Friday, October 25, 2002
posted by Randy on 2:48 PM |
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- Mariah Carey Covers Def Leppard On New Album
Awesome. "Bringing On The Heartbreak." Double awesome. Charmbracelet arrives in stores on December. Pre-order it here, yo.
- AOL to Build $483 Million Movie Studio in China
AOL Time Warner plans to invest $483 million to build an outdoor movie studio that is also expected to become a tourist attraction, the official Xinhua news agency said on Friday. This comes on the heels of Warner Bros Films announcing in July that it had struck a deal to edge into the Chinese movie market by buying a stake in Shanghai Paradise Film Distributing Co, which owns a 1,400-seat theater in Shanghai. If I were a behind-the-scenes person in Hollywood, I'd watch this China development carefully. It might not be technically feasible right now, but I can easily see AOLTW mandating that films get made on the cheap in their new Chinese studio.
- Dialogue with Clear Channel Radio CEO John Hogan
This man just has no concept of how radio acts as a cultural guardian and therefore needs to not consolidate any more than it already has. "Our two most important constituents and the opinions we are most concerned about are our listeners and advertisers." Advertisers don't want listeners to be challenged, listeners don't wanna rock the boat and we therefore get cultural stagnation. At least that's how I see it.
- More Time Sought for Media-Ownership Review
The Newspaper Guild, Communications Workers of America, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Consumer Federation of America and the Center for Digital Democracy were among the groups asking the FCC to extend deadlines for comment and replies to proposed rule changes by at least three months. Under current FCC deadlines, comments are due Dec. 2; replies Jan. 2. FCC chairman Michael Powell has said he hopes to bring proposed changes to a vote by spring.
Thursday, October 24, 2002
posted by Randy on 1:37 PM |
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- Statler Brothers finally ready to call it a career on Saturday
After 38 years of singing songs about drive-in theaters, lemonade stands and backyard baseball, The Statler Brothers are calling it quits (at least until the reunion). You hipsters probably know them best from "Flowers On The Wall" from the Pulp Fiction Soundtrack, but they have plenty of other great songs. Did you know they got their start as Johnny Cash's backing band? Now you do. After they play Salem, Va., on Saturday, they'll retire as one of the most successful country groups ever.
- Hip-hop Classic 'Wild Style' Comes to DVD
Features the uncut film, commentary from director Charlie Ahearn and Fab 5 Freddy , outtakes of graffiti master pieces from subway trains circa 1981-82, an extra scene with Busy Bee and Lisa Lee at the Dixie Club shoot and video of the Wild Style theme song by Grandmaster Caz is also included. It's out as of Tuesday. Cop. That. Shit. Now. If you are at all a hip-hop fan, it is a must own.
- Ryan Adams Pays Heckler To Leave Concert
Ryan Adams' recent show in Nashville featured an incident that I'm certain will be remembered through out in rock history. After a fan jokingly called out for "Summer of '69" (a hit for Bryan Adams), Adams stopped the show, found the fan and paid him $30.00 to leave the show. The next day, The Nashville Tennessean ran a bad review of the show. The day after that, Tennessean music writer Peter Cooper got a nasty voice mail message from Adams (scroll down one story to read the details), during which Adams said "Ooh, The Tennessean. Blah, blah, blah, blah. Whatever. You wouldn't know a (expletive) good show if it bit you in the (expletive)" among other nuggets. Adams is currently touring to support Demolition
(I have it-- it's okay, but nowhere near as awesome as Heartbreaker or Gold). One of the songs on Demolition: "Tennessee Sucks"
- Listen To Offer Legal CD-Burning
Listen.com's Rhapsody service will begin offering it's "All Access" subscribers the ability to burn tracks to blanks CDs for 99 cents a track. Rhapsody is by far the best of the legal services, though this new deal means that there's no savings to the customer if they want to make a full CD. The all access costs 10 bucks a month and then at 99 cents a track it will get real expensive to burn your own mix CDs. This is no way to compete agaisnt the free services, but at least they are trying. A for effort.
- Band Can't Sell Own Music on EBay
Hayden's Wall, a classic rock/prog rock band from Tempe, Arizona tried to sell it's album on EBay, but since it was on a CD-R, EBay assumed it was piratged material and refused to let them sell it. The band made clear to EBay again and again that they owned all the material on the CD-R, but a lack of communication at the online auction giant caused their auctions to be suspended again and again. The story linked above summarizes the nightmare, but this page as the detailed run down.
