Government asks for public input on Anti-Piracy Plan, emails will go straight to Obama’s BlackBerry

Government asks for public input on Anti-Piracy Plan, emails will go straight to Obama’s BlackBerry

Too rare is the opportunity for us average Janes and Joes to tell the government they’re doing it wrong. Now, courtesy of Obama’s copyright czar Victoria Espinel, you can write an angry letter and help save your favorite torrent tracker or file-sharing forum at the same time. Espinel and her office recently issued a request for public comments on the US anti-piracy agenda, officially titled the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act, or PRO-IP.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the czar isn’t giving us simple citizens carte blanche to say whatever we want. Comments must be formulated as responses to some carefully worded prompts about the “threats to public health and safety created by infringement” and the public’s “recommendations for improving… intellectual property enforcement.” The language in the request is at best leaning, and at worst loaded, so there might not seem to be a whole lot of room for disputing the fundamental necessity of copyright enforcement. That said, any input in the process is better than none, and TMT knows its readership possesses the intellectual acumen to turn crafty government lemons into politically critical lemonade.

Clearly Espinel’s attempt at transparent, participatory government is a bit of a mixed blessing. But it should provide some comfort to know that the DC-based digital rights advocacy organization Public Knowledge welcomed Espinel’s appointment late last year. Looks like we’ll have to wait and see whether any IP/copyright policies change in order to find out whether our voices (emails) have been heard (read). Just keep in mind, the deadline for comments on the PRO-IP act are due by 5 PM on March 24, so act fast.

Atari Teenage Riot decide to riot again

Alec Empire and his band of anti-facist, “anarchist” techno-heads are back after a 10-year hiatus, and they want to blow out your eardrums one last time. The band — known for other, better things than just its first single, the controversial “Hunting for Nazis” — has been inactive for the last 10 years after the death of longtime member, Crack.

That all changes on May 12, 2010 when the band returns to “active status” at the Electric Ballroom in London. Atari Teenage Riot will then return to “inactive status” because this show is what we call a “one-off.” To celebrate the one-day reunion, Atari Teenage Riot have recorded a new single, “Activate,” which will be released May 17 on ATR’s Digital Hardcore label. A free remix is available at The NME.

&bulll; Atari Teenage Riot:

Apples in Stereo’s Robert Schneider performs on Yo Gabba Gabba

On March 11, Robert Schneider from The Apples In Stereo will join the cast of Nickelodeon’s Yo Gabba Gabba to perform the song “We R Super Heroes” with special guests Mos Def, Biz Markie, and The Aquabats. However, if you need a fix of Schneider right this very second, you can catch him in this video with Apples In Stereo’s label-owner, actor Elijah Wood, in a short film the two made together entitled “Exploring The Universe.”

In other Apples In Stereo news, some peers of theirs have teamed up and covered Apples songs to be released as an exclusive 12-inch record entitled Future Vintage: Covers of The Apples In Stereo for Record Store Day on April 17, which is free when you purchase a copy of their new album, Travellers in Space and Time.

Future Vintage tracklisting:

Side A:
1. “Ruby” by Ted Leo
2. “Benefits of Lying (w/ Your Friend)” by Bad Veins
3. “The Rainbow” by Throw Me The Statue

Side B:
1. “Ruby” by The Generationals+
2. “Same Old Drag” by Maps and Atlases
3. “Strawberryfire” by Elf Power

• The Apples In Stereo:

Mess With Texas brings GWAR, Billy Bragg, Japandroids, and friends together at last

It’s that magical time of year again, when a young music fan’s fancies turn to thoughts of SXSW. The adventure begins next week in sunny Austin, TX, where our friends behind the Mess With Texas party (presented by FYF Fest and Fun Fun Fun Fest) are throwing their fourth-annual shindig. This event is always fun and free, and this year it benefits Marbridge, a service for adults with various cognitive challenges. The eclectic lineup kicks off on Friday, March 19 and wraps on Saturday, March 20, 12PM to 9PM on both days. Head down to 1001 East 6th Street and party with Andrew W.K., zone out with Black Angels, and be utterly terrified by GWAR. And yes, it’s FREE. Just make sure you RSVP.

• Friday March 19
Man Man, Billy Bragg, Man or Astroman?, Frightened Rabbit, Black Angels, Yacht, The Bronx, Grupo Fantasma, Brazos, Jail Weddings, Jeff the Brotherhood, Mariachi El Bronx, Hacienda, Suckers, DJ Spooky w/GHP, Admiral Radley (members of Earlimart and Grandaddy), Whoa Hunx, Oh No Ono, Off! (members of Circle Jerks and Redd Kross), Lost in Trees, Jim Jones Revue, Lissie

• Saturday March 20
GWAR, Andrew W.K., Fucked Up, Crystal Antlers, Neon Indian, Japandroids, Dam-funk, Holy Fuck, Fool’s Gold, Japanther, The Dutchess and the Duke, Adam Green, The Soft Pack, Katie Stelmanis, Avi Buffalo, Smith Westerns, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Let’s Wrestle, Pivot, Big Freedia “The Queen of New Orleans Bounce”

• MWTX Party 4:

Daniel Higgs to materialize new double CD/LP, Say God

Thrill Jockey has once again requested and received the shamanistic counsel of mantra/folk musician, artist, and mystic Daniel Higgs. Spirits of eroded mountain sides and unborn kittens will rise from unmarked tombs come May 18 of this fair year, the date that Mr. Higgs’ most recent spiritual incarnation is thrust into our universe, under the guise of Say God.

Dave Sitek provided him with some production assistance and a healthy recording space. No live shows as of now; I think he wants us to take this one in without him being physically present. At least for the time being.

Here’s the tracklist to make your mind stir:

01. Hoofprints On The Ceiling Of Your Mind
02. Song For Azariah
03. Say God
04. A Message From The Beautiful
05. Root & Bough
06. Jewel Of The East
07. Tumble Down
08. Christ Among Us

• Thrill Jockey:

Stars announce new album The Five Ghosts

As long as there are melancholy mix CDs to be made, Stars will always be in business. On June 22, they will release their fifth full-length album, The Five Ghosts, the first to be released on their new record label, Soft Revolution Records, which is licensed by Vagrant Records. The album will also feature a guest appearance from fellow canuck Andrew Whiteman of Apostle of Hustle/Broken Social Scene. Now, when can you see Stars in person, playing all of this new musical goodness? This summer, most likely, as the band is in the midst of a planning a US tour to perform The Five Ghosts in its entirety, along with fan-chosen favorites like “Take Me To The Riot,” “Ageless Beauty,” and “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead.” Keep your eyes on their website for more details to be announced soon.

The Five Ghosts tracklisting:

01. Dead Hearts
02. Wasted Daylight
03. I Died So I Could Haunt You
04. Fixed
05. We Don’t Want Your Body
06. He Dreams He’s Awake
07. Never Been Good With Change
08. The Passenger
09. The Last Song Ever Written
10. How Much More
11. Winter Bones

• Stars:
• Soft Revolution: