Archive for August, 2007

Song of the Day – Aug 31/07

Posted in Audio, mp3, Song of the Day on August 31, 2007 by takecountryback

Whit Hill and the Postcards

Fifty Miles to Detroit mp3

Please Pass You mp3

Whitley Hill was born and raised in New York City, the child of Southern-born actors: a WASP from Mississippi and an Armenian from the moonshine mountains of West Virginia. A child actor herself, she performed at New York’s famed La Mama Theater, with the New York City Shakespeare Festival and the New York City Opera. She is a drama graduate of NYC’s High School for Performing Arts and has a degree in dance from the University of Michigan. For years she was a professional dancer and choreographer; her dances have been commissioned and performed by companies across the country.

But she really likes music. As a singer, Whit was a member of the renowned folk band Dick Siegel and the Na-Nas, with whom she toured the country – from New York’s Bottom Line to the Vancouver Music Festival. A prolific songwriter, Whit formed the Postcards in 2001. The band’s two albums, “We Are Here” (2003) and “Farsighted” (2006) have received wide critical acclaim. Whit plays a Martin guitar and loves it very much.

Other interesting things about Whitley: Her Armenian grandfather owned a saloon in West Virginia called the Sanitary Lunch. She once unintentionally delivered a friend’s baby by herself. Her dad was on the Sopranos.

Last Night: Billy Joe Shaver at the Armadillo Palace

Posted in Uncategorized on August 31, 2007 by takecountryback

Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 11:20:28 AM

Billy Joe Shaver
August 24, 2007
Goode’s Armadillo Palace
Click here for a slideshow.

Better Than: Screaming and shaking your fist at Goode’s giant armadillo in the middle of the night, for no immediately discernable reason and without an audience to justify that sort of behavior.

Download: “Tramp on Your Street,” then go ride around some back roads in the bed of a pickup truck, drinking Natty Light and shooting at stop signs with your granddad’s .22.

Billy Joe Shaver seems to have no concept of aging gracefully. There’s something particularly unappetizing about a past his prime Texas legend spending his 68th year engaging in vaudevillian pandering, cringe worthy witticisms and acting as though he’s still the quintessential 30-year-old good ol’ boy.

But it’s important to remember that Shaver, regardless of your or my feelings on the matter, accepted the “outlaw” brand a long time ago, and the function of an outlaw is to maintain their outlaw hood until the clock runs out. Like Shaver himself said Friday night, “If you’re out there havin’ fun, well, have a lot of it, ‘cause it’s later than you think.”

Photos by Lauren Cohen

The Armadillo Palace was packed, and the folks standing down front were indeed having plenty of fun. The dance floor filled for every ballad, while the back half of the bar and the rest of the room never really seemed to notice that they were at a live musical performance.When Shaver slid into an a cappella version of “Star in My Heart” – a tribute to his late son and longtime guitarist Eddy – it became clear how much of the room simply didn’t give a damn

These people obviously had the $12 to burn, though, so who am I to judge? I was personally less concerned with the effect on Shaver’s ego than with people like the young couple standing in front of me, who had driven all the way from New Orleans to see their sixth Shaver show and sang along to every song except the new ones. Shaver’s first all gospel album, Everybody’s Brother, hits shelves next month, and its “Get Thee Behind Me Satan” and “When I Get My Wings” were among the new tunes rolled out Friday.

For less than devoted fans, the gig had a star in lead guitarist Jeremy Woodall whose nasty Telecaster growl pushed the gritty numbers up to snuff. While the rest of the band was solid, if uninterested, Woodall rocked like a flame throwing honky tonk hero, and it never got better than “When the Word Was Thunderbird” or world class shit kicker “The Hottest Thing in Town.”

It’s not easy to overcome Shaver’s particular brand of showmanship, or the aforementioned challenges of standing between a quietly observant crowd and a bunch of people who were just happy to be holding beer. And say what you want about the man, but Shaver is not lacking in energy. He kept up his act for the entire two hour set and does so in cities around the nation.

However, like Dylan, Willie, the Stones and most anyone else who’s spent more than two decades playing music professionally, Billy Joe Shaver draws a crowd because he’s Billy Joe Shaver. Not many people go to see his new songs, but those who go for the old ones seem to have a great time, every time. – Chris Henderson

Song of the Day – Aug 30/07

Posted in Song of the Day on August 30, 2007 by takecountryback (the full audio is available here)


I had everything,
And lost it all
I built towers of gold
And watched them fall
I tried my best, but I guess my best
Just wasn’t good enough
I made promises and broke them
I’ve laid loved-ones lives wide open
And I’ve got a broken heart, But I’ve come this far
And I ain’t giving up

I pray for a stronger back
I pray for a bigger heart
I pray for the will to keep on walking
When the way is dark
I follow that winding road
I just try to stay on track
I don’t pray for a lighter load
I pray for a stronger back

I’ve seen losers get a second chance
I’ve seen miracles and happenstance
I’ve seen long shots come from way behind
To win the race
And I’ve had dreams blow up in a cloud of smoke
It’s a world of pain, it’s a world of hope
And it’s dark right now, but I know somehow
Someday the sun will find a way
To shine down on my face


Congress to Return – Will Internet Radio Royalties Be on Its Agenda

Posted in savenetradio, soundexchange on August 30, 2007 by takecountryback

With summer and the August Congressional recess drawing to a close, will consideration of the Internet Radio controversy over royalties be on the agenda when the September legislative session begins?  In recent weeks, there has been a settlement between the Digital Media Association (DiMA), representing the largest webcasters, and SoundExchange on the issue of the minimum royalty fee – agreeing that the $500 per channel minimum fee imposed by the Copyright Royalty Board (“CRB”), which might have by itself driven many webcasters like Pandora or Live 365 out of business had it not been resolved, would be capped at $50,000.  SoundExchange has also extended a unilateral offer to small commercial webcasters allowing them to continue to pay a percentage of revenue royalty of 10-12% for use of the music produced by SoundExchange members – but limiting the offer to webcasters with under $1.2 million in annual revenue, and requiring that any webcaster with over 5,000,000 tuning hours in any month to pay at the CRB rates for all listening in excess of that limit.  We wrote about that deal, and some of the concerns that larger small webcasters have, here.  These adjustments to the CRB rates may resolve some issues for some webcasters, but they leave open many other issues as set forth below – but will these tweaks to the CRB decision be enough to take the Congressional heat, in the form of the Internet Radio Equality Act, off of SoundExchange?

What issues remain?  There are still many.  These include:

  • The issues of the larger independent webcasters who may currently fit under the Small Webcaster Settlement (“SWSA”) Act caps – but may well go over those caps before 2010, and could not afford to pay royalties at the CRB-mandated rates if they exceed the SWSA limits.
  • The CRB mandated rates are themselves problematic for virtually all commercial webcasters – and DiMA made clear that the settlement of the minimum fee issue was the first step in resolving the issues that preclude a vibrant webcasting industry under the CRB rates (see the DiMA press release on the settlement, here)
  • Noncommercial webcasters have not announced any settlement with SoundExchange – even though many expressed concerns over the fees for large noncommercial webcasters  which will, by the end of the royalty period, increase about 9 times over the rates that they had been paying (and more for larger NPR affiliates), and over recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
  • Broadcasters who stream their over-the-air signal over the Internet have not been involved in any of the tweaks to the CRB decision, nor has SoundExchange responded to the NAB’s settlement offer made in June (according to the clock on the NAB homepage, the NAB settlement offer has been outstanding without response for 84 days at the time this post is being written). 

And what avenues remain open to resolve these issues?  In addition to the potential for renewed Congressional action in September, the webcasters are still pursuing their appeal of the decision in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (while the stay of the effective date of the CRB decision was denied by the Court, that does not affect the underlying appeal – see our post, here, for details) , and most of the webcasting groups are still in settlement discussions with SoundExchange over possible settlements.  We will see if any of these avenues lead to resolution of some or all of the remaining issues.

SoundExchange Makes Offer to Small Webcasters—To Bend Over And Take It Up the A**

Posted in savenetradio, soundexchange on August 30, 2007 by takecountryback

John Schacht
August 29, 2007

In the battle over webcasting royalties, the ball may be back in the webcasters’ court, but the advantage remains with SoundExchange.

SoundExchange, which collects royalties from webcasters and distributes them to artists and record labels, recently proffered a deal to webcasters grossing less than $1.25 million in revenue per year in order to resolve a dispute over higher fees that were due to take affect July 15.

According to the Associated Press, the deal proposes that those qualifying stations would pay out around 10 percent of their revenue through 2010, when negotiations would presumably begin again.

Small webcasters have instead suggested that the industry should follow the U.S. Small Business Administration’s definition of small broadcasters, which includes anyone earning $6 million or less in annual revenue. Critics of the deal are also griping that SoundExchange’s offer only covers represented members of the group, roughly 20,000 artists and 3,500 record labels (including all the four major labels), effectively leaving those not covered by the deal owing royalties at the far more exorbitant rates originally proposed.

Commenting on the Radio and Internet Newsletter, RAIN spokesman Kurt Hanson wrote: “Although (the Aug. 22) offer, perhaps confusingly, uses the phrase ‘small commercial webcasters’ — specifically, ‘certain small commercial webcasters’ — it would not satisfy those of us who have participated in the CRB process and have been negotiating with SoundExchange, or, for that matter, any webcaster who hopes to build its company into something more substantial.”

In other words, an opening gambit from SoundExchange that, according to another small webcaster, is simply a “divide and conquer” strategy. Webcasters have until September 14 to formally accept this offer.

Bo Diddley suffers heart attack

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 30, 2007 by takecountryback

Musician Bo Diddley is in a stable condition in a US hospital after suffering a heart attack.

The 78-year-old singer-guitarist complained of dizziness and nausea during a routine medical check-up on Friday, his publicist Susan Clary said.

He was taken to hospital where he had a stent implanted to improve the blood flow to his heart. Ms Clary said his situation was “very serious”.

Diddley received a lifetime achievement Grammy award in 1998.

He is being treated at North Florida Regional Medical Center, in Gainesville.

Ms Clary said the musician was in stable condition at the hospital’s cardiac care unit after spending the weekend in intensive care.

In May, Diddley – whose real name is Ellas Bates – was treated in hospital after suffering a stroke.

It left no physical disability, but it impaired his speech and speech recognition, his manager said at the time.

In recent years he also lost several toes to diabetes.

Diddley, with his black glasses and low-slung guitar, has been an icon in the music industry since he topped the R&B charts with Bo Diddley in 1955.

His other hits include Who Do You Love, Before You Accuse Me, Mona and I’m a Man.

Missing New Orleans

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 30, 2007 by takecountryback

Passing this on from Miss Trish…


It’s been two years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region, and still there are tens of thousands of families without homes. 30,000 families are scattered across the country in FEMA apartments, 13,000 are in trailers, and hardly any of the 77,000 rental units destroyed in New Orleans have been rebuilt.

We put together this short film, “When the Saints Go Marching In,” to tell several heartbreaking stories. The Aguilar family lost their home and only received $4,000 from the insurance company. Mr. Washington, an 84-year-old man and former carpenter, owned three homes prior to the storm, but is still living in a FEMA trailer. Julie can’t return to her job and normal life because the government won’t open the public housing she lived in prior to the storm. There are thousands of stories like this.

There is something very specific you can do to help. Sign the petition urging the Senate to pass Chris Dodd’s Gulf Coast Recovery Bill of 2007 (S1668).

The bill is expected to come to a vote soon. Its passage will be an important step toward rebuilding the infrastructure in the Gulf Coast region. In addition to S1668, please also encourage your Senators to go further in helping the public and low-income housing residents who lost their homes in Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Please pass the video on and encourage people to sign the petition. It’s important we all support the Gulf Coast region’s right to return home and put the needed resources toward rebuilding these families’ lives.