Our Prez

Fri, November 9th 2012

I had a good day this past Tuesday. In addition to my Bulls winning, all my peeps also got Ws. For me, this was the easiest election I’ve ever experienced, only because I was never not going to vote for Obama. Guess that makes me part of the 47%. Whatever.

At the end of the day, it’s my opinion of the man that guides my vote. I have doubt that my decision will ever be so easy in future elections… but I hope it is…

Fixing Two Problems With One Poster

Fri, May 11th 2012

A day after the primary election results and I’ve already gotten two pro-Walker flyers and two folks at my door (during the 4th quarter of the Bulls game no less (sadness)). I had not put up any posters or signs ’cause I live in Madison and figured only a moron would canvas here… unfortunately, I was right.

So this poster is now in my front window… hopefully this will fix two problems.

RIP Earl…

Thu, March 29th 2012


SpaceX Ho!

Mon, March 19th 2012

Without the commercialization of space travel, we will never get the evil companies that we consistently write into movies like Aliens or that newer crapy film full of blue dudes. Still, at this point, this is just awesome… it will ultimately end badly (watch movies above), certainly but before we ruin a thing, due to our inherent greed, power-lust and stupidity, humans can be truly amazing creatures.

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Wed, October 5th 2011

RIP sir… it was a pleasure to work for you.

Me & Mike

Mon, September 26th 2011

Mike Compton was kind enough to have me up for a few songs during his recent show at the Cafe Carpe.

Copious Abiding…

Wed, August 17th 2011

Bluegrass Tribute – Live @ Leo & Leona’s

Mon, August 15th 2011

Blue Grass Boys Reunion performed this past weekend in WI, MN and IA. Here’s a cut from Friday night’s show at Leo & Leona’s in Bangor, WI. The lineup included Blue Grass Boys Tom Ewing, Bob Black and Mark Hembree; with myself and Paul Kienitz on mandolin and fiddle.

This was my first time singing tenor with Tom and we had some fun on this one…

Reinventing Payola: The SonicBids Scam

Mon, June 6th 2011

When I blogged about Music XRay being a scam, I seriously did not expect anyone to give two hoots or half a holler ’bout it… but for whatever reason some do and thus, I’ve been forced to wade through various comments and emails about it. And seeing as folks are coming here for that anyway, I though I should extend the literal and also mention that Sonic Bids is also most definitely a scam. This is of course only my opinion and you should judge for yourself but I’ll share a bit of my experience with Sonic Bids.

I book bands for a popular music festival in a major dairy producing state and every year, SonicBids contacts me looking for us to use their service to accept band submissions. The first year they contacted us, though I had read the bad reviews, I decided to have a look for myself so I signed up my band to test it out. The spam started immediately and was unrelenting. Now this should be all you really need to know as no legit business would spam folks and is an excellent indication of the kind of company you’re dealing with. Still, I spent a bit of time checking out SonicBids.

I was really being too nice to them… but it’s not all their fault, they’re only enabling the scam; promoters are allowing the scam. Let me cut to the chase: legit promoters don’t charge bands to submit themselves for a gig. Period.

But on top of that, the site just sucks. I mean, as a promoter, I couldn’t easily search through the bands on their site and find ones I’d be interested in hiring. Searching for genre was worthless, no good way to search by location, keywords didn’t return reasonable results, etc…. So I couldn’t and wouldn’t use their site to find an artist. Which makes it necessary to let the bands find me… which just happens to support their paradigm.

The icing on the cake was when the SonicBids recruiter called again (and they will hound you forever; they still call every year) and explained that “the submission process can be a revenue stream”. I told him we wouldn’t be using their service and cited the reasons above.

Long story only slightly longer: technology has made it easier than ever for musicians to market themselves (for free even) and promoters to find the bands that will make their events a success. If SonicBids actually cared about helping bands and promoters connect, they could use technology towards that goal but instead they used it to reinvent payola.

Music Xray: Scam And Spam

Sat, August 21st 2010

Scamming musicians is nothing new. They’re easy marks, whose best defense mechanism against the scammers lining up to get a hand in their wallets, is the lack of funds within. But musicians’ lack of money doesn’t stop these scam artists from trying… it just means they have to scam in bulk.

Case in point: Music Xray. Music Xray will tell you they are providing a service to these musicians by offering “exposure opportunities”, that put their music in front of “Music Industry Professional”… for a fee. Right, so if you’re a musician, instead of buying that QuickStop burrito, you can pay $3+ to submit your music to one of these “exposure opportunities” and have your music reviewed by an “industry professional”. Of course, anyone can sign up to be one of these said “professionals”. Yup, anyone and their uncle can sign up as one and start creating “opportunities” that charge musicians a submission fee. Or you could just cut out the middle man and give your uncle Lenny $3 to tell you how great you are (thanks Lenny!).

Think American Idol, except all the thousands and thousands of contestants have to pay to have to pay each judge for every “opportunity” to perform for them and instead of Simon, you get berated by uncle Lenny (who was in a band once). And in this scenario, Music Xray would be the TV producers who get to make coin off the whole thing, while declaring their innocence of any wrong-doing. It’s not their fault Lenny is really a refrigerator repair man and can’t cary a tune in a bucket.

Want more proof? Music Xray are also prolific spammers. Once you’re on their list, they will email you constantly with “opportunities” from a range of email domains, so you can’t kill them off with a spam filter. You can keep trying to “unsubscribe” but it won’t do you any good. Classy! How much money would you give to a spammer?

And Music Xray also searches for, and responds to, articles that discus their business as being a scam (like this one). This in itself is an obvious mark of a shady business.

So, is Music Xray a scam? Maybe it depends on how much you like QuickStop burritos. Judge for yourself…

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