Major Labels Don’t Get Their Way in Arizona File-Sharing Case, Cry About It

The RIAA is pretty accustomed to winning file-sharing court cases by now, taking down everyone from single mothers to homeless men. But yesterday, the winning streak was broken with a ruling in Arizona that spared Kazaa users Pamela and Jeffrey Howell the wrath of the RIAA.

A federal District Court judge ruled that files found in a shared Kazaa folder could not be considered unlawful distribution of a copyrighted work, and that the owner of the files must give proof of "actual dissemination of copies or phonorecords" to slap the Howells with a punishment. Adding insult to injury, only 12 of the 42 files in question were proved to be infringed at all, since the RIAA can't prove its investigator downloaded any more than that. Finally, the RIAA would have had to prove that the Howells were responsible for the allegedly stolen music on their computer... just in case some naughty neighborhood kids snuck in and downloaded some Miley Cyrus, I guess. Gotta cover all the bases.

Bummer status, though: this case will only set a precedent in the state of Arizona, since its verdict was a District Court decision. In an official statement, the RIAA referred to the case ruling as "strange" and said that it is "currently considering all options going forward." I guess that's a departure from its usual post-case ritual of uncorking a bottle of champagne and proclaiming, "YES! MORE MONEY TO MAKE UP FOR OUR EVER-SINKING PROFITS!"

Broken Social Scene Get High And Name Their Upcoming Spring Tour “Impregnate The Skies”

Kevin Drew: Hey Brendan, let me get a hit of that.

Brendan Canning: Sure thing, man. [Passes bong to Kevin] You know, we still need to come up with a name for our May tour.

Drew: [Exhaling smoke] Oh, I know, totally. Amy and Evan were telling me that we should just carry on with the Broken Social Scene Presents thing and call it “Broken Social Scene Presents: A Tour.” But I thought that was pretty lame.

Canning: Yeah, that is pretty lame. Well, let’s think; we’re playing all over the world from Turkey to England to Finland and etc, all across the great skies.

Drew: Hmm, skies, maybe you’re onto to something, man.

Canning: [Takes another hit] Yeah, what about, like, Take Back The Skies? Or Across The Skies?

Drew: No, no, dude, listen to this: Impregnate The Skies.

Canning: Whoa, man, that’s deep. Let’s do it.

Burning Star Core Releases New LP And Tours, Could Have Footjob Fetish And Not Know It

It's hard to keep up with C. Spencer Yeh's projects. I always feel one step behind him. Maybe it's because he's consistently releasing high-quality music at a dizzying pace, or maybe it's because I had to chew off one of my legs to get myself out of a bunker in ’Nam, but whatever the case, thank god for the internet. Not only did I find a plastic leg on eBay (that matches my skin tone even!), I've been exposed to tons of fetishes that I didn't even know I had. Who knew I was so into footjobs!

Which brings me to the internet website of Burning Star Core, Yeh's most-acclaimed, well-known project. Ignoring his many recent releases, let's concentrate on what's coming up: First and foremost, Burning Star Core has a new album out on Hospital Productions (run by Dominick Fernow, a.ka. Prurient), with the LP and digital downloads on Plastic Records. Titled Challenger, the album will be a bit of a departure from his previous work, as it'll have more emphasis on composition (melody, field recordings, etc.) than improvisation. According to Yeh:

I felt I was working while very much in the rapture of these feelings. Though in I was committing these emotions to sound, I was pretty engrossed in this project in a discreet manner, and I can’t say I didn’t end up allowing the project itself to influence my ‘real life’ decisions instead of what should be the healthier reverse.

Check out the video for "Beauty Hunter," a track off Challenger, here.

Additionally, Burning Star Core will receive reissue treatment for Physical Culture (on Chondritic Sound) and a 10-inch reissue (on NO-FI). He also plans to release a few more things on Hospital, including a CD titled Inside The Shadow, a couple 7-inches, and if we're lucky, some footjob fetish videos with a cameo appearance from Chris Corsano.

Finally, dates:
05.02.08 - Cincinatti, OH - Feralmade (Milk Money lit mag release party)
05.10.08 - Riga, Latvia - Sound Forest/Skanu Mezs Festival
05.12.08 - Riga, Latvia - Academy of Arts (discussion/workshop)
05.12.08 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands - DNK
05.16.08 - New York City, NY - Knitting Factory (No Fun Fest)
05.23-24.08 - Hasselt, Belgium - Kunstencentrum (Open Circuit Festival)
05.28.08 - Cincinatti, OH - Art Damage Lodge

Check out the details of these shows at C. Spencer Yeh's MySpace.

[Photo: mtt-r]

Beggars Group, 4AD, And Too Pure Together at Last (Well, More So Than Ever Before)

Imagine going to your favorite restaurant for a delicious salad made-to-order by a world famous chef. Imagine the succulent lettuce, the crispy croutons, and the subtly flavorful dressing. Now imagine that the chef is 4AD imprint Beggars Banquet, the lettuce is 4AD, the croutons are imprint Too Pure, and the dressing is people's jobs.

Never fear! Although this simile may be awkward and forced, and Billboard recently reported that the two awesome imprints won't be seeing any action "in the near future," the artists and albums previously assigned to Too Pure and Beggars will not be without a home. Instead, 4AD will house the imprint staffers and artists alike, starting with the release of Stereolab's Chemical Chords album, due August 19. And wonderfully named 4AD A&R dude Ed Horrox will get a little help IMPRINT-STYLE from Too Pure's Jason White, Beggars' Roger Trust, and Ms. Jane Abernethy.

Damon Albarn To Release Album Featuring 130ish Musicians, Apparently Monkeys Also

Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz, various British supergroups) has announced plans to release his first solo album in nearly five years. To call it a “solo” album would perhaps be a misnomer, however, as there will be somewhere in the range of 80-130 musicians participating, a move sure to upset Polyphonic Spree members everywhere. After close analysis, the math remains unclear to me. Albarn told BBC 6Music: “This one's got about 80 or 90 musicians on it – something in that region” but also mentioned “It's got a 100-piece Chinese choir on one of the tunes, so that plus the orchestra probably goes to about 120 or 130 people." Whatever.

Albarn has not released a title for the album but has announced it will feature “a monkey or two... at least” and that the lyrics will be entirely in Mandarin. If this sounds familiar to you, maybe it's because you've been following his work with Jamie Hewlett and Chen Shi-Zheng, Monkey: Journey to the West, an adaptation of a Chinese opera. First staged in 2007, the opera will makes its U.S. debut May 22, with 17 more shows May 23 - June 8 for the 2008 Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina.

It's unclear whether or not Albarn's new album is related to the opera, but he did tell BBC 6Music that "It's not an opera [though]; it's a proper record." Confusing. In any case, what is Damon Albarn’s deal with lower primates?

When asked about his extreme prolificness -- that is, working on solo material on top of at least three other major bands at any given time -- Albarn stated: “It's nice that things kind of stick around a while, so it gives the impression that there are lots of things, but I do one thing at a time generally.” He added, “I have only two arms, two legs,” officially laying all doubts to rest.

Albarn’s new album is due for release this July.

Ticketmaster Scalping Radiohead Tickets?

In case you didn't know, Ticketmaster recently acquired ticket scalping site TicketsNow for $256 million, and a lot of people thought it was a bad idea because terrible corporate greed escapades like the intentional scalping of tickets could take place. Well, it would appear that this fear has come true with Radiohead tickets, and as of last week, Ticket News (via At Ease) claims to have a source who is close to the incident.

The particular incident occurred when potential buyers of Radiohead tickets on Ticketmaster were told that tickets were sold out and that they can be redirected to TicketsNow to purchase the tickets at scalped prices. According to Ticket News' anonymous source, a TicketsNow suit assisted Ticketmaster in selling over a million dollars in Radiohead tickets on TicketsNow, and through scalping the tickets, it allowed TicketsNow to gross more than $250,000 from their ruse.

Currently, the National Association of Ticket Brokers wants answers from both Ticketmaster and TicketsNow, but for now no further information is available on the ploy to acquire as much cash as they can on Radiohead tickets. If these companies are left unchecked, you may see a lot more scalping scams in the near future.

It’s a really great time to be an American. Not only are we [the
freest motherfuckers in the entire world->], our winter is officially over, and citizens everywhere are preparing for another awesome summer. Hot sand and cold sno-cones, slow jams and fast cars, skinny jeans and fat joints, white people and black metal -- 2008 is going to be epic. (My condolences to the southern hemisphere right now, who are just gearing up for winter. Even the birds are flying north.)

Yet, for reasons I cannot/choose not to wrap my mind around, the curators of Splendour in the Grass have chosen to plan their music festival in Australia’s Byron Bay. They’ve even managed to sucker a few dozen artists into playing, such as Sigur Rós, Band of Horses, Vampire Weekend, Wolfmother, Cold War Kids, and Devo. Why go out for hamburgers when you’ve got steak at home, Mark Mothersbaugh? Regardless, the camping and music festival will take place August 2-3 at Belongil Fields in Australia’s easternmost city. Tickets go on sale May 22. Perhaps the organizers didn’t think America would accept them? It's completely normal to be nervous, but with that lineup, I’m sure we could work something out. Get back to me.

To see a complete list of artists and thumbnails of all participating artists
staring into a camera,
visit SITG's official site.

Mysterious Dubstep Producer Burial Set to Contribute Mystery to the DJ-Kicks Compilation Series

Remember that terrible VH1 show that attempted to help total losers pick up beautiful women with low self-esteem? Remember how the main dude with the funny hat was named Mystery? And you know how every article written about Burial always talks about how the identity of the South London dude behind the music is such a mystery? I was going to try and draw a connection between these two examples of "mystery," but frankly I couldn't come up with anything, because, well, there is no connection. But I needed some sort of lead, and my computer battery is about to die, so WHATEVER, there is no way I am deleting the previous sentences and starting all over again.

Perhaps you are a fan of Burial, the "mystery-shrouded," "elusive," and "anonymous" dubstep producer? Perhaps you hate VH1's The Pick Up Artist and everything related to the show? Well, if you answered yes to either of these two statements, then you are in luck. Because this article is in some way related to the musician, not the creep. See, Mr. Burial is the latest artist to add his name to !K7's DJ-Kicks series of compilations. Rumor has it that the producer will be doing some fancy work on his chosen gems and mixing them with material exclusive to the disc, set for release June 23 in the UK and July 8 in the United States.

Artist Bonnie Billy (Formerly Known As Prince) Preps Fourth LP Release For May; Jeffrey Lewis Asks If It’s Worth Being an Indie Rock Star

The following contains excerpts from Jeffrey Lewis's "Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror":

Hi, my name is Jeffrey Lewis, and I was supposed to go chill out at the TMT offices with Hanky Panky today, but I ended up going to Major Matt's to remaster my old album. And on the L train in the morning, I was pretty sure I saw Will Oldham. He was wearing the same big sunglasses he had on stage at the Bowery Ballroom, and since I was feeling in need of answers, I just went right up and asked him. I said, "Will Bonnie Prince, Palace or whatever, what do you think about it? Is it worth being an artist or an indie rock star, or are you better off without it?" Cause, I mean, maybe the world would be better if we were all just uncreative drones. No dead childhood dreams to haunt us, a decent job, a decent home. And if we have some extra time, we could do real things to promote peace. Become scientists or history teachers or un-corrupt police at least.

"Come on Will, you gotta tell me!" I grabbed and shook him by the arm. The L train was leaving Bedford when 10,000 white twenty-somethings crowed on. He opened his mouth to speak, but it was lost in the rumbling of the wheels. We were thrown together in a corner and I yelled "Tell me, man, for real! You're living comfortably, I assume, even if you're not quite a household name. You've reached a pretty high level of success and critical acclaim."

The L train got to First Avenue, and a bunch of people piled out. I was starring into his sunglasses, and I was really freaking out. I was, like, "Steamboat Willie Bonnie Prince of all this shit, you're like the king of a certain genre, but even you must want to quit, like if you hear a record by Bob Dylan or Neil Young or whatever, you must start thinking ‘People like me, but I won't be that good ever.’ And I'm sure the thing is, probably Dylan himself too stayed up some nights wishing he was as good as Ginsberg or Camus. And he was like ‘Dude, I'm such a faker, I'm just a clown who entertains and these fools who pay for my crap, they just have pathetic puny brains.’ And Camus probably wished he was Milton too or whatever, you know what I'm saying?! So Will, will you be straight with me now that it's just us two on this train? Cause I was gonna spend some time and money today to remaster some dumb old album, and I saw you here on the L train and I was like ‘Hey, is that Will Oldham?’"

And then he said to me, "Jeff Lewis, continue your good deeds." And he told me of God and music and his upcoming CD release. I sat there staring at my reflection in his big fuck-all sunglasses and thought how Lie Down In The Light will surely rock the masses. Joined by the likes of brother Paul Oldham, Emmett Kelley of the Cairo Gang, Shahzad Izmaily, and Ashley Webber, Bonnie's new album is due May 19 in the UK and just one day later in the states via Drag City. Then we arrived at Sixth, and he said he had to make a transfer. He took the V Line onto Queens (which sucks), but I was satisfied with his answer.

Lie Down In The Light tracklist:

Is That Your Dangling Modifier, Or Are You Just Happy to See Me? Talibam! Set to Tour, Release Many Things

Having released both their first studio album Ordination of the Globe Trotting Conscripts and their first "official" LP The Excusable Earthling (TMT Review) last year, Talibam! are following up with many releases this year. So many, in fact, that I now have to bust out the bullet points:

- split 7-inch with But God Created Woman on Holidays Records
- 10-inch on Wallace Records
- split 12-inch on Thor's Rubber Hammer
- limited-edition, 40-minute cassette on Stop Scratching tapes
- CD featuring a collaboration with The Peeesseye
- limited-edition cassette on Scumbag Tapes

Talibam! will also at some point head back into the studio to record their second studio album this year, but not before their upcoming tour, which includes their first Scandinavian stint and a headlining slot at the Summer Breeze WHPK 88.5 Festival. I haven't seen them live yet, but they're already in my top five favorite live acts.

# Binges

^ The Peeesseye

* Mount Eerie, No Kids

$ Summer Breeze WHPK 88.5 Stage with Sic Alps, Bird Names, etc.