Here is the new single from The Black Keys.
I know it's only April and we have a whole lotta 2010 left...
But this is my favorite video of the year.
Fucking hilarious. And absolutely brilliant.
This is where creativity and satire merge.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Exclusive - Ken Blackwell Extended Interview Pt. 1|
Ken Blackwell, author of the new book, "Blueprint: Obama's Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency," was on The Daily Show Wednesday to promote his book...
And thankfully, attempt to debate Stewart on his merit-less claims that Obama is an Unconstitutional tyrant that is swaying the balance of power in this country.
I have not read his book, I must confess, but from the extended conversation he has with Jon Stewart, I can't imagine ever picking it up.
Only because he has yet to back up a single accusation with a fact.
Please watch this.
Now I am not generalizing that all conservatives sling baseless attacks on liberal policy, I am only implying that a good majority of them have a very short-term memory.
Watch Part 2 here.
Watch Part 3 here.
Mr. Blackwell should be embarrassed.
I watched this, as I always TRY to, with an open mind. But he could not back up a single theory from his book and repeated the same bullshit lines over and over again.
When it comes to politics, there is often no winning or losing, but there is always a better argument.
I just smiled for 3 minutes and 45 seconds straight.
Here are some of our troops performing Lady GaGa's "Telephone" while stationed in Afghanistan.
Hat tip to Gawker for the post.
Not gonna front, my eyes got a little misty knowing that these boys had a little fun during their down time.
Come home safe, gentlemen.
Please. Come home safe.
I don't usually dig these silly "inspirational" posters.
But this one had me laughing pretty fucking hard.
Thanks, Linda, for the email.
My Morning Jacket, "One Big Holiday" - 04/28/10
As if there was any doubt that this is one of the Top 5 touring rock bands in the US.
But if there was, here is the fucking proof.
Thanks to my boy, Hard Core, for posting this.
Rock n Roll.
David Letterman has started a record label.
Clear Entertainment / C.E. Music.
C.E. Music has partnered with my alma mater, Capitol Records.
Runner Runner is the new label's first signing.
Here is their lead single.
Not bad, pretty catchy, but definitely not extraordinary.
Here is the new single from Interpol.
And for all you rock bands out there...
I hope you're paying attention.
Because THIS is how you drop a new single in 2010.
This is Welsh rugby player, Gareth Thomas.
My boy sent me this article from Sports Illustrated.
"He's 6'3" and 225 pounds of muscle. He's broken his nose five times, fractured both shoulders and lost eight teeth. He's drunk his mates under the table and brawled by their side. He's been named to the Welsh national rugby team more times than any other man. And, among active players in major professional team sports, he's ..."
The only known openly gay, current athlete playing for a professional sports franchise.
Yeah, that crazy motherfucker is OPENLY gay.
"His sport has broken his nose five times, fractured both of his shoulders and his hip and his forearm and his palate and his thumb, and concussed him, on average, three times a year."
In the toughest sport in the world, hands down.
Read the article that I've linked above. It's awesome.
Another video by Romain-Gavras, the brilliant director from the M.I.A. video I posted earlier this week.
This time it's for Justice, and their song "Stress"
Motherfucker is RAW.
Like I said, we are gonna be seeing a lot more from this guy.
Hi. This is Tim James, ignorant gubernatorial candidate for the great southern state of Alabama.
Tim's dad is former Alabama Gov. Fob James.
Tim is a good ole boy that seems to believe that only English is spoken in America.
It seems this gentleman firmly believes that a good way to solve the state budget issues of Alabama would be to limit DMV access to legal, taxpaying American citizens, who have yet to completely master the American version of the English language and would be more comfortable answering complicated questions in their native tongue.
I know it's tough when those pesky language options come up when you're at the ATM, or on the phone with your cellular company, or at the DMV... but you know what I do when confronted with such terrorism and Nazi-fascism (that is definitely a direct result of the Obama administration)?
I choose "English" and go about my business.
What a fucking asshole.
T.I. is out of jail and home in the ATL.
Here's his new aptly-titled track, "I'm Back"
He recently stated that this song is about all the rappers in the game that have been copying his style and flow while he was in the big house.
I think T.I. is one of the best in the game right now, but that's not saying much these days. Top 40 hip hop is fucking weak.
So, welcome back.
From the LA Times:
"Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has come to the rescue of the Hollywood sign on Monday, anteing up $900,000 to help in the effort to preserve the land to the west of the famed landmark.
Another $500,000 matching grant came from the Tiffany Foundation and Aileen Getty, it was announced Monday by the Trust for Public Land, which spearheaded the rally to save the sign in the Hollywood Hills.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had been an early supporter of the effort to save the 138-acre property, attended a news conference to announce that the money had been raised. He said the Hollywood sign is a 'symbol of dreams and a symbol of opportunity and hope.'
