Monday, October 02, 2006
You may have already come across this story, but if not, it's pretty damn amusing. From the LA Times (registration reqd, or read it below). Apparently they can't find Public Enemy either.
Music Royalty Checks Languish for Unreachable Stars
Calling Mos Def, the Olsen Twins and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. You have $500,000 looking for you.
By Dawn C. Chmielewski and Charles Duhigg
LA Times Staff Writers, September 29, 2006
Rapper Mos Def, producer T-Bone Burnett and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir have gone missing.
The organization created by the recording industry to collect and distribute Internet and satellite radio royalties can't seem to find these and other artists to whom it owes checks.
Washington-based SoundExchange released a list of 9,000 recording artists with unclaimed royalties in what it described as a last-ditch effort to distribute $500,000 worth of checks to the musicians for digital broadcasts dating from the late '90s. And the clock is ticking: The artists forfeit the money to SoundExchange if they don't claim it by Dec. 15.
The release of the list of unpaid artists has become the butt of jokes on industry Internet forums. And the disclosure comes at an inconvenient time for SoundExchange, which is arguing before the Library of Congress that it should remain the exclusive distributor of digital performance royalties that amount to millions of dollars a year.
"It says obviously how well they do their job — which is not well at all," said Fred Wilhelms, a Nashville lawyer who helps performers and songwriters collect back royalties. "How do you not find the Olsen twins? All you've got to do is get off a bus in Salt Lake City and you'll find the Mormon Tabernacle Choir."
The list of unpaid artists includes some surprisingly well-known acts, including Academy Award winner Three 6 Mafia, the classic folk group Peter, Paul and Mary and celebrity sisters Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.
"Look, there may be people that you can Google and find," said John L. Simson, executive director of SoundExchange. "If they're well-known people, we've probably found them too. We've probably mailed multiple things to them without any response. What it shows you is perhaps for major artists or their management … this may have been lower on the priority list than the current tour or the current recording."
Simson says it's not SoundExchange's job to hunt down performers any more than it's a bank's responsibility to hunt down depositors who have left money in inactive accounts.
Nonetheless, SoundExchange has registered 22,000 performers over the last year for royalty checks. It worked with CD Baby, an online retailer of music by independent artists, to identify 5,500 musicians who had unclaimed royalties.
CD Baby sent e-mail notices urging people to register with SoundExchange. And it has spread the word at countless industry events. "I'd say they've done a pretty fair job of going out there and making a fair effort," said Kevin Arnold, founder of the Independent Online Distribution Alliance.
Simson said SoundExchange sometimes notified performers or their managers but didn't receive paperwork back. He said he personally contacted rapper Chuck D, with whom Simson had made many public appearances, after discovering that influential hip-hop group Public Enemy was among the unpaid.
"In a lot of ways this list, and especially with the bigger performers on it, is a wake-up call," Simson said. "Hey guys, you're about to lose this."
Simson said most of the checks for royalties paid from 1996 through 2000 amounted to small change — about 6,000 performers are each owed $50 or less. Fewer than 75 are due $500 or more, he said. But those royalties will become a more significant source of income for artists as Internet and satellite radio become more popular. SoundExchange estimates that royalties in 2005 will exceed $40 million.
Simon Renshaw, manager of the Dixie Chicks and other groups, said that until now, Webcasting and satellite radio royalties represented little money for big-name acts.
"For a lot of managers, they probably receive the form letter and throw it in the trash without even opening it," Renshaw said. "Now that there's a big sum involved, people will start to pay attention."
Indeed, an attorney for rap artist and actor Ice Cube reportedly filled out the required paperwork within hours of a Times reporter contacting his label, his management firm and his publicist for comment. Another famous name dropped from the list after inquiries by The Times was five-time Grammy winner Lauryn Hill.
Nonetheless, Renshaw called it "sloppy" that SoundExchange failed to track down major acts.
To some, SoundExchange's failure to pay artists' royalties has echoes of industry practices that came to the attention of New York Atty. Gen. Eliot Spitzer. In 2004, the world's biggest record labels agreed to pay $50 million in back royalties to artists such as David Bowie, Sean "P Diddy" Combs and Dolly Parton, whom the companies said had gone missing.
"You're preaching to the choir when you say it sounds like standard industry practice," Nashville attorney Wilhelms said. "You've got to figure, when it comes to the industry and the royalties, there's nothing in it for them to do it."