- "E.T." Phones Home--Twice
The just released E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial Ultimate Gift Boxed Set and E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial Limited Collector's Edition both contain the original version of the movie and the digitally updated version that was released in theaters earlier this year. The original plan was to only offer the original version in the "ultimate" set, but fan reaction caused a change of heart. Don't cry to much for the filmmakers and their lost profits-- both editions will stop being sold on Dec. 31, 2002 in an effort to drive people to stock up before they are gone forever...forever meaning until the next re-release.
- Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Vs. Berry
A federal judge has thrown out a royalties lawsuit against Chuck Berry by former collaborator Johnnie Johnson, ruling that too many years had passed since the more than 30 songs in dispute were written. Who knew there was a statue of limitations on the hijacking of royalties?
- Oh, Godfather: A Corleone Comeback
Random House is looking to commission a writer to take over for Mario Puzo, whe original author of The Godfather, who died three years ago. Once that is written, Paramount Pictures is interested in producting another chapter in The Godfather
series. Worst. Idea. Ever.
- Popular Hip-Hop Icon To Be Roasted
Rudy Ray Moore, a comedian best known from his black-sploitation Dolemite fims, will kick off the 1st Annual Rudy Ray Moore Celebrity Roast Benefit where Moore himself will be roasted. Imagine the old Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts with all black panelists making jokes about pimps, hos and sex. It'll be a night to remember, that's for sure. The above linked story also has another interesting tidbit-- LL Cool J has signed on to portray Dolomite in a new version of the film.
- Arts Center Sued Over Ticket Policy
The state of New Jersey has filed suit against the company that runs the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel for giving American Express cardholders first crack at tickets for concerts last summer before they were sold to the general public. State law dictates that pre-sales can only offer 5% of the tickets but the suit alleges that up to 50% of the seats were made availabe in pre-sales. The state is seeking a permanent injunction in state Superior Court in Freehold stopping Clear Channel Entertainment from selling tickets this way. It is also seeking fines, investigation costs and attorney's fees.
- Phish Dress Up for Halloween
Phish are finally releasing live albums of their infamous Holloween performances-- in which they cover an entire album by another group. The band's own versions of The Beatles's "White Album" (which they covered on Halloween, 1994), The Who's Quadraphenia (1995), the Talking Heads' Remain in Light (1996) and The Velvet Underground's Loaded (1998) will be in stores October 29th. Read the above linked article for some interesting thoughts on these performances being released from Phish's Trey Anastasio.
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
posted by Randy on 1:01 PM |
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- Music Industry Spins Falsehood
Janis Ian in once again on point re: file trading as a promotional tool; this time is the pages of USA Today. Reccomended reading for folks on all sides of the issue.
- Musicians in N.Y. Urge Rights Reform
Following the leg work already done in California, L. Londell McMillan and the Artist Empowerment Coalition are now lbeginning the process of obbying legislators in New York to tackle artists' rights issues. If you're a resident in New York State, get in contact with your representatives and ask them to support the changes in law proposed by the AEC.
- Kurt Cobain's Diaries To Hit Store Shelves
The above link is to a Newsweek story which has exclusive excerpts of Cobain's diaries. This Salon link is a review...of the excerpts. What's up with that? I'd rather hear what people have to say after reading the whole thing. Journals is due in stores on Nov. 4, but you can pre order it from Amazon by following this link
- Baby Boomers Wary of MP3 Audio
But, it looks like the newer generation of MP3 players (like the IPod) is beginning to wear down some resistence. Still, it shouldn't be surprising that an elder generation can't wrap their brains around new technology. That's just the way of the world.
- Kidman Steps Into 'Wives' Remake
Nicole Kidman is going to star in a re-make of the camp-classic-corny-yet-sill-kinda-scary-thriller "The Stepford Wives". Kidman will bne playing the newcomer who discovers the horrible, horrible secret about Stepford. Personally, I'd rather see her as one of the fem-bots-- as she sort-of did to great effect in To Die For. The original book and movie were supposed to be thrillers (even if they ended up as comedies), but this remake aims to be a dark comedy. And I love dark comedy, so I am psyched.
- Osbournes Could Return in November
Or maybe January. MYV hasn't decided for sure yet. I wish they'd hurry up. i'm actually sort of curiopus to see how the family is handling Sharon's battle with cancer. If it doesn't debut until January, you can mark the premiere date on The Osbournes 2003 calendar.
- Kiss Confirms Orchestral Concert In Australia For February
How can we miss you if you won't go away? This is the never ending farewell tour. And who wants to hear symphonic "Christine Sixteen?" *Sigh* Anyway,
the group will perform on February 28 at Melbourne's Tesla Dome-- a KISS show, an unplugged set and then a KISS & Melbourne Symphony Orchestra set. To me, this sounds like the worst idea since Moment of Glory: The Scorpions with the Berlin Philharmonic. In my dreams, die-hard KISS fans would realiaze that the group's peak was long ago and would ignore this latest outing, rather prefering to stay at home with their Kiss Box Set than to hear symphonic versions of "Let's Put The X In Sex" and "Calling Dr. Love." It'll never happen, but a boy can dream.
- Sarah McLachlan Interprets Muppets' Classic For Kids Album
Sarah McLachlan sings "The Rainbow Connection." Cake sings "Mahna Mahna." Darius Rucker of Hootie & The Blowfish sings "It's All Right To Cry" Others artists, like Five For Fighting and Semisonic's Dan Wilson, offer up kid-friendly originals. What is it? For The Kids, a record due in stores on Nov. 5. Proceeds from the release will benefit <VH1's Save The Music Foundation. This website has a lot more info about For The Kids, while you can pre-order the CD from Amazon by clicking here.
- DJ Quik Compiles His 'Best'
I've been waiting forever for a DJ Quik greatest hits collection, and soon it will be mine. 19 tracks, including two new ones-- "Streetz Iz Callin'" and "Quik's Groove VII." All your faves are here: "Sweet Black Pussy," "Jus Lyke Compton," "So Many Ways" and more. Get your Amazon pre-order on by clicking here. If you've been sleeping on Dj Quik all these years, wake yo' ass up and pick up this compilation. He's always been overshadowed by the more famous West Coast gangsta rappers, but DJ Quik can go rhyme-for-rhyme- and funky-beat-for-funky-beat with the best of 'em.
- Chevy has faith in tour, but Christianity-themed concerts spark controversy
"Chevrolet Presents: Come Together and Worship" is generating some controversey. Some say the concerts, with preaching by the Rev. Max Lucado, distribution of free evangelical literature and performances by Michael W. Smith and Third Day, are an ill-advised meeting of the church and Wall Street. I say: Christians gotta drive, too. As long as Jesus Is Lord is not inscribed on the dashboard of every Chevy coming off the line, I don't have a problem with it.
- Song After Sniper News Offends Fans
WRFX- FM followed a report on the sniper shpootings with Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust." Ooops. JNust another side effect of media consolidation. Though the show the song was played on is broadcast live from Charlotte, the songs on the show can be different on affiliated stations, depending on their music format. Stations with classic rock formats like WRFX FM ("The Fox" 99.7) got the Queen song, while stations with country formats got "Wish I Didn't Know Now" by Toby Keith and oldies stations got "But It's All Right" by J.J. Jackson. All computerized, all out of the control of the local staff.
Tuesday, October 22, 2002
posted by Randy on 2:09 PM |
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- More About the Webcasting Debacle
Okay, so I take back my criticism of Jesse Helms on the webcasting issue. Accoriding to the above linked site site, he put a hold on H.R. 5469 becuase he felt that the compromise reached between the R.I.A.A. and small webcasters was still unreasonable and left out voices from college webcasters. the above linked site has some pretty decent suggested text that you should send along to your representatives. The good news for webcasters is that aside from now having to pay royalties, it is now cheaper for them to broadcast than perhaps it has ever been.
- Dru Hill Regroups For New 'World Order'
Dru Hill, now a quintet, is set to release its third album, Dru World Order, on Nov. 26. Original members Sisqo, Jazz, Woody Rock, and Nokio have added a fifth member, Scola, to round out the group's sound. Remember, Dru Hill has been plagued by inter-member squabbles, allegedly the others were jealous of Sisqo's solo success (at least until his last album tanked.) How adding another member to this mix improves things is a mystery to me.
- Morello Says Audioslave Have Songs For Second LP Already
MTV News always buries the best buggets at the bottom of the story. Lord knows why. So, the first Audioslave album is coming out on Columbia, isnce that's where Rage Against The Machine is signed. The second album will come out on Interscope, since that's where Chris Cornell is signed. If Audioslave is a huge hit, you can expect this cozy arrangement to fall apart. If it tanks, you can probably expect Interscope to try and let Columbia take the whole thing. Inthe meantime, it remainas an interesting arrangement.
- Cash (Money) Rules Everything Around Me
I'm not at all a fan of the Cash Money Millionaires and their associated artists (well, okay I like Mack 10 and Juvenile's "Back That Azz Up" is a classic), but I still found this profile of CMM on the road pretty engaging. It is a pretty good look at a hip-hop crew trying to stay on top of their game after some defections and changes in the marketplace Big ups to MTV News for not glossing over the difficulties facing CMM.
- Universal Music to Review Web Assets - Sources
So, here are their web assets-- MP3.com, Getmusic.com, Rollingstone.com and Emusic.com. My bet is that they combine Emusic with MP3.com, sell or close down GetMusic and sell Rollingstone.com.
- The Remote Controllers
Excellent article in The New York Times about the effects fan message boards are having on the creative process in television. Higly reccommended reading.
- A Merger Taken AO-ILL
Lord knows how many more articles we need about the AOL Time Warner debacle, but the above linked Washington Post article is a pretty good chink in the armor.
Monday, October 21, 2002
posted by Randy on 3:21 PM |
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- Cox Radio Rejects Payola-Like Practice
Cox Radio Inc. plans to sever its ties with independent record promoters to distance itself from the what-everyone-knows-is-payola-like practice of geting cash from the labels by funnelling it through indie promoters. Between this, some labels stopping payments to indie promoters, and competition from the internet and satellite radio the radio industry may be getting a much needed shake-up. Will this stop radio from sucking so hard? Mmmmaybe. Don't hold your breath.
- Shady? Radio Station Admits Ties To Heavy-Rotation Rapper Shade Sheist
See what I mean? One story later, and already the radio industry is a menace. Los Angeles station KPWR-FM has disclosed to listeners their business ties to Shade Sheist (i love his name, not so much his music), a rapper whose music they've been playing more than any other station in the country.
KPWR and parent company Emmis Communications Corp. came under fire on Wednesday when the Los Angeles Times exposed that Sheist's label, Baby Ree Entertainment, is financed by Emmis, and that KPWR senior programming executive Damion Young produced the rapper's Informal Introduction under his alias, Damizza. Click the story for lots of nack-peddling and excuse giving by the players involved. In my perfect world, they would cowboy up and do the right thing: admit they were wrong, apoligize and fire some people. Maybe get some hefty fines from the FCC. Would losing their liscence be so wrong?
- Small Webcasters Get Fee Reprieve
After Jesse Helms blocked legislation specifically designed to give small webcasters a reprive from the huge payment due thanks to the Copyright Office and the Librarian of Congress, Sound Exchange has decided to only collect the $500 minimum annual fee until the issue is sorted out by congress. How they can do this under the law-- which dictates that they collect the same rate as for the big boys-- is unclear. At least to me.
- New York Court Nixes Some Ronettes Royalties
New York's highest court has ruled that The Ronettes can't collect movie and advertisement royalty rights to music they recorded for Phil Spector in the 1960s. Under New York state contract law, the court said that the singers don't control the "synchronization" rights unless their contract specifically said they did. Which it didn't. He did rule, however, that The Ronettes are due royalties for their songs which appeared in in compilations and reissues and sent the case back to a trial-level court to determine how much the Ronettes are entitled.
- 'Ketchup Song' Spices Up Charts
If you haven't yet heard Las Ketchup's "Asereje"-- get thee to a record store or a P2P client and feel the goofy fun of this year's best fuke-hit. It's almost too stupid to be "La Macarena," but I'm pulling for it. I'm glad it is getting some mainstream attention, mainly so I didn't have to go into a Mission district Latino-centric record store and ask for "that song that goes 'Asereje ja de je de jebe tude jebere sebiunouba majabi an de bugui an de buididipi.'" 'Those are the actual lyrics, don'tjaknow. If it looks like gibberish and not espanol, you're right. It is gibberish. The song is one third english, one third Spanish and one third gibberish. The version released in the United States and most other non-Spanish speaking countries is called "The Ketchup Song (Hey Hah)." The refrain's the same but the intelligible part of the song switches to Spanglish And it bites "Rapper's Delight." I heard it on a Latino radio station the other day and was upset becuae I thought I'd never find out who did it. Rejoice, rejoice! Watch the video and listen to the song here
- Warren Zevon Scheduled For Letterman Appearance Later This Month
Okay, so Warren Zevon is on Letterman a lot. That ain't news, right. But remember, Zevon has been diagnosed with a terminal case of lung cancer. This is pretty likely your last chance to see him perform.October 30. Be there.
- Aguilera Video Offends Thailand
Well, they ain't the only ones. It appears that posters in the background of Christina Aguilera's "Dirrty" video say some interesting things in Thai. "Thailand's Sex Tourism" and "Young Underage Girls," to be percise. Oops. Someone on that video shoot was having some fun at Xtina's expense. I can apperciate that. But Thiland's child sex trade is pretty terrible stuff-- not really funny to me in any context.
- The Chieftains Harpist Dies
Derek Bell, longtime harpist with The Chieftains, died suddenly October 17. He was 67. In addition to his work with The Chieftains, Bell also had nine solo records to his name. He was recovering from some minor surgery in the U.S. and was prepping to head home to Ireland. Casue of death is yet to be determined.
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