Archive for May 10, 2011

Music News: Pharrell Williams Named Creative Director of Karmaloop TV Network by Lynn Elber

Rapper-producer Pharrell Williams is expanding his focus to include a new TV network aimed at the online generation.

Karmaloop TV said Monday that Williams has been named creative director for the network scheduled to launch later this year. Karmaloop will feature original productions along with movies that have shaped the 18-to-34-year-olds who grew up with the Internet.

The Grammy-winning Williams, who has created hits for Jay-Z, Britney Spears and other stars, will have a significant equity position in Karmaloop TV, according to the company.

In a statement, Karmaloop CEO Greg Selkoe said Williams will help create a brand that will get “cutting-edge youth culture” excited about TV, as MTV did in the 1980s.

Williams, frontman for the rap-rock trio N.E.R.D. and half of the production duo The Neptunes, said the “progressive youth culture” is underserved by what’s available in the marketplace.

Karmaloop TV is an outgrowth of Karmaloop, a 10-year-old website that sells streetwear brands from around the world, and online KarmaloopTV. Katie McEnroe, former president of the AMC cable channel, is head of Karmaloop TV.



Industry Tips & Advice: 5 Easy Steps To Making Your Dreams Come True

Humans have the amazing gift of dreaming. It allows us to imagine things that are absolutely crazy, and completely out of our reach. Like flying, staying hours under water – or world domination. That’s what we do. Ambition is a great source of energy. Being able to dream big will give you guts and make smaller dreams feel much more attainable. Ambition will make you creative and more resourceful.

Dreams are only dreams until you write them down. Then they become your goals. – Anonymous

The difference between a dream and a goal is just a question of attitude. Dreams are by definition something that’s out of reach. A goal is something that you plan and work towards. If you start treating your dreams as your goals, then you have already taken the first step towards making them come true.

1. Start Small

The first step towards your dream is to get started. Do something every day, anything. Don’t go and spend tons of money on fancy instruments and studio equipment. Don’t waste time on trying to get a gig at the best venue in your town before you’ve played the toilet around the corner. Start with the stuff that matters and that you know you are capable of handling. Give yourself time to learn your art and the tricks of the trade.

2. Live Cheap

You are immediately limiting your options if you get yourself into too much debt. If possible, start saving so that you have a bit of a buffer if you need to take time out of work, or your car breaks down. Don’t jump at every fancy new gadget that comes your way. Buy stuff only when you really need it. Keep your every day expenses reasonable. The less you spend, the less you need to make money. And that will give you more freedom to do whatever you want.

3. Plan Regularly

Ok, so you played that toilet around the corner a few times now. Maybe it’s time to move on. Take a step back and map out the road to your Big Dream. Break it down to monthly, quarterly and yearly goals. Decide what to do and make time to do the tasks you set yourself. By having a good plan will make each step a bit clearer. It will give you ideas of what you should be aiming for next. It will also help you realise what is useful and what is a waste of time. Set yourself a budget and stick to it.

4. Make Friends

Connections are gold. Your genius will go unnoticed if no one knows about it. The myth of the lonely genius is exactly that – a myth. Successful people are without exception well connected. Luckily making connections is easier than ever before. Connect with other bands, bloggers, music lovers, friends of friends and random people. Don’t try to gain anything from these connections. Have inspiring conversations and people will remember you. Offer to help and people will help you back.

5. Commit

No dream is going to come true if you don’t make a commitment to it. Everything that can, will go wrong. You will lose faith. You will suck. You will run out of money. You will play empty venues. You will be too busy. Sorry, you’ll just have to keep your head down and keep going. Without a commitment life will get in the way and before you know it the attainable goal has turned into a distant dream again.



Industry Tips & Advice: Who Benefits from Copyright? by Terry Hart

One of the recurring themes seen in some criticisms of copyright law is that it is weighted too strongly in favor of creators and copyright owners, with the public good taking a back seat.

A couple of recent online posts provide examples of this argument. The first is from politician and Swedish Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge, who writes at TorrentFreak about Why the Copyright Industry Isn’t a Legitimate Stakeholder in Copyright. Journalist Julian Sanchez provides the second in Things that are Irrelevant to Copyright Policy.

