Pop culture and all that.






Other News And Pop Cult Based Sites I Visit:

Meme Pool
Pop Culture Junk Mail
Sharpe World
The Excitement Machine
The Onion
Gray Scale
Lying Media Bastards
In Passing...
The Morning News
Arts & Letters Daily
Obscure Store
Romenesko's Media News
Happy Robot
The Freep
The New York Times
The L.A. Times


    Friday, May 24, 2002

    • A Scientist For The Rest of Us is a nice summary from Salon of the late, great Stephen Jay Gould's ideas and why they are important. Me n' him both attended Antioch College, so I've got to give him a mad shout-out, yo.

    • The Online Journalism Review has an excellent (but very long) report about the successes and failures of the Time/Warner-AOL merger when it comes to the company's online news properties. The insider info is good, but getting the consumer side of things from a grand total of three college students is kinda slim.

    • Andrew Benson bought a Pepsi for a dollar at his school store. He twisted off the cap and learned he won four tickets to a Britney Spears contest and 200 dollars in spending money. He didn't want it, so he took the cash equivillent prize of $475. After his parents pitched in 25 bones to make it an even 500, the kid decided to split it with his nine brothers and sisters and four cousins. 500 divided by 14 comes out to $35.71 for each kid. That's a lot of moon pies and penny whistles (or maybe two CDs) for doing nothing but being born into the right family at the right time. I can't say I would've been as generous when I was 14.

    • The Music Company, the record label headed by Metallica drummer and file-trading nemesis Lars Ulrich, has closed it's doors. Systematic will move over to Elektra while the other acts (DDT, Goudie and Brand New Immortals) will be label-less. No word on weather Lars blames peer-to-peer trading on his inability break these bands.

    • Courtney Makes It Official — Hole Are No More. Isn't this one of those situations where everyone but the band realizes they are broken up. Between her film career, her lawsuit against Universal, her lawsuit against the living members of Nirvana, her side projects and raising Francis Bean, did anyone really expect her to get Hole back together? Not me, certainly.

    • The Detroit Electronic Music Festival is this weekend. I grew up in the area and I can auure you that nothing this cool ever happened there and the fact that a million plus people have shown up to get their groove on is freakin' awesome. i'm not the biggest fan of the genre, but I'm down for people coming to celebrate an art in a town that took forever to embrace the creativity coming from it's own people-- it is Motown afterall.

    • Veteran country band Alabama is gearing up to call it quits. Of course, they have to complete a mammoth farewell tour. Whcih I am assuming will be followed by a boxed set. And then, years from now, there will be the reunion. Bank on it.

    • Did you miss FOX's "Celebrity Boxing II"??? Please, read this summary for a hysterical take on what you missed.

    posted by Randy on 1:10 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Thursday, May 23, 2002

    posted by Randy on 11:27 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Wednesday, May 22, 2002

    • The Bush administration yesterday dropped a controversial plan to change the way the government's antitrust agencies review corporate mergers and acquisitions. Another good decision by government officials-- that's two in two days! The plan would've taken approval of mergers in the Internet, software, telecommunications and entertainment sectors away from the (basically) non-partisan Federal Trade Commission and given it to the political charged Justice Department.

    • Speaking of the Justice Dept., they announced yesterday that they will investigate claims that three Florida counties, as well as one municipality in Tennessee and one in Missouri, illegally kept voters away from the polls. Peep this Salon story for full details and commentary, but you'll need a Premium subscription to read the whole thing.

    • Kazaa BV, creator of a popular but controversial online file-sharing network, is folding in the face of a copyright-infringement lawsuit brought by leading record and film companies. Don't worry, file traders-- the system works even with the company out of business and Kazaa sold the software to Sherman Networks a little while ago. Still, it sucks to see the Industry putting another inventive company out of business instead of working with them to make a kick ass product.

    • Fodder for a Behind The Music that will never be: Alien Ant Farm Injured In Bus Accident. Singer Dryden Mitchell and bassist Tye Zamora were taken to a local hospital to be treated for slight fractures, but their bus driver was killed after their tour bus collided with a truck in Cáceres, Spain, early Wednesday morning.

    • The troubles for R. Kelly never stop: The album he's currently working on is already bootlegged. Excellent quote in this article: "These are things that I'm trying to change in my life: The women thing, the so-called friends thing. I probably spent like $2 million a year on just Chinese food and pizza for everybody 'cause I've got these 10 people in the studio that don't sing or that don't produce."

