Also, good morning!
A task force made up of local and federal law enforcement agencies is actively pursuing leads into the 1997 slaying of hip hop artist Christopher Wallace, better known as Biggie Smalls or Notorious B.I.G., according to two sources familiar with the investigation.
According to one law enforcement source, the investigation into the 13-year-old unsolved case was "reinvigorated" months ago as a result of new information, but the source would not elaborate further because of the ongoing investigation that includes the Los Angeles Police Department, L.A. County District Attorney's Office and the FBI.
Full story-so-far here.
Today I hopped over to the Deerhunter/Atlas Sound blog to (very belatedly) get my hands on all four volumes of the latest free Atlas Sound Bedroom Databank releases (I'm the kind of superfan that has to—and up until this point, has had—every single Atlas Sound recording ever), only to find this bummerific post at the top of the page:
"Your Files Have Been Deleted"
Apparently Sony Music Owns my bedroom. Feel free to call or email and let them know what you think. I can understand them requesting for me to remove a cover but the only one I can imagine that happening with is Dylan. Which was on Vol. 1. Which was not deleted. I am re-uploading the files now. I'll put new links in the posts.
The file Atlas_Sound_Bedroom_Databank_Vol_2.zip identified by the key (17q0oya5mkx84ow) has been deleted by Sony Music Entertainment on November 26, 2010 at 12:44pm.
If you feel this was in error after reviewing the information in this email, please contact the party who requested the removal or us via Support with the details from this email.
Information about the party that deleted the file
Company Name: Sony Music Entertainment
Contact Address: 550 Madison Ave., 24th Fl. New York, NY 10022
Contact Name: Anti-Piracy
Contact Phone: 212.833.4976
Contact Email: email@example.com
The specific reason for the removal was:
unauthorized reproduction and distribution of copyrighted sound recordings owned or exclusively distributed by Sony Music. This is a post-only mailing. Replies to this message are not monitored or answered.
So there you have it. WTF, Sony? I don't think I'm speaking out of turn here when I say that you don't own Bradford Cox's personal home recordings, that he was only trying to share, for free, with his fans. I'll wait to hear more about this (if more comes to light) and in the meantime, wait for those links to pop back up. As far as Mediafire file-sharing controversies go, the Logos leak, this ain't...
Limewire's file-sharing service was shutdown by court order today. But I can't remember the last time I used Limewire. These days, you can just Google "[album title/band name] .rar" and find your way to any number of online file hosting sites or aggregators with full albums, individual songs, and what have you. Yeah, stuff pops up and gets taken down, and sometimes it's not as good for that specific remix of that specific song (hypemachine's better for that), but you can find pretty much whatever you're looking for. At this rate, the courts will start closing these sites down around 2015, by which time we'll probably all be sharing files by some other means anyway. So, yeah, it's another symbolic victory for copyright law and the record labels, but I don't think it substantively changes anything.
(Note: You are still encouraged to buy records because you want to support artists/believe in some kind of karma/enjoy artwork and packaging.)
Derek Erdman just moved to Seattle from Chicago. As he is hilarious, Line Out wanted to give him a weekly column, and all we told him was that it had to somehow tie into music and/or the city at night. Instead of doing this, he basically wrote something that apologized a couple times for not really having anything to do with either, and then he wouldn't touch it. Thusly, we give you the first installment of Caperin' with Derek Erdman. Look for it every Monday! —Eds.
Before I moved to Seattle, people sent me a bunch of articles about the Seattle Freeze. I didn’t really read the articles because I don’t really like to read, but I gathered that when you go to Seattle people are really nice but they don’t invite you to their parties. One of my roommates and I stayed up until 6 am the other night doing bong rips (her, not me) and we discussed this nifty phenomenon, but she thought it just meant that people in Seattle aren’t friendly at all. I’ve had at least 11 people from Chicago ask me if the Seattle Freeze is true. Geez Louise, I dunno! There’s some wonderful graffiti on the I-5 that says “WHY LIE THIS PLACE SUCKS”. When I told an ex-girlfriend who had moved to Seattle two years ago that I was moving here, her initial reply “WHY? THIS PLACE STINKS!”. She’s since moved away, which perhaps has something to do with me because I’m an awful boyfriend. But no, people really like to not like this place!
Trust me, I don’t intend on writing about being new to this town forever, because eventually I won’t be. But there are a number of things that I find confounding about this place that other people don’t at all seem to notice. LIKE GARBAGE. In Chicago you can throw a couch or an Ikea OMAR (oh, brother) shelf in the alley and some city truck will come and take it away. Apparently here you have to take the same things to a place and pay them to take it! I understand the necessity of this, but it really just causes people to leave furniture in the roundabout at Donovan and 12th. I’m sure this happens in other places, but recently at this particular location I’ve seen a particle-board hutch, half of a futon, four TVs, and a mostly destroyed wicker chair with a sign that exclaimed “FREE!”
A few nights ago, I stood on the corner of 1st and Broad in Belltown and asked people what they thought of Seattle. I don’t have a problem approaching strangers, but I think most people are uncomfortable being asked pointed questions on their way to eat. It seemed to me that most people visiting from out of town loved it here. Three people that lived here simply stated that they’re moving to other places. While in Belltown, I was tempted to eat, but decided to stay far away from Umi Sake House. When Rap Master Maurice was on Too Beautiful To Live in 2008, Luke Burbank suggested that I go there and it was a delight (though I may have been on drugs). But in the four times I’ve been back since, the quality has decreased rapidly. Look, I made a graph!
I like nearly everything about Seattle, except for Taco Time. Man, that place makes me so mad. It’s become the thing by which everything must be judged, forcing me to always look on the bright side of everything. Last week, I went into the apartment that I just rented near Alki Beach, and the inside was teeming with flies. My first thought was: At least this was better than living at Taco Time! The next day I spent the first part of my day calling a bunch of Taco Times pretending that I worked there and needed to call off because I was sick. Some of the people that I talked to got really mad, so I figured we’re almost even. I do have to admit though, their ice is great. It’s that crushed-up, hospital-type of ice. But those crunchy burritos are totally gross “food sticks,” like edible batons to be passed in some sort of sub-par Mexi-fast food relay race. Also, I can’t ever seem to find a post office here. I had to mail a bunch of hamburgers today and I sat in a McDonalds parking lot trying to find a post office on my phone for at least 20 minutes. Eventually I found one in Georgetown and it was empty and the clerk was really friendly. THEN I went next door to a sandwich shop called Sandwich Shop. It looked like it was from 1982 on the outside and it looked like 1986 on the inside. The sandwiches looked much like those my aunt Judy used to make me when I was six, and when I got home to eat it, there was a dollar bill between the paper and the sandwich. People just seem to love The Sandwich Shop on Yelp, but I certainly didn’t see anybody there when I went.
Recently, I went to the Pony to see La Sera and Broomsticks. I’ve decided that I’m going to try to spend at least 70 percent of the rest of my life at Pony, which reminds me of a mix between the punker bar in the movie After Hours and the punker bar Tech Noir from The Terminator. It was La Sera’s second show ever, and they’re going to have a record out on Hardly Art soon because their music is lilting and divine. The guitar leads sound like keyboards! A person named Carlos Alberto Fernandez Lopez (referred to as SLOPEZ by his ex-coworkers at Ikea) was telling people that in the last episode of M*A*S*H*, Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce kills himself, which is absolutely NOT the truth. I was introduced to the love of my life this same night, which was a puffy blue Michelin Man jacket worn by a person named Johnny. I couldn’t stop telling him how much I liked that jacket, and I later found out that he left it in his car with the doors unlocked and somebody stole it.
