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INDIE NEWS BEAT
Week of December 1, 2003

* Metal Militia Considered For Grammy Awards In 2 Categories
* Debbie Hennessey Included 6X On Grammy Awards Nominating Ballot
* Legendary Ska Front Man Neville Staple Unveils 'Rude Wear Fashions'
* It's About Christmas - Live!
* Focus Marketing Founder To Discuss Digital Music Marketing Strategies
* A Quarter Million Independent Recording Artists Silenced On December 2
* Sheryl Crow On Working With Michael Jackson
* Create An Independent Industry One Stop Powerhouse
* Musicians Raise Money For Cancer Research
* National Women's Football Association's "New Theme Song" "Girls Rock"

Metal Militia Considered For Grammy Awards In 2 Categories

Thrash/Speed Metal Band Metal Militia has been included on the 46th Annual Grammy Awards Nominating Ballot for Best Metal Performance and Best Rock (Metal) Album for their debut "Perpetual State of Aggression."

Metal Militia is the Ft. Lauderdale, FL-based Heavy Metal Band fronted by Paolo Gregoletto and formed in 1999 when the average age of the band was just 13 to 16 years old. The band has gained recognition from many industry professionals with their April 2003 Debut CD release "Perpetual State of Aggression" and the reaction has been astounding. Featured in national metal magazines including Metal Edge and Pit Magazine to worldwide publications like Rock Hard, Metal Integral, Metal Observer and Heavy Metal Forces to name a few, the word on Metal Militia is spreading fast and furiously.

Continuous touring from the Southeast to the Midwest with bands like God Forbid, Otep, Sworn Enemy and E-Town Concrete has earned them a reputation of the hardest working teenage band out there today. At performances on some major festival slots such as Milwaukee Metal Fest, with Strapping Young Lad, Arch Enemy, Hate Eternal, Nile, Exodus to their inaugural appearance at March Metal Meltdown in NJ, they find themselves being the youngest artist with such honors. The band recently worked their way up through Atlanta and Baltimore to arrive at Bostons' LOCOBAZOOKA! which was headlined by Staind, Seven Dust, Il Nino, Powerman 5000 and Smile Empty Soul in September 2003.

With a feature in the November edition of Rock Hard Magazine in Germany and invitations to perform in 2004 on several major Metal Festivals in Europe and Southeast Asia this Heavy Metal Strike Force will work their way through Germany, Italy, Australia and Singapore next summer broadening their worldwide fan base and causing major mosh pits to erupt wherever the Militia lands.

Debbie Hennessey Included 6X On Grammy Awards Nominating Ballot

Independent artist Debbie Hennessey's debut CD Rustic Heart has been included on the 46th Annual Grammy Awards Nominating Ballot an amazing six (6) times, four (4) of those for her vocal performances in the Country Music category. Hennessey, who has also had success on the Adult Contemporary charts, describes her sound as an "upbeat blend of melodic country/pop influenced by classic Motown and rock." She released Rustic Heart on her own label, SqueakyCatMusic.

The categories Hennessey was nominated in are as follows: Best Female Country Vocal Performance (for the songs "Any Way I Can," "Midnight To Cinderella," "Sound Of My Love," and "This Ain't About You"); Best Country Song (for "This Ain't About You" which was written by Mark Luna) and Best Country Album for Rustic Heart. Click here for the link to see the actual ballot.

The single from Rustic Heart, "Midnight To Cinderella," was a hit at Adult Contemporary radio outlets in the U.S. The song went Top 20 this past Summer on New Music Weekly's AC40 Chart and Top 100 on the Friday Morning Quarterback's (FMQB) Top 200. Several songs from the CD are also receiving airplay in Europe, New Zealand and Australia.

Legendary Ska Front Man Neville Staple Unveils 'Rude Wear Fashions'

Neville Staple, legendary Ska front man best known for his work with two tone greats 'The Specials' has today announced the launch of 'Rude Wear Fashions'. Neville is currently on tour and producing a new Album, and A live DVD follow.

Rude Wear will be headed by Entertainment and Music Executive Barry Sanders along with fashion experts David Gold and Neil Wiseman, with a line of clothing covering Suits, Jackets, Polo Shirts, Sweat Shirts and T Shirts. The range is aimed at both the fans of Ska and the current youth culture of today.

The two-tone image of the late 1970's and early 80's was based around racial unity at a time when there was much racial tension. The clothes and the image of this time was very much seen as a cult, Rude Wear fashion in looking to celebrate 25 years of Ska in 2004 and the resurgence of the Music as with Neville, Madness, No Doubt and many more bands, it was felt time to launch a range that no only was attached to the music but was also updated and cutting edge for today's market place.

Neville commented, "It's really great to see this type of clothes will soon be in shops again and maybe the kids will again walk down the street looking smart and trendy, no seriously the guys at Rude Wear have done a fantastic job and we have been working on this now for many months in order to bring together the music and the fashion once more."

"It has been an absolute pleasure working with Neville and his management team on the designs of this new range" David Gold said, David is head of Sales at Rude Wear and went on to say "we hope to have our first range in the shops by no later than the end of February 2004, we have had an absolutely amazing response especially from the European and American markets and we hope to have the product presented to our UK and Irish customers in the next few weeks. We started this as fans really of the music from our youth but since the order books have filled up we are now taking it very serious and are already looking at a further range for late 2004 and 2005."

Along with creating his own fashion line, Neville recently formed a partnership with Alchemy Entertainment to create Rude Boy Music, his own record label, with a focus on Roots music. This label will not only release Neville's archive material and new recordings, but will also allow him to sign new and up coming talent. Giving Neville a chance to work with the Ska legends of tomorrow.

It's About Christmas - Live!

To celebrate the CD's release, ItsAboutMusic.com is sponsoring "It's About Christmas - LIVE" at The Point in Bryn Mawr, PA on December 18th at 8 pm with the full support of WXPN (Listener Supported Radio from the University of Pennsylvania) who will also be playing tracks from the CD throughout the holiday season.

The show will feature a number of the artists on the CD, including Andy Pratt, members of the original Huffamoose, Kyf Brewer, Kati Mac, Cliff Hillis, Jake Holmes, Barbara Montgomery, It's Only Roy's Rick Bell along with other artists from ItsAboutMusic.com including Jon Pousette-Dart, Lilith Fair songwriter Nancy Falkow, Michelle Nagy, Leigh Goldstein, Nik Everett, Norman Mershon of the band Tycoon, Steve Pompeo of the band Eyelevel (used to be Giant Sequoia), Peggy Carroll (from Wide Open Spaces), Pat Robinson of The Itinerants, Harrisburg sensation bravetheday and a few surprise guests.

Get tickets for just $10 (all proceeds go to charity).

"It's About Christmas" CD is available for just $8.99.

Focus Marketing Founder To Discuss Digital Music Marketing Strategies

We all know how the online buzz about a new album can make or break sales. That buzz factor is rapidly moving to new technologies including cell phones, broadband, Internet, online marketing, chat rooms, and websites. Developing strategies to effectively promote musicians across all these new media will be addressed by Jean Marc Rejaud, founder & President of marketing strategy firm Focus Marketing at iHollywood's Music 2.0 conference in LA on Dec 8th and 9th.

"What has been lacking to a large extent in the music industry is meaningful research & analysis upfront in defining the optimal marketing strategy," explained Jean Marc. "Artists & labels have too often turned to cookie-cutter solutions without any supporting data."

"With the emergence of digital mediums though, the wealth and ease of acquiring data will increasingly shape marketing strategies, particularly across mediums. The question facing marketing strategist and executives is how all this data & information translates into the development and implementation of actual cross-media marketing plans that deliver results."

Jean Marc has spent the last 15 years developing and implementing consumer analysis, best segment targeting and innovative marketing/business strategies for Fortune 100 companies, including American Express and l'Oreal. Today, Jean Marc leverages the 80/20 Rule to create information-driven marketing campaigns utilizing everything from database and direct marketing to loyalty programs and new business development for the music industry.

As a preview of some of the practical benefits of Focus Marketing's methodology, attendees can download a 80/20 rule simulation document that will help them calculate its impact on their business or career. The document is freely available by registering to the Focus Marketing newsletter, providing periodic communications on marketing ideas and analysis.

A Quarter Million Independent Recording Artists Silenced On December 2

Over 250,000 independent recording artists will be abandoned next week when MP3.com goes dark on December 2. MP3.com was acquired ten days ago by San Francisco based C-Net. The company has announced it will scrub MP3.com's servers of all content at midnight next Tuesday. The move will strand some 40 million MP3.com subscribers worldwide.

MP3.com made its mark as "the world's largest internet music community." With 40 million subscribers, the system has been regarded as the largest internet music system in the world.

"It's been a powerful force," says Johnny Jolin, lead singer for The Front Porch Country Band. With a million plays, his band became the most listened-to country recording artist in the world over the last 15 months on the giant internet system. "MP3.com enabled our music to compete on a level playing field with the world's greatest country legends."

His band has seen a dozen of their original songs climb to Number One in the world on the MP3.com charts, where 1.6 million songs compete for chart position every day in overnight rankings. That international exposure brought The Front Porch Country Band to the attention of The US-CHINA Foundation last fall. Earlier this spring, the band accepted the foundation's invitation for a fully-paid tour as stadium headliners through China's largest cities - a huge career break for the band.

Sheryl Crow On Working With Michael Jackson

On the November 19 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, singer Sheryl Crow tells talk show host Ellen DeGeneres about her days touring as a backup singer with the legendary King of Pop, Michael Jackson, on his "BAD" tour. When DeGeneres asks Crow what Jackson was like back then, her response - "The signs of weirdness -- like what we're seeing now -- were not quite as drastic. Bubbles [the monkey] was there."

Sheryl performed "The First Cut is the Deepest" and "Everyday is a Winding Road" on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

Create An Independent Industry One Stop Powerhouse

For the past few months, both Through The Vine (TTV) and Full House Music Group (FHMG) and their respective "Family of Firms," have been in discussions to determine how the two entertainment companies compliment one another.Talks began when FHMG's President & CEO, Darrin Hodges decided that it was time to take his independent record label (currently 5 artists) and production company to the next level. Marketing, Promotions, extended Public Relations, and the need for Distribution (traditional & new media), represented FHMG's mission critical needs.

After months of sizing-up the viable players and competition (the SF Bay Area represents the Independent Music and Entertainment capital in the US), FHMG chose TTV as its stable mate. "I've been watching TTV. I focused on how you guys were everywhere and at everything and possessed a broad industry reach," says Darrin of FHMG.Through The Vine's COO & VP of Public Relations, Y'Anad Burrell was approached to set up a meeting between Etienne Carter, TTV Chairman & Founder and FHMG.

It didn't take long for both companies to see that a combining of forces would in essence, fill in all the gaps that the other needed. Outside of its own parent production company, Esquire Productions, Inc. (ESQPI), TTV has been searching for a record label that would become a partner for its growing "Global Emerging Artist Network.""In the wake of all the chaos and confusion that is running ramped within today's Music & Entertainment scene (landscape or marketplace), we will emerge as an Independent Powerhouse," says Etienne of TTV.

Musicians Raise Money For Cancer Research

A group of musicians - A Christmas To Cure Cancer, Inc. releases a charity Christmas CD of the same name to raise money for cancer research on November 30. They donate the net proceeds to The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in Columbus, OH. The release is followed by two benefit concerts in Columbus, Ohio on Friday, December 5, and in Dover, Ohio on Sunday, December 7.

The organization's mission is to raise money for cancer research. Consisting of musicians with diverse musical backgrounds, the group was inspired to start their fundraising efforts by their dear friend and fellow musician, Lorne VanFossen, a cancer survivor who is currently cancer free and featured playing guitar on the "A Christmas To Cure Cancer" CD and during their live benefit performances.

The group is primarily made up of a band of former high school aged musicians called Aereon that played together from 1978 to 1982 in Eastern Ohio. The foursome consists of Mark Puskarich, Cody Romshak, Lorne VanFossen and Dave Clo. Dave Clo, now residing in Nashville, records and performs for Christian artists such as Chris Rice, SuperChick, and Toby Mac of DC Talk. With the addition of 3 women, Corrina VanFossen, Julie Lucas & Michele Clay, and a few special guests, they all contributed to the making of the CD and performing at the live benefit events.

National Women's Football Association's "New Theme Song" "Girls Rock"

The National Women's Football Association (NWFA), which is the largest league in the world for women's full contact football, has a theme song - "GIRLS ROCK" by: Hip Kitty. The NWFA's league website receives over 2.5 million hits per month. Hip Kitty was also selected from a large number of artists to perform at The National Women'S Football Championship Half-Time Show!

"We wanted to showcase a really hot independent band and man with Hip Kitty, we found it. This group should be at the top of the charts without a doubt," states Catherine Masters, CEO and Founder of the National Women's Football Association.

Hip Kitty's debut album "Good Enough To Lick" defines all angles of rock music with tear jerking power ballads like "For Crying Out Loud" to today's rock/rap style of "Ain't No Doubt," which many listeners say should be at the top of the charts. From rock to rap to R & B, this group has it.

Provided by the MusicDish Network. Copyright Tag It 2003 - Republished with Permission

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