No More Phoning It In
Concert venues were very strict with policies regarding taking photos or recording video or audio during a concert. We once had a Bic pen confiscated from us after being frisked on our way into a show (clearly an effort to stop us from selling our unauthorized pen sketches of Insane Clown Posse on the street after the concert). Today, you can find dozens of shitty cellphone videos on YouTube by the time you get home from a concert. The Electro/Dance duo Ratatat is trying to ban all photo- and video-taking on phones during its concerts, less because of bootlegging and more, according to an interview with the Edmonton Sun, due to a desire to have fans experience the performance “in the now” and not worry about showing their friends how much fun they could be having if they weren’t fucking with their phone all night. A noble cause, but Ratatat has a better chance of getting legal clearance to release an album of all Beatles and Prince samples than getting 700 young people to keep their cellphones in their pockets.
Also, Newspapers Shood Spel Gooder
According to The New York Times, CBS Radio, which owns 130 stations in the U.S., sent out an important memo recently to its employees.
Apparently, in order to cram more (advertising, perhaps?) into their airtime, over the past few decades stations have forgotten about those not-paid-for commercials they run — songs. The memo reminding stations to identify all tracks aired — by title and artist — came after a meeting where music industry pros were asked what radio could do for them. When they answered, “ID the songs, dumbasses!” (or something like that), CBS Radio prez Dan Mason had an epiphany — “What if we told listeners what they were listening to?” — though he now says it was more like a “no-brainer.” Considering it took decades to come up with the “no-brainer” reminder, CBS radio staffers should look forward to future memos like “Personal Phone Sex Live On-Air? A Guide to Taking Private Calls in Private,” “ ‘Stairway to Heaven’ vs. Live ‘Freebird’: Balancing Track Length with Dump Size” and the lengthy “What Exactly is This Stuff They Call ‘Music’?”
Anti-Grammy Genre-fication Protest
When we saw that Paul Simon and Carlos Santana were protesting Grammy rule changes, we excitedly thought the awards had finally adopted our long suggested “No more nominations for Paul Simon and Carlos Santana” rule. Alas, the gents were voicing opposition to the Grammys’ decision to eliminate and/or consolidate several categories, part of which will wipe out entire genres’ chances of ever receiving the much-needed recognition. The protests accuse the cutbacks of overwhelmingly hurting not-American-prime-time-friendly “ethnic” musicians to give more attention to advertiser-friendly mainstream acts. Wait, sweeping cuts that affect mostly “ethnic” concerns while leaving the Establishment in an even better position? These aren’t Grammy rule changes — it’s the Republican budget proposal.