Tuesday, September 26, 2006

War on Bicycle Accidents

So why have there been no major terrorist attacks in the US in the since 9/11? About the same as why there were none in five years before 9/11. Maybe it's because terrorrists aren't the existential threat ready to wipe away our civilization that they are made out to be by this admisistration.

I ain't afraid of no terrorists. 9/11 was pretty spectacular, but the attackers were really just lucky. Truth be told a whole lot more people in the US and worldwide are killed by ____ than by terrorists. Fill in the blank with just about anything.

Terrorism should be treated as a minor annoyance, like bicycle accidents. Yes we should pursue policies and procedures to minimize it, but it ain't something to throw 300 Billion dollars at.

The fact that there have been no terrorist-caused deaths in the US since 9/11 has nothing to do with the war in Iraq "fighting them there so we don't have to fight 'em here," and everything to do with the fact that terrorists really ain't much of a threat. Never really have been. As you were.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Kill the Middlemen

David Byrne has a journal entry musing on the Spiral Frog iTunes challenger. He thinks a Google like search-based, ad-supported distributed pay-for-download system is probably in the works.

My ideal model would be a simple web-shopping engine that bands could run from their own sites, where fans can download a DRM-free mp3 directly, after paying 49 cents or whatever. Why have a middleman at all, be it Google, Advertisers, iTunes, labels etc? You'd need softwarde that generates a one-time dynamic link so the customer can get the mp3 but not mail or post the link elsewhere. Most long-tail indie bands/groups would have a fairly low-volume need for bandwidth.

Music fans do a pretty good job of finding stuff they like - reading blogs, magazines, Pandora, internet/sat radio, etc. They should just be able to go to the band's website, push a paypal button, pay a few cents, and get a one-time download link. No DRM or advertising required. This should be easy. If it exists I'd love to find out about it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

All About The Wilsons

I wish a Democratic candidate would run on a platform of removing the profit motive from war. The military-industrial complex has so thoroughly permeated the government, and this administration in particular, that market forces alone seem to be dictating US foreign policy.

How long should the US stay in Iraq? As long as there are US tax dollars that can be shoveled into the coffers of KBR, Halliburton, Lockheed, Northrop Grummand and their ilk. How long should Israel's incursion into Lebanon last? The answer will have nothing to do with what's in the best interest of the Lebanese or Israelis, or even US citizens.

Not to say that any of these need necessarily be conscious decisions on the part of policymakers (though on Cheney's part, they most assuredly are.) It's just that it is in the financial interest of powerful well connected corporations to prolong lucrative contract situations as long as possible., (contracts that are generally no-bid, but that's another issue.)

This is all laid out in the film Why We Fight, which I haven't seen, but the main thesis seems to explain a lot more about current US foreign policy decisions than any other theory. Ike predicted it 50 years ago. It's not about oil, or freedom, or terra, or US interests. It's not even about the Benjamins, it's all about the Wilsons . A few billion here a few billion there. Pretty soon you're talking real money. Your grandchildrens money.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Studio Time

We spent two days in the studio this weekend, putting down the backing tracks for what I hope will be the final two songs on the new CD. This project has now spanned over three years in terms of recording, a few more of writing. I understand why this is - we all have full lives outside the band - wives, houses, jobs, film-festivals, school - so we are a band moving in slow motion.

These are also the only two songs we've recorded that we've never played live. They both have a different, less urgent feel than our others and I wonder if that's why. The first is our first ever let-loose-and-jam song, and it kind of worked. I'll know better looking back at it after a while. We are not really jam players. Joe S and I do try to get the interlocking guitars thing down, but I'm not sure it really works in the end. I also had to record really small no-support vocals which was not easy.

The second song "Starfleet Academy" we had to finish the arrangement in the studio with a lot of useful suggestions by Dave N the engineer. I got to play a theremin solo which I think I may actually have a talent for. I may have to get one of those.

Skizz added a lot of extra percussion to some of the previous tracks - maraccas, tambourine, claves. These are really sounding great. I hope this thing gets some distribution. I think there are a lot of folks out there who would like it.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Nothing to see here yet. Check theJennifers.com for current goings-on.