Most people didn’t care much when Marvin Gaye’s estate was awarded well over $5 million in a case against Pharrell and Robin Thicke over their song “Blurred Lines,” because a jury felt it had enough of a similar “feel” to Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” to warrant copyright infringement. But musicians and other observers recognized what a stifling effect the ruling would have on artists who’d now have to worry if their songs’ influences were buried enough to avoid a lawuist. Supporters — which ranged from Tool and Linkin Park to R. Kelly and film composer Hans Zimmer — signed a document for the appeals filing that reads, in part, “All music shares inspiration from prior musical works.”
Further proof that President Obama truly is in the “rhymes with ‘bucket list’ ” period of his presidency (his words!), it was announced that he’d host a music festival on the lawn of the White House next month. Tickets are $400 and the reunited Misfits, Phish, Death Grips and LCD Soundsystem are headlining. Just kidding — the event, dubbed South by South Lawn is a collaboration with Texas’ South by Southwest conference/music fest (at which POTUS spoke this year), and will include film and tech components, as well as music. The lineup hasn’t been announced, but whitehouse.gov says the festival will feature established acts and up-and-comers who use their music “to inspire audiences.”
COLD: Kitty Music
Time to add to the music history books — Universal Music will finally become the first major label to release an album for cats. A cellist and music researcher created the album (called Music for Cats, of course), which includes purrs, suckling and other cat noises, blended with music provided by the National Symphony Orchestra. Music for Cats (due in late October) was designed to calm anxious or neurotic felines. Dog owners, you’re out of luck — the researcher says no dog music is coming because there are too many differing breeds of dogs.