Monthly Archives: November 2004

Review: ACID 5.0

Sony Pictures’ ACID 5.0 has been on my machine for a few months but I signed a devil’s NDA that prevented me from talking about it. I gather it’s out so I’m allowed to write it up on up.

It’s a big write up so sit back, start a coffee, kill a tree and read on…
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Feed at CC Mixter

The RSS feeds are up and working at CC Mixter and they are based on the new genre/tagging system. So, for example, if you wanted to watch for every upload of just loops with a Sampling Plus license it would look like this:

Or if you want to watch the remix uploads of a certain person you can add their sign-on name:

The feed link itself point directly at the MP3. If you have any suggestions or wishlist items let me know as I’m collecting them now. (Someone has already suggested including a streaming link in the body of the item for the feed.)

An Artform at Risk

There are many worthy causes that we should all pay attention to, mainly helping people who wish they had problems like record companies suing them.

Having said that, after basic survival, right after basic survival is freedom of expression and the power of love, together the thing we call ‘art.’

That’s a lot to have at stake.

Matt of Beatmixed has reprinted a cry for help from ‘Mash the Planet” that states the situation plainly, without hysteria and yet very frightening.

I’d like to think that working with Creative Commons on a ‘safe’ remix/mash environment is one way I’m trying to help out — convincing “big time” artists that letting their managers, agents and record companies make decisions about what is artistic expression is like asking an Islamo-fascist terrorist to schedule a Hannukah lighting ceremony. (There, see? I’m not afraid to walk right up to the Godwin line even if others like Phillip and Matt are more restrained.)

The Best ACL Ever?

Elvis Costello & The Imposters is on Austin City Limits tomorrow night.

“After the Elvis Costello taping on Sept. 20th I have a new answer to the question people have been asking me for the past 30 years: “What’s the best Austin City Limits of all time ?” I used to say it was impossible to single out any one show, but that was pre-Elvis. It was a combination of the songs, the vibe, the aura, but on that day Elvis was Master of the Musical Universe and delivered a killer show combining the classics and the best of his new CD, The Delivery Man. At the end, during “Pump It Up,” he brought the audience up on stage (the “stage invasion,” as he called it) for a musical love-fest. – Terry Lickona, ACL Producer

Part of me says: ‘Pump it Up’? wtf is he playing that frat-party song for after 50 albums 3000 songs later.

Part of me says: Shut up and enjoy a minute of life.

‘Uphill Battle’

I’ve heard stories like this where the lawyers and (especially) agents get freaked at the mention of sane alternatives.

Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 10:39:44 -0600
From: Christopher Randall 
   <chris AT SIGN>
Subject: [cc-sampling] And away we go...
To: cc-sampling AT SIGN

Hey, all:

I just wanted to introduce myself, and let you guys know
that the archive of this list has been an invaluable 
resource to me for the last couple months.

'Round about mid-September, I decided to take the 
plunge and move the entire catalog of our label to 
Sampling+ licenses. What this entailed was getting
yelled at by my lawyer, yelled at by the actual 
owner of the label (who is conveniently my wife, 
and thus someone I'm used to getting yelled at 
by...), getting yelled at by the artists, and just 
generally getting yelled at for several weeks,  as 
I fought what seemed to be an uphill battle,  
trying to explain what this was and why it  would 
be a Good Thing.

Well, all's well that ends well, and our first two 
actual releases under the CC Sampling+ license 
are right around the corner. The first record, 
called "in a haze" by the noise artist s.sturgis, 
will be released on Nov. 23rd,  and is at the 
pressing plant as I type this. 

We will be changing the licenses of all our releases 
to Sampling or Sampling+ as each one gets repressed, 
unless the artist in question has strictly forbidden it 
(and we do have one that won't toe the line).

Here's the page where we've put up the info:

And here's my blog entry where I first announced 
the initiative, which is similar but more long-winded.

So, I just wanted to thank you guys for all your hard 
work, on behalf  of my artists and myself. I am of the 
considered opinion that, while the Sampling+ license 
just legally allows what people are going to do 
anyway, it creates a new perception of the label 
and the artists on it, and in this business perception 
is everything.

Chris Randall
Positron Records, Inc.

Where I’ve Been: CC Mixter

Legal sampling is definitely coming into it’s own.

Sure I’ve been away for a long time but I think you’ll find it was worth it because I’ve been hard at work (yes, actually work) with Creative Commons to create a remix site that isn’t quite like any other. Picture ACIDPlanet + RemixFight + Friendster and you get

We’re still in BETA but it’s relatively solid so we are opening the site to the public to participate.

There’s a lot to say about it so let me just list it all out:

  • For the site’s launch we’re using the CC licensed tracks from the WIRED Magazine CD that hit the stands a few weeks ago. On the CD is none other than:
    • David Byrne
    • The Beastie Boys
    • Chuck D. with Fine Arts Militia
    • Danger Mouse & Jemini
    • Gilberto Gil
    • Thievery Corporation
    • …a bunch of other people you probably know I wasn’t really aware of…

    All of these artists have donated the tracks to the Commons using the Sampling+ and Non-Commercial-Sampling+ licenses. All of the tracks are available as VBR MP3s from CC Mixter and loss-less version are at the Internet Archive.

  • We’ll soon be announcing a remix contest using any of those tracks with fabulous gifts and prizes for the winner.
  • We still haven’t gotten broken out solo tracks but without a whole lot of effort I managed to get over 100 ACIDized loops from the CD tracks and uploaded all of them to CC Mixter.
  • Even beyond the WIRED CD, the contest and loops, the site itself is pretty neat because it’s all built around sampling and remixing. Every track uploaded by one artist can be downloaded by another and posted back using our “Post Reply Remix” feature. We keep track of all associations and make it easy to follow the ‘chain’ of samples and remixes throughout the site. Of course you can sample many sources and we have easy ways of marking that and a great user interface for showing all that off. You’ll just have to check it out yourself to see what I mean.
  • If all goes well CC Mixter will be a great way to make connections for collaborating because of our cross-linking between participants based on likes, talents and specialties. (Again, you’ll just have to see it in action)

So, go create an account, download some tracks, either the Wired CD cuts or anything else you find up there, remix it, and post it back up.

And when you find bugs ping the forums on the site.