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Steve Gordon is an entertainment attorney, writer, radio host and educator. He is the author of The Future of the Music Business: How to Succeed with the New Technologies (Backbeat Books 2005.)
His current clients range from multinational entertainment and technology companies such as Microsoft, Music Choice and MTV to independent TV producers, recording artists and digital entertainment entrepreneurs. He specializes in licensing music for TV, DVD and new media.
In January, 2006, his application as a Fulbright Scholar was approved. The Scholarship applies to any foreign university for the next five years. Steve is planning his first visit as a Fulbright Scholar to the Law School of the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia next fall. You can read Steve's latest blog under "messages" or read his other blog at http://digitalmusicnews.com.
Steve also served as an Instructor at the CUNY Graduate Center for the last three years where he taught a course on the future of the music and video business. Next fall and spring he will be moderating seminars on various digital music issues at Columbia Law School and the University of Pennsylvania.
From 1991 to 2001 Steve served as Director of Business Affairs at Sony Music (TV/Video). Prior to Sony, he worked at a music performing rights organization (SESAC), a music law firm (Arrow Edelstein & Gross), and a movie studio (Dino Di Laurentiis in Beverly Hills). Steve is a graduate of New York University School of Law and is a member of the Entertainment Law Committee of the NYC Bar Association. For contact information and published articles, upcoming speaking engagements and more.
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THE PLAYING FIELDS review by ROB ASTOR
MyRealTalent Artist Spotlight By ROB ASTOR
MyRealTalent Artist Spotlight by ROB ASTOR
MyRealTalent Artist SpotlightByROB ASTORWith influences like THE KINKS, RADIOHEAD, CHRIS CORNELL, THE BEATLES, and JEFF BUCKLEY to name only a few, a band name such as THE PLAYING FIELDS is rather fitting. Fusing a mixture of Garage Band/British Punk/Rock& Roll/Pop is no easy task. THE PLAYING FIELDS makes it work seamlessly. Fluidly moving through a sound combination of THE CURE, RADIOHEAD, WILCO, NIRVANA, and SONIC YOUTH, these players have found their musical field of dreams.
THE PLAYING FIELDS’ story began with Stephen Bland from the North London suburb Enfield. In his teenage years, Stephen attended the university in Canterbury while serving as a booking agent for bands as well as promoting clubs. In order for younger brother Michael to look old enough to get into these places, Stephen would dress him in several layers of clothing. Group incarnations came and went with many spirited false starts. After five years, Stephen graduated and decided to see the world, writing a book of poetry along the way. When he returned to London in 1998, he was left feeling empty and directionless. There had to be something more!
Living with Michael, Stephen wrote a novel while encouraging his brother to learn the Guitar and Sing. Two years later, Stephen embarked on another adventure, leaving the U.K. for a nineteen country journey as he continued writing. Michael joined him sporadically as he honed his musical skills. In 2002, Stephen’s trip ended and a dull office job looked like his final destination.However, Michael could now play and sing. Weekly meetings at their small apartment consisted of two Guitars, a Bass, and Computer/Keyboards. Energy renewed, they began playing live gigs, although reluctant to do so without a Drummer.The band line-up began to solidify in the next two years. With childhood friend Jeff Baskett, they fixed themselves on dark, intense pieces while retaining melodious lyrics drawn from Stephen’s writings. Stephen sang Harmony to brother Michael’s Leads while Jeff played Bass and Samples.With the addition of a Drummer in 2005, they cut their musical teeth playing live gigs, discovering their material developed in complexity with added hard rhythmic drive. Adding to their lyrical content, Michael created short, emotional pictures which offset Stephen’s detached style. This combination of songwriting Yin and Yang fills the bulk of THE PLAYING FIELDS song catalogue.A first real taste of success and recognition came with the inclusion of the Acoustic song “Valley Of Salt” being featured on the BBC’s television program “Hustle”. Musical spark ignited, THE PLAYING FIELDS continued to evolve.Reaching the glass ceiling of music in Israel with the groups MUSIC OF COINCIDENCE and THE FOLLOWING, famed solo artist Ron Rosenblum relocated to the United Kingdom. He joined THE PLAYING FIELDS, taking up Drum duties and provided the solidifying missing link to their sound; driving Percussion.Performing professionally with orchestras in Australia and Europe, Hannah Sless decided to reinvent herself in the Pop/Rock arena. As a member of THE PLAYING FIELDS, she provides Classical accompaniment to the often melancholy aspects of the music and occasional Backing Vocals to add depth.
THE PLAYING FIELDS call their sound “Urban Desert”. They have recently released their debut album, “Hello New World”, on CactiShed… Records and promote themselves through the use of the electronic medium, including here at MyRealTalent and MySpace.On MyRealTalent, they offer fans a glimpse into their music through four tracks. The first, “Glass & Concrete”, has a sound and feel not unlike a pared down U2 track, where the lyrics reflect the city as they perceive it; sad, lonely, and unknown.
“Protect The Humans” starts out like an A Capella prayer, calling out for a hero before launching into pounding Drums and a sustained Guitar howl. The roots of European Punk flow through the music as easily as the Vocals which are similar to TREASON or QUEENSRYCHE.Much more mellow, “The Girl In The Machine” could easily double as a song for CREED. The lyrical content paints the poetic images of the band’s signature lyrical style while the music remains gentle and mellow against a fine blend of Acoustic and Electric Guitar mixed perfectly with Bass and Brushed Percussion. It’s hard not to feel the emotional level coming from within the song’s soul.The final offering is the title track to their album, “Hello New World”. Lyrical content speaks of breaking away from the expected tradition to explore what’s beyond.
Certainly, THE PLAYING FIELDS do go beyond the expected norm and break a few traditions to create their own. They have a very well-honed sound and style. The years it took for them to reach this point were well worth the effort and life experience. Taking the journey crafted them into who they are. THE PLAYING FIELDS do have something to offer. You can hear it for yourself by picking up their debut album, or by catching these upcoming shows:May 26, 2007 at The Borderline London, London and South EastJun 10, 2007 at The Spice of Life LondonJun 19, 2007 at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen London, London and South EastAug 16, 2007 at Edinburgh Fringe Festival; Edinburgh, ScotlandAug 17, 2007 at Edinburgh Fringe Festival; Edinburgh, Scotland