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

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

Ghostface Killah gets beer named after him, because who doesn’t want to taste Ghostface in their mouth?

Whenever I’m listening to albums by Wu-Tang or Ghostface Killah, I find myself preoccupied. No, it’s not the blunt that I’m trying to roll, nor is it the utter disgrace that music journalists cannot name all 9 members of Wu-Tang. It’s a more personal matter. To really understand them, I think it’d be best if I were able to smell them, to touch them… to taste them. Ghostface Killah, in particular, has always had a special place in my heart. While the doll replica of him serves as a perfect centerpiece for the shrine in my room where I pray to the Wu, I still find I feel a little lost.

Luckily, Twisted Pine Brewing knows my pain. Thus, when they set about to make the spiciest beer ever, they aptly called it Ghost Face Killah. Why? It’s a wheat ale with six different chili peppers: Anaheim, Fresno, jalapeno, serrano, habanero, and bhut jolokia, the ‘ghost’ pepper. Upon its initial release last year, it was only available in Colorado, but this is my year. Starting this month, the beer will be sold in Texas, New Mexico, Florida, Nebraska, Missouri, and Louisiana. I will be crossing many state lines to pick up my own individually bottled 12 ounces to fiery freedom. The chili peppers will have me sweating my ass off, but at least I’ll feel that much closer to my own Ghostface. I just hope I’m not disappointed, because my Asian glow already makes me feel like I’m running a fever every time I get drunk.

• Twisted Pine Brewing: http://www.twistedpinebrewing.com

RIP: Bob Weston, Fleetwood Mac guitarist

From Bob Weston’s official website:

It is with great pain that I must announce that Bob Weston has died. He was found dead at home in his London flat in the evening of the 3rd January, by police making a forced entry. Local friends had become concerned at the lack of response, having not seen him for a couple of days. Cause of death has been attributed to a gastrointestinal haemorrhage. He was found in his bed/armchair [checking] in front of the TV; it is presumed he was asleep and didn’t suffer…

I spoke to Bob just a few days before Xmas; we had discussed him spending Xmas with us, but he had some gigs to do in London. Instead we made plans for a visit early in the New Year. He was in fine spirits, and was involved in several new projects. He also seemed to be very fit…

My family and I have lost a dear friend; the world has lost an enormously talented musician, with unfinished business…

• Bob Weston: http://www.bobweston.com/
• Fleetwood Mac: http://www.fleetwoodmac.com

Bang on a Can offer double album free for first 25 days of 2012; yes, Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstreth is involved

Ah, 2012 is here. The dark vacuum of hopelessness known as 2011 has finalized its reign of terror, and there’s a unanimous feeling of a new beginning inside all of our hearts. This will be our year. The year things happen. Let’s start it off with a bang. A BANG ON A CAN, THAT IS! **someone in the distance boos me**

Bang on a Can, an organization designed as a vehicle for new innovative and experimental music that throws annual summer festivals, has released a new record by The Bang on a Can All-Stars via Cantaloupe Music. The All-Stars, which features Ashley Bathgate on cello, Robert Black on bass, Vicky Chow on piano, David Cossin on percussion, Mark Stewart on guitar, and Evan Ziporyn on clarinet, will be releasing their fifth studio album, Big Beautiful Dark and Scary, February 28. But seeing as it’s both 2012 (the new and brighter future) and the 25th birthday of Bang on a Can, the album is available for free download for the first 25 days of the year! In exchange, listeners need only share a memory, thought, story, or photo of Bang on a Can from the last 25 years to be displayed online. The result will be a scrapbook of memories from all fans of the group. New to Bang on a Can? That’s fine, too. Just mention this news story!

The record features contributions by artists such as Louis Andriessen (with film), David Longstreth (from Dirty Projectors), Conlon Nancarrow, Kate Moore, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, and Evan Ziporyn.

Tracklist:

Disc 1:

01. Julia Wolfe: Big Beautiful Dark and Scary
02. David Lang: sunray
03. Michael Gordon: For Madeline

Evan Ziporyn: Music From Shadowbang
04. Angkat
05. Ocean
06. Meditasi, Head

Disc 2:

David Longstreth
01. Instructional Video
02. Matt Damon
03. Breakfast at J&M

Conlon Nancarrow (arr. Evan Ziporyn): Four Player Piano Studies
04. Study 2a
05. Study 3a
06. Study 3c
07. Study 11

Louis Andriessen: Life (with films by Marijke van Warmerdam)
08. Part I: Wind
09. Part II: Couple
10. Part III: In the distance
11. Part IV: Light
12. Kate Moore: Ridgeway

Bang on a Can 25th Anniversary Season Schedule (with a couple NY events to be confirmed):

01.17.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Walt Disney Concert Hall
01.18.12 - La Jolla, CA - Conrad Prebys Concert Hall at UCSD
03.10.12 - Cambridge, MA - MIT Kresge Auditorium
03.17.12 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Muziekgebouw
03.20.12 - London, UK - The Barbican
03.23.12 - Glasgow, UK - Glasgow’s Concert Halls, Minimal Extreme Festival
03.24.12 - Glasgow, UK - Glasgow’s Concert Halls, Minimal Extreme Festival
04.05.12 - New London, CT - Connecticut College, Palmer Auditorium
04.12.12 - Naperville, IL - North Central College
07.08-29.12 - North Adams, MA - MASS MoCA (Bang on a Can summer festival)

• Bang on a Can 25th Birthday Download: http://www.bangonacan25.org
• Bang on a Can: http://www.bangonacan.org
• Cantaloupe Music: http://www.cantaloupemusic.com

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