File this under “Something that would never happen in Trump’s America” — the U.K. government is stepping in to protect music venues from property developers, recognizing their importance to artist development and the national economy. The support comes on the heels of a campaign (backed by Paul McCartney, Ray Davies and other British music legends) to put an end to the growing trend of new housing developments forcing pre-existing venues to close over noise complaints. A proposed law that would make soundproofing the responsibility of property developers building near music venues is expected to be in place as early as this summer.
WARM: Paying the Price of Partying Forward
Anyone who has read the brilliant “Ask Andrew W.K.” column in The Village Voice knows singer/multi-instrumentalist Andrew W.K. is more than just a sweaty, head-banging guy who really likes to party. Further proof of his righteous dude-ness came earlier this month when he responded to a tweet from a fan who got too revved up listening to W.K.’s new single (by listening below, you hereby agree to absolve CityBeat of all legal responsibilities for any resultant arrests, fines or emotional distress) on the radio and ended up getting a speeding ticket. Taking responsibility for the “sonic party power” that caused the violation, W.K. pleaded with the fan to let him pay the ticket (the fan ultimate declined and asked that the money be donated to a charity instead).
COLD: China vs. Hip Hop
Chinese Hip Hop received a major mainstream boost with the massive success of The Rap of China, an online reality/talent show that resonated with billions of viewers and made several underground MCs stars overnight. But recent moves by the Chinese government suggest that those artists specifically — and Hip Hop, generally — are being targeted as part of a crackdown on popular culture in an effort to curb dissent. According to Reuters, two rappers were recently sanctioned for “bad behavior or content at odds with Communist Party values.” Chinese media first attacked rapper PG One, forcing him to apologize for lyrics that are allegedly misogynistic and promote drug use (his music reportedly also vanished online). More recently, Hip Hop artist GAI was taken off of an American Idol-like TV show on which he was in third place, with no explanation given.