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...
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:
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.
^ Pison Center Control
# Big Fresh
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.
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:
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
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
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.)
Modern Guilt tracklisting:
Damon and Naomi to Tour with Helena Espvall and Masaki Batoh; Tom and Jerry to Hold Camera and Join in on the Fun Should Mood Strike Them
Helena Espvall and Masaki Batoh (Ghost) are set to release their debut, self-titled collaboration July 22 on Drag City. Featuring "6- and 12-string guitar, banjo, cello, hurdy-gurdy, harp, contra bass, chappa Tibetan bells, Kin (Buddist metallic bowl), timpani, bass marimba, vibraphone, thunder sheet," and more, you'd be right in assuming this doesn't sound like Ugly Kid Joe, despite how amazing that band was. (Fun fact: “Everything About You” peaked at #3 in the UK Singles Chart.)
Today, Espvall and Batoh begin a tour with Damon and Naomi, who are touring in support of 2007's Within These Walls (TMT Review). The duos will part ways after their Empty Bottle gig, with Damon and Naomi trudging forth on a short European tour and Espvall and Batoh sleeping on beds made out of the money earned from the tour.
Damon & Naomi and Helena Espvall & Masaki Batoh tour:
EMI Gains Access to BBC Archives Containing a David Bowie Documentary, Live Pink Floyd, and Other Cool Shit
EMI is now able to open the BBC's own Cave of Broadcast Wonders, which gives me the mental image of a huge iron door laboriously wrenched open and Syd Barrett careening out, only to hit the opposite wall. In a deal forged this week, the BBC has agreed to grant unfettered access to EMI in exchange for use of EMI's artist performances in their programming. EMI plans to use this reservoir of material to create exclusive live DVDs, CDs, and digital download content.
"In the BBC vaults there is a wealth of unreleased and high quality material from EMI artists that we will now be able to bring to fans," says EMI senior VP Pete Duckworth. "At the same time, we can offer new revenue opportunities to our artists that simply weren't there before."
As mentioned in the headline, some of the hidden treasures include a 1975 Bowie documentary and a 1967 Pink Floyd performance of Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Hey, check it: EMI had a good idea! Devote time to the artists in your catalog that are actually good, and people will probably buy your swag! Oh man, this defies logic. Or follows it. I need to lie down (with David Bowie).
Is my mind more than a spot on the surface of a spherical flame? If so, how does its orbit establish my existence in relation to the emptiness of the void? Does it overcome insignificance and achieve true being, or does being simply achieve insignificance, overcome by truth? Are you there, God? It’s me, Cedric. I’m cold.
“Everything grows old under the power of Time and is forgotten through the lapse of Time.” Yet still the carnal desire to tour this September wells up within me, to educate the masses, the plebeians, the scum who remain ignorant to the sonic goddess that is my masculinity, personified through poetry. Fact: there are certain metaphysical truths which reveal themselves only in the Dionysian ecstasy of a half-hour bass solo. How long have I been in this room?
My dharma, through events set into motion before the dawn of time, has been to overcome my status as sidereal Libra, omnivore, and American, and, through sound, manifest eternal triumph. Mine was a virgin birth, for I am the child of pure art and unconditional strength. I can rise to this challenge. I can create light. I can. I can! I am man! I am art! It shall be!
Oh, to be!
Last Friday, M.I.A. announced during her performance at McCarren Pool that she is canceling her upcoming tour. She confirmed the cancellation before her performance at MoMA's "Party in the Garden."
“This is my last show. I cancelled the UK tour," M.I.A. told New York Magazine. “Nobody knows. This is it. You’re hearing it first. My manager was supposed to cancel it yesterday, but he was watching football — don’t tell anyone — and he forgot. So nobody knows. I guess now they will.”
Why M.I.A.? Why?
“I’m canceling because I feel like physically I just have to stop for a second. It’s too insane. I was losing a sense of just, like, reality, you know what I mean? I think for an artist like me, it’s so important for me to be in the streets and go to the same shop every day and see the same people and, like, communicate. And it’s really difficult to do that when you’re in the city every day for 24 hours. Like, I love connecting with my band, but I want to actually help them and be a part of peoples’ lives. Which is really hard when you’re on tour.”
Oh, I see. But what about a new album?
“I’ve been writing on tour. I’m really into writing new songs. I’m going to put out a new record instead. At the end of the day, I’m here, you know.”
It's unknown whether or not the entire European tour is canceled or just the UK dates, but New York Magazine believes its the entire tour. Also unknown is if this cancellation includes her Bonnaroo appearance, but I'm guessing probably not. Really, your best bet is to simply show up at any of the following dates and wait and see if she shows up. If she doesn't, you can be all, like, "Wow, she's truly M.I.A.!"