Music News Recap: “It’s Just A Fond Farewell To A Friend…”

What’s been going on in the world of music lately? Read on to get the scoop on your favorite artists, and start some discussion about current music-related events!

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oasis

Oasis, the band with more breakups than a grocery store tabloid, has called it quits.  Want to place bets on how long it’ll take before they’re back together again?

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Music News Recap: Flooded With New Tunes

What’s been going on in the world of music lately? Read on to get the scoop on your favorite artists, and start some discussion about current music-related events!

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les paul

Musical pioneer Les Paul has passed away.

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Music News Recap: Mourning The Death of Idols and Integrity

What’s been going on in the world of music lately? Read on to get the scoop on your favorite artists, and start some discussion about current music-related events!

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radiohead

Radiohead has made a new song available for download on their website.  Thom Yorke penned the band’s latest in memory of Harry Patch, the recently deceased WWI veteran.

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Soul Sisters and Blood Brothers: Bands With Siblings

Jesus and Mary Chain

Most of us aren’t properly wired to embark on the exact same career path as our siblings, but when you stop to think about it, the number of brothers and sisters who have shared a tour bus, songwriting credits or a stage over the years is truly overwhelming.   These pairings haven’t always been perfectly harmonious affairs (see: The Kinks, Oasis, Jesus and Mary Chain), though, against all odds, they have created some of the most appreciated music of the modern era.  Check out our list of some of the most memorable bands who made their passion for music a family affair.  What other artists can you think of?

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Free Radiohead

thom-yorke Radiohead

As the world celebrates Obama’s victory some folks have gone the extra mile to share the joy; Radiohead’s Thom Yorke remixed one of his Eraser tracks and is giving it away for free on Radiohead’s Web site.

He said: “In celebration of November 5, Jonny’s birthday amid bonfire and fireworks in the UK and the dawn of a new era in politics in the USA, I humbly donate a remix of Harrowdown Hill’ that was finished ages ago during the band webcasts, a small reminder of the dark days of Bush’s.”

Thanks Thom, we share your excitement as the US experiences a new political dawn.

The RIAA witch-hunt: Are the artists benefiting?

Ever since Napster revolutionized the way in which music fanatics the world over discover, purchase and share music, with layers and layers of sounds and orchestrations being reduced to highly compressed MP3 files, downloadable over broadband within a matter of seconds, the music industry has been hard-pressed to find a way to protect the profitability of its product while still embracing new means of experiencing music.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which states its mission as “[fostering] a business and legal climate that supports and promotes our members’ creative and financial vitality,” has responded with a barrage of lawsuits and settlements. RIAA first targeted Napster (with a lofty pricetag of $270 million) before settling with others, including Kazaa, Bolt.com and even YouTube. RIAA also continues to go after college students, recently mailing the thirteenth round of letters to universities — still avoiding UW-Madison, urging them to pass along identifying information of users of file sharing programs including LimeWire.

This all sounds mostly kosher, in principle. If all music fans downloaded their music and never invested funds in the artists’ work, the rule of capitalist society would eventually mean that very musicians would be in a financial position to produce work while receiving little to no income. However, there appears to be a piece missing in the puzzle of how the RIAA has dealt with the file-sharing boom: The artists themselves. An article last week in the New York Post reported that none of the millons of dollars resulting from these lawsuits have filtered down to many artists:

“Artist managers and lawyers have been wondering for months when their artists will see money from the copyright settlements and how it will be accounted for,” said lawyer John Branca, who has represented Korn, Don Henley, and The Rolling Stones, among others.

The Post article further reports that some record labels, including EMI and Warner Music, have received proceeds from the RIAA’s lawsuits, but are still in the midst of processing the settlements and will be sharing them with writers and artists. The only question that remains, then, is “When?”

In related news, Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor has followed in the footsteps of Radiohead by releasing a new instrumental album ‘Ghosts I-IV’ with an innovative, tiered pricing structure, ranging from a complete, online edition for $5 to a deluxe, limited-edition box set for $300. Three days have passed since the album’s release and the deluxe editions have completely sold out and downloads are continuing to occur at startling, server-overloading rates. Additionally, Reznor offered the music under a Creative Commons license, which gives listeners a large degree of freedom over noncommericial use.

Perhaps Reznor’s success will serve as an example for record labels and other artists of new business models that can benefit both artist and music fan.

— Joe Erbentraut, True Endeavors Communications and Public Relations Intern