Where is livingears. blogspot. com? #Blogocide2k10

BlogDeath

Blogger deleted my blog located at livingears.blogspot.com on Monday. I received the following email after it had been deleted:
We’d like to inform you that we’ve received another complaint regarding your blog (http://livingears.blogspot.com/). Upon review of your account, we’ve noted that your blog has repeatedly violated Blogger’s Terms of Service (http://www.blogger.com/terms.g). Given that we’ve provided you with several warnings of these violations and advised you of our policy towards repeat infringers, we’ve been forced to remove your blog.
Thank you for your understanding.
Sincerely,
The Blogger Team
 

This has been picked up on by a few outlets as multiple blogs seem to have been deleted at the same time. 

There is word that Google has a new policy which is to just hit delete on blogs instead of sending a warning if you post an infringing mp3. This article in the LA Weekly has a blogger discussing the same feeling I have towards blogging, the RIAA and copyright infringement. 

While much of what I post here is emailed to me, for larger acts such as The xx it can be difficult to determine which tracks are fair game to post. Often I take my queues from larger sites like Stereogum, Fader or Pitchfork. If they have it up for download the artist must be good with that, right? Last year I posted a newly released mp3 from The Twilight Sad which was available on both Stereogum and Pitchfork. A week later Blogger had deleted the post. 

There is a record kept of DMCA notices against individual sites. Here is the list of notices against my former site.
One problem with these notices is that they do not mention infringing files by name.  When I post the playlist from Scene Not Heard and link to a couple of tracks, if I receive a DMCA notice, how can you tell which file is to be deleted? The bigger problem with these notices is that there is no burden of proof. Anyone can submit one of these DMAC notices against any site. So, say I had a vendetta against other blogs out there all I would need to do is claim that they were violating copyright. I don’t have to hold the copyright, I just have to mention the supposed violation. Even if artists/labels want music out there anyone can get it pulled. 

Though I have no proof, I believe Web Sherriff may be doing just this. Most of the notices against my site came from London which is home to the company. Looking at the list of sites in these notices there seems to be no single identifying factor. I would expect to find the same band, song or label but these notices look to be long lists of blogs posting mp3s of any sort. 

There really should be some sort of clearing house for music that artists want shared. If there was a database where artists and labels could upload tracks (similar to what soundcloud is doing), and the presence of files in this database meant sharing was encouraged, this would be a much clearer process. Even still, there needs to be some burden of proof. Without that this process never gets better. Blogging is not supposed to be a cat and mouse game of outsmarting ‘the man.’ We blog because we are passionate about music and want to share our findings and new favorites with anyone willing to listen. 

When I initially started a blog I spent time researching which service I was going to use to host my blog. Because my favorite blogs at the time (myoldkentuckyblog and gorillavsbear) were both built on Blogger, I decided to go with Blogger as well. I figured they knew something I didn’t. Don’t do that. My advice to those out there interested in creating a music blog: go with WordPress over Blogger. 

**UPDATES & Additional Coverage** 

Critical Analysis of Critics and ‘Hits’

Recently I came across this article on The Economist “Ever-increasing choice was supposed to mean the end of the blockbuster. It has had the opposite effect.

With all the year end list flurry that happens mid to late December still on my mind there was a particular paragraph and theory that resonated with me:
In “Formal Theories of Mass Behaviour”, William McPhee noted that a disproportionate share of the audience for a hit was made up of people who consumed few products of that type. (Many other studies have since reached the same conclusion.) A lot of the people who read a bestselling novel, for example, do not read much other fiction. By contrast, the audience for an obscure novel is largely composed of people who read a lot. That means the least popular books are judged by people who have the highest standards, while the most popular are judged by people who literally do not know any better. An American who read just one book this year was disproportionately likely to have read “The Lost Symbol”, by Dan Brown. He almost certainly liked it.

What this implies is that consuming more media leads you to be more critical of each piece which in turn leads you to enjoy ‘hits’ less and less over time. If someone was to listen to and rate 1,000 albums in a year you would assume that this person would not likely prefer hit records.

Christopher R. Weingarten, he of @1000TimesYes twitter fame, did just that. In 2009 he listened to and ‘reviewed’ (via 140char tweet) 1,000 albums. His number one? Green Day. This is not to say that an album cannot be both a critical and popular hit but one would expect that if a hit record was actually that good there would be some sort of critical consensus.

Metacritic shows Green Day’s 20th Century Breakdown has an average critical score of 70. Rolling Stone, who provided the highest score for the album, called it the 5th best album of the year.

Does listening to more music make you a better critic? The function of a critic is to discern value and provide reasoned analysis. It would seem then that critical analysis would lead to somewhat of a consensus within your area of interest (leaving room for personal taste and experiences that have influenced preference).

Consuming more, which may make you a great fan, does not necessarily lead to higher standards or to being a better critic.

