Archive for April 2008

Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! A Review

April 30, 2008

DIG, LAZARUS, DIG!!!

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Mute Records

OK, I’m a little slow. This album was actually released last month, it takes me a while to catch up. I’m glad I caught up with this one, it’s a little masterpiece.

Did I say, “little masterpiece”? Yes, I did.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds have been around a spell. Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! is their 14th studio album and it finds the 51-year-old Cave in top form. All of the best elements of The Seeds’ previous work are present without the the worst of their tendencies. Is it the new porn star mustache Nick is sporting? Maturity? I hate to admit it, but I think it is. Not the moustache, cool as it may be, but the maturity.

I won’t bore you with details, just trust me on this one… Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! is the frontrunner for best of ’08.

The Evils Of H.R. 5889, The Orphan Works Act of 2008

April 26, 2008

I’d like to urge readers of this blog to take a minute and do a little research on a bill that is currently being re-introduced (in a new, mutant form) in Congress that will directly impact the ability of creative professionals, freelancers in particular, to be properly compensated for their work.

“The Orphan Works Act of 2008” (H.R. 5889) sounds innocent enough on the surface. It proposes that “orphaned” artwork, work where no copyright holder can be “reasonably located” would be free for use by anyone who wishes to utilize it in any commercial venture. What makes it tricky is the language. What constitutes a “reasonable search” for the work’s creator? Ouija board? Divining rod? Darts at a page from the phone book? It’s already tough for creative professionals to make a living freelancing, giving unscrupulous publishers (or anyone) a loophole to get around paying for artwork will just be another kick in the gut.

Believe it or not, even a small-time hack like myself has had work swiped and used for other’s commercial gain. In most cases, the legal recourse is costlier than any payment you may eventually wrangle, so people get away with it. Giving these creeps a legal excuse, “Gee, I TRIED to find the artist,” is a bad, bad idea.

The bill doesn’t have any impact on existing copyright laws. It just widens the scope of what can be considered “orphaned” artwork. There’s tons of art out there (thanks to the good ol’ internet) whose creators are either long gone or no longer hold rights to the work. Some of it falls into the “public domain” arena. But, more often than not, there’s an artist out there that is getting ripped-off.

So, I’m asking you good people to look into it for yourselves, and if you agree it looks like bad legislation, call or write your representatives. It’s the American Way.

Here’s a link that you might find interesting. Click on the red letters “Orphan Works Bill.” Thanks.

Self-Portrait With Coffee

April 25, 2008

My Favorite Childhood Pet

April 23, 2008

I just hated mopping up the 3in1 oil puddles he left everywhere.

Frayed Knot: The Hangman’s Tale I (first re-write)

April 18, 2008

CHAPTER ONE

“I am in the business of gravity. It is a very reliable business.”

He woke to the smell of damp straw, like a thousand times before. Swinging his feet to the coarse, wormwood floor, he paused. A rare moment of contemplation. If you make your living as the public executioner its probably best not to afford yourself too much time for contemplation. A wasted pursuit anyway, he thought. (more…)

Prologue To The Hangman’s Tale

April 16, 2008

Bloggers note: A prologue is a cheesy device by which we set the time and place of the forthcoming story without having to worry about plot development or other stuff that makes your head hurt.

Old Bristle is a dreary seaside village in the north of England. From its creaking, splintered wharfs you can look across the briny deep toward Ireland and dream of something green. A stony gray wash is the prevailing hue of everything and everybody in town. So, the hope of something as near as an Irish island that God painted green is a longing that underlies all that inhabits Old Bristle.

(more…)

A Public Service Announcement

April 15, 2008

Greetings everyone. You are invited to join a (very) few Zensters for a day of meditation at the Blind Donkey Zendo in Anderson. The retreat is led by Zen priest, Lee Riggs, who received his training at the SFZC (among other places.) Email me or check out the Zendo’s link on the right for more info.

Saturday April 26
One-Day Meditation
8am to 5pm
30 minute meditation periods (zazen)
Followed by 15 minute walking meditation (kinhin)
Lunch at noon followed by a one hour break.
One hour mindful work period (soji)
5pm end of sitting, Tea.