When Schwarzenegger heard that developers might sell the land to build luxury homes, he said he did 'What a Terminator is supposed to do, which is to jump into action.'"
As if Hugh Hefner wasn't already a fucking legend.
Well played, sir.
And how awesome is my Governator?
This is Christopher Weingarten, rock journalist.
He writes for RollingStone, The Village Voice, and Spinner.com, among others.
Speaking at the #140 Conference (or Twitter Conference) on the death of music writers because of the blogosphere's obsession with Google trending and Twitter exclusives.
I apologize for the auto-play video, but it seems to be the only video online.
Listen up, because this dude is spot the fuck on.
From the NY Times:
"Senate Republicans, united in opposition to the Democrats'
legislation to tighten regulation of the financial system,
voted on Monday to block the start of floor debate.
The vote was 57 to 41, as Democrats fell short of the 60
votes needed to cut off a filibuster of the motion to proceed
to the bill. One Democrat, Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska,
sided with Republicans apparently out of concern over a
provision related to tightening the rules on derivatives
You've got to be fucking kidding me. Man the fuck up, Dems. Regulation shouldn't even be a debate at this point.
Look at our fucking country.
The SEC has done zero regulating of the big firms for the last 15 years. And look at us. We are a nation of beggars, borrowing from China and the Middle East to fund wars and imperial expansion while our own citizens are losing their jobs, their homes, and their pride.
"'We are as vulnerable as we are today in the waning days of April 2010 as we were in the fall of 2008 when we saw what happened to our economy,' said Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the banking committee, who is the primary sponsor of the legislation. 'Nothing has changed, except, of course, jobs have been lost, homes have gone into foreclosure, retirement incomes have evaporated, housing values have declined. Almost $11 trillion in household wealth has been lost."
Mr. Dodd continued, "Now, that's what's happened in the last 18 months, but we have yet to stand up and address what caused that to happen in our country, to fill in those gaps, provide the regulation, put the cops on the beat.'
Senator Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire, said that Republicans wanted to prevent a collapse like the one in 2008 but that Democrats were in danger of over-regulating the financial system and risked strangling the economy.
'That should be our first goal, prospectively trying to reduce systemic risk as much as possible," he said. 'The second goal should, however, be that we maintain what is a unique and really rare strength which America has, which is that we have the capacity as a country to create capital and credit in a very aggressive way so that entrepreneurs who are willing to, go out and take risks, have accuess to capital and credit and that creates jobs and that creates the dynamics of our economy.'
Mr. Gregg added, 'We shouldn't put in place a regulatory regime that overly reacts and, as a result, significantly dampens our capacity to have the most vibrant capital and credit markets in the world.'"
Yeah, I know Dodd is a crook. Thanks to Michael Moore, we know that he was getting massive kickbacks and real estate deals during the the buildup to the housing collapse. He is a whore to the Corporatocracy that must be replaced.
However. As much as it sickens me to support some of these corrupt Democrats, at least they're TRYING to push through some sort of progressive bills.
The "Republican party of No" has done absolutely nothing to fix the mess that we have found ourselves in. They have fought Unemployment Benefits extension, Health Care for those that are unemployed, and now they fight to protect Wall Street as it fucks our entire country into the ground.
Senator Gregg, you are an imbecile. An absolute moron.
Your GOP members must be proud.
U-S-A. U-S-A. U-S-A.
This is the new video for M.I.A.'s single "Born Free"
Holy fuck. You have got to watch this.
It was directed by Romain Gavras, the son of renowned filmmaker Costa-Gavras, who was responsible for some of the most shocking political films of the '60s and '70s, including, Z.
The video mix obviously takes away focus of the song, but it is absolutely brilliant.
I have a feeling we are going to see a lot more from Mr. Gavras in the future.
Overheard someone singing this song today.
And this scene immediately came to mind.
Mel Brooks, I salute you always.
Sweet baby Jesus.
What a machine.
From Bike EXIF:
"There’s a definite Japanese ‘look’ when it comes to Harley customs, but this one’s a little different. The XL-engined machine is a new release from Motoshop Tonouchi, and reminds me of pre-War BMWs such as the R7—with monochromatic, swooping bodywork and subtle pinstriping. To say it’s clean would be an understatement; there’s no front brake, the bars are devoid of controls and cabling, and the exhaust system is nothing more than beautifully curved pipework. Tonouchi specializes in Harley and Kawasaki 650 customs, and you can see more of their builds here. An interesting aside: the company is based in the landlocked Gunma prefecture of Japan, an area famed for its ‘Melody Road’. Over 2,500 grooves are cut into a 175-meter stretch of asphalt, and when driven over at 50 kph, the grooves reproduce the tune of a popular song. Isn’t that amazing?"
Dude, amazing is an understatement. That is one of the coolest things I have ever heard of.
I can not believe that I have never heard of this place before.
Just inked that one onto the bucket list. No joke.
Sick bike AND I learned something.
Life is good.
