The Russian Monster Fill, Bath Bombs, Tervis, Twitter + the letter “B”


Having fun here in Nashville.  Fun party two nights ago with great friends and one of my best friends who also doubles as one of the music legends in Nashville and the USA.  If you missed that last link, here it is again.  Listen to Bill Pursell Rachmaninov Marty Robbins.  I just used “Rachmaninov” as a powerful and intrusive verb to describe what Bill does to Marty Robbins’s straightforward 3-chord country song, “Take Me Back To Tulsa” (by means of his sextuplet laced Russian monster fill).

Started out the morning at a coffee shop – the Frothy Monkey.  Then to do some business and the business for a friend.  That was fun as it took us inside the magnificent Schermerhorn Symphony Center in downtown Nashville, one of the best halls acoustically anywhere.  (I had the great opportunity to hear Peter Serkin perform Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, and a few weeks later at Schermerhorn –  Schermerhorn is a much better venue).  We made an embarrassing 7-8 minute video, starting onstage and then progressing/regressing through some backstage fancy rooms.  Fancy fancy.  I should link or upload the video to this blog but not if good sense and adequate judgment prevails.

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Last night I learned about bath bombs and Tervis shakers.  The bath bombs excited my excessively girly girly friend, while the Tervis shaker we found at Bed, Bath & Beyond in mall-infested Williamson County, was a Patriots shaker.  I’ll now be able to make my Irish versions of caipirinhas here in Middle Tennessee using my new New England Patriots Tervis shaker.

Back to these are a few of my favorite Twitter things.  When the dog bites, when the bee stings.  I’m still stuck on that Mary Poppins’ song.  This time  – the letter “B.”

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Dr. E. Michael Harrington



My Favorite Twitter Accounts:   The letter “B”

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Good tweets but I’d rather they get more stiff, uptight and British.  Must BBC6 Music News like “gossip?”  Huh?  “Your music news fix, including exclusive interviews with all the big names, the latest gig news, behind the scenes insights, festival updates and gossip.”


Insightful technology writer for Huffington Post.  I’m on her Vibrate My iPhone 5 Now list and always look forward to her articles.  And she had the wisdom to interview me once.


Beatallica started as a concept – “what if Metallica were a Beatles cover band?”  That was brilliant and so was the manifestation of what Beatallica does  –  a brilliant parody/mashup of both groups but performed live.  I became good friends with Beatallica in my role as their expert witness.


“The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University – exploring cyberspace, sharing in its study, and helping to pioneer its development.”  What’s not to love about that mission statement?


Bethany Simpson is “LA Media Director with equal interest in creativity and logic.”  And she follows me on Twitter and is a joy to read.


They count, quantize and know what’s what and who’s who on P2P networks.


Big Gay Ice Cream is how to

1. run an ice cream truck (trust me – I spent 3 summers as an ice cream man)

2. do gourmet ice cream

3. travel to great neighborhoods in Manhattan (what isn’t a great neighborhood in Manhattan?)

4. interact with the public by means of Twitter

5. be gay


If you have that music/music industry affliction, you have to pay some attention to Billboard and its Twitter accounts.  Damn shame when that happens.  : )


I’ll write it again:  If you have that music/music industry affliction, you have to pay some attention to Billboard and its Twitter accounts.  Damn shame when that happens.  : )


The 3rd time is the charm:  If you have that music/music industry affliction, you have to pay some attention to Billboard and its Twitter accounts.  Damn shame when that happens.  : )


Boing Boing is wicked cool –  always featuring things you didn’t know you’d love to know.  Today’s top two (2) headlines:  “Porcupine Bites Skier” and “Malls Are Dying.”  (I’m sorry to hear about the skier, but I hope the mall story is true.)


The Boston Symphony Orchestra is the world’s best orchestra.  Calm down you Chicago and Berlin types.  You’re great too but….  Where was it I grew up?  Chicago?  Berlin?  No, Cambridge and Framingham.  The Boston Symphony Orchestra was our hometown team.  Ergo, we win.


Brad Paisley is an extremely-talented songwriter, guitarist, musician (usually different than the other nouns I’ve provided in this sentence), singer, lyricist.  And he does Twitter very well.  Exceedingly well.  (I’d guess that this is the first time in my world that I’ve used the word, “exceedingly.”)


From his Twitter account:  “Digital Librarian.”  Kahle is just a digital librarian in the same way that Gonzalo Rubalcaba is just a pianist.  


“Webinars and video for professionals and their communities.”  I especially like them because I was one of their one-hour webinars.  (E. Michael Harrington at BrightTALK, June 9, 2009)


“The latest business news and analysis.”  Business Insider is always a great read.  Even if you have no interest in business, you will enjoy BusinessInsider.

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As always, I welcome your feedback on best Twitter accounts, as well as recommendations/suggestions for music, tech, law, communication and business ideas.


Copyrightable Introductions – Willie Nelson, The Roots, Oingo Boingo, Beach Boys, Desert Rose Band, Beatles


Copyrightable Introductions – Willie Nelson, The Roots, Oingo Boingo, Beach Boys, Desert Rose Band, The Beatles, Brian Eno & David Byrne

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I hope everyone had a great weekend.  In Gloucester we had snow  –  first the small flakes, then large flakes coupled with winds in excess of 20 mph.  And it got windier and snowier as I left the beach and drove into Beverly MA.  Very nice.

Today it is 58 F and perfectly sunny but the surf temperature has dropped to 50 F.  High tide is calling me, but I’m not ready for walking in the ocean this afternoon.  I’ll need a little more time to develop enough foolhardy bravery for that!

I want to go in the opposite direction from the last two posts  –  from introductions that are not very copyrightable to those that are very copyrightable.  These are introductions that feature substantive musical expression, not the kind that is often associated with introductions.  Again, these subjects  –  copyrightable intros and uncopyrightable intros   –  came up during this blogging process.  I’m very glad they did as I now have more fun topics to explore.

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I ended the last blog post with this statement and one not-well-known Beatles recording:

At some point soon, I really want to explore the opposite  –  COPYRIGHTABLE introductions – highly copyrightable introductions.  I’ll tease by offering a highly highly highly copyrightable introduction.  It’s by The Beatles, a band that formed in Liverpool in the 1950’s.  This was early Beatles  –  pre-Ed Sullivan Beatles  – showing off.  One of the things I think they’re saying is:

“We’re darn good.  We can play well.  Can you play this much this fast?”

Here is their earliest Highly COPYRIGHTABLE intro:

Beatles  –  Like Dreamers Do

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For today, I add the following songs, all with fantastic introductions and all highly copyrightable.  I’d recommend immediately dancing to “Start All Over Again” and “Grey Matter,” just for the fun that will take place when the meter shifts on you.  You’ll be duped  –  I love being duped/deceived by a rhythmic/metric trick at the beginning of a song.  (Metric deception is a gigantic category in itself, one that would well fit into Highly Copyrightable intros.)

The Roots  –  You Got Me

Desert Rose Band  –  Start All Over Again

Oingo Boingo  –  Grey Matter

Beach Boys  –  When I Grow Up To Be A Man

David Byrne & Brian Eno  –  I Feel My Stuff

And I’d add Willie Nelson’s recording of “December Days” from his “Moonlight Becomes You” album.  (I can’t find the exact version on YouTube.)  This is probably the strangest and most harmonically complicated introduction to any country song.  The opening chords are:

Eb Major   D minor   B Major   A Major   F Major   Bb Major

(NOTE  –  there were no typos in those six (6) chords)

Have you ever heard these exact chords in this exact sequence anywhere?  I haven’t and won’t begin a search for them now (too many other projects are lined up for my attention).

In my next post I want to explore world music, maybe again from the point of view of introductions to songs.



Did Taylor Swift Steal A Lyric From Matt Nathanson? Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Andy Williams & Tony Bennett

We’re in Day Two of 30-70 mph winds only now rain has come as well.  There are two equidistant paths to the ocean here.  One is flat, just barely higher than sea level, and slopes down to the beach.  That path results in really strong sand blasts to the face.  The other is down a hill, in between huge rocks, and sand-less.  Well, no sand in the face.  That’s usually my preferred route.

I love the power of the ocean and winds.  It feels great to go outside and weather it for awhile.  Coming back into my house, at least on a day like this, feels even better.  After I finish this post and  French Roast (“post” and French “Roast”, an AA rhyme scheme) , I’ll go outside to see and possibly film the ferociousness of Winter Storm Athena.

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My friend, Sarah Hasu, posted this AOL Music Blog report on my Facebook site.  Sarah wanted my opinion, so here is my opinion.  First, I need to write some qualifying statements – here come the qualifying statements.

These will be my preliminary and cursory thoughts.  I’ll throw in some more cautionary and qualifying words so that I can stress that these are my quick and almost-preliminary thoughts.  If I were more serious and studied this fully, I might refer to my thoughts as “findings,” but I’ll stick with almost-preliminary thoughts.

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From the AOL Music Blog:

“Even though Taylor Swift’s new CD Red has sold a recording-breaking 1.2 million copies, one person in particular isn’t thrilled with Tay’s lyric choices. Singer Matt Nathanson is accusing Taylor from stealing a lyric from his 2003 song “I Saw” and using it in her song “All Too Well.”

The lyric in question? Nathanson sings in his song: “and I’ll forget about you long enough to forget why I need to.” And Taylor’s song lyric is: “and I forget about you long enough to forget why I needed to.”

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So, the issue seems to be – is Taylor Swift’s “and I forget about you long enough to forget why I needed to,” an unauthorized copy of Matt Nathanson’s “and I’ll forget about you long enough to forget why I need to.”

“and I’ll forget about you long enough to forget why I need to”

and I forget about you long enough to forget why I needed to”

My first impression is that I would side with Taylor Swift as I think two (or more) authors could come up with those very similar words independently, i.e., without copying.  And if one did not copy the other, it is not copyright infringement.

