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    Friday, April 25, 2003

    posted by Randy on 12:19 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Thursday, April 24, 2003

    posted by Randy on 12:45 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Wednesday, April 23, 2003

    • Record labels sue Napster investor
      I suppose with all the money they lost, Universal Music Groupand EMIcan't just let by gones be by gones. They filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against veture capital firm Hummer Winblad, its co-founder John Hummer and general partner Hank Barry, who once served as the CEO at Napster. I'm sort of surprised that

      a) the other major labels aren't included in this suit and
      b) the major labels didn't go after Hummer Winblad before this.

      I haven't read it yet, but I hear that Joseph Menn's All the Rave: The Rise and Fall of Shawn Fanning's Napster is well worth a read.

    • Bjork Prepping Live Box Set, DVDs
      As Bjork gets ready for a summer tour, she's gearing up to release a few interesting projects. In "June or July" be on the look out for Live Box Set, a collection which will contain live versions of Debut, Post, Homogenic and Vespertine. She's also prepping a bunch of stuff for DVD release-- including the documentaries "Southbank Show," "Inside Bjork," and "Minuscule" and a concert taped at London's Royal Opera House. When not trying to get all that stuff together, she apparently is also still working on a new album.

    • 50 Cent, Jay-Z Set To 'Roc The Mic'
      Jay-Zand 50 Cent have confirmed that they will be touring together this summer, with Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, Sean Paul and Fabolous all tapped to join the bill on select dates. Jay-Z will be performing with his Roc-A-Fella buddies Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek and Freeway while 50 Cent will just be hanging with his G Unit buddy Lloyd Banks.

    • AOL to Sell Comedy Central (NYTimes registration required)
      AOLTimeWarner is selling its 50% stake in Comedy Central to Viacom. For those not keeping track of this stuff obsessively, this means Viacom now fully owns CBS, MTV and related sub-networks, VH1 and related sub-networks, Nickelodeon, BET, TNN, TV Land, CMT, Flix, The Sundance Channel, The Movie Channel, Showtime and related subnetworks, Comedy Central and UPN. They also own Paramount and a slew of radio stations. Look at that line-up and tell me one thing: If you make pop cuture products, can you get them promoted to your audience without kissing Viacom's ass and paying the prices they dictate? My answer-- it's possible, but not adviseable.

    • Claiming singer was impaired, Creed concertgoers sue for refunds
      If this lawsuit goes through and the plantiff's win, look for legions of fans of George Jones, The Pogues and The Replacements to take to the courts.

    • Tricky Gets Vulnerable
      Tricky will release his seventh album, Vulnerable, on June 17th on his own Brown Punk Records. The CD will also include an interview, three short films and the video for the album's first single, "Antimatter," Be on the look-out for a U.S. tour in the fall. I don't care what you say-- I'm psyched. I loved Blowback.

    • Wilco Go Online With Free EP
      Though you have to have purchased Yankee Hotel Foxtrot to get at it. The set features Foxtrot outtakes "A Magazine Called Sunset, "Camera" and "Bob Dylan's 49th Beard" along and three newer cuts, "Handshake Drugs," "Woodgrain" and "More Like the Moon." You can listen to a streaming version of the EP here and if you want to download the tracks as MP3s you'll need to follow the directions they give you and have the code included in your copy of YHF.

    • Beats For Peace Tour Slated To Kick Off
      Nice line-up here-- I hope it expands to the west coast: Slum Village, Pharoahe Monch, Medusa, Anwar Superstar, The Jazz & Hip-Hop Orchestra, and Supernatural.

      New York City May 8, 2003 - S.O.B.'s
      Northampton, Massachusetts May 9, 2003 - Pearl Street
      Providence, Rhode Island May 10, 2003 - Lupo's
      Washington, DC May 11, 2003 - Nation
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 12, 2003 - The Electric Factory
      Boston Massachusetts May 13, 2003 - Somerville Theater

    • South Central Receives Name Change
      Seriously. L.A. City Council members voted unanimously to replace the term "South-Central Los Angeles" with "South Los Angeles" on all city signs and documents. There goes a little bit of hip-hop history. When you tell your grandkids about all the gangsta rappers that were representing for South Central, they're gonna look at you with funny faces, like you're talking some sort of moon man language.

    • Stylus' Non Definitive Guide To The Hidden Track
      It is very much so non-definitive, but it still is a pretty good guide to and review of the tracks artists hide on their albums. Wait until you have a few minutes and then read all the entries. Snarky in parts, but over all well done.

    • Concert Report: The Funk Brothers @ The Paramount in Oakland, CA
      The Funk Brothers were Motown's house band, performing on and composing more hits than any one artist in the pop era. They never toured when Motown was big, but thanks to the success of the hit documentary Standing In The Shadows of Motown they are now touring with Joan Osborne, Maxi Priest, Darlene Love and some session singers handeling the vocals. Watching these guys play these classic songs live was both touching and sad-- touching in that they were so happy to be getting the recognition they deserved but sad because it didn't happen for them when they were young and could play the songs with a bit more energy. Still, there were hits galore, a lot of good humor dancing on stage during "Baby Love." You can't go wrong with that. My one qualm was that they didn't play any Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, but there were just too many hits and so little time. If you're a lucky son-of-a-bitch, they'll continue this tour after its concluding date tonight in Los Angeles.

    posted by Randy on 2:50 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Tuesday, April 22, 2003

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

    Monday, April 21, 2003

    • U.S. Sides with Record Labels in Internet Case
      Surprise, surprise, surprise. In a filing with the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C., the Department of Justice sided with the R.I.A.A. in its dispute with Verizon Communications Inc., saying a digital-copyright law invoked by record labels to track down Internet song-swappers did not violate the U.S. Constitution. Verizon and the R.I.A.A. have been in court since September, arguing over whether Verizon should be forced to help crack down on the online song-swapping that record labels blame for a decline in CD sales. Verizon maintains the law only applies to Web pages stored on its computers, not the "peer to peer" networks like Kazaa that merely travel across its wires.

    • Apple to hold special event April 28
      What will they announce? The smart money is on new iPods and their new music service. The long-shot money is on a purchase of Universal Music.

    • Evel Knievel Signs Over Rights For Rock Opera
      Oh man. If don't already own it, you need to prep yourself for this by picking up Evel Speaks to the Kids, featuring the legendary "Ballad of Evel Knievel." The album also contains a lot of Evel Knievel speeches and press confrences-- so all you sample kiddies can go buck wild as well if you're not into over-wrought, comically touching 70s pop-rock balladry. Oops-- I just looked-- it is out of print. Look for a used copy, I guess. It is well worth owning.

    • FCC changes tack on media merger rules Clear limits gain favor over case-by-case analysis
      According to the above linked USA Today article, the FCC is likely to do the following with media ownership limits:

      -Allow TV-newspaper linkups in top markets, setting limits on newspaper-radio-TV marriages based on market size
      -Raise from 35% to about 45% the cap on the national audience a TV broadcaster can reach with affiliates it owns.
      -Ease a ban on owning two TV stations in smaller markets.
      -Keep ban against mergers between the top four networks.

      The diversity index is apparently not an option anymore. A staff recommendation is to be given to the five commissioners in early May, with their vote slated for June 2.

    • Hacked
      Oh, you crazy hackers. You so crazy! In response to Madonna flodding P2P networks with fake tracks from her forthcoming American Life album, someone hacked into over the weekend and used the site to post a bunch of Madonna MP3s. The site has been fixed, but the hack is preserved in screenshot form at the above linked story.

    • R&B Songwriter, Guitarist Earl King Dies
      Earl King, composer of "Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)" and hundreds of other blues and R&B songs, died Thursday from diabetes-related complications. He was 69. R.I.P. from all of us here at Show your respect and pick up Earl's Pearls by clicking here.

    • Liz Phair Goes Acoustic with Flaming Lips
      May 23 - June 3, Liz Phair will be opening up for The Flaming Lips by playing an acoustic set.:

      May 23: Portland, Ore. (Crystal Ballroom)
      May 24: George, Wash. (Sasquatch Festival)
      May 25: Vancouver (Plaza of Nations)
      May 28: San Francisco (Warfield Theater)
      May 30: San Diego (4th & B)
      May 31: Los Angeles (Palladium)
      June 3: Denver (Ogden Theater)

      Her next album, Liz Phair, is due on June 24. If you hit up her official web site, you can stream some preview tracks from the album. They are very slick and sound dervitive of, uh, Liz Phair. Sorta like a younger kid inspired by Liz Phair and wit access to better technology. Oh wait, they were co-written with and The Matrix, the brians behind Avril Lavigne. No wonder.

    • Gwen Stefani Recording Solo Material
      Speaking of The Matrix-- they're lending a hand here, as well. No solid plans for these tracks yet, though.

    • White Stripes Meet The Coal Miner's Daughter At New York Show
      Interesting account of Loretta Lynn opening up for The White Stripes in N.Y.C. last weekend. The hipsters apparently didn't stirr with recofnition until she played "Coal Miner's Daughter." Yo, hipsters, study up! Jack White dueted with her on "Fist City" and "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man"-- two of my fave country songs ever in the histroy of the world. She came back out with The White Stripes to sing "Rated X."

      They really should take Loretta Lynn out for a full tour-- I'd see it. As it is, have tix for the San Fran show but I'm probably gonna sell them. If Loretta Lynn was on the bill, I'd totally go and scream my head off.

    posted by Randy on 12:16 PM | permanent link to this entry

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