Stephen Hawking thinks alien life is "mathematically probable" in his new Discovery Channel documentary.
However, his speculation on how contact could pan out is interesting.
From the London Times:
"He suggests that aliens might simply raid Earth for its resources and then move on: 'We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.'
He concludes that trying to make contact with alien races is 'a little too risky'. He said: 'If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.'"
Well put, Hawking.
Cool interview with Seth McFarlane on Larry King Live.
For all you Family Guy fans out there, I bet most of you did not know that Seth was supposed to be on the plane from Boston that flew into the World Trade Center.
I had read that somewhere a few years back, but never heard him speak of it.
That is fucking crazy.
Interesting news, via Hypebot:
"Things must be tough over at Atlantic Records and its parent WMG. First label group president Lyor Cohen is selling his $28 million NYC townhouse and now Atlantic is asking fans to help fund an artist's second recording for the company.
While working on his sophomore album for Atlantic Records, trip-hop artist Natty is recording a separate stripped down collection of original songs. But rather than pay for the project, Atlantic has teamed up with fan-funding platform Pledge Music to ask Natty's fans to throw down the cash.
To encourage fans to invest, Natty's offerings offerings include £8 for the EP, introducing Natty from stage for £70, a private acoustic concert in your own home for £600 - £5,000 (not sure why there's such a wide price range), all the way up to Natty remixing your track for for £1,200. Atlantic hasn't announced if they'll be taking their normal full royalty from Natty on the EP. We only know that they won't be sharing the money with the fans that paid for it."
Now I am all for artists asking fans to help produce their music in this new era of industry.
But a major label doing it is fucking laughable.
I can't wait to hear how Atlantic tries to spin this.
This is NYC rock band The Exit, with their biggest hit, "Don't Push"
Lead vocalist, Ben Brewer, a.k.a. Benjamin Bronfman, is not only the eldest son of billionaire Edgar Bronfman Jr. who owns Warner Music and is the heir to the Seagrams fortune, but he is engaged to M.I.A. and is her baby daddy.
I loved this song when it came out a few years back.
Too bad they're on indefinite hiatus.
If you are one of the millions of idiots on Facebook, like myself, then here's a tip on their new privacy setting...
As of today, there is a new Facebook privacy setting called "Instant Personalization" that shares data with non-facebook websites (like Pandora) and it is automatically set to "Allow."
While this technology is actually pretty cool, and it could be fun to integrate your Facebook and Pandora pages in order to better promote your favorite bands and artists, it is also yet another way for companies to harvest your information for advertising directives.
Not being paranoid, just cautious. Which I think is a lost art in the web generation.
That being said, if you don't want Facebook to automatically sync your data with outside companies, you can do the following:
Go to Account > Privacy Settings > Applications and Websites and uncheck "Allow".
Now I promise no more posts about MyFace. That's what my boy Hoof calls all social networking platforms. And it makes me laugh, so there.
Oh, and that cartoon above is spot the fuck on. Please stop the childish antics, people. I would be embarrassed.
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
Steve Colbert interviews Damon Albarn and animator Jamie Hewlett.
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Gorillaz - Stylo|
Performing their track "Stylo" from the new album "Plastic Beach"
Well done, Mr. Colbert. Outstanding interview and killer performance by Gorillaz.
How fucking hot is this song?
The HuffPost put this little reel together.
It's a montage of analogies by the press in futile attempts to explain the fraud and corruption charges against Goldman Sachs.
As ridiculous as these metaphors are, I think it's rather telling of how our media views its customers, i.e. The American People.
I think the media believes that the majority of Americans are stupid.
How about we just explain exactly what happened on Wall Street. If people don't understand, offer them links or books to read to educate themselves further.
But to talk to your viewers as if they were children...
Watch the tape.
Mr. President spoke yesterday at Cooper Union in New York City.
Here is the full speech.
Not his best, but he lays out his message eloquently and firmly.
I am in love with this song.
Hadn't seen the video yet, so thanks Dr. Karlson for posting.
Yeasayer is the band. "Ambling Alp" is the title.
That chorus is infectious.
What a groove.
You can not make this shit up.
You can not make this shit up.
Bring on the LOLZ.
This clip is kind of awesome. Actually, it is really awesome.
CNN's Anderson Cooper has invited Arizona State Representaitve Cecil Ash (R-Mesa) on to his show to discuss the new legislation in his state that will force any future presidential candidate to prove he is a natural born American citizen.
And Cooper fucking schools him. Makes him look like a chump.
Best line of the interview is when Anderson asks him where George Bush was born.
Racism. It is alive and well in America. And the white supremacists want their country back.
Fuck 'em. We've got it for now.
This Birther bigot squirms in his seat like a toddler.
New Left Media was on hand in DC for the Tax Day protests by our very own Tea Baggers.
Please watch this video.
I know we keep seeing interviews of the most ignorant of people repeating the silliest of right-wing propaganda from both the Republican party and their media outlet, Fox News, but still...
It never gets old.
But sadly, it never seems to get better.
Please answer one question, folks. Just one. I beg of you. Please. Just answer one fucking question like you know what you're protesting against.
That's all I ask. Is it too much?
"Obama is considering banning fishing in America" is hands down the best line of the day.
Banning fishing. You can't make this shit up.
Read a fucking newspaper, folks. Educate yourselves.
I would be ashamed if I was this misinformed and ignorant.
Eddie Vedder came out during the Seattle stop of Conan's "Prohibited from Being Funny" tour across the US.
He played a couple acoustic tunes on a Ukelele, but then brought out Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready for an epic cover of The Who's "Baba O'Reilly"
So rock n roll.
Whoever Conan's manager is deserves a huge raise. This tour was the best idea ever to keep the "Team Coco" momentum up until he starts his new gig at TBS.
From Bike EXIF.
"The Yamaha XS650 just will not die. The parallel twin appeared in 1968 and thanks to cutting-edge unit construction and SOHC design, continued in production until 1985. That’s an extraordinary run for a motorcycle. And along with its SR400 stablemate and Honda’s CB series, the XS650 has become one of the most popular platforms for customization in the 21st century. So it’s not often one jumps out—but this particular XS650 did it for me. It comes from a lesser-known Japanese workshop called An-Bu, based in Nagoya."
Damn, what a beast.
This clip takes place on 4/20/07 on the campus of my Alma Mater, Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.
The video was sent to me a few years ago by pretty much everyone I went to school with. Probably because it sums up the alumni perfectly.
It is hilarious.
A bunch of kids are under a parachute in the quad smoking pot. They're actually set up right in front of my old dorm, Camp / Snyder (I can't believe I just remembered the name).
The dude walking around it is a cop. Notice the campus tour group at the top of the screen.
Turn your sound up. Fucking classic.
Brings me back to some great times, man.
President Obama was in Los Angeles today.
No, not to interview me for Rahm Emmanuel's job, unfortunately. He was in town for a DNC fundraiser for Senator Barbara Boxer, whom I have been a fan of for nearly a decade. A woman who has fought tirelessly for the environment, against corporate lobbyists, and for equal rights for all Americans.
And while the Big Chief was speaking, a few audience members thought it appropriate to protest our nation's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" stance on gays in our military.
The Big Chief handled it as he always does.
Cool as a motherfucking cucumber.
Why the fuck would you choose to protest a policy at a fundraiser/event where the guest speaker and the honoree are both FOR your cause?
Pick your battles, folks. There are better ways to spend your time.
For an extended video of the interrupted speech, please check out the HuffPost video.
When he is on point, no one can touch him.
Bernie Goldberg, through the podium of The O'Reilly Factor, responded to Jon Stewart's brilliant piece last week about how Fox and friends generalize about the Left all the time while whining about how the Left accuses them of generalizing.
What is so funny (ridiculous) here is that Bernie and Bill continue to generalize and sling mud while defending themselves.
You can try to defend yourselves (fruitlessly). You can call us "liberal elites" all you want (I still don't understand the 'elite' part). You can say that we are educated snobs (which is true). You can cover up your lies with more lies (and then lie about the lies that covered up the lies).
But the truth will win. You are fools. You are tricking uneducated people into believing your mistruths. You are propagandizing an out of date corrupt system.
This video fucking rules.
LCD Soundsystem fucking rules.
Jay and Beyonce performing "Forever Young" at Coachella.
Notice how they look at eachother. So much love.
The King and Queen.
Kelsey Grammer, and a few other Hollywood Conservatives (All twelve of them) are starting a right-wing television station called, well, "Right Network"
While I firmly believe in the First Amendment, and I thoroughly encourage these men to speak their minds, I find it horribly fascinating that they continue to blame our deficit on President Obama and the Democrats when all it takes is a brief factual investigation to learn that Bush and co took our historical surplus and turned it into a historical deficit in less than a decade.
It is amazing that the Tea Baggers are complaining of taxation when Obama initiated the largest tax cuts in fifty years for 95% of Americans.
Big government? So does this mean you will start paying tolls on every road and privatize our nation's infrastructure? Will you complain when forced to pay a rental fee at your public library? How about tuition for elementary through high school for your children?
There is nothing in the Health Care Reform bill that states you Bible-thumpers will be paying any more for the guaranteed coverage of millions of Americans. We are not becoming a welfare state, as you like to argue as of late.
Your complaints make no sense. If you have a sane argument to bring to the table, then I will absolutely welcome the debate.
Until then, please stop while WE make progress for OUR country.
SNL made fun of the Insane Clown Posse song, "Miracles"
Thank fucking god.
Yeah, we all made fun of this video last week.
What hurts the most is that the ICP song is actually funnier. And that was not their intention.
Scary. Hilarious, but scary nonetheless.
