Does It Pay to Play? Artists Think So, Radio Stations Don't

As I listened to the radio in Columbus this past weekend, I heard this PSA from a radio personnel commenting on Congressmen, Black ones in particular, should not cosign with the new Performance Rights Act bill that would make radio stations pay the artists every time they play his or her song. I think to myself, "hmmm, let me look this up," and this is what I found:

From opencongress.org:

Official Summary

12/18/2007--Introduced.

Performance Rights Act - Amends federal copyright law to:

(1) grant performers of sound recordings equal rights to compensation from terrestrial broadcasters;

(2) establish a flat annual fee in lieu of payment of royalties for individual terrestrial broadcast stations with gross revenues of less than $1.25 million and for non-commercial, public broadcast stations;

(3) grant an exemption from royalty payments for broadcasts of religious services and for incidental uses of musical sound recordings; and

(4) grant terrestrial broadcast stations that make limited feature uses of sound recordings a per program license option.

Provides that nothing in this Act shall adversely affect the public performance rights or royalties payable to songwriters or copyright owners of musical works.

In short, the bill says it will be a law that every time a song is played on the radio, the radio station has to pay the artist. This bill provides a limit for and ultimately excludes the public broadcast radio stations, stations that broadcast religious services and the stations that hasn't made over $1.25 million in a year. This bill is still heavily debated between the RIAA (who almost everyone wishes they could pull an ACORN so the government does away with them) and radio stations (who almost no one listens to anymore).

Why is the legislation sticking their nose in music's business? The easiest answer off the top of the head would be this: IT'S THE GOVERNMENT, THEY CAN DO/WATCH/SAY WHAT THEY WANT!!!! ASK IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, VIETNAM, ETC. THIS IS ONLY A CAPITALISTIC COUNTRY AS LONG AS THEY SAY IT IS (nevermind). But seriously, the House of Representatives who presented this bill decided it was time to end the suffering of internet piracy for the artist/their songwriters. It is aimed at helping the artist get their compensation for the work he/she put in because the Internet, programs like Kazaa and LimeWire in particular, shows no love. So for the artists to get paid for disc jockeys to play their tunes is music to their ears.

What about the slowly dying radio stations? Of course most radio stations, thanks to this thing we call a recession, will be hit hard if this bill becomes a law. Quite a few stations I have personally categorized will be hit hardest: the station that plays only five songs an hour 15 times, the local non-profit talk station, and the Black station. Well, the station that plays the same five songs about 15 times an hour will be handing these five (well really three) artists a fat, FAT check. A check that they may have, but in result will have to let go some of its employees. And the local non-profit talk radio stations, that usually play songs they dig out of their own crates or even play local artists, will hand more checks than their checkbook holds, and especially since this type of station is not in the best market for ads will have to let go some of its employees. As for the Black station, and this includes the oldies, gospel, and "hiphop/R&B" genres, this station has far less of an advertisement market than most mainstream stations (big city or not), and since they follow the same playing guidelines as the top 40 stations, then they will be making big checks to artists they can't afford. Resulting in them having to let go of some employees.

And yes, there is a pattern here.

My main concern for this bill is that it will drive out the disc jockeys, DJs, personnel, and so on, most of the people that I only listen to the radio for nowadays (because real talk, the music is lame). With all this money they will have to pay these artists, for their so-called "performance fee", they won't be able to pay their employees.

Plus, this makes no sense to pay someone for something they brought to you. Aren't radio stations an outlet for artists to advertise their talent anyway? This is like if a magazine pays its ad clients to put ads in their mag. Should Playboy pay Trojan for every condom ad Trojan puts in their magazine? Of course not. I understand the economy is tough, especially for artists. I just don't like the steps Congress is taking to help fix that. But most of their decisions they have made since Obama made office is not going in my "good job" pile honestly.

Cell Therapy 023

Its funny how one song can change your entire outlook on the day and whatever you gotta do. That will never get old!

Cell Therapy 022

I love how DJ J Period makes mixtapes you can learn from. Who needs a textbook! LOL

Cell Therapy 020

All these little concerts going on around town tomorrow, a girl doesnt know what to do lol

Duplaix's Electric Love - Please, Do Play!

This guy is one the big names in the soul/R&B and jazz scene... internationally! He's been a featured artist on albums for Jazzanova, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Musiq Soulchild, Jill Scott, 4Hero, and much more! And after a year of no solo music projects, he finally blasts the airwaves with his new single "Electric Love". All this excitement I feel for him because he is a very talented singer and songwriter, so high expectations set for Mr. Vikter Duplaix (pronounced vick-tor doo-play).

From the start it, I honestly think it's about to be another auto-tune filled electric single. But Vikter Duplaix is smarter than that. His smooth and never-so strong voice calms the track's distorted bassline (on purpose by the way). It feels good to hear a song that doesn't have auto-tune on it, whether it would actually fit or fit by force as a crutch to those who can't hit correct notes.

Duplaix doesn't have to worry about that. He can sing in just about any key, even if the key is synthesized. The beat for this song is the bread to this brother's buttery voice. It kind of falls in line with the whole electric movement (folks cannot seem to get right since the 80s, but they still try), but its way too smooth to put it in that category. Just imagine if Maxwell and the artist/group Diddy & Dirty Money try to be had a son. His name would be Vikter Duplaix.

