US Congress to spin magic ‘wheel of destiny’ to determine the future of internet radio royalty schemes

US Congress to spin magic 'wheel of destiny' to determine the future of internet radio royalty schemes http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-12-09-internet-radio-royalties-act.jpg

Does anyone actually know how royalties are awarded to rights holders when their copyrighted material is played online and through other non-traditional (a.k.a. non-AM/FM radio) channels? Slate sure does, and it’s a lot more complicated than you probably thought. While AM and FM stations don’t pay royalties thanks to a sweet deal they got before computers ruled our waking existence, the exciting world of the 1990s brought us the reality artists, labels, publishers, and songwriters deal with today when their content is streamed online or through satellite radio.

Because services like Sirius and XM (now Sirius XM) were up and running when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was passed in 1998, their royalties scheme was set up under something known as the 801(b) standard. This royalties provision requires services like Sirius XM to pay a portion of their gross revenues as royalties. In 2008 it was 6% and is expected to hit the mid-teens in the coming years. That actually doesn’t seem like a bad deal given that the people they’re paying royalties to are providing the subscription services with their bread and butter, the actual music they provide to customers.

What we know today as internet radio wasn’t so lucky. Services like Pandora have to pay royalties based on something called ‘willing user/willing seller.’ This has resulted in Pandora reporting a royalty payout of nearly 50% of gross income in 2012, with those rates continuing to rise. The problem with this scheme is that it arbitrarily sets rates based on what the industry determines is fair market value, without an actual fair market in existence from which to draw its conclusions. Being a self-serving and -destructing scheme could lead to bankruptcy for streaming services in the coming years, ultimately removing a huge source of exposure that rights holders need in order to keep collecting the royalties they need to make money in the first place. The vicious cycle.

So, what’s to be done? Having two separate and definitely not equal schemes for providers who are essentially doing the same thing, delivering music to consumers, doesn’t make any sense. In an attempt to reform the schemes, two congressmen and a senator have proposed a bill (the Internet Radio Fairness Act) that would streamline the royalty scheme to reflect the 801(b) standard for all satellite and internet music providers. And right on cue, another senator has stepped in to fill the US government’s apparent contrarian requirement by submitting a bill — the Interim Fairness in Radio Starts Today (FIRST) Act — that would impose the unsustainable willing user/willing seller model on to all of the players in the game.

Reform is needed, and if you like the cheap or even free services you get through Last.fm, Pandora, etc., TMT would recommend you contact your lawmakers and ask them to support the Internet Radio Fairness Act, even if it doesn’t have a catchy acronym like the FIRST Act. Do it for the internet.

• Internet Radio Fairness Act: http://www.pandora.com/static/ads/irfa/irfa.html

RIP: Andy Williams, multi-platinum recording artist, “Moon River” singer

From CNN:

Legendary singer Andy Williams lost his year-long battle with bladder cancer on Tuesday night, his family confirmed in a statement. He died at home in Branson, Missouri. He was 84.

Williams was well-known for his Oscar-winning song “Moon River,” which was featured in the iconic 1961 movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” but that’s far from his only hit.

The crooner, who got his professional start in the business at the age of 8, also saw success with songs like “Canadian Sunset,” “Can’t Get Used to Losing You” and “The Hawaiian Wedding Song,” for which he received his first of five Grammy nods.

Williams is survived by his wife, Debbie (pictured with Williams above in 2009), and his three kids, Robert, Noelle and Christian.

Instead of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network.

• Andy Williams: http://www.andywilliamstheatre.com

Talk Normal announce tour of warm part of United States with Future Islands

Look for Brooklyn duo Talk Normal this fall as they tour with Future Islands. The tour is primarily hitting warmer parts (i.e., the South) of the US before they make their way to the desolate tundra that is the Midwest. Remember to bring your scarves, Bloomington! Also remember to prepare your eardrums for some feedback.

