A Double Debut: Twin Singles Released by Big Dick And The Twins

A Double Debut: Twin Singles Released by Big Dick and The Twins

Just in time for the U.S. mid-term elections, Big Dick and The Twins have debuted with two singles directed squarely at Trump and his supporters. Produced by Byrne Bridges for Rhubarb Palace Music, these two brutal take downs of the GOP establishment are available worldwide.

Big Dick And The Twins Big Dick & The Twins Let It Slide Rhubarb Palace

The first single, “Let It Slide” is a country-style haunt that calls out the GOP leadership, as well as rank and file conservatives, for turning a blind eye to the investigation of ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. The lyrics make it clear: “For the sake of pride, just deny, and let it slide!”.

Devin Nunes Big Dick and The Twins Rhubarb Palace

The second single is an eponymous tribute to a truly despicable politician: Devin Nunes. As Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Nunes has pulled every devious trick in the book in order to prevent his committee from investigating collusion between Russia and the Trump Campaign. The shameless, treasonous behavior of ‘Devious Devin’ has inspired BD&TT to produce this stinging rebuke of the congressman from central California:  “Devin Nunes, you are a despicable, deplorable, completely fucking horrible human being. It’s TRUE TRUE TRUE”.

The singles are available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and most music outlets worldwide.


The Strange Story Of Why You Can Make Any Cover Song You Want

One of the strangest legal facts in the music business is that you don’t need permission to record and sell a cover song. Even stranger is how this state of affairs came to be. 

Since the Copyright Act of 1909, musicians in the U.S. have had the right to publish a cover version of a song without permission of the copyright holder. This is extremely counter-intuitive considering all of the exclusive rights that come with owning a copyright. Nonetheless, it has been the law of the land for over a century. Why is this so and how did it come to be?

The Strange Story Of Why You Can Make Any Cover Song You Want

The Rise of The Piano Roll and The Aeolian Monopoly

An important fact to keep in mind is the year this law was passed, 1909. At this time, there was no way to duplicate sound recordings for mass consumption. There was no digital technology, nor any television, nor radio. Phonograph records did not become popular until after World War I. In only two ways could music be bought and sold back then: sheet music and piano rolls.

If you bought sheet music, you had to know how to play the piano and read music in order to hear the composition. If you couldn’t, you still could hear the composition if you owned a player piano. This required purchasing and inserting a piano roll into the piano and then, after starting it up, the piano would play the music for you.

Player pianos became extremely popular at the turn of the 20th century and their rise was a source of discontent for popular music composers. They worried that player pianos would erode public demand for sheet music, a vitally important issue for composers at the time.

Sheet music was the main source of copyright royalties for composers. Furthermore, player piano companies did not pay royalties for the songs they published on piano rolls. These companies argued that the rolls did not “copy” the original compositions. Piano rolls were scrolls of paper with holes punched out in patterns. These holes instructed the piano how to play a particular song. As such, they could not be ‘read’ by people and thus categorically different than sheet music.

 The Creation of The ‘Mechanical’ Rate

As flawed as that logic sounds, in 1908, the Supreme Court sided with the player piano companies! In its opinion White-Smith Music Publishing Company v. Apollo Company,  the Court held that because humans could not read player piano rolls, they were not in fact copies of the musical compositions they played.

This ruling inspired the Aeolian Company to try to create a monopoly on music publishing. They began to buy up as many song rights as possible and turn them into piano rolls. Aeolians competitors and composers across the country quickly complained to Congress about this attempt to corner the music market.

This state of affairs would last only a year before Congress would halt Aeolian’s monopoly attempt. The Copyright Act of 1909 mandated that all musical compositions be subject to a compulsory license. This meant that composers now had to get paid for every copy of their work printed up for sales. This also allowed musicians and performers to copy the songs of others ‘by mechanical means’ without having to ask permission. They only had to pay a statutory fee to the original songwriter and allow the composer ‘first use’ rights.

Conclusion: The Legacy of the Copyright Act of 1909

The creation of ‘the mechanical rate’ not only thwarted Aeolian’s monopoly, but also created a fruitful tradition in American popular music: the cover song.  Without this law, some of the greatest music performances in history may have never happened, songs such as  ‘All Along the Watch Tower‘ by Jimi Hendrix or ‘Heard It Through The Grapevine‘ by Marvin Gaye. Today, covers are as popular as ever and it is easier than ever for artists to publish a cover song. There are licensing agencies, such as Harry Fox, that make it very quick and easy to register for a compulsory license.

