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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

  Hey, can we cover up Tony's face with a mystery black portrait until the new (if any) member is unveiled? We could stick his face at the bottom of the right hand side column beneath the counter w/ some kind of sassy yet classic quote: "We will never forget you, unless we go senile."
Gary 9:57 PM

Monday, April 26, 2004

  Ben Folds Cometh

The first round of Ben Folds tour dates has been released. No sign of life on the west coast yet (click here and go to "Tour"), but you can't blame the man for hitting his own backyard before he treks to the frontier.

When he does mozey into the Bay Area, sign me up and see you there.

Rebecca C. Brown 8:59 PM

Sunday, April 25, 2004


Just one little misspelling while typing the link to our site and you wind up at... Aaron's Bible. Whatev.
9:15 PM

  Like I said.
Paul 7:57 PM

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

  Bad Songs (Say So Much)

Blender Magazine just released its list of the 50 worst ever hit songs. The top ten?
1. Jefferson Starship, "We Built This City"
2. Billy Ray Cyrus, "Achy Breaky Heart"
3. Wang Chung, "Everybody Have Fun Tonight"
4. Limb Bizkit, "Rollin'"
5. Vanilla Ice, "Ice Ice Baby"
6. Huey Lewis, "The Heart of Rock-and-Roll"
7. Bobby McFerrin, "Don't Worry, Be Happy"
8. Eddie Murphy, "Party All the Time"
9. Madonna, "American Life"
10. Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder, "Ebony and Ivory"
Frankly, I don't know what's so offensive about that particular Huey Lewis song. And despite its cliche status, McFerrin's composition is too worthy to belong on this list. (plus he's a local boy) Rounding out the top ten, they picked the wrong McCartney song: Where's "Let 'em In"?

Earlier today in the comments to a post on my blog, Paul noted the REM's unfortunate Out of Time LP, he picked a good day to do so:
Hits lower down on the list include "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred. Classic artists like the Beatles made the list for "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" and R.E.M. was on it for "Shiny Happy People."
No argument here. Whether that Beatles song belongs on this list is up for debate, though it should be noted that if memory serves, "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" required more takes than any other Beatles song that made it on an album.

I can't find the complete list on Blender's site yet, but in the meantime there's their list of the 50 Worst Artists of all time. No argument with the top ten there.
Bren 12:04 AM

Thursday, April 15, 2004

  The Onion A.V. Club interviews David Byrne.
Bren 1:00 PM

Monday, April 12, 2004

  More unusual than Weird Al himself

Weird Al Yankvic's parents were found dead in their San Diego homes, apparently the victims of carbon monoxide poisoning. My condolences to the family and friends of these two poeple who certainly must have been great parents.

Rebecca C. Brown 5:09 PM

Monday, April 05, 2004

  Unconventional wisdom on file sharing

From the NY Times, two economists from Harvard and UNC are discounting the view of the record industry that file sharing hurts record sales:
"Downloads have an effect on sales which is statistically indistinguishable from zero, despite rather precise estimates," write its authors, Felix Oberholzer-Gee of the Harvard Business School and Koleman S. Strumpf of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The industry has reacted with the kind of flustered consternation that the White House might display if Richard A. Clarke showed up at a Rose Garden tea party. Last week, the Recording Industry Association of America sent out three versions of a six-page response to the study.

The problem with the industry view, Professors Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf say, is that it is not supported by solid evidence. Previous studies have failed because they tend to depend on surveys, and the authors contend that surveys of illegal activity are not trustworthy. "Those who agree to have their Internet behavior discussed or monitored are unlikely to be representative of all Internet users," the authors wrote.

Instead, they analyzed the direct data of music downloaders over a 17-week period in the fall of 2002, and compared that activity with actual music purchases during that time. Using complex mathematical formulas, they determined that spikes in downloading had almost no discernible effect on sales. Even under their worst-case example, "it would take 5,000 downloads to reduce the sales of an album by one copy," they wrote. "After annualizing, this would imply a yearly sales loss of two million albums, which is virtually rounding error" given that 803 million records were sold in 2002. Sales dropped by 139 million albums from 2000 to 2002.

"While downloads occur on a vast scale, most users are likely individuals who would not have bought the album even in the absence of file sharing," the professors wrote.

In an interview, Professor Oberholzer-Gee said that previous research assumed that every download could be thought of as a lost sale. In fact, he said, most downloaders were drawn to free music and were unlikely to spend $18 on a CD.

"Say I offer you a free flight to Florida," he asks. "How likely is it that you will go to Florida? It is very likely, because the price is free." If there were no free ticket, that trip to Florida would be much less likely, he said. Similarly, free music might draw all kinds of people, but "it doesn't mean that these people would buy CD's at $18," he said.
I would have preferred a more rural analogy, like "it's free milk for people who were never going to buy the cow". But that'll have to do. Anyway, anyone who's been paying real attention already knows that the recent decline in record sales must be the result of multiple factors, and thus the record industry doesn't mind having a bogeyman to which they can point (file sharing) when someone brings up their lethargic numbers, regardless of whether said bogeyman has an actual effect on their haul.
Bren 3:52 PM

Studying to: Pet Sounds, The 'Mats

Blog: The Facts Machine

Email: camstar(at)
On Rotation: Elliott Smith

"Too sweet for TV"


Blog: CalJunket

Upcoming Album Releases:
Ani DiFranco - January 20
The Coral - January 27
Moby - February 3
Jonny Greenwood - February 24
The Hives - February 2004
Melissa auf der Maur - February 2004
Garbage - Early 2004
The Vines - Early 2004
The Who - Spring 2004
Wilco - Spring 2004
Beck - Summer 2004
Ben Folds - 2004
Chemical Brothers - 2004
Eels - 2004
Interpol - 2004
PJ Harvey - 2004
Queens Of The Stone Age - 2004
R.E.M. - 2004
U2 - 2004
Coldplay - Late 2004
Paul McCartney - Late 2004
Oasis - Late 2004

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