Best use of the Muppets: Bonus Points

This was posted by Sound Advice friend Po Safe Beats in response to our previous statement regarding Muppets on the Internets (a statement we standby incidentally). Actually, this is pretty awesome too.

Watch Now: Bert & Ernie - "Ante Up"

I was not aware of that Toby Keith

From the out of left field desk comes the following. Truck salesman and Country Western singer Toby Keith, perhaps best known for his post-Sept. 11 song "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," says he's a Democrat, and furthermore that he was impressed by a certain senator from Illinois recently.

While promoting his new movie "Beer For My Horses" Mr. Keith was asked about the role of patriotism in the upcoming presidential election. He responded, "There's a big part of America that really believes that there is a war on terrorism, and that we need to finish up.

"So I thought it was beautiful the other day when Obama went to Afghanistan and got educated about Afghanistan and Iraq. He came back and said some really nice things.

"So as far as leadership and patriotism goes, I think it's really important that those things have to take place. And I think he's the best Democratic candidate we've had since Bill Clinton And that's coming from a Democrat." Did you feel your paradigm shift just then? Curiously, Keith did not play at the Democratic Party's National Convention that concluded Thursday.

Two songs here, Keith's and a comparable form of jingoism.

MP3: Toby Keith - "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue" (The Angry American)*

*seriously, that's the title

MP3: Team America: World Police - "America F*ck Yeah"


The Award for best use of the Muppets on the Internet goes to...

The internet is home to many wonders. Witness the wonders of this, this, and this. But after an extensive and exhaustive search, we at the Sound Advice Labs have finally found the best thing ever created on or for the internets.


There's also another, slightly less cool take here.
This should make up for our previous slight on the muppets.


Your 2008 NFL Playlist

Imagine if you will a movie devoid of a soundtrack. Or a child who has forgotten how to laugh. While certainly adequate without, we can agree that both these scenarios are missing something. They feel incomplete. And this is why music is so important. It serves to heighten emotion, add tension and/or suspense, or otherwise enhance an intimate moment. It's just not the same without it.

So clearly music an integral part of any gathering and nowhere is this more apparent than while attending or watching a sporting event. How else is a true believer to show his or her allegiance if not shrieking a familiar anthem at the top of his or her lungs? How is the other team to know we are the champions if we do not tell them through song? As the NFL season is upon us, it is essential to have a finely crafted playlist created for those trying and often thrilling times. Game on.

Your NFL Mini-Playlist

  1. "Renegade" - Styx
  2. "Blitzkrieg Bop" - The Ramones
  3. "Crazy Train" - Ozzy Osbourne
  4. "Hell's Bells" - AC/DC
  5. "Hammer to Fall" - Queen
  6. "Mama Said Knock You Out" - LL Cool J


China blocks iTunes over Tibet album

Apparently, the goodwill part of the goodwill games is in short supply as China has reportedly cut off access to iTunes. Apparently, Chinese officials received word that people were using Apple’s music service to download the The Art of Peace Foundation’s Songs for Tibet compilation, featuring tracks by Alanis Morissette, Sting, Moby and other artists.

According to the non profit foundation, album proceeds will support, “peace-related projects that are dear to the Dalai Lama” (read Free Tibet) and China doesn’t take to kindly to people trying to free anything, least of all their beloved Tibet.

Most upsetting for the powers that be was the announcement that over 40 athletes at the Olympic Games downloaded the compilation. Thus, the "Great Firewall of China" began restricting access to iTunes on Monday.

Some Chinese are upset with Apple’s involvement with the Free Tibet campaign, calling for an outright company boycott (iPhone included), and are seeking to prevent Sting, John Mayer, Dave Matthews, and nearly everyone else involved with the album from ever entering China.

Listen Now: Bob Marley and the Wailers - "Get Up Stand Up"

Pandora to go silent

This truly could be the day the music died...again. According to founder Tim Westergren, music genome project and recommendation service provider Pandora may have no choice but to close up shop because of high royalty fees. Despite an estimated one million daily listeners and a new iPhone application that attracts roughly 40,000 new customers per day, Pandora’s founder said in a recent Rolling Stone interview, “We’re approaching a pull-the-plug kind of decision. This is like a last stand for webcasting.”

Pandora's demise stems from last year's decision by a federal panel, the Copyright Royalty Board, that doubled the per-song performance royalty of tracks played on Internet radio stations. The board decided that the fee to play a music recording on Web radio should increase from 8/100 of a cent per song per listener to 19/100 of a cent per song per listener by 2010. Multiplied by the millions of songs in the catalogue and the thousands of listeners Pandora serves worldwide, this translates to roughly $17 million this year according to Westergren.

“I was on the bus when I get this message on my Treo,” Westergren tols the Washington Post. “I thought, ‘We’re dead.’ ” This year Pandora could lose 70 percent of its $25 million revenue made primarily through ads appearing on the site to royalty fees. Pandora is currently part of a negotiation between Webcasters and SoundExchange, who represents artists and record companies, to lower said fees.

Streaming radio stations such as Pandora are subject to per transmission fees while traditional radio stations do not pay any royalties. Satellite radio stations face a much smaller fee. On June 26th, 2007, thousands of Internet radio stations went silent to protest the higher fees.


What's on athlete's playlists?

MSNBC finds out what's on olympian ipods. Some very interesting selections.
Watch Now - "What's on Athlete's iPods?"

Olympic Playlist Winners

  1. Beyonce
  2. Eminem
  3. Lil Wayne - "I'm Me"
  4. Garth Brooks - "The River"


Jackson Browne sues John McCain

Singer Jackson Browne is suing U.S. presidential candidate John McCain for copyright infringement, accusing the presumptive Republican nominee of using the his hit "Running on Empty" in a campaign ad without permission.

On Thursday, Browne filed the complaint in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The suit also names the Republican National Committee and the Ohio Republican Party as defendants and includes a permanent injunction against further use of Browne's music and at least $75,000 in damages.

The campaign ad mocked Democratic rival and Illinois senator Barack Obama for suggesting that the nation conserve gasoline by properly inflating tires, with Browne's famous song, "Running on Empty," providing the soundtrack.

The suit claims the unauthorized use of the song is a copyright violation as well as a breach of the U.S. Lanham Act falsely implying that Browne is both associated with and personally endorses McCain for president.

Brian Rogers, a spokesperson for McCain's campaign, told Reuters news that the Arizona senator was unfairly targeted in the lawsuit because the ad was the work of the Ohio Republican Party.

"We had nothing to do with the creation or distribution of this ad whatsoever," Rogers told Reuters. "Mr. McCain's name should quite simply be removed from this lawsuit immediately."

Iser said the Republican Party of Ohio, "acted as an agent and in concert with Sen. McCain and the Republican National Committee" adding, "It certainly looks and smells like a McCain campaign piece,"

Though this is not the first incident of a song used without permission by a campaign, this issue is especially heated because Ohio is one of eleven so-called battleground states in the presidential race.

Iser said the ad, the Ohio Republican Party removed from the Internet in response to a cease-and-desist demand from Browne.

Listen Now: Jackon Browne - "I am a Patriot"