Monday, January 29, 2007

Why I will TiVO the Grammies this year

I hate award shows. Unless I am winning money, they simply suck. But this year, it turns out, the Police will be reuniting for a performance. This means that a) Sting will put down his lute for a minute and b) there will be some onstage fighting. Ok, maybe there won't be, but we can hope.

The Police are one of my favorite bands from childhood and I still have good feelings for quite a bit of their catalogue. There are some iffy album cuts ("Miss Gradenko" anyone?) but the hits were tremendous. "Every little thing she does is magic" is still one of my top ten singles and Andy Summers is still one of my favorite rock guitarists. So, yes, I am looking forward to actually watching something with Sting on TV.

The other reason I am going to TiVO the grammies is I expect there to be a number of "don't steal" commercials coming down the line. Last week Fulton County Sheriff's Department S.W.A.T. team along with metro law enforcement raided Dj Drama and DJ Cannon's homes and confiscated a bunch of mixtape CDs that they have been producing for years. This HUGE news in the hip hop community since their is an entire underground of distribution built on the mixtape where DJs produce em, artists contribute and labels use them to generate buzz. All clues point to the RIAA as the one's behind the complaints that got the cops involved. The RIAA runs the grammy game and, well, this is a huge shot across the bow. If you think DRM sucks (and I do), we aint seen nothin yet. Next up, another attempt to make users criminals. Here's a great to video about the situation.

This is nothing new. I always note that in the 80s when the record industry used to print record bags that said, "home taping is killing music", the record store I used to shop at sold a sticker that said "home fucking is killing prostitution". I just wished the RIAA would wise up and understand that DRM and these "bust-the-underground" tactics is just part of an inept business strategy that only makes people like me want to buy less, not more music. It's a big-time turn off and doesn't make any sense. As far as I am concerned busting these DJs for reworking these hits (typically mixtape cds only give you a few minutes of any artists), is really killing the only form of distribution that so many artists get. You can't hear the Clipse on the radio, but you can get them on a cheap and convenient CD that may make you want to buy the next Clipse release. It's a terrible system that is having a poor time dealing with the realities of "user generated" technologies and practices. The sad thing is that it is the one that has the most to gain.

More on that later though, right now I just want to think about Stewart Copeland throwing his sticks at Sting's eyeballs halfway through "De Doo Doo Dah". Ahh, fantasies...

1 comment:

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