Both provide similar views of what copyright policy should be. Falkvinge states that the purpose of copyright “is to maximize the available culture. Nothing more and nothing less.” To Sanchez, the question when considering copyright policy “is whether a marginal restriction on the general ability to use information incentivizes enough additional information production over the long run to justify denying that marginal use to every other human being on the planet, whether for simple consumption or further creation.”

I don’t want to go into a deeper discussion of either article here (though I welcome readers to discuss them further in the comments). Rather, I want to address the broader point made, as it is emblematic of a point made by copyright critics.

It’s true that copyright’s ultimate beneficiary is the public. But the immediate beneficiary is creators. More importantly, the best way to ensure the public benefits the most from copyright law is by ensuring that creators have secure and stable rights to their creations. It makes little sense to argue otherwise — if the public benefits from the creation of new works, how is that interest served by reducing the incentive to invest in creating new works?

How Copyright Benefits the Public
In the US, the Constitution gives Congress the authority, “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors … the exclusive Right to their … Writings.”

Explanations of how the public receives its benefit through the law begin with the author of the Copyright Clause itself, James Madison. In the Federalist Papers, No. 43, Madison writes, ”The public good fully coincides in both cases with the claims of individuals.”

Since then, the Supreme Court has expanded this explanation:

• ”Copyright is a right exercised by the owner during the term at his pleasure and exclusively for his own profit and forms the basis for extensive and profitable business enterprises. The advantage to the public is gained merely from the carrying out of the general policy in making such grants and not from any direct interest which the Government has in the use of the property which is the subject of the grants.” (Emphasis added.)1

• ”The economic philosophy behind the clause empowering Congress to grant patents and copyrights is the conviction that encouragement of individual effort by personal gain is the best way to advance public welfare through the talents of authors and inventors in ‘Science and useful Arts.’ Sacrificial days devoted to such creative activities deserve rewards commensurate with the services rendered.” (Emphasis added).2

• ”The limited scope of the copyright holder’s statutory monopoly, like the limited copyright duration required by the Constitution, reflects a balance of competing claims upon the public interest: Creative work is to be encouraged and rewarded, but private motivation must ultimately serve the cause of promoting broad public availability of literature, music, and the other arts. The immediate effect of our copyright law is to secure a fair return for an ‘author’s’ creative labor. But the ultimate aim is, by this incentive, to stimulate artistic creativity for the general public good.”3

In Eldred v. Ashcroft, the Supreme Court took on the idea sometimes made that there is some kind of bargain implied in the Copyright Clause.4 It is not a quid pro quo, as the grant of patent rights entails. With copyright protection, “disclosure is the desired objective, not something exacted from the author in exchange for the copyright.” As explained by the Court, unlike patent law, “copyright gives the holder no monopoly on any knowledge. A reader of an author’s writing may make full use of any fact or idea she acquires from her reading.”

Access to Culture
At times, copyright’s critics argue that the purpose of the law is not only to increase the creation of new works, but also to increase the public’s access to those works. This argument only works if we expand the meaning of “access” to include not only the ability of someone to read, watch, or listen to copyrighted works — the number of outlets for getting legal content has exploded in recent years — but the ability to do so instantly, in as many formats as possible, for as close to free as possible.

The four dissenting Justices in Sony v. Universal City Studios warned against this idea of access. It’s “tempting,” they said, to reduce the scope of copyright protection to “permit unfettered use” by new technologies “in order to increase access,” but doing so “risks eroding the very basis of copyright law, by depriving authors of control over their works and consequently of their incentive to create.”

The Justices added these remarks from Abraham Kaminstein, Register of Copyrights during the run-up to the 1976 Copyright Act revision:

I realize, more clearly now than I did in 1961, that the revolution in communications has brought with it a serious challenge to the author’s copyright. This challenge comes not only from the ever-growing commercial interests who wish to use the author’s works for private gain. An equally serious attack has come from people with a sincere interest in the public welfare who fully recognize … ‘that the real heart of civilization… owes its existence to the author’; ironically, in seeking to make the author’s works widely available by freeing them from copyright restrictions, they fail to realize that they are whittling away the very thing that nurtures authorship in the first place. An accommodation among conflicting demands must be worked out, true enough, but not by denying the fundamental constitutional directive: to encourage cultural progress by securing the author’s exclusive rights to him for a limited time.5

The public, rather than copyright holders, is the true beneficiary of the law. It benefits by the creation of works that might otherwise not have been created, and by the exclusive rights encouraging dissemination. Julian Sanchez even notes this, saying, “We are all the massive beneficiaries of millennia of accumulated human scientific knowledge and cultural output, and not one of us did anything [to] deserve a jot of it.”

Barbara Ringer, the first female Register of Copyrights in the US, provides the best summary of the argument against claims that the public’s interest is underserved by copyright law. Her words, spoken over 30 years ago, are just as relevant today:

The 1909 Joint Congressional Committee, in its report No. 2223, made a statement which has been quoted many times and which I agreed with at one time, but which I have ceased to agree with.

I will paraphrase it. It was that copyright is not for the protection of the author, but for the public and that where the author’s interests and the public’s interests conflict, the author must yield.

This sounds great and for a long time, I felt that this was probably correct. But, the more I have looked upon the status of authors in this country and the fact that the public interest is badly served when authors are badly served, I have felt that too often the public interest has been identified with economic users rather than with authors.

In recent years, partly as a result of this whole revision exercise, I have been trying to gage individual issues in terms of their impact upon creativity and authorship, which I consider the ultimate public interest.

The Constitution speaks of the desirability of promoting the progress of science and useful arts, science in the broad sense of learning or knowledge, by offering protection for limited times to authors and inventors.

It seems to me that it is this protection, the exclusive rights that are supposed to be granted to authors, that is the ultimate public interest that the Constitution and its drafters were thinking about.

I do not think that this has ever been fully or even partly realized in any copyright law we have had in our entire history.


I think that the system that we have had has been based on the desire to induce dissemination, make works available to the public by offering protection to authors.

I think that this system is now subject to some difficulty because of the fact that the new technology has made it an absolute detriment to disseminate. In other words, an author in certain situations who lets the bird out of the cage, finds that there is no way to regain it, that once he has made a tape and it has been played over the radio or television, he finds suddenly it is being pirated or made in duplicates all over the country.

It is very, very difficult in that situation for him to realize any economic gain or reward for his creation and there may be situations in which he would prefer to keep his bird in its cage, so to speak.

I am speaking in terms of music, but I think the example is better in some areas where there is a more realistic possibility of exercising complete control.

The task of your committee, as I see it, is to try in some way to evaluate the impact of the new dissemination media on the basic task of giving authors a reasonable return and inducing them to let the work go out to the public.6



Industry Tips and Advice: How To Produce Music For Beginners Part One

If you’ve ever wondered how to produce music, you’ve come to the right place. In this two part guide, we look out how to produce music for beginners, and how to do so with minimum funds available to you. Despite popular belief, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on software to become a good music producer. What you do need however, is practice and a good ear for sounds.

I’ve seen people spend hundreds on music production software and struggle to use it properly. I’ve also seen people spend $30 on simple beat maker software such as DubTurbo, and make good quality beats in a matter of hours. Being a producer is more then just what software you use; it’s how you use it, and how much time and effort you’re willing to put into mastering your craft.

If you want to learn how to produce music, I suggest you read this article from start to finish. As long as you apply what you learn and work on becoming a music producer, there’s no reason you won’t have your first songs complete sooner rather then later.

Why Would You Want To Make Your Own Beats?
Depending on what the aim is for your music career, music production could be your ideal job. There are a lot of people who enjoy music, but don’t want to necessarily be up there in the spot light. Becoming a producer means that you can make music to your heart’s content, but stay relatively unknown if you so choose. If you do enjoy the spotlight however, there is plenty of space for recognition as a master producer. Look at Dr Dre and Will.I.Am for example, two very big producers who are known throughout the world. They also make a lot of money.

If you do vocals however, you may you may also want to produce your own music. If you can make your own beats, you won’t have to rely on other people to give you backing tracks. Sometimes producers can be long to give you an instrumental you want, or they may end up giving you no songs at all. Waiting for other people to deliver can be one of the most frustrating things about the music industry, and one you may want to cut out if possible.