Would-be competitor Royalty Logic Inc. of Woodland Hills seized on the unpaid artists as a reason why the copyright board should permit it to compete with SoundExchange.
"Competitors would jump at the opportunity to be part of this multimillion-dollar business and turn over every stone to sign up these unaffiliated artists and labels," said Kenneth D. Freundlich, a Beverly Hills attorney who represents Royalty Logic. "This list may just be the tip of the iceberg."
Leela James – Good time
Soulstance - Room 26
Aretha Franklin – Jump
Femi Kuti – Truth don die (Lagos dub)
Nas – Bridging the gap
Quantic feat Ohmega Watts – Ticket to know where
Horace Andy – Jah provides
Open souls – Latin joint
Coldcut feat Roots Manuva – True skool
Booker T and the MGs – Melting pot
The Tennors – Ride the donkey
Cornell Campbell – Rope in
Breakestra feat J5 – Family rap
Meters – Keep on marching
The Beat – Twist and crawl
Heptones – Message from a black man
Grandaddy IU – Something new
Bronx river parkway – La valla
Johnny Rodiguiez and Angel Rene – Sister sue
Big bud – Bubblin dub
Suicide - Cheree
Nightmares on wax – Flip ya lid
Substantial – Home sweet home
Chuck Womack and the Sweet souls – Ham hock and beans Pt 1
Flirtations – Nothing but a heart ache
Bombs – Under mi sensi
Lopez Walker – Jah jah new garden
Maori Hi Five – Poi poi
Cut Chemist – The garden
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
British dance duo Coldcut (Matt Black and Jonathan More) return to play our shores this week - the Herald has a good primer on em here. The Sunday Star Times also got in on the act, doing an interview with John Matthias from Coldcut. Who? The uncredited article (in the About Town section) seems to have added a third member to the group. And don't get me started on the brain-dead questions - "What's the future of electronica? Is there a place for politics on the dancefloor?" Groan.
Coldcut have been working together for nearly twenty years, so it's surprising that the Sunday Star Times writer didn't know about them - but hey, they could do what any good writer/subeditor should do if you don't know a person's name - JUST GOOGLE IT.
Keeping it musical...
Great news! Music Industry Dying, Says Pink Floyd, Clash Manager
The music industry, in its current form, is dying a slow death, according to the former manager of seminal acts The Clash and Pink Floyd. (Hat tip to Dubber)
and... Oliver Wang (Sole Sides blog) gets all Youtube on it, with Soul Sights. Freakin nuts funky ass sheez - watch this one, anti-MP3 ad. One for all you vinyl hold-outs.
Tosca – Chocolate Elvis (Boozoo Bajou remix)
Risco Connection – Argument
Augustus Pablo – Rockers rock
Nomo – We do we go
Malcolm’s Locks – Get up stand up
BT Express – Do it til you’re satisfied
Big Youth – Waterhouse rock (Groove Corp remix)
Kraftwerk – Man machine
Hugh Masekela – Languta
Connie Price and the Keystones – Western champion
Scrappy – Off the lead
Devonte and Beenieman – Imagination
International Observer – Vale Bengal
Tyra and the Tornadoes – You got me thinkin
(Caught these cats playing at Khuja on Saturday night - the lineup features a number of members of the Open Souls, letting rip on some funky-ass covers, like Aretha's Rocksteady, You're Gonna Miss Me, even played Dust by Recloose. Wicked band, check em if you like the funk)
Thievery Corp – Come in from the top
Schooly D – Where’d you get that funk from?
Onelung – Cinema 90
Quantic – Politick society feat Noelle Scaggs
Lee Dorsey – Give it up
Jugoe – Ohio city
The Clash - Silicone on saphire
Eddie Warner – Poppy fiddles
Horace Andy – Rock to sleep
Bim Sherman – You are the one
Nicola Conte – Missione a bombay
Donald Fagen – I.G.Y.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Last week I read a story on British Telecom getting into creating podcasts, with their users sending in their best/worst musical performances for shows delivered via a new internet service (more here). It got me thinking on a similar theme - Vodafone and Telecom spend vast sums of money on providing content for their mobile users. They seek to control exactly what a mobile user can get thru their phones. Why? How about they flip that content model, and open it up?
