November 1st, 2006

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The Netlabel Launches--Open Source Music

Today verian and I launched a netlabel, the Negative Sound Institute. At our netlabel, five releases are posted, under Creative Commons licenses. People can visit our site, download what they wish, share what they download as they wish, and pay nothing for anything they wish. It's all free--in the Creative Commons.

The five releases thus far include a collaboration album by the collaboration Verian and I do, called the Thomas Nunnally Ensemble, a release by Verian of some wonderful experimental piano pieces, my own album which remixes gorgeous ambience by French artist Fabien Claudel, entitled "A Texas Christmas Holiday with Zikweb Travel", a set of pieces by Dava Sobel, which is just beautiful music, and akhliber's intriguing Closet Ballerinas project.

I'm excited to get this off the ground. I do not see it as a replacement for my current recording activities on DiSFish records, but as a fun side venture. We don't plan to focus on any one form of music, but on what intrigues us.

Our marketing blurb begins with a cool coincidence--today is also the day the Sistine Chapel began. All the ceiling painting for this one has really been done by verian, but I'm excited to be a co-founder of this fun new venture.

I'd love it if you stopped by an checked it out. My own solo album, which features the twenty three minute bit of symphonic ambience "Galveston Island in December", is located

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Beetle spin

When I was a teen, the only artificial fishing lure that ever distracted me from the good old earthworm was a contraption called the beetle spin. It featured a little bitty spoon, and a fluorescent little elongated bug body with two legs, through which a little bream hook was pierced.
It caught bass, catfish, and panfish like nobody's business. It was a wonder cure for fishing drought. I even tried it in the ocean when I moved to California and was old enough to know better. Fish would strike it, but the hook was too small for those mackerel and jacksmelt. It's an odd and surprisingly irresistible bait, in the same way that springerle cookies can be.

Do you know what is a beetle spin for me now? I read a science fiction book by this fellow named Peter F. Hamilton. I found myself enthralled by the battle between the alien force and the out-gunned earth forces. I found myself turning page after page after page until....

You guessed it. "THE END". Also, a note to "watch for the sequel".

Let me go on record that most things should not have sequels. Above all, there should not be hundreds of things called "Thieves' World". There are exceptions, of course, like Barsoom and the Lord of the Rings (although really LOTR is one novel with three artificial line breaks, much like most of my poetry).

Yet tonight I trooped into the Borders bookstore and bought the sequel--in hardcover. Bless you Peter F. Hamilton, because I am short of curses. Bless you and your alien-page-turning ways.

Fortunately, I also picked up Todd Rundgren's greatest hits CD while at Borders, and sang along to "I Saw the Light" and "Hello, It's Me". Todd Rundgren's music is one of those sublime 1970s things that makes me very happy indeed. I wish I still remembered how to play "Can We Still Be Friends" on the piano. I liked a time when pop lyrics were complex and difficult and about relationships and barely ever "meta" at all.