Before I get on my soapbox, I will once again highlight a business on the net that is doing some superb work. Latex Designs by Donna creates handmade items from Australia where the quality rivals any manufactured item you could hope to buy in any store.
Recently, I had these kind folks make me a "bat" pack. This is a backpack in the shape of a bat naturally, with vinyl batwings that snap onto the pack for the closed wing effect or unsnapped for a fully winged furry body creature with a very discreet side zipper. The owner, Donna, recently went on a casting call wearing some of the creations and it seems there is a very high probability that a familiar face may be in the Matrix 2 within the very near future! The pricing is not as severe as one would think considering the exchange rate of the US dollar. Check out some of these gorgeous designs at www.zipworld.com.au/~dnaylor/ or email Donna directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't Piss On My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining
Some time ago, a marketing genius named Michael Robertson designed the Mp3.com company. This was the start of a music revolution for hundreds of thousands of artists longing to be heard but unable to make headway due to the dictatorial regime of the major 5 labels.
Millions of fans gleaned downloadable music worldwide, making Internet stars of some of the artists featured. The company paid the artists for this privilege of allowing folks to stream and download these songs. MP3 then got sloppy by allowing folks to cheat the stats, thereby falsely raising songs on the charts that did NOT belong there. Further, they added fraud upon fraud with insisting that the artists pay 20 dollars a month in order to receive any money for the use of their music content. Auctions were also added whereby an artist could "buy" their way up the top of the charts.
The biggest blow to the company came when they initiated the beam it program, where a listener could store their purchased music in a file on their own computer in order to listen to it from any computer with net access. This was a rather gray area where the major labels felt it was a violation of copyrights, when in actuality this was just one consumer's music stored on their own PC and obtained by their own password. It does not differentiate all that much from purchasing a CD and putting it on a cassette, but the Big 5 Major label mafia did not see it this way.
Mp3.com eventually sold to Universal-Vivendi, one of the main leaders of the litigation suits against MP3, and history with music has changed yet again and not in a good way.
On October 1, 2001 Universal Vivendi enacted a half penny deal for all artists with music available on Mp3. This is a dramatic loss of revenue for the artists who were doing rather well previously. The biggest kick in the head is the company STILL demands that artists pay 20 dollars a month to receive the payments for their work that is being used. Now this all wouldn't be a major insult if the company was fiscally hurting and needed to trim costs and asked the artists to provisionally help out with it. Instead, in corporate terrorist like tactics, this became the law of the land and the artists, who MADE this company what it is, once again were fed bureaucratic and rhetorical bullshit. That very week that these changes were enacted, the CEO of the company was on CNBC bragging about how the company fiscally exceeded their expectations for the year. Further, Universal bought the CEO a 17 million dollar apartment in NYC.
In light of the fact that Mp3 has HURT many artists while the corporate bigwigs live in their ivory towers of greed, I have made it my mission to boycott anything put out by Universal and its subsidiaries, past and present. This company has had a long history of abusing artists, so much so, that even Courtney Love is taking them to court (more on this later.)
The real deal behind all of this is that the major labels want to now feature subscription services where listeners will pay for the privilege of streaming and downloading music. This will ultimately squeeze out the indie artists as the major artists are brought on board. The thing their market analyzers forgot to check into is that the majority of folks who "steal" music from sites such as Napster, RARELY buy music, and most certainly will find yet another web based outlet where they can swipe songs. Folks who buy music want to have the physical item in their hand and won't be content with just a PC version of something that they have to burn themselves.
In light of the fact that many artists this month are hurting because of this, I urge the readers of this column and fans of the underground music scene to BOYCOTT UNIVERSAL. If you are downloading songs off the net, please don't do it to the indies unless it is on sites such as Ampcast.com where artists are reasonably paid, simply because many of these folks go without food in order to make music. This is a fact, but I am not at liberty to divulge the horror of this situation. Take all the major label artists you want to, in order to give these companies the kick in their assets that they deserve, but BUY your music at great sites like Middle Pillar, Dancing Ferret Discs, Nilaihah, Projekt, and other related independent focused music shops who CARE about OUR scene.
If you have read this far and want to know about the Courtney Love vs. Universal deal, please check:
LOVE WINS MAJOR VICTORY AND RIGHT TO PROCEED
IN UNIVERSAL LAWSUIT; In A Stunning Setback For Vivendi Universal, Judge
Fumiko Wasserman Has Ruled That Courtney
Love Can Proceed To Trial
Patrick Rogers of Dancing Ferret Discs announced that some film footage was taken on 10/31during the now infamous Dracula's Ball. This footage will be incorporated into their new television commercials starting in 2002.
