Apple Computers is starting a new pay per cut, on-line, download music service called iTunes. Unlike most other on-line music services there are no subscription fees and very minimal restrictions. Apple will restrict your play list to a total of three Macintosh computers, unlimited iPod music players, unlimited CD burning and a limit of 10 play list burns per order sequence (you can reshuffle the play list order and make more burns).

BMG, EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal and Warner have provided a total of 200,000 songs to Apple for this venture include many cuts not available to other on-line music services.

Initially this will be a Macintosh only service but there are plans to make iTunes Windows compatible by 2004.

Apple Computers is also seriously considering buy elements from media giant Vivendi Universal to buy the Universal Music Group, which would then give Apple ownership of a major CD and music publishing catalog.

Incubus replaced founding bassist Dirk Lance with former Ben Kenney from Roots. The group will at the Lollapalooza festival, July 3 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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They are working up material for a new album and have reached a new agreement with Sony Music which means that the next few albums will still be on the Sony label.

The Dead has arisen! The remaining members of ‘flower power" era band “The Greatful Dead” (who were originally called the Warlocks) have junked the name “The Other Ones” (which was in use by Greatful Dead tribute bands already) and will simply be known as The Dead and will go on tour this summer. All the usual members associated with the classic “Dead” concerts will be along for the ride, probably with a new keyboardist (their old ones either permanently retire or die) and a replacement guitarist for unofficial spiritual and creative leader, the late, great Jerry Garcia.

The Dixie Chicks got into some serious trouble with their fans and radio stations over some remarks made about President Bush and the war in Iraq. Some radio stations began pulling their records from rotation and the girl"s had to resort to metal detectors at their shows because of irate fans who didn"t quite respect their right to protest and decent (see our Issues piece on this topic).

The RIAA, the organization which represents the record companies, got dealt a legal blow in their attempt to stop John and Jane Smith (the average internet user who downloads MP3 off services like Kazaa) from using peer to peer services like Kazaa. The judge in the case said that stopping such services as Kazaa and going after individual users would infringe in legal rights to download legal items. The RIAA would like to start suing you and me (well, you, I don"t do illegal things like that) for downloading your favorite artists on MP3 (and while we"re at it the movie group, MPAA, wants to stop you from copying your DVD"s for back up purposes and to do this they are trying to halt copy protection defeating software, including suing a Norwegian teenager who help develop this software).

Nina Simone just passed away. She"s considered one of the great talents in the world, despite the fact that the general public hears or knows little of her outside of jazz and blues circles.

This largely European artist was mentioned in the American re-make of the French film hit “La Femme Nikita,” (re-titled and remade as “Point of No Return” by U.S. studios several years back) and audiences were treated to snippets of Simone"s music.

The Grammy and Billboard awards shows will be seen earlier next year, at the start of February instead of the end of that month.

Britney Spears has reached a settlement and drop her legal action against the Japanese man she claimed had stalked her. He claimed it was all a cultural misunderstand.

Sean "P. Diddy" Combs,has signed a distribution deal with Vivendi Universal Records and will keep ownership of his Bad Boy Records.

EasyInternet Cafe a British chain of Internet Cafes has been found by the courts to be guilty of copyright violations for allowing users to download MP3 songs and burn them onto CD for a fee.

Clear Channel Communications will cut ties with all independent music promoters after their current contracts expire. In recent times such promoters have been singled out as helping to keep a corner on the top 40, hit radio airplay charts by representing the larger interests of major record companies, giving the appearance of payola in the placement of records.


Paul McCartney will be on tour in Europe through May. The former Beatles member who has had a long and very productive solo career, says he has no plans to retired and will play in small pubs if no one else will have him for arena concerts!

Christina Aguilera"s Justified and Stripped tour starts in Phoenix on the 4th of June and ends the U.S. leg on Aug. 24 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Then in September through November she will take the tour to Europe starting in Hamburg Germany on September 22nd and ending in England at the start of November.

Special tour ticket offers are available at her new web sites

Full tour details are found in our Festival and Fairs sections.

Steely Dan will also be on tour this summer pushing their new ” Everything Must Go” album on WB/Reprise Records.

New Releases

Kelly Clarkson, the American Idol darling, saw her newly released album, Thankful go to the top of this week's U.S. pop charts.

There are also new releases from former boy-toy Madonna called American Life and also a new one from Robbie Williams, both of which stayed well below the #1 dark horse winner in England from a local dance band called Room 5. Their song, “Make Luv” has topped the UK charts for several weeks, largely because of a tie in with a British television ad!

"New Breed” from rapper 50 Cent.

“Say You Will” from Fleetwood Mac.

"To Whom It May Concern," by Lisa Marie Presley.

“Everything Must Go” the first new release in years from Steely Dan is set for release in early June.

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