I love my iPod. I cannot lie. And I have spent, oh, a very very lot of money in the iTunes store buying music all locked up so that even though I own it, I don't own it, because unlike all the songs off my CDs (that I also bought and own), you can't play your iTunes music on anything other than your iPod.
Welcome to the age of Digital Rights Management, or DMR.
So if you shellac a one-atom-thick layer of DRM over a product, you get the full power of the American legal system as a weapon to use against competitors. Apple may have created a successful "Switch" campaign by reverse-engineering Microsoft products like PowerPoint to make Keynote, an Apple program that lets you run old PowerPoint decks on your Mac, but Microsoft can't create a "Switch to the Zune" campaign that offers you the ability to play your iTunes Store songs on a Zune, Microsoft's latest abortive iPod-killer.
Although Apple's DRM is wholly ineffective at preventing copying, it does manage to raise the cost of switching from an iPod to a competing device. Every iTunes song you buy for 99 cents amounts to a 99 cent tax on switching from an iPod to a Zune. That's because your iTunes songs won't play on your Zune -- or on any other player, save those made or licensed by Apple. Jobs tries to skate around this in his memo, suggesting that only a tiny fraction of the music on iPods comes from his music store, and so the anti-switching effects are minimal.
The rest of this is at Salon - if you're not a subscriber, you can get a free day pass to read the article. It's worth the trouble.
Once again they didn't even make it out of the starting gate. This year's planned reunion tour of David Lee Roth and Van Halen will apparently NOT occur. Rolling Stone is reporting that employees of the promoter Live Nation have been informed that "the Van Halen tour has been shut down." Good news for David Lee Roth, however, as this will allow him to pursue the lead in the sequel to the 2006 Matthew McConaughey film Failure To Launch.
news, rumors, and buzz compiled from around the web by the club.kingsnake staff
This week's free download in the iTunes store is a song called "The Guide" from Australian band Borne. I usually grab the free downloads, and most of them don't grab me. This one does.
The iTunes review says lead vocalist Cameron Tapp's voice is a more soulful and rougher version of Bono's... I'm not quite sure I agree with that, but it's not totally off. They also compare him to Chris Martin, which is just wrong. I'm not a Coldplay fan, so maybe I'm too prejudiced to hear it, but Tapp's voice is much more expressive and smoother than Martin's, while still having a rough edge to it that appeals to me much more than Martin's.
I'd describe this as a piano-swelling-into-guitar lovesong squarely in the indie rock tradition... yearning, minimally produced, the slightly sappy edge of the lyrics taken off with the raw vocal.
Texas band The Toadies has just announced a 2 night re-union gig at Austin's Stubb's BarBQ on March 12th & 13th, right before the opening of the huge SXSW music festival on March 15th. With Snow Patrol's sold out show on March 10th and Iggy and The Stooges performing at Stubb's during SXSW, it is rapidly becoming the hotspot for the big bands this year. Look for more SXSW updates as we get closer. Tickets are available at http://Stubbs.frontgatetickets.com
According to news on the AP wire this morning, former Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell has left the band Audioslave citing personality conflicts and musical differences. Tom Morello will re-unite with the remaining members of Audioslave to re-form as Rage Against The Machine for a "one shot" concert at this years Coachella.
Rumor mills have been speculating that the newly re-united Police also may make an appearance at this years Coachella and sources have told our staff that their current 14 date tour will be extended to as many as 41 North American venues. The Police will be performing at this years Bonaroo festival for sure, as well as a number of sports stadiums and arenas.
Graham Williams of Emo's has confirmed they will be hosting the Buzzcocks and the Meat Puppets shows during this years SXSW during a podcast interview with club.kingsnake's own Jeff Barringer (see the post below this one) as well as some of the other bands on their schedule. Mystery still surrounds who this years late booking big names and "secret" SXSW shows will be.
ZZ Top hits the road in March with a tour that starts in Biloxi Mississippi and ends in Pala California. While playing a number of casinos, they will play Houston's Reliant Stadium on March 18th and Austin's The Backyard on April 14th.
In what has got to be the most poorly matched song to advertisement pairing ever, the bright guys at Wendy's are currently running a commercial for their new Bacon Mushroom Cheeseburger Melt using the Violent Femmes' song "Blister In The Sun." Now, this intrepid reporter risked life and limb and actually tasted one of these sandwiches, and I can honestly say that they do not taste like blisters in the sun, though they may want to replace the bun with something a little more substantial. They may also want to consider replacing their marketing arm, since this is the most unappetizing song ever used to sell food. No wonder Wendy's 4th quarter profits were down 90 percent in 2006. Next up on their marketing schedule, Cattle Decapitation sings about the new Wendy's "Long Pig Chef Salads"... Dave must be rolling over in his grave.
Buz McGrath of Unearth at OzzFest 2006 photo by staff photographer brian rampacek
Ok, add this one to the "Yet Another Reunion Show" list. Billy Corrigan, alternative music's own version of Mr. Clean, and the rest of the Smashing Pumpkins have confirmed a new album release for 07/07/07. They will be touring in support starting at Germany's Rock am Ring festival in June.
BLOGGER darlings the Shins have announced a tour date at Austin's Backyard on March 7, just a week too early to catch the SXSW crowd. Tickets go on sale February 13th, pricing TBA. I can hear a whole bunch of keyboards typing now to see if flight schedules can be altered.
Finally, Sharon Osborne has announced that this year's OzzFest tickets will be free, with the tour expenses hopefully covered by corporate sponsors. Ozzy will make a return to headlining this year, and tickets will be available only through special links on the sponsor web sites.
club kingsnake will be displaying our site at this years SXSW Interactive and Music Trade Shows. We will be handing out free 3,000 of our infamous "My Snake Is Bigger Than Your Snake" T-shirts from our booth at the show and they will be available to the general public at a few select locations such as Snake Eyes Records. Sizes available at the show will be XL, L, M, & S. We have a few of the larger sizes and smaller as well so if you plan on attending the trade show and want one of those sizes let me know and I will bring you one.
We will be headquartered across the street at the downtown Hilton where we plan on conducting video interviews with a variety of artists and bands. We will also be publishing a series of articles leading up to the event highlighting various artists, as well as a few podcast interviews. If your a SXSW band and would like to get some extra buzz for your showcase let us know and we will try to get you on our schedule.
club kingsnake will be announcing it's 2007 concert photo contest at this years SXSW, with the list of rules
and prizes. We will also display images from last years photo contest winners. We will also be talking with online journalists interested in joining our site as either staff or contributors.
After months of waiting and speculation SXSW has finally released it's list of bands scheduled to perform.
With over 1300 bands this years festival once again has something for everyone. I myself will definitely try to weedle my way into the Les Claypool and Zico Chain sets and I have barely begun to do more than glance at the list. To make it easier to read we made our own version of SXSW's 07 list for now. Take a look at http://club.kingsnake.com/index.php?/pages/sxsw07bands.html
We are looking for a few good bloggers, podcasters, and videographers that like to blog about live music and are interested in joining our communal blog as staff or contributers. We don't make any money with the site, thats not really the point, so we can't pay you, but we can promise you that people will read your stuff. We can also help you out with ticket expenses, press credentials, and equipment like cameras as well as CDs and DVDs to review. Some of our bloggers are going to SXSW2007 all expenses paid this year. Others have gotten camera equipment, free CD's, and have gotten to meet some neat people like Kerry King of Slayer, Alice Cooper, Rik Emmett of Triumph, and lots and lots of other artists.
We are interested in all musical genres(except polka) and we are looking for people all over the world. This isn't a quit your dayjob or your dayblog thing but its a good way to build your portfolio. Look I am frankly too old to camp out for Bonaroo and ACL Fest is too damned dusty. I would rather send somebody still young enough to think such punishment is fun. If you like to go to concerts and can deal with meeting famous people every once in a while, this might be the job for you.
Our music blog is relatively new, but our company has been online for 10 years, we have a 15 server farm that last year delivered over 250,000,000 page views on our most popular site. Yes that is a quarter billion, no we are not kidding. Our music blog is an offshoot of our popular pet community site kingsnake.com so we have access to huge amounts of traffic. If you write it, someone here will read it.
Here are our Alexa rankings for our most popular site, kingsnake.com compared with a select few others
Traffic Rank for craigslist.org: 35
Traffic Rank for rollingstone.com: 3,695
Traffic Rank for statesman.com: 9,662
Traffic Rank for kingsnake.com: 17,314
Traffic Rank for blender.com: 21,444
Traffic Rank for sxsw.com: 29,097
Traffic Rank for austinchronicle.com: 34,011
Traffic Rank for spin.com: 50,182
* please note this data was extracted 2 weeks ago and is subject to change
We plan on our music site being around a long time and having a lot of fun with it. If you would like to help out and have some fun too let me know. Either send me an email or stop by our booth at this years SXSW trade show and pick up a free t-shirt
Senior Editor/Staff Photographer