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On the Net: Concerts on the Web

On the Net: Concerts on the Web

If you've been to a concert in recent years, you've seen the outstretched arms bearing digital cameras and cell phones that rise above the crowd like periscopes.
Increasingly, the footage from those concertgoers is turning up online.
YouTube and other video-sharing sites offer a lot of things, and one of them is clearly a giant library of concert footage. It's never been easier to see what your favorite band looks like in concert, or glimpse that "sick" show you missed.
Some recent memorable performances I've stumbled across include former Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus singing "Mama" in an elevator, and clips of Arcade Fire, who make it a habit of playing acoustic encores amongst the crowd.
The success of AOL's broadcast of the Live 8 concerts in 2005 made it clear that live shows are a valuable commodity online. But getting artists and labels to agree to stream concerts or make them available for download has proved difficult because of issues over rights and profits.
After an earlier collaboration failed, Kevin Wall (who produced Live 8 on AOL) last year formed ControlRoom.com with Microsoft. It represents perhaps the most notable effort to put full concerts of big-time acts online. They've broadcast Beyonce in Tokyo and the Dave Matthews Band from Florida.
The biggest problem, though, is that some concerts are only available as a simultaneous stream _ and even those that you can go back and watch often only feature a part of the show. The loading is also quite slow.
http://www.Concert.tv
For simple audio recordings of concerts, the best place to look is archive.org's Live Music Archive, which combines resources with etree.org, a wiki that collects individually uploaded shows. They have hundreds of old Grateful Dead shows, as well as more recent stuff like Beirut playing in Brooklyn. Concerts can be downloaded or immediately streamed.
http://www.npr.org
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The skit by Will Ferrell, Jack Black and John C. Reilly was the funniest thing that happened at the Oscars. Sure, Ellen DeGeneres was a good host, but the singing performance by Ferrell and company outshone everything else. Holding a white rose, Ferrell sang: "A comedian at the Oscars is the saddest, bitterest, alcoholic clown." Watch it again on YouTube, where several fans have uploaded it.
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EDITOR'S NOTE _ What's your favorite Web site? E-mail AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle at fcoyle(at)ap.org