Punk legends the Dead Kennedys had been broken up for more than a decade when former members East Bay Ray, Klaus Flouride and D. H. Peligro noticed that the band's label, Alternative Tentacles, had been shorting them on record royalties to the benefit of frontman Jello Biafra, who also just happened to run the record label. What followed was a very un-punk lawsuit over record royalties and publishing rights, with a jury ruling Biafra had committed fraud and malice and ordering him to pay the other three members nearly $200,000 in damages and punitive fees. Biafra also was forced to hand over the rights to the majority of Dead Kennedys' back catalog.
Fans of the National won't be able to find the band's new album, ‘Trouble Will Find Me,' in stores until May 20, but it doesn't take much searching to find several tracks bound for the disc online. A few weeks ago, the New York rockers premiered three songs (‘Heavenfaced,' ‘Graceless’ and ‘Fireproof’) during a secret show in Berlin. A week later, the disc's first single, 'Demons,' surfaced online, followed a few days later by another cut, 'Don’t Swallow the Cap.'
Mick Harvey may still be best known for his work as a member of the Birthday Party and the Bad Seeds, but his latest album, 'FOUR (Acts of Love),' is actually the sixth solo disc of his career. And what a remarkable career it's been, including more than three decades of collaboration with Nick Cave, a partnership with PJ Harvey that helped spawn two stellar albums from the British singer and a series of his own records reinterpreting the music of French legend Serge Gainsbourg.
Several years after the 1994 suicide of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, his widow, Courtney Love, formed a business partnership called Nirvana L.L.C. with surviving members Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl to oversee future uses of the band's music. But Love soon filed suit against the two, claiming that they were merely minor sidemen in Nirvana, that she joined the partnership under duress, and that as Cobain's widow, she should be the sole guiding force of Nirvana's legacy. Dave and Krist countersued, the two parties reached a settlement in 2002, and later that year, a greatest-hits album featuring Nirvana's final studio recording, 'You Know You're Right,' hit stores.
Iconic pop artist Andy Warhol and influential New York rockers the Velvet Underground have been linked ever since Warhol's banana print appeared on the cover of the band's 1967 debut album, 'The Velvet Underground & Nico' -- a fact cited by the Velvets in a copyright lawsuit filed last year against the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts over its licensing of the image for such products as covers for Apple iPods and iPads.
A judge rejected the band's copyright claim last Septemb
"I want to play it cool / but I'm losing you," are lyrics straight from 'Baby,' one of Justin Beiber's biggest hits, but these days, those words might echo desperate pleas from the pop superstar's concerned fans. Bieber's current European tour has been chock full of controversy and drama, and things reached a fever pitch this week when police in Sweden discovered pot on his tour bus. It's pretty clear that the Biebs is going through some serious growing pains, and as he does the whole bad-boy thing, one might argue he's in his "punk rock phase." He's even been getting a bunch of new tats.
Tom Waits' gruff, whiskey-soaked growl became the focus of a lawsuit that the singer filed against Frito-Lay in 1988, when the corn chip producer, unable to secure permission from Waits to use his tune 'Step Right Up' in a commercial, instead hired a voice impersonator to sing a soundalike jingle
While trying to pick artwork for their second album, 2010's 'Contra,' New York rockers Vampire Weekend were drawn to the striking Polaroid image taken in 1983 of a blonde girl in a Polo shirt. They decided to use it on the cover, despite not knowing who the woman was. They paid the purported photographer, Tod Brody, $5,000 for the rights and released 'Contra,' figuring that was the end of that.
And it was -- until July 2010, when a woman named Ann Kirsten Kennis discovered the album and sued the band for $2 million for using a photo of her without permission. Kennis claimed she was "a high-fashion model under contract with prestigious agencies in New York City" in 1983, and that Brody had forged the release forms. A year later, VW paid her an undisclosed sum and the lawsuit was dropped.