Dart Music International

DART DISPATCH   ... Hear There. Everywhere.
  - September/October 2012

In this month's edition...

Not in Today's Economy
      Supporting arts organizations in tough economic times...
Artist of the Month: Tammurriatarock
      "Rock Italiano" band talks US tour and upcoming album...
Artist of the Month: The Foreign Resort
      Danish rockers discuss international touring and team work...
What We're Listening To
      This month's play list, featuring Kenyan band Sauti Sol and more...
Travel Tip
      Things to think about when planning an international tour...
Partner of the Month: Disc Nation
      World's largest online retailer of disc golf equipment and active community supporter...
This Month's Events
      Upcoming tours, events, and more...
Participate
      Join the DMI team, subscribe, and more...
The Last Word
      HAAM Day in Austin is October 2nd...


Not in Today's Economy
Yep we've all heard the phrase "not in today's economy" more than enough lately. But the simple truth is that the general economy in the United States and around the world is exceptionally tight now and for the foreseeable future. In times like these it is natural to pull back on expenses. It is an understandable reaction to uncertainty.

Music and cultural arts are usually among the first things to be cut out of the ledger, whether it's our personal budgets or national spending priorities. But I urge you to remember the importance of the arts in our daily lives and the lives of future generations. When President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Endowment on the Arts into existence he noted, "Art is a nation's most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish."

Groundbreaking events like the Austin Icon Awards, Dart Music International House, and free community events happen because of your participation. We have been able to reach thousands of people from all over the world using music to promote international relations through interpersonal interactions. Please commit today to support DMI. Your one-time gift or a small recurring donation will help us keep the lights on and continue to be a champion for international cultural education through music.

You have the power to keep the arts alive in your community by supporting organizations like DMI, shopping at your local independently owned record store, going out to see live performances, or making your own art. In these tough times - especially in these tough times - your support is vital.
      - Dave Dart

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ARTISTS

Tammurriatarock
Tammurriatarock

Artist of the Month: Tammurriatarock
They've been compared to bands like Gogol Bordello and Manu Chao, and their style is referred to as Italian world-music, gypsy-folk-rock, and even "rock-folk-swing." Enrico Capuano is the band's founder and is known in some circles as the "Bob Dylan of Italian folk-rock." Enrico and singer Dunia Molina of Tammurriatarock spoke with us from Rome on the eve of their 2nd US tour about the band's foundation, international touring, and their latest multi-lingual album.

"Our style is Rock Italiano," say Enrico and Dunia. "Italian rock is very different from American rock. We try to keep the Italian roots and mix the traditional music with rock sounds and reggae. The base of our music is Tarantello. It's from South Italy - like American country music. It's like when you try to mix rock music with country music. [the comparison with] Gogol Bordello is true. They mix Balkan music with modern music. It's underground music. We have the same kind of feeling of rock & roll. We mix these kind of sounds with progressive music and old school music of the 70's."

The band's tongue-twister name comes from a form of traditional Tarantella music native to Naples. Enrico began experimenting with this high-energy style fused with rock music. "When he started mixing traditional music with modern music in the 80's everyone looked at him like he was crazy. Kind of like Bob Dylan when he went electric. But now in Italy it is a very popular thing."

The band centers around the song-writing and leadership of Enrico. Over the past two decades they have reached the current six-person lineup by finding musicians who are not just technically exceptional, but also have a shared "heart and groove."

In addition to Enrico on guitar/vocals and Dunia singing, the band is rounded out by Daniele Iacono on drums (who played on Coolio's last album), Claudio Merico on violin, bass player Roberto Lo Monaco, and Andrea Iannicola on lead guitar.

One of the most important things about their music is their audience. "Tammurriatarock basically is a social band. We play for the workers and this kind of people," says Dunia. "The first thing is to be humble. We play on a TV show for a couple of million people [one day] and then the next day play in front of just a few people."

Touring internationally is part of the adventure for Tammurriatarock. They have played across Western and Central Europe, the Middle East, Cuba, Canada, and the United States. The most difficult place to get a performance visa? The US. It's something bands around the world have come to understand. For a band coming to the US, the work visa application process often takes 3-5 months and requires extensive documentation along with a local sponsor. Going the other way, most US bands can play in Italy without any special visa.

The biggest travel problem they experienced was traveling to Canada from the US and back. They played a benefit in Canada, but were turned away at the border because of confusion over permissions to play the benefit show rather than regular tour dates. Even misplacing Enrico's passport in Jordan was not as stressful!

Comparing concerts at home versus performing across the pond, Dunia reflects, "In Italy a lot of people know us, so it's a lot easier. When you are making something something new it is always a good adventure. Our objective in these tours is to see if our music works in the US. It's a different kind of mentality. We were surprised. People's reactions were incredible."

After a big show celebrating the 30th anniversary of Tammuriatarock near the Coliseum in Rome, they have embarked on their 2nd US tour this month. Playing dates at Italian-American festivals and revisiting venues in the Northeast and Northwest, they have made dramatic in-roads with audiences across the US and Canada.

The first date for the 2012 tour was September 27 in New Jersey. They are retracing many of the venues they played in 2011, including a big show in Harlem and the Italian American festival. You can catch them across North America through mid-October, then they will be back in Italy for several big shows.

"In Europe it's easier to organize and find the best, most comfortable situation for touring. It's a new adventure in the US. But we've always had a beautiful situation in the US. But we need better marketing for US shows because we are not as well known." Marketing and publicity as well as label/representation is something the band needs to make a bigger impact into the US market. For an eclectic, world-traveling band like Tammurriatarock, they are searching for a company that fits just right.

The blend of traditional music with rock & roll also causes a language conundrum. A lot of bands are encouraged to sing in English, but T-rock up to now sings in Italian primarily. For Italian rock bands it is normal to sing in English, but in traditional or world music it is expected that they sing in Italian. So the next project from the band will feature songs in English, Spanish, and Italian.

Most of their albums are available on iTunes or the Blond Records website. Tour dates and other information is available on Enrico's Facebook page or Blond Records website. They are working on a new band website, so stay tuned.

Italian bands they recommend for US fans include prog rock bands PFM (Premiata Forneria Marconi) and AreA from the 70's. They also like rapper Caparezza, who they compare to Rage Against the Machine, as well as Turin rock band Subsonica.

Website:   blondrecords.com
Download/Listen:   "Where Do You Go (Edit)" from the upcoming album  
Buy:   Tammurriatarock on iTunes
Watch:   "Improvvisato" live from last year's Primo Maggio Di Piazza San Giovanni Diretta RAI 3.


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The Foreign Resort
The Foreign Resort

Artist of the Month: The Foreign Resort
I got to talk with Mikkel and Morten from The Foreign Resort to talk about their ambitious touring schedule and how important it is to team up with bands from the countries you are visiting. We got to feature them at the 2010 Dart Music International House, where they blew the roof off the place. Check out the video for "Take A Walk" and tell me they're not great.

TFR have been working on a new album over the summer (with new bass player Patrick Ryming and long-time guitarist Henrik Fischlein) and are now heading out on a globe-trotting world tour. Between the Iceland Airwaves festival, touring Denmark with LA band Nightmare Air, and coming back to the States in October for several festivals and club dates - it's a pretty busy fall 2012.

"Well, what can I say! We were kinda ambitious before, and now we have a new management, and he's pushing us a bit more than we've been pushed (in a good way)," says Mikkel.

One of the important lessons the guys have learned over the years with international touring is how important it is to find cool bands from other countries and help each other with shows and support in each others' home turf. They have helped several US bands tour in Denmark and have played with a lot of those same bands in California and other parts of the US. It's always good to team up with a "local" band that has a good draw. As Morton says, "It's not a competition - it's a win-win."

There are some big differences to be aware of from country to country as well. For example, some countries have a process in place that pays bands a minimum rate.

"There is a general fee that venues have to pay to Danes - only Danes - not foreigners. That fee is way higher - $300 per person per band member. So let's say you have a band with five people, that's $1,500 you get for a show. If you come as an American or a British band you might get only about 100-150 Euros. It will usually be about 300 euros, but it's way less and you still have to cover, as a foreign band, financial costs... Gas and stuff, hotels bills and stuff..."

