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Here’s a Slate article on Why pop songwriting’s not what it used to be via It’s basically a big jab at Jessica Simpson’s new song sucking (I haven’t heard it, so I don’t know), but the article has a lot of interesting chronology of the changes the singer/songwriter label has gone through.

I think I noticed the blurring of the singer/songwriter lines first with Avril Lavigne a while ago. I was reading about The Matrix, the production company that wrote her debut hits yet they were still billing Avril as having written her own songs.

Really I’m not sure if it makes too much of a difference. It kinda makes it less impressive to be a singer/songwriter these days I guess as even 16 year old girls from Napanee can do it and sell millions. But worrying about whether entertainment is legit or not always seems like kind of a waste of energy to me. Everyone acts terrified of getting tricked, but then they really enjoy it when it works and they don’t notice it happening.

Posted on - March 31, 2004 [at] 2:42 pm by Brad
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I jumped the gun about posting it a week or two ago, but the Flak magazine interview with me is now actually online. There is a longer director’s cut of the interview available here. Who knows what crazy junk I’ll have said in the past!

I’m also supposed to be doing an interview on Half Life Radio of all places on Wednesday evening.

Posted on - March 29, 2004 [at] 11:19 pm by Brad
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This study claims that music sharing isn’t negatively effecting CD sales. Here’s a big clip for those of you too lazy to read the article:

For the study, released Monday, researchers at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina tracked music downloads over 17 weeks in 2002, matching data on file transfers with actual market performance of the songs and albums being downloaded. Even high levels of file-swapping seemed to translate into an effect on album sales that was “statistically indistinguishable from zero,” they wrote.

“We find that file sharing has only had a limited effect on record sales,” the study’s authors wrote. “While downloads occur on a vast scale, most users are likely individuals who would not have bought the album even in the absence of file sharing.”

Unlikely that this is the final word on the subject, but still interesting.

Posted on - March 29, 2004 [at] 7:34 pm by Brad
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After a year or two of wanting to get some sort of rhythm input device, I just ordered one of these suckers:

It’s an MPD-16 and it’s very hip-hop. If all goes according to plan I may have it by the weekend.

I should also mention that if any of you musicians are in the market for a Yamaha DD55 (the drum thing I was thinking about buying before I decided on the MPD16), there are tons of them on eBay. They seem to retail for about $200-$220 US and most auctions are going for $100-$120. Just so you know.

Posted on - March 29, 2004 [at] 1:46 pm by Brad
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I was told today that my album I Don’t Know What I’m Doing is an Editor’s Pick on and my track Sick as a Dog is in their top 10. That’s pretty sweet. Direct link to the album is here if you wanna buy something. Songs seem to be 89 cents, not sure what format the downloads are.

Posted on - March 24, 2004 [at] 10:36 pm by Brad
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Magnatune and I got some props on the Creative Commons blog. That’s pretty boss. (Boss is a word I am trying to bring back into popular usage.)

After a lot of initial difficulty I think I’m finally starting to get my head around what the purpose of the Creative Commons is and how it can benefit artists and business-folk. I have an idea for a Creative Commons-heavy Brad Sucks project but I’m still asking around to see if it’s possible.

Posted on - March 24, 2004 [at] 10:04 am by Brad
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Wow, I have a lot of poetry to read now. Thanks to everyone who suggested and emailed me stuff. I’ll have to ask about good pulpy sci-fi books later.

Posted on - March 24, 2004 [at] 9:56 am by Brad
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Does anybody out there read poetry? I did when I was a teenager to impress girls but now I’m wondering if there’s anything out there that isn’t junk. Please tell me who the good poets are so I can go read some.

Note: I’m biased against poetry that uses language normal people don’t use. ie. “Thine heart hath made mine whole” = groan city from the Brad section of the audience.

So far the neatest poet someone has suggested to me is e.e. cummings who is at least pretty nuts a lot of the time.

Posted on - March 22, 2004 [at] 8:12 pm by Brad
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This article claims the Fraunhofer Institute (the folks who invented MP3s) have announced that they’ve figured out a way to create surround sound MP3s. They claim it’ll work with existing players as well, which seems like the real trick. Very cool. (via Slashdot.)

Posted on - March 22, 2004 [at] 9:04 am by Brad
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What’s cool is that other people are starting to do the radio digest thing much like Steven Garrity’s Acts of Volition Radio (of which there is now session 8 online). There’s now Mathcaddy Radio Sessions and LugRadio. Very cool to see it spreading!

Steven’s also made up a helpful FAQ about his Acts of Volition Radio, it has a lot of helpful information for anyone looking to start their own. That guy is just plain helpful.

Posted on - March 20, 2004 [at] 8:13 am by Brad
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