Issue #15

independent.music.dedicated

October 2010

+ Alex Highton + Woody Russell + Francis Rodino + Kontrust + So What + Johnossi and more...

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Editorial

Note/Imprint:
50K MUSIC MAG (www.50kmusic.com) is mainly written and solely published by Mario Putzar, D-99947 Bad Langensalza, Contact: mario(at)50kmusic.de

Here it is, right in front of you, another issue of 50K MUSIC MAG again. If you'd like to support the MAG, please help me writing it. Because it's a very timeconsuming job. It would be very appreciated if I could get some more support from the community. Anyway I hope you have fun reading it. And of course, if you like the mag please spread the word. As you may have noticed the MAG has developed into a kind of reader's digest of 50K MUSIC's blog posts. So some of the articles in this mag you may have read already. One exeption in this mag is the cover story about Tim Bennett and the interview with him. The other artists spotlighted in this issue are Woody Russell, who brought me back to Blues, Francis Rodino, who released his new EP lately, So What, talked to them about their SXSW experience, Kontrust, who won the Amadeus Award, Angie Arsenault, with a new EP coming soon, Alex highton, who reached his goal on SellaBand last week and Johnossi, the first of my Swedish discoveries. So enjoy reading the MAG and please give me your feedback. Authors and topic suggestions are always welcome as well. Send your hints and suggestions to mario@50kmusic.com. Besides I'm still looking for correspondents who like to work for the MAG - get/keep in touch with local SellaBand artists, observing the (SAB) music scene and write articles/reviews/reports for the MAG from time to time. You should live in France, Germany, South America, Japan. So get in touch with me and we can talk about a collaboration soon. P.S. For those of you who prefer printing out the mag and read it offline I have added QR-Codes to some of the articles. So if you have a mobile phone which is able to read the code try out this new feature and please give me your feedback about it.

The parts of the MAG written by other authors are signed as follows: (AM) - Andy Marczak (CM) - Cecile Morel (CS) - Catself (Agnieszka Holm) - member of Talentcast team (CW) - Casee Wilson (FJ) - Fleur Jack - Kiwi FM (ps) - Pete Strobl - posts from his bottom-end blog (Lu) - Lucretia (NV) - Netvalar - Researcher Extraordinaire (PMcM) - Paul McMaster (MC) - Multicorriente - Argentinean magazine (RSV) - Ronny - Slim Void (sab) - posts, news, informations from Sellaband webpage (TC) - information from Talentcast webpage (Th) - Thor (UBG) - Utterly B Groovy (WM) - Wolfman Articles written by other authors do express the opinion of the particular author, not necessarily the opinion of 50K MUSIC. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be copied or distributed without the permission of the publisher. Copyrights of photos and pictures of artists used in this magazine are owned by the artists. Articles, feedback and suggestions are welcome. Please send them to my e-mail adress.

Friends of 50K MUSIC MAG are: www.sellaband.com www.multicorriente www.petestrobl.com www.talentcast.nl www.evolutioncoop.com www.knifelady.blogspot.com

mario@50kmusic.com www.50kmusic.com

This magazine is made with Scribus - www.scribus.net

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Johnossi ... 19 ... 4

Maitreya ... 5

Tim Bennett ... 6

Kontrust ... 16

AlexLille Mulder ... 8 Highton ... 9

Woody Russell ... 10 Trail ... 18

So What ... 14

In this issue
Editorial 2 Do You Want to Hear Any More Music? 4 "Sin City" Wins APRA Maioha 5 PSL Talks to Shout Out Louds 5 I Believe That Good Guys Can Win! 6 We've Put A Lot Of Love in This Record 9 Blues Is A Celebration 10 Far Away From Tiptoeing 14 We Have The Best Fans Ever 16 New Angie Arsenault EP Is Under Way 18 My Swedish Discoveries (1): Johnossi 19

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Do You Want To Hear Any More Music?
Francis: Not too different, although, I think the people who contributed to the EP fund were more hard-core fans. There is not misleading process of return on investment (like the SAB model was) so nobody can complain. For me there was a rhetorical question posed to my fans: do you want to hear any more music? And for some, the answer was "yes", so using Pledge was the way I could raise some funds for the project. 50K MUSIC: What are your plans to promote the EP? Francis: We are doing a big live show to mark the CD release (London, October 16th) . Other than that I have no plans to promote the EP. I've released it to my fans and that's the way I'm going to make music for now. 50K MUSIC: How can we support you? Francis: By coming to see us play at the launch show! Tickets here: (http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/user/?region= gb_london&query=detail&event=399508) - tickets aren't available anymore of course. 50K MUSIC: Will we see you on stage soon … in the UK? Francis: See above … and in the rest of Europe? Francis: I play when there's demand. If we had enough fans we could play anywhere! 50K MUSIC: And last question: Is there anything you'd like to tell your fans? Francis: My fans have heard it already. If you've contributed to the CD recording, than I thank you from the heart. If you haven't, come see a show.

He was definitely one of my favourite artists on SellaBand, although I joined SellaBand too late to invest in his first album "Circles & Squares". Btw, he is still one of my favourite artists. Yesterday Francis Rodino has released his new EP, again funded by his truest fans. I asked him a few questions - here are his answers ... 50K MUSIC: For all those, who haven't heard about you yet (in case there is someone at all), please tell us something about you. Where do you come from? What are your roots? Francis: Roots lie in New York, but grew up also in Italy and the last years have been in London. 50K MUSIC: Quite a while ago your album „Circles and Squares“ was released. What happened since then? Francis: Since then, I've been working with a new band lineup, playing less, but more larger scale shows in London, and of course, recording and releasing my new EP! 50K MUSIC: Your going to release your new EP on September 2. Are you satisfied with the result of your work? Please tell us something about the album production. Francis: It was produced by George Shilling and indeed was a very different product to Cirlces & Squares. We had a tighter budget and timeline so we made sure we were well practiced and basically recorded the band as it was. It's a very different sound to C&S, but it's also about trying different recording techniques and processes to see what you end up with. 50K MUSIC: You financed this EP again with the help of your fans on Pledgemusic. Was it different to your fan funding project on SellaBand?

www.francisrodino.com

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PSL Talks to Shout Out Louds
www.shoutoutlouds.com

About one week ago APRA celebrated New Zealand's premier song writers with the Silver Scroll at the Auckland Town Hall. And Kiwi Rapper Maitreya has won the APRA Maioha Award, the award that "recognises excellence in contemporary Maori music", with his song "Sin City".

"Sin City" Wins APRA Maioha

In April this year PSL (which stands for Per SindingLarsen I think), a SVT (Swedish Television) programme about music, chatted with Shout Out Louds about their plans to sing in Swedish and a crisis which peaked out in a band meeting last Christmas and how they emerged stronger than before. Sadly the interview is in Swedish, but you get an impression of their rehearsal room in a Stockholm cellar. And PSL recorded "Fall Hard" in a really unusual "cellar rehearsal room version": www.svt.se/psl

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I Believe That Good Guys Can Win!
He has done a lot of hard work to spread the word about his music over the last weeks - radio and online promo. His strongest and truest fans support him spreading the word. I have talked to Tim Bennett about the first single "Anybody" from his upcoming album "Miseducated" and his further plans ...

7 50K MUSIC: A few days ago you released the „Anybody“ video from your upcoming album „Miseducated“. It's got more than 1.000 views on YouTube within the first week. How do you feel with all this attention and support from your fans? Tim: It's been an incredibly rewarding experience to receive so much attention with the video. It did break the 1000 barrier within 5 days and it's now over 1247 in the first week! It seems that people are really enjoying the video and are passing the link onto their friends and families to watch also. If this continues then it might just go viral (a term given to youtube videos that grown exponentially through word of mouth) - fingers crossed it will do this. By the way the link to the video is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMOroEKExBM 50K MUSIC: Bambi Monroe, aka Taylor Horn, is starring in the video. Please tell us something about the work with her. Tim: Bambi aka Taylor Horn is a very talented American song-writer and singer and is building a loyal fan-base across UK, Italy and USA. Due to the constraints of the budget available for making the video, I could not afford a crew, camera-person, director, producer or actors. So I asked Bambi Monroe to help with the project. She not only helped me with filming but also co-directed and co-edited the video. She also offered to play the lead role of the 'Tragic Heroine' who is questioning her life. She hasn't really done many acting roles so it was interesting to see how she would cope with the role. As soon as I began filming I knew she had all the attributes of an actress and also a special chemistry with the camera. I was blown away and very very excited with the way she let all her emotions pour out. She felt a kinship with the role and I think it shows. 50K MUSIC: A while ago you have already written songs for Taylor. Please tell us something about this collaboration. Tim: I met Taylor / Bambi in London 2008 when she was visiting London to shoot with celebrity photographer Alan Strutt ( well know for pics of Madonna and Keith Richards amongst many others). She knew and liked my work with Civilized Tears and was eager to co-write some alt/rock style songs. Although she had worked with a few award winning writers in Nashville she wanted more edge to her sound. We clicked immediately, writing a huge amount of material on acoustic guitars. I introduced her to my industry colleagues including producer Steve Bush (Stereophonics). We spent a couple of days working with Steve in his studio in London on some new material which we still hope to re-work at some point. In 2009 Taylor and I recorded her first EP in England with the help of my band Civilized Tears who played rhythm and guitars. The EP gained the interest of a few publishers and BMI in London and was the beginning of a new writing team. One of the songs we wrote 'Tears' previewed on WAFB Television in Louisiana. We are now working on her second EP, to be released early 2011. 50K MUSIC: How did you find the executive producer for your video? Tim: The Executive Producer, Christian Schuett, has been a great supporter of my music both financially and motivationally, ever since he discovered my music on Sellaband in 2008. The relationship has become a very positive and industrious one and we have plans for more projects together in the near future. 50K MUSIC: What are your further plans with the single? Tim: I have just released 'Anybody' as the first single on Reverbnation which distributes to iTunes and Spotify amongst other on-line stores. The single will be available on iTunes within the next few weeks, perhaps sooner depending on their processing time. In fact, Black Rain was meant to be the first single but the video for Black Rain has been delayed due to scheduling reasons and so I decided to do a quick video for Anybody in the interim. The video was received with extremely positive feedback, including being picked up by various promotional sites and radio stations including award winning FEEDME MUSIC ( featured video of week) and COLLEGE UNDERGROUND MUSIC ( featured artist and video of week). I therefore realised that by default it had become my first single. 50K MUSIC: Let's talk about your upcoming album „Miseducated“. When will it be released? Tim: It is now in the printers and manufacturing process. So depending on this it should be available within the next 6 to 8 weeks. 50K MUSIC: What do you plan for the album release? Tim: At first it will be an on-line release coupled with an intense promo campaign that I will orchestrate from my laptop ! and with the help of my wonderful friends, supporters and fans. However, I am in talks with a company about a full media launch for the album in 2011 and I hope to do a UK and European tour in 2011. Fingers crossed ! 50K MUSIC: Most of the songs on the album we know already, I suppose. Or do you have a surprise in store? Tim: There are ten songs, some that you will know and there are few that will be new to most people. 50K MUSIC: Will we hear Taylor on the album too? Tim: She won't be on this album, although we have plans to record a song we wrote in the UK called ' Right from the Start'. It's an acoustic rock song which we'll probably record in Nashville. She may appear on the next album. Let's see? 50K MUSIC: What other plans do you have for the next few months – gigs, online activities, ...? Tim: Basically it's going to be a non stop promotional blitz! This includes daily updates on all my sites, news feed, blogs, (currently getting around 5-6,000 views a week on Myspace - which is meant to be dead but obviously there is a healthy pulse still beating there), social networking, video up-dates and filming new music videos for the album. I'm currently in talks with my team about the next music video which will be a step up from the Anybody video. It will be more elaborate and I hope to have a proper crew this time :) I've already got the rough script drafted and it's.......okay, I'm keeping that a secret for now. LOL My other immediate plans include strategic meetings with my

