Seems like people are bound and determined to get music for free. They’re scratching around for any idea that will allow them to do that legally. Cringely speaks of an idea to create a company that purchases one copy of every CD… people would buy a share of its stock, and as co-owners of the company they’d have the right to make copies of any of the CDs in its library. So where does that leave us, the musicians? We get nothing, as usual. And in this whole debate we’re stuck in the middle. Either we side with cyber-cops and put all our fans in jail, or we make music for free and try to make a living some other way.
Archive for July 2003
The Album of the Week feature has been discontinued (again!) at one of my favorite sites, Basic Hip. No reason given, no reason needed in sue-happy times like these. It’s a shame, I got turned on to a lot of great music there over the past few years. But their online radio shows are still going strong, so all is not lost.
Today’s a flurry. This evening I’m doing my first rehearsal with Josh and Lindsay, who’ll be accompanying me on the Cat Power show on the 8th. Rian wanted me to try playing with all new people, for shits’n'grins, so that’s the plan right now. I’m pulling my hair out trying to get my CD burner to cooperate so I can make them CDs of my old albums and demos. Note to self: if the burner is acting weird, don’t get mad, just unplug it from the wall and start over! Everything’s a fucking computer these days. Now I have to go check it again, and do the dishes, and take a shower so they won’t know what a slob I really am. It’s fun listening to all these old demos. There are lots that I want to put up on my website, but that’ll have to wait until later when I have time to rip them to MP3.
This is the original 4-track demo of "Bluish Bells", a song that appeared on my second album Telescopic in 1998. The demo was recorded on 9/30/1996 at my apartment in Brooklyn. I did all the vocals and played my red guitar, and added a fuzzed-out part with my blue guitar and a Big Muff. I hope you like it; it’s very different from the version you’ve (hopefully) heard already.
I’ve been getting tons of hits over the past few days from people searching for pictures of the accuser of a certain sports figure that’s in the news right now. It’s pronounced coe-bee, but I don’t want to spell it out lest I attract even more traffic! When I google the search term I keep seeing in my logs, I’m the top listing on the second page of results… the link is taking people to one of my blog pages that has absolutely nothing to do with that case, but only happens to mention Anita (coe-bee’s last name) and the word ‘accuser’ on the same page. I just stuck something into my robots.txt asking spiders not to index that page in the future, so hopefully they’ll start going away soon. I have a handful of other pages disallowed for spiders too, I’m not telling you which. You can find them in my own search engine or just by browsing, but hopefully not by looking ‘em up in Google.
Last week’s Mystery Song was "Don’t Stop The Music" by Sixten Jansson, and with that I say adieu to this particular category in my blog. I haven’t been personally hassled by anyone, I’ve just thought about it and decided that now is is a pretty good time to stop. It takes tons of bandwidth that I should be saving for my own music, and it’s a legally questionable thing to do, obviously. But more than anything I need to cut down on distractions as much as possible, so I can work more on my own music. I am going to continue giving away some of my tunes here; they’re my recordings and that’s my choice. But I don’t want them be republished elsewhere without my permission, and I must reluctantly conclude that I should follow the golden rule and do the same for other musicians, and the labels (or thugs) they choose to work with. Even the out-of print stuff isn’t really mine to give away. So… one less thing to worry about, one less mixed emotion for me!
I moved another section of old static pages into my Movable Type install. Made a category for lyrics and stuck ‘em all exactly one minute after 9am on the records’ release dates. All the releases are set at 9am for no particular reason. I guess it’s the time the stores might have opened? The whole concept of tiiiiiiiime is such bogosity, man. Anyway, now the lyrics will appear on the post immediately after the post for the actual release, if you’re viewing the date-based or individual archives. Confusing for you maybe, but simpler for me! I saved myself some room by sticking all the songs on single pages instead of individually, and of course it makes it a hell of a lot easier for me to control the look’n'feel along with the rest of the site. There’s only a few sections left to stuff into MT: the past-shows lists, the old press crap; the video section and the rest of the old links pages. One day I’ll finish, sometime in the next ten years…
John and I had some friends over last night for a taco feast, and rented the Frida DVD for entertainment. I’d been wanting to see it ever since we saw the art exhibit last spring. Seeing her work in person practically shot arrows straight through my heart, so I’ve read a lot about her and seen a lot of her paintings on the internet since then. I loved the movie, though it was typically Hollywoody and didn’t completely satisfy my yearning to know more about the art itself as opposed to the life that she led. I know the two things can’t be separated, but I guess I wanted them to focus even more on her paintings than they did.
I just solved another access-logs mystery (to me!) and eliminated yet another route the spam-bots are taking. Remember a week or so ago when I thought I might’ve broken my trackback? Well, it was never broken, and now I know what the source of confusion was. See, my trackback entries and comments are only displayed on my site directly via the individual archives; I don’t use the popup windows anymore. But even though these popups weren’t linked from my site, you could still get to them through the cgi’s in my Movable Type install, which builds them on the fly upon request. And sure enough, the spiders WERE trying to look at them. Always the spider called grub, which makes me even more suspicious of it than I was already!
I was looking up info about our President’s new spokesman, Scott McClellan. Reason being, I read somewhere that he was the son of the former mayor of Austin, and then I remembered I’d gone to Austin High with several of her kids!! I didn’t know any of ‘em then, but they were very well-known at school, being the Mayor’s kids and all. I had a lot of trouble figuring out who was who, ‘cuz the guy on TV didn’t look familiar to me at all. I did remember that at least two of the kids were twins, so I tried to look up "McClellan" and "twins" on the ‘net but only got sidetracked to the Bush girls (who, maybe not so coincidentally, went to the same high school, only much later of course). So I finally dug out my old yearbook. I didn’t go to school with Scott, I think he’s the youngest boy. The twins were Dudley and Brad, they’re attorneys now, still in Austin. The other one I vaguely remember is Mark, who’s a medical/political bigwig at the White House now. He was a year ahead of me; the twins were a year behind, in my sister Lucie’s class. I then found my own picture and there I was with my name underneath… EMILY FROST. Isn’t that just sad? People are always calling me Emily or Elaine or Elizabeth but I hadn’t remembered that it ended up that way in the damn YEARBOOK.
So, I have a show coming up, that’s my big whoop-de-do news of the week. I’m one of the bands opening for the Cat Power show on August 8th at Park West here in Chicago. It’s part of the Estrojam music fest, and of course everyone’s welcome in case you were wondering. I’ll be posting this on my gig-alert page momentarily.
My .htaccess file isn’t working right, it’s letting things in that oughta be blocked. Wah!! I worked so hard on it and I can’t figure out what’s wrong. I guess there’s an invisible syntax error in there somewhere. Well, at least I got rid of all the e-mail addresses on my site so even if the jerky-bots go looking around they won’t find anything good. Still, they’re eating my bandwidth and that bums me out.
How come there’s no such thing as an htaccess validator? It’s not fair, you can validate everything else for syntax errors, even robots.txt, but not htaccess. Bleh.
Not much to talk about today. I’ve been organizing a bit and getting my head together for something that’s (probably, I think, definitely) coming up that I’ll tell you about tomorrow, or as soon as I know for-sure-for-sure. It’s something I haven’t done in a real long time, and unfortunately I had to be dragged into it kicking and screaming the whole way but I finally agreed. Anyway… I talked to Daddy about it, he’s back at the same rehab center already. He’s sounding good, just determined to do whatever it takes to get himself out of his medical mess. (He broke both his hips, for those just tuning in.) He gave me a good pep-talk too, and it made me feel ever so much better about things. I sure love my dad. He’s just as stubborn as I am and absolutely hates it when anyone tells him he needs to do something, even if he really does. Go ahead and be stubborn, he sez, it’s in your genes. But don’t take it up to the point where you’re really shooting yourself in the foot. So… yeah. He’s right, and it helped a lot to hear it.
I dreamed I was at some school, but it was on a houseboat? I left my stuff on a picnic bench outside on the deck (or pier?) and went in. I was supposed to attend some meeting, they were making some decisions about how to run the school. I didn’t understand why I had to be there since I didn’t even go to that school, but I was supposed to be there so whatever. I went into the meeting and most of the people there were frat-boy types dressed up in suits, whereas I had my normal slouchy clothes on. They didn’t like me, they were sneering a little, and it pissed me off but oh well, I put in my vote anyway. I was glad when the meeting was over though. I went outside to get my purse and jacket, and found my purse had been opened and all my stuff was strewn around on the picnic table. I knew I’d been stupid to leave it out there. After a minute of searching I realized my passport had been stolen out of my travel-wallet, shit!! But I thought about it and realized no, that travel-wallet is in my other bag at home, not this bag. Which made me realize I must be dreaming, and I woke up.
Wrote "Ain’t No Picnic"