Time, Music and Space (or How To Audition a Drummer) – Part 1

The subject of time is fascinating and central to the act of creating, performing and experiencing music.  Time, to me, is the most important element that separates music from many of the visual arts.  For example, we can experience a painting as quickly as we wish.  We can see the entire painting in a second or less.  If we spend 10 seconds, 30 seconds or 2 minutes looking at the painting, we can comprehend even more about the subject, scope or meaning of the painting.  (I’ll go no further with the discussion of the “painting” now because those last three nouns of the last sentence – subject, scope and meaning – mean too much and delving into them could lead this post off the tracks).

But, visual art can be perceived quickly.  The initial one second we spend looking at a painting can reveal much.

On the other hand, the initial one second of a music recording usually reveals very little.  Listening to the opening of my 40 minute orchestral composition will leave one knowing nothing about the music, its style(s), textures, drama, delight, anger, abstractness, associations, tone colors, etc.  And LOUDNESS.  That too is an artistic element that is often not important in visual art.


All of this brings me to a small part of experiencing time.  One of the aspects of time that we rarely consider is the space between sounds.  In most popular music, we are hearing chords, melody and rhythm at virtually in almost every second of a recording.

What fascinates me and what I often investigate are the spaces where we are NOT hearing melodies and/or chords.  Where these sounds have stopped and silence has been inserted.  (Of course there is no such thing as “silence,” but let’s dissect the presence or lack of presence with respect to almost-silence, the intended lack of musical attacks.)

For example, there are great places in a few recordings where the sound and pulse come to an end.  Usually this is only a second or a few seconds but the lack of drums / lack of drummer / lack of percussion can be suspenseful – why is there this unusual space in this musical context?  In most popular music, this space – this quiet, empty space – is infrequent and often undesirable to many.

To me, this quiet, space is usually just the opposite – something intriguing and exciting for my consciousness.  I long to hear what will come after the  but really enjoy the sudden silence of the space.  I get to play a guessing game as to what will come next – a repeat of something earlier, something different, much different, or is this sudden sadness, i.e. the unexpected and unwanted end of the music?

I value a drummer who can maintain a solid tempo – the tempo is consistent and solidly underpass the rest of the instruments and music.

To cut to the chase and refer back to the title of this post – this is one way in which I want to audition a drummer – play the music that leads up to this break (in sound, hear the almost silence of the break in sound, and then hear if the drummer (and others) can reenter

1.  at the precise time point and

2.  at the precise tempo

Did the drummer “rush” the silence and come in too soon?  Too late?

Did the drummer stay in the same tempo as the tempo that had preceded the silence?

Was the tempo after the break the same?  Slightly faster?  Slightly slower?

The examples below demonstrate these sudden silences followed by a reentry of musicians, with the drummer being perhaps the most important of the musicians:

The Beach Boys  –  The Little Girl I Once Knew   at 0.31 – 0.36 and again at 1.08 – 1.13.

Weather Report  –  Port Of Entry  The music at 2.23 – 2.28 foreshadows what will happen at 4.30 – 4.39 with the fabulous end at 4.57.

Dire Straits  –  Why Worry  (1.04 – 1.08;   2.44 – 2.48;  4.23 – 4.27)  Note that the reentry of musicians at the end of these breaks is on an upbeat and not the more normal and expected downbeat.

The Beatles  –  Martha My Dear  (no drum set until 1.00 – can the drummer come in in the right tempo when s/he joins at 1.00)  (There seems to no longer be a link to “Martha My Dear.”)

Twitter In The Classes I Am Creating

The Almost-100, Arnold Schoenberg, and the not-so-sad omission of business, communications and the arts

One of my pursuits these days (August 2014) is creating, designing, reconfiguring, ratcheting up a few new courses in intellectual property, a survey of the music & entertainment industry, social media & marketing in music/video/IP, and business and legal issues helping and hindering music get created, disseminated and experienced.

All of these classes will deal significantly with technology, business, law and music (how could they not?).  I could add words like “communication” and “arts” too but I often use words like “technology” to subsume “business” and “communication,” and “entertainment” to subsume “art” and “arts.”  (With my classical music pedigree, I should NEVER associate “art” or “arts” with “entertainment.”  One of my heroes, Arnold Schoenberg, in his past writings set me straight on that (but I veered off the ranch twenty + years ago):

“If it is art it is not for all and if it is for all it is not art”

or something similar but identical in sentiment.)  (One of my favorite Schoenberg compositions is “Summer Morning By A Lake,” the third of his “Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 16” from 1909.


In my Twitter account, I have created eleven (11) lists that cover all of my interests.  Since 2008 I have required students to read what certain Twitter users post.  I provide a list of these Twitterers in each syllabus.  What I want to do now is create a shortened master list of Twitterers from which I can extract subsets that would work in any one, two, three or more of seven or eight classes.

The “rules” and “preconditions that must be met” in order to fall into this list of less-than-100-favorite Twitter authors include:

1.  It intrigues me.

2.  I find it compelling (out of Spinal Tap context, “compelling” can have positive associations).

3.  I’m inspired to act and think (refined people “think ” and then “act”).

4.  I might disagree with what is expressed but it is original and/or important.

5.  It came to mind first when I thought to compile a list of less-than-100.  (Spontaneity, impulse and fast matter when it comes to action, wonderment and ponder-ment.)

(However:  A few of these Twitterers are not at all inspiring (and perhaps pompous and verbose) but most people of a field seem to read these and it is OK sometimes to have some things in common with most people – these form a sort of vernacular canon.)

Here are The Almost-100:


































































































And with extra-special secret code placed to the right, The Almost-100 looks like this:

twitter.com/adage Tech
twitter.com/Adweek Tech
twitter.com/alisternburg IP
twitter.com/allsongs MusEnt
twitter.com/AppStore Tech
twitter.com/arslaw IP
twitter.com/arstechnica Tech
twitter.com/bbosker Tech
twitter.com/beatallica MusEnt
twitter.com/berkmancenter A 3
twitter.com/BigChampagne Tech
twitter.com/BIInsights Tech
twitter.com/billboard MusEnt
twitter.com/Billboardbiz MusEnt
twitter.com/Billboardglenn MusEnt
twitter.com/BoingBoing Tech
twitter.com/BradPaisley MusEnt
twitter.com/BrightTALK A 3
twitter.com/CenCom Tech
twitter.com/CopyrightLaw IP
twitter.com/davekusek MusEnt
twitter.com/deborahfgoldman IP
twitter.com/Digg A MT
twitter.com/Digitalmusicnws MusEnt
twitter.com/disco_project A 3
twitter.com/EdFelten Tech
twitter.com/eff IP
twitter.com/emh2625 A 3
twitter.com/Entlawupdate MusEnt
twitter.com/FCC Tech
twitter.com/future_of_music MusEnt
twitter.com/Gizmodo Tech
twitter.com/Gleonhard Tech
twitter.com/Grooveshark MusEnt
twitter.com/GuyKawasaki Tech
twitter.com/Harvard_Law IP
twitter.com/HarvardBiz Tech
twitter.com/HowardKnopf IP
twitter.com/Hypebot A MT
twitter.com/IndustryEars MusEnt
twitter.com/InternetLaw IP
twitter.com/IPHandbook IP
twitter.com/IPLawAlerts IP
twitter.com/ipwatch IP
twitter.com/Jasonkincaid Tech
twitter.com/kisbell IP
twitter.com/KristNovoselic MusEnt
twitter.com/Larrymagid Tech
twitter.com/Lefsetz MusEnt
twitter.com/lessig A 3
twitter.com/ManagementTip Tech
twitter.com/mashable Tech
twitter.com/mgeist IP
twitter.com/mollywood Tech
twitter.com/MosesAvalon MusEnt
twitter.com/MrChuckD MusEnt
twitter.com/MusicRow MusEnt
twitter.com/NME MusEnt
twitter.com/nprmusic MusEnt
twitter.com/Nytimesarts MusEnt
twitter.com/Nytimesbits Tech
twitter.com/nytimestech Tech
twitter.com/Pitchforkmedia MusEnt
twitter.com/Pogue Tech
twitter.com/redbull MusEnt
twitter.com/ResourceMusic MusEnt
twitter.com/ReverbNation MusEnt
twitter.com/RollingStone MusEnt
twitter.com/rosannecash MusEnt
twitter.com/SAI Tech
twitter.com/shadesofsolveig Tech
twitter.com/sivers A MT
twitter.com/Slashdot Tech
twitter.com/SonyLegacyRecs MusEnt
twitter.com/spotify MusEnt
twitter.com/sree A MT
twitter.com/StitcherRadio A 3
twitter.com/Taylorswift13 MusEnt
twitter.com/Taylortrask A MT
twitter.com/tbquirk A MT
twitter.com/TechCrunch Tech
twitter.com/Tedtalks A 3
twitter.com/Terrymcbride MusEnt
twitter.com/ThatEricAlper MusEnt
twitter.com/theonion MusEnt
twitter.com/THR MusEnt
twitter.com/THREsq A 3
twitter.com/Timwestergren MusEnt
twitter.com/tmbg MusEnt
twitter.com/torrentfreak A 3
twitter.com/variety MusEnt
twitter.com/verge A MT
twitter.com/waltmossberg Tech
twitter.com/wired Tech
twitter.com/WSJD Tech
twitter.com/ZDNet Tech
twitter.com/zittrain A 3

Perhaps the above should be annotated so as to make for more clarity.  In fact, I began but never finished or published an annotated post about great Twitterers to follow more than a year ago.  I think I will save those thoughts for class and spend that writing-annotating time better.

I can imagine negative reactions to a few of The Almost-100 above:

Just why should anyone read Taylor Swift?

Doesn’t Bob Lefsetz assault us enough every day?

Why read a young lawyer who has not even passed the bar?

Read Torrentfreak?  Are you pushing crime or somethin’?


Wishing everyone everywhere a happy Sunday.  Annuit Coeptis.

Why 10 Ft Ganja Plant, Gibson Brothers, Booth Brothers & James Ingram Should Sue Rick Ross For Copyright Infringement


Today we turn the tables and illustrate a few recordings released prior to Rick Ross’ Hustlin’ (2006) which also feature the lyric, “Everyday I”m.”  Using the soft and breezy music of The Gibson Brothers, gospel music of The Booth Brothers, the cannabis reggae-tinged music of 10 Ft. Ganja Plant and the sexy love stylings of James Ingram we will turn the tables on Rick Ross and illustrate why Rick Ross can be sued for copyright infringement.

I want to get back to the foolish and unwise copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Rick Ross and his attorneys.  I have no doubt that Rick Ross’ lawyers (had they not been Rick Ross’ lawyers but lawyers for someone else), with their musical knowledge and legal reasoning, could find many reasons to sue Rick Ross for his “theft” of “everyday I’m” from a few earlier artists.  “Everyday I’m,” which they’ve turned against LMFAO, could just as easily be turned against them.

For another post or two I’ll continue discussing the stupidity of the Rick Ross v. LMFAO copyright infringement lawsuit that’s appeared in past posts – March 26, 2014 and April 1, 2014.  Even though I posted that on April 1, it was not originally intended as an April Fools’ Day joke/prank/punk unless it was Freudian.

To summarize – Rick Ross’ Hustlin’ (2006) sued LMFAO alleging that Party Rock Anthem (2011) infringed Hustlin’ (2006).  Factually, the most prominent similarity between the two songs are the two (2) common and uncopyrightable words, “everyday” and “I’m.”  Rick Ross, however, cannot claim copyright in these two (2) words.  But he sued anyway.  In my April 1, 2014  post, I sarcastically (and disrespectfully) made the claim that there are even more artists for Rick Ross to sue for “stealing” Rick Ross’ words, “Everyday I’m:”

Maysa, in her song, Grateful (2008) sings “everyday I’m” at 3.04 – 3.07.

