Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Who needs a royalty check?

I sometime feel the focus on copyright enforcement, downloading, etc and what such things can or can't do for musicians is a big trick to distract people from where most of the action happens in the music industry - the recording contract.

Lots of the breast beating over how law-breaking hurts artists is missing the point. The thing is, contracts are the main engine for massively ripping artists off, but they do it completely legally, because American law operates on this fantasy principle that contract negotiations are between individuals even when, as for a lot of music, on one side you have a single person (or three in a band) and on the other side you have a massive multinational corporation with in-house lawyers and years of experience. A counter-example that supports this is session musicians, who tend to be unionized: their bargaining position is better as part of a union and while they may (also) give up their copyrights, they have a much better chance of making steady and decent money. A change in the law isn't what made the difference between the experience of session musicians and the experience of most artistes seeking fame - a change in bargaining power did.

The biggest story should not be the relationship between artists and fans, but between artists and labels - that's where the real power imbalance has been. However, every now and again an artist can get something in a contract that will work in their favor -when it does, who needs a royalty check?

Roxanne Shante's story is a hilarious example

And before anyone tries to use this as an example to say "see, artists CAN negotiate good contracts" her story makes clear that her ability to do that was based in the label's racist, ageist and classist assumptions about what "education" means to a 15-year-old black girl with a baby. Not something we should be counting on, for a few reasons (mainly because I'm sure Warner Bros won't do that again!)

Go on, Roxanne Shante. And I'll definitely be stopping by your vegan ice cream shop (hip-hop ices) when I get to new york next.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fair Use Video Contest

Rebecca Tushnet posted about a Fair Use Video Contest. All you videographers take note and get to sampling!

Fair use video contest

University Film and Video Association Fair Use & Free Speech Contest

UFVA is hosting a contest for the best short documentaries employing fair use, made by higher education students and faculty.

May 1, 2008 Deadline

* First Place Student: $500 & 1 year membership to UFVA

* Second Place Student: $250 & 1 year membership to UFVA

* Best Faculty Video: $250 & 1 year membership to UFVA

Entrants must employ fair use in quoting material in their documentaries, using the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use as a guide to their decision-making.

Download Submission Form here.

Download a Flyer here.

escaping the rain..

There seemingly is no escaping the rain in the Bay Area these days. But spending my time indoors preparing my dissertation prospectus and working on copyright law reform is warming in its own way.

I am thinking ahead to several trips that will likeley be much less rainy..

1) a trip to Los Angeles Feb 28-Mar 2nd.. Anyone in SoCal want to hook me and Kid Kameleon up with a gig or two?

2) Montreal in July! Also looking for gigs there at least around May 29 - June 1, and maybe for a few days on either side of that

3) next fall I am hoping to spend 7 months in Jamaica doing research on creative practices in music (especially observing recording studio sessions), any contacts, hints and suggestions welcome on that one. (actually given last summer's hurricane experience not sure JA will be less rainy, just more concentrated rain)

Monday, January 28, 2008


Just a quick note to say THANK YOU to all come out and rocked the party

we provided CAKE and CANDY and NOISEMAKERS and LITTLE PLASTIC SKULL RINGS oh yeah and MASSIVE BASS and you all did the rest!!

and my apologies:

Apparently the club hired new security - that's part of why the line was so long and moved so slowly.. in the rain, too! SO all of you that stuck it out are even more fantastic than you were for getting in there and warming up the dancefloor from the minute the music started (woo!)

- but I think I made it up to y'all by djing one of my favorite sets in a while. The past crazy week made me really crave some detroit-flavored juke and bouncecore.. which I think I provided, mixed with some garage, dubstep and, well, Ray Charles doing the Mess Around. Because I love it so.

anyway thank you all for making it a great beginning for Surya dub, onward and upward in 2008!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Surya Dub!!!

It's the day after my field exam so you KNOW I will be celebrating..

SURYA DUB 1 Year Anniversary
Bay Area Dubwize Soundclash
Uniting All Dubwize Sounds
Global Dubwize Vibes & Dread Bass Culture

Saturday January 26th 2008 @ Club Six
Get in Free before 10:30pm by signing up at

After a phenomenal 2007 with Best Club Night and Best Club DJ Honors, the Surya Dub crew gets back to business to celebrate our 1 Year Anniversary with an exclusive Bay Area Dubwize Soundclash. As part of our mission to unite all dubwize sounds we have invited members of Bay Area dubstep crews, reggae sounds and worldbeat posse's to show everyone what they got and battle it out on the subwoofers at Club Six.

Needing no introduction is OM records Bay Area bad boy J Boogie who will be throwing down Inna Yard as our special guest. The clash continues in the Sub Hz Den with the Antiserum dropping fresh dubs, Sam Supa! making ya flinch just by looking at you, Nick Argon coming with UK plates, Ivry dropping the dubwize DnB, and Emcee Child hollering at you to get grimey. Also we have a special Electric Vardo Live performance featuring DJ Amar, SoozhyQ on dumbek and tribal bellydancer Freyja. Surya Dub continues to branch out wide and take the underground dance community on a bass-laden joyride of lowend dubwize goodness. It's just the beginning...

