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The RIAA Is Watching YouThere are many parallels between the music industry and politics. Politicians have discovered that in a nation completely disinterested in politics, the only way to rally the people is by scaring the hell out of them. How scared can they make you of a possibility before you’ll sign all your rights away? How afraid can you be of a word before you’ll pass laws banning it from public speech? How afraid can you be of a statistically unlikely scenario involving a gun before you’ll demand all weapons (other than the nuclear kind) be done away with in America? Overblown examples of worst case scenarios meant to shock people into a desired behavior. It’s been effective, thus far, for political agendas. So why isn’t it having the same kind of success in music?

The RIAA was established to protect the interests of the recording industry, specifically the major labels. It’s debatable whether they are serving major labels as their muscle or their scapegoat, perhaps both. The RIAA are the ones responsible for not only determining the precious metal status of the records they’re affiliated with, but also for suing the pants off of old ladies, dead people and children. They led the way against Napster and other file-sharing programs, a clearly effective campaign. They are now targeting the websites who post the music made available to them through the promotional efforts of the labels themselves, surely in an attempt to deter free downloading of any kind, or perhaps to scare the blogs and sites who do not have permission. Who knows…and who really cares? Maybe some people wet themselves over a cease and desist from the RIAA, but more and more cases are coming into question as people realize you actually need evidence to sue someone. Oh, and 99 cent downloads are not worth more than 99 cents.

According to the RIAA website, they claim “RIAA members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90% of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States.” I guess that means the majority of music released is not “legitimate” because there is no way that even comes close to accurate. Speaking of accuracy, why is the RIAA having such a hard time coming up with evidence to support their claims against these completely random people they file suit against? And who is doing their math? $750+ per song on a computer can add up fast, even if you don’t include legally acquired songs (which the RIAA includes). Sure, we look the other way when it comes to measuring albums shipped instead of those actually sold, but charging more than a thousand times the actual value for possibly stolen material is questionable.

Truth is, the RIAA only represents a small fraction of this industry, and its the fraction with all the trouble. These meaningless lawsuits and scare tactics are completely trivial and ineffective because they aren’t operating in the reality where everyone else lives. Artists need to be protected, not labels. But even with the RIAA to look out for major labels, they are stifling the efforts made by these labels to move into new media. Suing the websites that promote your artists? Are you crazy? They are attempting to legally keep change from happening, but it has already happened. The RIAA is supposed to support the interests of the recording industry, but we seem to have moved on without them, including major labels.

AJ, KOAR

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According to sources, Warner Music may aquire Front Line Management which is owned by Irving Azoff who manages Christina Aguileria, Van Halen, and Aerosmith.
Some skeptics claim that this move is contoversial and that management companies should be seperate from record labels. KOAR disagrees.

One industry executive commented,””The manager’s job is to work for the artist. If you’re an artist, do you want your manager working for your record company?”

Well, if the manager is a professional controling manipulator, then probably not good for artist. If the manager is smart and honest, then it would be to the artist’s advantage.

As the music industry crashes and burns we are faced with two options. Roll over and die or change course of action. Better yet..Desperate times call for desperate measures, perhaps a complete revamping of the economic model is in order.

Soundscan

Daughtry
TW 54,258
Total 2,258,477

Hell Yeah
TW 44,878
Total 45,146

Amy Whinehouse
TW 37,750
Total 228,348

Carrie Underwood
TW 36,005
Total 5,245,153

jlo1.jpg

J Lo
COMO AMA UNA MUJER
TW 23,798
Total 97,867
**J Lo recently performed on American Idol, it didn’t spike sales. Now you know its over.

Chevelle
Vena Sera
TW 23,315
Total 85,326

Good Charlotte
GOOD MORNING REVIVAL
TW 12,654
Total 105,788
* Uh Oh!

Three Days Grace
ONE-X
TW 10,586
Total 679,387

Shadows Fall
Threads of Life
TW 9,074
Total 33,559
** Uh Oh!

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Hip Hop continues to take sharp criticism as sales continue to tank…..

According to the NY POST Snoop Dogg demands $150,000 fee to play at an event and you have to accommodate his unusual tastes and enormous entourage. Organizers of Tuesday night’s Pussycat Dolls concert at Cipriani Wall Street to benefit UNICEF, which also featured the rapper, had to fly in more than 10 members of his posse, first-class. Then, at the last minute, Snoop almost didn’t go on because, “he insisted on having an Xbox in his dressing room,” an insider said. Pussycat Dolls were paid $300,000 to perform.

Recently..

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Russell Simmons held a ‘closed door’ meeting with artists and executives from the Hip-Hop/urban community to discuss the future of Hip-Hop and how the genre can be moved forward in a positive direction. Sources told AllHipHop.com. Attendees included Atlantic’s Craig Kallman and Julie Greenwald, Sony Urban’s Lisa Ellis, Universal Motown’s Sylvia Rhone, MTV’s Judy McGrath, etc.

And today…..

The rapper Cam’ron tells ‘60 MINUTES‘: He wouldn’t help police catch even a serial killer because it would hurt his business and code of ethics.

If Urban is tanking, then you know it’s the end of the line. Read more of KOAR’s continued coverage of this sinking ship. Country is in a bad way, too, but as of now is the last major label stronghold.

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Six Chicago musicians with very different backgrounds got together to experiment with electronic rock. When the music started to gain momentum and it’s own identity, they decided to make it their full time project called
Shock Stars. The name is as fun as their well crafted pop songs. Who do they sound like? Our best guess is The Killers meets Panic at the Disco meets Maroon 5. They recently just played their first show, where they headlined and sold out the Double Door a 600 capacity club in Chicago. Shock Stars recently had their song “Strawberry Lake” chosen by 103.7 KISS FM in Milwaukee, WI, as one of 10 songs to compete in their KISS SUPERSTAR competition. For more information email HERE.

Next Shows:

April 28th – Sokol Underground – Omaha, Nebraska
June 2nd – Lady Bug Club – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Jun 21st – Metro – Chicago, Illinois

Check out the tracks…

Baby Baby

Butterfly (People are Afraid)

Biggest Mistake

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Rick Rubin Finalizing Columbia Position, Staffing Changes Ahead….
More staffing changes are about to happen at Sony BMG, but this time, people will be entering, not exiting, the building. Why the heck would Rick Rubin take this job? Who knows, but they wanted him off the market.

Universal Music Group is close to winning European Union approval to buy Bertelsmann AG’s BMG Music Publishing after EU antitrust officials backed the deal, three people with knowledge of the proposal said. The recommendation by the team reviewing the acquisition follows offers by Universal to sell publishing rights, said the people, who declined to be identified before the decision is made public.

A rift delays Alicia Keys Album. According to the New York Daily News, the Smokin’ Aces star is upset with bosses at Clive Davis’ J Records over the recent departure of promotions director and her loyal friend Ken Wilson.

Is the music industry cracking down on MP3 blogs???
Music label publicists regularly feed tracks to MP3 blogs. Online press from bloggers with quirky tastes and loyal followings can be as useful as college radio spins in breaking new artists or bolstering an established act’s latest release. BUT, The RIAA has been directing hosting providers to remove the infringing blogs because posting mp3’s is technically illegal. Copyright holders can avoid killing off these indie marketing channels by simply asking bloggers to pull disputed tracks. But it seems the RIAA wants to kill the blogosphere by taking them down with no options.

MP3 blogs Country Pinball Machine, Shameless Complacency and Side One, Track One recently had their file-hosting services or entire sites suspended by providers responding to allegations of illegal song posts, Idolator.com reported. (The music gossip site has itself pulled songs at the request of the RIAA.)

“My site got suspended because my host was scared by a standard cease-and-desist e-mail from the RIAA concerning a post on Kings of Leon, who … just had their highest first week of sales ever,” Laird wrote.

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