RIAA Takes Congress To Ruby Tuesday, Subtly Hints At Maybe Just Dropping The Whole Legal Proceedings Thing, Gets Stuck With $650,000 Bill

It was reported by Digital Music News that the RIAA, recently christened as part of the Axis of Evil, spent $650,000 on lobbying expenses in the first half of 2007. Is that a lot? Well, in 2006, the RIAA spent $1.5 million, Time Warner spent almost $3.8 million, and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association tops the TV/movies/music category at $14 million. This year, the RIAA is on pace to spend $1.3 million. So, yes, that is a lot, but the disgusting part to begin with is how much money is put into lawmaking by people who are not lawmakers.

Total Lobbying Spending for 2006: $2.55 billion. WTF America! Half of that is the wide category of pharmaceuticals and health products, which should make everyone wonder (again) about the role of the Food and Drug Adminstration. I saw something in the grocery store called Bio-Kult, and aside from seeming absolutely revolting and sounding like a name for an international crime syndicate, I am really skeptical that this cultured dairy probiotic energy drink, with its three-fingered alligator logo, is anywhere close to being safe. Lump that in with the ever-growing list of questionable yogurt products like Go-Gurt and Yogo-Bits and the vast list of genetically modified foods, and we will seriously need to reassess what we mean by "food."

So, could the RIAA be any better? Isn't DRM just another three-fingered alligator and payola its yogurt-related cousin? How are these things getting through to the consumer? Well, $1.5 million is certainly no $1.1 billion, but proportionately, they may very well be comparable -- ethically, it is all the same. There's nothing new in the moral gray area that is lobbying and its stranglehold on how laws are made, but when these things are hitting us, really hitting us, maybe we should fight back.


Title: Thunder Clap


"Leader! The American youth is upset. They're rousing the rabble as we speak! What do we do?"

"I knew this day would come. To the Lipitor-Mobile! Everyone, lobby like this is your last day on Earth. Those Washington fat cats need milk to delightfully lap up, and by god, that milk better be our fortified, enriched, cultured bacteria dairy product!"

A Brief History of The Go! Team, As Told By You or Someone You Know

September 2004: Debut Thunder, Lightning, Strike winds up on your hard drive -- you listen to a tune and kinda dig it.

November 2004: You finally get around to listening to the record and – after reading the TMT review – tell everyone it’s good.

December 2004: You make a half-assed attempt to get the UK import, fail, and then spend the $20 on a Keystone 30-rack (if you’re in college) or a case of PBR (if you’re in Brooklyn). Merry Christmas.

September 2005: The stateside re-release of debut Thunder, Lightning, Strike winds up on your hard drive – you listen to a tune and kinda dig it.

October 2005: You publicly refuse to buy the American version because “the samples aren’t as good” and “the bonus tracks suck.”

2006: Nothing happens.

Spring 2007: You see “Huddle Formation” on a Civic commercial and feel vindicated for not giving “those f-in’ sell outs” any of your money.

July 2007: Sophomore album Proof of Youth winds up on your hard drive – you listen to a tune and kinda dig it.

August 2007: You publicly refuse to see the band live because “they’re not as good in concert”:

* Inrocks Tour

“That’s All, Folks!” Warner Considers Going Private

Apparently Kid Rock just ain't sellin like he used to these days.

According to a New York Post report last week, Warner Music (yes, the home of such major leaguers as Madonna and the Bullgod himself) is giving serious consideration to swan-divin' it down the proverbial rabbit hole that is Private Ownership to avoid the very same bungling but tenacious hunter that has been whomping many other wascally major label wabbits: falling stock prices, negative sentiment for the industry, and a steady decline of CD sales, all of which are, according to Warner's Understatements Department, "frustrating the company's financial backers."

The news follows a decision by rival EMI Group Plc to accept a private-equity buyout after that company and Warner spent several years flirting (platonically) with the idea of a merger or takeover.

