Elvis Costello Reissues Some Stuff, Proves Why He’s Still The King

It’s that time of year again, kids, when stuff happens. It always seems to take place right before the money from tours come in and when rent is due. But Costello is re-releasing some stuff. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not exactly calling these potboilers. It’s just what’s the point? But fear not, for that question among two or three others will not go unanswered. The King, Elvis himself, is with me.

Petya: What exactly is being released?

Elvis: The Best of Elvis Costello: The First 10 Years and Rock and Roll Music. Also, we are releasing my first 11 albums digitally.

Petya: Ew, bringin’ it back to binary I see.

Elvis: Yeah.

Petya: What is the point of reissuing these shits, my man?

Elvis: It wasn’t really my initiative.

Petya: Yeah, whatever. Blame it on the Universal Music Group.

Elvis: Okay, I will.

Petya: What if I say I don’t want to buy any of these rehashed, gilded bits of history?

Elvis: There's no compulsion to buy these records. If they interest you, you'll buy them. The fact that they're going to be available (digitally) makes people's ability to buy them in excerpts easier, because people tend to do that these days when they're online -- if they haven't stolen them already.

Petya: Ew, in my face. Psh.

Well, that’s all the quotes I could round up from Billboard.com. Seriously, though, while Elvis Costello is doing well (including a ten-day tour starting May 2 in California), there are plenty of other Elvises who have been blowing it lately. For example, Elvis Presley is super-dead. Elvis Grbac? The boy gets constant boos in Baltimore, and after he tore his vagina or something, people starting yelling, “Elvis has left the building.” Bringing up the rear is Elvis Stojka. He used to be a decent figure skater, but now he’s retired. Wait, a figure skater? Yeah, he sucks. Moral of the story: support Elvis Costello before we run out of a reputable Elvis to cheer for.

Spiderman 3 Soundtrack is Equal Parts Webslingin’ Good and Joker-Lovin’ Bad

One could draw a line graph representing level of cool on the Spiderman 3 soundtrack; jumping off the charts with artists like Black Mountain and The Walkmen and hitting the ground with Jet. But I digress. While many would feel that allowing Snow Patrol to compose a movie theme (or produce any new material whatsoever) is not a wise choice, The Flaming Lips kinda make up for it by throwing down their new Spiderman-inspired track, "The Supreme Being Teaches Spider-Man How to Be in Love." However, it used to be called “Spiderman vs. Muhammad Ali.” Personally, I’d love to see the Lips write an entire album of imaginary face-offs. “Anderson Cooper vs. Bill O’Reilly”! “Fall Out Boy vs. The Black Lips Resulting in Many Busted Lips for Fall Out Boy”!

The “indie-leaning” (thanks, MTV) comp also includes the likes of Rogue Wave, Wolfmother, Wasted Youth Orchestra, Chubby Checker (!?), and uh, The Killers -- who probably don’t live up to their name at all and would definitely get their asses whooped by The Flaming Lips.

Yours to mock/appreciate May 1 on The Record Collection, three whole days before the film release.

Bipolar tracklist:

1. Snow Patrol - "Signal Fire"
2. The Killers - "Move Away"
3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Sealings"
4. Wolfmother - "Pleased to Meet You"
5. The Walkmen - "Red River"
6. Black Mountain - "Stay Free"
7. The Flaming Lips - "The Supreme Being Teaches Spider-Man How to Be in Love"
8. Simon Dawes - "Scared of Myself"
9. Chubby Checker - "The Twist"
10. Rogue Wave - "Sight Lines"
11. Coconut Records - "Summer Day"
12. Jet - "Falling Star"
13. Sounds Under Radio - "Portrait of a Summer Thief"
14. Wasted Youth Orchestra - "A Letter to St. Jude"
15. The Oohlas - "Small Parts

Google Still Plans to Implement YouTube Filter That Will Add Technicolor Effect to All Videos; Industry Can’t Wait

On Monday at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said, "We are very close to turning this on." He's referring to Claim Your Content, the new name for Google's YouTube filtering system that would supposedly cut out your favorite music videos (and TV shows and movies, etc.). But how does it work? Will the burden be placed on the content uploaders or the content owners? With little details revealed in Las Vegas, Schmidt left the industry -- particularly the media conglomerates -- confused.

A little more to the mystery was revealed yesterday at a keynote discussion at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. Schmidt explained further: "Under law, the copyright owner has to monitor what’s going on your sites. So we’re automating that process.” To the dismay of content owners, it's appearing that the "filtering" system may continue placing the burden on the media conglomerates to find and remove copyrighted material, a currently non-automated shitball that has already prompted a $1 billion lawsuit from lovable, friendly giant Viacom.

It's been roughly four months since an announcement was made to filter out copyrighted content from YouTube, and media companies are increasingly frustrated with what some call Google's "stalling tactics." But hey, Google's busy selling ads on all of the radio stations owned by Clear Channel Communications and acquiring ad-serving software DoubleClick for $3.1 billion. Can you blame them? And the traffic at YouTube is skyrocketing!! Besides, the filter couldn't possibly work good enough to please the media companies. Could it? Gotta please the media companies!! Sigh.

'Scuse me while I iron some wrinkles.

