Universal assimilates EMI’s entire recorded music division; resistance is futile!

Universal assimilates EMI's entire recorded music division; resistance is futile! http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-12-09-universal-acquires-emi.jpg

Like a fat (really fat) person eating an entire buffet, mega-conglomorate Universal Music Group (UMG) has completed their acquisition of EMI’s recorded music division, thus making it an unstoppable musical juggeranaut that will soon be so large that it will need a motorized scooter to move from place to place.

To give you an idea of just how incredibly fucking large UMG is now, here are a list of the labels that they now control after the merger: Blue Note, Capitol Records, Decca, Def Jam Recordings, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI Records, Geffen Records, Interscope Records, Island Records, Capitol Records Nashville, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Polydor Records, Universal Music Latino, Universal Music Nashville, Virgin Records, and Verve Music Group. That’s, like, at least 50 percent of all the music in the world. Controlled by one company; and you think you’re going to make headway with your indie label? Again, resistance is futile; you will be assimilated, eventually.

“This is a next step towards ensuring the health of our industry,” said UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge. “EMI is finally returning to people who have music in their blood. We are acquiring incredible labels and a roster of stellar talent, including top-selling artists like Katy Perry, Lady Antebellum, The Beatles and The Beach Boys. We remain true to our vision of investing in EMI, growing the company as a vibrant source of new music, offering consumers more choice and supporting the growth of online music services.”

Grange also added that he enjoys the fact that consumers believe they are deciding between two competing companies and then returned to watching the rat maze he has in the office, the one with no exit and walls that slowly close in.

Death Grips to premiere NO LOVE DEEP WEB at midnight; band says Epic Records won't confirm its release date "till next year sometime"

Yesterday, YouTube user moralreef discovered a new track by Death Grips called “True Vulture Bare.” He apparently found the track through a hole in the group’s website and, for the good of humankind, uploaded it to YouTube. As he put it: “Just having a peek at the files URI in the Death Grips website (They really need to fix that hole), found a new track, under truevulturebare.zip.”

Today, Death Grips have announced a “leak” of their own. At the stroke of midnight (a.k.a. midnight), the group will be premiering their forthcoming album NO LOVE DEEP WEB, the follow-up to April’s The Money Store (TMT Review). According to Death Grips’ Twitter, not only will this be our first chance to hear the album, but also the group’s label, Epic Records, who apparently now won’t confirm a release date “till next year sometime.”

NO LOVE DEEP WEB was originally slated for October 23, but I guess waiting until then or “next year sometime” won’t be necessary. Details have yet to be announced, but be sure to check Death Grips’ Twitter. And, keep in mind that this premiere is happening at midnight PST, so plan your life accordingly. Me? I need my beauty sleep. Says my wife. :(

Meanwhile, here’s the aforementioned “True Vulture Bare” as you wait:

[UPDATE: Death Grips have now shared NO LOVE DEEP WEB in full, via SoundCloud stream, YouTube playlist, BayFiles download, and direct download from thirdworlds.net!]

Oh and here’s the cover:

• Death Grips: http://thirdworlds.net

Big Dipper to shake off the rust and release their first new LP in two decades

It’s been over 20 years, but Big Dipper is back. The seminal jangle pop band’s first album of all-new material since 1990’s Slam is due out November 27. Recorded at vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Gary Waleik’s home studio, the 12-track album, titled Big Dipper Crashes on the Platinum Planet, will be released on Almost Ready Records and will feature cover art from none other than rock legend Robert Pollard.

Big Dipper haven’t been completely dormant since their 1992 break-up; the band reunited in 2008 for a series of shows to commemorate the release of the three-disc Merge Records retrospective Supercluster. Renewed interest in the band from the reunion gigs inspired Waleik — along with guitarist/vocalist Bill Goffrier, drummer/vocalist Jeff Oliphant, and late-era Big Dipper bass player Tom Brewitt — to return to the studio for the first time in a very long while.

For anyone scratching their head, Big Dipper formed way back in 1985, consisting of Goffrier, Oliphant, and Waleik, along with Waleik’s Volcano Sun ex-pat Steve Michener. Waleik and Goffrier began writing songs and it was only a matter of time before their debut — the EP Boo-Boo — was released on Homestead in 1987. Later that year, their full-length follow up Heavens was released to critical acclaim. After touring North America consistently, Europe twice, and releasing Craps in 1988, the band moved up to the majors by signing to Epic Records. On Epic, they released Slam. Michener left the band shortly thereafter and that was basically it until the 2008 reunion.

The band hasn’t announced tourdates or an official tracklist yet but that is sure to come before Big Dipper Crashes on the Platinum Planet makes its way into your hands.

• Big Dipper: http://www.facebook.com/BigDipperBand
• Almost Ready: http://www.almostreadyrecords.com

Myspace defeats Apple in a battle of the orange music icons (a trademarking story)

Oh, the wonderful world of patent/trademark debates. Consider it the professional equivalent of fashion trends in high school. Mimic, resemble, echo, and approximate, but never, ever, copy detail for detail, lest you become known, rightly or wrongly, as some desperate loser who pays far too much attention to the clothes that the popular kids are wearing. The benefit of the doubt usually goes to popular kids in these scenarios, which stands in surprising contrast to a recent (and actual) court ruling involving the still-animate Myspace, and the captain of the football team, Apple Inc.