At most clubs in the US, by comparison, there is not usually a minimum payment for a band - especially a relatively unknown foreign band - unless they can guarantee a good draw.

"That's the way it works in the States, that's what I've been told. But that takes some time. It's like building up a mailing list and a fan base in every city. But even bringing 200 people the first time won't give you a good guarantee. That's only after you've brought those 200 people. Then the next time you come they'll say "ok, now you'll get 300 bucks."

And the best way to accomplish that is to team up with a local band who knows the best venues to play and can mobilize a good audience.

The US tour includes dates on the East Coast and Midwest. "We're playing DC, New York, Norfolk VA, Raleigh NC - First time in that state. Also Grand Rapids, Michigan, Chicago, Ohio, Pittsburgh. We're actually playing Manchester NH which should be fun!"

They will be racking up the miles behind the wheel to get to all these dates. "We love driving. I am THE Road Tripper," declares Mikkel. "I love it. So every time we go on like 'Oh no, we gotta drive for eleven hours,' well that's cool. Let's go! And Morten will be sleeping in the back."

One of the other challenges for a band traveling overseas is what to do about big, heavy equipment like amplifiers and drums.

"That's pretty much the cooperation and teaming up with the bands. We're bringing guitars, pedals, Morton brings cymbals and snare. And then we pretty much share - not share - we use the bands' (that we play with) backline. We're screwed if we can't do that."

"Last year in October we played with some bands in Delaware, and we showed up at the venue and it was like 'Ah, so you have drums programmed, huh? So no drums.' But we knew someone and they knew someone and eventually we had a drum set. And it was cool."

"For SXSW we actually used the drum set that belongs to Chris Kline from Monolathe. And in 2011 we had to rent bass amp and two guitar amps to do the shows, which was great actually. We met the Jezebelles at the KVRX showcase and we asked if we could use their drums. Everyone's in big trouble at SXSW [because there are so many bands trying to find/rent gear]. So it was great that we had everything.

In some places bands will coordinate and share, with one band bringing the amps, another bringing drums, etc. In Denmark they sometimes do that, but if they have a big enough car to carry everything, they bring it all. Visiting bands, on the other hand, sometimes don't even bring their basic equipment.

"Playing with Music for Animals in 2010 they didn't even bring their own guitar. 'What kind of guitar is that? It's a Telecaster. Well, can I use that?' Yeah, so that's cool."

Immigration rules are also a big factor for bands traveling to other countries. The Foreign Resort have become old hands with navigating the US work visa immigration rules. Traveling to other EU countries for them is a snap. "We just show this EU passport and just walk on through."

However, traveling to the UK can be difficult and new immigration rules for Denmark make it much harder for bands to play there. "Non-EU citizens or people who might be considered hostile to Danish culture will have a hard time getting in here."

Not all is terrible on the visa front, however. With some planning and preparation the process of coming to the US can be pretty smooth.

"We just got a new bass player and he now has a visa (to the US). That was pretty easy. I know all the paperwork we went through back in December and January - that was all way too much. But the final part, after you get the i797, everything went pretty smooth. The people at the US Embassy in Copenhagen were really nice to us. That interview was really smooth - it lasted for about 30 seconds! 'You're touring here and here... I see you're traveling to Austin... Have a nice trip!'"

Rasmus left the band earlier this year, and Patrick has come on as the new bass player. "Mikkel and I had been talking about Patrick for a while, and we had this last concert with Rasmus. We invited Patrick to come out to take pictures because he is a really good photographer. We hoped he would see that this is Rasmus' last show and he would get interested in taking his place. And he did."

"Our manager said, 'hey, why don't you just call him up and invite him?' I'm like, come on man, we're Danes. We don't do that!"

The latest release, Scattered & Buried, contains new tracks along with remixes of previously released favorites. Some of the songs were actually written before the last EP (2011's The Foreign Resort) but were held back. "Take the song 'Buried' from Scattered & Buried. It's punkish, but the EP doesn't have that feel - it's more electronic and we wanted to keep that whole feel to the EP."