Jeremy Fisher, in his song, Come Fly Away (2010) sings “everyday I’m” at 0.25 – 0.29.

Little Big, in their song,  Everyday I’m Drinking (2013) sing “everyday I’m” eighteen (18) times.

A few recordings released prior to Rick Ross’ Hustlin’ (2006) also feature the lyric, “Everyday I”m.”  These copyright owners, using the Rick Ross standard of originality (at odds with the Copyright Law of the United States), could just as illogically sue Rick Ross for infringing their “Everyday I’m” two (2) words without permission.  To paraphrase from Rick Ross’ lawsuit against LMFAO, these artists could sue Rick Ross and claim that Rick Ross

“…copied, interpolated the lyrics, underlying music and beat of …”  (fill in the blank with each new plaintiff’s song title.

We will now illustrate why The Gibson Brothers (2005), The Booth Brothers (2001), 10 Ft Ganja Plant (1999) and James Ingram (1999)  can sue Rick Ross for stealing “everyday I”m.”

I was recently interviewed about music copyright issues at Berklee on Boylston in Boston (BOBIB) and the foolishness of the Rick Ross lawsuit against LMFAO came up.   The 45-minute Faculty Open House Clinic interview can be viewed here.


Let’s Sue Rick Ross


1.  The Gibson Brothers

The Gibson Brothers’ island-y escape to sunshine anthem, Sunshine, was released in 2005.  One of my favorite aspects of the song is its shifting keys.  It is in C minor until the second half of each chorus when the surprising modulation (or tonicization or temporary key change) to the very unlikey key of A minor happens. The duration of the seven (7) sections of  Sunshine (2005) are below:

Key of C minor:  0.00    Key of A minor:  1.00    Key of C minor:  1.16    Key of A minor:  2.09

Key of C minor:  2.25    Key of A minor:  3.18    Key of C minor:  3.34

But back to the “everyday I’m” issue at hand – Listen for the lyric, “everyday I’m,” which is heard prominently at the opening of the second verse of Sunshine (2005):

1.25 – 1.29  Everyday I’m (dreaming)

That’s it!  Just one (1) statement of “everyday I’m” by The Gibson Brothers but their single statement of “everyday I’m” was released before Rick Ross recorded and released his “everyday I’m.”

2.  The Booth Brothers

This performance of The Booth Brothers’ gospel song, Still Feeling Fine from 2001, contains six (6) statements of “everyday I’m.”  (There are also, from an ethnomusicological point of view, fascinating approaches to rhythm displayed by many in the audience who seem to want to clap and articulate different rhythmic points within each measure, most often not on downbeats.  Perhaps there is a predilection for beats 1 and 3).

The Booth Brothers’ “Everyday I’m (climbing)” statements are prominent and heard at least six (6) times:

0.42 – 0.44  Everyday I’m (climbing)

1.32 – 1.34  Everyday I’m (climbing)

1.52 – 1.54  Everyday I’m (climbing)

2.12 – 2.14  Everyday I’m (climbing)

2.59 – 3.01  Everyday I’m (climbing)

3.19 – 3.21  Everyday I’m (climbing)

The Booth Brothers’ Still Feeling Fine  (2001) was released before Rick Ross recorded and released his “everyday I’m.”

3.  10 Ft. Ganja Plant

10 Ft. Ganja Plant released their Top Down (1999) and it too is another of these “Everyday I’m” songs.  10 Ft. Ganja Plant’s Top Down (1999) features “Everyday I’m (working).” And, yes, Rick Ross may have copied from 10 Ft. Ganja Plant as well as The Gibson Brothers and The Booth Brothers.

1.54 – 1.57  “everyday I’m working”

10 Ft. Ganja Plant’s Top Down (1999) was released before Rick Ross recorded and released his “everyday I’m.”

4.  James Ingram

Sexy love songs.  James Ingram.  There must be hundreds of concatenations of words, “sexy love songs” and “James Ingram.”

Everyday I’m (in love)  –  James Ingram (1999)

James Ingram  –  I Believe In Those Love Songs  (1999)

1.35 – 1.39  everyday I’m (in love)

James Ingram’s I Believe In Those Love Songs (1999)was released before Rick Ross recorded and released his “everyday I’m.”


In a future post, I might also show that The Supremes & The Temptations (as a duet), as well as The Beatles could also sue Rick Ross.  Or I might finally get to writing about bassoons, english horns and future record labels named, “Google” “Samsung,” “Nokia” and “iTunes Records.”


Will Rick Ross Sue Other Artists For Copyright Infringement?


Everyday I’m Verbing (i.e., using a verb)

Three More (potential) Copyright Infringement Lawsuits Over The 2 Words That Rick Ross Thinks He Owns – “Everyday I’m.”

Music of Jeremy Fisher, Little Big, Maysa and Rick Ross.


In my post from Wednesday, March 26, 2014, I discussed the music copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Rick Ross against LMFAO reported by the Hollywood Reporter.

