For those of you paying attention to the world beyond metal, the global economy took a hit this past week because of the situation in Dubai. Essentially, a playground for the rich in the United Arab Emirates, the desert city is in serious debt and have basically asked their debtors if they can let things slide for six months. This for a city that sprung up almost overnight, built by slave labor that’s bussed in from an hour away. The whole city will collapse if it stops being financed by big oil (for example, they only have a week’s supply of water, since it’s mostly shipped in).
Web site The Awl has tied this all into Iron Maiden’s “The Flight of Icarus,” a song based on the Greek myth about a man trying to escape Crete by building wings made of feathers and wax, which of course melt when he flies too close to the sun. Is Bruce Dickinson a clairvoyant? Perhaps – there’s definitely a “don’t fuck with nature” parallel between Icarus and building a development in the water that’s shaped like the world and having a city in a desert where you can pretty much die if you’re exposed to the elements too much. The Awl’s tongue seems firmly planted in cheek, but hey, it’s an excuse to show a classic video, so we’re down.
Alice In Chains’ acoustic performance for Yahoo! Music has been posted online.
That seems to be what an article from Web site zeropaid claims*. The site is up in arms about the three music licensing companies, BMI, ASCAP and SESAC, charging fees to nightclubs, bars and venues for live music. It states that instead of having to pay the fees, the venues are shutting down instead.
Individually the licenses are usually no more than $650 p/yr, but when combined with payments to the other two the amount grows untenable for many, especially if they’re also required to pay royalties for music played on a jukebox or radio.
So what has happened is that many are choosing to shutter live music altogether, by some accounts as many as 50% in the St Cloud, Minnesota area alone.
The main sticking point for the author of the article is that the fees clubs have to pay are for just in case an artist plays a copywritten song. But any club that has a jukebox is paying the three fees as well. And the scientific claim of 50% of the live venues closing in St. Cloud comes from a performer in a cover band, and doesn’t cite licensing fees as a reason for them closing. Another point claims that the royalty collection groups mainly collect from larger acts since they’re easier to track. That might be true, but works the same way that Roadrunner does. If signing a Nickelback can give them the finances to keep putting out Soulfly records, than everyone wins. And if a song is getting played, whether it’s live or on a jukebox, the artist deserves to be paid, especially in a time of declining CD saels.
It would be interesting to hear from a club owner as to how they feel about having to pay licensing fees. And also interesting to hear how much the penalty for copyright infringement is for ignoring the three groups.
* CBGB closed for a bunch of other reasons. SESAC, BMI and ASCAP didn’t play into those, but when you think ‘live music venue shut down,’ it’s the first that comes to mind. And Google image search.
Slash has revealed via Twitter that he will release his solo album in March/April 2010 and will start touring around the same time.
Rotting Christ has revealed Aealo as the title to their new album, set to be released on February 23 via Season Of Mist.
Between The Buried And Me has released a video for the song “Obfuscation”.
Charred Walls Of The Damned’s first single, “Ghost Town”, will be available for download through iTunes starting Tuesday, December 1. To read more about how the project came together, click here.
While most of the internet already knows about this, Ronnie James Dio has been diagnosed with stomach cancer. A statement was released last week on Dio’s Web site.
“Ronnie has been diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer. We are starting treatment immediately at the Mayo Clinic. After he kills this dragon, Ronnie will be back on stage, where he belongs, doing what he loves best, performing for his fans.
Thanks to all the friends and fans around the world that have sent well wishes. This has really helped to keep his spirit up.
Long Live Rock and Roll, Long Live Ronnie James Dio”
Dio had cancelled a European tour earlier on due to “illness,” and now we, unfortunately know what that illness was. Three Facebook support groups have already sprung up, with the largest being the Ronnie James Dio Cancer Support Group, which has about 30,000 members already. The only silver lining to this admittely bummer of a story is that the release says his cancer is in the early stages. We saw the 67 year-old Dio earlier this year with Heaven and Hell, and he still remains one of the best frontmen out there. He can still sing better than men 1/3rd his age, and if anyone will be able to come out on the other side of cancer, it’s him. Check out Dio singing “Rainbow in the Dark” from 1986 after the jump – pretty amazing to think that his solo career didn’t start until he was in his ’40s. Read more »
Metal By Numbers is a weekly column in which we look at the top metal sellers and debuts of the week as well as what’s getting played at metal radio courtesy of radio trade magazine FMQB, whose metal panel consists of about 80 college and commercial stations that have metal shows, as well as SiriusXM, Music Choice, and more.
What kind of world do we live in when the new John Mayer album sells 285,000 copies and the awesome new Devin Townsend album only sells 1/95th of that? Aside from that, Them Crooked Vultures moves a solid 70,000 or so copies to land at #12, which is a more manageable 23 times more albums than Devin shifted. Album sales should skyrocket next week with Black Friday/pre-holiday shopping figuring into the equation.
Also, it should be mentioned that this is the first week where catalog albums are counting in the overall 200. There aren’t blatant differences, but whereas a few weeks ago, the #200 album sold about 2,400 copies, this week, the #200 album sold about 4,300. The most obvious albums benefitting from this are Trans-Siberian Orchestra, who had all of their other albums debut. Michael Jackson’s Thriller is still selling about 10,000/week too. Read more »
In a recent interview with Brave Words and Bloody Knuckles, Tesla revealed that their song “Modern Day Cowboy” will appear on Guitar Hero 6. Guitarist Frank Hannon says that Activision asked them if the song could be in the game. Don’t front. You might not like Tesla that much, but it’s hard to go wrong with “Modern Day Cowboy.” While Tesla was unfairly lumped in with the hair metal scene, they just made good, honest rock.
On a related note, does anyone still buy Guitar Hero and Rock Band games any more? They’re still really fun to play, but it seems like they peaked a few years ago around the time Guitar Hero 3 and the first Rock Band came out. But if they’re turning people on to new music, good for them. There’s still people finding out about music via video games, and if it helps people get into new music, then it’s a win for everyone.