RIAA Looking for People Who Hate File-Sharers and Enjoy Lawsuits: 62 New Lawsuits in April

If you’ve ever felt a twisted sense of satisfaction in people getting sued and file-sharers being brought down to size, join the RIAA! Thanks to a government bailout, the RIAA will almost certainly be looking to improve on their record of 62 lawsuits in April, which means there’s plenty of scope for a young, ambitious go-getter like yourself to start taking those pesky file-sharers to court.

No holds-barred suing! That’s what this country needs! Apply today!

Danger Mouse Releases Blank CD-R for Dark Night of the Soul; Why Didn’t I Think of That???

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: what Danger Mouse often lacks in his half-assed, undercooked, soft-boiled, or hit-or-miss collaborations (Cee-lo, Beck Hansen, The Black Keys, and Mark Linkous have suspiciously all cut better records before the “Grey Album Guy” stepped in to add his... signature sound... of... what, exactly? More vintage drums, I think.), he more than makes up for with his awesomely crass, anti-industry skullduggery! Besides, when you think about it, it’s really the “Shock-And-Awe” factor that Mr. Mouse is going for with these “unique artist pairings,” and this same “bitch, what’s my name!?” vibe is what gives him the cred as he needs to write the next chapter in the choose-your-own-adventure novel that is 21st century music distribution, once again flaunting the fact that it's the fans, not record labels like EMI, who have the upper hand in the digital age.

See, Danger Mouse has been working on a collection called Dark Night of the Soul, an album-length piece of music by Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse, and a host of guest vocalists, along with a collection of original David Lynch photography inspired by and based on the music. Sweet, right? (2009 is, after all, the year of the comp, so I’d say his timing is right on.) Well, apparently, relations with EMI on the project have, um, broken down like a James Brown middle-8, and the long and short of it is that EMI is kinda sorta refusing to release the music. Now, if you’re Danger Mouse, the guy who’s literally FAMOUS for being a copyright-law flaunting, industry decrying, music pirate, what DO you do, I wonder?

No brainer, you release the photographs, which provide a visual narrative for the music, compiled in a limited-edition, hand-numbered 100+ page book; and you package that with, yup, a blank, recordable CD-R. All copies will be clearly labeled: "For Legal Reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will." And I’m sure I don’t need to mention that the music leaked on P2P networks over two weeks ago and is currently available as an on-demand from NPR. Sha-booz-baz! Take that, EMI!

But wait! “Sounds Illegal,” you say? Well, if EMI owns the copyright to the sound recordings that make up Dark Night (which, come on now, it probably does, being a Major Label and all), then yes, this could perhaps be construed as “inducing” copyright infringement. But as EFF has pointed out, there’s an interesting little wrinkle in copyright law that might-could step in and work to Danger Mouse’s (and our) favor -- if the blank CD-R is a royalty-paid "music CD-R," then the copies made by fans (whether made from NPR or P2P) would be legal under 17 U.S.C. 1008, which provides that no infringement lawsuit may be "based on the noncommercial use by a consumer of [a digital audio recording] medium for making digital musical recordings." Digital audio recording medium (DARM) is defined to include "music CD-Rs" on which a royalty is paid to copyright owners.

Damn, Danger Mouse! That’s some Legally Blond shit, right there.

Paste Magazine to Change Publication Schedule, Staff Takes 20% Pay Cut, 90+ Artists Contribute Songs to “Save Paste” Campaign

Yikes, desperate times call for desperate measures. Publications, like all businesses, are hurting. We at TMT may live in a ceilingless, interwebbed sphere, but we aren’t above relying on ads for our print brethren, nor are we unsympathetic to them. One only has to look at the TMT office bathroom littered with sticky, dog-eared skag mags of every imaginable variety to see that “we care.” We enjoy a good music-related read too and are always saddened to see fellow music sleuths hit the skids.

As any faithful reader of Tiny Mix Tapes has noticed, we have run a good number of “So-and-So to Cease Publication” stories over the past few years. Off the top of my head Resonance, Skyscraper, Punk Planet, No Depression, Harp, Blender, Radar, and BPM have all laid their mastheads to rest in recent times, and things are certainly not going to get any better, given the current economic crisis and the advertising world’s reaction to it. As we have already posted, Paste Magazine, for one, is not going down without a fight. The magazine is staging a “Campaign to Save Paste” and is asking readers for donations to keep their print-driven dream alive. It has also revealed some other details concerning its decision to go forward with a compassion bailout and what it is doing to stay afloat.

Paste editor-in-chief Josh Jackson has been busy on the interview front, telling Reuters, “We had been facing a financial crunch for a long while as ads had been shrinking and we’ve been trying to catch up with that by cutting expenses and trying to find other sources of income.”

Aside from implementing careful business moves like limiting non-essential travel and leasing out office space, Paste will be making changes to its production schedule. Paste will actually increase its yearly issue output (from 11 to 12), but of these 12 issues, 6 will be smaller, single-topic mini mags, starting with a “Summer Festival Guide” in June.

Talking to Media Life, Jackson spoke of the magazine’s “very passionate and engaged readership” and detailed how they went about starting up this donor drive in the media.

“We’ve emailed everyone on our mailing list, Twittered like crazy, contacted everyone we’ve known, and watched it spread like wildfire. A publicist from Susan Blond (PR firm headed by infamous NYC scenester) volunteered to take our message to daily newspapers, and artists have blogged and Tweeted about it as well. The press has ranged from AP and CNN.com to Gawker and Perez Hilton.”

Jackson said Paste has been getting a lot of financial support from sponsoring companies and pro bono work from freelance photographers and writers. He also acknowledged Paste’s staff of 15 have already taken a pay cut of 20%. Central to the “Campaign” is the contributions of artists, or “Paste’s Kids,” who have supplied unreleased and rare songs to the cause in exchange for pledges. According to various sources, Paste has secured songs donated from some of the magazine’s favorites names, over 90 and counting, like The Decemberists, Neko Case, of Montreal, Cowboy Junkies, The Hives, Josh Ritter, Josh Rouse, Jayhawks, The Avett Brotehrs, Matthew Sweet, G. Love, String Cheese Incident, She & Him, Indigo Girls, and many more.

While Jackson hasn’t given any hints as to how much money Paste has raised or how much they require to put its feet on solid financial ground, he has hinted that a number in “the low six figures” will help the Atlanta-based publication through this trying period of uncertainty. You can donate here

The Curious Mystery Release Album on K Records, Pack Up Noah’s Ark Full of Wacky Instruments for West Coast Tourdates

Some bands -- in fact, in this post-The Strokes/The Libertines/The Hives world, most bands -- just don’t need a “The” in front of their name. I am going to go out on a limb here and add The Curious Mystery to this list. I first heard the name today, and I was just, like, not feelin’ it. (Unless you are The The, the article just seems superfluous.) But then I heard the actual band and -- OH SNAP -- I was toooootally feeling it.

The Curious Mystery are a Seattle-based psychedelic garage band with roots in country/western and experimental music. Formed in 2005 by guitarist/vocalist/homemade instrumentalist Nicolas Gonzalez and vocalist/banjoist/guitarist/autoharpist/monkey trainer Shana Cleveland, the band has since expanded to include -- y’all ready for this? -- Bradford Button on bass guitar and Faustine B. Hudson on drums, gong, dinner bell, and (yes, you guessed it) plastic tube. (That Bradford -- what an underachiever. Isn’t there an accordion sitting around somewhere he could pick up?)

