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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Sen. Joe Lieberman told Fox News that he would be hesitant to support the new nuclear treaty with Russia if President Barack Obama doesn’t commit to modernizing the nuclear arsenal. He also perpetuated fears of Iran.

As for the wire services, the Associated Press reports the government’s broadband funds are stimulating controversy.

An Israeli order paves the way for West Bank deportations, according to a new report highlighted by AFP.

And analysts say the risk of Japan going totally bankrupt is real.

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Russia Today interviews Casey Rae-Hunter on Comcast FCC decision

Scott Horton interviews Dahr Jamail about WikiLeaks video from Antiwar Radio

Iraq killings are media indifference from Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting

Accountability Movement: Leading journalists expose the myth of a free press

Free community papers supporting net neutrality from Editor & Publisher

Malkia Cyril on the civil rights struggle for a free, open Internet

How to close the digital divide? Fund public libraries from Ed Week

NPR is making Rumsfeld look like a techie by comparison

Raw footage reveals O’Keefe lied about ACORN tapes

This week in comically evil corporate behavior from Grist

Lawsuit: Chiquita fruit company ‘funded death squads’ in Colombia

Actually, Governor, human bondage is ‘significant’ by John Nichols

Tom Hayden’s withdrawal plan for Afghanistan from The Nation

Why even the childless should care about school lunch from Grist

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Collateral murder in Iraq by Amy Goodman

Fox continues CBS, ABC, CNN propaganda to attack Iran from Project Censored

Ray McGovern’s letter to Robert Parry on Daniel Ellsberg

University paper battles restrictive media policy from SPLC

Apologist says now isn’t ‘right time’ for cracking down on unpaid internships

Comcast court victory a major setback to net neutrality efforts

Andrew Romanoff: Fighting for net neutrality from Huffington Post

Common Cause blasts net neutrality decision

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Leaked video shows US forces laughing as they kill reporters, civilians

US troops violated Rules of Engagement in Reuters shooting

US should join the International Criminal Court from Toward Freedom

What’s real and what’s imagined in NYT’s product placement survey?

MLK’s death and other uncomfortable truths by Greg Guma

NPR studies NPR’s gender balance from FAIR

Sen. Durbin promises to support diversifying the airwaves

We need birth control, not geo-engineering from Grist

Sen. McCain: ‘I never considered myself a maverick’

Tea Party could cost Republicans in census

Philly to ease marijuana penalties

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My final two pieces on SXSW were finally published on the Boise Weekly blog.

Read my review of Steven Soderbergh’s new documentary on Spalding Gray here.

“Though his one-man shows may not resonate with the average fan of mall security guard movies, Spalding Gray had a gift for examining universal truths.”

Invincible

The other piece that came out yesterday was my email interview with hip hop emcee and community organizer Invincible. She was busy down in Texas.

“I think women and all non-hetero-male gender’s perspectives are missing from most people’s Hip-Hop collections so it is long overdue to bring a balance.”

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Forgetting Dr. King’s dream of justice by Bill Moyers & Michael Winship

NPR’s ombudsman asks ‘Where are the women?’

Looting Main Street by Matt Taibbi

The Fed in hot water from Talking Points Memo

The push to legalize marijuana is real from The Atlantic

New journalism centers for public media from Save the News

TSA concedes body scanners store and record images from EPIC

Mountaintop removal crackdown could mean more than offshore drilling

Everything you need to know about Obama’s new fuel-economy rules from Grist

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I had too many great sources for my first-ever music feature in Boise Weekly, which came out in newsprint yesterday in Idaho. So I wanted to share a few more things these folks told me on the record. First of all, my title for the piece was “The Future of Music Will No Longer Fit Into the Containers of the Past: Strategies for Working Musicians from Industry Innovators at SXSW.”

Had to cut my opening line: “Sixth street is the cultural center of Austin, Texas, a city whose identity as “live music capital of the world” is now a registered trademark, just like its favorite slogan “keep Austin weird.””

One of my favorite things that Leeor Brown of Terrorbird and Friends of Friends told me about Been Meaning to Tell You, the latest record by Ernest Gonzales is: “It’s only a month later and Ernest’s amazing album is not a brand new record anymore! Four stars in Urb is already old news. I can’t go back to NPR a month later and be like, would you write that up again?”

Page from Ernest Gonzales' book

My friend Casey Rae-Hunter, communications director for Future of Music Coalition said: “When you look at the mobile space you’re going to be seeing people are going to get really used to accessing music in the cloud. They might eventually get used to not even ‘owning’ a digital file. Or maybe they will download it and they’ll have it on their home computer or stored on a server somewhere, but they’ll be able to access it via broadband or wi-fi or cell network on all of their devices.

“Apple bought Lala, and they may introduce a ‘cloud locker’ component to their iTunes service. That would let you play your stuff on any Apple device from wherever you are.”

My friend Eddie Sumlin of A Visual Sound didn’t make it into the piece at all but added: “I think the future of music is gonna be about creating authentic experiences. Radio is dope. I listen to people all around the world because I respect what they program. I go see certain artists because they bring a certain type of thing live. They do something that you could never experience digitally.”

Casey also said: “One reason the major labels are struggling is that they kind of lost the ability to inspire fans. Everyone’s trying to figure out how to compete with free. Well, you have to be able to sell to the hardcore fan. What the industry might need to figure out is how to monetize the behavioral activities the customers are already engaged in. And that’s the expectation of access on-demand. It’s conceivable that consumers will embrace streaming pretty much across the board if the business models allow it and the stuff is licensed and available. There’s an entire new generation that simply wants to be able to get what they want when they want it on whatever gadget they’re using. And it would be an added benefit if they wouldn’t get sued and it compensated artists.”

Finn Riggins rock out in a parking lot

I asked Bryan Calhoun, VP for new media at Sound Exchange, what he was doing ten years ago when Congress created the nonprofit royalty-collection agency. He replied: “Roughly ten years ago, I was doing A&R and marketing for record labels. There are hardly anymore A&R people period. With all the tools available to people, everybody can record, release and market themselves. Barriers to entry were still there ten years ago. The big problem now is getting above the clutter. So how do you stand above the rest, get into a position to make a living from your music? 2200 bands showcasing? What’s the end goal? Getting signed to a major record label? More and more people don’t see that as the holy grail anymore. Many artists and managers are looking forward to their contract expiring so they can do their own thing.”

Of working for Sound Exchange, Bryan told me: “I’ve got probably the coolest job. I contact artists and tell them I’ve got money to give them. Our board of directors is made up half of label people and half of artist people. Those are the people that get paid from Sound Exchange so it is in their interest to do their job efficiently.”

I asked Priya Dewan, US label manager for the mighty Warp Records, about their acquisition of new artists to the label. She said: “We’re constantly looking for new talent and signing new talent. New artists and existing artists putting out great new records… We can’t count on our back catalog. The more new cool and fresh new artists we get the better our chances are. People come to us because we have such a great roster.”

I asked how the Internet’s openness has contributed to Warp finding new musicians.

She said: “We’ve got specific sites that we visit to find out about up-and-coming artists. Talking to other artists, going to shows, reading blogs. A combination of things get us interested in the artists. Anybody who suggests a good music blog to me gets added to my Google Reader. I check that once a day. A lot of times our artists tell us about new artists. We get at least 10 to 15 demos a week on a slow week, physical and digital. When we put out a Grizzly Bear or Battles record, we’ll get a whole lot of demos that sound like them. I can’t think of an unsolicited demo we’ve listened to, where we called them back, and it resulted in signing.”

There was also more I was going to write about Finn Riggins, but Boise Weekly editors felt there had been a lot of coverage of their trip to Austin, so I kept it narrowed down to a partial list of their team and the story of vocalist/guitar player Lisa Simpson seeing some talented buskers. The one other funny thing she told me about sixth street in Austin was about a guy running down the street, pulling up his shirt to reveal a ‘Truffle Shuffle’ and yelling, “MTV Spring Break!” She said she looked at this dude, flashing his chest, and thought, “Is that for real? What is he on?” Ah, sixth street during SXSW. I miss it already.

View of 6th Street from patio stage of The Wave

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