CRIA: Piracy? No Problem!


Every week, groups like th RIAA, BPI and CRIA come out with increasingly outrageous claims about file-sharing and music-evangelism. They’re always ready to issue some nutsoid statements about piracy being linked to terrorism, cancer or male-pattern baldness. The root of all evil appears to be you downloading the new Sugababes single.

But hold on, what’s this? A new report from the the CRIA that they haven’t trumpeted from on high? I wonder why that is? Could be because it contradicts the copyright propaganda they normally issue:

In summary, CRIA’s own research now concludes that P2P downloading constitutes less than one-third of the music on downloaders’ computers, that P2P users frequently try music on P2P services before they buy, that the largest P2P downloader demographic is also the largest music buying demographic, and that reduced purchasing has little to do with the availability of music on P2P services. I’ve argued many of these same things, but now you don’t have to take my word for it; you can take it from the record labels themselves.
(Source: Michael Geist)

I have my own paranoid theory about why the big bosses want to shut down our best access to new music. It’s good to see that my madness is supported by this study’s results.

Of course, you won’t see this report on the telly or hear it on the radio. Funny that, innit?

BBC Bias?

London Antiwar Demo March 18th 2006

Here is the news, for the BBC-dependent only: A massive demonstration against the occupation of Iraq and the prospect of an attack on Iran took place in central London on Saturday. Tens of thousands of citizens of all races and religions and most political persuasions demonstrated against government policy.

So, naturally, the BBC decided to keep the event a secret on its news broadcasts. Possibly, the browbeaten post-Hutton corporation just couldn’t afford the expenses to get a crew from White City to Trafalgar Square. They can’t pretend they didn’t know the march was happening – they had given John Reid ample airtime to denounce it in advance.
(Source: Andrew Murray)

Nice to see other people picking up the BBC for its pro-war, pro-Blair bias.

I’m going to sound like a broken record here but Saturday’s march was huge. If even one-hundredth of that amount of people had marched in London for any other cause, it would have been the top news story.

But when it’s an antiwar demo – nothing. We’re buried in the headlines and don’t get reported at all on TV news.

You can only do this for so long before you totally alienate your audience. Assuming exactly the same people don’t protest each time (highly unlikely), I’m guesstimating that around three to five million Britons have protested against the war in the last three years.

You can’t lie to that mass of people forever. We know what happened this Saturday and on all the other demos. We know the BBC and other mass media is deliberately ignoring the British peace movement.

The British mass media is becoming as partisan and truthless a news source as those in the old Stalinist Soviet Union.

March 18th London Antiwar Demo

March 18 London Antiwar

Thousands of anti-war protesters turned out for a demonstration in central London calling for British troops to leave Iraq.

Police put the number attending at 15,000, but organisers said between 80,000 and 100,000 were at the rally.

It marked three years since the start of the conflict and was organised by CND, Stop The War Coalition, and the Muslim Association of Britain.

Protests were also held in other cities across the world.

They included Baghdad, Basra, New York, Madrid, Rome, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto and Dublin.
(Source: BBC News)

(I’ve now been up for twenty hours with four hours of sleep previous to that so forgive me if this post is more incoherent than normal.)

Today’s demonstration in London was amazing. It was amazing because of the spirit of the thing: this was a postive march and rally, concentrating on the ideals of peace amongst all peoples. Every speaker I heard at Trafalgar Square emphasised those points. Even the devoutly religious ones stressed how important it was for the peace movement to cut across all the boundaries and niches the warmongers promote. And by warmongers, I mean Bin Laden and Bush. Both preach fear and hatred of the other to cement their power bases.

As for numbers, well, we’ve been over this ground many times in the last three years. Hundreds of thousands of people wind through the streets of London and yet, every time, the good old Met only manage to spot three hippies and an eco-rickshaw. As I’ve said before, I find it suspicious that we never see aerial footage of antiwar demos any more. They used to show it but I think it looked too impressive and so… gone.

All I can say is that we took a hell of a long time to wind a relatively short distance. Comparing the feel of this with other marches, I would have guessed maybe 150,000 to maybe 200,000 at a push. But for the police to claim 15,000 is, as usual, taking the piss.

The global antiwar movement is nimble, ready and well-organised. Today’s march and rally, linked with the others worldwide, proved that once again. If you could have been with me when we streamed into Trafalgar Square, you would have felt the power of this movement. This is a mass movement: thousands upon thousands of ordinary people caught buses, coaches and trains down for this demo, gave up their time and money to protest our illegal invasion and continued occupation of Iraq.

But we were also warning Blair and Bush that should they try to move against Iran, we’ll be there again.

It’s high time our governments remembered that their sole purpose is to serve our will, not the reverse.

Click here for the piccies!

Bless Playlist 16/3/06


The best new track this week was Ellen Allien & Apparat‘s ‘Under.’ I’m a fan of both acts individually and I’m overjoyed that their collaboration has made something lovely and new rather than being a dilution of either. ‘Under’ is both modern and old, sonically new and yet melodically rounded and catchy. Look out for their album, ‘Orchestra of Bubbles,’ which is out at the end of April. I think this album will be in my top list for 2006. Now might be a good time to get your pre-orders in, glitchy pop fans.


The best old track was Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci’s ‘Spanish Dance Troupe.’ This is such a simple, three-chord pop song and yet every time I hear it, I have to sing along. It’s charming and quirky without ever being willfully “wacky” and it has the lightness of touch and silvery melody that Gorky’s have practically patented. Just the neighing at the end makes it a work of genius. Are they hibernating still or deceased? I know Euros has just released a solo album. The Gorky’s website hasn’t been updated in a year… 🙁

Tonight, you heard:

Serena Maneesh – Drain Cosmetics
Sweatshop Union – Us
Boards Of Canada – Roygbiv
Ghosty – Big Surrender
Black Lipstick – B.O.B. F.O.S.S.E.
Ellen Allien & Apparat – Under
People Under The Stairs – Tuxedo Rap
Mclusky – Icarus Smicarus
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – Criminal Piece
Gwenwed – 8 Mm
Substance Abuse – Collateral Damage
The Joggers – Ziggurat Traffic
Marco Passarani – Again
Roots Manuva – No Love
Devo – It’s Not Right
Bear Vs. Shark – 5, 6 Kids
The Knife – Silent Shout
Goldspot – Friday
Unknown Prophets – Time To Move Forward
Modeselektor – Silikon (Sirius Mo Rmx)
Ivor Cutler – Mud
Kelley Stoltz – Birdies Singing
Dinosaur Jr. – Freak Scene
SEGA – After Burner
Say Hi To Your Mom – Pop Music Of The Future
Youth Of Today – Thinking Straight
Apathy – Can’t Leave Rap Alone
The Dissociatives – Lifting The Veil From The Braille
Jonathan Richman – Fender Stratocaster
The Rockingbirds – Jonathan Jonathan
Shelter Red – Little Heaps Of Dirty White
Jel – WMD
Hyu – Paoz
Max Greger & His Orchestra – Big Train
Norfolk & Western – A Gilded Age
Frog Pocket – Celebrimbor Tur-Anion
Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – Spanish Dance Troupe
Agent Simple – Make A Right At Jordfallsmotet
Matmos – Solo Buttons For Joe Meek
Miwon – Brother Mole
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – Parakit
The Perceptionists – Memorial Day
The Radio Dept. – The Worst Taste In Music
Mikkel Metal – Lurlun
Islands – Humans

Yep, A Webquiz

Quiz Results1

You scored as Moya (Farscape). You are surrounded by muppets. But that is okay because they are your friends and have shown many times that they can be trusted. Now if only you could stop being bothered about wormholes.

Quiz Results

Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in?

I normally don’t post up net flotsam like the above. But the introductory summary seemed spookily accurate…

Don’t Mention The War…

Fight War Not Wars

Below is a lengthy quote from one of the best bands ever.

At risk of being seen as the ‘traitors’ that we are, through devious routes we rushed out an anti-Falklands War flexi and were instantly labelled ‘traitors’ by the music press. We also received a severe warning from the House of Commons to ‘watch our step’. Protest against the War seemed to be virtually non-existent and criticism in the press was being supressed. When the issues had been abstract, the Peace Movement had been all too happy to shout ‘No more war’, now there was a war to shout about, the silence was painful.

However it wasn’t until the war had ended and we released How Does It Feel To Be The Mother Of A Thousand Dead? that the shit really hit the fan. After Thatcher had been asked in the House of Commons whether she had listened to the record, it was inevitable that she and her party would want to punish us. Tory MP Tim Eggar had the hapless task of fronting prosecution proceedings and right from the start couldn’t put a foot right. The case crumbled completely when Eggar was exposed by us on live radio as a complete fool. The Tories backed down immediately after his miserable performance and even went to the trouble of circulating a note in which members of the Party were ordered to ignore all provocation from our quarter. Suddenly we started receiving letters of support from members of the ‘Opposition’. Maybe we weren’t on our own. Fall guys or what!

We found ourselves in a strange and frightening arena. We had wanted to make our views public, had wanted to share them with like-minded people, but now those views were being analysed by those dark shadows who inhabited the corridors of power. Eggar had created a great deal of publicity for our cause and the press had lapped it up, especially those who, literally at gun point, had been prevented from gaining any real information on the war. It was as if we’d hooked a whale while fishing for minnows. We didn’t know whether to let go of the rod, or keep pulling until we exhausted ourselves, which we knew, inevitabiy, we would.
(Source: CRASS)

Kind of puts the current wave of mewling, simpering “singer-songwriter” fake protest folkies in context, doesn’t it? Not to mention all the bands I see on MTV shouting very loudly about FUCK ALL. What are you whining about, fake-metal boyz? At least boy bands are honestly meaningless.

Here’s how it is: either you’re an artist who has passion and commitment and wants to change the world or you can fuck off out of my life. I haven’t got the time to listen to the listless bleatings of another generation of sleepwalking drones.

So you can take your tasteful, mature “folk” and your “hardcore” pseudo-metal wankery and shove them both up your fucking arse.

Recording Frenzy

Heavenly Pop Hits Records

Last night, I finished the final track for a 7″ EP soon to be released on the Swedish indie label, Heavenly Pop Hits.

I’ve been writing and recording like mad lately, often doing a song a weekend. This is partly the sprouting of the seeds laid by my gigs in Sweden last year and partly that I’ve changed a lot of my old working practices.

The main difference now is that I’ve stopped using non-dedicated computers to record music. I’m now using a Yamaha AW2400 which is, of course, a computer but it’s one dedicated to recording, equipped with all the lovely buttons and flying faders any modern musician needs. It’s amazingly fast and intuitive to use and never gets in the way of my creative process.

I won’t go over old ground covered in a previous rant but suffice it to say that I wrote and recorded an entire instrumental last night and mastered it this morning. The one time I tried to use Logic Pro 7.2 last night, it took nine minutes to open a song. And even then, it didn’t find any of the old EXS instruments I used on the track. All the while, the AW was sitting next to my Mac, laughing at it’s crapness and un-musicality.

You know, I love making music! 😀

The World At Anti-War

The World At Antiwar
A photo from the March 2004 global protests

This Saturday, millions of people around the world will march in protest against the illegal invasion and continued illegal occupation of Iraq:

Worldwide demonstrations: . All demos on 18/3/2006 unless otherwise stated. add event to

We’ll be a disparate group, covering every race, creed and a broad political spectrum. This isn’t a gathering of fringe loony lefties.

This is the biggest political mass-movement in history.

We’re marching to protest the mayhem in contemporary Iraq, a country bludgeoned first by a USA-approved dictator and now by the USA itself. We’re marching to get our troops recalled from this bloodbath, this insane oil crusade instigated by the rapacious doctrine of PNAC. Most of all, we’re marching to prevent Iran being next on Bush’s checklist of oil-grabs.

If you’re a UK citizen, I believe you have an extra responsibility to get off your arse and take part in this protest. It’s our premier, Butcher Blair, that was one of the prime supporters of Bush and the neoCon agenda. Currently, he’s mewling and appealing to a giant ghost to judge him on his Iraq record. He conveniently omits any mention of the illegality, the publicity stunts, the ’45 minutes’ lie, all the odious tactics he used to curry support for Bush’s invasion. I think Harold Pinter summed up Blair’s mendacity very succinctly:

As every single person here knows, the justification for the invasion of Iraq was that Saddam Hussein possessed a highly dangerous body of weapons of mass destruction, some of which could be fired in 45 minutes, bringing about appalling devastation. We were assured that was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq had a relationship with Al Quaeda and shared responsibility for the atrocity in New York of September 11th 2001. We were assured that this was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq threatened the security of the world. We were assured it was true. It was not true.
(Source: The Guardian)

If none of the above moves you, let me make one final appeal: the US is now moving to a 1984-like program of total, never-ending war. Is this a world you want to live in? Is it a world you want your children to inherit?

Only one force can stop this madness, this exploding tumour of American Global Imperialism and that’s the mobilisation of millions of ordinary people. Us. We’re the ones caught between Bin Laden and Bush, we’re the ones told we must choose sides. Indeed we must: we have to say no to both imperialism and terrorism.

It’s up to us. There’s no-one else who can do the job.


ambidextrous artylodactyls

Just lost my entire iPhoto library due to an ill-advised space-saving tidy up.

If you’re not an iPhoto user you can safely skip the next paragraph.

The old iPhoto used to store a lot of photos twice, so a user could revert to the original. These originals were stored in folders labelled ‘Original.’ If you knew you were happy with the tweaked photo, you could safely delete these folders and thus save a hell of a lot of space. But from iLife ’06, this seems to have changed. I only realised as my Trash was emptying and it seemed to be destroying thousands of photos rather than the usual ten or twenty.

Fortunately, I had a backup to revert to after a lot of mewling and whinnying and general unhappiness.

The moral: as always, BACK UP YOUR DATA!