Media Institute Disputes Performance Right, Says Artists Should Stop Trying To Eat The Cake They’ve Got

Media Institute Disputes Performance Right, Says Artists Should Stop Trying To Eat The Cake They've Got

How many of you out there know about the controversy surrounding the “Performance Rights Act”? Whoa! Calm down! I had no idea everyone was so emotionally invested in congressional bills H.R. 848 and S. 379.

For the few of you who don’t know, the Performance Rights Act is a piece of legislation that, if passed, would require terrestrial radio stations (regular ol’ radio stations) to pay performing artists and labels for broadcasting their music. Thought that was already happening? Nope, only songwriters and publishers get paid for airplay. So if you hear an artist on the radio, that doesn’t necessarily mean their making coin off of it. Sound complicated? The plot thickens.

The Media Institute recently released a paper that argues against the Public Performance Right Act. They reason that because radio airplay increases album sales for the artists and labels whose recordings are played, radio stations shouldn’t have to pay royalties on top of what amounts to free promotion. The current system is a “symbiotic relationship” that is both “fair and equitable.” The paper maintains that many stations couldn’t afford this new fee and would either go belly up or be forced to a non-music format. So, they argue, unless we’d be content with just a handful of talk radio stations, we shouldn’t pass this bill.

Of course, it’s not so simple. Satellite and internet broadcasters currently pay royalties to performing artists and their labels, so one might wonder why terrestrial radio should be exempt? And, the vast majority of foreign countries have laws that require radio stations to pay performance related royalties, so why not in the US?

It’s hard to figure out who’s being greedy and who’s getting robbed. But someone’s livelihood is definitely at stake, so we’ll keep you posted on any developments.

• The Media Institute:

The Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd to Teach Oklahoma College Class Tomorrow, Answer All of Students’ Burning Questions About the Enigmatic “Double Guitar”

Tomorrow, February 10th, The Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma will present a master class with Flaming Lips multi-instrumentalist and adjunct professor of Badass, Steven Drozd. Open only to enrolled students (awww), the class will consist of an interview and a Q&A session with the indie drum legend and seemingly eight-armed keyboard and guitar mastermind, who will discuss such invaluable topics as musicianship and what life is like for a professional musician (hint: there’s probably a lot of driving involved). “I wish this [school] would have been around when I was a 17- or 18-year-old kid,” Drozd told NPR recently. Although, if it were around, Drozd might have set himself on a different musical path and the spacetime continuum deal would be ALL screwed up, and who KNOWS who’d be president… so, personally, I’m sort of fifth-dimensionally glad that it wasn’t.

But either way, as NPR further reports, it’s actually not all that odd that Drozd is showing up to school with these kids, as he and Lips manager Scott Booker helped start the Academy in the first place just last fall, with the mission of teaching students about both music and the music industry. And actually, he’s not even the first music star to guest-lecture there. Last semester, students got a Master Class from the Who’s Roger Daltrey (mostly about middle-aged male hair care) , as well as a concert from rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson, backed by a some lucky Academy students.

The school, which grants a two-year associate’s degree in music performance and production, is the US branch of Britain’s groundbreaking Academy of Contemporary Music, based in Guildford, England. I guess that’s why crazy old Roger Daltrey showed up and lip-synced a lecture or two?

• The Academy of Contemporary Music (Oklahoma):

Chain and the Gang Tour with Strange Boys, Prep Passports

Ian Svenonius cannot sit still. The former Nation of Ulysses frontman will embark on a globe-spanning tour with his newest project, Chain and the Gang. Svenonius’ Gang will trek across the US this February and March with The Strange Boys and a few other guests showing up along the way. The Chain Gang will then head to Europe for a host of shows and festival appearances. If you’re curious, here’s the TMT review of Chain and the Gang’s 2009 debut album, Down with Liberty… Up with Chains!

