Shocker: RIAA Petitions Judges to LOWER Artist Royalties (But.. But Isn’t the RIAA Suing Music Fans Because of Lost Artist Royalties?)

[Stops typing, looks over shoulder in slight surprise, swivels chair to face camera] Oh, hello. My name is Mango Starr, and I'm a news writer for Tiny Mix Tapes, an online music magazine. [Camera slowly zooms in] I would like to share with you some exciting information about the RIAA that will surely help you gain perspective on -- what some scientists and other credible sources say -- the "evil" practices of the MP3 world.

You see, the RIAA is a trade group that "represents the U.S. recording industry." Despite its emphasis on shareholders stock photos of attractive white business men, smiling and shaking hands], the RIAA truly does care about its artists [vibrant concert footage of Puff Daddy, Radiohead, and Shania Twain] and finds it sad when anti-RIAA coalitions like [Candian Music Creators Coaltion are erected by its own artists, with members ranging from The New Pornographers to Sum 41 [photo of ugly dude from Sum 41 drinking beer, random black guy dressed in "gangster" clothing].

Despite these unappreciative artists, the RIAA is still figuring out ways to make artists and music fans like you happy about the infiltration of the digital music world. Before the RIAA can make everyone happy though, it has to show people like you why it is so important to understand the lies ominous music] of places like the [Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), who are encouraging, perhaps even brainwashing people into signing its petition ("Take a Stand Against the Madness: Stop the RIAA!"). The EFF has over 80,000 signatures so far, and will deliver the petition to the Senate and House Commerce and Judiciary Committees once it reaches 100,000 signatures. The RIAA encourages you NOT to sign this petition because it is full of lies.

Inspirational music] Instead, the [RIAA has its own petition in mind. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the RIAA is "petitioning the panel of federal government Copyright Royalty Judges to lower the rates paid to publishers and songwriters for use of lyrics and melodies in applications like cell phone ring tones and other digital recordings."

[Clip of RIAA executive VP and General Counsel Steven Marks] "Mechanical royalties currently are out of whack with historical and international rates. We hope the judges will restore the proper balance by reducing the rate and moving to a more flexible percentage rate structure so that record companies can continue to create the sound recordings that drive revenues for music publishers."

[Back to Mango Starr, now near office water cooler with "I Love Music" coffee mug] Yes, these are indeed exciting times for the RIAA. But you may be asking yourself, "But why is the RIAA wanting to lower artist royalties when it's also suing music pirates in the name of these very same artists?" Look, I am not here to raise questions. Do something that you enjoy; watch TV, go to Disneyworld, listen to music. The RIAA wants to ensure you get the music you want, period. The RIAA also wants what’s best for the artists, period. So, have faith in the RIAA, because the RIAA has faith in you.

I'm Mango Starr. Thanks for spending time with me. And just remember: without the RIAA, music would probably not exist.

(This has been a paid advertisement by the Recording Industry Association of America)

Warner Music CEO Rats Out His Own Kids; RIAA Comes Down On Them With An Iron Slap On The Wrist

First, a discovery. Scientists made an exciting announcement on Wednesday, confirming what some have believed for almost a decade. It turns out that downloading music IS stealing! You know those commandments that some politicians want displayed in courtrooms? Yeah, stealing is in there somewhere. Honestly, you should be grateful that we don't live in the time of eye-for-an-eye or the penalty for music piracy would be the severing of your virtual hand.

Speaking of the virtual world, Warner Music Chief Executive Edgar Bronfman granted an interview to Second Life, a virtual community for child predators last week. The conversation turned to the subject of music piracy and the result was positively SHOCKING...

So, you have seven children, have you ever caught any of them using Gnutella or Limewire or the P2P network?

Bronfman: I have. I explained to them what I believe is right, that the principle involved is that stealing music is stealing music. Frankly, right is right and wrong is wrong, particularly when a parent is talking to a child, a bright line around moral responsibility is very important. I can assure you they no longer do that.

What were the consequences?

Bronfman: I think I'll keep that within the family. (Laughter)

We know what you're thinking. Where's the blood?! I want consequences!! Hey RIAA, seven subpeonas, coming right up! Fact is, dude seems like a reasonable father (businessman, not so much). Within the context of a home, ganking music from a P2P network is like taking cookies from the cookie jar before dinner. Most times you don't get caught, but if you do, the strongest reaction it would elicit is something on the level of a less than convincing shrug.