These two short lyric excerpts from larger songs are of a style of lyric writing I have seen before, one in which a clever literary device is at play.  Songs with these literary devices are fairly common in Nashville, country and pop.  It reminds me of songs and song titles like these:

“I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone,”   (Elvis Presley recording) and

“I Forgot To Remember To Forget,”   (Johnny Cash recording) and

Everybody Has The Right To Be Wrong,”    (performance by Andy Williams and Tony Bennett)

Even if Taylor Swift were to admit that she took this or it could be shown that she likely copied this line, there still are reasons why this might not be copyright infringement, or SERIOUS copyright infringement.

1.  it is only one line.

2.  it is short (almost the same as “it is only one line”).

3.  it could be considered an example of de minimis copying (that could include reasons 1 & 2).

4.  it could be considered “fair use” for a few reasons.  Fair use would cover reasons 1, 2 & 3 but at least one more reason.  This copying would have no negative financial effect on the original, i.e., her borrowing would not hurt the market for the original song.

5.  Swift’s melody did not copy Nathanson’s melody.

6.  Swift’s harmony did not copy Nathanson’s harmony.

7.  Swift’s rhythm did not copy Nathanson’s rhythm.

8.  Swift’s tempo did not copy Nathanson’s tempo.

All of these points can be spelled out in more detail and more reasons along these lines can be added.  Also, not all of these points are created equal.

There are also these considerations:

1.  Would this ever get remedied through legal action?  (That’s a big one to consider as what does “remedied” really mean, and how do you know when you’ve been “remedied?”  — smile smile.)

2.  Would Nathanson want the bad press/ill will that could come from suing Taylor Swift?  He already has made some very public decisions that are not wise.  For example, he should NEVER have tweeted that Taylor Swift is “a thief.”

3.  Can Nathanson afford better lawyers than Swift’s lawyers?

4.  How much time would Nathanson want to spend on this issue –

1 year?

2 years?

3 years?

4 years?

5 years?

6 years?

7 years?

8 years?

9 years?

10 years or more on this?

I was involved as expert witness in a copyright infringement case over three (3) words, that lasted three (3) years.  I’ve spent up to seven (7) years in a case, and I know cases that lasted longer.  Time, and the money it takes to fund the time, will cost money.

5.  Does Nathanson believe he could/would win via legal motions?

6.  If he won (or lost) at trial, would be able to afford an appeal?

7.  Does Nathanson have the money to pay all of the defendant’s expenses in this matter?   Some courts have ruled that plaintiffs have to pay defendants’ court costs.

8.  These reasons can be rearranged – the order above might not be optimal.  That is why I referred to all of this rambling as almost-preliminary thoughts.


So, what are your thoughts on these issues?

Baseball and Music – The Right Songs for the Right Season

I thought of calling this post, “15  Songs for the Soul.”  But that thought lasted for two seconds.  Elvis Costello’s great lyric from “Alison” came to mind, and rescued me:   “I’m not going to get too sentimental like those other sticky Valentines.”

I also liked the title, “I see St. Peter wave ,” but decided against that too.   If you don’t know, that is a short phrase from a song by They Might Be Giants.   “I see St. Peter wave” then led me to the rest of the song which burrowed its way perfectly into this post.   And I love the messages the songs below convey.  They are perfectly suited for this day, don’t you think?

I’d love to get reactions to these songs in this season.  :  )

To quote ELVIS COSTELLO again (re this post):


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I’ll only write a baseball post this once (in 2012) but because I love music and baseball, I thought I could fuse the two, especially because this is prime time baseball season with the 2012 World Series about to begin.

Music, and music with words, can make us connect with our emotions.   Our emotions can become more intense through and with music.  We can use music to heighten our feelings, to subdue our feelings, to bring us out of sadness, or even to take us down a more languished and lugubrious path.

Have I mentioned that I am from Cambridge/Boston/Framingham?   I love New York City – visited it hundreds of times, lived in midtown Manhattan for a lot of 2004-2006 (51st & 7th Avenue), and in nearby NJ from 2008-2012.  These few facts are central to why and how I constructed today’s post.

The New York Yankees lost four (4) straight games to the Detroit Tigers (their final loss came last night) and will not be in the  2012 World Series. New Yorkers view winning the World Series as a birthright.  Bostonians, on the other hand, do not have any kind of birthright but we get great joy when New York sports teams fail.  I think the sports fan enthusiasm with NYers and Bostonians are nearly genetic in origin.  According to contemporary health and medicinal talk, what we have are PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS!

So with that in mind, I offer some music for New Yorkers today on this bleak day, the morning after a $200 million team collapsed into darkness….



T H E Y   M I G H T    B E    G I A N T S


 T U P A C  

B O B     D Y L A N 

H A N K    W I L L I A M S

E L V I S    C O S T E L L O

T H E    M A V E R I C K S

T H E    P O L I C E



I would be remiss if (I love cliches like, I would be remiss if) I didn’t offer some music for Bostonians today as well.  With that in mind, let us pray (no, I won’t use that cliche) —-  let us turn to some more music:



T H E     B E A T L E S   

B O B    M A R L E Y

R O L L I N G   S T O N E S 

U 2


E A R T H,  W I N D   &   F I R E

T H E    C O W S I L L S


Have a great weekend!