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    Thursday, October 17, 2002

    This blog won't be updated again until Monday, Oct. 21. Have a fun weekend!

    • Label Gets Setback in Royalties Suit
      U.S. District Judge Thomas Higgins concluded there wasn't enough of George Clinton's "Get Off Your Ass and Jam" that could be heard in N.W.A.'s early "100 Miles and Runnin'" to warrant a royalties payment. ''The court finds that no reasonable jury, even one familiar with the works of George Clinton, would recognize the source of the sample without having been told of its source,'' Higgins wrote in his opinion released yesterday. If this decision isn't reveresed on appeal, this is huge for musicians who work with samples. Chop it up and distort it enough and you may be in the all clear. Another note to this story, Clinton doesn't have control of his publishing, so it is Southfield, Mich.-based Westbound Records, Clinton's label in the early to mid-1970s, and its music publishing affiliate Bridgeport Music Inc. which filed a 1,077-page lawsuit in Nashville; with Westbound seeking to recover millions of dollars in royalties for copyrights it owns on more than 150 songs.

    • Web Royalty Bill in Holding Pattern
      ARGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Legislation that would dramatically lower the royalty rate that small webcasters pay for streaming music over the Internet now hangs by the slimmest parliamentary thread after the Senate failed to approve the measure Wednesday night. An unidentified Democrat placed a "hold" on the bill, but Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., also delayed a vote for at least a day as he pushed for language that would have limited the ability of the legislation to set a precedent for future legislation, the royalty-setting process or judicial action. He also wanted to eliminate House language that called for a study to be included in the legislation of the impact of the webcast royalty payment. Brownback, however, decided not to push his changes after it became evident that any change would kill the billOnce again, let me say: GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

      A major label doing something for artists on the internet that isn't incredibly evil? Could it be? Yup. Universal Music Group has made a proactive move to change the economic relationship between artists and its record labels vis-a-vis paid music downloads.
      The group has changed its royalty rate for downloads from the single rate to the album rate (a rate is usually 25% higher than the single rate) and eliminated the 20% new media deduction, the 25% packaging deduction and the 15% free goods deduction. For once in my life, I send a shout out to a mjor label. Good work. Check the article for a breakdown of how much an artist would've made per download then vs. now.

    • Cyndi Thomson Walks Away From Music Business
      I don't know if I've ever heard of a mid-level artist like Thomson making such a big deal about their "retirement." Apparently, all the non-music-making work of being on a label (promotions and dealing with label weasels) has driven her out of the biz. Onthe one hand, there are 20 gazillion wanna -bes who will gladly take her space so it is sort of funny that she seems to think it was a lot of work but on the other hand I respect her for realizing the limits of what she was willing to do to support herself and her music.

    • System's Stolen Tracks Compiled On Steal This Album
      System of A Down's Steal This Album, due in stores "later this year" is made up of finalized versions of tracks that were leaked on the internet soon after the release of Toxicity. In recognition of the origin of the album's songs, the CD will look like you made it at home, with no CD booklet or tray insert in the clear jewel box. Album credits will only be accessable by inserting the disc into a computer drive and visiting a special Web site. Hopefully Steal This Album will be as awesome as The Coup album of the same name.

    • Your Cheatin' Art
      So, apparently many of the catch-them-cheating-and-confron-'em scenarios on "Cheaters" are staged. the above linked article treacks down a few people who were paid to be on the show and pretend like they were cheating-and-confronting. I'm so bummed. I love that show. Also a bummer-- these fakers did it for just $400! Dude, that's peanuts for the (faked) humiliation you are going through. There's more money to be had there, definetly.

    posted by Randy on 3:36 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Wednesday, October 16, 2002

    • Fox Delays Movie About Sniper
      Due to the recent events in the Washington D.C. burbs, 20th Century Fox has decided to delay the release of "Phone Booth," a thriller about a man being pinned down and tormented in a phone booth by a gunman he can't see. It was set to open on Nov. 15, but the release date has been pushed back indefinetly.

    • Zappa Reissues Are Artists' Choices
      A new twist on greatest hits albums: Rykodisc is releasing two new Frank Zappa collections: Zappa Picks — By Jon Fishman of Phish and Zappa Picks — By Larry LaLonde of Primus. Each artists picks their fave Zappa tunes and gives explanations in the liner notes. Interesting idea, methinks.

    • Timberlake, Jay-Z, Cam'ron Contribute To Mariah Carey LP
      I am of the firm opinion that no amount of superstar producing and big-league-guest-stars will get Mariah Carey's next album as many sales as her corporate overlords hope for, but I could be wrong. Still, big ups to her for coming back from her breakdown and trying again.

