Polka America Corporation Rolls Out the Barrels of Polka Pain on Sound Exchange And All The Polka Haters of the World; Polka Medleys Of The Chili Pepper’s “Give It Away” Echo Through Hill And Vale
I won’t bore you with the typical David-and-Goliath analogy uppity writers like to spurt anytime a nobody nobody’s ever heard of starts picking fights with an evil corporation doing evil corporation-type shit. No way. This is more of a modern-day Fraggle Rock. You see, the Fraggles and the Gorgs each use radishes in their own way (radishes, in this case, being the internet licensing of polka music). And while the Gorgs believe themselves to be King and Queen of the Universe, they are, in reality, living an un-enriched life of assholedom, in effect oppressing the cute, songster Fraggles. Cue Fraggle mischief which ruefully points out Gorg inaneness, plus a big pile of trash (physical manifestation of the internet?!?) teeming with wisdom. Everything is interconnected -- and I’m not even going to get into the Doozers.
Nay, not since Connecticut librarians stood up for our right to lend Chicken Soup for the Enterprising Jihadist’s Soul in anonymity has a more unlikely, and duly respectable, contingent sought to challenge the status quo. But it’s not necessarily all Good v. Evil, like the guys upstairs like to make it out to be (to bring it back to Fraggle Rock, those are the “Silly Creatures of Outer Space”).
In a Fraggle-like move, the Polka America Corporation is working to provide an easy alternative to SoundExchange’s licensing program for the polka community. PAC, who is registering interested artists on its website, plans to license the artists’ music to qualifying stations free of charge. By an agreement with SoundExchange, PAC can license music in its database to “Internet polka broadcasters,” which include the online streams of “internet websites broadcasting polka music, all non-commercial educational radio stations that broadcast polka music, and commercial radio stations that simulcast on the Internet who have more than fifty (50) percent station polka programming.” Those stations would then be exempt from having to pay SoundExchange the equivalent fees for PAC licensed music. Stations that play non-PAC registered polka music would still be subject to SoundExchange regulations, and artists that sign up for the internet radio free polka can work with SoundExchange to collect their royalties for commercial and satellite radio broadcasts.
Basically, Wired’s The Listening Post Blog contains some discussion/information on how easy/hard this is to do, which situations such an agreement would apply to, various ways one can opt out of SoundExchange’s program, etc. etc.
It’s all very confusing, I assure you.
NASA (WHO?) Featuring David Byrne, Chali 2na, Gift of Gab, Z-Trip, E-40, Method Man, DJ Swamp, RZA, John Frusciante, Barbie Hatch, KRS-One, Fatlip, Slim Kid Tre, Seu Jorge, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge, Ras Congo, Karen O, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Lovefoxxx, Amanda Blank, Sizzla, Gift of Gab, Tom Waits, Kool Keith, RZA, Nina Persson, George Clinton, Kool Kojak, M.I.A. Spank Rock, Nick Zinner, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, and DJ Qbert (WHAT)
I know you only scanned that list. Read it again.
Apparently Spike Jonze has more pull than I knew. His brother Squeak E Clean (Sam Spiegel) and DJ Zegon (If I may repeat... WHO?) are releasing a currently untitled disc under the name NASA, featuring a cast of all-stars that rivals the Battle of The Network Reality Stars.
I don’t understand, and they have not been all that forthcoming with details (not that I actually attempted contacting them). But this disc is actually original material and a direct fuck you to Gregg Gillis.
Seriously, did you fully read that list? WHAT? EXCUSE ME?
In addition to snagging every single relevant living human being to record a track (I hear Obama and Travolta actually play uncredited hype men on the outro), he has gotten on that Jesus-tip and brought back O.D.B. Well, either that or, like pac (I’m TOTALLY going to be getting hatemail), he has been faking his death and was coaxed out of it by the gyrations of Karen O who will be dropping a verse on the same track.
LOOK AT THE GUEST APPEARANCES. LOOK.
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS
The fifth song has no one on it... odds are that Jeff Mangum will be singing at least the hook.
SERIOUSLY COME ON.
Additionally each track will have an animated short co-written by Spike Jonze. That somehow seems less impressive than the track list.
