Underground Garage

EMI is merging Capitol and Virgin to form the Capitol Music Group, and we're happy to see Jason Flom got the gig running it.

EMI is merging Capitol and Virgin to form the Capitol Music Group, and we're happy to see Jason Flom got the gig running it.

We're not happy about Andy Slater leaving, however, since he was responsible for the only good thing Capitol ever did for the Beatles, which was releasing their first eight American albums in mono, the way God intended them to be heard. Let's hope Flom continues to release the rest and finds a way to include their essential third album "A Hard Day's Night," which Capitol never owned.

Meanwhile, I think it was an old Robert Klein bit that went, "And now for a limited time only—and not available in stores—every record ever made." And that's basically what Microsoft has in mind with its new operating system Windows Vista. Problem is, your songs will work on any MP3 player—except an iPod, of course.

As much as I love this high-tech professional wrestling, isn't it time for all software to work with any hardware? I know Apple started it, but come on, guys—give the consumers a break.

When it comes to pricing content, however, consumers may soon be getting too much of a break. If the cost of a song goes any lower, we may lose an entire art form. Sanity Music, Microsoft's Australian partner and an oxymoron if there ever was one, is predicting pricing somewhere around a $40-$60 subscription fee per month for 300 songs. In U.S. dollars, that's about $31-$47.

A dollar a song is dangerously low, but 10 cents? Split among the artist, writer, record company and distribution?

I said it before, I'll keep saying it, but I hate this subscription thing. It's the songwriters and new acts who are going to get screwed first. See you on the radio.

COOLEST GARAGE SONGS
1. "Broken Heart," the Charms
2. "Stephen, Stephen," Apples In Stereo
3. "Goodbye Rock And Roll Band," the Novaks
4. "Teenage Head," the Morlocks
5. "Within You Without You," the Beatles
6. "Ain't No King of Rock and Roll," the Nomads
7. "Long Live the Weekend," the Living End
8. "Favorite Son," Green Day
9. "Runnin' Around," New York Dolls
10. "Love Letter," the Paybacks

COOLEST GARAGE ALBUMS
1. "Broken Boy Soldiers," the Raconteurs
2. "CBGB Forever," various artists
3. "State of Emergency," the Living End
4. "Strange Magic," the Charms
5. "One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This," New York Dolls
6. "Last Man Standing," Jerry Lee Lewis
7. "Shine On," Jet
8. "Rock and Roll Backlash," the Woggles
9. "Sinner," Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
10. "Love, Not Reason," the Paybacks