RIAA Drops Suit Against Rio Player
In early August, the Recording Industry Association of America announced it was dropping its lawsuit against Diamond Multimedia's MP3 player, Rio. Fearing it would foster the outbreak of pirated digital music, RIAA sued Diamond last year to stop production of the popular player. But in June the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied RIAA an injunction against the sales of Rio, ruling that such playback devices did not violate the 1992 federal music piracy law. Both sides have amicably ceased litigation and are now working together as members of the Secure Digital Music Initiative towards standardizing the digital music industry...for those who can afford it.
In a first of its kind, the U.S. Justice Department won its first conviction for Internet piracy when University of Oregon student Jeffrey Gerald Levy pleaded guilty on August 20th to illegally distributing copyrighted music, software and movies via his website. The first person ever prosecuted under the 1997 No Electronic Theft Act, Levy faces felony charges of up to three years in prison and a possible fine of $250,000. He will be sentenced on November 2nd.
Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss (the A & M in A&M) have filed a $200 million lawsuit against Universal Music, claiming the music giant violated the "integrity" clause they had written into their selling contract when A&M was bought by Polydor back in 1989. The clause was a first in the industry at the time. When Universal absorbed Polydor last year, Universal terminated much of the artist roster and label. Alpert and Moss claim that what happened to A&M reflects on their current label, ALMO Sounds, citing the fact that since the A&M label features their notable names, any negative managing also affects their current business and reputation.
Kick some ass, Herb!
K-tel Music is now no longer something you'll just find in the bargain bins at Kmart, or stuck listening to while in elevators or on hold on the telephone. Those damnable music subverts and their incessant mosquito-like buzz of musically empty calories can now be found on the web via K-tel's new Internet radio station. The end is nigh!
It seems now Cibo Matto are the latest victims of the music thievery craze. The band's rental van was stolen from the Brooklyn, New York area in early August, with no leads to it or its contents as of yet. Touring in support of their new album, Stereotype A, Miko Hatori and Yuko Honda are now short two guitars, basses and keyboards each, along with a sampler, a drum kit and a drum machine.
Everclear frontman Art Alexakis and touring guitarist Brian Lehfeldt have been charged with assaulting a 17-year old fan at a July 31 concert in Austin, Texas. Apparently Alexakis and company were upset at having drinks thrown at them by fans. Believing the 17-year old girl to be responsible, the band had her ejected, but before doing so Alexakis is accused of pouring a drink over her head while Lehfeldt kicked her. Everclear's frontman is also rumored to have shouted that he would "beat down" the person who was responsible for throwing objects at the band before the alleged incident. Alexakis faces misdemeanor charges of simple assault by contract, while the brave Lehfeldt has been slapped (should have been bitch-slapped as well) with a Class A misdemeanor for assault with injury.
Hey guys, here's an idea: why don't you release that manly pent-up rock 'n' roll frustration by beating the shit out of each other. Amaze your fans, confound your bandmates. Chip some teeth, suffer a concussion and maybe even break an arm, thus preventing the rest of the world from having to suffer through your childish egos and lackluster music. Just a thought.
In a very strange twist of news, Seattle area clinical psychologist and former Catholic Seminary student Ed Schau believes that the infamous Green River killer, believed to have murdered almost 50 women in the 1980s, may also have murdered Mia Zapata (RIP), singer of Seattle punk stalwarts The Gits. Schau claims that the Green River killer might very well be a religious nut deeply versed in biblical lore, and claims that evidence from the scenes of his murders supports the theory to those who can recognize such religious significance for what it is. Schau believes Zapata may also have been murdered by the Green River killer (who has not been caught) as her murder took place 11 years to the day the first victim disappeared, her body (according to witnesses) was placed crucifixion-style in front of a Catholic church and Zapata had injuries that resembled instructions from the book of Hosea on how to punish sinful women--something Schau claims also happened to several of the Green River's victims.
A well-reasoned murder theory as far as murder theories go. And, as nothing or no one yet has been able to provide substantial leads as to the identity of either the Green River killer or Mia Zapata's murderer, it's definitely worth entertaining. Check out the following link to a Seattle Times article that has more in-depth information on Schau and his postulations: Psychologist touts theory that Green River killer is religious fanatic.
Our condolences to the friends and family of Blues Traveler and their bassist Bobby Sheehan, who was found dead in his home in New Orleans in late August. As of press time autopsy results have not been made public and no official cause of death has yet been given, but it is believed Sheehan might have died from the effects of sleep apnea, something he was rumored to have suffered from. Sleep apnea (also known as crib death or sudden infant death syndrome) is a disorder that can prevent the sufferer from being able to breathe while asleep. It affects primarily children under one year of age, and is a rare condition to be found in adults. Rest in peace.
And finally, Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington had this to say recently to the Denver Post: "We want to challenge Marilyn Manson and the rap guys with the bad lyrics to write some positive songs. You don't have to write about killing little girls, if they're making all this money, let them write about something good in their lives. They have a gift where people listen to their music [...] try to help a little bit instead of hurting so much. If Marilyn Manson would write a song that says, 'Do Your Damn Homework,' it would make the world a better place and it wouldn't hurt him at all, and if he doesn't like it, to hell with him."
No word yet if Marilyn Manson has taken up the challenge. Of course, this would mean kids could once again wear his shirts to school, maybe even Marilyn Manson lunch pails. And I certainly would relish seeing Eminem perform an honest, heart-wrenching version of "I Wish I Were an Oscar Mayer Weiner." Hrmm...not a bad idea Gary!
Inside September's Profiles we find Earpollution on parade at this year's only American appearance of the WOMAD festival. Ranting and raving about the current state of hip-hop with Cool By Proxy. Album Reviews of The Art of Noise, Bill Rieflin, The Donnas, Evil Tambourines, Haslinger, Pere Ubu, Primal Fear, Super Furry Animals and so many, many more. Plus Live Reviews of Ween, evil overlord Neil Diamond, and Satan's House Band: Ministry. And once again, Earpollution proudly presents another installment of the Sixty Minute Soundtrack. This time Steve Weatherholt takes charge to bring us music for "The Hour of Situations." Read on!
by Steve Weatherholt
In the last installment of the Sixty Minute Soundtrack, Mark Teppo left us with his early morning soundtrack, "6:00am: The Hour of Silence." This was his waking hour of simple relaxation, listening to the sounds of his apartment before heading out the door skipping down the street to work, well relaxed and ready to hit the dark corner of an office. I understand the "tints" and "music for a mood" qualification he speaks of, but I have never found myself in a similar position. I try to drown out such apartment white noise as best I can. I prefer to fill my soundtrack with songs that you can take anywhere, anytime. I think of my soundtrack as the Maxell 60 minute cassette tape that can be plopped into any deck that is handy.
If I wanted to have the soothing sounds to fool my honey into thinking that I was doing the laundry, I would use Mepgaptera's You Will Never Survive This Nightmare cassette. This tape sounds like the wash cycle on a Kenmore multi-dimensional all purpose top load washer. I put this tape in my deck and sat back waiting for the sounds to entrap me. Well, maybe I should have added soap before playing this one.
Maybe one of the reasons that Mark can have an hour of silence is because he still has quality hearing. Sometimes I just can't quite hear the sounds he speaks of. Too many loud concerts without ear protection has finally taken its toll on this listener. All I hear when I wake up is the noise created by a 12" box fan.
Even without this ear problem, I still need more stimulation coming out of my speakers to wash my mind with the sound of my preferred arousal. Being the extrovert I am, I need to be stimulated by the sounds that are packed into the racks of CDs and LPs against my living room wall. [and believe me, that's a helluva lot of sound! --ed.] One of the earliest memories I have of music is bath time Sunday night when I was around six years old. My parents had bought me one of those Sears mono stereos that had one speaker and a lid that closed. It was made out of that hard pale yellow plastic that is probably still living somewhere on this planet. If you lift up the arm on that style of turntable the mechanism would think that there was a 7" single on there. It would move the stylus right to the beginning of The Animals' "House of the Rising Sun." I would sit in the bathtub and play that over and over until one of my pesky sisters would enter yelling at me for hogging the bathroom. The only other recollection of that time was always singing the words to The Rolling Stones' "Paint it Black" as I was bouncing down the hall from my room that I shared with my older teenage brother and cousin. Ah, the age of innocence (snicker, snicker).
Building my Sixty Minute Soundtrack does not take me that long to conjure up. I just have to come up with some situations. The next step is to wade through the mess to find what I am looking for and add up the time intervals, make some rearrangements, grab a new tape and start lining up the discs. Throw on the first song, adjust the VU meters to redline and start recording my sixty minute soundtrack. I believe the ethos that music is for anytime, anyplace and any situation. Be it playing Discharge's "Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing" six times in a row to fall asleep to, or Death in June's "The Guilty Have No Past" for those adult situations that couples get into once in awhile. For the early morning wake up, it's The Nitwitz and "Landmine Heart," or Broken Bones "Live at the Hundred Club" while talking to your mother. Want to impress your mother-in-law? How about playing it safe with Leaether Strip's "Serenades of the Dead". Well, you get the point.
A friend of mine came over one night complaining about her love life. As we were sitting around discussing the drama that was taking its toll on her, we listened to the compilation tape I had just made. And wouldn't you know it, I had a song on the tape for every situation she was complaining about. You know drama queens, they have so much going on. If you go through your music collection you could find a song for anything that has ever happened to you. That is, if you have enough musical pieces to accommodate your life.
This is the soundtrack of my mind that I can play anywhere at anytime! The situations are tossed in for your pleasure. For the mornings that you wake up cranky and need an attitude adjustment, you could try smoking some dope or tossing in Sacrilege's "Shadow of Mordor" Turn the volume knob to about eight and see if that doesn't change your attitude about everything! The next time you're waiting around ready to leave and someone is still in the bathroom putting the finishing touches to their wardrobe, try Pitch Shifter's "Skin Grip" to wash away the anxious feeling you may have. For that remodeling job you have that requires you to tear something down, do it to Pitch Shifter's "Deconstruction" and see if that wall or garage doesn't come down that much faster--shoppers aren't the only ones who need up-tempo music to get the job done. To help throw you over the edge of your suicidal tendencies try Discharge's "The End" to relieve the pain and get the job done right the first time. When you're feeling stingy about your toys play Godflesh's "Anything is Mine" to rearrange your sorry ass. If you have just got thrown in the slammer for a DWI, you had better take advice from Anti-System's "Take a Look at Life" to clean up your act! While driving in rush hour traffic and some lame ass just cut you off in their SUV, flip the SOB off and crank up Dead World's "Cold Hate." And turn the fucker up real loud! For the times that I let my girlfriend drive, I grab the Jesus Christ bar and sing the lyrics to Joy Division's "She's Lost Control." While driving through Ballard (an area of Seattle), there are so many damn churches that you feel like you're on Death in June's "Heaven Street." When shopping at Kmart for that blue light special the appropriate song would be Killing Joke's "Frenzy." The way the song keeps building will put you right in the middle fighting for those socks. If the President of your country starts lambasting about a new world order, you could use the UK Sub's "New Order" to put a new order on the neurons in that person's brain. If you're really pissed off at someone, The Angry Samoans' "Lights Out" will do. Grab a fork, make the first attack, poke their eyes out. See?
Music is not just your unconscious mind telling you to play the sounds of your refrigerator motor as you putter about the house performing domestic chores. If you have a situation you're stuck in, having trouble making it through the day, or want to swim in a pool of bitterness, then I have a song for you! Come on, try me!
Sacrilege "Shadow of Mordor" Behind the Realms of Madness