Thursday, May 3, 2007

Sunday ... er, Thursday night link dump

Well, this was supposed to be a Sunday night link dump but I started it and then, got distracted. So now it's a Thursday night link dump. I haven't done one in awhile so I thought I would take a moment and put together one since I'm doing nothing but watching the stupid television. So here's a bunch of stuff which I thought was worth reading.

First, who needs a record company?: ["The songbird who's outselling Take That with her homemade album"]. This is one of the great things about technology and the good side of the state of the music business. An artist doesn't need a record company anymore. Everything can be done online, without the middle people. Sure, the artist still needs PR - how else do you think this newspaper got the story? But other than that, what else is a record company good for anymore? Crappy radio? Crappy videos? Payola schemes? As Jello Biafra used to sing, "If The Doors or John Lennon were getting started now, the industry wouldn't sign them in a million years." And yet, there they are, staples of the classic rock radio format, playing the same songs over and over and over ...

Flying desserts: Sticking with music for a minute, what happens when the singer of your "famous" punk rock band doesn't want to do the nostalgia/reunion/401k tour crap? Well, you find another singer - or two. Hmm. OK. So, what happens when you're a fan of said band and you aren't happy with this? Umm, well, you plunk down some money for the tickets and you shower the band in Jell-O: ["The 'Dead Kennedys' Get Jello-ed by Axis of Evil"]. This is well worth the six-plus minutes of your time. And while you're there, check out these two other clips of Jello back when he ran for mayor of San Francisco: ["Jello Biafra clip"] and ["Biafra Election News"].

Rush and the Fairness Doctrine: Speaking of You Tube videos, has anyone seen this?: ["Obama the Magic Negro"]. This was put together by Rush Limbaugh contributor, Paul Shanklin, who has done a ton of these over the years, including some pretty hilarious anti-Clinton stuff. However, with all the Imus stuff which went on a few weeks ago, you have to wonder why this is allowed on the air without criticism. Of course, a reintroduction of the Fairness Doctrine, which is badly needed, would change all that: ["Dingell Backs Return of Fairness Doctrine"]. Dingell and others are correct to take this on. It's badly needed. And if reimplemented, folks like Limbaugh and Imus wouldn't have to worry because after three hours of their shilling, someone on the other side of opinion would get three hours to counter their nonsense.

Sunday shows: Media Matters released a report a few weeks ago analyzing the Sunday morning talk shows. In previous reports, they have shown the Sunday show guests to be overwhelmingly conservative. After seeing the report, a number of producers stated that the slant was there because Republicans controlled the House and Senate, and therefore, were in a more influential political position. But guess what? Seven months after the Democrats swept into power, the slant remains: ["If It's Sunday, It's Still Conservative"]. I used to be a regular watcher of "Meet the Press." I often joked that it was my church or, that I couldn't go to church because "Meet the Press" was on at the same time. Of late, probably since after the midterm elections, I haven't watched the program, mostly because I've been doing other things on Sunday mornings. So, I haven't really noticed whether there was a difference or not. The other part of this, of course, is the issue of journalists. I get sick of seeing and hearing the same Washington beltway-types on the roundtable shows. Personally, I don't mind some of the opinions of George Will, David Broder or the insipid Cokie Roberts. But, I would like to see some fresh blood on the programs. This is one of the reasons I prefer to watch the weekday political shows like "Hardball" or even "Scaraborough Country," which has actually been pretty good of late. I would like to see some different political reporters every now and again, not just the same ones, over and over again.

The Death of Internet Radio is coming: ["CRB Denies Appeal of Internet Radio Royalty Rates"]. I'm beginning to wonder if the next step for Internet radio is to go directly to the artists and say, Hey, if you waive your huge royalty fees, we'll play your music on our Internet radio stations. Or, just play indie people who aren't interested - or obsessed - with the fees. I bet there are a lot of cool - and good - bands out there who are interested in the airplay.

Update: It looks like there will be a delay in implementation while the fee structure gets another look: ["Music webcasters' fee increased delayed"].

Other stuff: It looks like some Gore folks are forming a political team after all: ["Gore campaign team assembles in secret"]. It doesn't mean he is running but who knows. More fallout from the Gravel appearance ... in other words, he is getting some much-needed press: ["Mike Gravel: After Debate, Little-Known Democrat Draws a Crowd"]. Rate hikes for small publishers? Maybe: ["Stamp Out the Rate Hike"]. More cool space stuff: ["Potentially Habitable Planet Found"].

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