Remember back in December, when Beastie Boys fan LeRoy McCarthy petitioned for the intersection of Ludlow Street and Rivington Street to be renamed “Beastie Boys Square”? Unsurprisingly, a Manhattan community board ruled against that petition yesterday, despite McCarthy’s original plea that, “Because of the album cover photo, and [because] the Beastie Boys were ever-changing NYC artist, the location of Ludlow Street and Rivington Street would be a great place to honor Beastie Boys with a corner co-naming.”
The vote was practically unanimous at 24 to 1 (that one must have been a major Beastie Boys fan) and prevents McCarthy from filing this application for at least five years.
Explaining the decision, the board’s chairwoman Gigi Li explained to DNAInfo, ”My decision was based on the fact that it did not meet the criteria and the fact that previously our most recent group of co-namings held each application to the high standard of meeting every single criteria we set out for co-namings.”
When you were a kid, the sky was the limit. You could hope to be an astronaut, eat ice cream for dinner, or maybe even have a landmark building or street named after you. For the Beastie Boys, that last dream may just come true. LeRoy McCarthy has petitioned for the intersection of Ludlow Street and Rivington Street, where the album art for Paul’s Boutique was shot, to be titled “Beastie Boys Square.” Launched in September, the petition has gathered only 234 supporters, and will be presented to Manhattan’s Community Board 3 and New York City’s Council in January.
A portion of the petition reads, “In the panoramic photograph it captured the vibrancy of the ever-changing life on the streets of NYC. The album, released July 25th 1989, was groundbreaking, and it encompassed these Boys from NYC, rapping about life and times from their point of view. Because of the album cover photo, and the Beastie Boys were ever-changing NYC artist, the location of Ludlow Street and Rivington Street would be a great place to honor Beastie Boys with a corner co-naming.”
Earlier this year, McCarthy proposed a similar idea for Biggie Smalls, but was denied.
“GoldieBlox achieved and continues to achieve additional publicity, press coverage, and, upon information and belief, greater sales of its products, as a direct result of the Beastie Boys’ perceived affiliation with the GoldieBlox Advertisement. Unfortunately, rather than developing an original advertising campaign to inspire its customers to create and innovate, GoldieBlox has instead developed an advertising campaign that condones and encourages stealing from others… The Beastie Boys Parties have suffered and will continue to suffer injury in an amount not presently known… [and] are entitled to recover from GoldieBlox the damages and lost profits they have sustained as a result of GoldieBlox’s unlawful acts of copyright infringement and to recover from GoldieBlox the gains, profits, and advantages GoldieBlox has obtained as a result of the wrongful conduct alleged herein.”
So goes a portion of the lawsuit filed by lawyers for the Beastie Boys against the toymaker GoldieBlox, who, as you likely know by now, used a ‘parody’ of the band’s song “Girls” in their recent popular commercial.
The group had previously contacted GoldieBlox to inquire about the use of their song (essentially saying, hey, you know you didn’t get permission and really can’t use this, right?) and the company responded by filing a preemptive lawsuit claiming fair use (again, they didn’t use the band’s track, but instead recorded a new version with changed lyrics). They then apologized and dropped the suit, saying, “We don’t want to spend our time fighting legal battles. We want to inspire the next generation. We want to be good role models. And we want to be your friends.”
The Beasties have now called BS on this whole thing, noting that the company has already reaped the benefits of their questionable actions, with the original viral hit, plus the subsequent publicity.
A few months ago, a small company called GoldieBlox started getting some attention for their new product, which is a toy set designed for young girls, and which aims to defy the traditional gender-based marketing of toys. More recently, a commercial for the company started to go viral, partly because of the novel idea behind the product and the clever Rube Goldberg device in the commercial, and partly due to a re-appropriation of the Beastie Boys‘ early track, “Girls,” an acknowledged bit of juvenile sexism, rewritten as an anthem of female empowerment.
The Beastie Boys apparently approached the company about the use of their song, and were reportedly sued in response. The remaining members of the group, Mike D and Ad Rock, wrote an open letter in defense of their position. It reads in part:
Like many of the millions of people who have seen your toy commercial “GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & the Beastie Boys,” we were very impressed by the creativity and the message behind your ad.
We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering.
As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads. When we tried to simply ask how and why our song “Girls” had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US.
It should be mentioned that the third Beastie, the late Adam Yauch, stipulated in his will that his work and image never be used in third-party commercial marketing. Disappointing that such a positive idea and product, which seemed to be catching on (and likely won’t actually be harmed by this controversy – quite the contrary, we imagine), has come to this unfortunate spot.
