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This View by Nancy LeMay
Nancy LeMay is a five-time Emmy winning broadcast designer who has worked both in New York and LA, in network and local. She is a teacher and a painter as well. You can reach her through her website, and by email at

Vox Populi Part II

Last time, I wrote about my friend Michael who has had more than 45 of his reviews of music and films posted on the Amazon "Customer Reviews" feature. This is worth comment because, for all the broadcast minutes and column inches devoted to the dot com/dot bomb phenomenon of the past two years, there's been less attention paid to the evolving ways in which individual people are using the internet.

Another of my New York pals is using the web to promote his music. SunPK is a performance artist/painter/musician who would probably list those professions (and others) in different order depending on when you talk to him.

In the late 1980's and into the '90's he was part of the downtown Manhattan club scene, where he performed in drag. His characters were many and varied, both campy and thought- provoking. He has been writing for more than 20 years and publishing his music for more than a dozen years.

The year 2000 saw him record his debut solo album. But in the last couple of years, he has used the internet to have his music played, and to self-promote his CDs.

It's important for me to take a moment to try to describe his work; heavily but delightfully influenced by '60s ,'70s and '80s pop music, his lyrics focus on the stuggle for individuality, understanding, and love. This free mix of musical influences make it hard to sum up his music easily, SO... go to his web site, and play for yourself.

This will help clarify some of the twists and turns his promotional efforts have taken. Indie musicians have to solve the problem of being heard. Even a really condensed tracing of Sun's web-based activities is an interesting insight into how individuals are actually using the internet for business, and reminds us why it is a 'web'. (MP3 is a type of sound file) has been part of his strategy for exposure, but it proved to be a less-than-ideal setting for his work: he called it "a crowded mess" when I asked him about it (via e-mail, naturally...!). But he was heard, and he feels MP3 helped "a bit". The internet website called Playhouse put one of his cuts, "It's A Smiley Face World", found by them on, and put it into their children's listings; there it was heard by a new internet children's radio station which was scheduled to go up in June.

More of his music, listed in the 'Mod' section, was heard by a Brazilian radio station, and still other cuts came to the attention of someone in Italy browsing 'Dance' music. And to make things even more interesting, country music.

Sun co-wrote has had more hits than the rest of his pages combined... In some respects, the newest developments for Sun's music are the most telling, because they remind us of the power the internet gives us to communicate directly with people we would have no contact with using any other medium.

Last fall, after releasing his CD titled "Inquire Within", Sun learned about an indie distributor called Not Lame Records, who in turn told a reviewer in California about the disk. He reviewed it, and, though his favorable review was not quite a rave, has recommended other indie columnists. Subsequent reviews by other columnists probably came when they found the disc through Not Lame Records, or possibly another online group who mentioned the disc. (It is interesting that even Sun is not sure who found what where in cyberspace...! No matter; the resulting reviews were all raves.)

Then a Swiss journalist told Sun about Hiroshi Kuse at Air Mail Recordings in Japan; Sun is now in the last stages of negotiations with Air Mail for distribution in Japan, where his CD will be released this week. His observation: having the music reviewed on the web has made journalists aware of him and this has lead to several interviews, which, Sun says, "...hasn't sold many CDs, but it has begun to sell me"!

About the Author

Nancy LeMay is a five-time Emmy winning broadcast designer who has worked both in New York and LA, in network and local. She is a teacher and a painter as well. You can reach her through her website, and by email at