The Phantom City

Notes from our travels across a mysterious world.

Category: Music (page 2 of 2)

The 21st Century Music Reform Act

Another modest proposal from U.S. Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters. This time she proposes eliminating the current section of law that allows musicians to record covers, as long as they pay a fee. She proposes that a private organization set the rules and rates.

Ms. Peters seems to be making this sort of grand gesture a habit.

Link courtesy of the Lessig Blog

The Notorious B.I.G. M.A.C.

Apparently McDonald’s ad company wants to pay rappers to mention the Big Mac in their songs. (Yeah, I checked the date, and they would have been a bit early for April Fools. Now that doesn’t mean the Daily News didn’t get fooled.) Rappers could get $1 to $5 every time their song is played on the radio.

I wonder if that would include Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s song It Takes Two. After all, this was one of the lines: “I like the Whopper, f*** the Big Mac!”

Link courtesy of Metafilter

Dude, Where’s My Music?

So, some companies are planning to compete with iTunes by offering a music rental service, where you can get unlimited tracks for a monthly fee but those tracks will die if you do not have a current subscription to the service.

While I can see some advantages — trying out new music, getting rid of songs you never listen to — I’m wondering why the same companies that can’t compete with iTunes in the first place think folks will drop the “I bought it, it’s mine” mindset given to us by years of buying CDs, records, and tapes? And for that matter, why should we? Record companies obviously did well off of it. Can you imagine being the customer service person who has to explain to a customer why half their collection just stopped working?

I probably shouldn’t be so cynical about it. At least they’re trying new business models in response to new technology. However, a lot of media companies are trying to move towards an information rental society, and this seems like one more idea from that bankrupt concept. (Did I say “a lot of media companies?” I guess there aren’t really a lot, anymore.)

Equation doesn’t add up

Backstreet Boys + Matchbox Twenty + Goo Goo Dolls + Train

There are some equations that should never be solved.

I’m going to put this in the Music category, even though it pains me.

Courtesy of Best Week Ever

Great concert

Went to the Sarah McLachlan concert in Raleigh Friday evening. While we’re both fans, neither of us had seen her in person before now, and I was a little worried about how the whole singer/songwriter thing would come off in an arena (the RBC Center…or Centre, since RBC stands for Royal Bank of Canada).

Of course, I had forgotten that Sarah is Big in Canada™, and that usually means Good Live, no matter where you see the act. (Think Rush.) The RBC Center is a good venue for that sort of concert — it was built recently to house hockey and basketball, meaning the seats would need to be fairly close to the court area. She hit the usual hits, as well as a fair amount of material from the latest album, much as one would expect, and the crowd was really into it. We got two encores, one that was probably planned and one that perhaps was not. (Oddly enough, someone threw a broken lighter up onstage during the concert. I’m not sure what that was about. Those floor tickets were too expensive to buy just to show up and throw hard objects.)

Anyway, we’ve been having pretty good luck with arena concerts. While most we’ve gone to have been in the outdoor amphitheater type setting that seems to be ubiquitous, we have been to see Bob Dylan in Winston-Salem — which was probably my favorite concert, with near-front-row tickets for Tom Petty coming in a close second — and now Sarah in arenas, and those have worked out well.

Check out the tour if you can. It’s ending its North American run in September, so you’ll want to get tickets now. Hopefully she’ll start coming through here regularly, like Petty does.

Note: I will have to give the concert an award for most gratuitous use of a glowing stump, however. During the setup, we watched a fellow working diligently in a giant tree stump on the stage. The stump’s interior was covered in a fabric that was underlit with red light, suggesting lava…in a stump. So, you figure something cool is going to happen, right?

During the middle of the set, something starts to rise up out of the stump. Is it lava…smoke…a special guest star? Nope, it’s a drum set. To supplement the perfectly good drum set already being played by Ashwin Sood, who promptly got up and went over to play the new drum set with whisks instead of sticks. Oh well, I guess there’s an advantage to being married to the lead singer. 🙂

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