Category Archives: video

Dubway Days is back with Ollabelle!

It seems like only yesterday Vienna Teng graced the Dubway Studios to create a song in only one day with Ben Arthur (By the way, if you missed it, check out all the chapters with Vienna over here).

This month, Ben Arthur and the folks over at Dubway are back at it, with special guest Ollabelle. Tune in each day this week to see how their song unfolds during the course of a day! Pretty wild huh?

Below are the first two chapters of the Ollabelle episode. The last part will air this Friday (2/25).


Sway, from Death or Freedom, jams at Spoonbread Too in NYC

Sometimes Hear & There episodes only make me wish that all concerts were more like this. Today’s episode is no exception. Taking one electric guitar to soul food stalwart, Spoonbread Too, Sway (aka Steve Clarke from Death or Freedom) performs his song “Nobody Listens.” Filled with a somewhat eerie/dark melody, the composition comes to life in a beautifully crafted piece. I must say, the end verse sends a chill down my spine.

For Freedom or Death tour dates, including some shows at SXSW, check out their Myspace page. Don’t forget to read the band’s recent review by Jim Fussili over at The Wall Street Journal.

What’s your take on St. Patrick’s Day?

Ask  most Americans what their favorite part about St. Patrick’s Day is and you’re likely to get an answer that includes the word “drink,” or any of its close relatives.

We took the issue to the streets, asking New Yorkers and true Irish folk  about the meaning of the popular holiday.  BTR video correspondent Jess also spoke with some experts on the matter, including Paul Finnegan, Director of the New York Irish Center.

So whether your out indulging or not, take an educational break with this week’s episode of Pulse!

BTR artists at SXSW- Darwin Deez, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper and more!

SXSW is an exciting time no doubt. We here at BTR are even more excited that several of the artists we have worked with over the past few months are making the trip down to Austin!

Before of after you check ’em out down in Austin, check out some of their performances on BTR’s video segments. Everything just comes full circle, doesn’t it?

Darwin Deez:

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper:


Running with Music

I’m DJ Meredith and I’m here to provide you all with high intensity music from genres all over the world with the hardest beats that will keep you entertained and get you through the most strenuous workouts with ease. I’m here every Monday.

I was at the NYC Marathon Expo last Thursday to chat with runners about listening to music and their running. Watch the video here:

Listen to today’s show dedicated to all those who ran the NYC Marathon.

The right music can increase your performance, keep you focused, and can help you stick with your training program. The effects of music on the performance of athletes has been well documented by research.

– DJ Meredith

Mosque Vs. State Videopoll: How Do New Yorkers Feel About the Ground Zero Mosque?

There’s been a lot of controversy over the Cordoba House, better known as “The Ground Zero Mosque.” Amidst that controversy there have been a number of polls that attempted to give a picture of whether New Yorkers were in support of, or against, the construction of the Muslim center, which is in such alarming proximity to the site of the greatest terrorist attack ever on American soil.

First–all the way back in June–we read that polls found Manhattanites to be in favor of the mosque, while residents of the outer boroughs were mostly against it. Staten Island, according to data, was most opposed to the mosque of the five boroughs. Taken as a whole, though, New York City was against the construction of the mosque, the polls said.

Then there was the Rasmussen Report, which surveyed voters from all over the country. That poll found that only 20% of Americans supported the mosque.  The media had a field day with that story. But the headlines were misleading: if you read the report, you would have found that only 20% of participants in the survey were following the story “very closely.” I could be reading this wrong, but what that says to me is: 80% of the people polled for this survey didn’t really know what they were talking about.

The Siena Research Institute conducted its own poll last week, and focused on New York State residents. The message was the same as Rasmussen’s: a small minority supported the construction of a Muslim Center at Park Place. This poll drew its data from 788 New York State residents from August 9-16. But the interesting part of the Siena poll was that a majority of people surveyed, even those in opposition to the mosque, recognized the constitutional right to build it.

So, to review: the country as a whole overwhelmingly opposes the Muslim Center at Ground Zero. The state of New York opposes it. Staten Island, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn oppose it, and Manhattan favors it. These findings led Hendrik Hertzberg, writing for The New Yorker, to comment that opposition [to the mosque] is roughly proportional to distance.” Meaning, I guess, that the mosque’s most venomous opponents live in Alaska.

