A quick but necessary rant.
In June 2006, I started a YouTube page under my now common moniker “Chodidee”. It was fun, and my friends and I put up goofy videos to amuse ourselves, etc.
When it got to 2008, I decided to focus my YouTube channel away from myself and random activities with friends, but to streamline it as a music video site.
Not only that I focussed only on “Live performance/concert” video clips. This was good and bad. It was good because it was a niche that needed filling, and bad because of YouTube’s growing concern with copyright infringement.
At the beginning, I admit I copied some live performance videos and re-posted them (wouldn’t happen now because of their high tech software to match identical videos).
I also admit, that did get 2 warnings for copyright infringement, which equals 2 strikes out of a 3 strike policy. I believe one of the strikes was on a David Letterman show – singer performance. I don’t have a problem with that, I live and I learn from my mistakes!
So, in a determined effort to change, I re-focused my YouTube channel again in 2009 to reflect my live performance videos of local & national indie music artists (who need the exposure). Actually, I was developing a faithful and growing fan base from my over 120+ videos that I shot and edited. (Ex: interviews, concerts, etc.)
Imagine my shock & dismay when YouTube suspended (same as terminated) my account after a 3rd copyright infringement charge. There is no questions asked, or any way to appeal the decision (I tried). Total totalitarian video website governance on something that can easily be fixed.
Seems, an old video from 2008 (during my video re-copying days) was the culprit that I was charged and sentenced with. My YouTube page is gone & obliterated over what?
It was an indie music artist I happen to like his music and respect his work and messages. He also someone I have had contact with online in the past couple years. The artist mr.j.medieros and his video “Constance” was counted as copyright infringement.
The only reason I wanted to put his video on my page was to give it more exposure, exposure that I feel the artist deserved.
I’m upset because my only recourse was in submitting a 200 character reply as to why there was a mistake/deserve your site back. Clearly not enough to say it in.
I’m disappointed because I put untold hours upon hours making that YouTube page better and more relevant to my demographic – indie music fans. Actually, many articles have used my videos in stories that were published, and now are empty shells.
I haven’t decided if I’m going to start a new YouTube page yet, because it seems so stupid that for someone who made the changes and tried to follow the rules after I made mistakes, is penalized for something that happened in this way before (I forgot the mr.j.medeiros video was still on my roster of 220+ videos).
YouTube doesn’t care whatever what I think, but it is a complete idiot policy that their is no recourse when you have a valid claim. I’ve lost untold hours of work, for this mix up.
Do you really think I would film, edit, upload over 100 HD videos of mine, and spent that much time, if I wanted to test YouTube’s patience and get kicked out with strike three? Obviously not, horrible lesson learned..
I’m sure there are thousands of other voices who have similar experiences to this simplistic YouTube page killing system. I’d love to hear your opinions because even though it’s been a few months now, it still sickens me…
I keep to saying to myself, what’s the point of putting up blogs that are rants? And basically, if I feel myself justified in making the claim/charge, and it will help me feel better & deal with what happened…then why not?
I know that I don’t blog very much nowadays (because I’m always trying to up the content on my other sites), however, occasionally I see thinks that “spike” me into writing a reply.
I woke up today Sun. May 23rd, 2010 & I saw 2 things in the Sunday Entertainment section of the Toronto Star (the biggest newspaper in Canada) that struck my attention.
1) The top 10 music sellers according to Nielsen Soundscan for May 10 – 16th. Out of the top 10, at least 4 of those artists/bands I would count as indie music artists.
Actually #1 was an artist named Charice (real name Charice Pempengco) who gained her fame with talent, severe heavy hitter music biz backing & Oprah show.
2) There is a feature article on a couple pages later on Toronto indie music artist, Darrelle London. She has apparently been gathering steam, as her music caught the eye of Perez Hilton (signed with his music label), and she’s getting a big push with her album’s upcoming release “Edible Word Parade”.
WHY AM I BLOGGING ABOUT THIS??
1) Basically, I’m trying to show my point, that indie artists in many cases…crack the top selling charts. Meaning, in many cases, major music selling stars, get their start as indie artists. Not tons of them, but there are lot’s of them. As well Lady Gaga (who is on the list but I didn’t count as Indie), well about 2-3 years ago, Gaga was a New York City indie artist nobody heard about…
Charice Pempengco – I’ve known about this teenage super pop vocalist for awhile on YouTube. She’s had the backing of mega producer David Foster, and her YouTube videos can give you chills with her singing ability. Now, of course getting Oprah’s seal of approval with an invite on her show, cannot hurt an artist’s chances…
2) Darrelle London – I knew about her too…why I wrote a feature on her over a month ago. The Star article says all this good fortune is coming her way, which it is, however, she was instrumental in that happening. She contacted Perez Hilton, she sends her music to anyone she thinks would be interested (like me), basically she makes her own chances, and I happy for her successes (like getting on 90210) soundtrack.
My closing statement is that if you have a good ear (or write about music all the time), know what quality/talented artists/music sounds like, you will generally have heard of the “Breaking New Music Artists” way before they have broken into the mainstream (you aren’t surprised!).
