Monday, December 24, 2007

bits of the end of the year

Thanks to all who came out to the Milky Way benefit. Djs Dafna and Stella of the Gross Anatomy party threw down pop electro french whatnots and jumped around on the dancefloor. they brought out a fun crowd from their own queer-posi party although it didn't make much of a change from the eclectic Milky Way scene: skinny white rockers, latino club folks (who requested Bachata, but appeared nicely resigned when I said I didn't have it), hip-hop kids, dreadlocked funksters and college folk, and such like. I played a short set at the beginning, followed by the lovely ladies of through the keyhole burlesque doing a short, sweet and spicy performance (sexy elves with big -um- candycanes, and a fan dance!), and then Dafna ad Stella did their thing, then I jumped up again.

party people danced, tasty pizza was served, and the bar has ginger beer (wa-hey!)

One of the things I count as success is when people who appear to be from completely different scenes congratulate and thank me for my set, one lean+mean pompadoured bleachblonde lesbian gal in tight jeans with a huge belt buckle, one six-foot-plus african-american dude in a black t-shirt big jeans and a heavy chain, and a couple of sweet-faced kids in t-shirts and cargo pants (with a hint of raver). When I get all those folks on the dancefloor together, I feel pretty good. Especially when I did it with everything from Bird Peterson to Yo Majesty to Ghislain Poirier to Rustie to the Buckwheat Boys to Specialist'n'Tru Skool to Filastine

so thanks, all the great music producers out there..

Thursday, December 13, 2007

remixers, mashers, collagers unite!

I think it's very exciting that the Organization for Transformative Works has just been founded.

Looks like they are setting themselves up as residing within the "transformative" aspect of the fair use concept (which is only one of four factors judges usually consider when faced with a fair use defense, and not actually a law in its own right). But basing one's rights in transformativity is a step away from the oh-so-amorphous-and-yet-one-dimensional "originality" so I'm all for it. It at least acknowledges the context which art is made and breaks down the assumption that it exists without other art.

It seems to be originating (heh) as an umbrella for fandom and fan fiction, so perhaps authors in the text-writing sense and video makers too (although there's plenty of other kinds of fan art so maybe not).

But I think many of the great traditions of hip-hop come from being a music fan, generally and of specific artists and genres. And skills are embedded in re-use and reference of already existing sounds and works. transformative indeed. So why not join-up, sample-heavy producers? reference-heavy composers? scratch djs?

or start an audio division?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Thanks for all who came out - and who read

Some nice news on the writing front, my piece on HR 4137 for WireTap has been picked up by The Nation Online (including them putting it in the email newsletter, which I am told is the first time they have included a piece by a non-Nation author), and also run by the Chicago Sun-Times Sunday Edition (print media maybe? chicago peeps holla!). Hopefully people will be motivated to speak to their senators on behalf of students rights and academic freedom.

On the musical side, last night was definitely one of the good ones. Dj G was one of the best dupstep djs I've seen in a long time. I think I heard a few of his tracks which were really innovative (in the sense of importing some swingy 4-on-the-floor references into the beats, which really kicked up the dancefloor), and he kept the crowd moving nicely. One of the things I like about Surya Dub is that there is a baseline (heh) of dubstep heads and Kush Arora fans and bellydancers, and then a large crew of folks from all over the map - white-tee wearing hip-hop fans, glammed up laydeez in high heels, skinny-pants boys with caps and cool glasses (large & nerdy or small & architect-y), it's multiracial and spans a pretty wide age and style range. This means some of our more genre-specific djs don't have an easy time connecting to the whole crowd - you really need to work your dj skills to interact and liven people up. Anyway Dj G had the skills, and also the super-endearing quality of jumping around behind the decks (I love djs that look like they love the music they're playing). Lukeino was laying down some new drum-n-bass when I left, wobbly with sleepiness (end of the semester is a tough time to be out late).

I started the night downstairs and experimented (on the Surya Dub crowd) by goung back to the sounds I started out playing - in terms of mixing up the more bumpin dub sounds with hip-hop and jungle (some nice jump-up tracks that have come my way recently), and kept people wiggling for a while before bringing it up to dubstep tempo to set it up for Kush and the return of MC Daddy Frank. People seemed into it, and we are looking ahead to 2008 - January 26th for the next Surya Dub!

Monday, December 03, 2007

downsides and upsides

The bad news is that the entertainment industry bigwigs have apparently captured the house education committee- a bill before the Senate on "Educational Affordability" has requirements in it that would 1) raise the cost of education (in order to subsidize the entertainment industry), and 2) deprive colleges of ALL federal funding if the industry (not the government) determines them to be violators of copyright law, this would include Pell grants, financial aid, etc.

full article on it here
EDUCAUSE's Action page here

The good news is that we can still dance: the last Surya Dub of the year is December 8th - this Saturday!

Club Six, 60 6th Street San Francisco. Come out for the end of the year and congratulate us AGAIN on "Best Club Night in SF"

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Whew! After 4 transcontinental flights I'm feeling a bit wobbly. But soon my next post on wiretap will be up.. scary news for higher education if the entertainment industry gets their way! I passed my german translation exam (woo!) and solidified the lineup for my Quals committee.. so one more field exam out of the way and (assuming ONE of the 6 places I applied gives me some funding) I will be on my way back to Jamaica in the Fall of 2008!

I'll post more about the upcoming holiday-special SURYA DUB - December 8th (note the different date this time) is your last chance to catch us this year.. don't miss!

