MP3.com launched a musical revolution that currently has many artists wanting to start their own revolution. It seems that with the decaying economy, the stock plummets and the dot.com horror stories, MP3.com has not been bulletproof.
In an effort to maintain some sense of financial solvency, MP3.com has initiated a new program called Premium Artist Services. This would cost the artists 20 dollars a month, which in turn would give them a bold name on the genre charts and a few other relatively negligible items.
I will play devil's advocate though. MP3.com lays out a LOT of money for bandwidth for the artists to have the ability to create FREE web pages advertising their bands. Artist's can also upload songs for streaming and allow fans to download the music as well. Had MP3.com initiated this "fee" as a service from the outset, the artists would most likely not be in the chagrined state they are currently in.
On the other hand, artists provide music, which is the MAIN commodity of MP3.com for which no one has received any Union scale pay on. Only time will tell what this latest undertaking will provide for a company that has been on the forefront of the changing music scene.
Before I get on to music news, I do want to take a moment to highlight some really great online businesses that I have had the good fortune to have shopped with most recently.
Urban Decay (www.urbandecay.com) is basically a cosmetics shop with some skin care items. Most recently I purchased the Urban Defense Magic Mud, which is an exfoliating mud cleanser, and the Zen Cleanse. These two items are full of botanical ingredients that will make the skin smooth and clear. Even this elder goth is prone to "teen" breakouts from time to time, and these products zapped them AND made my skin look younger.
The Gothic Shoppe (www.thegothicshoppe.com) has a line of shampoo and conditioner that I am also MOST pleased with. There is the Moisturizing Shampoo and the Sinfully Supreme Protein Shampoo, which have a delicious black cherry fragrance. Also there is the Make It Thick Shampoo with a pineapple/coconut fragrance that really plumped out my hair on the first washing! Lastly is the Moisturizing Conditioner with a Hyacinth like fragrance. For those into the occult, you know how spiritually elevated the hyacinth fragrance is equated, so naturally, using it will make you feel like a God or Goddess incarnate. Despite the fruit and floral fragrances, they do not linger on you to clash with anything you may be wearing. Instead, they harmonize like a summer breeze at midnight, so guys, don't be afraid to try this stuff!
Lastly, Underbelly (www.underbelly.net) from Queens, New York has been getting one of the best reputations around. Friends have told me of the great service which has been prompt and efficient. The shop owner, Laura, is prompt with responding to all e-mails and DOES put some of the money back into the gothic underground with sponsoring goth radio shows to various events.
In music news:
Coven 13 (www.mp3.com/coven13) is debuting Kenneth McLaughlin as lead singer in the absence of Teisan Russell. Mr. Russell was encouraged to fulfill his obligations to Coven 13 and GothCon but he declined in lieu of his other commitments. Coven 13 will continue their touring season with an appearance at this year's NEMO conference, a private showcase with the former President of Epic Records, and several other appearances throughout the country. Additional information regarding the band and their scheduled appearances will be available on their website, www.coven13.com, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amethystium (www.amethystium.com) is the latest band on the Hidden Sanctuary who brings with him the distinct hybrid sound that is a cross between early Enigma, Deep Forest, Delirium and Robert Miles all rolled into one. This artist receives thousands of hits a day from a world who has fallen madly in love with this music!
Japanese darlings, ATP (http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/78/atp.html) just won the Procom Music Award Grand Prix in Japan! In addition, they just completed a soundtrack for an anime film called Guilstein, which will be in stores on 3/28 Japan. As you might have already figure it out Guilstein is a compound word of GUILT and Dr. Frankenstein. The soundtrack will be available in Europe and maybe in North America a bit later than this, possibly by the summer. Lead singer, Taata also has an interview in Totenklage at http://www.totenklage.nu/netzine/articles/atp.asp.
Unknowne (www.mp3.com/unknowne) recently informed me that they had their music in a film not too long ago. Here's what James had to say; "It's called The Pornographer. You can get it at any Hollywood Video. It's a really kick ass movie by a guy named Doug Atchison. It was the biggest movie in the independent film festivals around the world. But unfortunately, it never made it to the big screen. It went straight to video. We got the pivotal scene, where they were playing Blacklace in the background. We were Doug's personal favorite so we got to hog the end of the movie during the credits too. BTW, we were playing a show while it was announced on the radio with one of our songs. We had one of the biggest turnouts ever at a club called Barbarella's." This great band also has 4 more new songs up on their MP3 site. Their sound is a cross between The Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, The Cure, David Bowie and all the other underground icons you can name.
There is a new vampire radio station broadcasting out from Florida which can be reached at http://members.audiorealm.com/WVMP. I love tuning in to this station just for the moody atmosphere alone! Another great MP3 station to tune into is called the Catacombs of Goth by Kaershieca which can be found at http://stations.mp3s.com/stations/153/catacombs_of_goth_by_kaers.html.
German inspiration Pulsar Bleu (www.mp3.com/pulsarbleu) recently added a new song, Bangkok Nightfalls, which is Eastern flavored and trip hop inspired whose message is just by one sentence: "relaxation is total peace" by deng-ming dao. There is also a copy of the Pulsar Bleu TV interview available for download at http://www.pulsar-bleu.com/media.
The Blessed Virgin Larry recently won a get signed video contest which was a stiff bit of competition! See the results at http://www.getsigned.com/video_winners_2000.html.
