After nearly a year of being soundly criticized by various industry groups and copyright law concerns, the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008, or PRO-IP Act, has been passed into law. The act, among other things, allows for the creation of a "copyright czar" and permits the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct civil lawsuits on behalf of private copyright holders.
The most troubling part of the PRO-IP Act — to me, at least — is that it extends the concept of forfeiture to IP piracy. Usually used in cases of large-scale drug-dealing, Publicknowledge.org's Art Brodsky sums up forfeiture as it relates to IP thusly: “Let’s suppose that there’s one computer in the house, and one person uses it for downloads and one for homework. The whole computer goes.”
There's a whole tangled mess of lobbying and special interest that I'm sure will reveal itself as this law becomes more widely practiced, but for now we're left with one salient point made by the White House on the day of the bill's signing: "Terrorist networks use counterfeit sales to finance their operations."
If it's not one thing, it's another (or two) for King Khan. He put out a compilation on Vice (The Supreme Genius Of) with his other band, The Shrines, and recorded a band or two, all while going on tour after tour. BBQ, a.k.a. Mark Sultan, is no slouch either, playing countless shows in support of his excellent LP from last year, The Sultanic Verses (In The Red)
Nonetheless, these too seemingly never-tiring musicians have not put out a new record together since 2006's What's For Dinner (though, 2007 saw the reissue of the band's first, self-titled LP from 2004). Unfortunately, 2008 won't yield a new LP from the duo, but there is solace for fans, coming in the forms of a new 7-inch and a huge tour. The single is "Animal Party" b/w "God of Raisins" (Fat Possum). You can buy it on the duo's tour of pretty much every major American city, plus the Canadian cities that even the most brainless American can identify as being in Canada. These shows will also feature a bevy of first-rate openers, including Women, Vivian Girls, Jacuzzi Boys, and a few less gender-specific groups. Don't miss it.
Beastie Boys Announce Voter Awareness Shows; Also Claim McCain Fathered Terrorist Babies in Top-Secret MÃ©nage Ã Quatre with Chemical Ali, Carlos the Jackal, and the ghost of Timothy McVeigh [Wow, thanks GOP! Fabricating Conspiracy IS fun!]
Perennial good time candidates Beastie Boys have announced shows as part of their "Swing State Voter Awareness Tour." Can't pronounce "vote?" Vote! Do you regularly abuse the elderly? Vote! Are you using 12 aliases to claim government benefits and are in hiding from child support collectors? America needs your vote(s)! Vote, vote vote! Before that, these shows should entertain your mind as you ponder how you want the next four years and the future of the United States to look. Given the forum, Obama terrorist-cahoots claims will be at a minimum, Republican scorn at a maximum.
All yuks aside, Beastie Boys rear their charged heads whenever they see the need to drop some political science, and around election time, they are as noisy as a herd of hiphopopotamuses. This time around is no different. The band issued this soundbite regarding the shows:
We are going to do a few shows in hopes that we can remind people to vote. This election is too important, too much is at stake to stay at home. We hope that you can come out, have a nice night, dance, sing, get your freak on, and then wake up the next morning and get everyone that you possible can to get out and vote.
A vote for Beastie Boys is a vote for democracy... and a chance to see all your favorite big-ticket artists in one (sure) shot. The dates feature heavy-hitting support from Sheryl Crow, Jack Johnson, Norah Jones, Ben Harper, Santogold, Tenacious D, and Crosby & Nash (I'll assume the Canadian turncoat, Republican-turned-Democrat-turned-Monster Raving Loony Party supporter Neil Young was not available?). Representatives from Rock the Vote will be on hand to make sure that, come November 4, your vote will be soundly rocked
10.27.08 - Charlotte, NC - Amos' Southend $
10.28.08 - Richmond, VA - Richmond Coliseum $$
10.29.08 - Youngstown, OH - Chevrolet Centre $$$
10.30.08 - Dayton, OH - Hara Arena $$$$
11.01.08 - St. Paul, MN - Roy Wilkins Auditorium $$$$$
11.02.08 - Milwaukee, WI - U.S. Cellular Arena $$$$$$
$ w/ Sheryl Crow, Santogold
$$ w/ Sheryl Crow, Jack Johnson, Norah Jones, Santogold
$$$ w/ Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper, Norah Jones
$$$$ w/ Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper
$$$$$ w/ Ben Harper, Tenacious D
$$$$$$ w/ Ben Harper, Crosby & Nash, Tenacious D
Read the full coverage of Treasure Island Music Festival 2008 here, where you can also find more videos.
According to Destijl Records:
Jim Yunker, younger brother of Michael Yonkers and the drummer of "Microminature Love", died yesterday morning [October 12, 2008].
Aside from music, Jim was interested in and created art. One of his major works was a sculpture called "Matrix Village" and was displayed for long periods on both the east and west bank campuses of the University of Minnesota. He was also worked with wood and has produced countless beautiful toys, and custom display cases for various local stores. He held a variety of straight jobs, and the one that meant the most to him was teaching science to ESL students in the Saint Paul School System. His amazing connection to the students, and the extremely high quality of the work they produced attracted the attention and support of 3M. His program, and his spirit, were downsized and left behind, within the last few years.
His solid drumming for the Grenadiers Drum and Bugle Corp in the 60s helped create the style that he used in Michael And The Mumbles and the Michael Yonkers Band.
He was 60 years old when he passed on October 12th 2008, after year
long bout with leukemia.
Music industry types have always been notoriously stupid, by and large. But luckily for them, they’ve always found themselves one rung higher on the ladder of evolutionary common sense than one particularly sordid group of cranially-crippled bottom feeders: consumers with disposable income. Yes, it’s sad but true; it’s zombies like these who have allowed such past pointless capitalistic mutations as the salad spinner, the robot vacuum, and Nickelback to somehow cram themselves into an already bloated marketplace and thrive there, surviving only on a diet of poor self-esteem and allocated Denny’s tips.
So it should come as no surprise that the struggling music publishers at EMI music have burned the mid-afternoon oil and come up with a new and devious way to extract another few pennies out of the value of the ol’ music/lyrics music copyright: turning lyric sheets into fashion statements. Sadly, EMI Music Publishing is merely the latest to embrace the growing trend of, well, squeezing blood from proverbial turnips, having inked a deal with the British grocery store Sainsbury's "Tu Clothing" line that will involve printing various juicy lyrics from some of the publishing house's 1.3 million-song catalog on the latest fashions for men, women, and, uggh, children. This time around, songs such as “My Girl,” “ABC,” “(Theme From) The Monkees,” “Wild Thing,” and “Dancing in the Street” are set to be featured. Man, I can’t wait to pick up those “When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May” legwarmers and “you make everything groovy” boxer shorts for Christmas presents this year.
Jonathan Channon, executive vice president for EMI, couldn't resist a bit of assholistc punnery during his statment: "Classic songs are part of the fabric of everybody's lives, and we’re delighted that people will now be able to wear their favorite songs through this deal." I mean, yeah, I’d be delighted too if I could get paid a second time for something I already own, wouldn’t you? Just think of all of the time that’d afford you to, say, think-up hammy media one-liners. In defense against naysaying pundits like me, EMI Publishing's lyrics division was quick to point out that previous initiatives have already seen its lyrics licensed for board games, posters, and greeting cards -- part of an apparent push by publishers in general to find new ways to avoid having to look for “real” work these days. After all, what other skills could they possibly have?
From Out of the Ashes Rises, a Femi Phoenix: After a Seven-Year Absence Femi Kuti Returns with a New Album November 18
It goes without saying that a monsoon of bullshit has rained hard upon the world since we last heard from Femi Kuti. 2001’s rallying cry Fight to Win came out a month after September 11, and with his latest studio record Day by Day slated for November 18, Femi’s coming hot on the heels of yet another colossal American crisis. But Femi, like his legendary father Fela before him, has never given America much face time on his records. Hell, in the grand scheme of his music, even his home continent of Africa gets relegated to a supporting role. Fema’s focus lies primarily on a confrontational funk of unrestrained global optimism that possesses everything from his horn section to his vocals. Not revolution for one nation, but revolution everywhere: That’s the Femi Kuti way, and that’s exactly what the world could use right about now.
But what in the devil has Femi been doing for the last seven years? Well, first of all, he finally learned how to play the piano “properly.” (What improper piano styles he may have been performing earlier, alas, the press release does not say.) He also switched from sax to trumpet as his principal instrument, a change that Femi says affected the composition of Day by Day significantly. But perhaps Femi’s strangest activity during his sabbatical was his work within the seedy underworld of brutal Russian mobsters and mass hooker murders when he lent his voice to Grand Theft Auto IV as the DJ for IF 99, Liberty City’s home for the funk. How crazy is that?! Femi, TMT forgives you for not putting out an album for seven years. You had the best radio station in that game.
So, come November 18, get ready for some stone-cold intercontinental grooves from the Godson-turned-Godfather of Afrobeat and his mammoth 17-person band Positive Force. If you’ve lost your house by then, at least try to hang on to a stereo, because this baby’s gonna be the jam.
New York-based label Freenoise is celebrating 10 years of its WFMU-ready online catalog with the appropriately titled Freenoise Fest. Taking place October 24 at Williamsburg's Death by Audio, the fest harbors motivations more nefarious than you might think.
You see, Freenoise Fest goes down the same weekend as the colo$$al CMJ Music Marathon. As such, Freenoise Fest says "NO" to CMJ, asking patrons to "experience authentic underground music."
The lineup reads like the greatest band names you've never came up with:
The White Mice
U Can Unlearn Guitar
Don't know Cock E.S.P. too well? Missed the White Mice LPs that came out on Load? What about the fuzziness of Laundryroom Squelchers? No prob, Bob, because Freenoise offers archives of many of these acts here. Try before you buy!
Although the following does not necessarily represent the views of Tiny Mix Tapes, I will say I understand the reasons why an Anti-CMJ festival would manifest, similar to other opposite-and-equal reaction festivals like Austin's Fuck By Fuck You. I had a crumby time when I went to CMJ in 2005. It's hard to see a lot of music you want to see, both due to the difficulty in traversing about NYC as well as the many CMJ badge cut-offs at most clubs and venues. More tellingly, I saw a Clear Channel booth in the exhibit hall, the most obvious point of reference for all that is not quite right in the world of so-called independent music.
Actually, it's entirely possible to see more music at Freenoise than the entire CMJ Music Marathon combined -- and for a whole lot less money (albeit with less free ASCAP frisbees and stuff). So, keep October 24 open, and just so you know, I'll still totally accept a CMJ press badge if anyone wants to send me one.
El Guincho Set to Cut a Swathe of Neon, Unwarranted Animal Collective Comparisons During Upcoming U.S. Tour
Pablo Diaz-Reixa, the man behind Spanish language dance-party-rock outfit El Guincho, is finally coming to the good old U.S. of A! After a handful of cancelled dates earlier this summer, North American fans will soon be able to see the man live and in person. They'll also be able to purchase the debut album Alegranza! from our friends over at Young Turks/XL Recordings on October 21. If you've heard the joie de vivre-inducing first single, "Palmitos Park," you know this is good news. But if not -- here are a few fascinating "facts" related to an artist about whom I could find virtually nothing actually fact-based during a brief Google search.
1. El Guincho told Drowned in Sound that his initial idea was to create something along the lines of a "space age-exotica kind of record" in the vein of Martin Denny. Apparently, in the space age, sophisticated-looking cocktail lounge ladies will be replaced with parrots with spider eyeballs. If you Google Image this, you will understand. While you're at it, Google Image "monkey waiter," too. You won't regret it!
2. El Guincho uses a lot of neon -- in publicity photos, the aforementioned album cover with spider-eyed parrot, and, not to stretch the description too much here, also in the kinda technicolor-esque production of the tracks. But don't stop reading when I say "neon" -- this is no nu-rave reject trying to fit into skinnier turquoise jeans than the Klaxons. Alegranza! is a timeless party record, in, um, the way space-age exotica is, um, timeless.
3. El Guincho is the name of a town on Tenerife, one of the islands composing Spain's Canary Islands. Yes, this is the last fact I found on the internet that can even be considered related to this story. At least it's the factiest!!!
I’m sorry, but the bird jokes just write themselves when it comes to Shearwater, everyone’s favorite avian enthusiasts. This fall, you can join the winged collective (sorry) as they fly (sorry) across the U.S. and Europe on their annual migratory flight paths (sorry), otherwise known to you non-bird folk as “touring.” Try and control yourselves from yelling out bird calls (sorry) while Shearwater is on stage though; I hear it really ruffles the feathers (sorry) of lead sparrow (sorry) Jonathan Meiburg.
Bluebirds, and Sparrows, and Cardinals, Oh My: