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    Friday, September 05, 2003

    • Music industry to unveil amnesty offer for Internet downloaders
      Here's how the deal will shake down: the R.I.A.A. won't sue you as long as you delete all the illegal Mp3s you have acquired, destroy any hard copies you may have made and sign a notarized amnesty form that includes promises to delete any illegally downloaded music and not participate in illegal file-trading in the future.

      Here's what's messed up about this deal:
      -You can still be sued by companies that are not members of the R.I.A.A.

      -Your name (and image, possibly) are entered into a database which identifies you as someone who has confessed to a crime. Who has control over this database? Who has access? Will there be any safeguards to prevent me from identifying my worst enemy as an infringer of copyright so that when they *do* catch him he'll have broken the law to a bigger extreme, since he agreed to never do it again?

      -You're confessing to crimes that haven't been charged (and might not be crimes at all) to a non-governmental entity. Technically, you're still at risk for Johnny Law to haul you in for copyright infringment all on his own.

      -The R.I.A.A.'s battle against file traders has thus far been against those who upload tracks-- this shift the emphasis to downloaders.

      -What if a miracle occurs and suddenly file trading is legal thanks to blanket liscences? Are those amnesty forms suddenly invalid?

      -Is there anything exactly stopping me from downloading every single track on Kazaa right now and then telling the R.I.A.A. "No harm, no foul" as I get off scott free?

      -What about the 1,600 folks who are in the process of being sued by the record industry? Why can't they get this deal?

      On the surface, the amnesty is a nice gesture. In practice, it really is for rubes and those not overly concerned with their civil liberties.

    • Senate Panel Deals Blow to Media Deregulation
      Woo-hoo! Read the story for full details. What's really interesting is that the Republican controlled House and Senate have passed version of this bill, which the Republican president is threatening to veto. Again, a small step in a long battle but it still is good to hear.

    • Firehouse Bassist Found Dead
      You what isn't a completely terrible song? Firehouse 's "Love of a Lifetime." It's really good cheese (types he who is currently listening to Journey's "Faithfully" and loving it non-ironically). But you know what is an awesome song that I probably still listen to once a week? Firehouse's "Don't Treat Me Bad." Seriously. I love that song. Anyway, R.I.P. and thanks for the memories from all of us here at The Blog.

    • Oakenfold Builds 'Great Wall' Of Remixes
      On Spet. 30, Paul Oakenfold will release Perfecto Presents ... Paul Oakenfold: Great Wall, a 2 CD mix set featuring remixes and original material. The set will include a re-mix of Madonna 's "Hollywood." Pre-order Perfecto Presents ... Paul Oakenfold: Great Wall by clicking here.

    • Jay-Z Prevented Sean Paul From Performing With Beyonce At VMAs
      Not surprising, but disapointing.

    posted by Randy on 1:08 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Thursday, September 04, 2003

      Universal Music is slashing their CD prices so that most of thier releases (outside of boxed sets, classical and Latin stuff) will sell for 10-12 bucks, depending on where you buy it. Here's the N.Y. Times take on it, and here is what the L.A. Timescame up with. Both require free registration.

      If you'd all take a moment now and sing along with me. You can be Johnny Mathis or Deniece Williams -- your choice.:

      "Too much, too little, too late to lie again with you
      Too much, too little, too late to try again with you
      We’re in the middle of ending something that we knew
      Too much, too little, too late to ever try again
      Too much, too little, too late, let's end it being friends
      Too much, too little, too late, we knew it had to end"

    • Appeals Court Blocks FCC's Bid to Relax Media Ownership Rules (L.A. Times free registration required.)
      Whoop whoop! This is the first victory in what is shaping up to be a really long battle, but I'll take it where I can get it. It is important to note, for example, that the judges issued this stay becuase the oncoming media merges would be difficult to undo if they were later found to be illegal-- not becasue the plantiffs in the case had such revolutionarly and compelling arguments that the judges were blown away.

    • NBC Everywhere?
      A very good breakdown of what the NBC/Universal merger will likely bring.

    • Sony to introduce online music service
      Next spring. I can offer no comment, really, since I work for an arm of Sony that isn't (yet) involved in this project. All I will say is, uh, hmmmmm: good luck.

    • Gwen Stefani Works On Solo LP With Outkast, Missy Elliott
      Nothing is set in stone yet, though, so the tracks they worked on might not make the final cut.

    • Coldplay Compiling Live CD, DVD
      Coming on Nov. 11. Both the CD and DVD will feature music from the group's July 21-22 concerts in Sydney, Australia. Noi pre-order link yet, sorry.

    posted by Randy on 2:47 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Wednesday, September 03, 2003

    • BMG Extends Talks With Warner Music
      *Sigh*-- I guess no one from Warner Music or BMG reads this blog. Just in case one pops by, I'll say it again-- this merger will only created a bigger dinosaur that will make a louder crashing noise when it finally dies. You'll get the economy of scale, sure, but in the long run smaller outfits and idividual artists using technolgy and old fashioned hustle will eat your lunch. At least that's how I see it.

    • Vivendi, GE Discuss Entertainment Merger
      The deal is basically n the bag: GE/NBC and Vivendi Universal will merge their entertainment assets (aside from Universal Music) to become NBC Universal. The deal would put NBC on par with competitors CBS, ABC, FOX and The WB in that they would have access to the talent, money, content and distribution/syndication power of a major Hollywood studio (CBS is owned by Viacom which owns Paramount while Disney owns ABC, FOX has got 20th Century Foxand The WB has Warner Bros.).

      While this is debatably a good move for both parties, it is a bad move for the Hollywood economy. With this move, it is now nearly impossible for a producer to put together a show independently and sell it to the networks and then make money on re-selling the distribution rights. With the studios and networks all now so closely alligned, most shows will be produced and owned in house. Even if an independent producer could scrape togehter a TV show to sell, they are more likely to now have to sell the syndication rights to the networks at the same time (which is why you see, for example, re-runs of "The West Wing," "Crossing Jordan" and "Boomtown" on NBC owned Bravo.

      NBC Universal will now own USA Network, The Sci-Fi Channel, my beloved Trio (if they fuck that channel up, I will kill them) and Newsworld International (another beloved channel of mine). This is in addition to NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, ShopNBC, Bravo and Telemundo. when you staret seeing NBC re-runs showing up on those channels-- well, now you know why.

      Sorry foir the long post. It just pissed me off that this happenbed. More choice is better, always and forever. Media consolidation sucks.

    • Ga. Police Search for Jagged Edge Member
      DeKalb County, Ga. authorities say they are looking for Kyle Norman, a member of R&B group Jagged Edge, after searching his home and finding two guns, 13 pounds of marijuana and about $6,000. The guns and the money are easy enough to explain away, but that's a lot of ganja.

    • Interpol, Keys, Cat Power Among Shortlist Finalists
      According to a celebrity and journalist filled panel, these are the ten best albums of the past year that have not sold 500,00 copies. Lasies and Gents-- The Shortlist:

      Interpol- Turn on the Bright Lights (Matador),
      Bright Eyes- Lifted or The Story Is In the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground (Saddle Creek)
      Cat Power- You Are Free (Matador)
      Floetry- Floetic (Dreamworks)
      The Black Keys- Thickfreakness (Fat Possum),
      Cody ChesnuTT- The Headphone Masterpiece (Ready Set Go)
      Damien Rice- O (Vector)
      Sigur Ros ( ) (MCA)
      The Streets- Original Pirate Material (Vice/Atlantic)
      The Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Fever To Tell (Interscope)

      Depending on my mood, my vote would go for The Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Cody ChesnuTT. I'll give a slight edge to The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, though-- there's no filler on Fever To Tell, while The Headphone Masterpiece has a bunch of short, half thought out tracks that could've used some tightening up or discarding all together.

      The prize will be presented Oct. 5 as part of a concert/ceremony at the Wiltern Theater in L.A. and taped for broadcast on MTV2 in mid-October. Performing at the cermony will be Interpol, Bright Eyes, Black Keys, Damien Rice and Cat Power and some surprise performances by some of "the listmakers." The winner of the prize get $5,000.

    • Rare Lennon, Police, Marley Clips Unearthed for DVD
      "The Old Gray Whistle Test" arrives on DVD on Sept. 16. featuring 28 vintage performances from artists like Tom Petty, Elton John, U2 and The Police and interviews with scads of others. Peep the article for full details and then pre-order it by clicking here.

    • For bikers, Rocket Man never took off
      Say you're throwing a concert that is expected to draw thousands of unruly bikers and the people who love them. Do you think it would be wise to keep the line-up of said concert a secret? Okay, maybe you would just to keep the excitement level kind of high. But then would you book Elton John as your headliner? Seems kind of a stretch, but it happened. No one was killed. Yet. (via

    • Trina Robbed Of $300,000 In Jewels, Clothes And Items
      Someone convinced a hotel clerk that he was Trina's manager, was let into her room and then made off with $300,000 worth of cash, jewlery and clothes. You Know Your Are Mainjg Too Much Money When: Someone can take $300,000 worht of your money and possessions and you are not out on the streets, begging for change. Seriously, that's a lot of cabbage and carrots to be traveling with.

    • Interview With ?uestlove of The Roots
      From The Believer. He touches on his theories about the development of hip-hop and his experiences working and touring with D'Angelo. It's long, but a really good read.

    • 'American Juniors' Axed
      Prrof that there may indeed be a God. (Not found via, but they had the same reaction I did.

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

    Tuesday, September 02, 2003

    This Week's Releases Of Note:

    Get Your Pre-Order On (Next Week's Releases of Note)

    posted by Randy on 2:30 PM | permanent link to this entry

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