Death to the Media Oligarchy!

CD Baby is an awesome site dedicated to profiting from unfortunate stoners helping independant artists distribute their music. They have a surprisingly simple but effective business model:

  • Pay them $40 (US) to encode your CD (artists keep all copyrights, rights to non-digital distribution, and can leave at any time with 30 days notice)
  • They distribute it to Rhapsody, iTunes, and other digital distribution outlets
  • For every dollar made, 9c goes to CDBaby, 91c goes to the artist
  • Profit!

I’m sure there are caveats and catches, but it still sounds a lot better than the traditional model:

  • Get signed by music label
  • They distribute CD, all expenses incurred are culled from any royalties you make
  • Artists don’t actually own their own music, copyrights, or distribution rights – these go to the label
  • Artists get a couple of cents in the dollar, but are left with crippling debts
  • Label goons tie up artists’ grandmothers and slowly break their fingers to blackmail artists back into the studio
  • Artists die alcoholic and alone

My plan for goldsounds.com was always to turn it into a music site, so don’t be surprised if you see a CD-baby-ish business model appear. I like it a lot.

It was a dark and stormy night…

In a recent post, Matt‘s blog wisely pointed us to the Bulwer-Lytton Awards, granted to the most “impressive” openings to imaginary novels. I loved this one:

Colin grabbed the switchgear and slammed the spritely Vauxhall Vixen into a lower gear as he screamed through the roundabout heading toward the familiar pink rowhouse in Puking-On-The-Wold, his mind filled with the image of his comely Olive, dressed in some lacy underthing, waiting on the couch with only a smile and a cucumber sandwich, hoping that his lunch hour would provide sufficient time for both a naughty little romp and a digestive biscuit.

It reminds me of everything my Dad would love in a novel. If he ever read them.

Study finds humans afraid of glowing cadaverous heads

Let’s face it, if you were to pick the field of science that could wipe out humanity in the coolest way, it has to be robotics.

Some guys at the University of Reading wanted to build a robot that measures people’s reactions to itself. Well, clearly this baby is optimised for generating fear:

And this is my robot, Maximillian.

The robot is so scary that the University’s ethics committee forced them to put a sign up declaring under 18’s not be allowed in without an adult. A quote from the article:

A University of Reading spokesperson said the college is confident that its policies are “successfully maintaining appropriate ethical practices for research”.

… for now. How long before someone gives in to temptation and gives it chainsaw-arms?

Also:

Morgui, which is Mandarin for Magic Ghost, cannot experience emotions

Wow, this guy is totally set up to think fleshies are weak.

Impro Tuesday

Hm – another night at the Kitten Club, and overlooking certain interpersonal events stemming from my poor judgement regarding a post on this board, it all went swimmingly. Somehow I don’t think I’m cut out for blogging – poor motivation, mediocre writing and too much blogging while stoned all contribute to a thoroughly captivating experience for the reader… provided the reader is a rhesus monkey whose brains have been replaced with a heaping spoonful of mashed potato.

Anyway, tonight.

It started a little slow, and according to some witnesses, my introduction of Yianni was less than impressive. Sorry Yianni. I tried to make up for it in the second half. Apparently, the first intro went like this:

Me: “Well, I’ve finished mucking around. Um.. you guys ready? Ok. Here’s Yianni.” [slow clapping]

A born showman I am not. However! Born showmen everyone else was (Yoda would be proud). They were great, kicking things off with the Kitten variation on “Die!”, which doesn’t have a name yet, but should probably be called “Die while singing!” because that’s exactly what it is. Essentially, the players are given a topic, and have to sing a story on that topic while the host’s finger is pointing at them. When his finger moves to someone else, they continue where the last person left off. If the new singer stammers or just looks at someone a little funny, everyone shouts “Die!” and we gun them to death on the spot. We go through a lot of players that way, but the ones that are left are _great_ singers.

Another notable game was an open scene, where the players can do whatever they like with no restrictions. Does this make things easier, you ask? Shut the fuck up.

“Sing about it” was great. Adam V. was a brilliant crotchety father, whose crotchety-ness reached scaled heights that Wurzil Gummidge could only dream of. He was prepared to wear out the back of his shirt for comedy, and that’s more than I can say for most people. The story centred on a young man who dreams of being an Archaeologist, but who is afflicted with a fear of heights so crippling he can’t stand up without falling over. The ending where he brought a cure for his father’s crotchy-ness back from Egypt 20 years later was surprisingly touching.

Anyway, by the end of the show everyone was ecstatic and the players got carried out on the shoulders of the audience, which looked a bit like an upside-down human pyramid.

Oh yeah, and my parents were there, and yet again they politely avoided mentioning how much we say the word “fuck”. I love my parents. Seriously. They’re awesome.

To the enlightened reader who posts comments like “boring”: What’s more boring, typing this crap or taking the time to comment on it? 🙂 I’m having a good time. Are you?