Friday, April 25, 2003
posted by Randy on 12:19 PM |
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- Court says Verizon must reveal song swapper names
In January, U.S. District Court John Bates said Verizon must turn over the names of two of their customers whom the R.I.A.A. accuses of using file trading services. Yesterday, he said he would not issue a stay while Verizon appeals. Verizon, of course, will appeal. That's the bad news. The good news...
- Judge rules in favor of Napster follow-ons
Holy cow. U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson ruled today in favor of Grokster and Morpheus, saying the two companies are not liable for online piracy by users of their service. The court's ruling applies only to existing versions of the Morpheus and Grokster software. Earlier versions of the software, which functioned slightly differently, could potentially leave the companies open to liability. Dollars to donuts says you can expect an appeal filed right... about.. now. In the meantime, take a look at the ruling.
- Turner calls rival media mogul Murdoch 'warmonger'
Media mogul Ted Turner, who's certainly made his share of coin based on the consolidation of the media, said yesterday that he thought too few people controlled what U.S. audiences see and hear in the media. He singled out his old nemesis Rupert Murdoch of News Corp. for specific criticism, which shouldn't be a surprise. If media titans like Turner and Barry Diller are speaking out against further consolidation of the media, you just gotta believe that it's a bad idea.
Speaking of Murdoch and Turner and media consolidation-- Clash of the Titans: How the Unbridled Ambition of Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch Has Created Global Empires that Control What We Read and Watch Each Day came out in January of this year, but I didn't hear about it. Could it be.. a MEDIA CONSPIRACY?!?!?!? Maybe.
- Mariah Carey Tour Takes Flight
Last time Mariah Carey went on tour, she brought a lamb out on stage. Unfortunately, it wasn't a tribute to ZZ Top's infamous shows with livestock on stage-- though Charmbracelet does contain a cover of Def Leppard's "Bringing On The Heartbreak," so maybe she's coming around. Anyway-- the U.S. tour of arenas kicks off July 18 in Anchorage, Alaska and criss-crosses North America until Sept. 23 when it raps things up in Manchester, N.H.
The above linked story says Charmbracelet has sold a million copies in the U.S. I usually refuse to say "Jesus H. Christ, they only sold a million copies?" because I think that's an impressive feat even if when you were younger and married to a mobbed up label chief you sold 10 million. Just as a theoretical example. Anyway-- in this case, it's the other way around: "A million people bought Charmbracelet?" Whoa.
- Jim Morrison's Family Sues, Says New Doors Aren't The Doors
Here's my question-- couldn't Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger see this one coming down the pike? Like, when you reform your band and perform the songs written with your late frontman and don't ask if heirs if it's okay-- don't you see that's a lawsuit waiting to happen? If they werten't advised of this posibility by the lawyers, they need new lawyers.
- Therapy? Debut "High Anxiety" With Spitfire
I haven't heard a Therapy? song since their 1995 cover of Husker Du's "Diane" on Infernal Love-- but the All Music Guide says they've been putting out albums since then on the regular. Anyway, High Anxiety is due on May 20 and there are tenative plans for a summer U.S. tour. You can pre-order High Anxiety by clicking here.
- Sinead O'Connor To Retire From Music
It's a damn shame that the music industry has warn down such a beautiful voice until she can't take it any more. She'll be back, though-- I imagine the mortgage payment will come due, or perhaps her kids will want to go to college. Before she leaves, though, she'll finish up work on a track for a Dolly Parton tribute album, a track for Irish accordionist Sharon Shannon's next album and concert and documentary DVD she says will be released in July called "Goodnight, Thank You. You've Been a Lovely Audience."
- David Byrne makes 'Simpsons' cameo
This sunday. The former Talking Heads frontman will play himself as he helps Homer write a song about how much he hates Flanders.
- Playboy's Search For The Sexiest Babe In Indie Rock (via ToT)
Vote now! Democry only works if you partcipate.
Thursday, April 24, 2003
posted by Randy on 12:45 PM |
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- Habla usted Clear Channel?
Very good Salon piece about the pending $2.4 billion deal between the Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation, the leader in Spanish-language radio stations in the U.S., and Univision Communications -- already the market leader in Spanish-language TV, cable and music -- that would create a new company that controls nearly 70 percent of Spanish-language advertising revenue in the United States. Evil corporate radio monolith Clear Channel is HBC's largest shareholder. If this deal is approved, it will basically create a 800 pound gorilla of Latin pop culture that will be difficult to compete against.
Another very good overview of the current media consoldation is The Columbia Journalism Review's The Gathering Storm Over Media Ownership.
- Dixie Chicks Pose Nude to Answer Critics
There's the story-- here's the picture. It's the cover of the next issue of Entertainment Weekly.
- Patti LaBelle Signs With Def Jam Classics, Recording New Album
...and she's already completed two tracks with Wyclef Jean and the team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Apparently Prince wants to work with her to make a whole gospel album-- which would be great as long as it isn't as opressively weird and preachy as The Rainbow Children.
- Clinic Nursing New Album
Clinic is starting work on their new album and is looking to make a small departure from their electro-Velvet Underground sound. "The album's brighter, more upbeat and party sounding," says singer/guitarist Ade Blackburn. "There's a fair chunk of fuzz guitar, barroom piano, weird percussion and off-the-wall effects. You can also pogo to at least three-fourths of it." He also says the group will avoid using computers whenever possible and will draw influence from early punkers The Electric Eels, The Mirrors and... legendary New Orleans R&B artist Professor Longhair (?!?!?). They are looking at an early fall release.
