Friday, February 28, 2003
posted by Randy on 10:59 AM |
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- Sony backs rival MusicNet
Sony, one of the investors in legal-download service PressPlay has now thrown some money into competing service MusicNet. The agreement is the second such financial deal linking digital music competitors in recent days. On Wednesday, digital media company RealNetworks said it had taken a minority stake in online music company Listen.com, a one-time competitor. Once these companies stop investing in each other, will there be a crash just like when the dot-com bubble burst?
- Radio set to learn from Net listeners
p2p-file tracker Big Champagne will market its research to radio stations-- which hopefully will then take note of the music people are actually interested in hearing.
- Pop Stars Learn To Live With Pirates
Very interesting article about how rampant music piracy in China has caused labels in that country to shift their business models into essentially talent management deals, with their fingers in every piece of the pie and aritsts taking on a lot more D.I.Y. responsibility.
- Yet Another Study Confirming That File Trading and Rip/Mix/Burning Doesn't Really Kill Music Sales
Read it and weep, R.I.A.A.
- Metal Musical Chairs: Ozzy May Hire Ex-Metallica Bassist
Metallica has hired Robert Trujillo (Ozzy Osbourne's bassist as of late) to replace departed bassist Jason Newsted. So, who is Ozzy looking at to possibly replace Trujillo? Newsted, of course.
- Are Rappers Under Surveillance?
Pretty well done feature by MTV News. The short of it: rappers say yes, cops say there's no task force as such but then they found the guy who statred up the unit who basically confirms that it does exist in some form. Interesting stuff, well worth reading.
- Police Suspect Murder Inc. Exec May Have Accidentally Shot Himself
If true, that'd be hysterical. Dollars to donuts someone eventually releases an Murder Inc. dis song and refers to Chris Gotti (Chris Lorenzo) as "Cheddar Bob" (remember, from "8 Mile"?)
- The Glengarry Mix (Always Be Closing)
The above link will take you to a site that hosts two very cool techno tracks that use samples from "Glengarry Glen Ross." Highly reccommended download. "Hit the bricks! Hit the bricks!"
Thursday, February 27, 2003
posted by Randy on 11:56 AM |
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- Not the Bad Boys of Radio
ClearChannel should immedietly have all their broadcast liscences taken away from them based on this quote alone, from CEO Lowry Mays:
"If anyone said we were in the radio business, it wouldn't be someone from our company. We're not in the business of providing news and information. We're not in the business of providing well-researched music. We're simply in the business of selling our customers products."
Read the article and get in contact with our friends at the FCC to let them know what you think.
- Curiosity bumps sales slightly for Great White
From 20 sales a week to 40 sales a week in one chain in Boston, according to the above linked article. How much trouble would it have been to get actual SoundScan numbers to check it out nationally? They really should've contacted P2P tracker Big Champagne or CD-To-Internet tracking service Gracenote for more reliable numbers. Do your part to support death as a career move and pick up some Great White.
- Evan Dando Solo Record Due April 22
Baby I'm Bored is the ex-Lemonheads singer's solo debut, unless you count the 2001 live album Live at the Brattle Theatre/Griffith Sunset. Circle your calendars or pre-order it here.
- George Michael against 'War Aid' song
George Michael has urged young pop stars to abandon plans for a new Band-Aid ("Do They Know It's Christmas?")-style charity song. Apparently, a boy band called Blue is trying to put together some sort of anti-war song, but Michael thinks that todays pop acts are far too corporate and controlled for these messages to be taken seriously.
- Cam'ron And The Diplomats Associates Involved In Boston Shooting
Be careful of the company you keep. People traveling with Cam'Ron and The Diplomats were arrested for shooting at a car on on Interstate 93 in Boston early Wednesday morning (February 26). None of the artists were arrested, however.
- Listen.com Gets Investment from RealNetworks
"A spokeswoman for RealNetworks said the company made the investment in a MusicNet competitor as a way of supporting the entire legal digital music sector. These new services are struggling to gain a foothold against popular free and unauthorized online music services like Kazaa."
- Grannies Go Gaga for Bon Jovi
I'll summarize the above story-- the mother of Bon Jovi's manager took her friends to see one of the band's concerts and got V.I.P. treatment. This might have been a cute story-- if she wasn'[t the mother of the band's manager. It's not like she was a big fan of the band or anything. How does this get past the Associated Press' assignment editor? Shame on them.
- Selections from My Name is Blanket, © 2046 Blanket Jackson
Very funny excerpt from the book that Prince "Blanket" Jackson II will release in 2046.
Wednesday, February 26, 2003
posted by Randy on 12:34 PM |
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- Net Music Gets AOL Audition
MusicNet makes it's debut today on AOL. Subscribers will be offered three tiers. For $3.95 a month, subscribers will be able to download 20 songs and listen to 20 streams. An $8.95 tier will provide access to unlimited downloads and unlimited streams. For $17.95, subscribers will keep the unlimited access, but be able to burn 10 songs per month to CD. Later in the year, the service will add a middle tier with five burns per month and the ability to pay by the burn.
