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October 21, 2007
Nice New Acoustic Prince Song - Goes With His Nice New Experimental Music Business Models

Prince has been giving his cd away and coordinating it accordingly with his live performances.
Ars Technica article -- BBC

Here's his great new Acoustic song: Love.


Posted by Lisa at 09:51 PM
November 18, 2004
Check Out The Newest Wide Hive Release: Dissent's Swap Meet Seers

Hey sorry I haven't been posting much this week. You can get the Daily Show from November 10th here in the mean time, but I've been busy with our latest Wide Hive release, Dissent's
Swap Meet Seers.

There are 3 different songs available in their entirety
on the website
.

Check it out! I'd love to know what you think.

I'll be back getting more stuff up tomorrow, or the weekend.

Posted by Lisa at 09:19 AM
June 30, 2003
John Cougar Mellencamp Speaks Out

This interview could have been better (the guy could have asked better questions and stopped trying to pigeon hole Cougar's musical style -- I'm referring to the "are you the Creedence of today" line of questioning on page 3).

But no matter, at least someone gave John a chance to speak!

Ain't that America?
Denounced as un-American after he blasted Bush on his 21st album, John Mellencamp talks about the rise of Fox News, pay-for-play, what's wrong with the Rolling Stones and why most Republicans aren't rich enough to be Republicans.
By Eric Boehlert for Salon.


Salon: Talk about people's reaction to "To Washington."

John: Initially I was surprised. My album wasn't going to come out for a few months and I had the song
recorded so I put it up on my Web site and asked for people's comments. And there were some mean
damn comments coming back.

Salon: How about today?

John: It's changed. Now they're almost totally in favor of the song. Because people are starting to
realize, "Now wait a minute, what really happened in Iraq?" I see the climate changing
tremendously. But when people hear those drums of war pounding, and Fox News is showing it on
television, people got pretty riled up. People were afraid, and when people are afraid they make
emotional decisions.

Salon: Did that include people in your hometown of Bloomington, Ind.?

John: When the song first came out I was in the car one day and we were driving to the airport and I had
my kids with me and a radio station was playing "To Washington" and having callers call in. Some
guy comes on and says, "I don't know who I hate the most, John Mellencamp or Osama bin Laden." My
kids heard that and my 9-year-old said, "Dad, are they talking about you? Why are people mad at
you?"

... Salon: Were there discussions about not including the song on your record?

John: I was asked not to put it on the record.

Where did it go from there?

John: I think the people who asked me knew what my response would be, but they felt they had to ask. They
were polite about it.

Salon: Did they say it just didn't feel right, or the tone wasn't right for the record?

John: No, it was more, "You're asking for trouble, and look what happened to the Dixie Chicks, which was
based on just an offhand comment they made." And my point to them was, "Look, I'm John Mellencamp,
I've been doing this 25 years. For anybody to say I'm un-American is laughable."


Here is the full text of the article in case the link goes bad:

http://www.salon.com/ent/music/int/2003/06/30/mellencamp/index_np.html

page 1

Ain't that America? Denounced as un-American after he blasted Bush on his 21st album, John
Mellencamp talks about the rise of Fox News, pay-for-play, what's wrong with the Rolling Stones and
why most Republicans aren't rich enough to be Republicans.

- - - - - - - - - - - - By Eric Boehlert

June 30, 2003 | "The whole thing was surreal to me," says John Mellencamp. He's remembering the
three-month period during the winter and spring when America was wrestling with the notion of war
against Iraq. The roots-rocker found himself caught in the public fray after he released an antiwar
song at the height of the debate, with some radio listeners comparing him to Osama bin Laden.

It was a startling charge for the Hoosier recently dubbed "Mr. Middle America" by ABC News. After
nearly 30 years on the public stage, Mellencamp and his lunch-bucket rock and populist tales have
come to signify heartland values like faith, hard work and, yes, a healthy skepticism toward
authority. But anti-Americanism? "Get the fuck out of here," he scoffs.

His protest song "To Washington," with its thinly veiled jabs at President Bush, struck a chord
with listeners on the left and right alike. "Isn't it funny?" he asks. "A 51-year-old guy who's
made as many records as I have can still piss off the right wing."

Born in 1951 in Seymour, Ind., the son of a fundamentalist father and a Miss Indiana runner-up,
Mellencamp joined his first band at the age of 13. After graduation and a failed job installing
telephones for Indiana Bell, he landed a record contract despite, he says, having no discernible
talents. "I had a deal when I was a kid not because I could write songs or sing. It was the way I
looked," he says. "The idea of actually writing songs had not even dawned on me."


The songs, and the hits, came later, as Mellencamp honed his vocal and songwriting prowess and
fought his way onto portions of the pop charts usually not occupied by bar band singers. In 1986,
the top three selling artists of the year were Whitney Houston, Madonna and Mellencamp.

Through the years the headstrong Mellencamp has remained one of the few major recording artists not
to cash in by selling his songs for use in television commercials or to accept corporate
sponsorship for his concert tours, decisions that have cost him millions of dollars.

Wrapping his workmanlike rock in what he calls his "left-of-center" politics, in the '80s
Mellencamp teamed up with Willie Nelson to begin staging charity concerts and raise millions of
dollars for Farm-Aid. In 1989, at the height of commercial appeal, he penned "Jackie Brown," among
the most stinging indictments of American poverty ever put to record. ("We shame ourselves to watch
people like this live.")

As the late Timothy White, his good friend and the longtime editor of Billboard, wrote in 2001,
"Mellencamp's best music is rock 'n' roll stripped of all escapism, and it looks directly at the
messiness of life as it's actually lived. This is rock music that tells the truth on both its
composer and the culture he's observing."

More recently, Mellencamp has been tackling the topic of race relations. The title track to 2001's
"Cuttin' Heads" featured Chuck D. rapping about the word "nigger": "I connect the word with pain,
now some smile when they scream the name?/ Die, N-word, die. I want to live."

The album's second song, the sweet-sounding single "Peaceful World," was equally blunt: "Racism
lives in the U.S. today." Not exactly Top-40 fare.

While Mellencamp's radio hits in the '90s couldn't match such '80s anthems as "Pink Houses" and
"Lonely Ol' Night," they were always among the smartest on the airwaves, featuring his trademark
American Bandstand sound that's always easy to dance to: "Love and Happiness" (1991), "Human
Wheels" (1993), "Dance Naked" (1994), "Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)" (1996) and "Your Life
Is Now" (1998).

Mellencamp has amassed 29 Top-40 singles in a career spread over 21 albums, including his latest,
the steel-tipped, blues-flavored "Trouble No More."

As the years pass, however, it's gotten progressively harder for Mellencamp to get his music heard
on FM radio, or even VH1. "I was standing outside a restaurant the other night," he recalls with a
laugh. "And a guy, about 37, says, 'Man, are you John Mellencamp?' I said yeah. He said, 'I love
your songs,' and then he said, 'Did you stop making records?'"

Thanks to "To Washington," fans have been likelier to read about Mellencamp in the news pages than
the arts section. Originally written in 1903 as "White House Blues," a commentary on the 1901
assassination of President William McKinley, the folk classic has previously been updated as
political commentary by the Carter Family and Woody Guthrie. Mellencamp continued that tradition:

So a new man in the White House With a familiar name Said he had some fresh ideas But it's worse
now since he came From Texas to Washington.

During a recent phone call from South Carolina, Mellencamp talked at length about the song, his
politics and contemporary pop culture, as well as the ailing music industry.

Talk about people's reaction to "To Washington."

Initially I was surprised. My album wasn't going to come out for a few months and I had the song
recorded so I put it up on my Web site and asked for people's comments. And there were some mean
damn comments coming back.

How about today?

It's changed. Now they're almost totally in favor of the song. Because people are starting to
realize, "Now wait a minute, what really happened in Iraq?" I see the climate changing
tremendously. But when people hear those drums of war pounding, and Fox News is showing it on
television, people got pretty riled up. People were afraid, and when people are afraid they make
emotional decisions.

Did that include people in your hometown of Bloomington, Ind.?

When the song first came out I was in the car one day and we were driving to the airport and I had
my kids with me and a radio station was playing "To Washington" and having callers call in. Some
guy comes on and says, "I don't know who I hate the most, John Mellencamp or Osama bin Laden." My
kids heard that and my 9-year-old said, "Dad, are they talking about you? Why are people mad at
you?"

I just thought that was really jerky and wrong. Why would you play a song on the radio and tell
people to call up and say what they think about it. What is this? Is this like a football game?
Tit-for-tat? I don't like this sporting-event mentality to people's lives, which is basically what
it became.

In retrospect, there were only a handful of famous musicians who opposed the war in their music.
Were you surprised, or is it just not feasible today for artists to put out songs like that on
major record labels?

Major record companies don't want those songs. You know, when the record company heard "To
Washington," it was kind of like "Whoa, wait a minute. We don't want you to do this."
Understandably so, because this record was on the same label that has the Dixie Chicks and that had
just blown up in their face.

Were there discussions about not including the song on your record?

