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, August 23, 2002

    Reminder: Come check me out spinning as DJ MC Hesher @ The Attic (3326 24th St. in San Francisco) on Sat., Aug. 24th!! I'll be spinning a fun mix of hip-hop/funk/soul/mash-ups/club classics.

    • Michael Jackson Has Third Child
      Congrats, you big freak. Perhaps inspired by George Forman naming all his boys George, this new child's name is Prince Michael II, with Prince Michael I being his oldest son. Mama is unknown at the moment but is widely assumed to be the ex-wife of his who his not Lisa Marie Presley

    • Line-Up Announced For First Austin City Limits Festival
      Sept. 28 and 29 in Austin, Texas. Peep these partcipating artists: Ryan Adams, Wilco, Jimmie Vaughn, Blind Boys of Alabama, The Jayhawks, G. Love and Special Sauce, Asleep at the Wheel, Kelly Willis, Catlin Cary, The Derailers, Luna, The Gourdsand much more. I hope it is mega successful and that they take it on tour next year.

    • Weezer To Open For Guns N' Roses In London

    • Britney Spears Happy Folks Split Up
      "My mom and dad, bottom line, do not get along. When I was a baby, they argued. I wanted this to happen 10 years ago." Jeezum crow, how much does that statement explain? Mom and dad fighting, kid needs attention and gets it from the pursuit of fame. Oldest story in entertainment. And speaking of Britney, some Canadain DJs fooled her into thinking she was talking to Celine Dion and got her to agree to sing a duet with Tiger Woods. A clip from the call can be heard here.

    • Retropolis Buys Jazz/Blues Label
      Freaking awesome news, as this catalog has fallen into some very capable hands. Retropolis Entertainment, the company formed by former Rhino Entertainment executives Richard Foos and Robert Emmer, has purchased Biograph Records, a noted jazz and blues label with recordings by Son House, the Rev. Gary Davis, Scott Joplin and Eubie Blake. Biograph also Biograph has the rights to produce albums from the QRS Music Roll Co.'s extensive piano roll catalog (including those of Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton and Joplin) and recording by Skip James, Blind Willie McTell, Memphis Minnie, Zoot Sims, Stan Getz and Art Farmer.

    • Rhino Gets Things Started With Muppets Set
      And speaking Rhino, they're gonna release The Muppet Show: Music, Mayhem, and More: the 25th Anniversary Collection on Sept. 17. The 25 song dic will include "It's Not Easy Being Green," "The Muppet Show Theme," "Mahna Mahna," "Rainbow Connection," "Movin' Right Along," "Can You Picture That" and more.Additionally, Sept. 3 will bring two "Best of the Muppet Show" collections on VHS/DVD to retail for the first time.

    • Diamond Rio 'Retires' Some Songs
      Well, at least they didn't say "We'll never perform these songs again," which we all know never turns out to be true.

    • Snoop Dogg (A.K.A. Snoop Scorsese) Talks Next LP
      Paid the Cost to Be the Boss, is set to drop November 19 and will feature work by The Neptunes, Redman and possibly an appearance by Lenny Kravitz.

    • Remaining 3LW Members Deny Allegations
      Well, yeah, you knew that was coming.

    posted by Randy on 12:34 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Thursday, August 22, 2002

    Reminder: Come check me out spinning as DJ MC Hesher @ The Attic (3326 24th St. in San Francisco) on Sat., Aug. 24th!! I'll be spinning a fun mix of hip-hop/funk/soul/mash-ups/club classics.

    • 3LW Become 2LW: Naturi Says She's Out Of Group
      Naturi Naughton claims she was forced out of teen-pop group 3LW A slew of cancelled appearances has fueled rumours about the group, which now seem to be true. Naughton says the last straw was when another member of the group threw a plate of food in her face during an argument.

    • Rap Fest Takes Cancelation to Court
      It was cancelled by by officials with the Atlantic City Surf baseball team, who sublease Sandcastle Stadium and had booked the show for the venue. They cited police warnings about the potential for violence at the show featuring rappers N.O.R.E., Styles and Khia. Interestingly enough, the promoters are arguing that that Surf officials violated their contract, citing a 1997 ruling that prohibited the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority from banning a performance by controversial rocker Marilyn Manson.

    • Hollywood Bowl to Get New Home
      A state appellate court ruled that the operators of the Hollywood Bowl can tear down its 73-year-old orchestra shell and build a new one. It's a very interesting case. Yes, the shell is a landmark, but it has bad acoustics if you're actually on stage performing in an orchestra. Should we sacrafice sound quality in order to honor the shell's heritage and history? On a not very related note, I saw Tito Puente there a few years ago and had a grand ol' time.

