Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rosanne Cash Leads Rally for Music Artists' Rights

Had a great time with my friend Leah over the weekend at the concert/rally to support artists rights in the digital domain put on by the New York chapter of the Content Creators CoalitionRosanne Cash ended the set with an acoustic version of "Seven Year Ache" -- "What is so great about sleeping downtown?" -- which reminded me that that songs gets better every time I hear it.

 Tell me you're trying to cure a seven-year ache 
See what else your old heart can take 
The boys say, "When is he gonna give us some room?" 
The girls say, "God, I hope he comes back soon" ... 

The show also featured performances by Wesley Stace, Marc Ribot, Marcus Rojas’ Brass ensemble, Ava Mendoza, and Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori (of Cibo Matto), whose version of "Waters of March" I had just heard in a store and had me saying to myself, "What is this fun Japanese-sounding version of that song I know from Art Garfunkel's 'Breakaway'"? 

There were several impassioned speeches made -- you haven't lived till you've been in a roomful of New Yorkers when they find out Percy Sledge gets no performance royalty for "When a Man Loves a Woman," but Michael Bolton does! -- including Melvin Gibbs (above), who regaled the crowd with stories of his days in Defunkt and the Rollins Band. Afterwards, most of the crowd followed a ragtag marching band in a -- what else? -- march to Google headquarters on Eighth Avenue in Chelsea. (Via CCC: Google profits off piracy by brokering ads to pirate sites and making money off of material uploaded to YouTube without the artist's consent. Spotify's CEO Daniel Ek was former CEO of piracy facilitator uTorrent and is profitting off piracy by selling content for next to nothing.)

Leah and I got to briefly say hi to Rosanne outside Le Poisson Rouge, then bumped into one of my old New York Times colleagues -- I pointed out to Rose how the Internet had ruined my profession, too! -- who joined us for a sloppy afternoon of drinking.

To learn more about the cause and what you can do to help, please click HERE.

Suggested tweets you can send:

Hey there fans who buy fair-trade coffee! @Spotify is not fair trade: #thatsongwhen the artists you love are the exploited workers.

Unsustainable royalties kill off indie. Behold the future: #thatsongwhen stream only means mainstream #supportartistsrights

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