

Atlantic Records

Producer: Various

Conscious hip-hop. That’s how most

people categorize Lupe Fiasco. But

you won’t find a “go out and vote” or

an educated elitist rapping on this, the

second installment of the Food & Liquor

series. Instead, Lupe brings back Ayesha

to set the stage for 16 tracks that plead,

“Wake up and make a difference.”

Those who felt the message was lost in

the pop-driven Lasers should give this

deeply-detailed piece of art a few spins

(specifically “Around My Way,” “Bitch

Bad” and “Unforgivable Youth”). As

Lupe proves once again, hip-hop can be

about more than just bouncing your ass

on a greasy pole—like anti-establishment,

world peace and chivalry. Wayne, Drake,

and the like should take note.

——Andy Mesecher



Epochal Artist / EMI

Producer: Various

Armed with a refreshed attitude borne

out of their newfound freedom from

label encumbrance, the aptly titled

fifth LP from these nu metal melody

smiths marks a new era for the band.

Featuring fuzzed-out guitars and deft

instrumental interplay, the disc brims

with primo grade hooks, most notably

on standouts “Livewire,” “Bring It” and

“Strength In Numbers.” The downside

is a creeping superficiality, where the

persistently mediocre lyrics fail to elicit

a core emotional response. The unavoidable

truth is that we’ve been here

before and also had it better. Look past

elitist critiques, though, and you’ll experience

a deviously catchy, high-voltage

collection that will inevitably find you

singing along.

——Andy Kaufmann

Neal Schon

The Calling

Frontiers Records

Producer: Neal Schon

Eric Dill

Forever Is Not Enough

Vigil Records

Producer: Various

Between The Buried And Me

The Parallax II: Future Sequence

Metal Blade Records

Producer: Jamie King, BTBAM

Neal Schon’s melodic guitar playing has

helped make Journey one of the most

successful bands in history. The Calling

has some of his most vibrant playing to

date. It’s a blend of rock fusion with lush

production, epic textures and stellar

guitar tones. He gets help from drummer

Steve Smith and keyboard legend

Jan Hammer. The title track combines

thick multi-tracked riffs, swirling melodies

and Schon’s idiosyncratic guitar

style. “Irish Field” offers Celtic melodies,

while “Fifty Six (56)” takes us to India

where tabla meets rock-fusion drumming,

sitar and wah interplay. This CD

demonstrates that Schon has still got it.

His signature style remains intact, while

the years have broadened tonal palette

and artistic vision. ——Oscar Jordan

Former lead singer of teen pop heartthrobs

the Click Five, Dean left the

group in 2007 presumably hoping for

greener pastures. This first solo fulllength

offering from the handsomely

chiseled crooner tries to will that garden

into existence but instead things mostly

wither on the vine. The album’s radiotargeted

ditties are sprinkled generously

with hummable phrases and grin

inducing moments, yet every stretch

of sweetly expressed emotion is soon

weighted down by a bumpy patch of

syrupy dross that will needle jaded eardrums.

Maybe there’s a market for this

brand of elegantly packaged, blow dried

ephemera, but it’s a struggle envisioning

an effort this nonthreatening birthing

a star.

——Andy Kaufmann

Since 2002, BTBAM have released an

album just about every two years. However,

with their 2011 release The Parallax:

Hypersleep Dialogues being the first in

a two-part series, we have now reached

The Parallax II: Future Sequence. This

band are like nothing you’ve ever heard,

and everything you know at the same time.

While prog-thrash-metal-surf-psychedelicclassic-jazz-acoustic,

slightly defines their

sound, it doesn’t begin to categorize the

soundscapes of this record. “Astral Body”

keeps listeners guessing the down beat

while “Bloom” takes die-hard fans to the

beach with a subtle surfer vibe—but no

track should be ignored. Like previous

records, The Parallax II honors the idea

of an album: 72+ minutes of spacey metal

serenity. ——Andy Mesecher ——Andy Mesecher

Brian Eno


Warp Records

Producer: Brian Eno

Colbie Caillat

Christmas In The Sand

Universal Republic

Producer: Various


King Animal

Seven Four Entertainment/

Republic Records

Producer: Adam Kasper

How does one determine a successful

ambient album when it’s not measured

by incredible hooks, infectious choruses

or engaging lyrics? Ambient music

has the sometimes impossible task of

moving you mostly just by letting you be.

