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Intellectual Property in the Age of Performative Images

The possibility of socialism, the efficacy and ethics of global capitalism, the 99%–there is a lot of talk about economics and income inequality in the news. However, few of these conversations put contemporary economics into a technological context as forcefully as Jaron Lanier’s 2013 book Who Owns The Future does.  In considering why this is the case, I am reminded of this quote by economist John Maynard Keynes:

“Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Globally, we are heirs to ideas from Karl Marx, the French Revolutionists, American Revolutionists, and Keynes himself and others.  The focus of most books about economics is thus the Nation-State, and economic relations between nation states.  However, our economic woes, Lanier contends, cannot be solved with old-world economics (if the last few years are any indication, even economists no longer understand the economy).  The mechanisms that have arisen with the internet have and will continue to fail to adequately reward citizens for their labor and contributions to this new society, defunct being the key word in the quote above.  Jaron Lanier has silicon valley street-cred as the inventor of virtual reality.  His book inspired several others and continues to steer the conversation.

Lanier’s sometimes rambling but often brilliant writing is essentially a tirade against what he describes as “Siren Servers”, large internet corporations like Google, Instagram and Uber that shrink and ultimately kill (“disrupt”) old economies.  Capitalism online has had a large hand in hollowing out the middle class from certain industries, exasperating income inequality.

To use one of Lanier’s examples, Kodak once employed 140,000 individuals and was worth 128 billion. By contrast, Instagram employed 12 people when it was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012. Yet photographic images remain every bit as important to our daily lives, perhaps even more central than they were. The music industry too, once employed producers, recording engineers, CD manufacturers, truck drivers hauling CD’s, record stores, etc. that’s not even to mention musicians. Now, the main players like Spotify have business models centered not on the production of music as a commodity, but on algorithms that track and record your musical interests. Music has been devalued while the value that comes with being algorithmically tracked has increased. As with photography, music remains important, yet our continued enjoyment of music no longer serves the middle class nor music producers or consumers. The main beneficiaries of these two “industries” now are the heads of large international corporations–the people with the most expensive and effective servers. What industries are next?

This trend will continue as social media platforms and siren servers dominate and decimate older industries, replacing labor forces with computers, servers and algorithms.  No amount of getting the money out of politics or regulating wall street (although that would help) will make American great again nor solve the issue that our old laws and ideas about labor are not equipped to handle ephemeral, infinitely replicated commodities of the information age, nor the value that comes with being algorithmically tracked.  Taking a critical look at how the current infrastructures of digital technologies might better serve a middle class economy requires some intensely imaginative thinking: Jaron Lanier and others have suggested that individuals simply get paid to create the content they are already creating.

Who Owns the Future - Jaron Lanier

Who Owns the Future – Jaron Lanier

Lanier’s ideas are overarching and cover any kind of content including a humble blog post like this one.  This post, for example, has taken time and energy–labor.  If this post is shared on Facebook, surely it will be read and shared more than it will be on my site.  Yet, Facebook stands to benefit more than I will by turning the reader’s eyes into the commodity.  This is the catch 22 that plagues modern producers of digital content.  In this landscape, content and labor are continually devalued while the gatekeepers (those with the Siren Servers) and not the producers ultimately benefit.

As a recording artist and visual artist, these concerns hit close to home.  Like Lanier, I had limited success in the music industry before it was torn apart (or self-destructed, depending on your perspective) by the internet and other forces.  Working in a mostly functioning industry that centered around the production of creative works provided me a first-hand look at how intellectual property laws can work to protect and serve creators.  This is an experience that few producers of content enjoy today.  Most artists and musicians I know know little, if anything, about intellectual property.  How is it that intellectual property laws are completely arcane to today’s most prolific creators of intellectual property?  This is simply because these laws no long protect the vast majority of creative individuals.  As creative works become easier and easier to produce while economies are engulfed by siren servers, those hurt the most are individuals who have dedicated their lives to the production of creative works.

Intellectual Property laws were written in an age where property and labor were physical.  While industrial revolution began to shift this paradigm, the internet has made these laws ineffective and often irrelevant.  Today, while creative works remain intrinsically valuable, from an economic standpoint the value is now in the transmission of content and the recording not of the song or image but of the actions of consumers.  Contemporary art thinkers have long predicted this shift in psychology and critical evaluation with the term relational aesthetics.  Now our technology has caught up.

