Pop culture and all that.






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    Friday, September 06, 2002

    • Did Biggie Pay For Tupac's Murder? Did The Non-Payment Of That Debt Lead To Biggie's Murder?
      The Los Angeles Times seems to think so. Read the story-- it's pretty amazing if true. This is the first story I've read/heard that said The Notorious B.I.G. was actually in Las Vegas the night Tupac was shot. Most other accounts put him in Los Angeles. This is just part one of the story, I'll put up a link to part two when it is published. Remember kids- when you dance with the devil, you get burned every time. There is no way to pick up the snake without being bitten. Garbage in, garbage out. Keep it on the straight and narrow.

    • A Story Of Piracy And Privacy
      This is a very good summary in The Washington Post of the R.I.A.A. vs. Verizon case. The R.I.A.A. wants Verizion to identify one of it's subscribers who is trading music files but Verizion says that would be a violation of that user's privacy.

    • Senator Pulls Support for Copyright Bill
      Sen. George Allen, R-Va., said he could no longer support a proposal titled Anticounterfeiting Amendments of 2002 because of changes that came just before a committee voted in July to send it to the Senate floor. The bill originally targeted the kind of large-scale pirates who manufacture fake Windows but the Senate Judiciary Committee rewrote the bill to encompass technology used in digital rights management. Following the revisions, companies that had previously backed the measure pulled their support for the bill, and so goes the support from folks like Sen. Allen.

    • Suge Knight Plans To Release Left Eye's 'N.I.N.A.' LP
      What? Tha Row exploiting someone's death for profit? Get out. In a related story that I've been meaning to post: Philadelphia Weekly looks at the life and death of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes It's a pretty good piece, with some insight into her state of mind as she signed to Tha Row and tried to get her life together.

    • Uncle Kracker, Kid Rock Make Like Bungled Beasties On Side Project
      "It'll be like Mr. Bungle meets Licensed to Ill," Kracker said of his off-the-wall moonlight venture with Kid Rock. "It's gonna be good, it's going to be stuff that neither one of us could possibly do on our own records, and I think kids will like it." Good god, no.

    • Sammy Hagar Calls Reunion With Van Halen 'Inevitable'
      Good god, no. Part II.

    • Success of 'American Idol' to Spawn Many Copycats
      Good god, no. Part III. Coming soon, a country-music version from USA Network and a revival of "Star Search" on CBS.

    • Krieger & Manzarek Reunite As The Doors, With The Police's Copeland
      Good god, no. Part IV. It's quite the day for abominations. Ian Astbury of The Cult is handeling vocals while Stewart Copeland of The Police and Oysterhead is filling in for John Densmore, who is battling the hearing disorder tinnitus. It is just for one show, thus far. Let's hope they keep it that way.

    • Ex-Media Executive In AOL's Future?
      It seems former Bertelsmann big wig Thomas Middelhoff has been interviewing at AOLTimeWarner. Remember,he was they guy who loanded all that money to Napster and had big synergetic plans. Maybe he can get the pieces to fit together at AOLTimeWarner.

    • For Hispanic Radio, a Feud Boils Over in Market on Fire
      Spanish Broadcasting System Inc. and Hispanic Broadcasting Corp are in a heated battle for the Hispanic radio market. With HBC backed by evil Clear Channel, it isn't too hard to know who to root for. Read the article, it's a very dirty business.

    • Is TiVo Bad for Business?
      According to this survey, it is if you make uninteresting commercials or broadcast a station that people turn to when there is nothing else on (such as CNN, Headline News, MTV, VH1, and The Weather Channel.

    • Vivendi's Chief Is Said to Favor Bidding American Units Adieu
      Possibly for sale piecemeal, possibly to be spun off: Universal Music, Univerals Films, USA Networks and the Sci-Fi channel. That would be *huge* if they sold it off piecemeal. Forming a new company just leaves the Big Media structure in place. Don't forget, Liberty Media is salivating to get at what remains of Universal's entertainment assests.

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

    Thursday, September 05, 2002

    • University to Challenge Copyright Laws
      Duke University's law school has received an anonymous $1 million gift to fund advocacy and research aimed at curtailing the recent expansion of copyright law. The school will use the money to fund Center for the Study of the Public Domain, which is focused on finding "the correct balance" between intellectual property rights and material that should be in the public domain.

    • Lil Flip To Sell Double CD For $5.99:
      I don't know Lil' Flip from a lil' hole in the ground, but good on him and his people for getting the music out to the people at a super-reasonable price-- it'd be hard for a bootlegger to compete with that.

    • Kelly Clarkson Wins 'American Idol'
      Okay, so this is the big music news story of the day, but I really haven't been watching after those first round of auditions so this doesn't mean much to me. On the other hand, I like that the two finalists were a Sideshow Bob look-a-like and a short, white, brunnet with back. Not who you think of when you think the words "American Idol."

