Does The Marvin Gaye Estate Have A Blurred Vision of Copyright Ownership?

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American Songwriter:  Andy Lykens

The interesting thing about copyright infringement is that it escalates. In reality, a case should be pretty cut and dry, and you should be able to tick off a number of boxes in a checklist to determine whether something constitutes infringement or not.

But because of what infringement implies, there is so much more that goes into a legal battle involving intellectual property. Lots of people are afraid of it these days but usually not for something like this – a plain ol’ case of “you stole my music.”

In case you’re unfamiliar, Marvin Gaye’s estate is currently suing Robin Thicke, claiming he borrowed a bit too heavily from Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up” in his gigantic hit, “Blurred Lines.”

What makes this case interesting is from an outsider’s perspective you can tell there is just a lot of bad blood between MG’s estate and Robin Thicke’s troop. It started earlier this summer when Thicke preemptively sued the Marvin Gaye estate to try and secure indefinite protection from further legal hassles with the upset family members.

Now, after having gone back and forth in the press a lot this summer, Gaye’s estate has decided to come out swingin’ (and not like Sinatra).

Gaye’s family’s big argument will be centered around an interview with GQ where Thicke happened to mention Marvin Gaye in the same sentence while describing his writing process.

Oops.

They also had a musicologist compare the two works and he has stated that “Blurred Lines” blurred the line between ‘evoking an era’ and ‘stealing.’

But what exactly can you copyright?  Let’s take a look and maybe we can figure out if this is just a case of people getting a little too grumpy, or if there is a justifiable reason to believe Robin robbed Mr. Gaye.

What Is Actually Protected?

A song is a complete musical work – chords, lyrics (if there are any), melodies and titles all tied up with a pretty bow on top.

Copyright infringement usually takes place when you outright mimic a combination of those elements.

You can’t copyright a title on its own, a general sound, drum beats or chord changes. However, you can obviously not create an instrumental version of a song with words and claim it’s a new work.

What is similar about the two songs?

For me, the commonalties are the cowbell, and the fact that there’s a bass groove. I think if you listen at only the groove elements of each track, you can definitely hear similarities. Robin also doesn’t help his case by singing in falsetto for the first part of the first verse (although, the verse does sound completely different to me).

The lyrics are obviously different and the melody isn’t even close. In fact, after the first few seconds of each song the parity quickly fades.

But at the beginning, I can see where there may be some confusion.

Because it’s all subjective and like pretty much everything else, one expert can make a statement only to be outdone later by a different expert, or at least one who’s willing to make bold claims based on big paychecks, this may very well go to court.

And again, Thicke having mentioned that he wanted to mimic Gaye’s style in a national magazine is not great for his case.

Of course there’s selective memory.  “I do not recall saying that.”

So who’s right? 

That may be up for a judge to decide.

Marvin Gaye’s camp would of course have you believe that him saying he based his song on an MG groove and “let’s do something like that” is infringement.

But Marvin Gaye isn’t the first one to pair a funky bass line with a cowbell (and let’s all pray he’s not the last). Of course, Robin Thicke wouldn’t be the first one to have to payout for having a groove too similar to an existing work.

So is it inspiration, or infringement?

Let us know in the comments after you give the two songs a listen – we’d love to hear your thoughts.

How To Build A Professional Music Team

Music Team

Music Team

So you’ve recorded a cd, played some pretty big shows, and are making some noise in your local scene…now what? Do you know how to take your career to the next level? After a certain point, bands need to start looking at putting together a team to help them get further in the industry. This is where the Artist Professional Team comes in. This is your elite team of industry insiders that are diligently working to get your music and your band out to the public…or at least that’s what they should be doing. It’s important to know the role of each member of your professional team so that you can hire the best person for the job.

