Thursday, June 28, 2007

Save net radio, get the Top 5ive!


With the recent demise of my hometown alternative rocker, Drive 105, I have been forced to search out other options for my listening pleasure. The day that Drive 105 was replaced, I sought out a west coast station which I had heard of some time ago and it was like crack for my ears. I was hooked. I listen for three hours each day (most days) when I am perched in front of my office computer. FM 94/9 from San Diego is about as close to the venerable Drive 105 as I could find with such short notice (okay, I'll admit I was listening a few days before the untimely demise as something seemed afoot). The station lets listeners (who have signed up) choose a three-song set each hour during the workday. The music is adventurous and they play plenty of west coast faves including, but not limited to, Social Distortion. That alone makes this station a form of music-hero in my book.

I am not going to rail on about how the Twin Cities lost their local flavor for alternative radio all day long here because this runs far deeper than just that. This great station comes to me via their online stream and, of course, the musicians need to get paid when their tunes get played.

Now here comes some math (don't run away!). In just over two weeks (July 15th to be specific) the majority of online radio could -- POOF -- vanish. A real kick in the crotch for a music fanatic such as myself. The RIAA (they are sort of a heavy-handed police force supposedly representing the artists who some artists don't like) wants to give the artists more in the form of royalties (monies paid when tunes get airplay) and the webcasters would be stuck with a retroactive bill. The entire story about a "day of silence" held Tuesday where webcasters banded together to protest the royalty hikes can be read here.

Rather than accept the royalty amounts they already receive, the greed mongers at the RIAA (the same guys who shut down the majority of webcasters about five years ago with these royalty rate increases) want more. Thirty percent more to be specific. Rather than accept what they have now and stick with the agreement that was to have lasted through the end of this decade, they are rewriting the rules and will likely force the majority of webcasters out of the business and end up with nothing. And even the dimmest of us know that 30 percent of nothing is NOTHING.

So, with that being said, what can be done? Two weeks isn't much time but the news can be read here and the ways to take action are here. Do your part if you have only streamed internet radio only twice. If you have, you must have done it for a reason and came back for the second time because you liked what you heard. Don't let a heavy-handed, out of touch band of goons win and shut down a burgeoning technology that may well be the future for many broadcasters.

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Now that all THAT is off my chest, I can break it down and get to the tunes.

The Top 5ive!

Again, as usual, there is a theme and (keep this on the downlow) they're all FREE!

Silverchair - Straight Lines
Linkin Park - Given Up
Evanescence - Sweet Sacrifice
Smashing Pumpkins - Tarantula
Linkin Park - What I've Done


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