And Kid Kameleon and I will be in the Boston area this New Year's Eve and are looking to dj. Our possible NYE venue fell through... so, anyone want to throw a party for us? We can likely provide a full lineup as others in the riddim method crew might be willing to throw down..

email me or drop me a note in the comments with your email and I will get back to you

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Noord sound remix project, and music/events

As usual, I'm playing today at Guerilla Cafe, in Berkeley, and tomorrow I play at the Li Po Lounge in Chinatown, SF as part of a party for the hella cool spoken word guerrilla poet Shahid Buttar, who is also a lawyer in DC (let's hear it for those mixing up law and music)! DJs: Ripley (Surya Dub, HavocSound!) Glyph (in2it) poolboy & d (4handed, swapsf, tasty-music) @ Li Po Lounge (downstairs) - 916 Grant Avenue @ Washington St. (Chinatown). 9pm - 2am, Friday Nov. 9

I also want to mention a cool sound remix project some people I've worked with in Belgium are doing. But I've got some updates from the past 2 weeks to share as well:

First of all, thanks to all of you who came out to Rip.Mix.Burn.BAM.PFA - it was a great event. I've djed in museums before but this is one of the few times we actually had people dance (I think years ago at the Harvard Film Archive we got some bouncing with DJ C, DJ Flack and myself).. anyway October 26th was rockin' and Zebbler and the Improbable Orchestra (the participatory loop djing machine) really brought the museum into the digital age with style. Participatory, copyright-challenging, undoubtedly of value to society, and hella fun. Just what I want museums and public institutions to be supporting! The exhibition is actually a remix project as well - the curator of the digital art collection is a true visionary and wants to make the entire collection open for remix to other artists and also to members of the public, online. The show was the kickoff of the first collection and featured several works by artists remixing other artists in the museum collection. Check it out online!
and they have started the "make your own remix" project here! how cool is that (especially for a museum?)

And Surya Dub, with the man like ZULU and DJs Tomas and Jason Mundo on Decks, the next night, also truly lovely. some good costumes, and I had one of my favorite sets (starting at 130 and taking it to 190 bpm in 45 minutes, with baltimore, breaks, dubstep, juke, jit, jungle, hyphy, and breakcore all up in the mix). We take a break this month, and the next one will be December 8th

And lastly the fine people at Tasty-music for getting the lovely weather on Sunday in their favor as they provided delicious treats and their residents, kid k and myself provided some beats.

and now for the sonic fun: the N(OO_O)RD Remix project. This is great!
As part of research into noise pollution conducted for a particular area in Brussels, the foton crew made a lot of field recordings of sounds all over that region. They are now using them as source material for remixes and and inviting other people to do the same. Check out their site here which has some remixes available and also the source material.

(foton threw an amazing party I played at in 2004 in Brussels, and are a great collective of multimedia artist activists)

anyway go and mess about with all these open resources. Unlike sex, consent is not everything in the digital world, but it can be a pleasure in itself.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Me on a conference panel

I forgot they recorded this

I was on a panel at UC Berkeley as part of the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts.. with some SUPER COOL artists like the Graffitti Research Lab folks, Sal Randolph (who did a cc music project that generated a lot of music), and lots of other interesting folks, about DIY=> DIT (Do It Yourself into Do It Together) in art..

anyway it's pretty cool and they are all super interesting.

My favorite moment is when some curators appeal to all of us (who do conceptual, collaborative, social kinds of art) about the "problem" of preserving the art and it's the moment that I really felt quite aligned with everyone else on the panel (who otherwise I felt a bit separate from since they are all "real artists" and not entertainers).. anyway we all respond with a kind of unanimous indifference or even mild hostility.

that occurs about 3/4 or 4/5 along the video (no minute counters: boo!) - a guy asks how we would like to see our work preserved. I remember thinking the response from all of us was quite funny.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

So many gigs!

It's a crazy weekend. Help celebrate that we won BEST CLUB NIGHT IN SF from the SF Weekly (thanks to all who voted!) by coming out to Surya Dub on Saturday.. also a whole avalanche of other interesting gigs!

Thurs, Oct. 25th - Ripley spins Rocksteady @ Guerilla Cafe 6-8PM - Free
1620 Shattuck Avenue
Come enjoy the Rocksteady and Ska and dub, the good coffee, and the great waffles. This week: special focus on French Dub sounds - a few years later than I usually play, but sounds you'll never hear anywhere else..

Fri, Oct. 26th - Ripley, Kid K, Zebbler, and the Improbable Orchestra @ BAM 7-10PM - Free
Kid Kameleon and Ripley lay out an entire evening of sonic delights and visual entertainments on behalf of the Berkeley Art Museum to celebrate the opening of Rip.Mix.Burn, an exhibition of the museum's digital art, reconceived and remixed.

*Boston video artist Zebbler will do a 4 Audio Chanel/3 Video mix through the space and across the museum walls:
*Improbable Orchestra display their DIY DJ machine:
*Ripley and Kid K provide a soundtrack from dub and ambient to dancefloor madness.
*And, free food and free drink (for those over 21).
*The whole thing is free at the Berkeley Art Musem 2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA, just print out the attached invite.

Fri, Oct. 26th - Ripley, Kid K and others @ Remixer afterparty @ Convent 10PM-Late! - Free
Our friend Guatam and many of the folks from the Convent and Hillegass-Parker Co-Op are throwing a R.I.P.Mix.BURN!!!! after-party! Ripley and I will be spinning harder and weirder stuff, more appropriate for the late night vibe, and there will be a lot of Halloween themed madness.

*The Convent, 1601 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94703 US

Sat, Oct. 27th - Jason Mundo, DJ Tomas, Zulu, Zebbler & all Surya Dub Crew @ Club 6 10PM-3AM - Free b4 11
Surya Dub just won the SF Weekly's award for Best Club Night in San Francisco! We're still all falling over ourselves to figure out what we did, but it's an awesome award and we hope it will encourage many folks who've though about coming but not made it yet to check us out. I've included the whole flyer as an attachment, and just the highlights below.

*IMPORTANT - The event is FREE, if you 1) register here and 2) you show up before 11 --- otherwise it's $10, which is still pretty great for a Saturday in the city.
*A slew of out guests at this one -- MC Zulu from Chicago, voice of the party, performing live with Kush Arora --- DJ Tomas, veteran dubateer from SF --- Jason Mundo from Texas, an original head to rep the 2-step movement in this country, let alone Dubstep --- And Zebbler again, guesting on visuals
*Plus you've got the award winning Surya Dub crew on hand as well. Kid Kameleon from 10:30-11:15, Ripley from 2:00-3:00
*Extended info/bios at, and on the flyer

Sun, Oct. 28th - Kid K and Ripley w/ the Tasty Crew in Golden Gate Park 2PM-6PM - Free!
Rounding out the weekend, Ripley and I will be guesting with the Tasty Crew at their free party in Golden Gate Park. The info I have about it is here: although I'll have a full flyer later in the week, and will forward it along then.

*Ripley and I are on from 2:30-4PM. Afternoon dance style!
*There is free food!
*Check for directions and more info

Saturday, October 20, 2007

We won! Thank you everyone!