When Grant asked if I’d like to write a column for The Stranger, I was ecstatic. Not only because I’m going to be able to do things and meet people and then write about them without really asking first, but because the Stranger is five times better than the weekly I was used to in Chicago. Grant mentioned that I’ll have to write mostly about music and nightlife, which I certainly intend on doing more of from now on. I just thought this would be a nice way to meet you. HELLO. If you have any events or places that you think a new person in town should have a look at, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Oh, about the house that I rented near Alki Beach: The landlord told me that a guy killed himself while living there, and it’s in my lease that I’m not allowed to have dogs even visit the premises. Alas, it doesn’t say anything about not having giant housewarming parties, which is why I’m inviting everybody that reads this to the one that I’m going to have in November. It will be all day long, so you really don’t have an excuse not to come. I’ll be giving free haircuts. TAKE THAT, SEATTLE FREEZE.
Okay, I'm not the biggest fan of Vampire Weekend (don't hate them either, just not really my thing), but I do find something aesthetically appealing about this cover, even though I liked the last one better. Someone, as you may have read by now, has a problem with the cover though:
The record label for the indie rock group "Vampire Weekend" says it did nothing wrong in using a photo of model Ann Kirsten Kennis on the cover of its recent album, "Contra."
Kennis has filed a $2 million dollar lawsuit against the band, the record label, and a photographer, claiming she never authorized the use of the photo of her wearing a yellow Polo-monogrammed shirt and standing against a bare wall.
So, Ugly or Not Ugly?
The New York Times has an excellent lazy Sunday read on performing rights organizations like BMI and ASCAP. Anyone whose livelihood involves music in any way should read this. Here are some some of the more interesting bits:
[Devon] Baker, 30, is a licensing executive with Broadcast Music Incorporated, otherwise known as BMI. The firm is a P.R.O., or performing rights organization; P.R.O.’s license the music of the songwriters and music publishers they represent, collecting royalties whenever that music is played in a public setting. Which means that if you buy a CD by, say, Ryan Adams, or download one of his songs from iTunes, and play it at your family reunion, even if 500 people come, you owe nothing. But if you play it at a restaurant you own, then you must pay for the right to harness Adams’s creativity to earn money for yourself. Which leaves you with three choices: you can track down Ryan Adams, make a deal with him and pay him directly; you can pay a licensing fee to the P.R.O. that represents him — in this case, BMI; or you can ignore the issue altogether and hope not to get caught.
On the road, Baker’s client-management software offers her a list of common excuses — 24 in all — to keep track of what she’s told. But in the end, she knows it’s a game, a game she’s going to win. Because after all the phone calls, letters and visits, she possesses a secret weapon: the law. Whether or not a music user believes copyright infringement is a big deal, violators face fines of anywhere from $750 to $150,000 per song. If after several years, a violator refuses to back down, Baker ups the ante and sends what is known in-house as “the Larry Stevens letter,” named after one of Baker’s bosses, informing them that their case is being referred to BMI’s lawyers. Most but not all cases are settled out of court. That’s because in 51 years, BMI has never lost a single case it has tried.
One click with Blue Arrow and we knew that “Happy Days” was broadcast at five different times that morning on networks in the Southeast. Another click determined that it was used in a commercial for Country Crock margarine. Yet another click located its source: a music library in Atlanta. A few more key punches, and you knew if the library got their fee.
Read all of it here.
h/t: Kerri Harrop!
A federal appeals court on Tuesday tossed out a government policy that can lead to broadcasters being fined for allowing even a single curse word on live television, concluding that the rule was unconstitutionally vague and had a chilling effect on broadcasters.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan struck down the 2004 Federal Communications Commission policy, under which profanity referring to sex or excrement was always considered indecent.
"By prohibiting all `patently offensive' references to sex, sexual organs and excretion without giving adequate guidance as to what 'patently offensive' means, the FCC effectively chills speech, because broadcasters have no way of knowing what the FCC will find offensive," the appeals court wrote.
Now the FCC can't fine a broadcaster if their self-important blowhard of a guest says "Fucking brilliant," on the air.
Girl Trouble has posted the documents (which are public record) on the website—you can see them here—and the band has hired Wade Neal, a local entertainment lawyer (as well as a member of the totally rad band Seaweed) to represent them here in Washington. Neal says he's hoping to work with an attorney in Ohio (where Gorilla Productions is based) so they can get the case dismissed.
