Where There’s Power, There’s Dissent: SaveNetRadio Committed to Fight Internet Royalty Hikes

As reported in March, the new royalty regulations created by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), in which internet radio rates will dramatically increase 149% over the 1999-2005 period, pissed off NPR. "These new rates, at least 20 times more than what stations have paid in the past, treat us as if we were commercial radio — although by its nature, public radio cannot increase revenue from more listeners or more content, the factors that set this new rate," said NPR's Andi Sporkin.

Since then, the internet royalty hike has generated dissent aplenty. The Digital Media Association (DiMA), Intercollegiate Broadcasting System, Inc., Small Commercial Webcasters, and National Public Radio (NPR) used their pull on March 20 to get an order to allow motions for a rehearing. It seemed at least somewhat hopeful that the CRB would reconsider the rates that will, among other things, bankrupt small-time internet radio stations, cripple independent artists, homogenize internet radio, and of course piss off TMT.

But to the dismay of radio peeps and humans all over, the CRB yesterday officially denied motions for a rehearing (read the PDF here): "Having reviewed all motions, responses to those motions, and written arguments, the Judges now deny all such motions," stated the five-page document. "We find, however, that none of the moving parties have made a sufficient showing of new evidence or a clear error or manifest injustice that would warrant a rehearing."

While organizations that represent major recording labels and artists, like SoundExchange, applauded the CRB's denial, various stations and artists effectively said "fuck off" by announcing yesterday a new group called SaveNetRadio, a group committed to fighting the rates. Although SaveNetRadio's member list has not been revealed, it received public support from organizations like Live365 and Pandora.

"Before this ruling was handed down, the vast majority of webcasters were barely making ends meet as internet radio advertising revenue is just beginning to develop," said the group in a statement. "Without a doubt, most internet radio services will go bankrupt and cease webcasting if this royalty rate is not reversed by the Congress, and webcasters' demise will mean a great loss of creative and diverse radio." Various humans at my local record shop had this to add: "Fuck the CRB."

And for your reference, check out the new rates established by the CRB (from Live365):

Operation Ivy’s Energy Gets Reissue Drug Treatment

Before Tim Armstrong (Rancid) collaborated with diarrhea like Pink, Gwen Stefani, and Kelly Osbourne, he was actually pretty cool when he played in the ska punk Bay Area group Operation Ivy in the late '80s. Op Ivy was the shit back then, and after all these years, they still have a strong cult following. I was never cool/dumb enough to sport a mohawk, but I did memorize just about every song on Op Ivy's Energy LP. Plus, one time I played "Bombshell" for this cute girl in my German class, and I swear her left boob touched my elbow when the bell rang. Accident? Fucking doubt it!!

Energy was released on Lookout! back in May 1989. Not only was it the same month Sweet Children performed as "Green Day" for the first time, but it was the same month Operation Ivy broke up. Still, the album went on its own legacy, selling like hot cakes for years. But since Lookout! managed money like my uncle Brent (he sucked at managing money), Energy was pulled from their catalog in 2006 and has since been out-of-print.

But on May 1, Rancid Records will be reissuing the record (this is, what, the fourth reissue or so now?), completely remastered with a digipak case. It'll feature all 19 tracks from the original album, plus bonus music that was released in several other reissues, including the band's Hectic EP. No reunion is in sight (thank god), but you can bet your Girbaud jeans that left boobs the world over will be reuniting over this shit, possibly squirting milk out of them by now -- who knows, right? Life is so weird and awesome.

Julian Lennon – Perhaps the Most Critically Acclaimed Musician of All-Time – Sells Stake of His Dad’s Music to Publishing Firm

Julian Lennon, who sucks at writing music, has sold a "significant" stake of his share of his father John Lennon's songs for The Beatles to U.S. publishing company, Primary Wave. Julian, who couldn't write a song if his life depended on it, said, "I felt it was the appropriate time to take on a partner for both my interest in my father's legendary music and for my future music endeavors."

Although Primary Wave will receive payments from CDs, live performances, and radio airtime, it does not own any of the music, which means it can't do shit with them except collect payments. But it can market Julian Lennon's music if it wanted to. And, for some fucked reason, it wants to. Julian "I-Have-No-Good-Sense-of-Musical-Style" Lennon is releasing some new "music" later this year.

Is that Santorum in your mouth or are you just happy that bands like Dinosaur Jr., The Rapture, and Man Man are playing Urban Outfitters in-store concerts?

Perhaps finally feeling the pangs of guilt for charging big bucks to every Tom, Dick, or Moishe for "Jesus Is My Homeboy" t-shirts, young 'n' sexy clothing and novelty chain Urban Outfitters has announced it will put on free in-store appearances by today's hot hot hottest acts at some of the company's locations around the U.S. The Free Yr Radio promotional tour has been put together in conjunction with Toyota and its car of choice for the indie set, the Yaris. Most importantly and not sarcastically (seriously), the shows will raise funds and much-needed attention for a bunch of non-commercial community radio stations.

The idea for the "Free Yr Radio" tour came about after the positive response Toyota and Urban Outfitters received from their co-sponsored SXSW gig which featured The Rapture and The Pipettes. At each of the upcoming in-stores, a Toyota Yaris will be given away to one lucky radio lover along with extra funds to pay for car specifications suggested by the band playing that particular show. Cassette deck modification courtesy of Tapes 'n Tapes? A hitching post suggested by The Ponys? Tire chains from The Long Winters? A detachable walker frame per Dinosaur Jr.? Sorry, that's not nice.

Why would Urban Outfitters jump in to help out the fragile state of non-commercial radio? Because it cares. It cared when it decided to sell something as racist as "Ghettopoly" in its stores (despite heavy protest). It cared when it retailed and copied items from independent clothing firms like Crown Farmer and Johnny Cupcakes without permission (allegedly). It cares by continuing to charge ridiculous prices for sweatshop-fabricated, offensive t-shirts (popular opinion, not fact). And it especially cared when its twat of a President named Richard Hayne chose to support the campaign of that twat of a homophobic Republican Senator named Rick Santorum to the tune of $10,000-$13,000 (depending on who you ask).

Whatever. It is (hopefully) ALL for supporting community radio, which is indeed a good cause. I'm not here to preach or take sides on the forever-blurred line between a company's public image and its business practices (or did I just take a rather strong one-sided opinion in the paragraph above?). This is only about cynical marketing and choosing to support your companies wisely if you want it to be. Me, I'm a walking contradiction: I abhor hate-criminals as much, if not more, than most, but I would probably go see a freebie Dinosaur Jr. or Man Man show if it was co-hosted by the local "White Is Right" and "Gay Bashers Against Drunk Driving" chapters.

All of the up-to-date info is listed below. The Westlake Urban Outfitters show is apparently on, but details are not yet set.

Woo-hoo! When I feel heavy metal! Woo-hoo! When you free yr radio!
04.15.07 - Chicago, IL, 1521 N. Milwaukee Ave. (benefit for WLUL) - Klaxons
04.24.07 - Lawrence, KS, 1013 Massachusetts St. (benefit for KJHK) - The Ponys
04.28.07 - Houston, TX, 2501 University Ave. (benefit for KTRU) - Voxtrot
05.01.07 - Seattle, WA, 401 Broadway East (benefit for KEXP) - The Long Winters
05.09.07 - Durham, NC, 8030 Renaissance Pkwy. (benefit for WKNC) - Annuals
05.19.07 - Boulder, CO, 934 Pearl St. (benefit for KGNU) - Man Man
05.21.07 - Philadelphia, PA, 1627 Walnut ST. (benefit for Y-ROCK on XPN) - The
Rapture

05.25.07 - Santa Cruz, CA, 1401 Pacific Ave. (benefit for KZSC) - Rogue Wave
06.05.07 - Minneapolis, MN, 3006 Hennepin Ave. (benefit for The Current) - Tapes 'n'
Tapes

06.11.07 - Cambridge, MA, 11 J.F. Kennedy St. (benefit for WERS) - Dinosaur Jr.

TBA - Westlake, OH, 33 Main St. (benefit for WEWC) - TBA

BLOODYMINDED and Charlie Draheim Start Terminal Phase Luna Tour 2007 Tonight!

When the chart-topping country music band BLOODYMINDED ran afoul of audiences back in 2003 after Mark Solotroff made anti-Bush and anti-war comments, the incident should have been nothing more than a blip on the pop-culture radar -- an Entertainment Tonight sort of news story that was worthy of a Charlie Draheim mention and little more. But instead it turned into -- for whatever reason -- the launching pad for a national debate about freedom of speech in post-9/11 America, as well as yet another indicator of how divided Americans have become in recent years on matters of politics, religion, culture, and yes, even... pop music. The end.

Terminal Phase Luna Tour 2007 (BLOODYMINDED, Charlie Draheim, Climax Denial, and Silvum) + No Future Fest:
04.16.07 - Chicago, IL - Elastic Arts Foundation
04.17.07 - Columbus, OH - Cafe Bourbon Street with Envenomist
04.18.07 - Lexington, KY - The Frowny Bear
04.19.07 - Atlanta, GA - Eyedrum
04.21.07 - Chapel Hill, NC - Nightlight (No Future Fest)
04.22.07 - Baltimore, MD - The Bank
04.23.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Circle of Hope with Air Conditioning, Leslie Keffer, Macronympha
04.24.07 - Cleveland, OH - Embassy

It is the second week of April and most Canadian males' minds have turned to one thing and one thing only: hockey playoffs. The stereotype of the beer-guzzling, hockey-worshiping, loudmouth drunk Canuck is so appropriate and true, especially at this "crucial" part of the year. I witnessed at least eight tables of eight guys readying their playoff pools at the tavern every day last week during my daily three-pint lunch breaks. For those that don't follow the sport, or won't admit to liking it because they have to portray that played-out "I like music and art so I hate sports and jocks" routine (psst, the days of clinging to your high school mindset is over), it is a particularly difficult time of the year, because it is the beginning of a period where partners get the chance to see a whole new suck-hole side to their worse halves.

It would be hypocritical of me to pretend I'm any different from the retread brethren that I would ordinarily loathe to share air with or sit next to on the bus at this time of the year. I secretly love playoff hockey and all that it brings. Expert opinions and stats about the great game spew from the most unlikely of mouths (thanks for the percentage of face-offs won and the corresponding series win ratio, Sheila from the Accounting Dept.!), conversations dissecting minute gameplay ("picking pucks out of mid-air is a science; protecting the puck along the dasher boards is an artform... get it right!"), and grand nonsense statement making ("if so-and-so don't pull out this game 2 win, I'm literally going to set his whole place on fire and then piss it out!") are standard EVERYDAY in any Canadian city that has a pro team lucky enough to have made it into the "second season." As is the chance you will see someone come close to kicking in a flat screen bar TV after a rough loss. Aye, aye, these are truly golden days.

This year, there is something different in the air. I'm still excited to meet up with friends and watch a game, but the fire is subdued and smoldering, not passionate and fiery. Something is beckoning me to spend more time alone, at home, in my bedroom working on more creative pursuits and listening to far-out psych-folk masterpieces (preferably sung in foreign tongue). I keep having visions of distant Nordic lands and have spent an inordinate amount of time reading works by Aleksis Kivi, Mika Waltari, and Väinö Linna. This spring marks the return of Islaja, and that is surely more important than any sporting past-time!

Islaja is Merja Kokkonen and Ulual Yyy is her third solo outing for Fonal. It contains nine tracks of cottage industry-created, multi-tracked, outsider loveliness that the Finnish folkie furnishes. I am not sure what the songs below mean, but I love to rock the umlauts! It is a pity that most of the Scandinavian and German players lose 'em from their names before they hit the National Hockey League.

1. Kutsukaa sydäntä
2. Sydänten ahmija
3. Pete P
4. Laulu jo menneestä
5. Pysähtyneet planeetat
6. Muusimaa
7. Varjokuvastin
8. Muukalais-silmä
9. Suru ei

  

News

  • Recent
  • Popular