I mentioned the COMPLAINT filed by Rick Ross’ attorneys and especially the first sentence in the COMPLAINT that mentioned “music” or “lyrics:”

‘Party Rock Anthem’ copies, interpolates the lyrics, underlying music and beat of ‘Hustlin’…”

I analyzed Rick Ross’ Hustlin’ (2006) and LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem (2011) and took issue with the allegations in Rick Ross’ complaint, specifically that sentence from The Complaint.  My conclusions about that loaded sentence included:

1. Party Rock Anthem did NOT copy the lyrics of ‘Hustlin’…”

2.  Party Rock Anthem did NOT copy the underlying music of ‘Hustlin’…”

3.  Party Rock Anthem did NOT copy the beat of ‘Hustlin’…”

4.  Party Rock Anthem did NOT interpolate the lyrics of ‘Hustlin’…”

5.  Party Rock Anthem did NOT interpolate the underlying music of ‘Hustlin’…”

6.  Party Rock Anthem did NOT interpolate the beat of ‘Hustlin’…”

7.  Party Rock Anthem did NOT copy, interpolate the lyrics of ‘Hustlin’…”

8.  Party Rock Anthem did NOT copy, interpolate the underlying music of ‘Hustlin’…”

9.  Party Rock Anthem did NOT copy, interpolate the beat of ‘Hustlin’…”


I mentioned that I had a few suggestions for Rick Ross’ attorneys, suggestions are based on the following:

1.  The infamous Rick Ross sentence –

‘Party Rock Anthem’ copies, interpolates the lyrics, underlying music and beat of ‘Hustlin’…”

– from the COMPLAINT is  inaccurate.  In the nine (9) points above, I refute the allegations by Rick Ross.  The best but farfetched scenario for Rick Ross would be that LMFAO copied two uncopyrightable words – “everyday I’m.”

2.  Rick Ross sang “everyday I’m” in 2006.

3.  LMFAO sang “everyday I’m” in 2011 and were sued by Rick Ross because of their use of “everyday I’m.”

4.  The artist, Maysa, sang “everyday I’m” in 2008, AFTER Rick Ross.

5.  The artist, Jeremy Fisher, sang “everyday I’m” in 2010, AFTER Rick Ross.

6.  The band, “Little Big,” sang “everyday I’m” in 2013, AFTER Rick Ross.

7.  Using a minuscule degree of perspicacity similar to that used to sue LMFAO, it would follow that Rick Ross could initiate three (3) more copyright infringement lawsuits against the artists above.  As with the case against LMFAO, suspension of credibility and rationality would be an important consideration before filing these lawsuits as well.


Let’s identify the new lawsuits that could be filed against Maysa, Jeremy Fisher and Little Big for using the two (2) Rick Ross copyrighted words,

“everyday I’m.”


1.  Maysa

Maysa released Grateful in 2008.  Maysa clearly sings “everyday I’m” at 3.04 – 3.07.

In my opinion, Maysa does NOT copy, interpolate the lyrics, underlying music and beat of ‘Hustlin’.”  But if Rick Ross can sue LMFAO who have also not copied or interpolated ‘Hustlin’,” I would expect him to sue others, such as Maysa, who have used the same non-copyrightable words, “everyday I’m.”

To the best of my knowledge, Maysa has not yet been sued by Rick Ross.


2.  Jeremy Fisher

Jeremy Fisher released Come Fly Away in 2010.  Jeremy Fisher clearly sings “everyday I’m” at 0.25 – 0.29.  In context, “everyday I’m” is heard within:

“Like a sparrow on a wire, singing the same song everyday, I’m feeling restless but I’m tired…”

In my opinion, Jeremy Fisher does NOT copy, interpolate the lyrics, underlying music and beat of ‘Hustlin’.”  But if Rick Ross can sue LMFAO who have also not copied or interpolated ‘Hustlin’,” I would expect Rick Ross and his attorneys to sue Jeremy Fisher and others who have used the same uncopyrightable words, “everyday I’m.”

To the best of my knowledge, Jeremy Fisher has not yet been sued by Rick Ross.


Now Comes Big & Blatant Copyright Infringement (by Rick Ross standards)


3.  Little Big

When Rick Ross and his imaginative lawyers hear Little Big with their loud and multiple “everyday I’m” statements, they’ll know that they are in Plaintiff Heaven as Little Big have so boldly gone where LMFAO so daintily tread.

Little Big released  Everyday I’m Drinking in 2013.  Little Big clearly sing “everyday I’m” eighteen (18) times!  Or, as Rick Ross’ attorneys might state it,

“Little Big’s Everyday I’m Drinking (2013) copies, interpolates the lyrics, underlying music and beat of Rick Ross’ Hustlin’ (2006)…”

Listen to Little Big’s Everyday I’m Drinking (2013) and one clearly hears “everyday I’m” eighteen (18) times.  If Rick Ross owns copyright in “everyday I’m” as his lawyers have alleged in their COMPLAINT, then this is the quintessential copyright infringement goldmine (“We struck gold!“) for them.

0.39  everyday I’m (drinking)

0.40  everyday I’m (drinking)

0.42  everyday I’m (drinking) (I’m drinking) everyday

0.45  everyday I’m (drinking)

0.46  everyday I’m (drinking)

0.48  everyday I’m (drinking) (I’m drinking) everyday

1.06  everyday I’m (drinking)

1.07  everyday I’m (drinking)

1.09  everyday I’m (drinking) (I’m drinking) everyday

1.13  everyday I’m (drinking)

1.14  everyday I’m (drinking)

1.16  everyday I’m (drinking) (I’m drinking) everyday

2.15  everyday I’m (drinking)

2.16  everyday I’m (drinking)

2.18  everyday I’m (drinking) (I’m drinking) everyday

2.21  everyday I’m (drinking)

2.22  everyday I’m (drinking)

2.24  everyday I’m (drinking) (I’m drinking) everyday

In my opinion, Little Big do NOT copy, interpolate the lyrics, underlying music and beat of ‘Hustlin’.”  But if Rick Ross can sue LMFAO who have also not copied or interpolated ‘Hustlin’,” I would expect him to sue others, such as Little Big, who have used the same not copyrightable words, “everyday I’m.”

To the best of my knowledge, Little Big have not yet been sued by Rick Ross.


What do you think about these potential lawsuits for potential plaintiff (again) Rick Ross?  It cannot be denied that Rick Ross sang/expressed “everyday I’m” before LMFAO, Maysa, Jeremy Fisher and Little Big.

Rick Ross has not yet sued Maysa or Jeremy Fisher.  Maysa and Jeremy Fisher, like LMFAO, barely use the words, “everyday I’m” in their songs.

But Little Big….  In Facebook-ese expression:  Wow.  Oh.  Wow.  Little Big have intentionally, forcefully and boisterously sung the Rick Ross words, “Everyday I’m,” six times in every one of their choruses throughout their song, Everyday I’m Drinking (2013).  Based on Rick Ross’ lawyers’ logic I’m surprised that Little Big have gone unsued and unscathed for this long.

As I hinted in my previous post (Wednesday, March 26, 2014), Rick Ross may, however, be sued for his original expression in Hustlin’ (2006).

The points of these posts are simply to examine expression from the viewpoints of originality, creativity and law, and critique musical/textual/legal arguments espoused by others.  (I am not a party to this lawsuit or affiliated with any party in this lawsuit.  Therefore, I feel it is appropriate to weigh in on the matters presented above.)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Mahavishnu Orchestra, John Lennon, The Band, The Rolling Stones, Chieftains, Van Morrison, Govinda & Mary & Mars



Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2014

Music of The Band, The Chieftains, Govinda, Mary & Mars, John McLaughlin & The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Van Morrison and The Rolling Stones are featured below.

For St. Patrick’s Day, I have compiled six (6) musical works I own that are in a very direct or indirect way pertinent to Ireland, Irish music or St. Patrick’s Day.  I am of Irish descent – lots of it – and take pride in this day when millions wear green and pretend to be irish, or at least use March 17 as an excuse to ingest green colored drinks and foods.

Very oddly I’ve only used one Chieftains recording in this post.  If I do another March 17 St. Patrick’s Day post in 2015, I’ll have to atone for that sin.

I wanted to incude Louis Armststrong’s great Irish Black Bottom with his free and swinging interpolation of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” but couldn’t find a high enough audio quality recording on YouTube.  My recording is from Satchmo’s excellent The Complete Hot Five And Hot Seven Recordings [Disc 1]

The best known of the following recordings (recordings, not songs) is probably John Lennon’s Luck Of The Irish an unabashedly pro-Irish/anti-English political diatribe.  (I’ll resist the temptation to be political here – John Lennon did it for me!)


Govinda – Celtica

Composed by Shane O’Madden – from the Govinda album, “O Earthly Gods.”

The Rolling Stones & The Chieftains – The Rocky Road To Dublin

If you only had one means to learn about the music of Jamaica, I’d recommend Bob Marley.  If you had only one means to learn about the music of Ireland, I’d recommend The Chieftains.

I especially like The Rolling Stones’ agitated and fun insertion/interpolation of “Satisfaction” at 1.07 – 1.22.

The Band & Van Morrison – Tura Lura Lura (That’s An Irish Lullaby)

This unique version, sung by The Band’s Richard Manuel along with guest Van Morrison, is from The Band’s fantastic farewell concert/film, The Last Waltz.  One can watch the performance here.

John McLaughlin & The Mahavishnu Orchestra – A Lotus On Irish Streams

The Inner Mounting Flame was an album of genius and astounding virtuosity that inspired and guided me ever since it was released.  The album is not very “Irish” except for the title of this one musical work, A Lotus On Irish Streams.  To me, this is a just a great excuse to highlight John McLaughlin, Jerry Goodman, Billy Cobham, Jan Hammer and Rick Laird (who is from Ireland!).

John Lennon – Luck Of The Irish

This is a brilliant, cutting and direct account of Ireland’s fate at the hands of the English.


If you had the luck of the Irish

You’d be sorry and wish you were dead

You should have the luck of the Irish

And you’d wish you was English instead


A thousand years of torture and hunger

Drove the people away from their land

A land full of beauty and wonder

Was raped by the British brigands!  God damn, God damn!

Mary & Mars – Ireland’s Green Shores

Songwriter, composer, mandolinist, vocalist Sharon Gilchrist of Mary & Mars is a friend, great musician and former student of mine.  That would be reason enough to include her here, except that Mary & Mars’ Ireland’s Green Shores is a very nice work!


Alphabetically by artist – isn’t alphabetically by artist usually a great way of experiencing a collection of songs?

The Band & Van Morrison – Tura Lura Lura (That’s An Irish Lullaby)

Govinda – Celtica 

John Lennon – Luck Of The Irish

Mary & Mars – Ireland’s Green Shores

John McLaughlin & The Mahavishnu Orchestra – A Lotus On Irish Streams

The Rolling Stones & The Chieftains – The Rocky Road To Dublin


My Take On Pearl Jam’s Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town


If I have only heard a band in a random, unplanned fashion, I feel I do not know their music.  For me, getting to know music requires careful listening, analysis and transcription.  In the fall of 1993, when Pearl Jam were on the covers of TIME MagazineMUSICIAN Magazine, and SPIN Magazine, I decided it was time to spend study Pearl Jam and the music, lyrics and structure of their new album, Vs.  This took about 12 hours but was time very well spent.  (Had I not found the music interesting, my initial Pearl Jam phase would have ended as soon as the CD ended.)

Pearl Jam – Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town

Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town  is a beautiful but poignant portrait of a woman who has lived her entire life in the same small town.   While working at the diner, she meets someone she once knew.  This encounter triggers recollections and daydreams –

“lifetimes are catching up with me…all these changes taking places…wish I’d seen the place…no one’s ever taken me…”

and is the first hint of the woman’s dissatisfaction with her lot in life.  She never had an objective perspective on the small town where she was raised –

“wish I’d seen the place”

and is saddened that

“no one’s ever taken me”

a possible reference to the fact that she is probably not married and/or was not rescued from her destiny.

She at first doesn’t recognize the customer;  when she does, she hopes that he doesn’t recognize her as she is embarrassed by her fate in life.   She wants to be able to tell him something positive about herself, for example, that she is now accomplished, successful or happy.  As soon as she gets to this, she freezes, saying,

“I’m not my former…

it’s hard when you’re stuck up on the shelf”

realizing that she may be her former self or, in any event, did not change enough to merit talking about it.  She may have once been young and beautiful with a promising future, one who was placed on a pedestal, although more correctly, she was

“stuck up on the shelf”

one who could not or did not develop.

“I changed by not changing at all…small town predicts my fate, perhaps that’s what no one wants to see…”

Her frustration and yet resolve with the immediate situation continue:

“I just want to scream…hello.  My God, it’s been so long…never dreamed you’d return, but now here you are and here I am…” 

When she sings the chorus for the final time

“hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away”

it is initially in the same tone of voice and the same musical register as the verse.  But then, as she realizes that she has accepted her fate and must be realistic, the song returns to its original somber feel and lower musical register.  The song continues to repeat the chorus, getting softer and quieter each time until the end of the song.  The song and the woman have said all that they could.

Names Of Songs Used As Names Of Bands – Can’t Think Of A Name For Your Band, Copy One


Even though many do not believe this and suffer the fear and trepidation over the subject of copyright and copyright protection, it is LEGAL and COMMON to copy a name and use it as another name.  In fact, copyright does NOT protect names, titles, or short phrases or expressions.

It is common to copy MOVIE titles and use them as titles of television episodes.  I addressed this in a discussion of names of movies used as names of Dexter episodes.

It is common to copy SONG titles and use them as titles of television episodes.  I addressed this in a discussion of names of songs used as names of Dexter episodes.


These could be considered examples of referencing – a title has been referenced by its use as another title.  These could be considered examples of copying – a title has been copied and used as another title.

Listed below are some of the categories and specific names that are NOT copyright protected:

Names of businesses Comcast, Xfinity, Dupont, Monsanto, Apple, Samsung, Honda, L.L. Bean, etc.

Names of organizationsAFL-CIO, Major League Baseball, Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Boston Red Sox, etc.

Names of performing groups –  Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Broken Bells, Bob Marley, Arctic Monkeys, Daft Punk, Neil Young, etc.

Names of title of works Alien, Animal House, Citizen Kane, Things Fall Apart, Pride and Prejudice, Life of Pi, Take Five, Ring Of Fire, A Hard Day’s Night, etc.

Advertising slogansHey Mikey…He Likes It; Don’t Leave Home Without It; Got Milk; A Diamond Is Forever; Plop Plop Fizz Fizz, etc.

List of ingredients – butter, eggs, flour, milk, salt, baking powder, mild cheddar cheese, frozen chopped spinach, chopped onion and salt


4 Tbsp  butter

3 eggs

1 c flour

1 c milk

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 pound mild cheddar,  grated

2 packages frozen chopped spinach  (thawed and drained)

1 Tbsp chopped onion  (optional)

seasoned salt  (optional)

The documentation – Circular 34 – from the U. S. Copyright Office describing this lack of copyright protection is found here and the first link of this sentence.


These are examples of referencing – a title has been referenced by its use as another title.  These could be considered examples of copying – a title has been copied and used as another title.


The titles of the following thirteen (13) songs did NOT sacrifice their lives for (but did spawn) second lives as names of bands.  Re-using a name is respectable, common, copyright-legal and in keeping with the traditions of many societies.


1.  Beatles Hello Goodbye (1967) was used for band name, Hello Goodbye.

2.  Black Sabbath After Forever (1971) was used for band name, After Forever.

3.  Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band Death Cab For Cutie (1967) was used for band name, Death Cab For Cutie.

4.  Dave Brubeck Take Five (1959) was used for band name, Take 6.

5.  Bob Dylan Ballad Of Frankie Lee And Judas Priest (1967) was used for band name, Judas Priest.

6.  Inside Out Rage Against The Machine (1991) was used for band name, Rage Against The Machine.

7.  Tommie Johnson Canned Heat Blues (1928) was used for band name, Canned Heat.

8.  New Edition Boys To Men (1988) was used for band name, Boyz II Men.

9.  Queen Radio Ga Ga” (1984) was used for artist name, Lady Gaga.

10.  Steely Dan Deacon Blues (1977) was used for artist name, Deacon Blue.

11.  Talking Heads Radio Head (1986) was used for band name, Radiohead.

12.  Talking Heads The Big Country (1978) was used for band name, Big Country.

13.  Muddy Waters Rolling Stone (1950) was used for band name, The Rolling Stones.


The moral of the story – the tongue-in-cheek humorous moral of the story?  If you’re stuck coming up with a name for your band, song, film, poem, novel, photograph or sculpture, you will probably not get into copyright trouble by naming your work of authorship after someone else’s work of authorship.

If you can’t think, copy someone who can.

If the name was good then, it might be good now.

If you can’t create, copy.



Tracing The Origins Of Blues Songs: Culture Or Copying?


Music of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Leadbelly, Carl Perkins, Albert King and The Beatles 

Many songs’ origins can be traced to earlier sources and often specific authorship, or authorship as a mighty fortress that had to exert its mighty power, was a foreign concept.  Ideas and the expressions of ideas are often regarded as benevolent entities and means by which a society builds its culture.  Members of a society share what is performed, heard, seen, filmed, photographed, painted, sculpted, danced, acted, woven, cooked, eaten and more.

It can be illuminating to examine how certain songs have come into existence.  How important was authorship?  Were several responsible for the creation of a song?  Did parts of the song come together at different times and places?


Albert King “Searching For A Woman” (1961) referenced Carl Perkins “Matchbox” (1956)

Albert King’s Searching For A Woman  (1961) –  At 0.28 – 0.48 of this recording, one hears:

“sometimes I wonder would a matchbox hold my clothes, yeah sometimes I wonder would a matchbox hold my clothes, I don’t have so many but I’ve got so far to go.”  

Albert King is not the author of that lyric as it had been heard prior to “Searching For A Woman.”  King simply interpolated it/referenced it from a prior source.  Or was it from more than one prior source?

Carl Perkins’ Matchbox  (1956) – At 0.05 – 0.20 of this recording, one hears:

“well I’m sitting here wondering would a matchbox hold my clothes, yeah I’m sitting here wondering would a matchbox hold my clothes, I ain’t got no matches but I got a long way to go.”

Carl Perkins’ Matchbox  (1956) was a big hit in the 1950’s.

The Beatles released their version of Matchbox in 1964, reviving Perkins’ popular song.  The Beatles loved Carl Perkins and recorded three (3) of his songs.  (Notice that Ringo’s vocal is double-tracked in Matchbox and typical for Beatles’ cover recordings, they stay as true to the original as possible.)

Continuing with MATCHBOX…

Carl Perkins “Matchbox” (1956) referenced Leadbelly “Packin’ Trunk” (1935)

Carl Perkins’ Matchbox  (1956) – At 0.05 – 0.20 of this recording, one hears:

“well I’m sitting here wondering would a matchbox hold my clothes, yeah I’m sitting here wondering would a matchbox hold my clothes, I ain’t got no matches but I got a long way to go.”

Leadbelly’s Packin’ Trunk  (1935) – at 0.45-1.05 of this recording one hears:

“I’m sitting down here wondering would a matchbox hold my clothes, I’m sitting down here wondering would a matchbox hold my clothes, I’m sitting down here wondering would a matchbox hold my clothes”

Leadbelly “Packin’ Trunk” (1935) referenced Blind Lemon Jefferson “Match Box Blues” (1927)

Leadbelly’s Packin’ Trunk  (1935) – at 0.45 – 1.05 of this recording one hears:

“I’m sitting down here wondering would a matchbox hold my clothes, I’m sitting down here wondering would a matchbox hold my clothes, I’m sitting down here wondering would a matchbox hold my clothes”

Blind Lemon Jefferson’s Match Box Blues  (1927) – at 0.38 – 1.04 of this recording, one hears:

“sitting here wondering would a matchbox hold my clothes, I’m sitting here wondering would a matchbox hold my clothes, I ain’t got so many matches but I’ve got so far to go” 

Is Blind Lemon Jefferson the source of this lyric about a person owning so little that all of his clothes could fit into a matchbox?


Do lyrics and/or music of any of these songs REFERENCE any other song(s)?

Do lyrics and/or music of any of these songs COPY any other song(s)?

Do lyrics and/or music of any of these songs STEAL FROM any other song(s)?

Do lyrics and/or music of any of these songs INFRINGE any other song(s)?

Are musical traditions, for example in any of the songs above, at odds with copyright law?

Assuming that any of these instances above involves the TAKING of someone’s intellectual property, isn’t it only taking a “little bit” and how important can a little bit be?

Should musical tradition(s) trump copyright law?

Should copyright law trump musical tradition(s)?

If Blind Lemon Jefferson’s Match Box Blues  (1927) is under copyright, would one or more of those who followed him have infringed his copyright?

If Blind Lemon Jefferson’s Match Box Blues  (1927) is NOT under copyright and in the public domain, would copyright vest in Leadbelly’s Packin’ Trunk  (1935)?

And how does one answer any/all of the questions above if the country of origin of the manufacture and distribution of specific recordings are OUTSIDE of the United States of America?







Dr. Dre Should Have Hired Me


The moral of the story below?  Not hiring me can cost money.

Dr. Dre hired a musicologist for an opinion on whether he could use a bass line from another song, one that Dr. Dre had not composed.  That expert told Dr. Dre that the bass line was not original and therefore Dr. Dre was free to use it.

I would have told Dr. Dre that that bass line WAS original and that Dr. Dre should NOT use it. 

But, Dr. Dre did not consult with me.  Dr. Dre took the advice of a different expert witness and it cost him $1.5 million.

The two songs are:

Fatback Band – Backstrokin’  (1980)

Dr. Dre – Let’s Get High (2001)


Fatback Band’s Backstrokin’  (1980) is a long, fun funk song.  It is just over 6 minutes long and primarily alternates between two sections:  A and B.  Section A is the chorus where one hears the message of the song – “tighten up on your backstroke.”  Section B is the contrasting section, similar to a verse section.  Other than A & B there is an introduction from 0.00 – 0.16 that returns at 4.17  – 4.54.

The overall form is:

intro, A, B, A, B, A, B, intro, A.

The time each section begins is below:

0.00 –  intro

0.17  –  A

1.22  –  B

1.55  –  A

2.44  –  B

3.17  –  A

4.06  –  B

4.17  –  intro

4.55  –  A

Dr. Dre was a musician who liked the bass line of the A section of Backstrokin’ (1980) and wanted to use it in a song he was going to record – Let’s Get High (2001).  Dr. Dre was not going to sample the bass line on his recording – instead he hired a bass player to re-perform that bass line.

Dr. Dre decided to get the opinion of a musicologist as to whether he could legally re-perform that bass line.  The musicologist hired (not me) told him that the bass line was unoriginal, not subject to protection by copyright law and therefore Dr. Dre would be free to recreate the bass line.  (“Recreate” is also known as “interpolate” or “replay.”)

The bass line consists of only a few diatonic, unoriginal pitches from the minor scale.  The pitches are:

1-2-b3-2  which are heard in the first measure, and

1-2-b3-5  which are heard in the second measure.

In total, the bass line is 1-2-b3-2-1-2-b3-5. two (2) brief measures, and is repeated throughout each A section.  This bass line could be considered the hook (or one of the hooks) of the song.

As a single, short two-measure phrase (-1-2-b3-2-  -1-2-b3-5- ), this bass line is NOT original.  But what Dr. Dre intended was NOT one (1) single statement for a few seconds, but to repeat this phrase over and over for the entire two (2) + minutes of the song.  Once this phrase is repeated a few times, it is no longer unoriginal – it becomes ORIGINAL and subject to copyright protection. 


It is easy to find earlier examples of this basic, common -1-2-b3-2-1-2-b3 melody (with or without the “-5-” at the end) that is featured prominently throughout Backstrokin’.

