paidContent (via news aggregate The Daily Swarm) keeps us abreast with Stereogum news so we can keep you updated. But why should you care about Stereogum? Well, first of all, it's an influential (and, uh, promotion-heavy) music blog. Second, we love us some industry news, and Stereogum is a good example of the increasing corporate interest in online music coverage, which I think readers like you should know about. Besides, you probably read it anyway.
Late last year, we relayed the news that Stereogum traded an estimated $5 million worth of equity stakes to Buzznet, a social media network. Along with founder/ex-VH1 dude Scott Lapatine and ex-MTV guy Jason Hirschhorn, Stereogum is partly owned by former AOL executive Bobb Pittman, owner of investment firm The Pilot Group. (This guy's known for investing heavily in new media like DailyCandy, Thrillist, Double O radio, TV stations, the OTX net marketing company, and GarageBand.com.)
Just 3-4 months later, word has it that Buzznet now fully owns Stereogum. What's more is that Buzznet has recently raised something around $25 million, which includes a few million invested from Universal Music imprint Interscope. What does this mean? Well, aside from the fact that Stereogum's parent company has investments from crap label Interscope (oh wait, you probably like Feist), you can bet your ass that this is just the beginning of more "content acquisitions."
Alright, enough of that. Time to brand some indie rock artists!!
Oh wait, wait... oh shit... it's coming, oh fuck, it's.. it's.... BLEEECHHHHHH!!
As your official random Midwest festival reporter here at Tiny Mix Tapes, I feel it's my duty to announce the lineup for the upcoming Mission Creek Festival, taking place in Iowa City, IA from April 2-5.
The festival, now in its third year, is being held in conjunction with Iowa City’s Documentary Film Festival. Mission Creek will take place at the following area venues: The Mill, The Picador, The Yacht Club, Java House, Englbert Theater, Black Box (IMU), and Hall Mall. All-access passes are available for purchase right here. Four-day all-festival passes are priced at $40 while two-day passes are $30.
- Mission Creek Festival lineup in graphic form:
- Mission Creek Festival lineup in text form:
Cursive, Dan Deacon, Bon Iver, Neva Dinova, The Hood Internet, Spoon, The Walkmen, Headlights, Evangelicals, Alejandro Escovedo, Pieta Brown, Blitzen Trapper, Fleet Foxes, Oh Astro, Capgun Coup, Fourth of July, The Poison Control Center, White Rabbits, Cepia, These United States, So Many Dynamos, Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons, Baby Teeth, Brighton MA, Death Ships, Lair of the Minotaur, Caleb Engstrom, Samuel Locke-Ward, Vandaveer, The Western Front, The Gglitch, Master/Slave, Today is the Day, Datagun, Mannix!, Porno Galatica V. Zap!Rowsdower, Wolves in the Attic, The Wheelers, Michael Morris, The Glowing Glass, Mit’n, Kelly Pardekooper, Illinois John Fever, The Blacks, The Mayflies, Sam Knutson, Dennis McMurrin, Monadnoc, Sarah Cram and The Derelicts, Highway Shelter, Foul Tip, Birth Rites, MC/VL, Henrihenrietta, Complete Failure, Mouth of the Architect.
- Mission Creek Festival lineup in graphic form with cool Photoshop effects:
Walk It Off is not only a snazzy (my mom likes that word a lot, it is a Mom Word), title for the new Tapes ’N Tapes album, it's also an indicator of great things to come! Instead of simply going on tour and making money cash hoes, the band is asking YOU to sign up for a breast cancer research walk in your neck of the woods and to sign up as "Team Tapes ’N Tapes"! Then, whichever team in each city raises the most cashish gets a signed and personalized copy of Walk It Off. Chee! That's a stand-up way of promoting a new record if I ever heard one. Speaking of which, the critics-that-be are saying some mighty good things about the aforementioned new album, and I'll have to agree: it's a powerful little force to be reckoned with, but I'll leave that to the pros. Who am I?
Information about how you can get involved in some of the walks, see below:
After you've fought the good fight, go par-tay down at one of these!:
According to a recent Spinner article, the band currently masquerading as The Smashing Pumpkins plans to record new material in late spring. The article explains, however, that "fans looking for a proper follow-up album to last year's Zeitgeist," assuming such people exist, "may be out of luck."
"I think what we'll do is start releasing songs," said the body that formerly housed the soul of Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. "People just don't buy records anymore. Anyone under the
age of 24 just buys songs," the body continued, finally alienating the
last young people still loyal to the band's former glory. Apparently
unaware that the last Smashing Pumpkins album came out eight years
ago, the body explained that the band wants to "get [their] music
across while remaining relevant."
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Corgan explained further:
I can tell that our plans right now are to do an album over two or three years and put it out in pieces and then maybe eventually bring it all back together. The album doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be ten songs. Some dumb white guy somewhere doesn't have to like it. Some old fart, out-of-touch has to decide, oh, these ten songs aren't as good as Sgt. Pepper's. Well, you know what? I don't think the Beatles would be making an album right now.
