Friday, August 03, 2007

"480 Minutes" 8/3/07 - Congress Says Get It Done!

It's August. For most of you that means warm weather and cold lemonade. For me that means it's cold and foggy here on the west side of San Francisco. Truth be told I much prefer this weather to what I experienced earlier in the week when I visited Washinton DC with some friends/colleagues from SomaFM and Reapandsow. It was hot and muggy, and each day during our short walk to the Hill I shvitzed like nobody's business. Fortunately the buildings were air conditioned...

Thanks to much prep-work by Elise of SomaFM we had lots of meetings scheduled and informative printed materials to leave behind. We ran around from office to office explaining our side of the internet radio/copyright royalty issue. What piqued concerned interest again and again was that negotiations between SoundExchange and webcasters were not, as far as we knew, progressing. From some very smart and knowledgeable aides we learned a whole lot about the legislative process, the Interjet Radio Equality Act (as viewed by the Hill), and that our issue is sort of the tip of an iceberg. A massive confluence of copyright issues is coming to a head now.

We sat in on a hearing about extending the performance copyright royalty fee to terrestrial radio. All of the Representatives' opening statements assumed that this royalty rate would be extended to cover over-the-air readio. Rep. Darrell "Total Recall Election" Issa (R - CA.) said, "In my seven years in Congress, this is the first time that, in a no ifs, ands, or buts way, it's been made clear that the status quo will no longer be acceptable." The only witness called on behalf of radio was left to defend himself against the entire committee and four other witnesses. He was set-up as the piƱata from the start. The debate was framed: big radio vs. artists. There was almost no mention of the big labels, who are behind this push and stand to reap at least 50% of the rewards.

The largely foreign-owned mega-conglomerates that own the major labels are not nearly as sympathetic figures as geriatric artists, hence their invisibility at the hearing.

Read more about the hearing here, here, or here. Also, check out the comments from my Wednesday blog post, including guest appearances by the wife/manager of Sam "Soul Man" Moore and a member of the board of SoundExchange.

Finally, in his blog, Wil Wheaton references and weighs in on Rusty from SomaFM's DC dispatches. Read what Rusty writes, that man is a wealth of information.

The best post-trip news thusfar is that U.S. Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), the Senate sponsors of the Internet Radio Equality Act, issued a press release saying they have become aware that little progress is being made in negotiations between SoundExchange and webcasters. The press release states,
If great progress toward a fair solution for webcasters is not made by Congress’s return to Washington after Labor Day, then we plan to take expeditious steps toward passage of the Internet Radio Equality Act. We feel the Senate must take action, and we will make every effort move the Internet Radio Equality Act to the floor.
Now that's what I like to hear! (Strange bedfellows, I know, but you go to the Senate floor with the sponsors you have, I always say).

As many of you know, the next BAGeL Radio Presents... show is this Monday, August 6th at The Elbo Room featuring The Otherside, Bears, and Slings. I hope that you can make it out -- read about the bands below next to the flier for the show.

Please tune in to today's edition of "480 Minutes" which runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time, and as always you can request songs:

Yahoo IM: bagelradio
AOL/iChat: bagelradiolive
MSN Msgr:

The music will not suck.

Upcoming Bay Area Gigs of Interest:

Marnie Stern/ Sholi/ Crime in Choir @ Bottom of the Hill 8/3

Lee Scratch Perry/ Dub is a Weapon @ Independent 8/4&5

Violent Femmes @ The Fillmore 8/4

BAGeL Radio Presents...
The Otherside
@ Elbo Room 8/6

One of BAGeL Radio's favorite San Francisco bands, THE OTHERSIDE play psychedelic shoegaze. Imagine The Byrds smoking peyote with Ride and Interpol -- the contact high is worth the price of admission. Fans of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Stone Roses will love THE OTHERSIDE.

All the way from Cleveland OH. -- it's BEARS, in their first-ever San Francisco show! Fans of The Shins, Peter Bjorn & John, and Camera Obscura will love BEARS' catchy indie pop.

SLINGS, an OC via Gainsville FL. band, open the show with their Yo La Belle & Garfunkel Neutral Milk wash of campfire melodies backed with acoustic guitar, xylophone, melodica, and accordian sounds.

Jewish Heritage Night: Giants vs. Nationals @ AT& T Park 8/8

**HIJK (CD Release)/ The Invisible Cities/ Show Me State 8/9

*The Wombats @ Popscene 8/9

Squeeze @ The Mountain Winery 8/14

*Birdmonster @ Cafe du Nord 8/18

Earlimart/ String Dream Team @ Cafe du Nord 8/23

Psychic TV @ Independent 8/24

Beastie Boys @ The Warfield 8/24

Beastie Boys @ The Greek Theatre 8/25

Mickey Avalon @ Slim's 8/28

Gogol Bordello @ The Fillmore 8/29

Crowded House @ Mountain Winery 8/29

**Music For Animals/ Magic Bullets/ Dreamdate/ Transfer @ Great American Music Hall 9/1
Brian Jonestown Massacre/ Dimmer @ The Independent 9/3

*Okkervil River/ Damien Jurado @ The Independent 9/5

*Devendra Banhart @ Palace of Fine Arts 9/7

Wolf Parade/ Holy Fuck @ Great American Music Hall 9/12

Editors @ The Fillmore 9/20

The White Stripes/ Cold War Kids @ The Greek Theatre 9/21

Low @ Great American Music Hall 9/25 & 26

Bye Bye Blackbirds/ Statuesque @ Starry Plough 9/29

They Might Be Giants @ The Fillmore 9/30

Interpol @ Gill Graham Civic Auditorium 10/20

Of Montreal/ Grand Buffet/ MGMT @ Great American Music Hall 11/12

more upcoming shows

* = I'm there

** = I'm DJing

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