Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Ol' Kerosene Hat Goes to Washington: David Lowery Speaks to House Panel on "Fair Use" Copyright Issues
David Lowery, a well known rights' activist for musicians/artists/content creators, an accomplished songwriter, singer, performer and leader of Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker went before a special House of Representatives Subcommittee and testified yesterday in Washington DC. To my ears, his main objective was to clarify and educate lawmakers and the public on how the "fair use" doctrine/law (I'm no lawyer) is being co-opted and misused to essentially allow rampant illegal copying and performances of music, video, etc. on sites like YouTube, etc. You know, how you can find any album or song you want to try to find on YouTube with a static picture while the album plays and you entertain your guests and the Google advertising money rolls in to Google, but not to the artists. I think he did a great job, as usual. Here's the beginning of the transcript of his testimony and you can find the rest of it at the Trichordist blog.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Northern Italy is one of my favorite places in the world, next to my little valley in rural West Marin.
This photo takes my breath away and makes me want to try to figure out a way to get there soon...
Check out Singletracks for more photos and trail info.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
So, here we find ourselves in 2014 living in a very, very brave new world! Although often I find myself feeling not quite so brave.
Those of us in the "creative class" on the one hand, find opportunities that we haven't seen before. On the other hand, getting paid for these opportunities is quite the challenge these days, when most folks think (or have become accustomed to thinking) that this content should be free or almost free. Add on a family existence of a cash-strapped, both parents working situation, two kids, one in school and one in (expensive no matter which way you look at it) preschool, and you have a recipe that makes it difficult to try to be entrepreneurial, stretch out, and take risks. After all, the kids have to be fed, the rent/mortgage has to be paid, and then once the kids are in bed, you're supposed to have time for yourself to either work or have some "personal time." I don't know about you, but I pretty much find myself sapped of any personal or spiritual energy at that point.
Back in "the day" my times at night, even after I had worked a full-time 40 to 50 hour week job were always the times that I could count on to create art, create music, create "creative content." Now, honestly, I don't know where to pull that energy from after the kids are in bed. Quite frankly, I'm starting to fall asleep! And the incentive itself, is starting to slip slide away, as the possibilities for renumeration of any quality is rapidly diminishing or has already dropped down to next to zero for those of us who create "content." So often I find myself living a quixotic adventure, tilting at windmills so that one day I might get paid that $0.006 per play/stream/view/download for doing what I love, and am reasonably good at.
So I ask all of you other aging, creative, still inspired parents, "What do you do to keep things going?" How do you "take the leap?"
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Lots of things in my family life, intense medical situations and deaths in the family, have kept me away from this blog for some time. And with the time that I have had, it's really difficult to know which social media platform to spend one's time on.
With so many different places too sew one's seed (so to speak), and with limited time, I find it hard to focus on one particular platform for my web presence, such as it is. So like Johnny Mnemonic Appleseed, I've strewn bits of myself across the inter-webs these last couple of years.
But, grateful for all of the great things that have occurred, 2014 finds me still with my work with TNS, some new voiceover work and opportunities, and some experimental music projects. 2012 and 2013 have truly been the "best of times and the worst of times."
I will be posting some examples of work on the site soon, but do plan to move it over to a wordpress site sometime early this year.
So, for the two or three of you out there hanging on my every word here's to a great 2014!