RIAA Victim’s $1.92 Million Fine Reduced to $54,000

The weirdness continues as Jammie Thomas-Rasset’s music copyright infringement fines are lowered by Judge Michael Davis. Thomas was the first individual to be tried (Capitol v. Thomas) before a jury in a file-sharing copyright lawsuit by major record labels, with the original case taking place in 2007 for illegally downloading 24 songs.

The damages of that original case came to $222,000 but Thomas was retried in 2009 due to an error in jury instructions. The second trial brought the damages up to a bloated $1,920,000—obviously the RIAA was giving the jury instructions this time around.

Ms. Thomas appealed against the $2 million damages claim, resulting in Judge Davis’s reassessment saying, “It was the jury’s province to determine the award… and this Court has merely reduced that award to the maximum amount that is no longer monstrous and shocking.” That new award was set at a still-shocking $54,000, and the RIAA was given a week by the court to challenge that reduced verdict.

The ultimate artifice in all of this comes from the announcement that any damages awarded to the RIAA will not go to the artists whose music was downloaded, but instead to more anti-piracy campaigns; a final “fuck you” to consumers and musicians across the US.

For those interested in the full chronology and details of the case, check out the heavily referenced Wikipedia page.

Tiny Vipers Tour Promises to Be the Saddest Tour Ever

No joke, have you heard Life on Earth (TMT Review)? It sounds like meeting everyone you’ve ever loved and lost over the course of an hour and being fired from your favorite job ever, all rolled into one, or as Tiny Vipers’ MySpace page says, “tssss ts tssssssss boom.”


03.03.10 - Belfort, France - TBA
03.04.10 - Grenoble, France - Le Ciel
03.07.10 - Den Bosch, Holland - fabrIQ
03.08.10 - Haldern, Germany - Haldern Pop Bar
03.09.10 - Heidelberg, Germany - Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut
03.10.10 - Berlin, Germany - Sohpiensaele
03.11.10 - Chemnitz, Germany - Weltecho
03.12.10 - Numberg, Germany - K4
03.13.10 - Cologne, Germany - Kultur Bunker Mulheim

Polysics Announce New U.S. Tour; Might as Well Move to the U.S. They Tour Here So Often

Back in the day when I was first learning about this thing called “indie rock,” a friend informed me that I should go see the Polysics play an upcoming show in my college town because “they’re from Tokyo and they barely tour the US at all.” Over the next four years, Polysics proceeded to play this same city about half a dozen times. Moral of the story? Don’t listen to your friends. Instead, listen to the new Polysics album, Absolute Polysics, which is out now on MySpace Records (yes, seriously). And while you’re at it, go see them play your city again:

01.28.10 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
01.29.10 - Los Angeles, CA - The Roxy Theatre
01.30.10 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
02.02.10 - Tucson, AZ - Plush
02.03.10 - Phoenix, AZ - The Rhythm Room
02.05.10 - San Antonio, TX - The White Rabbit
02.06.10 - Austin, TX - The Independent
02.07.10 - Dallas, TX - The Loft
02.10.10 - Chicago, IL - Double Door
02.11.10 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
02.02.10 - Akron, OH - Musica
02.13.10 - New York, NY - The Gramercy Theatre
02.14.10 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East
02.16.10 - Washington, DC - The Rock and Roll Hotel

The Ballerina Rose Gracefully En Pointe and Extended One Slender Leg Behind Her, Like a Dog at a Fire Hydrant. Meh. Eluvium Promises to Do Much Better with His Similes

Everything you expect and desire from Eluvium is coming on February 23, because that is the date upon which the anticipated new album, Similes, will be released. Matthew Cooper, the multifariously talented musician known better by his geologically-sound stage name, will issue his latest record on Temporary Residence and it promises to be a bold step for the electronic ambient composer par excellence. Although the artwork will once again be provided by the wonderful Jeannie Paske, Eluvium has been experimenting with instruments and techniques that may be commonplace for others but rarely used by him. Similes allegedly has Cooper employing more percussion and vocals than longtime listeners are accustomed to hearing and has more verse-chorus-verse song composition than you would ever expect. You can stream two tracks from the album at Stereogum here. In his hands, these olde-timey techniques will surely sound fresher than a sweet Sunday morning.

