Digital Culture

Year Zero .2

The Year Zero experience is getting far more interesting.

Members of the resistance had a meeting in LA, which culminated in an appearance by Reznor. Unfortunately, it was discovered and broken up by SWAT.

Report here.

Video here.

Digital Culture

Silversun Pickups

Carnavas In one of my few recent real musical finds, I give you Silversun Pickups (or sspu as they’re known online). I picked up their album Carnavas after randomly hearing Melatonin while browsing in a record store (yeah, they still have those!). I recommend you head over to amazon or youtube and give them a listen, because I’m not sure that I can give their sound a good description. It’s like….Smashing Pumpkins meets Toad the Wet Sprocket, or what Coheed & Cambria might sound like if they partied with The Doors. Melody and guitar effects merge with cosmic keyboards and a great sense of rhythm to create a wall of sound that I’m finding addictive.

The amazon reviews all talk about how they’re part of some grunge revival (ummm….ok, now I feel really old). That I’m not so sure of, but I do know that I’m digging on them more than any band I’ve heard in some time.

Here’s some more info on them from their label. Evidently I’m just not plugged in to pop culture anymore, since they’ve played the Tonight Show and Carson Daily. But even so, they’re really great…check them.

Digital Culture

Reservoir Dogs: The Game

I’m pretty certain there’s no way in hell that the actual game can compare to these brilliant commercials:

Reservoir Dogs: The Game

“Then one day she meets a John Holmes motherfucker…”

Digital Culture

Allow me to reiterate…

…how exactly fucked the media conglomerates are. To be more specific, the RIAA and the MPAA’s of the world who are still desperately attempting to control content in an age where it is beyond anyones control.

The latest brilliant idea? LaLa, a CD trading site that lets you post your wants and haves, matches you up appropriately with other LaLa subscribers, provides postage paid mailers, and lets the USPS do the swapping. It’s like P2P without the digital. The cost? $1.49 per disc that you swap, giving you the ability to trade old music for new at prices that almost rival AllofMP3. For less than $20 a month, you could have more new music than you could comfortably listen to, all DRM free and with the ability to control it as you see fit.

Just another thing that the RIAA can’t stop. Just wait until some rolls this up with some open source social software that allows small groups to do this without the need for postage. How could they respond if Facebook provided this functionality?

Digital Culture

Pirate Bay

Pirate Bay vs Hollywood

Just to recap the last week or so for The Pirate Bay, the largest bittorrent engine in the world,

They were raided by the police, evidently under pressure from the United States and the MPAA. Keep in mind, of course, that this is in Sweden. You know, one of the places that isn’t the US. Their servers (along with other sites servers, which just happened to be in the same room) are seized.

Three days later:

Pirate Bay is back up, and now operating (evidently) as a distributed site in multiple countries with redundency. Ah, the beauty of Gilmore’s Law in action.

Their own take on it:

Just some stats…
… here are some reasons why TPB is down sometimes – and how long it usually takes to fix:

Tiamo gets *very* drunk and then something crashes: 4 days

Anakata gets a really bad cold and noone is around: 7 days

The US and Swedish gov. forces the police to steal our servers: 3 days

.. yawn.

And finally, an absolutely brilliant speech from some of the people responsible for Pirate Bay, given at the Reboot conference.

The attack on Pirate Bay is an attack on that grey zone. Rather than securing their own copyrights, the movie industry are attacking an infrastructure that is needed for many kinds of independent production. They are not attacking piracy in general, as the sharing of digital files can always take its physical routes. They are attacking the very possibility to interconnect metadata of private archives. But while intellectual property will surely continue to be a battleground for major clampdowns in our society, there will always be enumerable lots of open ways.

How cool are these dudes? They have their own political party. Seriously. How much is a one way ticket to Sweden these days?

Digital Culture

Stop the Madness

If for any reason you missed this on BoingBoing, below is possibly the single most “80’s” video in the history of the world.

We’re talking Nancy Reagan (in her first rock video!), Tootie, and Whitney Houston singing about the evils of drugs. So bad it’s amazing.

Digital Culture

Everyone should do these two things today

One: sign the petition from the EFF to the RIAA concerning the tactics they take against alleged filesharers.
Two: sign the petition to protect the Internet from corporate control.

It’ll just take a few minutes, and every little bit helps. Forward these to any group you think might care about basic digital freedoms.

Digital Culture

A return to patronage

After reading the recent Wired report on The Pirate Bay, I had a thought: will, after everything shakes out legally, the copyright battles lead us back to a form of patronage?

Imagine a world where individuals pay artists directly, without the corporate middle man eating the artists profits. If I like a song, I can send the artist a micropayment via my computer or cellphone saying “thanks”. Music could be shared, and musicians could be rewarded by increased attendance at their live performances, sales of other merch, and the goodwill of the fans. I know that I for one would be FAR more likely to paypal $20 a couple of times a year directly to Ryan Adams or Counting Crows than I would to buy their CDs. The CD feels dirty by the time it hits shelves, and the reality is that the artists see very little of the actual cash made by their work.

Digital Culture

Heavy Metal Curling

In honor of the 47723468 hours of curling that NBC is giving us during their Winter Olympics coverage, I give you: Heavy Metal Curling with the Swedish Women’s Curling Team.

No, I’m not joking.

Legal Issues Music

When the president talks to god

Looking around the ‘net for a copy of the new(er) Bright Eyes single, When the President Talks to God.

Found it on iTunes for 99 cents.

Then I found this link, through the publisher, for a free iTunes download of the song.

Thought to myself, “Self…that is really odd. Why would the publisher provide a free download through the iTunes interface, when iTunes charges for it? Why not simply have the iTunes link be a free download? Or instead provide an MP3 download on your site rather than pushing people through iTunes…”

Just another oddity in the world of DRM/copyright.