Wants to Dramatize Works of Persecuted Russian

Dear Rich: I have written a play in which I use the works of a Russian writer (in my translation)named Daniil Kharms (1905-1942). He wrote very short absurdist works, one-paragraph stories and the like, so I actually include several works in their entirety in the playscript. None of these works were published during his lifetime. (During his lifetime he only published two poems, plus many works for children, none of which I'm using.) I want to send the script for the play around to theaters without any questions about permissions hanging over it. I've looked at the Library of Congress website but question the value of ordering a search for so many short works. Kharms lived and died in Russia. (He died in a Leningrad prison during the siege of Leningrad. A friend hid and preserved his manuscripts.) He had no children; his wife died abroad in the late 1990s or early 2000s. There are various collections of his stories in English translation dating from the 1960s to the 1990s (on the copyright page of which, copyright notice is given for the translations; but not for the originals). There were two different Russian collections of Kharms's stories published in Germany in 1974 and 1978. In Russia itself, most or all of these works were not published until the late 1980s under Gorbachev. There is a "Complete Collected Works" in Russian which came out in 1998. Thanks for introducing us to the work of Mr. Kharms. We've reviewed the copyright notices for a few of the Kharms translations and can confirm that the copyright claims are only made to the translations and that there is no mention of a Kharms copyright or a license from anyone claiming to be the Kharms estate. For example, this copyright page from a British collection (Click Search Inside This Book and choose the copyright page) attributes authorship to Kharms, but that's all, apparently. For these reasons, we believe that currently Kharms' work qualifies as an orphan work, technically protected under U.S. Copyright but not enforced because the owner of rights can not be located. (That would explain the freedom with which translations have appeared.)
U.S. Public Domain. Hang on because things can get complex when analyzing the public domain. Here are few things to consider.

  • Unpublished works. On January 1, 2013, all unpublished works (whenever or wherever created) by authors who died in 1942 will fall into the public domain in the U.S. So, anything by Kharms that hasn't been published will be PD. 
  • Works Published Before January 1, 1978. The Russian collection of work published in Germany in 1974 would be protected for 95 years under U.S. Copyright provided that it had a valid copyright notice. 
  • Works Published After January 1, 1978. The Russian collection of work published in Germany in 1978 receives the same term of copyright as if published in the U.S. -- that is, life of the author plus 70 years. So, that also would be public domain in 2013.
Copyright Office Records. It's quite easy to search the Copyright Office Records and we recommend that you do so (choose to search by name and type in "Kharms Daniil"). Our search seems to confirm that there is no copyright claim by Kharms' successors (assuming he has any). By searching the records, you will see that there have been dramatizations and translations, none of which attribute copyright to Kharms, and none of which claim copyright over the original work (only over the translations and modifications).

Gaston Light - Peel


Gaston Light – Peel
2011, Idol Records
Dallas-born and based (by way of Los Angeles) Gaston Lightbrings a musical melting pot on his debut album, Peel.  Born Jason Corcoran,Gaston Light blends a musical melting pot of roots rock, country, soul, bluesand folk, while showing a surprising lyrically subtlety for a twenty-two yearold singer/songwriter.
Peel opens inprovocative fashion with “Athens, TX”, giving the account of a murder in thefirst person from the one who got away with it. The song is not as disturbing as it probably should be.  “Morning Fog” has a melancholy, sing-song airthat is aurally appealing, even if the vocal line is a bit flatenergy-wise.  The arrangement is nicelystructured, and the guitar work lends a full sound to the composition.  “Kiss The Hive” is intriguing; Gaston Lightuses an angular guitar sound to create an unsettled dynamic.  It’s unclear whether this is intentional, butit almost sounds as if he’s on to something sonically.  “In A Casket” shines from the middle of thealbum; it’s a great tune, albeit with an unusual premise.  It’s a catchy, roots rock number with someimpressive pedal steel work going on in the background, and light gives asurprising vocal turn that’s one of the highlights of the album.
Gaston Light works his way through numbers such as “HalfAwake”, “Close Your Good Eye” and “Crown”, while finding small moments in thecatchy fun of “Xanax Blues” and the sappy/sweet “I’ll Wait For You (Please WaitFor Me)”.  Light’s voice is pleasant tolisten to, but there is a passive quality to his vocal style that can beinterpreted as a real lack of energy or conviction.  It may just be Light mindfully working aroundhis own vocal limitations, but if so, it challenges him to raise the energylevel in the vocal lines in order to stay connected with listeners.  Musically, Peel is above average.  Lightshows a penchant for unusual sounds and construction while staying married totraditional song forms.  His ear isexcellent, as you’ll hear in the instrumental mixes woven into the seams ofeach song on Peel.  It’s safe to say that Gaston Light shows alot of promise, but is still figuring out where he fits musically.  Peel,however, is a solid start.
Rating: 3 Stars (Outof 5)
Learn more about Gaston Light at www.gastonlight.com or www.facebook.com/gastonlight. 
CD                              MP3              
        iTunes.

Please note that the Amazon.com prices listed above are as of the posting date, and may have changed.  Wildy's World is not responsible for price changes instituted by Amazon.com. 

Going Down Swinging

Happy Friday! Which has taken on a whole new meaning now that I'm employed.
I've decided to try my hand (har har) at boxing. By that, I mean I went to one class and my arms are noodles, but I loved it. It was so refreshing to get an upper-body workout and plus, boxing doubles as self-defense. I may make this official and spring for a pair of my own hand wraps. Have you ever tried boxing? What do you think of it?

Have a wonderful and crisp fall weekend!


[photo cred to Lonny magazine, via here]

Using Pop Songs in Videos

My daughter (age 16) and her friends regularly make films and incorporate songs. How hard is it to get releases from established artists like the Rolling Stones, Hoobestank, Katy Perry etc,, particularly if the films are already done?It would be relatively difficult to obtain permission to use recorded pop songs on your daughter’s videos. There are two copyrights at issue and each requires permission. As we've discussed before, you would need a sync right from the music publishers (owners of the composition) and what's sometimes called a master use license from the record companies (owners of the sound recordings). We doubt whether it would be worth the time to go about attempting to do this, and even if you could get in contact, the fees would likely be prohibitive.
A different approach. Let’s start with another question: What does your daughter plan to do with these videos? If she wants to share them with friends and have limited private showings, there probably wouldn’t be an issue especially because the copyright owners would never learn of the use. If she intends to place the videos on YouTube, one of three things could happen: (1) nothing, (2) the song owner would issue a DMCA notice, in which case the video would be removed by YouTube (unless you fought over the issue based on a fair use claim -- see below), or (3) YouTube would flag the video, send you an email stating that it thinks you're using unauthorized music and then run ads along with the video (which is what happened when the Dear Rich Staff posted a video with one of its favorite 80’s pop songs). By the way, the person you can thank for the latter alternative is probably Stephanie Lenz who posted a 29-second YouTube video of her kids dancing to “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince and then, by challenging the DMCA notice -- because the label failed to consider fair use -- she made it more difficult for labels to send out DMCA notices.

DISCOUNT AT LIMELIGHT.The folks at Limelight, the mechanical licensing utility, are offering a 15% discount on mechanical licenses. If you want to check it out, the company has a special discount code: THANKSRICH15. The 15% discount is good through the end of October, 2011 (and no, FTC, we don't get compensated.)

Melissa Ferrick - Still Right Here


Melissa Ferrick –Still Right Here
2011, MPress Records
Melissa Ferrick is at it again, criss-crossing the countryon tour in support of her latest release, StillRight Here.  An enigma in the rockand roll world when she first started out, Ferrick has kept the Indie lightburning throughout her career, refusing to give in to the mores of major labelmadness.  Still Right Here is about what you would expect for Ferrick,well-written songs full of great lyrics and an understated storyteller’spanache.
Ferrick gets things started with the title track.  “Still Right Here” is a catchy little numberwith great pop sensibility about facing the reality of yourself and who youare.  Kaki King sits in on “Headphones On”,an ode to overcoming life’s difficulties through music.  Ferrick shares the great, swaying feel of “YouLet Me Be” with none other than Ani DiFranco in a highly enjoyable duet thatcould play just as easily as a love song or a friends song.  “Seconds Like These” is catchy, with a solidchorus.  It’s a paean to making the mostout of life.  Ferrick’s songwriting issolid on “One Of A Kind”, finding a rough-hewn, open sound that fits her voice very well.  It’s a great listen with a positive message.
Regret is the theme of “Checking In”; a retrospective on arelationship past that tries to understand what was lost with an air ofcautious indifference and a deep-seated hope for renewal.  The vulnerability here is palpable; castbehind a thinly veiled sheen of intellectual curiosity.  The genius of this song is the utter humanimperfection and honesty of the lyrics.  “IWill Back You Up” is a pragmatic love song. With great writing and a memorable melody, Ferrick creates one of herbest tunes to date while dancing on the line between her more mature works andan almost Indigo Girls-like sound. Ferrick wraps up with the gorgeous contemplation of fall and winter inthe Northeast, “This Time Of Year”. There is no complexity here, just a simple love for the land and theseason that is stunning in its unadulterated beauty.
There was a time, back in the mid-1990’s, when MelissaFerrick was hailed as the next Melissa Etheridge.  Yet she has proved over time that suchmedia-attributed expectations truly can be overcome.  Ferrick has grown considerably over the years,developing into a finely nuanced songwriter who can still pick up a guitar androck your socks off when the mood strikes her. Ferrick has grown more contemplative over the years, zeroing in on adeeper understanding of the world around her through song, but the energy thatruns through her songs hasn’t changed. While “Still Right Here” perhaps doesn’t capture quite the magic thatFerrick managed on 2008’s GoodbyeYouth, it’s not far off the mark. The songwriting is solid-to-excellent throughout, and Ferrick just keepsgetting better over time as a performer. Still Right Here is a worthyeffort.
Rating: 4 Stars(Out of 5)
Learn more about Melissa Ferrick at www.melissaferrick.com or www.myspace.com/melissaferrick.  StillRight Here is available as a CDor Download.  The album is also available via iTunes.

Paying More, Not Less, for Patent Filing


Dear Rich: I waited until after the new patent law passed to file aprovisional patent application I wanted the newmicro-entity fees to go into effect. But when I went to pay, yesterday, I wasn’t given a choice for micro-entity, only small entity. Iended up paying more to file than before the law was passed.  Your timeline for the patent law says thatthe micro entity fees go into effect immediately. What’s going on? Welcome topatent ‘reform.’ Our timeline is correct. Section 10 of  the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act establishes that the new micro entity fees will go into effect immediately upon enactment (September 16, 2011). Alas, patent filers who sought to takeadvantage of the reduced micro entity fees -- for example, the fee for filing a provisional patent application would beapproximately $62 – were out of luck. The USPTO issued a press releaseexplaining the delay and provided no date for implementation (although some sources claim that the USPTO will not make micro entity feesavailable until 2013).
Why did you pay more? The law also establishes that a 15% fee increase goes into effect 10 days after enactment (September 26, 2011). Apparently, the USPTO had no problem implementing fee increases and a new fee schedule was rolled out on time. As a result, independent inventors like yourself are actually paying $15 more to file aprovisional patent application than before the law was "reformed."
P.S. Wondering what qualifies as a micro entity and how it differs from a small entity? Here's an explanation

Schoolgirl Twist

Peter Pan collars never fail to remind me of my whopping twelve years as a Catholic schoolgirl. I haven't gone near them since then, as they're not exactly flattering. Plus, after those twelve years, I never want to see a plaid skirt or knee socks or, of course, button down shirts with Peter Pan collars ever again. But this season, designers have gone a different route:

However, Peter Pan necklaces reimagined in tough metals? That's more edgy than schoolgirl savvy. The collared blouses themselves were all over the Fall/Winter 2011 runways, but so were the necklaces. And I love them. They're so versatile and can dress up a scoopneck tee in an instant (stay away from v-necks, however). They'd even look great worn over an actual collared blouse. I'd want to try it over something sheer and polka-dotted, in an uncomplicated black and white palette.

Here are my favorite ones:

Chanel, on the left, is light years out of my budget (duh), but the silver number is handcrafted and the perfect way to jazz up an otherwise simple ensemble.

[photo cred here and there]

Paul McCartney - Ocean's Kingdom


Paul McCartney –Ocean’s Kingdom
2011, 2011 MPL Communications/HEAR Music
If you are Sir Paul McCartney, you can do pretty muchanything you want musically.  He’scertainly earned the right over the years, from his early work with The Beatlesthrough a long and storied solo career (on his own and with Wings).  In recent years McCartney has turned hisimpressive ear to classical music with increasing success.  On September 22, 2011, McCartney’s Ocean’s Kingdom, opened with the NewYork City Ballet.  Written without thestrictures of formal ballet style, McCartney nevertheless managed to create aviable work writing from the heart. McCartney created an undersea world, telling a love story against thebackdrop of a world threatened by human expansion and carelessness.  Ocean’sKingdom is set for wide release on October 4, 2011.
Comprised of four movements, Ocean’s Kingdom shows an emotional and narrative breadth that issurprising.  Movement I: “Ocean’s Kingdom”,starts is muted, peaceful tunes, setting the scene of an undersea world ofbeauty.  McCartney uses a long, slowbuild in both intensity and complexity to set the stage for the struggle forlife that lies at the heart of the story. The movement rises to majestic heights before residing a bit and movinginto Movement II: “Hall Of Dance”; the latter alternates between lilting, jauntymini-movements and lyric forms full of distinctive beauty.  McCartney creates some “Wow” moments here,and seems to understand the heart of the dance better than you mightexpect.  The movement closes in dark,distressful tones, implying a tirade or a tragedy.
Movement III: “Imprisonment” begins, surprisingly, incontemplative, peaceful tones.  Judgmentand hardship build through the use of horns into an emotional and pervasivedarkness.  All the while, woodwinds tryto spread the light that holds back the storm. This juxtaposition becomes a wonderful, if understated dance; acall-and-response style between the darkness and the light that isintriguing.  McCartney builds through themovement to grand themes reminiscent of some of John Williams’ finest filmscore works.  Movement IV: “Moonrise” isvibrant and active; almost violent at times. The movement begins with a grand struggle, musically, but resolves intheatrical style, with the herald of trumpets. The celebration grows to full orchestra, bringing out various voices inthe process.
Paul McCartney really can do anything, Sir or not.  If anyone questioned the validity ofMcCartney’s BRIT Award for Classical Album for 2006’s Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart)”, the jury is in.  It was not a fluke.  Ocean’sKingdom is quite literally, worthy of a world premiere with the New YorkCity Ballet.  Whether or not you buy intothe environmentalist apocalyptica that seems to be prevalent in pop culturethese days, it is an impressive work that is artfully crafted.  A succinct and well told story invested withdeep emotion, and a melodic enterprise that perhaps only McCartney himselfcould craft.  This is the real deal.
Rating: 4 Stars (Outof 5)
Learn more about Paul McCartney at www.paulmccartney.com.  Ocean’sKingdom drops on October 4, 2011. The album is available for pre-order from Amazon.com as a CD,on Vinylor as a Download.  The New York City Ballet will perform Ocean's Kindgom again on September 29, 2011, and again for five dates in January of 2012.  Ticket information is available here.

Can't Find Copyright Owner: What Do You Do?

Dear Rich: If one has tried and failed to locate the copyright holder of an image or if they no longer are in business or are unknown to the author (myself), is it sufficient to use a disclaimer such as "All reasonable attempts have been made to contact the copyright holders of all images," and perhaps "You are invited to contact ____ if your image was used without identification or acknowledgment." We recently watched an excellent Vidal Sassoon documentary and at the end was a similar statement – something to the effect of “For those photographers whose images we used without permission, we tried to find you and couldn’t and thank you for your wonderful contributions.” Orphan works. What you're dealing with is an “orphan work” --- one that is still protected under copyright but whose owner is missing in action and there's nobody to contact for permission. (There was an attempt to legislate rights for orphan works a few years ago but sadly that failed.) A disclaimer like this won’t relieve you of a claim for infringement but it could go a long way towards limiting your damages if (1) somebody appears out of the woodwork to chase you, and (2) you can demonstrate you made a reasonable good faith to search for the owner. A typical good faith search would include an Internet search and a search of the Copyright Office records.

Video: Erin Hill & Her Psychedelic Harp - Giant Mushrooms

No.  You've never seen anything quite like this.  Just watch.


Part Milla Jovovich, part Tori Amos, and part Deborah Henson-Conant.  Wild.

Learn more at www.erinhill.com.

Everclear - Return To Santa Monica


Everclear – Return ToSanta Monica
2011, Cleopatra Records


Through it all, Art Alexakis just keeps going. His band, Everclear is on its third lineup, with the only originalremaining member being Alexakis himself. The Portland, Oregon band, formed in 1992, were darlings of the alternativerock scene throughout the 1990’s, leaders of the pop-based rock response to thegrunge sound coming out of Seattle. There has been a trend in the last few years of bands re-recording theirhits, as aging acts separate from the major label apparatus have found a way toregain control of their catalog for licensing. Everclear jumps on the bandwagon today with Return To Santa Monica.

The up side to such a move is it improves a band’s ability to generate income;for fans it can be an opportunity to hear a fresher version of a favorite hitor three.  Everclear does right by thefans with Return To Santa Monica,offering up a nearly live sounding collection of reborn hits from theircatalog.  “Santa Monica”, “I Will Buy YouA New Life”, “Father Of Mine” and “AM Radio” are particularly vibrant.  “Unemployed Boyfriend” seems even better thanit did the first time around, though whether this is due to a change in therendition or a change in the times it uncertain.  Everclear rounds out the remakes with “Wonderful”and “Everything To Everyone”.

Perhaps the biggest treats for fans, however, are the cover songs spreadthroughout the album.  The remake of TomPetty’s “I Won’t Back Down” is classic, and Steve Miller’s “The Joker” gets anew look.  Death Cab For Cuties “I WillFollow You Out Of The Dark” is among the highlights on the disc, as is theclosing number, Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl”.  The only misfire on the entire album is asomewhat messy cover of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”, which Alexakismuddles his way through on, showing neither the vocal range nor (here, atleast) the sense of personality to pull this tune off.

These sorts of collections are as much for financial gain of the artist (asopposed to a label) as they are for fans. Sometimes such collections can be ill-gotten nightmares, but Everclearmanages to pull the whole thing off with a bit of panache.  The album plays like an intimate live show,with even the production values bending in that direction.  So instead of a boring retread of hits andcovers you know, listeners get a quality, live-in-studio set of songs that willhave you tapping your toes and remembering the 1990’s fondly.

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Everclear at www.everclearonline.comor on Facebook. 
           CD                        Download
                   iTunes.

Neat Or Naughty

Are you neat...or not? I line up my pencils and have everything in my room just so, whether it be parallel or color-coordinated or arranged in height order. Ever since I've moved to NYC, though, my apartment is so clean that it looks sterile. I kind of want to leave a drawer open and scatter jewelry across my hybrid desk/dresser. On the other hand, I wouldn't be able to sleep if my perfumes weren't arranged by their top notes. (Yep). (Top notes). (Yep).

What would you suggest? I can't decide whether I want to turn my room into a really pretty, feminine pigsty or leave it the way it is and paint the wall or something.


[photo cred here and there]

Candice Night - Reflections


Candice Night –Reflections
2011, Minstrel Hall Music
All she asked for was an autograph.
Candice Night started out as a model.  The Hauppauge, Long Island (New York) nativetransitioned to radio in her twenties; seeming destined for a career incommunications.  In 1989 she approachedrock legend Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple, Rainbow) for an autograph.  It wasn’t long before she was singing backupfor Deep Purple on tour.  Now married toBlackmore, Candice Night is the lead singer of Blackmore’s Night.  Candice Night is not just the beneficiary ofgood fortune; however, she is a serious vocalist who has also performed withthe likes of Sass Jordan, Glenn Hughes and Beto Velazquez.  Night strikes out on her own this week with Reflections, a collection of ten powerether rock songs that show off her voice in fine fashion.
Night’s voice is highly trained, a fact that becomes quicklyevident on the opening track, “Wind Is Calling (Hush The Wind)”.  Night mixes hard pallet sounds with a softtone in unusual and intriguing fashion. The melody is utterly memorable, built within a well-constructedarrangement that’s part lullaby and part fairytale.  “Gone Gone Gone” is a high-energy, vocaldriven rocker with a catchy chorus.  Thisone could be a breakout hit with the right push and the right luck.  “Black Roses” is pretty and haunting; darkbut with a sparkle of light in the middle. Night gets ethereal on “Now And Then”, before dancing into the mid-tempo(but catchy) “Dangerous Smile”, playing on the edge of innuendo.
“For You” has a dark, indigenous feel; playing on Celticthemes drawn from deep in Aerie.  It’s agorgeous melody that will haunt you even after the album is done.  Night coasts through “Call It Love” and “RobinRed Breast”, but rouses listeners with the baroque and Mediterranean strains of“Alone With Fate”.  Dark in tone andtimbre, the song springs to life with an inner glow that’s part melody, partenergy, and largely Night’s voice.  Reflections winds down with an orchestralfinale in the form of “In Time”.  It’s asolid end, but somehow it doesn’t seem right to say goodbye without one lastutterance from Night.
Reflections is asuccessful collection of songs that perhaps don’t exactly fit within theBlackmore’s Night songbook, but are perfectly fitting to Candice Night’s voiceand style.  There are a couple of downmoments her, but on the whole the album is entertaining and worth spending sometime with.  Night does the ethereal andlyric stuff so well, but she is surprisingly good when she lifts her face intothe headwinds of rock and roll and lets loose as well.  Reflectionsis a worthwhile trip.
Rating: 3.5 Stars(Out of 5)
Learn more about Candice Night at www.candicenight.com or www.myspace.com/candicenight.  Reflections drops today digitally, with the CD released on October 11, 2011.  The album is available from Amazon.com as a CD(as a pre-order) or Download.  The album is also available via iTunes.

Can Rangoli Be Protected By Copyright?

Dear Rich: I am working on a children's book that explains how to do a type of folk art known as Rangoli. Rangoli is very popular and is made by millions of people all throughout India. The nature of this type of art, which has been practiced for many years, is that there are extreme similarities in the designs that people create, and designs are also passed on so that they are perpetually duplicated. As I research this topic, I find that people claim to have a copyright to designs they post on their websites even though some of them are clearly duplicates with the only difference being a slight change – either in the design or the color scheme, or possibly none at all. So, my questions are: (1) Can people claim a copyright to those designs that were clearly derived from other people’s work? What happens if there are designs in my book that fall in this same category? (2) What happens if, in the creative process, you inadvertently duplicate a design someone made of which you are completely unaware? Is there anything that can protect you in this instance? (3) How can anyone truly claim a copyright to art that has been duplicated by so many people for so many years? How do I protect myself? Rangoli artists often share elements -- for example, lotus flowers and leaves, swans and parrots, and certain human imagery. Many times these elements are copied and re-arranged and other times, an artist may create unique elements by hand, without copying. When elements are original, the copyright can be claimed by the artist. When elements are in the public domain -- taken from much older works -- a derivative copyright can be claimed as to the manner in which the elements are re-arranged and as to new elements that are added. But the less modification that is made to public domain elements, the thinner (and less enforceable) the copyright. In other words, the degree of originality matters when seeking to enforce rights over a traditional Rangoli work.
If you copy. If you reproduce someone's original work, or derivative designs over which people claim copyright, then the owner may pursue you in court. That's provided that the owner can register the work, convince a court that it is protectible, and that your use does not constitute fair use. That may be an uphill battle for some Rangoli creators, and not so difficult for some others.
Inadvertent duplication. As for Question #2, if you inadvertently duplicate a Rangoli work -- that is, you create it independently without copying --  then you would not be liable for copyright infringement.  As long as you can prove you didn't copy and you created something independently, there is no infringement.
Bottom line. We think there are so many centuries of Rangoli art available, and so you should be able to safely include older public domain Ragnoli works. If you want to reproduce a work and you're unsure of whether it's protected, our suggestion is to keep the image as small as possible as the trend lately has been to permit thumbnail usage of artwork as a fair use. Finally, avoid copying and reproducing large groups of Rangoli from websites. That's because some Rangoli collections may qualify as a compilation copyright which protects the choice and order of the collection but not the individual works.

Hannah Miller - O Black River


Hannah Miller – O BlackRiver
2011, Hannah Miller Music
Alabama –born Nashville transplant (by way of Columbia, SouthCarolina), Hannah Miller sings the soul of the Deep South.  Compared to artists such as Neko Case, Feist,Liz Phair and Basia Bulat, Miller sings with a deep-rooted authenticity thatsimply can’t be bought.  Her songwritingis as organic as her voice.  Miller’slatest effort, O Black River¸ is a six-song set due out onSeptember 27, 2011.  It is among her mostaccomplished works to date.
O Black Riveropens with the title track, a melancholy revivalist hymn to the water.  Miller brings out the dark beauty of humansuffering with a voice that is smoky and lush; this is a great start.  “To The Swift” is a slinky, bluesy turn; asong of self-searching with an entrancing vocal line.  “Bleed Out” is a low-key diary-style numberthat shows off Miller’s impressive voice. On “Foolish Pride” is a darkly private affair, showing off a distinctivevulnerability, followed by a surprising and somehow not contradictory core ofstrength.  “Elijah” is the star of theEP, a wonderfully written number with an unforgettable chorus.  Miller shows off a sparkling pop sensibilitywoven into the seams of the supple folk/Americana arrangement.  This is a Wow moment.  Miller closes with “Refuge”, a gorgeous lovesong that blends the elements of folk with the soul and groove of classicR&B.
Hannah Miller is an absolute breath of fresh air.  A one-of-a-kind voice; songwriting sprungfrom the roots of the Deep South, and a subtle pop sensibility running throughit all that keeps everything fresh.  O Black River is going to get Millersome serious attention.
Rating: 4.5 Stars(Out of 5)
Learn more about Hannah Miller at www.hannahmillermusic.com or www.myspace.com/hannahmiller.  O BlackRiver is available digitally from Amazon.com.

At First Blush

There's a new makeup trend. I find these things out while I'm working. When I say "working," I usually mean painting my nails for a mini photo shoot or getting my eyelashes dipped in something or other. Sometimes, "working" means writing. I understand if someone wants to reach their arm through the computer and cyber-slap me.

Anyway, as I was saying: new makeup trend. Blush is on the up and up—literally. It's gone from the apples of the cheeks to the cheekbones and now, to the temples. Here's a prime example:

Pretty? Yes. Easy to pull off? No. Depending on placement and saturation, blush at the temples can have a sickly effect. Worst case scenario, it resembles a rough case of pink eye. Which is neither cute nor comfortable.

However, a few tweaks make it surprisingly easy to try in real life. Just keep a few things in mind: don't wear eyeshadow. At this height, blush does double-duty as rouge and eyeshadow. Secondly, try sweeping it from the cheekbones to the temples, as shown below. That way, you get the best of both worlds. Lastly, commit. A wimpy patch of pink is going to look exactly that: wimpy. Here, the perfect real-world execution of this trend:
Would you be game to try? Or is it too over-the-top?


[photo cred here and there]

Video: Alexa Wilding - Black Diamond Day

New York City based singer/songwriter Alexa Wilding is going to knock your socks off.  With a her first full length album coming in 2012, Wilding unleashed the video for "Black Diamond Day" upon the world recently.  A veteran of films and runway shows for IVANAHelsinki, Wilding seems destined for great things.


Learn more about Alexa Wilding at www.alexawilding.com or www.myspace.com/alexawilding.

The Skaggs Family – A Skaggs Family Christmas, Volume 2


The Skaggs Family – ASkaggs Family Christmas, Volume 2
2011, Skaggs Family Records
Ricky Skaggs is a known talent.  His 14 GRAMMY Awards and 11 IBMA Awards are atestament to long-term excellence.  Thetalent doesn’t stop with Skaggs, alone, however.  The Skaggs Family as a whole is extremelytalented, blending country, bluegrass and old-school southern gospel stylesinto a mélange that is musical comfort food. Their latest effort, A SkaggsFamily Christmas, Volume 2, is due on September 27, 2011.

The album plays like an old-time gospel radio show withbluegrass style in its roots.  The instrumentalwork on A Skaggs Family Christmas, Volume2, is exquisitely crafted; the vocals are down-home, yet pristine.  The Skaggs get things started with “ChristmasTimes A Coming”, a folksy, bluegrass Christmas anthem that gets everythinggoing on a traditionalist slant that’s appealing.  “Light Of The Stable” is a musicalcelebration of the birth of Jesus in pure southern gospel style.  “The First Noel” is offered up in a gorgeous,acappella arrangement with full harmonies. “What Songs Were Sung” is absolutely inspired, a simple-yet-powerfulanthem about the first Christmas


“Silent Night” is offered in classic mixolydian style; anarrangement not dissimilar the classic hymn style used in churches for years.  The Skaggs family breaks into an impressiveinstrumental on “Flight To Egypt”, reminding listeners that it’s not necessaryto rely on repetitive forms in order to speak through your instrument.  “Reunion Song” is a revivalist tune, amusical coming together centered on Christmas Day and the birth of Jesus.  The traditional spiritual “Children Go” isfull of life, mixing southern gospel and country styles quiteconvincingly.  The album closes with acontemplative and simple, yet gorgeous arrangement of “Oh Come, Oh ComeEmmanuel”, followed by an orchestral take on “Joy To The World”.
You know when you see the Skaggs name on something musicalit’s going to be good.  Whether it’s hissolo albums, work with Kentucky Thunder, The Skaggs family as a whole, or evensome of the peripheral projects of individual family members such as Songs OfWater.   A Skaggs Family Christmas, Volume 2 is worth spending some timewith.  The album is well-produced, themusic sounding as perfect for a concert hall stage or the back porch as afamily holiday party.  The 16-song DVDthat accompanies the package is also a gem, a full concert featuring songs onthe CD and additional tracks that couldn’t be included.  The entire affair is a breath of freshholiday air.

Rating: 4 Stars(Out of 5)
Learn more about the Skaggs Family at www.skaggsfamilyrecords.com.  ASkaggs Family Christmas, Volume 2 is available for pre-order at the abovewebsite.  The album is also available forpre-order through Amazon.com as a CDor Download.

Video: Glenn Colton - Anti-Bully Song

We've covered works from Children's artist Glenn Colton in the past.  He recently released a video with an anti-bullying theme; apropos considering recent events.  Check it out here today:


Learn more about Glenn Colton at www.glenncolton.com, where you can also order from his catalogue of CDs, DVDs and books.

Barenaked Ladies - Hits From Yesterday & The Day Before


Barenaked Ladies – Hits From Yesterday And The Day Before
2011, Rhino Records
It takes some moxie to last in the music business for twentyyears.  It takes real chutzpah to notonly survive chart-topping single and still be making music more than a dozenyears later in spite of losing a principal songwriter and vocalist, But aboveall it takes talent; something the four remaining members of Barenaked Ladieshave never run short of.  On September27, 2011, Rhino Records will release HitsFrom Yesterday And The Day Before, Barenaked Ladies second greatest hitscollection.  This career-spanningcollection will seem mostly redundant if you already own Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits, but will be an ideal startingplace for new fans.
Cited by no less than Sir Paul McCartney as one of the mostinteresting bands in rock and roll today, Barenaked Ladies have long blended asingular musical talent with a nerd-rock aura and boundless energy.  The divorce of co-founder Steven Page fromthe band in 2009 might have meant the end for some bands, but Ed Robertson(vocals/guitar), Kevin Hearn (vocals/keys), Jim Creeggan (bass/vocals) andTyler Stewart (drums/vocals) set their eyes upon the future and have refused tolook back.  Hits From Yesterday And The Day Before closes the book on the firsttwo decades of Barenaked Ladies, and shows a marked development of sound, styleand maturity over the years.
Classic Barenaked Ladies hits are featured mostly in theiroriginal, recorded forms.  Songs such as “IfI Had $1,000,000, “Brian Wilson (live)”, “The Old Apartment” and “One Week”, aswell as moderately successful radio singles such as “Pinch Me”. “AnotherPostcard” and “It’s All Been Done”.  Verylittle representation is given to the last three BNL Albums (Barenaked Ladies Are Me, Barenaked LadiesAre Men, All In Good Time), most likely due to these albums being releasedindependently by the band, whereas Rhino owns the rights to much of thematerial presented here.  The only trackhere not previously available on CD is the full version of the “Big Bang TheoryTheme”, which mixes Robertson’s sometimes frenetic talk/sing style and classicBNL kitsch. 
If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Barenaked Ladies fan, then Hits From Yesterday And The Day Beforeisn’t likely to hold much appeal.  You’regoing to have all of the tracks here already. But for new fans just acquainting themselves with the band, it’s atremendous collection-as-introduction. What’s more intriguing, and somehow still secretive, is the deluxeedition of the greatest hits collection, also supposedly due on September 27,2011.  Stop Us If You’ve Heard This One Before is rumored to be a two-discset that includes the greatest hits disc plus a second disc of never beforeheard songs.  No track list has beenpublished to date, and no listing has yet to appear on major retailers such asAmazon, Target, Walmart, FYE, CDPlus or CDUniverse.  This is the collection that will cause longtime fans to open their wallets. 
In the end, Hits FromYesterday And The Day Before is a solid collection for beginners, butprobably not worth shelling out the money for if you already own several BNLalbums.  The “Big Bang Theory Theme” iscertainly worth hearing, but isn’t enough of an upgrade, in itself, over Disc One to make it essential.  Stop UsIf You’ve Heard This One Before, if it makes it to market, will be a musthave for all the die-hard fans out there.
Rating: 3.5 Stars (Outof 5)

(Note: In this case, the rating is more of thecollection than the music thereon.  Therejust wasn’t enough new material here to justify a second greatest hits package,but the music itself is fabulous.)

Learn more about Barenaked Ladies at www.barenakedladies.com or www.myspace.com/barenakedladies.  HitsFrom Yesterday And The Day Before is available for pre-order via Amazon.comboth on CDand as a Download.  Preorders are also available via iTunes.

Be sure to check out the new video for the "Big Bang Theory Theme", featuring members of the cast of the show!

Rights to Perform Show Tunes

Dear Rich: I represent some members of a theater musicians organization. My question is about transcribing theater numbers from a CD, andperforming them in public. Do we have to pay any copyright fees to anyone? Dowe have to pay the  Tams-Witmark peoplewho own the rights to the music? Actually, the Tams-Witmark company doesn't own the musical performance rights to musicals; they control what are known as "grand rights," which refer to the permissions necessary to stage an opera, play with music, or a work ofmusical theater. So, you need to consult Tams-Witmark if you are putting on the show, but not if you are only performing songs from a show -- for example, playing songs from The Wiz, Wicked or West Side Story.
BMI and ASCAP. Performance rights organizations such as BMI and ASCAP collect for such performances by charging venues with an annual blanket fee. So the venue ends up paying for it, not the musicians. The business of transcribing the music may technically require permission, but it is unlikely anyone will chase you for writing out the chord changes and melody of a song unless you attempt to sell these transcriptions.
The Name's Laguardia. Can you believe that there was once a hit broadway show about Fiorello LaGuardia and it won the Tony and Pulitzer Prize? The Dear Rich Staff remembers it fondly (probably because we had the lead in one high school performance).

Laura Roppé - I'm Still Here (Video)

Laura Roppé's story is an inspiring one. From setting asidea successful career as a corporate lawyer to pursue her dream of making musicto surviving triple negative breast cancer, Roppé doesn't so much live life asconquer it. With a memoir, Rocking ThePink, due in 2012, and two successful albums behind her, Roppécontinues to create. Her latest video, "I'm Still Here", documents asong she wrote during chemotherapy, and shows the resilience and strength thatseems to underscore everything she does.
Check it out:


Check out our reviews of Roppé's albums I'mStill Here and Girl Like This, and be sure to visit www.lauraRoppé.com, where you can purchaseboth albums on CD. You can also purchase Roppé's music in multiple formats fromAmazon.com,and digitally from iTunes.

Roppé’s memoir, RockingThe Pink:  Finding My Rock Star Self OnThe Other Side Of Cancer, will be released on March 6, 2012.  Pre-orders are available via Amazon.com.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You


Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You
2011, Warner Bros.

Time brings change to the Red HotChili Peppers on their latest studio effort, I'm With You. The follow-upto 2006's iconic double album, Stadium Arcadium is the band's mostplayful and flowing work to date. Armed with a new guitarist and a freshoutlook born of time away and maturity, Red Hot Chili Peppers aim straight forthe top of the charts with fresh songs that haven't lost an ounce of edge orpop sensibility.

I'm With You opens with an intriguing mix of edgy guitar and dance beatson "Monarchy Of Roses" before exploding into the alt-pop gold of"Factory Of Faith". This is classic RHCP updated for 2011, anddestined to be a chart hit. "Ethiopia" is built on a simple, catchyarrangement and features some of the best guitar work on the album. The Chili’suse their patented talk/sing style to illuminate “Look Around”, a catchy,minimalist arrangement that will stick out in your mind.  Plowing through the exceedingly solid numbers“The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie” and “Did I Let You Know”, RHCP digs into “GoodbyeHooray”, an absolutely infectious alternapop number that you’re likely to hearringing from your radio in the not-too-distant future.  “Police Station” is expansive and dreamy,ethereal in intriguing fashion.  It’s aninteresting transitional piece for the band, and works better than you might atfirst expect. I’m With You winds downslowly, closing out with the mildly catchy “Dance, Dance, Dance”. 

Red Hot Chili Peppers capture someof their old magic on I’m With You,but also struggle at times to find a groove. The “new sound” isn’t so much new as updated, but some of the creative tensionof past works isn’t here.  That may taketime to appear, or it may never cement the way it once was, but this remains ahighly talented group of musicians who are still very capable of rocking youwith a distinct pop intensity.  I’m With You shows growth and change,while maintain some of the zeitgeist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers story.

Rating:3 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Red Hot ChiliPeppers at www.redhotchilipeppers.comor www.myspace.com/redhotchilipeppers.I’m With You is available fromAmazon.com as a CDor Download.  The album is also available via iTunes.

Other Blog :)

its more about Interior Design, 
something that really inspires me aside from fashion :)

Can You Be Sued Over What's in Your Digital Music Locker?

Dear Rich: Can a music service like Amazon's Cloud delete tunes that I upload? Cloud services or "music locker" services can (and are obligated) to delete infringing copies of music if requested to do so by a copyright owner. At least that's the position taken recently by the district court in Capitol Records v. MP3Tunes LLC.
Backstory. MP3Tunes offered a cloud based service in which people could purchase songs and place them in their digital music lockers, or they could upload songs they owned, or they could search for versions of the songs they owned online (including unauthorized versions).
MP3Tunes received DMCA notices from record labels and removed user links to the infringing songs but the company failed to delete the infringing copies from the user's music locker.
Here comes da' judge. The district court ruled against MP3Tunes for failing to remove the infringing content from user's music lockers, although that ruling was considered a "hollow victory" for the labels because the judge refused to grant the label's request to remove "MP3Tunes' safe harbor exemption. As long as MP3Tunes removed links to infringing material and deleted infringing content as requested by the copyright owner, the company could take advantage of the DMCA's so-called safe harbor.
Rock Me Amadeus. We hope you're not downloading unauthorized Falco recordings. We got in a nostalgic mood the other day and Spotified some great Falco tunes. Funny thing, Falco doesn't sound nostalgic at all. So sad he's gone. (And don't forget one of our favorite-ist Falco lyrics.)

The Blisterz - Rebels Without Applause


The Blisterz - Rebels WithoutApplause
2011, Chickenstock Records

Albany, NY power-punk trio TheBlisterz look to unleash their blend of chaos, charisma and power chords in thekey of G on an unsuspecting world with their sophomore effort, RebelsWithout Applause. Davey Blister (vocals/guitar); Drew "Blood"Blister (bass) and Vinny Blister (drums) smash and bash their way throughfourteen dynamic punk-rockers on the follow-up to their 2007 debut, Who'sLaughing Now? With a penchant for three chord anthems and moderatesocio-political commentary, The Blisterz follow in the sonic footsteps of bandssuch as The Ramones and the New York Dolls.

Rebels Without Applause shows flashes of this musical charisma, but also spends afair amount of time muddling around without a message. "BOTB (We ShouldHave Listened To Our Friend Gus)" borrows a bit from The Ramones but is asolid start. "Friday Night Girls" is a classic band complaint aboutyoung bar-goes who only want to hear songs currently on top-40 radio. It's a catchynumber full of brash humor. "Your Girlfriend Wants Me" opens with achord progression that could have been lifted from "Baba O'Riley"(The Who). The song is a fun bit of trash-talking bravado. The Blisterz get ina catchy kiss-off song with real pop sensibility in the form of "Hear UCry"; this could be a breakout hit for the band, particularly if it werepicked for a movie or television soundtrack.

Kvetching is the word of the day on"Yellow Flag", a WTF song about the state of the world that is likelyto reverberate with anyone confused about the direction of the world. Likewise,"The DJ Let Us Down Again" could be a socio-political commentary, ormight just be what it sounds like. Either way, it's an enjoyable listen thatshows a bit more depth from The Blisterz than you might expect at first glance."Wrecking Ball" is a catchy-mid tempo number that's a lot of fun andwell-played. The Blisterz explore the ultimate workplace diversion on"Paper Jam", putting copy rooms to their proper (alternative) use. RebelsWithout Applause closes with "Over And Out", a somewhat weakending for a generally solid to above average effort.

The Blisterz have the same energyand ability to surprise that could be found in early Green Day recordings,although without the apparent, pervasive drug cloud. In spite of the uncutapproach to music, The Blisterz show a surprising pop sensibility andcomplexity on Rebels Without Applause. It's easy to imagine The Blisterzgrowing up beyond their three-chord punk anthems into a band of real substanceover time. For now, they're a fun diversion with great things afoot.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about The Blisterz at www.facebook.com/theblisterz or www.myspace.com/theblisterz.  Rebels Without Applause is availablefrom Amazon.com as a CDor Download.  The album is also available via iTunes.


When Inventors Hire Employees

Dear Rich: I patented a car accessory and outsourced the manufacturing. Now I'm getting ready to distribute it and I'm considering hiring a cousin to manage distribution. What kinds of concerns should I have about hiring someone? Our suggestions have to do with paperwork and taxes. If you're providing any confidential or proprietary information -- or alternatively, if your cousin is creating any proprietary information -- you'll want to have an appropriate independent contractor agreement. (You can read the details about inventors and employees here.)  As for taxes, here is an article explaining what's needed when inventors hire employees. (And here's more information on inventors and taxes.) Also, we hope you and your cousin are a good match because one thing they say about hiring relatives is that they're easy to hire and tough to fire.


Video: Kate Martin - Apples

Came across this video in my in box. 

Kate Martin is a singer/songwriter from Queensland, Australia with a wonderfully rich voice and a distinctive early for melody.  Check out her latest video, "Apples", below.  As videos go its a bit generic, but the song is definitely worth tuning in for.



You can learn more about Kate Martin at www.facebook.com/katemartinmusic or katemartinmusic.bandcamp.com.  You can purchase a download of "Apples" from Martin's Bandcamp page.  You can also check out her album Synthetic Shoes, Leather Boots on iTunes.