By Jenn Zellers                 

If that new Radiohead song you just downloaded didn’t come from a legal source, it may cost you $3,000 and suspension of your network privileges on campus.                   

Illegal file sharing is the unlawful transmission of copyrighted works via the Internet. It requires software such as BitTorrent, Kazaa, Morpheus or Limewire to access files on other computers worldwide. None of the music, movies, software or games are hosted on the necessary software’s website, but rather on another person’s personal computer.           

A Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) survey from February 2007 showed that 50% of the college students continue to download and swap music with friends or using P2P networks.In a Daily Variety article from August 21, 2007, it is said that file sharing and illegal downloading cost the music industry $3.7 million in lost revenue.           

Since February 2007, the RIAA have tried a less threatening approach to get university students to pay for the music they download illegally. The pre-litigation letters give students a chance to pay the fine. If they refuse, they’ll be sued by the RIAA. The average settlement is $3,000.           

Last year, 4,500 students on campuses across the nation received the pre-litigation letters.In a press release on the RIAA website, 16 pre-litigation letters were sent to IUPUI students in December 2007.            

According to Pat Ames, Vice Chancellor of Information Technologies, the problem is small at the IU South Bend campus. “We generally receive two to three notifications a month, but it’s a major problem on IUB and IUPUI.” In October, IU Bloomington received 23 letters according to the RIAA website.The procedure to notify students that have been cited for illegal downloading is straightforward. “When we’re informed of an illegal file exchange, we contact the student immediately and it’s usually resolved within a few days,” said Ames. “Students may be sued by recording industries in civil court for thousands of dollars.”           

On January 2, 2008, all IU South Bend students named in a settlement were charged $50 to their Bursar account to cover the cost of notification and resolution. The students were then notified and asked to remove all illegal files from their computer and other storage devices. The student’s VPN access is suspended until the fine is paid and the student completes an online test. The test is to confirm that the student is aware of polices concerning of the use of IT resources. If a student continues to violate the policy, suspension or termination of network resources could occur and the student could also be referred to Student Judiciary.

IU South Bend students aren’t left without a choice for downloading music files. Students can go to Ruckus.com and register with their school email address, but the computer labs can’t be used to access the service because of software that needs to be downloaded for use.For more information on file sharing on IU campuses, visit filesharing.iu.edu/index.php.  

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Andy Hostetter
Staff Writer

Kevin Kane is the former singer/songwriter for one of Canada’s biggest bands of the early 90s, Grapes of Wrath. He is releasing his first “full band” solo album, How To Build A Lighthouse, which he produced in June, and was kind enough to give the Preface a sneak preview of the album and insight into its making.

“A friend and I were looking at a poster of that famous picture of the guy standing on the balcony of an old stone lighthouse while this massive wave crashed around it.  I said ‘How the hell do you build something like that?’  I wonder if anyone’s written a book: How To Build A Lighthouse.”  I thought that title somehow suited the album, of trying to make something one feels is necessary despite the odds and obstacles,” Kane said.

The album is a blend of moody ballads and droning vocal-riff filled rockers. “Last to Know” opens the album with a downhearted story of being, as the title states, the last to know. Its muted guitar parts role through the song, and Kane’s voice gives the song a light-hearted depressive mood. “No Postcards” and “Somebody Needs a Hug” follow in the same vein, while “No Black Dots” and Kane’s cover of Pink Floyd’s “Arnold Layne” are absolute hard rockers. Kane assures the cover is not a tribute to the recently diseased Floyd manic Syd Barrett. “That was the second take – just some Syd fans bashing it out after the “real work” was over.  It was recorded in November 2005, so it wasn’t recorded because of his death but because he’s one of my all-time favorite musicians and inspirations,” Kane said.

The album’s most shinning moments are its softer tracks. “Late Night” and the album’s closing, “Sputnik,” are beautiful sorrowful pieces of ballad gold. The echoing guitar parts alone are enough to make you cry. Kane’s lyrics are sung with such sincerity and conviction, and his voice sounds heavenly. The cello part on “Nothing Left” accompanies the song perfectly, and goes from soft and smooth to chaotic and shrill during the bridge.

