Indie Bands: Taco Bell Wants to Feed You Burritos, Promote You on Hot Sauce

Photo: Morgan Tepsic. Does that mean South Korea has Taco Bells? I usually try to steer clear of the marketing crud, but this is too bizarre to pass up. Taco Bell, anxious to jump on this whole “indie music” bandwagon, is using the only currency it has: combinations of refried beans, cheese, rehydrated ground meat, and tortillas. Here’s the plan: they find 100 bands, and give them $500 in Taco Bell food while they’re on tour — just in case the burritos were the one thing breaking your tour budget. (Okay, there is that whole fuel cost and lodging thing, …

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Torrent: Listen to 700 Songs from South by Southwest

Correction: the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin is not making a preview of all the bands playing the festival this year, so someone else has done it for them (Thanks, Wells in comments, for setting me straight). But, hey, perhaps this not-so-kosher torrent will lead you to some good music — or, best of all, motivate you to go hear someone live. I’m sure somewhere in there there’s even an electronic artist or two. You’ve got 700 songs — nearly 4 GB of stuff. Just get ready to hit the “skip” button to find the stuff you like. …

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Web2 Watch: Mixaloo Launches “Digital Mix Tapes”

Mixaloo is a new service for building digital mix tapes. Counter-clockwise from upper left: assemble tracks, get recommendations and previews (or add your own recommendations), promote your mix online (via an embeddable widget), and make custom skins and cover art. The Web holds huge potential for music sharing and music discovery, but figuring out how to make that potential work — and how to navigate copyright and licensing laws in the process – has been a major challenge. This week, the creators of the website Mixaloo promised to “bring mix tapes into the digital age.” Whether you buy into that …

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Internet Radio Wins Temporary Delay, Possible Minimum Rate Break

This may stretch your definition of “good news” for webcasters, but the latest on the Internet Radio crisis runs something like this: Webcasters don’t yet have to pay new fees for their broadcast. But they’re still accruing debt — fast. Sort of like our credit card debt. Webcasters may get a small break on the minimum fee, one that could literally have shut down “personalized” radio services. SoundExchange explains the deal thusly: Under the new proposal, to be implemented by remand to the CRJs, SoundExchange has offered to cap the $500 per channel minimum fee at $50,000 per year for …

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The Day the Music Died, Otherwise Known As The Dawning Era of Negotiations

Several readers have observed this quite eloquently, but let’s summarize: laws around music are complicated, messy, and confusing. If they don’t seem that way to you, you’re either a lawyer or you haven’t done your homework. That said, without question, proposed changes to streaming music licensing fees would be devastating to Internet radio, because not just top 40 music requires license fees — even many indie labels are RIAA members and participate in SoundExchange. But here’s the key: they’d be devastating as proposed. And suddenly, at the eleventh hour, SoundExchange seems to be backpedaling. (Their strategy, evidently: push as hard …

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Eerie Quiet, Days Before Monday’s “End of Internet Radio” Deadline

Photo: geodesic. Cricket sound: provided by you. Hear that? Nothing. No, it’s not silence making a political point, as with the Internet Radio Day of Silence staged last week by web radio to protest punishing new royalty rates by showing what they could cause. This is an even more disturbing silence: as the deadline for new US rates for Net radio approaches, online radio’s supporters seem to be desperate and exhausted. Here’s the problem: net radio supporters, concerned that new rates (and the backdated royalty rates that would be owed along with them) could kill Internet radio, haven’t exactly gotten …

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Today is Internet Radio Day of Silence; Join Musicians in Support of Fair Rates

If you switch on your favorite radio stream and hear something unusual — people talking about Internet policy, ambient sounds, or nothing at all — you’re getting a glimpse of a world that could be here by next month. To illustrate the devastating effect new US royalty rates could have on online broadcasters, broadcasters large and small are making today, Tuesday, June 26, a “day of silence.” They’re not just being dramatic: online broadcasters from public radio stations to big services like Rhapsody have said they simply won’t be able to swallow the new rates. Small broadcasters don’t have the …

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May 15 Could be End of Internet Radio; US Legislation to Intervene

The clock is ticking for Internet radio, from public broadcasting streams from stations like KCRW to Internet-only streaming services like Pandora. The Copyright Royalties Board recently approved new rates and restrictions that would increase costs for streamers by three to twelve times their previous rate. This month, the CRB rejected an appeal by broadcasters to reconsider the rates. As a result, by May 15 streamers will have to not only begin paying the 2007 rate but also back-dated royalties going back to the beginning of 2006. Without changes to the rules, many stations will simply shutter on the 15th of …

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