Wow. So Kid K and I slogged into San Francisco across the Bay Bridge to the SFWeekly Music Awards Ceremony because we had been nominated. We got there around 9pm at this swank joint that looks like a 19th-century theater having been converted into a club, but chandeliers, carvings, and stained-glass portraits of old white men with muttonchop whiskers still remained. The crowd was mostly rock-y and sf-fashion-y and media-y except for various people I vaguely recognized as nominees for "best hip-hop act" (like the Federation and such.. not everyone was there but I saw a dude in a splended white Filthy Dripped blazer with painting all over it and a majestic fade). They announced the awards for our category while Maneesh the Twista was still looking for parking and Kush Arora hadn't arrived yet...

and WE WON! Kid K, Sitar (who does the publicity and a lot of the foot work for the party) and I found our way to the stage and dazedly said a few things to a crowd who were mostly interested in drinking and chatting to themselves, and walked off the stage with a funny little statuette of a little man playing the guitar.


Thank you to everyone who voted! The other nominees were mostly long-running nights in bigger venues, but clearly they didn't have fans as energetic and full of love as we do! You all rock!
(Something everyone can see for themselves October 27th - next Saturday - when we throw down with Jason Mundo, DJ Tomas and the almighty ZULU - plus guest VJ Zebbler)

We celebrated by going home (it was a Thursday and we are grad students with too much work), but last night we went out to Grime City (a great party, with a great crew behind it who are always supportive of Surya Dub and no doubt helped us win the award - nobody else nominated plays anything like dubstep and grime, while we do, alongside our usual eclectic bounce&bass). the special guests? ROSSI B and LUCA. oh my.

A truly outsanding set by a pair of super-skilled djs. The scratching was impressive, but what really worked was how they kept the sound moving, through deep+ bassy dubstep to wobble-bassline garage to banging grime and other beats. One of the most danceable and interesting sets I've seen at grime city - it worked both for the heads and for people stopping by to see what all the fuss was about. big up the djs!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Vote Surya Dub

If you want to support good music really pushing the edge of the club scene in San Francisco, vote for Surya Dub in the SFWeekly Best Club Night poll

Yes, Surya Dub has been nominated for Best Club night by the SF Weekly Music Awards 2007!

I am seriously proud of us and all the hard work we put into this party, and the nights are getting better and better - there is such a good crowd and everyone wants to dance and the music is reliably interesting, lively and fun --all in a huge soundsystem downstairs and a chill lounge upstairs.. you don't have to be a Bay Area resident, just a friendly supporter.


We have been around less than a year, which makes this even more special, as is the fact that we are the most diverse and creative lineup of sounds and styles listed -- In fact we are the only night representing Dubstep, Reggae, DnB, Breakbeat or Global Beats!

Please help us win by voting HERE by Oct 11th 2007!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

news in the industry vs. the people wars

MINNESOTANS!! Ok ok I know it's big state --Duluth-ians?

Recording Industry vs. the People is looking for citizen reporters to blog/report on the jury trial commencing Tuesday October 2nd in Virgin v. Thomas, where Brian Toder of Minneapolis will square off against Richard Gabriel of Denver.

They say you can phone or email them with updates as to what is going on, we will publish here reports or excerpts of reports throughout the trial. check their info out here.

This case is important because it is the first case the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), basically a propaganda and enforcement arm of EMI (Britain), Vivendi Universal (France) and Sony BMG (Japan and Germany) with Warner Music for is litigating inside the USA:, that's right, at least as far as I know -- nobody has ever been found guilty before a court or jury, in the US, in an RIAA-litigated case.

Here, the RIAA has no evidence that the defendant, Ms. Jammie Thomas, committed any copyright infringement. The RIAA has claimed that it will call Dr. Doug Jacobson (an RIAA "expert") and Cary Sherman as witnesses, as well as employees of the various record companies and of SafeNet/MediaSentry (which is a mediadefender type sleazeball company). They are going to try to claim an IP address is enough evidence to convict Ms. Thomas!

It will be interesting to see how it goes. Follow up on

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Surya Dub come soon!

This Saturday is gonna be another good one..We are starting to really pick up momentum at Surya Dub. Last month was amazing, in that it was both a large crowd and a really warm family vibe upstairs and down.

We switch it up this month a bit - I will play upstairs and early so come warm up with me and chill in the lounge until Jimmy Love gets it bumpin, Dj Santero turns up the heat and Amar brings it home. Downstairs, Roots and Wires is always a dubbed-out dream, and Matty G will throw down the dubstep roar..

So come on out! $5 before 11pm, or drop me a note, I might have some guestlist spaces..

Monday, September 17, 2007

on the politics of hip-hop dancing

I would like to read a lot more about hip-hop as dance music (regardless of lyrics), something that many music scholars don't seem tos pend a lot of time on. Hip-hop and the body. Hip-hop IN the body. but in the meantime, I was entertained by this discussion of a hip-hop dance class

Hip-hop is one of the most intimidating forms of dance there is. The movements are really precise and you need that extra bit of attitude to execute them convincingly. Instead of the hard-ass, “I’m all that and don’t fuck with me” look I should have had on my face, I found myself grimacing and making what would, in the primate world, be called “appeasement gestures.”

authenticity, gender, performance, power, bodies.. hmmm....

*edited to add.. I should say I don't think everything here is about hip-hop, a lot of it is about dance classes. Then again, the 'attitude' requirement (and the kind of attitude) is, I would say, more an issue in hip-hop dance than in contact improvisation, and a different flavor than, say, tap. But also the positioning of the author above is part of the politics. Some interesting issues for her as well around what she thinks of as authentic, as well as what others may see as authentic..

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

back on the scene

recovering from various travel-related maladies.. I'm back on my regular gigs, SURYA DUB (sept 22 this month), The REcord Goes Round (thursday 6-8pm at Guerilla Cafe - check out their amazing art exhibit - Emory Douglas' posters from the Black Panther era!).

And I've got a gig this week at the Otherworld weekly BOUNCE at Club Oasis in Downtown Oakland. I'm excited about this - otherworld peeps represent some of my favorite people who relocated from NYC plus other musical family. And I've always thought Club Oasis was a cool venue, and I want to play more in my new hometown!

saturday gig

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Surya Dub on Saturday and my new favorite car

don't forget Surya Dub this Saturday night at Club Six. Great guests like Dave Sharma and Irie Dole and Juju and the beloved residents skeleton crew! $5 before 10:30 $10 after!

my new favorite car, camera phone pic from Constant Spring Road. Nice spoiler!!


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Linking and Thinking

crossposted at Jamaica Blog (more coming soon!)

Linking and thinking

I linked up with a friend of a friend(that cat helped Jamaica write its patent policy, with some of the same concerns I get into below about copyright). Andrea a woman involved in the roots music scene (who has also been a consultant for the Rough Guide to Jamaica and related RGs). She's great – I had a good conversation with her about the prison work but also about my future dissertation work. She seemed excited about the idea of someone coming to JA to listen to people's creative processes, to try to talk back to the colonial legal structure, and to the IP structure that wasn't written with them in mind.

I don't think Jamaica is unique (or no more so than every cultural scene is unique), I think it's a more dramatic case of what's true in the US and everywhere – people's creative practice bears little resemblance to what IP law seems to assume. Considering that a lot of IP law states its purpose as fostering creativity (for example, the US Constitutional justification for copyright), it would make sense to make sure we understand more about how creativity works, and thus how best to foster it. Anyway in JA the copyright law, recently re-written, is mostly shaped by the same old assumptions that were never really designed to foster the kinds of practices most common in Jamaica. There's a colonial narrative that works pretty well here, since the laws were not changed from the British system after independence (as if their purpose was somehow neutral) although some aspects of that are true the world over - I don't think assuming laws are neutral is helpful anywhere.

But anyway, it was cool (hot and sweaty actually) to sit on a porch in the evening surrounded by musical equipment. I also spent some time hanging out in a studio and witnessing people making music and talking about music in a way that just inescapably relies on a system of borrowing, copying, tweaking, and referencing. Of course, the other side is the deeply felt injustice of artists who are still living hand to mouth, while watching folks elsewhere profit mightily. Is that because their practices don't fit with law? which should be changed? the law or the practices? Can copyright law remedy this situation anyway? I'm not sure that's what it was written for, and I'm pretty sure that is not how it has historically functioned. That's one of my long-term plans - to understand more about the relationship between particular definitions of access and exclusion rights w/r/t culture and the ability for people to flourish.

But all of this is preliminary thoughts – and just the preface to my first real street party here in Kingston – Rae Town, a party that has been running for 30 years in a neighborhood in southern Kingston. more on that to come!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

bits and bobs, haps and mis

Heavy posting and long descriptions of scenes in Jamaica up at the Jamaica blog

Wayne gives a more audio-visual description of his time (all too short) over here, with more specifics of the big voices (Mavado and Munga being the biggest, possibly they are robots like I'm convinced T-Pain is), and big riddims in Kingston right now.

and here's the link to the main SET (Students Expressing Truth) website

and to the SET Prison radio in Jamaica info page (streaming of some stuff soon come)

We are currently being visited by the Antenna Alliance technical wize-ards, they're helping with the radio station and network oddities. Full house in New Kingston now! Despite the Ant Alliance's indie look, they are betting on JA to fill out some cc-licensed music storehouses for their all cc distribution networks.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cross-posted at my new Ripley in Jamaica blog, which has a lot of other posts up, by the way..

I guess this is the part of legal aid I'm finding scary. Not dealing with the inmates, who so far basically seem happy to have anyone there who cares to help them (sometimes maybe too happy, but hey, it's a men prison). What's scary is drafting legal documents that will stay here after I go, for the purpose of putting some decision-making back into the hands of the inmates, as respects the labor they do.

But it's also totally fricking brilliant, to have to think about this in a such a practical way.

The part of the SET project I am most connected with is that of the recording studio and radio station – currently there is no explicit or specific legal framework defining what rights inmates have against outsiders who engage with them or their music. Even though overall I am not a copyright enthusiast, I can see how copyright is an appealing legal argument, because it is an assertive property right you can appeal to against even the powerful.

Of course, everything about the creative process here complicates claiming a property right. DCS (Department of Correctional Services) technically owns the building, the SET foundation owns most of the equipment, although an outside NGO owns some of it. The Rehabilitation Through Music program is an SET program, undertaken courtesy of DCS. So there's a tangle of ownership of the material and non-material infrastructure.. Add in that inmates may be collaborating (as all artists do, heck as all people do), what rights do each of them have?

Then, to complicate it further if outside producers and engineers come in, they undoubtedly contribute something creative and important to the sound recording. On the basis of contribution, weighing the value of all of these is pretty difficult.

What is clear is the power imbalance – if an outsider comes in and records an inmate, and goes off with the recordings, legally the outsider might even be okay, because in Jamaica absent a written agreement the recording person is considered the copyright owner. But it feels terrible, to allow that to happen. It seems unethical based on the POSITION of the people involved.

This is what I've been feeling all along, that if you can't incorporate the positions of the people involved into your analysis, then you can't really be sure the system you are setting up is positive. In this case the freedom and power of the outsider, and the restriction and relative weakness of the inmate are at such opposite poles it seems dreadfully unfair to have the outsider profit, or have control.

Of course, a great many guys here are in for life, they are mainly interested in hearing their music spread. If an outsider can spread it, then that may be a plus for them. The traditional trade-off for copyright is that the labels will take care of what may be expensive, confusing work of distribution. Nowadays people are arguing the internet can counterbalance that, but I don't think that's so convincing for inmates in Jamaica.. That is where the Antenna Alliance comes in, of course, offering networks of promotion and distribution of CC-licensed music. That's why they are here in Kingston. It's an interesting experiment, I'm curious how far it goes this summer.

Another argument maybe against retaining copyright is the guys here may not be able to profit much from any money, even if there is any: it might come too slowly, or not at all. Some producers give payment up front, which is appealing to poor folks for a lot of good reasons. I'm wary of acting as if any copyright automatically equals royalties, because it's unlikely enough generally that I'm not sure it's a good context in which to make decisions.

I guess, along with the contextual, ethical issue, the main concern I have of giving up copyright is the lack of exposure if an owner decides NOT to promote the artist, then the artist can't try anything else.

I don't have any answers for now – right now the biggest challenge is fitting the contract on a single page so there can be no confusion later as to who signed what, no lost or separated pages..

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

aw bless

the Institute for Applied Autonomy, simply, rocks. And they work with Trevor Paglen, whom you all should know.

this game is about extraordinary rendition and mapping secret planes.

check them out

on the hardness of your data

I've been following the comments and discussion on Danah's latest paper about Myspace, facebook and class.. And something is jumping out which is tangential to her (very interesting) points, but which is funny nevertheless.

All these folks are jumping all over the paper because it is apparently unscientific because it either
a) lacks hard data (she's using ethnographic methods), or
b) can be explained by factors she mentions in passing (that have to do with the initial origins of these services)
(there is also the c of people who don't get the difference between describing patterns and predicting individual behavior)

now b actually SUPPORTS HER POINT, which is kinda funny. She is observing phenomena and describing it, her description appears accurate and much of the history of myspace and facebook sees to support it. Somehow some critics think pointing out that history debunks the observation. hee.

and a)-type criticisms are especially funny because many of them sound like criticizing oranges for not being apples.

but also because she's talking about things like class and race and identity and subculture

if anyone can show numerical data on class, it will be rely on a definition of class (or identity, or sucultural boundaries). That definition can NEVER be found by using numbers first, but will have to rely on qualitative categories, which must be derived from some kind of other framework. The more someone relies on numbers in discussing class (especially in America) the more I am suspicious that they aren't serious about understanding what the "class" means.

"50% of all myspace users are working class" would be far less meaningful than the kind of description Danah gives. Because she derives it from actual observation.

It's a perfect case in support of qualitative research actually.

You could have numbers about the number of myspace users who check off "male" or "female" in the gender box, (although even then, what would that mean? what kind of data would you need to make sense of those choices?), but you can't easily have useful numbers about complex but real social institutions. What you have to do first is exactly what this paper does. Observe. Talk to people. look around. broaden your outlook. reach far and wide.

anyway, I was just struck by how funny it was that people were looking to numbers for meaningful statements about class or identity. that's like if science were personality tests. or personality tests were science.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

vicarious livin'

So I showed up fresh off the plane, with my fresh new haircut and busted out some crazy tunes at the notorious Beat Research in Cambridge MA.

Then I got a mailer of all the amazing things I'm missing in the Bay Area

Thurs/Fri - Inside a Broken Clock: A Tom Waits Peepshow, at 12 Galaxies..

Friday: Super Hyphy at the Sonoma Fairgrounds with Keak and San Quinn and Traxxamillion
ALSO on Friday: Russian Experimental Cinema at ATA in the Mission. (dayammmm)

Saturday: 111 Minna hosts a terrific party at which my partner Kid Kameleon will be rocking with no stopping. Lots of fun peoples, good music, jumping around type deal. You should go. for more info

and Sunday the Benefit to Save Internet Radio!
this latest sleaziness about broadcast fees is really a murderous strike to independent distribution and broadcasting..
go to Bottom of the Hill and show support!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

last 2 chances to check ripley before I'm off!


the big one is Surya Dub! Come out and bid me farewell, dance like a maniac, and help support us in Club Six. The club has been having problems with sound, and was under threat of being closed, so we have had lower attendance than we'd like.. come show your support for us and for the club, which is seriously one of the best clubs I've worked with in years.

We are working with the speakers in the upstairs lounge (which is where I'm playing this month), to make the sound more even and clear for all of y'all party goers, and downstairs will be bangin' as usual.

Club six is at 60 6th street in San Francisco, and I hope to see y'all to say good bye! I will be off to Jamaica for 2 months (with a stop in Boston first), so this is your last chance to see me for a while.

and today at the Guerilla cafe is your low-key, east bay option to catch some sweet rocksteady, ska and dub. 1620 Shattuck is the place!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

hip-hop as dance music

A few ideas I've been kicking around as I study for an exam on the relationship between IP and creativity ..

My program has a field exam that you design yourself, so I built a little reading list and worked on some questions, and here I am writing about it which is part of studying. no it is, actually, because the exam is me explaining the key ideas on these issues, and I found myself wanting to practice explaining. But I will give more backstory here than I would in an exam.

I was invited to join the Writers Block, with hip-hop academic luminaries (I feel quite the satellite, or comet maybe).

I'm honored to have been invited to participate, and after reading and talking a bit with people in the scene, I've started to wonder: who is talking about hip-hop as dance music?

Being mostly an instrumentals-focused dj myself, and a dj who focusing on dancing, I'm interested in this.. where is meaning, when people are dancing? because it seems like most of the attention on hip-hop is on the MCs, and on sort of professionalized dancing like b-boying/b-girling.. but what about the fact that hip-hop is the default party music in the US? is that not considered what hip-hop is about?

why is that?

It's important. Most of the hip-hop scholarship I've read focuses on authors - on vocalists and producers. And on trying to define almost anything valuable in hip-hop as "legitimate" authorship. This (authorship/originality) is is the way you need to frame yourself if you want to claim copyright ownership - but how much does it really describe what's important about the experience of the music?

I think we need to look at the whole social environment of music, which includes the people sometimes called the "audience." Again, I'll put forward: the difference between "audience" and "artist" or between "reception" and "production" is a difference that's drawn partly in order to gain status, to parcel out rights. I don't think it's a coincidence that that is how copyright works - by assigning rights mostly based on which category you fit into.

fans, dancers, audiences - these folks make the music as much as the folks called "artists." I don't just mean that someone we see in a club dancing madly may go home and make music inspired by that experience later. Although that is certainly true and important. While artists obviously love other people's music and draw on it. Again, true and important.

But beyond that, the experience of dancing madly to hip-hop (or whatever) is part of what creates the music as it is experienced, and what gives it value and meaning. If fostering musical creativity is important (what (c) law people often care about), or if understanding what hip-hop is about is important, then fans, audiences, the so-called "receivers" need to get their due attention here.

The distinction between "author" and "consumer" is only interesting in terms of what it can get you in our current system. Culture is socially produced and all the elements are necessary. So the "audience" for hiphop, including dancers, and the way hip-hop works on, in and for the body, should not be left out of our story or our analysis.

Monday, May 21, 2007

a seriously amazing musical week

so, yeah. Pretty much every night from Wednesday to Saturday is incredible music.

it's Kush Arora's record release party at Surya Dub on Saturday night. Come on out and celebrate the beginning of summer! We have amazing guests upstairs and down, plenty of space for dancing.

Juakali is a hell of a vocalist, great energy and great vibe. And I've been listening to Badawi for nigh on 10 years.. ho lee moly I am happy to have two places to check out his sounds... Surya Dub will be for the dancing crew! come on out and show support. We 've had a bit of bad timing with Coachella and other big festivals that have made the crowds smaller (although still enthusiastic) recently, and we want to start out the summer with a bangarang

Earlier in the week we're super super lucky to have two nights withe Kode9 . Man, I am so excited about this. He is simply one of the most interesting producers associated with dubstep, and a heck of an entertainer as well.

Wednesday: Pole, Kode9 and Kid Kameleon

Thursday: Kode9 and Badawi

Both of these at a secret location in SF, check the websites on the day of for info, or prepay for tickets and have the info emailed to you on the day of.

these shows are small small, and emphasis is on the sound quality. $12 presale, $15 on the door, but really worth it.

And then Friday, Pinch and Distance dubsteppers extraordinaire at some place called Jelly's.

Good thing I've got a field exam next Monday. I'll be out at one of these and eating my heart out for the rest.

Friday, May 11, 2007

good stuff

Well, I finished what was hopefully my last law exam, ever, yesterday. And that's what kept me from posting about the "Is There Liberation After Hip-Hop" panel and after-party on Tuesday night.

The panel was A-Mazing:
Jeff Chang, Total Chaos editor
Jerry Quickley, performance poet
Malkia Cyril, director of Youth Media Council
Troy Nkrumah, chair of the National Hip-Hop Political Convention
Rosa Clemente, hip-hop activist
Moderated by: Davey D of Hard Knock Radio (94.1 FM KPFA)

I was particularly impressed with Malkia Cyril's breaking down of the role of the market in shaping hip-hop the same way it does the news, and discussing hip-hop as a medium, not a movement, but a medium that can be used to inspire a movement, and can be used by a movement to further its aims.

Rosa Clemente was powerful as well. When she talked about her view of hip-hop nowadays as essentially a black man's game, for black men's empowerment and voice, and that she was okay with that so long as people didn't try to pretend otherwise "and if you want to make it something more than that, we can talk" it was a refreshing thing to hear. Although somewhat separate from the idea of how empowerment and voice are defined (which she and everyone else also questioned in some interesting ways).

The questions from the audience afterwards... well not as thrilling as they could be. A few nice ones, a few "look at me!" type questions. But overall very very high quality of discussion going on.

Ad the after party was chill, but nice. I was distracted a little by the looming law exam I had to take the following morning. So I mostly chilled with DJ Tomas and the Wiretap crew. And some friends came out who were great to see. I played all the "other" music since folks were repping classic hip-hop and soul for the most part. My crates aren't deep enough to have classics in those genres that everyone else isn't going to have. But I felt sure that most people hadn't heard Mapaputsi and Maga Bo and Filastine and Funkstorung and Disrupt and hey-o-hansen and well I played some Neptunes instrumentals and other sounds from near and far. I think it went well.

Nice vibes at the Guerilla Cafe yesterday evening as well. thanks to all who dropped by..
An all-vinyl set, this time, of rocksteady (how can two years have produced so much good music), ska and dub. highlights were, Ken Boothe singing "Ain't No Sunshine" and The Fabulous Paragons singing "When the Lights are Low" and Tommy McCook and his band doing "Caltone Special." Man, that's some great sounds.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

ripley in the Writers Block- Tues. night in SF

the Writers Block is not the part of the prison I'll be in when they come to take radical bloggers away, no indeed! It's a cadre of djs-writers in the Bay Area that include Davey D, Jeff Chang, and other author/djs.

I'm still waiting for my first piece (on research as surveillance in ethnomusicology) to come out, but I've been invited to take part in the gig and in the Writers Block. All this despite my protests after the Chron article about my not "being hiphop" or "living hiphop" - that said I will mix it up with some hip-hop while pushing the boundaries as I so love to do.

The event will have us alongside DJ Tomas and other luminaries, like Dj Mei-Lwun who produced the best mashup of the past 5 years.

the event is the after-party for a panel discussion on Hip-Hop: the discussion is at the Yerba Buena Center and the party is at the Otis Lounge.

The panel:

It's been nearly three years since the first National Hip-Hop Political Convention was convened in Newark, New Jersey. The purpose: create a national hip hop agenda for political change. But in the wake of 9-11 and the Bush Administration's "War Without End," does hip-hop really have the power to create change on the civic and federal level?

A Free forum on Hip-Hop Politics featuring:

Jeff Chang, Total Chaos editor
Jerry Quickley, performance poet
Malkia Cyril, director of Youth Media Council
Troy Nkrumah, chair of the National Hip-Hop Political Convention
Rosa Clemente, hip-hop activist
Moderated by: Davey D of Hard Knock Radio (94.1 FM KPFA)

FREE Forum Discussion :::
Tuesday, May 8, 7 p.m.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street at 3rd Street, San Francisco
Plus, FREE Reception after

Meet the Total Chaos and the Hip Hop Theatre Festival crew, as WireTap
Magazine and Media Alliance welcomes them to the Bay Area with a FREE

DJ Mei-lwun
DJ Tomas

+ Writers Bloc DJs
Weyland Southon
Adam Mansbach
Tuesday, May 8, 9 p.m. to Midnight
OTIS, 25 Maiden Lane at Kearny Street, San Francisco

Hip Hop Theater Festival in the Bay Area May 8-20

Total Chaos:

WireTap Magazine:

Media Alliance:

Friday, April 20, 2007

memory blast

Wow. This is definitely one of the things that makes the internets pretty cool.

I recently was relinked through RupertMurdochSpace to the crew in Germany that booked me my first gig overseas in 2001. Little did I know – they posted some video of me djing at that gig, six years ago!

So here is a picture of me six years ago – my set starts at about 1:55

The gig itself was pretty crazy – in Prenzlau, which is I think a kind of industrial town near the Polish border with lots of somehow creepy-feeling, kinda aggro, kinda sleazy, kinda white-power, super suburban/rural-east-german youth (hard to describe unless you've been there). Although the promoters were nice.. and they had good taste in picking the experimental room, from me to Sonic Dragolgo to baze_djunkiii to Violentus to aleXdee and LXC, both of whom I've worked with since at many crazy parties.

So yeah, the main room was not really my thing, but the small room was a crew of people who I ended up meeting again the next year and working with rather a lot.. all of us in the "experimental room" together here! We ended up having to hide in the backstage area because apparently a crew of n*zi skins showed up and sonic with his being Japanese and me with my big dreads were not going to be very welcome. We ended up leaving early, but we were treated well by the people who booked us, and got paid (at least I did). This was also partly due to the kind efforts of Baze_djunkiii, who I met that night and who spoke up for me. This was especially good as I did not speak ANY german at that time. And baze is now and old friend! big up touring Europe with a 75pound Anvil case of records (before RyanAir raised their weight charges and lowered their minimum weight)!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

first warning - mark calendars for April 28th

upcoming!! some great guests. Last month was a blast - I got a compliment from one of the security guys which I always kinda prize because you know they are a captive audience at all the events. Combined with some nice words from the one like the process rebel, means I'm able to reach a wide range of folks..

process rebel gave me a new tune which I wasn't quite able to play in my set.. but listen for it this time - wicked sounds!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

whew! good sounds abound

Was lucky enough to catch the Filastine and DJ /Rupture show a month or so ago at the reliably-interesting Stateless party (nice crowd, too! Crowds bent primarily on dancing are my favorite). Filastine blew me away.

I'm lucky enough to have seen a great many /rupture sets over the years since the Toneburst days, but it was maybe the 2nd or 3rd Filastine set I'd ever seen. And this one was on some other-level intensity. One of the better combinations of live percussion (that didn't just feel like self-indulgent drum-circle-esque freestyle), programmed sounds, loops and I dunno what-all. Just enough new to keep it off-kilter, but enough beats to hold onto or juggle from hips to feet and back..

Check out this latest Filastine mix available from the blentwell free emporium, then show more love by buying his latest, Burn it, from /rupture's label Soot

rumor has it Filastine will be back in town soon. Haven't had a chance to talk since my birthday party last year at the Drunken Fish. But all his travels make for some good stories. Plus I must know where he gets his suits cut.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Thursdays 6-8pm in Berkeley - a weekly!

Yes indeed peoples, it's time for the after-work relaxation in the sun with DJ Ripley. Jamaican music from the 60s and 70s is the order of the day (with occasional french dub sneaking in there).

accent with waffles, damn fine coffee, sunshine, benches outside for the dog-walkers among you.

see you on Thursdays - starting at 6pm - at Guerilla Cafe, 1620 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA (across from Elephant pharmacy)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Hah - spread the word to your friends

this is a great publicity idea. And a sad testimony to the fear inspired by the content-industry-dominated legal scene. People, even US senators, are afraid to accept public domain and CC-licensed material? how is that freedom of speech?

In 2006, the Information Policy Action Committee (IPac) launched a campaign to educate lawmakers -- the people who make rules about the Internet and think it's made from a "series of tubes" -- about technology and copyright. To get their attention, we asked our supporters to help us buy video iPods for key Senators, which we then loaded with public domain and Creative Commons-licensed material. Despite the legality of the contribution, some Senators declined the iPod. One of those Senators was former presidential candidate John Kerry, who accepted $3,633,392 from the entertainment industry during his presidential campaign.

But if Senator Kerry doesn't want it, we know that somebody on the Internets does. So
IPAC is auctioning this little piece of copyright history, and we'll use the funds to push for balanced information policy in future elections.

whether Kerry didn't want to be associated with even the more mainstream CC activists like IPAC (boooo), or didn't understand that things in the public domain are, you know, PUBLIC, it's pretty silly that his campaign peoples sent it back.

someone oughta buy it with great fanfare for a chunk o cash that goes to a good cause!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

nice one at the dance

A bigger and livelier vibe for surya dub this month than last month. The sound was a BIT better in the upstairs room. I can't believe they get noise complaints. It's the Tenderloin, don't the neighbors have other things to worry about?

I was quite impressed with the guest of honor downstairs: breakbeat Buddha. I kept thinking it was going to turn into standard/predictable breaks, and then it would go all glitchy and wobbly and weird and bouncy.

The crowd was bigger than last month (no horrible rainstorm this time). I think I detected a change in the character.. it seeed a bit more.. indie... kinda.. how can I say it... kinda pitchforkish. Big up the Blackdown for a nice write-up (scroll to the end).

I played after BBB and got a bit silly - but it's nice to be able to play "where my weaves at" mixed with dubstep and the baltimore remix of Yo Majesty. Kid K threw down some classic ragga jungle and ting and then the night was DONE.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Surya dub time again!

Global Dubwize Vibes & Dread Bass Culture

Saturday March 24th 2007 @ Club Six

Surya Dub is the next level in Global Dubwize Vibes and Dread Bass Culture. Surya Dub is uniting all Dubwize sounds from Roots Reggae to Dubstep and Ragga to Dread Bass Breakbeat and Drum'n'Bass to Bhangra, South Asian Electronica and Global Bass Beat Bizness.

Check out a video clip of 600 plus folks celebrating the launch of Surya Dub's opening party HERE! And read what the SF Weekly says about this groundbreaking night!
This month Surya Dub welcomes very special guest, UK Sound Boy BreakBeatBuddha, who officially launches his debut album Mind Bombin’ at Surya Dub. BreakBeatBuddha will be covering the bases with glitched up dancehall vibes, mid-tempo & heavy breakbeats, as well as a barrage of his remix and production bombs including collaborations with Lorin Bassnectar, RJD2, and KRS 1.

Also heavyweight selector Stepwise, founder of Holding Firm, brings his deep knowledge of roots culture, original mashups, and top-ranking vibes to the dancehall. Plus special DJ set from the man on the mic, MC Daddy Frank!

Don't miss this month's heavyweight vibes Sat March 24th at Club Six!
Check out the crew and more info at

Sub Hz Den
Dubstep, Dread Bass Breaks & D'n'B, Ragga
Special Guest
BreakBeatBuddha (dancehall glitchhop)
Plus Residents:
Maneesh the Twister(Dhamaal, Dub Mission), Kush Arora, Kid Kameleon (xlr8r), & Ripley (havoc sound)
Pon da mic MC Daddy Frank (Antigua) for his last SF appearance!
We wish Frankie all the best as he embarks back to NY!
Video DJ Ohashi

Inna Yard
Reggae, Dancehall, Bhangra, Global Beats
Special Guest
Stepwise (Holding Firm)
Plus residents:
Special DJ set from Daddy Frank
Ross Hogg & DJ Neta (Ital Selection Hi-Fi),
Jimmy Love (Non-Stop Bhangra)
DJ Amar (Electric Vardo) + SoohzyQ (dumbek) + MC Daddy Frank & Freyja (tribal bellydance)

Flyer Design by Kai-Wen

Club Six
Saturday, March 24th, 2007
60 6th St between Mission & Market
21 + : $7 before 11pm/ $10 after: 10:00pm-3:00am

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Thursdays 6-8pm in Berkeley - a weekly!


Well well, thanks to all who came out on thursday. It was a rousing success. A lovely warm sunny day and sweet sunset, folks and dogs strolling by, and the Guerilla Cafe has a sliding door open to the sidewalk and benches on the sidewalk with the music rolling out...

The gig went well enough - they offered me a weekly. Nice one.

I played pretty strictly rocksteady this time - but I will branch out a bit in the coming weeks to more ska and dub as well. But at this gig I'll be keeping it mostly on the truly oldschool side, a chance to stretch out in a leisurely fashion through the other side of my music collection.

The cafe has the best coffee in Berkeley (Blue Bottle), and some seriously tasty food. Their waffles are to die for. A short menu, but satisfying. Rumor has it they are applying for beer + wine license, which may mean an expanded evening, although right now they close at 8pm.
1620 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley

thanks to anonymous commenter from the previous post, and to all who showed up. See you next week, same time, same station!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

a rare (for now) rocksteady, ska, dub set on Thurs 15th

I will be djing a little set at the lovely Guerilla Cafe on Thursday (March 15th) from 6pm - 8pm. I've been missing playing out all my 60s ska sounds (and a smattering of dub and generall Jackie Mitto type soul ska fun), that I used to do in NY every now and again.

The cafe is small but friendly. Killer coffee, tasty food, and nice people. Come out and say hello!

1620 Shattuck Avenue. (You can go by the Cheese Board before coming over and get some damn good cheese, too)

Monday, March 05, 2007

public face

Well, now.. Hello all the folks in the Bay who may be coming here purely due to an article in the Sf Chronicle on Hip-Hop in Academia. As someone who is a dj (though not strictly hip-hop, or even loosely, really), and also an academic, I ended up being a bit of a poster child. What is unfortunate is that I NEVER EVER said "I lived hiphop." I said I was DJ. But the relationship implied by the author between hiphop as I study and hiphop "as I live it" is on the nebulous side. I listen to a good amount of hip-hop, as those of you who listen know, I incorporate it into my sets, but the idea that I live hip-hop is, well, funny. I'll concede THAT much the the concept of authenticity in hiphop (much as I despise the use of the word real or authentic) - it's not something I have, or even something I'm going for.

Ah well. I can say I'm representing one of the ways that hip-hop is making its way into academia, and I was also hoping to mention SuryaDub (at Club Six on the 4th Saturday of every month), I thought the Chron would be a good audience for that. Unfortunately that part got left out of the paper version, though I hear tell on the online version mention will be made. So much for venality.

So, they used a couple of pics of me, which was nice, and combined about a paragraph of words I said into a single-sentence quote that kinda makes no sense and leaves out the main points I was trying to make. I know everyone's on a deadline and overall I think the article is quite good, although of course I wish that my own words represented me better.

My over-arching point (which I think the article represents pretty well) is that on one level, hiphop has to be a subject of academic study to the extent that academics study anything that is a force in society. If you study politics - hiphop is there. Economics, hiphop is clearly there. Media, culture studies, well of course. I don't think that in itself should be much of a newsflash. It would be weird for fields that purport to help us understand society better to ignore huge influences on various groups in that society. That's not to say that those studies are necessarily about furthering hip-hop or will do hip-hop any favors. -But academia needs to be useful, realistic and honest about the world it is supposed to be analyzing.

Beyond that, there are good reasons for people in academia to be familiar with hip-hop (at least in terms of how it is significant to society) so that they can connecting with students who are familiar with hip-hop. I am still in the camp that college does not have to be only about reproducing or enforcing white middle-class heterosexist values. I have seen the transformative effect that college can have on people who have in the past been historically excluded. That kind of effect is helped by a college curriciulum and coursework that accurately reflects the world. In the past, people had to take World History classes that were really about Europe - the rest of the world was made visible only as it came under European domination and exploitation. People studied American history as (as my mom puts it) "a history of presidents and their advisors." But that's not the whole story. It simply isn't an accurate representation of what was going on --and certainly not an accurate representation of what was important to the majority of the world (or Americans). As well as being inaccurate, it had the effect of making students feel they had no place in what mattered. So now, for both these reasons, as we tell stories in history, economics, law, literature, and maybe in some ways the sciences as well, we need to include the voices of people around the world and they way they see it. Of course this includes hip-hop.

The issue of whether academics who write about hip-hop have credibility in hip-hop circles can be a problem, depending on what the purposes of the writing is. It's not like the only purpose of academia is representation, sometimes one is interested in case studies, examples, new ideas, alternate stories about the world. In that vein I'd like to think that studying hip-hop can teach us things we don't already know, to the extent that studying anything well can do that. I don't think it's disrespectful to hip-hop to use it in that fashion, because that's a lot of what academia does with everything. Of course that should always be critiqued, from all sides, but I don't think hip-hop itself is necessarily going to provide the only or best critique for academic practice - hip-hop itself (whatever you think it is) is not necessarily transformative (witness the recurring breast-beating and self-analysis within hip-hop, people trying to "get hiphop back" or revive it), although it can be.. same for academia.

As far as my own quote, what I was trying to get at was that hip-hop artists have an interesting relationship to law - the stories in lyrics and in personal experience often tend to paint law (in terms of its enforcement) in a negative or troubling way, but simultaneously call on the functioning of law in the music industry to enforce their ability to get paid for music.

And nowadays, the role of law in music industry is doubly vexed: on the one hand good musical practice may require sampling, mixtapes, things that appear in a legal gray area, and beyond that *not thinking about law,* in that artists maybe shouldn't have to (and usually don't) start by considering the legal implications of their musical decisions.

On the other hand, people often assume that getting paid for selling musical recording sis a normal occurrence (despite the reality that it is rarely the case, for reasons that have nothing to do with downloading), which assumes that law is set up in their favor, or at least to give them a fair shake. The reality may be different, but regardless I find it interesting.

Looking at that, I'm not surprised that it wasn't easily compressible into one sentence!