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March 02, 2007

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Lasko

"Jon Birge of the New York based Valley Entertainment, says that his company has been listed as one of the companies the Bush administration no longer wants to cooperate with"


What does that mean? Cooperate how?

I wouldn't put anything past the scumbags in the Bush administration.

Anyway of translating the Norwegian article into English? The link to the producer's statement didn't fill me in at all as to what is currently going on with Valley Entertainment. About the only thing my Google search turned up was news of an anti-Bush compilation: http://xltronic.com/mb/95555/lullabies-for-the-bush-administration

John from Oslo

Hi Laslo, here is an unofficial translation of the NRK-story:

«Norwegian CD made Bush see red»

An american record company has been blacklisted by the Bush-Administration, because of a CD from "Kirkelig Kulturverksted [Church Cultural Workshop]"

«Lullabies from the axis of evil»
John Birge, manager of the New York based Valley Entertainment, tells us that his company has [fallen] onto a list over companies the American administration don't want to cooperate with.

The background is that the company took on the assignment to distribute Kirkelig Kulturverksted's production "Lullbies from the axis of evil", where women from Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Afghanistan, North-Korea and Cuba, sing lullabies i duet with western artists.

Nordic Artists
The record was released in 2004, and since has sold regularly in many countries aound the world, and have received good reviews, in for instance The Washington Post and the Independent.

The artist contributing on the production is nina hagen, rickie lee jones...

-----------------------------------------------------------------
And here the story from the paper "Vårt Land":

Bush hinders KKV-record

The american radical left record company Valley Entertainment, is hampered by the Bush administration because of [their] distribution of the Norwegian Kirkelig Kulturverksted's record "lullabies from the axis of evil"


If a distribution company wants to function well in USA it is depended on getting the right forms from the goverment in good time. Through [some sort of sources] the record company has received information that they figure on a list over companies, that activly is being hampered by the Bush Administration.

-This is another of many examples on how USA has grown into a society with increased control over individuals and institutions, says director of kirkelig kulturverksted, Erik Hillestad, to Vårt Land

«Poking sticks in the wheels»
He got to know about the Bush boycott a few days ago, and thinks that the goverment is [poking sticks in the wheels] to get companies to act according to their wishes. Lullabies from the axis of evil, is assumed to be a critic of Iraq-policy, he thinks.

-It is true in a way, and it is interesting that lullabies can be that threatening, says Hillestad.

On the CD, women from Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Afghanistan, North-Korea and Cuba [contribute together] with women from the western world, in duets. Such as Kari Bremnes , Nina Hagen and Eva Dahlgren.

«The peace movement»
Kirkelig kulturverksted has sold 10.000 copies of the CD in USA, the same sales as in Norway since the release in 2004.

-We know that the record has been a hit in the american peace movement, and 10.000 is a high salesfigure for us, says Hillestad.

He has been talking to the manager of Valley Entertainment, Jon Birge, who thinks this hampering is outrageous. But neither Valley Entertainment nor kirkelig kulturverksted have any particular plans to sanction Bush's hampering.

In USA the CD has received nice review in the Washington Post.

«end»
---------------------------------------------------------------

Andreas

My understanding from this article (http://www.vl.no/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070302/ARTIKLER/70302028/1156/RSS)
is that Mr Birge reportedly has been informed by a third party that the Bush administration has placed Valley Entertainment on a list of companies that are to be subjected to "special treatment" in all their contacts with the authorities. Delays, bureaucratic complications, etc.

nulldevice

Still not quite sure what this all means. When putting out a record in the US, there's little contact with the government involved, except for customs duties if you're importing it (at lest in my experience with my indie label). Maybe they're having import problems, but if it is in fact demonstrably politically motivated, you'd think the ACLU would be all over this.

Valley Entertainment (how are they a "radical left" label? because they release Paul Winter albums?) doesn't seem to have anything on their website about it either. Which is odd.

Whatever the case, I think some investigation needs to be done - if this isn't just a miscommunication, mistranslation, or internet rumour, then it should be explained and publicised beyond just the vague original statement. If it is a rumour or miscommunication, well, then it should be straightened out.

John from Oslo

Hi Nulldevice.

I totally agree. I jumped on this story, because I thought it would flush out the "blacklist" that some 3rd party claims the existence of. But alas, the journalists involved have failed to deliver the proof, accepted a statement - and "gone for the man, instead of the ball" (a soccer term).

The Norwegian paper "Vaart Land" is responsible of coining Valley Entertainment as "radical left".

Andreas' explanation is along the lines of what we are led to believe, not what is actually written in the articles...

The "news-story" even got published in Aftonbladet in Sweden: http://www.aftonbladet.se/vss/nyheter/story/0,2789,1013980,00.html
where in they use NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corp.) as a source... Of course with the title "Eva Dahlgren blacklisted by Bush". The Swedish artist Dahlgren has contributed on one track...

As for the validity of the story - I can only assume this; nifty advertising combined with a kick in the presidents balls...

As Borat would have said; Investigative journalism - NOT!

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