Underground female voices who deserve more attention from both genders

April 20, 2012 Leave a comment

The world of music has seen any female faces, from the early beginnings of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, to Janis Joplin and Blondie, to the more contemporary Lady Gaga and Gwen Stefani. These women have made the mainstream spotlight and segmented themselves in our playlists and musical history.

Elle Magazine held a commemorative event for the third-year of the “Women in Music” celebration. Rising stars, and big-name personas came out to perform, but not perform rocking the red carpet.

However, what about the musically-inclined babes that we don’t hear on the radio, nor see featured in a music video? The one ones who don’t top the billboard charts even as a blip on the radar? This isn’t to say that by default, we all automatically dislike the ones who do, on account of their popularity. It’s just a pity that only a select recognize the greatness of some of the underground female voices. Even for those of you who hear female musican and cringe at the thought of an uber-feminist or Lillith Fair type, there’s good news. These women fall outside the conventional standards, this lending them a special appeal.

Here are seven female artists that you most likely have not heard of, who both guys and gals will find something to like. Or if you have heard of them, you’re just glad to hear another human being share their appreciation.

Android Lust-Shikhee

She’s masculine in a similar way to Trinity from “The Matrix” but it’s the way she masquerades as flesh-made being acting like a robot, that makes her a sell.

Die Form-Éliane P.

Her worldly sultriness may call to you, so long as you’re a little morbid and death obsessed.

Freezepop-Liz Enthusiasm or Justinne “Jussi” Gamache


Consumers of frozen snack treats and anybody who has played either the “Downhill Domination” or “Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 3” video games will adore her.

Ayria-Jennifer Parkin

Fans of her previous work as part of the group Epsilon Minus will tell you she’s awesome, and she makes you want to get up and dance.

Helalyn Flowers– N0emi Aurora



If you were to take a woman who looked like some exotic, Italian sex-goddess supermodel and infused her with a cyberpunk style and contagious energy, this would be the end result.

Celluloide-Darkleti
Darkleti2


Her ultra pouty look is beckoning enough, but anybody obsessed with the French will be put under her spell, especially if you dig 80s style and 8-bit graphics.

The Birthday Massacre-Chibi

Chibi

If you have a soft spot for playfully devilish bombshells than look no further and be prepared for an overdose of sweetness and cuteness.

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How unlucky are we that these artists will no longer be making new music?

April 13, 2012 Leave a comment

One might say “Thank God it’s Friday,” (T.G.I.F!), but anybody who is in the slightest bit superstititious has probably already noticed that today is “Friday the 13th.”

Blame it on Jason Voorhees. Blame it on the fear of the unlucky number 13.

There won’t be any endorsement here for fear of a date. After all, hard times can fall upon anyonem on any day, in any month of the year. It could happen to anyone, in any form. Like us, for instance, when we lose our favorite musicians. Whether they formally retire or just disappear, we all really hate when it happens.

So, in the name of this day celebrating (or running away from) bad luck, we shall pay tribute to those once-beloved bands who are no longer with us today.

Here are 13 former artists, whose departures could all be considered a “curse.” They are presented in descending order, based on the number of listeners on Last.FM

Coil

Members: John Balance, Peter Christopherson, Jim Thirlwell, Danny Hyde, Stephen Thrower, Drew McDowall, William Breeze, Thighpaulsandra, Ossian Brown
Years Active: 1982-2004
Genre(s): Industrial, Experimental
Listeners: 169, 112
Most Scrobbled Song: “Fire of the Mind”

Cabaret Voltaire

Members:Richard H. Kirk, Stephen Mallinder, Chris Watson
Years Active: 1973-1994
Genre(s):Post-Punk, EBM
Listeners: 148, 686
Most Scrobbled Song: “Nag Nag Nag”

Curve

Members: Dean Garcia, Toni Halliday
Years Active: 1991-2005
Genre(s): Industrial, Electronica
Listeners:129,389
Most Scrobbled Song: “Horror Head”

Throbbing Gristle

Members:Peter Christopherson, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Chris Carter, Genesis P-Orridge
Years Active: 1975-2010
Genre(s): Industrial, Avant-Garde
Listeners: 119, 346
Most Scrobbled Song: “20 Jazz Funk Greats”

Revolting Cocks

Members:Al Jourgensen, Luc Van Acker, Richard 23, Bill Rieflin, Paul Barker
Chris Connelly, Phildo Owen, Josh Bradford, Sin Quirin, Clayton Worbeck
Years Active:1985-2010
Genre(s):Post-Industrial, EBM
Listeners: 96, 531
Most Scrobbled Song: “Stainless Steel Providers”

Icon of Coil

Members:Andy LaPlegua, Sebastian Komor, Christian Lund
Years Active: 1997-2006
Genre(s):Electronic, Futurepop
Listeners: 79, 284
Most Scrobbled Song: “Shelter”

Machines of Loving Grave

Members:Scott Benzel, Stuart Kupers, Mike Fisher, Brad Kemp, David Suycott, Ray Riendeau, Tom Coffeen
Year Active: 1989-1997
Genre(s): Industrial-Rock, Grunge
Listeners: 60, 572
Most Scrobbled Song: “Golgotha Tenement Blues”

Sister Machine Gun

Members:Chris Kelly, Chris Randall, Miguel Turanzas, Guilherme Machado
Years Active:1990-2007
Genre(s):Industrial, Rock
Listeners: 59, 802
Most Scrobbled Song: “Burn”

Flesh Field

Members:Ian Ross, Wendy Yanko, Scott Tron, Matthias Ewald, Josh Creamer,
Rian Miller
Years Active: 1996-2011
Genre(s): Industrial, Electronic
Listeners: 51, 335
Most Scrobbled Song: “Voice of Dissent”

Evil’s Toy

Members: Volker Lutz, Christian “Léo” Leonhardt, Thorsten Brenda, Oliver Taranczewski
Years Active: 1992-2005
Genre(s): Futurepop, Synthpop
Listeners: 47, 283
Most Scrobbled Song: “Style”

SPK

Members: Graeme Revell, Neil Hill, Danny Rumour, David Virgin, Dominik Guerin, James Pinker, Karel van Bergan, John Murphy, Derek Thompson, Brian Williams, Sinan Leong, Jeff Bartolomei, Mary Bradfield-Taylor, Sam McNally,
Jan Thornton, Karina Hayes, Paul Charlier
Years Active: 1978-1988
Genre(s): Industrial, Experimental
Listeners:443, 824
Most Scrobbled Song: “Post-Mortem”

NamNamBulu

Members:Henrik Iversen, Vasi Vallis
Years Active: 2002-2005
Genre(s): Synthpop, Futurepop
Listeners: 43, 654
Most Scrobbled Song: “Memories”

Epsilon Minus

Members: Bogart Shwadchuck, Jennifer Parkin
Years Active: 2002-2005
Genre(s): Futurepop, Electronic
Listeners: 17, 902
Most Scrobbled Song: “Through”

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EBM is not dead or dying

April 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Everybody thinks that catching a break in the music business means that you have got it made. After all, finding fame and fortune by singing your way to stardom is the glamorized portrait.
This is not so much a reality as it is a dream for most musicians, as few actually ever truly hit it big. It is even less likely an outcome for underground musicians, who are very often not anymore recognizeable from the average person on the street.

Sascha Mario Klein, the sole member of Neuroticfish, highly illustrates an aspect of this story perfectly.

Murray Miron, is a devoted fan of the Electro-Industrial niche music scene. He has a musical playlist so large that he could leave it playing for 8 days straight, and odds are nine of ten people may be able to point out one of the ten artists.

In 2003, Miron took a trip to Manhattan with some friends. He and his group found themselves a few blocks away from Penn Station and right around the corner from Downtime, the jazz club which turns into Albion Batcave on Saurday nights. The Batcave had not been on their agenda, but Neuroticfish happened to be playing that evening, and they were all interesting in seeing that show.

Miron genuinely enjoyed the performance, he really did. However, he had an awkward encounter following the show and after the club closed, that he has not quite been able to forget.

Once the club closed, people gathered on the street outside. Some were smoking and some were socializing and chit-chatting, while a couple were straggling down the steps in a drunken stupor and others were groping each other. Be that as it may, it was a fairly-sized crowd. That is, except for Sascha Mario Klein, who was leaning up against the garage right next-door, close enough to be within ear-shot, yet all by himself.

“He looked different close-up and he was definitely heavier-set than he looked on-stage,” Miron says. “Honestly, I could not tell it was him, and when I realized it and whispered it to my friend, she asked me if I was sure.”


Miron had been wondering why no one was talking to Klein or why he was still there all alone and loitering. That is until some guy who was standing nearby walked over to Klein, to strike up a conversation.

Klein was supposed to get a ride that had apparently not shown, and was not sure if he had enough money to pay for a cab. However, the guy was nice enough to give him some cash.

“He seemed like an extremely friendly and down-to-earth fellow. Although, there was something kind of sad and pathetic and heartbreaking about it, you know?” Miron says.

NeuroticFish retired in 2008 and Downtime retired Albion Batcave in 2007.

Perhaps Klein was trying to be ironic then, when he decided to call his website, EBM Is Dead . Nevertheless, while the scene may be small, EBM is not dying per say. It is more so that with the help of the Internet and the aid of technology, the nature of the scene is changing and shifting, and it has been for a while now.

Video for “They Are Coming To Take Me Away”:

Video for “Velocity”:

Video for “Suffocating Right”:

Video for “The Bomb”:

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Spin the Vote to see the worlds of music and politics collide

April 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Some rumor has it that the current younger generation is one of nonchalance and detachment, harboring feelings of apathy and indifference for the future. However, a few certain sources seem to think otherwise.

Spin the Vote is a new national voter registration program aimed particularly at music lovers and starting this summer they will have an opportunity to actively participate thanks to the Electronic music concert outfit, Insomniac, and the ever-popular ongoing advent, Rock the Vote.

Spin the Vote took off on March 17 during Insomniac’s Beyond Wonderland in San Bernardino, California. A selection of volunteers registered the concert attendees who were present in person, and mobile voters were enabled an access code. Considering how tech-obssessed and plugged-in the youth culture is these days, this is literally a way empowering them at their fingertips. Staff members also distributed stickers and buttons, and chatted with the Electronic Dance music fans about just how large of an impact the 18-25 demographic will have on the November election.

The Insomniac sponsored events, The Electric Daisy Carnival , held in both New York and Las Vegas and Nocturnal Wonderland, will feature Spin the Vote booths this year.

House music headliners will also be called upon for their help in spreading the message this fall. They will be asked to blast voice and video messages from famous DJ’s to appeal to young voters all across the nation

Millennials compose roughly a quarter of the whole 2012 electorate group. For those who wish to have their voice heard, this is a major chance to step forward and take some sort of political action. Even for those of us who are a couple of years older or maybe more than that, it’s nice to see somebody is trying to teach grown-up kids to give a damn and urging them to secure a better future.

CBS News goes behind the scenes of Rock the Vote:

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Workout DVD’s for the Healthy Goth

April 7, 2012 Leave a comment

AmyAsphodel, The blogger who brings the web-surfing audience Stripy Tights and Dark Delights (formerly known as “The Ultimate Goth Guide”) frequently writes about fashion and the alternative lifestyle. However, she had a recent conversation with a friend and fitness-instructor in-training, who reminded her that the average adult requires 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 times a weekly. This prompted Amy to admit that she’s no gym bunny, and how the thing that most inspires her to workout is a smart-phone app that plays sounds which trick you into thinking zombies are chasing you.

Joking aside she has taken on what she calls the Batfit 2012 exercise challenge this year and she knows there are others out there like her, who cannot stand working out to bad 90s pop, or the tortuous screeching of the Pussy Cat Dolls. For those people, namely those gals, like herself, she has assembled a list of workout DVD’s for the healthy Goth.

Belly Dance for the Beautiful Freaks
Presenter: seasoned bellydancer Tempest
Features:Choreographies to be adapted for the club dancefloor and a Gothic Bellydance workshop, with the music of Collide, Skinny Puppy, Jill Tracy and Nox Arcana among others.


The Exotic Dance Workout with Lady Morrighan

Presenter:Lady Morrighan
Features: A risque program that you can do in heels, divided into three sections: Exotic Dance, Floor and Chair.

Now on the one hand, this does sound like a bit of a joke, but on the other, pretty much everybody could benefit from more exercise.
I guess whatever it takes, right?

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Electronic music festivals for the masses

April 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Surely, Rivetheads, Goths, Ravers, New Wavers, and Cyberpunks everywhere experienced a period of mourning over the loss of the beloved, annual Blacksun Festival in 2007. The event was held over an entire weekend in July/August for three summers, in each including a lineup of different industrial and electronic musicians. The end of the festival felt tragic to many of the attendees and fans, for it was the premiere musical gathering of the genre based in the United States.

It is true that the majority of the the scene is centered overseas, and primarily in Europe. However, there are a number of upcoming shows over the next few warmer months, and while the acts may not be as recognizable as those at UK’s Infest ,they may still be able to get their electronica and synthpop fix.

The Euphoria Music Festival promises four stages of euphoria for 12 hours, from 5 p.m. to 5 p.m. It starts on Saturday, April 7, in Austin, TX.

Dubbed the happiest place on earth by the Village Voice, the Electric Zoo is coming back to New York City for a second year over the Labor Day weekend. (August 31- Sept. 2) You can purchase 3-day, V.I.P. and Platinum passes, and book a travel package for the event today.

If you want to check out the third annual Sacramento Electronic Music Festival, then you can head over to Harlow’s and Momo Lounge on May 3-5, if you’re over 21.

The widely popular Electric Daisy Carnival recently announced their Las Vegas 2012 lineup, scheduled for June 8-10. The festival is produced by Insomniac events and proclaimed to be the largest of its kind in North America. That may very well be believeable too, since this is its 16th year.

So, some of us may have to travel a little bit. At least the music will be playing within the country and where there is a will, there is a way.

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Make electronic music that goes snap, crackle, and pop with FL Studio

April 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Nick Tomarino, former member of the now-retired band, T4, has played the keyboard for over a decade with FL Studio by his side.

The Belgian company, Image-Line, developed the digital audio workstation, once known as Fruity Loops. The program , uses a graphical user interface and is modeled around a pattern-based music sequencer.
The name may sound funny to you, and it has nothing to do with the easily recognizable breakfast cereal. However, it has been a favorite of amateur music makers and hopeful up-and-coming musicians alike, who get their start at their own computer with a free, downloadable FL demo.

I have always been a metal head, but I have a special place in my heart for electronic music,” Tomarino says. “That’s why I play the keyboard and Fruity Loops is the only program I have ever used in my home studio.”

FL Studio has four different editions for Microsoft Windows: FL Studio Express, the Fruity Edition, the Producer Edition, and the Signature Bundle. There is also FL Studio Mobile, the version made available for the iPod, iPad, and the Touch.

The foundation has a wide number of native plugins and generators built in into the studio base , and if that were not enough, it accepts installations from a variety of third-party platforms. Some other options include synthesizers, virtual effects, and samplers.

The software also comes with a lifetime of free updates and has a low-learning curve. So, whether you want to make remixes and create anything that sounds professional or just to jam and experiment, most people find the sequencer is fun, and user-accessible.

Music producers, rock-stars, and junior DJ’s proudly upload videos of their FL creations on a daily basis, and a select few go so far as to post tutorials.
“Fruity Loops was there when I was looking for my doorway into electro music, even when I was simply playing and practicing and just playing around,” Tomarino says.

FL creations posted on Youtube:






FL Tutorial by TommyTechUSA:

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