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


    Wednesday, July 03, 2002

    I'm Taking A Break Until Monday. But Thanks For Visiting!

    In the meantime, a few good reads, offered without commentary from me.

    posted by Randy on 11:12 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Tuesday, July 02, 2002

    • Sony/Michael Jackson Venture to Buy Acuff-Rose
      Sony/ATV, a joint venture among Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) and Michael Jackson , have agreed to buy the legendary country music publisher Acuff-Rose, whose 55,000-song library includes works by Hank Williams, Roy Orbison and the Everly Brothers from Gaylord Entertainment Co.-- a company who owns hotels, golf courses and the Grand Ole Opry. They are getting out of the music publishing biz to concentrate more on the hospitality biz. Next time you hear "Hey Good Lookin'" in a commercial, you now know who to blame. It cost $157 million to buy-- I don't know, to me that seems like a steal considering how valuable publishing rights are. That 55,000 chances to liscences songs to commericals, movies, tv and so on and so forth. Methinks someone at Gaylord Entertainment Co. wasn't doing their long range planning. Sony/ATV, owns the copyrights and catalogs for music by the Beatles, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan and Pearl Jam, among others

    • Ovitz Lashes Out at Hollywood
      A profile in Vanity Fair's August issue, which hits newsstands Wednesday, portrays former super agent Mike Ovitz going off the rails, accusing Hollywood's "gay mafia" of ruining his business and his reputation. No wonder J. Edgar Hoover was so into investigating organized crime.

    • Investors Weigh Fate of Universal Media Units
    • Messier Fears Dismantling of Vivendi
    • Vivendi Tried To Cook The Books
      It's all looking bad for Vivendi Universal. The real interesting thing to watch will be how they sel lor spin off their various arms-- especially the media properties. They can't really sell them due to monopoly concerns, but wil they be able to exist on their own?

    • KRS-One And Nelly Continue To Exchange Fire On Los Angeles Radio
      I still contend this is one of the dumbest battles ever. But it goes on. Nelly took the air on Power 106 in Los Angeles on Wednesday (June 26) and dissed KRS-One in a freestyle rap over the track to Styles's "Good Times." The blastmaster KRS-ONE came back on Saturday with "U Don't Really Want." Remember, this all started over KRS-One misunderstanding a Nelly lyrics as dissing the old school. Please. At least KRS-One vs. MC Shan was about something. This is just stupid.

    • 'Simpsons' Creator To Curate All Tomorrow's Parties
      Matt Groening, creator of the animated Fox series "The Simpsons" and "Futurama," will curate the 2003 U.S. edition of the All Tomorrow's Parties (ATP) festival, to be held in June on the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) campus. Last years festival, currated by Sonic Youth, featured appearances by Eddie Vedder, Television, Wilco, Stereolab, Sleater-Kinney and more. Groening has always championed "critic's faves" like Sun Ra, Captain Beefheart and The Residentsin interviews-- not to mention the zillions of cool musicians who have appeared on "The Simpsons." I'm excited to see who he gets to play the festival.

    • LL Cool J, Doug E. Fresh Rap For Kids
      This is actually a pretty neat idea: Scholastic is producing a new book-and-CD series that will pair a children's book -- aimed at kids ages 4-10 -- with a two-track CD that includes the "rap version" of the story performed by a popular hip-hop artist as well as a music-only track so the children can rap along as they read. first up: Doug E. Fresh (teach your kids how to beat box young!) and LL Cool J. After that, Shaggy and Common.

    posted by Randy on 11:38 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Monday, July 01, 2002

    A Big Thanks Goes Out To: Everyone who came out to the Zeitgiest Breast Cancer benefit on Saturday. Lotsa fun was had and lotsa $$ was raised.

    • Prices of Recordings Fixed, Judge Rules
      In 1988, Warner Bros. records and PolyGram became concerned that the audio and video products resulting from a Paris Three Tenors concert would not be as original or as commercially appealing as the earlier Three Tenors releases. To reduce competition from these earlier releases, the companies allegedly adopted what they called a "moratorium" agreement. Through this agreement, PolyGram would not discount or advertise the 1990 Three Tenors album and video from August 1, 1998 through October 15, 1998. In return, Warner would not discount or advertise the 1994 Three Tenors album and video during the same interval. The end result of all this is the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) James P. Timony ordered a series of companies, all of which are subsidiaries of French corporation Vivendi Universal S.A., among other things to cease and desist from entering into "any combination, conspiracy, or agreement" - with producers or sellers at wholesale of audio or video products - to "fix, raise, or stabilize prices or price levels" in connection with the sale in or into the United States of any audio or video product. In addition, under the terms of the order, the respondents, which include PolyGram Holding, Inc.; Decca Music Group Limited; UMG Recordings, Inc.; and Universal Music & Video Distribution Corp., are barred from entering into agreements that prohibit, restrict, regulate, or otherwise place any limitation on "any truthful, nondeceptive advertising or promotion in the United States" for any audio or video. Vivendi's Universal Music Group denied any wrongdoing and said it would appeal the decision, which is subject to review by the full commission.

    • Grudgingly, Music Labels Sell Their Songs Online
      Congrats to my former employer on getting all five major label to supply their Rhapsody service with content. Now they just need to shape the service into something people might actually want to pay for-- which is an entire different thing than what they've got going now.

    • Vivendi Chief Reportedly Set to Step Down
      This is good news and this could be bad news. Good news in that we like it when cultural monoliths like Vivendi Universal take a few licks. Bad news in that this might get the ball rolling towards Vivendi Universal towards selling off some of their entertainment assets to the other big players in the scene. Ugh. According to this Wall Street Journal Article, his assumed successor is suppodedly going to take the company down that very road-- but perhaps they will sell off the liquor and sewer companies. Who knows.

    • Dead Reunion Concerts Back On
      Well, it seemed like an impossible dream-- and I guess it was. The Grateful Dead will live again, as Wisconsin's Walworth County board voted 5-0 Friday to allow the band to hold a reunion concert Aug. 3-4. Billed as "Terrapin Station -- A Grateful Dead Family Reunion," the concerts will be held at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, about 30 miles from Milwaukee.
      The County Highway Committee initially rejected a concert permit fearing it would cause health, safety, and police problems by attracting 200,000 people to a venue that can only hold about 35,000. Clear Channel said they would help get the word out that those without tickets are not welcome at the event.

    • Singer/Actor Rosemary Clooney Dies
      At age 74, of lung cancer. Get yer hands on "Come on-a My House," "Hey There," "Sway" and "Get Me To The Church On Time". R.I.P. from

    • Explicit Music Still Aimed at Teens - FTC
      The Federal Trade Commission told Congress on Friday that the he U.S. recording industry continues to market music with explicit lyrics to teen-agers despite having been repeatedly criticized for doing so. In the FTC's fourth report since September 2000 focusing on marketing practices in the music, movie and video game industries, they again singled out the music industry for pushing sex- and violence-laced music in television and magazine advertisements aimed at teenagers while recognizing that the movie and video-game industries had cut back on marketing adult content to children.

    • German Girl Band Fears Irritating Its Fans
      Big Fish Tires Of Seeing Reflection In Small Pond: Members of Germany's best-selling girl band No Angels said on Friday they feared they were getting on the nerves of their fans with too much exposure and would scale back their public appearances. Um, sure, okay. whatever you say, strangers.

      Peep This Website Now!! Vintage Boombox Museum Ahhh... memories.

    posted by Randy on 11:56 AM | permanent link to this entry

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