Performance Rights Act Currently Under Negotiations; Local Radio Freedom Act Gaining Steam

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing about the Performance Rights Act, a bill that critics say will hurt terrestrial, non-commercial radio stations. The bill primarily aims to (1) amend the Copyright Act by granting equal rights to musicians when receiving compensation from terrestrial broadcasters, and (2) establish a flat rate for non-commercial and public terrestrial stations that make less than $1.25 million a year. Essentially, the bill wants to place the same enforcement on terrestrial radio that already exists on internet and satellite radio. (If you're interested you can keep track of the bill at the excellent OpenCongress.)

Interestingly, the Bush administration, according to FMQB reports, have given their nod of approval to the bill in a letter written by Lilly Fu Claffee, general counsel of Department of Commerce. The letter states:

The [Department of Commerce] believes that the changes contained in the legislation [H.R. 4789, the Performance Rights Act] are justified as a matter of fairness and equity. Granting copyright owners of sound recordings a full performance right coupled with extending an existing statutory license is an appropriate and workable approach to providing compensation to recording artists and record labels for the transmission of their works by over-the-air broadcast stations.

While artists will ostensibly be getting compensation for their work, some of the provisions in this bill are seen as severely flawed and in need of serious revisions before passing. In fact, FMQB is also reporting that the Local Radio Freedom Act, which "takes a stand against the proposed new royalty rates for terrestrial radio," only needs three more representatives to attain house majority. We'll keep you updated.

Live! Tonight! Not Sold Out! No Age and Foot Village Members Create New Band, Cockpit, From Ashes of No Age Cover Band

For awhile now, Sean Carnage, director of 40 Bands/80 Minutes!, has been presenting Monday night showcases of musical vanguards at LA's Pehrspace in Echo Park. Past shows have featured everyone from Lucky Dragons and The Mae Shi to The Amazements and the sit-down comedy of Peter Moran. (If you don't live in LA, you can check out Carnage's blog, where he posts photos of the crazy shows.)

This month, Josh Taylor (Foot Village, Friends Forever) and Kyle Mabson (soundman/DJ/bassist) have a month-long residency at Pehrspace, which means each Monday, the duo has been/will be forming entirely new bands and then performing entirely new sets. The first week featured Josh and Kyle playing as Allusions to Jazz with John Thill; last week saw them performing as Red Hot Thilly Peppers 360 (yes, a Red Hot Chili Peppers cover band).

Last night, Carnage posted details about tonight's sure-to-be exciting show: Josh and Kyle will be performing as Cockpit with Randy Randall from No Age! Not a whole lot is known about the group. Carnage's blog says to "expect heavy heavy rock action," while Foot Village's Brian Miller tells TMT that the band was formed after Randy caught wind that Josh and Kyle had started a No Age cover band called The New No Age. According to Pehrspace's calender, the show was originally slated for The New No Age, but it seems that Cockpit will replace the slot with new material, according to Miller. Hmm. In any case, the show -- and I'm assuming most shows put on my Carnage -- will be one for the books.

Show info:

- Cockpit (Kyle Mabson & Josh Taylor Supergroup #3 with Randy Randall of No Age)
- American Gil & the Major Dudes
- John Thill
- Hey Buddy & the Pals
9:30pm / all-ages / $5 / Pehrspace

The Faint to Self-Release New Album And Tour, Reclaim Their Spot On The Dance Floor

You know that friend of yours who is always raving about Chromeo, Hot Chip, Justice, and the entire DFA Records roster? The same kid that cried when Death From Above 1979 broke up in 2006? Well, back in 2001, they were putting The Faint on all of their dance party mixes instead. Now, four years after The Faint’s last album Wet From Birth was released, the little Omaha dance band that could is back with their latest release, Fasciinatiion. Unlike their previous albums, however, Fasciinatiion will be released August 5 on their own record label, Blank.wav. Yes, The Faint has finally split with their longtime label, Saddle Creek. It’s time to forget about Hot Chip, club kids, because The Faint are back to reclaim their spot on the dance floor.