And yet, it can’t do nothing, because then

you feel as if you’re hearing nothing; and

that can’t be good, can it? Can it? What

if it were the nothing, between the reverb

on the tenderly massaged piano and

the soft voice of a stringed-synth, that

moved you? Simultaneous movement

and still life. This is why Brian Eno has

had a venerable history providing music

for installations, be they in airports, art

galleries, and so on. This is why Lux is

his best “ambient” work in years.

——Daniel Siwek

The pop songstress may declare

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in a charming

duet with Gavin DeGraw, but otherwise

she’s all super-sunshiny and Cali-centric

as she offers Christmas to the millions

who live in climes without the glistening

treetops. Particularly playful is

the notion of “Santa in his bathing suit,”

taking a break from his duties on the title

track. While many will focus on Caillat’s

appealing duets with Brad Paisley,

Justin Young and Jason Reeves, what

stands out is the cool, free-flowing way

her dusky vocals interpret secular classics––and

the songwriting strength

of the four originals which fit snugly

alongside tried and true songs that are

somehow fresh through her sunswept


——Jonathan Widran

A dose of urban angst mixed with a touch

of lyrical genius, King Animal proves

that grungy rock isn’t just a ‘90s phenomenon.

Kim Thayil’s explosive, resonating

guitar licks (“Blood on the Valley”)

and lyrics imbued with explorative, philosophical

wisdom (“Bones of Birds”)

exude a fresh, mature sound still branded

with Soundgarden’s trademark

rhythmic-grunge feel. Chris Cornell’s

throaty, dreamy vocals vividly expose

a thoughtful array of inner tribulations

and anxieties, marked by cryptic and

insightful acoustical undertones (“Black

Saturday”). The electric-groovy lead

single “Been Away for Too Long” testifies

to their unique grunge roots, while

celebrating the band’s thriving rock &

roll revitalization. ——Danica Bellini

68 December 2012

December 2012 69


Rodello’s Machine

Room 5 Lounge

Los Angeles, CA

Contact: Curtis Smith, Maelstrom PR,


The Players: Kolby Knickerbocker, guitar,

vocals; Nate Donnis, guitar, vocals; Melissa

Barrison, violin.

Username: rodellosmachine

Material: The perfect music for those who like to

breathe, relax and enjoy the community of one

another, Rodello’s Machine capitalizes on the

same form of expression that has made Wilco

and Mumford and Sons so successful. No drums

or bass, so if you’re in search for a dance party,

this may disappoint. The dynamic range of the

material is better than many bands of greater

amplification. The beauty of the simple approach

is to utilize the power of quiet, delicate moments,

allowing the more passionate to be all the more

emotional and moving. Nate Donnis cannot escape

some overwhelming similarities to Dave

Mathews, especially for those who knew Mathews’

music of the mid-early ‘90s. Indie folk/rock may

be the genre “stamp,” but “good music” is most

accurately where Rodello’s Machine belongs.

Rodello's Machine: Utilize the power of quiet, delicate moments.

Musicianship: Every member proves his or

her musical ability by contributing to the illusive

blend. From the initial moment of sound, the three

musicians are all part of the same musical and

emotional stream. The result is complete ease

and comfort. Nate Donnis’ rich and husky baritone

demonstrates both power and vulnerability.

His moments of falsetto show the only tinges of

weakness and could use some time and attention

to take to “perfection.” Guitar playing is

impressive and enjoyable with both Donnis and

Kolby Knickerbocker. The latter, aside from one

lead feature, sings impeccable harmony. Melissa

Barrison’s violin adds what at times seems a

symphony, proving attention to the movement

within each piece, and the role she plays. A brief

feature also displays her lyrical ability––as well

as sense of humor––rocking the intro to Guns N’

Roses’ “Sweet Child of Mine.” All three players are

a joy to experience.

