Friday, March 28, 2003
posted by Randy on 11:34 AM |
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- Sony Cuts Chord
The long, slow death of the bloated and corrupt music industry continues as Sony Music cuts 1,000 jobs and reshuffles its executives. The same cutting is going on over at Zomba , as they plan to lay off 350 of their 1,800 employees over the next year during their intergration with new corprporate parent BMG. In similar news-- mega-indie TVT Records may be up for sale-- if they can find a buyer.
- FCC Will Vote in June On Media Ownership
As tragic and terrible as this war is, I hope it has shown people the effects of media consolidation on the news we recieve. To get the whole picture on what's going on, you have to go to foreign media outlets. The FCC is set to make things worse, unless some miracle occurs. To help make that miracle happen, please contact them and let them know how you feel. In a related story-- check out what media consultants are telling their clients to concentrate on. Fairness? A balanced story? Surely, you jest!
- J.Lo Records Duet With U2's Bono, Craig David May Be Next
Craig David, I can understand. But Bono? Only if he's in his Fly or Memphisto personas-- and I thought he retired those. The fact that it has already been recorded I find disapointing. If it ever gets released, Bono and U2 will lose any remaining shred of cred they have. If it's a hit-- well, I may have to take a few sukkas out.
- R.E.M. Touring Behind Hits Disc With Wilco, Others
R.E.M. will be releasing a greatest hits set this fall and will be touring to support it and drum up some interest in a new album due in 2004. Touring with them on a rotating basis are Wilco, Ed Harcourt and Sparklehorse. Pre-sale tickets are available on R.E.M.'s official web site.
- British Troops Rock The Cashbah In Iraq
The top songs requested by U.K. troops in Iraq, according to their armed service radio.:
"Rock The Casbah"- The Clash
"The Boys Are Back In Town"- Thin Lizzy
"We Gotta Get Out Of This Place"- The Animals
"Without Me"- Eminem
"Angels"- Robbie Williams
"Rock DJ"- Robbie Williams
"Writing To Reach You"- Travis
So, I gotta go defect to the U.K. and then go to war in Iraq to get some decent radio. That's the message I read here.
- New Metallica Album To Include Bonus DVD
The DVD will feature the band (including new bass player Rob Trujillo) playing the album's 11 tracks live. St. Anger is due in stores on June 10. You can pre-order it by clicking here
- Corgan Unplugs Zwan
What the difference between Zwan and Djali Zwan? Djali Zwan plays acoustic and is "more folk-driven, rooted in traditional music." The line up of the two bands is exactly the same. An album and DVD from the group is expected early next year.
Thursday, March 27, 2003
posted by Randy on 12:23 PM |
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- A Perfect Circle Join Lollapalooza
Although it isn't reflected on the above linked page, the good folks at Lollapalooza sent out an emial today saying that A Perfect Circle will be replacing Queens of the Stone Age on the main stage at the tour's stops in Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Seattle. QOTSA apparently have European touring commitments to tend do during those dates.
- Panel Delays Look at Webcast Royalties
A U.S. House of Representatives panel has indefinitely postponed a meeting, set for Thursday, that would have focused on a different method for setting copyright royalties for radio and Internet broadcasts. Instead, a new bill titled the Copyright Royalty and Distribution Act has been intorduced by Reps. Lamar Smith of Texas, and Howard Berman of California, the top Republican and Democrat on the House subcommittee overseeing copyright law. The proposed law calls for the Library of Congress to hire a full-time judge who would hear disputes over "reasonable" royalty rates. The judge who would be required to be a copyright lawyer with at least 10 years of experience whose decisions could be appealed directly to a federal appeals court. Under the Smith and Berman bill, the judge would be required to consider a "fair income" for a copyright holder and could adjust rates for inflation. The judge would serve for a term of five years and could be reappointed.
- Ala. Denies Widespread Panic Show Permit
Last year at a series of Widespread Panic shows in Pelham, Alabama, state and local authorities staged a crackdown and arrested hundreds, mostly for drug and alcohol violations. The group wanted to restage the concerts this year in Birmingham, Alabama, but the city council denied the required special event and liquor permit on a 7-2 vote Tuesday, largely citing the troubles from last year. The concerts were set to take place May 9 and 10.
- Music Industry Drops Anti-Piracy Pamphlets on Campus
Really poorly written headline-- sort of gives the impression that they are droping them off from the air-- like U.S. propaganda over Iraq. Which would be kind of funny. The story, however, says they'[re just distributing anti-piracy phamphlets on campuses around the world. Not quite as exciting.
- FullAudio Launches MusicNow Music Service
Althoygh I'm not willing to download it to find out, the MusicNow serice apparently changes the net music expereince by presenting in a music magazine format-- but I'm not willing to download it to find out exactly what theat means. It offers two tiers of subscriptions, ranging from $4.95 a month for premium radio to $9.95 a month for premium radio plus unlimited conditional downloads available for on-demand play online and offline for the duration of the subscription, as well as 99 cents per song permanent downloads that can be burned to CD or transferred to portable devices. The have deals with all the major labels, but the ususal caveats apply-- no music by a lot of individual artists (like The Beatles) due to individual rights squabbles.
- Snoop Dogg Hit With Lawsuit For Unauthorized Use Of Phone Message
Apparently, Snoop Dogg didn't get the permission of the guy heard giving him support over Suge Knight on the answering machine message at the end of "Pimp Slapp'd." Whoops. The guy now says he feels threatened and wants his voice off all further recordings plus damages. Trying to sneak by an obscure sample I can understand, but someone's voice mail message is something different.
- Backstreet's Not Back — New Boys Album On Hold
Finally, some pop stars who listen to my advice! A few weeks ago, The Backstreet Boys were threatening to head into the stuido to work on a new album and I said right here on this very blog they they should hang it up for like 10 years and then make a mint on a reunion tour. Looks like someone's been reading my blog! "As a group, we have decided not to record our next album at this time. We are not breaking up, but individually we are currently at different places in our lives, and our hearts and minds are focused in other areas. All of us are getting along great and are supporting each other in our individual endeavors."
- Not Another Reality Show: Ex-Guns N' Roses Members Document Singer Search
As the former members of Guns n' Roses (minus Axl) search for a singer, they are allowing camera from VH-1 to document the process. In the above linked article, Slash says he wants it to turn out more like a classic rock documentary than a cheesy reality show-- but then again, look who he's entrusted to make the show. Either way, I'll be watching.
- Sex Pistols 'Certain' For U.S. Summer Dates
With Flogging Molly rumored to be possible openers. I saw The Sex Pistols on their 1996 reunion tour. My tickets were free, so it was worth it. I can't say I would've paid for it, though.
- Gateway Touts Online Music (L.A. Times registration required)
Gateway launching its most extensive promotional campaign to get consumers to buy new computers so they can copy and store music -- without violating copyrights. The campaign will include efforts to eduicate consumers about what is quote-unquote legal downloading and burning and plenty of chances to sign up with Listen.com's Rhapsody service. Check it all out at http://www.ripburnrespect.com.
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
posted by Randy on 11:33 AM |
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- Celine Dion Opens Three-Year Stand in Vegas
Holy cow-- did anyone of you out there catch the CBS broadcast of this last night? Most specifically, Celine Dion singing Stevie Wonder's "I Wish," dancing around the stage like a crazed chimp while looking like Tin Machine-era David Bowie? It was the scariest thing I've ever seen in my life. If you missed it, I'm sure it will pop-up again and again on CBS' corpoprate sister station VH-1. Or you can go to Vegas and see it yourself-- you have three years to get around to it. Not that I would reccommend it.
- DJ School Teaches the Art of Scratching
I'm pretty sure I've posted about The Scratch DJ Academy before, but the above linked story is a pretty decent piece about it-- for a mainstream news organization like the Associated Press.
- Cash Still Hospitalized With Pneumonia
The Man In Black was admitted March 10 to Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee with pneumonia. He is in stable condition and should be released soon, sez a hospital spokesperson. Get well soon, Johnny Cash, from all of us here at the Rocktober.com Blog!
- Elvis Musical Looking Broadway Bound
I give up. Do we seriously need a musical based on the music of Elvis Presley? This has gone too far-- the baby boomers must be stopped. And elder gen-xers-- you aren't too far out of range for blame, either. I blame you for the success of that ABBA musical.
- Eve Says Dr. Dre Will Be 'All Over' Her Next Album
Great news. Eve needs an album with more hard-core funk like "Let Me Blow Your Mind" and less radio-friendly R&B crap like "Gangsta Lovin'." At least that's how I see it.
- Coalition Eyes Measure To Repeal 7-Year Statute
Can you imagine going to your voting booth and seeing a proposition that reads 'Shall California ammend its laws so that recording artists are also covered by the state law which forbids personal service contracts for longer than 7 years?" Will the farmers in Pasadena give a rat's ass?
- Death in Vegas Find Oasis
Scorpio Rising, the third studio album from electronica duo Death in Vegas will hit the states on April 18. It will feature vocals by Paul Weller (The Jam), Hope Sandoval(Mazzy Star) and Liam Gallagher (Oasis). If you can't wait that long, you can click here and buy the already released import version.
- New Dashboard Confessional Album Due In July
A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar was produced by Gil Norton (The Pixies, Foo Fighters) and includes such songs as "Carry This Picture for Luck," and "Hands Down," the latter of the which was previously released in live form on the group's 2002 MTV Unplugged set. On April 22, Dashboard's 2000 debut Swiss Army Romance will be re-issued with two extra tracks that were recorded last year-- "Hold On" and "This Is a Forgery." You can pre-order the re-issue of Swiss Army Romance by clicking here.
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
posted by Randy on 11:58 AM |
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- R.E.M. Unwraps 'The Final Straw'
R.E.M. have a new song available for streaming on their official website. "The Final Straw" is a decent R.E.M. song, but the winners in this anti-war song sweepstakes remain Zack De La Rocha & DJ Shadow's "March of Death", Lenny Kravitz's "We Want Peace" and Yusef Islam's (Cat Steven) re-recording of "Peace Train."
- Dixie Chicks Leave PETA Hanging
The management for the Dixie Chicks have blocked the release of an ""I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" P.E.T.A. ad featuring the group in a field of flowers wearing only strategically-placed instruments. I can't really fault their management-- that's their job, to keep the group from doing stuff that will effect their sales. On the other hand, if the Dixie Chicks are truly passionate about it, they'd make sure the ad got out.
- Bertelsmann 2002 Profits Slip 25 Percent
Media giant Bertelsmann lost a lot of cabbage last year after their purchase of Zomba Recording Corporation (home of teen pop artists like Britney Spears and 'N Sync and gangsta rappers E-40, Too $hortand A Tribe Called Quest) lost $1.4 billion dolalrs in value. On the other hand, operating earnings, which exclude one-time items as well as interest and taxes, rose 63 percent to 936 million euros ($992 million) from 573 million euros in 2001 as each of the company's seven main divisions increased their operating earnings or reduced a loss.
- Jury Favors TVT in Rap Suit
TVT Records won a jury verdict Friday against Island Def Jam Music Group and its chairman Lyor Cohen for fraud and willful copyright infringement for preventing release of an album featuring performances by rap star Ja Rule and his group CMC and produced by Irv Gotti. The jury found Def Jam and Cohen had tortiously interfered with TVT's contract with Gotti, Ja Rule and CMC by telling Gotti to stop working on the CMC project. Friday's unanimous verdict by an eight-person jury was only on the liability phase. A trial on the damages phase is scheduled for next month.
- Snoop Dogg, Bubba Sparxxx May Appear On Limp Bizkit Album
No comment. Just interesting news. Bipolar's new release date is June 17-- pushed back a month.
