My thoughts on the Stop Online Piracy Act

As a musician, I accept the fact that only about half of the folks who listen to our music have actually paid for it. That's the cost of doing business on the internet. I counter it as best I can by using equal portions of vigilance and guilt, and LPN has netted a pretty penny in album sales over the years. At the same time I realize that we're just chump change. The problems of a rinky-dink unsigned swing band don't amount to a hill of beans in the big time entertainment industry. The executives in charge want EVERY PENNY of what's coming to them, regardless of the fact that digital sales probably offset the cost of theft by cutting production costs nearly in half (why print a CD when you can sell a computer file, which doesn't even exist physically?).

This is nothing new, unfortunately. Frank Zappa spent the eighties fighting the Blank Tape Tax (amongst other ridiculous attempted music legislation). Hey media bigwigs: this shit IS going to happen. Users are going to share files, just like people are going to play DVDs for their friends and football games will be shown in bars. And now that I think of it, how is file-sharing any different than ride-sharing? Should I pay Chrysler a fee every time I have passengers in my car?

Oh, one last thing. I try to be a responsible user. I buy legally whenever feasible, and I resort to bittorrents only when the desired files are either difficult to find or ludicrously expensive (or enormously successful, in which case they won't miss my $12). See? Vigilance and guilt! SOPA is, to use Zappa's words, "an ill-conceived piece of nonsense which... promises to keep the courts busy for years dealing with the interpretational and enforcemental problems inherent in the proposal's design."

The web is world-wide. It's a world wide web, that's what those three W's stand for. Who the fuck are WE to think that we can impose our legislation on the rest of the world?
Buzz Kill

Two-Line Movie Review: Tangled

It's like that scene in Clockwork Orange where Alex and the droogs break into the writer's house, except it's Disney breaking into Dreamworks' house, and as they have their way with the Dreamworks formula they're saying, "THIS is how it's done. You don't need snarky pop-culture references to make a quality family picture. I'm siiinging in the raaaiin..."  Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well.

My favorite character was Maximus the horse.


LPN: Behind the Music

beatnick138 writes in and asks, "Dear Lee: I was just wondering, where would be a good place to get a copy of your Swing is Dead album? I have El Bando En Fuego, and I've seen your live albums in the record stores, but I've never been able to find that particular album. Any suggestions?"

Dear Beatnick: I'd be very happy if every single copy of Swing is Dead were destroyed in the most violent way possible. But since you and others have asked me why I have such animosity toward S.I.D, let me tell you a little story.

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