Saturday, March 17, 2007

Help Save Internet Radio

Wanted to make sure people were aware of a recent activity from the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB).

On Friday March 2nd, the CRB announced its decision on the royalty rates Internet radio webcasters must pay the music industry to license the music they play.

The problem is, the new rates amount to well over 100% of even the most-successful webcasters' online radio revenues. Take a look at an example here. This means, unless the rates are drastically changed, most or all of your favorite Internet radio stations will be bankrupt or simply shut down, and this burgeoning industry will go silent.

What can you do?

Let your representatives in Congress and Senate know you want them to step in and do something to save Internet radio. Let's not let four major record labels and the RIAA determine when and where innovation takes place for all musicians and music fans across the country.

Visit,, and/or to send a message to your representatives today to ask them to prevent this change from going through.

To find out more visit , Save Our Internet Radio, and RAIN (Radio and Internet Newsletter).

Please share with anyone you know who also enjoys Internet radio (or those who do not enjoy monopolies)...and thanks!

- Charlie

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Winterpills: The Well-Rounded Radio Interview

When I first heard Winterpillls debut back in 2005 it came across as a breath of fresh air: a delicate and perfect interplay of harmonies between a man and woman’s voices plus chiming, tasteful guitars, but all with an urgency in the lyrics and songwriting which made it an impressive debut.

Winterpills is Dennis Crommett on electric guitar, Dave Hower on drums and percussion, Philip Price on vocals, acoustic guitar and keyboards, and Flora Reed on keyboard and vocals. Occasional members include José Ayerve on bass, who also produced the bands debut and co-produced their new CD, and Brian Akey, also on bass.

Winterpills don’t get reviewed without people like Elliot Smith, Simon and Garfunkel, Iron and Wine, or Low getting discussed. When I hear the band, I think of the late 60s, as if Winterpills could have played alongside the Los Angeles music scenes that brought us Love or The Byrds or the San Francisco scene that fostered Jefferson Airplane. Were they playing then, they’d likely be considered folk-rock, a phrase that today seems to mean something very different...

On Winterpills’ myspace page, they also cite influences such as The Innocence Mission, Stars, Elliott Smith, X, Joni Mitchell, Bjork, Stephen Merritt, Neil Young, George Harrison, ABBA, Sun Kil Moon, Harry Nilsson, Leonard Cohen, Elton John, and Sam Beam of Iron and Wine.

Winterpills does what all great bands do, bringing together some disparate and perfectly-matched skills to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Their 2005 release garnered a number of critical rave reviews in The Washington Post, The Big Takeover, and No Depression. Their new CD, The Light Divides was produced by Dave Chalfant, José Ayerve, and Winterpills and was released by Signature Sounds and Soft Alarm Records in late February.

The band is out now on a tour of the east coast, midwest and several shows at SXSW.