Unplugging: Bono vs. Paul McCartney

Money comes and goes, people live and die, lineups please or disappoint and bands form and break up. That’s just the cycle of music, wouldn’t you say?

Bono was thought to have surpassed Sir Paul McCartney as the richest musician in the world, as it was suspected that his investment with Elevation Partners, who bought 2.3% of the Facebook company in 2009, had appointed him a billionaire.

The private equity firm invested $90 million in Facebook in 2009, and when Facebook went public with the announcement that Elevation Partners’ share of the Facebook IPO is now worth $1.5 billion, people were quick to assume Bono had raked in the monumental fortune.

In an interview with MSNBC, Bono attempted to set the record straight, claiming he was “not a billionaire or going to be richer than any Beatle.” Bono also went on to explain that his investment with Elevation is purely out of support for technology, not the desire for money.

On the other hand, not so financially lucky this week was former Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum, who illegally downloaded 30 songs, then shared them via the Internet. The Supreme Court refused to reduce the verdict of the student to pay no less than $675,000 for the illegal downloads, which factors out to be $22,500 per each illegally downloaded song.

Sued by the Recording Industry Association of America, Tenenbaum’s chance of a reduction of the charge was quickly denied, and the penalty was reinstated at the request of record labels represented by RIAA, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Brothers Records Inc.

RIAA has filed almost 12,000 lawsuits against individuals suspected of piracy, but only 2 cases, including Tenenbaum’s, have gone to trial, making it questionable as to why RIAA chose to single out one mere college student when there are clearly bigger fish to fry, such as major national and international torrent sites.

The 2012 Austin City Limits Music Festival lineup was announced this week, but don’t get too excited over the absolutely stellar lineup, because all 3-day and 1-day passes are sadly sold out. Set to take place October 12th-14th at Zilker Park, this growing festival will feature a sharp, impressive lineup that not only features hot headliners like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack White, Neil Young & Crazy Horse and The Black Keys, but up-and-coming acts that were buzzed about during Austin’s SXSW festival such as Alabama Shakes, Delta Spirit, Gary Clark Jr., Tennis and He’s My Brother She’s My Sister.

ACL is notorious for selling out quickly, before the lineup is even announced. This year, leading up to the lineup announcement, the festival teased fans with their fairly new concept of scratch-off tickets, in which fans visit specified Austin businesses and claim an ACL scratch-off that reveals acts to play the upcoming fest.

Britt Daniel from Spoon, an Austin-based band that has graced Austin’s ACL and SXSW Festival numerous times, is joining forces with Wolf Parade guitarist Dan Boeckner and New Bombs Turk drummer Sam Brown to form a new band titled Divine Fits.

They are reportedly working on their debut album with producer Nick Launay. The album has yet to receive a title, but Merge Records plans to release the effort later this year. Spoon has actively been performing live around Austin quite consistently, but Boeckner has been on a hiatus with Wolf Parade since 2011 and New Bomb Turks recently cancelled European tour dates set for July of this year due to a “serious family illness.”

Disco music with that trademark warbly falsetto was most likely blaring in the homes of many Bee Gees fans this week as a way of paying respects for lead singer Robin Gibb, who sadly passed away May 20th at the age of 62. His family released a statement of his passing, his death reportedly a result of his long battle with cancer as well as intestinal surgery.

Robin Gibb formed The Bee Gees alongside his twin brother Maurice and older brother Barry, and rocketed to international success, their most notable work being the soundtrack 1977’s Saturday Night Fever. The Bee Gees were distinctly known for their dance-worthy disco/pop songs, matching white suits and falsetto voices that harmonized brilliantly. Robin Gibb is survived by his wife and three children, and will be sadly missed in the music community.

Unplugging In Brief:

R.I.P. Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees – The Bee Gees lead singer has passed away at the age of 62 from cancer and intestinal surgery.

Austin City Limits Music Festival Announces 2012 Lineup Featuring Neil Young & Crazy Horse, The Black Keys, Jack White and More – The 2012 Austin City Limits lineup was released this week, featuring hot headliners as well as buzzed-about up-and-comers.

Members of Spoon, Wolf Parade and the New Bomb Turks Unite to Form Divine Fits – A new band has been created by Britt Daniel of Spoon, Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Sam Brown of New Bomb Turks.

Bono’s Investment Firm Elevation Partners Could Make $1.5 Billion Facebook IPO – Despite the rumors, Bono has set the record straight, claiming that he’s nowhere close to being richer than Paul McCartney, despite the billion dollars his investment firm recently made off the Facebook IPO.

College Student Will Be Forced to Pay $675,000 For Illegally Downloading 30 Songs – Former Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum wasn’t able to get his sentence reduced, and will now have to pay $675,000 for the 30 songs he illegally downloaded and shared.

Lily Angelle, MXDWN