The ruling centered around Apple’s attempt to trademark its orange music icon, featured on iOS devices. Judges from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied the request on the basis that it apparently bears too close a resemblance to a logo first used by the (now defunct) music service iLike, which Myspace acquired in 2009. Myspace still owns the rights to that particular logo. Check out a side-by-side comparison of the two graphics above. See!? They’re both, um, shades of orange. And stuff.

In the official court documents rejecting Apple’s request, an emphasis is placed on the potential for confusion:

In comparing the marks, we are mindful that the test is not whether the marks can be distinguished when subjected to a side-by-side comparison, but rather whether the marks are sufficiently similar in terms of their overall commercial impression so that confusion as to the source of the goods and services under the respective marks is likely to result.

If they say so. Of course, it’s also worth pointing out that Apple was recently awarded more than $1 billion in damages in a patent lawsuit against Samsung, regarding the design of their respective smartphones. So this whole logo decision is sort of ironic — especially considering it’s, you know, Myspace on the winning end.

• Apple: http://www.apple.com
• Myspace: http://www.myspace.com

Artist-friendly Myspace II coming soon to make you re-think the way Google Plus made you re-imagine Facebook as a Myspace reboot!

Man, I was just thinking about how there’s not really enough social media sharing buttons at the bottom of every stupid piece-of-shit thing I read or listen to on the internet! Thank you, Myspace! How did you know that exactly what the world needs right now is a slightly-different-here-and-there-but-mostly-similar-so-as-to-remain-familiar-enough-to-not-seem-intimidating social media platform? Oh, what’s that? Because Justin Timberlake told you?? Oh, duh. Now it all makes sense. End of news story! See you tomorrow, readers!

Aaaaactually, what the heck: as long as we’re all here, let’s trudge through the nuts and bolts of this, shall we? Like, how “new” is this design? Did Justin Timberlake make it himself in his college dorm room? Did Steve Wozniak help? What sorts of cutting edge arts and entertainment technologies will be implemented to lure bands and fans away from Facebooks, Soundclouds, Bandcamps, and Lemonpartys? Is everything 3D? 4G? 5x? (Oh, you probably don’t know what that one is yet…) Well, according to Fact, the new Myspace was built “entirely from scratch.” So I guess I’ll just assume that to mean that new co-owners (Specific Media and Timberlake) must have built their own hardware, created some sort of radical new graphical user interface, wrote software to run on that interface and hardware, and then used all that to make another Myspace? Wow, sounds ambitious. And plausible! What else? Oh yeah, a new message posted on their website goes like this:

We’re hard at work building the new Myspace, entirely from scratch. But we’re staying true to our roots in one important way—empowering people to express themselves however they want. So whether you’re a musician, photographer, filmmaker, designer or just a dedicated fan, we’d love for you to be a part of our brand new community.

Dude, I’m totally allthose things! I gotta sign up for it before all the poseurs do! Out of my way!

• Myspace: http://www.myspace.com
• Another Myspace: https://new.myspace.com
• Specific Media: http://www.specificmedia.com
• Justin Timberlake: http://www.justintimberlake.com

Mouse on Mars seek intern for transferring audio/visual archive to HD for upcoming box set, plus donut runs and back rubs

Ahh the romance and glamour of the life of the intern. Fetching donuts! Pretending to laugh at your uncle’s outdated Monica Lewinsky jokes! Collating! It’s enough to make any promising young college coed rush right out the hallowed halls of Financial Burden U and throw themselves at the feet of Finkelstein & Harmon Paper Products Inc. or Rod’s Long Haul Trucking and beg for the opportunity to order more coffee filters. So, imagine the unicorn-laden, comet-spangled holy grail of internships that working for Mouse on Mars must be!

“What?” You scoff. “That’s just a dream,” you say. “Mouse on Mars? Need an intern? Why before that happens Ann Romney’s dressage horse will lie down with a mere mule!” But you’re wrong, oh wrong indeed, boy-o. Because Mouse on Mars are, in fact, looking for Berlin-based interns to transfer the band’s extensive sound and video archives to HD. But before you book your ticket to Berlin, what do these two guys want you to do? (And, if you already live in Berlin, let’s just say, um… before you send Jan and Andi the most expensive cookie bouquet in the cookie bouquet catalog, what do these two guys want you to do?) Well, they’re preparing to release two decades-worth of Mouse on Mars jams in a fancy anniversary box set, and they need help finding stuff on all kinds of pre-MP3 formats like TAPES! And then they want you to help them transfer this stuff onto HD, modern technology! And they’ll pay you by the hour, in money and back rubs! (Just kidding about the back rubs, don’t sue me.) The lucky intern(s) will also get a shout-out on said box set. Imagine, your name enshrined in box set fame forever, like one of those sad little ants encased in amber. But in a happy, awesome way.

“How do I sign up?” You’re saying. Well, it’s simple. All you gotta do is shoot the guys a friendly, non-psychotic application via the Mouse on Mars Facebook page.

• Mouse on Mars: http://www.mouseonmars.com

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