Personal Manager

Probably the most important person working for your band, the personal manager is essentially the quarterback of your band. They’re responsible for coordinating all efforts between the band and your record label, radio promoter, publicist, publisher, booking agent, and business manager and all other music contacts. Your personal manager should be the first member of your team that you choose, and can then help you assemble the rest of your team. The manager will also usually make some business decisions for the band, assist in the creative process, as well as working with your record label. Personal Managers usually take about 15-20% of a band’s gross income.

Business Manager

You may not be able to afford a business manager at first, but the more money you start making, the more likely it is that you’re going to need a business manager. The business manager usually collects royalty checks for the artists, takes care of their bills, and makes sure to properly handle all taxes and investments on behalf of the artist. Business managers are usually CPAs and can either take 5% of the artist’s gross income, or work for an hourly rate or flat fee.

Attorney

Probably the most powerful member of your music contacts will be your attorney. The attorney deals on your behalf with all the major power brokers you encounter during the course of your career. Your attorney should be heavily involved in negotiations whenever you sign contracts with publishers, labels, managers, and agent. Many of the most prominent entertainment attorneys are based in New York and Los Angeles, but others have been spreading to cities such as Nashville, Atlanta, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Attorneys can either take 5% of any deals they negotiate, or can work for an hourly rate or flat fee.

Booking Agent

Having the right booking agent can make the difference between playing a good show and playing a great show. Agents are responsible for scheduling live performances for artists for either individual dates, or regional and national tours. You want to find a talented agent that has established relationships with many of the big name venues all throughout the country. Booking agents can sometimes be the most difficult member of your team to secure because you often need to convince them that you are worth their time and effort. Agents usually take 10% of the artist gross for live performances, not including merchandise.

Publicist

The publicist’s job is to obtain media coverage for clients in print, tv, and electronic media. Their responsibilities usually include securing media coverage, mailing/emailing press kits to music writers, communicating with the manager/agent/record label, and hiring hair and makeup teams for tv and magazine shoots. Publicists can get paid anywhere from $1500-$5000 per month and usually begin work several months before major releases and announcements.

By Ryan J. Colburn

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From Wrinkles to Rap, a Rock Award’s Shifting Cast: 2013 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction

From the Heart: Heart singer Ann Wilson looks on as sister Nancy Wilson hugs presenter Chris Cornell at the 28th Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in L.A.

From the Heart: Heart singer Ann Wilson looks on as sister Nancy Wilson hugs presenter Chris Cornell at the 28th Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in L.A.

Heart, trailblazers for women in rock music, and the producer Lou Adler were inducted, while the queen of disco, Donna Summer, and the blues guitar legend Albert King were posthumously honored.

When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last held its annual induction ceremony here 20 years ago, the singer and songwriter Randy Newman thought he might get his ticket into the hall. (He did not.) And the politically charged rap act Public Enemy had already logged hits with titles like “Fight the Power” and “Burn Hollywood Burn” that promised to overthrow the established order.

But Hollywood royalty was on hand to honor both Mr. Newman and Public Enemy here on Thursday night, as both acts were inducted into the Hall of Fame, a reflection of the huge growth in hip-hop’s popularity and influence over the last two decades and of the rapidly growing musical diversity in the hall.

“We represent the hip-hop community that also deserves recognition today,” said Chuck D, one of Public Enemy’s founders. The group is only the fourth hip-hop act to make it into the hall, after Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five (2007), Run-DMC (2009) and the Beastie Boys (2012). But Chuck D predicted that there would be more soon, citing other influential rappers like L L Cool J and Salt-n-Pepa. “Many of them you will see here in the next 10 years,” he said.

Musicians become eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single.

The show’s return to Los Angeles was part of a strategy to make the induction ceremony more accessible to the public, which has also involved holding it in larger spaces in recent years. In coming years it may rotate among New York, Cleveland (site of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum) and Los Angeles, officials said.

