Posts from 17th July 2002

Jul 02

And speaking of plagiarism and cover versions,

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And speaking of plagiarism and cover versions, here’s a fascinating (and exhaustive) look at the history of “Mbube” (aka “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”) It’s the rather sad tale of Soloman Linda, a South African who “who ‘sold’ his soul & song to Gallo Africa for a few Guinness – when technically & morally he should have earned approx. $10 Million dollars (US)!!!” (emphasis theirs.) Not sure if I quite agree with the statement that “[popular music] limped pale-skinned and anemic into the twentieth century but danced out the other side vastly invigorated by transfusions of ragtime and rap, jazz, blues and soul, all of whose blood lines run back to Africa via slave ships and plantations and ghettos.” The latter part is undeniably true, but the first…historical revisionism does no one any good, even in the cause of “righting a wrong.”

Cover versions are one thing, plagiarism…

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Cover versions are one thing, plagiarism is a whole different kettle of fish. Or in this case kettle of no fish – a classic silly season article which actually has a potentially important idea at the heart of it. Copyright exists for the reason of protection of the individual artist. The idea is that it makes clear who is the author, the artist of a work – though in a capitalist world it is more grittily linked with the business of making money out of your art. Unfortunately copyright does not allow for someone independently coming up with an idea, and is quite happy to squash even slight bits of sampling. So why John Cage has never sued anyone for having bits of silence – silence that he wrote – between their tracks has always been a mystery to me.

Legal battle between Mike Batt and John Cage over silence. Worth it for the two different performances of their respective pieces and Mike Batt’s quick invention of the not very inspired Chris Cage to try and wangle out of it.

It’s as predictable that I’d carp at a bad UK hip-hop review

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It’s as predictable that I’d carp at a bad UK hip-hop review in Pitchfork as it is that the zine would run one in the first place. But actually I’m not complaining about the mark, or the verdict really – I’ve not been that impressed by the New Flesh tracks I’ve heard before now, so quite possibly the album does suck. But in its reasoning the review illustrates the damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t dilemma for British hip-hoppers: stick too closely to a rigid US production blueprint and you get a roasting for being feebly imitative, but try to incorporate more native musical elements – like Jamaican music, or UK garage, or drum’n’bass; you know, the music you might actually be growing up around – and you face dismissal anyway. “As it is, though, we have two classic tracks, and a bunch of dub/drum-n-bass drivel, melded together with raspy-throated dancehall vox and some other booshit” (The two classic tracks, of course, are the ones with American MCs on.)

OT, apologies

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OT, apologies: I’ve had a few emails from people wondering why the lack of updates to the Atommick Brane and I think the majority of you read this – there are problems with Blogger and templates which are meaning that I can’t publish anything right now – this has been going on for a couple of days and I’m getting quite annoyed with it – so, just keep checking back for Favourite Feature: Thee Husband List and other such nonsense that I spout from my headbrane and hopefully one day it will be resolved! Sorry for disrupting the “flow” of NYLPM, think of me like the bit in 5ives ‘Lets Dance’ where they stop for a while and start getting all ‘meta’ on yo asses.

Anyway, swiftly moving on… my latest musical project is a cover version of Prince Busters ‘The Ten Commandments of Man’ but from the HINSPIRATION of a GURL. It will be fantastic!

vain, selfish & lazy

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vain, selfish & lazy is back (with a list – typical Fred!) – the music weblog revival is rolling! It struck me yesterday that NYLPM has been around – and continuously updating, I think the longest it’s gone without an entry is 4 days – for a quarter of a decade! Mental.

Indie MP3 – Keeping C86 Alive!

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Indie MP3 – Keeping C86 Alive! – ph34r this site! Well OK don’t, it’s very nice actually – a bloke called Tom putting up one old skool indie-pop track per week – Tallulah Gosh, June Brides, Felt, The Servants… an education if you don’t know the era, a pleasant look-back if you do. (Assuming you like indie-pop in the first place, of course). Also he’s taken Ethan’s neat front-page logo – for which I still owe Ethan CD repayment, sorry about that – and turned it into a BANNER! Which is very nice of him given this site’s apparent reputation for indie-hatred.