    • Star-Packed DVD To Honor Late Drowning Pool Singer
      Drowning Pool''s Dave Williams , who died August 14 from heart disease, will be remembered with "Sinema," a DVD that combines a history of the band with personal accounts of the much-loved singer. Appearing in the DVD: Sammy Hagar, Rob Zombie, Vince Neil , Ozzy Osbourne , Zakk Wylde, and members of Slayer, Ill Niño, Adema, Seether, P.O.D., Disturbed, Sevendust and Finger Eleven. The DVD is due to hit stores Nov. 19.

    • Marilyn Manson Scoring 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' Remake
      How fitting, eh?

    • Weezer Exposed!
      Holy cow. Click the above link to see Weezer frontman River Cuomo in a promo pic for his hairmetal band Avant Garde. Whoa.

    • Ya Heard? E-40 Invented Every Rap Word You Ever Heard
      Fun interview with highly over-looked (and often ripped off) Bay Area rap kingpin E-40. He's the inventor of so much rap slang, it isn't even funny.
      Highly reccommended reading.

    • AT&T Wireless Making More Music
      Customers of AT&T Wireless Services are now able to preview new music, download an artist's image, order a CD and buy a musical ring tone over their cell phones. Kinda cool, okay, but no great shakes. The coolest feature is buried in the story: users can enter the call letters of a radio station and get a listing of the last four songs they played.

    • Phat Family Releases New Compilation
      Phat Family, community of artists, emcees, DJs, producers, writers and fans of hip-hop music and culture who "represent the 10 percent" - meaning gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people-- has just released a new compilation entitled Volume 2: Down 4 the Swerve. Check out Phat Family's tunes by clicking on this link.

    posted by Randy on 4:32 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Tuesday, October 15, 2002

    • Joni Mitchell 'Ashamed' to Be in Music Business
      And as the song says: "Joni Mitchell never lies, yo." "I just think it's a cesspool," the 58-year-old folk-rock icon said in the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine. "I hope it all goes down the crapper. I would never take another deal in the record business, which means I may not record again, or I have to figure out a way to sell over the Net or do something else. But I'll be damned if I'll line their pockets."

    • Reel Big Fish Members Escape Fire
      The band was on its way to a show at The Blue Note in Columbia, Mo., part of a five-week tour to promote its album Cheer Up, released in July. The stopped at a truck stop in Kingdom City. Bus driver Ron Mullholland noticed smoke pouring from the bus after he bought a cup of coffee at a truck stop, and alerted the band. The cause of the fire is unknown.

    • U2's Edge Says New Album Could Arrive By Next Summer
      The Edge told Ireland's Hot Press magazine that U2 expect to have a new album in stores by mid-2003 and that the material they are working on has "simple, stripped-down arrangements." Somgs already completed include "Electrical Storm, ""The Hands That Built America," "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own," "Original Of The Species," and "All Because Of You." "Electrical Storm" and "The Hands That Built America," both will appear on U2: Best Of 1990-2000, due November 5 on Interscope Records.

    • Show Goes on for ZZ Top Without Ailing Drummer
      Frank Beard, the only memeber of ZZ Top without a beard, an appendectomy in Paris, forcing the Texas rock trio to play shows without its original line-up for the first time in its history, the group's publicist said on Monday. He will be replaced on the drums on ZZ Top's European tour by roadie John Douglas until he recuperates.

    • Big Band Leader Ray Conniff Dies in California
      Big Band leader Ray Conniff, who pioneered an "easy listening" blend of vocal chorus and light orchestral music to cover popular tunes, has died after suffering a head injury in a fall, hospital officials said on Monday. He was 85. For good or for ill, he was a musical innovator. Without Coniff, there is no "muzak" and therefore nothing for surly teenagers to rebel against until they cash in by selling the rights to their tunes to people who make easy listening versions. R.I.P. from and condolences to his family.

    • Pressplay Signs Licensing Deal with BMG
      Inch by inch.. we're getting closer. AOL Time Warner is now the only hold out. Of coursse, the free services still kick Pressplay's ass, but they're coming along slowly.

    • Harmony Restored In Bone Thugs-N-Harmony ... Again
      After a quick trip to detox/rehab, Bizzy Bone is back in Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. He will rejoin the group on tour starting on Oct. 22.

    • Eminem Gives Surprise Performance At 8 Mile Screening
      So, you score some tickets to a preview of the new Eminem movie. Nice work, there, Mr. Insider. Then the movie starts rolling and suddent the screen raises and Eminem and D-12 roll out and put on a 45 min. concert. I hope you brought you're girl, 'cos that's pretty impressive. The whole thing was for an episode of MTV's Jammed. Coming soon to a TV near you.

    • Reunion Shows For Toad The Wet Sprocket
      There's a market for Toad The Wet Sprocket reunion shows? Who knew?

    • New 2Pac Album Set for Nov. 26
      Entitled Better Dayz, it's coming out on Amaru/Interscope Records and features tracks recorded between 1994 and up until his death in 1996. Ja Rule collaborator 7 Aurelius has produced three songs on the project. And that's all that's publically known about the project.

    posted by Randy on 12:45 PM | permanent link to this entry

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