Dream Another Scheme

Epic Records says the new Nuclear Valdez album won't be released for another two weeks. Tell that to Keith Conlan.

And so far no one in the industry has come up with a solution. "Generally, we know [illicit selling] is done practically every day of the week," says Lisa Markowitz. "[Conlan] happened to get caught. It's a concern, it's a problem. It's a known fact within the industry that bootlegging is so widespread you can't really crack down from Podunk to Manhattan."

But does consumer/entrepreneur Keith Conlan belong on the industry's Most Wanted list? "I'm not into bootlegging," Conlan says. "I collect music and I like to have rare things in my collection. Like Basia, that was a promo item recorded in Chicago that was never released. I found a copy at a record show for five dollars. A big Basia fan can't go to Peaches and get this CD."

Between albums, major-label bands avoid touring so as not to dilute their value, and the members of Nuclear Valdez have been between albums for months now. Sosa and Diaz have been working at record stores as something to do and to earn some pocket money. Barcala gives guitar lessons, LeMont is a professional hair stylist. So they were in town to hear about Conlan's ad. "I heard about it and looked into it," says Fro Sosa. "He had a few promo copies and sold them. He told us he had five. I can't do much about it. I could find out where he lives, I guess, and send a cease-and-desist letter from our lawyer."

But, Sosa asks rhetorically, "How can I be pissed? Maybe the guy's a fan. I mean, it sucks, but I fully expect it. With the market for used CDs, you know the record's going to be circulated. I should put a thing in New Times myself and sell some stuff. We as a band have to sell a lot of records to really make money. Any kind of promotion might help. But the irony is that he's making money off our music, and we aren't.

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