The multi-instrumentalists are hitting the road for a West Coast tour this spring in support of their debut, Rotting Slowly, which came out today on K Records!
05.21.09 - Portland, OR - The Dunes
05.22.09 - Salem, OR - The Space
05.23.09 - Arcata, CA - Arcata Theatre Lounge
05.26.09 - Redding, CA - The Downtown Eatery
05.27.09 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern
05.30.09 - San Jose, CA - Streetlight Records (early show)
05.30.09 - San Jose, CA - The Blank Club
05.31.09 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell
06.01.09 - Phoenix, AZ - Trunk Space
06.03.09 - Tucson, AZ - Red Room
06.05.09 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Woodshed
06.06.09 - Boise, ID - Neurolux

* Old Time Relijun

You have to love the guys who run The Pirate Bay (or hate them a lot, depending on what you have at stake). Whether they're bold-facedly advertising The Simpsons Movie available for download on its first day in theatres or trying to start their own country where file-sharing is legal, they tend to grab the bull by the prairie oysters. Well, those smug assholes have done it again. Or at least they're about to have done it again.

Let's back up. About three weeks ago, the well-publicized Pirate Bay trial reached a verdict requiring the management of The Pirate Bay to pay a fine of 30-million SEK. The money was to be paid to Danowsky & Partners Advokatbyrå, the small law firm representing the IFPI in the recent trial. Of course, Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm and his three co-pirates, relaxed comfortably atop their beanbag chair-sized testicles, had no intentions of paying the fine.

Their current plan is to enact what is now being called a "Distributed Denial of Dollars" (or DDo$) attack. It is basically an adaptation of the DDoS attack, a technique by which a number of internet users intentionally overload a server in order to make it inaccessible to its intended users. In this case, The Pirate Bay is asking users to make tiny donations of 1 SEK (approx. 0.13 USD) to the bank account in which the 30 million SEK is meant to be deposited.

Here's how it works: The first 1000 transfers made to the account cost nothing to Danowsky. Any further transfers, however, will cause the bank to charge Danowsky with a fee of 2 SEK. This means that any donations (beyond the first 1000) of 1 SEK will end up costing Danowsky 1 SEK. Bear in mind that The Pirate Bay has about 3.6 million users.

As Danowsky is a small firm that handles all transactions by hand, this attack will probably end up wasting a lot of their time. And time is money. So it will end up wasting some of their money, and then a lot of their money. Now, unless Danowsky is so overwhelmed that they have to close their doors, this still does not explain how Svartholm and his mates will avoid paying their fine. But as the old pirate saying goes, "If ye be drownin, 'tis best that the last bit of ya ter be seen be yer sinkin' middle finger."

Hounding her MySpace page has finally paid off: Fever Ray is coming to the States and Canada. From the looks of the videos already posted on YouTube, the tour's gonna have some spooky shit with a high chance of lasers and subsequent nightmares. Sign me up!

Fever Ray will be supporting her self-titled solo album (TMT Review), which was released via Mute back in March.

Here are the tourdates:
05.20.09 - Graz, Austria - Electronic Beats Festival
05.21.09 - Berlin, Germany - Berghain (two shows)
05.23.09 - Cologne, Germany - Electronic Beats Festival
06.13.09 - Stockholm, Sweden - Where the Action Is
06.20.09 - Barcelona, Spain - Sonar By Night
07.03.09 - Arvika, Sweden - Arvika Festival
07.04.09 - Roskilde, Denmark - Roskilde Festival
07.11.09 - Brighton, England - Loop Festival
07.12.09 - Naas, Ireland - Oxegen Festival
07.14.09 - Manchester, UK - Academy 2
07.16.09 - London, UK - Shepherds Bush Empire
07.17.09 - Southwold, UK - Latitude Festival
07.18.09 - Leipzig, Germany - Melt! Festival
08.13.09 - Oslo, Norway - Oya Festival
08.14.09 - Göteborg, Sweden - Way Out West Festival
08.16.09 - Helsinki, Finland - Flow Festival
09.28.09 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
09.29.09 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
10.01.09 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis
10.02.09 - Toronto, ON - Kool Haus
10.03.09 - Chicago, IL - Metro
10.05.09 - San Francisco, CA - The Grand Ballroom
10.07.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theater