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The Onion
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In Passing...
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The New York Times
The L.A. Times


    Friday, January 03, 2003

    • Indigo Girls, Sarah McLachlan, Dolly Parton, Joan Baez 'Respond' To Domestic Violence
      Indigo Girls, Sarah McLachlan, Dolly Parton , Joan Baez, Tanya Donnelly and Aimee Mann are among the artists who appear on Respond II, a two-CD set due January 22, benefiting families affected by domestic violence. All the artists are contributing previously unreleased tracks. Every single track on the album is by a woman artist. You can order an advance copy of Respond II by clicking here.

    • Clash Frontman Joe Strummer Cremated
      "The funeral cortege passed what used to be known as the Elgin pub, where The Clash played some of its first gigs 25 years ago, according to New Musical Express website. According to the Guardian, Strummer's coffin was decorated with a Stetson hat and sported the slogans "Vinyl Rules" and "Question Authority." Also in the procession was a firetruck, a nod to Strummer's final performance at a recent benefit concert for striking firefighters."

    • European Copyrights Expiring on Recordings From 1950's
      The music industry is freaking becuase European copyright protection is expiring on a collector's cornocopia of 1950's jazz, opera and early rock 'n' roll albums. As a result,major American record companies are considering deals with bootleg labels and may demand new customs barriers. Copyright protection lasts only 50 years in European Union countries, compared with 95 years in the United States, even if the recordings were originally made and released in America. It is important to note, though, that the performance recordings may be in the public domain the songs themselves might not be. Unlicensed distribution of these recordings would still be infringement.

    • Three Media Firms Ask FCC To Abandon Ownership Rules
      Surprise, surprise, surprise. News Corp.'s Fox Entertainment Group, Viacom Inc. (which owns the CBS/UPN/MTV/VH-1/BET/and a piece of Comedy Central) and General Electric Co.'s NBC filed a joint request with the FCC, asking federal regulators to scrap all of the government's media-ownership rules, a move that would make it far easier for television, radio and newspaper companies to combine with or acquire one another. It seems this issue has really heated up the phone lines, as the FCC has been bombarded with ownership rules remarks.

    posted by Randy on 11:21 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Thursday, January 02, 2003

    • U.S. TV Shows Losing Potency Around World
      The New York Times reports that many American TV shows have priced themselves out of the international prime time market, which means that would-be-international hits like "C.S.I" are being shown on weekends or late at night. What's replacing the American shows? Local shows, of course-- which I personally think is great from an American-cultue-is-infecting-the-world perspective. Check out the article, it is well worth looking at.

    • Empire of the Air
      Jenny Toomey of the Future of Music Coalition breaks down the FMC's recent radio studyin The Nation. Read the above linked article f you want to know why the radio sucks, the mechanics of how it got that way and why it is wrong in so many more ways than you already know.

    • The Power of Music
      Excellent piece by Ann Powers in The Nation about modern protest music and getting ideas out to fans in a corporate controlled media society. It is a roundtable discussion with Boots Riley of the The Coup, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Tom Morello of Audioslave and Rage Against the Machine, Amy Ray of Indigo Girlsand Carrie Brownsteinof Sleater-Kinney. All the artists have very interesting things to say. Higly reccommended reading.

    • Master Bluegrass Picker McReynolds Dies
      Bluegrass music veteran James McReynolds one half of the legendary Jim & Jesse died on Tuesday after a struggle with cancer. McReynolds' wife, Areta, died two weeks ago of a heart attack. Y'All Come: The Essential Jim & Jesse is a pretty good place to start if you never heard of them-- it incorporates more country influencves among the bluegrass picking. Bluegrass fans who don't want any country or pop influences will be better served by First Sounds: The Capitol Years.

    • Pop Star to Head Brazil's Cultural Policy
      Jazz great Gilberto Gil (of "The Girl From Ipanena" fame) will serve as Brazil's cultural minister following the election of Luiz Inacio da Silva to the office of president. Gil's appointment is seen as demonstration of Silva's closeness to Brazilian cultural roots and its large, poor black population. Before Gil, the only black appointed as a cabinet minister was soccer star Pele, by outgoing president Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Cop yourself a copy of his legendary Getz/Gilberto by clicking here.

    • Cardigans See 'Daylight' On Fifth Album
      Long Before Daylight, the fifth full-length album from The Cardigans, is due in March in the U.K. The above linked story doesn't indicate a U.S. release date, but it does say it has more of an "unplugged" sound than their last album, Gran Turismo.

    posted by Randy on 1:32 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Tuesday, December 31, 2002

    • DMX Not Allowed to Enter Canada for Shows
      Customs officials in Canada wouldn't let hardcore rapper DMX off the plane when it landed in Calgary last weekend. He was on his way to play shows in Calgary and Saskatoon. Saskatoon??? Back in the day, that was a large hick town-- a metropolis out in the sticks of Canada. I wonder if the demographics of Canada have changed that much.

