folks at WAMC’s Linda Norris Auditorium, radio station WEXT,
and local music portal Crumbs.net are revamping the monthly
“CRUMBS Night Out at the Linda” event. Starting next week,
this local-music networking event will feature not only a
free performance by a local musical act, but a roundtable
discussion about things of interest to working musicians and
music fans. They’ve dragged me in to curate the roundtable
part of it, and I’ve pulled in fellow local show-biz attorney
and pal Paul Czech, and we’re busily putting together some
programs for the coming months, some of which might just take
your hand and, slowly, blow your little mind. Stay tuned.
Next Thursday (Oct. 30), CRUMBS Night Out will feature a performance
by the lovely and talented Bryan Thomas, who’s been leaking
his spectacular new album 1369 Lights off his Web site
(bryanthomas.com) for a couple of weeks, and yes, you must
go there now and get some. His last album, 2002’s Ones
and Zeroes was Metroland’s album of the year, and
based on what I’ve heard so far . . . well, you tell me. Our
inaugural roundtable will feature a discussion among local
music critics, including the Times Union’s Mike Eck
and David Malachowski, Metroland’s John Brodeur and
Josh Potter and the Berkshire Eagle’s Jeremy Goodwin.
Find out what they want, what they think they’re doing, why
they think Nickelback sucks, and what your band should be
doing to get their attention. I’ll, uh, moderate. Whatever
the hell that means with this freakin’ panel. See you there.
With the election coming up in less than two weeks, you might
be wondering what the candidates think about the things that
are covered in this column—intellectual property, privacy,
tech stuff and the like. As would be expected, in a campaign
that’s about military wars, internal culture wars, financial
collapse, a sickening vice-presidential nominee, and what
Joe Klein last week called John McCain’s “mud tornado” strategy,
these important but nuanced issues have gotten short shrift.
Which is perplexing, because as I’ve said before, these issues
defy red/blue categorization. The liberal Democratic aristocracy
has had its head up Hollywood and Big Media’s ass for so long
that it really is the true enemy to a rational intellectual-property
policy. And the Republicans? For the most part they don’t
understand IP, or the tubes that make up those Internets,
or people who want to give them a Google. They know “regulation
bad, ugg ugg” but beyond that they are basically clueless.
So they just vote with who pays them the most: Hollywood and
It appears that Obama is in favor of net neutrality, favoring
equal free access to the ’Net, and McCain’s sort of against
it, because net neutrality requires government regulation.
But since definitions and details are sketchy, it’s hard to
tell what they mean, exactly.
I just looked, and Bam-Bam’s got a 9 page PDF on his site
entitled Barack Obama: Connecting and Empowering All Americans
Through Technology and Innovation. This document, as the
title suggests, is a whole lot of nothing, really, just a
series of nice-sounding platitudes devoid of detail or substance.
And goofy old Walnuts, what’s he got? From JohnMcCain.com:
“John McCain has a broad and cohesive vision for the future
of American innovation. His policies will provide broad pools
of capitazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz . . . ” Oh, sorry, I’m back.
More whole lot o’ nuttin’!
If it wasn’t all so predictable, I’d be depressed. So I guess
what we are left with is this feeling that maybe Obama and
his folks have demonstrated, by the conduct of their campaign,
an understanding of the power of the Internet. It’s clear
that the members of Team Obama have highly-wired existences
like most of us living here in the 21st Century, so that they’ll
at least have the aptitude to address issues regarding information
and privacy from a position of familiarity.
Which isn’t terribly reassuring, but it’s more than we’ve
got from McCain, who appears to be entirely offline, to whom
the Internet is this new-fangled mystery he refuses to grasp
or try to understand. His aides’ assurances to reporters the
candidate actually uses e-mail are about as convincing
as Charlie Crist’s fiancé. And his party is responsible for
the greatest disintegration in personal privacy protections
that we’ve seen in generations.
We’re left with vague impressions that reflect the overriding
theme this presidential race: that Obama represents a generational
transition, one that should have happened eight years ago
except that the unholy Christianista/corporate alliance stole
the transition and installed a moron-puppet who’s nearly ruined
So I guess we just have to go on faith. And dare I say it: