Monthly Archives: September 2009

Blurt Band O’ The Week: Panther

 

Our third pick in a
new series: Portland
band’s new album is what’s twirling our tassels as we head into the weekend.
Check out the free MP3, below.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Panther’s new album is titled Entropy and it’s due out next Tuesday courtesy Kill Rock Stars. You
can our review HERE.

 

As BLURT’s Jennifer Kelly put it, “For Panther’s latest work…
pop forms are unceasingly put together, pulled apart and reassembled. Here
rhythms, melodies and harmonies rub together in a humming friction of point,
counterpoint and chaos.”

 

Panther is BLURT’s third official Band O’ The Week. (Previously:
The Clean, and Os Mutantes.) Check back each Friday for that week’s selection.

 

Check out the band’s MySpace page for song samples – and you
can get a taste right here, via their edgy cover of Can’s

 

 

 

 

Thrill Jockey Drops MORE Ltd-Ed 12″ers

Further evidence that
vinyl ain’t dead…

 

By Fred Mills

 

With the news of Tortoise’s limited edition 12″ of remixes
(on Thrill Jockey) still fresh, word now arrives of yet more foot-long vinyl
delights en route from the venerable indie label. Baltimore’s
Thank You, Jason Urick (from WZT Hearts), NYC’s White Hills (an Oneida offshoot) and Brooklyn’s
Mountains are all available.

 

What you’ll need to do is go to the TJ site for details on
how to snap ‘em up. Best not to delay, as they are limited editions, natch –
like, only 300 copies for one of ‘em. The label’s initial offering of its 12″ subscription
series sold out (so much for getting that Pit er Pat rec, kids), and as a
result it put together these new offerings. The next package ships in October,
followed by package #3 in November.

 

Also in the works  for
later this year are 12″ers from Javelin and Mi Ami (e.g. package #3), along
with a limited LP from Pontiak.

 

Thrill Jockey kindly provided the breakdown on the platters:

 

Thank You “Pathetic Magic” – This is a 12″ with two new
songs and three remixes of the songs by Dan Deacon, Asa Osborne (Lungfish) and
Jason Urick.  A very Baltimore heavy affair!

 

Jason Urick “Husbands” – This is a limited debut LP from Jason
Urick who you might remember from WZT Hearts. 
He creates minimalist electronic soundscapes that are ghosted and
fragmented melodies buried in distorted tones that slowly unfurl in subtle ways
that reward patient listeners.

 

White Hills “Dead” – Another recent signing to the Thrill Jockey
family.  This debut TJ 12″ is an EP
that provides a quick glimpse of the forthcoming album to come.  It features drumming from Kid Millions (of Oneida) and Antrønhy ØH
(of Julian Cope’s Black Sheep Band). 
Psychedelic space rock for the 21st century!

 

Mountains “Etching” – This is the limited vinyl version of a
live tour CD-R the band hand on their previous tour.  It features an early version of their set
from that tour and was recorded at their home studio entirely live. Each jacket
is hand-stamped and unique!

 

 

 

Rock Hall Nominees: We Feel Alright

 

Stooges, meet ABBA.
ABBA, meet Jimmy Cliff. Jimmy, meet Laura Nyro. Laura, meet Phil Collins… oops…

 

By Fred Mills

 

“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” writes BLURT contributor
Chris Parker
in the fall issue of BLURT, “is a once interesting idea that long ago lost its luster-or, for
that matter, its credibility. You’d have to visit post-war Iraq to find a plan with a more
muddled sense of purpose. Beset by cronyism, stylistic blinders and a
self-aggrandizing sense of entitlement, the Rock Hall’s become a sad, little
side show with less continuing relevance to the music world at large than the Pet Rock.
In April the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Jeff Beck, Little Anthony
& the Imperials, Metallica, Run-DMC, Bobby Womack, Wanda Jackson, Bill
Black, DJ Fontana and Spooner Oldham. Meanwhile obviously deserving and
influential artists including The Stooges, Kraftwerk, Tom Waits, and Joy
Division wait on the sidelines. Entire genres such as Prog Rock, Power Pop, and
American Hardcore are all but ignored by the cloistered self-congratulatory
backslappers that comprise the nominating committee. Shedding credibility like
contestants on The Biggest Loser shed pounds, the entire endeavor needs to be
taken out back and put out of its misery.”

 

Ouch. Apparently the Rock Hall has taken Parker’s
editorializing to heart, because the latest nominees, announced yesterday, show
a striking uptick in, dare we say it, rock
and roll-ness
. Get a look at the new list:

 

ABBA
The Chantels
Jimmy Cliff
Genesis
The Hollies
KISS
LL Cool J
Darlene Love
Laura Nyro
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Stooges
Donna Summer

 

Roughly 500 voters (musicians, industry pros, etc.) will be
casting their chits, from which 5 of the 12 nominee will be chosen for
induction at the Rock Hall’s 25th event held March 15 at NYC’s
Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Will this finally be the year of the Stooges? Smart
money says that the voters will no longer be able to ignore Iggy & Co.,
given the lumps the Rock Hall took this year about the Stooges following
guitarist Ron Asheton’s death. As far as the others are concerned, there’s no
question that oldies like the Hollies, Darlene Love and the Chantels are deserving
of recognition, and say what you will about Genesis or Laura Nyro, but both
artists created some genuinely groundbreaking music early on. KISS’ bonafides
are unimpeachable; it’s not like Gene Simmons is being nominated separately or
anything. ABBA and Donna Summer? Pop, but still pop with panache. Jimmy Cliff
has loads of cred, and we can even stomach the Chili Peppers on occasion. LL
Cool J’s presence on the ballot is sure to generate the usual hip-hop-ain’t-rock
commentary, but our prediction is that in the Obama era, that kind of talk will
likely be tamped down to a degree.

 

So is this a shameless, too-little-too-late grab for
credibility on the part of the Rock Hall? An instance of some of the dinosaurs
and industry insiders on the nominating committee finally dying out to make way
for fresh blood? Or just a fluke? It’s probably the latter, but for now, we’ll
just quote the Stooges and wait for March to arrive. I feel aw-right……..!

 

 

 

 

 

Merge’s SCORE! Remix Set Due in Nov.

 

Caribou, John
McEntire, Four Tet, Xiu Xiu, Mark Robinson and more do the deed.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Merge Records has announced the tracklisting for the label’s
upcoming SCORE! 20 Years of Merge
Records: The Remixes!
– available on limited edition CD and digital
download, it arrives Nov. 17. The lineup’s pretty impressive too, from Tortoise’s
John McEntire remixing Spoon and Caribou tacking Polvo (!), to dance mavens
Junior Boys putting their spin on Lambchop and Jason Forrest taking the Arcade
Fire’s classic “No Cars Go” out for a, ahem,”spin.”

 

As with the various other SCORE!-related releases that have
surfaced this year, all proceeds will benefit charities chosen by the SCORE! curators.

 

Track listing:

1. Caribou– Kalgon (Polvo)
2. Barbara Morgenstern– Mother of Pearl (Pram)
3. Four Tet– Baby’s Way Cruel (Guv’ner)
4. The Blow– Drill Me (I Was So There Remix) (Portastatic)
5. John McEntire– The Ghost of You Lingers (Spoon)
6. Jason Forrest– No Cars Go (Arcade
Fire)
7. Xiu Xiu– Volcana! (I Hope Your Train Crashes Remix) (The
6ths)
8. +/- {Plus/Minus} – Bow to the Middle (The Rosebuds)
9. Hands Off Cuba– Irene (Caribou)
10. Mark Robinson– Washington DC (The Magnetic Fields)
11. Junior Boys– The Nashville
Parent (Lambchop)

 

 

 

Thrill Jockey Drops MORE Ltd-Ed 12"ers

Further evidence that
vinyl ain’t dead…

 

By Fred Mills

 

With the news of Tortoise’s limited edition 12″ of remixes
(on Thrill Jockey) still fresh, word now arrives of yet more foot-long vinyl
delights en route from the venerable indie label. Baltimore’s
Thank You, Jason Urick (from WZT Hearts), NYC’s White Hills (an Oneida offshoot) and Brooklyn’s
Mountains are all available.

 

What you’ll need to do is go to the TJ site for details on
how to snap ‘em up. Best not to delay, as they are limited editions, natch –
like, only 300 copies for one of ‘em. The label’s initial offering of its 12″ subscription
series sold out (so much for getting that Pit er Pat rec, kids), and as a
result it put together these new offerings. The next package ships in October,
followed by package #3 in November.

 

Also in the works  for
later this year are 12″ers from Javelin and Mi Ami (e.g. package #3), along
with a limited LP from Pontiak.

 

Thrill Jockey kindly provided the breakdown on the platters:

 

Thank You “Pathetic Magic” – This is a 12″ with two new
songs and three remixes of the songs by Dan Deacon, Asa Osborne (Lungfish) and
Jason Urick.  A very Baltimore heavy affair!

 

Jason Urick “Husbands” – This is a limited debut LP from Jason
Urick who you might remember from WZT Hearts. 
He creates minimalist electronic soundscapes that are ghosted and
fragmented melodies buried in distorted tones that slowly unfurl in subtle ways
that reward patient listeners.

 

White Hills “Dead” – Another recent signing to the Thrill Jockey
family.  This debut TJ 12″ is an EP
that provides a quick glimpse of the forthcoming album to come.  It features drumming from Kid Millions (of Oneida) and Antrønhy ØH
(of Julian Cope’s Black Sheep Band). 
Psychedelic space rock for the 21st century!

 

Mountains “Etching” – This is the limited vinyl version of a
live tour CD-R the band hand on their previous tour.  It features an early version of their set
from that tour and was recorded at their home studio entirely live. Each jacket
is hand-stamped and unique!

 

 

 

SoundExchange Responds To Blurt Editorial

 

Our suggestion: hire
out of work rock critics to track down artists who are due royalties.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Apparently yesterday’s editorial about Sound Exchange (“Digital Dollars Due: SoundExchange”), penned by BLURT contributor Rev. Keith
A. Gordon, struck a nerve with the organization. Within just a few hours of
posting the article, SE Executive Director John L. Simson contacted us to offer
some clarifications and rebuttals on behalf of SoundExchange. (Sound Exchange
was formed by the Recording Industry Association of America [RIAA], the music
industry’s lobbying arm, as a non-profit organization collecting royalties for
the digital transmission of sound recordings and then paying artists and record
labels.)

 

In the original editorial, Gordon pointed out that thousands
of artists are listed on the SE website as being due money. Some are deceased
while others are, by dint of current inactivity, probably hard to track down,
although others – for example, Jules Shear, Ralph Towner and Type O Negative –
are presumably not all that obscure. (Yours truly, in fact, can put SE in touch
with Shear if they need assistance.) If royalties are not claimed within a
certain time, they’re forfeited to the organization, and both Gordon and BLURT
encourage ALL MUSICIANS to check the SE website to find out if in fact they or
someone they know are on the list. Read Gordon’s article here.

 

To view the list of artists who have not claimed their artists, go to the SE website and click on “Unregistered List” in the right column.

 

At any rate, Simson, in his letter (see below), wants to set
the record straight lest readers get the impression that his organization isn’t
fulfilling its mandate to get royalties into the hands of the appropriate
individuals. He cites “multiple phone calls, e-mails and other communication”
on the part of SE in its efforts to track the artists down, adding that they’ve
had plenty of success stories but acknowledging that some artists remain elusive.

 

In some instances, says Simson, “They simply fail to return
registration forms so that they can be paid.” It’s an evenhanded letter, and we
applaud his urging musicians to get in touch with SoundExchange. As he puts it,
“We hope that every one of them registers so that they can receive payments.”

 

***

 

Here’s the letter, in full:

 

 

Dear Reverend:

 

Thank you for your
recent article highlighting the need for artists to register with SoundExchange
so they can collect royalties they’ve earned when their recordings are played
on internet and satellite radio. A few things you may have missed: many of the
artists on the list are not “unfound” or “lost” and have received multiple
phone calls, e-mails and other communication from my staff, from consultants
who work for SoundExchange tracking down artists and fellow performers. They
simply fail to return registration forms so that they can be paid. In other
cases, like the Strawberry Alarm Clock, I tracked down the bass player in Calabasas, CA
and we got him signed up. However, he wasn’t able to get us the other members
of the band.

 

Typically, if an
artist has a web presence: a facebook page, a myspace page or a website, we
will send communications to them. We try many different methods to locate as
many people who are owed royalties as possible. We recently completed a
“match” comparing our database with those of CDBaby and ReverbNation. This
matching turned up about 12,000 hits. Letters will go out to those artists from
the respective companies alerting these artists that they have money at
SoundExchange. We hope that every one of them registers so that they can
receive payments. We have done similar matchings over the years with the Recording Academy, the Blues Foundation, AFM,
AFTRA and many other industry organizations. We have done preliminary matches
with ASCAP and BMI and are hopeful they will agree to do more to ensure that
their members are getting any royalties owed to them. (One issue with ASCAP and
BMI is that they will sometimes only have information regarding the songwriters
in a group and not those who didn’t write – we may only have a group name that
does not match the songwriter name they have in their database.)

 

I would be happy to
discuss this issue with you in more detail if you’d like to learn more about
our outreach efforts.

 

Best regards,

 

John L. Simson

Executive Director,
SoundExchange

1121 14th Street, N.W. Suite 700

Washington, D.C. 20005

Phone: 202-640-5890

Fax: 202-640-5891

 JSimson@soundexchange.com

www.soundexchange.com

 

 

***

 

Now (you knew there might be a “however” coming, right?),
although Simson makes a number of excellent points – and again, just to be
clear, this is all about people getting paid what they are due, not playing
music biz politics – it’s worth making a few additional points.

 

I talked to Gordon, and he noted that in the past he has contacted
various musicians after spotting their names on the unclaimed royalties list in
order to notify them they’re due money. How did he contact them? In a few
instances, he already had an address, email, or phone number; being a music
journalist for your entire adult life tends to help you build up a lot of
information, and this is a case of it definitely being useful information (compared to the typical geek-stuff we critics
file away mentally or in boxes in our attics). For others, he simply put in some
time employing Google and other search methods. There’s this little thing called
Directory Assistance you may have
heard of that telephone companies make available, too; if a ‘60s band was
originally from, say, San Diego, odds are better than none that a former member
of the band still lives there.

 

“Some of [Simson’s] assertions
are fair,” said Gordon, “and I do believe that SoundExchange does a decent job
in finding newer artists; the lack of more contemporary musicians on the list
would seem to bear this out. I have spoken personally with some of the older
artists on the list in the past, though, and they’ve expressed total surprise
when I told them about Sound Exchange. To a man – and woman – they all stated
that, to the best of their knowledge, neither they nor their representatives
had been contacted by the organization.

 

“I contacted three dozen artists on the list with the
information that the organization was holding money for them. Today, around 6
or 7 of those artists I contacted remain on the list, which says that they
didn’t listen to me the first time around, or my information didn’t get to the
right person. Of the 36, I personally knew 6 or 8 and was able to contact them
directly – and today they’re all off the list. I found the rest of them by
spending a couple of hours with Google and contacting them through their
websites.”

 

So this raises the question, if
a lowly roccrit can do the job that SoundExchange is supposed to be doing, and all by himself, and without compensation,
why the heck can’t SoundExchange scare up a handful of interns to do exactly
what Gordon did? Trust us, there are TONS of music fans that would LOVE to
intern for a respected, high-level music industry group like SoundExchange, and
some of them are probably well-qualified to put in the effort and research,
too. Let’s face it, SE staffers are faced with a daunting task, and it’s
unlikely they’re paid on a level of, say, a law office’s paralegals (just to
draw a parallel here – lawyers are always trying to track down individuals who
have gone missing, are off the grid or simply remain elusive). But if aided by
eager-beaver interns, there’s no doubt that the SE staff could up its “score”
ratio – which is why we think Simson’s suggesting that SE has been exercising
full due diligence may be a tad disingenuous.

 

Memo to SoundExchange: Google. Bing. Yahoo Search. Also: if you
don’t have anything but the name of a band in your database, go to Wikipedia,
All Music Guide and any number of internet resources that list band members.
You might not get an email or phone number right off the bat, but you’ll likely
get farther along the path than automatically relying on a match with the ASCAP
or BMI databases.

 

None of this is meant to
undermine Simson or SoundExchange – actually, what we’re hoping is that maybe
folks will start talking and the word about the royalties being held in escrow
will get out to artists.

 

But once again: a music critic spent a few hours of his own
time and located a couple of dozen artists that SE reportedly had been looking
for.
At the risk of sounding snarky, maybe SoundExchange should hire some
music critics to help out here – lord knows there are enough of us out of work
and needing the money these days, and our collective knowledge about music of
all eras and genres just may represent the most extensive music database on the
entire planet.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo O’ the Day: Port O’Brien

Port
O’Brien Gets Remixed by Bodega Girls plus Extend  US Tour with Headline Dates threadbare out Oct 6 on TBD records

 

By Blurt Staff

 

We just like the photo….

 

 

Anyhow, threadbare is the follow-up to 2008’s
acclaimed All We Could Do Was Sing. Parts of the album were recorded by
Jason Quever of Papercuts’ living room studio in San Francisco, while the rest were recorded
with Aaron Espinoza of Earlimart at the Ship recording studio.  It
became somewhat of a two sided record with dark, haunting, and at times
meditative songs paired up with the untiring, somewhat aggressive and punchy
anthems that Port O’Brien is becoming known for.  The last few years have
seen many adventures for the band.  The creation of this record came with
continuing changes both within the band personally, and sonically.

 

The band
is about to kick off an extensive tour TONIGHT with Sea Wolf followed by
headlining dates in November.

 

Port
O’Brien on tour:

September
23 Seattle, WA – Sunset Tavern*

September
25 Salt Lake City, UT – In The Venue*

September
26 Denver, CO – Hi-Dive*

September
28 Omaha, NE
– The Slowdown*

September
29 Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry*

September
30 Milwaukee, WI – Mad Planet*

October 1 Chicago, IL
– Schubas Tavern*

October 2 St. Louis, MO
– The Billiken Club*

October 3 Indianapolis, IN
– Radio Radio*

October 4 Cincinnati, OH – Southgate House*

October 5 Rock Island, IL
– Barn Show “Daytrotter Presents” +

October 7 Columbus, OH – Wexner Center
for the Arts*

October 8 Pontiac, MI
– Verner’s Room at the Crofoot+

October 9 Toronto, ON – Sneaky Dee’s*

October 10
Montreal, PQ
– Il Motore*

October 12
Northampton, MA — Ironhorse^

October 13
Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club*

October 14
New York, NY
– The Mercury Lounge*

October 16
Brooklyn, NY
– Union Hall*

October 17
Philadelphia, PA – North Star Bar*

October 18
Baltimore, MD – The Talking Head Club*

October 19
Washington, DC – DC 9*

October 21
Chapel Hill, NC – Nightlight Bar & Club*

October 22
Knoxville, TN – Pilot Light+

October 23
Atlanta, GA
– Criminal Record Instore

October 23
Atlanta, GA
– The Earl*

October 24
Nashville, TN – Exit In*

October 26
Houston, TX
– Rudyards+

October 27
Dallas, TX
– The Cavern*

October 28
Austin, TX
– Emo’s Jr. *

October 30
Phoenix, AZ
– Modified Arts*

November 2
La Jolla, CA
– The Loft @ UCSD+

November 4
Santa Barbara, CA – Muddy Waters+

November 5
San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill+

November 6
Sacramento, CA – Luigi’s+

November 7
Santa Cruz Mountains, CA – Folk Yeah Presents @ Brookdale Lodge+

November
24  London,
ENG – Scala+

 

* with Sea
Wolf

+ Port
O’Brien headlining date

^ with
Grand Archives

 

 

 

 

Kid Sister: New/Old Album Reviewed (Not!)

 

New release date for
Ultraviolet Nov.17 – a year after the originally slated release date. So we’re
going to go ahead and tell you about Dream Date.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

So we were all set to review, like, ages ago, Kid Sister’s
new album Dream Date (Downtown) then
got the word from the rap diva’s handlers that it had been reworked, with some
tracks being removed and new material cut, and that an Oct. 6 date was now
planned.

 

That, it turns out, has also been changed. The latest info
is that the album is being called Ultraviolet and that it will be released Nov. 17. According to Downtown: “The album features the
new white-hot single “Right Hand Hi”, produced by Swedish House
Mafia’s Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso, as well as the now infamous track,
“Pro Nails” featuring Kanye West. The album boasts collaborations
with Estelle and Cee-Lo and musical production by A-Trak, XXXchange, Count
& Sinden, Rusko and DJ Gant-Man among others.”

 

She’ll
be undertaking a handful of concert dates in October and November, full
itinerary below.

 

Meanwhile,
since we are kinda tired of hanging on to this old review of the album and have
an entirely new review in the works, we figured why not go ahead and let you
see what we thought of Dream Date  in its original incarnation. It was penned by
ace wordsmith Jonah Flicker. Enjoy!

 

***

 

Is “guilt by
association,” hereby known as GBA, a valid concept? The American people (well,
a slim majority, anyway) chose to ignore the intentional issue muddling
perpetrated by the Republican Party, via accusations of “palling around” with
Bill Ayers, and elected Barack Obama president. Verdict: over-hyped GBA. Kid
Sister, on the other hand, surely hopes to benefit by palling around with Kanye
West and DJ A-Trak. Kanye’s presence on her debut album is minimal, allowing
her talents to stand mostly alone, with crucial support from producers
including Spank Rock, XXXChange, and Trackademicks. The GBA verdict is still
out on this one, but the American people will soon decide.

 

Kid Sister’s rhyming
style is buoyant and effusive, as she allows her mood to burst forth in a
bubbling cadence peppered with vocal dips and dives. “Family Reunion,” a
nostalgia track featuring David Banner, is evidence of this, as visions of
barbecues get her singing – one of several instances on the album. It’s also
one of the few traditional hip-hop tracks on
Dream Date. The majority of the record consists of banging, up-tempo,
garage-house club numbers. “Life on TV,” “Control,” and “Pro Nails” (featuring
Kanye in a throwaway verse) flaunt acid bass and stuttering drums as the
bedrock for Sister’s rapping. The acid house rhythm of “Beeper” may be modern,
but the technology embraced isn’t – if you aren’t running drugs on
The Wire, rocking a beeper is just a gimmick. But
she seems to be keeping it relatively real, admitting on “Let Me Bang” that
what really makes her happy is “a fresh box of donuts and a sundae, start my
diet Monday, I’m-a get around to it one day…”

 

She may not yet be 30,
but Kid Sister has found her niche in the old-school electro neighborhood of
hip-hop, popularized when she was just a baby. It doesn’t matter, though,
because she sounds and looks good updating these classic sounds. Near the
album’s end, she plays Queen Latifah to British rapper Estelle’s Monie Love on
a reinterpretation of the classic “Ladies First.” The playing field may be
limited these days, but Kid Sister is leading the female hip-hop renaissance in
terms of creativity and legitimacy. Let’s see how far she can take it.

 

***

 

 

Tour Dates:

 

MON
10/19        VANCOUVER, BC  
     Venue*
TUE
10/20        SEATTLE, WA  
         Neumos*
WED
10/21        PORTLAND, OR 
          Holocene*
THUR
10/22        SAN FRANCISCO, CA 
     Rickshaw Stop*
FRI
10/23            COSTA MESA,
CA        Detroit Bar*
SAT 10/24
         LOS ANGELES, CA  
     Echoplex*
SUN
11/8             AUSTIN,
TX            Fun Fun Fun Fest
WED 11/25
         CHICAGO, IL  
         House of Blues
FRI
11/27             NEW YORK,
NY            Webster
Hall                                                              
SAT 11/28          TORONTO, ON      
     Mod Club
*w/ Flosstradamus

 

 

Happy Birthday, BYO!

 

Better living through youth brigades, we say.
Check out the MP3 and video, below.

 

By
Blurt Staff

 

 

Seminal
punk label BYO Records and punk band Youth Brigade are celebrating their 25th
anniversary with the release of Let Them
Know: The Story of Youth Brigade and BYO Records
. BYO, founded by Shawn and
Mark Stern, also members of Youth Brigade, asked their favorite bands to record
songs from the extensive BYO Records catalog.

 

You
can check out Pennywise’s cover of the 7 Seconds original, .

 

The
resulting 31-track compilation album featuring NoFX, Pennywise, Dropkick
Murphys, 7 Seconds, Leatherface, Nothington and Youth Brigade, along with a
90-minute documentary on the early LA punk scene, is available now.  The limited-edition box set release contains
two colored-vinyl LPs, the documentary on DVD, and a full-color, hardcover
book.  ‘Let Them Know’ is also available as a CD/DVD set with booklet, and
digitally.

 

Many
argue that the early ’80s LA punk scene was wrongly overshadowed by New York and London’s
punks.  With excellent archival footage
and interviews with Ian McKaye, Fat Mike, the Sterns and others, the
documentary, directed by Jeff Alulis, illustrates LA’s role in the explosive
movement.  BYO played an important part
by promoting all-ages, non-violent shows and releasing seminal recordings like
the 1982 ‘Someone Got Their Head Kicked
In
‘ compilation and early music from Social Distortion, Agression, SNFU and
more.

 

View
the trailer for the film, below. Meanwhile, we’ll have an appreciation of the band and label at John Moore’s Blurt blog “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” posted very soon, so
keep your eyes peeled.

 

 

 

 

Digital Dollars Due: SoundExchange

 

Over 8,000 artists are due money. Among them: Sal Mineo, Fela
Kuti, Jim Carroll, Jules Shear, Afghan Whigs and Type O Negative (pictured
above). Better step up or shut up (e.g., forfeit your royalties).

 

By Rev. Keith A. Gordon

 

Are you a bona fide recording artist, a musician with one or
more albums to your name? Are you registered with Sound Exchange? If the answer
to the first question is “yes,” you’d better hope that your answer to
the second question is also affirmative. Thousands of musicians are currently
owed royalties by Sound Exchange, and if you don’t claim the cash, it’ll end up
in somebody else’s pockets.

 

Sound Exchange was formed by the
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the music industry’s lobbying
arm, as a non-profit organization. Sound Exchange’s primary reason for existing
is to collect royalties for the digital transmission of sound recordings and
then pay these monies back out to artists and record labels.

 

For example, Sound Exchange
collects royalties from satellite radio stations like XM Radio and Sirius that
play recorded music; from cable and satellite television (Muzak and MusicChoice
channels); and from Internet radio stations like Pandora and LastFM. There’s
just one problem – Sound Exchange can’t find many of the musicians that they
owe royalties. Never mind that many are probably registered with organizations
like BMI or ASCAP, or had label deals on which they are (presumably) paid
royalties, Sound Exchange has been unable to send ’em a check.

 

On the organization’s website they
include a list of over 8,000 of these “lost artists,” musicians and
bands that are due money. Although Sound Exchange claims that they’re currently
paying royalties to some 31,000 artists, some critics claim that the number of
“lost artists” might actually be as high as 40,000 musicians.

 

The list of thousands of those that
are due unclaimed royalties from the digital broadcasting of their music
includes both indie and major label artists, a long list of Hispanic musicians,
and it cuts across the decades, from the 1960s through the current day. In some
cases, exactly who is due the money is up for grabs, as the rights to many
psychedelic-era bands like Moby Grape, Strawberry Alarm Clock, and the Electric
Prunes (all on the list) have been swapped and sold like a shoebox of baseball
cards.

 

In other cases, the artists have
tragically passed away, especially in the case of early blues artists, as the
estates of Son House, Blind Willie Johnson, Jessie Mae Hemphill, and Brownie
McGhee, among others, are due royalties. But the more recently-departed are
also owed royalties, the list also including artists like Kirsty MacColl, Fela
Kuti, and Jim Carroll.

 

Most of the list of
“lost” artists, though, seems to consist of rock and heavy metal
bands and artists. There is quite a lot of talent represented here, from
songwriter Jules Shear and jazz guitarist Ralph Towner to blue-collar rocker
Joe Grushecky and soul giant Eddie Floyd. There are a heck of a lot of bands
from the ’80s and ’90s, including the likes of the Afghan Whigs, Guadalcanal
Diary, Lords of the New
Church, Cravin’ Melon,
and Bare, Jr.  

 

Headbangers are represented by a wide spectrum of metal
bands, including doomsters Saint Vitus, Malevolent Creation, Warlock, and Type
O Negative. There are also the uncategorized oddballs and fringe rockers, from Slaves
On Dope and Skinyard to rapper Tech 9ne and instrumentalists Man or Astro-Man?
Even the estate of 1950s-era actor Sal Mineo is owed royalties for the single
album that he released in 1957.

 

If these royalties aren’t claimed by
the artists within a certain period of time, they’ll be forfeited to the
organization. All recording artists are strongly urged to get in touch with
Sound Exchange and see if you’re owed any money; and if you haven’t registered
with the organization, you should do so as soon as possible so that you, too,
don’t end up “lost” and losing money in the future.