Thursday, December 18, 2003

PRETTY GIRLS MAKE LEMSIP: Pretty Girls Make Graves' Andrea has gotten the flu and so the band have pulled their UK shows. Boo achoo.

THAT'S JUST CRUEL: It's horrible that a judge on World Idol told Will Young to get singing lessons - why tell the bloke to further pursue a career he has no talent nor aptitude for?

AND ONCE AGAIN...: No NME - probably be blamed on the Christmas post or something - which has really put a crick in the schedule, to be honest... as a result, Christmas pop papers will be the highlight of Christmas Week (i.e. next week) on No Rock...

THE INCOMPREHENSIBLE FESTIVAL: Thanks again to Dave for pointing out the Mars-Venus style conjunction of Captain Beefheart and The Fall sharing a stage - that of the Royal Festival Hall, to be exact, on January 23rd next year. You're sure of a good time, but you'll be lucky to make out one word in four.

CHRISTMAS CAROLS: There's a Christmas Card from Sing Sing online containing a frustratingly brief extract of their next ep, Madame Sing-Sing - which is only going to be available on the 19th of January alone.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

BUT, EM, THEY'RE ONLY RELEASING THINGS YOU TALK ABOUT IN YOUR LIVING ROOM: Eminem - a man whose career has depended on Voltaire-levels of toleration of "your right to say them" - makes an unlikely figure to go running off to the law courts to block someone else's records, but he's brough a lawsuit blocking the Source from releasing the CD version of his early racist rapping. Wonder why - after all, he's not denying the existence or the veracity of the recordings, choosing instead to mumble an apology and put it down to passion and youth, and all the blocking of the CD is going to do is make it look like there's other stuff on the disc that could throw him in an even worse light.

Having said which, The Source is going a bit overboard with this story - the whole of the February issue is going to be cleared to rake over the minute details, with or without the covermount. Sure, it's not an episode which reflects well on young Marshall, and if the magazine had come up with further, more recent evidence then we'd be looking at a major furore. But we're not sure there already well-publicised ages old tape is quite worthy of the Kruschev At The UN tactics.

LAVERNE TAKES OVER: Lauren Laverne is going to replace Zoe Ball on teatime for XFM, because Zoe's hopping it to concentrate on being a mother and drinking. So it's going to be Lauren V Sara Cox at the 'battle of the blondes before bedtime', then. We're not expecting many changes in format except for a lot more records by J. Xaverre making their way on air. We're hoping that Lauren sees this as a fill-in before he fulfills her destiny of taking over the lunchtime slot on 6Music - it's part of our fantasy schedule, don't question us.

ODDLY, ALL THIS WAS MISSING WAS DANNII MINOGUE AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MY DEFINITION OF THE VERY LIVING HELL: Ronnie Wood. The Stereophonics. Covering Beatles songs. Talk about yer actual land where it's always winter, but never Christmas.

BLOODY HELL, THAT'S GOT TO HURT: Jack White is claiming he did this:

go on, hit me... doesn't make me wrong

... in self defence. He (or rather his press office) says he punched the living crap out of Jason as he "defended himself as any normal person would have under the circumstances." This would be self-defence in the sense of Lee Ryan's understanding of the concept, we'd imagine. Obviously - strangely - they've not released any pictures of the injuries Jack may or mayn't have suffered, but we're imagining if they called for that level of self-defence, his very face must be liquidised. Jack White: Indiepop's Cheryl Tweedy.

"JUST FOR THE FANS": Apparently, Madonna's new book is "only for fans", although since someone's realised that her dwindled fan base (fourteen gay men and Britney Spears) doesn't represent much in the way of a target market, they've decided to limit the exclusive nature to define fan as "anyone who can type '' into a web browser. The book itself sounds dreadful - "Nobody Knows Me is Madonna's ultimate statement to her fans. 52 pages of success, rare and unseen shots commented by an Icon and her angels. Music, love, fashion, stardom and much more..." So, as sickening as the Sex book but without the aid to masturbation, then. Having said which, at least it's unlikely ever to get quite as grim as this [not office safe].

PINK MAY NEED TO BUY A NEWSPAPER: While we're delighted that Pink has taken time out to campaign to get a stageshow elephant freed, we're just wondering if anyone thought to mention that sending a letter to Seigfried and Roy about their pathetic pachyderm might be choosing the wrong moment to try and get their attention.

Pink used an elephant in the video for Just Like A Pill - it's funny, all we remember is the gaffer tape, too - but says she's now learned that elephants are "out of place around bright lights and gawking people." And, apparently, they really hate being around men having their throats ripped out by tigers, too.

A FAIR COP: We're a little confused about the case in Australia where acop posing as a child used a picture of Pop Idol Sophie Monk to lure a suspected paedophile. Because this is Sophie Monk:

i am twelve

... who doesn't really look that much like jailbait. And is quite famous - it's on a par with a British cop trying to gather evidence against a kid-fid in the UK by sending pictures of Sonia from Eastenders. Curious.

FIGHTING OVER THE KID: Aaron Carter's mum and dad have fallen out. Mum, Jane, really "doesn't want to involve the press in private family issues" but, erm, has stuck out a press release to maintain that's she's been a great manager to little Aaron and to dump on his dad a little. Won't somebody please think of the children?

URL COLLABORATION: Thanks to David for pointing out that the Half Man Half Biscuit link on the left is dead - we can forsee a Christmas of hardcoding the links stuff beckoning. Meanwhile, if you're after a burst of online Nigels, try this.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

WHAT WERE THE PARENTS THINKING OF?: Apparently the choir singing on the Darkness' Christmas single (currently outselling Pop Idol three to one, neck and neck with the Jules) were summoned to their headmistresses office and handed envelopes without a word, which seems a rather odd way to do things: almost as if the school was thinking "If we don't actually say anything, it won't be our fault if they get into trouble." This, and other details, can be garnered from a newsround report by one of the girls on the record.

YOU JUST DON'T GET THIS, DO YOU, SCOTT?: This time, Scott Weiland's got himself in trouble by being caught smuggling drugs. Into rehab. We're still waiting for Slash's explanation of how this is all a terrible mistake, and how we've gotten it all wrong.

YOU CAN BUY THE MCDONALDS JINGLE, APPARENTLY: I'm Lovin It, downloadable for a quid from Justin's website. He's at the bold forefront of the new era of heavily policed media downloads, you know...

THEY THINK THEY'RE INTERPOL: Jay Berman, head of the IFPI, has made his Christmas message, outlining his anti-technology strategy for 2004. Let's slip inside and see what he has to say, shall we?

FPI and its National Groups have spent the last year waging an intensive public information campaign on the issue of online music - both legal and illegal. Our educational tools range from music coalition websites to PR initiatives, projects at schools and colleges - and ultimately, to lawsuits against major infringing uploaders. Our campaign will only intensify in 2004 - and the need to communicate our message effectively has never been more important.

Interesting choice of language - "waging an intensive… public information campaign We've always been lead to be believe that campaigns are conducted, wars waged - but it gives some insight to the mentality of the International Record Labels that they always see the music fan as something to be attacked. Don't you know there's a war on?

Nice also to see the implication that lawsuits are the last resort - we're sure that writs have been flying about since long before they got Britney in to mouth the "it's like stealing a CD from a store, or maybe some coins from a blind man…" line in those ads.

Every campaign has its key messages. Let me suggest what ours should be.
Key Message One: Making available copyrighted music without permission on the internet - that means the bulk of all file- sharing - is illegal in practically every country of the world. Those who ignore this legal reality may have to face the consequences. Whether there is a profit motive or not is totally irrelevant. The publicists of unauthorised file-sharing will suggest this is a grey area. It is not a grey area. It is clear under international law, including WTO rules and the WIPO Treaties. Lawsuits on a large scale have so far been restricted to the US; this 'fightback' will almost inevitably have to take place internationally as well.

Wooah… back up there, bloke. "The bulk of all file sharing" is unpermitted music files - are you sure? Apart from anything, doesn't this contradict "National organisation" RIAA's claims that the file sharing networks are full of kiddie porn? Take that out, the spoofs, the music files being shared with full knowledge and consent and the millions of files which have nothing to do with the entertainment industry, and you're starting to get quite far from "the bulk."

But thanks for suggesting that file-sharing is an easy and effective way to buck the remit of the WTO - it seemed the only advantage was easy access to Hanson tracks and Kelis videos, but now we know we're sending a message to the WTO, it's not just fun, it's political.

And let's not forget how "successful" lobbying in Canada had just made file-sharing into a very grey area indeed in that country, and throughout the world at large. A very big, tantalising gray area.

Where do the record companies who are always pleading poverty keep finding money for these futile legal campaigns, by the way? And should we take this as a pissed-off, American dominated international music body trying to pressure the slightly more PR savvy European trade organisations into following its lead so the RIAA doesn't look like the only bunch of sods taking its customers to court?

Key Message Two: There is a legitimate online alternative for consumers. The success of Apple iTunes in the USA, now joined by Rhapsody, Napster and others, is pointing the way for the rest of the world. In Europe, services, like Tiscali, MSN and Wanadoo, and traditional retailers such as FNAC, Karstadt and Virgin are offering an online catalogue of more than 300,000 tracks. There are some 30 sites in Europe where consumers can buy downloads, 'tethered downloads' or subscription services. Companies like Wippit and Playlouder show the emergence of legitimate peer-to-peer services.
IFPI is at the vanguard of this development. The groundbreaking international webcasting agreement finalised in November will create a licensing one-stop shop that has been warmly received by webcasters and collecting societies. For the first time in Europe, a small but highly competitive legitimate online music sector is evolving. It is documented on the pages of our website, and it is fast-growing. I confidently expect Apple iTunes, Amazon, Napster and others to launch their own services in Europe in the first half of 2004. There are also technical platforms at national level, such as Phonoline in Germany - offering huge new online catalogues of local repertoire. More encouraging still, surveys are clear that consumers are prepared to pay for music online. Numerous surveys indicate that one third of all internet users will pay for music.

Is "tethered download" a new industry term? Doesn't that sound like an offer anyone in their right mind would run a mile from - hardly suggests freedom and consumer sovereignty, does it? It's like McDonalds giving you the choice of take out or Imprisoned Consumption.

What's amusing, of course, is the Record Industry claiming to be "at the vanguard" of a force it's spent the last five years trying to turn in its tracks, as if Saddam had clambered out of his little hole saying "I was amongst the first to welcome the American occupation of Iraq; why, it was virtually my idea."

Key Message Three: Internet piracy means lost livelihoods and lost jobs, not just in record companies but across the entire music community. For those who think the 10.9% first half sales fall in 2003 does not speak for itself, look at the other evidence. Artist rosters have been cut, thousands of jobs have been lost, from retailers to sound engineers, from truck drivers to music journalists. Surveys in five major markets - USA, Canada, Germany, Japan and the UK - show that internet copying and file-sharing is reducing CD sales significantly more than it is promoting them.

Which surveys? Is this the same UK where CD sales are growing? The kindest thing we can say about this is it's a radical interpretation of the text. How can the world fall in sales be attributed solely to the Internet anyway - where does the counterfeit CD industry come into this? Or do fake CD sales magically account for exactly zero percent of the drop in CD sales? Why would it be that the crappy performance of Universal Island be due to internet filesharing, when the rest of its parent company was crumbling due to really bad management? The purging of artist rosters at EMI was also surely down to mismanagement, wasn't it, and cost cutting not connected to the internet download issue. Which Scandinavian country was it where EMI cut its entire roster, after a couple of years of acquisition of indie labels there? And, above all: the music that's selling is mostly local artist stuff, the sort of music that travels poorly - Chiswick has little use for the Dixie Chicks, Canberra can't do much with Will Young and Kelly Clarkson becomes toxic the moment she passes out of US airspace. Frankly, music is moving in ways the international labels can't cope with, and their offerings are failing to whet the appetite of the audience. That's where your sales falls are coming from, not some chap with an I-Mac. (We know, we keep saying this, and we'll keep saying it until they stop making the ridiculous allegations.)

Key Message Four: Our industry is fighting back - by making a vast music catalogue available online, by a swathe of educational projects and, where necessary, by resorting to the law. In 2003 we have made huge progress in raising awareness of the issues surrounding online music.

See, they really do think people are thick - that they haven't realised that if they download a Flock of Seagulls track off the net, Mike Score isn't going to get any money as a result. The legal downloads help, and have demonstrated there are millions of people who were happy to pay for tracks all along, they just never had the opportunity because the record labels were worried if you could buy a Radiohead track online, you might play it your friend down your telephone line and bring their whole industry to their knees. So, they've finally worked out that offering fairly-priced, versatile tracks in a secure environment, and people will tend to rather give them the few bob than spend hours cursing Kazaa for dropping. And yet: the music industry thinks they are educating us.

