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Creation Date: 2002-08-30
While this picture may make it seem that I'm being lazy, I was actually pretty active today. Actually, it was one of my best nights in Seattle, which counts as one my best nights in my life. So I'd say that's pretty cool. What made it one of the best nights of my life?

Where Do We Go From Here
Experience Music Project, KEXP 90.3, and The Future of Music Coalition present: Where Do We Go From Here: Artists, Technology, Activism and the Industry.
Artists and artist-rights advocates discuss the challenges and opportunities raised by the Internet, the state of radio, intricacies of copyright, and how artists get paid. Questions from the audience are encouraged. Panelists include Jenny Toomey and Michael Bracy of The Future of Music Coalition; Dave Allen of Gang of Four, Shriekback, and Overland Agency; and Dave Dederer of The Presidents of the United States of America, Subset, and Loaded; Krist Novoselic, founder of JAMPAC, and a member of the bands Eyes Adrift and Nirvana; and Reggie Watts of Maktub. EMP Senior Curator Ann Powers moderates the forum.

I went to this event at Experience Music Project, the curvy building underneath the Space Needle. When I got there, there was no one there. When I got my ticket from on call, There was only one other person. Of course, I was an hour early. But many things that are popular enough for me to hear about them are packed hours before I arrive (See Incubus Concert, Tron Remixed, Rave Downtown, Necrowombicon, etc). I went outside and saw the reflection of the sun setting. The EMP is curvy and made of panels, The particular part on the west side is reflective purple. The sun reflected off of it and onto the ground and it looked very sweet. It was caustic, which is an amazing effect if you've ever seen it in real-time. The GeForce2 can do caustics very easily using its vertex shaders. There's a DirectX demo of a dolphin that does that. Anyway, I went back and waited. The Turntable restaurant played a few good songs: Chilli Peppers, Pot USA "Lump", and Blur "Coffee and TV". It's ironic that they played Pot USA because as you would read above, Dave Dederer was part of the Forum. By 6:30 there were ten people in JBL theater. I was kinda ashamed that there weren't very many people there. Krist Novoselic from Nirvana and Dave Dederer were going to be talking to ten people about music. Well, at 7 PM, the room was packed and people were standing in the doorway against fire regulations. They started the forum at 7:15 PM and it was livid. They introduced an unannounced fellow with a hat covering his eyes wearing a blue jacket with a grey shirt under it. Why do I remember so much about him? Because I never once saw his eyes. He's this mysterious guy that you stare at looking for his pupils. Well, he was none other than Sandy Perlman. Who is he? Look him up in Google and you'll find this page.

Did you know, John, that the phrase "heavy metal" was actually coined by BOC's manager and producer, Sandy Perlman? While Steppenwolf is the first to use it in a song ("heavy metal thunder"), it was Sandy who applied the term to the music at hand.

He coined the term "heavy metal"?! What is BOC that he managed and produced? None other than Blue Oyster Cult! What did BOC do in the 80's? Nothing less than revolution. Their amazing song, "Don't Fear the Reaper" has been on about 80 of my 100 playlists between 1996 and the present (I've listened to that song for 6 years now). What did they talk about at this "Future of Music" forum? Amazing things. Perlman is a visionary. He said more than once that all Major Record Labels™ will go extinct. He says that no one with an idea has an excuse to not put out high quality music. He tells us that our work is laid out in front of us and that we need to get to work. He says this in an attitude which makes a person inspired. He adds a few jokes here and there which sets everyone in motion. Dave Dederer noted that talent (based on practice) is the most important part of the music production experience. However, the music industry is work one way or another. He said that his least favorite part of the music business was doing sold out shows N days in a row. A few others came in defense of internet radio, peer-to-peer networks, and independent distrobution. A story was given about Prince selling his latest CD directly to his fans pocketing all the change: ~$10 Million cold hard cash. Then he decided to open the album up for free for anyone to download. Is that not sweet?

It says that Jenny Toomey was just part of Future of Music. Well, check out her website and you might notice that she's a real celebrity. She's hardcore although she certainly doesn't look it (she's ultra-kawaii) and she certainly wouldn't admit it. She explained the problem about health insurance in the music industry. Of the panelists, three had health insurance. Two of them knew of artists who had $15k and $300k operations and did not have health insurance. Jenny mentioned that literally people have died simply because health care is either not available or not the smart choice. Jenny explained that her indy record sold 30k copies at $6 per copy, 50% of which her band kept. Split 4 ways, it's around $22,500 which lasted her three years. That is what I call frugal for a rock star. How? I assume no personal car and no insurance. That is smart. But a freak accident or a bad illness might kill you or cost you $30,000. She gave advice: calamity insurance for $50 per month. Of course, your next of kin will get your royalties (which will be immense due to the tragic nature of your death), so Life Insurance is completely unnecessary. Hahaha... ...

Dave Allen was very positive and explained how important the new system will be. He also joined in the Health Care with his English socialist viewpoint: free medical care without any thought of cash. He said that the reason why Universal Health Care (Hillary's idea of a socialist USA) failed was that people were worried that thew would be forced to change doctors. That wasn't the only reason it failed. The main reason that it failed was that it took all powers away from people and gave it to a corrupt government. If you ever want to make people hate you more than anything in the world, tell them that you're going to to take their power and give it to an evil corrupt government that switches between fascist and socialist every 4 to 8 years. Fucking A. Maybe it works for Great Britian, but the only Free Universal Health Care™ that people in the US are going to get is from Christian and non-Gov't Organizations and entrepreneurs that beat the evil government system and come up with an economically viable alternative to fleecing or murder through refusing treatment.

Krist Novoselic gave good info about the new economy of the internet. His organization, JAMPAC was the main challenger of the old Teen Dance Ordinace that prevented teens from dancing legally (isn't that insane?!). Stopping kids from dancing is like stopping kids from studying and writing poetry.

Reggie Watts was a smart guy and talked about the realities of putting together a good sound was work.

What came of the forum? People really liked it. It was like a democracy of sorts. In fact, people liked it so much that they want to make a working group of it so that they can create the future of music right here in Seattle so that we'll own it like we owned grunge. Then everyone around the world will get the idea and they'll copy us. Then it'll change again and we'll be on top again. It's a system that ensures that we Seattlites are always on top. We always have, we always will, and there's nothing that can stop us. If my explanation is too skimpy for you, the 2-hour-long Forum will be webcast soon at Experience Music Project website.

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