I’m sitting here in Centennial Park on an incredibly beautiful, if not perfect day. I’ve got the breeze, the sun, the water fountains, the kids feeding the ducks and broadband courtesy of our city fathers (and mothers). I’m listening to my favorite radio station on the planet – Radio Paradise. You won’t find Radio Paradise on your AM/FM dial..it’s a virtual station located only on the intertubes. The playlist is almost indescribable. You don’t get much hard-core rap or thrash metal, but pretty much everything else is game. At this exact moment they are playing Buddy and Julie Miller…right before the Millers was the Postal Service, preceded by Imogene Heap. Wait a few minutes and you might get Coltrane or Bartok or Corinne Bailey.
But, if the incredibly short-sighted folks at the Recording Industry Arts folks have their way, Radio Paradise will be as lost as John Milton’s sight. Back in the 70s, the RIAA rose up in anger over the potential of the blank cassette. They wanted them banned because, egads, someone could actually RECORD music and play that music. Of course, somebody had to actually BuY the music to record in the first place, but unlike the Ford Motor company they wanted a piece of the re-sale action. My GoD, it could be the end of the recording industry they wailed to congress. And congress listened, and did what they do so well, added a tax/levy on the purchase of a blank cassette tape, so that the industry and the struggling artist could be paid for their work. The actual amount of $$ the struggling artists receive from this booty is laughable and perhaps best left for a post from an actual artist.
The real point here is that RIAA has never embraced new technology. The Phillips and the Steve Jobs of this world get there first, lap the field and the RIAA is still trying to deliver vinyl. Instead of embracing the digital revolution (music distribution via digital), the RIAA concentrated on putting kids in debtors prison for illegally downloading songs.
I don’t think one should download songs for free or without some kind of license (e.g. Napster) , but for the love of the 21st century, music delivery is streaming thru the computer, not the crumbling towers of CDs and tape.
The RIAA has once again lobbied the powers that be to make internet radio stations pay an onerous and HIGHER rate of royalty than over the air radio stations. They appear to be winning the fight. They are so stupid on this issue my head hurts.
Internet radio is doing more to inform listeners of new and varied music than any 10,000 Clear Channel stations. If you want to break out of the American idol chicken pop pablum reeking from mass market radio, there are a few good over the air outlets, but if you want to hear it all, you gotta get to the internet radio stations.
If the RIAA has it’s way, the revised royalty standards will finish off all but the most corporate of internet radio (AOL, Yahoo). When corporations rule the music world, you get corporate rock. They built this city and good grief, did it sound shitty.
If you want to read more from an articulate and obviously biased source, read THIS from the creator of Radio Paradise. Bill ain’t making a bundle, but he’s living his passion and we get to share. It’ll be a shame if the music dies…again.
*reference to a great line from the Sopranos Uncle Junior – ‘that FBI guy has his head so far up my ass he can smell the Brylcream’. I love the Brylcream reference. It fits the mindset of the RIAA when it comes to new musical technology.