- 'Def Poetry Jam' Poet Wins Indecency Case Against FCC
Excellent! After nearly two years of deliberations, the Federal Communications Commission ruled Thursday that the poem "Your Revolution," written and performed by Sarah Jones, is not indecent under the commission's own guidelines. In May 2001, the FCC fined Portland, Oregon's KBOO-FM $7,000 for playing "Your Revolution," a song that one of its DJs had aired more than 18 months earlier, claiming the track violated the commission's decency standards. The rub is that "Your Revolution" borrows many exact lines from rap songs played daily on the radio and other media outlets, but delivers them with a feminist twist-- confronting and parodying the sexual braggadocio and posturing of many male hip-hop artists who have never been targeted by the FCC. Read the above linked article for the full story, it's worth a peek.
Click here to hear "Your Revolution" in RealAudio or buy DJ Vadim's USSR: Life from the Other Side, on which "Your Revolution" appears. If yo're really into the song, pick up the "Your Revolution" CD single, featuring re-mixes galore.
One of my little projects I want to do is to identify all the references in "Your Revolution." I want to do the same with Missy Elliott's Under Construction. Some day, my pretties, some day. I promise.
- Lennox To 'Bare' Self On New Album, Tour
Annie Lennox, really one of the best pop singers of her generation and perhaps one of the most underrated at that, will release Bare on June 10. Circle your calendars or pre-order Bare by clicking here. She'll tour in March-April to get you all excited for it's release, playing intimate shows in theatres. In the meantime, you can get yourself juiced by playing your Eurythmics collection and then moving on to Diva and Medusa.
- New Radiohead Disc Set For June
No title yet (or pre-order link), but it is set to come out on June 10.
- Dionne Warwick Claims She Was Framed
Dionne Warwick, who was arrested in May and charged with a misdemeanor after baggage screeners at Miami International Airport said they found marijuana joints inside an empty lipstick container in her bag, says she was framed by someone who put that stuff in her bag. Well, at least she didn't go the Whitney Houston route and ask for recipts.
- Late Alice In Chains Singer Layne Staley's Last Interview Revealed In New Book
The last Layne Staley interview can be found in Layne Staley: Angry Chair — A Look Inside the Heart and Soul of an Incredible Musician. The above linked MTV News story has some pretty incredible quotes from the book and basically summarizes everything you want to know about why the former Alice In Chains singer started using, why he went into music and how his life ended. It's pretty sad stuff.
- Parole Board Orders Release of Rap Mogul
Tha Row chieftian Marion "Suge" Knight is free (again) after being locked up since Dec. 23 for associating with gang members. He'll be required to spend 200 hours in community service aimed at persuading kids to avoid gangs.
- My Favorite Ten Songs by the Rock Group Hall & Oates by Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie
Very nicely done list. His suggestion that Death Cab For Cutie cover "One on One" is a very good idea. After you read that article, you're gonna want to own some Hall & Oates-- so click here to do just that.
Excellent article about being a music journalist. It very percisely covers my love-hate relationship with it. Well done and worht the time to read it.
Tuesday, February 25, 2003
posted by Randy on 12:39 PM |
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- Rep. Berman May Not Revive Internet Piracy Bill (L.A. Times registration required)
That bill that would give movie studios, record companies and other copyright holders limited immunity from lawsuits if they used technology to block piracy on file-sharing networks such as Kazaa or Gnutella looks like it won't be re-introduced. Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Van Nuys) says in the above linked article that the big media folks lost their enthusiasm for the bill becuase he insisted on imposing new liabilities on copyright holders that go too far in attacking pirates.
- An Appeal to Honor in Fight Against Internet Piracy
Jack Valenti, the president of the Motion Picture Association of America said in a speech to Duke University law students today that he plans to shift the emphasis in his anti-downloading crusade to more basic principles: "duty, service, honor, integrity, pity, pride, compassion, sacrifice." Maybe it is just me, but there are a few of words in that list that I don't really associate with Hollywood-- in partciular "honor" and "integrity." They're gonna have to give a little before they get a little, methinks.
- Sen. Hatch to Probe Payola at Big Radio
Sen. Orin Hatch(R- Utah), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, plans to launch an investigation into alleged payola-like practices by some of the big radio groups that also own concert venues-- Clear Channel, we're looking in you're direction. Go, Orin, Go!
- Ex-Heartbreakers Bassist Epstein Dies
Howie Epstein, a former bass player for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, died of what authorities suspect was a drug overdose. He was 47. Last May Petty and the Heartbreakers replaced him with Ron Blair (the band's original bassist whom Epstein took over for twenty years ago) for a summer tour, due to "his ongoing personal problems." Looks like he wasn't able to get it together. R.I.P. from all of us here at Rocktober.com.
- Metallica Have A Bassist: Ex-Ozzy Player Robert Trujillo
Don't worry Metallica fans-- Trujillo is much more than Ozzy Osbourne's bass player on his lamer, later day albums. He also has done time in Suicidal Tendencies (though not on their awesome first album, which if you down't own you need to stop reading and get it right now) and Infectious Grooves.
On second thought, perhaps the Infectious Grooves connection is cause for wor if you're not into what used to be called "funk thrash." Ahhh, those were the days. Faith No More, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Infectious Grooves, Follow For Now, Living Colour, 24-7 Spyz, Mary's Danish, Fishbone...I'm getting misty eyed here and showing my age, so I'd better move on.
- Jackson Seeks TV Interview Injunction
And the circus continues. Michael Jackson has requested a court injunction Monday to block Granada from releasing unused footage filmed during the making of a documentary about his life-- in particular footage of his children that was not already released. A hearing is expected to take place on Friday.
- Foo Fighters Joined By Unknown Man In Grammy Acceptance
Turn out that the Foo Fighters have no idea who the guy was who joined them to accept their award at the Grammys. The ghosts of Soy Bomb and Ol' Dirty Bastard live on!
- CNBC: Fame & Fortune: Inside The Music Business
Pretty good series of articles from CNBC about the changing ways in which people are discovering new music-- be it from the Internet, car commercials or shows like "American Idol"
- The Source Promises To Change Its Ways
The Source also has a bridge in Brooklyn you might be interested in buying. Is The Source gonna stop being a free promo machine for owner Benzino? No. Is it gonna stop inflating it's "mic ratings" for advertisers? No. What it is going to do is stop dissing rival mag XXL becuase the media runs way too far with the story. Publisher David Mays did promise, however, to keep up the pressure on the way artists are marketed in ways that are (allegedly) disrespectful to the hip-hop community. Anyway, after the summit, Irv Gotti's brother got shot in the leg.
- Kurtis Blow to Release The History of Rap
Kurtis Blow is set release a DVD chronicling the early years of hip-hop entitled "The History of Rap." Set for release in April on Krush Groove/Mawa Films, it will concentrate on the very early years of hip-hop (1972-1980) and look at the contributions from artists like Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Herc, DJ Hollywood, Eddie Cheeba, Lovebug Starski, Funky 4 + 1, the Treacherous 3, The Cold Crush Brothers and more.
Monday, February 24, 2003
posted by Randy on 1:46 PM |
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- Norah Jones Sweeps Grammys, Boss Wins Three, Avril Shut Out
Well, The Grammys weren't as terrible as they often are, but me thinks history will not look kindly upon bestowing Norah Jones' Come Away With Me and it's single "Don't Know Why" with so many awards. For the record, I don't think Bruce Springsteen's The Rising would've been such a great choice to sweep like Jones did. So many other albums to chose from, how those two became front runners..well, it isn't a mystery, but it doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in the academy.
Other Grammy Thoughts:
-Nelly's performance of "Hot In Herre" was off-putting for two reasons: 1) That big-videoscreen-wall-of-fire behind him was just a little-too-close to the tragedy in Rhode Island. and 2) He segued from "Hot In Herre" to "Dilemma" too quickly-- am I the only one in the world who wanted to hear a Madion Square Garden full of conservitive Grammy voters shout out "Girl, I think my butt's getting big!"? Plus, Nelly is no longer wearing his band-aid. Not becuase the guy he was wearing it for is out of jail, but becuase the media was concentrating too much on it.
-The Clash tribute was by far the best part of the show. I had feared they were gonna go for something non-political like "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" or "Train In Vain" or "Brand New Cadillac," but bully to them for playing the fuck out of "London Calling." Here's the rub though-- During their life as a group, The Clash were never nominated for a Grammy. This year, they got the tribute and a win for "The Clash: Westway To The World", a documentary about their career. Later this year, they'll be admitted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame
-That 'NSYNC tribute to The Bee Geeswas pretty good-- though a bit too barbershop quartet like for my tastes. Except for the "Stayin' Alive" part-- that was pretty good. My beef is with the director, who gave us long shots when he should've given us close ups so we could see who was making what noises. You would think this was something they would've covered in rehershals.
Other interesting Grammy articles:
- Are The Grammys Out Of Touch With Popular Music? (short answer: yes, but they're better than they used to be.)
- Grammy Night: Real Musicians, Actual Instruments — What Next? By Kurt Loder
- Vignettes From the Grammy Awards (Most importantly-- Frenchie Davis covered the Grammy's for Entertainment Tonight!)
- Shankar Thrilled With Jones' Grammy Wins (Ravi Shankar is a proud papa-- big ups to the Associated Press for tracking him down in New Delhi, India for a comment.
- Jonesing for Norah (ESPN.com's The Sports Guy on the Grammys.)
- Bullets Riddle Busta Ride
Somebody shot up Busta Rhymes ' GMC Suburban on Friday night — just minutes after he parked it The title of his latest album? It Ain't Safe No More, of course.
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