This is a piece I wrote for this week’s Riverfront Times. I have never met Jordan Oakes despite living in St. Louis for almost a decade now, but I certainly enjoyed his Yellow Pills fanzine and have had his Prefill compilation on Numero Group just as long as it’s been out. Since then, hard feelings have developed between the two parties. This article was a chance to combine two great interests of mine – record collecting and copyright law – and try to understand the issues underneath their contentions. Among other things, I received a good refresher course in derivative works, which I learned about in law school. Thanks to all who answered my questions.
Speaking of the RFT, let’s pour one out for music editor Kiernan Maletsky, who will soon be leaving the Midwest to take over the Dallas Observer‘s music section. Taking over for Annie Zaleski after her six-year run, Kiernan had big shoes to fill. It’s to his credit that he was able to jump into the local music scene and immediately make a contribution. On a personal level, he was willing to entertain whatever harebrained scheme I proposed, be it traveling to Farmington to see Grass Widow at what turned out to be a dying club, researching and writing a feature story about GG Allin, or spending months trying to track down attendees at Neutral Milk Hotel‘s 1990s Missouri shows. He grew into his position well, and it will definitely be our city’s loss when he’s gone to Deep Ellum. (Wait, is “Deep Ellum” a thing anymore? Or did that die out after Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians’ debut?)