“Closer” is the album’s deepest and most heartbreaking track. It’s a blend of emotionally downing guitars ranging from icy to warm. Kane’s vocal arrangement is perfect. “My favorite recording that I’ve done so far is ‘Closer,’” Kane said. “I had a long time to think about it. It took me 10 years to finish – not to write, but to finish it the way I wanted it to be finished. I really feel like I got it right with that one.” And he’s absolutely right; 10 years of work has made “Closer” a perfect pop song.

What’s most amazing about How To Build A Lighthouse is its range of musical influences. From his GOW days to present, Kane has always combined his influences into one unified original piece. On this album, however, he’s found a way to combine everything from the Beatles to Radiohead. Yet it’s still hard to pin down the exact genre. When asked, he hesitated and answered, “Saddish folky psych-pop?” Close enough.

Kane might not have made as big of an impact here in the States as he has elsewhere, but this album has the potential to give him the credit he deserves. It’s a notch up creatively than anything he has ever done. “Playing solo for me has made me look at music more like watchmaking – it’s more about nuance and detail than energy,” Kane said.

I asked Kane whether or not he considered his new album to be his return. He replied with, “I suppose.  Life can be complicated sometimes and there are things that can require one’s attention.  This has been in the works for some time and its finally coming
together.” The album is indeed a reflection of those words. It is a true piece of art. He has once again proven he’s one of the greatest songwriters of our generation.

For more information and song samples visit http://www.kevinkane.net and myspace.com/kevin_kane.

Scott Schroeder
Staff Writer

Growing up, music was a big interest of mine at an early age. As I got older, my tastes jumped back and forth between punk and grunge, and everything in between. So here is a list of five albums that have had an impact on me.

Minor Threat – Complete Discography
I think I might have been about 13 when I first heard some songs off this album. All of the songs were very fast and just full of all this angst, and when it ended I was stunned. The songs tended to promote thinking or a positive attitude, getting the message across with this raw and aggressive power.

Green Day – Dookie
Though I don’t like this album as much as Insomniac and Kerplunk!, it was one of the first CDs I ever bought, so it definitely had an impact on me. This CD has a lot of great songs on it as well, which helped make it the huge album that it was.

Rancid – Let’s Go!
This was the first Rancid album that featured Lars Frederickson on second guitar and vocals. This is album is full of a lot of catchy songs that just got stuck in my head. The addition of Lars gave the band the fuller, more polished and melodic sound.

Nirvana – Bleach
This is an album that has a very raw and somewhat abrasive sound to it, unlike its follow-up, Nevermind. The songs tend to vary, too; you’ll have somewhat of a poppy song like “About a Girl” to something aggressive like “Negative Creep.”

Misfits – Walk Among Us
Growing up, I was always a fan of old horror movies. The Misfits sang about old horror movies and other cult things very similar. I was already into punk music at the time and the lyrics just seemed to click with me. Catchy, too. I’d say this is one of their best recordings.

Andy Hostetter
Entertainment Editor

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This past week, Umphrey’s McGee keyboardist/vocalist Joel Cummins took time out of his busy touring schedule to talk to the Preface about his South Bend roots, life on the road, and returning to the Morris.

Preface: Did the people of South Bend think Umphrey’s McGee would ever get to where they are today?

Cummins: I think only after six or seven drinks did they see our potential. No, we were definitely hard-working, I’ll say that much; it certainly took us a while to get the ball rolling. We never had any big honors like winning Battle of the Bands or anything.

Preface: Are you proud of coming from a small town in Indiana or do people think you’re all a bunch of hicks?

Cummins: We would never let that happen; we’re pretty tough about our heritage. We’re very proud of Michiana.

Preface: Is South Bend a good place to start a band?

Cummins: That’s interesting; I think it’s a good place to start. We had to move, but it was good for us in the sense that there weren’t any distractions once we got going. It was a place where you could really work and practice. We went to Notre Dame so we spent a couple years waiting for our drummer to graduate. It forced us to buckle down a little bit and work on stuff. By the time we moved to Chicago, I think we were a lot more ready than if we would have moved there in 1998.

Preface: Does your album title Local Band Does Ok give direct tribute to South Bend?

Cummins: One of the guys (in the band) was in a bar in South Bend, and I think he mentioned that he was in the band, and somebody in the bar said something like, “oh, what is that local band does good.” We’re always a little self-deprecating, so we thought it would be a little bit humorous to make us just “ok.” We try to entertain people with our humor, but we definitely try to take the music serious but not take ourselves too serious.

Preface: Was the Morris ever a venue that during the beginning of the group you dreamed of playing?

Cummins: It’s a great venue. We’ve done two shows there in 2001; it took us a while to get back. We were just always waiting for the right time to get back to such a tremendous place, and we’re thrilled to be going back there. I saw that we’ve already sold like half the tickets for it, and it’s still a month away so it’s going to be really cool to come back a play a full house at the Morris.

Preface: Do you see Umphrey’s live show podcast series as the bootleg of the future?

Cummins: Yeah, the more music we can get out the more music we want to put out. Every single show of ours is available as a download, or you can buy hardcopies. These podcasts are like a greatest hits from our live moments that happen each month. I think they’re a really cool way to reach out to fans and to give them something for free.

The band will be playing at the Morris Civic March 17. Adrian Belew, former member of King Crimson, will be opening the show for the band.  

America Returns

March 26, 2007

Val Schweisberger
Staff Writer

If someone would’ve told me that, one day, Ryan Adams and Ben Kweller would be collaborating with 1970s soft rock group America, I would have laughed out loud.

Obscure minds like these have no business working with those responsible for “Sister Golden Hair” and “A Horse with No Name,” or so I’d have thought.

Then I heard about Here and Now, America’s 2007 comeback album that includes collaborations with alternative minds like James Iha and Adam Schlesinger, according to Stephen Thomas Erlewine of All Music Guide. The album includes fresh America material as well as covers by contemporary bands. It is comprised of 2 discs of easy, melodic, soft rock that will please fans of the band’s early work and new listeners accustomed to the music of Kweller and Adams. 

America, consisting of Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek, and Gerry Beckley, has won a Grammy and gone platinum several times over. Their music helped shape the 70s, and influenced some truly great minds. Their latest effort is not a departure from their classic material.

Songs like “Chasing the Rainbow” and “Always Love” evoke feelings of familiarity in olds fans, and tend to please audiences more than critics. However, Here and Now is of the same quality as America’s early work. It’s no better, it’s no worse. The only real difference is the input from unexpected artists, and even that sounds familiar.

All in all, Here and Now is worth a listen. It sounds good and gets stuck your head, just like the old stuff. America is as good as they always were, and this time they get some help from great contemporary minds. What else can you ask for?

Steve Lotter
Staff Writer

Just when you thought it was safe to put down your wallet, Apple comes up with another way to get your money.
 
Introducing the iPhone, the latest revolutionary handheld device set to take the cell phone market by storm. It’s a camera phone, an MP3 player, and web browser all in one. Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, has gone on record stating that the iPhone “may change the whole phone industry.” 
 
Time will tell just how much of an impact the iPhone will have. For now, a few burning questions remain; how does it work and what makes it better than any other phone on the market?
 
First of all, Apple is touting its sleek design and ultra sensitive touch screen as a way to ease the use of all of its various features. The only traditional button on the device will be the home button, located near the bottom, which directs users to the home screen of the iPhone. Here we are met with a variety of options ranging from weather, maps, stocks, photos, and calendar. At the bottom, a mini menu represents the main features of the device: phone, mail, web, and iPod.
 
The phone supports conference calls, SMS, and a new feature called visual voicemail which lets you treat voicemail like e-mail, choosing which message you want to listen to first rather than having to listen to each message in order. The iPhone is also a camera phone, sporting a 2-megapixel camera and photo management application that claims to go “far beyond anything on a phone today.” 
 
E-mail and web browsing are made easier than ever. With a tap of the touch screen you are taken to your inbox, which uses a rich HTML email client and displays graphics along with text from IMAP and POP servers. Users can also surf the web with the iPhone’s advanced Safari browser. The iPhone lets you see any web page the way it was intended to be seen. A pinching technique (two fingers) allows you to zoom in on text and pictures for convenient browsing use.
 
Also included is a fully customizable iPod video which is being touted as the best iPod Apple has ever produced. By flipping the iPhone on its side a motion detector turns the screen 90 degrees and lets you view video in 3.5 inch widescreen display. You can also search for music by album cover with a new feature called Cover Flow which allows users to thumb through album covers while in widescreen mode.
 