But don't start blogging away about the impending fall of the industry just yet (well... okay, go ahead), because the going-private discussion at Warner Music is, according to Warner's Carefully Worded Vagaries Department, "understood to be in its infancy." Awww, and who doesn't love a cute, little baby?? Uh, but all images of adorable infants aside, Warner Music shares have lost more than 50% of their value in the past year. That's one-half, kids. Ain't nothin' cute about that.

"And what about the whole Digital Music pony?" you ask. Welllllll, let's just say that she won't be keeping the bread in Warner's mouth anytime soon. Last Tuesday, the company posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss as growth in digital revenue failed to make up for declining CD sales, sending its shares down as much as 10% -- a new low.

In 2004, Time Warner Inc. sold the music company for $2.6 billion to an investor group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners, Edgar Bronfman, Bain Capital and Providence Equity Partners. These brilliant financial clairvoyants decided to take Warner Music public in 2005. Although, to be fair, the three private equity groups still own about 62% of the company anyway. Still, that's some expensive egg to have on your face

On the plus side, the capsizing company's shares actually rose $1.22 to $11.11 on the New York Stock Exchange when the announcement was made, after trading as high as $11.34 earlier in the session.

That's called irony, I think.

Any Major Dude Will Tell You, Montag Rocks Hard

Oh yes, I know you like reading this wikkid site. Your interest was somewhat piqued by the headline above, and you do have an inquiring mind when it comes to album and tour news, don’tch’yall? Well, I could go on and try to come up with something witty about how marvelous multi-disciplinarian Montag, or Antoine Bédard, will be touring in support of his latest Carpark Records effort Going Places and how he will have a new tour remix EP available at each date called Gone Places that will no doubt knock everybody’s socks off when they hear it, just like all of his previous efforts have, and how he is always approaching that rarely-reached ideal of making “total art” with every new record, blah, blah. That is all true, but that is not what you really want, is it? You want something a bit rougher around the edges. You crave something to get you through the day without having to mete out all sorts of Falling Down-style beatings to the flakes and phonies you encounter on your daily travels. I know! I’m right! Well, here it is. You’re welcome, by the way.

Judas Priest - “Screaming for Vengeance”

Hey listen don't you let 'em get your mind

Fill your brain with orders and that's not right

They're playing at a game that draws you closer

’Til you're living in a world that's ruled by fear

Always takin' baby out that's o.k.

What they're givin' maybe it's out of phase with me

Told you once you're never gonna win the race

Same old no tomorrow kicked in the face

We are screaming for vengeance

The world is a manacled place

Screaming, screaming for vengeance

The world is defiled in disgrace

Tie a blindfold all around your head

Spin you round in the torture before the dread

And then you're pushed and shoved into every corner

Then they lead you out into the final slaughter

As the sweat is running down your neck

All your praying for's to stop you body breakin' up

Oh your heart is pumping gonna soon explode

Got to fight the horror of this mental load

We are screaming for vengeance

The world is a manacled place

Screaming, screaming for vengeance

The world is defiled in disgrace

So you wait it out and bide your time

Rip off that straight jacket gotta break that line

Everyone who wins in the great escape

Leaves a thousand more who suffer in their wake

I don't talk about it but that's alright

Table's turned now there's a revenge in sight

If it takes forever babe I tell ya I can wait

Send them screaming back through their hell's own gate

We are screaming for vengeance

The world is a manacled place

Screaming, screaming for vengeance

The world is defiled in disgrace

Montag’s remix/tour EP called Gone Places...

1. Le Super-flash Bang Statement
2. Safe in Sound (Lullatone remix)
3. Le Musée National des bonheurs qui ne durent pas
4. Cross the River
5. Nord sud est oust
6. Alice (Boy in Static remix)
7. Gong Places

...will be available to at these Montag tourdates:
08.15.07 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop *
08.16.07 - Portland, OR - Holocene *
08.17.07 - Eugene, OR - Wow Hall #
08.20.07 - Seattle, WA - Sunset Tavern *
08.21.07 - Missoula, MT - The Badlander #
08.23.07 - Denver, CO - Mercury Cafe *
08.24.07 - Des Moines, IA - Vaudeville Mews *
08.25.07 - Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club *
08.27.07 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle (free show) *
08.28.07 - Detroit, MI - Scrummage University *
08.29.07 - Cleveland Heights, OH - B-Side Liquor Lounge *
08.30.07 - Hamilton, Ontario - Pepper Jack Cafe *
09.02.07 - Montreal, Quebec - Casa del Popolo *
09.05.07 - Boston, MA - Middle East *
09.06.07 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Hall *
09.07.07 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church *
09.09.07 - Washington, DC - DC9 *

* The One AM Radio & Lymbyc System

# The One AM Radio, Lymbyc System & The Race

Silver Apples Break Hiatus, Tour, Still Pushing for That Lucky Charms Contract After All These Years

Disclaimer: the following story is probably/most likely/is a work of fiction.

The Silver Apples have reunited. Their press release claims a “ten-year” hiatus, but later says it’s only been eight.

“It doesn’t feel that long,” thought now-lone Silver Apple Simeon Coxe, staring at the New York skyline from his bedroom window. “It doesn’t feel that long at all.”

These moments of anticipation couldn’t help but trigger a nostalgic melancholy in Coxe. Here he was, an aging would-be legend, still living in an apartment that would usually be associated with a person half his age and touring with The Moon Upstairs, a group of young musicians whose debut LP had been compared with the likes of George Harrison and Neil Young.

“I should have toured with the genuine articles when I had the chance,” thought Coxe as he took another long, slow sip of his Silver Apple (a concoction he invented himself in 1974, consisting of rum, apple juice, lime juice, and club soda over ice).

Simeon Coxe stared off into the distance for a long time. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” he said out loud to no one in particular. He shuddered suddenly, as if trying to shake something off. “It’s been a hell of a ride.” The sun began to set. Coxe finished his drink.

“It’s awfully cold for this time of year,” thought Coxe:

Word Has It That During the Filming of Capote, Philip Seymour Hoffman Only Listened To One Musician; Holly Golightly Brings Rock To Your Doorstep On Fall Tour

This is not Spin's retro-rock. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Strokes, and the year 2001 be damned -- take a gander at the real-deal Holyfield. Holly Golightly will go heavy for two fun-filled months on a North American tour that will find her country-fried throwback goodness touching down in venue after venue, from the mountains to the prairies. Sad but true: For the world to understand some warm, analog goodness and the sounds of the Anthology of American Folk Music, you have to slap a gaudy mustache on it, paint it like a candy-cane, and call it a sibling duo. But the fact remains that Ms. Golightly is still most remembered for her album-closing jaunt "Well It's True That We Love One Another" with Jack on The White Stripes LP, Elephant.

Nonetheless, Truman Capote and Audrey Hepburn alike would be more than thrilled to catch a show when it came a-rollin' through their neck of the woods, but it being 2007 and all, it will be up to you to pack 'dem 'der concert halls. Girls rocking garages with a kick and a snarl are a dying breed, but lord knows if Holly's namesake in Breakfast at Tiffany's peeled off her velvet gloves, she'd shred a mean six-string. If I'm not mistaken, she even told us, "I'm like cat here, a no-name slob. We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us. We don't even belong to each other." Two words: punk rock.

I'm just crazy about Tiffany's:

Amazon Nation Announces Plans to Launch Attack, All Residents of Amie Street Urged to Evacuate Immediately!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled secretive, tabbed internet browsing while the boss isn’t looking to bring you this urgent news bulletin:

To our fellow Americans:

This week, the unthinkable has been realized.

It seems that a particularly impetuous, noticeably agitated, and, in this publication's opinion, incredibly power-hungry group is planning an attack of some kind against the truest, most God-fearing, Freedom-Lovers of this world: Capitalists.

Details are admittedly slim, as we here at TMT were only able to decipher bits and pieces of the radical group’s expertly coded messages. But due to TMT's unbelievable dedication to professional journalism no matter how great the danger, we have managed to uncover secret plans of an apparently gigantic underground syndicate, codenamed "Amazon," who are in the process of planning what can only be described as a massive, web-based attack on Western Civilization’s entire consumer culture in the very near future.