    • Resurrection of 'Gospel' Restaurant Eyed
      The owner of the last remianing Mahalia Jackson's Chicken wants to honor the late, great gospel singer-- by revitalizing the chain that covered the south in the 1960s (as a black counterpart to Minnie Pearl's Chicken, interestingly enough.). Me thinks her memory would much better be served by encouraging people to pick up Gospels, Spirituals & Hymns-- which stands among the best of her many, many reissues.

    • Group Publishes Book to Help Musicians
      The Music Maker Relief Foundation, a nonprofit group that helps roots musicians, has published Music Makers: Portraits and Songs from the Roots of America. The book features write-ups and quotes from 67 music makers and a compact disc with recordings by 22 artists. The foundation has given more than $1 million to roots musicians since its inception in 1994. It now helps 100 musicians. Recipients must be rooted in a Southern musical tradition, be 55 years or older and have an annual income of less than $18,000. Many have much lower incomes. Click here to get yourself a copy of Music Makers: Portraits and Songs from the Roots of America.

    • Eve Responds To Foxy Brown
      Not in song, but in a radio interview. "I'm really glad I could be an inspiration to her and her ghostwriter...I'm definitely not gonna waste time writing a song about this chick so I can wait on her to pick somebody to write a song back to me." and "I ain't wastin my time. She playin herself. Ain't my fault she been out since '96 & her bank account look the same. Do you ma. You look weak." Nicely put.

    • Saving Sounds So the Music Doesn't Die
      For music geeks like myself, the above is a heartbreaking story about trying to save and catagorize music that otherweise would've been left to the dustbin of history. "There's about 4,000 of these disc recordings that predate tape from the early '40s," [Jeff] Place [head archivist of the Ralph Rinzler Archives at the Smithsonian} said, "and I spent a summer about 10 years ago with a bunch of interns, just going through all 4,000 discs and just dropping the needle for a second. There's like tens and tens of thousands of reel-to-reels, and maybe 5 percent are totally unknown, just in boxes with no labels on them."

    posted by Randy on 1:31 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Monday, December 30, 2002

    • Judge Puts Last-Minute Hold On Slick Rick's Deportation
      Judge Kimba Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the stay, which keeps Walters in the U.S. while she considers his case and requests additional information. This doesn't mean that Slick Rick is completely in the clear, but it is a small victory. History buffs will recognize the judge's name: on 2/5/93 she withdrew her name for nomination as Attorney General of the United States after it was disclosed she employed an undocumented worker as a nanny.

    • After a Rocky Year, Time to Face the Music
      The L.A. Times breaks it down, company by company. On the whole, global music industry revenue dropped about 8% to roughly $31 billion in 2002, leaving many media giants to question whether they belong in the record business at all. The catchi s that it would be hard to sell their music arms becasue they'd take such a huge loss on them right now. It's important to note that the figures cited in the linked article do not include this year's holiday season sales-- though all reports seem to indicate that the record industry will not be able to pull it off with holiday sales.

    • Lawsuit Challenges Networks' Programming Control
      The Coalition for Program Diversity, (which includes Sony Pictures Television, Grey Global Group's MediaCom, Carsey-Werner Productions, Marian Rees Productions, American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, The Writers Guild of America-East and The Screen Actors Guild) is expected to file a brief today with the Federal Communications Commission asking the agency to require broadcast networks to devote a percentage of prime-time programming to shows produced by independent companies. The coalition contends that prime-time programming has become "homogenous and safe" because it is almost completely produced and owned by the networks themselves or in partnership with an exclusive group of producers. The coalition's initiative would also require that programming created by companies outside the networks be owned by their independent creators rather than the networks in order to guarantee the originality of the programs.

    • Eminem Says He May 'Be Getting Too Big'
      Ya' think? His The Eminem Show was the best selling new release of the year, moving 7.4 million copies, while his flick "8 Mile" has thus far made just over $114 million at the box office and the soundtrack continues to sell well. I'm glad Eminem is realizing he is at the top of his game-- hopefully he take this into account one his sales inevitibly start to decline.

    • Master P Ordered to Pay Damages to Woman
      Kids, let this be a lesson: always clear your samples/recorded phone conversations. Master P. was ordered to pay $105,000 in punitive damages to 80-year-old Geneva Burger, whose voice was secretly recorded and used to introduce a cut on artist Magic's album Sky's the Limit. Burger asked a friend of her grandson during a 1997 phone call, "When people get hooked on pot, can they get sick if they don't get it?" The recording of her question was used to introduce the single "No Limit" on Magic's 1998 album. Burger previously settled out of court with Snoop Dogg (who also appeared on the song) for $75,000. She also got $300,000 from Priority Records, which distributed the disc.

    posted by Randy on 3:07 PM | permanent link to this entry

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