In the USA the music industry was forced to resort to hundreds of lawsuits against major uploaders - a move which has doubled the level of consumer awareness of the illegality of unauthorised file-sharing. Internationally, the education campaign is just as proactive. The pro-music website, launched in May 2003, has brought together a diverse coalition of music sector interests; we have issued thousands of copyright brochures to colleges and companies in over 20 countries; we have sent mass quantities of instant messages to infringing uploaders in several countries to warn them of the illegality of their actions. These four messages - despite the evident problems we have in our music markets today - add up, in my view, to a positive picture. We will never eliminate piracy altogether. Rather we must reduce online piracy to levels where legitimate online services have the space to develop on their own.

Ah, poor Music Industry, "forced" to resort to legal action - who could have been bullying them into doing that? Were record bosses' wives laughing at them when they went home, snapping "be a man" like the Tsar's wife? There's a slight curiosity that these legal actions came so soon into the life of iTunes, don't you think? Rather than waiting to see if legitimate downloads made a difference to the amount of copyright "theft", they jumped straight in with the briefs. Good job they're not doctors: "Well, Mr. Smith, we're going to see if the new drugs help restore some feeling in that leg, but while they're taking effect we're going to amputate it anyway." Of course, this way, any drop in files zipping through Kazaa can be claimed for the might of the law (and justify all the cash the labels pour into the RIAA and IFPI) rather than put down to the surprise that people would rather pay for their music if they can.

This migration from pirate to legitimate music on the internet is now happening. IFPI and our National Groups are playing an integral part in making that happen and we will step up our efforts in 2004.

Oh good. Let us know how you get on, will you?

NOT LEGAL ENOUGH: In a splendidly stupid move, the BPI are now bringing legal action against CD Wow because they source their CDs from outside the UK and thus are able to offer them at less-than-outrageous prices. Rather than the BPI admitting that we're being raped on the prices we pay for recorded music in the United Kingdom, and encouraging its members to reduce their factory gate prices to a level where they can compete with CD Wow, instead the organisation lumbers into its solicitors' offices once again and decides to waste court time and blow thousands of pounds bringing an action claiming "breach of copyright." Except, of course, they're doing no such thing - if you want to see how flimsy their legal case is, it's akin to refusing to allow you to bring a copy of a paperback book home from America because it would infringe the British publisher's copyright.

We suggest that - while you're doing your Christmas shopping - you might want to buy any CDs from CD Wow this year.

SUEDE GO PUTT: There's something really unsatisfactory about the Suede split - although it may very well be true that, as Brett says, at some point in the future there will be another Suede album, but that really takes away the toothsome sadness of the end - there we were, all ready to fling ourselves, weeping, onto a pyre, and what should we do now? Just scald our fingers with some matches? Burn off some hair?

BANG GO BOOM: To the surprise of none-whatsoever, Bang is to close after its current issue. It turns out it was aiming for readers who felt they were "too old" for the NME but not old enough for Q - which, since Q has got younger and younger since the demise of Select and the canabalising, by Mojo, of the top end of its readership, we calculate as a gap of something like minus eight years. It always felt to us like those first copies of Select, when they ran with covers of Prince impersonators and The Beatles but gave away tapes with The Pale Saints and Northside on them - as if they'd spotted a gap in the market, but couldn't quite judge what its tastes were. I hate to say "largely unmourned" but, well, it's not like when ZigZag went, is it?

LISTED SONGS: Our proposal a few months back that some songs be given listed status, so that artists such as Atomic Kitten would have to apply for permission to cover them, never really thought songs like Kool and the Gang's Ladies Night would need such protection. It seemed self-evident that something that required special levels of groove to attempt would never be approached by anyone other than properly trained professionals. And yet, bless 'em, Atomic Kitten have had a go. If you've ever wondered what "getting the funk out of your face" would sound like, wonder no more as the Scouse triptych have produced a cover version so de-funked it's almost like listening to a painting-by-numbers that nobody has yet taken a brush to. Dismal.

IT SOUNDS LIKE THE PLOT OF A SCREWBALL MOVIE: K D Lang and a boatload of lesbians. I wonder how long they thought before they came up with the idea of K D Lang as the cabaret guest - "I've just had a call from Anne Heche's people and she's not available at the moment, so KD it is, then..."

