Archive for the 'dance' Category

Soul Majestic: Groovy Eco-Conscious Reggae

Meet Soul Majestic. Part Jamaican style reggae and part Santa Barbara surf culture, this eclectic collection of activist musicians has come together to make the music that moves them and to promote the causes that stir them.

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The band frequently plays benefit shows meant to rally support for groups promoting promoting peace, environmental education, and the compassionate use of medical marijuana. With the release of their most recent album, Better World (available on iTunes now), and the touring (in their 15-passenger Bio-diesel tour van) to follow, their mission is to raise awareness of global interconnectedness and how people’s actions impact one another and the earth. It’s refreshing to see more bands focus on the positive messages they’re spreading rather than trying to please the masses with radio hits.

What began as the collective vision of Eric Iverson, David Lyons and Brian Jarvis when they met near Santa Barbara soon grew to include Oriana Sanders, a powerful young voice from Los Angeles, and later a handful of vibrant roots musicians. They are now part of LoaTree, an eco-lifestyle collective. As treehugger points out, Soul Majestic empowers the green movement with their music. The lyrics off their new album “ask that each of us take a look at the world around us and choose to empower ourselves to turn things around.”

Want to join their growing family? Have a listen to their groovy sound (or buy some tracks) on their myspace page, check out lyrics on their bandcamp page, follow them on Twitter, or become a fan on Facebook.

It’s encouraging to see such steadfast positivity from upbeat and passionate artists, some of whom have been through very turbulent times. Vocalist Sanders battled Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which we hear more about in “I Rise”. In addition to overcoming struggle, another theme seen in the new album is the importance of family. Lead singer Eric Iverson has a son together with Sanders and several other band-mates have children as well, which they sometimes bring on tour. The Santa Barbara Independent notes that they are friends with Kim and Jack Johnson who “seem to be spearheading the bring-the-kids-on-the-tour-bus movement.”

SanFran MusicTech Summit 4: Singalongs, Video Interviews, and Twitter Gossip

What started out as a seemingly humble local gathering of music and tech geeks has – thanks to its visionary founder, Brian Zisk, gained momentum and recognition and is now the premier event of its kind. For more on speakers/panels from the last three SanFran MusicTech summits, click here. To read my review of any of those three, see below:

SanFran MusicTech Summit 1: Rockstars, Lawyers, Nerds and Me
SanFran MusicTech Summit 2: Guestlist Wish, Artist Activism, and Label Survival
SanFran MusicTech Summit 3: Albums Die, Social Media Kicks Ass, and Songs Find a Home

Now, on to summit #4.

In the second review above, I put in a request for some sort of attendee list (using the Web 2.0 Expo’s use of crowdvine as an example), thinking that this would facilitate more effective networking. Let’s be honest, tech people aren’t always the best networkers. Well thank you Brian for listening to the suggestion! This event saw the introduction of SFMT’s very own crowdvine page! I’m curious to know whether people found it useful?

Speaking of suggestions, musician Chris Stroffolino (also featured in the video below) thinks there is room for a panel on the “fostering of connections between the already established live music scenes in the Bay Area, and the major labels and web-distribution networks.” Perhaps we’ll see this topic discussed further in the future.

Like a nice red wine, this conference is clearly getting better with age. With its shiny new reputation and rapt audience, SFMT attracts a pleasing blend of big names in the music industry, Silicon Valley thought leaders, social media celebrities, and starving musicians. Although, as attendee Kwan Booth points out, the conference overall was noticeably “light skinned and testosterone heavy.” I’m not sure how the demographic breakdown compared to past SFMTs, but it is certainly a good point.

Let’s make a collective effort to change that, shall we? All you minority and female music tech geeks out there: get on it! Next time we want to see you there.

Early in the day, the tone was set when musician Matt Morris, the first artist off of Justin Timberlake’s label, Tennman Records, asked the audience to stop twittering, put down their iPhones and close their laptops. And then proceeded to lead an audience singalong, which he promised to record and post on YouTube. Ah, music 2.0… Here it is:

That whole episode got me thinking about how busy we all are engaging with each other through technology all the time. So much so that we forget to engage with each other in real life. There we were, a room full of music fanatics watching a powerful new voice perform, and some of us were so busy writing witty tweets about the performance or sharing interesting facts about the performer, that we had to be reminded by the performer himself to pay attention!

Matt Morris also got some good face time in the NBC coverage of the event.

Whereas last time I focused on capturing the look and feel of the event through pictures, this time I went with video. All of the following footage was captured using one of those ghetto-fabulous flip minos and edited in iMovie.

