NPR and Internet Radio Protest Royalty Fee Hike, Robert Seigel Prepares Sale of Bulgarian Pinstripe Suits Which Allegedly “Fell Off the Back of a Truck”
On March 16, NPR became the first of, well, probably every internet radio station in the U.S. to vocally oppose new royalty regulations laid down by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) earlier this month. The opposition comes in light of the fact that CRB's new rules would force them, in the words of NPR rep Andi Sporkin, "to pay an internet royalty fee that is vastly more expensive than what we pay for over-the-air use of music."
For the average listener, that would mean a huge cut in the actual amount of music-hearing that takes place: musical experiencing, jamming, rocking out, moving and/or grooving, gettin' down -- less of anything that could potentially be construed as "listening" in general. Not to music, anyway, since the royalties would, beginning this year, gradually increase from $.0008 per play (the 2006 rate) to $.0019 in 2010, more than doubling in a relatively short time-frame. These "performance royalties," given for use of musical master tapes, run the risk of ballooning to over 100% of total station revenue, a figure that does not include "composers' royalties," which stations must also pay to the songwriters themselves. Any sort of profit or capacity for station owners and operators to support themselves via their broadcasts would cease. The new system would replace the former system, in which royalties were paid as a percentage of gross revenues, and the one currently used for satellite radio stations.
In light of the new regulations, the only way many public stations would be able to stay in the business of playing music would be to resort to violent, black-market thuggery. Imagine Ira Glass being forced to rig a boxing match so that Terri Gross could illicitly bet on it in advance. Or what about Click and Clack, who would have to use their vast automotive knowledge to set up a chop shop. Even Diane Rehm might have to go into business running moonshine across international boundaries to make ends meet. Okay, things might not get that bad, especially for major broadcasters on traditional airwaves. But skyrocketing royalties would be hugely detrimental to public stations, especially for those of us who look to non-corporate stations for news, music, or cultural programming.
I think the argument against rate hikes can be best summed up by Sporkin, who said, "Public radio's agreements on royalties with all such organizations, including the RIAA, have always taken into account our public service mission and non-profit status. These new rates, at least 20 times more than what stations have paid in the past, treat us as if we were commercial radio -- although by its nature, public radio cannot increase revenue from more listeners or more content, the factors that set this new rate." Yes, that part about costing 20 times what stations have previously paid is pretty bad. But seriously: not even the RIAA thinks this is a good idea? That alone looks like fairly damning evidence. If you're interested in getting involved with this issue, you can directly contact any internet radio stations you listen to, or visit this website, an activism page set up by Live 365, another internet music provider who will be affected by the proposed regulations.
The Hottest Ticket in Töwn: The Björk on Tour
by Jeremy Rushton
The Björk, the amazing three-piece from Denver, CO, have recently added U.S dates to their tour. Pat Cathey, lead guitarist, told TMT that "while we plan to add more dates sometime in the future, we thought we'd announce these dates now since there's such high demand."
Yes, indeed, The Björk may be the hottest living band on the globe, as the hype for their debut full-length release, Volta, the follow-up to their 2005 EP Breaking Smiles All the Way Down to a Frown (Pt I and II), is at an unprecedented high. With angular guitar lines, head-nodding beats, and scratchy vocals, it's no wonder that people are calling them the next Zwan.
"We can't believe it ourselves, really," said Cathey. "We're just so grateful! I can feel the electricity in the air!"
Volta is set for release on May 8 via Atlantic and One Little Indian. Oh, and good news for those of you who were wondering: their live staple, "Judge Me By My Fingers, Not My Pillars," is confirmed as the first track on the album.
Hello, gentle readers. My name is Squeo, and I'll be lecturing you tonight on a subject most exhilarating -- yes, truly exhilarating. I do hope you are comfortably seated in your favorite chair -- a chair, perhaps, both plush and stylish, much like those terribly agreeable pieces they might sell at one's local Target. Nothing too flashy, but with just enough pep and pizzazz to let folks know you're no bump on a log. Heck, before we get into the meat of this story, maybe you'd like to pop a CD or two into your home stereo system. Oh, I know -- those 100 CD changers are more trouble than they're worth! Ah, there you go, the trifecta: Norah Jones, Seal, and that $30 lounge mix that came in the fuzzy slipcase (what will they think of next?). Now let's set that stereo to a reasonable volume, stretch our legs and dig in to today's news.
Starbucks and Concord Music Group have gotten together to form a new label called Hear Music. Hope that name goes down as easy for you as it does for me... for what else is there to do with music, when you really think about it, but hear? I don't know about you, but this almost makes me want to run out to a store and purchase a set of affordable, matching kitchenware, purely out of glee. The plates and glasses will undoubtedly make use of a simple but effective pattern of rainbow-colored concentric circles or polka dots, and my spring luncheons will be all the more delightful for it!
Though Starbucks has made use of the Hear Music brand since 1999, this is the first time they'll be producing brand new material. The label's first album is expected to be released by the end of this year, and yes, the rumor mills are churning! The New York Post has reported that Sir Paul McCartney will be signing a deal, but my hope is that Kenny G's long-awaited Disney Classics collection has finally found a proper home. Such a collaboration would be as beautiful as a fading sunset, a cherubic infant, a dozen roses, a glorious sunrise, a fresh pot of coffee, a sparkling diamond ring, a tender filet mignon, a slim volume of poetry, an amusing salt-and-pepper shaker set, a wise grandpa, a tender kiss, a rousing game of football, a long-lasting friendship, a heart-shaped box of assorted chocolates, a teddy bear holding a felt heart, a relaxing round of horseshoes, a just-waxed motorcycle, a sticky popsicle, a crackling campfire, a playful puppy, and a worn pair of jeans, all wrapped into one. Have a pleasant evening.
They are political and confrontational. They face a cast of petty criminals, world-be world-conquering bad guys, and just plain insane characters every day. They battle environmental villains and animal rights violators. They are easily riled and prone to violence when the situation calls for it. They use every trick in the book to see their mission accomplished. They stand apart from society at large and go about their crime fighting business with a strong moral code. They are flamboyant and guzzle pizza like most do oxygen. They inhabit the sewers and slash and beat down evildoers with bô, katanas, nunchaku, and sai. That's right, this month sees the fantastic latest mutation of TMT's third favorite anthropomorphic superheroes (right behind Hieronymous "Hip" Flask and ThunderCats); The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (cue cascading fireworks! wikkid explosions! overly loud generic "action sequence" music! many exclamation marks! etc.!)!
In other news, Antibalas, who carry all the qualities mentioned above and many more, are also back. Although their violent streaks are limited to gleeful auricular punishment and they don't have to live secluded in NYC's notoriously rank sewers, they will be spotlight-contending with those four little green freaks when they play all over most of the continental U.S. during the next month-and-a-half. (Many apologies to the states that they are not playing. It's not because they couldn't schedule more shows to accommodate your state; it is because Antibalas don't like you. They told me so just the other day.) After slaying America, they will venture eastward and fight the good fight overseas. The Brooklyn afrobeat/jazz/latin/kick-ass cosmopolitan collective is touring in support of their John McEntire-produced fourth album Security, which was released at the beginning of March on Anti- (appropriately enough).
All that is needed now is a totally awesome cereal tie-in so you can eat up your favorite antibalastas in marshmallow form:
03.21.07 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
03.22.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
03.28.07 - New Haven, CT - Toad's Place
03.29.07 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
03.30.07 - Portland, ME - Space
03.31.07 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East Underground
04.04.07 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
04.05.07 - Charlottesville, VA - Starr Hill
04.06.07 - Virginia Beach, VA - Jewish Mother
04.07.07 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
04.08.07 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
04.10.07 - Athens, GA - Georgia Theatre
04.11.07 - Atlanta, GA - The Variety Arts
04.12.07 - Knoxville, TN - Sundown in the City
04.12.07 - Knoxville, TN - World Grotto
04.13.07 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
04.14.07 - Louisville, KY - Headliners
04.15.07 - Bloomington, IN - The Blue Bird
04.17.07 - Urbana, IL - Canopy Club
04.18.07 - St. Louis, MO - Blueberry Hill
04.19.07 - Columbia, MO - Blue Note
04.20.07 - Lincoln, NE - Knickerbockers
04.21.07 - Lawrence, KS - Grenada Theatre
04.22.07 - Omaha, NE - Waiting Room
04.23.07 - Iowa City, IA - The Picador
04.24.07 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
04.25.07 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
04.26.07 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater
04.27.07 - Chicago, IL - Park West
04.28.07 - Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig
04.29.07 - Newport, KY - Southgate House
05.01.07 - Columbus, OH - Wexner Center
05.02.07 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
05.03.07 - Pittsburgh, PA - Andy Warhol Museum
05.04.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
05.19.07 - Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique
06.01.07 - London, England - Jazz Café
06.02.07 - London, England - Jazz Café
06.05.07 - Gateshead, England - The Sage
06.06.07 - Swansea, England - Sin City
06.07.07 - Manchester, England - The Mint Lounge
06.08.07 - Leeds, England - HiFi Club
06.13.07 - Dublin, Rep. of Ireland - Crawdaddy
06.15.07 - Brighton, England - Komedia
06.16.07 - Exeter, England - Festival
Recently, the folks down at Touch & Go Records posted a message on their website regarding the status of Slint and whether or not they intend to record a new album. Seems all these recent reunion shows are insufficient for new Slint fans. Remember the days when the reunion of an influential band, who broke up before you knew about them, was a big, historic event? Like The Stooges years back, Pixies, or maybe even The Police? Well, it seems nowadays just doing a few reunion shows or even a full-length world tour ain't good enough. New fans want new music, too!
Due to their upcoming summer shows, the boys in the legendary group Slint have been encountering the following question: "When are you guys recording a new album?" In response to this, the Touch & Go people were kind enough to post as cryptic a message as possible on their website: "Here's the deal. Slint has been preparing for shows this summer. They want to play music together and have decided to work on new material. Once they find a rehearsal space (in Louisville, KY), they can begin this process. Please do not start rumors about an impending Slint recording. Anything new will take a while. With a little luck, Touch & Go will have something to release in the next few years."
With this in mind, let us be the first to announce that the new Slint album will be released in 2011 and will be entitled, Oh, If Only I Had Not've Drank That Last German Ale, I Would Have Not Made This Record In Louisville. The 3-track album is set to one-up Joanna Newsom at her own game by collaborating with Van Dyke Parks on a polka-themed country romp through the trials and tribulations of uranium miners. The first single will be a 22-minute opus entitled "Pecans Make My Crotch Itchy," featuring guest performer Ted Leo's first yodeling solo.
Analysts predict that the album will debut at number 1 in 15 countries. Stay tuned for more details in 2010.
In the meantime, why not catch Slint performing live?
Pink Elephants Go Out On Parade, The Tiny Mice Go On Patrol; Mice Parade To Go On Tour; Sometimes Strippers Dance On Poles
That's right, titillated sports fans! Handsome devil and sometime New Yorker, Mr. Adam Pierce (no relation to Mr. Jason Pierce, we believe) is setting out on a voyage on the high seas of big hair, groupies, and plenty of blow. No wait, I'm not talking about a 1980s Def Leppard, am I? Okay, focus... focus... Got distracted during that commentary about strippers.
As previously reported here on Tiny Mix Tapes, the artist known as Mice Parade (Adam Pierce and some lovely tourmates) has put the finishing touches on a new, collaboration-heavy record and is touring in support of this self-titled album, set to be released in May. Opening act duty will once again be taken care of by Tom Brosseau, who is supporting his latest excellent release, Grand Forks.
Those hoping for a "spanish moon" from a stripper (male or female) in Baton Rouge are likely to be disappointed, by the way:
On May 22, Columbia/Legacy plans to release a best-of CD and DVD documentary of Scotty Moorhead, better known to you TMT readers as Jeffrey Scott Buckley. He was born on November 17, 1966 in Anaheim, CA and died on May 29, 1997 in Memphis, Tennessee. He was known for his "ethereal" voice. He drowned in 1997 during a swim. He was acclaimed. He was a promising artist, after releasing his only studio album, Grace. You know, someone should make a Wikipedia entry for this guy. Yeah? Yeah!
The CD compilation is titled So Real: Songs From Jeff Buckley, featuring tracks from Grace, Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk, and Live at Sin-E. The compilation ends with an unreleased cover of The Smiths' "I Know It's Over." The DVD, Amazing Grace, is an hour-long documentary featuring live performances and interviews with bandmates and family of Jeff Buckley. You know, someone should make a Wikipedia entry for me. Yeah? Yeah!
In this corner, applying rouge to its nipples and straightening its altogether too-small unitard while it scratches its hairy crack with a gnarled claw, filing a $1 billion lawsuit over copyright violations after claiming 160,000 unauthorized video clips were displayed by the defendant, proprietor of MTV, BET, Comedy Central, VH1, and Nickelodeon, the silicon sandbagger... Vi-a-commmmmm. Faceless Viacom statement-maker, do you have anything to say?
"YouTube is a significant, for-profit organization that has built a lucrative business out of exploiting the devotion of fans to others' creative works in order to enrich itself and its corporate parent Google. YouTube's strategy has been to avoid taking proactive steps to curtail the infringement on its site. Their business model, which is based on building traffic and selling advertising off of unlicensed content, is clearly illegal and is in obvious conflict with copyright laws."
And in this corner, brash newcomer, "popular internet video-sharing site," the young pup bought by proud papa Google for $1.76 billion in November 2006, strutting toward the conference ring to the blare of Loverboy's "Loving Every Minute Of It," the screen stream scream... YouuuuuuuuuTuuuuuuuuube. YouTube... "exploiting?" "Avoid taking proactive steps?" "Illegal?" "Curtail?" How do you react to these claims?
"Uh, um, any news is good news, I guess?"
Alright, I want a totally dirty and malicious fight. Use of foreign objects is recommended. As is name-calling. We are in the attitude era now; we don't want any backyard wrestling here. It should all be no botched clubbering from here on out. We want double-juicing and loads of blood! Hell, we really just want you to go away, but we know that is not going to happen so BRING THE NOISE, BRING THE FUNK, FILE YOUR LAWSUITS, AND COVER YOUR JUNK! If you thought Blur vs. Oasis, Herzog vs. Kinski, Biggie vs. Tupac, and Crest vs. Colgate were intense beefs, you obviously have not been witness to our beloved omnigeomorpheologicorps (copyright Tiny Mix Tapes, March 2007; it basically means "big fat companies") whipping out their dicks and throwing around figures in the billions.
Is this just a overblown tactic by Viacom to improve any current revenue-sharing agreements? Is YouTube being too cavalier with its brash "we're here, we're showing your videos, get used to it" stance? Did Google take on a potentially dangerous legal pain-in-the-ass when it acquired YouTube? Should open access to content and information be everyday practice, or should owners of material displayed on YouTube be in control of their content and be compensated for letting it be showed? Will the larger media companies take Google's/YouTube's lack of respect and goodwill as a slap in the face and attempt to cut the internet search czar down? Bring on the canned heat! LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!*
* "Let's Get Ready To Rumble" ("LGRTR") is a registered trademark of Michael Buffer, "The Voice of Champions," and The Buffer Partnership. "LGRTR" is a "clarion call to pure integrity of the competitive spirit" and garners an "adrenaline boosting, positive will to win attitude!" Any use of Mr. Buffer's famous rendition of his copyrighted "Let's Get Ready To Rumble" recording or unauthorized use of the "Let's Get Ready To Rumble," "Get Ready To Rumble," "Ready To Rumble," servicemarked phrases and any paraphrasing of these marks (including "Get Ready To Crumble," "Are You Ready To Rumble," "Let's Get Ready to Mumble," "I'm Not Quite Yet Ready To Stumble," "Get Ready for Mr. Stumble Von Bumble!" etc.) will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and will be struck down with a force that will continue for eternity.
Late '60s band reforms for 2007 tour... ugh. News of this sort of thing would normally require a few stabs to my genitals with an old geometry set compass just to keep me awake and humored, but for some odd reason, I am intrigued. Blue Cheer, known for being weightier than a Hummer driven by Rosie O'Donnell, Pavarotti, and the motorcycle-loving world's fattest twins, haven't actually reformed; they have been back together in some way, shape or form since the late 1980s. (Sorry... that fat crack was very lowest-common-denominator of me. Like I should talk. I break into a heavy sweat getting in and out of bed.) One of the, if not THE loudest band of all time will be touring the U.S. and Canada starting April 6 in Philadelphia, and they promise to be heavier than ever. If there were any doubts, playing with incomparable Wilkes-Barre noiseniks An Albatross will ensure that they keep that promise.
As for An Albatross, the band that never stops touring will stay on the road after their Blue Cheer shows, because they have to finish the second leg of their honkin' huge European tour, which began earlier in the year. The following dates are for the tour-happy band, so there WILL be more dates added anytime (expect dates to be added for the U.K., Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Atlantis, Oz, Eurasia, Babar's Kingdom, etc.). Blue Cheer/An Albatross shows are marked with a happy, horny $, %, ^, or *.
Rock on, seriously:
03.16.07 - Austin, TX - Redrum, SXSW Eyeball Showcase
03.31.07 - Wilkes-Barre, PA - Café Metropolis #
04.06.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Northstar $
04.07.07 - New York, MY - Rebel %
04.08.07 - Boston, MA - Great Scott ^
04.09.07 - Montréal, Quebec - La Sala Rossa $
04.10.07 - Toronto, Ontario - Sneaky Dee's $
04.11.07 - Buffalo, NY - TBA $
04.12.07 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom $
04.13.07 - Lansing, MI - Mac's Bar $
04.14.07 - Chicago, IL - Schuba's *
04.15.07 - Columbus, OH - Ravari Room $
04.16.07 - Vermont, MN - TBA $
04.17.07 - Washington, DC - Black Cat $
05.02.07 - Paris, France - TBA
05.03.07 - Limoges, France - Cafteur
05.04.07 - Rennes, France - Mondo Bizarro
05.05.07 - Évreux, France - Abordage
05.06.07 - Dunkerque, France - TBA
05.07.07 - Brighton, England - The Hope
05.08.07 - London, England - Old Blue Last
05.09.07 - Exeter, England - Cavern
05.10.07 - Leeds, England - Brundenell Social Club
05.11.07 - Liverpool, England - The Magnet
05.12.07 - Glasgow, Scotland - Nice 'n' Sleazy's
05.13.07 - Birmingham, England - Barfly
05.14.07 - York, England - Fibbers
05.15.07 - Cardiff, Wales - Barfly
05.16.07 - London, England - Barfly
05.21.07 - Hamburg, Germany - Hafenklang-Exil
05.22.07 - Münster, Germany - Gleis 22
05.25.07 - Munich, Germany - Feierwerk
05.26.07 - Beilefeld, Germany - AJZ
05.29.07 - Milan, Italy - Magnolia
# Hot Cross
$ Blue Cheer
% Blue Cheer and Stephen Brodsky's Octave Museum
^ Blue Cheer, Doomriders, and Stephen Brodsky's Octave Museum
* Blue Cheer and Del Rey
Have you ever noticed how The Polyphonic Spree are engineering a career trajectory for themselves that resembles nothing more than a manic-depressive single mom from some Midwestern suburb? They arrive in the neighborhood in 2002 with a big batch o' home-baked cookies for everyone, The Beginning Stages Of... and a huuuge grin on their faces, and isn't it such a great day? The kind of day that makes you really happy to be alive, the kind of day that makes you want to sing to the birds and the trees? And everyone's all welcoming and stuff, and oh, aren't they the sweetest, and isn't that album great, but they all think that if they just, y'know, toned it down a little they wouldn't be so damned creepy.
So then they get dropped from 679, and oh well, got to soldier on, don't you? Life's like that, but if you just take some time to smell the flowers once every so often, you'll realize things aren't that bad at all. So they get some new clothes and release Together We're Heavy on Hollywood. Their neighbors all nod and smile, but they can't deny that it's all looking a little desperate. And it's really sad. All they ever wanted to do was make a few people happy. If only they could be a little less creepy.
And now it's 2007. They've been dropped from Hollywood, and presumably at some point in the last year, they cracked, and there was a huge gin-fueled meltdown where they slumped in the corner of their friend's kitchen and in great heaving sobs complained how nothing ever goes right for them, and what's wrong with wanting to be nice to people every once in a while, and they think they're getting fat, and nobody likes them and they're stupid and fat and ugly, and the neighbor did all they could and put them to bed with a glass of water.
What I'm trying to say is, The Polyphonic Spree are back, and they've gone way past creepy into fucking terrifying. Forget the robes -- now they're all dressed up in military fucking fatigues, fatigues with hearts and crosses sewn on, as if that makes them look jolly and friendly and not, y'know, Waco survivors.
They've signed on to TVT Records, and their first release on the label, The Fragile Army, is due to drop in June. I'd buy it, if I were you. If only so that Tim DeLaughter doesn't firebomb your home in a fit of righteous zeal. I'd look out for him. You seen pictures of him recently? He's got this look in his eyes, the look of a stone-dead killer. If you crossed him, he'd probably drive a pen through your eyeball in a split second.
The Fragile Army (or, The Final Document In A Slow And Harrowing Descent Into Utter Insanity):