"Gorilla's lawsuit has very negative implications for free speech and it is harmful to the music community," says Neal. "In our view, Gorilla is doing business in questionable ways, and is now filing a baseless claim against a group that is just trying to express a valid opinion. The content on Bon's website is protected speech, plain and simple. "
In the legal documents you can see the list of examples of supposed defamation that got Gorilla Productions all worked into a tizzy. #33 is probably my favorite:
Defendants' conduct also constitutes "defamation per quod" as Defendants falsely accuse Plaintiff of engaging in defamation through interpretation and innuendo. Such defamation can be found on Defendants' website where they claim that: 1) plaintiff is a giant gorilla head that is taking over; 2) a record deal with Plaintiff is virtually worthless; 3) Plaintiff made a failed pitch to MTV for a reality series; 4) indication that the photo of the Gorilla members contained on a web-site is a "groovy group photo showing how much fun they have."
So basically Gorilla is suing because Girl Trouble's website said they were "a giant gorilla head that is taking over"? They're also pissed that, when searching their name in Google, one of the first things that shows up in the drop-down menu is "Gorilla Productions Scam" (see #36).
The band will continue to post updates at www.neverpaytoplay.com, and they are planning on setting up a legal defense fund, should anyone want to donate to help them cover the costs of this pricey process. I'll post the information for that as soon as it becomes available.
Craggy Mick! Have you ever gotten a royalty? Call Merlin the Magician! Get your lawyer before you know which loo to use! HAIR.
UPDATE: Bonus points if you can spot Kelly O's high school boyfriend.
seattlecrime.com reports that Mad Rad DJ/rapper Terry Radjaw (real name: Gregory Smith) and an acquaintance named Krystina Borland have been charged with assault of a cab driver that occurred in North Seattle during the wee hours of Jan. 1.
The altercation began when the cabbie stopped his vehicle because Smith and Borland were engaging in amorous activity that offended his sensibilities. The passengers exited the car without paying their fare; angry words and threatening actions—including, allegedly, a knife being brandished by Borland—ensued. Stranger intern Jon Brock provided a detailed account of the incident in this Jan. 6 Slog post.
Smith and Borland were arrested and booked into the King County Jail for assault and theft, seattlecrime.com's Jonah Spangenthal-Lee reports.
Mad Rad are slated to perform at the Crocodile's first-anniversary celebration Sat. March 27.
Photo from Smith's MySpace.
This is a tangent, to be sure, but Jeff Kirby's pithy Nickelback story reminded me of this video, which is circling the internet this week for the umpteenth time.
The sombreros kinda make me puke, as do corny lines like, "I've heard all your excuses and I've chased your wild gooses," but as a piece of revenge and a cautionary tale, it's pretty satisfying and concise. The long and short of it is, this dude from a Canadian folk duo named Sons of Maxwell found the neck of his ($3500) Taylor guitar cracked as the result of airline baggage mis-handling. Two songs and over seven million YouTube hits later, United Airlines offered him a settlement to shut the hell up (which he hasn't) and Taylor Guitars offered him a couple of custom guitars as thanks for the free advertising.
But here's the thing, boys: a little insistence goes a long way. There are, in fact, laws that entitle you to carry your guitar on board an aircraft. I've never actually seen these laws, but every internet message board for musicians swears that they exist. More importantly, you have to insist that they exist. Airline employees are going to tell you you need to check your instrument; that's their job. But they can't force you to check it at the counter. At most, they can make you gate check it (right by the side of the plane, with the strollers and wheelchairs), which is vastly preferable and less damage-prone than checking at the ticket counter— no subjection to capricious conveyor belts, plus they know you're watching them. The majority of the time, however, you will be able to walk your guitar right on board.
Just my two cents. After all, I'd hate to see Chad Kroeger cry.
