Adding Resources to – My Digital Hoarding On Display

Adding Resources to – My Digital Hoarding On Display

I am a collector, compiler and curator and have always been even from the time when I didn’t know the meaning of words such as “collector,” “compiler” and “curator.”  Growing up in Massachusetts and New England, I heard this type of behavior referred to as “hoarding” or being a “pack rat.”

As a college professor, the act (art?) of collecting/curating can be quite positive and in digital times, even essential.  In the recent past, I would compile lists of my favorite recordings, films, books, CD stores, stores, restaurants and bars (as well as a few places to avoid – in the pre-Twitter era, I found list of places to avoid very helpful) and provide them to my students usually in a long list found at the end of a syllabus.

That has led to where I am in 2014.  This list of needs to be much more of websites that I love/like and use.  And even better if the access to information is free, as in “does not cost” – one only needs Internet access, hopefully not the degraded 3rd world kind of Internet access provided by the Evil Comcast.  [I should have known Comcast was the worst company ever when I first saw this Comcast commercial a few years ago.]


I have finally created the first version of this bibliography/collection of thousands of my favorite and/or essential resources, entitled it

Music, Entertainment, Technology & Legal Resources

and placed it as a link in between “Calendar” and “Blog” on the first page of my website.  My definitions/stretches of meanings and category-creating allow me to squeeze “Business” and “Communication,” significant and stand-alone-worthy fields, into “Technology,” and perform other lexicographic contortions to my heart’s desire.  To paraphrase – “all the sites that fit.”

That there are nineteen (19) categories surprised me – my broad and sometimes narrow definitions resulted in these 19.  There are sites that reside in two or more categories because of some natural overlaps.  (This time around I have eliminated restaurants, bars, movies and record albums – the present nineteen categories are large and unwieldy enough!)

A few words on the first four (4) of nineteen (19) categories:

Broadcast  –  By “Broadcast,” I mean a site where one can hear and/or see audio & video, or sites involved in audio & video in some manner.  Portals for audio & video lie ahead.  Bloomberg – Brink to Tiny Desk Concerts – NPR Music to Hypster and more.

Concerts & Festivals  –  important festivals ranging from straight ahead music with broad appeal, to music with select appeal (intentional reference to This Is Spinal Tap with that “select” adjective) to academic/deep thinker to simple & perceptible conferences.  The Governor’s Ball Music Festival to Pop Montreal to Electric Daisy Carnival and more.

Education & Non Profit  –  Non profits, educators & educational sites I love/like and use.  Artists House Music to Electronic Frontier Foundation Deeplinks to Volunteer Lawyers For The Arts.  There is one exception, however – Better Call Saul – a site that also clearly belongs in Legal and which some might not consider “educational.”

Lawsuits  –  In “Lawsuits,” I vacillate between linking to a lawsuit as found in one of my Pinterest boards (containing three more links pertaining to CCNV v. Reid), to a government link (WNET v. Aereo) to a Google Scholar link (Campbell et al v. Acuff-Rose Music).  (I will greatly expand “Lawsuits” in the near future.)

I will elaborate on the other fifteen (15) categories –


Lifestyle Brands

Live Music & Culture


Music Labels

Music Marketing Platforms

Music Recording Stores


Performing Rights Organizations



Social Media


Trade Associations


–  in future posts.  As always, I welcome your input.

Cloud Branding Using Pinterest, Part 1

How I Fell In Love With Pinterest (and Why You Should Too)

Cloud Branding Using Pinterest, Part 1

(I am giving a talk about my use of Pinterest today – 2 PM Friday, July 18, 2014 at SAE Institute Nashville, 7 Music Circle N.)

In early January 2012, while teaching my Music & Social Media II class, I stumbled upon a new social media company/site/service called, “Pinterest.”  Because, like Kip Dynamite, I love technology (and social media) and always jump into all things iPad, iPhone, iPod, and SM (social media).

I decided, as usual, that the best thing to do would be to discover and delve into this new social media company quickly, recklessly and this time in front of my students.  I would visit the site, register at the site, explore, react, learn Pinterest’s features, organization, layout, capabilities, limits, make decisions and more in front of my students.  We would be learning it at the same time – bring on the unexpected and unplanned – raise the entropy!  A truly I’m gonna wave my entropy freak flag high, high (to paraphrase Jimi Hendrix) series of moments.

It is worth noting that the class consisted of 17 students – 15 males and 2 females – because what we encountered on Pinterest that afternoon were items heavily geared towards women.  It was as if we had left the classroom and been transported to the most upscale women’s fashion retail store on 5th Avenue.  The 15 males and I did not belong in this cyber uber upscale Pinterest Parlor.

We learned that Pinterest consists of “boards” – electronic rectangles that were filled with “pins” of photographs “pinned” by users.  Below each pinned photo is space for text and in order to post a pin, one must add text.