After reading all these polls and hearing comments and opinions and judgments from every major media outlet, newspaper, pundit, blogger, and politician, I decided to hear for myself what New Yorkers thought of the mosque. And so, this morning, I took the subway to Ground Zero and asked them.*

*This video includes at least one clip from every single person I spoke to.

Link to this article:

–Hunter Stuart

Liner Notes: Reality Killed The Video Star, Pt. 2

In continuation of last week’s Liner Notes, where we looked into an abbreviated history of MTV, this week is the second-half of the two-part series documenting how MTV rose to pop culture iconoclasm and where it finds itself today in the rank of youth culture and music medium.

Thriller was the single-most important music video ever made. It would forever change how youth culture and business executives would view the music video template and the MTV network. Put out by the world’s most famous pop star at the time, Thriller blew the doors off of MTV and music forever. Michael Jackson, together with his female counter sensation Madonna (The Material Girl herself), began a new generation of MTV cult followers. The effect of videos like Thriller, Material Girl, Billie Jean, and Money For Nothing by Dire Straits (with the appropriating line, “Look at them yo-yos / that’s the way you do it / You play the gee-tar on the MTV”), were so great the moniker for the 80s youth became “The MTV Generation.”

MTV went on to enjoy a great twenty to twenty-five-year run. From 1980 to only a few years ago, MTV was a great source for new music and an accurate marker of forever-changing youth culture trends. It is safe to say that MTV had its finger on the pulse of American pop-culture for almost three decades. And, while MTV may be enjoying greater financial success than ever these days, its role in the music world has ceased.

For die-hard music fans, unfortunately, MTV and big corporate record labels are a necessary evil. Without them, pop culture would fall into an abyss. For decades now, they have provided an outlet for young people who are looking to fulfill that necessary psychological stage of youth-rebellion. I would be a hypocrite to completely lash out against big record labels, for most of my favorite artists signed with at least one of them at some point or another in their careers, and it is because of that label that the artist became available for exposure and put them on the map for someone like me to discover. My argument here is that both big record labels and MTV have flipped from concerning themselves with music and musicians and into concerning themselves only with bottom line revenue. As CEO, one has a responsibility to his/her shareholders to increase the value of the company’s stock. As long as he/she is doing nothing illegal, the shareholders offer little concern as to what the vehicle is to the stock’s monetary increase.

MTV doesn’t play music anymore. Think about that! A television station designed by music lovers to play videos of new bands to get music out to people and now it doesn’t even play music! Why? Because there was no longer revenue in doing so. Still calling themselves “MTV,” they have been forced to 100 percent reality programming. The effect this is having on youth culture is obvious. It is causing young people to create reality series of their own lives, through Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and other digital means, in adulation of their “real life” heroes on TV. The executives at MTV are smart. Cashing in on the craze, they have shifted their TV spots to reality shows only, and moved music videos to online streaming.
But the music is still there, sort of. Instead of music videos, snippets of songs are played during the reality show with a flash card on the screen informing the viewer who the band is and the title of the song. The viewer can then log into MTV’s Web site and buy the song from iTunes, or at least listen to it immediately on their computer. Each episode even has it’s own “Featured Artist.” For example, the show The Hills has its own “Songs From the Show” web page where visitors can access each song played in The Hills by episode.

MTV has transformed from music videos that sell albums into TV shows that play clips, recalling the mantra from the first half of this piece last week, “exposure, exposure, exposure.” The business model is simple: kids watch the show, hear the band that we tell them their heroes like and listen to, visit the Web site, buy the album (produced on their label of course) and tune back into the show. Just look at what The Hills did for Death Cab for Cutie. It’s a money making machine. The problem I have with it is that the music has been taken out of the “garage” and into the boardroom. TV and Advertisement Executives sit around and come up with a jingle to play during a dramatic scene in a reality TV show and title card it, with a predetermined artist.

This is a long way from writing music as a form of expression. One has to wonder at what point are pop-musicians becoming more like Hollywood composers and less like young rock n’ roll bands.
MTV ceases to be Music Television. I wonder if it has considered changing its trademarked acronym to RTV (Reality Television).

Link to this article:

– Kory French