NOT TONIGHT, TREVOR: Ah, how accomodating ITV can be when it wants. Normally, of a Monday, the two episodes of Coronation Street slap themselves comfortably around a spot of journo-light from Tonight With Trevor McDonald. However, last night, the thirty minutes that passed between Martin Platt driving his car into the wall and Tommy The Great Ape pulling him out didn't have the usual presenter or the usual branding - although the contents of the show (lightwieght interview with someone vaguely related to something happening in the softer end of the news) were prime TWTM material. Only, of course, last night's chatters were Michael Jackson's mother and father , defending their son (we think - god, did those people mumble) against the allegations stacked up against him. Clearly, someone realised that there might be some eyebrows raised at the quality of ITV's current affairs department if the interview had run under the Tonight branding, seeing as it was that show's Martin Bashir exclusive that landed Mikey in his current spot of hot water in the first place.

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!: Gathering in a small group around the tussle, we see that at it's heart is Jason Stollsteimer of the Von Bondies and Jack White of My Summer As Evan Dando. Both have put in complaints with Detriot police after the bad indierock hurting at the launch of some record or other, but by all accounts White won the scrap, getting Jason onto the ground and giving him a black eye. There's been a long running fued between the two, which seems to be because Jaosn is the only person in Detroit who doesn't worship Jack as a full deity or something. We're sending him fruit, and telling Jack to stop behaving like, yaknaaa, a dick. No wonder Meg dumped you.

MOLKO RATIONS FOR 2004: The phrase "only UK gigs of [insert year here]" is never welcome, especially when it comes before the year starts, but regardless, Placebo have announced two shows for 2004, and that's it. Strangely, they've also been told by the marketing department ("have decided") to release English Summer Rain, erm, in February - a cunning choice almost certain to condemn the track to a mid-30's Coca-Cola chart languish.

Wonder what they've got planned for the rest of the year? Sex and dwarves, probably. Or maybe Brian's getting a hair weave.

molkorific - a placebo list

HONESTY IN POP MUSIC: You have to go to India to find it, but Priyanka Chopra, the former Miss World, is quite candid about her new singing career:

"Put a woman in a bikini and she's sure to be a hit. The songs will therefore be shot in and around swimming pools and beaches for maximum erotic impact. Pubs and bars also lend themselves to romance and glamour and make for some really provocative sequences. With my experience in films, I certainly know how to shake a leg and audiences should get an eyeful."

Monday, December 15, 2003

GET INTO BRITNEYS PANTS, ETC: That odd company in the US which puts free CDs on the top of drinks cups has somehow got hold of Britney's outfit from the Me Against The Music video and is offering it as a prize. Remember, the kids, there's no hint of lesbianism in the video so even your local priest or vicar would approve of it. As ever, they never tell you if the item in question has been washed, which may frustrate your plans to use it to make some sort of very wrong soup.

We really hope it's won by a drag queen.

HARDLY FAIR, THAT: We're as worried about them there date-rape drugs as the next person, and we're no great fans of most of the sods who run Liverpool nightclubs, but is it really the responsibility of the licensee to ensure their customers don't have their drinks spiked? How about adding in to the letter currently going out from the City Council to clubowners that if people embark on shoddy relationships which start in their cluns they could lose their licences then, too? I'm sure there are very few clubs in Merseyside which would actively want their customers to be slipped a roiphie and taken off to be raped - if only because it'll eat into their bar profits - but are they really meant to provide a person to watch over every customer's glasses?

The Liverpool Echo says "the move will help to ease parents' fears when their children head into the city centre during the festive season", which would seem to suggest that Liverpool parents are very easily placated.

DOGG SUED: Doris Burns is suing Snoop Doggy Dogg after refusing to have simulated sex with him. Curiously, she'd turned up to act on some sort of television show he's involved in, and while she was happy to sit in her pants on his bed, didn't want to be filmed jerking him off. So, with judicious use of blurry screen, Dogg created the impression that she was doing it anyway and used that. It seems to me that everyone's a winner here - Dogg got the footage he wanted, Burns didn't have to touch his rancid penis, and everyone knows its TV and all made-up anyway. So what's the actual problem here? And what did an actress sent round for a part in Snoop's show expect to be doing, anyway? He's hardly likely to have been holding casting sessions for nuns and teachers.