I was asked not to put it on the record.

Where did it go from there?

I think the people who asked me knew what my response would be, but they felt they had to ask. They
were polite about it.

Did they say it just didn't feel right, or the tone wasn't right for the record?

No, it was more, "You're asking for trouble, and look what happened to the Dixie Chicks, which was
based on just an offhand comment they made." And my point to them was, "Look, I'm John Mellencamp,
I've been doing this 25 years. For anybody to say I'm un-American is laughable."

But people have said that recently, haven't they?

Oh yeah. But who knows what people are going to say. I read a list of un-American people and there
was Jimmy Carter on there. He's probably the most honest president we've ever had, since I was
alive, and now he's un-American?

page 2

You said earlier that when people hear the drums of war they react out of fear. Were you surprised
at the heights the rhetoric reached this spring?

Well, the whole thing was surreal to me. I have watched Vietnam and a bunch of other skirmishes,
but I've never seen another point in time where I felt that McCarthyism was rearing its head. And
that's how I felt.

But I don't feel it now. These [pro-war] people are having a hard enough time defending what they
did in Iraq, they don't have time to fuck with anybody about being un-American now.

You also mentioned Fox News and the role they played during what you call that surreal period.
What's your take on how they covered the war?

Today's Daypass sponsored by Blue from American Express


Concord Records - For 30 years bringing you the best in independent jazz


I did an interview two weeks ago for Fox News. They invited me to come on their national news show
and talk about "Trouble No More." And I thought, well wait a minute, am I going to have to go on TV
and argue with somebody and defend myself? That's not my job. I'm a singer, a songwriter, I'm not
going to go on TV and debate and all that bullshit.

They said, "No, no, no. This is strictly about the record." So I said OK. So I go in there and they
ask me a few questions about the record. Then all of a sudden the guy says to me, "You wrote a song
that took some potshots at the president." I said, "Whoa, motherfucker! I didn't take any potshots
at anybody, that's not my style. I'm not yelling from the back of the crowd or giving somebody the
finger. That's not what I do." I said, "Listen, I wrote a song and got the lyrics out of any
newspaper in the country." He said, "Well, you saw what happened to the Dixie Chicks." I said,
"Listen, people have died in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and a bunch of
little wars in between so that people will have the freedom to speak out, and then the
administration gets on the news and says there's a price for freedom. Yeah, and these dead guys
have already paid for it. For people to drive by those women's houses [the Dixie Chicks] and call
them on the phone and threaten them is criminal. What the Dixie Chicks did was legal."

What's your take on George Bush?

Well, what I think of George Bush doesn't really matter, does it?

I think people would be interested to know.

I'm a songwriter. I kind of like the way he struts around sometimes. [Laughs.] Let's leave it at
that.

There was a recent story in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the gap between the facts and people's
perceptions about the war, about how a majority of Americans thought Saddam was behind the 9/11
attacks, and that a large portion thinks we found the weapons of mass destruction.

There's no point in even talking about people's perceptions. I'm always amazed at what people think
about me, just a dumb singer in a rock band, let alone some important topic. People are really
involved, and rightfully so, in their own lives. You can't say anything negative about people not
being informed, because they don't have time to be informed. It's a hard world to get a break in.

Have your politics changed much over the last 10 or 20 years?

I'm proud to say they haven't.

Do you think the country's politics have changed?

I'm un-proud to say I think they have.

Your parents were Democratic Party activists in Indiana, weren't they?

Oh, they were active locally, in our county. My mother campaigned for Bobby Kennedy. I was
surrounded by Democrats. And I don't understand, in this day and age -- most people who are
Republicans, they're not rich enough to be Republicans! I don't get it. My best friend is a
Republican. He and I vowed a couple months ago never to talk about politics again. He's just a
normal guy with a normal job and I've known him since I was 5 years old. But I just said to him,
"Man, you don't have enough money to be a Republican. How can you afford this?"

When your friend Timothy White died a year ago, you said that rock 'n' roll had lost its
conscience. What did you mean by that?

Tim would stand up against the record companies when he felt they needed to be stood up against. I
remember one day Tim called me and said, "John, you're not going to believe what just happened. You
know on your recording contract, how your songs and your albums revert back to you after 35 years?"
I said yeah. "Well, they don't anymore." I said, "What?" He said, "Yeah, it was pork in some bill
that just got signed." Well, come to find out they did it. But it got overturned.

One of the things I've noticed about your music videos over the years is their racial diversity. So
many of them feature both black and white people, and it's unusual, in a rock video, to see black
and white people side by side, especially if they're real people and not extras in a dance line.
I'm assuming that's not just a coincidence.

I'll tell you, when I wrote "Peaceful World," one of the problems I had with the record company was
that they didn't understand why I was even writing a song about racism in America today. I found
that reaction to be awe-inspiring. That they thought there was no problem in America. What? You
guys live in New York City and you don't see any race problems? Once I heard that I thought, "Oh
shit. They don't like the record."

Because of the content? The lyrics?

Yeah, because it was about racism. And it mentioned being politically correct. They had a long
laundry list of problems. Their complaint was, "You have this beautiful chorus ['Come on baby take
a ride with me/ I'm up from Indiana down to Tennessee'], why do you have to fill the song with
these things that will agitate people?" Well, that's what the song is.

Did they come around in the end?

No. That's why I left Columbia Records.

Because you didn't feel you could work with people who felt that way?

Because I always thought it wasn't the record company's job to like the song. I thought it was
their job to sell them. And I just didn't see the point of me arguing with people about the
material.

But the fact that the disagreement was about race relations, was that particularly upsetting? I
mean, it seems to be a topic that has been running through your music for years.

Yeah, and I don't think many people get it either. I think people look at me in a different way. If
Elvis Costello writes a great song, nobody is really surprised. He writes a lot of great songs. But
if John Mellencamp writes a great song it's like, "Wow, what the fuck?" So I'm kind of a Hoagy
Carmichael.

page 3

How about this: You're more the John Fogerty, the Creedence Clearwater Revival, of today?

Well, I was a kid and very much into music when Creedence was popular on the radio. Critics tore
those guys up. They tore poor John Fogerty up.

Because he wrote pop singles.

Yep. The rock critics were so mean to that guy. I never really understood it.

Today's Daypass sponsored by Blue from American Express


Concord Records - For 30 years bringing you the best in independent jazz


If you look back now, the Creedence catalog is just amazing.

There's just one great song after another.

But with Creedence, there's a much closer fit with you, right? Very roots -- there's something
uniquely American about that sound.

John Fogerty was an American original, no question about it. But in the moment of the late '60s, he
just didn't fit. But now you listen to those records, like "Fortunate Son" -- there was a guy who
was saying something, saying it plainly. It was plainly played. Very American. People just didn't
get it.

Do you think that comparison could apply to your career?

I don't know. I just don't even want to think about it, because if I start thinking about it I'll
get pissed off. See, that's what happened to John. John Fogerty, through a long list of reasons,
got so mad that he really couldn't make records anymore. He just got so sick and tired of
everything, and when you get sick and tired of everything you can't put things in a way where
you're trying to learn.

I heard that not long ago you added "Gimme Shelter" to your playlist. What's that about?

Yeah, a couple tours ago I was starting the show with that. I don't really know why I did that. I
just like playing the song, I guess. I really don't think much of the Rolling Stones these days. I
don't mean to come off sounding pompous but I just think, I don't know, some of the stuff the
Rolling Stones say and stand for today is a little too corporate for me.

What do they stand for, do you think?

I don't think they stand for anything. Being the oldest rock band, I guess. And, "Man, didn't we
write some great songs when we were kids." But there's too much American Express. Too corporate.
Listen, I got nothing against people making money, don't misunderstand me. If you can make money,
go make it.

Do advertisers even bother calling you to ask about using your songs in commercials?

Sometimes we still get calls. Tim [White] and I used to fight about it, too. Because there have
been some offers over the years I've almost done, big money. I remember once I said, "Tim, goddamn,
this is a song, why are we being so precious about it?" I was so close to taking the money, and he
said, "If you fucking do this I'll never speak to you again." [Laughs.] I hung up the phone and
told my wife, "I can't do this." I decided my relationship with Tim was more important than that.

Are there any songs of yours where you think, "I don't want to play them this year?"

I don't want to play "The Authority Song."

Why not?

It just seems a little juvenile. Don't get me wrong, I've got a lot of fucking juvenile songs:
"Hurt So Good." Mike Wanchic, who is my guitar player and public conscience, he'll actually stand
there and argue with me about it:

"What do you mean we're not playing 'The Authority Song'?"

"Mike, I don't want to play that song."

"But do you see the audience, do you see what happens when we start in on that song?"

"Yeah, but I don't care. They're fucking perking up and I want to throw up."

One of the biggest changes in the music business over the last five years has been the massive
consolidation of the companies that own radio stations and control the tour business. A few weeks
ago the FCC voted to allow major TV and newspaper owners to consolidate.

Now you know why Fox was so supportive of the war.

You think there was a connection there?

I don't think, I know.

What's your take on Clear Channel Communications and its influence on the radio and concert
business?

I'm not going to single out Clear Channel, but I just think that when you control so much ... When
a person owns the horse, the track and the other horses in the race, it's probably not going to be
a fair race.

Another topic that's come up lately is pay-for-play in the radio business -- the way artists and
labels actually get songs on the radio by paying indie middlemen. I was just wondering if you had
any thoughts about that process.

You might be surprised about how I feel about that: That's the way it's supposed to be.

In what sense?

That's the way the music business has always been. And to take that away from a business that has
never really operated aboveboard? [Laughs.] Listen, there is no way that you can devise it so that
people are not going to figure out how to get around it.

When it comes to getting songs on the radio?

Sure. There is no way it can be done. Look, in the '80s when people were paying openly to get songs
on the radio, here's the way it worked. "We want you to play this record and we're going to give
you a spiff [kickback] of $100 to get it on the radio." OK, the guy plays it for a week and says,
"I've been playing the song for a week and nobody likes it." "Well, here's $200 to play it next
week." They've been playing the song for two weeks and nobody likes it. Guess what, they're done
paying. It's over at that point. You cannot pay your way into having a hit. It won't happen. The
only thing you can pay your way into is having the opportunity to have a hit. If you don't pay, you
don't even have the opportunity. That's the way it should be done.

What about the folks who can't afford to have an opportunity?

I hate to be cruel about it, but that's the way it's always been. Look, you're talking to a guy
right now who doesn't have a chance [of getting on FM rock radio]. What am I going to do about it?
What's Tom Petty going to do about it? We could write "God Bless America" and nobody wants to play
it. It doesn't matter what we do.

You've always been pretty upfront about the fact that you were playing this game to be on Top-40
radio, to have hits. Meaning if you're going to put time into a project, you might as well have as
many people hear it as possible.

You're right. I always said there's no reason to make these records if nobody's going to hear them.
What's the point, unless you can do something positive with the song, or entertain people? These
things are too hard to make, they take too long, they cost too much money and there's no reason to
make them unless the record company is going to support you and try to sell the fucking thing.

Is this your last album?

I don't know. Listen, I never planned anything in my life. It depends what comes my way. I'm not
out looking for a record deal. I'm not calling anybody up. I don't have anybody who represents me
calling people up. But I would imagine I'd make another record.

You've been doing this for a long time. If you do leave the stage, do you think it's not a bad time
to do it, considering all those things you just said?

Look, my reward for "Trouble No More" has already happened. The fact we had so much fun making that
record. It was challenging. It was interesting. That was reward enough. It would be like my
painting. I don't paint for anything other than enjoyment. I look at other artists like Neil Young,
that's the way he lives. I admire the guy. I don't know what goes on in his private conversations
with his manager, but I see Neil and he doesn't care. He doesn't go on television. He doesn't
promote these records. If they sell half a million or they sell 3 million, it's all the same to
Neil.

You're not there, though, mentally?

I'm not there yet, but that doesn't mean I won't get there. Let's not forget I'm the luckiest guy
in the world.

So you've had a good time?

Did I have fun in the music business? Are you kidding me? More fun than most guys deserve to have
in their life. I have laughed so hard at myself that I couldn't get up off the floor.


Posted by Lisa at 05:51 AM
April 06, 2003
Paul, The Pope And Lady Madonna

Paul McCartney agrees to take his show down a couple notches because it might be within the Pope's earshot. Then he made a funny about only playing mellow songs that the Pope would like anyway. Like Lady Madonna, which is neither mellow in tempo nor of a subject matter the Pope would necessarily approve of...

This clip is from KTVU Channel 2 News In San Francisco.

Paul McCartney and The Pope Make The News (Small - 2 MB)
Paul McCartney and The Pope Make The News (Hi-res 27 MB)

LADY MADONNA - BEATLES

lady madonna, children at your feet
wonder how you manage to make ends meet
who finds the money when you pay the rent
did you think that money was heaven sent?

friday night arrives without a suitcase
sunday morning creeping like a nun
monday's child has learned to tie his bootlace
see how they run

lady madonna, baby at your breast
wonders how you manage to feed the rest

see how they run

lady madonna, lying on the bed
listen to the music playing in your head

tuesday after is never ending
wednesday morning papers didn't come
thrusday night your stockings needed mending
see how they run

lady madonna, children at your feet
wonder how manage to make ends meet


Posted by Lisa at 11:42 AM
March 28, 2003
Beautiful Little Blogging Anthem

I think this song really captures the essence of blogging quite well, actually:

Ben and Mena

StevenF says "As far as I know, it's the first, and hopefully the last ever song about web logging." It may be the first, but I can guarantee that it won't be the last... (MP3 - 4 MB)


Blank page, nothin' to say
Just pictures of my cats today
Thought about the war a bunch
Now let me tell you what I had for lunch

Boys all hate me, my girlfriend dumped me
They're bombing Iraq, my oatmeal's lumpy
Wi-Fi networks in Central Park
Funny Photoshops up on Fark

(Chorus)
I wanna be Ben, I wanna be Mena
If only for a moment or two
I wanna be Cory, I'll even be Winer
If that's what I gotta do

I wanna be Ben, I wanna be Mena
The master of my domain
So send me a ping, send me a trackback
I promise I won't complain

Referers say no-one came today...

That perfect link I hope to find
Check MetaFilter for the 40th time
I left a comment, I hope you see
How this issue pertains to me

Semantic web, RSS, and e-mail
Single white guy seeks athletic female
I'm busy building the digital commons
Cook me up another bowl of ramen

Here is the entire text of the link in case it goes bad:

http://stevenf.com/mt/archives/000238.php#000238

March 24, 2003
Caterwaul

Hey, speaking of not having anything to blog about, here is a song (3.8 MB) I put together a few weeks ago using Reason with some other bits of hardware and software. It relays the epic saga of a lonely everyblogger who dreams of finding the ultimate link that will catapult his puny blog into the limelight.

As far as I know, it's the first, and hopefully the last ever song about web logging. Headphones recommended, don't scare your co-workers. Listeners will be delighted to know that I don't plan to give up my programming career to become a recording artist.

For lyrics, click "More..." link.

(Hey does this count as "audblogging"? *shudder*)
Ben & Mena (S. Frank)

Blank page, nothin' to say
Just pictures of my cats today
Thought about the war a bunch
Now let me tell you what I had for lunch

Boys all hate me, my girlfriend dumped me
They're bombing Iraq, my oatmeal's lumpy
Wi-Fi networks in Central Park
Funny Photoshops up on Fark

(Chorus)
I wanna be Ben, I wanna be Mena
If only for a moment or two
I wanna be Cory, I'll even be Winer
If that's what I gotta do

I wanna be Ben, I wanna be Mena
The master of my domain
So send me a ping, send me a trackback
I promise I won't complain

Referers say no-one came today...

That perfect link I hope to find
Check MetaFilter for the 40th time
I left a comment, I hope you see
How this issue pertains to me

Semantic web, RSS, and e-mail
Single white guy seeks athletic female
I'm busy building the digital commons
Cook me up another bowl of ramen

(Alt. Chorus)
I wanna be Ben, I wanna be Mena
If only for a moment or two
I wanna be Haughey, I'll even be Stile
If that's what I gotta do

I wanna be Ben, I wanna be Mena
The master of my domain
So send me a ping, send me a trackback
I promise I won't complain

Referers say no-one came today...

(Repeat Chorus)

----

Posted by Lisa at 12:42 PM
March 23, 2003
Michael Moore Directs New 'System Of A Down' War Protest Video



System Of A Down: Boom! Video and News Blog

Posted by Lisa at 05:24 PM
March 19, 2003
Natalie Merchant Decides To Break Free From Traditional Music Industry Ball and Chains

Natalie Merchant, No Strings Attached
By Jon Pareles for the NY Times.

When her Elektra contract expired in August 2002, she chose not to renew it or to seek a deal with another major label. "I would make a big-budget pop album, followed by a year of touring and promotion and then some downtime for recovery," she said. "I don't even know if I was writing music that was appropriate for that mold." Instead she will release her next album, a collection of traditional songs called "The House Carpenter's Daughter," on her own label, Myth America Records. It is to be released June 1 through Ms. Merchant's Web site, nataliemerchant .com, and July 1 in stores.

Recorded on a modest budget, marketed primarily to existing fans and not relying on radio exposure, "The House Carpenter's Daughter" breaks free of the commercial pressures that have turned major-label releases into risky gambles that can cost a million dollars in promotion alone. In contrast, Ms. Merchant's transition suggests the model of a sustainable career for a musician who is no longer eager to chase hits.


Here is the full text of the article in case the link goes bad:

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/13/arts/music/13NATA.html


Natalie Merchant, No Strings Attached
By JON PARELES

Natalie Merchant has stepped off the pop treadmill. After 17 years with Elektra Records, first as the main songwriter and singer of 10,000 Maniacs and then with million-selling solo albums of her reflective folk-rock, Ms. Merchant decided to go it alone.

When her Elektra contract expired in August 2002, she chose not to renew it or to seek a deal with another major label. "I would make a big-budget pop album, followed by a year of touring and promotion and then some downtime for recovery," she said. "I don't even know if I was writing music that was appropriate for that mold." Instead she will release her next album, a collection of traditional songs called "The House Carpenter's Daughter," on her own label, Myth America Records. It is to be released June 1 through Ms. Merchant's Web site, nataliemerchant .com, and July 1 in stores.

Recorded on a modest budget, marketed primarily to existing fans and not relying on radio exposure, "The House Carpenter's Daughter" breaks free of the commercial pressures that have turned major-label releases into risky gambles that can cost a million dollars in promotion alone. In contrast, Ms. Merchant's transition suggests the model of a sustainable career for a musician who is no longer eager to chase hits.

"The business is going one way, and Natalie's going another," said her manager, Gary Smith, also the general manager of Myth America.

Ms. Merchant has little to lose. "I'm in a privileged position," she said by telephone from Hawaii, where she lives part of the year; she also has a home in upstate New York. "I'm beyond financially independent. I had a lot of success, and I gathered together a very large audience. And I was in a rare position, because my material was unorthodox as the pop-hit mold went, but I was able to sell multiplatinum albums and have relatively large hits."

When a musician is signed to a label, the company pays for recording and promotion, then recoups expenses from the musician's royalties while retaining ownership of the finished recordings. (Elektra still owns Ms. Merchant's catalog; Rhino Records, distributed by the AOL Time Warner conglomerate that includes Elektra, is releasing a 10,000 Maniacs retrospective this summer.) A label also uses its expertise and clout to market and distribute an album.

Ms. Merchant paid for recording and packaging "The House Carpenter's Daughter," including the $3.50 manufacturing cost of an elaborate box for the first 30,000 copies. (The CD will sell for $16.95.) The special package "was printed in America for three times the price in Hong Kong," Ms. Merchant said.

"It's just not in keeping with American business practice right now," she added.

Even so, "The House Carpenter's Daughter" needs to sell only 50,000 copies to break even, less than 15 percent of what "Motherland," her last album for Elektra, sold.

"We're not trying to recoup some enormous debt," Mr. Smith said. "The economics of making this record are very prudent. When we sell 200,000 copies, we'll be standing on our chairs, hollering. If we released this record with these kinds of goals on a major label, we would look like a failure. At Elektra, if you just sell 1.5 million, everyone goes around with their heads down."

Ms. Merchant is not the first well-known musician to become independent. Prince, after battling Warner Records over his desire to release more music in a year than the label thought it could market, started his own company, NPG, and has since released double- and triple-CD sets at whim. Todd Rundgren markets his music directly to subscribers to his Web site, patronet.com.

"For those already through the door, doing it on your own is incredibly viable," said Jay Rosenthal, a music-business lawyer who represents the Recording Artists' Coalition. "It's going to be very attractive, and it's going to be a viable alternative even for bands who are doing well. The only reason to go to the major labels is to get your songs on the radio, to go for the promo money. If you don't need to get on the radio, and you've got a name, go out there and go for yourself. If there's any moment that artists should do it, it's now, before things get worse."

He added that some musicians would have no choice, as he expected major labels to cut their rosters by 30 to 50 percent in the next year...

Posted by Lisa at 10:12 AM
March 18, 2003
Crux Of The Dixie Chicks Situation

This situation just goes to show that it was the Music Programming layer of the system, not the listener layer, that pulled the Dixie Chicks from station playlists over Natalie's statements.

That's the issue here: programmers took it upon themselves to censor the Chicks before listeners had a chance to say anything. That's where the McCarthyism parallel kicks in. The Chicks got blacklisted by a few key people within a Monopolized Media: not by infuriated listeners.

Many thanks to Dale Carter, programming director at KFKF/Kansas City for rethinking the situation and speaking out on this important issue!


Country Radio Still Weighing Chicks Controversy


One major market programmer removed the Chicks from his station's playlist but changed his mind after considering why Americans have fought previous wars. In a letter to listeners posted on the KFKF/Kansas City Web site, program director Dale Carter wrote, "Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are over there fighting for our rights -- and one of those is our Constitutional right to express an unpopular opinion. The longer this has gone on, the more I had visions of censorship and McCarthyism. Two wrongs don't make a right. I agree with the 80 percent of you who abhor what Natalie said in London. On the other hand, I believe in the Constitution."

Here is the full text of the article in case the link goes bad:

http://www.cmt.com/news/feat/dchicks.031403.jhtml


Dixie Chicks
Country Radio Still Weighing Chicks Controversy

Calvin Gilbert
03/14/2003


With heated debate continuing over Natalie Maines' comment about President George W. Bush, country radio listeners may be determining the Dixie Chicks' future -- at least for the short term.

Just like postings on Internet message boards, phone calls to radio stations have been hot and heavy in the aftermath of the Texas-based trio's Monday night (March 10) concert in London. During the concert, Maines told the crowd, "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." The band later posted an explanation on their official Web site outlining their views of a possible war with Iraq.

Some radio stations immediately dropped the Dixie Chicks from their playlist after news surfaced of Maines' remark. Rumors were circulating Friday afternoon (March 14) that one sizable chain of stations would be initiating a boycott of Chicks titles during the weekend. Most, however, appear to be taking a "wait and see" attitude as they seek input from their listeners. Several stations are running polls and asking for additional comments via their Web sites.

The Chicks' "Travelin' Soldier," is No. 1 on Billboard's latest country singles chart, but weekend boycotts at major market stations could easily prevent the track from remaining at the top when the next chart is compiled Monday (March 17).

"They're about where they were at this point last week, as far as spins," Billboard country charts editor Wade Jessen told CMT.com. "But with three more days left to go, depending on what happens, they could either stay at one or they'll get knocked out. At this point in the week, they're maintaining their airplay on 'Travelin' Soldier,' but we won't know until Monday morning what it looks like."

Noting that Americans were more unified in the early '90s during Operation Desert Storm, Jessen adds, "I think this is new territory, and it's very, very sensitive and very emotional. It's particularly sensitive in the country format because we're really where patriotism lives. Country is the format with the audience that expects patriotism. But at this time in the nation's history, there's a lot of confusion over just what patriotism is and what constitutes it."

In Bush's hometown of Midland, Texas, radio station KNFM's Web site offers a direct link to The Guardian, the London newspaper that first reported Maines' remark. The station has also stopped playing Dixie Chicks music as part of an on-air promotion billed as "Chicks Free -- Texas Pride Weekend." KNFM operations manager John Moesch said, "Natalie Maines certainly has the right to say whatever she wants, but it doesn't mean that the KNFM listener family here in George W. Bush's hometown have to listen."

Elsewhere in Texas, online polls are being conducted by KILT and KKBQ in Houston and at KSCS in Dallas. The KSCS poll has a bit of a disclaimer: "At 96.3 KSCS we disagree with her [Maines]. We're not only proud to be from Texas, but we're proud of President George W. Bush and the fact that he is from Texas."

One major market programmer removed the Chicks from his station's playlist but changed his mind after considering why Americans have fought previous wars. In a letter to listeners posted on the KFKF/Kansas City Web site, program director Dale Carter wrote, "Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are over there fighting for our rights -- and one of those is our Constitutional right to express an unpopular opinion. The longer this has gone on, the more I had visions of censorship and McCarthyism. Two wrongs don't make a right. I agree with the 80 percent of you who abhor what Natalie said in London. On the other hand, I believe in the Constitution."

Carter concluded, "In light of what our men and women are about to do, this whole controversy is very small. Let me close with the most important sentiments any of us can express: God bless our troops, pray for the people of Iraq and may God continue to bless the United States of America."


Posted by Lisa at 09:09 PM
March 15, 2003
Dixie Chicks Stand By Their Standments

Dixie Chick Explains Bush Bash


"I feel the President is ignoring the opinions of many in the US and alienating the rest of the world.

"My comments were made in frustration and one of the privileges of being an American is you are free to voice your own point of view."

Here is the full text of the article in case the link goes bad:

http://kvet.com/script/headline_newsmanager.php?id=128626&pagecontent=musicnewscountry

Dixie Chick Explains Bush Bash

A member of country group The Dixie Chicks is clarifying slating remarks she made about President George W. Bush.

Singer Natalie Maines reportedly told the crowd at a London concert "Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas."

Her comments - which reportedly had the audience cheering - were reproduced in a review by British newspaper 'The Guardian.'

On the "There's Your Trouble" Texan band's website, Maines says, "We've been overseas for several weeks and have been reading and following the news accounts of our government's position. The anti-American sentiment that has unfolded here is astounding."

"I feel the President is ignoring the opinions of many in the US and alienating the rest of the world.

"My comments were made in frustration and one of the privileges of being an American is you are free to voice your own point of view."

But Maines is much more supportive of the United States troops.

She adds, "While we support our troops, there is nothing more frightening than the notion of going to war with Iraq and the prospect of all the innocent lives that will be lost."

Posted by Lisa at 06:23 PM
Dixie Chicks Under Attack For Expressing Their Views Against The War

The Dixie Chicks have been blacklisted out of major radio rotation for expressing their views about the Shrub.

So when you're calling the radio stations to request the new Beastie Boys and John Cougar Mellencamp Anti-war songs, you can also let them know that you'd appreciate hearing some Dixie Chicks!

Dixie Chicks pulled from air after bashing Bush


Country stations across the United States have pulled the Chicks from playlists following reports that lead singer Natalie Maines said in a concert in London earlier this week that she was "ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."

Station managers said their decisions were prompted by calls from irate listeners who thought criticism of the president was unpatriotic...

One station in Kansas City, Missouri held a Dixie "chicken toss" party Friday morning, where Chick critics were encouraged to dump the group's tapes, CDs and concert tickets into trash cans.

Houston country station KILT pulled the band's records from its playlist -- at least temporarily -- after 77 percent of people polled on its Web site said they supported the move.

"We've got them off the air for right now," said Jeff Garrison, program director at KILT, which is owned by Viacom's Infinity Broadcasting Corp.

"People are shocked. They cannot believe Texas' own have attacked the state and the president," Garrison said.

Lead singer Maines said in a statement she felt the president was ignoring the opinions of many in the United States and alienating the rest of the world by pushing for war with Iraq.

"We've been overseas for several weeks and have been reading and following the news accounts of our government's position. The anti-American sentiment that has unfolded here is astounding," Maines said...

The Chicks have the number one country album in the United States on the Billboard charts called "Home" and the No. 1 single with "Travelin' Soldier", which is about a U.S. soldier who fought in Vietnam.

Here is the full text of the article in case the link goes bad:

http://www.cnn.com/2003/SHOWBIZ/Music/03/14/dixie.chicks.reut/

Dixie Chicks pulled from air after bashing Bush

Friday, March 14, 2003 Posted: 7:45 PM EST (0045 GMT)
The Dixie Chicks: Emily Robison, left, Natalie Maines, center, and Martie Maguire
The Dixie Chicks: Emily Robison, left, Natalie Maines, center, and Martie Maguire
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DALLAS, Texas (Reuters) -- There are a lot worse things in country music than your wife leaving you or your dog dying. There's stations not playing your music because you done gone and said some things against the president.

Music superstars the Dixie Chicks are finding out that criticizing President Bush's plans for war in Iraq can cost you air play, big time.

Country stations across the United States have pulled the Chicks from playlists following reports that lead singer Natalie Maines said in a concert in London earlier this week that she was "ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."

Station managers said their decisions were prompted by calls from irate listeners who thought criticism of the president was unpatriotic.

The group, which got its start in Texas, was one of the darlings of this year's Grammy Awards. The three-woman band that blends blue grass and pop hooks has spawned legions of fans who embrace the ideals of strong women celebrated in some of the trio's songs.

One station in Kansas City, Missouri held a Dixie "chicken toss" party Friday morning, where Chick critics were encouraged to dump the group's tapes, CDs and concert tickets into trash cans.

Houston country station KILT pulled the band's records from its playlist -- at least temporarily -- after 77 percent of people polled on its Web site said they supported the move.

"We've got them off the air for right now," said Jeff Garrison, program director at KILT, which is owned by Viacom's Infinity Broadcasting Corp.

"People are shocked. They cannot believe Texas' own have attacked the state and the president," Garrison said.

Lead singer Maines said in a statement she felt the president was ignoring the opinions of many in the United States and alienating the rest of the world by pushing for war with Iraq.

"We've been overseas for several weeks and have been reading and following the news accounts of our government's position. The anti-American sentiment that has unfolded here is astounding," Maines said.

One of the country stations in Dallas that helped champion the Chicks when they were scraping by in that city playing gigs on street corners for tips, "99.5 The Wolf," said they are listening to the listener's views but do not think it is right to immediately jump on the bandwagon and stop playing the Chicks, said program director Paul Williams.

Williams said it is too early to tell how strong a backlash may develop against the Chicks. He said the comments touched a deep nerve in Texas because they came from one of the biggest country groups to come out of the state and were directed at a president who calls Texas home.

"The listener outlash is probably bigger here than anywhere else," William said.

The Chicks have the number one country album in the United States on the Billboard charts called "Home" and the No. 1 single with "Travelin' Soldier", which is about a U.S. soldier who fought in Vietnam.

Posted by Lisa at 05:48 PM
March 14, 2003
John Cougar Mellencamp Releases Anti-war Song

And he's giving it away for free! (just like the beasties)
Updated June 15, 2003 - The Video has been released
To Washington
By John Cougar Mellencamp


TO WASHINGTON
Eight years of peace and prosperity
Scandal in the White House
An election is what we need
From coast-to-coast to Washington

So America voted on a president
No one kept count
On how the election went
From Florida to Washington

Goddamn, said one side
And the other said the same
Both looked pretty guilty
But no one took the blame
From coast-to-coast to Washington

So a new man in the White House
With a familiar name
Said he had some fresh ideas
But it's worse now since he came
From Texas to Washington

And he wants to fight with many
And he says it's not for oil
He sent out the National Guard
To police the world
From Baghdad to Washington

What is the thought process
To take a humans life
What would be the reason
To think that this is right
From heaven to Washington
From Jesus Christ to Washington

Posted by Lisa at 10:24 AM
March 12, 2003
Beasties Post Anti-War Song!

I was wondering who was going to be the first popular musical act to write a song taking a stand against the war. Turns out it's one of my favorites!

Thanks guys! I love you for this.

In A World Gone Mad

Now we all have to start calling radio stations to demand
request that they play this song!

Check out the lyrics!


Mirrors, smokescreens and lies
Itís not the politicians but their actions I despise
You and Saddam should kick it like back in the day
With the cocaine and Courvoisier
But you build more bombs as you get more bold
As your mid-life crisis war unfolds
All you want to do is take control
Now put that axis of evil bullshit on hold
Citizen rule number 2080
Politicians are shady
So people watch your back 'cause I think they smoke crack
I donít doubt it look at how they act...

Itís time to lead the way and de-escalate
Lose the weapons of mass destruction and the hate
Say ooh ah whatís the White House doiní?
Oh no! Say, what in tarnation have they got brewing??!!!!???!!
Well Iím not pro Bush and Iím not pro Saddam
We need these fools to remain calm
George Bush youíre looking like Zoolander
Trying to play tough for the camera
What am I on crazy pills? Weíve got to stop it
Get your hand out my grandmaís pocket
We need health care more than going to war
You think itís democracy theyíre fighting for?

Here is the full text of the lyrics at:

http://beastieboys.com/song_lyrics.html

In a World Gone Mad

In a world gone mad itís hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

Mirrors, smokescreens and lies
Itís not the politicians but their actions I despise
You and Saddam should kick it like back in the day
With the cocaine and Courvoisier
But you build more bombs as you get more bold
As your mid-life crisis war unfolds
All you want to do is take control
Now put that axis of evil bullshit on hold
Citizen rule number 2080
Politicians are shady
So people watch your back 'cause I think they smoke crack
I donít doubt it look at how they act

In a world gone mad itís hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

First the ĎWar On Terrorí now war on Iraq
Weíre reaching a point where we canít turn back
Letís lose the guns and letís lose the bombs
And stop the corporate contributions that their built upon
Well Iíll be sleeping on your speeches Ďtil I start to snore
ĎCause I wonít carry guns for an oil war
As-Salamu alaikum, wa alaikum assalam
Peace to the Middle East peace to Islam
Now donít get us wrong Ďcause we love America
But thatís no reason to get hysterica
Theyíre layiní on the syrup thick
We ainít waffles we ainít haviní it

In a world gone mad itís hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

Now how many people must get killed?
For oil families pockets to get filled?
How many oil families get killed?
Not a damn one so whatís the deal?

Itís time to lead the way and de-escalate
Lose the weapons of mass destruction and the hate
Say ooh ah whatís the White House doiní?
Oh no! Say, what in tarnation have they got brewing??!!!!???!!
Well Iím not pro Bush and Iím not pro Saddam
We need these fools to remain calm
George Bush youíre looking like Zoolander
Trying to play tough for the camera
What am I on crazy pills? Weíve got to stop it
Get your hand out my grandmaís pocket
We need health care more than going to war
You think itís democracy theyíre fighting for?

In a world gone mad itís hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

Posted by Lisa at 10:08 AM
March 07, 2003
Hip Hop TV Show Launches New Web-based Programming Model


Pseudo spins hip-hop TV show on Kazaa

By Stefanie Olsen for CNET.


Digital broadcaster Pseudo.com plans to release a weekly TV show hosted by rap star Ice-T on the Internet file-sharing network Kazaa, in attempts to start a new model of advertising-supported television.

Pseudo President Edward Salzano said Thursday that the show--a feature on hip-hop culture called "One Nation"--will be available exclusively to Kazaa's roughly 60 million registered users beginning in the next two weeks. People using Kazaa to trade video, audio and text files will be able to download a new episode of the hour-long show weekly and watch it anytime.