The first that came to my mind was the principal melody of the 3rd movement of the Symphony No. 1 in D by Gustav Mahler:

Gustav Mahler –  Symphony No. 1 in D, Mvt. III  (1896).  The entire first movement is based on this 1-2-b3-2-1 melody.  This motif/melody is masterfully developed by one of the best art music composers – Gustav Mahler.  (The melody begins at 0.13 played by a solo contrabass.  The next instrument to play the melody is the bassoon at 0.41.  You’ll likely notice that this is a variant of the famous “Frere Jacques” but in a minor key, instead of major key.  Dr. Dre co-opted Fatback Band who co-opted Mahler co-opting and contorting “Frere Jacques.”)

Other music that features 1-2-b3-2-1-2-b3, recorded before Fatback Band and Dr. Dre include:

Pink Floyd – Another Brick In The Wall  (1979)  The 1-2-b3-2-1-2-b3 melody is heard in the words, “We don’t need no education” beginning at 0.09.

Cream – We’re Going Wrong  (1967)  The 1-2-b3-2-1-2-b3 melody is heard in the strummed chords in Eric Clapton’s guitar, and Jack Bruce’s faint bass, beginning at 0.02.

Pete Seeger – Waist Deep In The Big Muddy  (1967)   The 1-2-b3-2-1-2-b3 melody is heard in  the guitar beginning at 0.03.

Music recorded after Fatback Band that features 1-2-b3-2-1-2-b3 include:

Tupac Shakur – Nothing But Love  (1997)  The 1-2-b3-2-1-2-b3 melody is heard in the synth beginning at 0.00.

Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal  (1987)  The 1-2-b3-2-1-2-b3 melody is heard in the synth beginning at 0.14.


To repeat – Dr. Dre could have used the simple 1-2-b3-2-1-2-b3-5 melody without a serious copyright problem IF he had used it only once or twice.  But using that melody repeatedly in the same manner as Fatback Band spelled trouble.  Dr. Dre was given bad advice.  I am thrilled that I was not the one to make such a big mistake.

The added bonus of this post – I am encouraging readers to listen to Gustav Mahler, Pete Seeger, Cream, Pink Floyd, Fatback Band, Michael JacksonDr. Dre and Tupac Shakur.

Music Discovery


I had a really good meeting with a friend last night who went “under the hood” of my website with me and offered some great ideas.  One was to add a new entry under “Categories” –

* * * MUSIC DISCOVERY * * * 

I think what he intended by Music Discovery was for me to feature and write about music that mattered a lot to me and/or music I stumbled upon recently and wanted to highlight.  I think a new section of www.EMichaelMusic.com might spring from it.  But for now, I am treating this “Music Discovery” in another way.  I want this more interesting and lesser known music to be a more easily searchable item.

After we hung out, I created the category, “Music Discovery,” traipsed through all of my posts to see which contained links or references to music that I thought might be unfamiliar to some of my friends, and linked them to “Music Discovery.”


To begin with my oldest Music Discovery-categorized post, I’ll highlight this song by Caetano Veloso.

Caetano Veloso – Canto Do Povo De Um Lugar

This is a beautiful song recorded by Caetano Veloso, one of my favorite musician/composer/songwriter/singers, and an extremely important Brazilian musical/cultural icon.  In future posts I will elaborate on some of the music and creative output of Caetano Veloso as I have hundreds of his songs and have seen him live in concert several times in the United States.

In music, it is often important to be simple rather than complicated – to not reveal everything you know in one short space.  There are times to fill a space with a large amount of data, but more often it is important to sacrifice virtuosity and excess for clarity and memorability.  Caetano Veloso does this throughout Canto Do Povo De Um Lugar.

A few things to notice within the song –

the crescendo beginning at 0.44 as a second guitar, and then bass, enter the song

the beautiful switch to falsetto singing at 1.38

the sudden QUIET and shift of vocal register at 2.09 (pop recordings rarely/never get suddenly quiet!)

more guitar melodies in the instrumental section beginning at 2.21 – 3.28.  Within the instrumental comes the abandonment of the chord progression in favor of a single chord and more solitude, enhanced by the added prominence of the organ.

the introduction of a jarring, out of place, diminished chord  at 3.29 – 3.44, followed by a return to normal, then solace and fade out


This song was selected for inclusion in my October 12, 2012 post for two reasons:

1.  The melodic cell, 1-2-3-5, is the first four notes that Caetano sings. These four notes did not originate with this song.  They can be heard in many other musical compositions before this – they should be free to be sung and/or performed without the threat of a lawsuit.  They are, in other words, in the public domain.  I included Caetano’s recording in my October 12, 2012 post as supportive musical evidence in a hypothetical music copyright infringement case.  In this hypothetical case, Five For Fighting’s song, “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” is alleged to infringe the copyright of Angie Aparo’s “Seed.”  I was asked to opine about this, from my vantage point as one who actually works in music copyright infringement actions, by a reader.  I proceeded to analyze both songs, make the decision as to where I stood (in this particular matter, with the hypothetical defendant) and then  explain some of the reasoning and evidence I would use to prove that the defendant had not infringed the plaintiff’s copyright.  (The first four notes Caetano sings – 1-2-3-5 – are the same four notes at the center of the hypothetical Aparo/Five For Fighting matter.)

The October 12 post was the third and final post about this hypothetical case.  (The first was from October 10, 2012;  the second from October 11, 2012.)

2.  Caetano Veloso’s Canto Do Povo De Um Lugar is a beautiful song.  Given an excuse to promote Caetano Veloso or his music, I will!  In my perfect world, everyone in the U. S. would be fascinated by the music and musicians of Brazil.

So, I think I will treat “Music Discovery” as music which I know – maybe learned a few minutes or a few decades ago – that I find intriguing, inspiring, innovative, beautiful, novel or just cool, and for which I want to advocate.

As always I look forward to your input.