"Some of these songs, like 'Delayed' or 'Buried' - they're always in our set. We keep on playing these songs. We gotta release 'em. And then we'll make a new album later."

"This is that chapter for The Foreign Resort, and now we're moving on. It's a different style happening now in the rehearsal room and with Patrick. With Rasmus he is more of a rock-based player. Patrick is too, but he's way more of a Joy Division and New Order and that kind of a post-rock, new-wave sound. It's a different style, and we're just adapting to that."

Website:   theforeignresort.com

Listen:   Mikkel and Morten couldn't decide on their one absolute favorite track from Scattered & Buried, so they gave us three to stream:   Delayed   | Buried   | Tide
Buy:   The Foreign Resort on iTunes
Watch:   "Take A Walk" Official video shot in Copenhagen, Denmark.


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What We're Listening To:
Music from around the world that is dominating our play list this month. Click on the link to listen and purchase.

Sauti Sol (Kenya) - "Love or Leave"
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The Valery Trails (Australia) - "Ghosts And Gravity"
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Nive Nielsen & the Deer Children (Greenland) - "Good For You"
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Astro (Chile) - "Colombo"
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Kabul Dreams (Afghanistan) - "Don't Try to Freeze My Mind"
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Tokyo Sex Destruction (Spain) - "It Was '69"
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Steven Brian (Hawaii) - "Going Home With You"
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Residual Kid (Austin) - "Friend"

Suggest music for the Dart Dispatch.

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Travel Tip:
As a musician heading to an overseas festival or tour, there are some unique concerns posed by international traveler that don't usually come up when playing at home. Most of your backline will have to be rented or borrowed locally, so make sure you have arrangements for amplifiers, drumkits, and other gear that you can't bring with you. Bands coming to the US, for example, normally bring guitars, effects pedals, computers, drum breakables (snare, cymbals, pedals), and electric keyboards. Be sure that you have power transformers if necessary for keyboards or electronic gear that require them.

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PARTNERS

DMI Mini Disc by Disc Nation
DMI Mini Disc by Disc Nation

Partner of the Month: Disc Nation

The team at Disc Nation have been huge supporters of Dart Music International. The photo to the right is a special edition mini marker disc they created for us. Disc Nation is the world's largest online retailer of disc golf equipment and active supporter of great community organizations like the Beyond the Lights Celebrity Disc Golf Classic.

Disc Golf is played much like traditional golf. Players use flying discs and play holes that start with a tee area and end with a Disc Golf Basket or Target. The object: complete the hole by putting your golf disc in the basket in the fewest number of throws. The sport was formalized in the 1970s and is governed by the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA). There are over 3,800 courses worldwide with over 3,200 in the U.S.

Contact us to find out how your business can help underwrite the Dart Dispatch.

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EVENTS

Upcoming Events

September 23- October 22:  Tammurriatarock US/Canada Tour
September 27-29:  The Foreign Resort European Tour
September 28- October 23:  Jackie Bristow Arizona/Texas Tour
October 4-19: The Foreign Resort US Tour
October 26 -  Backyard party and Kickstarter fundraiser with Gina Chavez - 6:00pm at Mark McCrimmon's Law Office, 704 West 9th Street - 6:00 to 9:00pm
October 31:  The Foreign Resort at Iceland Airwaves

Let us know about your upcoming event, or suggest an idea for a DMI event.

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PARTICIPATE

Come join the Dart Music International team!  Check in on our Contact Page to volunteer and find us on social media everywhere.

Check out the various ways you can help support DMI through monthly contributions, donations, and online initiatives.

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THE LAST WORD

HAAM's 7th Annual HAAM Benefit Day will be held on Tuesday, October 2, 2012. HAAM Benefit Day, presented by Whole Foods Market, is a uniquely Austin event where businesses donate 5% of the day's proceeds to HAAM to support musicians' health. Musicians, most of whom are HAAM members, perform throughout the day at retail stores, outside stages, City Hall and more. The event runs from 6am to well past midnight and community members are invited to shop, eat out, listen to great live music and enjoy!

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