Performance: Despite the “unplugged” format

and the peaceful mood of the music, Rodello’s

Machine showed the ability to entertain and

excite. A sincere effort to connect and engage

with the small club atmosphere was made. At

times the banter felt forced and unnecessary,

specifically Knickerbocker’s explanation about

why none of the players were wearing shoes. By

the end of the 45-minute show, however, Knickerbocker’s

personality and sense of humor had

completely won the audience over and set a communal

tone. The peaceful smile of Donnis was the

perfect balance, and in the end, the non-musical

“stuff” seemed to work out in the band’s favor, as

opposed to distracting from the beautiful music.

Summary: Rodello’s Machine create simply good

music for those who enjoy the beauty of a song

with melody and organic life. Whether to enjoy the

allure of nature or the darkness of a dive bar, this

high-touch, heartfelt music perfectly complements

the struggles and victories of us all.

––Tim Reid, Jr.


Luella and the Sun

The Basement

Nashville, TN



The Players: Melissa Mathes, vocals; Joe

McMahan, guitar; Adam Bednarik, bass; Jon

Radford, drums.

Username: luella and the sun

Material: In Nashville, there are women who

sing rock and there are women who sing country,

but there are far fewer who sing the blues,

especially with the impassioned rawness of Melissa

Mathes. The frontwoman, who created a

spark in Nashville with her own name long before

the formation of Luella and the Sun, has a voice

that drives the band’s neo-soul sound into some

feverish, bluesy jungle territory with an emotional

resonance that borders on disturbing.

Luella and the Sun: Material made of outlaw country, blues and timeless soul.


Musicianship: With equally seasoned bandmates

(Adam Bednarik plays bass with experimental

Nashville singer-songwriter Cortney

Tidwell), Mathes has a strong backbone to her

timeless voice that includes Bednarik’s dark and

moody bass, McMahan’s ornery, blues-oriented

licks and Radford’s versatile rhythmic upkeep

that can go wherever it needs to—from heavy

and tribal to languid and caressing.

Though Mathes’ vocal temperament changes

tirelessly and resonates with old-timey magnetism,

McMahan, Bednarik and Radford can

reach back to some early 20th century influences

in country, blues, rock, and soul and modernize


Performance: McMahan, Bednarik and Radford

channeled their energy through their fingertips

and conjured a dark, feral instrumental bedlam.

Mathes had her hands free, and used them to

push out and accentuate her lyrics. It was hard

not to watch the soul singer exclusively, who was

bewitching both in stage presence—dancing

around with a variety of tambourines and shakers

as props—and with a voice that alternated from

cowering and helpless with a miserable Billie

Holiday-type appeal to sharp as a dagger and

sensually disarming.

The Basement, as its name suggests, is a

dank hole in the wall that worked in Luella and

the Sun’s favor. Poorly lit, the stage played along

with the brooding disposition of the band’s ninesong

set that included Blind Willie McTell’s “We

Got to Meet Death One Day.”

Summary: Luella and the Sun’s musical

canvas is rife with the darkest hues of multiple

genres. There are smatterings of outlaw country

brooding, the misery of blues out of the Deep

South and the ache of an ageless, timeless soul

influence. There’s no readymade name for the

music Luella & the Sun make, but it translates

into one of the most captivating—love it or hate

it—live shows in Nashville.

——Jessica Pace

GET YOUR ACT REVIEWED: See Please DO NOT mail a package; we no longer accept them.

70 December 2012



Gibson Amphitheatre

Universal City, CA




The Players: Koshi Inaba, vocals; Tak

Matsumoto, guitar; Shane Gaalaas, drums;

Barry Sparks, bass; Takanobu Masuda,

keyboards; Yoshinobu Ooga, guitar.

Material: B’z are the biggest band under your

radar—in 24 years, they’ve sold over 75 million

records in Japan but are unsigned in the US.