It is true that digital images, like the physical prints that prefigured them, are protected by copyright law.  An internet user is not legally permitted to take photos from someone else’s site and claim ownership, post them, sell prints, etc.  In a system based on labor and physical goods, in order to steal a photograph, Jimmy would have had to walk into Jill’s house when she was not home and physically remove the print from her darkroom.  Today, Jimmy can visit, right click save as and “own” the digital photo.  Jimmy may chose to present the photo on his own site as his own, sell prints of the photo, or extract value out of it in some other way.  That is “piracy” at its most benign.  But who is responsible to flag Jimmy’s illegal usage in order to challenge or fine him?  Is it Jill’s responsibility to continually search all billion pages of the internet to see if someone is using her image?

Unlike the current music industry or the image industry, the pre-Napster music industry, despite payola, bloated contracts, was a functioning economy.  Songwriters doing the creative work of songwriting were paid every time a songs reached the ears of consumers.  Physical labor and intellectual labor were rewarded.  Within the music industry, there are performance rights groups that collect royalties for usages of music and pay those royalties to the owners and producers of content.  In retrospect, the music industry seems like a miraculous moment of societal intellectual property protection, making distinctions between different kinds of music uses and rights like mechanical royalties, performance royalties, etc.

Images today are performative in a musical sense.  An image shows up on a screen and then it’s gone.  Another image shows up.  Images operate temporally.  Images are no longer static pictures hanging on a wall, nor even magazine spreads that may require a moment of your time.  But unlike music performance rights groups like ASCAP and BMI, there are no viable image performing rights services that track the use or “performance” of images.  The reasons for this will become clear.

Images, because they were historically understood as paintings or prints on 2D surface (although now they effectively operate in the realm of 4D) were never thought to be worthy of performative protections.  Because the performative value of images is not recognized by copyright law, there is no revenue stream of royalties.  Because there is no revenue stream, no individual or company is motivated to create a service to track the performance of images. Artists and philosophers foresaw the coming ubiquity of images, but no one fought to set up systems of economic protection.  Conversely, because artists and philosophers are generally anticapitalist, and internet culture was initially a counterculture that actively sought ways to subvert or “disrupt” old systems and avoid paying people and corporations for things, the result is now that artists and non-artists alike must waive all of their intellectual property rights in order to be able to use online services at all. That’s not really free, is it?  (I can think of only one other economic system where individuals continually work for free for the benefit of those in power because they believe–rightly or wrongly–that they have no choice).

Glyph - digital print on fabric -

What’s an image anyway?  Glyph – digital print on fabric –

Let’s check in again with Jimmy.  Knowing Jill is a light sleeper, Jimmy decides not to rob her of her photos afterall.  Instead, cognizant of Jill’s innate human desire to share her creativity with the world at large, he offers her a deal: he will post her photos all over town, for free, as promotion.  Local businesses notice that customers are attracted to Jill’s compelling images, and begin paying Jimmy a small amount for beautifying their properties.  While visiting these businesses, surely, customers will notice Jill’s beautiful photos and be inclined to contact her for photographic services.  While many do indeed notice and appreciate (and even like!) her photos, Jill sadly does not receive even one phone call for photographic services, despite years of training and clear facility.  If this sounds like Instagram or Facebook, “image industries” you are right.  The difference between Jimmy’s Image Industry and say, components of the music industry like terrestrial radio or record stores is that the new image industry distribution companies do not pay producers of images.  Rather, in order to use Facebook, Google, or even an Apple computer users must accept lengthy contracts that strip away their rights and, unlike the music industry where content creators would receive advances in exchange for usage, are paid nothing for it. (Youtube has finally started to pay some royalties).

An information economy is not an economy of property or labor but of quantifiable, ethereal, media of numbers.  This understanding of labor and property has no precedent.  Silicon valley entrepreneurs have been able to capitalize on the system’s novelty while consumers and artists continue to embrace abstract ideas of sharing, open and free without stopping to think critically about what those words mean in this new context.  Content is the new religion, the new electricity, giving life and interest to all moments of daily life.  But unlike electricity, the line between producer and consumer has been blurred.
Who Owns the Future?  In short, it’s not those creating it.

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Cincinnati Entertainment Award Nominee 2011

Cincinnati Entertainment Award - CEA logoI have been nominated for a Cincinnati Entertainment Award in the category of best singer-songwriter! This is a powerhouse list of artists; I am super-psyched to be included.

Daniel Martin Moore
Kim Taylor
Dusty Bryant
Jason Ludwig
Josh Eagle
Joe Hedges

Would you mind taking a minute to vote for me?  Read the article about the CEA’s, including a list of categories and nominees here, or skip to the voting survey here.  The deadline for voting is Friday, November 11 at noon.  The award ceremony is Sunday, Nov. 20 at the Madison Theatre in Covington, Kentucky.  Thanks!

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incubating an album, photographs, paintings, and scientists


it’s a blog!

first things first–we have july for kings shows this friday and saturday in cleveland and cincinnati. please consider coming out if you are in the area. with any luck, they will not suck. that is the endorsement. go ahead and tell your friends you heard from the singer the show will “probably not suck”. it’s good to start with low expectations. if your friends need more convincing just keep upping the bar. best to stop just short of “amazing” though. we haven’t played a show in months. but we are looking forward to it! keep the facebook “attending”s comin’.

i have been working hard on solo album. okay that’s not true. i have been wishing i could work hard on a solo album when in actuality i’ve been carving out a couple days a week if i’m lucky. although i did have a short period of mania a couple weeks ago where i worked on it a lot but only slept about an hour a night. until school is out that is kind of the only way to do it. it is going to be great though and i think about it everyday. i began with 15 to 20 songs; the best 11 or so are sounding pretty good although some are still without vocals and some are lacking bridges. i think i just need ONE more song to round out the album. i need a really upbeat song. i need something great to happen to me. or maybe just a sunny day with nothing else to do but record. i have a mood in my head. i have so many moods in my head.

in some ways the album is more adventurous than curvature. the tempos are more varied (or at least i am trying…). there are two songs in 5/4. the instrumentation is more varied. the concept has been to use earthy, acoustic and wooden sounds against modern sounding electronic and ambient elements. i think it may be slightly more accessible though in that it won’t mope or brood quite as hard as curvature. it is a little bit sappier…maybe more melancholy than dark. i know all this basically means nothing until you hear it. i guess this is just a reminder to you (and myself) that it exists. i am hoping to block out most of may 8th-27th to finish it up. last summer we did july for kings monochrome. it is a little crazy but i actually think i could do an album every year, now that i have enough resources and know-how to arrange and record most of it on my own. writing songs has never been a problem for me. it’s just capturing them in the right way.

lately the lines between songwriting and production have kind of started to blur. doing curvature with blumpy really opened me up to a larger world of sonic possibilities, and to the idea that a song is more than lyrics and melody. on the album i am working on, there are a few passages of just music without vocals. maybe it is partially that i have been listening to my own voice for so long… it is a bit of relief to have some space that is more about the instruments and chords and textures. texture and layering has become more and more important to me in music in the last few years. i think there are a lot of parallels with my visual art.

and speaking of visual art, i had a gallery show of photographs recently at the covington artisan’s enterprise center in covington, ky. you might recognize this image:

july for kings monochrome album cover photo framed print

this was the most involved exhibition i have ever participated in. Karen S. Chambers wrote a really nice review of it here at, possibly the artsy-est publication in Cincinnati. the review is a good overview of the aesthetic.

it was almost like a solo show, in that i had twenty photographs in one area. the other artists was holland davidson, a talented abstract painter from florida. it takes quite a lot of time to print, cut, cut mat board, tape, matte, take apart frame, reassemble frame, cut wire, and hang x 20 pictures. so the whole experience of the show devoured a lot of energy for a month or so. i have been working on this series off and on for a year or two, but of course the process of trying to sell art is much more involved than actually making art, which i have always found to be somewhat easy. we finally took down the show the other day, so i have made the photos available at, at least for limited time. these pictures may be too abstract for a lot of people. but we did not sell all the photos and i don’t really have any use for ten + frames at the moment, so i may also try and sell some prints of some of the monochrome alternate covers, or some more straightforward black and white things i was working on in 2007-08.

i am also working on a series of expressive portrait paintings of friends and family. i am just rounding out the series now at 10 or so. after a lifetime of intermittent drawing and painting i think i have finally arrived at a personal style that is unique and cohesive and mature. this is saying something. i will put up these paintings in the next few weeks. i am going to start looking for another local gallery who may want to show them.

if you need art, buy it from an artist! not from wal-mart. it is dumb the amount of money people spend on silly wal-mart artworks when there are so many artists out there who are sacrificing a normal life to make art. the people who make art are crazy about making art. you have to be crazy, i guess, since nobody wants to pay for it. and if you don’t like my art i will put you in touch with other artists. and if you like my art but i’m the only working artist you know, even better! i would be so happy to be the one artist you know. it is good to have an artist in your life. or at least, four out of five people in my life are happy about it last time i counted and that seems high.

you know what i need? is more scientists. also magicians. i tried making friends with a magician i found online recently but it didn’t go so well. so if you are doing science or actual magic, hit me up. those are two of my favorite things.


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the anatomy lesson of steven finke

i saw two skinless bodies today for an art class.
i had heard stories of people fainting or vomiting upon seeing a cadaver, so upon entering the prosectorium and feeling my heart race i decided to sit in a chair along the wall. there were two bags, a woman who died in her 60’s and a man who died in his 70’s. we learned of their various ailments and our instructor began unzipping the old man’s bag. inside the bag was another bag, and in that bag yet another, so the tension in the room was collectively released in waves of muted chuckles and breath holding until we calmly looked upon a pile of lifeless pale meat and was hit in the face with the odor of musty flesh and chemical preservatives. as it turns out, i did not faint or vomit but was very intrigued and became very self aware, very present.

when i was about twelve, my yard was often full of dead birds and mice, things the cat had nibbled on. i distinctly remember forcing myself to look upon a bird filled with maggots even as my stomach tried to pull me away. i have always been fascinated with the idea of death and decay, maybe even perversely or overly interested… but it is the nature and duty of the artist to not only draw and understand human anatomy, but to go deeply into the question of what it means to be alive. you cannot know much about what something is until you know a lot about what it is not. today i learned definitely that piles of muscle and organs are not people.

all the skin had been removed and discarded, except on the hands, feet, and face. the blood had been sucked out and the fat removed, leaving some of the muscles hanging loosely off the bones, the way old people’s muscles sometimes do. it was as if the whole package had been unzipped; organs that had been imprisoned their whole life. the woman was missing a heart. the man had a bypass surgery which was very obvious, down to the stitches on the straw-like vein. the man’s lung was spotted; the woman’s lungs were gray-black.

i was especially struck by how much the meat resembled chicken, turkey or steak. i thought a little about how we are animals. animal literally means anim (breath) alis (having the character of), so having breath. we have the notion that consciousness, not breathing, makes us something more than animal. but side by side, a dead human and a dead animal are more similar than apples and oranges, more similar than i would have thought. it’s only the shape of the form, some changes in the design. and with this in mind it was hard to feel much sentimentality or compassion for two people who were not in the room and never had been.

i’m unsure about what the experience will do for my drawing, painting, or sculpture, but it has strengthened my convictions about mortality…and perhaps vegetarianism.

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the banality of blogging, art making and music, the interconnectedness of all things

i have not been blogging so much. if i blog less i should make them beefier i think. there was a time that i blogged almost every day, in the days before the word “blog” existed, the “online journal” as we called it was terribly exciting. there were only a handful of bands doing it, a very small number of people of any sort doing it. my original drummer sam dobrozsi and i were computer geeks from a young age, and i attribute a great deal of our early success as a band to our savviness (nerdiness). Before the internet, there were local bulletin board systems or “BBS’s”. you could dial-up a BBS with your computer, and leave messages for other people who had dialed-up to read. our friend mariano (now a graduate of MIT who makes robots) ran one of these BBS’s from his amiga computer at his parents’ house. It was exclusively for our group of friends, half of whom would later join July For Kings, the other half would go on to become psychologists, writers, robotics engineers. The BBS was called “Nexus Flux”, literally interconnected change. It was 1994; we were fourteen years old. I like telling this story.

A short time later the internet started and we had a band called SWIM. We were one of the first local bands, if not THE first local band in Middletown Ohio to have an internet website. At the time, if you wanted to go online and see websites, your choices were very limited. For the few people in our community who began getting interested in this, our website, then became a popular and dynamic place to hang out. There was no social networking–only message boards, which were an extension of the BBS’s so popular before the rise of the internet. At the time, if you wanted to meet people and socialize, you did it through sites that related to something you were interested in., and later saw a lot of users, many of whom formed lifelong friendships and even marriages. this is still a source of great pride for me, that our music bought people together in such a direct way.

Now I have new friends and new band members but I also have all the same friends that I did when I was twelve. This is highly unusual and we remind each other frequently. Our group friendship has taken on a kind of mythic, Steven King’s Stand By Me quality in our minds. In a way it is as if we shared all the core values there were to share, even at that age, although we couldn’t have expressed it in words or imagined where our lives would take us.

for some reason all my post-utopian ideas about the internet are tied in my mind to that period of adolescent geekiness i shared with my close friends.

now i kind of feel like blogging is pointless. there is such a cacophony of ideas and slander and advertisements that the internet has turned into something of a great bathroom wall–nonsense, meaningless rabble with the occasional good joke or insight. although i am just as addicted to googling things and facebook as anyone, i just feel overwhelmed about trying to make a noise. i am a fruit fly rooting for myself in a football stadium the size of mars. this is the plight of the singer/songwriter right now, or any mostly unknown artist in any field. so instead of buzzing aimlessly, i am content to retreat to my corner of earth to focus on my crafts.

i spent a good deal of the summer working on music, first the release of July For Kings’s monochrome and then the basic recording for an upcoming solo album. now i am back in school at NKU still working on a bachelor of fine arts in painting. i am really going to focus on my painting for the next few months, and then return to the solo album during winter break. some of the paintings will tie into the album. hopefully i can complete everything in the winter. if there is one thing i am good at, it’s being alone for many hours and focusing on a creative task. unfortunately i feel less and less good at being able to properly exploit my talents and sell myself to the world. with that said, it is the work i truly love; the recognition has to come second. i think everything happens in phases though, and this is a good time to just do what i do best and really refine my crafts. despite this i am continually amazed at the amount of people who continue to be interested in my music despite any strong effort or budget to promote it! i feel very fortunate, and i always have.

in other news, i’m in Indianapolis right now sitting in a grassy vacant lot. I just watched a mosquito bite me twice without killing it, just to see if i could do it. It was uncomfortable to watch, seeing her hind legs raise as she drove her spike into my skin. If i was a centimeter tall and had an exoskeleton maybe it would have been sexy. But as it is, my hand itches in two places constantly and I am slightly regretting the decision.

i am waiting for david mead to play. i also want to ask him about what his life is like. i could easily have gone that route instead of going back to school. he puts out solo albums which are frequently sparse and piano/acoustic based (and quite beautiful lyrically and melodically), and travels the country almost constantly, either by himself or with one other guy. i think it is smart for me to get a degree and possibly grad school now, so that i have more options. although i feel the pull of music and the road constantly. i think as long as i am expressing myself i am generally happy. summers and winter breaks will have to suffice for recording for now. although you would be surprised how much music i can record in that time! i write a few things a week even when i must paint most of the time. i have my own painting studio now. it’s cozy.

i am reading a book called the Tao of Physics. it is about the links between eastern mysticism and modern physics. nexus flux? as it turns out, according to the most modern science and centuries of sages, everything is just energy and we are all interconnected- unconscious participants in a great, beautiful, cosmic dance. neat.

that’s the update for now. please keep in touch. thank you for your support and friendship
i look forward to making more stuff for you

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new year

i hope this is a good year. 2006 was rather uneventful for me.

i dreamed of taming a lion recently. there was a lion loose in a recording studio; i had to put it into a cage. i got a dream dictionary for christmas. i don’t put a lot of stock in dream interpretation but it is fun. my dream dictionary tells me seeing a lion “usually indicates that great personal success is coming your way”.

i also recently dreamed i was on a stage throwing whipped cream covered oranges at that old guy from the munsters, as he was singing a song to me about blueberry sausage. “bluuuueeeeebery sausage!” was how it went. sooo…i don’t know. i couldn’t find that one in the dictionary.

0 Continue Reading →, shooting star, Monochrome track list, european tour, confetti is back! yay!
this post is a little late (but just a reminder, you can visit instead of .net
there really is no difference between a dot com and a dot net in terms of functionality, but doesn’t it just sound better? i’ve been trying to get this domain back for a few years. i am in shock that i finally have. just in time for the new record.
individuals and corporations backorder popular domains to snatch them up and put up ad space the moment they expire, effectively making money off someone elses’s hard work. then, they separate themselves with several layers of other companies so it is nearly impossible to track down the actual registrant. granted, it was my own fault (i accidentally let the domain expire in the first place and they bought it the same day) but i do think it is unfair to make money off someone else’s years of hard work establishing a brand name. in the real world, this kind of behavior would be considered unethical and even illegal–i could never buy a lot and open a store called wall-mart to sell aluminum siding. but on the internet, it’s quite acceptable to buy and peddle shrubbery.
so that is my rant of the day, but this story has a happy ending! (go on and visit 🙂

so that was good news, coming while i was in the studio working with john finishing up the mix of roses a few weeks ago. late that night on the way home from the studio i saw a shooting star, right over cincinnati. which is very strange, as there is the most light pollution directly over the city but i swear that is where i saw it. i took these as good omens, and i feel good about releasing this album.

some people have been asking so here ya go, the track list:


1 Houses Made of Stained Glass
2 Say It Now
3 Fighting Fire
4 Six Hour Drive
5 Emma
6 Roses
7 100 Pianos
8 Falling
9 Like A City
10 Sam
11 Blue

too many one word titles i guess. i like this track order. we spent a long time thinking about it and rearranging it to get it to flow in the best way possible, lyrically and musically. there were songs that did not make the cut but that we started recording and might finish as b-sides at some point:

Song for Rachel
As the Walls Fell Down
Perfect World

I am hoping to revamp sometime this summer to include some new paintings and photo prints for sale, as well as possibly creating an mp3 of the month club for the new songs i am always writing if there is any interest. i make music all the time but only release albums every few years. this would be a way to kind of keep up with what i am writing as it happens. and if god forbid i cannot make at least one decent song in one month, i have stores of other songs that you have not heard. i think it would be a good challenge for me though, to make 12 really good songs every year, and you can hear them as they are made. it would be like working for you. i want to work for you and make songs for you. i really don’t want to do anything else. i guess i could take subscriptions for 1 year or 2 years i haven’t settled on a price yet, or if there are other perks or whatever. just something i am kicking around.

also, i am considering going to europe next summer 2010. this would be to study drawing in Scottland with an instructor from NKU, and also to play solo acoustic shows in austria, germany, france, england and italy. to make this happen i will need some help from you european fans… I don’t know if it’s too early to start planning yet, but i would like to route a two week tour probably in late June or early July. could you help me figure out what venues to play (small, good sound, singer/songwriter type rooms) and whose couch i could sleep on? i’m serious about this. i’ve always wanted to do this.

there is one month until the CD release show! i want to get some confetti. a ton of it. it could drop from the ceiling or fly out of a cannon. which do you prefer?

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name your dream assignment

wow there is so much happening right now. for starters, i am drinking V8 and it is delicious.
i am nearing the end of my spring break, which has not been much of a break since so much has happened and i did not go to the beach
people die and people are born.
if real life is going to happen, i guess it should happen while i’m on a break from school.
the stars keep spinning

last night we played a show in indianapolis and drove home. the bars close at 3am (we usually have to wait until the end of the night to get paid), so i didn’t get here until 5 or 6 this morning. so today is the first day in a long while that i woke up and didn’t have anything on the agenda. instead, i am drinking vegetable juice, working on websites and july for kings stuff, and later i will make sushi with a girl. that is the best way to make it.

we have finished a few mixes for the new album and they sound amazing. john mcguire, our new guitarist has taken the reins with mixing. he is incredibly talented and you will agree when you hear the record. we are starting to put together a creative plan for how and when we want to release this.

i found a contest i would like to win:

the people at lenovo and microsoft have more money than they know what to do with, so they are offering $50,000 to someone to photograph his or her dream photo assignment. they’re also giving away a couple Lenovo thinkpads, which i also would not mind winning. 🙂 i have two ideas open for voting: july for kings cross country tour and my sister amy and i rafting the ohio river. both things that i have wanted to do (and shoot) for a while. the entries advance in a chart based on votes, and on april 3th, public voting closes and a panel of judges will decide who of the top 20 entries win the prizes. now, there is no guarantee that i will win if i get either of my ideas in the top 20. but it sure is worth a shot! here’s dan and i talking about it:

anyway i would greatly appreciate it if you could take a few seconds to register and vote for both my ideas at please? thanks so much guys!

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exotic fruit, album names, squirrel stereotypes

you may be reading this blog through facebook notes,,, or at it’s official home, this self-syndication is getting pretty hardcore. it is nice of facebook to allow rss feeds. thanks for reading.

as i said in my last entry, with the new jfk album coming out i am going to attempt to blog more this year and generally keep better contact with you guys. that is going to include some pointless anecdotal stuff from my daily experiences. here goes.

i am currently in chicago. i came up here just for a day staying with my friend Thom thanks to, where i got a $10 ticket. i will go almost anywhere if i can do it and only spend $10. yesterdayi ate chicago style pizza and visited the museum of contemporary art. today i am hoping to take lots of pictures.

january was exotic fruit month for me. i have begun creating themes for my months. i would encourage you to do this. it has added a great deal of focus and purpose to my life. as exotic fruit month draws to an end, i would like to reflect briefly on my discoveries. first, the good ones:

the kumquat
(not my photo)

the kumquat. the humble kumquat is by far the greatest of my exotic fruit discoveries. kumquats (or cumquats) look like miniature oranges and taste like “nature’s sweet tarts”. they’re about the size of large grapes and are a delicious bite sized snack. unlike the orange, the skins of kumquats are sweet and the centers are sour. that means, when you first bite into it it is sour, but then changes to sweet as you chew. this is a taste sensation not to be missed. go out and buy some right now and let me know how it goes.

another great fruit to try is the feijoa.

the feijoa
(not my photo)

feijoas are about the size of a kiwi and taste somewhat like kiwis, only with a tangy minty overtone. delicious. you just cut them in half and spoon out the insides. you can eat the skin too althogh the taste is too intense for me.

mini bananas. taste pretty much like big ones, only smaller. good if you have small friends, pet monkeys, or are in a mario kart race.

some fruits i do not reccomend:

prickly pears. wtf. these things are impossible to eat as they are filled with little unchewey seeds.

kiwanos (horned melons): again, seeds are a huge problem and a big inconvenience. but the upside is that they look like aliens when you cut into them. and i am pretty into anything that resembles an alien or a dead alien.

that wraps up exotic fruit month. thank you for your pretend interest.

hey, do you know any squirrels? they are awfully nice in the cleveland area. i hate to stereotype but i think the squirrels are nicer in cleveland than cincinnati and many other areas. i took this at a park

squirrel is fat

we exchanged contact info and he is coming down to cincy this weekend. we are going to catch up on american idol on the dvr.

last weekend we played in cleveland at the HiFi. unfortunately this show was full of technical issues, even worse than the mad frog. hopefully we are finished with equipment issues for a while as this was two shows in a row. i think john is beginning to think this band is cursed. i promise you john, this is atypical. but we have generally been playing well, and starting to really gel. the other night at practice we worked out a new show intro, and are going to begin introducing more songs from the new album into the live show.

speaking of the new album, we really need a name for it.
we have a few working titles:

pieces of paper
no silence between these walls


i like three syllable words. coming off “nostalgia” and “curvature” we need a new word. narrative is our current favorite.
some concept for this album that may help:
it is new and old songs
looking forward while celebrating the band’s history
i think all the songs are story-songs.

that’s all i’ve got for now. my side is sore from shoveling snow. that says something about the amoutn of snow and the amount of a wimp i am.

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a revealing interview with our new guitarist john mguire

are you related to mark mcguire?
no. but i used to tell people i was.

are you good at baseball?

not even a little bit?
i used to play.

but not anymore?
that is correct.

dan: do you take steroids?

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