Bob Donnelly has been a music and entertainment industry lawyer for decades. He wrote this brilliant piece about the state of the business we find ourselves in.
Read up, kids. And take fucking notes.
Why Artists Should "Do a 180" on "360 Deals"
by Bob Donnelly, Esq.
Lommen Abdo Cole King & Stageberg
A new type of record label contract has come to be known as a "360 deal" (as in "360 degrees in a circle") since it seeks to make the label a participant in revenue streams from every quarter of an artist's career. In his popular music industry blog, Bob Lefsetz wants to know why artists would consider such a contract. With typical humor, he writes: If you're contemplating a major label deal and your success is not based on terrestrial radio play, and you don't make pop music, YOU'RE A FUCKING IDIOT!... But where were the attorneys? Oh, I know they were afraid of pissing off the labels, not eating themselves. Are they interested in their clients or THEMSELVES?
I've been very fortunate to be affiliated with artists and their managers who have collectively sold over 300 million records. Not once during my three decades in practice did I ever get a call from a record company executive who said, "Hey Bob, we just had a phenomenally profitable year and therefore we are sending your client a big bonus check to show our appreciation for making the label lots of money." Now that the record business economy is faltering, label honchos are complaining that they can't make enough money from record sales alone, and perhaps not surprisingly they expect their own recording artists to subsidize executive compensation packages worthy of Wall Street.
In the past, when record labels faced additional costs associated with new modes of doing business, they simply passed those costs along to their artists in the form of artist royalty reductions (such as the so-called "research and development" costs associated with manufacturing compact discs in the 1980s). This time, the power grab is much more insidious because it involves taking a portion of income from categories whichfor the entire history of the modern music industryhave belonged exclusively to the artist.
Under the terms of a typical 360 deal (which the record company representatives would prefer to call by the more innocuous phrase "multiple rights deal"), labels are demanding a portion of an artist's income from touring, publishing, endorsements, and sale of merchandise, in addition to the vast majority of the record sale income that labels have always enjoyed. And when you read the fine print, you'll also discover that the labels want to make money from the books that artists write, the Hollywood movies in which they act, and the fan clubs they create. In fact the labels want to share in absolutely everything.
Does that sound fair to you?
Traditional Record Deals
Let's briefly examine the economics of the record business, which until recently has been a profitable ATM for the multi-national entertainment companies which control the major record labels. In general terms, the record label is entitled to receive 85% of net income, and the recording artist receives the remaining 15%. Any funds that the labels advanced to the artist are then repaid solely out of the artist's 15%. Now here's the best part of all from the label's perspective: in exchange for the advance paid to the artist, the label owns the copyrights to the master recordings in perpetuity. This is analogous to taking out a mortgage on a house, repaying the mortgage in full, but the bank winds up owning your house.
But wait, it gets better...for the record labels.
The labels will insist that they will be able to deduct from the artist's share of income 50% of all independently contracted marketing, promotion, and publicity costs, 100% of the cost of making music videos (but the labels get to own the videos), and 50% of website costs (but the labels own the website).
And that's still not all. If an artist signs a traditional major label deal today, the contract will call for the delivery to the label of approximately five albums. Since it takes an average of 1-1/2 years from the creation of one album until the commencement of recording of the next album, the artist will be indentured exclusively to that label for about eight years. The record companies explain that they need these egregiously long terms in order to allow for a reasonable return on their investment. But compare this to other fields of entertainment. The film business eliminated its equivalent of this practice (the so-called "studio system") more than 50 years ago. And if you sign a book deal with Simon & Schuster, you typically sign a book deal, as in a single book. Aren't film companies and book publishers also investing in "building the brand" of their creative partners? How come they don't require an 8-year/5 movie or 5 book obligation to justify their ROI?
Until the recent downturn in the music business, the record companies had carved out a lucrative arrangement where they were making between $2.50 and $4 in profit for each CD sold. (And don't forget that, in this business model, the record company traditionally breaks even before the artist pays back her portion of costs and advances!) Labels have reaped billions of dollars in profits during the past few decades, but now that the business is not as profitable as it once was, the labels want the artists to reach into their pockets to improve the labels' diminished bottom line.
What's Wrong With 360 Deals ?
Let's focus on the terms of 360 deals, and I will explain why I'm so passionately opposed to them. First of all, in many of these 360 deals the record company will demand that their earnings come out of the gross revenues, meaning that, if the cash that the labels actually receive has been reduced by any parties in the middle of the transaction (even if those parties themselves add value, as, for example, many music publishers do), then the label will add those amounts back in before calculating the percentage of revenue they retain. Think about that for a moment. The manager doesn't get paid on gross, and the artist certainly doesn't get paid on gross why then should the record company be paid on gross?
The 360 deals that I've reviewed require the artist to relinquish between 5% and 50% of revenues from sources other than record sales. To illustrate this point, let's use 20% as the percentage that the record company is seeking from an artist's live touring income. If that artist is paying all of the traditional touring costs (e.g. hotels, transportation, etc.) as well as paying her manager a 20% commission, her booking agent a 15% commission, and her lawyer and business manager 5% each, then that could result in a record company receiving half of every net touring dollar which winds up in the artist's pocket. Does that seem fair to you?
And here are a few more things wrong with this model. Record companies love to cross-collateralize. This thirty-one-point Scrabble word refers to the practice of taking an artist's positive earnings from one category (e.g. publishing income) and applying it as a record company expense that affects the artist's unrecouped balance in another category (e.g. the record royalty account). In summary, the labels are postponing, for as long as possible, the day when the artist actually receives a positive cash flow from her end of the pipeline. Yet when it comes to the income which they would like to receive from an artist's 360 income streams, the labels would like to keep one hundred percent of the money to which they are entitled, without applying (i.e. cross-collateralizing) any of it to reduce the artist's debt to the record company. Apparently, what's good for the goose...is only good for the goose.
360 deals are also rife with conflicts of interests. For example, will an artist still be free to accept a sponsorship from a company whose business is in direct competition with one of the record label's non music divisions? Are the labels going to defer their commissions (as managers and artists often do) in one phase of their business (like merchandise) in order to ensure that there will be enough money for a tour to stay on the road? And how will record companies deal with fiduciary obligations to their artists (which they were previously able to avoid?) And why are the record companies acquiring significant interests in merchandise when many of them don't own merchandise divisions? And how do record companies think they are going to get around the booking agency laws in California and other states? And then there is the mother of all conflicts that occurs when an artist's management company is owned by the same entity that owns the artist's record company.
What's Right With 360 Deals?
Labels justify profiting from multiple rights because they are making a substantial investment in the artist. And in all fairness, sometimes this is true. Our firm represents a young artist called Owl City who recently scored the number #1 single on the pop charts. I would be disingenuous if I didn't acknowledge that such success would not have happened without the financial commitment and promotional and marketing experience of the Universal/Republic label team. The Owl City success underscores the point made by Bob Lefsetz that major labels are still the best way to break an artist whose music is uniquely suited to pop radio.
As an artist lawyer, I would be receptive to a 360 deal where the record company is obligated to make an investment in a band's career. I'm not talking about what a label tells you that they plan to do and spend in relation to each album. I'm talking about what a label is contractually obligated to do and spend. But just try to get a label to commit in the contract to spending $40K on publicity, $250K on marketing and $350K on promotion for each album. It just won't happen (unless you have an artist who is being aggressively pursued by several labels).
Here's another way that I could support the 360 deal. If the record companies took their "360-degree interests" as collateral against their out-ofpocket investment in an artist, and then reverted those 360 rights to the artist when the company's investment was repaid, these deals would make more sense to me. I still wouldn't be happy with this model, but I could appreciate the rationale. But in many of these 360 deals, the label's rights continue well beyond their recoupment of their investment. In fact, in some 360 deals the artist is required to pay her record company a share of her touring/merchandise/music publishing earnings long after the artist has been dropped by that label, and sometimes the payments are forever. Does that seem fair to you?
Alternative Record Deals: The Net Profits Deal
Is there an alternative to the 360 deal? I believe there are several. In the past few years many independent record companies have relied on the so-called "net profits" deal. In this business model the record company is able to minimize its risk by having the right to deduct all of its costs "off-the-top" (including those costs (such as manufacturing, distribution and marketing) which are normally not recoupable under the terms of a traditional record contract. The remaining net profits are then shared on a 50/50 (or other) basis between the artist and record company. Net profit deals don't typically have a 360 deal type of obligation because the deal formula is structured to grant the record company a more favorable return of their initial investment.
Artist Self-Release Record Deal
Another alternative is the self-release model. If a band is willing to make financial and other commitments that are necessary to function as their own record company, it is in their best interest to do so. I realize this is easier said than done, and the road is littered with the carcasses of artists who have tried this and failed (including such luminaries as the Rolling Stones and Pearl Jam). But this is an especially opportune moment for artists. Thanks to the reduced price of innovative recording equipment and software such as Pro Tools, many bands are now able to finance the recording of their own album masters without becoming indebted to the record companies. This means an artist can now justifiably retain the ownership of the copyrights in her own master recordings.
There are also many positive technological developments that weigh in the artist's favor. Social networking platforms like MySpace and YouTube provide a marketplace to expose and promote new music. And they are free. Yet another factor that encourages artists to take control of their own business is that 95% of all digital download sales result from just three sites: iTunes, Amazon, and Rhapsody. And all three of these sites are easily accessible through digital aggregators such as Tunecore, InGrooves and The Orchard for a distribution fee of just 10% to 20%. It's even possible for artists to control their own "hard goods sales" (i.e. CD's) by selling them over the band's website or using an intermediary service like CDBaby.
But I don't want to imply that any of this is easy (it isn't), problem free (it really isn't), or inexpensive (it really, really isn't). Prior to the Wall Street meltdown in the fall of 2008, venture capital money was flowing into the music business to replace the funding that was formerly supplied by the major labels. Music entrepreneurs found themselves able to cherry pick from a substantial pool of experienced and skilled music industry professionals who (as the Brits so beautifully describe it) were made "redundant" at the major labels. In addition to a great corps of former record execs, the Erteguns and Gordys of tomorrow could also hire from the same list of great independent publicists, marketing companies and record promoters as those used by the majors. And best of all from the artist's point-of-view, these new start-ups were not demanding 360 rights. In fact most were not even requiring the artists to surrender the ownership of the copyrights to their master recordings. Unfortunately the Crash of 2008 came before this new business model ever really had a chance to flourish.
While we await the return of the venture capitalists, I urge artists to look for new solutions. There is a British company called Polyphonic, which was started by the manager of Radiohead and seems very artist-friendly. There is an American company called ArtistShare, which helps artists finance their own recordings by allowing the fans to purchase the right to become one of the album's executive producers or to invest some money in return for an all-access pass to the artist's next tour. The technological innovations (like digital downloading and social networking) that revolutionized the music industry grew from the minds of young people who loved music, not from large record companies who sold music. I believe these same young innovators will also dictate the future of the music business for those artists who did not mortgage their futures by making 360 deals.
I genuinely believe that this is an especially propitious moment for artists to take control of their own destinies. And I expect record companies, who have always been the artist's partner in record sales, to remain an important part of the equation, but not at the artist's expense. Record companies say that they are seeking 360 rights because they are making a significant investment in the careers of the artists. If they mean it, they should put it into the contract. And if they don't, then I sincerely hope artists will "do a 180" on 360 deals.
HERE'S THE LINK TO THE BILLBOARD ABRIDGED VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE:
This is South African hip hop group Die Antwoord.
Track is entitled, "Enter the Ninja"
Die Antwoord was signed to Interscope late last year after this clip became a global sensation with millions of YouTube hits.
The interesting looking dude in the video is Leon Botha, a South African artist. He is mostly known for his paintings, but has been gaining recognition for his DJ sets.
I am not saying I dig this track, but I am most certainly not saying I don't.
No doubt, the lunatics are running the asylum.
The mayor of Champaign, Illinois is a "Birther"
You know, the retards that still don't believe our President is a US citizen, even though he has (completely unnecessarily) shown his birth certificate.
What a fucking asshole.
Although he deserves the title, "Smashing Pumpkins" as his band name, I just can't bring myself to call it that.
I mean, fuck, he's the only one left.
Yeah, it was his band. And yeah, he had to deal with a bunch of drug-addicted amateurs for a decade. But still.
The one thing I will say is Billy has been one of the more progressive artists out there. He is absolutely unafraid of embracing technology and the new world order of music.
Give a listen. Let me know what you think. xo
Olbermann and guest show the irrational behavior of the Tea Party protests on Tax Day.
I really can not figure out what these people want. They say they want smaller government, yet they send their children to public schools and enjoy their Medicaid and Social Security.
Everyone keeps saying that they don't know what they want.
Well, I do.
They want their government back in the hands of a white person.
Call it what you want, but these people are racist and afraid of progress.
Hopefully, this is only the fucking beginning.
I want to see a geyser, worthy of Old Faithful, of charges brought against these crooks. They manipulated the market, cheated honest Americans out of their homes, caused a meltdown of an industry that cost millions of jobs...
And for what? More money?
What kind of a human being would ever swindle another, just for more fucking money?
I believe the term is "con man" or "criminal."
From the NY Times:
"Accusations that Goldman defrauded customers who bought investments tied to risky subprime mortgages have only just begun to reverberate through the financial world.
The civil lawsuit that the Securities and Exchange Commission filed against Goldman on Friday seemed to confirm many Americans’ worst suspicions about Wall Street: that the game is rigged, the odds stacked in the banks’ favor. It is the first big case — but probably not the last, legal experts said — to delve into a Wall Street firm’s role in the mortgage fiasco.
'The S.E.C. suit against Goldman, if proven true, will confirm to people their suspicions about the total selfishness of these financial institutions,' said Steve Fraser, a Wall Street historian and author of 'Wall Street: America’s Dream Palace.' 'There’s nothing more damaging than that. This is way beyond recklessness. This is way beyond incompetence. This is cynical, selfish exploiting.'"
We all knew this was going on, let's just hope Obama keeps up the charge and goes after these fucking creatures.
If we do not set up a system of regulation soon, this will happen again.
Coachella Music and Arts Fest.
Jay-Z straight rockin my favorite song of his, "99 Problems"
This is some metal shit.
I can't believe I'm not there.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
Stewart and Co address the media's coverage of the Tea Party movement.
Wyatt Cenac is really coming into his own and turning out to be one of the best Daily Show pundits in years.
Oh, and a segment on the hypocrisy that is Fox News. As per usual.
How much is too much, you ask? The answer is above.
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich's mega-yacht Eclipse is ready for launch.
"Friday it left the dock of shipyard Blohm and Voss in Hamburg, Germany, as seen below.
The 557-foot Eclipse reportedly comes with features including two helipads, a submarine, multiple hot tubs, a pool and a missile-detection system. Another story has Eclipse with "two swimming pools -- the larger of which converts into a dance floor when drained -- bullet-proof glass, 6ft home cinema screens in every guest cabin and a master cabin where the roof opens to allow Abramovich and his girlfriend Daria Zhukova to sleep under the stars. An anti-paparazzi electronic "shield" will take care of their privacy while on board."
It will be the largest private yacht in the world, beating the 532-foot yacht Dubai, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, and is Abramovich's 5th yacht, although he sold one and gave another to his ex-wife. Online reports have estimated it costing anywhere from $400-$800M."
The cost of this boat could literally eradicate hunger on Earth for decades to come.
Roman Abramovich must have the smallest cock on the fucking planet.
What a disgusting excuse for a human being.
Obama has granted visitation rights to gay couples.
"President Obama on Thursday signed a memorandum requiring hospitals to allow gays and lesbians to have non-family visitors and to grant their partners medical power of attorney.
The president ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation. The memo is scheduled to be made public Friday morning, according to an administration official and another source familiar with the White House decision.
An official said the new rule will affect any hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding."
My man is on a motherfucking ROLL.
No more of this bipartisan fantasy, we are getting shit done now.
Our President addressed the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster today in the Rose Garden after meeting with his Labor Secretary.
From the NY Times.
"'There’s still a lot that we don’t know,' Mr. Obama said in a brief appearance in the Rose Garden. 'But we do know that this tragedy was triggered by a failure at the Upper Big Branch mine — a failure first and foremost of management, but also a failure of oversight and a failure of laws so riddled with loopholes that they allow unsafe conditions to continue.'"
"Mr. Obama said that for too long the mine safety agency had been 'stacked with former mine executives and industry players' – a clear reference to the administration of his predecessor, George W. Bush. Mr. Obama has installed a team of former miners and health experts, including Joseph A. Main, the agency’s chief, who is a former safety official with the United Mine Workers of America. Mr. Main was in the Rose Garden with Mr. Obama on Thursday."
Of course Blankenship and Massey Energy responded:
"Today's statements by the White House about the Upper Big Branch tragedy are regrettable. We fear that the President has been misinformed about our record and the mining industry in general."
I really don't know how these people sleep at night.
This is a Moto Guzzi 850 T3.
"Hal Wiley found this Moto Guzzi 850 T3 in a junkyard in Trenton, NJ, in a very sorry state. It’d been sitting outside for ten years, but he saw its potential immediately and trailered the bike home."
To read more about this masterpiece, go over to Bike EXIF.
Straight up road warrior.
The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) are heading to Capitol Hill this week.
"A2IM President Rich Bengloff and Vice President Jim Mahoney will be joined by a group including A2IM board member Portia Sabin of Kill Rock Stars (Please tell me it will say that on her name tag!) and representatives from ADA, Altissimo Recordings, Mack Avenue, Pandora, TAG Strategic, and Tommy Boy.
Key issues for the lobbing effort include:
* The proposed Performance Rights Act, especially as it relates to the lack of international reciprocity for independent labels -- meaning that indies are unable to collect royalties due in territories outside the U.S. as payable by over the air radio stations in those territories.
* Continued copyright protection and IP concerns and the need for government enforcement of copyright, especially for user generated online content.
* Pending legislation and FCC policy on broadcast spectrum allocation that could seriously affect musical productions.
* Government support for the arts on the world stage enabling greater export of U.S. repertoire, to level the playing field with other countries that have robust financial and logistical support, and to aid U.S. artists who create music and the music labels that invest in that creation to market our homegrown musical talent abroad."
Hell yes. This is what it's all about. This is how we bring about change.
I have been in full support of Performance Rights, as the corporate machine of radio has become less a place to break new talent and more a place to sell advertising space within a few minutes of mediocre pop music. If the radio stations were still independent, we would have a very different music climate in this country.
Just look at the UK. They still have an incredible radio format, their music sales are strong, and new artists are constantly breaking. We even send American rock bands there to get exposure because modern rock radio in the US is useless.
Did you know that the Kings of Leon were playing stadiums in the UK while I was seeing them in clubs of a few hundred people in New York? Yeah, this happens more often than not.
As far as copyright protection goes, that is a gray area in which I am still on the fence. It obviously makes sense from a business standpoint for independent labels that do not make millions like the majors do. That being said, it scares me.
It will be interesting to see where Obama goes on these issues.