Monthly Archives: February 2010

Four Tet at Le Poisson Rouge on February 17th, 2010

The modern music loving New Yorker, well acquainted with twenty-somethings’ cacophonous and chaotic reign of Brooklyn and underground music at large, was bound to find something approaching solace in the skillful hands of wedding band and t-shirt-clad Four Tet, pseudonym for Kieran Hebden, last Wednesday at the British DJ/producer’s sold-out show at Le Poisson Rouge.

The Greenwich Village show kicked off the American leg of Hebden’s tour for his fifth album, “There Is Love In You”, which was released last month by British independent label Domino Records. Along with seamlessly stringing his set together, Hebden infused his already shockingly unpretentious tracks with freshness by incorporating nonstandard improvisation, such as including a tone-generator from his iPhone. An audience-demanded encore capped Hebden’s ninety-minute, live set after which the veteran humbly thanked the audience.

Though a relatively little-known name, Hebden’s career boasts collaborations with some of the industry’s biggest names, creating remixes for artists such as Aphex Twin, Explosions in the Sky, and Andrew Bird and opening for Radiohead for their 2003 European tour.

This tour marks his departure from his residency at London club, Plastic People, which Hebden cites as a massive inspiration and focus group for the development of his new material.

Link to this article:

BTR Live Studio: The Loom


Upcoming Shows:

2/26 @ Mercury Lounge w/ Wildbirds and Peacedrums – New York, NY
3/18 @ Austin Town Hall – Austin, TX
3/19 @ Leisure Tourniquet Equinox – Austin, TX
3/20 @ Moose Lodge Day Show  – Austin, TX
3/30 @ Stem and Leaf Show – Austin, TX
4/2 @ The Knitting Factory – Brooklyn, NY
4/9 @ Wesleyan – Middletown, CT

Link to this show:

The Performance Rights Act: A look inside terrestrial radio’s dilemmas

The recent addiction of downloading music off the internet has upset the flow of royalty fees and has artists and labels searching for new avenues of revenue. One such recent development on their part has been the proposal of a new “performance fee” tax that radio stations would be obligated to pay record labels each time one of their client’s (artists) songs gets air-time.

Under current laws radio stations are required to pay the songwriter but the new suggested law would also require them to pay royalties to holders of the copyrights on recordings, which may include performers and record labels.

The proposed bill H.R. 848 known as the Performance Rights Act would extend current royalty rights to include audio transmission. As they currently stand the royalty laws only cover digital transference but H.R. 848 would allow copyright umbrellas to also encompass audio broadcasts by analog radio stations.

The new bill, which has yet to be voted on by congress would enforce a tax to be paid to copyright holders each time a radio station plays one of their tracks. The exact fee has not yet been established but smaller stations with accruing annual revenues of $1.2 million dollars and under would have the option to pay a flat fixed rate yearly in lieu of continuously occurring royalty payments.

With free local radio currently reaching around 236 million listeners every week many proponents of the old system believe that free air-play is a fair trade for such vast exposure. And although the new tax is said to be for the benefit of artists and musicians (and this is true … in part) it is likely that at least half of the new found revenue would go to the record labels, the majority of which are foreign owned companies. While newer artists are more likely to suffer from lack of exposure than benefit from tax dollars.

The traditional agreement between artists, record labels, and radio stations has been upset due to the strong and steady decline in profit margins seen recently in the music industry. A predicament due without question to the newly digitized world in which many fans opt to download their music free of charge rather than purchase whole albums at the record store. An occurrence that has become so prevalent that indeed there are very few record stores even in operation anymore, which further promotes downloading.

But many opponents of the proposed bill point out that this decrease in profit is not the fault of terrestrial radio stations and thus they should not be the ones to suffer the financial burden of a newly found tax that seeks to disrupt a system that has worked well for over 8 decades for radio and artists alike.

Link to this article:

– Amanda Decker

Anatomy of a Blogger: The New Gay

00:00 DJ Thompson presents The Anatomy Of A Blogger
00:27 These Are The Fables – The New Pornographers
03:25 How did the blog start?
05:43 Let It Fall – Lykke Li
08:17 Your Arms Around Me – Jens Lekman
13:12 What’s going to be big in 2010?
16:58 Eyes Won’t Shut – Cale Parks
22:25 Cable TV – Fol Chen
25:25 Blown Out – Benjy Ferree
30:03 What sets your blog apart from the pack?
32:57 TV – Headlights
35:30 Me n Yr Daughter – Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head
39:32 Vanished – Crystal Castles
43:44 Wishing Well – Love is All
46:18 What kind of music do you focus on?
48:29 Fists Up – The Blow
52:36 Gayest of Sunbeams – Pink Mountaintops
56:48 What do you want to address?
58:21 I’ll Believe in Anything – Wolf Parade
62:38 Farewell
62:49 Blush – Raveonettes
65:51 Somewhere Around Here – Chairlift

