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The New York Times
The L.A. Times


    Friday, April 11, 2003

    • Report: Apple Computer may bid for Universal's music arm
      Whoa. That'd be quite a development, if it occurs. And in my mind, that's a big if-- lotsa fingers (and big ass egos) in the pie at Universal Music that might be too much for Apple to successfully deal with.

    • Report: Sony, Incubus Reach a New Deal
      I told you Incubus would sell out once Sony Music gave them a better deal. The deal struck Thursday pays Incubus an estimated $8 million in advances for its next album, equires the group to deliver two additional albums and gives Sony an option for a fourth, with an estimated $2.5 million advance due for each.

      I'm not privy to the down and dirty fine print of this deal, but based on the reports this still doesn't look like a good deal. Sure, they get bigger advances, but the still have to re-coup that before they see royalties/ And they don't own the master tapes, which means Sony can make money off of them for years and years to come.

      If you don't believe I predicted they wouldn't take it to the hoop: check it out here, sukka!

    • Gunman Opens Fire On Snoop Dogg And His Security Team
      One bodyguard was injured, but everyone is otherwise okay doke. Be this a lesson to all you mini-gangsta-rappers in training: you get out what you put in and if you don't get it now, you'll get it later. Karma-- look it up. Make no mistake, Snoop Dogg is one of my fave rappers-- but his recent conversion from gangsta to positive is too much, too little, too late on the karma scale.

    • Diddy Gets The Blues In HBO Film
      The apocolypse must be near: Sean "P. Diddy" Combs will star as blues legend Robert Johnson in the HBO Films feature "Love in Vain". Words fail me. No wait, they don't: Holy fucking shit. It'll take a lot to keep this from being an atrocity. Best of luck to P. Diddy and the filmmakers-- they're gonna need it.

    • Senators Criticize FCC Media Review
      In a letter to FCC Chairman Michael Powell, five Republicans and 10 Democrats, most of them on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said they were disappointed that the updated rmedia ownership rules would be released "without any opportunity for the Congress or the public to review them beforehand."

      This is just the latest high profile letter sent to the comission: on Wednesday, The Small Business Administration wrote and said that that the FCC has moved too quickly to alter the rules and should back off, allowing more time for comments. Last week, 12 other lawmakers took an opposite position, calling the current ownership restrictions outdated and urging Powell to complete the review on schedule.

    • 'Locomotion' Singer Little Eva Dies
      Little Eva, a babysitter for songwriting greats Carole King and Gerry Goffin who the duo got sing on a demo-tuned-hit of "The Loco-Motion," has died after a long illness. Her exact age isn't known but she was believed to be between 57 and 60. R.I.P. from all of here at Pay your respects and pick up The Best of Little Eva by clicking here.

    • Lou Reed Takes New 'Walk'
      Lou Reed has reworked his classic song "Walk on the Wild Side" with urban producer 7 Aurelius and posted the results on his official website. It's pretty short and has a new verse:

      "Georgie went to join the army / earn some money to keep the family out of harm's way / now he's in the desert looking out for gas / he never dreamed of kickin' no Iraqi ass."

    • Suge Knight Renames Tha Row, Vows To Make History Again
      First it was Death Row Records. Then all the stars left and Marion "Suge" Knight got locked up. Once Suge was out, he changed it to Tha Row. Now it's called (drum roll please...) Death Row's Back Records. Death Row's Back's first release is the soundtrack to Eddie Griffin's comedy concert film "Dysfunktional Family."

    • Ryan Adams Is Losing His Mind
      Read this message board posting and then this one and tell me I'm wrong. If you don't feel like slogging through all that, I'll summarize-- the music business is giving him a lot of grief and anguish.

    • It Adds Up (and Up, and Up
      Pretty interesting New York Times piece about how much consumers are willing to pay for the phone/cable/internet that connects them with the outside world and their justifications for the expense. I don't know if I'll ever lead a busy enough life to have a cell phone-- the ability to order dinner on the way home from work a few times a month just does't justify the expense for me. But I suppose I'm not the target market. On the other hand, I'm drooling and saving up my pennies for satelite radio, satelite TV and TiVO. As the article rightly points out, there is no magic combo-- different communications options will mean more or less to a wide variety of consumers.

    posted by Randy on 1:12 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Thursday, April 10, 2003

    • Act Now To Stop Congress From Enacting The Evil RAVE Act
      Late on Tuesday, April 8, 2003, a Senate and House Conference Committee, without a hearing, public notice or a debate in Congress, attached the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act (formerly known as the RAVE Act) to the to S151/HR1104, widely referred to as the AMBER Alert Act of 2003. If enacted, that portion of the AMBER Alert Act threatens free speech and musical expression while placing at risk any hotel/motel owner, concert promoter, event organizer, nightclub owner or arena/stadium owner for the drug violations of 3rd parties - real or alleged - even if the event promoter and/or property owner made a good-faith effort to keep their event drug-free. It applies not just to electronic-music parties, but any type of public gathering, including theatrical productions, rock concerts, DJ nights at local bars, and potentially even political rallies. Moreover, it gives heightened power and discretion to prosecutors, who may use it to target events they personally don't like - such as Hip-Hop events and gay and lesbian fundraisers. Click on the above link to send a pre-written e-mail to your representatives in Congress

      If there's anything good about this version of The RAVE Act, it's that the word "rave" and an earlier "findings" section that implied that water, glow sticks and other legal items could be construed as evidence of drug use have been removed from the bill. But that's about it. It otherwise holds promoters and property owners responsible for an individual's actiuons while at their event/on their property. Contact your representatives and let 'em know how much it stinks. This SFGate article says the bill may get held up in the Senate because Senate Democrats don't like some of the provisions that were tacked onto the otherwise sensical AMBER Alert Bill, so your calls and e-mails really do matter right now.

    • EMI Boosts Stake in Motown Music Catalog
      Motown founder Barry Gordy Jr. now retains just a 20% interest in his label's valuable catalog. The worst part of this story: "The company and Gordy also announced a partnership to develop a Broadway musical based on the Motown catalog, which includes the publishing rights to songs such as "Three Times a Lady," "Tracks of My Tears" and "Superstition."
      I've said it before and I'll say it again: Stop The Maddness!! In better Motown-related news...

    • The Funk Brothers On Tour!!!!
      How come no one told me that Motown's house band was on tour?!?!? They're celebrating the release of Stnading In The Shadows of Motown on DVD. Singing with the group will be Joan Osborne, Maxi Priest, Darlene Love and (on select dates marked below with an *) Bootsy Collins. Peep the dates and if they're coming towards your town click here to see if tickets are available yet!

      April 9 - Boston, MA-- The Avalon Ballroom
      April 11 - New York, NY-- The Hammerstein Ballroom
      April 12 - Philadelphia, PA-- The Keswick Theater
      April 13 - Washington DC-- The Lisner Auditorium
      April 15 - Toronto, ONT *-- Massey Hall
      April 16 - Cleveland, OH *-- Playhouse Square Center
      April 18 - Detroit, MI *-- The Opera House
      April 19 - Chicago, IL-- The Riviera Theater
      April 20 - Minneapolis, MN *-- The Quest
      April 22 - Oakland, CA-- The Paramount Theater
      April 23 - Los Angeles, CA-- The Wiltern Theater

    • Ice T Offers Album for Sale to Kazaa Users
      Ice T's new album, Repossession will be available for $4.99 to Kazaa Media Desktop users through a secure platform for peer-to-peer services developed by Altnet, a unit of Brilliant Digital Entertainment Inc.. The files are Windows Media files.

    • Slick Rick a Victim of Identity Theft
      Hip-hop legend Slick Rick is currently in jail while awaiting final judgement on his INS deportation hearings, so it came as quite a surprise to his wife when she discovered some one in North Carolina was getting his mail, depositing his royalty cheques and other wise presenting himself as Slick Rick. They guy's been busted, but here is the ballsiest part of the tale: "Mandy Aragones says that Glenn even got their family's home phone number, called the house and informed the woman who answered the phone that Rick wasn't really in jail anymore, but was living and North Carolina and asked her if she could help him find some beats for his new album."

    • FCC Haggles Over New Regulations
      The above linked Wired News story looks at what the different FCC commisioners are thinking about vis-a-vis the loosining up of media consolidation rules. Will they be completely scrapped? Will there be some sort of diversity formula? At this point, only The Shadow knows... In a related story...

    • News Corp. Seals $6.6B Deal for DirecTV Stake
      So, News Corp. owns DirectTV-- why should you care? Take some time to read this New York Times profile of News Corp honcho Rupert Murdoch-- then you'll know why. Also worth reading-- this New York Times story about the implications of the FOX/DirectTV deal.

    • Diller Calls For Regulation to Restrain Media Conglomerates
      On Monday, media veteran Barry Diller said deregulation of media conglomerates will limit diversity in movies and television and stifle competition. He's right, you know.

    • American Brandstand
      Excellent look at products mentioned in char topping songs.

    posted by Randy on 12:51 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Wednesday, April 09, 2003

    Sorry 'bout the two day break. Real work called. Back to slacking.

