Death to Radio Homogenization!

I’m decades late on this rant, but this issue has really been bugging me as of late:  I hate the current state of the mainstream radio broadcasting industry.

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Taxpayers Fund RIAA’s War

I am a clear supporter of President Bush and his appointments, including Attorney General Ashcroft. However, I strongly disagree with the recent plan of action laid out by Ashcroft regarding intellectual property, copyright laws, and piracy.

What little information Congress has regarding the issues come directly from the RIAA and MPAA, organizations that benefit not the artists, not the consumers, but the middlemen who are trying desperately to hold onto their increasingly needless jobs.

As Jason Schultz of the EFF stated, “This is a clear example of getting taxpayers to fund the RIAA’s private war.”

Vicarious living through iTunes

Apple has finally released a Windows version of iTunes for the vast majority of Microsoft junkies like myself, and its presence on my desktop is like a breath of fresh air. Upon launching it, I feel uplifted morally somehow, as if it’s the first step in a MS recovery group.

My only qualm is that money spent in its store (which, at $0.99 per song, is the cheapest legal downloads have ever been) is still finding its way into the RIAA’s pockets.

Now if only I could purchase an iPod…

Steal this Image

Do you know what the Recording Industry Association of America is? Recently over a hundred normal consumers just found out by being sued for piracy, among them a 12-year old girl who has since payed $3,000 just to have her name cleared. If this is news to you, it’s time to get informed and involved.

If you’d like to spread the word, feel free to download this graphic and use it on your own website:

Update: How can you boycott the majority of record labels while still listening to your favorite music (legally)? There are two ways, which work hand in hand:

  1. Buy new music only after checking the band on RIAA Radar to see if it is an independent (good) or RIAA (bad) label.
  2. Buy RIAA content from used sellers, such as or local stores.

Boycott The RIAA

I repeat, boycott the Recording Industry Association of America.

An explanation of why isn’t exactly necessary, but as to how… check out RIAA Radar, a search engine that detects whether an artist is independent or not.

Richer Than They Think

There are few bands I respect more than Sixpence None the Richer, because (like most solid artists) their songs reflect real, personal emotions that are all too apparent in my own life. Their current album, Divine Discontent, stirs up memories (A Million Parachutes) and passions (Don’t Dream It’s Over) every time I listen to it.

Coconuts & Danny Kaye

Apparently “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts” (from The Lion King) is a real tune, sung by none other than the fantastic Danny Kaye.

I cannot tell you how much that simple tune frustrated me growing up, never knowing how it ended. Well now I know, and you can too.

Natalie Merchant on Her Own

In yet another triumphant blow to the oiled mustaches and bloated wallets of the recording industry, Natalie Merchant has gone independent.

Okay, so that’s almost old news now, but considering the rather more controversial subjects I want to talk about but barred via lack of a complete argument, it seemed worthy.

Music Selections Sidebar

I finally got the new Music Selections sidebar working; it’s a combination of Oddsock’s Do Something plugin for Winamp 2 and a little javascript. Now, if only it would work with the newest version of Winamp…

Update: Each time I add a post, Blogger reverts back to the old template (sans music selections). Hopefully they’ll take care of this soon.

The Internet Debacle - An Alternative View by Janis Ian, Grammy Award-winning musician and columnist for Performing Songwrite Magazine.

The whole internet downloading issue with the music industry and the RIAA is getting out of hand. Imagine a world where you are restricted from making any copy of a CD, can only play music in one type of CD player or risk crashing your computer, and pay each time you listen to a song.

This has gone far beyond downloading MP3s illegally — it’s the biggest challenge to consumer rights since the advent of the VCR. I’ll try to post a full argument in the near future about the danger of the recording industry’s stance and possible solutions to rightly put both the artists and consumers back in control.