In related news, the "Smashing Pumpkins" are suing Virgin Records
over their use of the band in a recent "Pepsi Stuff" promotion. In an
exclusive interview with Billboard, Billy Corgan explained, "I'm sure they indicated to Pepsi that they had a right to do this, full well knowing they do not have the right." The promotion seriously damages the band's "artistic integrity," claims the former lead singer of Zwan. Corgan hopes to collect a large sum from the lawsuit, as the concept of irony has announced it will sue Corgan for "flagrant abuse." Corgan also told Billboard of his plans to release recordings of early Smashing Pumpkins shows, unreleased studio tracks, and/or alternate versions of songs from early Pumpkins albums in order to fund his defense.
And somewhere deep within me, there is a 10-year-old version of
myself clutching a copy of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Renaissance Man Thom Yorke Just Can’t Stop Doing Awesome Things: Saving the Earth, Interviewing Mayors – What Will He Do Next?
Stars -- they're just like us! They shop for groceries, drink coffee, and even pick up dry cleaning! I know I can relate to that! But unfortunately all stars are not created equal. While the Lindsay Lohans and Ryan Phillipes of the world may be content to use their daily photo-op time to get snapped exiting Burger King or putting gas in the car, Thom Yorke is out there doing AMAZING things. Things so incredible, so Earth-conscious that you and I will totally never get to do them.
Like what, you ask? What could Thom be doing now that's even more astounding than forming Radiohead, releasing that solo record, and just generally seeming like a nice guy? Well, actually, he just finished a stint as guest-editor for The Observer Magazine's climate change special edition. Yorke discusses how he decided to go green and became involved with the Friends of the Earth organization. He explains how, after learning that Radiohead's biggest impact on the environment came from the way fans commuted to concerts, the band decided to only play venues accessible by public transportation. But it's not just Thom writing and editing here -- he also interviews London mayor Ken Livingston and touches on Ken's plans to incorporate a system (based on an already existing program in Paris) where bicyclists can use free bikes to cut down on emissions.
Wow, what will he do next? I hope he brings back oceanliners in an effort to combine eco-friendly transportation with pre-war glamor! If the next Thom Yorke coverage I see involves him visiting a laundromat, I am going to be so disappointed.
Last night from Los Angeles, Trent "It's Not A Tumor" Reznor posted the "first wave" of Nine Inch Nails tourdates. Because TMT has me working in the wee hours of the "Extra Early Morning Shit," as Mr P calls it, I was sleeping when the news was announced. That is, until my implanted TMT NewsfeedÂ© abruptly kicked in:
NINE INCH NAILS HAVE ANNOUNCED A TOUR.
I immediately awoke from my slumber, ascended slowly from bed, raised my two arms in front of me, and, with enough dispassion so as to signify a zombie, said, "Muuuuust wriiiite stoooooory." So, here I am, in my Tonka truck pajamas, writing a story that won't even be published right away, about a band called Nine Inch Nails, who released an album called Ghosts (TMT Review), the majority of which probably won't be played live. And there you are, so beautiful and true, so lovely and amazing, so warm and inviting. You, my friend, are a TMT reader, and I want to have sexual relations with you.
This morning, I was blessed with the opportunity to interview Dick Cheney for my college paper on "Famous Black Vice-Presidents." But before I made my phone-in interview with Dick "Darth Vader" Cheney, I received fantastic news from the implanted TMT NewsfeedÂ© in my ear:
TEENAGE JESUS & THE JERKS HAVE REUNITED FOR TWO SHOWS AT THE KNITTING FACTORY IN NYC ON JUNE 13.
Still ecstatic from the feed, I decided to ask Cheney what he thought about the news. Here's what he said:
Emceegreg: Did you hear about Teenage Jesus & the Jerks reuniting?
Dick Cheney: Yes, I have. On the No Wave front, I think there's a general consensus that TJ & J have always made major progress. But they're not really a major success, since I've had nothing to do with
Emceegreg: Two-thirds of Americans say the reunion is fucking awesome news.
Emceegreg: So? You don't care what people think?
Cheney: No. If it's not good ol' music like "One" by U2, then frankly I don't give a shit.
What an asshole, huh?
On the bright side, this marks their first appearance in over 20 years since the band last took the stage. Joining Lydia Lunch on stage will be Jim Sclavunos of The Bad Seeds and apparently a "lost member" on bass. The shows will coincide with Abrams Image's release of No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980 on June 1, which is the Thurston Moore/Byron Coley book about the No Wave scene Teenage Jesus & the Jerks helped create. Also, Atavistic plans on releasing the band's complete catalog in June. So? So there, Dick!
Sony/ATV Sues Karaoke Companies for Copyright Infringement, But No One Sues Karaoke SINGERS for Being Assholes
FYI, folks. Every time you sink enough Red Stripe to find the idea of waltzing up to your neighborhood bar's Karaoke machine intending to conjure a rousing "everybody sing-a-long!" version of "Hey Jude" to be logical, you're not just hurting yourself and others with your off-the-mark impressions of McCartney's Little Richard-channeling yelps. Hell, you're not even just hurting McCartney, either. Nope, your wounded caterwauling is pissing off the big guns. How big? Try SONY/ATV Music Publishing, asshole.
