last night a dj ruined my life
snugglers, rumorites, & locals might recall the story of berry's music, an indianapolis record store that was raided by the RIAA last fall. an excellent piece in this week's nuvo
details how owner alan berry lost his business, lots of money, & almost his house while trying to fight off "the man". his crime: selling mixtapes.
Armed with search warrants, the officers grabbed all the mix-CDs from both stores, then headed to the Berrys’ warehouse. Though they had no search warrant for the warehouse, Alan, believing he had nothing to hide, let them look around there as well. “We didn’t have any duplicating equipment [for pirating CDs], if that’s what they were looking for. And as for the mixes, we never really questioned the legalities of them. We never did. Because, one, we were getting some of the mix-CDs through our regular vendors that we bought our quote-unquote ‘legit’ product from. The same place I would get the Interscope record from, I would get mix-CDs from, from national distributors. Two, the artists are on there endorsing the mixes. I mean, Eminem’s on the mix-CD saying, ‘Yo, this is Eminem. You’re listening to DJ Green Lantern.’ Then he drops three or four exclusive free-styles and he’s talking within the mix, about the mix itself, saying Lantern’s his man. You would kind of assume that Eminem’s fine with it.”
But arguing their case at the warehouse proved a waste of time and the police continued to gather up discs. It amounted to $10,000 worth of stock — a significant hit, but no arrests were made and Alan felt that if confiscating the mixes was the worst that happened, his store would survive. For about two months, it looked like that might be the case. Then came another knock at the back door. It was a Marion County sheriff, there to arrest Alan Berry on 13 felony counts of royalty theft and fraud. Alan was handcuffed, taken down to lockup, strip-searched, deloused, put in an orange jump suit — and finally released 12 hours later on $15,000 bond. Andy Berry, now living in Florida, went through the same ordeal once he flew back to Indy and turned himself in.
jeez, i just want to quote the whole damn article; it's well-written, compelling, and easily the definitive piece on the battle between berry's music & the law. if you're into copyright issues & all that, this is a must read.
i'll just let you go read it for yourself, but i do want to drop one more quote, because i was ranting about this bit last fall, so it feels good to see it finally pointed out by someone in "the media":
Then, some weeks later, Fox 59’s evening news featured a special report on counterfeit CDs “that look and sound so close to legitimate discs, even music store owners can’t tell the difference.” Donald Finch, a local investigator working for the RIAA, held up a fake Beyonce CD (that indeed looked pretty real) and confirmed that a “truck full” of such CDs had been confiscated locally over the previous few months. The discs taken from Berry’s Music had included no counterfeits — and the segment never cited Berry’s (or any other store) by name — but, coming on the heels of the raid and the Channel 8 story, viewers could certainly be forgiven for assuming that’s who the Fox story was referring to. As a kicker, the report ended by casually noting that many of the places selling counterfeits are also associated with drugs and organized crime.
(i blogged about the fox59 hatchet-job in november
but i hadn't started my blog yet when the orignal story broke, so that's the only other post in my blog about it. i would link to the IMN threads about it, but those are in the hidden "off-topic" forum, only accessible to registered users).
[edit: i just located the village voice article from last fall
; check it out]
[ed note: in my not-entirely-sober state at 1:30am last night, i wrote this and mistakenly posted it to awia news instead of this blog. once it has been moved here i will delete the awia news post... just fyi in case someone gets confused]
just got back from dnb night at the melody inn... luckily, this afternoon i managed to find the one bulletin board where the dnb night kids actually promote their events online
(for awhile they were pimpin' on the mw-dnb
boards but i guess they got bored of that).
i wouldn't have even thought to go tonight, but i got an email from firestorm viper
this morning mentioning that he was scheduled to play tonight. so i mentioned it to drbmd, thinking we should go (after all, we had booked firestorm viper for experiMENTAL, but he had to cancel due to his work schedule).
it was a good time, though we rarely left our comfy table (hey, i go to shows to hear the music, not to socialize, as evidenced by the fact that i usually just sit in one space during the show, hardly talking to anyone). fviper played a good set, perhaps somewhere between a PA and a dj set (we spotted a bit of doormouse & nasenbluten during the set, so it obviously wasn't 100% "original", whatever that means these days).
but we were in for a surprise when we reached the venue: the other out-of-town act booked for the evening was called reptile-kun. we had even checked out the website
before going to the show. but when we arrived at the show (barely through the door), reptile-kun recognized us, calling out to dr butcher.
turns out "reptile-kun" is a newish name for the guy who had set up a bad taste show for us in rockford illinois (actually belvidere IL) back in 2002. (fans of my tracks "rockford fillinois" and "live-in butler" might note the significance of this show, since i wrote those tracks [or at least the original version of "live-in butler" specifically for that show.) we knew him as 1/2 of the a group called no-tech; i guess reptile-kun is his solo/dj name. so it was fairly strange that we went to the show because we sorta-knew one of the out-of-town performers, & it turns out that we knew the other
out-of-town act even better, in a way. so it was a damn good thing we showed up tonight.
so reptile-kun had an interesting set, starting out with almost straight hip-hop & dancehall for a couple tracks before working his way into the breakcore. it was definitely a different-sounding set than i'm used to from dnb night (where mashed amens, 2-step beats, & ragga samples are the usual flavor). conveniently firestorm viper was up after that, so we didn't have to stay super late just to hear the acts we wanted. yes, we stayed until almost 2, but we could've left at 1:15 or so & not have missed the out of towners.
next week at dnb night is the big "mos-hi" record release party, with enduser
and soundmurderer. we'll probably go to that too, & there might be a much bigger crowd. the crowd tonight wasn't too
small, but definitely smaller than the past couple dnb night events i'd attended (though admittedly, i hadn't been for awhile except for the "special events" like the doormouse show).
okay, i'm up well past my bedtime, so now that this post is finished i need to brush my teeth & go to bed....