THE COPYRIGHT BOARDS OF CANADA: Good news if you're Canadian: you're now free to download whatever the damn diddly doobery you wish, as your mighty nation has slapped a tax on portable MP3 players to allow the record companies to be rewarded for their work. Now, if we've been getting the Record Label's whines right all these years, the problem they have is with the people who make tracks available for download - that's what the court cases in the States have been targetting. So does this mean "I downloaded the tracks from a Canadian, where P2P file sharing is not illegal and, indeed, taxed" could become a legitimate defence?

HOW THE HELL WOULD HE WRAP IT, ANYWAY?: Pity Paul McCartney... he goes to all the trouble of sneaking out to record a rare Beatles song as a surprise Christmas present for Heather and the wee kiddie, and the Sun goes and spoils the surprise. We can imagine that for the next few days it's going to be tricky at Macca Towers:

- You swear you didn't see the Sun on Monday?
- No, Paul, why?
- Oh, no reason...

And then on Christmas Day, Heather's going to have to try and act surprised - "oh, wow, a Beatles song of my very own... " and try and act like she's thrilled that the richest man in the entire world hasn't bought her something like Berkshire but has instead just slapped together a song he must have written with someone else in mind over thirty years ago. And you thought giving your girlfriend ill-fitting crotchless panties was a bad idea...

BRITBATS: Of course, it would never have worked out between Britney Spears and Fred Durst - she's was too tough for him. While Dursty cancels his far Eastern tours and hides from the turrists under his My Little Pony duvet, Britney ploughs on through Korea and takes the whole of the Pacific Rim.

Meanwhile, she's denied that there was a 'lesbian vibe' in the Me Against The Music video - well, yeah, it had Madonna in it which squished any sort of sexual buzz out of the whole endeavour right away, so that goes without saying.


SANTA Maria braces again for pop star - Santa Maria Times, CA
Tracee Reynaud lives in Santa Maria, works as a nurse and loves pop singer Michael Jackson.

BET THEY WISH THEY'D BOOKED SINEAD, INSTEAD: It's always the same, you invite people round for a nice Christmas get together, and there's always one who spoils it for everyone else. Even at the Vatican, where Lauryn Hall broke off from doing stuff for an Italian TV Christmas Eve special to hurl abuse at the Catholic Church, saying that she'd not come to celebrate Christ's birth but to ask why his death isn't mourned (we're not theologians, but we think we have an answer for that) before going on to list the Chruch's failings (which, being the Catholic Church, took a while) and telling people to seek blessings "from God not men."

Organisers say it's "likely" her outburst will be cut from the televised version of the event, which is a pity, as it'd be certain to pull the viewers in. We're expecting the smell of copies of That Thing roasting on an open fire to start drifting northwards across the Alps by lunchtime.

THE REAL REASON FOR THE SUEDE SPLIT?: Apparently, Brett Anderson's moved to America and taken up High school wrestling:

Cary-Grove took a 7-0 lead before Kepp and 103-pounder Brett Anderson came back with pins. The difference came down C-GHS putting together back-to-back decisions followed by a trio of pinfall wins.

Although it sounds like he's put on some weight...

Sunday, December 14, 2003

FURTHER COMMENTS FROM ALAN C: It almost feels as if we're taking advantage of a man on a coffee high, but... here's a couple of pieces from Alan: First, in response to the Myleene Klass-ical stuff:

What exactly does "edgy" mean? And in what sense is the pop world "edgy"? Is she suggesting that the classical world gets some computers to work out the components of commercially-succesful products and endlessly reshuffle them into new units? Or does she have in her head someone saying "you know, I stopped on this channel to look at that girl's knickers and knockers, but I'm actually really starting to enjoy these Lieder"? As for the "composers are rock 'n' roll" angle, the best Myleene could do is to front a Ken Russell retrospective on Channel 5. Seriously.
(Also, I'm a bit fascinated by Bond)

and then, on downloads:

I'm excited about the ingenious approach Warp are planning for
where you pay a pound or whatever and you get a track. No DRM, no
restrictions, no package deals, no fuss, no muss. You know: it might catch

But can you really imagine the newly-merged SonyBMG people sleeping soundly knowing people might copy their tracks onto countless mix CDs?