Posts archived in Music

For several years, the various Recording Artist Associations (eg: RIAA) have been on a campaign to prosecute their customers. These associations claim they do it to protect the rights of their members. In reality it’s all about increasing profits for certain key members – that is, large record companies.

Last week came news from the UK of the latest attempt by these organisations to stick it to ordinary consumers for something which is, really, fairly innocent. What’s the problem? Some employees of a car repair company played their radios a little bit too loud.

The Performing Rights Society (the UK’s version of the RIAA) is seeking £200,000 (AUD$450,000) in damages for this obvious heinous crime.

Seriously, there needs to be a complete change in copyright law. For a long time these large organisations (and don’t kid yourself, they are giant corporations, not struggling musicians) have been steadily edging out what we would all consider fair use. It should not be a crime to listen to the radio at work, or to play a CD for friends at a private party. 

The way things are structured at the moment, it’s better (financially) for me to drive a car at well above the legal speed limits, placing people in serious danger – than it is to play a radio a little loud, or to share a song with a friend.  This is not the way things should be. We need to say enough is enough, and tell our elected representatives to change these obviously stupid copyright laws.

image Phil Plait (of Bad Astronomy Blog fame) stumbled onto an Alaskan singer Marian Call a few weeks back, and blogged about it.

Several things immediately piqued my interest: She’s a Firefly fan, won a song writing contest “Sing a song of Saffron“. (Saffron of course being from the Firefly episode “Our Mrs Reynolds“), and the two or three songs on her MySpace page were really really good.

Phil gives a better description of Marian’s music than I could hope to do:

“Marian?s music is hard to pin down; it?s like folk but not at all cloying like so many folk singers are. It?s not dance or rock; it?s simple, personal, small band coffee-shop kinda stuff. Sorta […] Her voice is clear and beautiful, and not at all artificial like every gorram singer on the radio these days”

Read Phil’s blog entry for more.  This is also one of the rare times when I’d recommend actually going to a MySpace page. The sample tracks Marian makes available are well worth listening to.

I bought Marian’s Album “Vanilla” on CD and it arrived yesterday – I’ve only managed to listen to it two or three times, and I’m really impressed.

Definitely check it out.