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    Friday, June 21, 2002

    • Web Radio Royalty Rate for Songs Criticized
      Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has ruled that all Webcasters will have to pay 0.07 cents per song per performance, compared with the 0.14 cents per song per performance recommended by a federal arbitration panel in February. Naturally, nobody is happy about this. Webcasters say it will put indie webcasters out of business. The music industry says it is too cheap and will help corporate monoliths build biggger, more exploitive empire, paying way too little for the content in the process. This will likely end up in the courts next. Also, , U.S. Reps. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., and Rick Boucher, D- Va., said they were considering legislation to lower Webcaster fees because the current rate "will lead to the elimination of hundreds of small businesses and does not provide a viable model to serve both the Internet radio industry and recording artists." Please, I beg of you, visit The Future of Music Coalition and Save Internet Radio.Org to learn about the issues and what you can do to help.

    • Club Bans Boy George Over Fight
      Not only was Boy George in a fight, he knocked the guy out! Why? Becuase he was blocked from getting into the V.I.P. section becuase he wasn't recognized. This comes the day after Boy George is alleged to have struck another man in Leicester Square after coming off stage performing in Taboo - the stage musical of his life now showing in the West End.

    • R. Kelly Speaks Out In New Song, 'Heaven, I Need A Hug'
      Sample lyrics: "Heaven, I need a hug/ Would anyone out there like to hug a thug?" and "I gave 13 years of my life to this industry/ Hit song or not, I've given all of me/ You smile in my face and tell me you love me/ But then before you know the truth you're so quick to judge me."

    • System of a Down To Release Toxicity Outtakes
      Once again, the fans on the Internet have spurred an act to realize there is a market for more than one recording every two years. After much net bootlegging, SOAD will be releasing a collection of leftover tracks, soundtrack songs and other stuff of the like.

    • Arista, P. Diddy End Joint Venture
      This has been in the works for like a year now, so the news isn't a total shock. What *is* a total shock, however is that P. Diddy walks away from Arista with everything-- including the catalog. It's amazing to me that Arista would give up The Notorious B.I.G. catalog. That's a very sweet plum. Anyway, in the statement, Diddy sez he wants to try and create a new major label with different divisions-- rock, country and so on. Don't hold your breath waiting for this to happen. I could be wrong, but dollars to doughnuts says bad Boys eventually sets itself up under another corporate umbrella in a few minutes.

    • Warner Music's Lava Label to Expand
      The headline is actually a mis-statement: Lava Records, the home of Kid Rock, Uncle Kracker, matchbox twenty and Sugar Ray is being bought in full by Warner Music. They already had 50%. They bought the rest and are adding more employees.

    • Rhino Dials Up TMBG 20th Anniversary Retrospective
      Check the link and peep the track listing. I think it's a pretty good selection. My only quibble is that they left out "XTC vs. Adam Ant," one of my personal faves. Oh well.

    Get Your Happy Hour Groove On! MC Hesher Spins Funk/Soul/Hip-Hop @ 330 Rich 6 - 7 p.m. Tonight! Other DJs to follow! be there!

    posted by Randy on 12:07 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Thursday, June 20, 2002

    • Bumps Rising in Napster Buyout
      PlayMedia, which created the MP3-playing functions of Napster's original file-swapping software, along with some of the security features of the planned subscription service, says the company can't automatically transfer to Bertelsmann. It isn't trying to derail the $8 million bankruptcy buyout. It's just notifying the court, which is still in the early stages of the bankruptcy proceedings, that it has an interest.

    • Singer Brandy Becomes a Mother
      The baby was born on Father's Day. Congrats to Brandy and her family from!

    • Music Labels Urged to Move Fast on Home Networks
      Those study-crazed monkeys at Jupiter Media Metrix released a report on Wednesday that urged the industry to move quickly on the next big digital thing -- transferring songs from PCs to stereos (a.k.a "home networking"). In the new report, Jupiter Media Metrix said it expects about 23 million U.S. households with online connections, or one-third of the total, will have a PC-based home network by 2006, up from 6 million last year.

