Sunday, November 7, 2010

Musicians, Know Your Rights: Copyright Law - Is Your Sample Protected Under Fair Use?

Fair Use is “designed to balance the rights of the copyright holder with the public's interest in dissemination of information affecting areas of universal concern, such as art, science, and industry."(137) It is the only defense for using someone's copyright/trademark/right of publicity without their consent. Although individuals retain property rights to their work, the courts have decided that preventing parodies which criticize other works would stifle the objective of copyright laws to “stimulate creativity and authorship.”

The commercial purpose of using copyrighted material can compromise a fair use defense unless the secondary use “serves public interest by stimulating creativity as copyright law intended.” Copyright laws are meant to prevent someone from selling someone else's work or idea. Commercial productions and commercial campaigns can suffer from the dilution of their intellectual property through copying and makes the court less likely to acknowledge parody rights. The secondary use must do more “than paraphrase or repackage the original, by adding value to or 'transforming' the original copyrighted work.”

In order for a parody to qualify as fair use it “must copy enough to conjure up the original” (142). The parody's “transformative” quality lies in using the original as the target of the work's criticism. The nature of the copyrighted work is irrelevant for parody since it must be in the public consciousness to “conjure up.” The quality and quantity of portion used of a copyrighted work is weighed against the necessity for the work to reference the original work to criticize it. A parody usually serves a different function in a market than the original work it ridicules and therefore it does not have an impact on the market value of the original. Because parodies by necessity must use intellectual ideas to criticize or comment on ideas, it is important to know the distinction between using someone's work to shed new light on a public discourse and stealing work for the sake of expediency.
The Supreme Court says...
Notwithstanding the need for monopoly protection of intellectual creators to stimulate creativity and authorship, excessively broad protection would stifle, rather than advance, the objective. First, all intellectual creative activity is in part derivative. Few, if any thoughts or inventions today are wholly original. Each advance stands on building blocks fashioned by prior thinkers. Second, important areas of intellectual activity are explicitly referential. Philosophy, criticism, history, and even the natural sciences require continuous re-examination of yesterday's theses.
Parody and Fair Use
Material that mimics or makes fun of a copyrighted work may be protected by the fair use defense. The decision often turns on the third factor – the amount and substantiality copied. 

To be effective, a parody must copy enough to conjure up the original. Even more extensive use might be ruled fair, provided that the parody builds on the original, using it as a known element of modern culture and contributing something new for humorous effect or commentary.

The nature of the work is essential “in separating the fair use sheep from the infringing goats in a parody case, since parodies almost invariably copy publicly known, expressive works.”

This has turned attention “to the pervasiveness of a parodist's justification for the particular copying done,” recognizing “that the extent of permissible copying varies with the purpose and character of the use.”

Parody is a difficult case. Parody's humor, or in any event its comment, necessarily springs from recognizable allusion to its object through distorted imitation. Its art lies in the tension between a known original and its parodic twin. When parody takes aim at a particular original work, the parody must be able to “conjure up” at least enough of that original to make the object of its critical wit recognizable. What makes for this recognition is quotation of the original's most distinctive or memorable, which the parodist can be sure the audience will know. Once enough has been taken to assure identification, how much more is reasonable will depend, say, on the extent to which the song's overriding purpose and character is to parody the original or in contrast, the likelihood that the parody may serve as a market substitute for the original. But using some characteristic features cannot be avoided.

Souter wrote that while 2 Live Crew's copying the characteristic opening bass riff and first line of Orbison's lyrics may have gone to the “heart” of the original, thereafter the rap group's lyrics and music departed markedly from the original.

Considering the fourth fair use factor the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work, the Supreme Court noted that a parody is unlikely to act as a substitute for the original because the parody and the original usually serve different market functions. Here a rap version likely appealed to a different audience than Orbison's song.

Kennedy says “the parody must target the original, and not just its general style, the genre of art to which it belongs, or society as a whole.”