In retrospect, the rise of the player piano and the corporate greed of Aeolian are much to credit for cover songs as the act of Congress itself. So maybe the next time you enjoy listening to a cover song, remember you have the player piano and an overly ambitious company to thank for your music listening pleasure.

Just Go Digital: The Environmental Case Against The Physical Sales Of Music

If you are a music fan and concerned about the environment, it’s time to move on from vinyl LPs, CDs, and cassettes and just go digital!

The Environmental Case Against The Physical Sales Of Music: Just Go Digital

I remember seeing my first rack of CDs at a Wherehouse Records store during the mid 80’s. Like many, I was put off by the excess packaging, which included a large plastic outer shell about 16″ long. Environmentalism wasn’t big in the 80’s and global warming wasn’t even a thing yet. Still, even by 80’s standards, CDs just screamed ‘whatafugginwaste!!’.

And so it began for the CD and its public perception as an environmental curse upon humanity. Which is kinda true, by the way. Though mostly recyclable, CDs are not biodegradable and consist of 75% plastic and 25% other items such as aluminum.

But is it really fair to single out CDs when all other forms of physical music are just as bad or worse for the environment? Alternatives to CDs, primarily vinyl LPs and cassette tapes, each pose environmental hazards in their own right.

If global warming and the size of ones carbon footprint are important enough to sacrifice for, then is time to move on from the physical sales of music altogether: no vinyl LPs, CDs, nor cassettes. It’s easy. Just go digital. At the end of the day, digital is the only environmentally responsible way to buy and sell music.

The Environmental Case Against The Physical Sales Of Music: Just Go DigitalMaking Music: Bigger Is Not Better

There are two processes that are important to take into account when considering the environmental impact of a music medium: what goes into its production and how it is disposed.

Regarding the production side, vinyl LPs are by far and away the most environmentally hazardous. This is not because LPs are qualitatively worse for the environment than CDs or cassettes. They aren’t. All music mediums are bad for the environment. It is because LPs are significantly larger than CDs or cassettes.

Differences In Kind

CDs and cassettes consist mostly of polycarbonate plastic. This plastic is produced from a chemical reaction between bisphenol A (BPA) and phosgene. Bisphenol A consists of acetate, phenol, and hydrochloric acid. Phosgene, used as a chemical weapon in WWI, consists of carbon monoxide and chlorine. Both bisphenol A and phosgene are toxic and produce greenhouse gasses when used in production.

The manufacture of vinyl LPs is just as bad for the environment. The vinyl in LPs is made from PVC (polyvinylchlorinate). PVC consists of approximately 57% chlorine and 43% crude oil and its manufacture also produces greenhouse gasses. LPs are also wrapped in paper, layers upon layers of paper to be precise.

Oh! And for all three of these, don’t forget the shrink wrap!

It’s The Size That Counts

Really, there is no environmentally sound physical music medium. That being said, vinyl LPs are far worse than CDs and cassettes because of their size. A typical cassette tape weighs about 2.5 ounces with packaging, while a jewel box CD with insert weighs about 3 ounces. By contrast, just the vinyl portion of a 180 gram LP weighs 6.3 ounces, more than double the total weight of CDs or cassettes with their packaging included. If you add to the LP the weight of the sleeves,  jacket, gatefold, or any of the other packaging, your likely looking at 3 to 4 times the mass of a CD or cassette or more.

From a production stand point,  no matter what medium you choose to buy or sell, it’s not an environmentally friendly decision. But certainly the larger the packaging, the worse the environmental impact. That means that LPs are significantly worse than CDs or cassettes for the environment from the perspective of production.

The Environmental Case Against The Physical Sales Of Music: Just Go Digital

At the end of the day, there is only one environmentally responsible way to buy and sell music: digitally

Discarding Music: Recycle Or Else!

Neither CDs, vinyl LPs or audio cassettes are biodegradable. This means that if they go to landfill, they stay in landfill, pretty much forever. Same if they wind up in the middle of the Pacific Ocean or on your uncle Tommy’s roof: if that’s where it lays, that’s where it stays, permanently.

But, LPs, CDs, and cassettes are all recyclable to varying degrees. And the degree to which they are recyclable determines how much landfill waste they produce.

Recycling CDs and Cassettes

When CDs are recycled, the 75% of the disc that’s made of plastic is reused and the remaining 25% of materials are sent to landfill. CD inserts and jewel boxes are also recyclable and weigh about three times as much as the disc (.70 ounces to 2.3 ounces). So this means approximately 90% to 95% of a CD package is recyclable, 5% to 10% is not. If we use the average of three ounces per copy as our guide, every CD produces between about .15 to .30 of an ounce of landfill per unit. One thousand CDs therefore produce approximately 9 to 20 pounds of landfill.

Cassette tape shells and cases are also made of polycarbonate, type 7 plastic and therefore recyclable, as are cassette inserts. But, the magnetic tape inside is NOT recyclable and must be taken to landfill. That tape can take up to 20% to 30% of the mass of a cassette, which means that only 70% to 80% of a cassette is recyclable, less than CDs. With an average weight of 2.5 ounces, a single cassette produces between .50 to .75 ounces of landfill. One thousand cassettes therefore creates between 30 and 45 pounds of landfill.

Recycling Vinyl

Vinyl albums and their packaging are almost entirely recyclable. The inserts and jacket are usually made from paper and PVC is a type 3 plastic. The problem is finding a company to recycle them. Unlike CDs or cassettes, it’s possible that your local recycling agency won’t take your vinyl LPs. And even if they do, they may send them to landfill anyway.  Er go, the recyclability of vinyl really depends on where you live. By the way, if you can’t recycle them, one thousand records produces between 400 and 600 pounds of landfill!! Arrrrrgh!!!

Although these music mediums are all recyclable to varying degrees, the truth is that most LPs, CDs, and cassettes do wind up in landfill. Furthermore, the effectiveness of recycling depends on whether or not manufacturers are using recycled plastic. Currently there is no evidence that music manufacturers are using recycled plastic to any significant degree.

The Environmental Case Against The Physical Sales Of Music: Just Go Digital

Bottom Line: If You Love Music And Care About The Environment, Just Go Digital

So, to music enthusiasts of all walks of life, the message is clear and simple. If you are a music fan and concerned about the environment, it’s time to move on from vinyl LPs, CDs, and cassettes. Just go digital.

Yes, I’ve heard it all before, ‘But LPs are sooooo cool!’ or ‘But I really prefer using my CDs’ or ‘I don’t buy that many to make a difference’. First off, close to a billion CDs, cassettes, and LPs are produced globally each year. Second, if global warming is real and the size of our carbon footprint is something we should be concerned about, we have to continue to sacrifice what we want to do for what we have to do. And if people are going to chastise SUV drivers, styrofoam cup users and others for not being ecologically minded enough, shouldn’t producers, sellers, and consumers of physical music also be held to the same standard?

It’s easy to knock others for doing something we don’t approve of, but much more difficult to use the same level of scrutiny upon ourselves. Going digital is an easy sacrifice to make for the environment. Just do it. Just go digital.

Crucible Hex To Release Multi-tempo Debut Album in 2019.

Byrne Bridges, Crucible Hex, Rhubarb Palace Music

Crucible Hex will release its multi-tempo debut record, Crucible Hex I, December 2018. To coincide with this release, Byrne Bridges will publish a music theory essay entitled Introducing Duration Set Music: A Rethinking Of The Music Measure.This essay outlines the theory of ‘duration set music’ and elaborates on the concept of multi-tempo music.




Introducing The Big $ell Out: Production Music By Rhubarb Publishing

The Big $ell Out, Byrne Bridges, Rhubarb Palace Music, Production Music

Rhubarb Palace is proud to announce The Big $ell Out. TB$O produces professional grade production music for placement in videos, games, commercials, TV, and movies. It is a collaboration between Rhubarb Palace Publishing, producer Byrne Bridges, various composers and musicians, and music libraries from across the media spectrum. For more information regarding custom work, contact Rhubarb Palace Publishing. Please no submissions.

Rhubarb Palace Acquires Species Being Catalog

Species Being, Rhubarb Palace, Byrne Bridges

Rhubarb Palace has acquired the publishing and mechanical rights to two out of print releases by the improv progressive rock band Species Being. The early demo Yonilicious and the critically acclaimed Orgone Therapy will be remastered as a single release, with the addition of a previously unreleased track. Release is set for the Fall of 2017.

Species Being, Orgone Therapy, Rhubarb Palace, Byrne Bridges