Progressive Rock Artist seeks Audience

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The Prodigal Dad: 1929-2011

My Dad passed away 2 months ago, from cancer.

I know Dad was proud of the musical activity of all his children, although as far as I know not much of my personal creativity appealed to him. However I do know that every CD of our music that I burned and gave him was in his CD rack.

There are many treasured memories to choose from, but one in particular might be appropriate for this forum: Many years ago, I was living at home, and I raided Dad’s toolbox for a pair of wire cutters to trim the ends off the new strings on my guitar. Of course, the hard strings notched the gentle wire cutters, and of course, Dad noticed.

Instead of getting angry, he went out to the garage and came back with a newish looking pair of Knipex wire cutters, handed them to me and said, “This is the right tool for the job”.

I’ve used this pair to trim my guitar strings ever since. (no sign of notching, yet.)

In September I travelled to see Dad when he was in hospital. I played him an unfinished version of a track i was working on, which did not have a title, and I think he appreciated it. It’s hard to tell with Dad sometimes.

Inevitably, this piece is now associated with Dad and therefore it now has a title, “A Sample Of One“,  which I will not explain here. This month I completed the track, recording the acoustic guitar using one of Dad’s Zoom H2 units.

The Yamaha Jupiter-8

Yamaha endorser Alicia Keys always plays Yamaha instruments:

Even when she doesn’t, like last night at the MTV Video Awards:

I wonder where I can get a Yamaha Jupiter-8?

Seriously, I don’t know what the legal position is here. I’m sure that, as an endorser, Ms. Keys has a contract that says she can only play Yamaha instruments in public/publicity photos. This is kind of bending the rules, though, isn’t it?

I can’t fault her taste in synthesisers though. The Roland Jupiter-8. Awesome, classic instrument.

*Original picture sourced from Las Vegas Review Journal. Saw it in the paper this morning.

A moment of Fan-Boy

So I spoke to Emmett Chapman on the phone the other day…   <schoolgirl>Squeeeeeeek</schoolgirl>

Basically I’m ordering some strings for the Stick in order to try out Dual Bass Reciprocal tuning, and he wanted to discuss what I’d need to do in order to replace the brass slotted screws at the nut and bridge string suspension points. Due to the heavier gauge strings, and the fact that my Stick is a relatively early generation model, there would be some intonation differences and other minor side effects. Still, he was interested in the experiment. I’ll write more about that when the strings and replacement screws arrive.

MP3 pirates vs. The Recording Industry

The legal issue of mp3 distribution seems pretty clear cut to me. People distributing mp3’s of music recordings of which they own copies (but of which they do not hold the copyright) are breaking the law. Both Napster and are pushing the envelope of copyright law, and will probably win the suits currently being brought against them by the RIAA, albeit not without some adaptation on their part. In the case of Napster (innovative technology? give me a break), they will have to comply with their own terms and ban the users distributing pirated music. If they are unable to do so, well, that’s a whole ‘nother problem.

The trouble is, this is just a distraction. Basically, networks allow the sharing of files. The internet allows practically anyone to transfer digital content – legally or otherwise. Work it through, people: With copyright no longer enforceable and no longer providing revenue protection for the recording industry, they’re going to move on. No more CDs or video tapes. Even HDCD and DVD formats won’t survive the great internet bandwidth breakthrough of insert_date_here.  Pretty soon you’ll be listening to your music by subscription, paying by the listen.

Or not. If you do not want the product of your creativity prirated and distributed on the ‘net, you can always sell your material in a non-digital format. Those of you how have hoarded your vinyl 12″ albums, insistent that the sound quality inherent in the grooves really was “better than CD” can breath a sigh of relief. Yes, you really were right all along. Vinyl is better. We’ll all be buying the 21st century equivalent of collectible gatefold 12″ albums (groovy cover artwork, dude).

How will garage bands be able to make a living and sell their product when as soon as they get popular (assuming they are any good), their self-produced CD’s are ripped and freely distributed? Gee – I guess they could try and get signed to a record label and get their music on the future proprietary pay-per-listen streaming audio servers. Some things don’t change no matter how hard you try.

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