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    Thursday, May 09, 2002

    Did you see R. Kelly on BET last night? Apparently, he's never seen Law & Order or NYPD Blue. Lawyer up, dude! Don't talk to the press! Wait for your day in court! Anyway, from his refusal to answer any questions about his marriage to the 15-year-old Aaliyah, to his paranoid ramblings about Sparkle trying to get revenge by claiming the girl in the tape is her 14-year-old niece and to his "yes I've done bad things but I'm getting help" evasive answer to the question "Have you ever taped yourself having sex?"-- it all looked pretty bad.

    Mariah Carey has signed to Island/Def Jam and gets to set up her own label as a part of the deal. The financial particulars of the deal were not disclosed.

    Just who is gonna be making guest appearances on the Counting Crows' next album? Ryan Adams and Sheryl Crow, of course.

    Will Johnny Rotten ever give an interview in which he isn't insulting, surly and glowing with insight? Thankfully, the answer is no.

    Girls Against Boys are set to release You Can't Fight What You Can't See on May 14, after years of doing the major-label shuffle due to corporate mergers.

    Don Henley, good: He's putting his money where his mouth is and is on the right side of the musician's health care issue.

    Don Henley, bad: He's putting his head up his ass and is on the wrong side of the webcasting royalty rates issue.

    Larry Hagman doesn't just kick as as J.R. Ewing- he's also kicking the ass of the music industry! A $4.75 million settlement of a class action suit led by the late torch singer Peggy Lee over royalties dating back to the 1940s has been stalled amid objections by the actor who's lawyer said ""The settlement is too low. It seems rather unusual that $4.75 million would be used to compensate what has been done to so many outstanding artists in American history." Damn straight!

    posted by Randy on 10:28 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Wednesday, May 08, 2002

    Media Consolidation News:

    Please read the letter that Rep. Rick Bocuher and a bunch of other memebrs of congress sent to the James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress, regarding the proposed webcasting royalty rates. And then write/fax/call your own representatives and ask why *they* didn't sign the letter, when it so clearly was the right thing to do. And then after that visit and The Future of Music Coalition to learn more about fighting the good fight against media consolidation, bad artist contracts and music on the internet.

    Have you noticed non-"oldies" slowly creeping onto your fave "oldies" station? Haven't heard a doo-wop song on the radio in ages? Read this story about current conditions in the "oldies" radio industrya nd you'll understand why. Once again, commerce is killing culture.

    A pannel discussion at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association's annaul meeting found industy executives predicting further consolidation in the industry. Be afraid, be very afraid. Less choice = higher prices and worse service. How could it get worse than it is already? I'm sure they'll figure out a way.

    Suck-Ass Us Media Wants Some Fish And Chips: The U.K. is getting ready to change its media ownership laws, opening them up for competition (good) and letting big U.S. media companies buying stations (bad) The proposals would lift barriers to US or other non-European companies taking over television networks. They also open the way for large newspaper groups such as News Corporation to take control of free-to-air television and radio channels.

    Sony Loosens Leash on AIBO Robot Dog is an excellent story about a Giant Multination Corporation "getting it." The long and short of it is that SONY has decided not to make a stink about people hacking their robot dogs and instead will embrace the community and set up a web site for people to trade new programs. It is enough to bring a tear to my eye. Full disclosure: SONY is the supplier of my paychecks.

    Music News:

    Tonight at 11:30, R.Kelly will be interviewed on BET. How forthcoming will he be about all the teen-sex charges surrounding him? We'll see. More importantly, how hard hitting will the questions be? If they serve him softballs, I will be really upset.

    Eddie Van Halen is back in the 100% club., or so he said on the Van Halen website. Maybe we'll get some new tuneage soon!

    De La Soulnews, in two parts. Part One: After Tommy Boy was bought by Warner Bros., De La was supposed to end up on Elektra. Elektra, hower, doesn't want 'em--- not commercial enough. Now they are trying to figure out where they stand in the WEA family, wanting just to get out and go indie. Part Two: Part III of their Art Official Intellegence series will *still* hopefully come out, and they still are planning on making it a "DJ record." Peep both stories for more detailed info.

    Rawkus is in the process of selling-out to MCA Records, maybe becuase they need the cash real quick like. They are being sued by a publishing company for lack of royalty payments dating back to 1996. Lotsa big names are owed money: Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Ras Kass, Big L, Eminem, M.O.P., Naughty by Nature, Q-Tip and more.

    The Nelly vs. KRS-ONE battle is heating up. I put my money on blastmaster KRS ONE, but Nelly can slip a lot of insults in with his quick-lipped rapping style.

    That pipe bomber guy was in a fourth-rate grunge band called Apathy. Interesting enough, it is not this fourth-rate grunge band called Apathy. How many bad grunge bands can there be called Apathy? At least two, apparently.

    Comedian Jamie Foxx is set to play Ray Charles in a biopic about the legendary blind piano-playing singer. I can see it, no pun intended.

    Otis Blackwell died yesterday of a heart attack. He was 70. He worte tons of early rock classics, including "Don't Be Cruel," "Return to Sender" "All Shook Up" "Handy Man," Fever," "Great Balls of Fire," "Breathless"

    posted by Randy on 11:05 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Tuesday, May 07, 2002

    T-Boz, Chilli To Complete Fourth TLC Album, says It actually won't be too different from the last album (Fanmail) on which the late, great Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes hardly appeared. The also have said they have no plans to replace her. Which you can take as "We love her so much, no one could fill her shoes" or "She wasn't doing much anyway, why fill that slot and further dilute our profits?"

    Public Enemy will be releasing Revolverlution in August, a new album with DJ Johnny "Juice" Rosado on the wheels of steel instead of ostrich farmer Terminator X. The first single will be "Gotta Give The Peeps What They Need."

    Suede performed a secret comeback show on May 4. How can it be a comeback show if it was secret? When you comeback, shouldn't you be all LL Cool J about it-- "Don't call it a comeback, iIve been here for years!" Anyway, 100 Suede (a.k.a. London Suede) fans were treated to a comeback show that featured 15 songs, 8 of them from their forthcoming album A New Morning.

    Boy George Makes Stage Debut in Own Musical. He plays a character loosely based on himself at the height of Culture Club's fame.

    My old SonicNet co-worker Colin Devinish has a piece in Salon today about the making of "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart," a new documentary about Wilco and the pain-and-suffering they experienced while trying to make and release Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

    Clear Channel Posts 1stQ Profit but but but they took a 17 billion dollar write down, which essentially means at current market rates, they paid 17 billion dollars too much for all tje acquisitions they made over the past few years. And you thought you were losing equity in your investments! Ont he other hand, Clear Channel's revenue for the quarter was $1.7 billion, up slightly from $1.67 billion in the same period in 2001.

    Master P Explains How He Revamped The No Limit Brand , but he sort of neglects to mention how he had to once acts like Mia X and Mystikal (among others) left the label over money disputes. Meanwhile, a guy who passed through airport security with guns tunrs out to be regular No Limit producer Carlos Stephens.

    Not huge news or anything, but George Jones broke his foot.

    Here's why you shouldn't click on pop-up ads from fly-by-night companies.

    It's official: Enron got greedy and manipulated the California power market. Try not to be too shocked.

    I agree with everything this article says about saving the troubled Metreon complex here in San Francisco.

    posted by Randy on 11:05 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Monday, May 06, 2002

    A quick editorial note-- my darling wife returned from Italy last night, so this blog will now revert back to its original focus: pop culture with a primary focus on music, wacky news and ocassional tid-bits from my personal life. Cutesy notes to my beloved will have to wait until she leaves town again.

    Wilco Disc Steals Crooner's Thunder is a Variety story about Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot landing at #13 on the Billboard Albums Chart, despite the fact that it has been available in streaming and P2P-file-trading form for about a year. This is good news for Wilco, in that an artistically challenging album by an artist that parted with a major label (Warner Bros.) and saw the album given away for free for a year still debuted in the Top 20. The bad news for Wilco is that it was a slow sales week-- they moved just 59,000 copies of the disc and still popped up in the Top 20. In a week with stronger new releases, 59,000 would put them a lot further down the chart.

    This Media Week article further outlines the changes Jann Wenner is planning at Rolling Stone. Basically, we'll see less 5,000 word profiles and more news stories of shorter length. Sort of like what SonicNet & Addicted To Noise pioneered nearly 7 years ago. Jann, baby, I was there! I've done it! Gimmie a ring, I can hook you up!

    The details of Ozzy Osbourne's trip to the White House Correspondents' Association dinner are about as crazy as one would expect.

    Are video games covred by free speech laws? Mmmmaaayyybbe, according to an article in Salon by Wagner James Au. Check the article for fuller details but the long and short of it is that one ruling by a federal judge says yes while a lower-level judge says no.

    Fave web site of the moment: A bit like a competitive, except it includes objects as well as people. Hillary Clinton vs. a Dreamcast? Milla Jovovich vs. a toe-sucking baby? You be the judge.

    The 70's Are So 90's. The 80's Are The Thing Now-- or so says the New York Times. Please, stop 80s nostalgia before it starts. I beg of you.

    Apparently fans of Slipknot have been harassing a ladies' knitting club in Britain via e-mail. The knitting club owns the slipknot domain, while the band uses Can't we all just get along? It's a mighty big Internet out there, with room enough for all of us.

    posted by Randy on 11:28 AM | permanent link to this entry

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