    • Stars To Grace 9/11 'Concert For America'
      What stars, you ask? Enrique Iglesias, Alan Jackson, Gloria Estefan, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Josh Groban, Renee Fleming, Placido Domingo, and the National Symphony Orchestra , of course.

    • Grandmaster Flash Designs New Mixing Board
      Grandmaster Flash has teamed with electronics company Rane to create a custom mixing board for DJ's. The board will feature three kinds of jacks to plug into (XLR, quarter-inch and RCA), features its own power converter and an Automatic Gain Circuit, which will correct the sonic deficiencies in vinyl.

    posted by Randy on 11:03 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Wednesday, August 21, 2002

    I Was Sick Yesterday: That's why there wasn't an update. Sorry 'bout that. Tummy n' headache thing. I'm all better now, thanks for your concern.

    While I was gone, it looks like the whole Big Media machince was making Big Moves. *Sigh*

    • You Are Not Paranoid-- The R.I.A.A. Is Coming After You!

    • Reports: Malone Seeks Deal With French Firm
      John Malone Liberty Media is reportedly in discussions with Vivendi Universal to create an entertainment giant. The deal would combine Vivendi's stakes in Universal Studios, Universal Music Group and USA Network with a number of Liberty's cable TV and media assets, which could include pay-TV movie provider Starz Encore. If a deal does get done, Liberty would own significant stakes in three of the world's largest media companies, Vivendi, News Corp. and AOL Time Warner. I'm sort of speechless. New competition: good. Another media giant: bad. I'd rather see the Universal broken up into much smaller pieces-- particularly the music arm.

    • Media Chief Decries Net's Moral Fiber
      Also at the Progress and Freedom Foundationís annual technology and politics summit was News Corp. President Peter Chernin who decried decried the "enormous amount" of worthless content online. He also predicted that without new laws to stave off illicit copying, News Corp.'s vast library of movies may never be made available in digital form. So, A) "worthless content"? has he lost track of supply and demand? None would produce it, host it or distribute it if it was worthless. Oh, wait-- it's worthless becuase his company doesn't contreol it, I see. And B) Dude, how many different ways and different times do we need to tell you that there is no fool-proof copy protection that will ever exist. it just won't. And you'll be getting robbed blind by pirates until you realize that.

    • Do the Math
      Stan Liebowitz, professor of economics at the University of Texas at Dallas has completed a book entitled Rethinking the Networked Economy that deals extensively with how the widespread circulation of "pirated" MP3s is--or, rather, isn't--damming the music industry's revenue stream. Peep that shit, yo. Pre-order it now, read it, live it, believe it.

    • AOL in Deal to Regain All of Media Unit
      Okay, try and keep track of this. AOLTW, AT&T and Comcast are breaking apart their joint venture. The agreement gives AOL Time Warner complete control of Time Warner Entertainment, which includes HBO and the Warner Brothers film studio. AOL Time Warner agreed to give AT&T about $2 billion in cash, about $1.5 billion in AOL Time Warner shares and about 21 percent of a newly formed operation, Time Warner Cable, which will include all of AOL Time Warner's roughly 12.9 million cable customers nationwide. All that booty will go to Comcast once they finish competing a purchase of AT&T's cable assets. Read the whole article for the gory details-- it is interesting but hard to follow without a map.

    • Competitors Say Major Labels Favoring Pressplay
      pressplay, a joint venture by Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, recently overhauled its service to give consumers more of what they want from online music. Now, pressplay's competitors like are pressing Universal and Sony to let them do the same. I can only imagine what kind of anti-trust issues are rasied if they didn't offer competitors at least the same deal as their partners.

    • Hit Charade: The Music Industry's Self-Inflicted Wounds
      Excellent-- wait, let me stress that-- Excellent piece in Slate highlighting the how's and why's of where the music industry finds itself today-- including a good cite of historical precedent (anyone remember "Home Taping Is Killing Music"?). Highly reccommended reading.

    • Size is Not a Strategy
      Interesting article in Fast Company that pretty clearly outlines the roubles big companies have responding to customers and trends once they get to a certain size. One doesn't have to stretch too far to see how this applies to Big Media. Check it out.

    • AOL Hitches Its Star to Entertainment
      Content, it seems, is once again king. Not that it ever wasn't, it's just that AOL got all hyped on ad sales during Bob Pittman's reign. Back to the future, as they say.

    • Hearing Postponed In Love/UMG Case
      An Aug. 20 hearing in the contract-dispute case between Courtney Love and Universal Music Group was postponed at the request of lawyers for both sides, who wish to continue settlement talks. Don't give in, Courtney! Take it to the hoop! So much more is at stake here besides you. Go in for the kill, take it to trial!

    posted by Randy on 12:34 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Monday, August 19, 2002

    Distant Early Warning: Come check me out spinning as DJ MC Hesher @ The Attic (3326 24th St. in San Francisco) on Sat., Aug. 24th!! I'll be spinning a fun mix of hip-hop/funk/soul/mash-ups/club classics. Flyers and more reminders to come.

    • Save Ineternet Radio!
      Filling out the form at the above link will send a fax to your representatives, asking them to support The Internet Radio Fairness Act (HR 5285). Do it now, or forever hold your peace as you choke down more entertainment from Big Media.

    • Judge Hits Rewind on ReplayTV Case
      U.S. District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper granted permission to combine a copyright lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of the device owners and one filed by consumer electronics manufacturer Sonicblue, maker of ReplayTV. This is excellent nrews, as it gets a consumer's voice heard in this very important matter. Up until now it has largely just been Big Media, Technology Companies and Government hashing this out, but with this move The People get a voice.

    • Vivendi Considers Demerger of US Assets
      Among the many ways Vivendi Universal is considering raising cash is taking the Universal entertainment assets public. Considering the long, long term trends in the entertainment field (more art, produyced by more people in more formats and avcailable on more devices), that would be a sucker's buy. At least in my opinion.

    • Big AOLTW Troubles
      Customer satisfaction is extremely low compared with other Web portals and with almost every sector of American industry. Note, however, that this is only a study of portals, not the AOL service. In other bad news, the feds are investigating AOL's "round- tripping" deals in which a company would sell an unused asset to another company while at the same time agreeing to buy back the same or similar assets at about the same price. As a result of these crazy deals, AOL is overhauling their business unit.

    • Beyonce Doesn't Buy Current CDs, Only Listens To '70s Music
      "I haven't bought a current CD since I was 15," says she. In my small travels in the rock/rap/pop circle, she is not alone. Many of her contemporaries will kick the new school shit on stage but backstage onthe boombox chill out to old school soul or rap.

    • Ice-T Is Madly In Love And Getting Married
      I love Ice-T, I really do. I wish him the best in all he does. Having said that, i will now run down the reasons why this marriage won't work: 1) She's 23, he's 44. 2) He wants pimp-turned-preacher Arch Bishop Don Magic Juan to perform the ceremony. 3) Says the bride to be: "He picks out my clothes every day so we can always match. In fact, we do everything together. We never leave each other's side." 4) Linda Marie Sanchez, a 28-year-old actress, is suing Ice-T for child support, seeking 17 percent of his adjusted gross income. 5) What about Darlene, Ice-T's long-time love, mother of Little Ice-T and the best part of the Power album cover?

    • Record Labels Sue Internet Providers Over Site
      The world's largest record companies sued major Internet service and network providers on Friday, alleging their routing systems allow users to access the China-based (which is currently inaccessible) Web site and unlawfully copy musical recordings. The R.I.A.A. has gone nuts. Do we expect the phone company to monitor calls to make sure nothing illegal is happening? Perhaps banks should sue auto companies for providing get away vehicles?

    • No Doubt, Garbage, Distillers Tour Starts In October
      That's a pretty good bill, right there. I'm not a huge Garbage fan, though, so I'll probably take a pass.

    • Patsy Cline Tribute, TV Special Take Shape
      Martina McBride with Take 5, Natalie Cole, Jessi Alexander, Michelle Branch, Amy Grant, Lee Ann Womack, Patty Griffin, Rebecca Lynn Howard, k.d. lang, Norah Jones and Diana Krall are all recording tracks for a Patsy Cline tribute album. The album will also include a new version of "Walking After Midnight" that will feature new blues/rock backing music and Cline's original vocals. A TV-tie in is in development as well.

    • EPMD's DJ Scratch Injured In Motorcycle Accident
      He's okay, though. He suffered abrasions to his hands but can still cut and scratch just fine. He's unsure if he's gonna be able to recouperate in time to his the road with Jay-Z in the coming weeks.

    • Send A Message To The Future
      Click on the above link to write an up-to-4-page letter to the future that will be included on a satellite that will orbit the Earth for 50,000 years and then crash back down for whomever is still around to check out. I worte about what artists from this era people should look up and check out and my hopes for what their world is like.

    posted by Randy on 12:19 PM | permanent link to this entry

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