Well, it's not that complicated, really. A phone call from Under 100 promoter Ariel Panero broke the news yesterday: two letters from the community board, a soon-to-be irate landlord, and a beyond irate Damon Dash, whose reaction upon reading our article about his venue yesterday was apparently to shut the whole place down. Other people we talk to say the place will be back, quietly, after a month or two time-out. Our guess is the truth of that prediction is very much in the air right now. Real sorry about this.
E! Online reports:
The ever-troubled rocker has lost legal custody of daughter Frances Bean Cobain, according to documents filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
It's unclear what prompted the legal switcheroo, though Love's closely watched Facebook page has devolved in recent weeks into rambling, often incomprehensive diatribes on everyone from the trustees of her daughter's trust fund to Edward Norton, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears, the latter of whom, Love alleged in one particularly incoherent recent posting, had been molested by her father.
In lieu of Love's parenting, the court tapped Kurt Cobain's mother and sister, aka Frances' paternal grandmother and aunt, as her new guardians.
Grammy-nominated murder music-maker Buju Banton is in jail!
Buju Banton, the Jamaican reggae star whose anti-gay lyrics have drawn international criticism, is in a federal lockup in Miami, facing drug conspiracy charges. Drug Enforcement Administration agents say Banton, real name Mark Anthony Myrie, has been in custody since Thursday and will soon be transferred to Tampa, where the U.S. Attorney is charging him with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilos of cocaine.
Meanwhile, troubled R&B star/Rihanna-basher Chris Brown visited a Connecticut WalMart, where he found zero copies of his new record (he even checked the stock room!) and plenty of evidence of the ongoing anti-him conspiracy. From the man's Twitter feed:
JUST WAS AT WALMART IN wallingford CT,844 north colony.. the didnt even have my album in the back... not on shelves, saw for myself
im not biting my tongue about shit else... the industry can kiss my ass
im tired of this shit. major stores r blackballing my cd. not stockin the shelves and lying to costumers. what the fuck do i gotta do...
Oh man....lying to costumers is never a good idea. (Slight those fuckers and they'll make you look ridiculous...)
[ASCAP, BMI and SESAC's] aggressiveness in getting just about any small venue to pay up fees [is] killing off open mic nights and other sorts of venues that allowed musicians to play live. Mike points us to the news that many venues are simply giving up on live music. The problem? Well, ASCAP, BMI and SESAC are all demanding huge fees. Even the restaurants that don't bring in cover bands are being told they need to pay up, just in case a musician happens to do a cover in the middle of a wholly original set. The licensing organizations don't seem to care, they just want you to pay, just in case.
It seems unlikely that these outfits could find all that much success with this campaign, but their teams of big, scary lawyers surely wield more resources than those of any given small venue. Also, what of DJs, iPods etc.? Do they not require collections from recorded music. Remember those of ASCAP stickers on jukeboxes? Has anyone experienced increased collections requests or other such hassle in Seattle? Let us know in the comments.
St. Louis' Riverfront Times, which has been something of an authority on King Khan and Mark Sultan's run-in with the Kentucky State Patrol last Thursday, is reporting that the band has released an official statement:
On November 16, 2009 Kristin Klein entered a guilty plea to 2nd degree possession of a controlled substance in Christian County, Kentucky. Ms Klein was driving a rental vehicle that was randomly stopped at a safety checkpoint. Officers located a controlled substance in the cab of the vehicle. Ms Klein was unaware of the contraband and the validity of her license was indeterminable at time of arrest. Under KY law a driver of a vehicle is responsible for its contents. Therefore, Ms Klein entered a guilty plea and is scheduled to appear on April 2, 2010 to provide proof of her valid license.
King Khan & BBQ Show are driving through the night to make their Los Angeles show at Troubador tomorrow. Tonight's show in Phoenix is cancelled, but all further west coast dates and will to be honored. Kristin Klein is safe with the band and continuing her tenure as tour manager.
So, it turns out that 52 percent of the respondents to the previous poll chose correctly: They got pulled over because the were in Kentucky. It's still unclear whether or not Khan or Sultan were arrested, but some are reporting that Khan was arrested for magic mushrooms. Either way, rejoice, because they'll be here Saturday and it will be fun.