rfbooth.com :: blog archives

Moments in time, preserved to embarrass me later.

29-09-2002 (archived)

New tune for download on the music pages: S.O.S..

That is all. It's late, I'm going to bed.

1-10-2002 (archived)

More musicianly linkage today, though Janis Ian's articles are well worth reading even if you're tone-deaf.

The Internet Debacle:

Please note that I am not advocating indiscriminate downloading without the artist's permission. I am not saying copyrights are meaningless. I am objecting to the RIAA spin that they are doing this to protect "the artists", and make us more money. I am annoyed that so many records I once owned are out of print, and the only place I could find them was Napster.

Her followup article:

Do I still believe downloading is not harming the music industry? Yes, absolutely. Do I think consumers, once the industry starts making product they want to buy, will still buy even though they can download? Yes. Water is free, but a lot of us drink bottled water because it tastes better.

Of course, there are other points of view on this. One very good friend of mine is a professional musician, and his quarterly royalties cheque from the albums that made his name in the 80s has been a lot smaller since Napster and its successors arrived. Whether that's because of Napster, because of the economic downturn that happened at around the same time, a bit of both or something else is a good question, and one I'd like to see serious research on; but I know what he believes, and I can see why.

I can only report on my own reactions to filesharing. I checked out a lot of the people I'd spent so long hearing about, and as a result I now own almost everything ever released by Steve Morse (with and without the Dregs), Devin Townsend, and Mike Keneally. That's (I think) 29 CDs that I bought, and might not have otherwise. In a related issue, just a couple of weeks ago I bought Yogi's record having downloaded the samples on his website.

Now I don't have easy access to fileshare clients, and I can give you a list of several artists who I want to check out but can't - I don't know people who are into them from whom I could borrow the records, and it's not like they play this stuff on the radio. And yes, I could take a chance on buying the CD blind, but I have too long a list of stuff I know I want to start doing that just now.

Of course, I'm probably not a typical consumer. I'm just a guy who, now he has a job, buys about a hundred CDs a year - but there aren't many of me. The people who buy the stuff in the charts may only buy a couple of CDs a year, but there's a lot of them - and if they're downloading those tunes, it's not because they haven't been able to hear them any other way. So it goes.

But when the industry persuades the Arts Minister to say things like:

We have got to get across to people that there is no difference between illegal file sharing or selling copies of the latest Oasis album and stealing it from a shop.

and to put the poacher in charge of the game, is it any wonder that people don't feel any sympathy for this famously corrupt, artist-screwing business?

Enough of the deep thinking. If you don't read any of Janis Ian's other articles, read Of Guitars and Righteous Men. But have a tissue handy - you may need to wipe your eyes.

2-10-2002 (archived)

Paul Ford was great again today. Go and read him.

When I talked about the industry screwing artists yesterday, this is what I meant.

5-10-2002 (archived)

James Lileks introduces the Gallery of Regrettable Food.

I say, old fellow, have you noticed a lot of Jell-O about? It's the damndest thing. Wifey used to put out cake after supper. Big chocolate bastards; delicious.

Yes, I am easily amused.

7-10-2002 (archived)

I'm unwell. Students stream in from all over the world, bringing their exotic diseases with them, and there ensues a vast Darwinian struggle for supremacy.

And a blocked-up nose.

I'm going home to eat Chinese food and indulge in self-pity. As you frolic in your health and happiness, spare me a thought.


10-10-2002 (archived)

Sometimes Justin Otto makes me laugh hard. The following is reposted from uk.music.guitar with his kind (and slightly bemused) permission.

> you gotta have aspirations, right?

Oh, indeed, but as the years pass I fear they grow less likely to be achieved.


So much to do and so little time.

14-10-2002 (archived)

Today I have had an exciting and busy day. We have had not one but TWO fire alarms. Both false. Both requiring me to walk down (counts on fingers) fourteen flights of stairs.

I've been hacking on my Project, the thing I do for a living. Like a lunatic, I chose to do this in the newest, shiniest C++ with templates and stuff everywhere, basically because I want to be using LISP <grin>. I also, dumbass that I am, chose to use the EXPERIMENTAL! DO NOT USE! C++ lexer generation facilities in Flex, which have many Interesting qualities. This, combined with my own stupidity and the manifold shortcomings of my coding, has meant that I've had a day of fun.

I've also had much interesting mail. In the woohoo! category, I got the first cheque for sales of the Earthman CD; I'm the treasurer of Earthmen Records. This flow of money into the project is a new and exciting experience.

I've also had some very interesting email from a very interesting man, the first of which made me slightly sad for being a bad boy, and the second of which made me very happy indeed. Without any intention to be mysterious, that's all you're getting for now. I shall tell you all about it later.

You've suffered through all this, so you deserve a fun link. LEGO Death!

15-10-2002 (archived)

GAS struck mildly today; I got some new speakers for my PC at work, and an MXR Phase 90, for those Van Halen I moments, and a Boss SD-1, for those “jamming through unfamiliar amp” moments, from Johnny Roadhouse. Fun toys all.

I also traded my Boss OD-3, MXR DynaComp and SKB velcro shelf to Vinny for his SPD 6. He's building another Rack of Doom based around his Bradshaw switcher and preamp. /me is jealous.

In other news, there's a new Buffy and Evil Willow cartoon today, after a seven-month wait. All worship.

17-10-2002 (archived)


Prior Art!

These things have amused me today.

21-10-2002 (archived)

Did the earth move for you, honey?

I work (sort of) on the 14th floor of our building. You can see the building's sway in the surface of your coffee on windy days up here. The second, 3.9-rated, shock was interesting for little old natural-disaster-deprived us.

We had a pretty good gig on Saturday in Oldham; we went down very well, debuted four songs, and didn't cock anything up badly enough to annoy the crowd. Rob, Vinny and Icarusi all came to see us for the first time, which is nice - we've been chatting about the band for a while. I'm going to see Rob's lot next weekend. Recommended (though the website is horrible...).