On Tuesday night, New York City venue Le Poisson Rouge played host to a rally and concert that was organized by a group called the Content Creators Coalition. The event featured a handful of musicians, including guitarist Marc Ribot, R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills, and Talking Heads founder David Byrne. The purpose of the event was to drum up support to petition Congress for radio royalties for artists.
"The United States has the unfortunate distinction of being the only democratic country in the world whose artists and musicians receive no pay for the terrestrial radio airplay of their music. The list of countries that share the United States’ position on this issue includes: Iran, North Korea, China, Vietnam, and Rwanda."
Throughout the event, the musicians performed selected songs that were made popular by famous artists, but the original artists received very little (if any) royalties from those songs when they received radio airplay. Jennifer Charles singing "Wild Thing," Mike Mills playing "I'm Your Puppet," and David Byrne rapping "Just A Friend" were a few of the stand out songs of the night. Videos from Rosanne Cash and jazz pianist Jason Moran performing the song "Body and Soul" were also part of the nights festivities. A petition urging Congress to review the current radio airplay royalty system was on hand at the merchandise table for people who were interested in signing their names.
To learn more information about the cause and how you can become involved, visit the Content Creators Coalition page. If you live in the New York City area, you can participate through the Content Creators Coalition NYC page.
For further David Byrne music, news, and tour info, check out his official website. Below are pictures taken throughout the night and a video of a rapping David Byrne doing his version of "Just A Friend."
"Just A Friend" (Biz Markie cover) - David Byrne At Le Poisson Rouge, NYC 2.26.2014