InterTube Pirates Find Hidden Treasure In RIAA Training Video, Immediately Duplicate It A Bazillion Times
Here's how I imagine it:
When the RIAA discovers the first circulated MP3s on the internet in 2002, the board room is so silent you could hear Johnny in the mail room drop his morning deuce. Thick with Cuban cigar smoke, full of old stenchy white men, one of the brass in the room shatters the silence by shouting "What in the SAM HILL is the internet?" The 43-year-old temp who broke the news slowly mumbles, "Something to do with computers -- I'm not really sure." "Why in the fuck haven't we just bought it yet?" "Well sir, it's not exactly something we can buy, but we might be able to embark on a slow and painful litigation process wherein we destroy our customer base and ensure our increasing irrelevancy with each passing second." "Sounds like a deal. We should create an under-financed training video starring a former state trooper with a bad haircut and next-to-no technical background to train investigative experts. Also, start the video by slamming a gavel down. Let the future of the world know that we mean business via clichéd imagery."
Chuckles and fake stories aside, that last bit of nonsense is actually true. The RIAA did create a training video intended for RIAA investigators wishing to become court experts. And it actually does start with a gavel slamming down and stars a former state trooper with Farva's haircut. The best part, though, is it got leaked, onto the internet, via torrents. Torrents, the scourge of the RIAA because it's a protocol, not a piece of software owned by a company, cannot be controlled. So suing the shit out of its creator, Bram Cohen, gets you nowhere. Attempting to shut down one node on a torrent network is an act of hydra beheading. Some pissed off Russian geek in his basement will think to himself "Fuck you too" and put up another 30 nodes overnight on servers across the globe. So, seeing something as ridiculous as a training video intended to teach butt bags how to catch "pirates" is absolutely hysterical.
Clips of this video will make the rounds on every imaginable YouTube-like site for years, letting everyone know exactly how to avoid whatever weak-ass methods these old stodgy bastards were attempting to use in apprehending your bootleggin' busynass. The video, made in conjunction with the National District Attorneys Association, is called In Trial and includes techniques on "how to identify illegal sound recordings and how illegal music is sold." There are surveillance videos included that show how street bootleg vendors work... which is odd, considering it's a video intended to teach people how to catch internet pirates. That's like making a video on how to catch bank robbers by showing surveillance footage of a purse snatcher.
I think a slow clap is in order here.
We've been waiting patiently for months, and now it has finally come: The official press release for Death Cab for Cutie's forthcoming album and tour! I always imagined I'd have a lot to say about the unveiling, but I think I'll just let the press release do the talking. Enjoy!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 21, 2008
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE SET DATE FOR “NARROW STAIRS”;
IN STORES AND ONLINE MAY 13th;
SEATTLE BAND’S FIRST NEW MUSIC IN NEARLY THREE YEARS
TO BE HERALDED BY THE SINGLE, “I WILL POSSESS YOUR HEART”;
TOUR DATES AND FESTIVAL APPEARANCES AT COACHELLA AND BONNAROO CONFIRMED
Atlantic recording group Death Cab for Cutie has unveiled initial details of their hugely anticipated new album. “NARROW STAIRS” – which follows 2005’s Grammy Award-nominated label debut, “PLANS” – will arrive in stores and at all online retailers on May 13th. Produced by the band’s own Chris Walla, “NARROW STAIRS” will be preceded by the single, “I Will Possess Your Heart.” (See full track listing below). “I hope this album is a bit of a surprise for those out there that think they have us all figured out. We can’t wait to share these songs with the world,” states Death Cab bassist Nick Harmer.
Death Cab will herald the album’s release with their first live shows in more than eighteen months. They’ll kick things off April 18th in their home state of WA at the Admiral Theatre in Bremerton, followed by a series of festival appearances, including Coachella 2008 in Indio, California on Saturday, April 26th and the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival on June 15th in Manchester, TN. See below for full listing of tour dates.
For news, tour dates, and other exclusives, please visit http://www.deathcabforcutie.com, http://www.myspace.com/deathcabforcutie, or http://www.atlanticrecords.com/deathcabforcutie.
Death Cab for Cutie is: Ben Gibbard: guitars, keyboards, vocals * Chris Walla: guitars, keyboards * Nick Harmer: bass * Jason McGerr: drums
# # #
For more information, please contact:
Death Cab for Cutie Tour Dates
Jim Jones, Pere Ubu guitarist and Cleveland music legend, died February 18, 2008. Deteriorating health had forced Jones to leave the band in 1996, and although he had been ill for some time, the cause of death has not yet been released. Jones was an enthusiastic music fan and supporter whose influence greatly impacted the Cleveland scene and beyond.
Jones was born in Cleveland in 1950. His music career started as a member of the Mayfield High School concert and marching bands. After a brief stint at community college, Jones started working at a shop called Record Rendezvous. In 1984, he opened his own store, Platter-Puss Records, which he sold after joining Pere Ubu. Throughout his life, he played with bands like The Mirrors (later The Styrenes), Foreign Bodies, Easter Monkeys, and The Wooden Birds. Before his death he had played and recorded with KNG NXN, Noble Rot, and SpeakerCranker. He also worked as a studio producer for many local bands and composed electronic pieces for area dance and theater troupes.
Announcer: Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to Spoon’s spring victory lap U.S. tour announcement, in what promises to be another big success for the popular Austin, TX indie rock quartet. Bob, if you pan the camera over to the track, you’ll see the members of Spoon lining up for the race. Now, the question remains, which one of them is going to get to the finish line to announce the tour first?
[A gunshot sounds.]
Announcer: And they’re off! Rounding the corner, we see Spoon drummer Jim Eno, followed by singer/guitarist Britt Daniel, keyboardist/guitarist Eric Harvey, and bassist Rob Pope taking up the rear. Eno jumps his first hurdle, now his second. Daniel sprints to catch up to him as Harvey falls in stride with Pope. But wait — now it looks like Daniel and Eno are neck and neck as they approach the finish line. Daniel’s cheeks are red and he’s breathing heavy as he tries to pass Eno, but it looks like — wait... wait... and Eno’s got this one in the bag, folks!
[Jim Eno, exhausted and breathless, pumps his fists triumphantly and steps up the podium.]
Eno: Since I won the victory lap U.S. tour race, I suppose it’s only fair that I get to announce our upcoming April tourdates. So here they are:
Oh, and Eno should've mentioned these dates, too:
02.23.08 - Lisbon, Portugal - Aula Magna
02.25.08 - London, England - Scala
Eno: But, Britt, that’s not fair...
Daniel: Oh come on, Jim. When people think Spoon, we all know a picture of my beautiful mug pops into their heads anyway. I may not have won this race fair and square, but you know I’m going to come out on top regardless.
Announcer: Uhh, well that’s all the time we have today! Join us next week for our steel cage death match featuring the editors of Tiny Mix Tapes versus all the bands they’ve snubbed. Word has it that The Rapture are bringing brass knuckles.
Artist Gets Fans to Front New Album Costs Instead of Accepting Lucrative Payout From Corporate Ass Hats. In Other News, Ass Hats Form Corporation In An Attempt To Lucratively Fund Artist’s New Album Costs.
Radiohead wasn't the first band to try something different with the distribution of their latest album (Chuck D's been at it for quite awhile), but they certainly brought it to the attention of the masses. The sheer audacity of releasing a new album by a multi-platinum selling artist free of charge is more than enough to garner a few headlines in some important newspapers. So now that the flood gates are open, there's a slew of artists trying new angles to get music to their fans. Regardless of how free Radiohead's new album was to us, it definitely cost money to produce it and host it on a server somewhere for schmoes to get at it. That's all well and good for a band that periodically finds fistfuls of cash in their couch cushions, but it unfortunately presents a logistical problem for everyone else.
Jill Sobule, an artist that plucks at an acoustic guitar, doesn't fly on a private jet filled with top-notch hookers and blow. She doesn't have the startup capital to personally fund her new album and release it to her fans on an awful website designed by a first-year art student in a small town community college (pay attention Radiohead). So, she's taken a grass-roots approach to her new album, asking fans to shell out the dough for the recording process. There are varying levels of money to donate, which grant fans different levels of prizes. For a mere $25, you'll get an advance copy of the disc before the rest of us get a crack at it, and for the upper echelon of fandom, you can shell out $25,000 and sing on the record. If you sound like a dying marmoset, she'll let you play cowbell or something.
Here at Tiny Mix Tapes, we're thinking about going the same route to help pay our hosting fees, so we can actually afford such frivolous purchases like soap, or maybe some deodorant. Here's an outline of the different levels of support you can provide Tiny Mix Tapes and the prizes you'll receive:
- $25 - Get your face included in our next boner comic. We'll probably just get somebody to doodle hot splooge on it.
- $50 - Get a promo disc that none of our music reviewers wanted. Probably the new Staind album.
- $100 - Get the promo material that accompanies that Staind album. It's just used toilet paper with "Staind Ruelz" scrawled on it.
- $250 - Get your name included in a news article, with a non-flattering picture of yourself posted above it. Keep in mind I will be writing the article, and I don't like you.
- $500 - Write part of a review. We'll probably just get a quote about how much you hated that new Staind album.
- $1000 - Write a review yourself. Minimum word count will be 3200, and there will be no introductory fluff paragraphs allowed. Also, no track-by-track breakdown. Amateur.
- $2500 - Become editor for the day. All reviews/news/articles/interviews will be e-mailed at 2 AM, with all corrections required by 5 AM. David Nadelle usually doesn't submit his until 4:30 AM.
- $5000 - Hang out with the TMT crew for a day! Hang-out will commence at Mr P's house right after he's done work for the day. He will be unaware of the date, and you are required to bring all the food, booze, drugs, and prostitutes. Mr P likes prostitutes. Especially ones with both parts.
- $10000 - Prevent your face from appearing in our next boner comic. Also, receive an autographed picture of Keith Kawaii's part.
U.S. Department of Justice Approves Sale of Clear Channel to Two Private Equity Firms; Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way
On Valentine’s Day, representatives of Clear Channel, Bain Capital, and Thomas H. Lee Partners weren’t having their music websites featured on NPR. Instead, they were (presumably) hanging out around the United States Department of Justice, perhaps the least romantic place in the entire country.
The two private equity firms had their share of amorousness, however, assuming they find purchasing maybe the largest media conglomerate ever sexy (and I’m assuming a private equity firm would find that ridiculously sexy). The Department of Justice gave Bain and Lee the green light to buy out Clear Channel. The firms (the former of which was started by Mitt Romney) already “have substantial ownership interests” in Cincinnati, Houston, Las Vegas, and San Francisco, so Clear Channel will be forced to sell its stations in those markets. Says the DOJ: "The divestitures will ensure that advertisers will continue to receive the benefits of competition." (In response to which I offer: “K.”)
In other news, Clear Channel is strong-arming a separate equity firm to complete a $1.2 billion purchase of 56 TV stations from itself. There’s a $45 million contract termination fee built into the deal, apparently, but I guess Clear Channel -- who has effectively waived the termination fee by starting a lawsuit -- has had a good week and might as well let it ride.
Private equity firms! Departments of Justice! Buyouts! Join me next week where I’ll just start covering finance and see how long it takes P to notice.
While you were still trying to figure out if Brad Paisley was actually singing “And I'd like to check you for ticks” during his Grammy Awards performance (he was... thanks Filmore!) Warner Music Group was preparing to make everyone feel like sacks of crap by announcing some of its latest environmental initiatives. For the second year in a row, Warner used a post-Grammy celebration to cast the spotlight not on its awesome roster of super-terrific stars, but on two hot media buzzphrases: “zero landfill waste” and “carbon-neutral.”
The soirée, held at Vibiana in Los Angeles, was to use such “green” practices as “carbon-offsetting the event's energy usage; use of energy efficient lighting and bio-diesel generators; recycled paper products; use of local farmers' markets and vendors; eco-friendly soaps and detergents; invitations printed on 100% recycled paper and manufactured with wind power' and composting of paper and food waste, among other efforts,” so says CNNMoney.com. Apparently, the spirit of the night extended to the excessive behaviors of the revelers in attendance, as eye-witnesses spotted vast quantities of coke being shared using biodegradable straws and recycled mojito vomit being used to power the room's centerpiece fountain, which proudly displayed an ice sculpture of the Eros, the Greek God of love, bestowing a chivalrous hand-job on WMG Chairman and CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr.
Warner's efforts did not go unnoticed, especially not by the most important actor (and, hence, person) in the free world. The Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, applauded Warner’s initiative, saying (possibly through an interpreter), “I am very pleased that Warner Music Group, working with the city, state and local leaders, has taken this issue to heart and is turning consumption into conservation on the important pop culture stage at this ‘zero waste’ event.” He then grunted and shat out an entire community of subterranean quasi-mutant tunnel dwellers, placed it atop his left shoulder, and flew away in a crude-oil-and-seal-pelt-propelled monster truck to the tortured strains of Meat Loaf's “Bat Out of Hell.” He added, “I’ll be back... to hear more about your carbon-neutral conservation measures and your delicious, delicious children.”
The environmentally-conscious music monolith partnered up with the City of Los Angeles' Bureau of Sanitation, California's Integrated Waste Management Board, and other state and municipal agencies and companies to pull off the event in true “green” style. The publicly-traded Warner Music Group has quickly become an industry leader in proposing company-wide, employee-expected policies and by enacting environmentally-responsible programs to deal with its paper usage and greenhouse gas emissions issues. To further advance Warner's eco-goals, it is hoped that the company will use money saved by thinking before signing and throwing large sums of cash at terrible rock acts like Avenged Sevenfold, HIM, Funeral For a Friend, and Against Me!
A News Post In Which Annapocalypse Fantasizes What It Would Be Like To Own Three Million Records And Tries to Persuade Any of TMT’s Readers To Bid On Said Ebay Collection For Her
I’m sure many of you have heard by now of The World’s Greatest Music Collection up for sale on eBay. If not, let me tell you: the collection includes 3,000,000 and 300,000 CDs for a $3 million starting bid. Every genre of American music is represented, from rock and blues to new age and folk. What’s most important here, though, is that my birthday is a mere two months away. And, really, what could be a more generous early birthday present for a hard-working music journalist such as myself? In addition, dear readers, I have a lovely apartment here in Chicago with a wonderful record player and stereo where we could listen to said albums together. Did you know that I can bake a mean plate of cookies, too? Yeah, chocolate chip, that’s right.
No pressure though. It’s not like the auction ends in (cough) one day or anything, uh, like that.
Happy Bidding! Erm… I mean, have a nice day!
As you well know, in 1975 Mao Tse-Tung's Cultural Revolution was well under way in the People's Republic of China. Intellectuals were sent to labor camps, and the nation's youth were taken out of school and sent into the rural interior to learn the ways of the proletariat and rebuild the fundamental economy. The 1998 film, Xiu Xiu is a fictional account of one such girl's experience of relocation from Chengdu to remote Tibet for re-education and the disenchantment she discovers in the world outside her home.
Thrust into the vast loneliness of the Tibetan plains, Xiu Xiu despairs in a life of alienation and self-destruction, as she is cheated and abused. Her youthful naivety is torn away as she degrades to that of an exhausted victim of liars, trading sex for empty promise after empty promise.
Relentlessly depressing, Xiu Xiu is wholly appropriate as the namesake for Jamie Stewart's San Francisco band of the same name -- while they both make me sob late at night, they're still really really good.
If you like to dance while you're bumming out:
Imagine stopping by your record label and realizing you may bump into Tom Waits. He's like the Chuck Norris of the music world, except, you know, talented and relevant and not in possession of any Confederate flags. I could still see Waits somersaulting from behind a desk with some kind of deadly weapon... to make sure you're not Fall Out Boy, of course.
These and other perks are what Islands will be dealing with as they get used to their new home at ANTI-, just in time for their upcoming album, Arm's Way, to hit in May. Sez Island Nick Thorburn, "After more than a year in the frozen pipes, we are beside ourselves (three times) to be presenting what we believe to be our finest work yet, on the finest label we could think of. It's been a long time coming, and it'll be a long time before it's gone." While 2006's Return to the Sea (TMT Review) was certainly nothing to sneeze at, it sounds like we can expect something more from this new record, and who doesn't like a good surprise? Well, maybe their old record label, but hey...
What better way to celebrate the changing of arms than a beef-up of the tour? In cities least likely to be the subject of a teen drama, no less.
No Dawson, No Joey, Many Islands: