I am writing something in reaction to Bob Leftsetz, Van Dyke Parks and David Carr

A version of this article appears in print on June 9, 2014, on page B1 of the New York edition with the headline: Free Music, at Least While It Lasts. which reminds me to swing by Mac’s Smokeshop on Emerson in downtown Palo Alto, behind Palentir in the old Facebook buildings, near Slacker Radio and Institute for The Future and plunk down $3 for today’s Times, after train back from game or maybe on way, even though I pre-pay .50 per day to access the thing online. David Carr, not eight-finger-fastball pasted below:

property of bob lefsetz

property of bob lefsetz

But my mind went to, John McCrea, Cake, first quasi-hit — although I did heckle them mock-seriously, at Ajax Lounge in San Jose, if that dates it “Commercial radio sellouts!” for it spiking on KOME — your cd collection looks shiny and costly.

Also this from Carr — and I did flip thru the hard Times yesterday and somehow missed it, and heard about it from Lefzsetz semi-spam, but that was commenting on Parks I guess is a source for Carr — and I’m not halfway thru the actual article yet.

We are no longer collecting music; it is collecting us on various platforms.



which reminds me that I probably have my own version of that, well, mine, John’s, maybe Capricorn’s, his publisher, maybe ASCAP and BMI, from a board tape of Cake at Cubberley, September, 1995, that I mean to post up here somewhere once I figure the logistics.

And someone else, a reader of Lefsetz, has a link to Pynchon on Luddittes which is still catnip to me.

And also there is a rack of greeting cards in the window of Kepler’s books in Menlo Park, California, a birthday card — and this is from 20 feet thru the glass — that says CAKE in a font that is very much like the rock band logo, the band whose rider says do not put birthday cake images in the marketing of our show. I will buy that just for my weirdo ephemera collection. Next to this:

cake poster artwork by lane wurster and mac maccaughan

cake poster artwork by lane wurster and mac maccaughan


Ich bin ein Ludditte.

edit to add: we really are leaving for the Giants game in 0 minutes, at 3:30, for the 7:15 game, vs. Matt’s Nats, Vogelsong v. Stephen Stroberg (?) but I did find this graph in question, from the Carr:

Writing in The Daily Beast last week, the musician Van Dyke Parks said that in the good old days, a song he recently wrote with Ringo Starr would have provided him “with a house and a pool.” But at current royalty rates, he estimated that he and the former Beatle would make less than $80, which means he will have to choose between a dollhouse and a kiddie pool and then share it with Mr. Starr.

And will click on thru to TDB as time permits, post-game certainly. I will keep pushing on with the Carr (as opposed to “Pushing the Norton” which is a Camper Van Beethoven reference or at least Victor Krummenacher ?) until Terry Acebo Davis changes into her Giants Cap and Giants t-shirt, while I am going tres indie in a New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars t-shirt and a Carmel (black dog) cap – not bothering to circle back to Earthwise HQ to suss thru my four or five suitable SF lids.

I didn’t actually read this either but it looks suitable for framing:

I’ve been inescapably subjective, because I make my living as a composer and a musician. But lately I’m in shock and awe at what I’ve witnessed in the struggling artists and composers who surround me. And if what I’m saying comes as an inconvenient truth, it’s corroborated by no less than Abraham Lincoln. Let me quote him: “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”


The acquisition also included the expensive Beats headphones — $300 and up in a variety of colors so they also serve as fashion accessory. People will still pay large money for devices, and this weekend, thousands of people will spend at least $250 for three-day access to the Governor’s Ball Music Festival in New York. It’s a curious disconnect: Fans will pay top dollar for a music accessory or a music event. They just won’t pay for, oh yeah, music.

No, he’s wrong. Or he’s right for wrong music. The festival of live music is worth $250 while the industry is selling a facsimile of that experience, which brings me back to Earthwise Productions of Palo Alto “the Cubberley Sessions” and “Palo Alto Soundcheck” business plan, 1995 and arguing with Lee Townsend over Vietnamese crepes near his studio whether for $19.99 you get a “pretty good facsimile” of a Bill Frisell performance.


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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