In keeping with the pomp that people have come to expect at this city’s award shows, performers filed along the red carpet (sometimes with the help of an escort to fend off the shrieking fans) into the 7,100-seat Nokia Theater. There, a sold-out crowd was treated to performers from different epochs and musical genres playing together onstage, a hallmark of the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

Usher did his best Michael Jackson impression as a tribute to the producer Quincy Jones, who was inducted this year. Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters introduced Rush, which was inducted, and performed with the group onstage. Don Henley, Tom Petty and John Fogerty all played with Mr. Newman.

Aside from Public Enemy, all of the eight inductees had recorded some of their greatest successes by the 1970s, if not earlier. Heart, trailblazers for women in rock music, and the producer Lou Adler were inducted, while the queen of disco, Donna Summer, and the blues guitar legend Albert King were posthumously honored.

Mr. Newman, 69, joked about the age of many of the performers, including himself.

After being snubbed for two decades, he said, “I did think I was going to have to die and I’d be watching from below with my relatives.” He played a song called “I’m Dead (But I Don’t Know It),” about old musicians with gray hair who won’t retire “clogging the stage.”

Mr. Jones, already the recipient of 27 Grammys over the course of a career that has paired him with legends from Ray Charles to Michael Jackson, also noted how long it had taken him to get in. “I didn’t want to get into the Hall of Fame too early, so we waited a while,” he said.

As the night went on, the mood continued to lighten. Flavor Flav of Public Enemy no doubt assumed he had given the longest, most haphazard speech when he went on about his children and the clock he wears around his neck (among other subjects) until even his band mate, Chuck D, was giving him wrap-it-up signals on the stage.

“I only get to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame one time in my life,” Flavor Flav said. “I’m enjoying this.”

Not to be outdone, Alex Lifeson, Rush’s singer and guitarist, then gave an acceptance speech in which he repeated “blah blah” over and over for several minutes while aggressively gesticulating, leaving the crowd in hysterics.

Via The New York Times
Photo: Rolling Stone

[The end of each ceremony always raises the question: who will be inducted next year? One strong possibility is Nirvana, who will be eligible – their first single, “Love Buzz,” was released in 1988. “Wow, I didn’t even know that,” said Grohl. “Interesting. Well, hopefully they make us wait as long as Rush did, because did you see all their fucking fans out there tonight?”]

Making Money with Music: Tour or Go Hungry

With album revenues down, the live music business is booming. Yet concert promoters are complaining about greedy artists and shrinking revenues. Many bands, though, barely make enough to stay afloat.

By Thomas Schulz – Spiegel

It’s day five and the band is no longer in top form. The guitarist has back pain, the keyboard player has sore thumbs and they all have colds. Beer and energy drinks alternate as the beverages of choice backstage. The band Klee is on tour, and it still has 19 cities to visit in the next six weeks.

“That’s nothing compared to last year,” says Suzie Kerstgens, Klee’s lead singer. The band played 130 concerts last year, giving its all for up to two hours at each appearance, whether in a smaller venue like the eastern Germany city of Zwickau or in the German capital Berlin.

Klee has just released a new album. The reviews have been excellent, sales are going well and the album has climbed into the Top 20. But gone are the days when this kind of success was enough to pay for sports cars and little beachfront houses. To make money these days, musicians are forced to spend more and more time on tour and less time in the recording studio.

The music business has changed fundamentally. In 2003, concert ticket sales brought in 60 percent of revenues in the music market, while record sales accounted for only 40 percent. As recently as the mid-1990s, those numbers were the other way around. What has happened is something aging rock star David Bowie years ago predicted would happen as a result of Internet music exchanges and record piracy. “Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity,” he said. “You’d better be prepared for doing a lot of touring because that’s really the only unique situation that’s going to be left.”

The consequences have since become obvious. According to rock star Alanis Morissette’s manager, “only 10 percent of artists make money on record sales; the rest go on tour.”

Revenues higher this year

Ticket dealer CTS Eventim sells tickets to some 85,000 events a year throughout Europe — and last year Germany’s concert market had an estimated value of just under €3 billion, even with the biggest stars not on tour. Revenues will likely be much higher this year, with concerts by artists ranging from Robbie Williams to Madonna, Depeche Mode to Xavier Nadoo.

Despite occasionally astronomical ticket prices, many concerts sell out within days. Eventim managed to unload more than 80,000 tickets for Madonna’s two German concerts within a few hours. “We could easily have sold 3 million tickets the first day,” says Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg.

Eventim sold more than 40 million tickets in Europe last year alone. And to ensure itself a constant influx of new concerts, the ticket dealer has purchased shares in leading concert promotion companies, including Marek Lieberberg, FKP Scorpio and Peter Rieger.

Now the company, based in the northern German city of Bremen, also plans to capture a share of the ticket scalpers’ market. To coincide with this week’s opening of the Popkomm music show, Eventim will launch its new online ticket reselling platform, Fansale. CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg estimates that up to 2 million tickets a year will be sold privately through the new site. By charging commissions of up to 25 percent, the company plans to secure a new source of revenue. Eventim’s revenues amounted to 256 million last year, a 15 percent increase over 2004 revenues.

0,1020,705902,00But the industry’s biggest stars are the ones who are benefiting the most from the live music boom. Indeed, major bands have been earning most of their income at concerts for some time now. U2, for example, earned €122 million last year, according to estimates by Rolling Stone, with fully €110 million of that coming from concerts and merchandising. Despite selling only about half a million albums worldwide, Neil Diamond ranked sixth among the industry’s top moneymakers — thanks to €35 million in revenues from an extended tour. Mariah Carey recorded the US’s top-selling album last year, which sold 5 million copies, but didn’t go on tour. As a result, she wasn’t even ranked among the 30 highest-earning music stars.

Up to €1 million for a concert

This comes as no surprise. Even the most established superstars still collect only five or six euros for each record they sell — but up to €1 million for a single concert.

As the record companies watch their sales decline, they can only look on with envy as their stars rake in the cash. For some years now, music companies have been pushing for record contracts that would garner them an average of 10 percent of artists’ concert proceeds — but with marginal success. More surprising is the fact that even concert promoters are hardly benefiting from the boom in their own industry. “We make about €7 million on revenues of €100 million — it’s consistent, but not particularly sexy for some,” says Marek Lieberberg, whose concert agency made it to seventh place worldwide with more than a million tickets sold in the first half of 2006.

Lieberberg still remembers the good old days when concert promoters were treated with a measure of success. He himself, along with major players Fritz Rau and Peter Rieger, managed to bring bands like The Who and Pink Floyd to Germany. Sometimes, contracts were drafted on napkins.

Nowadays artists’ contracts with promoters can run up to 400 pages, with everything specified down to the tiniest detail, including the font to be used on posters. “Practically all the decisions are being made from abroad, down to the exact locations of posters in (the mid-sized northern German city of) Gelsenkirchen,” says Lieberberg.

Lieberberg, incensed over the meddling and controlling behavior of international superstars and their agents, says that “even the Bulgarian government bureaucracy is flexible by comparison.” The consequence for German promoters like Lieberberg: “We now have very little influence over their success or failure.”

They have even less influence over prices. “They have no sense of shame,” says Lieberberg. Until the mid-1990s, 100 Deutschmarks (about $50) was about the highest price most artists would charge for their concert tickets. Anyone who chose to exceed that limit either had to be of Rolling Stones caliber or willing to perform to half-empty stadiums. Today stars like Robbie Williams won’t go below €70, and the price of a Madonna ticket can range up to €192. Even moderately successful groups like the Pussycat Dolls refuse to even set foot on the stage for anything less than €45 a ticket.

Greater financial risk

Instead of hiring in-country promoters to market their tour stops in return for giving up a share of their revenues, many major bands are now marketing their tours themselves. Though this means assuming greater financial risk, it also gives the bands direct access to all revenues — and control over ticket prices. The national promoters are only hired to organize and stage the actual concerts. Lieberberg, for example, was paid all of $50,000 for a Madonna concert.

But German promoters have a trick or two up their sleeves. One is something known in the industry as “English costs,” a system whereby German promoters charge the international stars’ agents, most of whom are headquartered in London, inflated event costs. “They usually have a file filled with a completely separate set of invoices where everything costs more than it really does,” says an industry insider.

Even when international stars hire German companies to promote and organize their concerts, the German companies earn far less than they used to — and assume much greater risk. Bands are now demanding enormous, guaranteed advances that are not dependent on ticket sales. The Rolling Stones, for example, wanted guaranteed sales in the two-digit millions for their last German tour.

Meanwhile, advances of half a million euros per concert have become standard for many well-known groups. Although the promoter stands to earn an initial share of 15 to 30 percent of ticket sales, it’s also up to the promoter to ensure that enough tickets are sold in the first place to pay the band.

This arrangement doesn’t always work, even with major stars. Last year Paul McCartney was scheduled to perform at Germany’s Schalke Stadium, which holds an audience of about 60,000, a capacity that was reflected in his fee. But when only about 10,000 tickets were sold, the promoter found himself on the verge of bankruptcy. Only at the last minute did the former Beatle agree to move the performance to a much smaller venue.

Music festivals — more enjoyable and profitable for promoters — are a different story altogether. Lieberberg, for example, has been organizing the classic “Rock am Ring” festival at Germany’s Nürburgring racetrack for 20 years, and launched his “Rock im Park” event in Nuremberg a few years ago.

“Really nice of Nena”

But there is one respect in which the festivals no longer differ from tours. “Most artists,” says Lieberberg, “are getting more and more greedy.” The stars performing at this year’s “Rock am Ring” earned a combined fee of €4.1 million. Three years ago they were earning half as much.

A successful German band can now charge €50,000 to €100,000 to appear at a festival. An international star commands a quarter million while the headliner takes home a million euros. However, the musicians’ expenses are not included in their fees. Bands that show up with four truckloads of equipment and a 20-man crew often end up with little in the way of income.

Even in a year that features tours by major artists from Robbie Williams to Depeche Mode, the biggest superstars make up only a fraction of total ticket sales. “They don’t account for more than 5 to 10 percent of our sales,” says ticket dealer Schulenberg. The ones that do bring in the revenues are bands like Klee, whose extensive tours and fan communities are more characteristic of the market — and are barely able to make ends meet. “If we end up with an audience of only 300 people one night, we go home with less in our pockets than the lighting guy,” says keyboard player Sten Servaes.

Last year Klee discovered what it feels like to play the biggest venues and arenas, when German pop legend Nena personally chose the band to open for her on her tour. But far from making money on the deal, Klee in fact ended up not getting paid at all. Major stars usually charge hefty fees to up-and-coming bands for the privilege of the media exposure performing with them brings with it — fees upwards of €10,000 per event. “But we didn’t have to pay anything,” says Klee guitarist Tom Deininger. “That was really nice of Nena.”

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

10 Of The Worst Modern Bands

Compiling a list of the worst bands is pretty much a no-win scenario. People are going to laugh, cry and threaten to kill you when you pick their favorite band. But in the modern era, we rely on these bands to distinguish who’s worth illegally downloading.  In our opinion, these are 10 of the worst modern bands.

1. One Direction

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People only like them because they are a bunch of pretty boys even though their music sucks. Nobody cares about the Joe bros anymore, even if they do suck. At least 1D doesn’t have a Disney series, but still a band who are only popular because of their annoying teenage fan base who seem to think being good-looking makes you good at singing.

2. La Oreja de Van Gogh

LaOreja

If you recorded every time your drama-queen sister cried when rejected by a stud, or had a tantrum after a love-fight or a break-up, and set it to melodramatic movie music, you would have La Oreja de Van Gogh’s almost entire song list. They also wrote “Adelante” the international anthem of Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, BBVA, nice uh? Now what if that drama-queen sister of yours was lead singer in a band? Well, this is how the melodramatic lyrics written by La Oreja’s lead singers and mates would sound like.

Back in the ’80s, most of pop in Spanish bands that grew out of their local markets came from Spain. But those days the playing field were flatter than Earth was for 15th-century conquistadors, and La Oreja attempted to take over radio waves in the New World.

Their records, which to virgin ears or someone with a severed ear will sound refreshing and innovative back in the then current reggaeton-overdosed state of Hispanic boring pop music, were pretty much similar to the previous release (i.e. ‘Guapa’ and ‘Lo Que Te Conté Mientras Te Hacías la Dormida’), and the band’s music did not ventured beyond the melodic-guitar pop rock infused with a synthesizer found on most of, if not all of its albums, and seeing as how it tends to err, discover new markets with each release (U.S. peeps in this case), La Oreja played safer than Chris Columbus landing on a Bahamian beach. The band have seen its share of fame and fortune, no doubt, through the possession of the ring of power. The single ‘La niña que llora en tus fiestas’ released in 2011 is a promise that the band is keeping the crying that has made La Oreja a successful, if not a talented band, in Spain and Latin America selling over 8 million records.

3. Limp Bizkit

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Limp Bizkit shot to fame behind guitarist Wes Borlands outlandish performance appearance, and lead singer/rapper Fred Durst somehow fooling audiences into believing that he possessed any level of awesomeness. He possessed none whatsoever. The band altogether, did possess an astronomically high level of bat-shit insanity. Question, how can 5 perfectly sane men agree to name their creation “Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water”? The answer is they can’t. All 5 were as crazy as any notion that they produced any good material.

Thank goodness they broke up because Borland would have murdered Durst in an insane rage, catapulting his douche baggery to the level of influencing lead singers to this day. Imagine a world with every band, sporting an immature tool who thinks he’s a rapper commanding all the attention. They eventually reunited and continue to annoy audiences worldwide

4) Nickelback

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A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Nickelback successfully completed the soundtrack to the clone invasion soon to come, by taking every rock and roll cliche and using it in the most cliche way possible. Lead singer Chad Kroeger, his two brothers and some dude stole their bands name from some barista chick at Starbucks, and then went on to be named Billboards Adult Pop Artist of the Decade in ’09. Nickelback also boasts the distinguishing honor of being the greatest Canadian contribution to American pop culture next to Degrassi Junior High.

If your mind gets blown by the band who’s playing the band, disguised as another band, then Nickelback is the band for you. The only thing worse than their music is the fact that they still make it. After opening for the 2010 Olympics the band announced plans to release their seventh album in late 2011. OMG!

5) Coldplay

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Now before you insult me in comments to express how important you feel Coldplay is, take a second to contemplate the size of the chunks they blow, while their song that you are playing makes you contemplate suicide. The band are very pretty but very boring. Their songs are half-written and they play them at half-speed so you don’t notice how little there is to their stuff.  Arguably the most talented band on this list, which only makes things worse, Coldplay is a bad mixed cake made of Radiohead and Oasis batter, that tastes and sounds like s*it. It’s amazing how followers can eat it and remain alive to tell tales of the abysmal darkness, buried deep within their albums.  But there’s hope: Chris Martin recently played a beautiful song with REM’s frontman who sang the song.  And Chris was pretty humble introducing his guest artist.

Chris Martin

6) Good Charlotte

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Any band that credits the legendary Social Distortion as a strong musical influence would be expected to make good songs, and Good Charlotte does. That is, if you’re into sappy, slap-happy, MTV friendly ballads written for teenagers, grounded in assumptions of the worlds inability to understand them. Those teenagers are absolutely correct by the way. No one will ever understand how they can tolerate this worse, even less talented version of Blink 182. It is certifiably impossible to discern which of the Madden brothers sucks the most, or which one dated the bigger slag.

Good Charlotte makes two fighting Hyenas sound like a 150 piece classical orchestra, and in their music, anything old is new. The band completed a studio album in early 2010, but quickly scrapped it entirely, utterly confident in their ability to create anything worse. On September 1, 2011, Good Charlotte announced a hiatus via interview with Rolling Stone. In an interview with The Gunz Show, bassist Paul Thomas revealed that Good Charlotte may not begin recording a new album until 2013.

7) Jonas Brothers

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Known for their Brady Bunch-like wholesome image, the Jonas Brothers lifted swooning to new pedestals in the mid 2000’s. Their innocent teenage girl hormone exciting, gender bending, expedited adolescent sound can be summed up in one word, Disney. Well documented are the purity rings and the evangelical tone, but even hardcore fans are surprised to learn that the band hails from the recently infinitely glamorized, Jersey Shore. Sorrentino, Polizzi, JONAS?!

Well versed in the classic, the trio are workaholics, and have amassed in six years, a catalogue more extensive than most bands from the 1960’s and 70’s. While a third of the world would like to see them involved in a fatal car accident, one hopes witnessing their direction (or misdirection) freed from the walls of the house that Walt Disney built. We shall see.

8) Goo Goo Dolls

Goo_Goo_Dolls

One listen to any Goo Goo Dolls record instantly reverts any middle-aged woman onto a dramatic, obsessed pubescent girl. Whenever I hear them and their trademark sound, optimally composed to grocery shop or ride elevators to, I get infuriated due to the fact that the band was days away from breaking up before writing “Iris”, the song that instantly catapulted them to worldwide superstar status. Oh, and lead singer Johnny Rzeznik will totally bone your wife, weather she wants it or not.

Analyzing the Goo Goo Dolls material is right on par with watching a newly painted wall dry, then repeatedly bashing your head into it. The band released their latest album in summer 2010 and have recorded a live mini concert performed at the Apple Store in Manhattan, NY in December, which they released in 2011.

9) Oasis

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Why is Oasis among the worst? Because Liam Gallagher only plays tambourine and possesses the single most nasal voice in pop, and was obnoxious enough to make fun of INXS at an award ceremony when INXS’s front man and singer Michael Hutchenson handed him an award. Because “Wonderwall” is pure nonsense. Because they combine simple composition with over-the-top production and pretentious length. “Champagne Supernova,” anyone? Because they’ve been caught ripping off other artists’ songs, including Stevie Wonder, The New Seekers, and Neil Innes. Because their backstage altercations always boiled down to sibling rivalry. What’s next, hair-pulling and time-outs? But mainly because courting comparisons to the Beatles is always lame, no exceptions. See also: Liam Gallagher On His Brother Noel: “I’d Rather Eat My Own Shit Than Be In A Band With Him Again”

10) Rush

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It’s often said that people either love Rush or hate them, but a more accurate statement is that most people hate Rush, while a scattered few really love them. Rush is perhaps the only ’80s band, along with U2, that can sell out 20,000-seat venues on tour. So “a scattered few really love them” isn’t just a bad argument; it’s a falsehood.

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Today, I figured I’d poke a little fun at some of the most insanely zealous rock fans out there. Man, do Rush fans love their Toronto Trio. NEIL PERT RULES!!!!! The thing is, the rest of the world who isn’t a die hard Rush fan, is unable to tolerate them for much more than a few seconds. There is very little middle ground with these guys.Actually, the title of this post is misleading. I could only come up with 1,742 why our mulletted Canadian friends are crap. But really, there is only one that matters. Two words: Tom Sawyer. That synth / techno / disco opening shakes my bones like a dentist drill. Not a fan.

The Best 90 Minutes of My Life – Thurston Moore


The first time I ever heard of someone making a mix tape was in 1978. Robert Christgau, the “dean of rock critics,” was writing in The Village Voice about his favorite Clash record, which just happened to be the one he made himself: a tape of all the band’s non-LP B-sides. One aspect really struck me – Christgau said it was a tape he made to give to friends. He had made his own personalized Clash record and was handing it out as a memento of his rock-and-roll devotion.

In those days, tape decks were as essential as turntables and just as bulky. But then Sony came out with the Walkman. I suppose the record industry expected consumers to buy cassettes of the LPs, and some surely did, but hey – why not just buy blank cassettes and record tracks from LPs instead? Of course, this is what every Walkman user did, and before long there were warning stickers on records and cassettes, stating: home taping is killing music! It was a quaint forebear of today’s industry paranoia over downloading and CD burning.

Around 1980, there was a spontaneous scene of young bands recording singles of superfast hardcore punk – Minor Threat, Negative Approach, Necros, Battalion of Saints, Adolescents, Sin 34, the Meatmen, Urban Waste, Void, Crucifucks, Youth Brigade, the Mob, Gang Green. I was fanatical and bought them all as soon as they came out. I was just a dishwasher at a SoHo restaurant – not exactly raking in the dough – but I needed these sides!

I also needed to hear these records in a more time-fluid way, and it hit me that I could make a mix tape of all the best songs. So I made what I thought was the most killer hardcore tape ever. I wrote H on one side, and C on the other. That night, after my love Kim had fallen asleep, I put the tape in our stereo cassette player, dragged one of the little speakers over to the bed, and listened to it at ultralow thrash volume. I was in a state of humming bliss. This music had every cell and fiber in my body on heavy sizzle mode. It was sweet.

On a Sonic Youth tour in the mid-’80s, we decided to get a cassette player for the van. One idea was to install a dashboard unit, but that was pricey. There was a street trend in NYC of hip hop heads blasting rap mix tapes through massive boom boxes, or “ghetto blasters.” So I went into this Delancey Street store and, using the band’s limited funds, bought the biggest boom box on display: a Conion that took 16 D batteries. The Conion – we nicknamed it “the Conan” – was almost like an extra body, about the size of a small kid. My solution was to stand it on end between the two front seats, facing the back. As we drove through the Holland Tunnel and began to distance ourselves from the city, I jammed in the first of the rap compilations I’d made, and the boom box sounded superb.

We had it onstage with us when we played, and I miked it through the PA for between-song tape action. Kids gave us cassettes all across the US – some of them hopeful demos and some mix tapes, and we’d jam them all. By tour’s end, there must have been hundreds of tapes strewn about the van, with their plastic cases stomped and cracked.

These days, CD technology has displaced the cassette in the mainstream, and mix CDs have become the new cultural love letter/trading post. For those of us who think that digital delivers a harsher sound than analog, it’s a sonic nightmare dealing with the new world reality of MP3s. They’re even more compressed and harsh than CDs, and in the case of vintage grooves – be it Led Zeppelin, Bad Brains, or Pavement – sound even more detached from musical vibration.

But even if MP3 music sounds lame, as long as it’s recognizable in form, free, and shareable, it’s here to stay. It will get better as more sophisticated methods of replication emerge. For now, its clunk is glamorized by celebrity iTunes playlists. ITunes has become the Hallmark card of mix tapes – all you gotta do is sign your name to personalize it.

Once again, we’re being told that home taping (in the form of ripping and burning) is killing music. But it’s not: It simply exists as a nod to the true love and ego involved in sharing music with friends and lovers. Trying to control music sharing – by shutting down P2P sites or MP3 blogs or BitTorrent or whatever other technology comes along – is like trying to control an affair of the heart. Nothing will stop it.

Adapted from Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture, edited by Thurston Moore, to be published by Universe in May.

Note: Originally published by COPYFIGHT
CCCB Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona.