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Compiled by Ryan

The links:

-Pitchfork has been counting down the top 200 songs of the 1990’s, if you’re feeling nostalgic.

-If you haven’t seen “The Wilderness Downtown,” the new interactive Arcade Fire video, you should; you need Chrome to view it, but you should be using Chrome anyway.

Paste magazine has suspended its print publication.

-If you’re lucky enough to be in London next summer, The Flaming Lips will be playing The Soft Bulletin in its entirety while Dinosaur Jr. will do Bug.

-In the how-long-did-that-meeting-take department, Conan’s new TBS show will be called Conan.

Paul Giamatti will guest on the upcoming season of 30 Rock.

The YouTube highlights:

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Compiled by Ryan

The links:

The Hold Steady will release Heaven is Whenever this May.

Chuck Klosterman talking with Stephen Malkmus is perfect.

Pitchfork posted some details about Forgiveness Rock Record, the upcoming Broken Social Scene album, including cover art and an mp3 of the song “World Sick.”

-The city council of Madison, Wisconsin may vote the members of Wilco honorary citizens.

Stereogum has a brand-new design, and I’d say it is much improved.

-I’m still laughing at this RAAAAAAAANDY track from Aziz Ansari’s new mixtape with Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio).

-It’s hard to believe that Justin Theroux and Ben Stiller are still moving forward with a Zoolander sequel.

GQ profiles the talented Jeff Bridges.

-You’ve probably heard by now that Conan O’Brien is on Twitter, but here is word that he may be developing a traveling stage show in advance of his next television gig.

The YouTube highlights:

I can’t believe I haven’t seen this before, but I’m sure it’s making the rounds.  A new YouTube classic:

Tracy Morgan and Jimmy Kimmel made a video; it’s called IMPREGN8ED:

New music spotlight:

The New PornographersTogether

The New Pornographers released some of the most-celebrated indie-pop of the last decade, the latter half of which has seen a surge in the solo careers of members Neko Case, Dan Bejar (Destoryer), and leadman A.C. Neman.  The crew is back at it again, starting with the drum-heavy song featured below:

The New Pornographers – “Your Hands (Together),” from the upcoming Together, out May 4 on Matador

Compiled by Ryan

The links:

-Regine Chassagne of The Arcade Fire wrote a moving editorial on the situation in her native Haiti, including a plea for support for Partners in Health, an organization the band has long supported.

-I’m guessing that the majority of our readers are Conan supporters, which makes it all the more relevant that you take a second to hear Jay’s perspective.

The Wall Street Journal talks about Lost, finales, and expectations.

Aziz Ansari chats with the LA Times in support of his new standup special.

-This piece talks about The Sundance Film Festival, and its balance between commerce and art.

-The New Pornographers have a new record on the way.

The YouTube highlights:

Dan Deacon, everyone’s favorite electronic weirdo, made a great new music video:

This is part of a short series of videos about bad first dates, but they all work as stand-alone pieces:

New music spotlight:

GorillazPlastic Beach

Everything Damon Albarn touches turns to amazing music, and I’m pretty excited that there’s a new Gorillaz record coming out this year.  “Stylo” features Bobby Womack and Mos Def, and is a bit different than past Gorillaz lead singles “Clint Eastwood” and “Feel Good Inc.,” which both included rapped verses:

Gorillaz – “Stylo,” from the upcoming Plastic Beach, out March 9 on Virgin

Compiled by Ryan

The links:

-If you’re looking for a way to waste a solid half hour, check out Paste’s top fifty albums and films of the decade.

-Wes Anderson told Access Hollywood that he wants to shoot a film in space.

George Clooney may play the lead in The Descendants, the next project from director Alexander Payne.

AV Club talks to Chris Pratt, who plays Andy on Parks and Recreation.

-Tina Fey recounts her ten favorite 30 Rock moments at The Daily Beast.

This NYT piece highlights the talented Kumail Nanjiani among others in the New York alt-comedy scene.

-A friend pointed out to me that Fearless Freaks, the Flaming Lips documentary, is on Hulu now; if you’re a fan of the band at all, it’s definitely worth a watch.

The YouTube highlights:

It’s a simple enough concept, but Christopher Walken reading Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” on Jonathan Ross still made me laugh:

Aziz Ansari highlighted this gem on Twitter this week:

New music spotlight:

Julian CasablancasPhrazes for the Young

Stokes leadman Casablancas has gotten quite a bit of buzz for his debut solo album; you can read an interview on Pitchfork, check out this Village Voice article, read about his cover of the SNL song “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” at NME, then listen to it at Stereogum, and, finally, you can check out his MySpace to preview the entire album along with bonus tracks.  But if you don’t do any of that, at least listen to the Strokes-y first track:

Julian Casablancas – “Out of the Blue” from Phrazes for the Young, out now on Cut Records

By Ryan

youtube-logoViacom’s $1 billion copyright-infringement lawsuit against YouTube seemed from the beginning more of a statement than an actual attempt to recover damages.  Hey, do not steal our stuff; we have top-notch lawyers and the ability to sue you for far more than you’re even worth.  But now, it seems that Viacom may actually have a solid case, based on recent evidence that suggests that YouTube employees were among those who illegally uploaded Viacom clips, and their managers knew about it.  Now, I don’t expect Viacom to be awarded $1 billion (Google only paid $1.65 billion for the entire company), but, as some experts are pointing out, this could have huge ramifications for YouTube, leading to at least a restructuring of how uploading clips works and perhaps even to a temporary shutdown.  While that’s probably a bit excessive, the primary question remains: does the profit Google makes from copyrighted clips exceed the promotional value of those clips being on the most popular video site in the world?

To be sure, I think user-uploading of full episodes of television shows anywhere on the internet is just as bad as uploading music, yet it is behavior that many users—myself included—benefit from.  We assume that because the show has already aired, everyone has been paid, and no one is hurt by watching it on YouTube instead of OnDemand, Hulu, or a network website.  The truth is that much of the 2007-2008 WGA strike that shut down television production was based on artists wanting returns for the burgeoning field of online video.

Still, if I just want to see a two-minute clip of David Letterman joking about his extortion situation, should I really have to sit through a 45-second ad?  Wouldn’t having that Letterman clip on YouTube actually promote interest in the show?  I recognize why full episodes shouldn’t be on YouTube, and I agree with such a sentiment, but I think clips usually serve to highlight one small thing that was funny or interesting about a show, which should serve to drive people towards the show.  And let’s face it: if I have to go to the CBS website, a site I never visit, to watch a Letterman clip, I probably just won’t watch it.  However, if that clip was on YouTube, I probably would, and it may even prompt me to tune in to The Late Show.

Of course, the difference between clips and full/part episodes can be tricky, and the distinction seems all but lost on most network executives.  Still, perhaps this Viacom-YouTube mess will lead somebody to figure out what’s an effective use of content that helps everybody, and what’s a clear violation of copyright.  And heaven help you, Viacom, if you lead to YouTube getting shutdown.