Fasciinatiion tracklisting:

Jay Reatard Singles Compilation Is Economical, Bitchin’

In today's challenging economic circumstances, are you looking for ways to stretch your buck? Apart from the much-ballyhooed siphoning of gas or the annoyingly-named "staycation," In the Red Records has a new way to help you save. If you've been blowing money on early Jay Reatard 7-inches like they're going out of style (or out of print), listen up. In the Red has compiled out-of-print singles originally put out by labels like Stained Circles, P. Trash, Squoodge, Goner, and In The Red. Most of these 7-inches were released in limited presses of 500-3,000 copies. Entitled Singles 06-07, the compilation contains 17 singles and 4 live shows from Las Vegas, New York City, Philadelphia, and The Netherlands and will be released tomorrow, June 17.

In other Jay 7-inch related news, his 7-inch series for Matador has now been completely recorded and the third installment will be available June 24. Amounting to six releases in total, this new series will be compiled by Matador and put out on CD and LP in September. A new full-length is slated for early 2009. And if you just can't get enough Jay Reatard, well, it looks like he's coming to a town hear you very, very soon.

Federal Court: Sale of Promo CDs Is No Longer Illegal, Meaning Record Release Dates Just Got a Whole

On June 10, the federal district court of Los Angeles ruled that eBay seller Troy Augusto may legally sell promotional CDs online, despite the record company's CD warning label prohibiting him from doing so. Universal brought a suit against Augusto, accusing him of copyright infringement, and a judge ruled that the label on CDs -- usually reading something akin to: "This CD is promotional and cannot be sold to the public" -- does not function as a valid copyright license. Therefore, record companies have no legal basis to claim copyright breaches, since U.S. copyright law already states that once a title is transferred by legitimate means (e.g., label promoters mailing review copies to the press), the recipient has ownership over that title and may do with it what she or he wishes. Augusto argued that since the CDs he bought in used record stores were considered gifts to their original owners under federal law, his legal ownership entitled him to sell them on eBay, and the court agreed. (Universal intends to appeal the ruling.)

Of course, other people have certainly sold their promo CDs before this dude. Most independent record stores have bins full, and a quick search on eBay always yields at least a few copies of albums slated for release a couple of months down the line. This ruling makes it that much easier to get physical copies of an album well before its official release, but then again, who buys CDs anymore? One thing I will say about the stack of promo discs I receive each month is that they make very nice coasters. Really! The neighborhood bars are grateful that I've stopped swiping theirs. But more importantly, how will this affect record release dates? It has become less and less common for kids to visit their local record shop and pick up a new album, but even iTunes release dates still generate a fair amount of buzz. How now, record labels? It's that pesky internet again. Stay tuned...

Andrew Bird Celebrates The Summer By Touring The Festival Circuit

Summer has finally hit here in Chicago and Andrew Bird is getting restless. He’s sick of randomly going to shows, hoping someone will notice him. He’s already seen the new Indiana Jones movie twice (loved it), offered to fly Dosh to Chicago to hang out with him (the dude is busy on tour, Andrew!), and tried to rejoin the Squirrel Nut Zippers (they already have a whistler/violinist/guitarist in their lineup, damn). Luckily, Andrew Bird will have his own tour itinerary to worry about soon enough, as he is playing every single summer festival you can possibly think of.

If you’re as bored as Andrew Bird this summer, you can kill time by checking out the list below of randomly selected headliners from different festivals he’s appearing at:

- Diana Ross (City Stages Music and Arts Festival)
- The New Pornographers (Rock The Garden)
- Dave Matthews Band (Mile High Music Festival)
- Ani DiFranco (Calgary Folk Festival)
- Radiohead (All Points West Festival)
- Bob Dylan (Virgin Mobile Festival)

Andrew Bird and the Kingdom of the Crystal Tour:

The Apples in Stereo Announce Upcoming Colbert, Live, Tape, and Film Appearances

You know former Elephant 6-ers The Apples in Stereo, right? They have a bunch of albums, the latest of which is their second singles/rarities LP Electronic Projects For Musicians (Yep Roc), which was released a couple months ago. So why screw around? Let's get to the news (which will be presented here in order from most-to-least interesting, if you are thinking of jumping ship, mid-voyager):

The AIS are getting ready for a two-week tour, starting July 18 from their home base of Kentucky and wrapping up everything in New York. But NYC will not be just any show, as the band will be performing on The Colbert Report (11:30 EST, Comedy Central) August 4. You may remember that Apples' CEO Robert Schneider made an appearance on the show a couple years back, during that Colbert (represented by Peter Frampton) vs. The Decemberists (represented by Chris Funk) guitar battle episode, singing his tribute to the faux-pundit, "Stephen Stephen" (which can be found on Electronic).