Points of Law to Remember for Fair Use
Purpose and character of use
-commercial or non commercial?
-secondary use serves public interest by stimulating creativity as copyright law intended,
-secondary use does more than paraphrase or repackage the original, by adding value to or “transforming” the original copyrighted work
 Nature of Copyrighted work
-Out of print work?
-factual or fictional?
-Copying unpublished?
 Quantity and quality of portion used
-Depends on the “transformative” nature of the use
-small passages could kill the essence of a book
-full use could be acceptable if used for criticism
Effect on the market value of original or potential derivative versions
-must not take away from copyright holding creator to profit from covers or remixes

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Musicians, Know Your Rights: Appropriation and the Right Of Publicity

How does violating by Appropriation differ from violating Right of Publicity?
Appropriation is the unauthorized use of someone's name or likeness for financial gain. Appropriation emerged as one of the first privacy torts developed in 19th Century courts partially because they “resembled property rights” (315).

The courts' early decisions had difficulty quantifying mental harm to award monetary damages. A New York court in a 4-3 decision ruled in Roberson v. Rochester Folding Box. Co. case, that Abigail Roberson's argument that the use of her image to advertise a New York baking flour company violated her privacy and caused “unwanted publicity” that caused “embarrassment and humiliation” was not sufficient to award monetary damages for the use of her likeness without her permission (315). 

The decision reflected courts' hesitancy to recognize damages for intangible harms. The New York legislature responded to public sentiments that sided with Roberson's plea for privacy, passing a law “prohibiting the commercial use of a person's name or likeness without permission.”

Courts are not likely to award damages for public figures claims of “mental anguish” but they may a “property-like right when the name or likeness of a celebrity or other public person is used for financial gain without authorization”(316). 

The courts have struck down sales of items using celebrities images for commercial gain because it infringes upon the celebrity's right of publicity and their ability to use their image to sell products. 

The Georgia Supreme Court blocked the “sale of plastic models of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.” maintaining that his publicity rights could be inherited by his children.

The U.S. Court of Appeals has twice held that Elvis Presley's right of publicity could be exploited exclusively by his heirs” and remains their their property to control (316). 

That means Lisa Marie Presley is the only legal Elvis Presley impersonator!

Maybe Elvis also signed his publicity rights to the Republicans when he visited President Nixon?

So how did this happen?
Next week in "Musicians, Know Your Rights":
I'll address the issue of what happens 
when we try to use the musical and lyrical ideas created by performers 
instead of their likeness.

In addition to preventing the creation of products that would infringe upon a person's right to profit from their likeness, celebrities have the right to prevent use of their likeness in commercial advertisements promoting products without their consent. Johnny Carson succeeded in suing a portable toilet business advertisement that used Ed Macmahon's introduction to The Tonight Show: "Here's Johnny!" 

What I find most difficult to understand in this point of law is when a likeness can be considered an infringement upon their identity rather than as taking someone's actual copyrighted material. Bette Midler was awarded “$400,000 after Ford Motor Co. ran ads in which a singer imitated Midler's distinctive style and voice,” concluding that “to impersonate her voice is to pirate her identity”(316). 

In what way can Midler's style and voice be distinguished from someone else in her genre? What kind of intent to imitate needs to be shown to prove that a likeness was intentionally exploited? Can advertisers argue that their commercial work has merits as a parody?

Tom Waits, whose raspy voice was imitated in an advertisement for Frito-Lays corn chips, won a judgment of $2.5 million for misappropriation.

The Ninth Circuit held he had a property right “to control the use of his identity as embodied in his voice”(316). Misappropriation cases try to define an advertisement's wrongful use of someone's likeness to create the illusion of that person's endorsement or involvement in the commercial. Courts struggle define when use of a public figure is characterized by malice or ill will that can be proven. What if a commercial publication uses an public figure's image for a purpose that is satirical in their editorial content?

The difference between appropriation and the right to publicity seems to balance the difference between private and public life. Appropriation protects the rights of private citizens to be left alone by commercial interests while the right to publicity protects public persons rights to their identity and commercial interests. The individual interests of either merit asking for consent and respecting our people's desire to protect their private and public interests.

All citations from Samuel A. Terilli, Jr. and Sigman Splichal, "Privacy Rights in an Open and Changing Society," Communication and the Law 2010 Edition.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sonni Shine & The Underwater Sounds and The Slackers perform at TLA

Sonni Shine & The Underwater Sounds opened for The Slackers at the Theater of Living Arts in Philadelphia, PA on October 09, 2010.

Sonni Shine & The Underwater Sounds are a Philadelphia-based reggae/soul/dub/rock group.

The group consists of 
Sonni "Shine" Schwartzbach- vocals, guitar
Sean "Tank" Youngman- drums
Kenny "Blade" Shumski- bass
Billy "Shadow" Campion- guitar
Erica "Car Bomb" Corbo- keys

The Slackers are a New York City band, formed in Brooklyn in 1991. The band describes their sound as "a mix of ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, soul, garage rock, and jazz."

The group consists of
Vic Ruggiero - keyboards, vocals
Jay "Agent Jay" Nugent - guitar
Dave Hillyard - saxophone
Glen Pine - trombone, vocals
Marcus Geard - bass
Ara Babajian - drums

Friday, October 8, 2010

Weekend Forecast


DJ Taaj, DJ Sylo, DJ Smoove, Tayyib Ali, Paris Artelli, and Asaad


Sonni Shine and the Underwater Sounds with The Slackers at the TLA

<a href="">Sonni Shine &amp; The Underwater Sounds by Sonni Shine &amp; The Underwater Sounds</a>


The Roots opening for Barack Obama in Germantown

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Did Tupac's Lyrics Incite A Cop Killer?

Hold on a second... it's not what you think.

Davidson v. Time Warner, 25 Med.L.Rptr. 1705 (D.C.S.Texas 1997)

Facts of the Case
In April 1992, Ronald Howard fatally shot Officer Bill Davidson while driving a stolen automobile in Jackson County, Texas.

Davidson had stopped Howard, originally from the South Park area of Houston, Texas, on U.S. Highway 59 about 5 miles (8 km) south of Edna, Texas in a 1986 GMC Jimmy, as his vehicle had a broken headlight. When Davidson approached the driver-side window of the car, he was shot in the neck. Howard drove off but was apprehended later in the night, with a 9 mm pistol. The car was later found to be stolen. Three days later, Davidson died of his injuries. Drug tests showed that Howard had cocaine and cannabis in his system at the time of the murder.

He was listening to an audio cassette of... (cue suspenseful music)

...2Pacalypse Now.

Howard did not even pay 2Pac for his music... he was listening to an illegal bootleg tape!

Davidson's wife, Linda Davidson (and their children) sued Time Warner/Interscope Records/Atlantic Recording/Tupac Shakur, arguing that 2Pacalypse Now did not merit First Amendment protection. 

They alleged it was obscene, contained “fighting words,” defamed peace officers like Officer Davidson and tended to incite imminent illegal conduct on the part of individuals like Howard. 

She alleged that the music led to her husband's death.
Decision of the Court

Dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction and the motion for summary judgment were granted. 

The District Judge John D. Rainey held that the record companies and Tupac did not hold property in the state and did not have enough minimum contacts in the state to be responsible for the direct distribution of the tape.

They did not have the duty to prevent the distribution of the music when they could not reasonably foresee that distributing the music would lead to violence nor was there an expectation to use the music as a “product for purposes of recovery under a products liability theory.”

Finally, Judge Rainey ruled that the Davidsons' argument that the music was unprotected speech under the First Amendement was irrelevant.

Reasoning of the Court

If we gave government the ability
to censor all ideas
that offend us,
would we be able to
think for ourselves?
All political and non-political music is considered First Amendment protected speech. First Amendment protection is not weakened because the music takes an unpopular or even dangerous viewpoint.

The court invokes the idea from Herceg v. Hustler Magazine, Inc., 814 F.2d 1017, 1019 (5th Cir. 1987) that freedom of speech is “not based on the naive belief that speech can do no harm” but “on the confidence that the benefits society reaps from the free flow and exchange of ideas outweigh the costs society endures by receiving reprehensible or dangerous ideas.”

Judge Rainey ruled that the burden to prevent harm is too high for the Defendants and society to police their recordings to the extent that would result in the sale of “only the most bland, least controversial music.”

The court also held that Davidson's argument that the music was obscene was irrelevant because they claimed that the violent lyrics incited Howard to kill Davidson, not sexually obscene lyrics.

Judge Rainey ruled that while 2Pacalypse Now may “spew invectives” at California police officers, it does not defame all police officers like the Davidsons' claims. In order for a remark to be defamatory it must be directed at a specific person and must be blatantly false.

Tupac recorded "God Bless The Dead" as a trailer for The Notorious B.I.G.'s classic Ready to Die, when Biggie was still alive. 
Could he be sued for libel? We'll get to that next week.

The court weighed his speech against the precedent set by Eimann v. Soldier of Fortune Magazine, 880 F.2d 830 (5th Cir. 1989), where plantiff Eimann sued Soldier of Fortune for negligence and gross negligence for publishing a personal services classified advertisement through which the victim's husband hired an assassin.

While 2Pacalypse Now may advocate illegal and violent activity, the “probability that a listener of 2Pacalypse Now would act on Shakur's message is substantially less than the chance that a person responding to a Soldier of Fortune advertisement would hire a 'hit man' for illegal activity.”

Eimann tied seven suspects to responding to the advertisement. Conversely, the Davidsons presented no evidence that 2Pacalypse Now had been the source of "music-inspired crime"; after more than 400,000 sales of 2Pacalypse Now, if the Davidsons are the only ones alleging violence after listening to Shakur's music, the probability of harm is very low.

Judge Rainey ruled that 2Pacalypse Now could not be considered “fighting words” because “no reasonable jury could conclude that persons would reflexively lash out because of the language of Shakur's recording."
"Fighting words" are not protected speech under the First Amendment. 
Only when words are combined with actions do they become punishable.

While the Davidsons may have shown that Shakur intended to produce imminent lawless conduct, the Davidsons cannot show that Howard's violent conduct was an imminent and likely result of listening to Shakur's songs. While Shakur may describe his music as “revolutionary,” it does not mean that Shakur intended his music to produce imminent lawless conduct. Rainey cites Brandenburg v. Ohio (395 U.S. 444, 447-48, 89 S. Ct. 1827, 1829-30, 23 L. Ed. 2d 430), stating that the constitution protects the advocacy of the use of force or law violation unless it is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action. 

Rainey's use of the precedent makes clear that the “the mere abstract teaching of the moral propriety or even moral necessity for a resort to force and violence, is not the same as preparing a group for violent action and steeling it to such action.”

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tayyib Ali Releases Free Mixtape "Eighteen" Next Week, Drops Single "Kid Again"

Editor's Note: After the delayed announcement of being released on September 13, 2010, Tayyib Ali's people finally released his first mixtape Eighteen on November 1, 2010. The embedded album can been streamed below.

I enjoyed Tayyib's promo video for this album which uses a DJ Premier beat. RIP Guru.

You can hear the single track "Kid Again" on Tayyib's facebook page now.<a href="">Raw Spinach featuring Tayyib Ali by The Speak Easy</a>

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Speak Easy and Manpower Perform at Ben's Barn (Gettysburg's Ghost Grotto)

Manpower and The Speak Easy threw a show in the barn on Friday, August 7, 2010.

 The Speak Easy opened for Manpower around 9:40 PM... here's the video of our entire set.

Manpower consists of Caton Sollenberger (guitar/vocals), Mark Price (guitar), Peter Wolfe (bass), and Pete Sorensen (drums).

Above is a playlist of video clips of Manpower's set which went from around 10:30 PM to midnight until the state police showed up and warned us to keep it down after some noise complaints.

The slide on the side of the barn would have made a great escape route.

The Speak Easy went on break this week from our almost daily practice schedule but we'll be recording part of our upcoming album this week once Alex returns from Mexico.

Our album from this summer is titled How The East Was Lost

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Make Music, Not Noise: Meditations on Municipal Noise Ordinances

 What's the matter Gettysburg? Is somebody bothering you?

Is it the earth-shaking thump of a bar band with amplifiers that you can hear from the parking lot?

Is it the head-splitting drone of bikers with modified exhaust pipes that you can hear from miles away?

Then have no fear! The Gettysburg Borough Council is here and has been working out a noise ordinance to help save your ears!

Some of you who aren't Gettysburg locals probably have no clue what I am talking about so here's an excerpt from the Gettysburg Times to start our story in a similar story outside of the borough limits:
After a five-hour public hearing Wednesday before the state's Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, The Pike Restaurant & Lounge in Cumberland Township received overwhelming support in its request to transfer noise enforcement powers from the state to local police.
Pike operator Cheryl Hankey and the Cumberland Township Board of Supervisors have filed a petition to transfer noise enforcement at the bar from state regulators to the Cumberland Township Police Department.
State law forbids bars from playing amplified music outside of a licensed-premise, but Cumberland's noise ordinance is complaint-driven, with police having the discretion to issue a fine or warning if music is heard within 30-feet of a bar.

Cumberland Township adopted a noise ordinance in 2008, regulating inconvenient noise from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. With Cumberland Township Police addressing the noise complaints instead of the state, the response to problems can be immediate. FindLaw explains the significance of a transfer in power from the state to a municipality in their article "Guidelines for Drafting Municipal Noise Ordinances Controls":

An ordinance is a legislative enactment by the corporate authority of a municipal corporation. The authority to enact general regulatory ordinances is generally founded upon the police power of the state as delegated to the municipality. When drafting any ordinance, it is first necessary to determine whether the particular municipality concerned has the authority to legislate on the subject matter involved. The powers of a municipality are delegated powers and the municipality has no legislative authority except as granted by constitutional or statutory provisions.
FindLaw notes that one of the difficulties in establishing a noise ordinance involves avoid infringement upon free speech:
Arguably, anytime a restriction is placed on noise, the right to free speech is implicated, since verbal speech creates sound and if loud enough, noise. The First Amendment forbids the federal government from imposing any system of prior restraint, with certain limited exceptions, in any area of expression that is protected by that Amendment. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right which is not subject to impairment by state action
FindLaw explains that restrictions can be placed upon noise based on quantitative measurements.
Running afoul of the First Amendment can be avoided by drawing the proposed local ordinance narrowly to regulate the hours and location of the noise restriction, and proscribing specific levels of sound (in decibels) that are reasonably related to the noise problem sought to be regulated. See, NAACP v. City of Chester, 253 F. Supp. 707 (E.D. Pa. 1966).
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the police power of a state extends beyond regulation of health, morals and safety, and comprehends the duty, within constitutional limitations, to protect the well-being and tranquility of a community. Kovacs v. Cooper, 336 U.S. 77, 69 S. Ct. 448, 93 L.Ed. 513 (1949).
FindLaw explains the precedent for formulating municipal noise ordinances was established in the NAACP v. City of Chester case:
In NAACP v. City of Chester, the Plaintiff brought an action under 28 U.S.C. Section 1343 claiming that an ordinance of the City of Chester, regulating the use of sound amplifying equipment in streets and in public places violated the U.S. Constitution. Plaintiff claimed that the ordinance was subject to the following constitutional infirmities: (1) the ordinance was unconstitutional on its face, since it established a prior restraint on the right of free speech; (2) the twenty-five dollar per diem fee required by the ordinance was unreasonable; and (3) the ordinance imposed an unreasonable restriction on the volume-producing capacity of sound amplifying equipment. The Court held that the ordinance was not an invalid prior restraint on Plaintiff's right of free speech. The court stated:
The number of hours during which a sound truck may be operated is set forth, an attempt is made to regulate the volume of sound to which amplifying devices must be adjusted and, most important, the issuance of the required permit itself does not, in any way, depend upon an administrative decision.
 Remember how Elwood and Jake went around promoting the Blues Brothers show with a megaphone on top of their car? What if everyone who had a gig ran around making that much noise? Would we be able to hear ourselves think?
The court emphasized that the ordinance interfered very little, if at all, with the Plaintiff's right of free speech because permit issuance was premised upon clear, non-discriminatory and non-discretionary standards not subject to the control of any local official and reflected the concern of the City of Chester for the maintenance of peace and tranquility within the community.
The ordinance was also not an unreasonable restriction on the volume of sound amplifying equipment since the ordinance regulated "the volume of sound (in decibels) to which they must be adjusted" in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Saia v. People of the State of New York, supra. The court enjoined, however, the enforcement of the $25.00 fee imposed by the ordinance because the City of Chester failed to show that the fee bore a reasonable relationship to the cost of enforcing the ordinance.
The question I would like to raise through the Pike controversy is how this transfer of power from the enforcement of a state liquor law regulating noise in bars to a municipal noise ordinance ought to occur in a way that is fair. How should we measure noise and at what point is it acceptable to restrict noise? Is noise First Amendment protected speech and sometimes even a necessary element to conducting a business?

Findlaw continues to explain how noise ordinances must be "quantitative" rather than "qualitative."
The qualitative ordinance is generally subjective in nature, and is more likely to pose constitutional issues such as vagueness, and is also more likely to be subject to enforcement at the discretion of local police and to non-uniform application as indicated above. Many noise control ordinances fail to include quantitative acoustical criteria, and merely prohibit "loud noise". Quantitative ordinances, on the other hand, proscribe noise-producing conduct by amount, applying scientific standards of sound intensity and frequency. The quantitative ordinance is capable of providing non-discretionary, objective and predictable standards. Quantitative standards are more amendable to tailoring in order to meet the specific, unique needs of a local community.
Does this mean placing ban on amplified music would be unconstitutional if the music stayed within a restricted decibel level? How can time periods for noise ordinances fairly balance the needs of a bar which often requires live music to draw in customers, with a hotel that requires quiet for their guests? Should we measure sound by how loud it is from its origin or should we measure it based on how far the sound travels?

Another complication in addressing noise is making sure that we aren't preferring some noise over others, as Garret Keizer discussed recently on The Colbert Report.
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Garret Keizer
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox New

Keizer argues that "noise and silence get distributed like other forms of wealth and other forms of disadvantage." Colbert uses the example of his private jet, saying that inspires others to get their own private jet and making the justification that "my noise is just very loud hope." Keizer notes that "Noise is indicative of power. The powerful can make noise and throughout history they have and they can also have the power to silence other people and impose noise..." 

After Colbert asks whether he means this means that poor people are literally or politically less noisy, Keizer remarks "I think many poor people could stand to be louder than they are."

The Gettysburg Borough Council is going through the process of addressing the lack of a noise ordinance in the borough. One of the greatest difficulties in balancing business interests with domestic tranquility is the issue of the popular annual Bike Week in Gettysburg during the month of July. Borough Council President John Butterfield recently met with the town's chief of police and mayor to discuss issues concerning the noise ordinance. The Gettysburg Times addresses some of the dilemmas facing the law:
A proposed noise ordinance was submitted to the borough's attorney for legal review in November 2008, and has remained in limbo. Constitutionality and enforcement concerns have plagued the progress of the ordinance, which was designed to reduce noise pollution and curtail incessant clatter, such as motorcycle and truck noise.
The proposed ordinance prohibits all "noise disturbances," defined as sounds that endanger the safety or health of humans and animals, and annoy or disturb citizens or visitors.
"We're still working on it," Council Vice President Holliday Giles said this week. "Some of these ordinances take a very long time to get together and get it right."
"I know it's frustrating to people, but it comes down to enforcement, and there's no sense in enacting some sort of ordinance that there is no enforcement," continued Giles. "We have a difficult time when it circles around to the enforcement part of it."
The town's police department, which makes up 35 percent of the borough's annual $4.2 million spending plan, employs 13-full time officers. Chief Joe Dougherty has voiced concern in the past about enforcing a noise ordinance, pointing out that the department lacks noise-monitoring equipment, with no officers trained to utilize the devices.
Enforcement of the Gettysburg ordinance, according to the proposal, will be complaint-drive. Veteran Councilman Ted Streeter has stated that the proposed code must include an "objective standard for reasonable noise, not a subjective standard."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summertime Singles and CDs

I think that CD reviews are pretty useless these days now that music is so accessible to listeners and personal for musicians but I can vouche for the fact that you'll find something new to listen to from this list of summertime releases from musicians in Gettysburg and Philadelphia. Some these albums are fresh out, some of them artists have given me a while back but I haven't had the chance to sort through to show you.

Burg City - 2 State Connection (mixtape)
 I bought a copy of Burg City's 2 State Connection at the Gettysburg Fireman's Carnival from Theo Guillory, who has a guest spot on the album on the track, "Kushanomics," under the stage name Twitch. 

 The album also features Solomon Pade from The Nothing, whose show at The Ragged Edge in Gettysburg I covered last November.

Here's Burg City's first music video from the mixtape:


boog- The Walking Club (album)
Kyle Simmons aka "boog" is a friend of mine from the dorms of 1300 on Temple's campus and Ryan Eckes' English class, Time in Literature (side note: Eckes has a poetry blog called Old News that is worth checking out here). The concept behind boog's The Walking Club was to create "a collection of songs focused on bringing to light the invasive quality of media technology in the modern day, using a rather dated vernacular of the past." Simmons' self-produced studio skills show dramatic improvement since the release of his demo last November but his raw and rugged essence remains. Combine boog's new ability to manipulate textures and tones with a voice that Cary Ann Hearst described as " "[Bob] Dylan, if he was a pirate" and you've got an 8-track recording that's ready to take on the modern era. boog is organizing an ambitious tour around the United States this fall, stay tuned in to find out if he's coming near you. As you've seen here before, he's worth hearing live.

Brittany Ann - The Good In That (single)

boog's live shows in Philadelphia have occasionally paired with Brittany Ann Tranbaugh. Here's a video of Brittany performing on Juliana Peluso's Under The Radar radio show at Temple. I covered her show at Peluso's house this March in the post "North Philadelphia Folks Hard."

Brittany released her latest track, "The Good In That," on her Facebook fan page.

Capo - The Sitdown
Capo is an MC hailing from South Philly that attends Temple's Freestyle Friday cipher frequently and gave me a copy of his last album, The Sitdown. He's got a new album coming out soon according to his Facebook page, where you can hear The Sitdown.

Verbatum Jones - FrEND (single)
Verbatum is another MC who frequents the Temple cipher. He just recently released this single, "FrEND."

Chocolate Milk - Drink Up Life (album)

Chocolate Milk is a hip hop band of rising sophomores at Temple University. The video below features their song "Red Delicious" from the Haiti Earthquake Relief benefit concert with GuerillaFunk I covered this past February. Here's a recent Temple News feature on their group. 

Philadelphia Slick - Oil (album)

Philadelphia Slick is a hip hop band with horns. I got a free copy of their album at the Boxcar Children's Christmas show last year. They have a new EP out called Everything's Game as well as Oil that can be purchased on their website.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Questionable Perception and Audacity Perform At Gettysburg Fireman's Carnival

On July 2nd, I attended Questionable Perception and Audacity's performance at the Gettysburg Fireman's Carnival.

Questionable Perception consists of former Jackalopes drummer Jake Godman, bassist Tyler Garrett, keyboardist Kyle Keller and guitarist Tom Price (who was absent from the gig).

Here's a link to some of their original recordings on their myspace.

After Questionable Perception's set, Audacity took the stage with their complete lineup including frontman Josh "JC" Hoffman, who was absent from the previous performance I covered because he was assisting in engineering a cement canoe in California.

Audacity performs at the Gettysburg YWCA (left to right): Thomas "TJ" Schmitz, Josh Poorman, Josh "JC" Hoffman, and Matt Hinton. (Ethan Stauffer is absent from photo).

Here's the rest of the videos from the Fireman's Carnival evening:

Here's the audio recording of Audacity's show in its' entirety.

<a href="">Ethan's Song by Audacity</a>

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cliffy K. And The Seasonal Employment Perform At Sharpshooter's Grille

Last night I attended a concert at the Sharpshooters Grille in Gettysburg, PA. My friend Corey Adamo plays guitar in Cliffy K. and The Seasonal Employment. The band also consists of Cliff Kime (Vocals, Guitar) Ryan Pauly (Bass), and Matt Kressley (Drums). Here's the video playlist from the first half of their set. I missed the set of Mike Feaster And The F.U. Guys beforehand unfortunately.

Here's a good transition into my previous post. You can't see Corey's face in the video but he's on the left playing with Caton and their friend, Dan.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sollenbergers Father and Son: Manpower

After the Gettysburg Fringe Festival, I attended a house show of my former bandmates' Caton Sollenberger and Peter Wolfe along with their drummer Peter Sorenson. The group is tentatively called Manpower after someone told them they were going to need some "manpower" to move all their equipment from a show.

Last week, Caton's father, Neil Sollenberger, performed at the Herr's Tavern Sharpshooters Grille Deck with Shannon Turley Bigham.

Caton began learning guitar with his father's guidance an early age. I remember Caton playing guitar across the street from my house on Stevens Street back when his mom lived on Stratton Street in Gettysburg. It was one of strongest motivations for mepicking up the guitar. In The Jackalopes, I learned the majority of my cover song repertoire following Caton's lead as we practiced for hours in his dad's basement. Caton will be attending Berklee School of Music in Boston this fall.