Intead of reviewing topics covered, panelist cat fights, and the like, I want to provide a more haphazard organic insight into the experience. Here are a handful of tweets (search #sfmusictech on Twitter Search for more) that tell the story.

donald: Just posted my favorite takeaways from #sfmusictech http://is.gd/BxPF 8:41 PM May 19th

MattMorris: My SanFran trip: met some cool techies (#sfmusictech), ate some good chowder, & had a Twitter name-change (@MattMorrisFeed to @MattMorris). 7:44 AM May 20th

SoulMajestic: Attended #sfmusictech conference in San Francisco. Digital is ruling. Must dig our music into the social networks. 10:46 AM May 20th

hansveld: If you’re in a band or in artist management you really need to check out bandize.com and bandmetrics.com. Very useful services. #sfmusictech 10:24 PM May 18th

KISSmyBLAKarts: Is this why Spears signed to Pepsi @Boothism tip:coke does background checks on every member of every band before they license. #sfmusictech 5:45 PM May 18th

denverdan4life: The gloves are coming out. I hope we see a fist fight over the fact that labels slept at the wheel for almost 10 yrs. #sfmusictech 5:16 PM May 18th

Boothism: true story: preparation H wanted to license “Ring of Fire” for commercial. Fail. #sfmusictech 5:11 PM May 18th

SocialSound1982: “The music industry is the world’s biggest law firm” – Jim Griffin #sfmusictech 4:59 PM May 18th

Thanks to Brian and Shoshana for another great event and I look forward to seeing you all at the next one!

DIGITAL DREAMS – The Remix Competition

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MixMatchMusic, in connection with Modern Beat Digital Records, Symphonic Distribution and Prime Loops, is proud to bring you the “Digital Dreams” remix competition. Remix this synth-house gem by June 30 and you’re in the running for a sound suite from Prime Loops and to have your remix released on Modern Beat Digital’s forthcoming release of the Modern Beat Orchestra’s Digital Dreams.

“We thought Digital Dreams by the Modern Beat Orchestra would be a fantastic track to feature for a remix competition,” said David Edward Jensen, president of Modern Beat Digital. “Between the spoken lyrics, female chant vocals and big basslines, the elements are there to make for some great remixes. We can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.”

Modern Beat Digital is an independent record label based out of Asheville, North Carolina that focuses on providing top-quality dance music to the public by utilizing digital media downloads and a selection of file formats. Their mission is to release only the best in electronic dance music. They do this by combining excellent producers and artists with a dedicated marketing, promotion and distribution team. Modern Beat Digital is a subsidiary of Modern Beat Productions and recently partnered with Symphonic Distribution to offer digital distribution of their catalogue in all major online music retailers.

To participate in the remix compeition, check out the Digital Dreams Remix Wizard and start creating! You can either purchase the high quality stems for $12 or make your mix for free using the online MixMaker. Either way, be sure to publish your remix to the widget for others to enjoy. Now, get busy.

Bienvenido a WMC – Here are your condoms.

MixMatchMusic’s first appearance at the Winter Music Conference and they send me, LG?? Uh oh… trouble!! Honestly, not being much of a techno/electro queen I really hadn’t heard of the conference. Well, I’m definitely the a-hole. Little did I know that this thing is of epic proportions! It’s a monster. Literally takes over Miami completely and has for something like 15 years. From the conference to the nightlife to the Ultra Festival, there’s something for everyone between the ages of 13 and 102. Ok, maybe 102 is a little old and a 102 year old probably doesn’t really get into the whole DJ thing. Still, there’s something for everyone that likes music and likes to party. Basically, every venue has something going on. DJ line ups, pool parties… the works. The conference itself was an incredible networking opportunity as well as a big eye opener. Plus, your badge gets you into several events all over Miami including the Ultra Festival which alone is a pricey ticket. All I gotta say is, thank goodness the panels didn’t start till noon everyday.

First of all, I arrived at the Miami Beach Resort and Spa after a long day of travel to be greeted by tons of Red Bull, DJs, complimentary Alize, digital music & DJ influenced displays and friendly conference workers dancing and registering everyone into the event. As soon as I walked in I knew this was going to be a long yet very fun week. I received my WMC complimentary bag that was full of fliers promoting events, DJ and music magazines, a copy of The List and condoms. Gives you a great idea of how things go down during WMC week which I so brilliantly named after seeing the condoms, “F+ck Fest ’09”. The resort is on the beach and has a very large pool area so I went to check it out. There was a stage set up, several chicks in bikinis and hooker heels, a DJ on stage getting everyone pumped up, a bar, deck and beach. Beautiful. I got a drink and instantly started schmoozing.

The 2nd day was the Digital Distribution panel where yours truly was representing the one and only, MixMatchMusic. I was SUPER nervous. All the heavy hitters were sitting on the panel as well. Juno, IODA, Beatport, Groove Media, Jamvana, Symphonic, Broken Records, Mubito and us! The panel was a huge success and packed to the brim, standing room only. All the panels were interesting, informative and well worth the time.

