DiMA & NARM Stand Up for Fair Use of 30-Second Song Samples; Find Inspiration After Watching Erin Brockovich on TBS
Market instability, oil price lunacy, hearing 30 seconds of 30 Seconds to Mars... it doesn't take much to get some organizations in a huff over what they believe to be their bucks. Music's publishing bodyrollaz like ASCAP and BMI are always trying to get paid in the name of protecting their musical charges, but it looks like they may be in for a fight when it comes to screwing royalties from those intent on using 30-second music clips. In an amicus brief filed jointly by DiMA (Digital Media Association) and NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers) last month, the two groups asked a federal court to apply "fair use" with regard to the use of 30-second song samples on the internet.
"DiMA supports fair compensation for copyright owners," states DiMA Executive Director of Jonathan Potter. "DiMA members pay tens of millions of dollars in royalties to songwriters and publishers for online music sales. But the performing rights organizations (ASCAP, BMI and SESAC) who represent songwriters and publishers demand additional payment for the preview clips that facilitate these online sales."
The legal action stems from an ASCAP vs. AT&T case, which has the telephone/DSL/wireless giant fighting for its right to use 30-second ringtone and ring-back-tone song previews. Amicus briefs contain pertinent but unsolicited information filed by "friends of the court" in order to get judges to consider broader legal implications and third-party ramifications when making their decisions. In this instance, DiMA and NARM would like a federal district court, in deciding the AT&T case, to consider protection and fair use for internet retailers that use 30-second song preview clips. If the courts decide on the side of ASCAP, then it may mean a double payday for publishing houses and songwriters in the future.
Lay back and let Potter further seduce you with his amicus brief impetuses:
Internet retailers sell an extraordinary percentage of all recorded music. The iTunes Store is America’s largest music retailer, and Amazon.com, Best Buy and other DiMA members use 30-second clips to sell both CDs and digital downloads. If ASCAP succeeds in pressing its demand for a new payment for these previews, Internet music retailers would be disadvantaged simply because they are selling online, and songwriters and music publishers would be getting a royalty for the preview on top of the appropriate and well-deserved royalty that is paid when the music itself is sold.
The joint filers hope the federal court will see the possible benefits of protected use of these 30-second clips. Essentially this is free promotion for the artists, songwriters, and publishers themselves and could only help to sell their products in the long run. But the law is an unpredictable, prickly beast. For instance, a court found O.J. Simpson guilty of armed robbery and kidnapping last week. That guy's never done anything wrong!
Be careful the next time you fart... an ASCAP stooge may request royalties on behalf of someone like Daughtry or something.
The very strange/very talented band we know as Ween will be taking fans on a trip down bizzaro memory lane November 11 with the release of an early live CD/DVD package from MVD. The CD will contain an entire show from 1992 at The Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill, NC (which happens to be one of my favorite venues). Those of you who have seen Ween live in recent years should expect something very different from this package, as early performances consisted solely of Dean and Gene Ween with a few samples, tapes, and a drum machine.
Meanwhile, the bonus DVD contains footage from several shows, including some from Halloween 1991 in Holland and 1992 in Columbus, OH. Actually, here's the tracklist for the bonus DVD:
Don Caballero to Tour Europe; Che Must Be Sick of All the Math References, But We’ll Keep Doing Them Anyway!
Math Rockers rejoice: masters of intricate music Don Caballero are hitting the road in Europe this month to support their most recent album, 2008’s Punkgasm. The Pittsburgh-based trio has developed quite the following over the last 17 years, presumably for their innovation and complexity. While their lineup has changed rapidly over the years, drummer and founding member Damon Che is still at the forefront of the group, pushing the mathematical limits of Don Caballero’s music further with every album.
Don Caballero tourdates
Just the other day, I was thinking to myself “Isn’t it about time for a new Andrew Bird album? Because I could really use one.” Turns out, it is that time, which is great! Due January 27, 2009 from Fat Possum Records, Bird will bring us Noble Beast, the follow-up to 2007's Armchair Apocrypha (TMT Review). The new album will consist of 12 tracks, with the new single “Oh No” ready to be heard right here. In typical Bird fashion, this song is very literate and features his signature violin and whistle.
To prepare for the unleashing of Noble Beast, Bird will be making a few live appearances to road-test some of his new material. (The inclusion of Bird’s alter ego Dr. Stringz may or may not rear his head on these dates.) Meanwhile, the Bird man will be appearing on the new Final Fantasy EP, Plays to Please, out October 21.
Noble Beast tracklisting:
Asobi Seksu are often compared to My Bloody Valentine, but they've also proven that they do have their own special sound. That's partly why Polyvinyl has signed the band and are set to release the single "Me & Mary," both digitally and on 7-inch vinyl, on November 18.
Now, to be blunt, Asobi Seksu's lead singer Yuki Chikudate is very attractive and Asian. We all know that white guys like Asian girls. This is fine and dandy, of course, but how is it helping Asobi Seksu record sales to non-whites? Well, it's not, which is why they've gotta expand their demographic! I've scribbled a few ideas that Polyvinyl is free to steal if it wants:
- Sell the single at Taco Bell.
- Give a free Seksu digital download to anyone who buys a mahjong set in Chinatown.
- Put up posters in hospitals in the ghetto (Okay, okay -- this was a joke. There are no hospitals in the ghetto).
Early in 2009, the group will release their third LP, produced by Chris Zane (The Walkmen, Les Savy Fav). But for now, go see them play at one of their many U.S. dates.
I'm talking to you, white people!:
All right, ya’ll! Get your white owls, get your meth, get your skins, don’t forget your 40oz, cuz the stirring saga of the incomparable Wu-Tang Clan is gonna give it to your TV raw-butt-nekkid with Wu: The Story of the Wu Tang Clan. According to Billboard, the Gerald P. Barclay-directed doc will air on BET from November 13 to 16 and drop on DVD November 18, along with an additional CD of greatest hits of the Clan proper and their approximately nine million side projects.
The documentary includes interviews by Wu-Tang insiders, as well as all nine Clanners themselves (or ten depending on your opinion of Cappadona), who will also appear on BET’s 106th and Park on the DVD drop date. In addition to all this Wu news, the Killa Bees have joined forces with The Orchard to re-release their entire discography digitally.
Wu-Tang is the greatest.
To celebrate the release of The Chemistry of Common Life, out October 7 on Matador, Fucked Up are playing a free TWELVE-HOUR-LONG SHOW at a storefront in New York City. Yes, TWELVE STRAIGHT HOURS of live music FREE. Now, that’s Fucked Up*!
The show, which takes place October 14 from 2 PM - 2 AM at the Rogan store (corner of Bowery and Bond), is free. And, according to Matador, "All ages are welcome to attend, though the free alcohol will be limited to those 21 and over." (Wait, free alcohol?) But, don’t worry, little kids, there’s something in it for you too: Fucked Up are giving away a free limited-edition 7-inch of “Royal Swan” to the first batch of show attendees.
Of course, Fucked Up will need help to make it through 12 hours of live music. So, they're having their buds join them on stage. Guests include:
The Vivian Girls, John Joseph, Matt Sweeney, Chain Gang, Mobb Deep, Ryan Sawyer from Tall Firs, Jeff Jensen, David Cross, John Cale, K-Taro, Chris Doherty, E.K., DJ Chris, DJ Anarki, Michael Gira, members of the Australian Scapa Flow, Jeanne Bovet, Gods & Queens, Akon, The Edge, Ben Blackwell, Russell Simins, the Boogie, and more TBA.
Freshly expanded tourdates:
% Vivian Girls
# Don Caballero
* Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
If this story wasn’t so sad, I could have run with a very lame Vacation plot crammed full of Clark Griswold’s fish-out-of-water hijinks. But because robbery is never funny, and because touring is never relaxing at the best of times (especially when you are far from home and reliant on limited travel possessions for your job and sanity), this news is just plain devastating and depressing. Last week, Chicago noise addixxx Pelican got four bags of belongings stolen from their rental van in Rome while out sightseeing. (The band is currently touring around Europe with Torche.)
I’m pissed when someone steals one of my popsicles from the freezer at work, so I can’t even imagine how shitty it must feel to lose a bunch of personal and professional items. There are always many worthwhile causes vying for your hard-earned money, but if you happen to be particularly flush with extra pocket change this week, donating a few bucks to Pelican would produce a significant karmic rebound. Here’s the statement from the band:
Our otherwise excellent tour of Europe hit a severe stroke of bad luck this week. Two days ago we had a spare half hour to spend in Rome before heading to the venue, so we decided to go see the Coliseum. We parked nearby and went to take a brief twenty minute walk around the area. When we returned to our van we found that it had been broken into, despite being parked on a major street in broad daylight. Four bags were stolen, the contents including computers, passports, wallets, ipods, our soundguy's microphone collection, and, most devastatingly, a number of personal journals and two portable recording devices containing hours of song ideas that are now lost forever.
The calculated loss of this theft is several thousands of dollars. Unfortunately our band only earns us a very meager living and some of us are already in the hole from years of trying to make a living as musicians. This incident therefore poses a devastating loss and puts us in a very compromised financial position. Although we realize that there is a worldwide financial crisis going on, if there are those of you who have the means and desire to help out our gratitude would run deeper than words could express. We've set up a Paypal account at the address firstname.lastname@example.org. Anything you can offer, even simple condolences, would go a long way. Thanks so much for reading.
L.A. zoothorn enthusiasts and noise-rockers HEALTH are set to, uh, make some noise all across the U.S. this winter as they liven up the Nine Inch Nails “We Need Young Bands To Open For Us So That We Seem Relevant” Tour, which has already brought the likes of Deerhunter and Crystal Castles to Verizon Wireless Arenas and Bi-Lo Amphitheaters near you. And while the urge to attend a NIN concert in the year 2008 just to see what that demographic looks like is compelling, you may find yourself gravitating towards the other dates on the Health itinerary, including several shows with of Montreal.
HEALTH hit the road October 9 at Hollywood’s Knitting Factory with Genghis Tron, Clipd Beaks, and Yip Yip, and look out for the upcoming Live at the Smell DVD directed by Bob Bellerue and featuring performances by HEALTH, The Mae-Shi, Anavan, and Foot Village — all filmed at the eponymous downtown Los Angeles venue.
# Genghis Tron, Clipd Beaks, Yip Yip
* Nine Inch Nails
$ AIDS Wolf, USA Is A Monster
! Special appearance by DanKing!!
Nick Cave to Release Second Novel, Curate/Headline Inaugural ATP Australia with Bad Seeds; You to Talk Bullshit About Starting Your First Novel, Curate/Headline Dinner with Your Parents on Saturday
Sure, Nick Cave may look like a tweaked-out, undependable drifter these days, but let me be the first to assure you that, despite what that garish mustache would have you believe, he’s actually pretty all-about commitment these days. Take, for instance, his second work of fiction, The Death of Bunny Munro, which he will be “committing” to paper in the coming months.
Cave's previous foray into fiction was, of course, 1989's And the Ass Saw the Angel, which, conveniently enough, is currently available in two special editions via Black Spring Press. In rather typical Cave fashion, this new endeavor traces the fortunes of one man and his son on a road trip around the south coast of England following the suicide of his wife. Sure, it sounds rather bleak, but remember that you’re talking about the man who made even “not getting laid” sound completely badass last year.
The world rights for the book have been acquired by publishers Canongate, who have “committed” to a release date of September 2009 for Cave’s creation. Canongate is planning a multimedia launch for Bunny Munro, which will consist of both an audio book (also narrated by Cave himself, kids!) and an e-book, which will both launch simultaneously. In addition, a signed and numbered limited edition will also be available, as well as a special e-book version combining Cave's narration with an original "soundscape."
"Nick is one of the great forces in contemporary culture -- not just an outstanding musician and singer, but also a superb writer, be it of lyrics, screenplays, music scores or novels," says Canongate publisher/managing director Jamie Byng. "This novel is going to shock and amaze a lot of people." See, I told you he was dedicated... how many books have you written, published, narrated, and soundtracked in the past year? Cuz if it’s any less than one, you already look shitty by comparison!
But wait, he’s not even done yet; heck, he’s barely even broken a sweat! Along with his fellow Bad Seeds, Cave is also “committed” to both headline and curate All Tomorrow’s Parties’ inaugural ATP Australia festival, scheduled to take place January 9-18, 2009 in, you guessed it, Australia. Caves ATP Australia will stage shows all across the island/commonwealth/country/continent and will include such indulgences as he and the Seeds see fit, including (and this is just preliminary, mind you):
Spiritualized, Silver Apples, Michael Gira, Fuck Buttons, Afrirampo, Harmonica, James “Blood” Ulmer, the Saints, former Go-Between Robert Foster, Laughing Clowns, Bridezilla, the Necks, Primitive Calculators, Rowland S. Howard, the Stabs, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
And all of this while you’re struggling to make a simple dinner reservation for your parents this weekend! Maybe you should look into growing one of those mustaches after all.