RIAA Boycott In March

28 02 2007

Via Gizmodo

Alright, we’ve been following the RIAA’s increasingly frequent affronts to privacy and free speech lately, and it’s about time we stopped merely bitching and moaning and did something about it. The RIAA has the power to shift public policy and to alter the direction of technology and the Internet for one reason and one reason alone: it’s totally loaded. Without their millions of dollars to throw at lawyers, the RIAA is toothless. They get their money from us, the consumers, and if we don’t like the way they’re behaving, we can let them know with our wallets.

With that in mind, Gizmodo is declaring the month of March Boycott the RIAA month. We want to get the word out to as many people as humanly possible that we can all send a message by refusing to buy any album put out by an RIAA label. Am I saying you should start pirating music? Not at all. You can continue to support the artists you enjoy and respect in a number of ways.

Firstly, I encourage everyone to purchase music from unsigned bands and bands on independent record labels. There are tons of great artists out there, many of which you’re probably already a fan of, that have nothing to do with the RIAA. Buy their records at eMusic, an online store that sells independent tunes in beautiful, DRM-free MP3 format.

Secondly, you can still support RIAA-signed bands without buying their music. Go see them live and buy their merchandise; they get a hell of a lot more money from that then they do from album sales. And hey, you could benefit from getting out more, couldn’t you?

If you are unsure whether or not an album is put out by an RIAA label, the handy RIAA Radar will clear everything up for you. They have both a search engine and a great bookmarklet, so be sure to get yourself hooked up.

Let me just reiterate that we are not saying you should stop buying music and start pirating everything. We need to send a message with our wallets to the RIAA, and that message will only be stronger if we show support for musicians without your money making its way to the lawyer fund.

So come on, make next month one to remember. Let’s stand together and let the RIAA know that yes, we are paying attention and no, we aren’t going to put up with their unethical practices any longer.

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Static

21 01 2007

When it comes to music, lyrics are quite important.  I also like it when a vocalist is singing their own words.  Two reasons I don’t listen to much pop music.

One of the people floating in the upper echelon of lyricists is J Robbins.  He started off as a bassists in Government Issue, then Singer/Guitarist in Jawbox, Burning Airlines and now Channels.  Throughout these bands Robbins has been delivering well-written, thoughtful and relevant lyrics.  The following lyrics are from the song “Static” of off the Jawbox album “Novelty”.

i sunk my eyes in static
you taught me how to see it
now there’s no sign of you at hand
so i stop looking at it
my head is splitting trying
to read the name that you abandoned

congratulations sister
you put yourself right over
though you don’t think i understand
this sudden awkward rupture
this stuck-unhealing fissure
no love could possibly withstand

and i’d never say
it doesn’t mean that much to me
glad anyway
to see you struggle free

pinned down but unexamined
though you kept right on looking
at static there behind my eyes
keep pushing one-way vision
i guess at least it’s something
since everything is so compromised

I think that there is something particularly heartbreaking about the line:

though you don’t think i understand
this sudden awkward rupture
this stuck-unhealing fissure
no love could possibly withstand

That lyric always stood and out stayed with me.  I get to meet J after a Channels show in Brooklyn.  He was friendly and genuine.  I was also hoping to find out what “J” stood for, but he introduced himself as “J”, so no luck there.