Many thanks and praises to Sir James Fease and The Lab for cranking out some fine, fine eP t-shirts!
And now you can have it. Last fall, RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) filed suit against Diamond Multimedia System's "Rio" MP3 player, claiming that it was a "digital recording device," and violated the Audio Home Recording Act. Under the act, manufacturers of said recording devices must provide the technological means to prevent illegal duplication of copyrighted music. However, in mid-June the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Rio player did not fall under the definition of a "digital recording device," and therefore was not subject to the Audio Home Recording Act. Score one for internet music lovers.
ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) is making a concerted effort to remove music--or even links to music files elsewhere on the Internet--from websites who have not paid licensing fees to ASCAP for the right to play back the music they license out. Long known for mafia-style arm twisting to get stores, restaurants, bars and the like to license the music they play (including pressuring establishments to pay licensing fees for having televisions and radios turned on), ASCAP is now sending out "cease-and-desist" implied letters to websites who provide musical content without proper authorization. They've even gone as far as to threaten lawsuits against sites who provide links to music files elsewhere on the Internet, claiming that "linking does present certain issues," but adding that ASCAP would currently pursue just those websites whose musical links appear to be local, even if the links actually lead to a different site or server. Having come under fire in the past for making misleading statements regarding their rights to enforce the music licensed underneath them, ASCAP is simply stating: "All we're looking for is a fair value for exploitation of our members' rights." Currently, ASCAP does not have the right to stop websites with music, or links to music, without a court order. Problem is, most people can't afford the court fines for U.S. copyright infringement ($500 to $10,000) if it does end up in a court of law. This all should play out rather interestingly, as it pits an artist's right to seek entitlement and compensation for their works versus the iron fist, slash and burn approach ASCAP appears to be using to enforce and maintain control of the works licensed underneath them and, ultimately, the profit (or profit loss) which drives any business.
In an attempt to help rebuild what all the guns, knives, bombs and lies have destroyed in Kosovo, a number of artists have been donating their time, money and music to help the thousands of Albanians who have been made refugees as a result of this conflict. The big attention getter is the recent release, No Boundaries; a benefit album that features the likes of Pearl Jam, Neil Young, Rage Against the Machine, Black Sabbath and Peter Gabriel, among many others. But this isn't the only release and kind hearted attempt to help those who've been displaced. Among a number of other artists and efforts is musician Joe Pelletier, who has donated a song of his own, "Belgrade," that is available for downloading off his website, with a $1 suggested donation going to OXFAM International, who are, as Joel puts it, "doing some very needed work." Lend your ears to the music, then lend your heart to those in need. A dollar can go a long way.
"Some day, even the experts will figure out, that crime is not caused by rap music...or even my music, but by a power structure of self-absorbed property owners so brain dead and stupid they won't even see that if you're too goddamn greedy to pay taxes for schools and services, they're not going to be any good any more! And that uneducated time bombs are a very poor investment as a future work force. And if you go on teaching people that life is cheap, and leave them to rot in ghettos and jails, they may one day feel justified in coming back to rob and kill you. Duh!" -Jello Biafra, "Rob Now Pay Later"
One youth group focused on empowering and educating other youth to take control and better themeselves and their community is On the Curb, "written by young people for young people who are busy making the world a better place." They sum it up best: "On the Curb is a webzine for youth who are interested in activism, or making their communities safer, better places in which to live, learn and grow. We want to encourage people to write stories, first-person accounts of life in their city (be it Baltimore, Denver, Houston, or wherever), profiles of peers who are activists, etc. And we want some feedback! This is our first 'issue' and so it doesn't yet have a lot of depth, but we're hoping that future issues will only make it more interesting for people to read."
Check it out!
"He's Dead Jim!" R.I.P. DeForest "Bones" Kelley, better known as Star Trek's ornery Medical Officer, Dr. Leonard McCoy, who will long be remembered for such one-liners as, "Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor not a bricklayer!" that were versatile enough to be of use in any situation; public, private or otherwise. Luckily, he had the smarts not to try his hand at music, as did both Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. Has anyone heard Nimoy's "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins," or Shatner's "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds?" Shudder...
R.I.P. Seattle's Colourbox, and a few blocks away, The Velvet Elvis Arts and Music Lounge Theatre. Two clubs that did make a difference, and two that ultimately closed because of the pressure of gentrification, uncooperative building owners and city officials and, in the case of The Velvet Elvis, draconian all-ages laws. Sorry to see you go.
Hey...guess what? Kmart banned the new Ministry album, Dark Side of the Spoon. Not because of the title, not because of the chalkboard scrawling "I will be god," a play on "I will be good," but because of the overweight lady on the cover wearing a dunce cap. Which leads one to wonder if Kmart would have let it stay if the model on the cover had been a skinny blond with ample breasts. What could be next...Jerry Falwell claiming that the Lilith Fair is the work of evil, evil women in league with Satan?
Going, going, gone: a triumvirate of bands falling apart. Mudhoney bassist Matt Lukin announced he has decided to leave the proto-grunge band to go live in the woods of rural Washington state. Tired of touring, he's decided to hone his hermit skills. No word on what will happen with the rest of the band. Ten years to the day after playing their first gig, the Jesus Lizard announced that they are parting ways. With punk and pomp galore, they were one of the hardest working bands around and the energy of their live shows will be sorely missed. And for number 3, rumor has it that Massive Attack's Mushroom has left the pioneering trip-hop group due to creative differences. I thought it was those creative differences that made them good to begin with... Huh.
Finally, a teenage waiter was fired from his job in an upscale wine bar in Cheshire and told not to let the door hit him in the ass when he failed to recognize celebrity Robbie Williams, instead turning him away and saying they had no tables available. Apparently Williams had shown up at the crowded establishment expecting to be treated like royalty. No word if OXFAM is accepting donations to help the boy.
It's an inside joke. But inside July's issue the only joke is that it's going to take you all month to get from one action packed (kerpow!) end to the other. This time 'round, we have a trio of interviews. Profiles finds eP Editor Craig Young catching up with the heirs to the garage punk throne, The Hellacopters; while Brian Cassidy takes on Pere Ubu's David Thomas, finding out that his FAQ almost talks more than he does. Inside Cool By Proxy, Hope Lopez tracks down the warm center of soul in Seattle, Maktub. Album Reviews of Steadman, Tad, Steve Earl, Goatsnake, Electric Wizard, Hate Dept., Linda Perry, Snoop Dogg and a whole lot more. Live Reviews finds Earpollution still hungover from three days of glorious rock 'n' roll at Garage Shock. So what are you waiting for?
Godflesh - Us and Them