Monday, October 29, 2012

FUCK the Internet Radio Fairness Act

(Copied from my Tumblr)
Just read about the Internet Radio Fairness Act, um, allow me to say, FUCK NO!! - this is from the people who are supporting it (you can also read the Summary & Text of the proposed legislation there)
These are the people supporting it:
VERY NOTABLE is the inclusion of Pandora
According to these folks, the IRFA will:
Give consumers more choices and more robust products for listening to the music they love;
Enable artists to earn increasingly more money as Internet radio grows and to better connect with their fans to market their music, merchandise and tours;
Create a sustainable digital marketplace that makes it possible for entrepreneurs to start new services and invest in new, innovative ways to deliver music to the public, and;
Drive higher revenues for the record labels themselves.
point 1 - Give consumers more choices and more robust products??  Consumers have never had so much choice about where/how to get their music … you can listen to almost any music for free at will at any time you want … consumer choice is NOT a problem in the music industry right now
point 2  - Internet Radio is not a bad thing, but more of it is not going to be some magical panacea where artists connect with their fans better.  It will eventually reach a point of diminishing returns (this second sentence is my opinion)
point 3 - There is more and  more Internet Radio everyday … could their profits be higher?  Yes!  Would this be a good thing for them & possibly artists too? Yes!  Is the inability to create new tech  startups a problem in the music industry right now? NO
point 4 - That depends on which version of the bill we’re talking about … Also, it bears the same problems of: Does that money get used in ways that are fair & beneficial to Artists.  Also, what about Independent Artists?
This article is worth reading, and aligns well with my feelings on the Bills:
“Westergren is absolutely correct that it’s unfair that Pandora pays artists while AM/FM radio doesn’t; but that disparity doesn’t mean that everyone should pay artists less. And Westergren’s claim that Pandora cannot afford to pay artists fairly doesn’t add up either. The company just completed a wildly profitable IPO, has an explosive user base, maintains one of the world’s most-recognizable music brands, and remains the industry leader.

Moreover, paying royalties to musicians isn’t stopping new Internet companies from entering the market, as Westergren argues. The Internet radio market has grown 33 percent over the past five years. Westergren suggests that artists would actually earn more if Internet radio stations paid them less, because there would be more Internet radio stations. To me, it sounds more like a clever way for Pandora to make billions in profits by cheating artists out of their fair share of the internet radio revenue pie.   Excuse me for being cynical about that kind of thing – it’s a tough business”

Tales From The Road #3 - What do a Turkish Cafe, A Fantasy Ball & A Cemetery Have In Common?

I decided this past weekend would be a good one to do some touring.  So I grabbed Robare of The Rose West & headed off to Philadelphia to go play at Cafe Fulya.  We left New York around 5 & got to Philly just in time to start playing.  The show ended up being a small, intimate performance full of geeky and improvisational music, as well as some Rose West tunes & even an Eli August cover (that I really hope someone caught on video!!).  Of course, there was also good wine and *amazing* food.  I particularly love the Baklava there!!  This was the first time Rob & I have played as a duo & we decided it worked fairly well & that we should do more!  Favorite moments for me were getting to play a melancholic improvisatory version of Hava Nagilah, and having a passer-by listen to the music from outside and later tell me that my music had relieved her headache!!

After the Fulya show, we drove down to Baltimore to stay with Eli.  Rob & I spent the day doing some light rehearsal and then heading over to Ellicot city to browse the shops (ostensibly to pick up a mask for the gig later)… We found this one place that was just full of everything Fantastical and amazing … the sort of place you could spend hours in & still not be done … full of pirates and fairies and masks and action figures and tapestries and all sorts of things … I picked up a Frog Wizard and Bootstrap Bill to add to my slowly growing collection of these things.  There was also an *amazing* Antique Mall that was so big we didn't even explore the whole thing!!  We also ran into Brennan (one of the Abandoned Buildings members) at the music store he works at! (completely by accident)

(The Cluttered, but slowly-growing collection of Action Figures)

After the fun shopping was over, we got in a little more rehearsal and headed to the MS Fantasy Ball - one very awesome event.  To start with, any event with an Open Bar & Free Food is off to a really good start.  On top of that, friendly people and good music.  The night started off with Spider Lilies, Followed by Red This Ever.  Then it was Psyche Corp's turn.  There were some sound issues (not on our part), but we did the  best of it & rocked out & that was that.  Red This Ever saved me by lending me some cables when I discovered that mine had been misplaced (I found them later).  Both they & the folks from Spider Lilies were awesome.  The event was finished up by Danny Blu, who put on a good performance as always.  The MS in front of the Fantasy Ball stands for Multiple Sclerosis - the entire event was a benefit!!

On to sunday, we'd been hearing about this Hurricane all weekend, and we weren't sure if the Cemetery Potluck was going to happen.  It did in fact still happen - NO HURRICANE STOPS THIS CELLIST!! - and Rob & I brought Eli along to play some tunes.  It was QUITE cold, which made playing a little bit challenging - no matter ... I appropriately ended "A World of Drones" with Chopin's Funeral March (a melody that's been prominently in my head since the day I discovered Metallica's S&M), and we alternated between my solo playing, dueling with rob & playing some of Eli's tunes.  I have to confess, I didn't pull out my Black No. 1 cover, or my new song based on Ruby Gloom (they just weren't ready yet) If you're in the DC area - the Cemetery Potluck is definitely worth checking out (happens once a year, around Halloween).

Dr. Who Medley from the Cemetery Potluck

Feria Cinerum by 2/5s of The Rose West at the Cemetery Potluck

From there, it was hanging out, eaten' pizza & sharing good music on the (rather peaceful) car ride home.

For those who don't know - Eli & band (The Abandoned Buildings) are fundraising for our first FULL BAND ALBUM:

Also, I've got a  new video up: 

See you on the road!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tales From The Subway #1

It's been months, but I've finally started playing in the subways again.  it feels really nice to get back to it.  It's amazing how much time of day & location really influence the experience.  My overall favorite spot to play so far has been Union Square - I feel like there's always a great mix of people there who get into the music.

It's been a bit slower getting back into it, but also, very refreshing ... It's very interesting for me to see how I've developed different music over the last year or two, and how I've something I did a year or two ago & added a new twist to it... it's also interesting to see how everything get's faster & faster the longer I play it (sometimes that's good ... sometimes not so much) ... a lot of the time my compositional ideas come from playing in the subway too (I'd say most of them really...)

Take this video: - I do all the same stuff, but now I have the loop station drone under it & I add a middle eastern sounding section influenced by Gladiator to it

The truly great thing about the subway though is the people you run into - the old friends, the kids, the people whose day you made, the people who dance as you walk by, the whackos, everyone...

I hope to be sharing some of *those* stories in the near future!