Their target? Music downloaders, the veritable backbone of our great nation's economy.

Their suspected weapon delivery system? Fiendishly competitively priced music downloads made available through a clever legitimate business front: “Amazon.com.”

At this time, little is known about precisely how Amazon plans on implementing this new system when it opens fire on music downloaders later this year. One thing, however, is certain. The base of operations for this nefarious takeover seems be located in a place called "Amie Street," which, according to intelligence reports, is a dynamically priced internet music store that starts every MP3 it sells at the Un-American price of $0.00 and increases that price as a song becomes more popular (up to a maximum of $.98).

Our intelligence suggests that Amazon has been pumping funds into Amie Street lately, allowing the rebel company to flourish and compete with the wholesome, American institution that we all know and love, iTunes. Reports remain unclear as to just how much money Amazon has invested in Amie Street, but one of our agents has uncovered a chilling statement from Amazon despot/SVP of business affairs, which states "Amie Street has a very smart and innovative team... the idea of having customers directly influence the price of songs is an interesting and novel approach to selling digital music."

We are pleased to announce that several Amazon Agents have been captured in recent weeks. However, when they were interrogated about Amazon's plans to incorporate AmieStreet or its sinisterly innovative technology into its own digital music store, which is currently in development, the agents merely laughed and told us that a new pricing model like the one adopted by AmieStreet.com could be the key to overthrowing iTunes and sending prices on all digital music plummeting, which would obviously devastate our proud nation's fragile economy.

According to Amazon's warped mode of thinking, the song-pricing revolution is the result of a divine mandate, which lauds the new system because record labels have been pressuring Apple and iTunes to sell songs at multiple price points rather than all for $.99. Labels, Amazon believes, typically want to charge more for new hits and possibly less for older tunes and music from new, up-and-coming artists.

Needless to say, America, we here at TMT will continue to tirelessly investigate these fateful transpirations, and when Amazon makes its next insidious move, TMT will be there.

May God have mercy on us all.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Internet bullshitting, already in progress...

Al Sharpton Spending His Life in a Figurative Knife Fight, Slashing At Commercial Hip-Hop

In a recent effort to snag some publicity post-that SNL episode during the 2004 election cycle, Reverend Al Sharpton has been working overtime organizing rallies against glorified violence in hip-hop muzik. Seriously: Sharpton is taking an ever-exhaustive stab at sending AK-47s, switchblades, and coked-up street hookers home and packing, far away from a genre that, as you know, enlightened TMT reader, is typically free of struggle, aggression, and protest.

In essence, though, Sharpton’s mega-thirsty for a time long past: when West Coast hip-hop was a land of milk and honey, ruled by woman-loving, nonviolent pacifists N.W.A. and the like. Those were the days, Rev.

Sharpton got down and cleaned recently in Motown and New York City, in his it-won’t-make-a-difference endeavor to pull violent, woman-bashing lyrical weeds from labels Viacom, Time Warner and Vivendi. Apparently, Sharpton’s supporting legislation proposed in New York that may or may not affect your favorite artists, listening habits, or daily indie-hair-swooping lives.

Instead, enjoy a cleaned-up version of Jay Z’s woman-loving classic. You’ll notice the flower-power happy-Volvo-driving-house-owning love theme doesn’t really affect the lyrical continuity. Or the struggle. That’s hip-hop, ladies and gents.


"99 PROBLEMS" (Al Sharpton Remix)



I got the rap patrol on the gat patrol

Foes that wanna make sure my casket's closed

Rap critics they say he's "Money Cash ATTRACTIVE YOUNG WOMEN"

I'm from the hood LESS INTELLIGENT ONE, what type of facts are those

If you grew up with holes in ya zapatos

You'd be celebrating the minute you was havin' dough

I'm like YOU GOSH DARN critics you can kiss my whole BEAUTIFUL SMILING FACE

If you don't like my lyrics you can press fast forward

I got beef with radio if i don't play they show

They don't play my hits well I don't give a GOSH DARN CARE IN THE WORLD



So advertisers can give 'em more cash for ads, LOVERS

I don't know what you take me as,

Or understand the intelligence that Jay-Z has


I ain't dumb


[DON’T] Hit me


If you're havin’ girl problems i feel bad for you son


The year's '94 and my trunk is raw

In my rear view mirror is the mother-SLOPPY SUNDAY MORNING LOVING law

I got two choices y'all pull over the car or (hmmm)

Bounce on the devil put the pedal to the floor

Now I ain’t tryin’ to see no highway chase with Jake.

Plus I got a few dollars I can fight the case

So I...pull over to the side of the road

I heard "Son do you know why I'm stoppin’ you for?"

Cause I'm young and I'm A NONVIOLENT, UPSTANDING AFRICAN AMERICAN and my hat’s real low?

Do I look like a mind reader sir, I don't know

Am I under arrest or should I guess some mo'?

"Well you was doin’ fifty-five in a fifty-fo’ "

"License and registration and step out of the car"

"Are you carryin’ a BOUQUET OF ROSES on you I know a lot of you are"

I ain’t steppin’ out of THIS REGISTERED VEHICLE all my paper's legit

"Well, do you mind if I look round the car a little bit?"

Well my glove compartment is locked so are the trunk in the back

And I know my rights so you gon’ need a warrant for that

"Aren't you sharp as a tack, you some type of lawyer or something'?"

"Or somebody important or somethin’?"

Nah, I ain’t pass the bar but i know a little bit

Enough that you won't illegally search my REGISTERED VEHICLE

“We’ll see how smart you are when the K9 come"

I got 99 problems but a WIFE THAT BAKES HOT APPLE PIE IN A ‘KISS THE COOK’ APRON ain't one

[DON’T] Hit me

if you havin’ girl problems

I feel bad for you son

I got 99 problems but a YOUNG WOMAN HUMBLED BY THE EXISTENCE OF GOD ain't one

[DON’T] hit me

Google Teams Up With Universal To Create A DRM-Free Rival To The iTunes Music Store called gBox. Daaaaaaaamn!

Universal Music Group, the biggest record label in the goddamn world, announced last Thursday that it would begin selling DRM-free MP3s through a variety of digital vendors. Music from a test selection of artists in Universal’s catalog will be available through Wal-Mart, Best Buy Digital Music Store, Rhapsody, Transworld, Passalong Networks, Amazon, Puretracks, and Google -- though not through iTunes. Daaaamn!

Google plans to continue its current music service, which links searchers to music vendors, and to create its own online music store called gBox (PC-only, at least for now). Google has chosen to avoid the centrally located business model of digital music stores like iTunes, instead adopting a method of distribution that relies on advertising. Universal will buy advertising from Google’s AdWords program, which displays advertisements based on the content of a website. The advertisements for Universal will contain a link to gBox, where MP3s from the advertised artist will be available for purchase. So, for example, if you send an e-mail containing the words “Reba McEntire” to my Gmail account, I will be provided with a link to gBox’s collection of Reba McEntire hits. Daaaaaaaamn!

With their announced price of $.99-per-track, it is hard to imagine that Universal is not intentionally challenging Apple, whose DRM-free offerings cost a full $.30 more. Universal has referred to this experiment as a “test [of] the implications of selling our music in an open format,” though it will also test the potential for MP3 sales without the power of the iPod. Though their DRM-free tracks will likely play on the iPod, Universal and Google may have a hard time pulling consumers away from iTunes without a vertically integrated system to offer. Daaaaaaaaaaaamn!

Hopefully, this bit of competition will help to loosen Apple’s stranglehold on digital music sales and prevent them from arbitrarily raising prices. And with two of the Big Four moving away from DRM (the other being EMI), perhaps the encryption is on its way out. It should be noted, however, that gBox will also offer DRM-encrypted MP3s for the same price as their non-encrypted equivalent, which are expected to make great gag gifts for music listeners. Shiiiiiiiiiiit!



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