    • 50 Cent Signs With Eminem And Dr. Dre
      Queens-based rapper 50 Cent, has inked a new deal with Eminem and Dr. Dre, setting the stage for his official sophomore album to be released on Shady Records/Aftermath Entertainment and distributed through Interscope Records. The album will be titled Guess Who's Back? I think this is a great hook-up. 50 Cent is almost as outrageous as eminem and he's got a flow that would sound good under some Dre beats. Peep "How To Rob" on your fave file sharing program if you don't believe me.

    • Charlie Daniels Pulls Plug On TV Appearance After Song Banned
      Charlie Daniels has pulled out of a scheduled appearance on PBS's "A Capitol Fourth in Washington, D.C." after one of the songs he wanted to perform was banned from the show's lineup. Daniels wrote "The Last Fallen Hero" as a tribute to the victims of the September 11 attacks, and felt it was an especially appropriate holiday to remember those Americans whose lives were taken. The show's producers, however, did not agree, so Daniels canceled his performance. Best quote: It's just that, doggone it, Fourth Of July in the United States of America should be a flag-waving time. That's what it's all about. It's not about 'everything's fine, I'm fine, you're fine' touchy-feely 'I'm okay, you're okay, we have nothing to worry about'-type situation."

    • More About Rolling Stone Changes
      Stuart Zakim, spokesman for Rolling Stone, says in this article: We're not going to give away our heritage. We're going to adapt it." Uh-huh. The article also points out that Blender has been a hit becuase it only focuses on music only (not fashion and gadgets and politics)-- leaving the reader to draw the lines that if RS wants to compete with Blender they'll have to "adapt" their heritage by going back to the future.

    Tomorrow: MC Hehser spins funk, soul and hip-hop at 330 Rich from 6 - 7 p.m. Be there! It'll be tons of after work fun!

    posted by Randy on 10:51 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Wednesday, June 19, 2002

    Don't Forget: MC Hesher spins the hip-hop, soul & funk @ 330 Rich this Friday from 6 - 7 p.m.

    • Celebrities In The Hospital Part 1:
      Billy Joel has checked himself into a substance abuse and psychiatric hospital for a "personal problem," his record label said Wednesday.

    • Celebrities In The Hospital Part 2:
      Bobby Brown is in a Virginia hospital to have an infection treated. Brown was traveling with his wife, singer Whitney Houston, in their tour bus when they stopped at a hospital in Fredericksburg, Va., because Brown was running a fever. Here's the weird thing: neither of them are currently on tour-- why are they riding around in a tour bus?

    • Bill Seeks to Resolve Recording Industry Spat
      Recording artists scored a strategic win Tuesday as the California Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill of intent to review a controversial exemption to California's Labor Code that ties artists to record deals for more than seven years. The R.I.A.A. and The Recording Artists Colition are still talking, though, but Murray says in this other article that he's "...not holding a whole lot of hope they'll resolve anything." The bill that passed Tuesday does not contain the final language of the legislation that recording artists hope to pass into law, the "spot" bill is important strategically because it will move the issue to the Senate floor by Monday and is likely to pass on to the Assembly, said the bill's author, Sen. Kevin Murray, D-Culver City. The bill now moves to the state Senate floor and from there on to the Assembly. If passed and signed by the Governor by Aug. 31 it will become law next year.

      Murray closes the article with an excellent quote: "The artists and the record companies should be collaborating on piracy, on download standards, on the digital future of the record business," Murray said. "(But) if an artist can't be treated fairly on either accounting practices or the seven-year rule, what confidence do they have that, once we move into an entirely new business model where downloads are one of the central factors, that they'll get treated any more fairly in that regard?"

