Chart du Jour

From the Economist:

Consumer Spending, 2007-2010

The dulcet tones of the bass sax, nothing like it…

What a fabulous day! September 25th was the annual Carrboro Music Festival, a great socialist arts event. Free music played for free, PERFECT weather.  Following is an excerpt that doesn’t do the band justice, they were so fine, NC Saxophone Ensemble – Check it:

NC Saxophone Orchestra by chris-frank

Raising the taste of the public, sometimes a thankless job


Ludwig van Beethoven understood the value of raising the taste of the public; present-day artists might want to consider using this as a basis for requests from patrons, etc., or say you want a discount on your child’s voice lessons. Below is an excerpt from his 1806 petition to the Vienna Imperial Court Theater, to retain him as in in-house opera composer, at 2,400 florins annually:

The undersigned may flatter himself that so far during the period of his stay in Vienna he has won a certain amount of favor and appreciation… both at home and abroad.

Nevertheless, he has had to contend with all sorts of difficulties, and as yet has not been fortunate enough to establish himself here in a position compatible to his desire to live entirely for art…

Since on the whole the aim which he has ever pursued in his career has been much less to earn his daily bread than to raise the taste of the public and to let his genius soar to greater heights and even to perfection, the inevitable result has been that the undersigned has sacrifices to the Muse both material profit and his own advantage. – Ludwig van Beethoven

His petition was rejected (OK, maybe the third person thing  was a bit much), but luckily some upstanding royals stepped up to the plate and he didn’t have to take a day job. Times have changed, huh?

Deal of the Century

You pay us to borrow money??? If a few million regular people could get this deal, it would help a lot, don’t you think?

Woah!!! A 5 year pays -.75%….and we’re selling them like hot cakes!

T-bills at negative percentage

Krugman’s blog

Ain’t it the truth

Charlotte, a different Bronte

It’s a small world, but I wouldn’t want to paint it…


We’re back!!!! Google relents, decides not to squish us…

Against all odds, wins one round in the endless battle to stay alive on the web, which means not pissing off Google.  For those of you who haven’t been following closely, our upstanding, never-spammy website found itself on Google’s bad side as “pharma hackers” found a way to game the super-secret algorithms and create a couple million links that combined the terms “efolkmusic” and various popular drugs.

googlemp3Visitors to our site were aware of no problem, Bing and Yahoo searchers saw us fine, but we were pretty quickly blacklisted by Google. We had to hire a “security” company to clean up the mess; they did a half-assed job, we were ostensibly in the index, but you could google “” and we didn’t show. Arrgh!!!

Google give websites little recourse for remedy- there is no one you can call, no dialog you can have with an employee. The robo-messages say “don’t bother replying”, and send you to some so-called help pages or the forums. It’s hard to tell if there is any official presence in the forums, but the volunteers (if that’s what they are) are certainly part of the super-organism that is Google, and 24 forum-posts later we got help there from a “Robbo” dude (or robot???) — VOILA, we found two lines of bad code that the cleanup missed, squished them in a few aggressive keystrokes.

As of today, we are back to “normal”, go ahead, search “folk music mp3s”, any-old search engine will do. And PLEASE, consider making a donation of any amount, help us continue the good fight.

Because they could squish us at any moment- fear of fear, as Randy Newman says- isn’t that what terror is?

Could use some viral help here…

Same old story, web version 4.0, musician getting screwed by the music seller. This one is so stupid that it’s funny.

AMAZON had a program running for a short while in 2008, when they were first getting into the MP3 business, that allowed artists to sell MP3s direct from Amazon — I wasted no time, uploaded “Chris Frank and His Orchestra”, music from my LP days. I imagine the program got out of hand pretty quickly, I remember telling quite a few players about it, seemed like a great deal, my album right next to everybody else’s, for sale around the world.

I didn’t think about it until a few days ago. I thought I would check in and see if they owed me 50 cents (I recall buying a track just to make sure it worked, and it did).  Well, forget about it, ‘cuz Amazon has. I can’t find any account information, under any of my various email addressed, which is understandable (to me, anyway), but what I don’t understand is why NO ONE at Amazon can find anything either.

The product is obviously in their vast database, and in that database there is a field that says who the vendor is, I’M POSITIVE.  I’m just as sure that someone somewhere can look it up. If it’s not me, who is it?

I’m thinking about a video that goes viral-nuts, the sad story of the poor musician taking it on the chin, holding his guitar, staring forlornly into the computer at his Amazon listing, just wants his 50 cents. I’ll get somebody younger to play me, but you know the familiar ironic/whining style that is nation popular now-a-days, it’ll be like that.

The album is right here, but don’t go buying it until we find out where the money goes:

Don't buy it!!!

And you think I don’t have anything better to do than this???  Ha ha, to you!

3,038,391 links to efolkMusic, and all I get is this lousy T-shirt

I know that because we had the dreaded “Pharma hack” on, whereby there were about 10,000 references to certain popular medications on our website, as far as Google was concerned.  Visitors to the site weren’t aware of it, viewing the source code of any page didn’t show the offending keywords, but search would show 250+ occurrences on a given page, times a few hundred drugs.

I finally hired a security company — probably the perps, but what could I do — and they had it cleaned in a few hours. We’re still showing some funny stuff in search, but we didn’t get blacklisted. Thing is, Google, with all it’s servers and billions of dollars, can’t keep up with the exponential growth in indexable links. Up until recently, robots were mostly used to get information.  A new breed of bots is working right now ADDING useless content, with nefarious intent.

We had an earlier link issue, the first time I paid any attention to how many links in we had- this was 3 months ago, we had about 2 million. Today, 3,038,391. Maybe once  Google “catches up” (which is getting harder and harder) with our malware-free site, that number goes down. But what if it doesn’t? Say it doubles every six months, take that times a gazillion little sites like ours,  you pretty quickly get some serious numbers, I don’t care how many servers they throw at it, they can’t keep up, the system WILL go down. Can you say log jam?

I’d keep a nice AAA road atlas under the seat of your car, if I were you, you might be needing it.

So True!

Thanks, Elke Gabriele Diefendorf Friends of Jeffco Music

Iowa… I been there…

…Know what? They ain’t got grits in Iowa. All that corn, and NO grits.” – a Southerner comments

This is from “Dear Iowa”, a musical I wrote songs for back in 1991, as I recall. Premiered and closed for good at the Riverside Theater in Iowa City:

Get Behind the Oxen and the Plow by chris-frank