Beastie Boys sued for copyright infringement; and the winner for most unfortunately timed lawsuit goes to…

Beastie Boys sued for copyright infringement; and the winner for most unfortunately timed lawsuit goes to...

Before you think of this as a blatantly insensitive act of legal pettiness, well, it only kind of is. At least Tuf America, the label representing Washington, D.C. go-go band Trouble Funk, filed their lawsuit a day before the untimely death of MCA a.k.a. Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch. Aside from that, it’s difficult for me to think of this as anything other than a superfluous example of our (meaning the United States’) lawsuit-prone culture. Falling on financially hard times as a musician? Why, just sue somebody for copyright infringement! Hey… is that my song playing on the radio in the background of this 15 year-old girl’s YouTube video!? Ohhhhhh no you don’t. I’ll give you something to vlog about…

Here are the details of the lawsuit, which was filed last Friday in New York federal court: Tuf America claims that the Trouble Funk songs “Drop the Bomb” and “Say What,” both issued in 1982, were repeatedly sampled by the Beastie Boys in the late 80s, on their albums Licensed to Ill and Paul’s Boutique. They allege that the tracks, “Car Thief,” “Hold It Now Hit It,” and “The New Style” all illegally use portions of “Drop The Bomb,” while “Shadrach” supposedly borrows in an unlawful manner from “Say What.”

In an attempt to overcome the five-year statute of limitations on copyright infringement, The Guardian reports that Tuf America is claiming that the Beastie Boys knowingly concealed the incorporation of Trouble Funk’s music by never declaring that the samples had been used, and apparently, by using some sort of audio wizardry. “Only after conducting a careful audio analysis of Shadrach,” Tuf America wrote, “[were we] able to determine that Shadrach incorporates the Say What sample.” I mean, so what if all of the samples in question are clearly indicated on the website, Who Sampled, and probably have been for some time? Just how sure can we be that Mike D didn’t sabotage their internet as well?

In sum, Tuf America alleges copyright infringement, unjust enrichment, and misappropriation. They’re also seeking a permanent injunction forbidding the sale of any Beastie Boys recording containing the samples. I look into my crystal ball and… is that inevitable failure I see?

• Beastie Boys:
• Oscilloscope Laboratories:

múm release rare recordings, promise to return moon stone to NASA

Even though my limo driver, Maddox, doesn’t believe there are other musicians from Iceland besides Björk, the Icelandic glitch gurus múm have been a favorite of mine for some time. What many people don’t know is that in 2004 founding members Gunnar Örn Tynes and Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason stole the priceless moon stone (seen here) from NASA headquarters. In the following years, múm quietly kept things mum by releasing a couple of underrated albums. But we all knew what the group was really busy doing – evolving their Clefairy!

Luckily, time heals and múm will be giving back the moon stone to NASA on July 17. To commemorate this occasion, múm will release a collection of rare tracks recorded between 1998 and 2000. The album, titled Early Birds will also be released July 17 on Morr Music. Both LP and CD versions will include a booklet explaining the origin of each track and, perhaps, there will also be baby pictures of Cleffa and current pictures of the unstoppably cute Clefable.

NASA currently has no plans to return the stone to Mt. Moon.

Early Birds tracklisting:

01. Bak þitt er sem rennibraut
02. Póst póstmaður
03. Gingúrt
04. Glerbrot (Previously lost)
05. Hvernig á að særa vini sína
(Previously unreleased)
06. Bak þitt er sem rennibraut
(Bústadavegurer fáviti megamix eftir Músíkvat)
07. Insert Coin (Bjarne Riis arcade game mjiks eftir múm)
08. Loksins erum við engin (Natturuoperan song)
09. Náttúrúbúrú
10. 0,000Orð
11. lalalala blái hnötturinn
12. múm spilar la la la
13. Hufeland
14. Volkspark Friedrichshain (Previously forgotten)
15. Enginn vildi hlusta á fiðlunginn, því strengir hans vóru slitnir (getiði ekki verið góð við mömmu okkar)

• múm:
• Morr Music:

Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill returns to Billboard’s Top 20, simultaneously making a bunch of dudes my age feel really happy and really old

Okay, so maybe the headline’s a bit of an exaggeration about my age. Maybe I was only three years old when Licensed to Ill came out and was only really convinced that the Beastie Boys were a creative, vital, trend-setting-then-trend-trouncing act as a slick 14-year-old Foo Fighters fan who got bowled over by listening to Hello Nasty in a friend’s bedroom after smoking some… things… but still! I did my retroactive homework like a good JNCO-clad idiot and was soon pissing off my grandpa good and regularly with the “pops and clicks” of the Beasties’ entire catalog. And indeed, everyone I know has been bumping their tunes in the past week with renewed vigor following the sad passing of Adam “MCA” Yauchon May 4. So it’s no real suprise to hear Billboard report that the band’s entire catalog saw a pretty massive surge in sales.

Most significantly, Billboard has reported that their batshit crazy gem of a debut, Licensed to Ill — which originally hit no. 1 on March 7, 1987 and spent seven straight weeks there — re-entered at no. 18, with 19,000 sold (according to Nielsen SoundScan), which is up a monkey-brassing 802% from the previous week. And that’s only counting the week that ended on May 6 (two days after Yauch’s passing). Collectively, the band’s catalog sold 55,000 last week, which is up 1,235% from 4,000 the week previous, with Solid Gold Hits hitting no. 51 (up 806%), Paul’s Boutique hitting no. 56 (up 4,287%), the recent Hot Sauce Committee Part Two hitting no. 107 (up 1,150%), Ill Communication, hitting no. 109 (up 2,799%), Check Your Head hitting no. 124 (up 2,727%), and Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds of Science hitting no. 141 (up 3,303%).

In the digital realm, the band sold a combined 151,000 downloads this past week (up from 14,000 the previous week, for a gain of 949%), with the best seller among the bunch being none other than “Brass Monkey,” which hit the Hot 100 at no. 48 with 15,000 downloads. And again, keep in mind that these sales are only measured up to May 6. It’ll probably get a whole lot more nuts when this week’s reports are in at the end of May 13. All in all, that’s pretty awesome, even if it does reflect the totally LAME previous absence of these records in a bunch of slackers’ collections. But whatever, the greater the public awareness of the fact that Monkey tastes “def when you pour it on ice”, the better, right?

• Beastie Boys:
• Capitol:

Björk bows out of Primavera fests on doctor’s orders

One of the hard lessons of growing up is that no one — not your mom, your dad, your Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, your US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney — is immune to normal human stuff like getting sick, or doing stuff that makes you saaaaad and kinda disappointed. And so, my dear video game snorting, ice cream for breakfast eating readers, it’s time to put away your bouncy balls and your jacks and your jars full of tadpoles, because one of the greats has had to pull a rare cancellation. Sadly, Björk will no longer be appearing at the San Miguel Primavera Sound and Optimus Primavera Sound fests in Spain this June. Yes, even Magical Icelandic Pixie Visionaries get inflamed nodules and have to follow their doctor’s “sorry, B, no singing tracks from Biophilia” advice. It’s a tough lesson. (Because personally I’m shocked that she couldn’t just coax one of the mellifluous-voiced sea nymphs that live along the shores of Reykjavík into trading nodes for a few days, but whatever, guess I’m not up on my mythology.)

Anyway, in all seriousness, Ms. Guðmundsdóttir is bowing out of her two Primavera fest appearances so that she can rest and prevent permanent damage to her voice. And ticketholders, Primavera gets your concerns. If Björk was the big draw for you, the organizers are willing to take returns on day tickets for her performance dates — June 2 for San Miguel, and June 9 for Optimus — if you purchased your tickets before May 10. More info to come on that later via the Primavera Sound website. Rest up, Björk! The world needs your alluring siren voice and your musical genius.

• Björk:
• One Little Indian:

Liars announce many more summer North American tourdates; WIXIW weren’t broke so you could attend

Excitement for the new Liars album WIXIW is at more of a fever pitch than the days leading up to the premiere of the 2005 Drew Barrymore/Jimmy Fallon vehicle Fever Pitch, with less than a month until the album’s June 5 release date on Mute. People want Liars bad. TMT even started up a Liars-specific section called Liars Beat, which had to be shut down after a piece of Angus fan fiction crippled our servers in minutes.

Though there’s nothing we can do about the album release date, we do get a 12-inch single for album track “No. 1 Against the Rush” on May 29, backed with remixes by Matmos and Vince Clarke + non-album track “We’ll Never Learn.” Now the band has given some more outlets for our excitement in the form of US tourdates in July! After a couple of previously announced shows in New York and Los Angeles, the tour proper will start in San Francisco on the very same day that WIXIW is released; synergy!! Then they fly around all over the country and quickly remember why they moved out of it: people like YOU (vapid). Hopefully by then you’ll have recovered from last night’s The Voice finale results.


06.20.12 - New York City, NY - Webster Hall
06.22.12 - Los Angeles, CA - The Music Box
07.05.12 - San Francisco, CA - The Filmore
07.07.12 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
07.08.12 - Seattle, WA - Neumos
07.09.12 - Vancouver, BC - The Biltmore Cabaret
07.11.12 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
07.13.12 - Denver, CO - The Bluebird Theater
07.14.12 - Lawrence, KS - The Granada
07.15.12 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
07.17.12 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
07.18.12 - Milwaukee, WI - Mad Planet
07.19.12 - Chicago, IL - Metro
07.20.12 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
07.21.12 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace
07.23.12 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa
07.24.12 - Boston, MA - Paradise
07.25.12 - Washington, DC - U Street Music Hall
07.26.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
07.27.12 - Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop
07.28.12 - Columbus, OH - A&R Music Bar

• Liars:
• Mute:

Bumbershoot announces 2012 lineup, but I just wish it was called Bumbleshoot, because I want to make bee puns.

Bzzzt! Bzzt! Bzzzzzzzt!

I’m buzzing with news about Bumbershoot! First of all, I’m mad that it’s not called Bumbleshoot. I’ve got all these bee puns stinging my insides and I’ve got to let them out somehow. I’m allergic. Other than that, the long-running Seattle festival has announced their 2012 lineup. This year’s festival, which takes place September 1-3 at the Seattle Center, features aaaaaaaaaaaaah:

Jane’s Addiction, Skrillex, Tony Bennett, M. Ward, Mac Miller, Big Sean, King Khan & the Shrines, The Promise Ring, Keane, Blitzen Trapper, M83, Passion Pit, The Vaselines, Low, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Ty Segall, Omar Souleyman, The Jayhawks, Why?, and a million other people, oh my god, like so many other people. Go over to their website if you want to stare at that huge list.

Tickets for this hive of music-related stuff are on sale now. 3-day admission will cost you $135 of your sweet, sweet honey, while single-day tickets are $55. $55 of pollen, I guess? Whatever, I’m out of bee puns. Beads.

• Bumbershoot:


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