Speaking of Schneider, he has a cameo in the upcoming Mike Myers yu(c)k-fest, The Love Guru. Schneider can be seen in a scene set in a bar performing the traditional bluegrass song "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," which he and bluegrass band The McKendrees contributed to the movie's soundtrack. Lastly, I just ate an apple.

Tourdates:

^ Pison Center Control

# Big Fresh

* Earlimart

Fuck Buttons Hit the Road with Mogwai, Vocal Mics Get Used for Cool, Spinny, Showboating Purposes Only

Have you had it up to HERE with musicians who try to make their songs "better" by cramming that silly old "narrative" bullshit into them? Well, I hope so, because noise droners and post-rockers Fuck Buttons and Mogwai have little-to-no use for that trivial bullshit. Touring together for the first time this fall, these two mum's-the-word bands will be telepathically spreading their musical love all over their syntactically-enlightened, anti-diction audiences like Mark McGrath spreads love on fly. But unlike the ever-poetic Sugar Ray, these folks don't need WORDS to take them by the hand and show them a good time. Why should YOU?!?

Besides, what has something as banal as "intelligible lyrics" (complete with all of those buzzwords like "purpose," "meaning," and "feeling") ever done for anybody?? Nothing. Nothing for nobody. Meaningful lyrics? I say who needs 'em. And so do Fuck Buttons and Mogwai. Are you with them, readers!?!?

...Not convinced, huh? Okay, fine. I'll prove it to you.

This is what happens when music is unencumbered with those trivial lyrics and allowed finally to speak for itself. Beautiful, evocative... truly the "language" of the gods, right?

Now, here's that same song when you add lyrics to it! You be the judge.

That's what I thought. See you there.

* Liars

** Mogwai

P.S. Mogwai's sixth album, The Hawk Is Howling, is set for release on September 23, preceded by the Batcat EP on September 9. Okay?

Batcat EP tracklist:

1. Batcat
2. Stupid Prick Gets Chased By The Police And Loses His Slut Girlfriend
3. Devil Rides

The Hawk Is Howling tracklist:

1. I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead
2. Batcat
3. Danphe And The Brain
4. Local Authority
5. The Sun Smells Too Loud
6. Kings Meadow
7. I Love You, I'm Going To Blow Up Your School
8. Scotland’s Shame
9. Thank You Space Expert
10. The Precipice

Both Quart Festival and Redfest Are Now Canceled, But Why Can’t I Stop Laughing?

Just kidding about laughing. I ain't laughing. This ain't no laughing matter.

This past Saturday, it was announced that Norway's long-standing Quart Festival was canceled due to "ticket sales being weaker than expected and budgetary concerns." And that's even with a pretty hefty lineup (Death Cab for Cutie, Gnarls Barkley, Battles, Liars, Spank Rock, Holy Fuck, Kool Keith, etc.)! Maybe people were sick of Bibles being burned on stage? Or pigheads being thrown in the audience? Or people having sex on stage? (These all really happened, FYI.)

And now, word has just come in that the debut of South East England's Redfest has been canceled too. "Due to the very disappointing tickets sales we have had no choice but to call the festival off," according to a post on the official website. Admittedly, the lineup wasn't quite as stellar -- Crystal Castles, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Los Campesinos!, Patrick Wolf -- but this still breaks my heart. Who the hell knows what kind of sexual or violent or religious scandal might've happened there. Maybe Patrick Wolf having sex with the lead singer of Does It Offend You, Yeah?, while barfing in the mouth of Los Campesinos' most religious member? IN YOUR DREAMS PERVERT! (Mine too.)

Beck Reveals Details for Modern Guilt And Shit

- Artist: Beck
- Album title: Modern Guilt
- Record Label: DGC
- Release date: July 8, 2008
- Collaborators: Danger Mouse, Cat Power (on "Walls")

Modern Guilt tracklisting:

  

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