Top 50 Digital Singles of All Time & Your Mainstream Percentage

1 FLO RIDA FEAT. T-PAIN LOW 5,053,174 Million
2 LADY GAGA FEAT. COLBY O’DONIS JUST DANCE 4,358,382
3 TIMBALAND FEAT. ONEREPUBLIC APOLOGIZE 4,349,625
4 MRAZ*JASON I’M YOURS 4,292,061
5 SOULJA BOY TELL’EM CRANK THAT (SOULJA BOY) 4,244,665
6 COLDPLAY VIVA LA VIDA 3,940,745
7 PERRY*KATY HOT N COLD 3,777,770
8 LEWIS*LEONA BLEEDING LOVE 3,758,947
9 SWIFT*TAYLOR LOVE STORY 3,722,057
10 LADY GAGA POKER FACE 3,713,766
11 WEST*KANYE STRONGER 3,690,471
12 FLO RIDA FEAT. KESHA RIGHT ROUND 3,631,074
13 PLAIN WHITE T’S HEY THERE DELILAH 3,548,743
14 LIL WAYNE FEAT. STATIC MAJOR LOLLIPOP 3,546,023
15 RIHANNA DISTURBIA 3,525,798
16 PERRY*KATY I KISSED A GIRL 3,518,067
17 BLACK EYED PEAS BOOM BOOM POW 3,515,172
18 PINK SO WHAT 3,475,765
19 T.I. FEAT. RIHANNA LIVE YOUR LIFE 3,467,644
20 T.I. WHATEVER YOU LIKE 3,407,510
21 RUDOLF*KEVIN LET IT ROCK 3,353,854
22 RIHANNA FEAT. JAY-Z UMBRELLA 3,341,923
23 FERGIE BIG GIRLS DON’T CRY 3,330,639
24 TIMBERLAKE*JUSTIN SEXYBACK 3,231,257
25 FRAY*THE HOW TO SAVE A LIFE 3,190,059
26 ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS*THE GIVES YOU HELL 3,149,346
27 WEST*KANYE HEARTLESS 3,147,701
28 KEYS*ALICIA NO ONE 3,112,417
29 NICKELBACK ROCKSTAR 3,087,406
30 BAREILLES*SARA LOVE SONG 3,001,897
31 LAVIGNE*AVRIL GIRLFRIEND 2,993,591
32 CAILLAT*COLBIE BUBBLY 2,977,569
33 M.I.A. PAPER PLANES 2,963,462
34 SPARKS*JORDIN DUET WITH CHRIS NO AIR 2,957,066
35 JOURNEY DON’T STOP BELIEVIN‘ 2,909,993
36 BEYONCE SINGLE LADIES (PUT A RING ON I 2,890,960
37 POWTER*DANIEL BAD DAY 2,861,369
38 AKON FEAT. EMINEM SMACK THAT 2,830,098
39 SPEARS*BRITNEY WOMANIZER 2,777,614
40 UNDERWOOD*CARRIE BEFORE HE CHEATS 2,771,716
41 RIHANNA DON’T STOP THE MUSIC 2,761,309
42 FERGIE FERGALICIOUS 2,749,816
43 STEFANI*GWEN SWEET ESCAPE 2,739,282
44 WEST*KANYE LOVE LOCKDOWN 2,717,750
45 BEYONCE IRREPLACEABLE / IRREEMPLAZABLE 2,673,082
46 FERGIE FEAT. LUDACRIS GLAMOROUS 2,655,520
47 FINGER ELEVEN PARALYZER 2,645,363
48 TIMBALAND FEAT. KERI HILSON WAY I ARE 2,626,622
49 WEST*KANYE FEAT. JAMIE FOXX GOLD DIGGER 2,615,388
50 GNARLS BARKLEY CRAZY 2,607,465
[via perez]

What do you think of this list? If you own 0-10% of these does it make you a more authentic fan of music? Do you listen to music that is not part of mainstream culture and is therefore part of alternative culture therefore you are alternative and alternatives are better because they/you have the capacity to understand and appreciate musicians/bands/songs that require a deeper understanding of the world and your place in it?

I own 13 of these songs. Does the fact that I own 26% of these detract from my blog-credibility and my value as a person? Should it be required of all people in America to display, by tattoo on right wrist, the percentage of these songs they own? That way when you meet someone you could decide if you actually wanted to shake their hand or whether you wanted to dismiss their existence based on their Mainstream Percentage. This could be a non-racial way we could segregate individuals and know immediately whether or not a person was worth talking to/even recognizing as a person.

What is the worst song on this list? Which do you own? Do you support the Mainstream Percentage movement? What is your Mainstream Percentage?

Advice to Record Labels, Vinyl + Japandroids

I love that labels have gotten wise enough to see that providing free, high-quality downloads on a vinyl purchase is a service that collectors see as valuable but there is one MAJOR problem with the way they do this.

Take this email I received from Insound today:

INSOUND EXCLUSIVE! Insound is the only place to purchase the upcoming vinyl LP release of Japandroid’s Post-Nothing! Insound LP+MP3! Purchase this LP and you’ll receive a link to download the MP3s for free on the 4/28 release date!

Advice to the labels: everything leaks, minimize the impact by offering these high quality downloads on the day the album leaks. When the Yeah Yeah Yeahs album leaked last month the label moved up the ‘digital release date’ by a month or so. What they should have done is immediately offered the album download to anyone who had already preordered and to anyone who ordered a physical copy from that point on. Also, I think if you own an album you should be able to get a “clean” digital version as well (you know, for the kiddies).

I actually like Insound quite a bit, they have great prints (I ordered a killer Grizzly Bear print and preordered the Veckatimest vinyl two or so months ago and I love it), they carry most of the bands I care and write about and their prices are a helluva lot better than those brick and morter jokes like Best Buy and FYE.

//end rant

Japandroids are a band that I recently discovered (and wrote about) but have since gone back and checked out a little more. The All Lies EP from ’07 is a mixed batch. It sounds like a band who knows the style they are going for but don’t quite have all the kinks worked out… some highlights:

      Japandroids - Press Corps

      Japandroids - Coma Complacency

I’ve only heard one song from Japandroids new album, Post-Nothing, and I think it is superb. I am hoping that this album has a clearer direction and some sharper edges. The vocals and song melodies in particular have come a long way from the EP… check it out:

      Japandroids - Young Hearts Spark Fire

If you like the music, check out the preorder and maybe tell Insound you want your download the day the album leaks!