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)

Glasgow + Brooklyn = Camera Obscura & The Essex Green Ride in Tandem This Winter

Let’s start off with a question: “Which Merge Records artist released one of the great indie-pop albums of 2006?” Seems simple enough, but the question is actually a bit tricky. You see, there are two answers to the question, because both Camera Obscura and The Essex Green released LPs on Merge that had fans of accomplished, adorable, and hook-filled pop seeing little cartoon hearts all year long.

Let's see how it all works:

Camera Obscura's contribution to 2006, Let’s Get Out Of This Country, had the distinction of being the best CO album ever, as well as the best Concretes album of the year (sadly, in the race for best Concretes album of ’06, the actual Concretes came in 2nd). Meanwhile, The Essex Green put out another gem, Cannibal Sea, this year, which demonstrated that the band might only now be reaching the peak of its powers.

See! Anyway, put all that aside, as we must look to the future. Camera Obscura are starting a musical performance journey (you say tour) across the States, beginning January 17 in Atlanta. And guess what? The other aforementioned band The Essex Green are opening a great number of these shows (Carrboro to Chicago). Meanwhile, the West Coast portion of the trip, from Seattle to Los Angeles, has the Merge bossman’s band, Mac Superchunk’s own Portastatic, on the bill. They are promoting two 2006 LPs (that’s nothing to sneeze at), Be Still Please and the Who Loves The Sun soundtrack, as well as the digital-only Sour Shores EP. These sunny tunesmiths might just make your winter a little warmer.

Tourdates:

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Release Some Loud Thunder, Strange Weather Patterns Aroused

"That's some loud thunder," said Barb. She was on the front porch, on her wooden rocker -- rocking, rocking hard and fast. The cool evening air swept across the sweet, dewy, rolling hills of her bosom. She breathed in and out, the hills bouncing above and below sea level, defying all laws of nature and global warming. The intense heat wafted from Barb's breasts. She, like the men from her last trip to the general store, watched as the steam rose.

Barb had always stolen looks. She was like a supermodel in those fancy fashion magazines you see in the big city. She was a scrumptous piece of pie, a piece of pie with undulating fields of boobs. Barb surely was a sight to see. Men would travel from miles around to get a glimpse of one of the great wonders of the natural world. You see, Barb's breasts drove men wild, but she drove other things to go wild, too.

Her breasts were so amazing, so hot that they created their own weather patterns. She was a walking warm front, clashing with the jet stream and the hot, lusting hearts of men. Barb tried her best to keep her personal El Nino tucked away under towels and tin foil, but on a night as magical as this, so cool and refreshing, the breeze rips through the tin foil and swirls around them like a man's hand might.

But, to the dismay of every man in the county, the hand of the wind is greater than any mere mortal. Suddenly, thunder rolls and crashes, scaring the dog by Barb's side. "Some loud thunder!" she reiterates in a louder, if not breathier, voice. The clapping of the thunder grows more intense; flashes of light zap her elbows and eye sockets. Barb starts to rock faster in her chair... faster.... harder. And then there it is! Music. Diluted by the thunder and rain, the music fights its way to the forefront. What are those much-hyped tunes? Is it another effect of Barb's magical boobs of weather fury?

No. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are releasing their second album, Some Loud Thunder on January 30. Here's the tracklist from their website:

1. Some Loud Thunder
2. Emily Jean Stock
3. Mama, Wonʼt You Keep Them Castles in the Air and Burning?
4. Love Song No. 7
5. Satan Said Dance
6. Upon Encountering the Crippled Elephant
7. Goodbye to Mother and the Cove
8. Arm and Hammer
9. Yankee Go Home
10. Underwater (You and Me)
11. Five Easy Pieces

Dude, What’s That Sound You’re Making in the Bathroom… Dude? Oh, !!! Announced a Release Date for Their Next LP! Gross!!

How do you follow up a 2004 release titled Louden Up Now? With a March 4, 2007 release called Myth Takes. Good move !!!. I see that you Brooklyn dance-punkers received my letter that I sent you:

Dear !!!,

I decided to send this message to you written in blood. I hope that does not offend you. I appreciate your silly lyrics and intellectual declaration of “Footloose.” I was a little thrown off when you went on tour in the UK supporting Red Hot Chili Peppers. But I have forgiven you. I decided to be cleverly frivolous like my “idols” and write this letter in binary code. However, I didn’t write this letter in binary code until right NOW!
01101101 01111001 01110100 01101000 00100000 01110100 01100001 01101011 01100101 01110011

With love-funk,

Emceegreg

To all of you feeble-minded TMT readers, what I said to them in binary code was “Myth Takes.” A month later, the band decides the title for their anticipated release. Coincidence? Yes! Weird? No, not really. Stupid? Mos def!

Here is the tracklist for Myth Takes that I so ironically ESPd to their asses:

1. Myth Takes
2. All My Heroes Are Weirdos
3. Must Be The Moon
4. A New Name
5. Heart Of Hearts
6. Sweet Life
7. Yadnus
8. Bend Over Beethoven
9. Break In Case Of Anything
10. Infinifold

And here is a binary message for all you TMT readers out there: 01110000 01100101 01101110 01101001 01110011. The first one to decipher the message wins a date with Tad Hamilton! No, just kidding. You win nothing.

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!