During this delightful event, a FREE CD was given away that is 17 tracks long and includes music by Paralysed Age, Neuroticfish, Unto Ashes, Thou Shalt Not, Voltaire, Black Tape for a Blue Girl, The Dreamside, Nosferatu, Noyce, Moulin Noir, Behind The Scenes, Seraphim Shock, Judith, Endanger, and Wings of Destiny. There is also a brand new exclusive track from Rasputina (Gingerbread Coffin) and a 2-minute preview of the brand new Cruxshadows single, Tears.
The Cruxshadows and Neuroticfish have new releases slated for December 4th. The Cruxshadows have a new single, Tears, and Neuroticfish will release Sushi, which includes all the tracks from their first two singles, as well as their brand new single, Wake Me Up. Also coming out on December 4th is Best of Nosferatu, Volume 1 from Nosferatu, one of the top-selling British vamp-rock bands ever.
Advance warning! On Sunday, May 26, 2002, there will indeed be a Dracula's Ball at the Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia. What makes this one especially exciting is that the two days preceding it will see the Troc playing host to ProjektFest 2002. Projekt is one of the world's leading record labels for quieter, ethereal dark music, and their festivals, which happen only every few years, attract an international audience and feature top-notch bands. Mark your calendars now, as Memorial Day Weekend will definitely be *the* weekend to be in Philadelphia!
Finally, Philadelphia-area residents who are over 18 may get a kick out of Dracula Sucks, a vintage 70s film with a decidedly different take on the Dracula legend, playing for one weekend only at the Roxy Theatre. Details can be found at http://www.ferret.com.
If you haven' t heard Eternia yet, here is yet another review that states, "One of the finest mixes of old and new styles of 'Gothic' that I've heard in years!" For the latest review on this sensational artist, go to http://www.geocities.com/kultovbela/reviews.html.
Goth Goes Mainstream!
Amethystium was initially featured on MP3.com and came under the Hidden Sanctuary wings. The artist's albums have hit the Billboard New Age chart some weeks back, debuting at #7! It was 3 weeks in the Top 10, peaking at #5. The band label, Neurodisc, decided to increase the marketing budget considerably, so they will be more committed to it than they planned initially, which is great news - after all they've just licensed the recording. When it reached the Billboard chart they hadn't even started the radio promotion yet, so they where surprised too. I guess the high amount of play on mp3.com might have had a positive effect on the CD sales when it got in the stores. Amethystium will be going to Ampcast soon, along with many other artists. In the meantime, however, you can hear this Enigma style work at www.mp3.com/amethystium.
Ashengrace has a new song up called The River (edit), a shorter version of the one that actually comes on the new EP. After months of complications, the Eve and Mistral EP has been released and is up on the artists site.
Ashengrace's was recently interviewed for Gothic Beauty Magazine (now on sale at Hot Topic, by the way). Furthermore, they gave the album Surface 5 out of 5 stars, the only band to get that rating in this month's reviews! www.mp3.com/ashengrace
All Hope Lost
For those of you who like your music dark, moody, poetic with a whole lot of macabre, check out the work of All Hope Lost. Currently added to the artist's repertoire are two new songs. The first is a Doom Metal rendition of Chopin's Funeral March, Candlemass, and the other is entitled Blood Red Roses, an epic, 11 minute Gothic Metal song with several movements, similar in spirit to European bands like My Dying Bride, Theatre Of Tragedy, and Paradise Lost. www.mp3.com/allhopelost
ProjektList #170 | from Sam Rosenthal
This Ascension in stores
Projekt has re-issued all four of the out of print This Ascension albums. Album #3 and #4 (Walk Softly, a Dream Lies Here and Sever) are now in stores nationwide. These CDs were originally released on Santa Barbara's Tess Records. For years we distributed Tess through our mail-order catalog, but hard times fell and the label shut down rendering these albums out of print for a while. I badgered Matt repeatedly till he finally he gave in and licensed them to Projekt - to make these discs available to you again! This Ascension is very popular among fans of both Goth Rock and Ethereal Goth because of Dru's lovely, powerful vocals and Kevin's intricate guitar work. All Music Guide recently wrote "As evidenced by 'Tears in Rain,' This Ascension are a welcome if under-mentioned addition to the darkwave hall of fame." So, if you haven't gotten these albums yet, nows your chance!
Projekt $6.98 sale
New addition to the Projekt.com store:
Various Artists: Funeral Songs | $13.98
Projekt festival 2002: http://www.projektfest.com/
Nothing beats a sale to brighten your troubled day. We've been getting an overwhelming response to our $6.98 sale, so I've just added more titles to the list! Let Projekt music help you relax and escape. Through Midnight, Monday November 12th, the following discs are on sale for $6.98.
R16 Area: Radio Caroline
R17 Area: The Perfect Dream
R19 Area: Between the Purple & Pink
R20 Area: Fragments of the Morning
R24 The Arms of Someone New: Susan Sleepwalking
R25 The Arms of Someone New: Love, Power & Justice
R01 Attrition: This Death House
R02 Attrition: The Attrition of Reason
R03 Attrition: The Realm of the Hungry Ghosts
R04 Attrition: Smiling at the Hypogonder Club
R05 Attrition: The 50th Gate
PRO101 Audra: (self titled debut)
PRO105 Faith & Disease: Beneath the trees
R21 Jeff Greinke: Over Ruins
R22 Judgement of Paris: Conversion
R23 Judgement of Paris: Signal
PRO112 Lowsunday: Elesgiem
PRO108 Lycia: Compilation Appearances Vol. 1
PRO79 Steve Roach/Roger King: Dust To Dust
PRO115 This Ascension: Tears in Rain
PRO116 This Ascension: Light and Shade
PRO106 Unto Ashes: MOON oppose MOON
PRO29 Various Artists: From Across This Gray Land No. 2
PRO100 Various Artists: Projekt 100
PRO102 Various Artists: Orphee
PRO94 Various Artists: Seireenia
Congratulations to Mistress Catherinna (a newly appointed StarVox writer) as one of the few selected DJs slated to spin at GothCon 2002! She was chosen out of a huge number of very qualified DJ's for a very competitive spot.
The band lineup is an excellent assortment of gothic and industrial, many of whom are new and up and coming bands. Our hats off to the GothCon staff for picking rising stars such as 13th Sky and Shadow Cabinet PLUS bands like Judith, The Machine in the Garden and Gossamer!
GOTHCON - MARCH 28-30, 2002
The GOTHCON staff is pleased to announce the band selections for 2002. They are, in alphabetical order:
13th Sky -
Butterfly Messiah - http://www.butterflymessiah.com
Emergence - http://www.emergenceband.com
Eye Kandy - http://www.eyekandy.net
Fiction8 - http://www.fiction8.com
Gossamer - http://www.idrecords.com/gossamer
Judith - http://www.asthetik.com/amphion/
Mindless Faith - http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/4357/MindlessFaith.html
Noise Process - http://www.geocities.com/noise_process/
Numeralia - http://www.numeralia.com
Schone Maschine - http://www.schonemaschine.com
Stromkern - http://www.stromkern.com
The Machine In The Garden - http://www.tmitg.com
The Shadow Cabinet - http://www.theshadowcabinet.com
ThouShaltNot - http://www.robotgodlabs.com/tsn/
SELECTED DJs: [in alphabetical order]
spinmistress ^batty^ - Cleveland, Ohio
Mistress Catherinna - Seattle, Washington
DJ DeadParrot - Atlanta, Georgia
DJ De'ath - UK
DJ MindCage - Washington, DC
DJ Voodoo - San Francisco, California
DJ Vulture - New Orleans, Louisiana
the list of featured guests thus far, check back on their site for this list will be growing:
BlueBlood Magazine -
Caleb Storms - http://www.calebstorms.com
Carrie Carolin - http://www.darklinks.com
Daniel Kemp - http://www.westgatenecromantic.net
Elaine Bergstrom - http://www.vampireathenaeum.org/ebergstrom
Gothic Beauty Magazine - http://www.gothicbeauty.com
Leilah Wendell - http://www.westgatenecromantic.net
Linda Joyce Franks - http://www.nimbvs.com/
Robert Tritthardt - http://www.writheandshine.com
Serena Valentino - http://www.memento-mori.com/gloomcookie/
Starvox Magazine - http://www.starvox.net
Suzanne G. Hyland - http://www.faery.net
Tom Savini - http://www.tomsavini.com
These lists do NOT indicate any particular order, or specify what date any guest, band, or DJ are making an appearance. Final itinerary will be announced on the gothcon website soon!
ACCOMODATIONS and TICKETS
Once again, the official dates for gothcon are march 28-30, 2002. We are also proud to announce the selected venue: the New Orleans Marriott.
Ideally located in the historic New Orleans French Quarter. Within short walking distance of all major attractions, the Aquarium of the Americas, the Riverwalk, French Market, Bourbon Street, and the Convention Center.
TICKETS can now be purchased through the website! check the ticket section for details.
ALL of this information is available on the newly updated gothcon website! Be sure to check out the information for volunteering - we could certainly use your help! Our official banner is on there, too - use it on your site, link to us!
GOTHCON is a yearly non-profit music and arts festival dedicated to support those with HIV and AIDS. Official website and further information: http://www.gothcon.com/
This wraps it up for this issue. Please be sure to support your underground bands by purchasing their music so that they can afford to make more. Contrary to popular belief, these bands are NOT rolling in the cash and every dollar helps to offset expenses with touring, promotions, and music production. Let's continue to show the major labels that the underground world will not be stopped by their corporate terrorism and greed. Above all, BOYCOTT UNIVERSAL!!