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Brad Sucks: Guess Who's a Mess album cover

Guess Who's a Mess, my third album. 10 tracks, instant downloads.

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I post my songs to Somesongs to get rated and my feelings hurt. Now there’s Somesongs radio and it’s pretty awesome. Plus I think all my music is on there, so that’s even extra awesome.

Also cool (but with less me content for obvious reasons) is Songfight! radio, the radio for everybody’s favorite macho art-fag site Songfight!.

Lots of great indie home-recorders in there for you to check out in handy radio format.

Posted on - January 30, 2004 [at] 12:45 am by Brad
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There’s now an Atom feed for this site. It’s like RSS only DIFFERENT!

If you don’t know what any of that junk is, go try out Bloglines or FeedDemon or something. I’ve been trying out FeedDemon and so far I love it.

Posted on - January 29, 2004 [at] 12:37 am by Brad
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I’ve been getting weird reactions to my DRM post the other day. Some people are angry that I’m anti-DRM and other people are angry that I’m pro-DRM. Robert Scoble seems to have inexplicably classified my entry as some sort of attack on him, which it is not.

I basically just said “GUESS WE’LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS, PROBABLY THINGS WILL BE OK EITHER WAY” which I had no idea counted as a radical opinion these days.

To elaborate:

I’m a big fan of technology and tend to be pretty skeptical about how secure DRM is. I know how hard it is (ie. totally damn impossible) for software manufacturers to keep people from copying actual physical discs that they personally design and manufacture so the idea of someone inventing a secure file format that can’t be copied just seems like a joke and a half to me.

As I see it, one of the main points of DRM is to get the current record industry to give up its sweet sweet songs without shitting itself in fear and exploding, taking out all music with it as it goes. I assume Apple and Microsoft are both hustling to try and assure the already very nervous record industry that DRM is secure and viable in the long term, which I also assume just plum isn’t true.

I believe that even if DRM becomes commonplace, if it’s an inconvenience to consumers then I’m pretty sure circumventing it will become almost just as commonplace and there’s not much anyone can do to stop it. But maybe it’ll all be flawless and smooth and most people will barely notice it and the record industry can be mostly safe and secure.

My personal theory is that it’ll crash and burn, but either way life will still be pretty much the same for indie musicians like me. We’re like cockroaches with drinking habits.

Posted on - January 28, 2004 [at] 9:45 pm by Brad
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Here’s a good ranty call to arms by Cory Doctorow regarding Digital Rights Management on digital media. The basic gist is that DRM sucks and people shouldn’t be complacent and allow it to creep in.

As my album is now on iTunes I guess I can weigh in on the subject. I personally can’t imagine why anyone would want a restricted copy of my songs and I can’t imagine buying stuff with DRM on it and not busting it wide open just for the security. I wouldn’t buy a CD that could only play in one or two CD players so I don’t know why I’d buy media that behaves the same way.

That being said, if it turns out that consumers are A-OK with DRM and I once again am just an outsider nerd who’s fussy about things most normal people don’t care about, then I guess that’s okay too. Brad the music buyer will probably continue to resist, but Brad the musician probably can do nothing but benefit from this dumb imposed barrier.

Cory wants DRM dead and I don’t blame him. Microsoft and Apple want their brands of DRM to succeed and I don’t blame them either. I’m just interested to see what happens. If I had to bet, I’d bet on DRM becoming commonplace but with a huge underground that happily violates it.

Posted on - January 27, 2004 [at] 4:10 pm by Brad
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I have seen it with my own eyes, Brad Sucks: I Don’t Know What I’m Doing is now available on Apple’s iTunes service. That’s pretty exciting and also totally freaking sweet!

Posted on - January 26, 2004 [at] 1:44 am by Brad
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Dirt Bag (Ridin’ the Faders)

This is a remix of my song Dirt Bag by Victor Stone from his Four Stones release Ridin’ The Faders. The instruments are completely replaced with synthy samply neatness. Very cool!

Posted on - January 23, 2004 [at] 3:35 pm by Brad
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I finally got around to reading this very positive USA Today article on Magnatune, pointed to by Victor and Scott.

I’ve been on Magnatune for just over a month now and I have to say I’m really pleased. I sell about an album a day, which isn’t designer clothes money, but it looks like I should be able to afford a couple of pimp cups with my first royalty check, so that’s aiight.

I was initially skeptical of Magnatune and basically joined because I felt I had nothing to lose, but I’m glad that I did. It’s a very relaxing way to sell records compared to my $5 hand-made, burned and mailed model and it has definitely helped get the Brad Sucks music out there to people who might not have found it otherwise.

I’m real excited to see what’ll happen as Magnatune grows and whether my obsessive sales stat checking habit is going to get worse before it gets better.

Posted on - January 23, 2004 [at] 2:20 pm by Brad
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The World’s Most Dangerous Geek is an interesting article on Justin Frankel, creator of Winamp and Gnutella. Lots of neat info in there if you’re interested in that stuff as I am.

In many ways, Frankel’s future encapsulates the debate over the future of the Internet itself. Does it become just a distribution system for corporate product or more of a way to subvert that corporate control? For Frankel, subversion is in the eye of the beholder. “The question is,” he says, “do you think people are ultimately good or bad? Do they want to do the right thing, or do they want to do what’s good for them and fuck everyone else? I hope it’s not the latter.”

Posted on - January 22, 2004 [at] 1:57 pm by Brad
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Virtual vocalist Vocaloid is now available in LEON and LOLA flavors. You can check out some demos here.

I’ve been paying attention to this for a while out of curiosity and I have to say the final demos are a bit of a letdown. Sounds all computery and fake to me. The original Japanese demo I heard long ago struck me as far more impressive. These just sound like maybe a slightly nicer version of generated speech stuff (like this stuff) with probably some nice control. (Also keep in mind that example #2 ‘Little Bird’ is sung by a real singer with Vocaloid backing vocals.)

I of course wouldn’t mind playing with it, there’s probably neat unnatural stuff to be done with it. But the hype I had been reading was all “OH MY GOSH HUMAN SINGERS ARE GOING TO BE REPLACED!!11” and it’s just not even close. Also it’s $330 US.

Posted on - January 20, 2004 [at] 11:55 am by Brad
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Open source blues tracks, mostly from the 1930s (thanks to J-Walk for the link.) Good for listenin’, maybe good for samplin’ if you want to be the next Moby.

Posted on - January 20, 2004 [at] 2:02 am by Brad
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