J BOOGIE needs to introduction here, having been a staple in the Bay Area DJ scene for over 10 years with production credits on OM Records under his Dubtronic Science moniker. He also hosts Beatsauce on KUSF and is a resident of america's longest running dub event, Dub Mission. J Boogie is one of those special DJs that can run it from reggae to afrobeat, hip hop to house, and latin to bhangra fluidly taking partygoers on a seamless musical journey. Boogs is coming deep with the dubbyness for our 1 year throwdown, ya better believe.

The ANTISERUM remain elusive under several aliases but continue to rise as one of the hottest Bay Area dubstep production outfits. They are ½ of OSC alongside Roommate and they appear on several labels including Steps in time, Mode, & Full Melt. Expect brand new dubs and possibly even some surprise MCing from these boys!

DJ SAM SUPA (Brap Dem+ Grime City + SureFire) With 15 years of djing Sam Supa brings his own flavor to the dance with inspiration from Dub, Lovers Rock, Hip-Hop, Metal and Jungle. He flexes on the decks dropping big tunes with classics in a dynamic mixing style. Last year he played a guestspot with N-Type on UK's Rinse FM and is one of handful of US DJs to play that station. He also throws BRAP DEM and is a resident at SF's longest running Grime and Dubstep night GRIME CITY. Check out his latest mix

Nick Argon has been a staple in the DnB and Dubstep community for over 8 years putting out releases on his Argon imprint from artists such as Matty G, Skynet, & Tes La Rok and remixes by Pinch, Caspa, & Loefah. Argon has been a force for stateside Dubstep and is recognized in the UK and beyond for propa sublow bizness. Also he is fascinated with mechanical timepieces.

IVRY is part of the legendary compression crew which has been going strong for 8 years, as San Francisco's premiere drum and bass weekly. Part of the Formation family, Compression continues to host the world's finest while also featuring some of San Francisco's best DJ's and MC's. Repping the DnB portion of the soundclash Ivry is coming strong with the rubadub rollers for Surya Dub.

Emcee Child has been a staple of underground music in the bay since late 2000, repping for
Narco.Hz & Grime City. Garnering the moniker "the hardest working MC in the Bay", Child performs with a myriad of crews in numerous styles including Hip-hop, D&B and Dubstep. He has been nominated for MC of the year twice on and is recognized as one of the go to MC for Dubstep/Grime across America. He has performed at the legendary DMZ 2 year birthday bash in Brixton alongside the genre's top names.

Sub Hz Den
Dubstep, Dread Bass Breaks & D'n'B, Ragga
Special Guests
the Antiserum (Full Melt, Breaks FM, Steps in Time, Mode)
Sam Supa! (Brap Dem+ Grime City + SureFire) + Guest MC Emcee Child (
Narco.Hz, Grime City)
Nick Argon (Argon Records)
Ivry (Compression)
Plus Residents:
Maneesh the Twister (Surya Dub, Dub Mission, 2007 Best Club DJ SF Guardian), Kush Arora (live dubwize set KAP, Surya Dub), Ripley (havoc sound, Surya Dub), & Kid Kameleon (xlr8r, Surya Dub)

Visuals by DJ Ohashi (Soma Soundsystem, Surya Dub)
plus MC Daddy Frank pon da mic

Inna Yard
Special Guest
J Boogie (OM, KUSF Beatsauce, Dub Mission)
and special Electric Vardo Live performance featuring DJ Amar (Electric Vardo, Surya Dub), SoozhyQ (dumbek, & Freyja (Tribal Belly Dance)

Plus Residents
Ross Hogg & DJ Neta (Ital Selection Hi-Fi, Surya Dub) and Jimmy Love (Non Stop Bhangra, Surya Dub),

Flyer Design by Kai-wen

Club Six
Saturday, January 26th, 2008
60 6th St between Mission & Market

Free before 10:30pm by signing up at / $10 door

21 + | 10:00pm-3:00am

Best Club Night of 2007

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Upcoming events!

In what is getting to be a charming bay area tradition, dj kid kameleon and myself are djing the Electronic Frontier Foundation's birthday party... for the third time!

the EFF are a group you should know about, whose news you should follow, and you should probably join or at least support. They are involved in so much kick-assery on so many levels, and their definition of the public good is pretty unassailable. Who's suing at&t and The Government over wiretapping? the EFF are. Who's working to make sure weird entertainment-industry-created requirements aren't skewing our access to education funding? the EFF are. Who's fighting for educational use, fair use, remixers, public access to knowledge, privacy rights, freedom of speech (blogger's rights!) and the freedom to tinker? These guys. (not alone, of course).

Plus it is seriously the nicest group of people. I have certainly never been in a law firm as filled with cameraderie, humor, good nature, and good taste in TV shows as these guys.

Anyway it's their 17th anniversary, and it's time to get down. This year we have some extra-special guests, in the likes of Bootie's DJs: Adrian and Mysterious D! These folks have been holding down a hysterical mash-up party for years now (check out their hilarious flyer archive), and they know whereof transformative use, lemme tellya.

Also on the decks will be Jimmy Tones and dj Qubitsu.. I hear rumors of nerdcore hip-hop and cracked house..

plus, free CHOCOLATE. I've had it, it's good.

It's $20 donation to EFF at the door, but sliding scale - nobody will be turned away!
so there's no excuse not to come out on
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
7:00 PM - 11:00 PM

111 Minna Gallery
111 Minna Street
San Francisco, California 94105