When Minimum Gauge first read the Los Angeles Times article on a new genre of music called “Jerk,” we thought, “Hmmm, seems odd Gene Simmons would merit an entire genre of music.” Turns out, Jerk is actually a Hip Hop subgenre that bubbled up from L.A. a couple of years ago and is getting national attention thanks to the breakout anthem, “You’re a Jerk,” by New Boyz. The musical style (which has also spawned a related dance style) is somewhat Jerk: Gene Simmons sparse but bass heavy, with a gliding pace and swaggery lyrics (that often use the word “jerk,” apparently). We think it pretty much sounds like Cool Kids and Clipse, which isn’t a bad thing at all. And don’t worry, Gene Simmons — there still isn’t a musical style called “douchebag” or “dickhead,” so you might get that genre yet.
The New “Used Music” Model: A Work In Progress
Used to be, when you needed some extra cash for drugs and/ or beer, a great source was your collection of CDs you didn’t listen to anymore.
But in the digital age, selling off your castaway music purchases on MP3 is a complicated, convoluted concept. But there are many folks working on a system. Bay Area alternative paper SF Weekly recently did a great roundup of the different entrepreneurs trying to figure out a way to sell MP3s that is legal and fair. Trying to make big labels, artists and music fans all happy is a tricky prospect. Bopaboo, a digital music store set to open later this year, is trying the “fair trade” system, where users can sell a song once, getting credit (instead of cash) to spend on other MP3s. Labels would get a pay-out from the sales, but some are reportedly questioning the site’s ability to get the labels on board because of the difficulty of tracking what music was obtained illegally in the first place, then resold. While the complications are evident — with illegal downloading still running rampant, it’s a bit like reselling air — one would think the struggling labels would be quick to recoup any costs. But “logical” and “music business” are words not commonly used in the same sentence unless that sentence is “It seems logical to assume that the music business as we know it is over”.
Boycott or Bullshit?
The musicFIRST Coalition, which declares itself a collection of recording artists dedicated to making sure everyone gets paid, says it has filed a complaint with the FCC claiming that some radio broadcasters have blacklisted several of its members. The alleged boycott is apparently over the efforts music news tid-bits and other morsels of relative insignificance to have radio broadcasters pay artists for playing their music, just as Web broadcasters are forced to. (Radio has historically been seen as more of a promotional outlet for artists; if anyone was ever paying anyone, it was the artists’ representatives paying the radio stations for airplay.) But the National Association of Broadcasters says the whole thing is a pity party by “the record label lobby on Capitol Hill” in an attempt to sway the opinions of the public and the courts. The names of the “banned” artists (somewhat suspiciously) haven’t been made public, and while the allegations cite radio stations in “Florida” and “Delaware” they are overall very general. The Coalition, in turn, responded by saying that the NAB is being bullying and attempting to stifle its artists’ ability to take part in the democratic process of getting Congress to lend a hand (the bill that would make broadcasters pay royalties is believed to not have enough support to pass). We’re not sure whom to believe, but the whole affair stinks of two industries collapsing on top of each other.