Facing declining CD sales and illegal online sharing, the major-label record industry is calling on the government to help them regulate the piracy. In an e-mail sent yesterday, Jim Urie, president and CEO of Universal Music Group Distribution, also said the industry should try to emulate other countries in negotiating deals with Internet Service Providers. "The government has not responded in a meaningful way to help us address this crisis. My call to action is for all of us to become more aggressive in lobbying our government, more outspoken in drawing attention to the problems caused by piracy and more actively engaged." The letter concluded with a "call to action" to send an email to legislators, and a link to the effort's Facebook page, which has 539 friends.
The entire e-mail after the jump.
Take a look at MTV's programming these days and you'll see that the "music" component of the MTV acronym has become less and less relevant. Shows like Jersey Shore and The Hills have taken over the spots where music videos and TRL once dwelt. Likewise, MTV's infamous "VJs," or "Video Jockeys," have now been usurped by "TJs," or "Twitter Jockeys." The Viacom-owned station is currently conducting a nationwide search for the most social-network-savvy individual to win $100,000 and a position as the channel's official Tweeter. Of eighteen contestants, two are from the Bay Area (two more are yet to be selected). Pegah Rashti and Ryan Carlos are both from the South Bay, are 21, and Tweet as if their lives depended on it. Our interviews with Pegah and Ryan after the jump.
As we reported a few months ago, the City of Oakland began looking into selling the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center to help address its multimillion-dollar budget deficit. And it appears one step closer to making that a reality. At last night's meeting, the city council agreed to a proposal to sell the city-owned venue, which shuttered back in 2006. While there are no firm buyers yet, Councilwoman Nancy Nadel said there are two groups interested in purchasing the property.
The city has budgeted to receive about $10 million from the sale, but Nadel believes the city may be able to get more than that. About $30 million in debt is attached to the Henry J., and that amount would be transferred to the City Hall complex if the convention center is sold.
The summer lineup for the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive's L@TE: Friday Nights series has been announced. Among the performers are Gamelan Sekar Jaya, Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart, and Grouper (aka Portland-based musician Liz Harris). The program was put together by Oakland artist David Wilson, one of the Berkeley Art Museum's MATRIX artists, which highlight emerging contemporary artists. Wilson specializes in "unsanctioned installations and clandestine gatherings in Bay Area groves and woods." Starting Friday, July 9, Wilson will host a SUN Ceremony, including a drum and light demonstration; early music performed on a hand-made harpsichord; an a capella mix of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds; and field recordings by Stewart inspired by "night, animal calls, and quietness." More details and a full schedule here.
Lil' Kim is coming to the Rrazz Room, Monday, July 12, for a "very special, intimate" show. Kim, who's known for her sexually explicit raps and excessive plastic surgery, most recently released the album Ms. G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time). 8 p.m., $47.50, $75, with a two-drink minimum.
Tickets for this year's SFJAZZ Festival are on sale now for members. Tickets for the general public will be available Sunday, July 11. This year's performers include: Ravi Shankar with Anoushka Shankar, Esperanza Spalding, Taj Mahal, Toumani Diabaté & Vieux Farka Touré, James Carter with John Medeski, Arturo Sandoval, Ledisi, Yellowjackets & The Jeff Lorber Fusion, Vijay Iyer Trio, and many more.
Local blues singer/harmonica player John Németh — who Express contributor Lee Hildebrand called perhaps "the best white blues singer ever" — will be a guest on NPR's Weekend Edition show this Saturday, June 26. Locally, tune in to 88.5-FM at 5 a.m., 7 a.m., or 9 a.m.
Download it here.
Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford is holding a national search for an unsigned hard rock or metal band to open for his solo project's show at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco on July 17. Contest is underway now and ends June 29. To apply, send an e-mail with your name and contact info, urls to your photos and music to SFOpeningAct@RobHalford.com. The winning band will get $500, but must cover all expenses to the venue. The winner will be chosen by the man himself on Thursday, July 1.