    • Pressplay Gives Early Tracks
      Now we're talking! Pressplay \will offer subscribers access to exclusive new online tracks to stream or download from forthcoming albums well in advance of their release on CD. The first material for the program will be from Bon Jovi, LL Cool J, Nine Days and Natalie Cole. Users will be able to burn the tracks to a CD or move them to a portable device once the CDs are released.

    • Party Like It's 1988>
      Interesting piece in Salon about the infamous David Lee Roth/Sammy Hagar tour. Ever other piece I've read about this tour said that DLR was pretty scary, but this guy seemed to enjoy Dave's show more than Sammy's.

    posted by Randy on 10:22 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Wednesday, September 04, 2002

    posted by Randy on 11:33 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Tuesday, September 03, 2002

    All Is Well Now: My wife has safely returned from Burning Man. I flew to Reno on Sunday to help her drive home. It was hot hot hot! Anyway, the point is, now that my wife is home this blog will retain its focus on music and Big Media news.

    • Bertelsmann to Drop Online Books and Music
      German media giant Bertelsmann is considering the outright sale or closure of its online books and music operations as a part of it's on going cost-cutting/restructuring. Whioch mean, basically, that if they spend $100 million to buy the bankrupt-Napster assets, it'll be all for naught. We live in very crazy times, I tell you what. Anyway, The German group is understood to be in talks with several online companies, including Amazon, over the sale of its books business and its BeMusic subsidiary. BeMusic was supposed to be a portal where consumers could join the record club, buy music from CDNow, download or stream digital tracks or upload them to a virtual locker. Before we got bought by Sony, the late, great was almost part of the BeMusic family. Phew! That was close!

    • Labels Loosening Up on CD Copy Locks
      This doesn't mean they're gonna give up looking for a solution-- it just means that right now some labels are realizing that copy protection is far fcrom perfect and alinating their customers inthe meantimes is bad for business.

    • AOL Reaches to Create Its Own Big Music Scene on the Internet
      Repeat after me: content really is king! At least AOL Music has got it.

    • Hip-Hop Sales Pop: Pass the Courvoisier
      Very interesting, if a little late to party, article about how hip-hop artists shouting-out brand names help boost the sales of all sorts of companies: specifically clothes designers, automobile manufactures and liquor producers. There's also a tip of the hat to the fact that rappers started their own clothing lines and have bought liquor producers in order to get a piece of the sales bump that goes along with the shout-out.

    • Will the Price Be Right to Turn Around Fortunes?
      The Response-- Cheaper CDs: good. Saving the music industry: Bad. That is all.

    • Major Music Labels Promote New CD Format
      Consumers will soon see a new digital music format in their local stores. Called DataPlay digital media, these news discs are smaller than CDs and represent the music industry's latest attempt to distribute music in a copy-protected format. The discs can also hold extras like videos and artist intervews and what-not. They face tons of competition from CDs, which are ubiquitous and cheaper in blank form. CD burners are also currently cheaper than DataPlay burners.

    • DMX To Ja Rule: Drop Dead
      DMX addressed the beef with Ja-Rule last week on San Francisco's KMEL, calling out Ja-Rule on a number of issues. Basically his beef is that Ja Rule stole his style, used that as a launching pad and is now too far on the pop tip. He also claims that Ja Rule had a homosexual encounter with a clothes designer while on extacy. Dis-songs are coming soon. DMX also fessed up to a cocaine addiction, but said he has beat it.

    • Ja Rule To DMX: Don't Be A Hater
      Ja Rule responds with a claim that DMX is just jealous of his success and has always had a problem with him. He also says Suge Knight might appear in his next video.
      "He's a person that I met a long time ago and he's been a friend throughout," Ja said. "He's never shown me any type of shade. All of these people are talking about, 'He's this, he's that.' Never. And as a matter of fact, he's showed me more love than many of my so-called friends." Ja, you need to familiarize yourself with the legendary fabel of the girl and the snake: Girl Picks Up Snake. Snake Hangs Around For Years, Acts As Good Company. Snake Bites Girl. Girl, Dying, Asks "Why?" Sanke Say "You Knew I Was A Snake When You Picked Me Up, Why Are You Surprised?" Word up, yo. Believe dat.

    • Ronettes Royalties Case to Be Heard
      The Ronettes vs. Phil Spector case is on the docket this week in New York's highest court. The court battle, wqhich contneds that The Ronnettes original contract didn't cover royalties generated from tv, movies and advertising, has been going on since 1988. In November 2001, a lower state court said the Ronettes were entitled to nearly $3 million dollars.

    • Unwritten Law Guitarist Hurt
      Unwritten Law guitarist Steve Morris was injured over the weekend when his neighbor attacked his house with two homemade bombs as a part of an ongoing dispute over noise.
      One bomb hit Morris' balcony but failed to detonate. A second exploded outside his front door. when police and security were examing the first bomb, it exploded. Morris was treated for a concussion and fluid in his ear drums. His neighbor has been arrested.

    • Jazz Great Lionel Hampton Popularized the 'Vibes'
      R.I.P. Lionel Hampton.

    posted by Randy on 11:18 AM | permanent link to this entry

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