Music News: What's Article 13, and what does it have to do with Rickrolling?

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Rick Astley
Rick Astley circa 'Never Gonna Give You Up.' (Courtesy of the artist, via NPR)
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Above, listen to an episode of The Current's daily Music News podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts.


On Wednesday, the European Union parliament voted to advance a copyright law that could have sweeping implications for how material is filtered online. The most-discussed provision of the law is Article 13, which would force internet platforms, like social media sites, to use "appropriate and proportionate measures" to block copyrighted content. Some fear that would mean automatic filters...so, if you try to Rickroll your friends in Europe, your video could be automatically blocked.

Big tech companies like Google are largely coming out against the law, which could dramatically stifle their users' ability to post anything that might contain any copyrighted content at all. That Lord of the Rings meme? A video where a copyrighted song is playing in the background? Both could be automatically blocked.

Some artists, notably Paul McCartney, have spoken out in favor of the law. Politicians who favor the law say that it will "ensure that artists and creatives alike are remunerated fairly," in the words of one EU parliament member. The law still needs to get final approval via a vote in January to take effect, but it's currently expected to pass. (CNBC, The Verge)

We're just going to put this here

In a GQ interview, Paul McCartney has astonished fans by admitting he once masturbated with John Lennon and others. "It was good harmless fun."

Mac Miller fans gather in memory

On Tuesday night, thousands of Mac Miller fans gathered at Blue Slide Park in Pittsburgh to honor the memory of the late rapper, who took the park's name for the title of his 2011 debut album. Pitchfork reports:

Miller's music played as tearful fans held candles and left flowers and written messages in tribute. The park's distinctive slide had received a fresh coat of blue paint earlier in the day. Miller's grandmother appeared in the evening to thank fans.

DA won't pursue Nick Carter rape charges

The Los Angeles District Attorney's office won't pursue rape charges against Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys, the office announced on Tuesday. A police report filed earlier this year alleged that Carter raped a then 18-year-old victim in 2003; Carter denies the charge. "The district attorney's office declined the case because the statue of limitations had passed," reports Billboard.

Tom Waits releases first music in two years

Tom Waits has appeared on a new music recording for the first time in two years. He sings "Bella Ciao," an anti-fascist Italian protest song, on Songs of Resistance 1948-2018, a forthcoming album by guitarist Marc Ribot. The song is out now, with a video that features footage of demonstrations against President Trump. Other songs on the album feature vocals from artists including Steve Earle and Sam Amidon. (Pitchfork)

Mitski talks about gendered criticisms

Mitski visited The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to play "Geyser" from her acclaimed new album Be the Cowboy, and to talk about her experiences in the music industry. One topic the two touched on: gendered criticisms of Mitski's work.

"I think there's so much effort in taking away my authority or autonomy over my own music," she said. "It's coming out of my own brain. I have control over my own brain. For some reason, people really need to imagine me as some sort of vessel for emotion or vehicle for music instead of the creator." (Pitchfork)

New trailer for Coen Brothers movie about musician

The Ballad for Buster Scruggs, a new six-part TV series by the Coen Brothers, is a western about a "sharp-shooting songster" (Wikipedia) played by Tim Blake Nelson. There's a new trailer for the series, which hits Netflix and selected movie theaters on Nov. 16. The series will feature actors including Liam Neeson, James Franco, and...Tom Waits. (Pitchfork)


Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
Marc Ribot feat. Tom Waits: "Bella Ciao"
Mitski Daily Show interview clip
Mitski: "Geyser" (live on The Daily Show)
Rick Astley: "Never Gonna Give You Up"
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs trailer clip


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