The InsiderOne Daily Report

  Monday, December 11, 2000

Workin' On Maggie's Farm

InsiderOne's Michael Goldberg writes: Oh the horror! Rage Against the Machine woke up the other day to discover that their new management, Q Prime, along with the corporate record company they're signed to, had demanded that Napster ban music fans who have been "sharing" Renegades, the group's new album. Rage guitarist Tom Morello immediately called the ban "this horrible mistake" in a message he posted to the group's site, adding: "[The] move to take action against Rage fans was taken completely unilaterally by our new management. In their zeal to keep the record from getting out before the release date, they did not consult the band before instructing Sony Music Corp. to institute the Napster ban." Once he found out about it, Morello said, he called Q Prime and the label to see what could be done to "get our Napster-using fans reinstated as soon as possible." SonicNet reports that "a spokesperson for Sony Music said the company has no comment on the Napster ban" -- what a surprise. Wake up, Tom. When you're in bed with the corporate beast, this kind of thing happens. Who's fooling who here? Sony Music, one of the five mega-corporations dominating the music business, has joined other companies in suing Napster. They're not going to help music fans use the file-sharing service. Rage have always struck me as, well, schizophrenic. On the one hand, they've consistently been out there fighting the good fight. Inside the Renegades jewel box, under the heading "Action," they offer a long list (complete with URLs and phone numbers) of organizations they help support, including Amnesty International, Women Alive, National Commission for Democracy in Mexico and the International Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal. All well and good. But what is a band that stands for fighting injustice doing working for the corporate man?

Datastream: R.E.M. have finished recording their next album, according to a post by their manager, Bertis Downs, on their Web site, R.E.M.HQ. "Last night, several sequences were tried out, tossed aside, and rejiggered, and the process will continue for a few more days," Downs wrote in a post dated December 6, 2000. "It is difficult to describe in words the sound of this record, but I'll stick with my original thoughts of 'lush, atmospheric, and melodic.' After repeated listenings I would add things like 'layered' and 'dynamic.' " The group worked on the album in Athens, Ga., and Miami, as well as Vancouver, B.C. and Dublin, Ireland; it will be released in the spring, according to Downs... There will be many more Smashing Pumpkins albums, Billy Corgan told SonicNet's Gil Kaufman. "There's tons of stuff -- we can live posthumously for a long time. We recorded a lot...The band's archives are pretty deep," Corgan said during an interview the night before the Pumpkins' final show. "From a fan point of view, the variations on how the band played the songs live give us a lot of leeway," he said. "It's not like we always played one version of 'Bullet [With Butterfly Wings]' -- we have five different versions of 'Bullet,' seven versions of 'Silverfuck.' The band's sound and the band's attack always changed from year to year, so we can go pretty deep into our live catalog." Corgan plans to release the demos for Gish and 28 additional songs recorded during the Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness sessions. The final show, which took place at the Metro in Chicago on Saturday, December 2, may also be released. And when Corgan gets to work on a solo album, he said, it wouldn't sound anything like the Pumpkins. "It will be a completely different deal," he told Kaufman, "a completely different part of my person -- I want to look at my music with different eyes."

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Michael Goldberg is the president of He founded Addicted To Noise in 1994.

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