Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Money Shot: Rising L.A. Punk Scene, The RIAA is Subsidizing Foreign Record Labels & Is Ryan Adams Too Prolific?

The latest headlines...

Let It Rip (The New Yorker)
MS: In the early eighties, a loose aggregation of punk-rock bands, including Black Flag and X, were responsible for an explosion of musical activity in the area, and by the end of the decade the hard-rock scene in Hollywood had yielded Guns N’ Roses—along with a fashion for teased hair and tight leather pants, which helped propel the careers of similar but lesser bands. Now the punk-rock phase—which was also a golden age of skateboarding, the primary recreation for L.A. punk rockers—has been reborn in an appealingly communal form, thanks in large part to a local club called The Smell, to a noisy and often brilliant duo called No Age, and to the group’s tight circle of friends.

Tighten up: 21 good albums that could have been great EPs (AV Club)
MS: 14. Ryan Adams, Rock N Roll (2003)
People joke about how Ryan Adams records roughly an album a day, but a lot of that prolific output stems from the fact that Adams has a lot of ideas, and wants to explore as many of them as possible. Rock N Roll was Adams' attempt to pay tribute to radio-ready early-'80s rock and compete with bands like The Strokes and Hot Hot Heat, who were converting some of those same sounds into critical buzz and decent record sales. But Adams never really came up with enough decent songs to follow through fully on a not-bad impulse. He was saving his best material for the Britpop exercise Love Is Hell, a superior record that Adams' label neglected in favor of this more tossed-off effort. Rock N Roll would've been better served at a much shorter length, and with more focus on songs like "Burning Photographs," "Wish You Were Here," and "Do Miss America," which deal with the destructive impact of fast living and intense relationships.

Artists: Radio surely can afford royalty (The Hollywood Reporter)
MS: "When you cut to the chase, RIAA is asking Congress to bail out a business model that failed to adapt to the new digital age," National Association of Broadcasters spokesman Dennis Wharton said.

Wharton said the royalty would only "fund a billion-dollar transference of wealth to foreign-owned record labels that would be unfair, unwise and unwarranted."

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