02.19.10 - Austin, TX - Emo’s Inside *
02.20.10 - Marfa, TX - Padre’s *
02.23.10 - Phoenix, AZ - Trunk Space *
02.24.10 - San Diego, CA - Casbah *
02.25.10 - Isla Vista, CA - Biko’s Garage *
02.26.10 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo *
02.27.10 - San Francisco, CA - The Elbo Room *@
02.28.10 - Reno, NV - Rainshadow Community Charter High School *
03.02.10 - Salem, OR - The Space *#
03.03.10 - Olympia, WA - Northern *#
03.04.10 - Seattle, WA - Comet Tavern *$
03.05.10 - Vancouver, BC - The Media Club *
03.06.10 - Portland, OR - East End *
03.24.10 - Krakow, Poland - OFF Club %
03.27.10 - Leipzig, Germany - Zoro
03.28.10 - Hamburg, Germany - Hafenklang
03.29.10 - Munster, Germany - Gleis 22
03.30.10 - Bielefeld, Germany - Forum
04.01.10 - Lille, France - Club Aeronef
04.04.10 - Bordeaux, France - St Ex
04.05.10 - Toulouse, France - Le Saint des Seins
04.06.10 - San Sebastian, Spain - Le Bukowsky
04.07.10 - Madrid, Spain - Nasti Club
04.08.10 - Barcelona, Spain - Sidecar
04.09.10 - Nice, France - Le Volume
04.14.10 - Neuchatel, Switzerland - Queen Kong
04.15.10 - Clermont-Ferrand, France - Maison de l’Oradou
04.16.10 - Angouleme, France - La Nef
04.19.10 - London, UK - Cargo +
04.20.10 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club +
04.21.10 - Glasgow, Scotland - Stereo +
04.22.10 - Sheffield, UK - Sawa
04.23.10 - Paris, France - La maroquinerie
04.26.10 - Metz, France - L’Emile Vache
04.27.10 - Lyon, FRANCE - Ground Zero
04.28.10 - Dijon, France - Kill Your Pop Festival

* Strange Boys
@ Ty Segall
# Hive Dwellers
$ Lovvers
% Mount Eerie, No Kids
+ The Sticks

• Chain and the Gang:
• The Strange Boys:

The Title Track from Title Tracks’ Self-Titled–Just Kidding; Ex-Q and Not U Member Comes Out With Sensibly Named Debut as Title Tracks, Prepares to Tour

For those who attended high school in the early 2000s, almost all of us had an erstwhile love affair with Q and Not U. When they broke up in 2005, we lost an essential reference point for explaining to less-cool friends what post-hardcore was, and a small chapter ended in our lives (or maybe it was just adolescence). In a surprising twist, shortly after the band’s dissolution, drummer John Davis formed the indie pop duo Georgie James with Laura Burhenn, coming out with one album of innocuous, more or less generic power-pop from Saddle Creek. While nothing special and certainly, nothing lasting, Places — the first and last album from the duo — at least gave Davis the opportunity to branch out musically. Rather than sticking to percussion, he alternated vocals with Burhenn and took charge of most of the instruments.

Burhenn and Davis split up shortly after Places, and once again the very capable Davis was left to his own devices. Having perspicaciously anticipated the breakup, he began work on a solo album as early as January 2008 (Georgie James didn’t officially break up until that summer). In 2009, he released a single under the name Title Tracks on old QANU standby Dischord, and thus Davis returned to the indie radar. (For those interested in Laura Burhenn, she too began a new band, The Mynabirds, and is releasing an album in April with Saddle Creek.)

John Davis’ long-overdue debut full-length as Title Tracks, It Was Easy, is at long last set for digital release from Ernest Jenning Record Co. on February 9 (CD/LP out February 23). With the exception of two covers of Bruce Springsteen and The Byrds, the songs are all Davis’. He also commandeered all the instruments, though you can listen for a sax contribution from Kriston Capps on one song and vocals from Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell on two. Title Tracks is still not Q and Not U, but it’s also not Georgie James, and Davis’ songs are decently catchy and varied enough to keep you interested.

Check out the video to “Steady Love” at the Chocolate Grinder and then catch Title Tracks on tour, with a backing band comprised of Nick Anderson, Michael Cotterman, and Andrew Black.

02.11.10 - Washington, DC - Black Cat *
02.14.10 - Pittsburgh, PA - Brillobox *
02.16.10 - Pontiac, MI - The Pike Room *
02.18.10 - Chicago, IL - The Hideout
02.19.10 - Madison, WI - Der Rathskellar at Wisconsin Union *
02.21.10 - Memphis, TN - Hi Tone Cafe
02.24.10 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk *
03.01.10 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 *
03.02.10 - Richmond, VA - Gallery 5 *
03.03.10 - Baltimore, MD - Golden West Cafe *
03.04.10 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie *
03.05.10 - Cambridge, MA - The Middle East (Upstairs) *
03.06.10 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Hall *
03.07.10 - New York City, NY - The Cake Shop *
03.11.10 - Cleveland, OH - The Grog Shop ^
03.12.10 - Pontiac, MI - The Crofoot ^
03.13.10 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge ^
03.14.10 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon ^
03.15.10 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue ^

* Pretty & Nice
^ Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

• Title Tracks:
• Ernest Jenning Record Co:

[Photo: Shervin Lainez]

