Stephen "Doc" Kupka Presents "Bumped Up To First Class" By The Strokeland Superband
The Strokeland Superband is back with their anxiously awaited new release, Bumped Up to First Class, featuring 12 new tunes co-written by Stephen 'Doc' Kupka and a few of his talented friends. Best known as a founding member of Tower of Power and a prodigious songwriter, Doc has once again pulled together the best of the best for this Strokeland Records release. Founded in 1998, Strokeland Records has become the launch pad for the Strokeland Superband, a project featuring a revolving set of musicians with ties to Tower of Power and other Strokeland bands.
Bumped Up to First Class is Strokeland Superband returning to its roots. Doc's original formula of "sharing the musical goodies" with big names has come around again, much to the delight of the fans. The album opens with the funky "It Is What It Is," sung by legendary frontman Edgar Winter, featuring a kick-ass Hammond B-3 solo by Chester Thompson of Tower of Power and Santana fame. "Colin Powell" takes an upbeat, tongue-in-cheek approach to our current political situation by asking "When will Colin Powell write his tell-all book?" The album also features several ballads. "All of the Above" is a love song to that special someone thanking them for all of their positive attributes. "Soulful Kind of Love" brings to mind some of the classic ballads that have made Doc one of the most memorable songwriters of his generation. The rest of the album contains a plethora of amazing tunes that are guaranteed to get you on your feet. You'll find a mixture of soul, blues, Latin, and fu!
nk that gets your feet tapping, your fingers snapping, and your head bobbing. Doc has wowed us again with his ability to modulate at any time, in any direction, and be completely interesting musically.
Working with co-producer and former Tower of Power guitarist Jeff Tamelier, Doc has assembled a stellar group of artists to record this new musical endeavor. Doc credits Jeff with bringing together all of this talent and making it cohesive. Bumped Up to First Class features outstanding lead vocals by Mike Finnigan (Crosby, Stills and Nash), Huey Lewis (Huey Lewis & the News), Alex Ligertwood (Santana), Lydia Pense (Lydia Pense & Cold Blood), Fred Ross, John Lee Sanders, Edgar Winter, and the late Frank Biner. The tight, funky horn section is comprised of original Tower of Power horn section leader Mic Gillette (Tower of Power/Sons of Champlin/Mic Gillette Jon Smith Project), Lee Thornburg (Tower of Power/Tonight Show Band), David Woodford (Bonnie Raitt/Jeff Golub), and the Funky Doctor himself - and all sax solos feature current Saturday Night Live bandleader and ex-Tower of Power member Lenny Pickett. Not to be outdone, the rhythm section features strong performances by !
Jeff Tamelier (guitar), Mike Finnigan (keyboards), Chester Thompson (keyboards), as well as current TOP drummer David Garibaldi and bassist Francis Rocco Prestia, and many more.
FanBridge.com Launches First Pre-Formatted Merch Table Signup Form
FanBridge, the leading provider of email and mobile fan list management for musicians, today unveiled a new proprietary software program that allows bands to have fans signup for a fan list directly on any computer at the merch table. An easy to follow interface is presented to fans, and the program automatically validates the data and saves it to a data file for easy input into a FanBridge account.
"The idea for this new service offering actually came directly from our users," states FanBridge co-founder Spencer Richardson, "Users came to us asking for a way to easily collect fan info at shows. They were tired with the amount of time it takes to manually type in fan information from paper signup sheets, as well as the amount of guesswork in trying to read illegible handwriting. Our new program solves these problems, saving bands time while increasing the size and integrity of their fan lists."
Helping bands keep their fans:
Based on feedback from many touring bands and internal research, FanBridge estimates that artists lose some 20-30% of their potential fanbase due to fans giving poorly written and/or improperly formatted information and poor transcription on the part of artists. Multiplied over the large number of shows musicians play each year, artists are missing out on thousands of fans in the current process. To help encourage accurate fan information, the program is customizable for international users by allowing different data formats depending on location. The foreign userbase of FanBridge, representing more than 70 countries, helped encourage this international focus.
The greener way to get more fans:
In addition to solving the problems artists face with the inefficient merch table signup process, FanBridge also believes that the environmental considerations of paperless fan management are an important driver in the launch of their new program. Richardson notes, "The average number of sheets of paper a band uses at their shows is about 3-5, which when factored over the number of shows over a year performed, and then multiplied by the total number of performing bands worldwide you quickly start to see that paper fan lists account for some 300 million sheets of paper, the equivalent of roughly 30,000 trees, each year."
Media Alert: etnobofin Review of 'Jazz Cycles'
Once, a well-known New Zealand jazz drummer (OK, well-known in NZ, anyway) was known to say "Bebop's the only music, man.". The naïvety of this generalisation does not detract from his reputation as a drummer, but his apparent unwillingness to engage seriously with any music made after 1955 might mean he may never encounter some really good examples of the the small group jazz being made today, including the compositions of Paul Nash.
Many of us on the wrong side of the Atlantic (or outside NY) have never heard of Bronx-born composer and guitarist Paul Nash. A graduate of Berklee in 1972, he worked mainly in the States up until his early death from a brain tumour in January 2005.
Jazz Cycles (along with Avant Noir) is one of two albums of his music recorded in the last year of his life. But far from a sad or wistful, Jazz Cycles is a disc full of optimism and great ideas, one I'm really enjoying listening to at the moment.
Some of the compositions here recall the great small group writing heard on Wayne Shorter's Blue Note dates in the early 60s - swinging, well bluesy, but ever-so-slightly angular. Certainly the Jazz Messengers could've picked up It's Only a Dream without blinking - although the Blakey/Workman/Timmons rhythm section of that period would have propulsed the piece in a different direction.
The playing here is pretty fine. Another highlight is the improvised polyphony in the solo section of Strange Rife, where Endsley, Williamson, Ries and Juris get to splay their chops Mingus-like all over the slack-jawed groove. Or Bruce Williamson's opening birdsong on Wind over the Lake. Vic Juris gets top marks from me - I'm not easily moved by jazz guitarists, but his work on this record is awesome.
by Richard, etnobofin
Published August 8th, 2007
AirPlay Direct Announces New Services
AirPlay Direct announces two new services and upgrades to their digital delivery platform. The AirPlay Direct system now supports the delivery of two types of "broadcast-quality" files to radio stations globally; the CD quality .wav file, as well as 320k mp3's. The enhanced platform will also now support the delivery of streaming video.
Beyond the exciting services upgrades, the AirPlay Direct artist and record label sites have been re-designed with a new, more modern look and feel.
AirPlay Direct continues to help shape today's emerging digital music industry, and is the only company in the world that supports the professional independent music community with this suite of FREE digital delivery solutions. AirPlay Direct's new member package includes:
* An AirPlay Direct artist web site
* Three "broadcast-quality" tracks available to radio stations globally (.wav or 320k mp3)
* Streaming video
* Real-time Download Tracking Reports (tracks which radio stations download your music for airplay and when)
* An AirPlay Direct Digital Promo Kit / DPK (electronic press kit)
"We are pleased to be able to expand our suite of digital 'smart-tools' and to provide these valuable new services to our members. The best part of this announcement is that we will be delivering these new services to our members at no cost to them. To be able to contribute daily as a relevant resource for working professionals globally is very exciting. But to be able to contribute to the digital evolution and development of the music industry as a whole, in such a meaningful manner as this, brings a tremendous sense of achievement and pride to our management team and investors." Robert Weingartz, CEO AirPlay Direct
Popkomm Rocks Berlin: 450 Acts In Four Days At The Music Festival 2007
"There is no substitute for live music. And Popkomm provides a real live music experience!", said Popkomm Director Katja Bittner at a press conference this Tuesday. "Popkomm 2007 is definitely the place to be if you want to discover new music."
"There is a real demand for various musical niches", Festival Manager Dirk Schade commented with regard to the line-up for the Popkomm Festival 2007, during the press conference held at the frannz Club. "Many of the bands and performers who never get a chance in the usual media nevertheless attract large and enthusiastic numbers of fans with their music live and online. Even though playback devices are coming smaller all the time, people still feel the need for that live experience. In addition to promising acts from the underground this year's Festival will again also include such experienced performers as Billy Bragg and Paul Weller."
Platform for promoting international acts
"We have again been able to increase international participation, thereby demonstrating that Popkomm is also an important platform for promoting performers from all over the world", Schade pointed out. Record numbers of acts will be coming from the United Kingdom, with 43, the USA with 27, and Sweden with 20 showcases. "We are particularly pleased with the record participation from Australia and Scandinavia. Among the outstanding performers from the Nordic countries will be Saybia from Denmark, Hanoi Rocks from Finland and the Swedes The Soundtrack of Our Lives and The Sunshine.
Architecture in Helsinki is just one of nine bands coming from Down Under. This indie-pop band be following The Go!Team (UK) and Stars (Canada) on stage at "City Slang and Cooperative Music play PopKomm" . Other international highlights at Popkomm will be the French pop chansonnier Benjamin Biolay and DJ Felix da Housecat from the USA.
Pedram Sadighi, owner and manager of neuwerk Music Management in Hamburg. is looking forward in particular to the Extended Electronics Festival, where Ladytron and Nitzer Ebb, both from the UK, will be performing: "At the Extended Electronics Night Popkomm is presenting some of the most internationally successful bands on the electro/ alternative scene, as part of a musical network which has been operating effectively for many years and has also been implementing various projects."
Provided by the MusicDish Network. Copyright © MusicDish LLC 2007 - Republished with Permission