Free to Kazaa users, the show will be supported through advertising in the form of commercials and product placements, Salzano said. Pseudo.com, which is owned by New York-based INTV, has already signed on soft-drink maker Red Bull as a sponsor.

"We believe there's a lot of money that is going to people it shouldn't be going to such as studios, producers and advertising agencies," Salzano said. "But that money should be going directly from the fans to the artist, so we're trying to come up with ways to make it legitimate and affordable to do that."

Here is the full text of the entire article in case the link goes bad:

http://news.com.com/2100-1027-991396.html?tag=fd_top


CNET tech sites: Price comparisons | Product reviews | Tech news | Downloads | Site map
Front PageEnterpriseE-BusinessCommunicationsMediaPersonal TechnologyInvestor

Click Here.

Pseudo spins hip-hop TV show on Kazaa

By Stefanie Olsen
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
March 6, 2003, 11:00 AM PT

Digital broadcaster Pseudo.com plans to release a weekly TV show hosted by rap star Ice-T on the Internet file-sharing network Kazaa, in attempts to start a new model of advertising-supported television.

Pseudo President Edward Salzano said Thursday that the show--a feature on hip-hop culture called "One Nation"--will be available exclusively to Kazaa's roughly 60 million registered users beginning in the next two weeks. People using Kazaa to trade video, audio and text files will be able to download a new episode of the hour-long show weekly and watch it anytime.

Free to Kazaa users, the show will be supported through advertising in the form of commercials and product placements, Salzano said. Pseudo.com, which is owned by New York-based INTV, has already signed on soft-drink maker Red Bull as a sponsor.

"We believe there's a lot of money that is going to people it shouldn't be going to such as studios, producers and advertising agencies," Salzano said. "But that money should be going directly from the fans to the artist, so we're trying to come up with ways to make it legitimate and affordable to do that."

The move flies in the face of the entertainment industry's long history of fighting file-sharing networks such as Kazaa and former highflier Napster, which are thought of by Hollywood as black markets for Web surfers to trade pirated music and film files. As a result, many major film studios and music labels have filed lawsuits against the networks, which resulted in successfully shutting down Napster.

Still, others are trying to find a way to use peer-to-peer communities for legitimate business and marketing because of the wide reach among media-obsessed audiences. For example, Microsoft partnered last year with film studio Lions Gate to release a trailer for the movie "Rules of Attraction" through Kazaa. Brilliant Digital Entertainment-owned Altnet also has developed a way to package content on Kazaa so that rights holders can receive revenue through the sale of products featured in the content, among other sales opportunities.

"There's a legitimate content market developing on peer-to-peer networks," said Ben Reneker, associate analyst with Kagan World Media, a research firm based in Carmel, Calif.

"Pseudo's idea is a powerful concept because peer-to-peer networks have such lucrative demographics in terms of media consumption," he said. "The question and reason that this may not take off is because the content owners are the most opposed to these networks because they see them as major hemorrhage for revenues."

Still, Pseudo's Salvano said, it's time for the entertainment industry to embrace new forms of distribution.

"The entertainment industry has to get it together and use the technology to their advantage," he said.

"One Nation" will feature the artists, culture and history of hip-hop, with Ice-T as its regular host. Salvano said that it's being filmed with digital cameras and encoded with MPEG-2 technology.

Pseudo.com was launched nearly nine years ago as an Internet chat company and began broadcasting original Web video programming in 1997. In 2001, it went bankrupt after failing to secure new funding. In January 2001, INTV bought the assets of Pseudo Programs for $2 million, including its patented interactive operating system, called Daisy. The system gives multiple producers the ability to publish Web video, chat rooms, polls, e-commerce and advertising on a Web site.

Posted by Lisa at 02:06 PM
February 22, 2003
Great White Rider On Smoking Gun

via The Smoking Gun --
Turns out the band's rider had no mention of pyrotechnics whatsoever.

I used to get worried about this stuff when I went to a lot of rock shows in the 80's and early 90's.

Often, I'd be taking pictures in the pit in front of the stage when things went off -- and there didn't seem to be anyone in charge, or nearly enough safety people. (Or *any* safety people, for that matter.)

I seemed to be the only one who was worried about it. I finally stopped going to a lot of these shows because I wasn't into the loud explosions anymore, which apparently came into fashion in the early-to-mid-90's.

I hope this will deter other bands from using pyrotechnics unsafely. (Or at all for that matter -- which is safest. I personally don't think they belong in enclosed areas whatsoever, but I'm a ninny.)

I do also hope that the public shows mercy to Mr. Russell. Apparently, he hasn't been arrested or anything, yet. Strangely enough. So maybe I'm worried for nothing...Maybe it's just a horrible accident and no one's responsible. But I have a feeling there are 95 sets of parents that aren't going to feel that way.

Great White Rider


TSG today (2/21) obtained copies of the band's rider from two separate promoters who booked shows by the group during the past month. A copy of the Great White performance specs can be found below. A third promoter, Domenic Santana, told TSG that the band set off a pyrotechnic display without his permission during a show in Asbury Park, New Jersey last Friday (2/14), putting the "lives of a lot of people in danger." Santana, owner of the Stone Pony, said that he "had no idea" that pyrotechnics were part of the rock band's show and pointed to Great White's standard performance rider, which makes no reference to pyrotechnic displays...

Owners of The Station, the Rhode Island club where scores perished, this afternoon released a statement claiming that they, too, were never told about Great White's pyrotechnic plans.


I've even seen Great White a couple times - during the "Sirens" and "Hall of the Mountain King" tours. Note: Yes, of course the "Sirens" show was better than the second one) -- but my point is that they used unsupervised pyrotechnics even back then. They've been doing it for twenty years! (Oops. I was confusing Savatage with Great White. Ouch. How the hell I did that I dunno. Both high school bands to me at the time, I suppose. Many apologies to Savatage -- please be assured I've kicked my own ass several times and I promise I'll never make the same mistake again.)

Here is the full text of the article at:

http://thesmokinggun.com/doc_o_day/greatwhite1.html

The band Great White's performance rider contains no mention whatsoever of pyrotechnics being used during the rock group's current tour of clubs and small theaters, The Smoking Gun has learned. TSG today (2/21) obtained copies of the band's rider from two separate promoters who booked shows by the group during the past month. A copy of the Great White performance specs can be found below. A third promoter, Domenic Santana, told TSG that the band set off a pyrotechnic display without his permission during a show in Asbury Park, New Jersey last Friday (2/14), putting the "lives of a lot of people in danger." Santana, owner of the Stone Pony, said that he "had no idea" that pyrotechnics were part of the rock band's show and pointed to Great White's standard performance rider, which makes no reference to pyrotechnic displays. Last night, at least 95 concertgoers were killed and 170 people were hurt at a West Warwick, Rhode Island show when the club erupted in flames following a pyrotechnic display during the group's opening song. Owners of The Station, the Rhode Island club where scores perished, this afternoon released a statement claiming that they, too, were never told about Great White's pyrotechnic plans. (9 pages)

Posted by Lisa at 07:26 AM
January 28, 2003
Ogg Vorbis = Community

MusicBrainz' Robert Kaye is mouthing off again. (And making sense, as usual.)

The bottom line is that Ogg Vorbis is the only format we can really trust to be patent and royalty-free.


What exactly can we expect from an open platform? Does that mean that they will offer Ogg/Vorbis downloads? Ogg/Vorbis is just about the only truly free codec that is available -- everything else is encumbered by patents or other crazy royalty schemes.

Even classic MP3 doesn't fit this anymore since FHG/Thomson have started collecting royalties. So, Echo, if you are listening, please make your content available in Ogg/Vorbis format! I can't think of a better way to get geeks to buy your music.

(Reminds me that I'm pretty lame for not making my music files available as Oggs yet....Tsk. Tsk. Time to look for a good encoder for OSX. Any suggestions?)

Here is the full text of the article in case the link goes bad:

http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/wlg/2676

Will Echo offer Ogg/Vorbis downloads?
by Robert Kaye
Jan. 27, 2003
URL: http://www.echo.com/technology/index.html
Print this article

Today's unveiling of Echo Networks brings about a new online music venture formed by Best Buy, Tower Records, the Virgin Entertainment, Wherehouse Entertainment, Hastings Entertainment and Trans World Entertainment. Echo plans to license music from the recording industry and offer it to the Internet community, along with a broad range of real-time community features tightly integrated with the listening experience. Their web site states:

Echo will seek to unify the industry through a standard and open platform for the delivery of digital entertainment.

What exactly can we expect from an open platform? Does that mean that they will offer Ogg/Vorbis downloads? Ogg/Vorbis is just about the only truly free codec that is available -- everything else is encumbered by patents or other crazy royalty schemes.

Even classic MP3 doesn't fit this anymore since FHG/Thomson have started collecting royalties. So, Echo, if you are listening, please make your content available in Ogg/Vorbis format! I can't think of a better way to get geeks to buy your music.

Robert Kaye is the Mayhem & Chaos Coordinator and creator of MusicBrainz, the music metadata commons.

Posted by Lisa at 08:44 AM
October 15, 2002
Pressplay On Its Way To 'Big Five' Distribution

Pressplay adds BMG songs
As reprinted in the 10/15/02 San Francisco Chronicle from the NY Times

Pressplay, an online music service that offers consumers the ability to listen to and download more than 100,000 songs for a monthly fee, said Monday that it had added tens of thousands of tracks distributed by BMG to its catalog. The Pressplay service already includes songs from the two major labels that own it, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group, as well as EMI. Pressplay is expected to announce a deal with Warner Music Group shortly, a move that would make it the only service to offer the ability to download music from all five major labels.

Posted by Lisa at 06:26 PM
October 10, 2002
FCC Approves Digital Radio

I haven't had time to positively determine for myself if this is good news or bad news yet, but at first glance, it sure seems like a bad idea to put Digital Radio in the hands of a single company.

See the USA Today story on it:
FCC approves plan for radio stations to go digital

Here's the full text of the story in case the link goes bad:

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techinnovations/2002-10-10-digital-radio_x.htm

10/10/2002 - Updated 10:18 AM ET
FCC approves plan for radio stations to go digital

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal regulators gave the go-ahead Thursday for digital radio, approving a plan to modernize the medium with better sound and new features for personalized programming.

The Federal Communications Commission voted 4-0 to adopt digital radio technology created by iBiquity Digital, a company backed by large broadcasters including ABC and Viacom.

The commissioners enthusiastically endorsed the technology, saying it will benefit the industry and consumers.

"We don't get many items where it's a win-win for everyone. There's no down side," Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy said.

Radio has changed little for decades. FCC Chairman Michael Powell said he's heartened that such a dramatic leap forward in technology is in store.

"I'm thrilled and excited to see the radio wagon train finally get to the other side," he said.

The approval allows radio stations to immediately begin broadcasting digital signals, though it probably will take a few months for the first stations to start.

Manufacturers plan to sell digital receivers for car stereos and high-end audio systems starting next year, adding about $100 to the price of a traditional unit. It's unclear how soon digital technology will be included in portable radios.

The iBiquity technology allows broadcasters to use their existing airwaves to simultaneously send digital and analog signals. Listeners won't have to buy a new radio to continue listening to their favorite stations, but can if they want better sound and other options.

Supporters say the new technology will bring CD-quality sound to FM broadcasts, an end to static for AM and new data features.

Radio One, which owns and operates 65 stations and primarily targets black listeners, already has ordered digital transmitters, said John Mathews, the company's director of engineering. He said the Lanham, Md.-based company plans to start digital broadcasts within three months in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Detroit and Los Angeles.

"We wanted to be in the front on this," he said. "The quality improvement is just phenomenal. It's analogous to the transition between cassettes and CDs."

Some digital car stereos will have small screens, displaying news or advertising or pictures of the artist whose song is playing. Others will allow listeners to choose when to hear reports on stocks, sports, weather and traffic.

The digital broadcasts will be free, unlike the subscriber services offered by Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio Holdings, which beam music and talk to radios from satellites.

Digital broadcasts use the same language as computers - a series of on and off electronic pulses. Broadcasts with the proposed technology won't increase a radio station's range, but digital signals can be cleaned up, removing garble and uneven reception.

Posted by Lisa at 10:57 AM
October 03, 2002
Shawn Fanning's Life on MTV

Yeah ok. Let me know when it gets to cable:
Napster Founder Fanning Takes Life Story To MTV

Here is the full text of the article in case the link goes bad:

http://www.billboard.com/billboard/daily/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1730078



Edited by Jonathan Cohen / October 02, 2002, 11:20 AM

Napster Founder Fanning Takes Life Story To MTV


Napster founder Shawn Fanning, whose file-sharing software pitted him as a populist David doing battle with the Goliaths of the music industry, has found a champion in MTV. The cable network has hired filmmaker Alex Winter ("Fever") to write and direct a small-screen biopic for MTV Original Movies that will dramatize Fanning's life. As a teenager, Fanning created the Napster software program in his college dorm room that led to an online music revolution and his own booming Internet company, only to become the target of the music industry's legal wrath.

The deal with MTV gives the network exclusive rights to Fanning's life story. The Napster founder and former chief technology officer is collaborating with Winter on the screenplay, and he also plans to executive produce the telepic along with its soundtrack, which will be released through his forthcoming, yet-unnamed record label, sources said.

Asked who will star as Fanning, MTV VP of original movies Maggie Malina, who is shepherding the project, said the network is exploring all options, including the possibility of having Fanning play himself, though no decisions have been made.

In 1999, Fanning created Napster -- after his own nickname -- in his dorm room at Northeastern University in Boston as a way for college kids to swap MP3s on the Internet. He dropped out of college to launch Napster as an online business, drawing the ire of the music industry, which saw his file-sharing technology as a threat to record sales and artists' rights.

The company's legal troubles began in 1999 when the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sued Napster for "facilitating copyright infringement." The next year, superstar rock act Metallica and rap impresario Dr. Dre also sued the company.

While weathering crippling legal battles, Fanning's Napster became a household name, and its inventor graced the cover of countless magazines, becoming the poster boy for online music file sharing. Fanning's company filed for bankruptcy this year after a last-ditch acquisition by media giant Bertelsmann AG was blocked.

Napster's legal battles are ongoing, and Fanning is now 21, unemployed and living in California. The MTV project -- which is aimed for the 2003-04 season -- will include Fanning's childhood, his relationship with his parents, and his life before and after Napster in an "innovative" and "unconventional" way, Malina said.

"We really want to take a look at what it was like to live and breathe that roller coaster ride with Napster while indicating what happened in his past and future -- not just for him, but for everyone who loves music," Malina said. "We really want to capture the adventuresome and pioneering spirit he brought to Napster in a way that is not the ordinary biopic. That's why Alex is great for it -- because he brings the creative artistic vision of how to tell this story."

Winter is perhaps best known for his acting work in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" and "The Lost Boys." He then segued to a writing and directing career working on such films as "Freaked" and "Fever" and has also worked extensively as a music video and commercial director in Europe.

-- Chris Gardner & Ian Mohr, The Hollywood Reporter

Posted by Lisa at 08:56 AM
September 12, 2002
Record Industry Being Realistic About CD Prices?

See the article by David Lieberman for USA Today:
Recording industry faces music: CD prices may need to fall

This quote is pretty ironic:


The Recording Industry Association of America ( news - web sites) (RIAA) likes to remind people that most albums lose money after you factor in artist royalties and marketing. What's more, a study it recently commissioned found that if CD prices had grown as much as inflation since they rolled out in 1983, they'd now be $38.23.

So $14.70 should be seen as a bargain.


Considering the cost of making CDs has consistently decreased steadily since they were originally introduced in the early 90s.

That's like saying that we're lucky blank CDs aren't $100 a piece since they used to be $12 a pop in 1995 (when I used to be the Asst. Multimedia Editor for CD-ROM Today and it was a *big* deal to have a bad burn). If blank CDs are cheaper for us now ($10 for over 100) the cost has to even less for bulk manufacturers.

Here is the full text of the article

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/usatoday/20020909/bs_usatoday/4428969


The price fixing we've all known as the real reason that sales have (barely) gone down this last year may be coming to an end.


Recording industry faces music: CD prices may need to fall
Mon Sep 9, 7:20 AM ET

David Lieberman USA TODAY

Brace yourself to see something startling next time you go to a record store. You might see some reasonably priced CDs.

Most of the major music companies are starting to offer retailers limited-time rebates on some releases. As a result, many consumers paid just $10 for new albums by young performers including Ashanti and Vanessa Carlton, as well as veterans Sean ''P. Diddy'' Combs and Bruce Springsteen.

That's a big deal in an industry that consistently raised CD prices since 1996. Consumers now pay about $14.70 for CDs, although most new releases list for $19 or more.

But don't cheer too loudly just yet. It's still way too early to say how widely or how long companies will offer discounts. Most executives, and even the industry's trade organization, don't like to talk about pricing.

And, strange as it sounds, lower prices may backfire on consumers. Music companies aren't rolling in profits anymore. Most would probably get a higher return by putting their cash into bonds instead of albums, although industry leader Universal Music generates a tidy 15% margin. So price cuts mean ''they'll have to fire people, renegotiate artist contracts, make fewer videos and sign fewer bands,'' says Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Michael Nathanson.

Why are they doing it?

''There's a good deal of panic in the recorded music business,'' says investor Strauss Zelnick, who used to run Bertelsmann's BMG music arm.

Sales of albums and singles are off 11% this year following a drop of 10% in 2001 and 7% in 2000. Only 21 albums sold more than 1 million units in the first half of this year vs. 37 albums during the period in 2001.

Lower prices may at least stop the bleeding.

But that's tough for executives to admit. It calls into question their long-held belief that CDs are not only fairly priced but a good value.

The Recording Industry Association of America ( news - web sites) (RIAA) likes to remind people that most albums lose money after you factor in artist royalties and marketing. What's more, a study it recently commissioned found that if CD prices had grown as much as inflation since they rolled out in 1983, they'd now be $38.23.

So $14.70 should be seen as a bargain.

''People spend quite a bit of money to go to a concert,'' Artemis Records CEO Danny Goldberg says. ''Sometimes the parking costs more than a CD. So they're willing to pay'' for music.

He says the recent price cuts are merely a tactic to help companies introduce new acts. ''For developing and new artists you'll see lower prices for the first 100,000 units sold.''

Yet executives may soon be forced to acknowledge that a few, isolated cuts won't do the trick -- that consumers really are fed up with rising CD prices.

A lot of that skepticism is natural as people discover that it costs them just about as much for an hour-long stereo CD as it does for a DVD, which offers a two hour-movie and six channels of sound.

Music executives counter that the CD is meant to be played over and over, while people usually just watch a movie once.

But that's not true anymore. Consider Monsters, Inc.

The coming-soon, two-disc DVD, priced on Amazon.com at $18, will have two short features, outtakes, games, a music video, a sound-effects only track, storyboards and a look at how computer animation is done, in addition to the movie.

That looks like a heck of a bargain next to the one-disc CD soundtrack of the movie with Randy Newman's songs and score. It's just $3 less on Amazon.

And it's not a given that CD buyers will play popular albums over and over. Most know what it's like to buy a CD based on a hit song, only to find that the remaining tracks are mediocre filler.

What's more, CDs are a bigger gamble for the consumer than some other forms of entertainment.

''When you go to a bad movie, you're not angry about what you paid,'' says Zelnick. You only expected a two-hour experience. ''But if you buy a bad CD, you are because you expected to listen to it more.''

It's no wonder that so many consumers look for ways to avoid that letdown. They simply copy CDs and swap them with friends. It's easy to make digitally perfect replicas of albums on recordable CDs that cost less than $1 apiece.

Many also download tunes for free over the Internet. The RIAA is so frightened about this that it is starting to go after individual music fans who send and receive music over the Web -- not just services that facilitate the practice as Napster ( news - web sites) did.

Last month the trade group subpoenaed Verizon to identify a broadband subscriber believed to be transmitting music online. Verizon refused, arguing that it violated legal procedures and the customer's right to privacy.

But executives don't want to go to war with their fans. And some acknowledge that they have to find ways to give consumers more value, even if today's price cuts don't last.

For example, Goldberg says, companies might package CDs with videos and opportunities to buy front-and-center concert seats or go backstage.

''The actual audience for music is bigger than it's ever been,'' he says. ''And the older generation is more interested in music than ever.''

For now, though, all eyes are on how consumers will respond to the new, low prices.

''That is the punter's bet -- that what you lose in pricing you make up in volume,'' Nathanson says. ''But we haven't seen it yet.''

Posted by Lisa at 12:17 PM
August 26, 2002
Peter Gabriel's OD2 Ready To Make Waves


HMV ventures into digital waters

The UK music retailer HMV is expected to confirm this week it has reached a deal with the digital music service On Demand Distribution (OD2) to offer almost 100,000 songs over the net...

Under the arrangement, fans will have access to the largest official catalogue of digital music ever made available in the UK.

Here is the text of the article in case the link goes bad:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/2212764.stm

Sunday, 25 August, 2002, 07:16 GMT 08:16 UK
HMV ventures into digital waters

Thousands of tracks from Kylie Minogue to Coldplay are set to be made available to download over the internet.


The UK music retailer HMV is expected to confirm this week it has reached a deal with the digital music service On Demand Distribution (OD2) to offer almost 100,000 songs over the net.

From September, fans will be able to listen, download or burn a number of tracks for a monthly fee of £4.99.

"This is a very important deal for the industry as a whole as HMV is one of the largest High Street retailers of CDs and stocks quite a broad catalogue." said OD2 Chief Executive, Charles Grimsdale.

Musical choice

Under the arrangement, fans will have access to the largest official catalogue of digital music ever made available in the UK.

Among the material will be the entire Elvis Presley catalogue of 990 tracks, as well as songs by Craig David, Westlife and Dido.

The material will come from leading record labels such as EMI, Warner Music and BMG as well as independent labels like Telstar and V2.

The deal comes at a time when the music industry has been trying to stop the illegal sharing of songs over the net.

'Good value'

One of the ways it has fought back is by launching paid online subscription services, but so far these have been seen as unattractive alternatives to illegal file-sharing networks.

But OD2 is optimistic about the prospects for digital music services.

"It's still early days but the consumer feedback is good," said Charles Grimsdale.

"The cost per track is low, so if you want to listen to music on your computer, it is very good value."

OD2 was set up by Peter Gabriel in 1999 to sell digital music over the internet. Companies such as MSN.co.uk, Freeserve and Tiscali have already signed up to the service.


Posted by Lisa at 08:45 PM
July 31, 2002
Artemis Records Tries An Experiment

Artemis Records is waving webcasting royalties for a year...

Posted by Lisa at 02:04 PM
July 03, 2002
George Michael Speaks Out

This time around, George Michael is making a statement about hypocrisy in government instead of corruption in the music industry. (You know, that stuff everyone laughed at him for whining about years ago that every artist-type person in the industry now finds themselves currently obsessed with...)

See the Times of India story by Rashmee Z. Ahmed:
George Michael song satirizes Bush, Blair.

Posted by Lisa at 08:36 AM
June 17, 2002
Dixie Chicks and Sony Kiss and Make Up

All's well that ends well, I suppose. The Dixie Chicks were basically demanding more cash and it looks like they got it. Good for them.

See the L.A. Times article by Chuck Philips:
Dixie Chicks, Sony End Feud With a New Deal.

Posted by Lisa at 08:30 AM
June 14, 2002
Britney Steals Two For One

The funniest thing about this Billboard article is that the team accusing her of stealing a single song is claiming she created two different songs from it (on the same album even!)

Two musicians have filed a lawsuit against Britney Spears, claiming that a couple of songs on her multiplatinum second Jive album, "Oops! ... I Did It Again," were based on a tune they wrote. Philadelphia songwriters Michael Cottrill and Lawrence Wnukowski claim in the lawsuit that they authored, recorded, and copyrighted a song called "What You See Is What You Get" in late 1999 and submitted it to one of Spears' representatives for consideration on a future album.

Posted by Lisa at 09:57 PM
June 06, 2002
Dee Dee Ramone is Dead

This saddens me greatly.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Dee Dee Ramone
dead at 50

LOS ANGELES, June 6 ė Dee Dee Ramone, a founding member of the pioneer punk band the Ramones, was found dead of a possible drug overdose in his Hollywood home, the coronerās office said Thursday. He was 50.

RAMONE, whose real name was Douglas Glenn Colvin, was found dead on the couch by his wife when she returned home at 8:25 p.m. Wednesday, said Craig Harvey, operations chief for the coronerās office. Paramedics were called and he was declared dead at 8:40 p.m. ĄThe investigator noted drug paraphernalia, including a single syringe on the kitchen counter, and we are handing it as a possible accidental overdose, Harvey said. An autopsy was planned later Thursday.

The death comes 11 weeks after the band was celebrated with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Lead singer Joey Ramone died in April of last year of lymphoma, a form of cancer. He was 49.

Posted by Lisa at 12:19 PM
June 04, 2002
Hot CDs Explicitly Advertised!

Hey kids! Now you'll be able to recognize which CDs are the hottest (you know the ones -- the ones your parents wouldn't want you to have) because they will be clearly labeled!

Cool parents will be able to demonstrate their flexibility by purchasing such discs, in large numbers, for their insecure teenagers, while big businesses can rest assured that they will be better insulated from (those nasty) occasional suicides.

See the Wall St. Journal piece by Yochi J. Dreazen:
BMG Records goes out on a limb with detailed parental warnings -- Explicit content to be noted on albums, advertising.

Acting voluntarily, BMG plans to place new advisory stickers on certain albums, specifying whether they have violent content, sexual content, strong language or some combination of the three, officials say. BMG plans to include the more-detailed warnings in advertising, including television, radio, print and online ads for the albums concerned...

...BMG officials say they are sensitive to concerns that warning stickers, or ratings, could crimp artistic expression by making it easy for retailers and consumers to shun music they deem offensive. "There is definitely a need to balance the preservation of free artistic expression with the need and desire to address consumers' concerns that the labels didn't tell them enough information," says LaVerne Evans, BMG's senior vice president and general counsel. "We feel that these new labels do that."

Of course, parental warnings often have a way of helping sales, by turning an album into forbidden fruit and making teens want to hear it. And many albums and CDs that have been edited to remove explicit content, and are labeled accordingly, haven't sold well.

Posted by Lisa at 01:20 AM
May 14, 2002
Napster: RIP

I suppose we all knew it would happen eventually.

See the Wired News article by Brad King:
Last Rites For Napster.

Posted by Lisa at 04:15 PM