Viva Live365

It was just coming up on my two year anniversary with my playlist on Live365 but dropped some bad news last month. A ruling by the US Royalty Copyright Board (CRB) effectively pulled the rug out from under the entire Live365 business model of online broadcasting. As the note from the Live365 team describes it, the result is there are now “no small webcaster options except for full CRB rates.” On top of that their investors have backed out, so the misfortune was sudden and severe.

At least one of the broadcasters I followed (DKFM) is already jumping across to radionomy.com, but it sounds like that’s not an option for a “for fun” station like mine since there is a hefty minimum of listener hours to maintain. I have had a lot of fun sharing my little amateur mix-tape with the world and I have immensely enjoyed other stations (that led to many purchases, I should point out). I understand this ruling is good for the music industry and making the online streaming market more robust, but the personal satisfaction of having a mini radio station got CRB’ed. Back to making physical mix-tapes.

CSRA Adventure

I imagined Athens, Georgia as exotic and magical when I was a kid. Wherever the B-52’s and R.E.M. were from must be another dimension where the rules are upside down. (Before a certain point) the B-52’s were plunky punk rockers and R.E.M. were consummate jangly bohemians. I know their legacy now is they were corny and pretentious, but I cope by filtering them out past the 80’s. I’ve always kept a thought in the back of my mind that it would be an adventure to see Athens for myself, find some traces of the old music scene, and test whether the laws of physics are all the same. Wouldn’t you know it I got the chance for an extended visit to the area the last few months, to the CSRA, and I made a trip (figuratively down the Atlanta Highway) to the heart of Georgia. Yep, it is in fact a trendy college town that adores bulldogs. Continue reading

Thinking of David Jones

It’s comforting but unsettling to find obituaries written online the moment we hear the news of someone significant passing away. A writer takes the time in advance to cast warm light on a life span and distill the essence of character. This morning I noticed a photo of younger David Bowie in the side panel of imgur and could draw the quick conclusion he was in the news for more than just his latest record, “Blackstar.” Just as fast as I could load reddit.com/r/music I could see a major thread running – I knew he must have died. Continue reading

Lads From Liverpool

I left you with a gripping cliffhanger over a year ago about my eyeballs, and now you can breath. My vision is amazingly clear and the recovery after the procedure was weird and miserable only for a little while. Going back to last year I was following rumor and news about a new release from U2. After launching “Invisible” in February, 2014, it seemed a new record was imminent and they were not going to settle for relic status. About that time I came across the “Eh! U Talkin’ U2 To Me?” (read that in a Travis Bickle voice) podcast from Scott & Scott, the U2 nerds. Fortunately, they have day jobs as (mid- to upper-alphabet range) Hollywood stars. Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Life of Walter Mitty, know what I’m saying? Like me, their anticipation was stoked! Though in each 3-hour episode, outside of the convoluted tangents and ‘podcast within a podcast’ segments, they barely got around to talking about U2. Continue reading

Laser Focus

I am set for Friday at lunchtime to correct or completely wreck my vision by way of a laser beam to evaporate the surface of my eyeballs. This elective PRK surgery, alternatively described as an industrial energy beam calibrated to char away the cornea, will permanently change how I see the world. With good fortune my vision will be clear, free of ghosts and halos, and I will not be blind. Yes, that’s the best I’m hoping for – that I will not be worse off than now with the hassle of glasses. This has brought me to some contemplation as to which of my vital human senses I would be willing to sacrifice, if I had the choice. On purely pragmatic terms it would have to be my sense of taste since that’s just for the joy of flavor. Vision may be the worst practical function to lose since that must be how we perceive the most information. But I think I’d still miss my hearing the most if that would cut out music from my life. Continue reading