Grooveshark loses its only major label friend as EMI sues for royalties

Grooveshark loses its only major label friend as EMI sues for royalties http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-12-01-grooveshark-emi.jpg

Not two months ago we reported that Universal had filed a complaint against Grooveshark for illegally uploading copyrighted material to their site for streaming purposes. Since then, both Sony and Warner Music Group have jumped on Universal’s bandwagon and joined the suit. Now, the only major label that Grooveshark actually had a licensing agreement with, EMI, is suing Grooveshark, claiming that they haven’t been paid any royalties since the licensing agreement was put in place back in 2009 (which was itself the resolution of an earlier lawsuit against Grooveshark by EMI).

Could this newfound interest in actually getting paid for the music that it licensed Grooveshark to stream be a result of EMI’s new owners, Universal and Sony? Unfortunately for them, the lawsuit is only asking for $150,000 in royalties, while past complaints by artists such as King Crimson, whose music is not legally licensed for streaming by Grooveshark, have demanded the maximum penalty of $150,000 per illegal instance.

Unlike the more precarious lawsuits Grooveshark now finds itself in, this one seems fairly easy to settle (pay your damn bills) without the threat of going under completely. But the further consolidation of the record labels into ever-bigger fish and Grooveshark’s continued abuse of rights holders means we should find the streaming service dead in the water sooner than later.

• Grooveshark: http://grooveshark.com
• EMI: http://www.emimusic.com

Ultra Music Festival books Kraftwerk, New Order, Justice, and TMT favorite David Guetta

In the music festival criminal justice system, FUN is represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the fun police, who investigate crimes of TOO MUCH AWESOMENESS; and lazy music journalists, who come up with shitty leads for news articles. These are their stories.

Tonight on Law & Order: Special Music Festival Unit: a suspicious crime of TOO MUCH AWESOMENESS has swathed the music festival promoters of America in a thick cloak of FEAR.

[Close up of beardo-lookin’ dude in flannel.] “All the headliners!!! They’re… they’re gone! They’ve been taken!” Tune in tonight at 9/8 PM CST.

TAKEN. But by whom? Okay, fine, I’ve never seen a full episode of that damn show, so I’ll just tell you. Miami’s Ultra Music Festival took them, and they booked them up real nice. Sorry, other summer festivals. Everyone you wanted to book has already been booked into a festival line-up more solid than the princess cut diamond in Kanye West’s ear. Kraftwerk? Got ‘em. New Order? BOOKED. Justice? Already picking out their best Don Johnson-wear. Fatboy Slim? Naturally. David Guetta? Um… yeah, sure, that guy’s on board, too. As are Avicii, Tiësto, M83, Groove Armada (DJ Set), Duck Sauce, 2manydjs, Flux Pavilion, Carl Cox, Armin Van Buuren, Kaskade, Bassnectar, Chase and Status, The Bloody Beetroots, A-Trak, Laidback Luke, Neon Indian, SBTRKT, Flying Lotus, Little Dragon, Miike Snow, Pretty Lights, and that Skrillex fellow the kids are so crazy about.

Also appearing: Steve Aoki, Fedde Le Grand, Knife Party, Katy B, Magnetic Man, Zeds Dead, Porter Robinson, Sven Vath, Sander Van Doorn, Borgore, Doctor P, Metronomy, Jack Beats, 12th Planet, Skream! + Benga, Steve Lawler, Joris Voorn, and the ever intriguing “more.” So, case closed. Ultra Music Festival has booked every single big name, headlining, “summer festival” band ever. What a stupid mystery. I hate this show.

Ultra Music Festival takes its 13th trip around the sun this March 23-25 at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami. Three-day ($299.95) and VIP passes ($599.95) are on sale now.

• Ultra Music Festival: http://www.ultramusicfestival.com

Xiu Xiu to release new music album Always, not his much-anticipated comedy album, Dancing with the Cars

I can’t believe it’s been nearly 10 years since the release of Xiu Xiu’s first album, Knife Play. Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t it feel like it’s been more around eight years? Strange how time works! Anyway, while it’d make much sense for Jamie Stewart to release his 10th album during the 10th year of Xiu Xiu’s existence, he is going to instead release his 7th album, Always. Not only does this mean that, on March 6, you’ll be hearing a new 12-track Xiu Xiu album (courtesy of Polyvinyl), but it also means that he kinda sorta owes us two more albums.

Whether or not he’ll release two more new albums between now and March 6 is still up in the air (but likely, says my friend Joe who reads The New York Times every single day), but Always is most definitely brought to you by yet another new lineup, which includes Angela Seo, Bettina Escauriza, Marc Riordan, and Devin Hoff. The album will reportedly tackle such topics as sexual objectification, murder, family tragedy, incest, and molestation. Now, I’m all for having a laugh, but sometimes I wish Stewart would take on some serious issues. I can only laugh at incest so many times, you know? Anyway, check out the album’s first single, “Hi,” right here:

Stewart will also be releasing A Neo Tropical Companion, a haiku book, in March via Uitgeverij (you can order through Polyvinyl too), while a world tour is in the works for spring. We’ll keep you updated about the tour and those two albums that my friend Joe assures us will be coming out soon.

Always tracklist:

01. Hi
02. Joey’s Song
03. Beauty Towne
04. Honeysuckle
05. I Luv Abortion
06. The Oldness
07. Chimneys Afire
08. Gul Mudin
09. Born to Suffer
10. Factory Girls
11. Smear the Queen
12. Black Drum Machine

• Xiu Xiu: http://xiuxiu.org
• Polyvinyl: http://www.polyvinylrecords.com

[Photo: Jeremy Lange]

Jim O’Rourke to release Old News #7 and then announce #8 the day after you buy it

The prolific experimenter known to friends and fans alike as Jim O’Rourke, who was partially responsible for one of 2011’s greatest releases And That’s the Story of Jazz… (TMT Review), is gearing up for the next installment of his vinyl series Old News, following last year’s sweet #5 (TMT Review) and sweeter #6 (TMT Review). Each installment of the series provides a vinyl-only glimpse into O’Rourke’s electronic synth archive, and on February 21, the “seventh” installment will be issued as a double LP via Editions Mego, already available for preorder.

This time around, we are gifted with tracks such as “Welcome to the Django,” a two-sided mid-90s excursion of O’Rourke’s first experiments with a Serge modular system, and “Tacere Fas,” the piece originally appearing on the compilation Unentitled on These Records in 1994. There’s also a recent recording from a live performance in Nagoya at Tokuzo from last year. Have at it.

Old News #7 tracklist:

01. Welcome to the Django Part One
02. Welcome to the Django Part Two
03. Natural Bonbon Killers
04. Tacere Fas

• Jim O’Rourke: http://tisue.net/orourke
• Editions Mego: http://editionsmego.com

RIP: Tom Ardolino, drummer for NRBQ

From the Hartford Courant:

Tom Ardolino, the former drummer for cult favorites NRBQ, died Friday night after a long illness. He would have turned 57 Jan. 12.

After corresponding for years with keyboardist Terry Adams, Ardolino, a Springfield resident, joined the band in 1974 when original drummer Tom Staley departed. Ardolino remained behind the kit for the next 30 years, playing on 15 studio albums and countless live shows, until the group went on hiatus in 2004. Although he played at sporadic NRBQ reunion concerts in the intervening years, he wasn’t well enough to resume drum duties when keyboardist Terry Adams reconstituted the band with a new lineup in 2011.

“He was a great drummer and a great guy,” Al Anderson, who played with Ardolino in NRBQ from 1974-1993, said Saturday morning. “He had a totally unique style of drumming that nobody can ever duplicate. That was one of the baddest rhythm sections in the world.”

• NRBQ: http://www.nrbq.com

Sales of vinyl records increase for the sixth straight year; popularity of lensless glasses possibly related

Oh, happy day! Music sales have finally reversed their perpetual downward trend over the past several years, and, in an unprecedented display of humanity, the RIAA has opted to discontinue their tyrannical opposition to gratuitous file-sharing!

If only fate were so kind. As it turns out, overall album sales in the US did, remarkably, show a slight increase in 2011, but the more significant news at the moment pertains the sales of vinyl records, which have grown every year for the past six years and which increased by 25% in 2011, from 2.8 million in 2010 to 3.5 million. Have vinyl record manufacturers felt the urge to contact their doctors yet? Because this commercial erection appears to be lasting way longer than four hours.

What could possibly account for the ongoing resurgence of a medium that was previously shunned for its supposed obsolescence? Ironically, it may have something to do with the physical prominence and relative indispensability of records themselves — in other words, as a way of implicitly counteracting the digitization of music and entertainment in general, people have returned their interest to a format that requires their attention and may be a greater signifier of their passion for music than something as impersonal and easily discarded as MP3s. That’s just one theory though. Given how objectively inferior the sound quality of records are when compared to CDs, I’d like to chalk it up to some form of misplaced elitism, but I’m also quite willing to appreciate the fact that records do have their appeal, even if that appeal is based entirely on the subjective preference of the listener. Don’t hate.

Meanwhile, here is the top 10 best-selling vinyl albums of 2011, all by really white artists:

01. The Beatles - Abbey Road (41,000)
02. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues (29,700)
03. Bon Iver - Bon Iver (27,200)
04. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More (26,800)
05. Radiohead - The King of Limbs (20,800)
06. Adele - 21 (16,500)
07. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (16,200)
08. Wilco - The Whole Love (14,900)
09. The Black Keys - Brothers (14,200)
10. The Black Keys - El Camino (13,800)

• Vinyl: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinyl

  

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