Warner Music Wins $33 Million From Karaoke Maker Over Licensing, Invests it in New Metallica Record, Loses It Again

It seems the major labels will give just about anyone the shake-down these days, as their tightened belts (and assholes, and earholes, and...) make it harder and harder for their top men to keep affording all those Faberge egg omelets or whatever they eat in those tall-ass towers. Case in point: the crumbling major Warner Music Group Corp. recently won $33 million in a lawsuit that accused Leadsinger Corp., a maker of karaoke machines, of loading at least 220 songs into its players without obtaining the proper music licenses from Warner first. Shucks, and all Leadsinger wanted to do was make us happy.

Warner Music asked for default judgment after Leadsinger representatives apparently failed to appear at a final pre-trial hearing or to file any more documents with the court, which is apparently, um, pretty necessary if you plan on legally defending yourself in any way. As a result, Warner was granted $150,000 in statutory damages for each of the songs, and Leadsinger is barred from selling machines that contain any unlicensed Warner Music songs (duh), according to an August 27 order filed by U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips in a Los Angeles federal court.

Leadsinger currently sells karaoke machines through its website, as well as through retailers including Wal-Mart and Target. Probably right next to all the Warner CDs. No word on what Warner plans on doing with its hefty little payoff, but seeing as how it's probably a bit behind on the rent these days, it'll probably need to... aw heck, Faberge egg omelets all around!

Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band Add Tourdates; There’s Nothing Funny About That Because There’s Nothing Funny About Conor Oberst

With his latest “solo album” (god knows what all those Bright Eyes records were, then) Conor Oberst perpetuating the myth of the gas-guzzling, trouble-ditching, ramblin’ man in search for meaning and purpose on the open desert road; our 28-year-old folk rock hero can’t stop rambin’ now! With a whole mess of bold statements to make good on (“There’s nothin’ that the road cannot heal,” he sings on one of his latest Dylan-channelers), Oberst has no choice but to press-on down the line. With any luck, he’ll be touring on a motorcycle.

Currently in Europe with his Mystic Valley Band in tow (that’s an awful lot of sidecars), the famously troubled troubadour has just announced an additional run of U.S. dates this fall that will kick off in Honolulu in October and take him all the way through to late November in New Orleans, which should be more than enough time for him to heal his achin’ soul . . . uh . . . from, from you know . . . all that money and fame and rock n’ roll fun he’s been saddled with all these years. Oh, and he’d better not be stopping at any bed n’ breakfasts along the way, damn it! Cuz his cred is really on the line here, don’t you think?

Let's go to the map:

* Jenny Lewis

% M. Ward

Chunklet Magazine Celebrating 15 Years of “Chafing America’s Ass” with Shindig that Includes Deerhunter and Mastodon, Releasing Issue #20… 2 ½ Years After Issue #19

Chunklet Magazine is throwing down this October for their 15th anniversary and soon-to-be-issued Chunk 20. The 15th Anniversary Shindig Extravaganza Events are to be held October 10 and 11 at the fabulous 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia. The first event, on Friday the 10th, will feature comedian Brent Weinback and Deerhunter with special guests Twin Tigers (Athens, GA) and Gentlemen Jesse and His Men (Atlanta, GA). The second night will pair Brian Posehn with Atlanta’s Mastodon with special guest LA’s It’s Casual. Mr. Owings sure does know how to put on a shindig, that’s for sure.

The 20th issue of Chunklet will feature interviews from Paul F. Tomkins, Zach Galifianakis, Jon Glaser, and Subliminal (Sublime?) Frequencies. There are also features on Whirly Ball with Arcade Fire, The Shins, Black Lips, Deerhunter, and loads of others, including the usual stuff you find in an issue of Chunklet. Also check out the recently released Henry Owings’ Rock Bible – an insider's guide to living the rock ‘n’ roll dream. Funny, there is nothing in there about being a Tiny Mix Tapes news writer.

For more info on Chunklet, Chunklet Issue #20, and Chunklet Presents: Henry Owings’ “Rock Bible,” head over to the official Chunklet website. For ticket information about the Chunklet 15th Anniversary rock/funny shows, check out the 40 Watt website.

Eagles of Death Metal and A Few Shitty Bands Contribute to Denny’s Rockstar Menu, Recipe for Moons Over My Sammy Hagar Remains Fatal

It’s 3 AM and you are at Denny’s. You are not happy about it. You wanted to go to the delectable (and much cheaper) diner just 10 more measly minutes down the highway. But noooo, your sober ride objected, and now here you are at Denny’s, sharing Grand Slams with clove cigarette-sucking middle-school kids and the unemployable. You’ve nearly given up hope on humanity, but one burning question keeps you from cashing in your chips right then and there: What would Taking Back Sunday order if they were here?

Well, that would be the “Taking Back Bacon Burger Fries,” of course! Unfortunately, that isn’t a joke. In one of the least appetizing instances of corporate crossover promotion ever, Denny’s, in association with Dr. Pepper, presents the Rockstar Menu, now available at all Denny’s locations between 10 PM and 5 AM. Are you in the mood for Plain White Ts’ unsurprisingly dull, overpriced milkshake? No? Perhaps The All-American Rejects’ stellar contribution of gravy covered stoner slop is more your style? Whether it’s the cholesterol or the shame, you’re guaranteed to leave sick to your stomach!

Besides those stupid musicians, Electric Boots from Eagles of Death Metal leant a hand in his own heart-shaped concoction, but not even a death metal eagle can save my stomach from the inevitable indigestion this sordid marketing scheme brings.

From an article on World Music Central:

French composer and renowned world music producer Hector Zazou died [yesterday] morning in a French hospital. He had fallen seriously ill earlier this year and had to cancel several performances during the summer. Zazou was 60 years old.

Zazou was a legendary figure in contemporary French music. He was born in Algeria, the son of a French father and a Spanish mother. Zazou was an open minded musician who was comfortable working with classical, ambient electronic, pop, and world music. Some of the musicians he collaborated with include Björk, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, John Hassell, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Carlos Nüñez, Khaled, Lisa Gerrard, John Cale, Siouxsie, Bill Rieflin, Manu Dibango, David Sylvian, Suzanne Vega, Peter Buck, Jane Birkin, and Lisa Germano.

- Hector Zazou (Music Operator) official website
- Hector Zazou MySpace page
- Music Operator MySpace page
- Hector Zazou Wikipedia entry
- YouTube video: "Hector Zazou & Björk - Vísur Vatnsenda Rósu"

Deerhoof Let Fans Choose a Charity for Offend Maggie Sales – Charity Schmarity, I Want A Hover Bike!

I'm as excited about the new Deerhoof album -- Offend Maggie, due October 7 on Kill Rock Stars -- as anyone else, but now I have some gripes. First, the title track, "Offend Maggie," has premiered on AOL's Spinner site for free download. Pshh! Big whoop! What happened to waiting for the actual album to come out, huh?

Even more maddening, and I guess to counteract this uncertain offensiveness directed towards "Maggie," Deerhoof will donate a percentage of the royalties from Offend Maggie's digital sales to a charitable organization. The catch? They can't decide which one! So, they want the "fans" to pick one. Sucks though, because more than one member of Deerhoof has promised me they'd buy me a hover bike!

The five charities of choice include: Why Tuesday?, FAIR, Peace Action West, Z Magazine, Doctors Without Borders, and Greg's Hover Bike Foundation*. You can vote by sending an email with your choice to deerhoofcharityvote@gmail.com anytime before October 1. The chosen organization will be announced October 7.

* Not a real choice or organization


Stars Are Free To Do What They Want, Any Old Time – In This Case, to Tour and Release EP

Contrary to popular belief, Tiny Mix Tapes is not the inclusive American men’s club that people think. Not only does it employ women to write and edit its spectacularly professional writing editor's note: my emphasis], but it also employs people from some great foreign countries. And Canadians. TMT's history of smuggling otherwise dorky goofuses into the realm of cooldom is not unlike Canada itself freeing slaves north of the 49th parallel by means of the underground railroad in the early-to-mid 1800s (yeah... it's exactly like that!). Our staff writers, whether of the [hoser persuasion or not, do feel a certain sense of empathy toward our northern friends, and, in turn, we tend to give their chilly hearts some love by reporting news of their forthcoming albums and tours.

Not that some of them particularly need the attention. Stars, for example, (caution: old-style, politically incorrect, Canadian grandfather quip approaching...) could sell ice cubes to the Eskimos -- such is their persuasive popularity, not only in their home and native land, but Stateside as well. The Quebecois quintet -- who may or may not have been named after this -- have announced both dates for their next North American tour and details of their latest release. Sad Robots EP is available to download now exclusively here with actual limited CDEPs available for purchase at the shows listed below. A live version of “Going, Going, Gone,” originally from their debut album Nightsongs, is available as a free download from this same site.

Sad Robots:

1. Maintenance Hall, 4am
2. A Thread Cut with a Carving Knife
3. Undertow
4. Going, Going, Gone (live version)
5. 14 Forever
6. Sad Robot

Sad Robots go on tour (in 3-D!):
09.17.08 - Northampton, MA - Pearl Street #
09.18.08 - Providence, RI - Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel#
09.19.08 - Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero Theatre#
09.20.08 - New York, NY - Terminal 5 #
09.23.08 - Newport, Kentucky - Southgate House #
09.24.08 - Chicago, IL - The Vic Theatre #
09.25.08 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant #
09.26.08 - Lawrence, KS - The Granada #
09.28.08 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Music Festival
10.01.08 - Los Angeles, CA - Avalon $
10.02.08 - Anaheim, CA - House of Blues $
10.03.08 - Santa Barbara, CA - UC of Santa Barbara $
10.04.08 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Rio Theatre $
10.06.08 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore $
10.07.08 - Eugene, OR - WOW Hall $
10.08.08 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom $
10.09.08 - Seattle, WA - The Showbox $
10.10.08 - Bellingham, WA - Viking Union/Western WA University $
10.29.08 - Fredericton, New Brunswick - SUB Ballroom/University of N.B. %
10.30.08 - Moncton, New Brunswick - The Manhattan Club %
10.31.08 - Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island - The Wave/University of P.E.I. %
11.01.08 - Halifax, Nova Scotia - The Marquee Club %
11.03.08 - St. John’s, Newfoundland - Club One %

# Bell X1

$ Think About Life

% Hey! Rosetta

DOOM to Release Long-Awaited Follow-Up, Born Into This, October 21 on Lex Records

According to a one-sheet from Fontana distribution, DOOM (no longer MF Doom) is set to release a new album, Born Into This, October 21 on Lex Records. The album will be DOOM's "first full-length solo project in four years and is filled with superstar guests including production from J Dilla, Dangermouse and guests MC's Ghostface and Raekwon." In true PR fashion, the writer of this particular one-sheet goes on to say that "this is DOOM's definitive album, encapsulating but surpassing all of his previous work and influences under various monikers."

However, the one-sheet's validity has been put into question the past several days, because (1) there is no information on DOOM or Lex's websites about the release, (2) DOOM has been accused of having stand-in MCs perform for him at live gigs the past year or so, and (3) no press release has been issued yet. In fact, the information stems from a little post last Saturday on Sypder's Random Things -- a blog about vinyl and DJing -- that included an upcoming release schedule with the following entry:

Doom - Born Into This [LP] (Lex Records - LEX069LP0 / 878390001286) $17.98

In response to debates over its legtimacy, Spyder posted a follow-up the next day, in which he explains that he's the "General Manager of a music one-stop (distributor)" URP Music Distributors] and has "access to official release information directly from the label and/or their exclusive distributors." He also posted the actual [one-sheet issued to vendors.

Vendors do occasionally get word from distributors about releases before the press, and hip-hop record store Fifth Element (founded by Rhymesayers) has confirmed the album's existence.

Meanwhile, Operation: Doomsday is being reissued for the millionth time October 7.

Domino Secedes from iTunes, Opens Own Digital Download Store

Sure, iTunes is revolutionary, gives everyone totally crucial Bono adverts, and is generally nice to have around. But when you want to score some choice tracks from, say, Pram's Dark Island, it just doesn't cut the mustard.

Thankfully, Domino, one of the more consistent labels in the indie world, has their entire catalog now digitized for your consumption at Domino Digital. With unruly, CD-quality 320 Kpbs downloads, multiple formats, and every single Domino release at your disposal, you may not have to visit a record store for awhile (but please, support local business anyway). The site itself is well-crafted, allowing you to search music in a way that music dorks tend to think, offering search categories such as "Classics, "Reissues," etc., as well as the ability to toggle between a list and tile view. You can even preview before you buy. Technology is keen.

Most full albums are only $7-9 (about the same as iTunes), but high-quality access to tons of Movietone and Ulrich Schnauss is priceless (sorry to steal your thunder, Mastercard's PR Firm). Don't spend all your allowance in one place.