Apple’s iPhone will certainly be under heavy scrutiny by tech critics before its launch in June 2007. Many have already griped about its easy to smudge and scratch surface, its limited amount of memory, and its price ($600 for an 8GB model and $500 for a 4GB). The iPhone will also only be compatible with Cingular service which has a two-year service agreement with Apple.
 
Do the perks outweigh the drawbacks? Will the iPhone be a must-have gadget like the iPod was and still is? Do you really need a new phone?

Steve Lotter
Staff Writer

Students, we have been taught for far too long that the reason why we make money is so we can spend it and feed the system. Sure there are the necessaries – food, a place to live, a ride to get around in – but did you really need that $17 dollar Nelly CD from the mall?
 
Music, movies, and media in general play an important yet expensive role in the lives of many college students. If you agree that the prices for movies and music at commercial stores are too much, look no further then your nearest library.
 
You remember the library, don’t you? It was that building with all the books you used to go to in elementary school. Did you know that the St. Joseph Public Library system has been consistently ranked among the TOP TEN public libraries (serving populations of 100,000 to 250,000) in the U.S. for the past 8 years? In addition to books and magazines, your library aims to bring you the finest in movies, music, and PC gaming.
 
Don’t think of the library as a place for the old; think of it as a hub for the new. Shuffle into one of its many locations (including right next to your campus) and find a flick you’ve been dying to see or discover a new artist you’ve never heard of. Need an expensive book for class? Why not check to see if the library has it first?
 
In terms of selection, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more decent place to browse then the media section on the top floor of the main library located in downtown South Bend. I’ve used the library to find films to present in class for projects and research papers. I’ve found music from other parts of the world that have broadened my horizons in world art. The library has as great a selection of newer and mainstream as it does foreign and hard to find media.
 
New arrivals ship weekly, meaning you don’t have to camp out in front of Best Buy for the latest Jay-Z when you can just go to the library and check it out for free. Fiction movies and TV box sets are 75 cents a piece and documentaries, stand-up comedy, and concerts are free. If you think you can watch an entire season’s worth of the Sopranos in 3 days, the library will let you attempt it.
 
Whatever you do, don’t take the library for granted. It’s a great way to get a good find, but it can get sticky if you keep your materials for longer than intended. Fines have long been a problem with many younger users of the library, but you’re a college student now. You’re responsible. Surely you can handle returning a CD you checked out for free in 20 days, right?
 
Some prefer to spend loads of cash on media; some cheat the system and use the internet. I prefer the library, a safe and inexpensive way to get the best for less. Check out their web site [sjcpl.lib.in.us] for more information on where they are located, when they are open, and whether or not they have what you are looking for.

Sirius Radio

March 26, 2007

  People who think Sirius Satellite Radio is all about Howard Stern have another thing coming.

          Ever since the king of talk radio moved to Sirius roughly one year ago, people have tended to associate him with the popular radio revolution.

However, there’s more to Sirius than raunchy talk radio.

         

“Sirius is amazing,” says subscriber Casey Easterday. “You can’t hear that music on local radio; there’s nothing like it.”         

Except for its chief competitor, XM Radio, there truly is nothing like it. But because of its recent agreement with AOL, XM Radio is now free on AOL Instant Messenger. Therefore, it is formidable competition.

          So, why choose Sirius?         

Simple. Sirius offers a multitude of music, talk, and comedy stations, enough to please any listener. Like jam bands? Jam On routinely plays 18 minute Phish tracks. More of a rock fan? Classic Vinyl and the Vault play Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton all day. Anything one might be inclined to listen to, it’s there. It even has Howard Stern.

          And with no commercial interruption.            “I’ve given it to friends for Christmas; everyone loves it. It’s addicting,” says Easterday.

For $12.95 a month, addicted listeners like these are treated to over 120 channels of pure satellite entertainment. Between the car, the house, and the laptop, Sirius can be received almost anywhere. 

  Again, with no commercial interruption.

          True, there are many benefits to satellite radio, but Easterday admits to having some qualms. “They advertise Sirius a lot in between songs, even without the use of commercials. It gets annoying because they’re preaching to the choir.” 

          Well, nothing’s perfect.         

Clearly, Howard Stern is not the only thing about Sirius worth mentioning. The uncensored talk, the obscure music, and the lack of commercial advertisement are just a few of the benefits subscribers enjoy. Whether you like racy talk radio or the latest underground bands, Sirius Satellite Radio (or XM Radio – free, but not if you want car access) offers anything a curious listener could ask for.  

 For details about Sirius, go to sirius.com.

40 Years of Pet Sounds

March 26, 2007

Andy Hostetter
Entertainment Editor

For the last few years I’ve been trying to find some way of getting The Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” album into Preface. Thanks to time and greed I’ve been able to do it. 

 Time has served this album well. The new deluxe package celebrates the album’s 40th anniversary. Time has also been a blessing in that originally in 1966 “Pet Sounds” was a bit of a sales disappointment for the massively successful Beach Boys. However, over its 40 year journey the legendary status of this album has bread more and more album sales. During this past summer, it finally went double platinum. 

 However, let’s not forget about greed. Greed comes to mind when buying this new limited edition CD. For around the ballpark of $30.00, you’ll receive the original album in mono, the entire original in stereo, and a DVD. Not bad for 30 bucks you say? Well, the mono/stereo version was already released a few years ago. The DVD features snippets of material from other DVDs that have already been released. The only new editions are a small interview with Beatles producer George Martin and a “Good Vibrations” promo film.

 In addition to time and greed being my main reasons of writing this article, the third (and bonus) reason is because the album is an absolute classic. With no question in my mind, “Pet Sounds” is my all-time favorite album and for many fans of music, and critics the feeling is mutual. 

 After 40 years, the album still sounds amazing. Songs like “God Only Knows”, “Sloop John B”, and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” can still be heard on the radio. The classic sound, Beach Boy four-part harmony, and Brian Wilson’s classic production style, with his Specterish layering, makes this symphonic masterpiece an album to go unmatched in popular music.

 “Pet Sounds” fusion of pop, rock and roll, and baroque classical style are still light years ahead of its time. The Beach Boys, especially leader, producer, and song writer Wilson, started the process of pushing the boundaries of what is possible in popular music. Yes, before the Beatles and before the whole psychedelic era was “Pet Sounds.” 

 Its influence on other groups, mainly the Beatles, can’t go unnoticed. Although it may have marked the end of The Beach Boys’ commercial success; it will also mark the creative high and production masterpiece that we’ll still talk about another 40 years from now.

 So if you have a copy of the original don’t waste your money. For those who have never heard the album I suggest picking up a copy, whether it be the old or the new.

 You can check out the still-living members of The Beach Boys discussing the making of the album on the “Pet Sounds” podcast series on iTunes and on Wilson’s website [brianwilson.com].

Titan Events

March 26, 2007

Adam Gallippo, Student Life Editor

 This semester, Titan Productions hopes to pull students in by offering an alternative form of entertainment. “What Titan Productions tries to do is have a variety of things to do so any student could find something interesting to do whether they’re young or old,” said Marvin Rasch, Faculty Advisor to Titan Productions. Events like the Acoustic Café, Family Movie Night, and Open Mic Night are sure to bring in various crowds. All the while, students can take advantage of our student activity fees.  “All our events this semester are free,” said Rasch, “except the Alternative Spring Break trip to Mississippi.”  

The trip Rasch is talking about is a continuation of last year’s trip to Biloxi, MS to assist in post Katrina clean up. The trip will last from March 10-18 and, according to Rasch, will cost $150 per person and includes transportation, room, and board.  For more information on the Alternative Spring Break, please check the IUSB Bulletin Board.

  Here’s the list of events this semester along with time and location.

1/24: Open Mic Night featuring Cornell Bass in the Courtside Café at 6PM2/01: Acoustic Café featuring Jesse Veeder in the Courtside Café at noon

2/24: Family Movie Night presents “Happy Feet” in DW1001 at 4PM2/28: Open Mic Night featuring Nathaniel (Lune) in the Courtside Café at 6PM

2/06: Acoustic Café featuring Phyllis Heitjan in the Courtside Café at noon3/10 – 3/18: Alternative Spring Break Trip to Mississippi3/21: Open Mic Night featuring Paul Decker in the Courtside Café at 6PM

3/24: Family Video Night presents “Charlotte’s Web” in DW1001 at 4PM

4/17: Acoustic Café featuring Syd in the Courtside Café at noon

4/23 – 4/25: Final Showdown TBA