    • Rhino Co-Founder Foos Going Retro Again
      Thank the stars above! Richard Foos, who created Rhino Records with Harold Bronson and revolutionized the use of music catalogs in the 1980s and '90s, is raising a new banner, Retropolis Entertainment, with former Rhino and Warner Music Group executive Robert Emmer. The label will acquire and license catalogs to release single and multiple artist compilations as well as decades-old albums that have never been properly done on CD., much like Rhino did before it was acquired by Warner Music in late 1998.

    • The Dragnet Comes Up Empty
      A quick break from music and media-- this is an amazing story in Salon about how the governemtn arrested 1,000 men of middle eastern decent in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and investigated their possible terrorist dealings. Guess how many were found to and have been charged with having terrorist connections! Exactly one: Zacarias Moussaoui, who has been charged with being a Sept. 11 conspirator, and he was detained for immigration violations even before the dragnet began. In the meantime, hundreds have been deported for routine visa violations. The U.S. Justice Department, under court order, reported last week that 147 detainees remain in custody -- 74 on immigration-related charges and 73 on separate criminal charges. This requires a Salon Premium subscription to read. Get that if you don't have it already, sukka! You betta ask somebody!

    • The Strange Triumph of Electronic Music
      Pretty decent Salon pieve about how electronica has sneakily broken through into mainstream America-- though not onto the pop charts. Kinda long to make a pretty simple point, but oh well.

    • Satellite Radio To The Rescue
      Salon is a little late to the party on this one (even using the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack as an example of popular music ignored by big media), but they still get in some good licks.

    posted by Randy on 11:49 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Tuesday, June 18, 2002

    • RIAA, NMPA Reach Settlement With
      Argggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh. At least they settled before they went out of business. It will now be a million years, if ever, before Audiogalaxy will be as useful as it once was for discovering new tracks or digging up old chestnuts. They were very helpful over the past month in helpingme dig up a lot of old school chestnuts. At least I got 'em before the axe fell. Sorry if you didn't. There's still other options, but they are dwindling rapidly.

    • FCC Combines Ownership Rule Review (actually this article better explains what is at stake)
      If you think you have few media choices now, just wait until the FCC gets done reviewing the current ownership rules. Theyre will still be a multitude of choices, but they'll all be controlled by three big players, tops. Thank goodness for the Internet-- at least for the moment.

    • Scrambled signals for XM Satellite
      I'm totally down with satellite radio. I want it. It's on the list. I just hope it is still around when I'm ready to get it. It seems that problems with the solar arrays that generate power for the XM Radio's Boeing 702 satellites have been acknowledged since last September, when Boeing said the solar arrays could degrade sooner than their expected 17.5-year lifespan. XM Satellite Radio has since said the problem could affect its six satellites as early as 2005. Analysts are now debating whether that will throw a wrench in the quality of the company's broadcasting service or in its otherwise strong business. Keep hope alive!

    No music news today, what's up with that? Couldn't find anything noteworthy.

    Don't forget-- MC Hesher spinning funk, hip-hop & soul at 330 Rich 6 - 7 p.m. this Friday! Come by and get your after work groove on!

    posted by Randy on 10:58 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Monday, June 17, 2002

    Thank You!: I want to start off by thanking all of you who came out to 330 Rich on Friday after work to hear me spin the platter that matter. I had fun, I hope you did too. If you missed it or want to experience the fun again, fear not. I'll be spinning again this Friday, once again at 330 Rich from 6 - 7 p.m. Come by, get your drink on and feel the good tunes flow through your body!

    • Royalties Proposed for Booming Used CD Market
      Perhaps among the greediest, worst ideas to ever come from the music industry. Do car companies get some money when I sell my car? No. They're looking at proposing a 6% royalty, which would effectively put small retailers out of business and leave the big boys the used CD market, which they could then marginalize if it eats into their profits. Just Say No.