In addition to the tour, don’t forget that the follow up to their debut album Sugarland is out next month. You can get your greasy mitts on a copy of the Sunshine LP on October 23 courtesy of the fine folks at Joyful Noise, but I’m sure you already knew that.

Tourdates (all w/ Future Islands):

11.02.12 - Raleigh, NC - Lincoln Theatre
11.03.12 - Savannah, GA - The Wormhole
11.04.12 - Jacksonville, FL - Jack Rabbit’s
11.05.12 - Orlando, FL - The Social
11.06.12 - Miami, FL - Bardot
11.07.12 - Tampa, FL - Crowbar
11.08.12 - Mobile, AL - Alabama Music Box
11.09.12 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
11.10.12 - Houston, TX - Rudyards
11.11.12 - Austin, TX - The Parish
11.13.12 - Dallas, TX - Prophet Bar
11.14.12 - Norman, OK - The Opolis
11.15.12 - Memphis, TN - Hi Tone Cafe
11.16.12 - St. Louis, MO - Off Broadway
11.17.12 - Bloomington, IN - Russian Recording
11.18.12 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
11.19.12 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroo

• Talk Normal: http://talknormaltalknormal.com
• Future Islands: http://future-islands.com
• Joyful Noise: http://www.joyfulnoiserecordings.com

[Photo: Joe Perez]

The Mountain Goats announce another Satan-fueled, cloven-hoofed leg of fall tourdates

Dear Satan:

Well, you were right. It’s happening. It’s all really happening! I feel so freaking good right now! Just think: they all laughed at me when I told them that a brainy, insular mash-up of indie folk and death metal could be non-terrible… but who’s laughing now, Satan? Me and you, buddy. That’s who. HAHAHAHAHA! (Ooh, btw, in case you don’t understand certain colloquial grammar and usage conventions up here, those “HA” things are are textual-renditions of my laughter.) Really, though, this is a dream come true for me, and I never could have gotten here without selling my immortal soul to you. What a bargain.

Now that the band you helped me start with your Satan-powers, The Mountain Goats, has a new album called Transcendental Youth coming out next week (October 2, eeeeeeee, excited!!!) on Merge, we’re going on tour of North America to show it off, and we just added a whole ‘nother leg of dates! Can you believe it, dude!? That’s, like, a thing that Prince would say! Like: “Oh, hello, I’m Prince, and I’ve just added a second leg of Prince US tour dates in support of my new Prince album. This is what it’s like when Doves cry. Blah blah blah!” (Oh man, listen to me telling you what Prince sounds like, like you don’t own that guy for all eternity!) Ooh, and did I mention that singer/songwriter Matthew E. White, who’s opening for us on most shows, is letting us borrow his freakin’ horn section to flesh out all the arrangements for our sets? And did you further hear that, before the tour kicks starts, we’ll be performing five songs from Transcendental Youth in Durham, NC with the world-renowned vocal quartet Anonymous 4 (on October 6, FYI; can you come???), in “special vocal arrangements” done by Owen Pallett? Yup, and it’s all thanks to you, Satan. Thank God I met you at that singles-only bowling night thing back in the day. Whoops! I mean, God-who? I mean, all hail Satan’s Godly name! I mean… uh, here, check me out on Pitchfork TV.

Transcendental Youth tracklist:

01. Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1
02. Lakeside View Apartments Suite
03. Cry for Judas
04. Harlem Roulette
05. White Cedar
06. Until I Am Whole
07. Night Light
08. The Diaz Brothers
09. Counterfeit Florida Plates
10. In Memory of Satan
11. Spent Gladiator 2
12. Transcendental Youth

Dates:

10.06.12 - Durham, NC - Reynolds Industries Theatre (w/ Anonymous 4)
10.09.12 - Richmond, VA - The National *
10.10.12 - Baltimore, MD - The Ottobar *
10.11.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts *
10.13.12 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg *
10.14.12 - Brooklyn - Music Hall of Williamsburg *
10.15.12 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom *
10.16.12 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom *
10.18.12 - Boston - House of Blues *
10.19.12 - Ithaca, NY - The Haunt *
10.20.12 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Concert Theatre *
10.22.12 - Grand Rapids, MI - The Ladies Literary Club *
10.23.12 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theatre *
10.24.12 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theatre *
10.26.12 - Iowa City, IA - The Blue Moose TapHouse *
10.27.12 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre *
11.04.12 - Huntington, WV - Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center (Mountain Stage)
11.29.12 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West *
12.01.12 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge *
12.03.12 - Tulsa, OK - Cain’s Ballroom *
12.04.12 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theatre *
12.05.12 - Austin, TX - Emo’s East *
12.07.12 - Sante Fe, NM - Santa Fe Brewing Co. *
12.08.12 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom *
12.09.12 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress *
12.10.12 - San Diego, CA - Irenic *
12.13.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour *
12.14.12 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore *
12.16.12 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theatre *
12.17.12 - Seattle, WA - The Showbox *

* Matthew E. White

• The Mountain Goats: http://www.mountain-goats.com
• Merge: http://www.mergerecords.com

Eternal Tapestry will release A World Out of Time on November 13 via Thrill Jockey; until then, they’re writing sentences that go on for 35 pages

Usually Eternal Tapestry record in spurts, but they recorded their upcoming album,A World Out of Time as a whole, so that’s how I’ll write about them too, not in bursts of a few minutes but all at once — maybe even all one sentence, I’m just seeing how it goes — and Eternal Tapestry, they’re releasing A World Out of Time on November 13 via Thrill Jockey, and it follows a vinyl-only collection called Dawn in 2 Dimensions, which came out earlier this year, as well as last year’s collaboration with Sun Araw called Night Gallery (TMT Review); this time around they’ve experimented with narrative a bit, but they improvised too — definitely rambling now and feeling almost Faulkner-ish, not sure if it’s working — but A World Out of Time sounds a little sci-fi, a little psych, a little like rain, and maybe like you fell asleep somewhere and just woke up on another planet.

A World Out of Time tracklist:

01. When I Was in Your Mind
02. Planetoid 127
03. Alone Against Tomorrow
04. The Weird Stone
05. Apocalypse Troll
06. When Gravity Falls
07. The Currents of Space
08. Sand into Rain

• Eternal Tapestry: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eternal-Tapestry/130663863669064
• Thrill Jockey: http://www.thrilljockey.com

VIA Music & New Media Festival: Julia Holter, Demdike Stare, Laurel Halo, and many more travel to a mysterious and isolated land known as Pittsburgh

Wow, no way! Pittsburgh has music festivals? Even better, Pittsburgh has music festivals that are actually worth attending? I guess that goes to show how much I know about the city. And here I was, thinking that the “Steel City” was known primarily for just that — steel manufacturing, an industry that has been all but eliminated from within the city limits. Also, cheesesteaks. That’s Pittsburgh, right?

Those of you who live within reasonable proximity to Pittsburgh (or, those of you who can afford to pay for a plane ticket solely for the purpose of attending a music festival) may want to listen up. From October 1 through October 6, the third annual VIA Music & New Media Festival will take place at various venues across the city. In addition to featuring workshops and all kinds of visual spectacles, the festival is also highlighting a pretty stellar lineup of musicians, whose congregation would be noteworthy in any American city. To name just a few of those musicians: Demdike Stare, Julia Holter, Laurel Halo, DJ Spinn & DJ Rashad, Ital, M. Geddes Gengras, Daughn Gibson, Three Legged Race, Drainolith, Andy Stott, and Nate Young. TMT likes all of them!

Keep an eye on this page for updates to the program. And yes, before you ask in disbelief, the festival is in Pittsburgh!

• VIA Music & New Media Festival: http://www.via-pgh.com/festival/2012