August 2009

I grew up on the Muppet Show – a racy, double entendre fest rife with creativity, edge and cunning that strongly informed and influenced my formative mind. Then Disney bought it and when I went to the Muppets show at EPCOT center in Florida I saw a cleaned up, white-washed version that had none of the snags or trickery that had provided me with skepticism, cultural awareness or linguistic sleight of hand with which I had grown up.

Now the monster Mouse Corp is set to take over Marvel Comics – and seeing as I worked as an actor in the very edgy and first Marvel Knights title Punisher: War Zone, I can only wonder what the PTA mop that is Disney will do to the comics company.

Disney to take over Marvel Comics

Disney is set to takeover Marvel Comics for a mere 4 Billion US dollars (also reported on CNN). Pocket change, for the Mouse House. I can hear the Comiconistas screaming already.

Another hoax? Methinks not.

Don’t get me wrong – I certainly patronize Disney’s marketplace, but sometimes diversity is the key to a beautiful and small world.  After all…

special thanks to Adam Fimio for the heads up on this.




Earlier in the day, in response to Derek Sivers’ (founder of CDBaby.com) post I wrote:

“Lordy knows new models must begin to emerge – the existing climate for musicians, as vastly interesting as it may be, as de-centralized as it may be, is actually rather disheartening when it comes to the heavy task of producing an audiophile grade recording. At least the old bottleneck created a filter, the new era of the tastemaker will take some time to develop gravity and in the interim “indie musician” is a hard to thing to still consider a career path. But we persist, don’t we, because the irrepressible urge is there, and so is opportunity and a vast landscape for innovation.”

Dick M. replied:

“Keram – some real contrasts there… I don’t feel like my music has ever been a “career path”… ergo, my music is lumped in the “amateur” category (which is all right with me, because as you indicated, we persist because we MUST). To me, “indie” means it’s NOT a career, because if it IS, it necessitates compromise and time spent in pursuit of $$$… NOT saying there’s anything WRONG with that, just that if it’s for $$$, I don’t believe it’s “independent”.”

To which I countered:

“No dispute that the contrasts are there, Dick. But independent does not have to mean “amateur” or “unmonetizable” or “of no commercial value.” I have made thousands of dollars licensing songs independently to films and TV for over 15 years. The heartache is that when a proper album, that is a sequenced, mastered, carefully thought out collection of works (an album) is made available, there is a dwindling marketplace or even respect for the format. Short of spamming your friends on Facebook or Twitter, the general public has less and less interest in investing in the works of the artist, but rather, flipping, rifling through the latest. I am speaking of the new majority. I should confess that I am saying this as framed by the fact that the “middlemen” continue to find many ways to monetize the musicians’ output – be they the club owners who begrudgingly share the door after the first 50 people, or the repackaging music portals like Lala, last.fm, Amie St or countless others..”

Dick M.
Keram, you’re right “on” here… I haven’t made any significant $$$ with my music, but that’s probably ‘coz the “right” money guy (the one with the coke spoon shoved up both nostrils) hasn’t happened across it. WOULD I “take” $$$ for licensing fees? u BET! Would it compromise my integrity? Not one IOTA.

I think it’s just that when I first hooked up with the Internet (’88, ’89), our “ethic” was that it should cost NOTHING for the player… strange how as the technology has gotten so much better for sharing, it costs so much more just to get connectivity…

I’m 63 now, so I’m not too worried about whether or not I get a “lucky hit” on licensing, downloads or any other aspect of “selling” my music… I just play & record because I (still) CAN!”

Keram
:
“Again, I completely empathize with your urge to make music Dick. I also think that Artistshare is a great idea for creating a central HQ for organizing the effort of promoting.

I am in favor of anything that actually creates a focus – ironic for someone like me who is so interested in perpetuating heterogeneity in the culture, perhaps. But I don’t think they are mutually exclusive.

I loved mp3.com back when it was about print on demand CD for indie artists. Then Universal bought it and killed it quickly. My little brain can’t parse all the numbers, but there is something to learn in that.

As far as the dude with the coke spoon – going the way of the Dodo.  May he rest in pieces.”

Earlier in the day:

DJ AM found dead in NYC apartment
FB response: thing is, death is so fucking final. Believe what you need concerning the beyond; if it brings you solace, peace of mind, then God bless. But the ride is short. Music makes it so much easier. I need more of it in my life and less of the frenetic gossipy nature of the new paradigm. Apologies if this is heavy, but have lost some people, too young, this week. Have lost so many before. Too young. Followed by what. More status updates. Live goddamit. Live.

My favorite Sufi proverb says “Die before ye die, that you shall live” – recognize your mortality and revel in it.

Moreover, music is a mystical, unquantifiable gift. I am tired of posturing behind the coolness of what. It is miraculous. Lend it your energy, because it comes from something beyond what we understand.  And it needs your help.”

p2pnet news » Blog Archive » Dick Cheney new RIAA president
@ConstantChange

Tweet: No. I don’t believe it. I don’t, as a musician or music lover want to be sent to a gulag. I categorically reject the very possibility of this eventuality.

It’s hard to believe, but it is written in an online magazine format so it MUST be true.

For good measure, a moment of solace in the form of a song, video added, from my friend at Monty Python Eric Idle:

Fuck You FCC


This blog will return to reason and matters of the soul and the beauty of culture after these messages.