Water Music

Here’s a piece I did for a video project that never saw the light of day, of some interest (possibly):

A Bit of History: Remember the DOT-COM explosion? We were there…

Been there?  From the Internet Archive, what they call the “Wayback Machine“, with a history of the Internet- I think they started before us, as they have us from the very beginning, if I remember correctly.

Here’s the record of efolkMusic beginning on Oct 9, 1999, and the Wayback Machine has snapshots through the ages! The mission is the same is it ever was, really, same rock to push. Luckily the edges have been worn down through the years and it’s a bit easier to roll.  Depending on the size of the rock, you don’t always “pick it up and carry it on..” as we have been known to say; more often it’s OGS – of good size – and you ROLL it.

The graphic to the left is a month later, Nov 1999, sorry about the missing graphics. Some of these hairpins are kickin’ grass’  as I write, somewhere, I hope. The idea was grand, using “digital delivery” to get and keep the good music in the air, all with a little compressed file called an “MP3″ that flew across borders, from our servers right into your computer, and nearly frictionless (not to mention green).

The market was defined- a large niche of music fans who found no satisfaction listening to most of what they heard on the radio; they also saw their neighborhood record stores close down. Voila, efolkMusic, MP3s by the track, 98 cents.

The artists in our broadly-defined “curated”  folk music family were required to offer a free MP3 to our website visitors. Most didn’t know what an MP3 was, and were afraid to “give it away” even though they had no other practical way to get their music to the fans.

Ah, how times have changed. We became a non-profit in 2003 (May 31st is the first snapshot), and have continued to be a valuable distribution channel for an exceptional roster of too-often overlooked musicians.

MP3.com and MySpace have “gone out”, Facebook and Twitter are having their 15 minutes of fame, Google + is too late to the ballgame- we all “compete” (ha!) for your clicking attention, and golly, we are practically venerable by comparison. Folk music does get some respect, but ask any folkie, if you aren’t in it for the ART, and if you aren’t ready for the LONG HAUL, you don’t last long on the bluegrass highway.

SO here we are today, thanks to your support- you know the difference between real music and empty cowboy hats, that’s why you are here. Help us keep it going, won’t you?

Big John Falstaff straps on his spurs

New recording from the Lone Star Love herd:

More on their Facebook page

“America’s Hidden Austerity Program”


Ezra Klein breaks it down:

I ran the numbers on total government employment after the 1981, 1990, 2001 and 2008 recessions. I made government employment on the eve of the recession equal to “1,” so what you’re seeing is total change in the ensuing 54 months, which is how much time has elapsed since the start of this recession. As you can see, government employment tends to rise during recessions, helping to cushion their impact. But with the exception of a spike when we hired temporary workers for the decennial census, it’s fallen sharply during this recession. Note that a Republican was president after the 1981, 1990 and 2000 recessions. Public-sector austerity looks a lot better to conservatives when they’re out of power than when they’re in it.

The implications are huge:

If state and local governments had followed the pattern of the previous two recessions, they would have added 1.4 million to 1.9 million jobs and overall unemployment would be 7.0 to 7.3 percent instead of 8.2 percent.


Nothing to worry about…

More crude, self-serving, smug “opinion”

Attack ads slam President Obama with mendacity, not facts (David Horsey / Los Angeles Times /May 24, 2012


Rescue efolkMusic.org, afloat but adrift…

Dear friends,

Not much happening around our non-profit dot-org site, not because there’s not much happening, but because we ran out of gas. Boat is sound, but we are out on the ocean without paddle or sail.

Our seal of approval

When some one -say one of your kids- comes to you for help, you have to figure out what they really want. Maybe they just want encouragement: “You’re not that far out, the tide will probably push you ashore.” Maybe it’s advice they want: “Use that cooler lid for a paddle….”  Or maybe (not often) criticism: “Next time, check the gas BEFORE you leave the dock!”

But sometimes it’s a straight rescue that’s called for, “I’ll toss this rope to you…” and that is what this is about. Interested in helping support folk music? Have some internet skills? Like to volunteer? We are looking for someone to take the helm- is it you or someone you know?

We’ve got a storied history, from our first MP3-by-the-track sales in 1999, through the dot-com bust, web 2.0, and we’ve out-survived a lot of them. It is now time for this sailor to stay on terra firma and take care of “business”, I’m volunteered-out. Sick of the nautical theme? But still interested? Please contact me, ASAP.

Boats rot at the docks, folks, we need to keep it moving. Take this website, please!!!



PS Or a huge bequest would be nice.

Visualize Bach..

Baroque.me (2011) by Alexander Chen. Video capture. http://www.baroque.me visualizes the first Prelude from Bach’s Cello Suites

Marketers in sheep’s clothing…

Here’s a nice article, not about the music business, specifically, but still very applicable. It’s about the differences between “audience” and  ”community”.

They are not the same, at all. One you can buy, one you have to build. An audience can be purchased, and doesn’t require “substance”- community, on the other hand, requires some meat in the bun.

You can not buy a community. Creating a community of people who support your brand and its products takes time. Creating a community occurs when you tap into the passions of an audience and allow them to see your product or brand as part of their daily lives.

The difference between an audience and a community in new media

Neil……save us from our crappy MP3s….

“We’re hearing 5% of the music…..we need a new iPod…..”