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Men at Work Lose Song Plagiarism Appeal April 12, 2011

Thoughts by TNT

Men at Work may come from a land down under, but after a recent court hearing, the band will have to pay royalties after the judge ruled their hit single from 1982 “Down Under” was partly copied from popular folk song “Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree” by Marion Sinclair.  It was a portion of the flute riff that mimics the classic tune.  Can you hear the similarities?

“Fact of the matter is that it went unrecognized for 27 years because it was unconscious, it was innocuous, naive” states Colin Hay

Now, as I can clearly hear the Kookaburra tune in the flute riff, I wouldn’t call this copyright infringement, especially since it went unrecognized for 27 years.  Marion Sinclair, a school teach from Australia, wrote this song in 1932 and it was copyrighted in 1934.  Ms. Sinclair passed away in 1988 and the rights to her song were renewed, or better yet, purchased by Larrikin Music in 1989 for $6,100.  The owners of the copyright saw an episode of ABC’s Spicks and Specks (an Australian music-themed comedic television quiz show) in 2007 and it prompted legal action against the band for the similarities.  Copyright laws state that the original composer gets life plus 70 years.  I’m sure none of this would have happened if Larrikin Music did not have the rights, and this is why I find the case to be unfair and unjust.  Men at Work was ordered to pay just 5% of royalties from the hit song dating back to 2002 and of course future royalties, which is better than the original asking of 40-60% of ALL royalties since the creation of “Down Under”.  Poor Colin Hay and Ron Strykert.  What do you think about this case?  Is this fair or unjust?

Anyone know what the song is about?  Apparently, “Down Under” paints the picture of an Australian backpacker touring the world, making references to chunder, Vegemite sandwiches and beer.  Wanna laugh?  Think about myself or anyone taking these dance moves to a club today (1 minute and 35 seconds into the video, second guy from the left).
 

If You Could Go To Any Music Festival In The World, Which One Would It Be? March 11, 2011

Filed under: Music Questions — NVMP @ 12:49 AM
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If you could go to any music festival in the WORLD, which one would it be and who would you see in 2011?

Tina
It’s a toss-up between Coachella and SXSW, but from looking at the rosters, I’d have to go with Coachella.  Not only do I love the idea of only being able to buy a 3 day pass (which I believe is reasonably priced), but that you have the option of camping out.   The bands I would check out at the festival this year would be Cee Lo Green, Flogging Molly, Interpol, The Aquabats!, Titus Andronicus, Broken Social Scene, Cage the Elephant, Freelance Whales, Mumford and Sons, The New Pornographers and The Strokes.  Unfortunately I am on the opposite coast and air-fare alone would kill my budget, but I vow to make it over there one year.  The same goes for SXSW.

Mark
If I could visit any music festival in the world, I would venture off to the UK to attend one of the world’s largest electronic music festivals, Creamfields.  A summertime home to some of the best DJ’s and electronic acts from all over the globe, it is the international equivalent of Woodstock, minus the hippies and lame protest songs.  Although the line-up hasn’t been announced, I would hope to see appearances from Paul Oakenfold, Sasha and Way Out West.

Klone
Just because I’ve seen so many excerpts of this festival from earlier years on digital cable (thank you, FiOs), I’d have to say this year’s Glastonbury Festival, the UK equivalent of Woodstock, would be the one I’d definitely make sure I got to.  This year’s line-up includes U2, Coldplay and Beyonce as headliners, as well as appearances by B.B. King, The Chemical Brothers, Mumford & Sons, Local Natives, Snoop Dogg, Gorilaz, Willie Nelson, Muse, Coheed & Cambria, MGMT, Orbital and many more.
The Awesome: the sheer size of the line-up and several stages are mind-boggling, offering a smorgasbord of musical offerings for any palate.  One would be hard-pressed to NOT find a lot to love during the course of the four-day festival.
The Not-So-Awesome: the sheer size of the line-up and several stages are mind-boggling, and means you’re going to have to meticulously track your day to catch every act you want to see.  Inevitably there will have to be sacrifices made, and they will be painful.  Plus, you’re going to be hot, sweaty, stinky, most likely sticky and ready to kill someone from dehydration at the exact moment you realize you took too long checking out George Clinton and the P. Funk All-stars and have already missed 20 minutes of Local Natives’ set, and realize you miss them EVERY TIME they come around to NYC.  Sometimes those are the risks that come with the territory, and that’s the price you have to pay.

Angela
When I had to figure out what one festival in the world I would love to attend, the first thing that came to mind was Rock In Rio.  Not only has this festival been able to bear the title of one of the largest festivals in the entire world, with attendance reaching into the millions, but I’ve always been a fan of the lineups. Silverchair is the main reason I ever even heard of this festival, but upon delving deeper, Rock in Rio consistently books amazing artists and can see the magnitude of a crowd all united for music.  How could I not want to be a part of that?  I remember seeing pictures of Silverchair on stage at Rock in Rio and seeing thousands upon thousands of faces all looking back at them.  It’s so diverse and appealing to so many people, I would love the opportunity to be a part of a show this amazing.

Hoverbee
While researching 2011 festivals all over the world to pick one I’d like to attend, I realized that many of them had not yet announced a lineup.  So in light of this, I’ll have to go with Coachella.  Since this is my fantasy, I’ll be in attendance on all three days and plan to see (regardless of stage/time restraints) The Black Keys, Raphael Saadiq, The Chemical Brothers, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Kings of Leon, Interpol, Cee Lo Green, Brandon Flowers, Animal Collective, Big Audio Dynamite, Cage the Elephant, Erykah Badu, Gogol Bordello, Mumford & Sons, Duran Duran, Neon Trees, PJ Harvey, The Strokes and check out bands I’ve never heard in between.

Daniel-Edward
If I could hit any music festival in 2011, it would be Bonnaroo.  I’ve never been to a massive, multi-day festival before, and Bonnaroo has such a broad swathe of musical genres and artists that it seems like you’d have to try really hard not to enjoy yourself.  From The Strokes to Robyn to Eminem to Girl Talk, it seems like every genre is represented over the four-day festival.

 

What song would you be embarrassed to be caught singing along to that you secretly sing all the time? February 16, 2011

What song would you be embarrassed to be caught singing along to that you secretly sing all the time?
TNT
I can’t stop singing “Fuck You” by Cee Lo Green, both the original and the radio edit.  I love the 50s groove that the track produces and the echoing doo-woop ladies are the cherries on top.  Lots of people have had bad relationships and could relate, but I’m embarrassed to be caught singing the track because I am so happy in my mine.  Oh, and I always get a little red when someone catches me singing “Big Balls” by AC/DC, especially when they’ve never heard it before.

Daniel-Edward
Typically I have no shame when it comes to my taste in music, but when I hear some catchy tween tunes, I tend to keep those on the down-low. But for the sake of NVMP, I’ll share my current guilty pleasure: “Round and Round” by Selena Gomez & The Scene.  It’s bubblegum pop that pushes the boundaries of all things saccharine, but it’s so damn catchy!

Angela
Unfortunately, “We R Who We R” by Ke$ha is my guilty pleasure.  I justify it by saying “I’m in the car so much and it’s on the radio so often, I can’t help but learn it.”  Truth is, if nothing else is on, I’ll just leave it playing.  She’s a talentless auto-tuned poor excuse for an artist, but someone in her camp is producing and marketing her right because she’s still here.  “Cause we make the hipsters fall in love when we got our hot pants on and up.”  I have no idea what the hell that even means, but know she sings it.  Don’t you dare stare at me in the car when it comes on expecting impromptu karaoke; I won’t do it.

Klone
Wow, this is going to be painful, but…”Dynamite” by Taio Cruz.  I DJ-ed my company Holiday party this past December, which bombarded me with poppy guilty pleasures like this crowd pleaser.  It’s catchy, what can I say?  I am thoroughly embarrassed even admitting this, so there you go Internetica.

Hoverbee
I confess to knowing all the words to the Tom Jones song “She’s a Lady.”  This is the song I secretly sing along to all the time but would be embarrassed to be caught singing.  Either that or Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana.”  There are probably a few more, but these two would make me blush.

Mark
Suddenly I am drawing a blank (What convenient timing!) Truthfully, there aren’t any particular songs that I secretly sing all the time, but in the past I have found myself singing early 80’s Madonna songs (“Borderline”, “Lucky Star”) and “Too Shy” by Kajagoogoo, which wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t such an effeminate song.  This is something I wouldn’t go telling everybody…well, at least until now.

Stigz
Would be James Brown “Get Up Offa That Thing” but James Brown is the man, and I’ll shout it from the rooftops.  Either “African Child” by Aldious Snow or “Respect” by Aretha Franklin (with my own lyrical liberties).

 

What is the most significant musical experience you’ve had but your children will never have? February 3, 2011

Filed under: Music Questions — NVMP @ 9:15 AM

This week’s question: What is the most significant musical experience you’ve had but your children will never have?

TNT
The feeling you get when you open a brand new CD and play it for the first time.  With the way we listen and discover new music today, I just don’t think the feeling will be the same for the next generation.  In my mind, they’ll be thinking “Why would I bother going out to a store to buy a CD, spend five minutes trying to tear it open, find a CD player and then enjoy?  Using iTunes is an instant download”.  As this may be true, you can’t flip through the album book with your digital copy and you can’t add it to your physical music collection (although for the next generation, that will consist of a hard drive with backed up files).  They’ll have to inherit mommy’s collection.
Daniel-Edward
The mix tape/CD. In a day and age when cars come out of the factories iPod compatible, the art of the mix tape/CD is a quickly fading one.  Playlists give you an unlimited amount of time to mix songs, tell a story or convey something whether it be ‘I love you’ or ‘happy birthday’.  Mix CDs give you about 18 tracks to get your point across, and depending on the occasion, making them can be an art.  Who knows if CDs will even exist when our kids come bursting forth from their matriarchal wombs?  There’s a beauty to a Valentine’s Day mix that includes the song that was playing when two people first met, or a birthday mix with a mutual favorite song.  The track limit ensures the mix creator makes each one count, and doesn’t waste precious minutes on some superfluous filler.
Angela
The most significant musical experience I’ve had but my children will not is probably seeing legendary bands like the Beach Boys, Van Halen and Santana.  I saw the Beach Boys with my parents as a kid and the same with Van Halen (the first time, second time I was college aged).  I know my kids will never get the opportunity to see them by the time they’re old enough to remember such an experience.  Maybe I didn’t fully appreciate it at the time but I was being introduced to the concert experience, something that clearly has direct bearing on the path in life I walk.  Maybe there will be artists I can take them to see that are of legendary status by the time I get around to having kids.  I’ll take them to see Green Day the same way my parents took me to the Beach Boys.
Klone
Spending $15 for one song…(but who would really miss that?)  It’s funny, because I even have trouble reminding people who are my age, let alone younger, that there was a time that taking a chance on a song could be expensive.  In the days before iTunes, and even before Napster, you didn’t have many options to check out an album before you bought it.  Unless you had a friend who bought the CD first and let you listen to it (or dare I even say make a tape of it for you…tape, yeah, remember that?) you pretty much were going into your CD purchase basically blind, with the exception of the one song you’ve heard that made you want to buy it in the first place.  Often times, especially if the band you were buying turned out to be a one-hit-wonder, you’d wind up spending $15 for the one song you like, and dealing with the 10-12 other tracks that pretty much sucked.  When you think about it in those terms, $0.99 – $1.29 for a song is quite the deal.
Hoverbee
Although MTV is not what it used to be and we at NVMP banned the 2010 Video Music Awards, I’d have to say the birth of music television is one of the most significant musical experiences I’ve had, but my children will never have.  However good or bad we felt about MTV when it debuted, it definitely changed how we listened to and looked at music.
Mark
There are quite a few intricately significant musical experiences that I have had over the past two decades of life, but being that I can’t write a novel about these surreal experiences, the one I would have to go with would be watching one of the greatest contemporary composers perform an amazing piano/quartet set within the technological monolith that is the Apple store…and that would be the great Philip Glass.  Watching one of the true masters of piano/orchestral and experimental music was a true out-of-body experience that could only be shared with the people who were in my presence at that very point in time.  Something that I could never fully explain to my own children, as they would have to have seen the unworldly piano work of Mr. Glass to truly have taken in the monumental alignment within the musical universe that would have notated itself to life before them.  It is a sadly unfortunate miss for them.
Stigz
This question is loaded, and I’d like to say something like “Saw Smokey Robinson and Cheap Trick play live,” but that would be cheating, like my parents saying “Woodstock.”  (Since obviously, I don’t have a time machine and Doc Brown is not a good friend of mine). Rather than musical experience in the sense of a concert, I want to refer to the sense of a phenomenon.  What phenomenons?  The invention and acceptance of Electronic Dance Music by millions.  The birth (and death) of modern rap (see: how we went from Nas, Tupac, Biggie, and the like to Lil Wayne, Kanye West and Autoned Hacks everywhere)…but I think the most significant musical phenomenon I’ve witness, is the impact of things like the internet on the music industry.  Nobody saw iPods or Napster coming and they changed everything in the music business, forever.
 

What tours or concerts are you excited about this year? January 25, 2011

What tours or concerts are you excited about that you know of so far this year?

TNT
I can not wait for The Get Up Kids to come around, their hiatus has been far too long and I’m dying to hear my favorite band live again.  Their new album There Are Rules was released today and I will share my thoughts as soon as I listen in.  I’m also excited for Flogging Molly’s Green 17 tour.  Opening acts this year include Money Brother and The Drowning Men.  As always, I am looking forward to Warped Tour 2011 and hope to see some great bands on the bill this year.

Angela
I think this year I’m most excited to see the line up for Warped Tour.  I’m not really sure what shows are coming up, or what other tours/festivals that will be held this year aside from the annual ones.  I have found I regularly check to see who is playing Warped to decide whether or not I go.  Moreover, considering the awesome time I had this past summer, I can’t wait to go.  On that note, I’d like to say I’m excited to see Tomorrows Bad Seeds again.  I haven’t been able to see them since Warped ’10 as they went back to California, but I’m hoping they make their way back to the East Coast soon so I can indulge my ear drums on their sweet musical stylings.

Stigz
It’s too early into the year to say, but I’m stoked that the 3rd Annual Electric Zoo Festival on Labor Day weekend has been extended to a 3 day festival – which is awesome considering it’s the closest thing to  Woodstock for Electronic Dance Music junkies that we’re ever going to get.

Klone
After missing them this Holiday season, I’m going to be watching for when the Trans-Siberian Orchestra for comes back to the tri-state area, and of course we can all expect some American bastardization-laden attempt to re-create the fabled “Big 4” concert.  Personally, as amazing as it probably was to be at and witness live, I take a skeptical moment to say, “Remember Woodstock.”  Lightning will NEVER strike the same spot twice, no matter how much money and promotion is thrown at it.  Think about it…original Woodstock (1969) = celebration of peace, love and rock and roll.  The last Woodstock (1999) = Limp Bizkit’s rape and bonfire extravaganza.  Total 180 and disgrace to the memory of what Woodstock (’69) was.

Mark
I am excited about the return of Charlotte Martin (although I have to miss her first shows of the year) and the possibility of Dead Can Dance’s Brendan Perry bringing his solo tour to the U.S. at some point this year.  Hell, I am even kind of excited about Motorhead’s tour, and I don’t even care for Lemmy and Co., but hey, he is a musical legend that should be seen at least once.  And fingers crossed, perhaps BT will finally tour in the NY/NJ area this year, as he seems to be too good to hit the area (hear that B to tha T?? FUCKING ROCK OUT IN THIS AREA FOR FUCK’S SAKE!  PROVE ME WRONG!)  I am even keeping my finger’s crossed that Jim Lindberg’s kick-ass new project The Black Pacific will tour this year.

 

Where do you think the music industry is headed in 2011? January 19, 2011

Filed under: Music Questions — NVMP @ 8:06 PM
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Welcome to a new segment NVMP is calling Music Questions, where we ask our team to think outside of the box and answer music related questions.  As always, we want your input too!  Simple leave your answer in a comment form on this page or answer on our facebook fan page here.

Where do you think the music industry is headed in 2011?

TNT
Social media and the digital revolution.  Clearly we’ve all seen the impacts that social media sites have had on the masses, and it’s only a matter of time until the industry can tap into this free resource and squeeze it dry like everything else.  By using these sites to promote new music and shows, post videos and contests, sell merchandise, give play lists, it makes you think why bands even bother with websites.  Social media sites (facebook, purevolume, soundcloud, etc.) open easy on smart phones, meaning you can take the info anywhere and share with everyone, digitally.  With the growing increase of Quick Codes (those funny looking barcode squares), bands can put them on websites, fliers, stickers, really anywhere for fans to easily access their information without having to type in long web address or click a million links to get to the right page.  I do fear for the downfall of MySpace Music and am curious as to who will be the reining champion (most likely Facebook), for more on that, check out this article http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/digital-and-mobile/analysis-where-will-musicians-go-after-myspace-1004138990.story .

Daniel-Edward
I hope the music industry is headed away from the unoriginal, cash cow, tween-centric, auto-tuned talentless asshats that seem to be populating the music scene in order to grab the market segment that has the most spending power, but since the world is supposed to end in 2012 anyway, I don’t see that happening.  As long as mediocre rappers lay their repetitive, lame lyrics over equally repetitive, headache-inducing beats and Taylor Swift writes whiny songs about all her celebrity ex-boyfriends, the Top 40 music scene will continue its downward spiral into the abyss.

Angela
If the past is any indication of the future, then I think the music industry is going to keep adapting to technology.  It seems with the initial unwillingness of the industry to embrace digital media is falling by the wayside and having music available live and streaming 24/7 isn’t so scary to the big wigs anymore.  My personal favorite?  The smart phone app known as Pandora.  I feel like this application surpasses the iPod because it allows the user to have a plethora of varied and changing music at all times, even offering like and dislike buttons to better accommodate the listener’s musical tastes.  On the contrary, with an iPod the user must download to a computer with iTunes, purchase songs and upload them.  Should the user get sick and tired of the tunes being carrying around on the iPod, it’s back to the drawing board to get more (that is if you’re not like me and you don’t sit in front of the computer wracking your brain over what music it is you want to have).  That being said, I think we will continue to see the music industry become more digitally accessible and affordable.  I like the idea of being able to have the opportunity for new music to hit me at any and all times no matter where I may be or who I am with it’s inevitable; everyone has a phone.

Stigz
More digitization and more globalization.  With the breakneck invention of all kinds of media platforms popping up each day, be they music related like Soundcloud, Mixcloud and the like, or social media networks, the music industry will be expanding into every nook and cranny of the internet.  On another level, get ready for more auto-tuned pop sensations.  At the risk of sounding cynical, we’re sadly due for another Ke$ha or Lady Gaga type somewhere in music, and not necessarily pop music.  More record labels are going to realize flamboyance of character and auto-tuned R&B artists are selling.  It’s sad but it’s happening.

Klone
The music industry is due for some kind of renaissance, if for nothing else, the sake of self-preservation.  Many will argue that digital download killed the rock n’ roll star, but I would almost contend that it’s the industry itself that imploded, much like the housing market and the U.S. economy thereafter.  Profiteering gluttons saw people like you and me willing to, 1) blatantly steal music via the internet and respond with utter disgust and outrage when the tax man came a knockin’, and 2) settle for paying $0.99 a song via a digital portal like iTunes or Amazon.  Goodbye $15 dollar CD (which, unless you’re pre-millennial Metallica, usually only contained one or two tracks that you actually felt worth your money).  The old fogies at the top of the music industry pyramid will curse themselves to the grave for not keeping savvy with their computer skills, because all it would’ve taken was reasonable evolution to keep up with the times, instead of the same-old-same-old kicking, screaming and threatening of legal action until the music-consuming public fell back into lock-step.  They’re still holding their breaths while Apple laughs all the way to the bank.  Kind of sad.

Mark
I think the industry is heading further and further down the rabbit hole of doom, and watching the business side of it burn so gloriously has never been more beautiful, and more deserved.  Death to the industry that created Lady GaGa (and her uber-merchandising, product placement ridden, music killing machine), that convinced Duran Duran that working with Timbaland was a good idea, that championed jailbirds like Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, T.I., etc., while downplaying the crimes that they committed (just chalking it all up to the “Normal Lifestyle of a Rapper/Musician/Completely Over-Paid Asshole).  Death to the labels that for some reason cannot compute how the industry will survive without physical means of selling and distributing music, to the electives that continue to bilk musicians out of their musical and artistic rights and still have the nerve to continue telling their artists what to do and how to sound, even though their advice has never worked for anyone, regardless of the state of music business. Good riddance to an industry where people only looked out for themselves, when a solid 99% of their jobs consisted of looking out for other people, namely their clients.  Fuck you music industry and hello to band’s creating their own destinies.  We all know that the wretched industry will never go away, but perhaps in 2011, bands will get the opportunities that they deserve by creating their own destinies, and refusing to wait for the execs that were supposed to give them a hand and building their own empires.  In 2011, the artist will assert its own independence, so the music industry can jerk itself off with both hands, and remove its sleazy, now completely useless self from the equation.