Renowned for their constantly evolving stadiumfriendly

sound, B’z are meant to be seen and

heard. Their early work is hopelessly ‘90s, with

synths, saxophones and Flashdance flavors;

their modern music is more chord-churning rock

anthems that sometimes wander into funk or

blues territory (always with the keyboards).

Musicianship: B’z wouldn’t be B’z without Tak

Matsumoto, a master of guitar and a Gibson

Signature Artist. His instrument looks like a toy

in his hands as he demonstrates his classic

rock skills with bits of solos, crafting notes out of

thin air, rocking his foot over various pedals and

working the whammy bar at whim. He’s assisted

by backup guitarist Ooga who plays those pesky

repetitive bars so Tak can shine. The two slip a

few riffs of Led Zepplin’s “Dazed and Confused”

in the middle of “Negai Ai.” The guitars wail and

cry, but bassist Barry Sparks—yes that Barry

Sparks—balances it out.

On drums is Canadian-turned-Californian

Shane Gaalaas, each beat sounding concussive,

as if someone is smothering a missile impact with

Red Undead


Santa Ana, CA

Contact: Mary Yanashima,


The Players: Mary Yanashima, vocals; Thomas

Monroe, guitar; Daniel Jun, drums.

Username: red undead

Material: The most optimistic music observer

might describe the music of Red Undead as

potentially interesting. Despite many reasons

to completely disregard the material, elements

of solid songwriting do appear throughout. The

style of the music is fun, energetic, passionate

rock with a spunky female attitude. Signs of

quality influences shine through in songs like

“Summer Girl” where the Pretenders come

to mind. One can’t help thinking of goofy ‘80s

singer Julie Brown––fun energy combined with

a squeaky female voice. This music wants to be

taken seriously, though, and lyrically there are

moments of true potential. “Broken Butterfly,” for

instance, seems like it could be a beautiful piece,

but the poor execution of the melody completely

undercuts any value. With some serious attention

to melody, the songs could stand strong.

Musicianship: Red Undead proves that musicianship

does not come quickly or easily to

anyone, and must improve if anyone besides

close friends and family will pay money to attend

a show. Drummer Daniel Jun and guitarist

Thomas Monroe have some familiarity with their

instruments, but must grow as a team. Monroe

proves the most experienced, as he keeps the

songs moving forward with some decent hooks

and a passable solo or two. Together, the two

B'z: Twenty-four years of infectious, heavy Japanese rock.

a pillow; while an impressive effort, it overpowers

the low tones of the bass. On the higher register,

the keyboardist keeps busy, adding piano or

synth flavors to recreate the band’s changes in

sound over the years.

Performance: With the Los Angeles stop being

the last on the tour, singer Koshi sounded a little

strained, but proved that he could still launch and

project his voice from his normal, slightly nasally

register to a full rebel yell.

They chose to sing several live staples

like “Ai no Bakudan (Love Bomb)” and “Ultra

Soul” in English to promote a recent Englishlanguage-version

iTunes release. However,

the majority of the audience was Japanese, so

perhaps they should have stuck to singing in the

original renditions. It was disorienting, even for

American fans that memorized the Japanese

choruses years ago. That said, B’z played a

Red Undead: Energetic rock with a spunky attitude.


wide representation of their discography, from

the 1990 single “Easy Come, Easy Go!” to the

2012 hit “GO FOR IT BABY -Kioku no Samyaku-.”

Koshi even played the echo game with fans

during “Juice,” as per tradition. They tacked on a

two-song encore at the end.

Koshi bounded all over in fits of aural joy, but

it was actually more entertaining to watch the

synchronization of audience members, singing

their hearts out with waving arms.

Summary: It’s really impossible to be bored at

a B’z concert—the energy is infectious and holy

hell do they rock. They are one of the best live

bands Japan has to offer, even without the huge

venues and budgets for pyrotechnics and confetti

usually at their disposal.

——Jessica Aves

players must create a bigger sound without a

bass player—part of that is accomplished by

being one unit—and for the audience not to be

pulled in different directions by either performer.

As it stands, every member of the band is in

his/her own world, which results in a chaotic and

painful experience. Lead singer Mary Yanashima

should spend some time learning how to incorporate

melody into the dramatic elements of the

material. There are brief moments where it is

clear she is not tone deaf, so if she builds on that

and invests in some vocal and ear training, the

overall package will improve dramatically.

Performance: The performance of Red Undead,

and specifically Mary Yanashima, is what gave

that glimpse of hope and potential. There is

a raw, unique and fearless energy that, when

harnessed and combined with some musical

skill and savvy, can result in a compelling experience.

That said, she is also clearly new at

this and looks a little lost or confused amid all the

running around and dramatic movement. It was

apparent that an inspired effort was put into the

physical aspects of the show. Along with refining

her voice, Yanashima must take breath control

into account. Due to all the huffing and puffing

from her physical exertion, at least half of the

lyrics were lost.

Summary: Red Undead is new to the music and

performance world, and every member would do

well by working on his or her craft, as well as

collectively spending some hours solely on the

musical elements. The band’s fire and unique,

raw energy shows true potential. In a year’s time,

this might be a show to see.

––Tim Reid, Jr.


December 2012 71



The Joint

Los Angeles, CA

Contact: Drew Zaragoza; siniclemusic@


The Players: Drew Zaragoza, guitar, vocals;

Justin Miller, bass, vocals; James Gepner,

drums, vocals.

Username: Sinicle

Material: This young L.A. rock trio tries to carve

out a space for individuality while also being

firmly planted in the field of the amped-up metal

shredders and head-bangers. The obvious influences

of Pantera or System of a Down, etc.

are balanced briefly with rare moments of vocal

melody and alt-rock songwriting a la Sublime or

Soundgarden. The majority of the musical space

is used for instrumental jamming, seemingly

scripted but often yearning for that killer hook or

theme that will be memorable. The vocals seem to

come as an after-thought to the jam, which some

may argue is a condition of the style.

The song with the most vocal contribution,

“Obliterate,” is a potential anthem, but the vocals

don’t quite command authority or crispness,

and it lacks a specific identity due to multiple

thematic sections. This is a common thread in

the material—several thoughts strung together

without a clear focus of the primary objective of

each song.

Musicianship: As all are aware, the metal world

is not to be taken lightly. The band display a

great deal of musical ability but are lacking the

experience it takes to fully master and demand

the attention of everyone in a room. Drew Zaragoza

on guitar demonstrates solid leadership

and potential star-power with his shredding solos.

No Regrets Coyote

The High Watt

Nashville, TN



The Players: Danny Herrmann, lead vocals,

guitar; Steve Mage, guitar, vocals; Tom Oakes,

bass; Ian Bush, drums.

Username: no regrets coyote

Material: Rather than listen to slop punk records

of the ‘70s and then simply regurgitate it onstage—

as is customary for many young Nashville acts—

the still-in-the-process-of-breaking-into-the-scene

No Regrets Coyote draw on wiry early punk,

but also revert back to their own coming-ofage

decade, the ‘90s, to create a different type

of nostalgia with their slipshod hybrid. One part

high school/shabby garage rock and one part pop

punk from 15 years ago, the theme here is not

genre but volume, which is turned way up.

Musicianship: It doesn’t matter how much

lead singer-guitarist Danny Herrmann jumps

around onstage or how many times he climbs

an amp; as high energy as No Regrets Coyote

are sonically, they aren’t reckless as players. Ian

Bush, who appears to be the elder of the group,

is a seasoned drummer who brings an articulated

beat to the songs. Steve Mage’s guitar playing is

grizzled but stylized.

As imperfect as the overall sound may be,

NRC get there through a calculated playing style.

The sloppiest aspect of the band is Herrmann’s

appropriately guttural vocals that come from the

depths of his throat and a CD collection circa


Sinicle: Energy and showmanship that shows great promise.

Justin Miller, playing “lead bass” as one must do

in a power-trio, does so competently and James

Gepner is no slouch on the drums—often a workout

just to watch. Together they have moments of

brilliance and one-ness, but these are sprinkled in

among periods of “not-quite-locked-in.” As in any

style —but particularly in this one, the difference

between those we know and love and the rest

is in the microscopic tightness that produces

dynamic power and strength.

