Dude! Dude, Travis, wake up, man. It's Dan!
Right, like, I knooooow we haven't really hung out in a while and stuff, but like...
No man, I know. It's cool. I'm sorry about your sister, but man, just listen!
Yeah, you'd better put away that taped-off-of-TV VHS of the Kurt Cobain segment on Unsolved Mysteries and call your boss down at the BP and tell him you won't be in for a while, cuz, dude, your favorite band Mudhoney is hitting the road again this spring and summer in support of... umm... well, in support of nothing really (except maybe their habits), but come on! MUUUUDHONEY, bro!
What do you mean, "You don't think so?!?!" What's the prob? Gas up the Ford Tempo, grab a few CDs for your dash-mounted Sony Discman, and let's hit it! Yeah! Waaaaayne's Wooooorld! Waaaaaayne's Woooooorld! Paaarty tiiii... hey, remember???
Still no, huh?
Bill Passed, Justice Secured; Team America Okays Intellectual Property Act, Instantaneously Halting All Subversive Pirate Activity Worldwide
U.S. House of Representatives, those mighty elected representatives of the people, the powers that be, have battered their little gravels in a cacophonist chorus with such discrepant cries as "ASDKJAFDLKJ, YARRR!" And Hallelujah for that.
Presented with the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act (PRO IP Act, HR 4279) earlier this week -- the bill originally called for a penalty of $30,000 per track (setting the fine of downloading Janet Jackson's 22 track Discipline at a total of $660,000), far exceeding the current maximum damages of $30,000 per compilation -- the Representatives in the house (what what, represent!) unanimously voted to amend the bill by throwing their hands in the air like the roof was on fire (they didn't need no water; let the motherfucker burn!) keeping the current $30,000 maximum compilation fine intact. Which will only set you back, say, a Honda Civic rather than the value of your entire life at a part-time minimum wage job.
But really, I think the amendment was made in hoping to curb the temptation of shitty, on-the-downhill artists from prompting people to download their albums and then BLAM! Hitting them up for $660 grand, figuring that's a hell of a lot more than they would have made if you'd actually bought it at Wal-Mart.
"Whether it is still prudent to limit statutory damages when multiple works on a compilation have been infringed is a topic of ongoing conversations and subject matter for another day," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers.
Sixty pages later, the PRO IP Act stipulates far more than maximum financial penalties. Ambiguous powers are to be extended to federal officials for the purpose of confiscating property, "including computer equipment used to commit intellectual property crimes or obtained as a result of those proceeds." Furthermore, officials will have the power to publicly humiliate criminals by tying them naked to a whipping pole in public, condemning them to hell, and executing the Raiders Of The Lost Ark-style heart-being-ripped-out-of-your-chest move, which they don't get to do very often these days.
But don't let that worry you. House officials say stipulations won't be so ambiguous as to target wholly innocent individuals. In fact, for any such fate to befall you, there would have to be substantial evidence linking the property/individual to the offense. You know, rather than dolling out the punishment because they kinda sorta think you might have maybe done it.
The bill will also create a Pirate-Busting taskforce, WHIPER (the White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Representative), the head of which will be the "president's principal adviser and spokesman for intellectual property matters."
"With this vote, Congress has taken the first legislative step toward enacting a common sense bill that closes needless loopholes in the copyright laws and provides more resources to the federal government and law enforcement to fully address intellectual property theft," says Mitch Glazier, RIAA executive VP of government and industry relations. "This is great news for the music community and all businesses that rely upon intellectual property laws."
Which means bad news for everyone else.
Unlike Radiohead, who keep their lined pockets relatively hidden from public view, Nine Inch Nails want the world to know how much their industry-subverting shenanigans are worth. How? With a press release, of course. Including paid (and free) downloads and physical orders, Ghosts I-IV received 781,917 transactions, pulling in $1,619,420, according to a press release.
But if my calculations are right, this makes the average transaction roughly $2.07. Even more interesting is that if you minus the 2,500 "Ultra-Deluxe" versions that accounted for $750,000 of the total (and sold out within 24 hours), the remaining average price becomes roughly $1.12 per transaction. AND, if we take the average $1.12 per transaction price and spread it over four volumes (under the assumption that knowing the overall average per-volume price is even desirable), well, it amounts to about 28Â¢ -- 52Â¢ if you factor in the deluxe versions. Never mind the fact that these figures already ignore any costs involved.
HOWEVER (bum, bum, bummmm, etc), $1.6 million is $1.6 million, and NIN surely made more out of this than if they had released it through a major label. And while the per-transaction/volume average is pretty small when dissected like this, this is just first-week sales. The $10 2xCD set will be released physically in April, and the vinyl fetishists will get their chance then too. Obviously, Ghosts has to contend with the fact that all four versions (not just volume one) are now being shared free of charge, but as of now, hardcore NIN fans are happy, the casual NIN fans are happy, the curious music fans are happy, and NIN must be happy too: they just pulled in $1.6 million on a four-volume instrumental album. The only people unhappy are the industry heads who don't get a cut.
This is a little off-topic, and maybe it's due to my age, but whatever happened to the romantic idea of the starving artist? Am I the only one who wants to see these artists starve?
Lineup Announced For Summer Camp Festival; Don’t Forget To Join The Flaming Lips and Girl Talk In The Mess Hall At Noon For Arts And Crafts!
Well, it’s that time again! Put on your tank tops and down some bug juice because Summer Camp Festival is taking place again this year May 23-25 at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, Illinois, just 20 miles north of Peoria. Advance tickets (including camping) are now on sale for $140.
Here are your camp counselors for the summer, with more still to be announced:
Activities for the summer session include:
- Swimming lessons with A.C. Newman of The New Pornographers
- Hiking with Moe.
- Modern dance with Gregg Gillis (a.k.a Girl Talk)
- Arts and crafts with The Flaming Lips and Girl Talk
- Drama with Blind Melon
- Badminton with G. Love
- Poetry with The Roots
- And more to be announced!
This is the eighth year of Summer Camp Festival, and it’s sure to be a great time! So what are you waiting for?! Buy your ticket now and get your summer started off the right way!
We’ll see you in May!
Kraftwerk Tour a Little, Play Coachella, Heroically Distract Us From Our Monumental Disappointment in Eliot Spitzer
It was certainly a dark day for democracy earlier this week when New York Governor Eliot Spitzer confessed to using a call-girl service, but I feel it goes without saying that the news devastated Kraftwerk fans most of all. The group, well into their fourth decade, and still as responsive as ever, knew they had to act.
“We will play a small number of shows across your beleaguered land followed by a return appearance to your Coachella festival, which we dutifully played in 2004,” a given member of Kraftwerk probably said at one point. “We are coming. We are coming to alleviate the pain of our fans during this difficult time. We may adopt the images of unfeeling robots, but remember: We love you.”
They’re Serious. Kraftwerk Loves You:
Feist has Grammy nominations. Kevin Drew co-founded Broken Social Scene and dates Feist. Amy Millan plays in Stars. Emily Haines plays in Metric. But what exactly is Jason Collett known for, besides being a member of Broken Social Scene?
Well, for starters, he’s an incredibly talented singer/songwriter that already has FIVE solo albums under his belt (take that, Kevin Drew!). His latest album, Here’s To Being Here, was released last month on Arts&Crafts.
Releasing numerous solo albums is one way to get noticed, but Collett isn’t settling for second string. Oh no, he’s taking his message to the streets... or, more accurately, the highways of America this spring.
Here’s To Being In Your City:
ELF POWER IS ON TOUR. NEW ALBUM OUT. GET IT ON MAR 25 2008. HAVE YOU HEARD NOT OF ELF POWER? I WILL TELL YOU: THEY MAKE GOOD INDIE POP. GO SEE THEM.
NEWS STORY TOO BORING?
Blah Blah Blah, Juno, Blah Blah Blah, Kimya Dawson Tour, Blah Blah Blah, Ellen Page, Blah Blah Baby Jokes, Etc.
The purpose of this experiment is to determine whether a connection can be formed between the child-like songwriting of Moldy Peach Kimya Dawson, who will be touring the U.S. starting next week, and the inherent childhood memories of TMT readers of their own junior high science fairs, and also to observe and record the extent to which the aforementioned connection does or does not affect my general popularity as a music newswriter.
Since Ms. Dawson has such luck drawing fans with minimalistic, naiveté-affected, "first-draft" technique, it follows that I should receive similar adulation and/or credibility for delivering the following tour news of said artist with similar, heart-on-sleeve gusto.
Hey, hey, heyyy! Do U lyk when i kIsS you like BUNNYS??? U should C Kimya Dawson (yah, from that mOviE! <3 ) on tour tour tour, aRound and aRound and AroUnD like MERRY-GO-Rounds after sKool where U gAvE me my 1st hand-hold; We wErE pirates 2gthr then, 2 kool 4 the othR kids and rIdIng biKes, eaTing cHocolate, and fUck GeOrge Bush and alll prezidents ever . . . I laUgH whenU laff. we'Re conn-eccted by hi wIrEs... <3 <3 <3
* Angelo Spencer
** Angelo Spencer & L'Orchidee D'Hawai
You tell me, Rolling Stone. Am I hired???
It is the future. Our scene opens with King Bono Vox I undressing in his palatial bedroom. As he takes off his shirt, we cannot help but be drawn to the trio of Nobel Peace Prizes nestled on a buff chest with “not too much, just enough” hair, hovering equidistant from each other above two perfectly symmetrical nipples, not unlike an Olympic Games logo designed by a sporty Mapplethorpe. Time has been good to Bono, mostly due to the functioning fountain of youth given to him by a grateful lost tribe, partly due to his two daily Bowflex circuits. He lowers his creaseless body into a bath drawn by his manservant Crone.
Bono: “Do you have the children's tears collected, Crone?”
Crone: “Yeah, the children's tears are sitting in that bucket beside your tub. But I don't see...”
Bono: “You don't see? You don't See? You don't have to see! Are you Bono? Are you? The last time I checked, there be only one Bono in this here room, and you ain't it, mate. The children's tears remind me of the suffering, the injustice, at the hands of evil oppressors back in the 20th century... before I cured all of the world’s ills in 2008. Plus they work wonders for the epidermis. I don't expect you to see. Inferior rogue!”
Crone: “Yes sir. I have also laid out your silk gitch. It's dangling over the crapper there.”
Bono (using his 20-10 vision to spot the undercarriage caressors, as they are known in the distant future of 2017): “Those are not rebel underwear...those are fundies, bloody fundies! Be gone Crone, and bullet the blue sky where the streets have no name on your way out.”
Ah yes, it is all too easy to take a run at the most popular singer in the world, but dude talks the talk. His position as the front piece of (arguably) the world's biggest band is juxtaposed with his tireless campaigning for diverse social causes while acting like a self-professed “real pain in the arse” to U.S. officials. Chief among Bono's political passions throughout the years has been fighting against the problems plaguing Africa: the AIDS epidemic (in the past he has likened the troubling issue to The Holocaust) and the continent's crippling debt. His needling of governments and musical oeuvre are being recognized by a number of African artists including Tony Allen, Angelique Kidjo, Les Nubians, and Vieux Farka Touré who provide interpretations of many U2 favorites on In the Name of Love: Africa Celebrates U2, due April 1 on Shout! Factory.
In the Name of Love: Africa Celebrates U2 will give greater attention to artists who are little known outside certain "world music" spheres and will challenge U2 deriders like myself to find merit in U2's songs without having to listen to The Edge's chunka-clunka-chunka-clunka guitar ruining the proceedings (every single time). Best of all, some proceeds of the album will go to The Global Fund and will prove once again that Bono is the greatest human being alive.
Again. On Valentine's Day in New York, a charitable art auction to benefit AIDS relief put on by Bono and British contemporary artist Damien Hirst raised $42 million. Hirst himself donated seven pieces of art to the auction (including a cabinet full of AIDS treatment drugs which sold for $7.15 million) and 17 artists broke personal auction records at the event, including graffito artist Banksy, whose “Keep It Spotless” made $1.8 million. Said Hirst, “I'm never going to be cynical ever again for a while. We've helped change the world a little bit.” Aye, you have Mr. Hirst. All because of a meme named Bono.
In the Name of Love: Africa Celebrates U2:
1. Angelique Kidjo - "Mysterious Ways"
2. Vieux Farka Touré - "Bullet the Blue Sky"
3. Ba Cissoko - "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
4. Vusi Mahlasela - "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own"
5. Tony Allen - "Where the Streets Have No Name"
6. Cheikh Lô - "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
7. Keziah Jones - "One"
8. Les Nubians - "With Or Without You"
9. Soweto Gospel Choir - "Pride (In The Name Of Love)"
10. Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars - "Seconds"
11. African Underground All-Stars featuring Chosan, Optimus & Iyoka - "Desire"
12. Waldemar Bastos - "Love Is Blindness"