8 entertainment lawyer at Loeb & Loeb, more talks with my advisers and consultants, and this week I have meetings with potential manager/agents. I'm also talking to labels and publishers. Also, I intend to increase the radio exposure of my music over the next few weeks. I already have quite a lot of radio play going on at the moment both Fm and internet and this is thanks to 'fan-power'. I can't afford to pay a radio plugger yet and my fans, friends and supporters have been incredibly pro-active with getting the Tim Bennett name and music out there and I am so very grateful for their support. As I like to say - "there are no individual heroes in the music biz, it's all about the team effort." In addition, I'll be doing a live radio show on Reputation Radio in UK That is set for December 13th. They usually get a few million listeners so that will be interesting! 50K MUSIC: How can we keep on supporting you? Tim: Please forward the links to my video "Anybody": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMOroEKExBM and let's see if we can make it go viral - i.e get it into the 'thousands-of-views" category with word of mouth and forwarding it to everyone we know! Also, please just keep doing what you are doing and spreading the Tim Bennett name and music. And also please buy the album when it comes out and tell all your friends! Also if you have any friends who are DJ's on radio tell them about my music and let's see if they'll play it. It's a really old fashioned way to grow an artist's reputation but it stands the test of time! In addition, please leave requests asking Vicki Blight to play my songs Black Rain & Anybody on Absolute Radio's facebook page - or their discussion page http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=17208&uid=4 3384996273. 50K MUSIC: Do you think fan funding is THE way to finance an album? Would you go this way again? Tim: Fan Funding was perfect for this album and I'm really thankful to the team at Sellaband - the timing was great for me. I think fan funding could be right for the next album, but let's see when I get to that point. At the moment I'm thinking I might set up my own platform, rather than go through a third party, although I guess there will be a few twists and turns in the music industry landscape before then. 50K MUSIC: And last question: Anything else people should now about Tim Bennett? Tim: Ha ha - well I guess the most important thing is that I'm a very dedicated, hard-working musician always looking for the best solution in this minefield of an industry. I believe in team work, I believe in good ethics in business and I believe that 'good guys' can win! I also believe in taking chances in life and music and not being too safe with creativity. I am sure that "Inspiration comes from the risks and adventure of life". So Tim seems to be unstoppable now. And with the support of his fans his upcoming album will be a huge success, I guess. Keep on spreading the word and keep on listening to his music. "Anybody" video link Tim Bennett on Facebook

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We've Put A Lot Of Love Into This Record
50K MUSIC: Last Friday you reached your goal on SellaBand. How do you feel now? Alex: I feel good. Very excited. As I am perpetually skint it is nice to have some finance in place to move things on. 50K MUSIC: With 3,000 EUR you have a rather small budget available. What are your plans to spend this money? Alex: After converting into Sterling and the comission that will be paid to Sellaband I'll end up with about £ 2,000. Enough to print up the CDs I need, buy the masters from EMI and pay for PR. It's not much but it's enough. Just.......... 50K MUSIC: What kind of album can we expect, will it be similar to „Woodditton Wives Club“ or will it be completely different? Alex: "The Woodditton Wives Club" was recorded in my garage / shed / office on an old mac with a karaoke mic.

Alex Highton is my favourite artist - full stop. If you listen to his first album "Woodditton Wives Club" you will understand. Now his new album is on it's way...

This will be TWWC Mark 2. Some of the same songs, some new ones. All recorded properly on the best mic's with a good producer. The few people who own the original (and believe me it's not many) have told me the "lo-fi" feel of it is one of the things they love about it. We've been very careful to try not to lose the charm of the original whilst recording something of real quality. We've put a lot of love into this record. 50K MUSIC: What other plans do you have in mind for the next few months? Alex: Christmas in Italy. That's top of the list. Other than that I'm not sure. You'll be the first to know, I promise you that.

http://www.myspace.com/alexhighton

10

Blues Is A Celebration

About two years ago I "met" Woody Russell on SellaBand. I was immediately overwhelmed when I listened to the music from his album "Salt" then. A few weeks ago I remembered him and did a little research. And it was the right moment - he just released his new album "Up Against It" on July 23rd. Read what we've talked about ... 50K MUSIC: For all those who don't know Woody Russell yet (in case there is anyone), please tell us something about you. Where do you come from, what are your roots? Woody: I’ve been a musician since I was handed my first guitar at the age of 7 or so. I was born in Portland, Oregon but spent most of my childhood in Montana. I was a guitarcrazy music junkie and a ski-bum as a kid. There wasn’t much for musical opportunity in Montana, but I did get to spend my late teens around a great songwriter, Kostas, who went to Nashville and became a huge success. He had an amazing record collection. I learned quite a bit from him, watching from the sidelines, as it were. When I was 19 or 20 I moved to Seattle – the closest “big city” - to follow my own musical ambitions. I got in to that music scene right away, worked on the fringes of the grunge explosion, watched that come and go. I did my thing, played a lot of clubs and recorded a few albums – sort of anti-mainstream songwriter stuff (before that became popular again) - until I had an opportunity to move to

Austin with my wife in 2001. I’ve played thousands of gigs, big and small. I just released a new album called “Up Against It” on my own CUTS Music Group label and it’s doing very well, which I’m naturally very pleased about. 50K MUSIC: You started to raise funds for your album on SellaBand about two years ago, then you left SellaBand. Now you released your album in July this year. How did you finance it in the end? Woody: Both SellaBand and Slice-the-Pie were experiments, professional curiosities if you will, and almost entirely negative experiences for me as an artist. Though not all of the feedback was negative on either site, it was immediately noticeable, particularly on Slice-thePie, that the systems were not based on what I would consider to be professional feedback. In the case of Slicethe-Pie, it was clearly based on some variation of a peer-topeer voting system which truthfully amounted to a lot of competitive bashing from other artists. I wasn’t necessarily trying to raise any money to record a new album, I couldn’t take either of those sites that seriously within the short time I was active on them. But, I did want to see how the systems worked. SellaBand was financially strong for the first week or two though it stalled quickly. Slice-the-Pie, however, was littered with seriously negative feedback from “haters”, amateurs and people

www.woodyrussell.com

11 who like to bash others from the comfort of their online anonymity. It’s embarrassing, really, the kind of thoughtless “reviews” others would post. It was, for me, hugely negative. Any voting system in place that puts an artist’s music in front of an audience of listeners who are not at all familiar with a particular genre (in my casecontemporary blues) which then means those listeners are completely unqualified to make any judgment about the quality of one’s work is, at its core, totally flawed. Most of what the internet offers musicians as far as “professional feedback”, on not only these sites but hundreds of other services and schemes, is a lot of opinion and noise coming from sources that don’t have any initiative to develop the processes any further than collecting a submission fee. The premise under which Slice-the-Pie operates is a joke, with supposed “peers” evaluating/reviewing your music in order to deem it worthy of investment through some sort of voting scheme. SellaBand was simply too much of a “game” based on earning status within the site itself. The recording “deal” offered by SAB, the contract itself, was not respectable. SellaBand was taking a huge percentage from funds earned by the artist and, as reported many times, was very ineffective in using the remaining money to generate any kind of positive momentum for the artists they “signed”. It then went bellyup for a time; I haven’t taken a look at it since then. Personally, I had too much to do outside of the “virtual” financial systems of SellaBand and Slice-the-Pie, much more important work engaging and motivating my existing fan base through live shows and my own site, to be playing the SellaBand promotions game. Slicethe- Pie was over for me within a few days – a ridiculous waste of time. And it’s not only those sites that are faulty, there are many. Take for example Music X-Ray which has offered single song reviews for $150. Now, no matter how you look at that scheme, offered as a single song review from an A-list “industry professional”, it’s a rip-off. They offer other price points, of course, but the mere fact that those over hyped, over priced offers are listed should not be overlooked by aspiring musicians. Less savvy artists may not see that as an issue, but I see them as big red flags on certain websites. I think it represents something very corrupt about the new music business models, which are also struggling to survive, and I would warn any of my colleagues - until I was blue in the face- against paying $150 for a single song review. You’ve got online music business consultants charging extraordinarily expensive submission fees for feedback; it’s simply not smart business practice for any indie musician to engage financially with someone who has literally no idea who you are until you press the “buy now” button. Way too many scams exist to rip artists off, which is no different than how the traditional music business was thought to operate. Fact is, no new indie artist needs $50k to release an album. It can be done very effectively for one-fifth of that cost. CD sales are at an all time low – about to fall below the earliest reports on CD sales in the history of the product. Live music, however, is still magic stuff that audiences cannot dismiss so easily as your internet presence. If you are a great musician who can work the stage, you will survive. It’s easy to look and sound great on the internet, but a live performance is something that takes a lot of hard work to nail. Artists fall way short in their live shows as compared to their slick online representation. You see it all the time. That’s what I love about the blues, it’s still about playing live, it’s still about musicianship and respect. I believe the internet is a great equalizer for many independent musicians, but it is also a complete disaster in many respects. I am all for taking full advantage of the global promotional reach of the internet. The services and resources available for musicians are staggering in numbers, but the actual value of many of those services is negotiable. With respect to being a blues/soul musician, nothing can compete with getting out and playing the music live for your fans and potential fans. Internet radio, e-zines, blogs and such are valuable, but contests and other schemes can be really ineffective and expensive, particularly if you are an artist outside of the Pop genre. There are just too many distractions online for recording artists when the truly important job at hand is taking your music to people in a live setting. I don’t ignore, by any means, the value of my online presence, but I do try to refine my use of the available music sites to create a presence at appropriate sites that reflect my level of professionalism. Cover "Up Against It" - Photo: Manuel Nauta studionauta.com What I did with my “In Session Project”, perhaps subconsciously responding to those negative experiences with SellaBand and StP, was to create my own fan based funding system for my new album. I knew didn’t want to just open up a donation process of gathering funds, that didn’t feel right. I was compelled to offer something tangible in return for my fan’s advanced investments. Though I won’t go in to the details, I will say that through pre-sales I was able to generate funds to support the recording. I offered my version of a behind the scenes look at my recording process for this new CD, “Up Against It”, in real time. The idea is not new, not necessarily mine, but my take on it was designed to deliver a variety of options based on varied price points, levels, of an individual pre-order package. It was a truly a one-toone experience with a handful of dedicated fans that helped me achieve certain goals, both financially and artistically. It was a ton of extra work in addition to recording the new album, but I consider it to have been a very valuable artistic experience and one that I will improve upon for the next project. Every dime of each purchase was used to create the final products: the CD, merch and a new website. I also figured in a percentage of the pre-sales as a donation to the SIMS Foundation here in Austin (SIMS helps musicians struggling with mental health issues get the medical attention they need). So all around, the money was put to very good use… all of it. I think what my fans got in return was a uniquely personal experience with my music, something they may have never had an opportunity to be involved with before. 50K MUSIC: Would you agree when I say that your new album celebrates the Blues more than “Salt” did? Woody: Oh yeah, “Salt” is not a blues album. It’s an album that sort of wraps up my singer-songwriter thing very directly. It has bluesy tracks on it, as all my records have, but it was not about addressing the blues directly. I released “Salt” at the Newport Folk Festival and it went on to be nominated for an IMA “Album of the Year” so it did

12 50K MUSIC: Who would you refer to as the ideal Blues musician, who is your ideal? Woody: There is no one blues musician who is my ideal. I can’t narrow the hugely influential blues canon down to one ideal artist. Each has had his or her own impact on the form, in some cases reinventing it and breathing a whole new life and generation in to it. That’s what the blues is about, forward momentum and the ability to carry on. Younger blues musicians carry the torch of the blues forward, reshaping it to reflect the current scene. Again, it’s not a museum piece. Neither is jazz. That’s what I hope to do with my blues, carry the music forward while respecting the tradition itself. The blues is a celebration and it’s great to see more and more people coming to blues gigs, people who might only know the blues as some kind of lowdown vibe, but it’s not. It’s a music that has many facets and interpretations and when it’s done right live blues, in particular, is absolutely transcendent. You’re praying and reflective one minute and partying and grooving the next… that’s the mojo an audience feels at a blues gig. You don’t go to a blues or jazz gig to feel lousy, you go to feel better, to feel elevated above your own worries and troubles. 50K MUSIC: In your blog you wrote about a gig for children. Do you think Blues can be a healer to this world? Do you see a chance to make this world a better place with your music? Woody: I think music definitely heals, motivates and inspires. I believe the world is enriched by the presence of this mysterious thing we call music, yes. Whether or not it’s a better place because of my music is not for me to say or to even consider. I do the best work I can with my music. The children for whom we perform are kids in need of a positive experience. Their parents are junkies in many cases, and these kids are going hungry. My blog tells the story of that first performance. I was moved by the enthusiasm these children had for my guitar. We intend to do more lunchtime shows, to give them the opportunity to dream a little bigger, to play some instruments and have a bite to eat. If the music we bring to those neighborhoods inspires even one of the kids to dream of a way up and out of the rather bleak situations they live in, it’s been a healer. I don’t become the healer, the music does. Like John Lee Hooker said for whatever reason, “blues is a healer”. Yes, I believe that. I know music has healed me many times over. 50K MUSIC: Can you please tell us something about your SXSW experience? Is SXSW worth the hype? Woody: SxSW is an important event in that it is hugely hyped and does garner a lot of press. Is it a life changer, a career changer for 99% of the bands that perform? Probably not. Living in Austin, I have the opportunity to play music here all the time in this legendary music community. It’s a great city for live music in many respects. I imagine it’s a real buzz for bands to have an opportunity to perform here during SxSW. I performed at SxSW a couple of times and I’m always amazed to hear that the next band up is from Scotland or some such place and that they’ve come to the U.S. to perform a 45 minute set at SxSW. That blows my mind, that kind of investment by those bands. It is something to see, to be a part of the festival, though not mandatory for one’s career, no. I have issues with the amount of money made by the organizers

very well for me. But, “Up Against It” is an album I’ve been wanting to record for a very long time. I grew up with blues being a primary influence on my music. “Up Against It” represents a beginning for me in that respect, my first completely realized effort to address the blues that I want to play, that I hear as a songwriter and guitarist. I was also angling to record some soul sounds, as a vocalist primarily. In writing and recording the new album I discovered a lot about my take on, my personal approach to, this music that I played all my life, albeit outside the framework of my earlier recordings. None of my previous albums address the blues fully. “Up Against It” is an album that I had to record for myself, I wasn’t going to create another singer-songwriter type of record. 50K MUSIC: In your bio you state: “Blues and Jazz are my teachers, both as a guitarist and a singer ... it's all about soul; heart and soul.” Could you please tell us more about what Blues and Jazz has teached you? How much of your heart and soul do you put into your music? Woody: Well, I put all of my heart and soul into my music. There is no way to quantify that. I believe in performing like it’s the last thing I may ever do. I feel that be a professional musician is a privilege. I never wanted to do anything else. I learned from the blues and from jazz what is important to me about being a musician – respect for the music and musicianship. These are forms of American music that are the equivalent of what Classical music is to the Europeans. Blues and Jazz are the American Classical forms. Robert Johnson, Duke Ellington and BB King are, you know, like the Bach, Beethoven and Mozart of American music. I’m always learning, always studying, whether I’m writing a new song or cutting heads with another guitarist at a blues jam. I love the way horn players phrase and my harmonica player, Jose Ruiz, is one playing motherfucker who studies constantly and pushes me to dig deeper. Blues and jazz players are constantly trying to develop because the music demands innovation. These forms aren’t museum pieces, they are ever evolving musical adventures and you got to have chops to hang with the best players. There is a lot of improvisation, obviously, and that takes years of practice and study to be able to make your own statement as a player.

13 50K MUSIC: And last thing: Please tell us one thing about you and your music everybody should know. Woody: Ha! One thing…alright. If you are a fan of blues and soul, check out my new release and please support it if you like what you hear. Contact me, talk to me. I’d love to hear from you. Being a musician, especially in this economy, carries some extra weight to it. People want to have music in their lives. Most people can’t imagine their world without a soundtrack, you know. But music, like food, isn’t free. It’s my passion, yes, but it’s also my job. Artists create art to add to and share with the world more color, more inspiration, more beauty and more intellect. To be compensated for one’s creation seems to be a huge issue currently. I believe in sharing it, definitely, as long as people continue to support it, financially, with a legitimate purchase now and again of a concert ticket or an album on CD or via download, whatever. It’s critical to the survival of the arts. If you want milk and bread, you don’t just go take it from the grocery store, you have to buy it. There is no distinction between buying food or gas and other products, including music, books, art, etc. As a consumer of music, you should feel compelled to support it, because on the other end of your purchase is a family - much like my own - who quite literally need the money to pay our own bills. I think most people get that, but it scares me that a lot of folks so casually argue that music should be free, like the air we breathe. But, man, I can assure you that it costs money to produce an album or even a single song. Record companies over-priced their CDs, that was a fact. But now, with this independent, entrepreneurial music business in place, artists are setting reasonable prices for their music and most, if not all of the money, goes directly to that artists account so that they can carry on creating the work that you dig. Again, it’s nuts and bolts, man. In terms of the current financial crisis in the U.S. and the difficulties people are faced with; losing homes, jobs, health care, etc., the “soul of a man” continues to be nourished by the fundamental beauty of music. Throughout time, that has been a fact. The “language” of music has brought people together and had a positive impact. We are fortunate to be able to perform quite a few free concerts here in Austin which brings it to those folks who don’t have money to spend on a ticket or cover charge, you know. If you can afford it though, buy an album and drop something in the tip jar next time you’re knocking back a beer at your local hang. That band in the corner could use the money and I guarantee they are going to put that money right back in to their local economy. Anyway, I began the process of writing and recording this album thinking it was a solitary sort of artistic statement, but have since then come to realize that it’s truly something we all share at one time or another. In making this record I came to understand that the feeling of being “Up Against It” is a universal one. If you’re a blues fan, get out and support your local blues scene. It makes a huge difference to the musicians who are working it and you might find yourself hanging with some great people. We all could use a little more community in this ever shrinking, internet obsessed, world we live in. Facebook only resembles a “social network”. Nothing beats a live blues gig at your local pub for some true social experiences. www.woodyrussell.com

