Pop culture and all that.






Other News And Pop Cult Based Sites I Visit:

Meme Pool
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Sharpe World
The Excitement Machine
The Onion
Gray Scale
Lying Media Bastards
In Passing...
The Morning News
Arts & Letters Daily
Obscure Store
Romenesko's Media News
Happy Robot
The Freep
The New York Times
The L.A. Times


    Friday, May 09, 2003

    posted by Randy on 1:09 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Thursday, May 08, 2003

    • German Police Swoop on Music File-Swappers
      Police in Fuerth, Germany confiscated eight computers after investigations initiated by the German branch of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) led them to the house of a 25-year-old computer programming student who was using a file-sharing server to distribute over a million MP3 music files daily to some 3,000 individual users over a period of weeks. A completely clueless IFPI rep said "'If all those songs were translated into sales, we'd be looking at about one billion euros in lost revenue."-- not realizng that the bulk of those songs were probably unavialbae in a singles format and even if they were they were probably locked behind some odios digital rights management scheme.

    • California Senate Panel OKs Royalty Measure
      A bill that would require record companies to account for artist royalties cleared the California Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, and will now go before the full California Senate for a vote. Under SB1034, a record company's obligation to account accurately for artist royalties would become a fiduciary duty. If you're a California resident, please contact your representatives and let them know what you think of this bill. Unsurprisingly, the R.I.A.A. is against it.

    • Dixie Chicks' Lipton Sponsorship Lessened After Maines' Comment
      Talk about your weak tea! (rimshot!) Lipton will remain as the sponsor of The Dixe Chicks' current U.S. tour, but they've decided to scrap a commercial featuring the group as well as a plan to include their images on tea bags packaging and bottles of iced tea. Once again I say-- weak.

    • Rapper Juvenile bests Jubilee in court
      There's a great scene in the hip-hop documentary "Rhyme and Reason" that has a round table of old school DJs and rappers debating who came up with the phrase "Yes Yes Y'all." Now, transfer that debate to the courts and change the phrase to "Back That Azz Up" and you've got the above linked story.

    • Westerberg Shakes Out CDs
      Paul Westerberg will release another pair of albums this year, with a blues album called Dead Man Shake due in summer and Folker set to be released by the end of the year. Dead Man Shake will be released under his Grandpaboy moniker.

    posted by Randy on 11:48 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Wednesday, May 07, 2003

    posted by Randy on 12:20 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Tuesday, May 06, 2003

    • Soft Boys Splinter Again
      This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone: Robyn Hitchcock has once again left the Soft Boys, who reunited for the 2002's Nextdoorland after first parting ways after 1980's Underwater Moonlight. Hitchcock has plans to release Luxor (an acoustic collection) later this year, but nothing is set in stone.

    • Commercial recording studios going the way of the 8-track
      Just an extension of an article I linked here yesterday--this one goes into more detail about how home recording studios and ProTools are killing off recording studios in the Bay Area. To which I say-- good. Studios have overcharged labels and artists for ages. It's hard for me to cry for them.

    • Strokes Part Ways with Producer Godrich
      The Strokes have parted ways with producer Nigel Godrich after a trial period of sessions intended for the group's second album. Their next album will now be produced by Gordon Raphael, who was behind the boards for their first album.

    • Cable's CMT to Celebrate Country's 100 Best Songs
      On June 8, CMT will broadcast a six-hour special counting down the station's list of 100 Best Country Songs hosted by Keith Urban and actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley. The duo will count down from 100 through 13 and cut to a concert broadcast with artists like Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Kenny Chesney, LeAnn Rimes, Deana Carter, Sara Evans, Marty Stuart, Glen Campbell, and George Jones performing the top 12 songs. The concert will be filmed The concert will be filmed June 4 at Nashville's Gaylord Entertainment Center as poart of FanFair. They should just play 100 George Jones songs and top it off with "He Stopped Loving Her Today," but I suppose that's asking al ittle much.

    • DJs suspended for playing Dixie Chicks
      *Sigh* Country station KKCS has suspended two disc jockeys for playing the Dixie Chicks, violating a ban imposed after the group criticized President Bush. The station was planing to eventually play the group's songs again, but the two DJs jumped the gun.

    • Hanson Leaves Island Def Jam, New Album On The Way
      In the above linked article, the band says they are happy to move on because they didn't want to compromise their art. Who knows what IDJ was pressuring them to come up with. A rap-rock album? Goth? Trip-hop? Gangsta polka? Anyway-- their hearts will go on..with a club tour and a new album.

    • Diller a Critic of Relaxing Rules
      Another good article about media mogul Barry Diller
      "The result is that while 10 years ago, independent producers in Hollywood created 16 new television series a year, last year they were commissioned to make just one. Diller believes the independent production sector is dying on its feet and that quality is suffering. The conglomeratesí own in-house production departments are so far down the chain, he jokes, itís a miracle that all the shows on air arenít about rejection."