- Cheap Trick Offers Something 'Special'
Cheap Trick's Special One, due in stores on July 8 is indeed special-- it will feature production work by Dan "The Automator" Nakamura and Steve Albini. No pre-order link yet, sorry.
- P-Funk Family Celebrates 'Six Degrees'
Six Degrees of P-Funk: The Best of George Clinton & His Funk Family will hit stores on May 13 and will feature tracks by George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars, as well as a number of artists who worked with Clinton, including Bootsy Collins, Walter "Junie" Morrison, Jerome Brailey's Mutiny, and Micro Wave. The selections from Walter "Junie" Morrison ("Love Has Taken Me Over," "Rappin' About Rappin' (Uh-Uh-Uh)"), Mutiny ("Funk'n'Bop," "Lump"), Philippe Wynne ("Never Gonna Tell It," "Breakout'), The Sweat Band ("Freak To Freak"), and Micro Wave ("Instant Reply," "Misunderstood"), have been long out of print here in the U.S. On a personal note-- I was singing 'Instant Replay" in my head like a week ago and made mental note to self to try and find out who sang it. Now I remember. Click the above link for a full track list and then click here to pre-order Six Degrees of P-Funk: The Best of George Clinton & His Funk Family.
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
posted by Randy on 2:50 PM |
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- 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 and...me 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.
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
posted by Randy on 12:12 PM |
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- RealNetworks seeks Listen.com buyout
Most RealNetworks software sucks in some way or the other. Most Listen.Com products have been more impressive than not. This reminds me of a little story:
I was one of the first handful of employees at Listen.Com. The day Real came out with the first version of their software that played MP3s, everyone in the office downloaded it to try it out. That little piece of software fucked up every single computer in the office, crippling production for one day while the IT gal tried to fix all of the computers.
Who woulda thunk that years later that Listen would allow themselves to be acquired by Real.
- Cholly Atkins: His Choreography Put The Slickness in Motown Artists
Cholly Atkins, the man who choreographed the dance moves of Motown legends like The Temptations, The Supremes and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, died in a Las Vegas hospital on Saturday. He had battled pancreatic cancer. Reading the above linked article is kind of heartbreaking-- for all his work and influence on the culture, he was never trumpeted as a Motown innovator to anyone who wasn't already in the know-- not unlike the legendaryhouse band known as The Funk Brothers. R.I.P. and thanks for the memories from all of us here at Rocktober.com.
- Jazz/Soul Legend Nina Simone Dies
Much respect due and a big R.I.P. from all of us here at Rocktober.com. If all you know about her is The Fugees lyric "So while you're imitating Al Capone /I'll be Nina Simone/And defacating on your microphone" you need to educate yourself. Read a book or get your hands on her music.
- Nashville Songwriter Felice Bryant Dies
You may not know her name, but you know the songs she co-wrote with her husband: "Bye Bye Love," "Wake Up Little Susie," "All I Have to Do Is Dream"," "Love Hurts," and hundreds more. Her husband Boudleaux died of cancer on June 25, 1987 in Knoxville. They were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1991. Click here to see more of their songwriting acomplishments. R.I.P from all of us here at Rocktober.com.
- Chicks Tixs Going Quick Despite Bush Controversy
Of the 59 shows on The Dixie Chicks' upcoming North American tour, only six have seats left, and those with seats left are all 85%-90% sold out and expected to eventually close the gap. Unless, of course, people in those markets watch the group's interview coming up on ABC-- though I'm not sure when becuase neither the ABC website or The Dixe Chicks website is hyping it. I saw an ad for itr last night-- I think it is gonna be on an upcoming episode of "PrimeTime Live."
Anyway, this controversy has just about blown over and the tour is basically sold out-- lord knows why the gals would want to stokes the coals and consent to this interview. I wouldn't have done it.
- Avalon's Ghosts Emerge Restored Music Hall Holds The City's Past
Interesting piece in the San Francisco Chronicle about the re-opening of the historic Avalon Ballroom here in San Francisco. It's being run by a bunch of hippies apparently-- not unlike the late, not-always-great Maritime Hall. Different people, though.
- Alanis, Cake Rock "Planet"
A Rolling Stone report about this past Sunday's "We The Planet" festival in Golden Gate Park.
Two interesting tidbits inthe story:
-The Red Hot Chili Peppers' By the Way was packaged using tree-free products and casued a ripple effect which has led to Warner Bros. Records only using tree-free products in all CD packaging from now on.
-Here was who appeared at the show: Alanis Morissette, Cake, Bonnie Raitt, De La Soul, Concrete Blondeand The Coup. Out of all those artists, who do you think was the headliner? If you said The Coup, you must be a huge fan. You also would be correct. While I love The Coup, I find it kind of hard to believe-- but good on the organizers for giving them such large exposure.
- S Club Split Up After Four Chart-Topping Years
Four chart topping years in the U.K., mind you. They were one of those group put together on television by "American Idol"'s Simon Fuller. Earlier this month they released a movie called "Seeing Double" that got savaged by the critics in the U.K.
Monday, April 21, 2003
posted by Randy on 12:16 PM |
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- 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.
- Madonna.com 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 Madonna.com 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 Rocktober.com. 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.
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