For example,Stefani Germanotta, now known as Lady Gaga, performing at Ultraviolet Live, NYU’s annual talent show. She ended up coming in 3rd place. 2nd place was Funky Butter. 1st place was Tom Costello & Stephan Magloire. I think this was 2006…
Lady GaGa before she was famous…
~Jason a.k.a. Chodidee
The funny thing is at the Examiner website, my topic is Canadian music, which is a large and broad topic, however, I’m not allowed to write about anything else. This of course leaves out many great musicians/indie bands out there. So, I’ll use this blog to put up some cool new “foreign” music that I’m not allowed print at the Examiner.com/Canada.
You know that saying, “when you least expect it, you get it!”, well that saying goes far in explaining how I got introduced to this next band’s music. Normally, it’s myself trolling through the internet, music sites, listening to songs, looking for that group that just shines & sparkles. Oftentimes it’s few and far between. This time the band, found me on Twitter. I usually find my way listening to most of what people send me, but realistically I only time to write about a certain number of acts.
There are many ways to look at indie: just starting out & trying to find their sound; those that are starting to turn heads & have the talent, and are gigging like mad to make it (at this time they are pretty much ready); Indie/underground groups that have been around so long that they are very respected, but shameful they didn’t break through into the mainstream.
I would class the Junior League band in the second category, as they certainly are up and coming, but they bring a throwback roots/americana/country/acoustic sound. The Lissy Rosemount (the singer) stands out from the pack as her soulful voice that is truly unique, & the band has that polished sound that comes with many performances together. Anyway, you can check out their videos for yourselves. I chose: South Carolina Blues and Kiss You In The Morning b/c. they are more their “music videos”, the other clips are more raw performances.
Junior League Band- South Carolina Blues
Junior League Band – Kiss You In The Morning
If you want to see more, or leave a comment with them, check out these links:
Junior League Band’s Official Homepage: http://www.juniorleagueband.com/
Junior League Band’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/JuniorLeague
Junior League Band’s Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/juniorleagueband
Junior League Band’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/JrLeagueBand2
Dawn Langstroth exclusive article (The Examiner)
Written by: Jason Chu
Halifax, Nova Scotia
~ Jason Chu
Name: DJ Lemon8
Genre: Progressive House/Techno/House
Album: N/A as far as I know, but his new website is coming soon!
Record Label: Bandung-Armada-Plus8-Bedrock-Basic Energy & more
From: Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Overall Rating (out of 4): 3.5
Musicality – The music of this Techno/Dance/House pioneer is extraordinary. The beats are steady, straightforward, and constantly pounding (drive the floor of any dance floor). The interweaving beats create complex rhythms within the music. The mixing of the synthesizer notes and the throbbing/driving bass music, keep DJ Lemon8’s music very vibrant & exciting. Surprisingly, there is a complexity in each track, and each one has a completely different vibe (not all the same).
Singing – The vocals are much like most dance/techno tracks, with a female voice weaving in and out of the song, repeating phrases. The vocals are distinguishable, but not the driving force of the tracks. The main thrust of the singing is to have the vocals pop in at key moments like the chorus/hook, and provide memorable counterpoints to the thundering music underneath the vocals.
Lyrics – The lyrics are simple enough revolving around the themes of the title of the songs.
Flow/Rhythm – Incredible flow and rhythms! You can almost feel yourself inside a club (I provided links to DJ Lemon8’s performances). The progressive nature of DJ Lemon8’s music is such that the beats, build, switch, and interchange at such precise moments that make it so contagious to listen to! The bass parts at many times counterpoint or “fill” the gaps of the drums, to create a marvelous “full” rhythm section. It is also worth noting, that DJ Lemon8 doesn’t rush into his creative climax in the track, but let’s it build like a rising wave, where we await the impending the crescendo!
Freshness – DJ Lemon8 is a trendsetter and pioneer in dance music, so it comes as no surprise that his music sounds so fresh. There is a clean crispness to his music, not sloppy, and always interesting to listen to the first through ten times listening to it.
Technicality/Recording – The mixing and recording of Lemon8 music is near flawless. Everything is on and sounds tight. DJ Lemon8 definitely shows his expert mixing skills with careful listening to all his tracks!
Visuals – DJ Lemon8 uses primarily an image of himself in most of his photos/profiles. Sometimes the photos are in a glossy colorful look, but other times it’s a simple photograph of himself. It’s fine, however, one thing he could do to improve, would be to make a “brand” or logo of his DJ Lemon8 name itself. That would help spread his name a bit more visually, but that’s a small thing.
Top #2 Songs:
1. New York New York (Just an amazing track with powerful techno beats, and cool breakdowns)
2. Greed – Strange World(A great track that just builds and builds, adding layers until you hit the frenzied climax, that will probably have you dancing!).
*Bonus: More Live Performance by DJ Lemon8
3. Triple Funk (Funky djembe-like rhythms with driving high hat percussion, makes this a crazy busy track. The synthesizer melodies just make it trippy.)
~ Jason Chu
Name: The Myriad
Major/Indie/Unsigned: E1 Entertainment (Formerly Koch Records)/Epic Records
Album: With Arrows, With Poise
Overall Rating (out of 4): 3
Musicality – This is a band that likes to challenge themselves with their music. They create interesting variations and layers to their songs, which add a delicious texture and makes the music always interesting. Also, you notice they mix with some sampled electronic sounds, but never overdo it to take away from their indie rock sound.
Singing – Jeremy’s vocals are subtle, but have a distinct character in his voice, almost a bit like Thom Yorke of Radiohead (meaning softer sounding breathy tenor vocals). I like how he doesn’t try to over sing, but has a good voice and knows how to use it. I would find it a little more interesting if he could vary his vocal dynamics and tones, just to bring some variety and liven up the vocals at times. As well, in the few tracks where they made the keyboard a focus, it really added a missing element (middle) with it’s melodies and chords. I wish the keyboards would be in more songs.
Lyrics – Their lyrics are very poetic and you need to search a little for the meanings to make sense to you (thinker’s lyrics). Even with the lyrics on a sheet, it would still take a few listens to adequately understand what “The Myriad” is saying. That’s a compliment.
Flow/Rhythm – Mellow/chill/cool/indie rock is what comes to mind when I think of “The Myriad’s” music. It’s music you would chill to, or even study to, and read a book to. I would almost think they are a slightly more rock sounding “Coldplay”. So, they do have a quieter vibe, but it works.
Freshness – It is pretty decent, but I think you need to be careful with the chill rock/alternative/indie sound. There are just so many people doing that style that you need really have some strong qualities in different areas to stand out.
Technicality/Recording – I’m not sold on the recording here. I think the engineers could have done a better job with the mixing. For example, i think most songs mix the instruments in a way that doesn’t maximize the best sound for the listener. The drum cymbals completely drown out the vocals, and the instruments cover the vocals a bit, which isn’t the greatest if you are a “lyrics” listener. But I’m just being nit-picky! All in all, great music!
Visuals – Top notch Myspace page. Excellent Youtube channel. Their homepage for the band is very good! No complaints on the online presence/marketing. The only thing is if they get twittering/tweeting, it will help them even more!
Top #2 Songs:
1. A Thousand Winters Melting (Just a great song, musically, lyrically, and it makes you feel good when you hear it!) – Unfortunately there was no video/live performance that I could find of this song. So I’ll choose a third.
2. You waste time like a grandfather clock (A great mix of rhythms, effects, dynamics, and amazing lyrics – just a compelling song; one that I would want to listen to multiple times).
2. A Clean Shot (A well balanced track, a bit New Wave-like, driving drums & bass, catchy vocals)
~ Jason Chu
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
Name: Princess Superstar
Genre: Visual/Experimental/Zouk/Flip Flop
Major/Indie/Unsigned: The Corrupt Conglomerate Inc. (Indie)
Album: Mitch Better Get My Bunny (Demo tape, 1994), Strictly Platinum (1995), CEO (1997), Last of the Great 20th Century Composers (2000), Princess Superstar Is (2001), My Machine (2005), The Best of Princess Superstar (2007)
Released: Grandmaster Flash – The Bridge: Concept Of A Culture (Compilation of artists) March 2009
Overall Rating (out of 4): 3.5
Musicality – Princess Superstar is experimental to say the least! Her music transitions through genres of music within a song. Mixing her DJ techniques to add twists to conventional beats. The backing samples and effects are just the right amount without overdoing it. Her breakdowns, bridges, and interludes always seem to progress the song and take it somewhere. It’s great when you see artists really improve over time when you look at his/her body of work. Full marks here.
Singing/Lyrics – Her raps, rhymes, and lyrics are ridiculously good! Her rhymes are so funny and intelligent, yet they are tight and on point. She really knows how write a song and rhyme that is distinctly her, nobody else could say it the same way.
Flow/Rhythm – The tunes are very creative hip hop that is slightly outside of mainstream, which means she really experiments with her songs to show her wide range of skills (DJ/emcee/rapper). Kudos!
Freshness – She definitely has an original style and ultra creative music that mixes elements of hip hop/old school/DJ work to make a unique hybrid sound.
Technicality/Recording – Solid recordings, but some songs are mixed to different levels to vary the sound. It’s interesting experimenting, but sometimes the quieter songs lose some crispness, but oh well.
Visuals – As far as I know, she doesn’t have a Youtube page, however, her many fans have posted videos of her performances. On Myspace she has a great page with songs, links, updates and some real cool pictures! She also has her own website (all web links at the top), which she shares more songs, but most importantly has a blog that she posts in regularly (i.e. healthy food eating stuff, etc.). Finally, she has twitter too!
Top 2 Songs:
Very difficult to choose 2 top songs, since every song is pretty good, but since I have to, I decided to choose these 2 songs
1. My Machine (An amazing track with a cool bass/beat rhythms mixed with her super high quality rhymes, lyrics, and rapping) Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any video of this song.
2. Perfect (Exceeder) – Mason vs. Princess Superstar (Just an amazing remix of a song where the original was superb already! This song shows more of her DJ qualities)
2. Bad Babysitter (Uses a real cool jazzy hip hop loop. A very interesting funny lyrics, with a goofy video to go with it!)
~ Jason Chu
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.