So before you pick up that stale beer-stenched mic, consider this: Sony/ATV, a.k.a. a GIANT music publishing company that owns the publishing rights to countless hot[t] jams, is suing karaoke companies and individuals(!) based in California, Korea, and the Cayman Islands for -- you guessed it -- copyright infringement and "unfair business practices." The publisher claims that more than 200 karaoke CD+G and SCG+D recordings are being used without proper licenses from the music publishers or their agents, which, naturally, violates our old friends, the U.S. Copyright laws. ("CD+G" and "SCG+D" recordings are re-recordings of hit songs either without the lead vocal or with a vocal track by sound-a-like singers. But you already knew that, didn't you? I thought everybody knew that...)
Anyway, the suit, filed in the federal District Court in Nashville (the place where Sony/ATV administers most of its catalog), names California-based Cavs USA, Aaron Han, Ace Karaoke, David Su, Nutech Digital (Karaoke Klub, Magic Tracks, Nutech Party Paks, Nutech Nikkodo), and Lee Kasper as defendants. Also invited to the conjecture party are Seoul-based Cavs Multimedia and the Cayman Islands-based Three Boys Ltd. So, you know, if any of these guys happens to handle your neighborhood's Wednesday night sing-a-long fixes, do us all a favor and stand clear!
So what's in a karaoke license anyway? Glad you asked! Here's the skinny, booze-bag: see, karaoke use generally requires a sort of holy trinity of permission: a synch license for graphical display of the lyrics, a mechanical license for reproducing the song, and (if lyrics are reprinted in a booklet, anyway) a print license. Sounds simple enough, right?
Now, most publishers generally grant all of these rights in a single, negotiated license with the various karaoke manufacturers and distributors (and yes, sadly, they ARE various, indeed). And this past January, a federal Court of Appeals in California held that a compulsory mechanical license does not include the right to graphically display or print lyrics for karaoke use. The companies must also obtain, brace yourselves now, a synch license from the music publisher at a negotiated rate.
The complaint claims that the defendants were involved in "manufacturing and distributing the unlicensed recordings in physical formats as well as online." It claims they also streamed unlicensed samples on websites. Richard Greenberg, president of the Nutech (you know, one of the defendants named in the suit?!? Sheesh, pay attention, bro), has stated that the company's counsel is reviewing the matter. He then prattles on rather ambiguously about how the suit involves a "variety of issues" that arose before the company was acquired by the current owners. Once they determine what went on, he says, the issues will be resolved. Sounds like he runs a very tight ship there, doesn't it?
Sony/ATV lists 201 songs allegedly infringed upon by the defendants, including the always-popular "Hey Jude," the mildly popular "Eleanor Rigby," the show-stopping "King of the Road," the pathetic "I'm a Believer," and the fairly lukewarm "I Should Have Known Better."
Oh yeah, and did I mention that the suit seeks an injunction and damages up to $150,000 per infringement??? Try putting THAT on your bar tab...
Leonard Cohen Is On Tour, Yes, But The Important Thing Here Is That You Recognize How Much Allen Ginsberg I’ve Been Reading And That I’m Currently Bumming Around New York
Not five minutes ago I snuck into the Chelsea Hotel and am now standing in silent, wide-eyed awe outside the door of room #424.
#424- Where Leonard Cohen lived for years
#424- Where Janis Joplin came to copulate from down the hall (room #411)
#424- Where some schmuck now pays two grand a month to live, saying "Yeah, Leonard Cohen used to live in the same room. Pretty cool I guess."
But does Leonard Cohen really mean anything to such a Chelsea district ultra-lounger? Has he heard every unofficial live bootleg version of Chelsea Hotel #2, as I have? Has he taken Leonard's last name in trying to solidify a fantasy of love and happiness, together forever that consumes his every waking moment, as I have? Does he know that Leonard Cohen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March, and was he cuffed, booked, and held overnight for temporary insanity when he broke down screaming and sobbing "LEONARD I LOVE YOU!" at the ceremony, as I was? I bet he hasn't even sacrificed EVERYTHING to follow Leonard throughout the world, as I have. Oh god, have I.
And clenching your fist for the ones like us
who are oppressed by the figures of beauty,
you fixed yourself, you said, "Well never mind,
we are ugly but we have the music":
Dweezil Zappa to Play Frank Zappa’s Music; First Public Performance of His Work Since Frank’s Death (Just Kidding)
Dweezil Zappa has spent the past year holed up and hiding away in preparation of a tour in which he will play his father's music. You know, his pops: Barry Manilow. Or Frank Zappa. Same thing. But more importantly, this marks the first time I have ever accidentally text messaged someone announcing that Frank Zappa is touring. Unfortunately, of all the friends I could have chosen to text, I selected another music journalist and will now be subjected to assorted teasing remarks for the next week or so. God, I'm a hack.
On gearing up to take his show on the road, thus spake Dweezil: "Prepping for the tour has been like preparing for a medieval battle where going into it your sharpest weapon is a spoon. But I'm pretty deadly with that spoon now." Just wait till he gets his hands on some salad tongs.
Guesses about where Pamela Des Barres will show up may be sent to my attention: