One more reason to switch back to vinyl
Over 350 Canadian musicians, including members of The Tragically Hip, Metric and Nickelback, banded together on Thursday to ask that the government impose a levy on MP3 players. In a letter addressed to Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement, the musicians expressed their concern with Bill C-32, which would allow Canadians to copy music for personal use. The artists, brought together by the Canadian Private Copying Collective, wrote: “MP3 players are this generation’s version of blank media. A copy is a copy and the principle of fair compensation for rights holders should apply whether the copy is made onto blank media or MP3 players.” The letter goes on to suggest that the proposed MP3 player levy could be redistributed to the artists in the form of royalties, much like the levies on blank media which are already in effect.
Off the road again
Country star Willie Nelson was arrested on Friday after Border Patrol agents allegedly discovered six ounces of marijuana on his tour bus. The 77-year-old “Whiskey River” songwriter was traveling to his next show in Austin when he was stopped at a checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, Texas. He was taken into custody, but posted the $2,500 bail and is continuing his current musical tour. If convicted, Nelson could face up to 180 days in county jail.
Fans tell Kanye to get stuffed at Thanksgiving Day parade
Hip-Hop star Kanye West got the cold shoulder last Friday at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. The “Power” hitmaker was heckled and booed by attendees of the annual event. Upon seeing the big apple float the rapper was riding, the crowd began chanting “Taylor,” a reference to Kanye’s infamous interruption during the 2009 MTV VMA’s. In a video that has found its way onto YouTube, jeers of “You’re an asshole, buddy!” and “Hey, Kanye! Jump!” can be heard as West’s float paraded down 7th Avenue.
The Doctor is out
Super-producer Dr. Dre announced that his next album Detox would be his last as a performer. The former N.W.A. star said he had a hard time completing the record because he felt that, at 45, he had trouble “being able to identify with the younger audience.” Dre says he intends to focus on cultivating the new talent in hip hop, but that will be the limit of his involvement: “As far as me going into the mic booth, that shit is over. I’m always going to talent scout and try to find new artists to work with. But, yeah, that’s it.” Detox is scheduled for release this February.
Gaga goes off the grid
Starting Tuesday, a host of artists including Lady Gaga, Usher and Justin Timberlake will be giving up social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter for charity. The celebrities’ digital disappearances were orchestrated by R&B star Alicia Keys as a way to raise funds for her Keep A Child Alive organization. The stars have agreed to maintain their virtual silence until the charity receives $1 million in donations. To donate or find out more, visit keepachildalive.org.