understanding Indie

being hip just gets harder all the time...
so many choices, so few people care.

here's a useful flow chart
to get you started...

and for much more on this story,
and help with difficult choices,
click here for further guidance
from Cracked.com



George Frideric Handel on Stealing Music

When asked why he borrowed
composed by Bononcini,
Handel is said
to have replied,

        "It's much too good
for him; he did not know
what to do with it."




the Iphone

it came to me a flash of clarity,
after an extensive vision quest.


meanwhile, back in der Bunker

...my first reaction when i come across
       a story like this is...





my second reaction is
"must read story now".

BMI the airline

my third reaction is to go:





BMI   clearly NOT a rights
management company

and my fourth, of course,
is to post it here:

BMI   also clearly NOT a rights
management company

BMI Says A Single Person Listening To His Own Music Via The Cloud Is A Public Performance

from the looking-to-the-sky-and-seeing-unlicensed-clouds dept

There's no time like late on a Friday to send out disturbing missives. Companies who need to let staff go often find it easier to let the week "play out" before handing out the pink slips. Congressmen who need to shove through some questionable legislation often wait until the papers have gone to bed, or at least a majority of the voting citizens.

Martin Berenson, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for BMI has decided there's no time like Friday evening to kick out an editorial about streaming music via the "cloud."

BMI  remember the name!

can you beat that with a stick?

more fun than watching a mammoth drown in the La Brea tar pits,
back in the day, kids!

seriously though, these people
walk among us.

the truth is out there.

spread the word.

don't take my word for it...
click here to ask Sex Pistols




if you love music, the chances are
that this monopoly has had an impact
on your life, primarily by picking
your pocket. 

but are they the WORST company
in America?

Ticket Master:
Thief Extraordinaire
Robs People Blind

When all is said and done,
your $60 Barenaked Ladies ticket
is now $90. 

That’s right, $30 in service fees.

over at The Consumerist,
they're having their annual competition
to find the worst company in America.
In Round One of WCIA 2011,
Ticketmaster slaughtered PayPal,
with nearly 80% of the vote.

Could the fee fiend be gunning
for a second year in the Worst Company
championship death match?
Meanwhile Sony showed renewed
strength in its victory over Dell.
Does the underdog have what it takes
to pull off an upset of this magnitude,
or is Sony just more fodder for
the Ticketmaster mill?

Is TicketMaster the worst company
in America?

Find out more at
The Consumerist!


the Top 10 Music Tours of 2010!

well here's another interesting way
of looking at music...

looks like there's still a dollar
or two to be made in the music biz.

in the interest of complete disclosure,
i should probably say i only know
who 8 of these are...

and there's only one i might have paid
serious $$$ to see

you go, Ms. Gaga!

you can find a whole lotta fascinating cultural information like this at

Good Culture



The Music Industry Loves Artists

"Look, my band - or GNR Inc - has had to do six audits of Geffen over the years because you know you sold this many records and they tell you you've only sold this many.

Why don't you just pay us for the f**king records?

Well, that's not how it works. They make it cost-prohibitive to sue.

The first time I became aware of it was 1994. There was a discrepancy of four million f**king records.

They were like "You can sue us, but it will cost you five million dollars and you might get half of that, so why don't we just settle for a quarter?" That's the way business is done. And we're on our sixth audit. That didn't just happen once.

Duff McKagan
bass player, Guns N' Roses

interview with Ben Rayner, Toronto Daily Star, 18/03/11

and the beat goes on.



Downloading - What People Are Saying

The RIAA has done an amazing job
of monopolizing the discussion
about downloading, in large part
by spending millions of dollars
on lobbying and "public relations".
With a little bit of Googling, though,
one can find instances where voices
other than the Industry's register.


Here's a poll from that hotbed
of radical opinion...
Billboard Magazine.

...where it seems that the Industry's opinion
is in the minority.

Over at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation,
they posed a question about the imposition
of fees/a tax on digital memory...

...where again, the Industry's solution
was not seen as desirable.

by a fairly substantial margin.


Meanwhile, around the web
there are more radical opinions,
of course... the Industry has something
of an image issue.

- and the beat goes on -



Artists should be paid for their work?

one of the core catechisms of the current copyright situation is "Artists should be paid for their work".

among Artists, there is  certainly consensus on this point and, in the way of these things, the Industry is more than happy to use this consensus to not simply push their agenda, but cover it up altogether.

"Artists should be paid for their work".

it's beautiful. in just 7 words, it lays claim to a pure moral high ground and occupies it.

even better, it sounds like it means something.

which i guess it does to some people. 

but as someone working to bring musicians and audiences together, and creating digital content, i think this dog don't hunt.

it's a Hallmark moment that butters no parsnips, because it fails to answer one of the fundamental musical questions of all time...


how much is that doggie
in the window?


Artists should be paid for their work?


so should Moms.

so should the wounded veterans
from our armed forces.

so should their families.

get in line.

and while you're waiting,
read this.

- 30 -



You wouldn't steal a ....?

In 2004, the MPAA launched a campaign aimed
at insulting everyone who had purchased a ticket
to see one of their movies in one of their theatres.... as well as those who had purchased a DVD,
or rented one at an authorized outlet. 

Similar in tone and spirit to the music industry's celebrated "Home taping is killing music" campaign of the 80s, "You wouldn't..." was nearly as well-received by audiences everywhere.

"You wouldn't..." was a bold, edgy remix of the entertainment industry's favourite and most enduring obsession - that on a good day, the rest
of us are stupid, greedy and amoral assholes.

Naturally, there was blow-back: people were annoyed, amused and sometimes even
inspired to parody...

It was pure catnip to the Demotivator crowd...

One of the most widely shared was from an episode of the British television series IT:


Narrator: (Parodying the PSA shown before films) You wouldn't steal a handbag. You wouldn't steal a car. You wouldn't steal a baby. You wouldn't shoot a policeman. And then steal his helmet. You wouldn't go to the toilet in his helmet. And then send it to the policeman's grieving widow. And then steal it again! Downloading films is stealing. If you do it, you will face the consequences. (Man bursts in behind the girl downloading the film and point a pistol at the back of her head and a pool of blood is then seen on the keyboard)
Roy: (sitting with Moss in a dark room, watching the PSA) Man, these anti-piracy ads are getting really mean.


Naturally, things soon went on
to a variety of meta-levels...

...including at least one clearly influenced
by the music industry:

Unfortunately, i wasn't able to find any data about just how effective this campaign has been in teaching people how to be better people. according to industry sources, the sky is still falling so i guess the bottom line is "not effective enough".

go figure... 

want to make your own? here's a blank


- 30 -



Beatles, loogies and mangled memories

ms. sorenson touches on some
of the ideas raised in recent posts here, albeit with a unique perspective
and a brevity i can only aspire to...

go to her site right now.
read stuff. learn stuff.
buy stuff. do it!

- 30 -


Ipod Upod 2011

it's getting weird out there...

- 30 -


Artists should be paid for their work?

"Artists should be paid
for their work."

it's a self-evident truth - hard-core
catechism in copyright conversations

...a consensus-builder so true
it conjures
a moral high ground
and occupies that contested terrain
in just 
7 words.

nice one.


"Artists should be paid for their work".

beauty. it even sounds like
it means something.


not surprisingly, lots of Artists
eat this up with a spoon.
many can and will regurgitate
it at the drop of a hint.


for the Industry, it's a talking point,
sound byte, core message, mission
statement, free beard and a license to spin...

an injection of credibility,
that comes complete with a congregation
happy to "amen" as required.




"Artists should be paid
for their work."

some might say this is a
sad cliche,
a Commandment wanna-be that's
just a Hallmark moment. 
useless, yet smug.

...be that as it may, Artists are suffering
in the pursuance of their respective Muses every day, and every night. 

math must be done. eyes must be crossed. t's need be dotted.

there won't be any cheques
in the proverbial mail 
until somebody answers
the musical question:

"how much is that doggie
in the window?"




"Artists should be paid
for their work".

Sure. Fine. Great.

Let's do it:

How much?


Who's holding the money?

Who's signing the cheques?


What's 'work'?


What's an 'artist'?



"Artists should be paid
for their work."

right on.
no question.

So should Moms

and the children who grow up
and look after their Moms.

So should veterans.

So should their widows.

luckily for the Music Industry,
the line forms of the right.

- tbc -



Do Bob Dylan Fans Hate Bob Dylan?

if you're trying to get a handle on just how much the Music Industry doesn't get people who love music, "About Bob" is a good place to start.

it is a site devoted to the music of Bob Dylan and no,
this doesn't mean you can go there and download all Bob's albums. what you will find there is an encyclopedia of Bob.

it's a place where people who really, and i mean really, care about Bob Dylan and his music. Bob doesn't know this much about his own life.

It is an amazing collection of information, assembled over i don't know how long...
No flash graphics, no fancy designs or annoying splash pages, just the skinny, collected and organized in ways that make sense and are easy to find.

What he did in any given year- the songs he wrote,
where he performed them for the first time, how many official and unofficial versions of each song there are in the world...

...when he recorded what song and who played on it... how many takes were laid down of that song...

it is amazing.


are you interested in transcriptions of the interviews Bob did, sorted by decade and available as PDFs? free?

ever wonder about what other artists have covered a song by Bob, or written one that referred to him, or even made fun of him? it's here...
there are listings of 5870 covers of 350 different Dylan songs by 2791 artists!


now i'm not a Bob freak. i like a lot of his music, and i'm still listening 40 years later. i saw him perform in Toronto with the Band in '74. a minute on this site, and i'm looking at the setlist for that night.

Maple Leaf Gardens,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada,
10th Jan 1974

1. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I‟ll Go Mine)
2. I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
3. As I Went Out One Morning
4. Lay Lady Lay
5. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
6. Ballad Of A Thin Man

7. Stage Fright (The Band)
8. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (The Band)
9. King Harvest (Has Surely Come) (The Band)
10. This Wheel's On Fire (The Band)
11. I Shall Be Released (The Band)
12. Up On Cripple Creek (The Band)

13. All Along The Watchtower
14. Ballad Of Hollis Brown
15. Knockin' On Heaven's Door

16. The Times They Are A-Changin' – (solo)
17. Don't Think Twice, It‟s All Right – (solo)
18. Gates Of Eden - (solo)
19. Love Minus Zero/No Limit – (solo)
20. It's Alright Ma (I‟m Only Bleeding) – (solo)

21. Rag Mama Rag (The Band)
22. When You Awake (The Band)
23. The Shape I'm In (The Band)
24. The Weight (The Band)

25. Forever Young
26. Something There Is About You
27. Like A Rolling Stone

28. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I‟ll Go Mine)

Tapes: There is an Ex stereo tape of the show.
CD: Phantoms of my Youth (3, 19)

of course, like any good website, it has links to all sorts of variations on the theme of Bob. Dylan Stubs, for instance

here's what the tickets to the Gardens to see Bob and the Band that night looked like....

there's more information there, like posters
from over the years, set lists from his 2010 shows and of course more links.

if i wanted to know more about my night with Bob,
it would probably be in  Bob Dylan Live in Canada A Concert History, 1962-2000 by Brady J. Leyser and Olof Bj┼írner

but I probably won't. Like I say, I'm not hardcore.

if you want to really get your Bob on, there's also a bibliography of Bob, listing the titles of books about him, in 27 languages right here.

or how about an interactive database of Bob Dylan albums, official and bootlegs?
that's right over here...

if you want to stay current with Bob, and with what people are thinking and writing about Bob, the site you want is Expecting Rain.

every day, there are upwards of 20 posts with links covering Bob and where he fits in to history and the bigger world. there are hundreds of thumbnails
and links to art about Bob.

there is an atlas of places mentioned in Bob's songs,
a message board where you can discuss himself with other interested parties, and it's all carefully archived back to 1995, when the site started, i presume.

all of which is free. all you have to do is be interested...


Bob, of course, is a singular artist, with a music career spanning 50 years of activity...but there are all kinds of sites like this out there, for all kinds of artists and musicians.

there are people who could do PhDs in Lou Reed, or Trent Reznor or Britney Spears or Lee Scratch Perry. the list, like the beat, goes on, but what it speaks to is a profound level of interest in and engagement with the lives and work of musicians that is pretty special and unique.


these sites are worthy of mention and praise simply for what they are - incredible community-based scholarship. they are passionate testaments to how much music and musicians can mean to people around the world.

these are the kinds of gifts only true love inspires the giving thereof. only an idiot or a complete cynic could spend any time at all on sites like these and think that anyone involved would do harm to the subject of their fascination.

the people who pour so much time into creating sites like About Bob do so because they are profoundly moved by his music. they are not thieves, or pirates or anything as simple or as childish as 'fans'.

- tbc -