The latest news from Dreams In Exile is as follows:
"We have recently parted ways with the Crowd Control Activities label and are currently seeking a new label for our latest material (any suggestions??). In the meantime, we are awaiting the release of Vidna Obmana's first installment of An Opera in Six Fusion Works, which is an instrumental collaboration between Dreams in Exile guitar work and Vidna Obmana atmosphere. This should be released later this year on Vidna Obmana's Contemporary Harmonic label. Also, we are excitedly awaiting the release of the CCA/Release Records' Funeral Songs compilation (due out late May) which includes the DIE composition My Queen. This work also includes the handiwork of Vidna Obmana - only this time he is playing the flute and chanting! And, as always, we are playing regular dates in Portland."
HMB is a very hot EBM band that is the brainchild of Daniel Meyer of Haujobb with the contributions of Victoria Lloyd from Claire Voyant. Word at present is it will be a European release first on Flatline Records. I have an advance copy and have to say it is going to set the clubs on fire! www.mp3.com/hmb
From the world of Nilaihah Records:
Oneiroid Psychosis (www.mp3.com/oneiroidpsychosis) - Oneiroid Psychosis has completed their 4th album, Dreams (With Pollutions When Virile). It is somewhat similar to their previous material, but miles beyond in so many ways. They have matured even more and found their true sound. So, the music is complete and artwork is being finished up by the same artist who has designed all of Oneiroid Psychosis 's artwork, Paul Nitsche. Look for this release sometime in March.
The Azoic - They are finishing more new songs for their upcoming 3rd release and are hoping for an April release. They are excited by the dancier direction and have new remixes from Assemblage 23, Flesh Field, God Module, Dubok, Fiction 8, Oneiroid Psychosis, Signal 12, Manhole Vortex, Dave Scott, and Sunless. You can still help them name the new CD that reflects change. Just send any titles to email@example.com with "CD title" in the subject. There are no limits to number of entries. The Azoic's dance hit Progression (from the V/A-Resistor comp) will appear on 2 upcoming European compilations. These are Side-Line Magazine's Venusa XX double CD featuring female vocals and an Assemblage 23 [dirge] mix of Progression on Accession Records' upcoming 5 year anniversary comp, Accession Records Volume One, due out at the end of March.
Claire Voyant making news: The track Her will be appearing in a new documentary titled, "the most haunted place in America." It is a documentary about a small town with a lot of "otherworldly" presence. The show will be aired on Cable and internationally, it will even be released on Home Video. The producer is looking at A&E and the History Channel for starters. The producer of the documentary is very involved at MTV, ABC and PBS. How did he find ClaireVoyant? The Internet. What a beautiful thing!
TC from the electronic/gothic band SINTZ (http://mp3.com/SINTZ) builds his success in music on the most unusual inspiration in the music business. Finding beauty and music in most everything, including tie rod ends on his car, he hears hidden symphonies playing his music everywhere. A member of the gothic underground's "Hidden Sanctuary," his music is as unusual as his views.
SINTZ imparts some of his appreciation for sound. "A few evenings ago, around 3 a.m., I was awakened by ambient yet emotional sounds projected from the bathroom. Half asleep, I wondered in, got a drink of water and stood listening to this unusual rhythmic sound pulsating from my commode. The oozing sounds of water under duress periodically obliging its way between the worn rubber diaphragm in a frantic ballet of high pressure escape to the bowl.
I found myself mesmerized by the tonal qualities and subtle innuendoes. I sat down on the floor to listen a while. There were infinite waves that almost sounded deliberate, heaving to apply enough pressure to slip the restrictions of the valve. The beauty was there only to the avid listener that would appreciate the sound and not its source.
The world's first Internet star Glampire has been featured on the cover of M2N: http://www.mi2n.com/index.php3.
Mors Syphilitica's new CD is slated for release June 2001. The band recently signed with Projekt Records and are on the official Project release schedule http://www.projekt.com/projekt/upcoming.asp. Listen to some of their earlier work at www.mp3.com/morssyphilitica.
Ashengrace has released their first album Drawing Down The Moon on MP3. Many other CD's have since followed, but only now is the Internet world getting a taste of the beauty and majesty that started the phenomenon known as Ashengrace. To sample this delicious music simply go to www.mp3.com/ashengrace.
News from VH1:
Jane's Addiction are in talks to continue their "relapse" reunion beyond a headlining appearance at the Coachella festival and a warmup show for that event on April 26 in Santa Barbara, Calif. http://www.vh1.com/thewire/content/news/1441951.jhtml.
We encourage you to check out a great organization using music as a vehicle to promote AIDS/HIV education and prevention in Africa, a continent that has close to 70% of the worlds HIV positive people. Africa Alive! is a multinational network of youth and AIDS organizations that reach and empower youth through innovative AIDS prevention programs, through pop culture, especially music. A combination of promotional events such as Song contests, call in radio shows, concerts, street theater, and traveling road shows, followed by peer education and counseling are some of the ways Africa Alive! works to inform and change behaviors. The goal is to enable youth to make healthier choices in risk situations, that will have sustainable long term effects. Africa Alive! is looking for artists to do benefits to raise money here in the US. For information about getting involved check out their website which also has over one million books, CDs, and DVD's for sale - 10% off all purchase proceeds go to Africa Alive! www.AfricaAlive.org. If the website doesn't answer all of your questions drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next month, keep enjoying your life because death is eternal. You will also be dead a lot longer than you are alive so you may as well do what makes YOU happy NOW!