YouTube and music have gone hand in hand for a while now, helping break new stars (Gotye), and giving music lovers one more place to stream poor quality versions of their favorite songs. But perhaps YouTube’s greatest contribution to the music industry all started with the Chinese Backstreet Boys and their hilarious rendition of “I Want It That Way,” the video that spawned a sensation.
Six and a half years later, YouTube is no longer just a teenager, but hilarious lip syncing videos can still win over the crowd. Another sports team has lip synced another top 40 gem and have become mini-superstars themselves.
We did a little round up of some of the best/funniest/most clever music-centric vids on the web, read on for the rest:
Reported earlier today and later confirmed by Billboard; Beastie Boys founder, Adam “MCA” Yauch has passed away at the age of 47. Yauch had been undergoing treatment for a cancerous tumor in his parotid gland since he announced his diagnosis in 2009.
Yauch and the Beastie Boys originally formed as a Brooklyn-based hardcore punk band in the late ’70s, but by the release of their 1986 debut album Licensed to Ill, the boys had followed their initial experimentations and become a full-fledged hip-hop group.
Writing rough-edged rap lyrics and layering them over hard rock riffs, MCA, Mike D, and Ad-Rock changed the culture of hip-hop forever. And although their sound matured and diversified drastically over the years, they remained a constant and formidable force in the world of hip-hop and popular music in general.
Yauch became increasingly interested in humanitarian efforts and spirituality as his career progressed. He co-organized the wildly popular Tibetan Freedom Concerts in the late ’90s, and became a vocal advocate for Buddhism. Other projects included his extensive music video direction for the Beastie Boys (Under the pseudonym ”Nathanial Hörnblowér”) and the creation of the film production company Oscilloscope Laboratories.
Yauch is survived by his wife and daughter, and will never be forgotten by the legion of Beastie Boys fans around the world.
Since you’re reading this post in a publication that is distributed through a music discovery Web site, there’s a good chance that you’re pretty familiar with the ins and out of the Internet. You’re on Facebook, maybe you’ve tweeted and there’s a good chance you’ve checked in on Foursquare. So, that’s it for social media, right?
Wrong. You can’t really think it’s OK to keep active with just the big players, the major social media platforms that everyone online is already familiar with. These days, you can’t just be on Facebook or Twitter or MySpace (even though your band hasn’t been logged into for years). The reason is that the game is changing every day. It seems every week there is some new social media or Web site that you need to get involved with. Since it can be daunting to peruse through all the different sites and understand both what they offer and what they can do for your band, we’re going to highlight some of the more useful blogging tools that musicians like you need now.
Tumblr has been around for a while now—founded on 2007, it’s a twentysomething in Internet years. But it really just began to come into its own in 2011, and now is as good a time as any to get into it. Why? There’s a few reasons. Tumblr’s simplified platform is easy enough for anyone to use and the various themes users allow anybody to make a clean, attractive blog. The ask and reply system allows for straightforward correspondence between users. But the most impressive aspect of the Tumblr experience? It’s personal. Facebook allows for mass communication, Twitter allows for mass broadcasts but Tumblr is far more intimate. The artists that do it right, like indie band Toro Y Moi or the Beastie Boys, combine little glimpses into who they are, from their interests to their lives. For more ideas and inspiration, check out the tumblrs for Tom Waits, Childish Gambino and OurStage’s own Bethesda.
Yes, you’ve heard of Google and chances are you’ve heard of (but maybe not used) Google+. Fair enough, you’re not alone if you’ve tried and not kept up with the search giant’s attempt to break into the social media game. However, it may just be the time to give it another look. A number of major name artists are beginning to make use of the burgeoning social media platform. Big names like Britney Spears, T-Pain, Mark Hoppus and Trent Reznor are all users. Google+ has already had it’s fair share of breakout stars, like OurStager Daria Musk. Daria has mastered the medium and became a sensation on Google+ overnight, with over 200,000 people tuning into her last livestreamed show. Check out footage from the Daria’s first Google Hangout concert below.
Finally, you would be forgiven if you’ve come across Pinterest and not thought anything about it with regards to your musical career. Pinterest is like an online cork board; users share images on their pinboards and can browse the pinboards of others for inspiration. At least at this early stage, Pinterest is like Tumblr but with a more human element, or Facebook without all the excess noise. While the number of musicians on Pinterest as of right now is limited—the Backstreet Boys appear to have the the biggest presence—the service is still very young and growing fast. In fact, the invitation-only site has seen explosive growth in the past six months, growing from 2 million to 11 million weekly visitors between September to December of 2011. So while there’s no obvious strategy for musicians on Pinterest—self-promotion is frowned upon and the service is image based for now—it would be good to get in on the ground floor of the wildly popular service.