We can only imagine the conversation went something like this:

Dad: Son?

Son: Oh... ummm... I was just finishing up an, uh... Excel document so I cank eep track of all my ponies.

Dad: Oh no! Oh God, no! Did I just see SoulSeek up on your screen?

Son: (Looks down) I'm sorry dad. I mean, you give me all these free CDs
from Warner, but frankly, your music sucks.

Dad: I'm so disapointed in you, son. You are taking an artist's intellectual property, you know that, right?

Son: I know, I know. I'm really sorry... Uh... dad, how much do artists
make off of cd sales?

Dad: Uh, way less than 10 percent. muHaHahaha!!!

Son: More ponies for us, eh?

Dad: Yeah, more ponies.

Makes you wonder, who's the real pirate? Here's one clue: it's not Bronfman's kids.

Parents, if there's any kids in the room, either lock them away in their cages or sit them three inches from your monitor with a 40 oz. sippy cup of Jack, because this story is about Mötley Crüe -- and half measures are not allowed, regardless of age! Whatever it is about the band, people can’t get enough of the tales associated with it, no matter how insane, degrading, or unbelievable the story. F'rinstance...

An acquaintance of my older sister, who after sending the band a bunch of gushing fan letters, was “rewarded” with a jar of cum sent to him from the Crüe. You read that right... A JAR OF CUM from the Crüe!!! True story... I can't help but think that somewhere, in some shitty town, this douche probably still brings out the jar from cold storage, dons the leathers, makes a BC Rich Warlock out of his cardboard "shelving system" and dental floss, and rocks out to "Ten Seconds to Love" before crying himself to sleep at night thinking of the old days while listening to "Starry Eyes" with the jar resting lovingly next to him on a pillow of rolled-up sweatpants. Sorry, when the mind starts rambling, I just follow with my fingers on the keyboard. It's not my fault!

Yeah, it all makes for fantastic reading in the 400+ page autobiography The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band, so there's no reason it can't work on screen. At least that has been the thinking since the best-selling book appeared in 2001. Finally, after a long period of speculation and false starts, the movie now appears to be in pre-production and is due to be released by Paramount and MTV in 2008, with Larry Charles (Borat, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm) rumoured to be lined up as director. Most exciting is the news that two "lesser" rock star roles have been established. At the opening of his Vegas tattoo parlour, singer Vince Neil gave an exclusive to ABC's Al Mancini, saying, "We're doing big, giant cameos with those people." He wasn't wrong. Apparently Christopher Walken has agreed to portray Ozzy Osbourne, and Val Kilmer will play David Lee Roth. The group themselves have repeatedly stated in the past that they themselves will be acted out by unknowns, but we all know "unknown" is a grey term at best. Yes, that’s right, when Hollywood wants to leak some juicy news, it comes to slithering to Tiny Mix Tapes, or at least it doesn't sue when we make up whatever the hell we want and post it as the truth. So, in that time-honored tradition, here's who our Tinseltown insider (allegedly) told us will be playing the major roles:

- Tara Reid as Vince Neil

- Quagmire from Family Guy as Tommy Lee (you heard it here first…The Dirt is going to be 1/4 animated!)

- Tara Reid as Pam Anderson

- Ashton Kutcher or his female equivalent, Yasmine Bleeth, as Nikki Sixx

- Tara Reid as Heather Locklear

- The little black-eyed crawling thing from The Grudge as Mick Mars

- Tara Reid (in cornrows) as Axl Rose

Whatever the final castings choices turn out to be, the last words about the flick here have to go to Mötley motormouth bassist Nikki Sixx, who's 2001 diary entry regarding the movie I stole from the "Absolute Motley Crue" fansite and I'm posting here because it has the word "balls" in it a lot: "...BUT IVE SEEN ENOUGH R MOVIES TO KNOW THAY CAN SNEAK SOME REAL LIFE GRIME IN THERE AND NOT LOSE THE BALLS... THATS THE ONE THING WE INSIST ON..THIS MOVIE HAS TO HAVE BALLS... BIG FUCKING NASTY HAIRY HANGING LOW HEAVY METAL BALLS..."

