Archive for May, 2007

Internet Radio Files for Emergency Stay

Posted in Industry, News, Radio, savenetradio, soundexchange on May 31, 2007 by takecountryback

WASHINGTON, May 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — An emergency stay filed today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit could delay the looming D-Day for Internet radio. The motion, filed by the Digital Media Association in conjunction with National Public Radio, and the Small Commercial Webcasters, formally requests the court delay the implementation of a “radical and arbitrary” recording royalty rate increase imposed by the Copyright Royalty Board May 1. Legislation that would repeal the rate increase is pending in the Senate and the House, but may not be brought to a vote in either chamber before July 15th, the day the first payments for the newly increased rates for webcasters are due.

“July 15th, D-day for Internet radio, is fast approaching,” SaveNetRadio spokesperson, Jake Ward said, “and we are hopeful that today’s motion for an emergency stay will afford the Internet radio industry crucial time to rehear this case. We have every confidence that Congress will continue to give the Internet Radio Equality Act the attention it deserves with the urgency it requires, as evidenced by the over 100 cosponsors who have signed on H.R. 2060 since its April 26th introduction. SaveNetRadio and the millions of webcasters, artists and listeners we represent urge the Court to give this motion full consideration.”

Two great new videos of Joey Allcorn Live!

Posted in Video with tags on May 30, 2007 by takecountryback

What? You don’t know who he is? Where the heck have you been? 🙂 😉 He’s one of TCB’s favorite sons…. Enjoy and then check out more at www.myspace.com/joeyallcorn

I Just Don’t Know


Have At It Darlin’

Indie 101: Free Web Seminar on the Future of Webcasting in light of new Royalty Rates

Posted in Indie Artist Education, Industry, News, savenetradio, soundexchange on May 30, 2007 by takecountryback

June 5: Free Web Seminar

Submitted by Colleen Luckett (EDUCAUSE) on Tue, 2007/05/29 – 2:31pm.

E-LIVE LogoThe Copyright Royalty Board of the Library of Congress has recently issued a determination setting royalty rates for the performance of sound recordings via Webcasting. The rates have increased substantially, causing many Webcasters to worry about their future.

In this free June 5 EDUCAUSE Live! Web seminar, Webcasting Royalties: Where Do We Go from Here?, Matthew J. Astle, an attorney for Wiley Rein LLP, will address the history of the proceeding, review the key terms of the decision, and discuss options available to Webcasters to help them navigate an uncertain future. Those unable to attend may wish to visit the archives after the event.

This EDUCAUSE Live! Web seminar is cosponsored by The Association for Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education (ACUTA).

Indie 101: Reasons Not to Sign With The Major Labels

Posted in Indie Artist Education on May 30, 2007 by takecountryback

Reasons Not To Sign With The Major Labels

Bob Lefsetz 

1. They tell you what to do.

Are you following this Kelly Clarkson flap?  She made an album from the heart, that she wrote.  What did the label do?  They shelved it for months, hoping she’d come to her senses and record some more upbeat hit tracks just like the ones she recorded before, positive not NEGATIVE!  Who wants to hear about Kelly’s love losses, no one in the audience ever broke up with their boyfriend!

Now you might think Kelly is a mindless twit, with a voice only.  But she’ll tell you she wrote hit records for others.  And, she’s sold a FUCK OF A LOT OF RECORDS!

Used to be selling records gave you leverage…  If KELLY CLARKSON has no leverage, what hope is there for you, someone selling ONE TENTH the number of discs!

2. They’re only in the disc business.

Well, we’ll call it recorded music.  If they ever figure out how to monetize Net acquisition, maybe their fortunes will change.  But for now, the label only makes money if they sell your music.  They’ll do whatever it takes to sell your music, TODAY, to run up the value of the company so it can be sold to someone else.  They’ll whore you out to corporations (say this to yourself, “Verizon is not my friend.”), release multiple singles (if they get any traction at all), do whatever’s best for THEM, not YOU!  Your career…they might pay lip service to it, but they don’t really give a shit, the employees are probably not going to be IN this business by the time your next album comes out.

As for labels getting a piece of your touring income, other revenue sources, do you want to marry someone DESPERATE?

3. They don’t pay you.

Oh, they’ll give you an ever-shrinking advance.  But royalties?  No one sells enough albums to go into royalties anymore.  And they own the rights to the recording.  Terry McBride’s got it right, you want to control all the rights, so you can license INSTANTLY!  So you don’t have to get someone on the phone to say YES to YOU about YOUR music!

Oh, they’ll give you money to get started, but it’s like making a deal with the Mafia, they own you, forever.