    • AOL Selling Songs Online in Unprotected Format
      The 90-day experiment by the AOL Time Warner Inc. unit, which began June 1, features MP3 files--a freely copyable format favored by consumers but spurned by the major labels. The 99-cent singles come from new artists and established acts, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alanis Morissette and Brandy. On'y 4 years too late, but at least they're getting in the game.

    • Dixie Chicks, Sony End Feud With a New Deal
      Here is the correct headline for this story: "Dixie Chicks Sell Out." The most important part of this story is the last two lines: Behind the scenes, representatives for the Dixie Chicks met with EMI Group and Bertelsmann Music Group to shop for a new deal based on a new model involving smaller advances, larger back-end royalties, fewer deductions and more-transparent accounting methods. Unable to strike such a pact with any of Sony's competitors, they quietly returned to the negotiating table with the Japanese conglomerate in April, sources said. The gritty details: an estimated $20-million signing advance that the musicians reimburse Sony $15 million of from record sales before collecting royalties. In addition, the trio's managers and lawyers are expected to reap fees estimated at $3 million, or about 15% of the $20-million transaction, sources said. Sony agreed to significantly boost the Nashville trio's royalty rate to about 20%, sources said. The next Dixie Chicks CD Home due out Aug. 27, will be the first release on the trio's own Wide Open Records label, which will be distributed through Sony's Columbia division and its Nashville Monument arm. Any records released on the new label will be marketed and promoted through Sony. Personally, I wish they would've struck out on their own. If they think a big label won't rip them off twice, they're fooling themselves. They will have to have a huge hit album to pay back that 15 mil-- we're talking 10x platnium, if not more.

    • Common Foe for Musicians and Labels
      More info about the bill to be introduced by Senator Russell D. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, addressing several issues, including whether to limit consolidation in the radio industry by imposing a cap on the number of stations a company can own and limiting the practice of record labels' paying independent promoters to promote new hits to station programmers.

    • Power Outage Sends Spears Offstage
      What's a matter, Brit? Can't ya do unplugged?

    • Dave Grohl Says Nirvana Legal Battle Not Worth The Anguish
      Here's the most important part of the story (and the part I bet C-Lo reproduces in the on going lawsuit): "When I was a kid in D.C., before a band's album came out you'd have a copy of it, albeit seventh-generation," Grohl said. "It was cool because it wasn't about selling records, it was about filling the club and people singing along with the songs. I think it's cool that you can share music and you don't have to stick a nickel in something just to hear a song. To me it has nothing to do with 'Are they going to buy the packaging? Does it have the same quality? Does it have whatever?' You know what? Kids want to hear the music. And so you play it for 'em. And if your album gets leaked and a million people go out and copy it, in a weird way that's kind of flattering." And: "If everything was peachy keen and moving along just fine, then I would think that it's kind of cool that some people actually got to hear the music rather than it being caught up in a bunch of f---ing legal bullsh--. I do want people to hear the songs. The stuff that's on the box set is stuff like the craziest, most freaked-out Butthole Surfers/Scratch Acid flip out that you've ever heard in your life. But I'm fortunate because I'm rich beyond my wildest dreams and I don't gotta worry about selling CDs anymore."

    • ABC Goes Ga-Ga Over Go-Go's
      ABC is developing a biopic that chronicles the rise of The Go-Go's as the first superstar, all-girl rock band in the MTV era. The project could be ready in time for a possible February sweeps run. Instead of their "Behind The Music" re-hash, it will focus on making punk princesses into rock princesses. Oy.

    • Matriarch of Country Music Group the Whites Dies
      Pat White, retired country music performer and matriarch of the Grand Ole Opry act The Whites, has died following a heart attack. The wife of singer-mandolin player Buck White, she died at a hospital on Sunday. Her singing daughters are Cheryl White and Sharon White Skaggs, wife of country star Ricky Skaggs.

    • Is Bush Becoming Nixon?
      Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....could be.

    • Masterpiece: Pac Man
      It's true, it's true.

    posted by Randy on 11:44 AM | permanent link to this entry

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