Another reasons why you would want to learn how to produce music if you’re a vocalist, is because you can get your backing tracks exactly how you want them. Other producers not giving you the type of backing tracks you’re looking for? No problem, if you know how to produce you can make it yourself.

All in all, music production is a good skill to have. I’d advice you try it at least once, get some cheap beat maker software such as DubTurbo,and see if it’s for you.

Is It Hard To Make Your Own Beats?

Well, yes and no. It can be if you do it wrong, but if you go down the right path initially then the learning curve should be fine. Don’t worry, we’ll tell you what the right path is.

The thing is, many beginner producers start out punching above their weight. They buy complex software such as Cuebase, and hardware to mix all their music down. Doing this is basically setting yourself up to fail, as you don’t have the basic knowledge to create your own beats yet.

What you need instead is some simple but powerful beat making software such as DubTurbo. Dubturbo is built with beginner and intermediate producers in mind. It is easy enough to pick up and learn, yet powerful enough to produce good quality music that you’ll be able to get someone to vocal.

Forget about getting all the most expensive equipment you hear Dr Dre talking about, start out with the basics and work your way up. Try jump the gun too early and you’ll be left with nothing but confusion.

Do You Need A Recording Studio To Make Your Own Beats?
A common misconception that many people have is they think you need a recording studio to produce music. While you can produce your own music in studios, it isn’t necessary at all. In fact, I’d actually advice against it unless you’re a professional producer. There are two main reasons for this:

1.It Gets Expensive.
As some of you may know, the cost of hiring a studio isn’t generally cheap. While it can be manageable to vocal a few songs here and there, using a recording studio to produce music is a whole other thing entirely.

It can take a long time to make a fresh beat, hours if you’re a professional, or days if you’re not (You’ll find you’ll always be going back to tweak things and make them better). Now think about it, how much would it cost to make an album’s worth of instruments for yourself or another independent musician to use? Way too much is the answer, so unless you’re already making money from the music industry, it’s simply not worth it.

2.You Don’t Get As Much Time As You Need.
Unless you have your own studio, then the time you’ll get in the studio is limited. You’ll have to book your session in advance, sometimes days or weeks in advance. When you do get your booking however, you may only be able to book it for a few hours at a time. When you make your own beats, you don’t want to be stopped in the middle of things and be told your time’s up. You want to keep going and finish your song while you’re in the zone. This is another reason why I’d advice against using a studio to record beats unless you’ve an unlimited budge or your own recording studio.
So how do you produce music if you’re not going to be using a studio? Easy, you learn how to produce music from home.

How To Produce Music From Home
So now you know you don’t need a music studio to make your own beats, I’m guessing you’ll be wanting to know how to produce from home? Great question, and one we’re going to show you today. There are a few essential things you’ll need if you want to produce music from home, and they are:

1.A Computer With Sound.
If you want to get into audio production, you need a computer. This is where you’ll make all your music, using your mouse to arrange the sounds as you want them. You’ll need a decent computer with sound capabilities, and one with enough power to make sure you can run any music software without having the computer slow down. As long as you have bought your computer in the last few years and have treated it well, it should be fine.

2.Music Software.
You need music software to actually create your instrumentals. This will basically give you the power of a miniature studio in your own house, with all the instruments and sound effects you need to produce your own music. I’d suggest going for a cheap option such as DubTurbo (You can check out our DUBturbo review and bonus here) while you’re starting out, it’s easy to learn and can produce good quality songs for both beginner and intermediate producers.
And that’s it. You don’t need anything else to get started producing your own beats, with just those two things you can start producing music at home right away. There are however some additional add ons you can get such as keyboards, instruments and effect machines, but for now I’ll say keep it simple. All of the sounds you’d want from those instruments you can get in your software anyway, and new sounds can easily be downloaded from the internet if required.

How To Produce Music For Beginners End Of Part One
And that’s it for today, we hope we’ve given you some good background knowledge on how to become a music producer. You should now know why you would want to become a producer, why it’s a good idea to start off producing music at home, and what you need to start off producing music. In part two we’ll be looking more deeply into how to become a producer, showing you what beat maker software to get and why, how to get fresh sounds to make songs with, how to arrange your songs, and much more.