Fol Chen
Apr 10 2010     El Rey Theater w/ Liars     Los Angeles, CA
Apr 14 2010     Rock and Roll Hotel w/ Liars     Washington, DC
Apr 15 2010     Bowery Ballroom w/ Liars     New York, NY
Apr 16 2010     First Unitarian Church w/ Liars     Philadelphia, PA

Cale Parks

New Pornographers
May 19 2010     Electric Ballroom     London, England
May 21 2010     Magnet “Club NME”     London, England
May 22 2010     Molotow     Hamburg, Germany
May 23 2010     Melkweg     Amsterdam, Holland

Feb 25 2010     The Aquarium     Fargo, ND
Feb 26 2010     Railyard Ale House     Billings, MO
Feb 27 2010     The Nuart Theater     Moscow, ID

David Brooks Recaps Health Care Reform, Forgets Everything He says

BERLIN - OCTOBER 12:  A dentist and her assist...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

David Brooks recites at length what went down during the health care reform debacle except he throws in  a bunch of misleading statements, cites a firm that behaves as a front for an insurance company to bolster one of his claims, and then — why not? — fails to make a compelling statement or introduce any kind of noteworthy information.

In short, the column is representative of the very worst aspects of the health care debate: misleading half-truths that neither educate nor compel. If the Times is looking to boost revenues, it should rent out Brooks’s column space to an advertiser. At least they could then afford to fund more investigative journalism.

Much has gone wrong during the health care negotiations, so it’s downright odd Brooks willfully evades the fact that Obama met privately with the pharmaceutical companies, and agreed to oppose any congressional efforts to bargain for lower drug prices, import drugs from Canada, and not to pursue Medicare rebates or shift some drugs from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D, which would cost Big Pharma billions in reduced reimbursements. That seems like a huge “uh-oh” moment to avoid if we’re making a list of Shit That Went Wrong during the reform process.

Brooks also skips right over how the private health insurance companies and drug makers bribed Congress to vote against reform, though he does get a shot in about trial lawyers. The rest of the back door negotiations and bribing is summarized as, “These were compromises, too. They were ugly, and they soiled everybody involved. But, again, they could be justified for reasons of political expediency.”

Oh. Well, as long as they can be justified. Moving on…

Brooks weirdly reminds his readers that they do not live in Plato’s Republic, and America is a democracy. Yet, polls continue to show that the public option has tremendous support, and is clearly supported by a majority of citizens. Brooks fails to mention this, of course. That’s not the breed of democracy he’s talking about.

He describes the Senate bill as having “some integrity” without mentioning the bill’s backdoor challenge to Roe v. Wade, the 2014 starter date, age-rating, the banishment of generic, less-expensive drugs from ever getting to the market,  and also re-imported prescription drugs (that could save consumers $100 billion over 10 years), how the bill fails to address the rising cost of medical care, and taxes the middle class to pay for itself.

Apparently, what Brooks means by “some integrity” is that the Senate bill won’t add to the deficit. BTW: the deficit is that thing Republicans care about when discussing health care, but not the wars or the bailout of financial firms that destroyed the economy.

The single negative aspect of the Senate bill Brooks focuses on is the excise tax, which is Congress’s attempt to tax the middle class instead of the wealthy. It’s a very bad idea that a majority of Americans hate and will result in most people getting worse health insurance (that covers less), according to the CMS.

In reaction to the tax, many employers would reduce the scope of their health benefits. The resulting reductions in covered services and/or increases in employee cost-sharing requirements would induce workers to use fewer services. Because plan benefit values would generally increase faster than the threshold amounts for defining high-cost plans (which are indexed by the CPI plus 1 percent), over time additional plans would become subject to the excise tax,prompting those employers to scale back coverage.

Jon Walker translates:

your employer will reduce what your current insurance plan and put in place high co-pays and deductibles. The result is that many people with employer-provided health insurance will see their insurance get much worse. For younger, healthier employees, possibly getting less comprehensive insurance but maybe higher wages (I think it is very doubtful that there is a pure dollar for dollar passthrough), this might be a decent deal. For older, less healthy employees this is a very bad deal. They will be forced to pay much more out-of-pocket for their health care.

Brooks continues to portray the excise tax as a penalty for Cadillac health care plans, which is not true. Really expensive plans aren’t necessarily generous ones. A flat tax on all employer-provided benefit plans above a set dollar amount is extremely regressive, and potentially devastating for low or middle-income Americans.

Brooks argues that the tax would bring down healthcare costs (of course, without mentioning other ways to do this i.e. re-importing drugs). He then cites Republicans’ favorite firm, the Lewin Group, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of UnitedHealth. It’s interesting that the Lewin Group is never identified in this way.

Whenever Daily Kos, for example, is referenced in the news, the website is described as “the liberal Daily Kos.” Same goes with think tanks i.e. the liberal Center for American Progress. Such labeling is customary because it’s important to disclose the ideological bend of organizations. Except, the Lewin Group is never described as the “pro-insurance industry firm,” or linked to UnitedHealth, a health insurance company that makes tens of millions of dollars in revenue from a system it benefits from preserving, and does so by buying off the right Democrats and getting Republicans to cite polls from their Super Independent And Serious healthcare policy research and management consulting firm.

Of course, then Brooks goes into how unpopular all this reform business is. And that’s true. It is unpopular, but because he’s a good little beltway stenographer, Brooks portrays this unpopularity as a kind of backlash against reform, which isn’t the case. Citizens are reacting to gridlock and total surrender from the Democrats, who let’s remember, were overwhelming voted into power because Americans wanted major change. They also still support the public option by large margins. That indicates they wanted Democratic-led initiatives, including in the sphere of health care reform. What they got was pro-industry, pro-status quo legislation. No wonder they’re pissed.

Brooks describes the White House’s concession as “[catering] to every special-interest plea.” I have to assume the American people aren’t a special-interest group in that scenario. And Obama certainly hasn’t caved to any demand from Progressives or liberals, those much loathed special interest groups. In fact, the only special interest pleas I have seen Obama acquiesce to are the private health care and pharmaceutical special interest groups.

The latest news on the excise tax is that it won’t be implemented until 2018, a breathtaking display of kicking the can down the road if ever there was one. Brooks is skeptical the tax will ever be activated, and since that would adhere to Congress’s proud tradition of doing nothing, I’m inclined to agree with him on this single point.

He ends his column by praising the White House, which “has tried to think about the long term.” For whom? Certainly, not the benefit of the American people. The private health care industry and drug makers won this game, and tellingly, they’re the only missing players in Brooks’s diatribe against the reform process.

Link to this article:

– Allison Kilkenny

Ms Drama Major Playaz


Flo AkA Florina Kaja as known from the reality series BAD GIRLS CLUB season 4

Flo was born in Staten Island, NY September, 1 1982
She comes from a Muslim family who originated from Albania (Diber)
Here father was a young hustler who died in tragedy when Flo was 8 years of age,
Her mother a successful entrepreneur today, was left alone with 4 kids to take care of when her father passed.

Flo is most definitely a new face to the entertainment business, she is Muslim yet Bisexual (which is not so usual in the muslim tradition), she is free spirited and strong, the Super Woman of her generation! Talk about a girl who could hold her own, she bring a lot more than reality to the table.

Flo is talented, blessed with the gift of singing, she brings a softness to everyone considering her “domineering roll” on the reality show “BAD GIRLS CLUB” season 4 with the highest rating on oxygen we realize Going with the Flo is not so complicated! There is a side to FLO we have yet to see.

00:00 Intro
01:55 Dont Be Shy – Flo
04:23 Never See my Pain – Flo
07:04 Major Playaz Radio with Flo
19:46 My Time – Flo
23:07 Flashy – Flo
26:50 Major Playaz Radio with Flo
39:40 Why Is Life This Way? – Flo
43:09 Major Playaz Radio with Flo

Link to this show:

Hello, My Name Is…

Love and Logic a Brooklyn based band featuring lead singer/guitarist Paul Canetti, bassist Dan Haller, cellist Annie Kim, and drummer Derron Walker. The story of the band’s name, referencing the balance and meshing between creativity and reason; passion and sensibility, as told by band founder Paul Canetti:

“So I am driving to a solo gig in the fall of 2008 in Boston, MA. I had decided a month or so prior that I wanted to make the transition from solo artist to band, with my longtime bassist, Dan Haller.

At some point, I thought of the ultimate band name–‘LOVE!!!’  But then on second thought, it seemed too soft (duh), like we were a hippie band or something. So then I started thinking about something to pair it with, and thought of ‘Love and Reason’, but it wasn’t quite right. Then it hit me: ‘Love and Logic!!’

It was right as I was arriving at the venue, and I rushed in, set up, played the show, mingled after, and then when I found a moment, I called Dan who was back in New York and told him the name. He was really into it. When I got back home, I started messing with a logo, seeing how it looked written. But I knew that was the name.  So simple but means so much.

Then when Annie and Derron came on board, each expressed that they really were attracted to the name, and I knew I had found the right partners.

‘Love and Logic;’ the two sides of our brain–working together toward forward-thinking, diverse, music.”

“Love and Logic” combine elements of indie rock, pop, and classical music to create a truly unique and versatile sound.

Link to this article:

– Kory French