2. The People Tree [ft. David Byrne, Chali 2na, Gift of Gab, and Z-Trip]
3. NASA Music [ft. E-40, Method Man, and DJ Swamp]
4. Way Down [ft. RZA, John Frusciante, and Barbie Hatch]
5. Hip Hop [ft. KRS-One, Fatlip, and Slim Kid Tre]
6. Four Rooms, Earth View
7. Money [ft. David Byrne, Seu Jorge, Ras Congo, and Z-Trip]
8. Strange Enough [ft. Karen O, Ol' Dirty Bastard, and Fatlip]
9. Samba Hey (Portuguese Version) [ft. Seu Jorge]
10. A Volta [ft. Lovefoxxx, Amanda Blank, and Sizzla]
11. The Ultimate [ft. Fatlip and Gift of Gab]
12. Spacious Thoughts [ft. Tom Waits and Kool Keith]
13. Electric Flowers [ft. RZA and Nina Persson]
14. There's a Party [ft. George Clinton]
15. O Pato [ft. Kool Kojak]
16. Whachadoin? [ft. M.I.A., Spank Rock, and Nick Zinner]
17. Samba Soul [ft. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien and DJ Qbert]
18. I Am God [ft. Kool Kojak]
Okay, a lot of you probably already know the history of SoundExchange, but I want to make sure everyone's caught up so we can all understand the tangled mess of ass-sucking going here. So, ready, steady, go -- here's an abbreviated history lesson:
Acronyms are fun right? SRCO, SRCO, SRCO. Whatever does that acronym mean? Well, SRCO stands for Sound Recording Copyright Owners, and prior to 1995, SRCOs (a.k.a. musicians, artists, record labels) didn't receive performance royalties if their music was used in "public performances," such as on the radio. Eventually, both The Digital Performance in Sound Recordings Act (1995) and The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (1998) were passed, securing royalties for artists whose work was publicly "performed."
Fast-forward to the year 2000. The great music industry leaders known as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) created SoundExchange, a division of the RIAA, which later spun off into its own "independent" organization. Magically, SoundExchange became the only organization allowed by the Copyright Office to distribute due royalties to artists and record labels, or SRCOs (sound recording copyright owners, remember?). Basically, SoundExchange is an independent nonprofit entity that collects money on behalf of artists.
Now to the new stuff: according to Wired's blog, SoundExchange was caught lobbying. Question: How in the fuck can a nonprofit organization lobby? Well, according to the law, it can't. SoundExchange is only supposed to collect money on behalf of SRCOs and not for public relations.
So, how do we know its involved in lobbying and public relations? Well, we first need to talk about one more entity, the musicFIRST Coalition. The musicFIRST Coalition is another annoying group using another annoying acronym. This time, the acronym FIRST stands for Fairness In Radio Starting Today. Right, whatever. It's a public relations organization that started up back in June of this year. Its ultimate goal is to get congress to pass a law, mandating that big radio stations pay up to the big boys of the RIAA. Even Celine Dion is part of the coalition. Wait! Celine Dion? This must mean the RIAA is a part of the coalition as well? Not the same guys who had the balls to arrest 16-year-old girls for using P2P programs to download some Papa Roach, is it!? Oh, my friends, the very same. The RIAA is part of this coalition as well. Wow!
So, here's how SoundExchange (a nonprofit) and musicFIRST (a public relations group) are related:
- SoundExchange is listed as a member on musicFIRST's homepage.
- SoundExchange supports musicFIRST financially (the amount remains undisclosed).
- SoundExchange and musicFIRST are both inextricable from the RIAA.
- SoundExchange owns musicFIRST's homepage... Wait. What? Oh my children, just go here and type in "musicFIRSTcoalition.org" into the text field. Scroll down a little bit and you'll see this:
Hey, SoundExchange, is your nonprofit ass supporting a lobbying organization called the musicFIRST Coalition with your money? I'm afraid this doesn't make any sense and is, in fact, may very well be against the law (can I get a lawyer?).
SoundExchange is helping target the land radio stations for royalty collection, using nonprofit money for their own agendas. If they're already getting away with shoddy shit like this, then the Copyright Royalty Board is no better. The Copyright Royalty Board was meant to be a neutral government body that monitors SoundExchange, a neutral organization. None of this sounds very neutral.
With all this lobbying talk, it's no wonder why SaveNetRadio is having such a hard time getting the Internet Radio Equality Act through.