I was shocked that for the first time I was confronted by a technology that screamed, “FEMALE.”   I saw Boards named, “Things For My Wedding,”  “It’s Wedding Season,” “Shoes,” “My Style,” “Things I’ve Crocheted,” “Yummy Delicious,” “For The Home,” “Hair/Beauty,” “Heavenly Heels,” “Bikini Season Inspiration,” “My Future Hunk Husband” and more.  I always thought of technology as gender-neutral until the Dawn of My Age of Pinterest.

Yikes, I thought.  Failing some unexpected trauma, falling in love with Pinterest will likely not happen anytime soon.

And for my class of 15 males and 2 females, the immediate challenge was to see if the 15 guys could transition from…

being appalled and horrified at shoes and weddings


a neutral acceptance of Pinterest


creating a board or two


becoming passionate pinners.


I think our efforts were successful – the women in the class were already there (way beyond acceptance as they were already at Level Giddy) and the guys went from mild acceptance to “Let’s Find Pictures of BACON!

As for me….

I went at it with different thoughts in mind.

I knew that I didn’t want to see anymore handbags, lovely women’s legs (like at the top of this post), shoes with or without legs, chocolate, recipes, dream dates or furniture for the baby’s room.  So I was left with these thoughts –

I do not normally approach creativity by envisioning a visual image or photograph but now I would be forced to do that.  My instinct and bias was to find a photo that served my thoughts which is mostly the opposite of how Pinterest seemed to have been designed and/or evolved – I wanted to have ideas to express which would be followed by a photograph which would be followed by text.

Here is how I did Pinterest for the first time.  For me, visual would come SECOND and AFTER the idea):

1.  Learn to create a “Pinterest Board.”

2.  Name the Pinterest board.  The first board I created was, not surprisingly, “Music.”

3.  Select the overall category of the Pinterest board from a menu of thirty-two (32) options that begins with  “Animals,” “Architecture,” “Art” and includes “DIY,” “Education,” “Film, Music & Books,” and concludes with “Weddings,” Women’s Fashion” and “Other.”  (I’ve forgotten about this “Category” section – perhaps I’ll revisit how I have categorized my boards soon.  I am certain that I won’t use “Celebrities,” Cars & Motorcycles,” “Men’s Fashion” or “Tattoos” categories anytime soon.)

4.  Learn how to “pin” onto a Pinterest board.

5.  Determine/choose what I am thinking and want to express.  Can it be expressed in words?  Will I be able to find a photo that  –

relates perfectly


not at all

is at odds with or parodies and/or satirizes

with/to my thoughts to express?

6.  Find a photo.

7.  “Pin” the photo to the board.

8.  Write text under the pin, i.e., the photo that was just pinned.

9.  Repeat steps 5 through 8 to add to the board.  When the NEXT BIG IDEA comes along, create and name a new Board and repeat steps 3 and 5 through 8.

10.  Another option is the reverse of the above – find a photo, categorize the board destination of the photo, pin that photo and add text.  Surprisingly, Pinterest has had a strong influence on me in this way.  I see therefore I am inspired.  Many times the visual will trigger my next thoughts.


As I recall, the class and I left our modest, maiden little Pinterest adventure after a few minutes and covered the course material scheduled for that day.  We decided that we should do Pinterest over the weekend and then see where this new technology had lead us by the following week, as well as throughout the semester.

My first idea was to start with stuff I love that had had important meaning in my life.  What were the most influential and inspirational ideas?  MUSIC and several styles of music.  My first board would therefore unsurprisingly be called –


and my first pins would include the most important and most important musical influences in my life:

J. S. Bach

Igor Stravinsky

Edgard Varese

Weather Report

a thick E Major 13 chord (although many other thick chords on “E” or other pitches would have worked too, I like big chords and I cannot lie…)

Iannis Xenakis

The Doors

The Band

The Flying Burrito Brothers

Thomas Mapfumo

and than many more (as of this minute, there are 131 pins on my Music board).  (Pinterest boards are built from the bottom up.  As of July 2014, that seems to still be the case.  One can rearrange boards but one cannot rearrange the pins within a board – they maintain their order of origin.)

In my next post, I will delve further into Pinterest and Pinterest as a brand for the user, Pinterest as a cloud and pinning as Cloud Branding.


(Music of Kip Dynamite and Jimi Hendrix.)


The Beatles – 18 songs for 6 reasons


From my previous post, I want to continue with the idea that The Beatles arrival in the U. S. would be of great significance.  Perhaps better than “arrival”, I should write that they “landed,” a better term that could imply the landing of a spacecraft from afar and not just the arrival of a Boeing jet from London.  The Beatles landing would change music and culture and probably insert in a wedge between generations that would become larger than that experienced by previous generations and their forebears.  The Beatles did so much to obliterate society’s tastes and standards, and so quickly (as detailed in the last post).  If you were ten (10) years old when they came, you weren’t as engrained and indebted to the present culture (and perhaps it did not speak to you).  So receiving this new music and objects from outside of planet Earth was very welcome and not threatening to American kids.  The Beatles were, however horrifying to other areas of society, especially those who felt “safe” and in command of their culture.  The four English musicians between the ages of 20 – 23 would change music and change and detonate the recording industry.

