Advertisements

I’m not quite sure whether to breathe a sigh of relief, or still be worried about the Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger. I haven’t really had a chance to fully think the outcome through yet. But the news is: the merger is on, but with special provisions mandated by the government to prevent a full-on monopoly on the entire live music business. Basically, AEG Live will get to use Ticketmaster’s software, and Ticketmaster’s Paciolan ticketing and software services unit will be sold to a division of Comcast or another possible buyer. I guess the biggest worry here was that the merger would go on unchecked and that did NOT happen, so I guess we can all sigh a breath of relief… for the time being. More details at Business Insider.

There’s a pretty cool fundraiser/benefit show happening in Murfreesboro this Thursday 1/28/2010 for YEAH. (If you’re unfamiliar with YEAH, which stands for Youth Education through Arts & Humanities, please click on the flier to visit their website and learn more about their AWESOME program.) The show lineup is Shoot The Mountain, Hammertorch, and How I Became the Bomb, and there will also be Yazoo and New Belgium beers! (The beer part is a big deal because normally this space is alcohol-free because it’s an all-ages venue/hangout.) It’s obviously an 18+ event, and your attendance will help out one of the best local causes I can think of.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of local electronic/8-bit wizard Matt Pusti. We went to MTSU together and he was mostly responsible for my introduction to electronic music in general. Before that, I thought drum machines were evil and anything not made by a “real” instrument was terrible. I recently mentioned his newer, more experimental endeavor DAAS and was quite glad to see him getting back to producing that genre of electronic music. (His material before Makeup & Vanity Set sounded much more like the DAAS material.) His Makeup & Vanity Set project has been somewhat idle for a couple years, but that has just changed with the release of his new Jambox EP on Bandcamp. GO GET IT NOW FOR NOTHING MORE THAN YOUR EMAIL. This is apparently just a taste of the goodness to come on his next full-length, due out later this year. I will probably do an interview with him as my first “official” interview on here… one of more to come.

Advertisements

billy-puppet2

Stereogum reports that Billy Corgan is endorsing the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger. WHAT THE FUCK?!?!? I’ve really lost most of my respect for him after seeing this. As Stereogum points out, his band is managed by Irving Azoff, who also happens to be the CEO of Ticketmaster. Coincidence? I think not. Please do follow the link and read his letter to Congress. He offers absolutely no solid reasoning to back up his “opinion.” All he does is rehash what we all already know about the state of the record business- it’s broken because it failed to embrace and keep up with the evolution of technology, and it will never be the same again. “The combination of these companies creates powerful tools for an independent artist to reach their fans in new and unprecedented ways” he says. Really? A huge monopoly is going to help small independent artists reach their fans? I THINK NOT. Since when has any kind of music business behemoth given a shit about indie artists? NEVER. And this merger isn’t going to change anything. The next thing he says is that it will restore the power “where it belongs.” Where is that, Mr. Corgan? The CEO’s? You really think the “power” should belong to the CEO’s??? The very problems you were outlining earlier in your letter happened because the power has always been in the hands of the suits and not the artists and their fans! It’s blatantly obvious that he wrote it because Azoff told him to. I really wonder what kind of bribe Mr. Azoff offered him to write that letter. The most despicable thing about it is that Corgan did it in the first place. He’s just a corporate puppet now, and has lost almost all credibility in my eyes. I say “almost” because I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that he also testified in support of a new law that would require radio stations to pay royalties to the musicians who played on the recordings aired, not just the songwriters. I actually think this is a good idea, but I don’t know enough details to make a full judgment on the issue. Pitchfork has good coverage of that part of the testimony. It’s odd that they don’t even mention the merger support letter, though…

Ok, off the soapbox, and onto some local news:

Nashville hit a record high temperature of 80 degrees yesterday. Now, we’re looking at the possibility of sleet and snow thursday night into friday. Leave it to the mid-south to have a record high temp and then snow 2 days later. Why is this happening? It’s not global warming and it’s not some kind of sign of the apocalypse, it’s just how the weather behaves during the transitional seasons at this particular latitude. Yesterday we were in the “warm sector” of the low pressure system, and under the influence of strong winds out of the south, which brought very warm air up from the Gulf. Last night a very stark cold front passed by allowing much colder air from Canada to spill southward.

Nashville Is Talking reports on the failure of the Bible theme-park proposal in Wilson County. This same group of investors/developers/idiots tried to do the same thing in Rutherford County a year ago and got denied. Thankfully the lawmakers in Wilson County/Lebanon saw the light as well.

Olympus Mons is the largest volcano on Mars (though no longer active), and is also the largest volcanic feature we’ve ever discovered in our entire solar system. It’s so big that you wouldn’t even know you were on a mountain if you were standing on it- it would just look like a vast gently sloping plain, as far as your eye could see. Well, not only is it the most badass volcano ever… it’s also the latest location to exhibit the possibility for life on Mars. According to this Universe Today article, a couple of scientists from Rice University have found evidence that liquid water may be trapped in clay deep underneath the giant moutain, and is the only explanation for its assymetry. The only life that could survive there would be heat-loving microbes called thermophiles, much like the algae that lives in the thermal pools at Yellowstone.

NASA is seriously considering sending a fleet of robots to the moon to do some preparatory construction on what will eventually be a manned moon base. There are some who think going back to the moon is pointless, and that we should just shoot straight for Mars, but I tend to agree with the government that we should take our expansion into the solar system one step at a time. Yes we’ve been to the moon, but we haven’t built a base there, and I think we need to build a base somewhere close before we try to build a base on Mars.

Speaking of robots, The Boston Globe’s “Big Picture” has a series of awesome robot photographs. My favorite is the very last one, which shows NASA’s next Mars mission, the Mars Science Laboratory. The cool thing about it is that there’s a woman in the photo, giving you perspective on the actual size of the thing, which is much bigger than anything we’ve sent to Mars before.

Now for some music-related news…

Wired.com reports that Ticketmaster and Live Nation are running into some problems with their proposed merger (thank god). In a recent hearing they were unsuccessful in convincing Sen. Herb Khol (D-Wisconsin) of the legality of the merger. One of their biggest arguments for the merger is that it will result in lower ticket prices. I’m no economic expert by any means, but even I know that the only thing that really keeps prices low is competition.

Check out this Rolling Stone blog post with a clip from Michael Jackson’s “comeback announcement” yesterday. I wonder just how many shows he can make it through… I’m betting not as many as he promised.

Lastly, if you’re in Murfreesboro this weekend, be sure to check out the YEAH benefit show at the Vine, featuring JEFF the Brotherhood and And The Relatives, and then head over to the Grind for a FREE show featuring the Tits, my band Tigers Con Queso, and Mean Tambourines. Have a great weekend!

Dont Jump!

Don't Jump!

While I’ve seen several images/web posts about this type of perspective-based street art before, this one is the biggest scale I’ve seen thus far. Edgar Muller lives and works in Germany, and even with several helpers, his projects take several days to complete. This one is called “Ice Age.” This type of art is all based on viewing from one very specific vantage point, creating an amazing 3D optical illusion. I’ve never seen one of these in real life before, but I’d like to. You’d think an artist this talented/successful would be able to afford a decent website design though…. ugh.

One of the few “new” bands that I’m really digging lately is the Morning Benders. They recently did a Daytrotter Session and the results are pretty cool. They did a spaced-out version of one of my favs Doctor, Doctor. If you’re into them, go grab the mp3’s for sure.

Remember when I posted about the new supergroup Tinted Windows comprised of James Iha, Taylor Hansen, Bun E. Carlos, and Adam Schlesinger? Well, they have an album coming out April 21st, and Billboard has the track “Kind of a Girl” posted for streaming. It’s pretty much exactly what you would expect from that lineup. But it sounds very generic and well… just listen for yourself. They’re also playing a showcase at SXSW this year.

Though it’s been in the news for several weeks now, I’ve not posting anything regarding the possible merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster, which would result in virtual monopoly in the concert promotion and ticket business. I decided to change that today. Brooklynvegan posted a story about a hearing held yesterday on Capitol Hill regarding the merger. Thankfully it seems as though authorities are going to put this merger under a microscope. I don’t know that much about antitrust laws, but I can’t see how this merger would not be in violation of them. I mean, Ticketmaster is already enormous, and so is Live Nation in the promotion world… if this happens, concert go-ers are screwed because this one company will have the power to price-gouge all they want.

Now for some science-
Sky and Telescope posted a great guide to viewing newly discovered Comet Lulin. This week is the best for viewing, and even in light-polluted areas such as here in Nashville, you should be able to see it with a good pair of binoculars. You have to know exactly where to look, though. Check out the article for the deets and a good diagram. Via Universe Today.

Advertisements