of the event versus the amount kicked back to the bands which are the fundamental core of the profit being made. It’s an argument I’ve heard many times being a local, but it’s not likely to change. It’s considered a lucky break to get a coveted SxSW slot, so you do the gig and hope for the best audience. I’ve met some great people at those shows from all over the world. At any rate, I suppose it looks good on your performance resume. 50K MUSIC: What are your plans to promote “Up Against It”? What other plans do you have for the next few months? Woody: Again, I go back to playing live as the main thing I do. I have some PR in place and I have the usual radio campaign efforts underway. It’s a constant job to promote one’s work. I just keep meeting people, making connections and pushing the music, the new album, to ears that will have it. I don’t worry about who doesn’t dig it. I spend my time taking care of the sources and resources that show potential. I reach out to my fans, new and long-time fans, making sure they know I’m still here and carrying on. I try to offer something new for those who’ve been around for a long time so that they continue to hang with me, you know. With the blues, there is an audience for that music, a community, really. There are, thankfully, so many resources in place that are blues specific and that helps me target who is interested in my music. But truthfully, I’m interested in performing more, including tours to Europe, so that is a primary focus. This is what I do professionally and live shows are where it’s at. People love live blues gigs, so do the musicians. The blues, and “Up Against It”, is about community and that’s where I take the music, to the people in that community. I’m a working musician with a family, so I have to stay employed as a musician. It’s kind of a nuts and bolts thing, you know. It’s not rocket science.

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Far Away From Tiptoeing
50K MUSIC: You have released your debut album „Tiptoes“ in March last year and dissappeared from most reader's sight since then. What happened in the meantime? So What: We have just been working our asses off to get everyone in the world to know us. Having an album is a huge step as a band, but a lot of people forget that the hardest part begins when you’re out on the streets with an album in you hands. But I have to say that it gives you a lot of confidence knowing that there’s so many people behind you already, who helped you to create this album.

Sure most of you will remember these four guys from The Hague. So What dissappeared a little bit after the release of their album “Tiptoes”. But after they played “Rocken am Brocken” I asked them about their gig there, about their trip to SXSW in Austin, Texas and their current plans …
We have released two singles, Keep on Running and Passe Partout (both videos can be found on our website), we played on a lot of festivals, and even won two prices for ‘Best album of the year’ in our hometown The Hague. 50K MUSIC: You flew to Texas to join this years SXSW (South By Southwest). Please tell us something about this trip. What experiences did you gain in Austin? How did it influence you? So What: Austin was crazy! This SXSW festival is one

15 giant musical chaos. There’s bands EVERYWHERE, and everybody wants to talk to you about music, everybody is interested in what you do. We did our best to promote ourselves, left a lot of CD’s in America, played three shows, and returned home exhausted but with a huge grin on our faces. Back in Holland it gave us a lot of media attention, it adds a very interesting part to your musical story. 50K MUSIC: You also won the SellaBand Rocken am Brocken competition. Please deliver us insight into your days in the Harz Mountains. So What: Haha, that was awesome! We nearly missed the show because we got lost in the mountains, we arrived 20 minutes before showtime! But everybody was so nice there, the stage was huge, the gig went well, the food was terrific, we even did an acoustic mini-show next to the stage. We stayed for the day, built dams in a creek in the wood (we’re dutch, it’s in our blood), Joeri (drummer) took a crap outdoors for the first time of his life, we went to see the other bands and went home in the evening. We sure had a great time there. 50K MUSIC: What are your plans for the next few months? What about touring, new album etc.? So What: Right now we’re in a sort of travelling music festival, it’s called ‘Popronde’, which involves a lot of different gigs with a lot of different bands in a lot of different cities. We did six shows now, there’s still eleven to go so we have enough to do for the coming months. In the meantime we are of course writing new songs, for a new album, and promoting ourselves in Holland. There will be a new website online soon, so check out www.sowhat-music.nl to keep up and see what we’re doing. 50K MUSIC: How can we keep on supporting you? So What: If you live in Holland: come to our shows! If not, get the album, play it everywhere you can, copy it and put it on every desk, table, bed, keyboard, and in every record player you encounter. 50K MUSIC: Do you think fan funding is THE way to finance an album? Do you think about financing your next album this way again? So What: Every band should do what works the best for them. For us it was an amazing opportunity, which helped us a huge lot to get us where we are now. Maybe for other bands there are different roads to follow, but Sellaband is so awesome because everyone has an equal chance of being heard, and getting their songs on a CD. We don’t know how we’re going to make our next album yet, but we’ll always have SAB in mind. 50K MUSIC: And last question: Anything else people should now about today's >>>> So What? So What: Nope, just check out the new website, and we’ll keep you up to date. Laters! www.sowhat-music.nl

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgVZyaCwS0Y

We Have the Best Fans Ever
In September they won the AMADEUS Award in category Hard & Heavy. And KONTRUST definitely deserve this award. I talked to Manuel about their experience at the awards show and a funny mistake...

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50K MUSIC: Congrats on winning the AMADEUS Award. How do you feel know? Manuel: Totally surprised. We absolutely did not expect to receive the award although we know that we have the best fans ever. And they actually proved it right on time. The award belongs to them! 50K MUSIC: What does the award mean to you? Manuel: It already was a big honour for us to be one of the nominees. Now having received the award is absolutely unbelievable! It shows that there actually is a vivid and active music scene in Austria, which is growing and getting more and more national and international attention. being part of it makes us kind of proud. 50K MUSIC: Can you unveil some details of the awards

show last week? How came you were mistaken for the Klostertaler? Manuel: Well the show was awesome as you can imagine. There were so many fans who kept their fingers crossed for us - incredible. So, we visited the event in our Bombaoutfit... You saw the video, right? That's why some uninformed journalist has mistaken us for the Klostertaler on a photo. Funny story, but hey, that's just what we wanted. 50K MUSIC: What comes next for KONTRUST? What are your plans for the next few months? Manuel: Don't worry, we're always busy. But most of our plans are still a secret. If you follow us on our website or Facebook-page we'll keep you up to date and you won't miss a thing!

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Talentcast

Listen to:

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t .n l as

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New Angie Arsenault EP Is Under Way

In February 2009 Angie Arsenault released her fan funded album "Once Upon a Dream". While she is raising funds for her new EP on SellaBand she is going to release another EP to the public in November. The EP will be available for free or "Pay What You Want" via her website. This is what she announced lately about her new EP: Hello! :) Just a little update on my music makings: I am in the finishing stages of recording and mixing my brand new material, which will be launched as a 6 song EP in November. These new songs are for the general public as the more exclusive EP, available to Believers only, will be kept a secret until the completion of my Sellaband budget. ;) I can't wait to share my new songs with you. I have mixed emotions including fun happiness from finally getting to share some new creations with you and, of course, that “artist anxiety” feeling of not knowing how you will respond to my new sounds because as you will soon find out - they are quite different from my debut album. Fun fun fun! I love taking risks... lol November... ;) Angie xox Meanwhile Angie reached her goal on SellaBand to finance a campaign to promote her music. www.angiemusic.com

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My Swedish Discoveries (1): Johnossi
Actually not really independent music but absolutely worth mentioning here are these two guys hailing from Stockholm. About two years ago I listened to their "18 Karat Gold" during my summer holidays near Gothenburg when SR P3 played this song every day. After I (re)discovered Johnossi on PSL (talked about it on Friday) I browsed the site a little bit and found two new songs from their new album "Mavericks" that are definitely worth a listen. And here are some facts about Johnossi: John Engelbert (vocals, guitar) and Oskar Bonde (drums) began playing together in 2004. A year later the self-titled debut was released by small indie Rekord. In the summer of 2005 their mind-blowing performance at the Hultsfred festival gained them a minor breakthrough. They were signed to V2 and the debut was re-released with some additional tracks in 2006. The follow up "All They Ever Wanted" was produced by Jari Haapalainen (known for his work with The Concretes, Ed Harcourt, Camera Obscura to name a few) came in 2008. Audience favourites like "Man Must Dance", "Execution Song", "Santa Monica Bay", "18 Karat Gold" and "Bobby" can be found on these two first albums. Besides these basic facts, Johnossi is furthermore one of those bands that is brilliant on stage. With every concert the rumour has spread. John and Oskar can deliver in a way live that few others can. "Mavericks" is the next stage for Johnossi. According to John Engelbert it has been a difficult but important step. 2009 was a dark year to put it mildly. He had a crisis and had bad insomnia, something that is reflected in some of the tracks on "Mavericks". Listen to "What's the Point" from "Mavericks" in a PSL Musik Med unplugged version: http://blogg.svt.se/psl/2010/04/26/musik -med-johnossi/

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