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Friday, September 15, 2006

Arts in America

Posted by on September 15 at 11:44 AM

Andy Warhol: pop goes the easel.

Terrestrial radio’s popularity wanes. The interweb—and the rampant, nefarious Clear Channelization of the airwaves—is to blame, if we may speculate. “The amount of time people tune into radio over the course of a week has fallen by 14 percent over the last decade, according to Arbitron ratings,” reports the New York Times.

—Nonesuch Records marks American minimalist composer Steve Reich’s 70th birthday with a 5-CD boxed set titled Phases: A Nonesuch Retrospective. Further commemoration comes in the form of festivals in New York and London.

—Cuddly, adorable corporation Universal Music Group is fixin’ to get litigious with YouTube and MySpace. Your freewheeling days of copyright larceny are numbered, y’all. From the AP: “We believe these new businesses are copyright infringers and owe us tens of millions of dollars,” Universal Music CEO Doug Morris told investors Wednesday at a conference in Pasadena. “How we deal with these companies will be revealed shortly.”

Andy Warhol gets yet another 15 minutes—or, rather, 240—of celluloid fame with Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film by Ric Burns.

—”Operation Tunes” offers sonic succor to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and to wounded soldiers in America, thanks to the Rock Ridge Music label.

—Finally, Brendan Kiley advises you to make some room in your busy schedule for the Meat Purveyors tonight.

The Meat Purveyors

(PUNK-ROCK BLUEGRASS) I first saw the Meat Purveyors five years ago in a ramshackle house in Chicago’s warehouse district that had been converted into an urban juke joint. The band was smart and funny, banged the holy hell out of their instruments (guitar, mandolin, standup bass), played originals and covers (ABBA, Ratt, Bill Monroe), and drank (beer, whiskey). I fell in love. Tonight is your last chance to see them—it’s their second-to-last show. Don’t miss it. (Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave NW, 789-3599. 9 pm, $13.) BRENDAN KILEY

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Even more reason to run down to the Paramount and get a Ken Burns ticket for tonight's talk. Do you think he'll continue in history as Warhol or will they change it back to Warhola?

Universal-Vivendi is going to have a heck of a time holding MySpace & YouTube accountable for the actions of the people who upload music (and in many cases we're talking karaoke-type lyp-syncing or music used as soundtracks to amateur videos - not artist-generated content) to these sites, since clearly they are not the ones putting up the content, and YouTube in particular has always had a policy of deleting videos when they receive objections.

Of course, if U-V wants go go after tens of millions of individuals, ala the RIAA strategy, that's another story, but we've seen how ineffectual that methodology has proven.

Although, I grant, it would be sort of fun to watch U-V duke it out with Rupert Murdoch, even if it's only to see which can outspend the other on legal reps.

Wasn't that the argument of Napster, that it's the users who upload the content and the website can't be held responsible? Didn't work too well for them.

re: radio... pretty much. When you pump the radio full of excess commercials and sponsored event copy, and play the same 10 songs over and over, people are gonna turn away from the radio, especially with the advent of internet radio and MP3 technology. There's no leverage.

Regarding the Meat Purveyors...

I was once drunkenly kidnapped by the band after an insane show at the Tractor. I woke up the next morning with a world class hangover, lost, confused, and having made out with three of the four band members, in the house where they were staying. I had to call my boyfriend to figure out where I was. Eventually The Purveyors woke up, we started drinking again, and had a surreal breakfast at Hattie's. They had been on tour for months, and Sherilyn, the bass player, kept yowling for a "trained homosexual" to fix her hair.

That weekend is one of my most treasured memories. RIP, Meat Purveyors.

As a Warhol junkie, I can't wait to see this film. Mad props to the patron saint of the beautifully damaged. The guy foresaw our reality television culture forty years ago.
I'm sure it will be excellent, American Masters never lets me down. Factory Girl on the other hand, well, we'll see.

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