Make MySpace available via mobiles - that way, the user generates the content, costing the cellphone provider nothing. Or use MySpace as a template, and create their own blog/friend site, accessible via your mobile phone. One thing tho - the beauty of using MySpace is that you could access it from either Vodafone or Telecom - if the cellphone providers set up their own MySpace-styled site, they would need to make them compatible on their competitors phones as well. Remember when you couldn't text someone if they didn't have the same cellphone provider as you?
ADDED Sept 28 - Just saw this story... in the Dom Post... "Vodafone will launch its own version of MySpace on mobile phones by mid October. Though the telco is coy on the details, the service will likely be similar to existing websites such as MySpace and Bebo, but designed for the small screens of mobiles." More here.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Maceo and the Macks – Soul power 74
Fela Kuti - Shakara
Cedric Im Brooks- Mun dun go
Shinehead – Ragamuffin
ESG -Moody (spaced out mix)
Bombs – Under mi sensi re-edit
Jacksons and Mick Jagger – State of shock
Erma Franklin – Piece of my heart
One self – Temptation
Connie Price and the Keystones – Sucker punch
Kingites – Whistling in the dark
Johnny Osbourne – Budy bye
Jstar – Fall in love
Cornerstone roots – Forward dub
King Jammy – Black and white dub
Bronx river parkway – La valla
Cymande – Fug
Gaturs – Cold bear
Morgan Heritage and Bounty Killer – Guns in the ghetto
Jugoe – Ohio city
James Brown – Stone to the bone
Open souls – What you do
Freddie Kruger – Simply fresh
Horne singers – Flat foot
Curtis Mayfield – Freddie’s dead
Kruder and Dorfmeister – Shakatakadoo dub
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Catch DJs Chef D, Morning Steppa, Jay V and Peter Mac (that would be me) at Rakinos this Friday night, fun and good times in abundance.
Aslo, Saturday night marks the final gig at the Odeon Lounge on Mt Eden Rd - its closing down, being replaced by an Italian restaurant - sigh. Catch The Nudie Suits, The Whipping Cats and The Artisan Guns.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
LonelyGirl15 is from the Mount!
Youtube fans will be all over this one... the story was broken by SiliconValleyWatcher.com, read it all here.. "She is Jessica Rose, a 19-year old actress from Mount Maunganui, New Zealand. She recently moved to Los Angeles/Hollywood area to find work." More here.
Google Images throws up this link, which has images from Auckland's Clyne model agnecy (now deleted from their site). Boingboing is all over it too...
Monday, September 11, 2006
Every home should have one
"In 1999, Atomic Magazine ran a great tongue-in-cheek guide to building your own tiki bar (I used to have one in my old apartment in Toronto - every household is improved by tiki bars). Here's the scanned pages from the article. Link (via Negatendo, Boingboing)
I visited a tiki bar in San Francisco, in the Fairmont Hotel (where the inaugural meeting of the UN was held in 1948, and the marbelled lobby stairway was in the movie Gone With The Wind). It's called the Tonga Room, and it has a rectangular pool in the middle of the room with a boat on it, which floats out into the middle of the pool nightly. There's a band set up on the boat, playing. And every half hour, thunder and lightning starts up, and it starts raining on the pool. Great cocktails too.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Will Holland is one busy mo-fo
From Coollhunting: "Known for deftly blending a wide range of multi-ethnic sounds, calling Brighton-based DJ Quantic a consummate crate-digger is almost an understatement. With that in mind and with the impending North American release of the 26 year-old's fourth solo album, An Announcement to Answer, we tagged along with Quantic on a recent visit to a Brooklyn record store. There and in an interview, he shared some tips and gave us a little insight into his current collecting habits, which naturally show up on An Announcement.
released 2 albums as Quantic Soul Orchcestra, and the above-mentioned title is his 4th as Quantic, plus putting together several compilations. Bastard.
The disc—a laid-back journey through jazz, funk, hip hop, and soul—are what you'd expect from a musician who's traveled throughout Africa and Puerto Rico, creating and recording much of his album on the road. From playful beats laced with trumpet samples and warm guitar loops to guest appearances by labelmate Ohmega Watts and LA-based chanteuse Noelle Scaggs, the eclectic lineup is well-balanced, never boring, and plenty lively."
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Banksy is a genius.
Why? Read this...
Sources: Wikipedia/Radar blog
"-At London Zoo, he climbed into the penguin enclosure and painted 'We're bored of fish' in two metre high letters.
-In August, 2005, Banksy painted 9 images on the Palestinian side of the Israeli West Bank barrier, including an image of a ladder going up and over the wall and an image of children digging a hole through the wall
-In May 2005 Banksy's version of primitive cave painting depicting a human figure hunting wildlife whilst pushing a shopping trolley was found hanging in the British Museum.
He smuggled a dead rat in a glass case into the Natural History Museum in London
-In June 2006, Banksy stencilled an image of a naked man hanging out of a bedroom window on a wall in central Bristol, England. The image sparked some controversy, with the Bristol City Council leaving it up to the public to decide whether it should stay or go. After an internet discussion in which 97% (all but 6 people) supported the stencil, the city council decided it would be left on the building.
You can buy a cheap Banksy of your own here, although they're currently sold out.
Banksy is hugely popular – he has released numerous books (from which I learn that his first name is Robin, of course) designed the Blur album cover for Think Tank and has been acclaimed by art historians for placing unauthorised artworks in galleries. He's got a well-designed website and has been interviewed by Wired and The Guardian."
I've got a great book of his work, which I bought in Urban Outfitters next to a canal with gondolas floating down it at The Venetian, a casino in Vegas. its all indoors of course, fake sky ceiling and all. The copyright warning on the book, which all authors are obliged to include, starts off with "Against his better judgement, Banksy asserts his rights as the author..."
Now, go check him out. That is all.
Monday, September 04, 2006
Banksy is a genius. Here's why...
From Dork mag: "Street artist, Banksy, has done it again. This time his subversive antics strike against Paris Hilton's debut album. His social commentary, which focuses on the world's obsession with fame, continues to be astute and clever. Banksy replaced Hilton's cds with his own remixes and cover art.
As reported by BBC: "A spokeswoman for Banksy said he had doctored 500 copies of her debut album Paris in 48 record shops across the UK. She told the BBC News website: 'He switched the CDs in store, so he took the old ones out and put his version in.' But he left the original barcode so people could buy the CD without realising it had been interfered with. Banksy is notorious for his secretive and subversive stunts such as sneaking doctored versions of classic paintings into major art galleries."
Boozoo Bajou feat Top Cat - Killer
Patti Jo - Make me belive in you (Phil Asher/Ashley Beedle re-edit)
Nostalgia 77 - Seven nation army
Little John - Joycie
Quantic - An announcement to answer
Joe Bataan -I'm satisfied
Dexys - Geno
Joe Isaacs - One more time
JStar - Fall in love (Ms D)
Bill Wolfgramm and his islanders - When my Wahine does the poi
Bo Diddley - Hit or miss
Isley Bros - Its a new thing remix (feat D-Nat, Onda and De la soul)
Betty Harris - Mean man
OJays vs Wutang - Cream
International observer - War memorial museum peace
Tyra and the Tornadoes - Hui hui
Ripple - I don't know what it is, but it sure is funky
Barrington Levy and Beenieman - Murderation
Tanya Stephens - Need you tonight
Sergio Mendes and New Brasil 77 - Mozambique
Wayne McGhie and Sounds of Joy - Dirty funk
Prince Fari - Same knife
Bernie Worrell - Insurance man for the funk
Fabulous Counts - Lunar funk
Shantel - Bucovina (Haaksman and Haaksman soca bogle remix)
Roisin Murphy - Ruby blue
Breaks Co-op - Sound advice
Had a great time at the Record Fair on Saturday - a room full of diehards and hold-outs, all pretending vinyl isn't a dying medium. Real Groovy were there with a dozen boxes from their recent US shipment (there's 80,000 LPs sitting in the basement at Groovy Akl), a crowd called raregroove.co.nz with some tasty reissue soul/jazz/funk, Cian from Conch Records had a few boxes of sale goodies, Murray Cammick was there selling off some old soul and funk, and the find for me? Well, Latin Steel by Amral's Trinidad Steel Band - Guantanamera on steel drums, just makes me smile. And a copy of Jukebox Drury, Ian Drury's best of. Me mate found a copy of Isaac Hayes - Hot Buttered Soul, which was his sole purpose for tagging along, so that's all good. Next one is pencilled for November 11. Later.
Oh, anyone know where in Auckland I can buy some coloured laces for some sneakers?