Fred Wilhelms, a well-known entertainment lawyer (you know him, right?), wrote a letter to SoundExchange. Here's an excerpt:
I happen to believe, based on my own reading of the law, the lobbying efforts do exceed the legislative and regulatory authority given to SoundExchange. I also believe that the lobbying activity on a matter outside the scope of SoundExchange’s original charter constitutes a violation of the 501 (c) (6) tax-exemption held by SoundExchange
Menomena Phenomena! Third Time’s the Charm, As Barsuk’s Intrepid Troubadors Hog All of Earth’s Highways, Muscling and Flowing Their Way Across the Globe… Again
Do your blog-savy eyes deceive you?
Is Portland three-piece, nerd-tronic, loop-rock troupe Menomena really heading back out for an international fall/summer tour mere weeks after wrapping up their lengthy, already second (and also international!) tour of the year at the, uh, Something-fork Fest last month?
Well, you know what they say. It's always the nerds who have the best stamina!
(wha-BAM! ZING! What a punchline! Well... goodnight everybody, good-- what is it, TMT editor???... oh, really? You need me to fill HOW much more space?!?... Well, i really only had that one joke planned, and-- ... ah, i see... wow, Mr. P said THAT!??! Well... well, FINE then! I'll see what i can do... this just figures... )
Uh... let's see here. Oh! I know!
Unfortunately, in order to make room for this delicious double-dip of Menomena's signature matriculating-loops-turned-organic-rock fare -- as heard most recently on this past winter's Friend and Foe (TMT Review) -- we here at TMT have decided that a couple of other indie rock bands will have to stay home in order to make room for the ensuing Menomena Mania this fall.
I know, i know. This isn't going to be easy, guys, but come on now, there's an energy crisis! So, let's all work together here. Now, are there any bands out there besides Menomena who do the following particularly well:
1. Big, stiff, hip-hop inspired drums (sorry, Mr. Drozd, i'm afraid this means you)
2. Thick, party-time blasts of funky, syncopated sax (ouch, sorry dance-punk collectives; you had a good summer, though! I still love you, !!!)
3. Huge, layered-vocal moments with not-quite-perfect, but really heart-on-sleeve intonation (hmmm, Panda Bear, I guess that means you can stay comfy in your Nautica gear for a little while longer, at least)
4. Fairly accessible and concrete, yet symbolic and brainy lyrics... oh shit, there goes all of Indie Rock...
Welp, sorry readers! But come on, that whole "independent music" thing was on the way out already, anyway, right?
Hope you like you some Menomena:
! The Decemberists
14 (Actually One Less, But I Refuse to Acknowledge the Existence of That Number) Things I Learned from Sole’s New YouTube Video
1 - Sole is releasing a new album featuring The Skyrider Band.
1.5 - Somehow this relates to a solar eclipse behind a rooster impaled on a scythe.
2 - Sole is a blood relative of Will Oldham.
3 - The editing team used iMovie to put this together.
4 - “Things are generally fucked up everywhere, but things are wonderful up everywhere too... not everywhere... Darfur isn’t that hot right now.”
5 - The new album is more “personal,” “mature,” and “grounded.”
5.5 - That said, the video for the song “Stupid Things Implode On Themselves” does feature an apparently biblical Sole firing an anachronistic machine gun.
6 - Beats are much more organic than the past, coming out of improvisation.
7 - There is a link between pushups, Levitowns, Dairy Queen, and Sole’s new album.
7.5 - Where it lies is unclear.
8 - Sole either hates Akon or Pop-Punk; his impression could be construed as either.
9 - Sole aims to be less cryptic on this album.
10 - The animated Anticon logo looks so cool Pixar should base a short on it.
11 - Album is called Sole and the Skyrider Band and drops on October 23.
12 - Fans can garner that the new album will be a classic through only hearing three 15-second sound clips.
14 - Though I hate hearing him talk, the new tracks sound undeniably hot
Scarlett ‘Oh Ashley, Ashley, I Love You’ Johansson Goes To Wal-Mart, Records Album With Yeah Yeah Yeahs & Celebration, Produced By Dave Sitek; Editorial Below
Dude, she’s so hot.
Let me be open and honest with you, TMT reader. A couple days ago, I played spin the bottle with the news section. What felt like a semi-slow news week in the music world needed some hot, steamin' action. I may have crossed some sort of journalistic line, but at the moment, I thought the "line" was just a sexual object waiting to be trampled.
First off, I wrote down ten pending new articles yet to be written on to ten multi-colored note cards. I pricked my finger with a dragon letter opener and wrote the headlines in my own blood. I then took a 45-minute shower until every inch of my body felt and looked like Grandpa Gene's testicles.
I then drank an expensive bottle of Chateau d'Yquem and placed the empty bottle next to my feet, as I laid out the ten note cards in a circle around me. I spun the bottle, and it landed on this news article that you're reading now. No, I don't mean an article about me finding a news article to write. That would make no sense. It was fate that I happened to be holding the card in my hand that read "Konono NoÂ°1 Release Live CD."
I started to stroke the note card like a kitten and began to lightly purr into the note card's ear. I gave the note card about four Jägerbombs, and it started to tell me all about the Konono NoÂ°1 album. According to the note card, the DIY group from Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo are releasing a live, eight-track mini-album called Live at Couleur Café August 27 in Europe and September 11 in the U.S. The note card also said that, with never-before heard material recorded at Brussels' popular Couleur Café festival and production by Vincent Kenis, no one should be disappointed.
We both agreed that we enjoy Konono NoÂ°1 immensely and that we are both anxious to buy the album. It was around that time when things got intense.
The next morning, as I awoke naked and throbbing, I realized I had a drunken, fantasized sexual encounter with a note card. A few days had passed, and I built up the strength to write this all-too-revealing news story. However, last night when I went into my bedroom to sleep next to my wife, the note card was laying on my pillow with a gigantic hole in it. I awoke my wife and confessed the whole story to her.
Emceegreg has learned to leave the experimentation up to the musicians and not the writers who write about them.
Take it easy, Daughters -- I know that you will.
Yeah, man. Well, you know -- Daughters abide.
I don't know about you, but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' they're out there, Daughters, takin' her easy for all us sinners. Shoosh. I sure hope their tour goes okay. Welp, that about does her, wraps her all up. Things seem to've worked out pretty good for Daughters, and it was a purdy good story, don'tcha think? Made me laugh to beat the band. Parts, anyway. Course -- I don't like seein' Daughters go. But then, I happen to know that there's a little Daughters on the way. I guess that's the way the whole darned human comedy keeps perpetuatin' itself, down through the generations, Westward the wagons, across the sands a time until-- aw, look at me, I'm ramblin' again. Well, I hope you folks enjoyed yourselves. Catch ya further on down the trail.
Apparently, one of the higher-ups at EMI owns an XBOX 360. After hours spent playing Burger King’s Sneak King video game, it became clear to this higher-up that there was no better way to reach consumers than through the big taste of Chicken Fries. Accordingly, EMI has announced that it will release DRM-free tracks to customers looking to have it their way, saying:
"Under the campaign, consumers will be able to search for, sample, and download a pre-paid EMI Music track from a specially created microsite after inputting a unique code. Codes are being distributed to Burger King consumers upon purchase, and there will be links from the microsite to an online retailer, allowing consumers to purchase further tracks by EMI artists featured on the microsite."
The question remains, however, if Meredith Brooks’ “Bitch” will be available for download, seeing as she left the label in 1999.
Bonde do Role is the kind of band we'd start together. You know, the one where we’d just cut up samples and loop them over some loud, funky beats, and then all shout into microphones like crazy people? And we’d writhe around the stage and hump each other and bring fans up on stage and then hump them too? And fuck the FCC, because we’d use any samples we wanted! We’d even illegally sample music that sucks! That would show them! It would be so awesome!
Well, that band already exists, and it is awesome. Bonde do Role were the first artists signed to Diplo’s Mad Decent label, which makes them far realer than our proposed band. Other cool points they have over our band include:
- Their first LP, With Lasers, came out June 5, and it is totally sweet.
- They were featured in Rolling Stone, the only magazine that still has the guts to tell the truth about music.
- They are a baile funk group from Brazil, which is a much cooler scene than the collective space in front of our laptops.
- They use funk carioca beats in their songs; we'd use mostly Apple Loops.
- They make music videos like this; we'd make music videos like this.
This fall, MCs Marina Vello and Pedro D’Eyrot, along with MC/DJ Rodrigo Gorky, will cause boners to be popped all across the North American continent. They will play shows nearly every day for a month, only taking brief breaks to apply Marina’s more severe hair dyes. We should totally see them. Check out this video if you don’t believe me! Come on, this will be cooler than that time we found that pineapple full of bees!
At least we knew about their tour before Todd did: