Saturday, October 06, 2007


Another busy week then, with the house move looming large. I just hope that there is nothing vital to the move being sent by post, as the postal strike could put a big spanner in the works. The highlight of my week was my (fourth straight) victory at poker on Tuesday, with my winning hand being an amazing quad aces. I got to say the line that I have wanted to for a while: "I have 2 pairs: aces and... aces!"

So we are not having an election next month then. I must say that I have been impressed with Gordon Brown so far: his fundamental politics seem sound, and it's a nice change to have a PM who seems to govern on principle rather than style. I'm sure that Labour would have won convincingly. On the other hand, maybe it is good that there will be no election for a year or two, as all the talk of the election seems to have devolved into a Brown versus Cameron contest. People seem to forget that we are voting for a party and for a local representative, not a president. Cameron is a smug prick, though.

In other news, yesterday saw the outcome of the first music file-sharing court case: the defendant was fined $222,000 for sharing 24 specific songs. Now she deserved to be found guilty, as she broke the law (although the fine seems a bit excessive to say the least), but the record companies seem to be falling out of step with the public at large. The rise of iPods and iTunes seem to have caught them off guard, and they are getting defensive and lashing out. For goodness sake, some of the major record companies think that copying your own music to your own computer/iPod is stealing... Interesting that this was the week that Radiohead chose to announce the details of their new album. The band's contract with EMI has run out, and rather than renew it they have decided to self-release the album as a download. The revolutionary aspect of it is that there is no fixed price. You can pay whatever you want for the album, including nothing. I know they are a huge band and can afford to try out things like this, but this does (and the mass media seems to agree) seem to feel like a shifting of the balance of power back towards the artists. How much should we pay, though? Apparently the artist should see about £4 of an album sale, so anything above that is a victory for them. I chose to pay £7 to support the initiative, but could see £5 as a fair amount if this becomes commonplace. You can get the album here.


Blogger Jenny said...

Last night in the news in San Diego (or maybe it was this morning?) there was a "story" (and, by story, they seemed to think it fit to show a You Tube video) on this pelican (some sort of bird, but now I forget which one, exactly), who keeps on stealing chips (crisps, to you) from some shop in Aberdeen. Have you seen this bird?

5:57 am  
Blogger Jenny said...

(certainly the news about the bird is much more pressing than your news about the postal strike or the election)

5:58 am  
Blogger swishfish said...

That will be Sam the seagull. We don't have pelicans here, unfortunately: he is a seagull, which are very unpopular here as they are thought of as "rats with wings". They were one of the main reasons that Aberdeen moved from the collection of refuse in bin bags to wheelie bins. Sam has, however, become somewhat of a celebrity. The shop is about 10 minutes from my front door. Here's the video. He only ever goes for cheese Doritos (a type of flavoured tortilla chips), and (at least back in July) he was attracting crowds. Sensing free publicity, the makers of the crisps decided to pay for any that he stole.

Amazing how what we see as a local story has (eventually) made it around the world.

11:49 am  
Blogger Nev 360 said...

The Radiohead approach is interesting, but misguided. You may already have seen this, but this BBC article makes a good point: While it's fine for a massively popular band to do this, it might not be constructive for the music scene overall - where will the next rubbish indie band come from! I will download the album, but for free only.

(incidentally, though I think the author of the BBC article makes an interesting point, I don't think much of their opinion musically - "Pablo Honey" the best album?)

7:03 pm  
Blogger swishfish said...

I'm not sure misguided is the word: it is not misguided for Radiohead to do it, but it would be silly for a new band to try it. It's not the way forward yet. But can you give any credibility to someone whose favourite RH album is Pablo Honey? I think not. And if he thinks that the last 3 albums are basically the same, whith no differnce between Kid A/Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief, then he is clearly an idiot. I wasn't blown away after my first listen to In Rainbows: it is certainly in the same area as HTTT, being more traditional RH with an electronic twist.

9:18 am  
Blogger Nev 360 said...

I think it's an interesting idea of Radiohead, but an idea I really hope doesn't catch on. For one thing, I like to have a proper CD copy, but now I'll have to pay #40 for a bunch of nonsense pretentious student art-crap to get my damn CD - perhaps not then. I think it's an idea that bodes ill for the record industry as a whole, because I don't see record companies as evil goliaths that need to be defeated; rather, they are vital for filtering out crap and promoting good new artists.

The author of the article clearly has no idea about actual music, and obviously sees mid-90's indie Shine compilations as the musical nadir, but I think their business thinking is ok.

2:13 pm  

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