Performance: The energy and showmanship of

Sinicle is another area that shows great promise.

There is a command and comfort level on stage,

a look and feel that musters excitement. The

set at The Joint was short, and the venue rearranged

some things at the last minute, which

happens, but the guys were able to roll and rock

through it. All three looked like they’re still growing

into their stage personas. With a committed effort

to increase togetherness and connect with an audience,

that progress will continue.

Summary: Sinicle is a young group of dedicated

rockers. The energy and musicianship indicates a

passion to improve and grow. With more attention

to song crafting, emphasizing the hook, and some

real work on defining and improving the vocalists

role, this trio will take metal to the next level.

No Regrets Coyote: High-decibel pop-punk performed with somewhat-reckless abandon.

Performance: There was hype, even early in the

evening, because Nashville’s Diarrhea Planet,

known by any local to put on an unapologetic

mess of a punk rock show, was set to play the

second set. Roughly 40 and counting gathered

for No Regrets Coyote and bobbed their heads

vivaciously—in Nashville speak, that means good.

On either side of an exuberant Herrmann, Mage

and Oakes were comparatively stationary, though

no less into it. Mage in particular, eyes shut and

head moving in a funny Justin Townes Earle-type

way, was completely enthralled with the frets of

his guitar and fun to watch.

Uptempo as the show was, NRC weren’t trying

to see how fast they could play; the emphasis fell

on playing as loud as they could, which the High

––Tim Reid, Jr.

Watt accommodated well. All in all, it was a trip

down memory lane paved with pop punk, visiting

early Jimmy Eat World, Weezer in their prime and

Superchunk at their rowdiest.

Summary: No Regrets Coyote are only reaching

back as far as their childhood for a dose of nostalgia,

and it feels pretty good. Fun, youthful and

achieved with somewhat-reckless abandon, it’s

nice to see a bunch of kids barely of drinking

age, if that, revive the stuff they grew up on, jump

around onstage and hey—play their instruments

well. If you’re into rock when it was hard, if you’re

into the various designs it took in the 1990s, and

if you like it messy but not too messy, take note.

——Jessica Pace



72 December 2012



Arlene’s Grocery

New York, NY



The Players: Duane Okun, guitar, lead vocals;

Chris Grzan, guitar; Lou Panico, bass, vocals;

Thomas Stratton, drums.

Username: socratic

Material: Performing songs primarily from their

new, self-titled release Socratic marks a new

era for this rock group. After the demise of their

label Drive-Thru Records, Socratic have once

again grabbed the reins with a brand new album,

new shows and a renewed faith and optimism.

This is a band that has a tight grasp on what

makes a winning hook, not only in the chorus

but also within the instrumental lines. Their lyrical

content demonstrates a clear understanding of

contemporary culture expressed with passion and

humor. “Curtain Call” draws you in immediately

with its lone guitar intro; an uptempo song about

love lost with a silver lining: “I’m left with me and

my need to believe. It’s a wonderful life after all.”

A song from an earlier release, “May I Bum A

Smoke,” although on the surface appears to be

an ode to pot smoking, has a deeper message

our inescapable need to find personal inner

peace, relaxation and freedom in a world that is

demanding and relentless.

Musicianship: The core group have been together

since their teenage years so there is a

certain level of comfort and connection. Duane

Okun’s solid voice delivers straightforward,

unembellished vocals suited to his brand of storytelling.

Lou Panico, the group’s bassist (covering


Howl at the Moon

Universal City, CA

Socratic: A group who instinctively know what makes a hit.

some ground for their missing keyboard player

Vincent D’Amico), renders a number of bass lines

that at times sounds more like lead guitar. Chris

Grzan on guitar and Thomas Stratton on drums

round out the band’s sound, adding rhythmic

strength and texture.

Performance: Socratic took the stage with the

poise and confidence of any band making the

rounds on late night television. Lead singer Okun,

slight in build with a soft spoken demeanor, fronted

the band with an understated but honest delivery.

