Showing posts from November, 2007

More music and hindsight

How To Destroy A Profitable Industry In Just A Few Easy Steps by Howie Klein
New York's "Vulture" (see wednesdays post) section comes to the correct conclusion about the music biz -- but for the wrong reason. In commenting on the Wired profile of "Universal Music Group CEO/supervillain Doug Morris," the folks at "Vulture" have a yuck-fest over Morris' inability to come to grips with modern technology. I only had one real talk with Morris in my life. The Warners Music Group was in complete turmoil, beginning a really ugly death spiral that he insisted I buy into by going to work for a lackey of his. I refused and Morris was coincidentally fired soon after -- the lackey not long after that. Instead I wound up as president of Reprise Records.

When AOL bought TimeWarner I was one of the only happy campers at the company. Naively, I thought AOL was a visionary technology company which would help us grapple with the problems and opportunities inherent i…

Putting the world on hold

I'm tired, grumpy and hung over

so please come back tomorrow

Universal Music CEO Doug Morris Speaks, Recording Industry in Even Deeper Shit Than We Thought

In the December issue of Wired, Seth Mnookin sits down with Universal Music Group CEO/supervillain Doug Morris for a pretty excellent profile (which is, tragically, not yet online). In it, Mnookin paints the 68-year old Morris as a crotchety executive who's upset that he can't focus more on simple product and artist development because he's too busy worrying about iPods, MP3s, and his company's digital strategy (which was never really supposed to be part of his job description when he took the gig in 1995). In a way, he almost comes off as cute, like if your grandfather were accidentally hired to run Google (at one point, Morris hilariously compares his embattled industry to a character in "Li'l Abner," a comic strip that stopped running in 1977).

As for his actual digital strategy, it's pretty much what we expected — Morris's singular goal these days is to limit the power of Steve Jobs and iTunes. He puts most of his energy into designing Univers…

Target: Iran

Like Bush's invasion of Iraq, an attack on Iran would violate international and U.S. law. The U.N. Charter prohibits the use of military force except in self-defense or with the approval of the Security Council. Iran, which has not attacked any country for 2,000 years, hasn't threatened to invade the United States or Israel. Rather than protecting Israel, U.S. or Israeli military force against Iran will endanger Israel, which would invariably suffer a retaliatory attack.

In making its case against Iran, the administration points to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad's alleged comment that Israel should be wiped off the map. But this is an erroneous translation of what he said. According to University of Michigan professor Juan Cole and Farsi language analysts, Ahmadinejad was quoting Ayatollah Khomeini, who said the "regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time." Cole said this "does not imply military action or killing anyone at all.&…

I like, you like, we like... worms?


woof woof


Our immigration policies are odd


It would be

A-Spark with support from Bob Daktari, DJ Karim and 1 tbc

Sitting On the Group W Bench-War and Arlo Guthrie's Thanksgiving

by Ron Jacobs

I first heard “Alice's Restaurant” in 1968 on Washington DC's underground radio station WHFS. The most memorable time I heard it was in May 1970 on the day after the military murders at Kent State when a friend read it in homeroom at the junior high I attended in Frankfurt, Germany. The song's innocence and hope echo today in the empty chambers of our empty culture where the current antiwar movement has yet to find an anthem. For those who don't know this song by Arlo Guthrie, it is the story of a littering arrest that becomes a humorous yet pointed diatribe against the culture of war and conformity. The littering arrest itself took place on Thanksgiving Day in 1965 and the draft was in full swing—filling the growing demands of the war machine and its war of the day.

Guthrie's song was part of a general distrust of authority making its way back into white America after a post World War Two hiatus. It was more than distrust actually. In fact, it was turn…

DJs are a sickness

An amusing take on a old campaign


Suicide epidemic

Pentagon Cover Up: 15,000 or more US casualties in Iraq War

By Mike Whitney

The Pentagon has been concealing the true number of American casualties in the Iraq War. The real number exceeds 15,000 and CBS News can prove it.

CBS’s Investigative Unit wanted to do a report on the number of suicides in the military and “submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Defense”. After 4 months they received a document which showed--that between 1995 and 2007--there were 2,200 suicides among “active duty” soldiers.


The Pentagon was covering up the real magnitude of the “suicide epidemic”. Following an exhaustive investigation of veterans’ suicide data collected from 45 states; CBS discovered that in 2005 alone “THERE WERE AT LEAST 6,256 AMONG THOSE WHO SERVED IN THE ARMED FORCES. THAT’S 120 EACH AND EVERY WEEK IN JUST ONE YEAR.”

That is not a typo. Active and retired military personnel, mostly young veterans between the ages of 20 to 24, are returning from combat and ki…


Can't believe its been ten years.... wow that makes me feel old. Woop woop

Holocaust Denial in The White House

The Turks say the Armenians died in a ‘civil war’, and Bush goes along with their lies

by Robert Fisk, November 14, 2007 (The Independent/UK)

How are the mighty fallen! President George Bush, the crusader king who would draw the sword against the forces of Darkness and Evil, he who said there was only “them or us”, who would carry on, he claimed, an eternal conflict against “world terror” on our behalf; he turns out, well, to be a wimp. A clutch of Turkish generals and a multimillion-dollar public relations campaign on behalf of Turkish Holocaust deniers have transformed the lion into a lamb. No, not even a lamb - for this animal is, by its nature, a symbol of innocence - but into a household mouse, a little diminutive creature which, seen from afar, can even be confused with a rat. Am I going too far? I think not.

The “story so far” is familiar enough. In 1915, the Ottoman Turkish authorities carried out the systematic genocide of one and a half million Christian Armenians. There are ph…

When ya got nothing throw them a fish

Pseudotropheus daktari is colorful mouthbrooder (is a mouthbrooder like a mouth breather?) native to Lake Malawi in Africa. It was reportedly collected near the southern end of the lake about ten to fifteen years ago. There is an article in the Cichlid Yearbook Volume 3 which contains a few details of the fish and where it was collected. Apparently "daktari" is the Swahili word for doctor, hence the name.

Like most other Mbuna, it is a harem spawning fish. It is best to provide a single male with multiple females.

Pseudotropheus daktari is sure to be a popular fish. It is colorful hardy, adaptable and sexually dimorphic.

Pseudotropheus daktari is no sea monkey thats for sure.

Your new masters are?

Private equity is on the prowl
by Ignacio Ramonet, Le Monde Diplomatique

While critics of the economic horrors of globalisation argue, a new and even more brutal form of capitalism is in action. The new vultures are private equity companies, predatory investment funds with vast amounts of capital at their disposal and an enormous appetite for more (1).

Their names, among them the Carlyle Group, KKR, the Blackstone Group, Colony Capital, Apollo Management, Cerberus Partners, Starwood Capital, Texas Pacific Group, Wendel, Euraze, are still not widely known. And while still a secret they are getting their hands on the global economy. Between 2002 and 2006 the capital raised by these funds from banks, insurance companies, pension funds and the assets of the super-rich rose from $135bn to $515bn. Their financial power is phenomenal, more than $1,600bn, and they cannot be stopped. In the United States, the principal private equity firms invested some $417bn in takeovers last year and more tha…

The Impossibility of American Empire

Paris, October 30, 2007 – Since the return of democracy in Spain, Spain’s political leaders and political society have demonstrated an extraordinary determination to start anew, after the crisis-afflicted 75 years that began with what the Spaniards have called “the catastrophe” – the collapse of the Spanish empire under blows from an exuberant and adolescent United States that believed it was coming of age as a world power. It’s evidence that empires end, but nations don’t, and resurrection is possible.

America’s transcontinental expansion following the Civil War and the garish joys of the Gilded Age gave Americans a taste for foreign adventure, whetted by the proximity and vulnerability of Cuba. And if Cuba, why not Puerto Rico, and the Philippines? Admiral Alfred Mahan, America’s prophet of naval power and of the economic necessity of colonialism, offered convincing economic reasons for American colonial expansion, and the failing Spanish empire was at hand.

A blow to it in the Caribb…

Last one I reckon




The Iraq war has become a disaster that we have chosen to forget

With the media subdued, governments have not been held to account for the biggest political calamity of our time

By Madeleine Bunting

11/05/07 The Guardian -- -- 'You think you are innocent, but you're not," said the British Muslim suicide bomber in the Channel 4 television drama Britz last week. As the compelling actor Manjinder Virk recited her suicide statement to camera, she went on: thousands of women and children are dying every day in Iraq and Afghanistan, and yet the governments responsible have been returned to power.

Her assertion sticks in the mind because it goes straight to the heart of how we choose to forget, choose not to understand; and how from such choices it becomes possible to imagine our innocence.

That's not to say that her own moral choices were defensible - she blew up herself, her beloved brother, fellow Muslims and plenty of women in the crowd - but the challenge even from such a morally flawed character persists. Can we claim innocence of the c…

Music In China: The inside story

Special Report Want to break into China? Ed Peto reports from the nation where goths adore boy bands, where the major labels created the black market, and where digital looks poised to leapfrog analogue.

How To Do Business In China, China CEO, The New Chinese Consumer... my shelves here in Beijing are stacked full of such books, all trying to throw some light on a country and market of seemingly endless allure to the west. A population of 1.3 billion people has marketeers around the world girding up their loins to do business here, each with a How To Do Business In China book tucked under their arm.

Unfortunately for the western music entrepreneur or artist, these books are helpful in only the most general terms. While there is a slew of practical, detailed advice on how to deal with rubber-ball factories and sales chains, the fledgling music industry here is such a bewildering state of affairs that fully-rounded advice simply isn’t available yet.

Article Here

An interesting read …

Music & Politics

Don't mix?


Here's a Labour themed song written and recorded by local icon Chris Knox:

It’s a Better Way with Labour
Chris Knox

We’re a part of the Pacific
Independent, proud and free
And no power on Earth can tell us
What to do or who to be
For we know all must be equal
And - where not - we’ll lend a hand
And if that makes us old-fashioned
That we care - well, understand:

It’s a better way with Labour (x3)
Way better!

We’re a part of one great family
That is several million strong
We’re a multicoloured iwi
Where each singer has their song
Where good hard work will get you there
And knowledge is the way
To make this land a better place
For tomorrow and today

It’s a better way with Labour (x3)

Click here to go to a site where you can download the song. Read the comments they are quite amusing.

Is it any good - well its not his greatest work but its ok.


We've all seen the LOL Cat and the Walrus Bucket and as all things netlike that are good(ish) and funny(ish) there is LOL DJ.

A amusing few minutes can be eaten up via LOL DJ... I like it.

The internetweb, keeping idle hands and minds amused since ages ago

Greenfield Downgrades Warner Music; Believes Digital Music Should Be Free

By Eric Savitz

Warner Music Group (WMG) shares are coming under pressure after Pali Research analyst Richard Greenfield cut his rating on the stock to Sell from Neutral. Greenfield, in short, thinks the recorded music industry is going to have to find a new business model.

“No matter how many people the RIAA sues, no matter how many times music executives point to the growth of digital music, we believe an increasing majority of worldwide consumers simply view recorded music as free,” he asserted in a research report Thursday morning. “A new model for music consumption must emerge and that model most likely involves DRM-free downloadable music at no cost to consumers, fully supported by advertising.” But as Greenfield notes, “the music industry is not ready to endorse such a move at this point, and even if it was, the economic model transition will be incredibly painful.”

Greenfield notes that he had actually upgraded the stock to Neutral in June as industry trends recovered a bit from a…

I think we have it




Rob Deacon - Pioneering record and CD producer

Rob Deacon - Pioneering record and CD producer at the forefront of new music

Wednesday October 10, 2007
The Guardian

Rob Deacon, who has died aged 42 in a canoeing accident, was a true innovator in the independent music world. He helped break many artists across a vast range of styles and introduced a unique format with his 1990s compilation series, Volume and Trance Europe Express. He worked outside the mainstream, yet succeeded by the sheer force of his creativity, good nature, powers of persuasion and friendship.

Born in Sutton-at-Hone, in Kent, he spent three years in Australia with his family as a small child, before returning to attend a local primary school and Dartford technical college. He completed an apprenticeship with BT, but his true ambition lay in music and visual art. By 17, he had begun publishing his first fanzine, under the title Enzine. Before he was 20, he had released several editions of Abstract, a now highly collectable vinyl album featuring tracks by artists inte…

Civilization Ends with a Shutdown of Human Concern. Are We There Already?

A powerful novel’s vision of a dystopian future shines a cold light on the dreadful consequences of our universal apathy

By George Monbiot

10/30/07 "The Guardian" -- -- A few weeks ago I read what I believe is the most important environmental book ever written. It is not Silent Spring, Small Is Beautiful or even Walden. It contains no graphs, no tables, no facts, figures, warnings, predictions or even arguments. Nor does it carry a single dreary sentence, which, sadly, distinguishes it from most environmental literature. It is a novel, first published a year ago, and it will change the way you see the world.

Cormac McCarthy’s book The Road considers what would happen if the world lost its biosphere, and the only living creatures were humans, hunting for food among the dead wood and soot. Some years before the action begins, the protagonist hears the last birds passing over, “their half-muted crankings miles above where they circled the earth as senselessly as insects trooping t…