Feb. 27th, 2008

jackofallgeeks: (Goofy)
Whenever I see the moon during daylight hours, I think to myself, that's
no moon...

Thankfully, it's never fired it's deathray at us.
jackofallgeeks: (Contemplative)
I think I really like what This
article, on a recent music-industry conference, is showing us. The
conference apparently started off by declaring that "Music 1.0 is dead."
(Aside: I hate calling things Foo X.0) The article goes on to talk about
how the industry execs are figuring out that their modles aren't working,
that no one wants CDs, and digital distribution is necessary. What it looks
like they haven't figured out yet, though, is that Labels as such are
obsolete.

The point was brought up at one point, where someone asked if Labels had
anything to bring to the table besides their back catalogs -- music that's
already been made. Someone noted that Labels provide a vital service:
"anyone who has spent an hour or a day listening to demos understands the
labels' place in the food chain". The article goes on to explain that the
idea is "labels provide both filtering and then marketing of music. Without
their help, promising artists would be lost in a sea of noise and would be
almost impossible for music lovers to discover."

And this is, of course, a load of bull. Back in the day, filtering was
probably needed because let's be honest, not everyone who WANTS to make
music is very good at it, and radio stations and the like don't have the
time or resources to screen every demo everyone wants to send them.
Instead, they relied on the record labels (and friends of friends) to get
worthy music. That music get played, those bands get popular, and their CDs
sell. But in the world of the Internet and social networking, you don't
have to be discovered any more. Home recording is even getting cheaper
year-to-year, so Labels can't even claim a monopoly on recording studios
since you could have one in your den. You record a few tracks, put them up
on MySpace or something, spread them around; you build up a fan base and
then you're the Next Big Thing.

I'm generally not a fan of collective-intelligence, wisdom of the masses, or
anything else that generally says "let the Great Unwashed decide!" (Yeah,
I'm a little elitist.) But when you're talking about something like music
that's TARGETTED at the masses, why NOT listen to what they're telling you?
When 50,000 people 'friend' a band on MySpace, that's a popular band
regardless of if they've been 'screened' by a Label. So what does a Label
have to offer that band?

I think music is tending toward, and ought to tend toward, a more
grass-roots sort of thing, where people make music and distribute it and
become popular based on their talent and creativity, not based on whether
some stuffed-shirt record execs think their music "makes it."
jackofallgeeks: (Wrath)
Sometimes I can't stand reading TechDirt. Not because of the articles, but
because of the comments. I just... get so angry. Today is a one-two
punch that's had me out of sorts since about 8:30 this morning. The first
case is a series of comments on an Article
about freebies where one party repeatedly insists that nothing's free. Yes,
yes, FINE, nothing is *really* free, it's always paid for somewhere else,
but if you give it to me and I pay you nothing, that's the common definition
of free. I don't care if you support it by ads, or grants, or raising
prices elsewhere. None of that directly affects me or the free transaction.

The other bit is a series of comments under an Article
presenting the idea that capitalism and philanthropy are not mutually
exclusive. Here the offense is more subtle, as the offenders casually note
that it's fine, as long as the company is "doing right" by it's shareholders
by maximizing profits. Anything a company does should be done if and only
if it maximizes profits. And I can't stand that. If you're making
money, making a profit, then you're succeeding. It doesn't *matter* if
you're "leaving money on the table." just because you CAN get more money
doesn't mean you should, and it CERTAINLY doesn't mean you have to! I agree
with the comment Haywood made: "[they] are what is wrong with this country.
People used to take the long view, doing what was right and reaping rewards
down the road. Todays business is focused directly on bottom line, and at
that, only in the quarter they are in, right or wrong anything for a buck.
To hell with long term planning or public perception, we need a big profit
this quarter, next quarter we'll do it again."
jackofallgeeks: (Bashful)
So for all of you playing at home, last night was my dinner-date with
Emmiline, the 1-in-33 I mentioned a post or six ago.

It went pretty well, I think. We went out to the oZ Chophouse, a
pretty-fancy seeming place, at about 6:00. They seemed to be just opening.
Emmiline had on an outfit I can only describe as cute, mostly because I'm
bad at describing outfits. The newspoy-style cap was... cute. I'm bad with
descriptions.

Dinner went well; I got soup and a steak, she got chicken, we shared
calamari. I'd have to say I wasn't terribly fond of their calamari (or
their oddly-grained rolls), but the soup and steak were very good.

We talked pretty much all through the meal, which was good stuff. -smirk-
Vegans, and Leslie by extension, were topics early on in our conversation
since she just had her vegan cousin over for dinner the night before. From
there we moved on to books and school and back to books and a little bit on
kids and more about books. I exagerate; there were other things we talked
about, and it wasn't all books, but that's a common interest between us.
She suggested I check out "the Dante Club" and "Shadow of Poe" as mysteries
with heavy literary references. I think I might. We had lots of other
common points of interest, including Ireland, bread, healthy eating, but I
can't recall many details.

We talked for quite a while after dinner, too, and ended up leaving and
going out sepparate ways just after 9:00.

So, yeah, it was a good date. I'm not oh-my-wow crazy for this girl, but I
would (and will) ask her out again and see where (if anywhere) it'll go.
From a purely analytical point of view, it was good for me to get out and
see someone new, and be reassured that yes these things can work out without
being terribly awkward or intimidating.

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John Noble

August 2012

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