Sorry, No More Free Music.

For 3.5 years, I offered my entire discography for free download, through the (now gone) Dr. Zoltan website.

Here’s what I was thinking:

1.) I don’t care about my music career.
2.) It’s better for 1,000 people to hear my music for free than it is for 100 people to pay for it.
3.) Most of the great experiences in my life came from handing someone a CD or cassette for free.

Decided not to do it anymore.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the capitalist system of paying for music should be maintained, even in the absence of physical products.

Two simple reasons:

1.) $1 per song is a fair and acceptable system of exchanging value for value. It’s an absurdly low price to pay for a potentially-timeless piece of art.

2.) Free downloading devalues music. In the same way that Netflix devalues movies, and Facebook devalues friendship. The result is endless, superficial browsing rather than a wholesome experience.

I’ve never been a free downloader. I like to pay living artists for their work. When I buy music, I usually buy it on iTunes. It works well. And I’ve enjoyed getting a constant stream of payments from CDBaby over the years, for all those iTunes sales.

Spotify seems to be an OK system. I’ve gotten checks from it already. It’s nice that they keep track, rather than simply exploiting creative people.

I don’t expect the money from my digital sales and streams to ever be impressive, and it’s rarely noticeable. I stopped making “real money” from music in 2007. I just think paying an artist is the honest thing to do. So thank you to the few who have sent me donations over the years. And if you’re one of the people who has downloaded and enjoyed my music for free, PayPal me: mutantmall@mutantmall.com.

From now on, if you want my stuff, you can find out how to pay for it at http://www.carlkingdom.com/music

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No, I Don’t Want To Watch My Thoughts On TV

You can officially consider me an old man, and maybe even a luddite.

I’m not thrilled about this new technology that can supposedly turn your thoughts into video. (Of course, you’ll find out it doesn’t, if you read the article and not just the headline.)

Regardless, the problem is this: the majority of us are full-time spectators. We don’t need more things to watch on TV. Books and art weren’t good enough, because who wants to have to turn a page or walk to the next painting in the museum? And music wasn’t good enough, because who are we supposed to watch dancing while we’re listening to it?

So we’ve ended up with a culture that is addicted to automated visual stimulation. Reload, feed, AJAX, repost, stream, update, animate. Everything’s gotta wiggle. Thanks to computers, we’re losing not only our memory and attention span, but our capacity to imagine. To daydream. To have thoughts that are thoughts.

Aren’t dreams good enough — as they are? Do we really need to connect them to a computer, too?

We’ve achieved so little with what we were born with.

Some will make the TED-like claim that this changes everything. But it really doesn’t.

Like most technology, it will be used for generating more advertising revenue and bad entertainment.

So let’s first solve the problems that our greatest thinkers were addressing hundreds, even thousands of years ago. The problems that won’t go away until we discover a basic technology called self-control.

That would be a “historic experiment.”

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PODCAST EPISODE 010: Dale Turner (Instructor at Musicians Institute, Guitar World Columnist, Transcriptionist)

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Guitar Guru, Dale Turner, currently an instructor at Hollywood’s Musicians Institute and Guitar World magazine columnist, talks about his days as a guitar books/magazine transcriptionist, his lawless teenage efforts to Promote Vaiism, and his album Mannerisms Magnified — on which he played every instrument himself.

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From his website:

The former West Coast Editor (1996-2007) of the now defunct Guitar One magazine, in addition to working as a performing/recording musician and producing engineer, Dale Turner is an instructor at Hollywood’s Musician’s Institute (where he teaches Jimi Hendrix-style rhythm guitar improvisation, music theory/ear training, sight-reading, and rhythmic independence for the singing guitarist), and author of 50+ instructional books/transcription folios (his latest being Power Plucking – A Rocker’s Guide to Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar). He also writes a monthly acoustic guitar column for Guitar World magazine, and is featured in their Lick of the Day App. for iPhone/iPad.

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Play On The Sir Millard Mulch 30th Anniversary Tribute!

Ever heard of a song called, “The Boy With The Perfectly Square Butthole” by Sir Millard Mulch?

Probably not. It’s not available anywhere.

Ever PLAYED on “The Boy With The Perfectly Square Butthole?”

Here’s your chance!

The song was originally recorded 30 YEARS AGO TODAY on September 12, 1997.It was printed on a 100-run of cassettes and later, an out-of-print CD called “50 Intellectually Stimulating Themes From A Cheap Amusement Park For Robots & Aliens, Vol. 1.”

It’s a song about alienation, naivety, and the pride that can only come from two parallel lines and another pair of parallel lines placed perpendicular to those, between two buttocks. (It’s kind of Masonic.)

Here’s what to do:

1.) Download the guide track: http://soundcloud.com/mutantmall-com/perfectlysquare_guide
2.) Play along with it. On any instrument. Or vocals. Or any kind of noise you can make.
3.) Email your tracks or a link to your tracks (with the guide removed) to: contests@carlkingdom.com.

Rules:

• You must follow the original form, tempo, and lyrics of the song.
• That means someone is going to have to sing it. Scary, huh? Male, female, we don’t care.
• You can add fills, weird beats, displacements, metric modulations, harmonies, etc. Do whatever you want. You can program it, play it, just make it good. Finally.
• Any recording quality is accepted.
• You know that part where the drums and bass get all weird with pointillism? Do a solo there. Or play something steady so someone else can solo. Go crazy, or don’t.
• If you can figure out how to be creative while still meshing with unknown tracks, you will probably win. You can submit as many tracks and instruments as you’d like.
• It’s not a bad song, but it can be better. So make it better. Surprise us.

This contest is open to anyone, unless Carl King doesn’t like you.

In TWO WEEKS from today (9/26/11), the best tracks will be cleaned up and mixed together by Carl King and released as a commemorative download. The song was written in one evening, so don’t whine. Winners will have their name / band promoted and receive a very special T-shirt.

It will be official. You can say you worked with Sir Millard Mulch. You can put it in parenthesis after your name, like this:

Your Name (Sir Millard Mulch, Some Other Boring Band, Some Stupid Girl With Rich Parents)

EXCITING BONUS QUESTION: What if not enough people participate?
ANSWER: Carl King will hire a well-known musician to play the remaining parts. Who could it be?

Good luck!

Carl Kingdom / The Marketing Department
news@carlkingdom.com
http://www.carlkingdom.com
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http://www.twitter.com/carlking
http://carlkingdom.tumblr.com

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