Ciccone Youth Side-Project To Get Deluxe Reissue

It's just not fair. On June 12, a brand-new double-disc edition of Sonic Youth's 1988 Daydream Nation will be released in all fine record shops nationwide. Which means that I'll have one more deluxe Sonic Youth album to gaze at longingly, trying to convince myself that spending around $93 for an album I already own is, in fact, wiser than wise, which, by the way, is simply not possible. Adding insult to injury, and racial slur to insult, a four (4) LP set will also be issued by the band's own Goofin' Records. I only pray that Warren Buffett will appreciate a newly-remastered "Providence" as much as I would.

The bonuses on this one look nice, but I do have one gripe that shall extend to all multiple-disc reissues: why (oh why) stick one extra track at the end of the disc containing the original album, an album that is presumably a "watershed moment in music history"? Remember the end of "Eliminator Jr."? Are the last few seconds of that song something we want to follow up with a home demo? Maybe if there's still enough room left, they could squeeze in a few seconds of Lee Ranaldo clipping his toenails?

Disc two is largely a collection of live tracks pulled from various performances during the "Daydream Nation" tour. It contains live versions of every Daydream track but mixes up the order to disorient and dismay you. The final four tracks are studio covers that have long collected dust in ill-fated tribute albums of years past. I think the least Geffen can do for my having written this news item is to send me a copy of the reissue and a lock of Thurston's hair. He won't miss it.

Tracklisting:

Disc 1: Original Album

Fridge Are So Smart! Fridge Are So Smart! S-M-R-T! I Mean, S-M-A-R-T… (When in doubt, steal an idea for a news title from The Simpsons)

Intellectual giftedness is something that carries with it a funny little burden. Those possessing it in abundance often squander it. Stories of the absent-minded professor or the lonely genius or smarties cracking under pressure are common (and hilarious for us lesser-thans). Conversely, I started out with none and still have most of it and I managed to write this story y'all are reading right now all by myself! Yeah, I know, that's not really comforting, is it? Thankfully we don't have to rely on Tiny Mix Tapes writers for instruction, illumination, and inspiration; some eggheads to come through in the crunch with the goods that we have come to expect from them. For example, if it's well-adjusted musical brains you're looking for, you could no worse than checking out the three members of Fridge.

Adem Ilhan? A Mensa candidate if there ever was one. Kieren Hebden? His cleverness fully ferments meat without the need for oxygen. Sam Jeffers? Would it surprise you to learn that he has figured out the true origin of the universe and that it has nothing to do with random chance or intelligent design (here’s a hint: it involves a man, a can, and a plan!)? Who the hell do these smart-arses, these braincases (...these princes of Maine, these Kings of New England...) think they are? As if living with having an embarrassment of riches in the smarts and skills departments isn't enough, now comes word that the three will once again join together as Fridge, the band they played in prior to their respective individual success stories: Ilhan in Adem solo guise, Hebden as Four Tet, and Jeffers working in web design, playing politics, composing soundtracks, touring and session drumming, and presumably doing a few more things popular with polymaths.

Good things do indeed come to those who wait, but let us hope that the things that come are not just the things left over from before (although we would probably be okay with old Fridge toss-off tracks too, if that was the case). The Sun will be Fridge’'s fifth album -- their first in six years -- and will be released on Temporary Residence, Ltd. June 26 (on Hebden's Text Records in the UK, Domino in Europe). August promises a Four Tet/Sunburned Hand of the Man collaboration called Fire Escape, but if you want to prove to everyone that you know your ass from your elbow, look first toward The Sun in June.

1. The Sun
2. Clocks
3. Our Place in This
4. Drums of Life
5. Eyelids
6. Oram
7. Comets
8. Insects
9. Lost Time
10. Years and Years and Years

Where There’s Power, There’s Dissent: SaveNetRadio Committed to Fight Internet Royalty Hikes

As reported in March, the new royalty regulations created by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), in which internet radio rates will dramatically increase 149% over the 1999-2005 period, pissed off NPR. "These new rates, at least 20 times more than what stations have paid in the past, treat us as if we were commercial radio — although by its nature, public radio cannot increase revenue from more listeners or more content, the factors that set this new rate," said NPR's Andi Sporkin.

Since then, the internet royalty hike has generated dissent aplenty. The Digital Media Association (DiMA), Intercollegiate Broadcasting System, Inc., Small Commercial Webcasters, and National Public Radio (NPR) used their pull on March 20 to get an order to allow motions for a rehearing. It seemed at least somewhat hopeful that the CRB would reconsider the rates that will, among other things, bankrupt small-time internet radio stations, cripple independent artists, homogenize internet radio, and of course piss off TMT.

But to the dismay of radio peeps and humans all over, the CRB yesterday officially denied motions for a rehearing (read the PDF here): "Having reviewed all motions, responses to those motions, and written arguments, the Judges now deny all such motions," stated the five-page document. "We find, however, that none of the moving parties have made a sufficient showing of new evidence or a clear error or manifest injustice that would warrant a rehearing."

While organizations that represent major recording labels and artists, like SoundExchange, applauded the CRB's denial, various stations and artists effectively said "fuck off" by announcing yesterday a new group called SaveNetRadio, a group committed to fighting the rates. Although SaveNetRadio's member list has not been revealed, it received public support from organizations like Live365 and Pandora.

"Before this ruling was handed down, the vast majority of webcasters were barely making ends meet as internet radio advertising revenue is just beginning to develop," said the group in a statement. "Without a doubt, most internet radio services will go bankrupt and cease webcasting if this royalty rate is not reversed by the Congress, and webcasters' demise will mean a great loss of creative and diverse radio." Various humans at my local record shop had this to add: "Fuck the CRB."

And for your reference, check out the new rates established by the CRB (from Live365):