SPORTS: Jerry West, Magic Johnson ‘Embarrassed’ By Lakers, Call Team ‘Classless’

Not only did the Dallas Mavericks embarrass the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, they embarrassed a couple of former Lakers stars.

After the Mavericks finished off the sweep, Magic Johnson said that the Lakers “embarrassed the organization” and called the fouls on Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum “classless.”

Ex-Lakers star and general manager Jerry West made a Monday appearance on the Dan Patrick Show and said that he “was a little bit embarrassed.”

“Not with the loss,” West said. “But some of the things I saw on the floor which I thought were really just not something that a person that wears a Laker uniform should do.”

In the fourth quarter of Game 4, Dallas’ J.J. Barea drove to the basket and Bynum leveled him with an elbow to the ribs. The Lakers center was immediately ejected and escorted off the floor.

Odom was ejected moments earlier for a flagrant foul against Dirk Nowitzki.

Jerry West’s interview was transcribed by Sports Radio Interviews.

SPORTS: NBA AM: Phil Jackson To The Knicks? by Lang Greene

The Los Angeles Lakers, attempting to pull off a three-peat, suffered an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the playoffs, a defeat which has stunned many around the league. In the aftermath there have been calls to blow up the team’s current roster and plenty of speculation regarding the unit’s trust issues with each other throughout the season.

And the speculation continues.

Less than forty-eight hours after Hall of Fame head coach Phil Jackson presumably coached his last NBA game, a league source confirmed to the New York Post that Jackson is definitely finished in Los Angeles but may indeed be open to offers in the future – which may include the New York Knicks in 2012.

“If the right situation presented itself, he would have to consider it,” the league source told Marc Berman of the New York Post. “Phil’s going to have to find a way to keep himself occupied and fulfilled because Jeanie [Buss, Lakers executive and Jackson's girlfriend] is not retiring.”

It goes without saying that a proven head coach possessing eleven NBA championship rings will be in high demand around the league for the foreseeable future. Every team close to championship contention looking to fill a coaching void will have to at least ring Jackson’s phone and gauge his interest in returning to the sidelines out of pure protocol – standard procedure.

Most of these rumors will easily be dismissed, but Jackson has a deep rooted history in New York and seriously considered taking the reins of the Knicks in 2005 before returning to Los Angeles after his second retirement from coaching.

Buss, the daughter of owner Jerry Buss, confirmed this to the New York Post back in February.

“I can tell you he was open to going to the Knicks in 2005, then the Laker job opened up,” Buss said before Jackson appeared at Madison Square Garden in February, presumably the last time as coach. “The Knicks job would bring him full circle and I wouldn’t stop him. I am in New York several days every month for business. That being said, the Knicks have a very good coach and are doing very well. So it shouldn’t matter.”

One roadblock to Jackson coaching in New York as it currently stands is the presence of Mike D’Antoni.

Finally there is optimism surrounding the Knicks as the team finished above .500 for the first time since 2002, made their first postseason appearance since 2004 and have All-Star forwards Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony under contract through their primes.

However the Knicks limped down the stretch of the regular season and were swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.

While the Knicks are committed to D’Antoni through 2012, the veteran coach was reportedly on the hot seat at various times throughout the season.

If New York struggles next season and fails to live up to the lofty expectations, the organization will be in the market for a head coach and have an owner in James Dolan who would be more than willing to offer a financially lucrative package to a coach of Jackson’s stature.

Outside of lucrative compensation packages and the opportunity to coach two stars in their prime, Jackson won two titles as a reserve forward with the team in the seventies and often credits Red Holzman, his coach at the time, as being his mentor while he developed his craft.

Jackson will turn 66 in September so this retirement is likely to be the finale, but if the Knicks came calling after he’s had a full year of rest and give him an opportunity to return to his old stomping grounds and join a team on the rise you have to wonder if the competitive fires will lead him back to the Big Apple.

For now, Jackson seems intent on retiring and not looking back.

“All my hopes and aspirations are this is the final game I’ll coach,” Jackson told the media after the Lakers were swept from the playoffs. “This has been a wonderful run.”

So Who Is Going To Coach The Lakers?

With Jackson heading to Montana to spend more time at his farm, the Lakers are in need of a coach to take the helm.

The heir apparent seems to be current assistant Brian Shaw.

Shaw won three titles with the Lakers as a player and has full knowledge of the triangle offense serving as Jackson’s assistant for the past six years.

If the club doesn’t blow up the roster and wants continuity it would seem as though Shaw would get a strong look since he has the respect of All-Star guard Kobe Bryant.

However if the Lakers decide to retool on the fly or seek a coach with experience (Shaw has no head coaching experience) there are a host of other candidates to choose from.

Let’s take a look at some of the names the Los Angeles Times listed as early candidates:

Doc Rivers: The current Celtics coach has long stated that he wants to take some time away from the game to spend with family, so it’s improbable that the Lakers would pursue him strongly. Reason being is that Bryant is entering the twilight of his career, so the team would want someone to be fully engaged at least for the next three seasons.

Rick Adelman: The veteran coach, who was just dismissed by the Houston Rockets, has compiled a career record of 945-616 in stints with Portland, Golden State, Sacramento and Houston.

He led the Trail Blazers to two finals appearances in the early nineties and hasn’t hinted at retirement from coaching though at 64 he’s only one year younger than the departed Jackson.

Byron Scott: Though Scott possesses a sub .500 career record on the bench (371-418), like Adelman he also holds two finals appearances on the resume leading the New Jersey Nets there in 2002 and 2003.

Scott also won coach of the year in 2008 leading the New Orleans Hornets to 56 wins that season.

In addition, Scott suited up for the Lakers in eleven seasons during his playing career winning three titles as a member of the “Showtime” teams led by Hall of Fame guard Magic Johnson.

Scott is the current coach of the rebuilding Cleveland Cavaliers, a position he accepted before LeBron James took his talents to Miami last summer.

If the Lakers were to pry Scott away from Cleveland it is extremely likely the team would have to compensate the Cavaliers (draft picks, cash, etc.).

Larry Brown: The Hall of Fame coach unceremoniously parted ways with the Charlotte Bobcats just 28 games into the 2011 campaign.

Brown, who commands respect from players and remains one of the best teachers around the game, won a title as coach of the Detroit Pistons in 2004 (NBA coaching career mark: 1098-904).

The issue with Brown is that upon his arrival to a franchise, massive roster changes are usually the direct result. Brown tends to favor roster turnover and acquiring specific types of guys to play his style of basketball.

Current Lakers, Lamar Odom, Matt Barnes, Derek Fisher and Ron Artest seemingly fit Brown’s preference of tough minded veterans while All-Star forward Pau Gasol does not.

Brown will be 71 at the start of the 2012 season but still hasn’t fully ruled out a return to the sidelines.

Grant Hill Snubbed From All-Defensive Team?

The NBA announced the 2011 All-Defensive team members yesterday and as expected there were a few notable omissions from the list.

In the West, Phoenix Suns forward Grant Hill finished seventh in media voting racking up four first-team votes and three second-team votes for All-Defensive honors but surprisingly was not among the top 10 picked by twenty-two opposing coaches.

Suns head coach Alvin Gentry took exception to the snub on Monday.

“No one did more defensively for their team than him,” Gentry said of Hill to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. “He got punished for what we did as a team. I’d like to know who else guarded Amar’e Stoudemire, Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Manu Ginobili, Kevin Durant and everything but a five (center).”

Gentry had a point.

All of the players selected to this year’s All-Defensive teams are members of teams who reached the postseason.

Hill, 38, despite five All-NBA selections has never been named to the All-Defensive squad in sixteen seasons as a professional.

There were other candidates who also had legitimate gripes for being snubbed such as Chicago’s Luol Deng or Atlanta’s Josh Smith, but ultimately every team of this nature is going to have guys on the borderline who are omitted.

Sadly for Hill this may have been his last chance to add the All-Defensive recognition to his already stacked mantle.




Thunder defeat Grizzlies, 133-123, in triple OT to tie Western Conference semis, 2-2; Russel Westbrook leads all scorers with 40 pts. Kevin Durant added 35 and Harden had 19 to help out in the Thunder victory.

Zach Randolphs 34 and Mark Gasol’s 26 just wasn’t enough to hold off the Thunder. Even with conley and vasquez heroics the Grizzlies still came up short. Next stop Oklahoma City for game 5.

Source: Get It done