Archive for 2008-12

Happy New Year

02008-12-31 @ 20:12

Photos taken on New Year’s Day, two years ago:

May we be healthy, happy and useful.

From Earth to the Universe

02008-12-31 @ 11:12

From Earth to the Universe
Seed kicks off the International Year of Astronomy with a slideshow of awe-inspiring astronomical snapshots of our universe.
(Via Seed Magazine)

Direct link to slideshow

Four Years Ago in Santa Fe

02008-12-30 @ 20:12

also see this

Simple. Brilliant.

02008-12-30 @ 14:12

Pinxo by Ferran Lajara – Product Designer
(Via Dezeen)

Nanao Sakaki

02008-12-30 @ 14:12

RIP Nanao Sakaki
From a letter written by poet Gary Snyder:
Last night I got word from Japan that Nanao Sakaki had suddenly died. He was living with friends in the mountains of Nagano prefecture in a little cabin. He had stepped out the door in the middle of the night to stargaze or pee and apparently had a severe heart attack. His friends found him on the ground the next morning. Christmas afternoon they’ll hold the otsuya – intimate friends drinking party in his room, sitting with his body — and a cremation after that. He was one of my best friends in this lifetime.

Intimate friends drinking party, sitting with the body… what a nice custom!

Now within a circle ten billion light years large
All thoughts of time, space are burnt away
And there again you sit, pray and sing
You sit, pray and sing.

Found here

Naturally we sit down…

02008-12-30 @ 14:12

The more you sense the rareness and value of your own life, the more you realize that how you use it, how you manifest it, is all your responsibility. We face such a big task, so naturally we sit down for a while.
– Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi (1938-2002)

from the Upaya newsletter


02008-12-30 @ 14:12

Received a food processor last week – cut everything by hand before. Also received some walnuts from another friend’s tree. Found arugula and parmeggiano in my fridge. Thus had to make pasta with pesto for lunch today… a arugula-walnut-pesto.


02008-12-30 @ 13:12

Play Auditorium

U.S News on Bike Commuting

02008-12-28 @ 11:12

EcoVelo » Blog Archive » U.S News on Bike Commuting
If you weren’t already convinced bike commuting has gone mainstream, U.S. News and World Report lists riding your bike to work as one of the top “50 Ways to Improve Your Life” in 2009. I couldn’t agree more.

Read the story in U.S. News

Two Cancelled Concerts

02008-12-27 @ 15:12

I want to respond to questions regarding the two cancelled December concerts, the Benise Cruise and the Star Center in Rio Rancho.

Benise’s people never sent the required deposit and when contacted they said they wanted to lower the offer, because they in turn had accepted a lower offer from the cruise line. We declined the new offer. Sadly it appears they continued to tell fans that we were on the ticket even after our performance was cancelled and some fans are still waiting for their refunds…

The Star Center show was cancelled by the Mayor of Rio Rancho because of problems with the building. My agent was assured that every single ticket holder would be telephoned or emailed and informed of the cancellation. That apparently did not happen and I am finding out that fans arrived at the Star Center on the evening of the performance, in some case after driving for hours or flying in from other states.

Even though “they” messed up I am aware that all of the goodwill we earned in two decades of touring can evaporate like that (((snaps fingers))) – and I am not sure what I can do… I realize that saying it’s not my fault won’t make it better. I can tell you that “my people”, from agent to manager and including myself did everything we could. We scrambled to cancel flights and hotel rooms, and we paid the musicians even though the gig got cancelled. Jon spent many hours writing new horn charts for the XL band and I felt terrible having to tell him the gig wasn’t happening. Maybe we’ll just have to bring the XL band back for a few gigs next year, ’cause damn, the arrangements Jon came up with were GREAT!

In closing let me say this: every once in a while we come up against a promoter who acts incompetently. Every musician has lots of stories about those experiences. It’s just bad luck that we recently encountered two in a row.

Grammy Streaming

02008-12-27 @ 10:12

I mentioned before that the music nominated for a Grammy streams (((for members only))) on iTunes. Unfortunately they have a rule to include only full and complete categories. Apparently someone in the New Age failed to give their permission and as a result none of the music in the New Age category is available for streaming. Which is unfortunate, I think, because how many members actually own or have heard the five albums nominated… I own excatly one album from that category, and I got that for free from SSRI for my involvement in the recording…

Japan – Sea Shepherd

02008-12-27 @ 09:12

Sea Shepherd explain their M.O. after accusations in the press.

Japan – Sea Shepherd
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society operates internationally without prejudice towards race, colour, religious belief or any other consideration except for an impartial adherence to upholding international conservation law to protect endangered marine species and eco-systems.
(Via Treehugger)

Continue reading here. I have mentioned Sea Shepherd often.

Red Balloon

02008-12-26 @ 20:12

Nice article by Genpo Roshi in the current “Peace on the Street” issue of Tricycle. I love the painting by Chris Cosnowski at the beginning of the article, hence the title of this post.

Merry Christmas

02008-12-25 @ 11:12

Brian Eno believes in singing:

The Key to a Long Life
I believe that singing is the key to long life, a good figure, a stable temperament, increased intelligence, new friends, super self-confidence, heightened sexual attractiveness, and a better sense of humor. A recent long-term study conducted in Scandinavia sought to discover which activities related to a healthy and happy later life. Three stood out: camping, dancing and singing.
(Via enoweb)

Nice Xmas tree – for Buddhists…

Hello Earthrise: Christmas Eve 1968

So sing and be merry, and may peace prevail.

A year ago.
Two Years ago.

Need a Gift?

02008-12-24 @ 13:12

It’s not too late. You can still purchase a Gift Certificate in our ListeningLounge…

And, while you are there – we have made a few live-recordings available for free. A small thank you to all of you who came to see us this year, and others who could not make it.

All of these recordings will disappear from the LL in eight days – so come and get ’em.

Here are direct links:
Live 2008
Live 2005
Live 2003

‘Remix’ For The Hybrid Economy : NPR

02008-12-24 @ 13:12

Lawrence Lessing’s ‘Remix’ For The Hybrid Economy : NPR
Fresh Air from WHYY, December 22, 2008

In his new book Remix, law professor Lawrence Lessig explores the changing landscape of intellectual property in the digital age — and argues that antiquated copyright laws should be updated.

Agree with some of it, disagree with some of it (((see this entry for example – the long tail simply isn’t happening)))… but good food for thought and it’s a pleasure to listen to Prof. Lessig’s clear speaking.

Reboot the music industry!

02008-12-24 @ 08:12

Hey Obama: Reboot the music industry! | Digital Noise: Music and Tech – CNET News
As with Friedman’s proposal to save America, my proposal to save music would start at the bottom–it’s not enough to give the big labels and radio stations a few hundred million dollars to stem their losses and encourage re-investment. Instead, we need to create a culture of music appreciation and nurture the talent that will lead to the next generation of musicians. Here’s my dream list:

Music education and training. In the U.S. education system, music and art are the last classes to be funded and the first to face cuts. Yet, we always seem to be able to spend another few million on sports fields and equipment. The U.S. government should mandate funding for music education beginning in fourth grade, when most kids develop the attention span and coordination necessary to learn an instrument, all the way through high school. This will not only contribute to a strong base of musical performers, but the kids who lack the talent or drive to pursue music as a lifelong hobby will at least learn to appreciate the skill it takes for others to pursue it–just like youth sports creates lifelong sports fans. And professional musicians should be able to take classes in new areas–theory, audio production–without having to pay the entire tuition out of their own pockets.

Tax breaks. Bars, restaurants, and nightclubs under a certain capacity should be given tax incentives to hire musicians. (I’m not so sure about big promoters like Live Nation or stadium-type venues.) Same with radio stations that play a certain percentage of music from local or unsigned musicians. (Big corporate radio with its narrow audience-tested playlists has done far more to devalue music–and harm sales–than the Internet.) Cities should be encouraged to create music-nightlife zones with less-stringent noise restrictions and the appropriate level of police protection.

Stipends for musicians. As romantic as punk-squatters might seem, being a musician doesn’t have to mean a life of poverty. Canada offers grants to non-classical musicians, including emerging artists with “self-training” (read: rock musicians). Yes, they must have shown a viable career for at least two years, but a one-year grant could be the perfect bridge between promising local band and national club tour. If we can give the U.S. auto industry $17 billion, surely we can spare a few hundred thousand a year to give promising musicians a chance to postpone their day jobs while they try and find a bigger audience.

Infrastructure. It doesn’t have to be all about roads, bridges, and high-speed data networks. Cities with decrepit or nonexistent classical venues should be given federal dollars for construction. National Public Radio should receive increased federal budget–with a requirement to devote a certain number of hours a day to music, particularly types of music and artists who don’t get played on commercial radio.

Quality of Music Reproduction vs Playing…

02008-12-23 @ 23:12

It is so characteristic, that just when the mechanics of reproduction are so vastly improved, there are fewer and fewer people who know how the music should be played.
-Ludwig Wittgenstein

And since he died in 1951, he wasn’t even talking about the quantum leap in reproduction of the last decade.

Most music didn’t sell a single copy in 2008

02008-12-23 @ 23:12

Most music didn’t sell a single copy in 2008
According to a new study, of the 13m songs available for sale on the internet last year, more than 10m failed to find a single buyer.

The research, conducted by the MCPS-PRS’s Will Page and Andrew Bud, brings us that much closer to proving Sturgeon’s Law – that 90% of everything is crap. It also provides evidence for the famous old rock critic adage – your favourite band sucks.

More importantly, these findings challenge the “long tail” theory that diverse, specialised items – though individually less popular – will together outsell mainstream “hits”.

Page is the chief economist at the MCPS-PRS Alliance, a not-for-profit royalty collection agency. According to his and Bud’s research, 80% of all revenue came from about 52,000 tracks – the “hits” that powered the music industry. Broken down by album, only 173,000 of the 1.23m available albums were ever purchased – leaving 85% without a single copy sold.

“I think people believed in a fat, fertile long tail because they wanted it to be true,” Mr Bud told the Times. “The statistical theories used to justify that theory were intelligent and plausible. But they turned out to be wrong.”
(Via Guardian Unlimited Music)

Related links here and here.


02008-12-23 @ 15:12


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