Sunday, October 26, 2003

Bono
Sunday Independent from atU2.com: “If I could have told the 14-year-old Bono — as he wandered the Municipal Gallery in Parnell Square — that his favourite painter would one day do his portrait for the National Gallery, he probably would have believed it. But that's puberty for you.” - Bono on Louis le Brocquy's portrait of him

There always seems to be something to love and hate about Bono every time he opens his mouth.
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Friday, October 17, 2003

Apple is just as bad as the RIAA?
Some people in life are never happy. Apple is trying to work out a way to make the Internet and music work for all sides: fans, musicians, labels, tech companies, etc. I believe they've done a good job. They do have a ways to go to make it better, but with the announcement of Windows support yesterday and features like audio books, allowance accounts, etc. I believe Apple is leading the way in the Internet music business. With all that said, the site Downhillbattle.org is not happy with the iTunes music store. They believe artists are still getting screwed by the old system. They're right and they're wrong. But, in the end, they're actually really wrong. Let me explain.

Apple had to get agreements from all five major record labels to get all those labels' artists on iTunes. Those labels typically have horrific contracts with artists that do little for the artist and a lot for the label. These record contracts are despicable. Downhillbattle.org agrees they're awful and doesn't understand why Apple would sell the artists' soul to those very same labels running a sleazy business. Downhillbattle.org points out that it's the same old bad system just packaged in a different way. This is where they are right, sort of. Yes, Apple signed deals with the record companies in order to distribute a lot of artists' music. And, yes, those record companies still maintain the same sort of bad contracts with their artists that pay the artist next to nothing (if anything at all.) But, Apple is changing the industry by first winning over the “enemy.” You see, Apple has now signed on a ton of independent labels that often have much fairer contracts with their artists. On top of that, they've allowed a site (and pseudo label) in CDBaby on iTunes. CDBaby charges a minimal fee to list your music on iTunes and gives back 91% of the revenue they receive from Apple back to the artist. You'll find it interesting that CDBaby has a prominent link on Downbillbattle.org's web site. CDBaby is held in high esteem by most that know about the company because of the way CDBaby treats the artists on its site. Apple didn't have to cut any deal with CDBaby to allow them to put music on the iTunes store. Apple could've just stuck to the old guards of music with the five major labels but they chose to open the invitation and allow (and even promote) change within the music industry by inviting companies like CDBaby to the table. Allow younger and hungrier companies like CDBaby on your service for a few years and watch as those companies start to gain ground on the big guys. Watch as the CDBaby's of the music world start announcing deals with artists that would have normally signed with one of the big five. It will happen now that Apple is providing a way for the little guy with a much better heart (and business mind for this day and age) to compete. CDBaby couldn't compete in the traditional distribution channels like retail, TV and radio, but they can compete on the Internet with the help of companies like Apple that want to turn the music business upside down.

So, in the end, Apple did sign with the Devil and (at the same time) is all set to beat him at his own game. That is why Downhillbattle.org and others who are so critical of Apple's new foray into the music business are ultimately wrong.
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Thursday, October 16, 2003

It's official, iTunes and the music store are now available for Windows
Apple just may slaughter the competition for once in its life. Apple gets the right business model better than any of the others out there. Thanks to MacSlash for the update.
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Monday, September 29, 2003

Some music and an on stage suicide

Fox News: The hard-rock band Hell on Earth had said that a suicide by a terminally ill person would take place during a concert Saturday to raise awareness of right-to-die issues.


And people thought Marylin Manson was taking things too far. It never ceases to amaze me what entertainers will come up with next.


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Friday, September 12, 2003

God bless Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash was an incredible artist. Listening to his music gives you the sense of what the gospel and blues are about all at the same time. There's something about his voice and his approach that had its feet firmly planted on the ground while still managing to sail outside the boundaries of this world. Johnny held tightly to God and, as is always the case, God held on even tighter to Johnny. It's sad to wake up and hear that this legend (and still relevant musician) has passed away. He's moved onto a better place. Thank you God for allowing us to have him for the time we did.
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Wednesday, September 10, 2003

The RIAA is hunting down the most dangerous ones first

The Register: RIAA keeps 12-year-old quiet with $2,000 bill.


What, they couldn't find anyone younger? I'm sure this girl will continue to love music tomorrow as much as she does today.


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Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Please turn that Pantera up
A co-worker in the cube right across from mine seems to be going through a thrash-metal musical phase. Worse, he feels the need to play his new found love even when he's not at his desk. I fully expect this phase to end soon and then I'll be hearing something like disco or maybe even boy bands. He hasn't hit those phases yet. It wasn't so bad when he went through his classic rock phase or his 80's alt-rock phase. Those were at least tolerable. The thrash-metal is not cool.
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Saturday, August 16, 2003

The Pirate debate continues
A few days ago I posted a letter that I sent to Boundless.org concerning an article J. Budziszewski wrote concerning downloading music on the net. Me not being one to just let things rest (why, when you can beat it into the ground? ), posted some thoughts on Jason Steffens' Antioch Road weblog.

I'm fighting for my intellectual life here people. Yes, I concede that's not much, but it's all I've got in terms of the grey matter department.

By the way, I'm happy I ran into Jason's weblog. I'm now subscribed to his RSS feed.
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The best Barney song ever
Michael Knott has always been a favorite artist of mine. A while back I found a link from his web site to Knottchords.com that had quite a few MP3s of live Michael Knott songs. Tonight I saw that I had some of those songs on my hard drive so I played them and was reminded of this very funny Barney song. Amazingly, it doesn't bash our formerly favorite purple target.

Listen to the song and read the lyrics below. Very funny stuff!

I was sitting in the kitchen getting depressed
Had a hand full of bills from the IRS
My little girl hugged me and it gave me a chill
When she said, “Barney could pay those bills”

My wife and I got in a big fight
So I had to sleep on the couch that night
My little girl hugged me so I wouldn't feel bad
She said, “Barney loves you Dad”

Now my eyes started watering and I almost died
And my heart started breaking when I looked in her eyes
I picked up my guitar to sing her a tune
She said, “Barney sings better than you”

Barney, Barney, Barney
Oh I need a Barney

So I went out drinking later that night
And I drank so fast I couldn't see right
My wandering eyes past by the front door
And in walks some big weird purple dinosaur - Barney

He started dancing, he put on a show
And when he was done he recapped it all
I said, “Hey big guy, please leave me alone”
And then I got so drunk he had to drive me home

Now the government came to my house the next morning
And they took me away without any warning
They said, “You're guilty of evasion - how do you plea?”
I just looked them in the eyes and said, “Barney”

Barney, Barney, Barney
Oh I need a Barney
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Friday, August 08, 2003

My take on The Pirate
Boundless.org, a web site targeted at college age Christians, is running an article by J. Budziszewski that says downloading music is stealing. I have a different take on this issue and wrote Boundless the following letter.
[Read More]
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Wednesday, August 06, 2003

At age 19 I was kidnapped by Turkish pirates
Stephen Malkmus' first solo disc (OK, Terror Twilight probably was his real first solo disc) cracks me up. I haven't listened to it in quite a while and now The Hook is on. There's nothing quite like a song about being captured by Turkish pirates to get you going in the morning!
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Friday, August 01, 2003

Loud CD's and a recommendation

Slashdot has an interesting post that points to Rip Rowan's look at CD's being recorded louder and louder over the years.  It's an interesting read.


Speaking of CD's, I just got two CD's the other day and have listened to half of one and am very happy with my purchase.  Vigilantes of Love Live at the 40 Watt is straight ahead rock n' roll with the intelligence only Bill Mallonee seems to be able to bring to rock's table.  Highly recommended.


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Monday, July 07, 2003

The RIAA first concern is for the artist
CNET: This has to do with artists and creators. Artists and creators, like anybody else who creates something, should have the right to sell what they create...Indeed, most artists spend a lifetime trying to sell the result of their efforts to record companies so that they may make a living making music. At the end of the day, that is a great thing for music lovers--otherwise artists would have a lot less time to create the music we all love.

Does the RIAA expect us to believe the line that their case is all about the artists and creators? No way. This is about an industry that is being turned upside down and wants to protect its old way of doing this. If this was about the artists, then the RIAA would be pushing for P2P networks to work even better. Artists benefit from the power of the Internet, old school record labels do not.
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Monday, May 05, 2003

Indie labels coming on Apple's Music Store
The biggest complaint I've heard so far about Apple's new Music Store is that it doesn't have enough selection. A number of people have pointed out that Apple doesn't carry a lot of good artists because they're on independent labels. Well, according to this post on MacRumors, the indie labels will be coming soon. Jobs says it was all a matter of time. Apple had to get the big five first. Now they can focus on getting a lot more labels on the system.

Remember, everyone involved with Apple's Music Store wants more music on there — the labels, Apple and consumers. The labels need this worse than anyone though. Apple is the only hope the major labels have right now of salvaging their reputations, if that's even possible.
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Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Yet another reason you should listen to Wilco

Rollingstone: Though Wilco scrapped plans to release a six-song EP commercially, the band will place it on wilcoworld.net for fans to download starting Tuesday night using a code included on copies of the band's 2002 release, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.


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The Colonel