Browsing Hulu.com tonight, I stumbled across this documentary called Rip! A Remix Manifesto. It follows Girl Talk and has some interesting things to say about Copyright and Patent Laws. Though I wasn't sure "some" of the information was fully acknowledged or slightly accurate, most of it is a good lesson, yet one sided argument, on the state of mash-ups and sampling.
I couldn't find much going on this week. I'm unsure if it's because I haven't been on my Internet toes, or if I've been frantically, well maybe not frantically, trying to get my future together.
See, my car has leprosy, no air conditioning, and (drumroll) a broken radio which means all i hear is the rattle from my engine, a death cough before its eventual croak. Sure, I wear my iPod, but it's dangerous and illegal, and makes me wonder how the deaf drive though. Needless to say, with our economic state, I'm about to finance a new used car.
On the other side of the past week's rush is my scrambling attempt to find an English teacher in the Creative Writing Department to take on my final semester's independent study-- my last class and bridge to the real world.
Four years ago, I started my own radio show at LSU's radio station, KLSU, based on my love of the post-hardcore scene featuring bands like Refused and At the Drive In as well as newer acts. Now the premise was a bit hazy though. Because what my show hath taught me is the old standard that the term genre is a pain in the ass to define within itself.
See, I would play everything from Botch to Circa Survive to Between the Buried and Me to City of Caterpillar to Majority Rule to theSnake theCross theCrown. Point is, only a few of those bands can be considered post-hardcore.
Instead of calling the show, "Adam's Post-Hardcore Extravaganza Hour," I simply titled it "the C.C.E." which stood for "creative, chaotic, energy."
See, my independent study is to finish up a book I'm writing based on the scene. Like Please Kill Me or Rip It Up and Start Again or Nothing Feels Good, I want to write something to figure out how we got from the lo-fi sounds of End on End to the crazy repercussions of We Are the Romans to the all out urgency of Full Collapse-- and I want it from the horses' mouth!
I will have 15 weeks or so to interview bands and finish this book, and it will be a hard task. I'm also starting each chapter with personal experiences of the important albums or record labels (have to study up on Dischord Records and Level Plane).
I understand I won't be able to include everyone, and will at least have points on "under the radar" artists that deserve some recognition or contribution to the scene.
No, the book won't include half the artist I played on the show, but I will do my best to hit on those albums and artist that I think made an impact.
I may not be able to give you a proper definition of "post-hardcore," but here's my explanation when people ask me: In the 80's the punk scene split into two parts, the hardcore scene and the experimental post-scene. Besides early bands like Rites of Spring and eventually Fugazi, things kicked in the late-90's when the hardcore started thinking and constructing a bit more creatively, and so The Shape of Punk to Come happens and the hardcore scene and post scene that ripped apart bred something amazing together.
I'm no Klosterman, but maybe he paid off his car title with Fargo Rock City, and I guess that's the best I can hope for at this point.
EDIT: (11 a.m. CST) I'm going to meet a professor in a few minutes, will keep posted on progress. I also have an interview with These Arms Are Snakes today! SUPEREDIT: (7 p.m. CST) I found a professor, we are a go, and had a great talk with both Steve and Ryan from TAAS!
Refused - New Noise
Botch - Transitions From Persona to Object (Live)
Blood Brothers - Ambulance Vs Ambulance
City of Caterpillar - Driving Spain Up a Wall (live)
If you haven't read it already, PitchforkMedia has done an excellent interview with Greg Gillis of Girl Talk, and the last thing he says is amazing and further proves you cannot fight technology, and change has to be evident within any business model because of it. Business is all about the consumer kids. For some reason, the customer is always right:
"Every hip-hop song that comes out, every pop song, they release the a cappellas and the instrumentals and there are a million remixes all over YouTube. People pitch up the songs, put them on YouTube as Alvin & the Chipmunks remixes. It's not hurting anyone; it's just further spreading the songs, and I think we're approaching an era where there's a consistent dialogue going on between artists and consumers. And I think that's going to be part of the solution to actually selling music. CDs are clearly dying out, and it's going to be moving to an all-digital format. Along with it, you raise this interactivity with the music. I feel that it's not stealing sales from anyone; it's turning people on to the music. So I think that's the new age, and every song that's coming out is going to have remixes, everyone's going to be interactive with the music. I think that's the new age, every song that's coming out is going to have remixes, everyone's going to be interactive with the music." - Gregg Gillis, Pitchforkmedia Interview
What a week. Seriously. Did you see what Timberlake shot on the golf course. We knew he could get laid by any woman on the face of the Earth, but where does he find time to improve that swing?
On to more important things. Warner is backing out of the freebie game, the RIAA is backing themselves in a deeper hole than Saddam and Girl Talk is pulling a Radiohead? That whole Timberlake thing may seem like some normalcy in the music industry at the moment.
So let's start and end quick with Warner Music Group. Their deal: an argument in compensation rates with Last.fm, as well as keeping their options open to imeem and the upcoming Myspace Music ahead. So if you think you were getting those tracks for free, someone had to cough up some money.
Ideally, Warner will still have music streaming on Last.fm's radio stations, according to the Billboard.biz article this week, but the full track downloads will not be available. The only thing Warner is doing here is hurting themselves. Every simple business class will tell you that sometimes you have to give a little to get a little. All Warner is doing is hurting their share of the market, owned by another conglomerate (CBS/Viacom), and Warner still plans to make a deal with another competing conglomerate (Myspace is owned by News Corp.).
Speaking of free music, the RIAA has been possibly caught giving out false pre-littigation papers. According to this article, University of Washington researchers found that DMCA and RIAA complaints found "indirectly" through obtaining IP addresses may not accurate and can falsely accuse people of illegal activity.
While I had some trouble understanding the full issue of technically what was wrong, I did understand that what those Huskies were trying to say was that the RIAA's techniques of using third parties such as Media Defender to track IP addresses was as accurate as movie market research. You know, those guys who take you into a room and make you fill out a survey after watching a minute thirty clip of some dumb new summer movie...the RIAA are no better than those bastards.
Lastly, the man who may be in the top five most wanted by Congress and the RIAA, Gregg Gillis announced this week that his new album, still tentatively titled Feed the Animals, may see the "pay-what-you-want" business model of Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails fame. It's not much of a new surprise now, but growth of 2006's Night Ripper and constant touring and crossover appeal puts Gillis as the next artist to push the new business model of the music industry-- the ol' honor system. That leave a quarter take a paper system that's dead and gone.
If Gillis succeeds, it's possible some artists will try the model out, and they may be on Warner's label, which may in turn not have to worry about taking their music down from Last.fm because kids will have already gotten it for a quarter, and not have to worry about illegally downloading the album, and the RIAA can rest easy at night, get up for an 8 a.m. tee-off, and maybe, just maybe show Timberlake how business gets taken care of on the course.