Album Leaf Announce US Tour; Try And Fail To Reunite Cast Of The OC

Somewhere in Los Angeles, Adam Brody (a.k.a. Seth Cohen on The OC) sits and ponders between bong rips what the rest of his former castmates are up to. He puts on an album by The Album Leaf, a band that regularly licensed its songs for his hit teenage melodrama television program half a decade ago, and presses play. Their new album, A Chorus of Storytellers (TMT Review), which came out this month on Sub Pop, fills the room. A single tear rolls down Brody’s cheek as he looks through The Album Leaf’s tourdates and realizes he will be out of town filming a straight-to-DVD movie when they play L.A. Ultimate sadface. :(

02.09.10 - Eugene, OR - Wow Hall &
02.11.10 - Santa Cruz, CA - Crepe Place &
02.12.10 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall &
02.13.10 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theater &
02.25.10 - Lisbon, Portugal - Lisbon Santiago Alquimista
02.26.10 - Madrid, Spain - Moby Dick
02.27.10 - Murcia, Spain - 12 & Medio
02.28.10 - Barcelona, Spain - Apollo 2
03.03.10 - Milan, Italy - Circolo Magnoia
03.04.10 - Lucerne, Switzerland - Sudpol Club
03.05.10 - Düdingen, Switzerland - Bad Bonn
03.06.10 - St. Gallen, Germany - Theater Palace
03.07.10 - Munich, Germany - Feierwerk
03.09.10 - Vienna, Austria - Szene
03.10.10 - Dresden, Germany - Beatpol
03.11.10 - Berlin, Germany - Lido
03.12.10 - Hamburg, Germany - Knust
03.13.10 - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Rotown
03.14.10 - Koln, Germany - Gebaude 9
03.16.10 - Antwerpen (Borgerhout), Belgium - Club Trix
03.17.10 - Colmar, France - Kraken
03.18.10 - Heidelberg, Germany - Karlstorbahnhof
03.19.10 - Paris, France - Maroquinerie
03.20.10 - Lille, France - L’Aéronef
03.21.10 - Bristol, United Kingdom - Thekla Social
03.22.10 - Manchester, United Kingdom - Deaf Institute
03.23.10 - London, United Kingdom - Bush Hall
04.02.10 - Tokyo, Japan - Shibuya-Ax
04.03.10 - Nagoya, Japan - Club Quattro Nagoya
04.05.10 - Osaka, Japan - Club Quattro Osaka
04.07.10 - Hong Kong, Hong Kong - Grappa’s Cellar
04.09.10 - Taipei, Taiwan - The Wall Live House
04.20.10 - Tucson, AZ - Plush &
04.21.10 - Albuquerque, NM - Launch Pad &
04.22.10 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater &
04.23.10 - Omaha, NE - Waiting Room &
04.24.10 - St. Louis, MO - The Luminary Center for the Arts &
04.25.10 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall &
04.27.10 - Grand Rapids, MI - Ladies Literary Club &
04.28.10 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace &
04.29.10 - Montreal, QC - Cabaret Music Hall &
04.30.10 - Boston, MA - Paradise &
05.01.10 - New York City, NY - Bowery Ballroom &
05.02.10 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church &
05.04.10 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel &
05.05.10 - Carrboro, NC - Cats Cradle &
05.06.10 - Dallas, TX - The Loft &
05.07.10 - Jacksonville, FL - Jack Rabbits &
05.08.10 - Orlando, FL - The Social &
05.10.10 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon &
05.11.10 - Austin, TX - Parish Room &
05.14.10 - San Diego, CA - Birch North Park Theatre &

& Sea Wolf

• The Album Leaf:
• Sub Pop:

Bummertown: Cold Cave Cancel Dates in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina

Citing delays due to the relentless snowstorm rampaging in the east, Cold Cave have announced the cancellation of a handful of tourdates, which blows. Cold Cave is primarily the synth-pop project of Wesley Eisold (ex-Some Girls), but playing with him on tour are ex-Xiu Xiu member Caralee McElroy and Prurient/Hospital Records founder Dominic Fernow. Man, this weather is bullshit, but the Matablog sez all of the dates are planned to be rescheduled, which is alright. I GUESS.

Canceled dates:

02.09.10 - Orlando, FL - Backbooth*
02.10.10 - Tampa, FL - Crowbar*
02.11.10 - Atlanta, GA - Criminal Records
02.11.10 - Atlanta, GA - 529*
02.13.10 - Greenboro, NC - Legitimate Business *

* Nite Jewel

• Cold Cave:
• Matador:

[Photo: Timothy Norris]