Nothing special comes out of this song lyrically, which is one thing I would critically say. No story, no plot involved. Just a concept most artist like him fall back on - cruise into a smooth and mellow joint (with an electric twist). His concept specifically being bringing back the love in music, which needs to spread among all artists but that's another story. When an R&B artist can successfully implement love of music into his music, and anyone is able to vibe with it, you can't be mad at all.

Star's Grade: B+


Electric Love - Vikter Duplaix

He does have the song available for free download @ http://www.reverbnation.com/vikterduplaix So hop on this free track because it is worth the price!

Cell Therapy 019

I think its fascinating that GREAT music will never get old. You always learn something new every time you hear a GREAT album or song.

Deflowering Virgin Ears with Marvin Gaye

THIS IS AN EXPLORATION OF SEXUALITY BY WAY OF A FAMOUS ARTIST WHOSE MUSIC COULD BE INTERPRETED ON ONE OF THE LONGEST ANALYTICAL SPECTRUM POSSIBLE. SO AS I TYPE, ENJOY!

Marvin Gaye was the most romantic R&B artist of his time, and even now! Not only that, he was the master at making things sound one way when they really mean something else. So, the key word for this blog is

Innuendos.

From "Let's Get It On" to "Sexual Healing", he knew just how to keep "loving" alive. Not only that, but he was very political and revolutionary, quickly becoming the voice of the streets with hits like "What's Going On". His voice couldn't have be anymore subtle in "Til Tomorrow" than any other song he ever recorded. Yet, he'll make you cry as he sings "Mercy Mercy Me". And who won't get down to "Got To Give It Up"? Let me break it down for you:

Let's Get It On

Ok, I know he's talking about sex, I'm past that, he's going beyond that. He's also talking about falling in love with his lady, making love to her, giving his all for her. Yeah, he may come off as too strong, but that's his intention. His style has always been strong and straightforward. As one would say on the street: he's tryin' to hit that! Not in the sense of hittin' it and splittin', but he's no longer satisfied with the small talk.


Lets Get It On - Marvin Gaye

Sexual Healing

This song can be broken down like this: whereas Let's Get It On was 70% Sex and 30% Love, Sexual Healing is 100% Sex. The gloves are off (READ BETWEEN THE LINES FOLKS); there is no loving asked this song. All he talks about is having sex, and not just having sex, but it's sex whenever he wants to! He definitely made this song for the sex-crazed 80s, so it instantly became an anthem at that time for romance. If one thought Let's Get It On was strong, then they shouldn't listen to Sexual Healing. He doesn't want to make love, he just wants (and keep in mind he never asks for it; he practically demands) pleasure.


Sexual Healing - Marvin Gaye

What's Going On

No one can really say they don't know what this song about, but there are some who don't fully listen to the message. Although he does speak on things like unity within the Black community, being against the war overseas AND at home, people tend to miss the first verse - the Black family. Clearly, I'm on Marvin Gaye and there's no room for a full length blog on the Black Family. But people need to pay attention to what he was getting at in this verse: divorce, black on black violence, dysfunction in the family and poverty. All in four lines. He truly mastered the art of writing, particularly innuendos, in this song.


Whats Going On - Marvin Gaye

Til Tomorrow

If you thought he took love to another level with his main mainstream hits (i.e. Let's Get It On), he brought a whole new dimension of a love thirst with this song. This song is not a "baby-don't-go, I-still-love-you" song, nowhere near that. It is a "baby-don't-go, I'm-still horny" song. He may say stay because the "love is deep" and "have stole his mind completely", but in actuality he only wants you there because "you were incredible", or as he said in French (the sexiest language on Earth), vous ├ętiez incroyables. But overall, he "still cares". And cue the sexy saxophone!


Til Tomorrow - Marvin Gaye

Mercy Mercy Me

Marvin Gaye paints the best picture for the mood of this song that he has ever done. The whole verse is color, as well as absence of color, which ultimately leads to the overall mood of the song. He also paints this dark picture with creatures, from fish "lying wasted on the sea, full of mercury", to birds flying in the "poisonous winds that blow". Then he brings us to reality by speaking on issues of living in the projects and how overcrowding it is. This was never meant to be a song about triumph, for that was never his style. His style was, however, blues at heart, but with funk influence. Hence the dark use of the piano and echo-like drums.


Mercy Mercy Me - Marvin Gaye

Got To Give It Up

Speaking of funk influence, no one can forget this timeless dance record. A lot of people push the lyrics aside and get down, and there's nothing wrong with that. But wouldn't you want to know what he's really talking about, because he's not just talking about dancing... He's talking about his sex game; well, the development of his sex game. He keeps throwing in little hints throughout the song like "my body yearned to be free" and "someone chooses me"... and "if you see me, spread out and let me in" and "let me step into your erotic zone". Justin Timberlake got nothing on this guy!


Got To Give It Up, Part 1 - Marvin Gaye

Just as a lot of new artists keep their music sexy and down right dirty, like Marvin Gaye did, you learn something new (sexually or not) about his music and his lifestyle. There's no need to go into details about his relationships and his personal life because quite frankly, the music speaks for itself. Another thing you can take from his music is the magnitude of the deflowering of virgin ears.

Cell Therapy 018

After opening weekend I got big plans (and blogs) for this site including pieces on marvin gaye, study music, and defining indie!