    • Jay-Z is setting up a tour with a very interesting line-up: his Roc-A-Fella family, Mos Def, De La Soul, and rock groups 311 and Hoobastank. Sort of a manuscript flip on alt-rock tours that include one hip-hop act. It'll be especially interesting if Mos Def performs with his Black Jack Johnson rock group. I just might buy myself a ticket to that tour.

    • Salon scores again with an interesting article about why Japanese-style wireless services haven't yet (and probably won't ever) take off like gang-busters in the U.S. The long and short of it is this: in Japan people spend a good chunk of time waiting for and riding on public transport, thus giving them the time to fool around with their wireless devices. Thanks to the U.S. car culture, that simply isn't something that's happening now.

    posted by Randy on 11:19 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Tuesday, May 21, 2002

      The Biggest News Of The Day:
    • The Librarian of Congress responded to the report of the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel ("CARP") that recommended rates and terms for the statutory license for eligible nonsubscription services to perform sound recordings publicly by means of digital audio transmissions ("webcasting"). Essentially, The Librarian of Congress said 'No.". This is very good news-- all your e-mails, faxes and calls have not been in vain and there now stands a chance that The Librarian of Congress will set rates so that a valuable resource like webcasting is not put only in the hands of major broadcasters. In cases such as this, the law provides that the Librarian shall issue his final determination within 30 days of his decision to reject the Panel’s proposed rates and terms. The final determination is due on June 20, 2002. Keep your fingers crossed, keep contacting your representatives and keep up with both and The Future of Music Coalition.

      Not As Big, But Still Important News Of the Day:
    • Starting today, Kazaa users will begin to see links to songs for sale from record labels and advertisements linked to keyword searches. This is just the first vision of what Altnet will do when attatched to Kazaa-- namely give you links to crap you probably weren't looking for land bombard you with ads for products you aren't interested in-- ike every search engine these days except the almighty Google. With so many other file trading options out there, it seems crazy for Kazaa to load up their software with this crap. But I guess they need the cash.

    • So, The Wall Street Journal saw fit to report it when U.S. drug czar John Walters announced a survey that shows the government's anti-drug ads have completely failed to slow down teen drug use. Why not The New York Times or The Washington Post? It couldn't be becuase they run those very same ads, could it? This author of this Village Voice article seems to think so. My take: Mmmmmmmmmmmayybe-- but having worked on the journalistic side of things, I can say that it most likely was just an oversight and a decision to go with a sexier story (the much regretable "Bush knew and did nothing" stories that are the biggest case of 20/20 hindsight I've ever seen-- and I hate Bush with a passion!).

    • EMI Group Announces Lower Profits. No comment from me aside from the usual Death To the Record Industry screed.

      Other News, Noteworthy To Some, Less Noteworhy To Others:
    • Bush will carry on without Nigel Pulsford, the band's founding guitarist. He orignally took a break just from touring, but now he's out for good.

    • Eminem will kick your ass if he catches you putting his next album up for free on the Internet. I hope his feet are well rested-- he'll have a lot of kicking to do.

    • The Dr. Dre and Timbaland vs. Jermaine Dupri battle has a new partcipant-- Dr. Dre pal Xzibit. Check this page for full details of Xzibit's freestyle dis and for a link to an MP3 of the song.

    • Three original members of The Litte River Band
      are reforming to perform at a charity concert-- the first time they've performed together in 20 years. They can't use the Little River Band name due to legal snafus. May I suggest The Little River Band U.K.? The Big Lake Ensamble?

    • Patenting DNA sequences is ethically and legally tricky, so some geneticists have found away around it. Turn the sequences into music and copyright 'em. In theory, the copyright would then be held for 95 years or more ­-- as opposed to the 17 years given under current patent law.

    • Ever think you could do better commentary than what comes with your DVD. Go for it stud, roll you own DVD commentary and share it with the world.

    • Using his own equipment in his basement, Paul Westerbeg recorded Stereo for a grand total of $1,000. It can be done, kids, you just gotta get off the record industry's dick.

      Please, let me know if you're out there reading!

    posted by Randy on 1:09 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Monday, May 20, 2002

    posted by Randy on 12:23 PM | permanent link to this entry

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