Let the Music be Free!

Apple’s Chief Calls for End to Music Copy Protection

DRM (Digital Rights Management) is like attaching a ball and chain to a CD you buy from the store. It's an invention by the RIAA and record labels to try and apply control measures to a technology that by its very nature WANTS to be copied and distributed. As the industry loosens its grip on these pointless control measures they'll realize that consumers will thank them by buying even more music.

Beyond this, labels need to think about their artists as much more than a hit factory. Selling the music was never the point, and you'd think that they'd understand that by now.

My point: digital music begs to be a freely distributed and traded entity. Applying control measures won't work. Trust your consumers and they'll reward you.

The most successful online systems will figure out the next pieces of this puzzle:
1) How to create an ad based revenue stream to allow free downloading/streaming of digital content and
2) How to sell direct to bypass so called online vendors.

Artists should take a note of this as well. If you can sell direct, in enough volume, you don't need to depend on anyone. That leveling of the playing field is what makes the internet so powerful.

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Bittorrent and the Shins

So if you are still afraid of Bittorrent, now would be a good time to get your feet wet. The software has gotten easier to use, the hype about it has gone down a bit, and more importantly, there are more sources for downloading files than ever. Still don't believe me? Follow these two steps:

1) Download a Bittorrent client. I recommend uTorrent because it walks you through how to set it up. You can also download the original Bitorrent client. Another popular one is Azureus.
2) Find some files to download. Instead of downloading the file directly, you download the torrent package file which contains the file (or a bunch of files). You don't have to worry about all that though. Just download .torrent files and open them using your software from step 1, and it should take care of all that stuff.

Some popular places to get torrent files are:
Bittorrent (they try to stay legal)
The Pirate Bay (they try to stay illegal)
Oink Music Site (invite only site, but very good)

To start you off here is a link to download the new Shins music video, "Phantom Limb".

Oh and if you are wondering what makes Bittorrent so useful:
1) it keeps files organized as packages (good for albums)
2) as the popularity of a torrent goes up, the faster your download becomes. look for torrents with lots of seeders (people sharing the file).

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the good, the bad, and the queen

From my friend mike about the good the bad and the queen:

"Yeah, that guy Damon is the singer(from Blur/Gorillaz), Paul Simonon is the bass player
(from the Clash), the drummer is Tony Allen (from Africa 70/Fela Kuti)
and the guitarist is Simon Tong (played in The Verve). It's a super group."


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Why the F@#K is it so cold!

-30 below wind chill today/tomorrow. This is absurd. My eyelashes froze the other day.

Boston Terror Suspects Nonsensical Interview

Aqua Teen Hunger Force hired these guys to essentially do an LED graffiti marketing stunt. I first heard about "LED Throwies" a few years back on the Graffiti Research Lab. Looks like the campaign worked beyond their wildest dreams...below is a series of videos, the first is a vid of them putting them up, the second is Fox News reporting the panic in the city (the police blew one up), and lastly, the nonsensical interview from yesterday. The second video is really the best. It shows the absurd level of fear and paranoia in america right now. TERROR suspects?

As my sister points out, it's sad that such a stunt which is based on graffiti tactics and culture jamming is being used (and effectively) as essentially a marketing tool for a media conglomerate (Turner Broadcasting Co). It reminds me a lot of the "corporate graffiti" tactics that companies such as microsoft, sony, and other have done in the past. Sadly they are the ones with enough money to fuel these campaigns to a level where it can gain such widespread attention and get their (albeit corporate) message out.




Chi-town reflections

My neighborhood is not very trendy. Aside from the corner stores, numerous hair salons, and pancake house, there isn't really anything of interest. Not even a small cafe where local longbeards hangout.


Yes, it's true, while walking down Pulaski and its numerous large, windowless brick factory buildings, I came upon something magical.


Plastic Capacitors, Inc!!!

mike love boingboinged


Genealogy of Influence allows you to visually trace the connections between the most influential writers, artists, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians of Western culture. You can pull up a short bio (stripped from Wikipedia) by hovering over a person's name, or click through to the full Wikipedia article. I also made a colorful hierarchical image of the same data.

Kicked the bucket

So, the Spaceship didn't make it. Insurance claimed a total loss and right now the car is being towed to the salvage yard most likely...

Also, looks like the 1985 sampling keyboard I had used in Black Tie Elephant also has kicked the bucket.

I should write a country song about this past week ;)

OE has "made it!"

Olde English is getting paid to do what they love to do fulltime! They have struck a contract deal with Super Deluxe, Turner's new online comedy site. The site is bubbling with over-the-top Web 2.0, but all that's important is that lots of new people will be exposed to Olde English and everyone can quit their day jobs. Yes, you can quit your day job too. In other news, I just saw Ben Popik's face on a mountain dew commercial on BET. It was pretty surreal.

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Bands I've been in

Here is a semi-comprehensive list of every band I've been in, even if they only existed for a day. If you think I've forgotten any let me know. I have a pretty bad memory about these sorts of things.

aaron and farsheed
automatik (w/drew)
euphio/boomi (w/kaveh)
redbus (w/ drew, kaveh, aaron)
banana jazz projects (w/ dave)
dr. bootybot (w/ dave, asif, doruk, kaveh, drew, allen, amir, aaron,
ganesh girls, and more)
mr. candycanes (w/ dave)
operation destroy urbana champaign (w/ spinnerty, brendan, justin, paxton)
stone forest ensemble (w/ jie, brendan, spinnerty)
fortnight trio ( w/ blair, popcorn popperson)
quince (w/ my sisters)
taciturns (w/ mike, onur, brendan)

Chuck Knaublauch's Inspiration (for bunting the third pitch in the
fourth inning in the 1987 World Series against the New Jersey
Rhapsodies...He was thrown out.)(zacker, dan droller, nacera)

the shenegals (w/ dave stecher, zack)
midnight drink (w/ drew)

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