There were 2 hot spots this past week. One was Remix Hotel hosted by Beatport. The Remix Hotel events were held at The National. It’s literally in the heart of all of the most popular hotels and party spots in town. The pool was inundated with people partying in their swim suits and DJs spinning from overlooking balconies. Just beyond the pool was a large stage hosting DJs all weekend amongst palm trees and bars. Just beyond there was immediate beach access. It was a week long mega party.

What I believe to be the second biggest spot was the Fontainebleau. Even though it is a bit off the beaten path… the place was SWAMPED every day with partygoers. Some nights the door was as high as $80 a head! All day Thursday they had a crazy pool party hosted by Bacardi. It was open bar and DJ Jazzy Jeff was on the 1’s and 2’s. Unreal. Pic below.

Then… there was Ultra Fest. Oy! Add teenagers with glow sticks here. The line up was insane and the actual festival itself… ran beautifully. Considering how many people were there, I never felt like I had to fight for a bathroom, food, space or my life (which all contributed to an unfortunately horrific experience that I had at Outsidelands Festival last summer). The only thing is that it was too loud! I’m not a grumpy old person who doesn’t like music and is making a blanket statemement here. Honestly, the loudest event I’ve ever been to. My friends texted me before I arrived and pleaded me to buy ear plugs. In the cab on the way to the festival we could feel the bass from a mile away. LOUD!

As stated before, I’m not a techno/electro queen. Glow sticks just aren’t my thing anymore and there was a lot of that going on. Honestly, there were moments I had to slap myself and remember that it wasn’t 1999. I was genuinely looking forward to the Ting Tings, Black Eyed Peas, Perry Ferrel and Bloc Party sets (who didn’t show!!!). Surprisingly enough, I did learn about a drum and bass group that I can definitely get down with. Pendulum was incredible. I had heard of them before but never really understood the magnitude of their awesomeness. They’re metal meets drum and bass. Way cool. A metal band with a DJ. Talk about MixMatching!! Their concert was amazing, full of energy and it was nice seeing instruments on stage!! It’s hard to go stage to stage, watch a new DJ and really get into it. I’m so happy to have seen Pendulum… I now have a new band to follow. Also, props to David Guetta. His set was pretty impressive as well.

Overall, to put it into 2 words… I’m exhausted! It’s a full week of keeping up on where the best parties are, moving your tush event to event, meeting and schmoozing with industry peep, being on your best behavior when necessary and using as much as the day and night as possible. Dearest WMC… there is only so much going to bed at 6am with techno in my head and waking up at 11am to a techno party at your hotel that one person can handle. I think I’m going to take a nap now… for a week! Can’t wait till next year. 🙂

Dancing with the Stars + Mark Ballas = Soft Porn

While Evolving Music is primarily focused on music, we do make the occasional foray into dance, because of its obvious direct relationship with music. For anyone who enjoys dancing or at least watching good dancers dance, there is some basic level of appeal to the show Dancing with the Stars. Some people watch it for the celebrities, some for the dancing, some for the judges, and some for the, uuuuuuh, mishaps?

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Mark Ballas
rises to the occasion.

Lindy Hop is a solid dance. And watching the professional dancer and the gymnast (Shawn Johnson) perform their aerial-laden routine is rousing to be sure. But Dancing to the Stars owes Mark Ballas a big thank you for the boost in viewers they’ll surely get as a result of his 2 seconds of fame. TMZ dubbed it Pole Dancing with the Stars… Watch the whole routine below.

New Orleans Mardi Gras in the 40s and 50s

Happy Fat Tuesday everyone! As you prepare to give something up for lent, watch people you know go through the process, or just enjoy the festivities surrounding the occasion, I leave you with a glimpse of the early days in New Orleans:

Tra.kz Artist Spotlight: The Dance Party (“Sasha Don’t Sleep”)

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Sasha Don’t Sleep” is a track off of The Dance Party’s new tour EP titled “Tiger” coming out this Spring. They’re one of DC’s mega cool indie bands and also becoming a staple in the New York rock scene. Their gigs may be spreading across America but when The Dance Party puts on a show on at home, DC doesn’t sleep. A Dance Party show is a fun & exciting night of outta control rock and roll. You heard me. Check ’em out but be prepared for the addiction.

The Dance Party is a high-energy rock group from Washington, DC. With a sound that combines Dance-Punk, 80’s New Wave, and Powerpop, The Dance Party created a buzz throughout DC and the Mid-Atlantic with their frenetic live performance and hook-laden debut album, “Friction! Friction! Friction!”

The Dance Party recently recorded 10 tracks with Andros Rodriguez at the helm (Justin Timberlake, Cobra Starship, !!!). With a host of shows booked and new songs yet to be released, the band is positioned for rock & roll domination.

The new material demonstrates the band’s strengths – undeniably catchy pop songs executed with an over-the-top delivery, guaranteed to cause the uncontrollable desire to throw caution to the wind and get radical on the dance floor.” – blurb taken from The Dance Party MySpace Music Page.


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