Who Needs Opie & Anthony When You Can Have Belle & Sebastian? FCC Mulls “Indie Play” Proposal

The FCC... you know, that body that's supposed to regulate radio & television? Well, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the FCC is considering a proposal that would require airtime on the radio for independently produced music. This rumored requirement would be part of a settlement in the payola scandal that has tarnished the radio industry's reputation of late.

"There are two components," a source told the Reporter. "There's an education component for people in the industry, where it is spelled out that you can do this and not do that, and there is a code of conduct. Then there is the airtime component."

"WTF?! NOT SO FAST," says Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. He urges the FCC to not allow an industry which has already been shown to have violated payola rules to police themselves.

FMQB.com outlined an open letter that the Senator wrote to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. It contained the following recommendations:

- ensure future compliance with the law and reassure consumers they will have access to small, independent and local labels and artists via the public airwaves
- require radio stations to allow meaningful access to the airwaves for independent labels and local artists
- a weekly airtime commitment for indie labels and artists
- regulations that would prevent radio companies from meeting their obligation only in certain cites, formats, or during low-listener time-slots
- full disclosure of any and all payola-related reports and documents, possibly as part of a company's quarterly or annual fiscal reports
- allow Senator Feingold to host his own show, where women will ride the sybian and he can play hour blocks of Cowboy Junkies

Danielson Has His Very Own Film! But Sufjan Stevens Steals His Thunder Anyway

In response to the Bush administration's covert wiretapping activities, lovable crackpot Ralph Nader has formed an organization that will secretly record phone conversations between randomly-selected Christians throughout the nation. The watchdog group, called Ears for Justice (EJ), performed its inaugural phone tap late last week. Unfortunately, since everyone who would ever work for Nader is a social pariah with no appreciation for the finer things in life (kidding guys), no one at EJ realized that the two parties on the line were none other than critical darling Sufjan Stevens and his mentor, Daniel Smith of Danielson Famile/Brother Danielson/just plain Danielson fame. We at TMT discovered this egregious oversight and now bring you the exclusive transcript of their conversation.

SMITH: Hey, Sufjan?

SUFJAN: Uh, who is this?

SMITH: It's me, Soof. You know, Daniel Smith? Your spiritual father and musical inspiration?

SUFJAN: Oh, wow, Daniel! It's been so long!

SMITH: You're telling me! I've been trying to contact you for weeks, but I had to go through about three different label executives and publicists to get your new number!

SUFJAN: Well, you know how that is, man. I'm sure you have an army of handlers and stuff, too.

(silence)

SUFJAN: So anyway, to what do I owe the pleasure of your call?

SMITH: I called to let you know that my documentary, Danielson: A Family Movie, is showing in a few theaters and, thanks to the good folks at IMAGE Entertainment, will be out on DVD on April 10!

SUFJAN: Hey, that's great, Daniel. But, uh, what movie is this again?

SMITH: Come on, Sufjan, you were in it for a few minutes toward the end! The documentary by JL Aronson about the family and me! It features appearances by Steve Albini, Daniel Johnston, and Rick Moody! It was, you know, before those state albums and sold-out tours. You actually didn't do too much in the movie, but you're all anyone can talk about in reviews. That and how weird my voice is.

SUFJAN: Oh, hmm, interesting.... Listen, I'm in the middle of recording a song about Wichita for my new Kansas album, so I'm gonna have to get off the phone now...

Don't let some stiff do Daniel Smith this way. See the film and experience Brother Danielson's nine-fruit tree costume for yourself, and then send that dude some hate mail.

Screenings:

Presidential Candidate Kucinich Spearheads New Subcommittee to Take on FCC

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) made an unexpected visit to the National Conference for Media Reform, held in Memphis, TN over the weekend. Originally expected to be announced in D.C. this week, Kucinich jumped the gun at the conference, stating that he would spearhead a House subcommittee that will deal specifically with issues concerning the FCC ([?Federal Communications Commission]).

"We know the media has become the servant of a very narrow corporate agenda," said Kucinich. "We are now in a position to move a progressive agenda to where it is visible."

Topics the new committee will tackle include [?net neutrality], the [?fairness doctrine], mergers, media ownership, and how to get a stain out with baking soda.

Woman Dies in Water-Drinking Contest; KDND Morning Show Canceled, 10 Employees “Let Go”

A woman died roughly five hours after she appeared on KDND's The Morning Rave show due to "water intoxication," according to the Sacramento County Coroner's Office.

Jennifer Lea Strange, 28 and mother of three, was participating in a contest titled "Hold Your Wee for a Wii," in which she had to drink as much water as she could without using the bathroom in order to win a Wii video game console. She dropped out of the contest after drinking nearly two gallons of water. According to reports, Strange immediately felt ill, called in sick to work, and was later found by family members dead at her home.

"The circumstances regarding this matter are being examined as thoroughly as possible," says John Geary, vice president and general manager of KDND. "In the interim, the Morning Rave is off the air indefinitely."

According to the Sacramento Bee, however, it was announced yesterday that the Morning Rave show is now canceled and 10 employees, including station manager Steve Weed, no longer work for KDND.

Dr. Dog, The Teeth & The High Strung Band Together To Push All Other News Off The Page

Park The Van Records, a Philadelphia-based record label, has had increased success over the past couple years. Albums from Dr. Dog, The Capitol Years, and others, not to mention the Fast Food Nation soundtrack, have all served to raise awareness for this up-and-coming label. Now it seems 2007 may be the biggest year yet for the label.

First off, Dr. Dog, who have been around in various forms for about six years (no dog-year jokes, okay?), signed to Rough Trade in Europe. Their new LP will be out February 27 in the U.S. under the title We All Belong. The 11-track record was recorded last spring in Philly by the band, with the help of Bill Moriarty, who also mixed the group's last record, 2005's Easy Beat. Two tracks from the upcoming record -- "Ain't It Strange" and "Die, Die Die" -- were featured on the Dr.'s EP from last year, Takers & Leavers. The band is a touring beast, not just a studio one, with the last year seeing them co-headline a tour with the Spinto Band, as well as opening for Architecture In Helsinki, The Raconteurs, The Black Keys, and many others. Therefore, it goes with out saying that DD will be embarking on a monster-sized tour to promote the new record. They will be playing most of the shows with non-PTV band What Made Milwaukee Famous and labelmates The Teeth. Later in the tour, the band will hook up with Bobby Bare Jr. and his crew for a series of shows.

Speaking of The Teeth, they too have an upcoming record, which was given the rather forward-sounding title You're My Lover Now. The Nick Krill (of the Spinto Band)-produced LP is set to come out on April 24. The band has some pre-release tourdates with Dr. Dog and will also be teaming up with one of PTV's newest signings, Detroit's masters of smart, catchy, time-tested rock, The High Strung.

The High Strung are poised to release the most music this spring of anyone on PTV. The label plans to re-release the group's previous record, Moxie Bravo, on February 13, which was put out first time around in 2005 by Future Farmer. In the LP's new incarnation, MB has been augmented with a new running order and three new tracks that date back to the LP's original sessions. The HS also have a new album, Get the Guests, coming out in May, which was recorded last year by Jim Diamond. The band is promising a coast-to-coast version of their library tour this summer, in which they play for young and old in, yes, a library. Before all that, however, The High Strung will play their own shows and opening slots for the Teeth.

So, figure on all three of these groups being fairly inescapable for the near future.

We All Belong tracklist:

Make a Jazz Noise Here: Sonic Youth Announce Shows with Wooden Wand and V∞redoms

One time a friend of mine heard me listening to The Dismemberment Plan and thought it was The Alkaline Trio. Ha! It is in this spirit that we report to you that V2 has "let go" its staff of 35 or so people (including president Andy Gershon) and, aside from its Gospel artists, has rendered all its newer artists free agents -- yes, even The Alkaline Trio. V2 will instead expand its digital ventures and concentrate on its catalog releases, which includes albums by Moby, Mercury Rev, and The White Stripes. Alright, time to eat some Lean Cuisine. Bye!

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