Why I gave the National Association of Broadcasters, DiMA and CCIA the Shirt off my Back during Congressional Panel
Because it, like, toooootally makes sense that, in the digital era, songwriters are governed by a temporary law passed in 1947!
Originally posted on The Trichordist:
Diverse group of Washington DC lobbyists.
The major webcasters and broadcasters decided to convene a nearly secret last minute congressional panel to urge Congress and the DOJ to keep in place the 73 year old “temporary” consent decree that forces songwriters to let companies like Clear Channel, YouTube, Sirius, Pandora, Amazon and Spotify use our songs without any negotiation whatsoever. The consent decree also empowers a single appointed-for-life federal judge to arbitrarily decide what a “reasonable” rate is for songwriters. In effect we have been forced by federal courts to provide subsidy to corporations that have a combined market cap of more than a trillion dollars.
As I demonstrated in this an earlier post as a songwriter I received less than $17 dollars from Pandora for over a million spins of my song Low.
How is this a “Reasonable” rate?
The panel was hosted by Greg Barnes of…
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Warning – this is a guitar geek post – go no further if you’re not interested in such matters.
I recently spent some time back on my Fender Stratocaster, a guitar I wrote about here, and that feels so incredibly comfortable. I was trying to work out why my strat (a long scale guitar), felt small to me, while my Telecaster (same scale length) felt much longer.
There are a number of factors that go into it, of course:
- neck width – my tele neck profile is thicker
- color – my strat has a rosewood neck, my tele’s is maple – as I look down, the lighter wood is more visible
- radius – my strat has (I think) a 9.5″ radius, where my tele has a compound radius fretboard, which looks wider at the body, because it flattens out
But, of all the variables, I think it comes down to how each guitar hangs on the strap.
Believe it or not, I’ve spent the past few days paying a lot of attention to how I stand and hold each guitar.
On a strat, the strap button is above the 13th fret, on a tele it’s above the 16th fret. And because it has a longer body, my strat hangs kind of diagonally, putting the pickups in front of my right hip, so I tend to pick/strum closer to the neck pickup. Here’s Stevie Ray Vaughan and his strat (no picture credit, unfortunately), showing how the strat’s neck often ends up more diagonal and in front of the body.
The tele, however, hangs more horizontal and puts my picking hand closer to the bridge pickup. Take a look at this picture (credited to Laurie Paladino) of The Boss
[who has been known to play a tele just a few times!]
to see how the telecaster hangs more horizontally and away to the side of the body:
Angling the tele the same way as the strat feels really, really odd. Similarly, angling the strat to the horizontal feels just WRONG!
And, it turns out that the reason these guitars feel so markedly different in size, isn’t down to size, but instead to the fact that my left arm has to extend further out to reach the end of the fretboard on the tele – no matter what height I have the guitar on my body. Interestingly, I also notice that I ‘hunch’ over the strat more when I’m playing, like I’m coiling around it. This isn’t an uncomfortable feeling, it’s kind of warm and centered. I don’t get the same sensation playing the telecaster – it’s a great guitar, but just doesn’t have that mojo I get with the strat.
As I think about spiritual and physical centre, and striving to remain in balance with the energies within me and around me, this all seems to make sense – and perhaps explains why I feel like I’m coming home when I play my strat – or indeed why the guitar seems to have a life of its own.
Either way, it’s just another reminder of how blessed I am to have these instruments in my life, and how grateful for the music they help me channel.
Well, 25 songs in 25 days challenge, that’s a bit of sucker punch, isn’t it? You’re going to force me to listen to, and share, a song that I can’t stand to listen to
[and leave an internet trail of search terms based upon that song so I never hear the end of it!]
It really is not a fair move.
So, I’m going to be cute and say that there are no songs that I’m not willing to give a listen to, though there are some that I will turn off before they get to the end, usually because of lyrical content which I can’t endorse by my listening.
But is there any song I can’t stand to listen to, anything that puts my teeth on edge?
So on Day 22, I’m consciously not sharing a song.
See you tomorrow.