They are not what one would call exhibitionists

but rather relied on the strength of the music with

its catchy hooks, strong lyric content and overall

appealing vibe.

There was a small amount of between-song

banter, sometimes more among themselves than

directed toward the audience.

Summary: Socratic’s primary success revolves

around trust in the music itself coupled with the

band’s respect for one another. The final proof in

the pudding—the totality of their package. They

instinctively know what makes a hit and are tuned

into current trends, infusing their songs with a

unique perspective. Their ups and downs as

a band are typical of an industry that is volatile

and unpredictable. Having had the privilege of

working with some winning producers, exposure

performing around the world and great songs, it

begs the question “what’s missing?” The answer—

another big break!

––Ellen Woloshin




The Players: Quinton Marcel, lead vocals;

Steven J. Robinson, drums; Max Benson,

bass; Kramer Ashburn, lead guitar; David

Amezaga, keyboard.

Username: I4AI

Material: I4AI are a self-proclaimed pop/rock

boy band with an edge. While missing the classic

three-part harmonies that usually exist in the

genre, they live up to this title with hints of R&B

delivered by Quinton Marcel’s voice and the edge

coming from Kramer Ashburn’s distortion petal.

Pre-recorded beats and effects help to diversify

their sound, but the four-piece band do most of

the heavy lifting. With a mixture of pop/rock and

R&B, I4A1 sound like a combination of Gavin

Degraw and Ne-Yo.


Musicianship: Marcel’s voice is versatile and

powerful, perfect for a gritty rock song as well as

the many soulful falsetto riffs that fill his original

pieces, such as “Beauty.” The band hold their own

with Robinson taking drum solos, using unique

beats and a percussion synthesizer pad that does

a lot to give the group a sound that is not strictly

rock & roll. I4AI use Max Benson’s complex bass

lines and David Amezage on the keyboard to fill

in the cracks, as well as to add color and texture

to the songs. On occasion Amezaga and Ashburn

add a harmony or double the melody line.

Performance: If the show could be summed up

in one word, it would be “energy.” This quintet

were bursting with confidence and charisma from

I4AI: Self-proclaimed pop/rock boy band with an edge.

the minute they got on stage. Marcel used this

self-assurance to literally dance his way through

the set; engaging with the crowd and promoting

the group while making the performance look


The band members were dressed in suits

and ties, a uniform that added to their confident

attitude, and their energy worked off one another,

allowing for no awkward moments within the

set. The songs were well executed with some

minor issues, such as Ashburn’s distorted guitar

line over-powering the other instruments and

the audience barely being able to hear the prerecorded

fills meant to be present in the songs.

Summary: I4AI are a young group of talented

musicians with masterful performance skills and

a set list that is just plain entertaining both visually

and acoustically. With the removal of some of

the six cover songs and the introduction of more

original pieces, the band can start to establish

a unique identity, their own sound. With more

intentional use of pre-recorded material, less

over-bearing distortion and further development

of an original vision, I4AI have the makings of

something altogether distinctive.

––Karen Emmert

December 2012 73

74 December 2012

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What do Adele, John Mayer, Maxwell,

Simon LeBon, Art Garfunkel, Nicki

Minaj and Roger Daltrey have in

common? They’ve all experienced the difficult

and frightening reality of having to cancel

performances or tours because of voice

problems. Besides the emotional trauma of

potentially long-term voice loss, the financial

consequences of canceled performances affect

a whole lot of people, including managers,

agents, merchandisers, venues, roadies and

their families. All because of the tiny, pennysized

pieces of tissue called the vocal folds.

What’s a lead singer to do? Enlist the help of

your manager––make him or her your ally in

the challenge of staying on the road and off

the operating table.

Your manager may think of you, a touring

singer as an instrumentalist without the inconvenience

of extra cartage and tech costs,

but the fact is that singers carry the most fragile

equipment of all: the vocal folds. I call the vocal

folds “the gold” of the whole operation. It doesn’t

matter how great your songs are, if no sound

comes out, you’ll have to put the tour to bed.

Almost all of the lead singers in bands I coach

come to me with similar concerns: vocal fatigue, a

battle for high notes, neck grabbing, hoarseness,

tension or grabbing sensations in the neck, and

an overall sense that they’re not singing correctly.

Now of course, there’s no substitute for good

vocal technique such as knowing how to stand

(posture), how to breathe and support, and how

to create projected sound without squeezing

the vocal folds. But the problems lead singers

experience is often exacerbated by the dynamic

of the members of the band. It’s just so easy for

instrumentalists to “turn up,” not realizing that

there’s a real limit to the volume singers can

or should produce. Also, a guitarist who easily

replaces broken strings may have trouble “getting”

that vocalists can’t replace their damaged vocal

folds in the same way.

Recently I had a well-known rock singer come

to see me mid-tour, terrified that with each show,

his voice was degrading steadily with increasing

pain. Besides working on vocal technique with

him and creating vocal health strategies, including

nebulizer use and teaching him “laryngeal massage,”

I got the manager to attend our sessions.

The manager then becomes the primary advocate

of the singer––not just representing the band to

the world but representing the singer to the rest of

the band and road crew.

So how can the lead singer impart the

importance of protecting the band’s “gold” (the

vocal folds) without sounding like a whiner?

Here are some tips to pass on to your manager

to make sure that your band’s name is in the

headlines because of your amazing success and

not embarrassingly linked to “vocal problems.”

Dear Manager:

By Lisa Popeil

1.) Make sure the singer gets some vocal training and health

preservation strategies from an experienced voice coach before the tour

starts. A coach who is knowledgable about vocal physiology and

rehabilitation can be “The Hammer” for the group, imparting the

reality of the size and fragility of the vocal folds in strong, memorable


2.) Singers are greatly helped by dual, custom in-ear monitors. They

can make the difference between a solid tour or voice loss after one week.

Yes, they’re expensive but worth it. Every singer in the band should

have in-ear monitors. In addition, the vocal blend will improve since no

one will be blaring to sing over everyone else.

3.) Don’t over-load your singer with an intensive interview schedule,

and keep the meet-and-greets to a minimum. The more the singer talks,

the less rested the singing voice will be. Singers need a ton of vocal rest

to sound fresh. At minimum, two consecutive days of downtime are

required to get the vocal folds to recover from strenuous use.

4.) During rehearsals, if the singer asks the band to turn down, make

sure the band turns down. Instrumentalists often don’t understand how

difficult and destructive it is when a singer feels forced to sing “over” the


5.) No one sings well first thing in the morning, but the same goes for

speaking. Allow for a schedule where the singer has a chance to wakeup

before having to use his or her voice.

6.) Make sure your singer gets a lot of sleep. Vocal fold tissue does not

repair well on four hours sleep.

7.) If your singer needs temperature control in the dressing room—take

care of that. A dressing room that’s as cold as a meatlocker is death to

the vocal folds.

8.) Don’t let your singer get too chatty between shows. One of the best

(and funny) pieces of advice is, “Don’t use your voice unless you’re

getting paid for it!”

9.) Try to get a good sound guy (who can still hear) to add shine

(around 2400-3200 Hz) to the lead vocal so the sound carries better.

It’s like turning up the treble without turning up the volume.

10.) Arrange for a vocal exam prior to the tour with a local

laryngologist (voice doctor). Get a photo or video on record of the

singer’s vocal folds before there are problems. It’s called “getting a

baseline.” If the singer experiences voice loss or voice pain during the

tour and needs additional exams with laryngologists while traveling,

the baseline image can be used for comparison.

11.) Get a list of laryngologists in each city in which the act will

be appearing. A laryngologist is an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor

with additional training in the larynx. Especially desirable is a

laryngologist who specializes in “professional voice.”

miniBIO: Lisa Popeil, MFA in Voice, is a top Los Angeles voice coach, voice scientist and

researcher, contributor to the Oxford Handbook of Singing, a voting member of NARAS,

creator of the Voiceworks® Method, the Total Singer DVD and a new book Sing Anything-

Mastering Vocal Styles. Visit

78 December 2012

September 2012 21







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