4. There’s no one working there.

Most analysts believe Warner cut its workforce to make its balance sheet look better, to stanch losses, hopefully report profits.  In other words, it’s got nothing to do with whether these people were NEEDED, whether they had jobs integral to the company, just what their salaries and benefits were.  Oh, the company can outsource these jobs, but when you go for a meeting at the label do you really want to sit in an empty boardroom with a speaker phone on a conference call with a zillion temporary workers?  Whose allegiance is not to this company, hell, why should it be, they’ve got to make their nut every month, they’ve got OTHER CUSTOMERS!

So, going to the building to work the label…that’s a passe concept.

And, what if they don’t outsource/get independent contractors to do the work?  Will it be done at all?  And, how well, by the overworked, multitasking employees still left?

5. They just care SOMETHING hits.

The label doesn’t give a shit about you hitting, they just care that SOMETHING breaks through.  And as soon as it does, your work project goes to the bottom of the pile.  If you own your own copyrights, own the label, you’re ALWAYS the priority!

6. They control physical distribution, not online distribution.

They can get your disc in stores.  Then again, CAN THEY?

Online, distribution is close to flat.  Make a deal with CDBaby, they can get you on all the online services, can get you paid.  You don’t need to be with a major to get into the online store.

As for albums…  Do you really think albums will be the definitive format in the future?

7. Tour support is a thing of the past.

Not completely.  But it’s just about gone.  And more than ever you need to break on the road.  If you’re doing all the work, why shouldn’t you get all the profit?

8. They only want you once you’ve proven yourself independently.

If you’ve created the base, why give up control now?

9. MTV is dead.

You don’t need a big budget video which won’t be aired anywhere anyway.  You  just need a digital camera and Final Cut Pro, maybe even iMovie, and you can create a video for almost nothing and put it up on YouTube where it’s got as much presence, as much priority, as the majors’ efforts.  And, you control the budget.  Zillions aren’t spent, and they’re not charged back to you.

10. Terrestrial music radio is dying.

If Pink can go to number one at Top Forty and languish at the bottom of the SoundScan Top Fifty, selling 15k a week, how important is that airplay ANYWAY?  As for other formats…  Hot AC doesn’t sell many records, and AOR is an oldies format and the Alternative panel has shrunk to almost nothing and Active Rock…that’s not selling tonnage either.

11. They specialize in saying no.

Music is now about inspiration, made by the seat of one’s pants.  You have to do business the same way.  In this fast, ever-changing world, you need to take risks, you’ve got to make snap decisions, you’ve got to be able to say yes, QUICKLY!  The major is against innovation, it’s hard to get an answer AT ALL, never mind YES!

You want to give your new track away for free?  No!  They won’t even let you SELL IT if it competes with the track they’re working at radio/in the marketplace.  It’s not about artistry, but commerce.

But, if all you care about is commerce, if you want all your money up front, if you want to whore yourself out to corporations, do whatever it takes to sell your lame, paint by numbers built by committee music, then sign with the major label.  I hope you achieve your goal and get instantly rich, because after this instant, you’ll be done.

And the world’s saddest song is…

Posted in mp3, Video on May 26, 2007 by takecountryback

Come on you already guessed this right??

And the world’s saddest song is… Spinner.com has just issued a ranking of  “The 25 Most Exquisitely Sad Songs in the Whole World,”  No. 3 is The Beatles Eleanor Rigby, No. 2 is Billie Holliday’s “Gloomy Sunday” and No. 1 is “Chicken Wire,” a 1998 song by the Pernice Brothers that the site describes this way: “Breathy Massachusetts sad sacks offer a lovely ballad about a woman choking to death on exhaust fumes … and a cloud of minor chords.”Other sites have mined this vein as well.  When PopCultureMadness.com ranked The Saddest Sad Songs Of All Time, it put  George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today” (video) at No. 1.

Entertainmentwise.com contends that scientific studies show that “The Drugs Don’t Work, a 1997 hit from The Verve (video) “will bring more people to tears than” any other song.

Amazon’s ranking of sad songs puts “Un-Break My Heart” by Toni Braxton at the top (video).

Answerbag.com’s unscientific poll  has a three-way tie at the top — Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” (video) “Hurt” by either Johnny Cash (video) or Nine-Inch Nails and, yes “Baby Mine,” the sweet lullabye from Disney’s “Dumbo.” (“If you are not on the floor sobbing from the love between cartoon elephant mother and child, you are a cold cold human being,” offers a commenter to a sad-songs thread at MetaFilter.) (Grab a tissue and watch the YouTube video of “Baby Mine”)

The Guardian asked Tom Reynolds, author of “I Hate Myself and Want to Die” to rank his top 25 most miserable tracks. At No. 3, Reynolds put Bobby Goldsboro’s 1968 song “Honey” (“The world’s wordiest dead wife song”); at No. 2 he had Harry Chapin’s 1976 ballad, “The Shortest Story” (“features the late songwriter/activist Harry Chapin adopting the persona of an African baby who dies of malnutrition”);  and at No. 1 he has Newsong’s 2000 number “The Christmas Shoes” (“Never heard of it? Well, you should. This serotonin-draining Yuletide song, based on an apocryphal story passed around the Internet….tells of a disgruntled holiday shopper who encounters a lone dishevelled little boy trying to buy a pair of shoes for his dying mother.”)

Other songs that show up often in these rankings include

  • “Yesterday,” by the Beatles (video)
  • “Fire and Rain,” by James Taylor (video)
  • “Tears in Heaven,” by Eric Clapton (video)
  • “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin (video)
  • “Alone Again, Naturally” by Gilbert O’Sullivan. (video)
  • “Everybody Hurts,” by R.E.M. (video)
  • “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” by Hank Williams (video)

The song I always associate with sadness is Linda Ronstadt’s version of Dolly Parton’s”I Will Always Love You.”  (history; Dolly’s version on video) But are romantic heartbreak songs really distinct and poignant enough to be No. 1?  Doesn’t a truly sad song have to hit you  in a couple of places at once — with death or nostalgia or some other layer of pure poignance added to the mix?

If you had to name the one song with the most power to make you weep, what is it and why?

(Leave video links in comments, if you can find them — search here)

(See also Spinner.com’s 20 Worst Lyrics Ever — for some reason, “There were plants and birds and rocks and things” from America’s ‘Horse With No Name’ —video — is only No. 13.)

100th co-sponsor signs on to the Internet Radio Equality Act

Posted in savenetradio, soundexchange on May 26, 2007 by takecountryback

From the SaveNetRadio.org press release
: “A bill that would save the Internet radio industry from a dramatic increase of fees webcasters pay to play music gained the support of its 100th member of the House of Representatives today.

“Introduced by Representatives Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Donald Manzullo (R-IL), the Internet Radio Equality Act (H.R. 2060) would vacate the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) decision that increased the royalty rates by 300%-1200% over the next five years.

“‘Members of Congress are hearing loudly and clearly the passionate voices of webcasters, music fans and artists who have marched on Capitol Hill with their feet, their calls and their letters. Reaching 100 cosponsors in three legislative weeks is extraordinary, and is a major milestone for tens of thousands of webcasters, millions of Internet Radio listeners, and thousands of artists invested in the future of Internet
radio,’ Jake Ward, a spokesperson for SaveNetRadio said…

“Legislation currently before Congress, H.R. 2060 and S. 1353 — the Internet Radio Equality Act — would vacate the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision and set a 2006-2010 royalty rate at the same level currently paid by satellite radio services (7.5% of revenue.) The bill would also change the royalty rate-setting standard used in royalty arbitrations, so that the standard applied to webcasters would align with that applied to satellite radio.”

Read the entire text of the press release here.

Reading between the lines…

Posted in Industry, News, savenetradio, soundexchange on May 26, 2007 by takecountryback


BY DANIEL McSWAIN and PAUL MALONEY
Monday’s SoundExchange offer to small webcasters to reauthorize the rates and terms of the Small Webcaster Settlement Act of 2002 (with some unspecified modifications) was, according to the press release, supposedly spurred by a letter from Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA, right) and Howard Coble (R-NC, left), the Chairman and ranking minority member, respectively, of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property (See RAIN coverage here).

Copies of the Berman-Coble letter, apparently released by SoundExchange to various journalists earlier this week and subsequently obtained by RAIN, are surprisingly interesting.

Specifically, of the five-page document, almost four pages are devoted to a defense of the CRB decision! And a careful read of the document reveals that most of the Berman-Coble letter’s language almost precisely mimics the verbiage employed by the recording industry — i.e., on the SoundExchange website and in various other SoundExchange press releases.

In other words, the Berman-Coble letter, oddly enough, primarily argues to SoundExchange SoundExchange’s own precise arguments!

The letter also includes a previously-unannounced request by Berman and Coble for SoundExchange to achieve”resolution”… “no later than June 15, 2007” and notes that the writers “plan to advance legislation if we determine that it is the public interest.”

A copy of the Berman-Coble letter in .pdf form is available here.