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BarCampMilwaukee4 Portraits at MKEDH4

Remember at BarCampMilwaukee4 when I took your photo? Well, I still need to edit all the shots, and I’ll be doing it at MilwaukeeDevHouse4 on Saturday, November 7th, 2009…

Oh yeah, you’re invited! MilwaukeeDevHouse is a hackathon-type event where we encourage you to come and work on something. Maybe some project you’ve had on the back burner for a while… maybe you need to upgrade your WordPress blog, test out some new Drupal modules, work on a Joomla theme, build a robot, or… edit 80+ photos. Hopefully I can also work on “The Faces of BarCamp” project as well…

facesofbc

Think of MilwaukeeDevHouse as a party where you can get some work done, but don’t have to. You can just hang out, socialize, and eat & drink if you like… it’s like a social network, but in real life. (You’re not limited to 140 characters, unless you want to be.) It’s a chance to learn something new and meet some new people. It’s full of “newness” or something!

Our pals at Bucketworks and Insomniac Development LLC will provide snacks and libations, and we thank them for that.

(P.S. I’ve been told this is a “pants optional” event, but I’m not sure what that means. Also, Time Lapse Bot will be there. Are these two things related!?!?)

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What is Girl Talk?

During the Open Everything event I attended in April, we watched part of the file RiP!: A Remix Manifesto which featured “Girl Talk” who is labeled a “musician” by, well, lots of people.

Me? I’m not convinced he’s really a musician.

I mean, I guess I consider a musician to be someone who can play and instrument (or maybe sings) and who (may) writes songs. Perhaps I should say “original” songs.

From what I can tell, Girl Talk doesn’t play any instruments, and doesn’t sing, but just creates this audio collage out of other people’s work, with no original bits except how they are arranged.

I feel like my argument could be seen as thin, and could honestly go either way, but in seeing (part of) the film, and seeing people go nuts for Girl Talk, which bases (I believe) all of his work on the work of others, creating no original pieces of sound/music on his own, only taking from others… I’m conflicted on this.

And I know he claims “fair use” on his use of the material (that he does not compensate the original artists for) but hey, that’s the same claim the media outlet that stole my photo used. Fair use is only determined in court of law, but in my opinion, what he is doing is not fair use. Add to the fact he is making money off of the work of others, and not compensating them, and now I really don’t like it.

Don’t get me wrong, as far as music goes, it’s some cool shit, but how cool would it be if it used none of the original bits from others, and we just gave Girl Talk a room full of instruments and said “go nuts”? I get the feeling it wouldn’t be the same.

Maybe I’m just old, and this new digital world scares me. I mean, when I started playing music, you had to use actual guitars, not the sound of a guitar that some legendary musician recorded 20 years ago. You had to learn how to play, and you had to practice… a lot.

A few years ago when I started to get into making music again, I played with GarageBand, and it was fun to make songs, but it didn’t feel real. I mean, clicking and dragging samples around was easy, butI didn’t get the same satisfaction I did from actually playing a guitar.

On my most recent album, I ended up using drum loops, and it was my biggest disappointment. I wish I could have played the drums on every track. If I had, I think my sense of accomplishment would have been even higher. I did manage to record all the guitars, bass, vocals, and some of the cymbals, but being able to avoid canned drum tracks would have been huge for me.

But why bother when you can click a mouse and make music, and by make, I mean arrange the music other people have created into something new.

I want to compare it to someone who calls themselves a “photographer” but doesn’t shoot photos, and only arranges the photos other people have taken (in something like Photoshop) into a collage and then calls themselves a photographer. “Digital Artist” maybe, but photographer?

But wait! I’m supposed to be some big supporter of open culture, open everything, and Creative Commons, etc… Yeah, I am, but I’m also a strong believer in the rights of the creators. Those who make art/music/whatever should be able to decide how they are used (if they haven’t given up those rights.) While so much of the old depended on artists signing away their rights to corporations, I think we can get past that. Some believe the way to do so is to break down all those old ways, and open everything up (even if the owners of the old stuff don’t want it opened up) while other believe that we should move forward, and reward those who fully support being open, and do everything in their power to be open, yet still survive as artists…

And collage? I’m a big fan of collage. I used to do a lot of collage art years and years ago, and yes, I used sources I probably shouldn’t have (“fair use” right?) but I also didn’t publish to a worldwide audience, and didn’t make any money from my artwork. So I’m fine with collage being legitimate art, be it remix/mashup, whatever.

So going back to the question of “Is Girl Talk a musician?” My vote is no. I can’t even say Girl Talk is a composer, so maybe the term would be “re-composer” or “re-arranger” or something.

But he’s still taking the work of others without proper permission, building upon it, and not compensating them, all while profiting from them, and that my friends, is a load of crap…

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What is a PhotoCamp?

PhotoCampMilwaukee is happening happened May 2, 2009 at Bucketworks in Milwaukee, Wisconsin…

Hopefully this brief presentation will explain a few things…






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PhotoCampMilwaukee Promo

PhotoCampMilwaukee will be held on Saturday May 2, 2009 at Bucketworks, located at 1340 N. 6th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

You don’t have to be a great photographer to attend, you just have to bring your passion for photography. The event will be free (thanks to our sponsors) and the only entrance fee is your participation.

(This video is also available at blip.tv, Vimeo, and Flickr and is published under a Creative Commons Attribution License.)






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Navasio

Navasio March has been a crazy busy month. It’s taken me this long to actually write a post about my new album. Sure, I mentioned that RPM was done weeks ago, but never got to follow up with details on Navasio.

Navasio features 5 songs which provide 36 minutes of music. I recorded all of the guitars, bass, and vocals myself, and some of the cymbals. I used a variety of drum loops and samples as well.

So now it’s out there. You can find a page for the album at rasterweb.net/music. There are various links there, which I will outline below:

  • CD Baby: You can buy an actual CD (with a cover, and case and everything) from CD Baby. Great for people who like physical media, or really want to support what I’ve done with a cash money contribution. I have no idea if I will ever sell one, but it will be interesting to see what happens. Interesting enough, the album seems to get at least a few hits every day there. That may just be because it’s still new. The real reason to put it on CD Baby is because you can get it distributed to Amazon, Rhapsody, Napster, and the iTunes store. CD Baby is a great company, so putting there is a neat thing to do.

  • Amie Street: Currently you can “buy” the album for $0.00 – what a deal! Amie Street has an interesting business model. As more people discover your music and download/purchase it, the price goes up. The idea is that the artist is rewarded proportionately by how popular their music is. (My 2008 album is available for 27 cents, which should tell you the concept works quite well.)

  • Jamendo: These guys are a community of free, legal and unlimited music published under Creative Commons licenses. Yes, Navasio is published under a Creative Commons license. Jamendo has all sorts of “partner programs” which could help your music get used in other ways. Background music, ringtones, webradio play… Weird stuff, but hey, I like promoting Creative Commons, so it’s all good.

  • RPM Challenge: The whole reason I record an album in Frbruary is because of the RPM Challenge. They provide a jukebox where people can hear (and possibly download) your music. Works for me…

  • Last.fm: It’s interesting to see how many people might “scrobble” my songs, but it’s also possible to put songs on Last.fm for people to download, so I did. I’m guessing 95% of the “scrobbles” there are from me, but that’s ok.

  • Facebook: Now, if any of my 4 fans even want the inside scoop, this is the place to get it! You too can become a fan of “Pete Prodoehl” on Facebook, which honestly sounds a little silly to me, but hey, it’s all part of the grand experiment.

What’s that? No… you won’t find it on Myspace, because I pretty much hate Myspace. I know, if I was in a real band who had to promote themselves, I’m sure it would be added to the list. And I’m sure there are other places as well, but I mainly chose my favorites to use.

Making music is pretty much just a “hobby” of mine (though I have also done it professionally) and I like to share it with others, and make it available for people at no cost, but also provide the option of people being able to pay for it if they wish to. That’s what this is all about. So feel free to visit rasterweb.net/music and find a place you can get Navasio from…

(TO DO: I really need a post about how things have changed compared to 20 years ago for indie bands putting out a release…)