Copyright Infringement Lawsuits & Opinions on Heartless Bastards

What do Coldplay, Lil Wayne and George Harrison all have in common? They’ve all been sued for stealing music. This week Jim and Greg look at the history of copyright infringement lawsuits and talk about what happens when one artist accuses another accused of creative thievery.

Copyright Infringement
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The Grammys may be the most well-known music awards, but the Village Voice Pazz & Jop Critics Poll is perhaps the best barometer of what was good in the world of music. The ballots are in for 2008, and among the almost 600 critics surveyed, TV on the Radio’s Dear Science came out on top. As Jim explains, the critics often do it better, but the poll is not perfect, especially since the departure of longtime Pazz & Jop Dean Robert Christgau. Usually the Village Voice list is vastly different from the list of Grammy nominations, but this year there are some crossovers, especially in terms of singles. M.I.A’s Paper Planes and Estelle’s American Boy got top marks in Pazz & Jop, as well as a number of Grammy noms.

On January 20, President Barack Obama not only inherited 2 wars and a failing economy. He also inherited a pretty kick-ass record collection. According to a recent story in Rolling Stone, there are several hundred LP’s in the White House basement, including Led Zeppelin IV, Let it Bleed and Rocket to Russia, all provided by the RIAA and marked with the presidential seal. The list of records was not always so cool though. During the Nixon administration, album artists included Pat Boone and John Denver. So, Jim and Greg want to volunteer their own services to make sure that the collection thrives in the year to come. They say: Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country’s record collection.

The Mountain Heartless Bastards

The Mountain

Next up Jim and Greg review The Mountain, the third album from Heartless Bastards. The heart and soul of the trio is singer, guitarist and chief songwriter Erika Wennerstrom. As Greg explains, the songs on this album are the result of Wennerstrom’s break up with the band’s former bassist, as well as her move to New York City. He thinks Wennerstrom has never sounded better, and also admires Mike McCarthy’s production. Greg gives The Mountain a Buy It. Jimwishes he could be more enthusiastic. He loves a handful of the songs that are packed with Crazy Horse stomp. But he can only give the album a Try It.

Greg

This week Greg adds a track to the Desert Island Jukebox. He uses his turn at the DIJ to mark the anniversary of the death of Buddy Holly. Holly, along with The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens died in 1959. It was a momentous date in rock history, and in his short life, Holly was hugely influential. Greg describes how the singer and guitarist laid a blueprint for what we know today as rock and roll. One of Holly’s most influential recordings is Well... All Right, the song Greg chooses to add to the Jukebox. It’s an intimate, stripped down production, and as you listen Greg thinks you’ll hear the roots of albums like Rubber Soul.

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