    • Clear Channel Cuts Ties with Independent Promoters
      They still deny there is anything essentially wrong with the practice, but the at least acknowlege that it looks bad. What new corrupt way the radio conglomorate will get money from the lables has yet to be named.

    • Judge Denies Furlough For Bon Jovi Sound Engineer

      Bon Jovi to West Chester, Pa. Judge: "Ya' see, we've got this imortant gig selling our crappy new album by performing live in San Jose and broadcasting it on QVC. Our 52-year-old sound engineer is really the only guy on the planet earth who can patch the RCA cables together correctly and check the levels so it sounds good. He's currently locked up for giving love a bad name with a 15 year old girl, so if you cold give him an emergency furlough, that'd be great."

      West Chester, Pa Judge to Bon Jovi: "Not a chance, you Jersey mooks."

    • Sean Paul To Tour With 50 Cent
      No dates yet, but it sounds like a decent enough bill. 50 Cent continues to tour through mid may with Clipse.

    • U.K. Publisher Sues Dre, Eminem Over Sample
      Apparently, "Let's Get High" of off Dr. Dre's 2001 uses the bass to The Fatback Band's "Backstrokin." The song's publisher would liked to be paid for its use but Dre's lawyer says the bass insn't destinctive enough to warrant copyright protection. I've just listened to both tracks-- the bass line is very similar, but it clearly isn't a sample. It's replayed and tweaked a bit-- slowed down, mostly

    • Stones 'fail to rock' young Indians
      Ain't that a bitch! The Rolling Stones go to all the trouble of staging a show in Bombay, India and those ingrates won't even pony up half a year's salary for tickets? I exaggerate, of course. There were plenty of folks willing to hand over the moolah- it just didn't sell out.

    • Meat Loaf to Embark on Final World Tour
      "And he'll never never do it again/Well, of course he won't/No, no until the next time"-- The Smiths, "Sweet and Tender Hooligan"

    • The Prince 'Purple House' in Chanhassen is leveled
      The house Prince painted purple following the success of Purple Rain has been torn down following the death of his father-- the home's last occupant. The hot rumor is that he's moving to Toronto with his new wife and doesn't need the house anymore.

    • Godsmack Not Into Doing Hoity-Toity Summer Sanitarium Tour, Announce Own Dates
      Apparently Godsmack were offered a slot on this summer's Metallica/Limp Bizkit/Linkin Park/Deftones/Mudvayne tour, but they turned it down becasue they thought $55 was a lot of money to ask a kid to pay for a concert-- and that's before the overpriced concessions and t-shirts. Good on them. Their third album, Faceless was released yesterday.

      Lotsa Yo La Tengo MP3s
      Yo La Tengol's ong lost Coke commercial music? Click right here. Yo La Tengo covering everyone but yo mamma? Click right here.

    • Nick Carter & O-Town Concert Canceled Due To Poor Ticket Sales
      They only sold 1,000 the 3,500 seats available at the Civic Center of Anderson, South Carolina. This is what the boy band bust looks like-- we'll see how the now-more-adult-skewing Justin Timberlake/Christina Aguleria tour does this summer.

    • MuchMusic USA Changes Its Name
      MuchMusic USA will change its name to Fuse, a name they chose to reflect the interactivcity they expect to buold the network on-- letting the audience partcipate through the Internet, phones, pagers, two-way poagers and what not. It also has built a $12 million studio with windows open to the street across from Madison Square Garden, about a dozen blocks south of MTV's Times Square studios. The changeover to Fuse will take effect on May 19.

    • Rhino Vinyl To Revive Classic Format
      Rhino Records will launch Rhino Vinyl, "an imprint dedicated to making classic recordings available again in the format of their original release," April 22 with three reissued Grateful Dead titles. Grateful Dead: Live/Dead, Workingman's Dead and American Beauty will be newly mastered and pressed on 180-gram vinyl, with packaging that reflects the original releases. A total of 10 albums will be issued on vinyl in 2003, with Yes' 1971 The Yes Album and T. Rex's 1970 release Electric Warrior due next in May.

    • 'American Idol' Video Game Coming for Fall
      Basically, it's "Dance Dance Revolution with after game commentary from Simon, Paula and Randy. It will be available in the fall for PC and PlayStation 2.

      Speaking of American Idol-- I'm with Simon. Ruben should win. Right now I see it as Ruben and Clay inthe finals, with the rest just batteling for third. Probably that jackass Marine.

    posted by Randy on 2:24 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Monday, April 07, 2003

    Once again, real work calls. Hopetully, I'll be able to wrap this up today and get back to slacking tomorrow.

    posted by Randy on 12:32 PM | permanent link to this entry

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