Similes tracklisting:

01. Leaves Eclipse the Light
02. The Motion Makes Me Last
03. In Culmination
04. Weird Creatures
05. Nightmare 5
06. Making Up Minds
07. Bending Dream
08. Cease to Know

Radiohead Raises $572,754 at Haiti Benefit Gig

My knees are still shaking in excitement.

As we recently reported, Radiohead played a last-minute Haiti benefit gig at LA’s Music Box (at the Henry Fonda Theater) on Sunday night, and I can say without reservation that it was the single greatest show I have ever witnessed. The band ripped through fan favorites like “Paranoid Android” and “The National Anthem” and even played a couple special songs, like the unreleased “Lotus Flower” and a solo piano rendition of “Everything In Its Right Place.” Standing next to Justin Timberlake and Paul Thomas Anderson—among the many celebrity attendees who paid high prices for the auction-only tickets— I did feel a bit out of place, despite being the editor-in-chief of Tiny Mix Tapes. In fact, it took Drew Barrymore to get me out of my insecurity: having bumped into her right before the band hit the stage (I told her about the editor-in-chief stuff), we sang as loudly as we could to “Fake Plastic Trees,” jumping around together, holding hands, and having a blast.

Okay, yeah, so I wasn’t really there. But the whole shebang sounded like it went well. So well, in fact, that Radiohead raised $572,754 for Oxfam’s Haiti relief efforts. Over half a million ain’t too shabby for a small, last-minute gig in LA.

Setlist (courtesy of AtEase):

01 Faust Arp
02 Fake Plastic Trees
03 Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
04 The National Anthem
05 Nude
06 Karma Police
07 Kid A
08 Morning Bell
09 How to Disappear Completely
10 A Wolf at the Door
11 The Bends
12 Reckoner
13 Lucky
14 Bodysnatchers
15 Dollars & Cents
16 Airbag
17 Exit Music

Encore #1
18 Everything in Its Right Place (Thom)
19 You and Whose Army?
20 Pyramid Song
21 All I Need

Encore #2:
22 Lotus Flower
23 Paranoid Android
24 Street Spirit (fade out)

• Radiohead: http://www.radiohead.com
• Oxfam: http://www.oxfam.org

*Burrrrp*! Why Do'n YOU Go and R'lease an Al-bum in, *Hic,* March Ooh-Ten, Ya Stoopid Jerk! Frightened Rabbit Get Ready to Celebrate The Winter of Mixed Drinks

Don’t let the title fool you. Frightened Rabbit may be ready to celebrate The Winter of Mixed Drinks but they are far from dead-eyed drunks who take a wild swing at you from their dampening bar perch with a fresh “Silver Bullet” for nothing more than (allegedly) “lookin’ atta ma gurrrlfriend.” No, they have it a little more together than that.

The Winter of Mixed Drinks is Frightened Rabbit’s third album and the follow-up to their breakthrough release The Midnight Organ Fight. Produced again by Peter Katis and featuring string arrangements by Hauschka, The Winter of Mixed Drinks (I can’t get enough of typing that name!) will be available via FatCat on March 9. The first single, “Swim Until You Can’t See Land,” is available now on download and 7-inch with the undoubtedly dour “Fun Stuff” on the flip.

01. Things
02. Swim Until You Can’t See Land
03. The Loneliness and the Scream
04. The Wrestle
05. Skip the Youth
06. Nothing Like You
07. Man/Bag of Sand
08. Foot Shooter
09. Not Miserable
10. Living in Colour
11. Yes I Would

03.04.10 - York, England - Duchess
03.05.10 - Manchester, England - Club Academy
03.06.10 - Aldershot, England - West End Centre
03.08.10 - Bristol, Endland - Thekla
03.09.10 - Oxford, England - Academy 2
03.10.10 - London, England - Koko
03.12.10 - Birmingham, England - Academy 2
03.13.10 - Sheffield, England - Leadmill 2
03.14.10 - Norwich, England - Arts Centre
03.17.10 - Austin, TX - SXSW
04.17.10 - Indio, CA - Empire Polo Field (Coachella)

• Frightened Rabbit: http://www.myspace.com/frightenedrabbit
• FatCat Records: http://fat-cat.co.uk