Ahhh, once again, Sixx soothes the soul. Man, this movie just simply HAS to happen!

Clergy from Virgin and Pontiac Unite For Marketing Purposes, Church of “Virgiac” to Launch Later This Week

According to “billboard.biz” (a non-partisan website that chronicles in
great detail the when, where, why, and money shot every time the great
shaven phallus of the music industry fucks music itself in order to make
our world a cooler place), Virgin Megastores and Pontiac are coming
together in order to form the most sacred ad campaign in human history:
The Pontiac Towers.

Hey! Put down those Orwell-quoting protest signs and letters to the
Adbusters editor -- you, you poor, lost little lamb -- you haven’t even heard
why you need The Pontiac Towers in your life yet. They will serve a myriad
of purposes, including but not limited to: featuring musical artists who
have had their work used in Pontiac advertisements, showcasing Pontiac
merchandise, and being homes to interactive displays on which consumers
can view “Pontiac Garage” concert footage.

Most importantly, however, the Towers should be worshipped in body and in spirit several times daily by all passers-by in order for the maximum
power of the ad campaign to be realized. From the Towers, the worship will
be condensed, shrink-wrapped, and sent skyward to the mysterious but
powerful “Virgiac,” who will, if pleased, bless mankind with more car
commercials and catchier pop-punk anthems. If you are a faithful servant
of Virgiac until the day you die, you will be rewarded by spending an
eternal afterlife as a wealthy member of the 18-34 demographic.

In addition to the towers, Virgin will license at least 30 songs to
Pontiac every year for various purposes, such as TV spots and online ads.
Mark-Hans Richer, Pontiac’s Marketing Director, said of the promotion: “I
think brands and bands can make each others’ products better,” in a spare
moment between silent prayer hour and Gregorian chant time. “Brands and
bands” -- now there’s a catch phrase for the new millennium if I ever heard
one. Enjoy your scoffs of skepticism now, doubter, but don’t come to me in
the afterlife you’ll inevitably be spending as a destitute 92-year-old man
looking for alms, cause you ain’t gettin’ anything from me or my
rising-star-in-the-legal-profession young wife. Don’t give him any money,
Vanessa, you’re only hurting him in the long run.

Radiohead To Cover Stone Temple Pilots; Okay, I Lied – Radiohead To Debut Two New Songs On Nigel Godrich’s TV Show

For those of you who salivate over all things Radiohead, you may have heard about this little program put together by their occasional producer and collaborator Nigel Godrich. In case you haven't, or need to be reminded, the television show, entitled From The Basement, is to be a glorious program full of wonderous musical performances by the likes of Four Tet, The White Stripes, Beck, and Jamie Lidell (among others).

Set to premiere on December 18, the show will be available as an un-free download. To ensure themselves a whole bunch of almost guaranteed revenue and media interest, Radiohead, or at least Thom Yorke, will be premiering two BRAND! NEW! Radiohead songs on the show. The songs, "Videotape" and "Down Is The New Up," are apparently due to appear on the BRAND! NEW! ALBUM NUMBER SEVEN! by Radiohead. Did I mention that Godrich isn't fully producing said LP?

If you don't believe me, check out this fancy-dancy link.

Thanks for caring enough to share.

EMI Offers DRM-Free MP3 of Norah Jones (She’s a Jazz Virtuoso)

Jazz performer Norah Jones, the jazz artist, is a jazz musician. She peforms jazz, listens to jazz, and for all intents and purposes, is jazz. Hell, I wouldn't think it's too much of a stretch to say that Norah Jones is the greatest jazz artist of our time, if not ever. Her jazz vocals are simply breathtaking. All the jazz clubs and jazz fans love her jazz.

But does EMI love her jazz? I DON'T THINK SO. According to reports, EMI is offering a DRM-free MP3 of this amazing jazz artist through Yahoo (yes, they have a music service; you learn something new everyday). Aw, dude, c'mon! This means EMI is practically giving her music away for free. It's completely ridiculous -- might as well start manfucturing CDs and chucking them at ugly people on the street, because you're not going to make Norah Jones any money going this route, EMI.

Oh wait, artists are still getting ripped off no matter what? Are you for real? It's as if these companies don't care about their artists or something!