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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Music Publishers Sue XM Radio

Posted by Jay Medina on March 24, 2007

Looks like our favorite people in the music industry are at it again.  Where’s Lars?

Here’s the story:

Mar 23, 1:45 PM (ET)

By SETH SUTEL

NEW YORK (AP) – A group representing music publishers is suing XM Satellite Radio, saying that XM violates copyright laws by giving users the ability to store and replay songs on certain devices.The National Music Publishers’ Association claimed in a lawsuit filed in federal court in New York Thursday that XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (XMSR) offers an unlawful music download service that isn’t covered by the royalties it pays to music publishers for broadcast rights. The suit targets an XM service called “XM (plus) MP3,” which allows XM subscribers to store songs on portable players and play them back later. The songs remain on the device as long as the customer subscribes to XM.Like its rival Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. (SIRI), XM offers dozens of channels of commercial-free music as well as talk and news channels for a monthly fee of about $13. Sirius has agreed to buy XM, but the deal faces a tough regulatory review in Washington.The music publishers’ lawsuit is similar to another filed against XM last year by a group representing major record label companies, the Recording Industry Association of America. That case is still pending.

Like traditional radio broadcasters, satellite radio services must pay the publishers of music and record labels royalties for the right to broadcast music.

XM spokesman Chance Patterson said the lawsuit by the NMPA “simply represents a negotiating tactic to gain advantage in our ongoing business discussions. ” He said the suit was without merit.

XM and Sirius were barred from merging under the licenses they were granted a decade ago, but they argue that much has changed since then, including the growth of other audio entertainment choices such as downloads from Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iTunes stores.

The music publishers group noted in their lawsuit that XM draws attention to the ability of its XM + MP3 service to store and replay music, describing it as a substitute for using an iPod playback device and iTunes to buy music.

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Spears Has Entered Rehab, Web Site Says

Posted by Jay Medina on February 20, 2007

Feb 20, 4:33 PM (ET)

By ERIN CARLSON

NEW YORK (AP) – Britney Spears entered rehab Tuesday after a bizarre weekend that included shaving her head and getting a new tattoo.Spears’ manager, Larry Rudolph, told People magazine’s Web site that Spears, 25, had voluntarily checked herself into an undisclosed treatment facility. “We ask that the media respect her privacy as well as those of her family and friends at this time,” Rudolph was quoted as saying.Calls to Spears’ representatives by The Associated Press weren’t returned Tuesday.

Since she announced her separation from Kevin Federline in November, Spears, the mother of two young sons, has been seen partying heavily, and her appearance has been increasingly sloppy.

On Friday night, Spears grabbed an electrical shaver at a San Fernando Valley salon and shaved her head completely bald.

Video on KABC-TV showed a newly shorn Spears with tiny tattoos on the back of her neck as she sat for a new tattoo – a pair of red-and-pink lips on her wrist.

Entertainment TV shows and Web sites reported Friday that she had gone in and out of rehab that week.

Esther’s Haircutting Studio, where Spears shaved her head, set up a Web site to auction off her hair and other items for a minimum price of $1 million, J.T. Tognozzi, who owns the salon with his wife, told the AP on Tuesday.

“This is it, the opportunity of a lifetime,” according to BuyBritneysHair.com. The winning bidder gets Spears’ dark, knotty hair extensions, the clipper she used to cut them off, the Red Bull she drank at the salon and her cigarette lighter.

Tognozzi said he’d placed the items for sale on the eBay auction Web site, which later took them down, for reasons unknown to him.

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Depeche Mode – Precious

Posted by Jay Medina on January 15, 2007

This song may have been out for a while, however, I am very impressed with the song and the video.  The mixture of live action video along with CGI in a very surreal surrounding makes for a very eloquent but haunting scenescape.

I’ve been a Depeche Mode fan since they released Black Celebration in 1986.  Their earlier stuff was a little goofy, however, they blossomed and grew into a very relevent band with solid contributions over the years.

Dave Gahan really started solidifying their sound after he kicked the drugs and got himself professional singing lessons.  They still embrace their keyboard and synthesizer roots, but they aren’t retro or cheesy in any way.  I hope you enjoy the video as much as I have:

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Music Review: In Reverse, Matthew Sweet (1999)

Posted by Jay Medina on January 14, 2007

Matthew Sweet, In ReverseIn Reverse may have been a more “silent release” on the music scene than many of Matthew Sweet’s previous or post works, however, it doesn’t make this CD irrelevent by any means.  Matthew Sweet is a true Power Pop superstar, taking the genre to new heights.

Haunted by the ghosts of his earlier hits like Girlfriend (Girlfriend) and Sick of Myself (100% Fun), Matthew Sweet pays homage to the sounds of the 60’s as made bright and poppy by bands like The Beach Boys.  Sweet avoids the cheesiness that could have easily befallen such a tribute, and instead, creates a very smart retro sound, complete with excellent use of ‘backmasking’.  He even uses the Beach Boys’ studio musicians to create the lush fa-lala-la la sound that was popular back in the day.

I guess we could suppose that Sweet was prepared for such a venture into the retro-pop scene, as he was part of the band, Ming Tea, as featured on Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.  Although Mike Meyers (Shrek, So I Married an Axe Murderer) was the lead for the band, prominent music celebs Sweet and Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) were backing him up with true shagadelic success.

 If it is possible to listen to In Reverse in a single-flowing context, from track 1 to tack 14 in order, I would highly recommend it.  Some of the songs have no lead-in and blend right from one to another, but that’s part of what makes it so great.  Sweet tried very much to make this even a classical piece as much a classic piece of music.  In a classical piece, there are different movements to the overall symphony, and Sweet does this in a modern-retro sort of way.

The most notable songs being If Time Permits (sample here) as a true Beach Boys-sounding anthem that makes you imagine yourself driving a red Ford Thunderbird convertable down the California coastline.  It stokes images of positivity and an “everything’s gonna be great” kind of feeling.  That is powerful stuff for Power-pop to be able to do.

Other notable tracks are Beware My Love (sample here), Future Shock (sample here), and What Matters (sample here).  The thing I noticed most about this retro-homage to a simpler time in music was that the music is not simple by any means.  Not only is it not simple, it is smart, clean, and lush.  Matthew Sweet shows true musical genius in going the other direction with music.  He pulls it off with a magical splendor that gets lost in today’s music machine driven by the suits in the music industry.

In showing his respect for music from the past, Sweet himself never loses his true identity, and instead embraces it.  Although he may cringe when he gets requests for the seventy-billionth rendition of Girlfriend at his concerts, hopefully he would take solace in knowing In Reverse is a solid contribution to the world of music.  I know I am better for having heard this gem of CD, and I just want the world to know about it.

Do you own this CD?  I’d love to hear your opinion of it.  Send a comment and make your thoughts known.

Posted in Buy Your Movies and Music Here, Music Reviews | Leave a Comment »

U2 – Lemon

Posted by Jay Medina on January 12, 2007

U2 has had many faces.  I used to like them way back when they were Irish, back in the early 80’s (Boy, October, War, The Unforgettable Fire).  Since then, they’ve become Elvis-loving Americans (The Joshua Tree), and Techno-Germans (Zooropa, Achtung Baby, Pop), selling produkt with their Pop Mart tour.

All in all, they are still very cool.  Even during their Pop/Techno/Disco phase, they were trying new things.  They have never been happy with just one sound, and that kind of boldness I do like.  This song took a while to grow on me, but I love it.  It’s fun, hip, and very Lemon.

Posted in Buy Your Movies and Music Here, Fun Stuff, Music | 5 Comments »