The Beatles were the antithesis of “safe” – with each album released, they had the “safe” and extremely successful product.  Almost any other artist/s who could attain this much success would certainly do only ONE thing next – repeat the exact steps to try to repeat the exact success.  Almost all artists then and now would not stray from a winning formula.

This is exactly where the Beatles differed completely from everyone else.  The Beatles would always take the adventurous and risky path by throwing away the proven recipe for business success and doing something which ARTISTICALLY pleased them.  Against all odds and “common” sense, they would succeed and then lead society and other musicians down a new road.

They wrote music for all ages and all the ages.  This might sound like a cliche but having lived with The Beatles since February 9, 1964, I have been able to witness people of all ages identifying with The Beatles as THEIR music.  At almost any time since 1964, a 4 year old can educate an adult about this music that s/he is singing, namely a Beatles song.  The music is at the core and passion of the child who wants to tell everyone about what really matters here – that this is wonderful music that this very young person wants to share with the world.

The Beatles, however, would in time – over the next few weeks, months and years –  bring everyone along.  The Beatles won, though no one lost.  Even the cautious and conservative who feared change would get swept up in new music and its accessories.

In the future, I think this will continue as new generations of children will  be mesmerized by “Yellow Submarine,”  “Rocky Raccoon,” and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” aging adults will still want “Hey Jude” “Yesterday,” and “Michelle,” rockers will still push “Yer Blues,” “Helter Skelter” and “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?,” mystics will ponder “Across The Universe,” “Glass Onion,” and “Because,” the politically motivated will act according to “Revolution,”  “Come Together,” and “Give Peace A Chance,” and you’ll still be able to cry in your beer over “I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party,” “Baby’s In Black,” and “Misery.”


Here, below, are categories that strike me as arising from Beatle songs (just mentioned above) along with three (3) songs and appropriate links that fit each category.  I’ll expand upon this and provide more links in the next post.

songs for children

Yellow Submarine

Rocky Raccoon

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

songs for aging adults

Hey Jude



songs for rockers

Yer Blues

Helter Skelter

Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?

songs for mystics

Across The Universe

Glass Onion


songs for the politically motivated


Come Together

Give Peace A Chance

songs for the cry in your beer crowd

I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party

Baby’s In Black



WHAT?  I’m ending this post on the “cry in your beer” songs?  Sure.  There are many more Beatles songs to fulfill more reasons in my next post and we’ll lift any depressed spirits then.


Thanksgiving 2013 & Music Expressing Thanks


 H A P P Y      T H A N K S G I V I N G  

I thought to celebrate this wonderful day of ThanksgivingI’d compile music with lyrics that express thanks in various ways.

Here is my Thanksgiving wish:

Music from these artists (arranged alphabetically):

Louis Armstrong

J. S. Bach

Charles Ives

Led Zeppelin

Bob Marley

Pat Metheny

Charles Mingus

Me’Shell Ndegéocello

Sam & Dave

Hank Williams

The ten (10) THANKFUL recordings (arranged in the listening order I prefer):

Thanks A Million  –  Louis Armstrong

Holidays Symphony – Mvt. IV.  Thanksgiving (Forefathers’ Day) – Charles Ives

Thank You Lord  –  Bob Marley

Everyday I Thank You – Pat Metheny

Thank You  –  Led Zeppelin

I Thank You  –  Sam & Dave

Thank God  –  Hank Williams

Thankful  –  Me’Shell Ndegéocello

Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am – Charles Mingus

Now Thank We All Our God – J. S. Bach

Excerpts of lyrics from six (6) of these songs (corresponding to the listening order above):

“Thanks a million, a million thanks to you, for every thing that love could bring you brought me”  (sung by Louis Armstrong)

“Thank you, Lord, for what you’ve done for me.  Thank you, Lord, for what you’re doing now”  (sung by Bob Marley)

“And so today, my world it smiles, your hand in mine, we walk the miles, thanks to you it will be done, for you to me are the only one”  (sung by Robert Plant)

“You didn’t have to love me like you did, but you did, and I thank you”  (sung by Sam & Dave)

“Thank God for every flower and each tree, thank God for all the mountains and the sea, thank God for giving life to you and me, wherever you may be, thank God” (sung by Hank Williams)

“So much suffering for fancy cars, big houses, everything, I lose my faith sometimes, I lose my faith sometimes, yeah, just want to be happy and thankful”  (sung by Me’Shell Ndegeocello)

 H A P P Y      T H A N K S G I V I N G


My Rotary Talk & The Confluence of Music, Technology, Business and Law


I’m thrilled to be able to speak to the Birmingham Rotary this morning especially after having spent a great night with many of them last night at Silver Coin Indian Grille in Hoover AL.

Because I was asked to speak at the ROTARY, I assumed the topic of business would be pertinent.  And because I am a musician, I am well aware of how important business is.  And because I am a musician, I know that technology is present in every second of expression, and musical expression.  And because my life has taken me into copyright law, I’ve learned that copyright law is also present at every moment of expression – public expression.

Music – I used to define it as “anything which vibrates for any amount of time which can or cannot be perceived.”  I concocted that definition because all of the “normal ones,” i.e., more traditional definitions of music featured words like, “pleasing,” and “intelligible,” and to me, were too culturally-imposed and culturally-biased.  They were concocted by people who had to make order out of sounds.  And that’s another thing I hated – sounds were usually considered outside of the definition of music.  “Sounds” only became a part of music if they were “pleasing.”  These Cultural-Charged Members of The Defining Class annoyed me.  I had to set up something better.  And on a different note, I was fascinated by the spectrum of vibrating waves – very short ones made for higher pitches, longer ones made lower pitches.  And the range of vibrating particles that  covered music were so small in the BIG PICTURE of waves.

And let’s leave out taste.  I prefer the radicalism, bad taste and shock value of Stravinsky and Xenakis to Cyrus and Thicke (wow – is this ever an August 2013-dated sentiment!).

Technology – I first think of the technology of the human body.  We can improve it – grow taller, gain weight, lose weight, study how to project your voice, how to sing more than one note at a time, how to out scream her/him, how to strike instruments and sing for 12 hours nonstop, etc.  That’s one fine body or technologically adequate body you’ve got there.  That’s some technology.  Other technology – build a bigger and better piano by gathering and making stronger and longer pianos.  Bach had a better keyboard than Gesualdo, Beethoven’s was better than Bach’s, Liszt’s was better than Beethoven’s and so on.

And technology means digital – digital instruments in your mobile handheld device that can sound like an oboe even if it is an iPhone without a double reed or damn expensive beautiful black wood.

And technology means the Internet – communicate with everyone everywhere whether they like it or not.  And the cost of that communication, reproduction, etc. can be free or nearly free.  It certainly feels free.  So, I’ll talk something about technology this morning.

Business – someone is supporting your habit of making music – playing and/or creating music.  Blue collar musicians, those who are “so good with their hands,” can be a valued group in society until one moves in next door, serenades you on a date in a restaurant or tries to date your child.  But business is always involved in the dissemination (and sometimes) creation of music.

Law – law at its best REFLECTS our values (or gets out of the way of our values); at its worse, law REGULATES our values (sits on the face of, pounces on, hammers down on what we want to express and receive).

So, if music is done in public, or done TO another person in public or private (via MP4, MP4+, etc.), we have by necessity the confluence of all four (4) – music, technology, business and law.

And then comes copyright law which sometimes is at the heart of evaluating expression – matching the amount of legal protection particular expression has with its amount of originality.  Of course money/business and technology are looking over the fence peering in and wanting to play alongside Music and Copyright Law.  “Don’t fence us out, dude!”

That’s where I come in.  My name is Friday.  I wear a badge (is that how Dragnet begins?).

It was Wednesday, August 28, 2013 and I was sitting next to the nicest woman who just left.  We were both having breakfast but I was typing more than eating and laughing at how foolish it is to think I should write a blog post here surrounded by so many pretty business women in the hotel breakfast place.  I laugh too much and especially now as I am writing this.

What should I play today?

The USPS “Creepy Clown commercial”



Joe Diffie

The Beatles

Dolly Parton as Tracy Chapman

Bob Dylan

Which One Is Hootie

Jonathan Coulton

T.I. (and not Thicke?), etc.?

And I have to bring Breaking Bad into this.

Walt is about 50, Jesse is about 25.  “50” seems respectable.  “25” is young and gullible.  50 knows more and gives orders.  25 trusts him.  50 is always taking advantage and winning over 25.  25’s immaturity and lack of seriousness leads to so many mistakes, usually for 25 but at other times he causes 50 trouble.  50 and 25 make some great product and money together but you know in the end 25 doesn’t stand a chance.  50 will spit him out and find another 25.

That’s Breaking Bad.  That’s the music industry.

To be continued.  I hope everyone loves and enjoys their Wednesday with or without humps.



My friend Mulgrew Miller died today (May 29, 2013)



I have revised this post by adding many more links to recordings, performances and teaching moments found on YouTube, photographs, Wikipedia entries, and links to if one is interested in purchasing Mulgrew Miller’s WORK or Tony Williams’ Angel Street.

I saw this photo on Friday and thought about Mulgrew Miller.  My friend and colleague, Mulgrew Miller, had just suffered a massive stroke.

This photo made me smile.  It is pleasant, it is kind.  It is simple and understandable until you delve deeper, and then it is amazingly complex and the intricacy gets more fascinating.  But one comes back to the photo and the weaving that took place – all of the great work that must have gone into creating something so beautiful and accessible but artistic and layered.  The more I looked at this, the more I thought it was particularly suitable to use in writing about my friend.  It makes me think of Mulgrew.

I started to write this on Friday, hoping, praying and expecting that Mulgrew would recover.  I looked forward to seeing Mulgrew and talking with him soon.


I first heard of Mulgrew Miller from reading an article in the New York Times, probably in 1986 or 1987.  The article was about the present state of jazz in the United States.

The article went on to state that the two (2) finest composers of their generation were MULGREW MILLER and GERI ALLEN.  I jumped for joy when I read the name, Geri Allen, as Geri and I had been good friends and classmates in grad school at the University of Pittsburgh a few years earlier.  Geri always carried around a cassette recorder and was recording her compositions at every moment in between every class.  I did too and the two of us would often play our new compositions for each other and discuss the nuts and bolts of music and the music we were writing.  Geri was an ethnomusicology major – I was a music composition major.  She was “ethno,” along with other friends of mine in the ethnomusicology program, so that they could learn a lot about the arts and cultures, and be in a great grad school doing jazz with Prof. Nathan Davis and other distinguished graduate faculty.

I had seen the name, “Mulgrew Miller,” before but hadn’t heard his music.  The NY Times’ praise meant I would leave my house immediately and go get some of his music.  If he and Geri were the best in jazz, I needed to know his music too.  Simple.

I found his 1986 album, WORK.  If all you got to hear was the first song on the album, “Sublimity,” you’d understand why Mulgrew was a musical force.  He begins with a few spacious chords that have time to breathe, added a brief melody, then more chords.  It is not a “look what I can do statement,” although you hear great technique throughout, but an interesting invitation to lean in and anticipate great stuff to follow.  And then at 0.30, the chords and music become more punctuated and serious, you feel the context is changing, that the band is about to enter, they enter and the music changes shape and evolves – what had been sounding in the solo piano begins to get dispersed between the newcomers –  bass and drums – in a carefully developed manner.

The entire album really hooked me.  I agreed with the NY Times – these were the two best composers of their generation.

I then got to know as much of his music as possible.  I bought all of his solo albums as well as many albums which featured Mulgrew as pianist in a band.  Mulgrew was the pianist with many jazz greats including my favorite drummer, Tony Williams.  (I first learned Tony Williams from the Miles Davis quintet (specifically, Miles’ second great quintet – 1964-68) recordings of the 1960’s and then especially for his music in his fusion group, Lifetime.  I got to see Tony Williams’ Lifetime one century ago at the Jazz Workshop in Boston, a place where I had seen Weather Report and other legends.).

All of Mulgrew’s work with Tony Williams is great.  If you don’t know the music Mulgrew created as a band member, I’d start with Obsession, the last song on Tony Williams’ album, Angel Street.  Obsession is very short especially considering the novel that is jammed into this four-minute work!  Listen to Mulgrew’s chords and comping from the beginning.  One wonders how a piano will fit after the frantic solos one has just heard, and how Mulgrew will spin a solo after all of his great chords played from the beginning.  Well, Mulgrew’s solo is exactly one minute in length and is a book-within-a-book here.  Listen from 2.41 to 3.41.  And then pause and keep studying this four-minute work.  At some point, come up for air and listen to the album from the beginning.


How I got to know Mulgrew was completely by accident.  I lived in New York City at the corner of West 51st and 7th Ave. [the 20th floor of The Executive Plaza] from August – December of 2005 while I taught two courses and was the faculty administrator for a music business program of students from Nashville who would spend their Fall semester in Manhattan.  This was the program’s second year.  My friend, Prof. Steve Marcone, created and ran the music and entertainment industry program at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ.  Steve had wanted me to teach a course one evening per week while I was in residence in Manhattan – I took the 197 bus from Gate 233 of the NYC Port Authority every Tuesday afternoon to Wayne, NJ.  Steve picked me up from the bus, brought me to campus, we talked, then I taught for 3 hours, then Steve & I hung out, then I took the bus back to the Port Authority and eventually I would find my back to 150 W. 51st usually after my favorite distractions of Hell’s Kitchen.  The entire two-bus two-hang one-Hell’s Kitchen trip was always wonderful.  As my people say, “wicked cool.”

One day while sitting in Steve’s squished cinderblock office, I noticed the name, “M U L G R E W       M I L L E R” on the door across from (or very close to) his office.  I was shocked and said, “MULGREW MILLER is on your faculty?!?! The famous MULGREW MILLER?”  Steve told me that it was indeed the famous Mulgrew Miller.  At that moment, I took the school even more seriously but I also realized that the school was luckier than it deserved.

Move ahead a couple of years.  I wanted to move north to be closer to my Mom as she was aging and I wanted to be able to help and spend more precious time with her.  A job opening came about at William Paterson, I got hired and moved to New Jersey.  (I was now only 3 hours and 15 minutes from her residence.)

Because I was the newbie on the faculty, the procedure was to review the teaching of every new professor somewhat frequently.  I was fortunate to receive very good reviews and have Mulgrew as my reviewer on a few occasions.  This also meant that Mulgrew would come to my music theory classes as well as my intellectual property (IP) classes. At one point, I had Mulgrew come to an IP class (not as a reviewer) in order to give students his feedback on their presentations.  And to also talk with me more about IP, music and creativity.  I always loved the exchanges with him.

I also would see Mulgrew often in the hallways or practice rooms.  When he was on campus, his presence was large – physically, yes, but his presence as in The Master is here.  Time spent with Mulgrew was valued by students, faculty and staff.  He was always in demand because of how he thought, how he played, how much he knew, how incredibly musical he was, how he listened to people, their music, their questions, their comments but mostly I feel because of his kindness and soul.  When I, or everyone I knew or even noticed was around him, we felt the presence of a special being.  As big as his talent and creativity were, his personal qualities and gentleness prevailed.  I always felt lucky to see and interact with him.  As quickly as possible, I realized that this musical hero to me, who was now a colleague, was just such a great and modest guy.  His charm was disarming as can be.  I was comfortable with Mulgrew immediately.

As I got to know Mulgrew better, I had to ask him – no, tell him – to stop calling me “Doctor” or “Professor.”  I told him that you are Mulgrew Miller and I call you Mulgrew.  I should call you SIR.  He laughed.  He told me I deserved the titles and the respect.

He was that kind of guy but I’ll always remember when he first called me Michael.  He’d later some times call me the D word or the P word but I just felt good and knew that I was so lucky to have, in addition to his friendship, his respect.  Yikes.


I woke up thinking about Mulgrew today.  Like all of his family, colleagues and friends, I worried about my friend.  But for some reason, his song, The Sage, from WORK, was in my head.  It is his most blues-like, simplest, and catchiest on the album.  It begins deceptively in a kind of Eb Dorian with a very simple but rhythmically slippery rhythm to its right hand melody.  I kept singing it, along with my variations and improvisation on it, in the woods, and at home have been playing AT it on my piano.  No, I can’t play it yet but I will work at it.

Mulgrew made sure I was on guest lists whenever he played in New York.  I didn’t expect that or ask for that favor, but deeply appreciated his kindness.  I almost always went to these concerts alone.  I liked this best because I could really concentrate on the music, and maybe more importantly, talk to Mulgrew at breaks or afterwards.

Mulgrew always had such a kind, sincere and humble way about him.  When you were in his presence, you just felt comfortable and happy.  If you didn’t know he was a gigantic creator and performer, you still wouldn’t have known after spending time with him.  Unless the subject turned to music.  Mulgrew wouldn’t necessarily talk shop all the time.  He really liked people and I valued time with him just spent talking about whatever would come up.

MAY 29 has always been a great day for me to celebrate as it is the birthday of two (2) of my heroes – composer Iannis Xenakis and President John F. Kennedy.

Today, May 29, 2013, is also the 100th anniversary of the enormous scandal at the premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps, aka The Rite Of Spring.

Sadly, today will now also mark the death of my friend, Mulgrew Miller.  But in the ways that I am grateful for wonderful people, places and art I have known, I am extremely grateful that Mulgrew’s music and then friendship came into my life.  I know Mulgrew will continue to be one of those shining beacons that stand out and serve to inspire us to know and love music and each other more.


I want to end this with a couple of videos of my friend.  We are so fortunate that he left behind so many recordings, people deeply influenced by him, and some marvelous videos.

In this interview, Mulgrew discusses how most jazz pianists were trained (often initially via a classical music foundation), came to jazz and developed, as well as how improvisation can be taught, what a teacher can do, and what a student must do.  These five and half minutes are profound.

But this might be my favorite video as it is so intimate.  There seems to be a camera only inches from the right side of Mulgrew’s head while he so casually demonstrates such great playing (All The Things You Are) to a student.  Notice how Mulgrew looks so often at the student.  Making sure this student is comprehending chord voicings, voice-leading, harmonic variation, melody and melodic variation are of utmost importance to this great Creator, Professor and Musician.  One can learn a lot about who Mulgrew was in this two minute video.

I am forever honored, humbled and grateful for having known Mulgrew’s music from the 1980’s but more so for having Mulgrew as my friend.  I send my deepest love and sympathy to Mulgrew’s family, friends and students.  We were so lucky to have Mulgrew Miller in our lives.


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.



Love Street, A Century of Women on Top, TimeHop, Mikasa

I had a great time at Prof. Maggie Lange’s class yesterday and want to thank Maggie and her students at Berklee.  I’ve already been emailed and thanked by a few of them.  I’m quite humbled as I suspect I benefitted more from interactions with them.  Their questions were extremely insightful and their enthusiasm the entire two hours inspired me.

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I just became a TimeHop person.  It’s an app that will recapture what you did, photos you took, Facebook and Twitter posts, Foursquare checks-in, etc. on this day one, two or three years ago.  Wicked cool!  It confirms what a great and blessed life I lead, and the wonderful times I’ve had with my Mom and friends.

Three years ago today I wrote –

“With today’s copyright laws, most great composers – Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Stravinsky, Ives, etc. – would be as criminal as Girl Talk, Negativland, the Evolution Control Committee or anyone who finds creative preexisting elements and uses them.”

I still agree.  I’m even more fervent about that.

Two years ago today I began the day at Smith College.  (I always loved Smith College and especially their centenary t-shirts – A Century of Women On Top,” Beavis & Butthead implications intended on my part.) I had spoken at the Independent Music Conference and also became Mayor of the Hampshire Council of Governments, a rare and fantastic fusion of idealism, hippiedom and government.  (It is odd to read those three nouns in one sentence.  That is my description only.  Even though I was the Foursquare Mayor, please don’t discredit them!)

Later that morning I drove to see my Mom who was living in Marlborough, Massachusetts.  I had a coo-woo with her and she had her “Dewars on the rocks with a lemon twist” using the Mikasa crystal martini glasses I bought for her.  And I discovered that day that the Mikasa glasses sounded a sonically gorgeous “A 440when struck.

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I wanted to post one (1) song today.  I wanted it to have the word, “love,” in its title and be a song I own and love.  I seached for “Love” (searching for love in the exact right place) in my iTunes and found 2,860 songs.  If played back-to-back, they would last 7 days.  Wow – 7 days of peace and love!  Sounds great!  These songs with the word, “LOVE,” in their title take up 16.88 Gb of my iMac.  If only NASA could have had 16.88 Gb for Apollo 13.

The “LOVE” song that hit me just right is….

L O V E    S T R E E T    

by    The Doors

And because Jim Morrison was the lyricist (I think?), the lyrics were original, atypical and memorable.  Phrases such as –

“lazy diamonds, studded flunkies”  – this was how I learned the word, “flunky.”  I asked my parents what a “flunky” was.  They laughed, explained it to me, and then used that word to encourage me as a student for the next few years!

In terms of music theory/composition/structure, “Love Street” is an excellent song to study:

A minor, G Major, G minor, F Major

which is then transposed to

B minor, A Major, A minor, G Major

which then leads it perfectly back to the first four chords beginning on A minor.  (G minor to F Major is essentially a transposition of A minor to G Major.)

When I first heard Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay,” I caught the fact that both songs work on the same idea of transposing a simple motive (in Dylan:  A Major, C# minor becomes G Major, B minor – walking down the guitar neck), in both cases, a series of simple Major and minor chords.  Enough music theory.  There’s a beautiful beach outside waiting for me!

I hope your pre-Thanksgiving Day is going well.  Don’t shop but if you have to, Market Basket is great and run so smoothly!  I was in and out of the store very quickly.  I expect the food shopping/hunting/digging on Wingaersheek Beach to be typically simple and direct today.

Copyright From A – Z, Crime Before Thanksgiving, my 19th Annual Berklee Lecture, Inna & The Farlanders

I always love the Tuesday before Thanksgiving because for the past 19 years I have spoken to students at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.  It has been an annual tradition, and a great honor, for me since 1993.  The second part of the tradition is our Thanksgiving Fish dinner at Legal Seafood in the Prudential Center, across the street from the Berklee classroom.  (The Prudential Center is posted as today’s photograph.  Finally, a post photo that relates precisely and without need for interpretation or metaphor-loading.)

In order to get to Boston, I’ll have to deport myself from Gloucester to Boston.  (I just wanted to use that “deport myself” phrase.)

At some points today, I’ll select some topics for my two-hour presentation.  I’ll choose from these questions and issues and more:

Can One Copy A Bass Line?

Can One Copy A Chord Progression?

Can One Copy A Guitar Solo?

How To Break The Law/How To Get Away With Crime (Crime?  “Fair Use” or The Perfect Crime ?)

What Is Fair Use?

Fair Use Done Right/Wrong

What Is Satire?

What Is Parody?

What Is Right of Publicity?

Can One Sample?

What Is A Mashup And When Are Mashups Legal/Illegal?

Publishing Done Right

Publishing Done Wrong



I will play music from North America, South America, the Caribbean, The European Union, Asia, Africa, Australia-Oceania, and The Middle East.  Even if the Middle East is part of Asia, Africa and Europe, I consider it its own place/continent.  And I’m really thrilled that the CIA agrees with me!

I also consider the Caribbean NOT part of North or South America – it’s too much its own world/continent and shouldn’t be subsumed within NA, SA or The Americas.  The CIA disagrees.

I refuse to play music from Atlantis.  I’ve been boycotting it for awhile.  I have not ruled out music from Antarctica or Arctica (why isn’t it called A – R – C – T – I – C – A?).  Both poles speak to me.  Enough geography talk.

I’ll play music by

Louis Armstrong

Beastie Boys

George Clinton

Miles Davis

Evolution Control Committee

Foo Fighters

Ghostface Killah

Jimi Hendrix

Inna & The Farlanders

George Jones

Albert King

Led Zeppelin

Bob Marley


Roy Orbison

Steve Perry


Rolling Stones


They Might Be Giants

Keith Urban


Hank Williams


Neil Young

Frank Zappa

Inna & The Farlanders  –  I assume that few of you will have Inna & The Farlanders’ The Dream Of Endless Nights album, so I included a link to a performance of “Ivan” from that album.  The studio version is better – get this album!

I could work the phrase, “A – Z,” into the title of this presentation, couldn’t I?  (Now I will.)  And discussing the music of “XSCAPE,” rather than “XENAKIS,” shows just how much of a stretch one (1) of these twenty-six (26) names was!

My questions for you  –

Do you have suggestions for adding topics?

Do you have suggestions for eliminating topics?

Should I write about these topics here at or simply include them in today’s long talk?

Does the “How To Break The Law/How To Get Away With Crime” topic annoy anyone?

I hope your Thanksgiving preparations/travels are going very well.  I’ll have a special Thanksgiving post.

How NOT To Write A Hit Song (Pt. 3/3), Ernő Rubik, Bob Dylan, Iannis Xenakis, Whitfield & Strong



How NOT To Write A Hit Song  –  Part 3  –  The end of this discussion.

The song I’ve been discussing over the previous two posts:

The Temptations – Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone


1.  Make it 7 minutes long.

This song last 7 minutes, a very long time for a hit single in 1972.  (There were a few earlier long hit songs  –  Bob Dylan – Like A Rolling Stone, The Doors – Light My Fire, The Beatles – Hey Jude, etc.)

2.  Use 5 different singers.

This song is by The Temptations and all five sing lead vocals at different times.

3.  Make sure that no singing is heard for the first 2 minutes of the song.

The song builds a fantastic groove  – the first two minutes introduce bass guitar, drums (especially hi hat), orchestral strings and the shimmering use of tremolo, wah-wah guitar, trumpet, harps and handclaps.  I did shave off a few seconds – the first vocal is heard at 1.55, almost 2.00, when “it was the 3rd of September,” the opening words are sung.

4.  Make sure the bass  guitar only plays 3 different pitches (for all 7 minutes).

The three pitches in the bass are:  A-flat, B-flat and D-flat.  In numbers these pitches can be labelled, b7, 1, b3

5.  Make sure that the entire bass guitar melody is 6 notes long.

The bass guitar melody is:

“b7-1, b3-b3-b7-1”

6.  Make sure that this 6-note bass guitar melody is played once and then repeated 51 times.

That 6-note melody is repeated 51 times.  It is never varied in any manner.  To use a cliche, it “anchors” the song.

7.  Make sure that there are no chords (and, therefore, no chord changes) in the entire song.

It is very unusual for a hit song, or any pop song, to have only chord.  [How’s this for a zen-ish statement – if there is only one chord, there are no chords.  “Talk amongst yourselves.”]  Eliminating chord changes makes other aspects of the music more noticeable and important. 

8.  Make sure that the principal solo instrument in the song is an instrument that is not a preferred one – it should be an instrument that the audience for this song does not especially like.

The first instrument to have melodic prominence, and the first solo, is the trumpet.  In pop and soul and R & B (“Papa Was A Rolling Stone” can be categorized as those three styles), trumpet is not the most common and most expected melody/solo instrument. 

9.  Make sure that this song has appeal to U. S. and international audiences.

International audiences in 1972-73 liked and loved this song.  American soul/pop/R & B styles are “big” overseas.

10.  Make sure that the subject matter of the lyrics is about a person who has no redeeming qualities.

The song is about a man who has abandoned his own wife and  children, failed at most things he has done, and probably fathered three more children with another woman (who might have been his wife).  He was always too busy “chasing women and drinking.”

11.  Make sure that this is not a love song.

As stated above, this is not a love song.  It’s a sad song in which children are asking their Mom about the Father they never knew.

A few other aspects of this song that I love:

The arrangement featuring extremely original orchestral string writing including very fast melodic outbursts in unison strings.  This orchestral arrangement screams PAUL RISER (Motown’s best-known arranger) to me.  I’m 99.3421% certain that Paul Riser is the arranger of PWARS.

The very deep vocal, “And Mama,” at 3.37.  For the rest of my life, I would imitate this and frequently say, in as deep a voice as this, “Hey Mama,” to my Mother, who would always smile and laugh at this.

The great little “natural 6” inflection on the syllable, “drink,” between 5.20-5.22.  This short passage still is one of my favorite examples of the Dorian mode.

To repeat, one final time, from previous posts  –

Do you think the eleven (11) constructs/stipulations are good advice for a songwriter?  For a composer?  (What’s the difference between a songwriter and a composer?  This is a question to be explored in future posts.)

Could you write a a great piece of music following these eleven (11) points?

If you wrote a song that followed these exact eleven (11) stipulations, would you be infringing copyright?  That’s an enormous question and one that could lead to debate, certainty, uncertainty, anxiety, anger or confusion.  Of that, I am certain.  If you’d like, please start off that discussion below.  I promise I can add to whatever discussion begins.  🙂

I expect that an attorney in the future will ask me this specific question at a deposition.  (Rather than answer this question now, I’ll leave it in this post just to annoy an attorney or two.  I have also inserted a few statements in previous posts to see if attorneys or their paralegals are paying attention. This includes a factual omission I’m almost certain they’ll never catch  –  smile smile!)