- Duran Duran Boxes Up Singles
This is why we need the internet. Who the hell needs a 13 CD Duran Duran boxed set, with only like 4 songs on each CD? Granted, this collection will give the gift of long-forgotten b-sides like "Is There Something I Should Know? (Monster Mix)," and "(I'm Looking For) Cracks In The Pavement," but the waste of CDs and packaging here is just astounding. If you truly need it, The Singles Box 81-85 will retail for 50 bucks and will be on store shelves on June 10. If you can't wait that long, click here to pre-order The Singles Box 81-85 as an import for $51.49-- that version comes out on May 12.
- Mediaweek Feature -- Behind the Makeover
Very good feature story about why VH-1 started to suck after being on such a long roll and what they are doing to turn it around. Well worth reading.
- R.I.P. Bob Leonard
Bob Leonard, 70, the founding president of Ticketmaster who made it the largest ticket distribution company in the country with a computer-based system for automating box offices, died March 12 in San Diego. Leonard stepped down as a senior executive after the company became publicly traded in 1996, but he still is the man resposible for insitiuting all the excess fees we have come to know and love from TicketMaster. Peace out, dawg.
Monday, March 24, 2003
posted by Randy on 12:48 PM |
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- Lenny Kravitz' "We Want Peace" Available To Stream
The good people at Rock The Vote are offering up a new Lenny Kravitz tune to stream in the Windows Media format. Kravitz wrote the song and performed it with Iraqi pop music artist Kadim Al Sahir, Palestinian musician Simon Shaheen on strings and Lebanese artist Jamey Haddad on percussion.
It has a good groove but some pretty insipid hippie dippy lyrics. It's a lot better than the Beastie Boys song, but not as good as the DJ Shadow/Zack De La Rocha song.
- Radiohead Says 'Hail To The Thief'
Radiohead's sixth album will be titled Hail to the Thief . The 14-track set, one of the most anticipated albums of the year, will arrive June 10 in North America and a day earlier in Europe. "There There," the first single, will be released May 26. Peep the above link for a full tracklisting-- sorry, no pre-order link quite yet.
- Marking File Traders as Felons
During a recent hearing of the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, Rep. John Carter (R-TX) said he supported chariging file traders with felonies. The R.I.A.A. said "Rah-rah! Hit 'em again/hit 'em again/harder!/harder!
- Warner Rolls Out Royalty Reforms (L.A. Times registration required)
Following the lead of Bertelsmann Music Group and Universal Music Group, Warner Bros. Records is going to overhaul of its royalty accounting process. The new contract would stop computing royalties based on the suggested retail price of a CD and begin paying artists a percentage of the wholesale price actually received from retailers. In addition, Warner's new contract would eliminate outdated provisions devised during the vinyl era, including a 25% "container" deduction and a 25% "new media" deduction. The biggest change, though, is that the company will provide auditors access to all manufacturing documents -- not merely accountings of CDs sold, as it has previously done. There's lots more-- peep the above linked story for full details.
Now, after having read that, peep this Velvet Rope discussion about why this new contract still isn't all that and box of Cracker Jacks. The short story-- they'll give the records to auditors, but artists still have to pay for the audits, and not many can do that.
- Train Moving Into 'Private Nation'
On June 3, Train will release My Private Nation. Produced by prolific knob twiddler Brendan O'Brien, the first single from the album, "Calling All Angels," should hit radio in mind-April..
- Toad the Wet Sprocket's Future in Doubt
"If it seems like we can make better records than we did before, we'll keep doing it. But if it seems like we'll be a sad nostalgia act, we'll continue on our own courses," Toad The Wet Sprocket singer Glen Phillips told AP Radio. I'm gonna vote for option B, personally. Evolve, dude!
- AARP's New Hangout: KaZaA, Web's Mosh Pit (NY Times registration required)
The American Association of Retired People (AARP) is now using banner ads on Kazaa With 200 Million downloads, I suppose not every user is a young whippersnapper.
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