    • Fighting Through the Static
      The Clear Channel spin continues. "We haven't done anything wrong. We're bringing value to our advertisers, which is our job. We're making changes to avoid the appearance of impopriety. Not that there was any-- just the appearance of some." That's my paraphrase, by the way.

    posted by Randy on 11:39 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Monday, May 05, 2003

    • Software Bullet Is Sought to Kill Musical Piracy (NY Times registration required)
      Pretty scary New York Times piece about the various bits of software under development by folks working for the big record companies that may be deployed to help in the R.I.A.A.'s misguided wars against P2P file trading systems. Among the programs being developed: a program that would search through your music files and delete illegal copies and another one that would freeze your computer up-- putting you at risk of losing data that isn't saved.

    • Concert CD's Sold on the Spot by a Radio Giant (NY Times registration required)
      The New York Times looks at Clear Channel's efforts to burn and sell live CDs at the end of concerts in Boston. Lotsa questions rasied about them expanding these efforts-- the article does a good job of explaining them all.

    • That's Showbiz! S Club are mystified how they only made £400,000 each to their manager's £50m.
      Apparently, the members of the late, not so great manufactured Brit pop group S Club are mystified as to why they're broke while the handlers (including Simon Fuller of "American Idol") made a mint. As the above linked article points out, the kids involved were so hungry for fame they didn't do the due dilligence and learn how money is actually made in the music business as it stands today. Hint: singing songs written by someone else and relying on "being discovered" isn't the way to do it.

    • Digital Music: Still Scores Left to Settle
      Speaking of songwriters-- the above is a pretty good Business Week about the battles songwriters and music publishers are having with the major record labels and "legitimate" download outfits over money-- the results of which are still sending folks to free services. Highly reccommended reading.

    • Indonesians Argue Over Pop Star's Dance
      Speaking of making it in the music biz-- Inul Daratista is causing mass hysteria in Indonesia without having sold a single CD. Her suggestive dancing has some of the county's Muslim authorities up in arms, yet people still pack her concerts. Those concerts are then bootlegged, which is thus far how her music has been distributed. Here's a Time Asia profile of Inul Daratista A little tidbit from the Time story- her real name is Ainul Rokhimah; Inul Daratista means "the girl with the breasts."

    • 'Gilligan's Island' Composer Wyle Dies
      George Wyle, who wrote the theme song to "Gilligan's Island" and directed music for singers including Andy Williams, Dinah Shore, Jerry Lewis and Carol Channinghas died at the age of 87. He died Friday of leukemia at the Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center in Tarzana, Calif. R.I.P. from all of us here at

    • Study: Violent Music Boosts Aggressive Thoughts
      Accorfing to a recent study by the American Psychological Association, violent lyrics in songs increase aggression-related thoughts and emotions and could indirectly create a more hostile social environment (at least in the short term). The study examined the effects of seven violent songs by seven artists and eight nonviolent songs by seven artists. After subjects listened to the songs, they were given word test to gauge how violent they felt. Being loyal readers of this blog, I know what you wanna know-- what were the songs? Well, I went and read the study and found out:

      Violent Songs:
      "Jerk Off"- Tool
      "Shoot 'Em Up"- Cypress Hill
      "I Wouldn't Mind"- Suicidal Tendencies
      "Hit 'Em Hard"- Run-D.M.C.
      The Night Santa Went Crazy- Weird Al Yankovic
      Country Death Song- Violent Femmes

      Non Violent Songs:
      "Four Degrees"- Tool
      "Live at PJs"- Beastie Boys
      "Love vs. Loneliness- Suicidal Tendencies
      "In The House"- Run-D.M.C.
      "Finger Lickin' Good"- Beastie Boys
      "Gump"- Weird Al Yankovic
      "I Held Her In My Arms"- Violent Femmes

    • Fade Out: Hard times, industry changes batter the Bay Area's once-thriving music scene
      Pretty insightful piece about what has been happening in the Bay Area music scene-- though it largely concentrates on acts headed for major labels and the woes of studio owners who having been ripping off artists and labels for years as they lose business to cheaper home studios.

    • 3 Stabbed in Concert Brawl
      It took the California Highway Patrol and police departments from Mountain View, Los Altos, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto to stop a brawl that broke out during The Bone Bash IV. 3 were stabbed, but nobody died. The line-up? Sammy Hagar & The Waboritas w/ Michael Anthonyof Van Halen, Y&T, El Tri, Creedence Clearwater Revisited and The Gregg Rolie Band. Who woulda thunk it?

    • Techno Music Festival Schedule Announced
      The Movement Festival (formerly the Detroit Electronic Music Festival) has announced it's line-up for this year's show. It's a little bit more low-key and locally based thius year, but they still have some interesting acts-- I'm specifically think of ESG, Liquid Liquid and Grandwizzard Theodore. Big names include Carl Craig, DJ Spinna, Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson. Check out the full list of acts here. May 24 25 26 2003 at Hart Plaza in Detroit, Michigan. It's free, too!

    (I was too lazy to do Amazon links today. Feel free to click on the box in the upper left corner for all your pop culture shopping needs)

    posted by Randy on 1:01 PM | permanent link to this entry

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