The Amchitka Concert 1970

From the Greenpeace Canada website

‘’The two-disc CD takes you back to October 16th 1970, when 10,000 people gathered in the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver to hear Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Phil Ochs and support the very first Greenpeace action ever taken – the legendary voyage to Amchitka to protest nuclear bomb testing.’’

The Protest was unsuccessful and the testing went ahead, But the War was far from lost and Greenpeace went on to become an extremely powerful Voice for those who cared about the Earth and Environment and against those politicians and business men who through action and inaction threatened the delicate balance of true nature.

NBT is proud to have been given a chance to interview Barbara Stowe, daughter of Irving Stowe, one of the founders of Greenpeace. She is author of the insightful and touching liner notes for the ‘Amchitka 1970’ CD.

NBT: Why the release NOW, why wasn’t this put out in the weeks, months, years after the actual concert, did it have to do with technical problems or getting the release of the Artist’s music from their record companies and so on?

In the beginning, Greenpeace was a local organization consisting of at most a couple of dozen volunteers, and the time and energy needed to see such a project through would have been overwhelming. We were too busy trying to stop nuclear testing worldwide!  My father would have been the logical person to consider such a thing, given his passion for music, chutzpah and his legal background.  But he got cancer and died in 1974.

My family has always hoped that Greenpeace would be able to get permissions and release this music, but just to get the ear of busy artists like Joni and James was a daunting prospect.  In 2003 my brother got the ball rolling by transferring the music to CD, and he presented my mother and myself with a CD each as Christmas presents.  He is a meticulous person and he’d timed each song and crafted a few paragraphs about the concert and the technical recording details.  He even used photos of the artists taken at the concert for the covers.  He realized he’d created something Greenpeace could use as a prototype to seek permissions, so he proposed the project to Greenpeace.  When they sent John Timmins out to Vancouver, I knew they’d found exactly the right person.  John is a founding member of the Cowboy Junkies — a renowned Canadian band — and also a Foundations Officer for Greenpeace, and given his passion for the project, his background as a professional musician, and his experience in activism, he was perfect, and we were very excited.  That was two and a half years ago.

NBT: Have you ever visited Amchitka?

Yes. I was part of the “Bering Witness” campaign in the summer of 2007, when the Greenpeace ship Esperanza sailed to Amchitka.  The whole trip totally blew my mind.

NBT: World Powers are always wanting to re-activate Nuclear Testing, in your opinion is there a solution to this problem, or will Greenpeace and others still be fighting the ‘good fight’ 20 years from now?

The solution is clear.  Nuclear weapons threaten us all, and should be eradicated from the face of the earth.  But I’m not naïve.  I suspect Greenpeace may still be fighting to end nuclear testing in 20 years time.  Nonetheless I refuse to relinquish hope, and I’m glad that leaders like President Obama and Russian President Medvedev are talking about denuclearization. Greenpeace can help hold their feet to the fire and push them to make good on their promises.

NBT: The 3 artists perform and create in ways that are very different to one another, how did this change in styles go down with the audience of the time?

There was tension because everyone wanted to hear their favorite artists, and this electricity was intensified by the fact that it was one of the most politically charged days in Canadian history.  Martial law had been declared at 4 o’clock that morning, in an attempt to quell terrorism in Quebec.  So when Phil Ochs, who is a fervent activist, got onstage and started to play, the mood was heightened. Someone put up a banner about the War Measures Act (martial law) and someone else tore it down.  And you can hear Phil on the CD, saying “I never played in a police state before”.

But people were ultimately respectful, and in this sense, the whole concert became a kind of visceral metaphor for peace.  Because there could have been real trouble, but there wasn’t.  I mean, there was zero security!  All the ushers that night were volunteers who had no experience, and everyone just sat wherever they liked…you can see in the photo, look at the floor, there are no aisles, the whole floor is covered with people sitting on every inch of it!

Part of the reason there was no trouble was respect for the cause, and part of it is down to Chilliwack, who played this brilliant set that got us on our feet dancing for joy.  I’d never heard Chilliwack live and it was a revelation.  Recently I asked Bill Henderson, the lead singer, how they did it, because one song seemed to segue magically into another, I can’t even remember any separation.  He said that the way they were playing then was to start with quiet sounds that served to ground both themselves and the audience, and then gradually develop those sounds into melodies and rhythms, and eventually find a way into one of their songs, and then into another, and so on.  It takes a lot of trust and vulnerability to do that and I think the audience really responded in kind, so that a special bond developped between performer and audience. And then, James further chilled out the crowd, I’m still amazed at how he did that, it felt like we were almost hypnotized with bliss.  He was singing us lullabies, you know, “Sweet Baby James”…”won’t you let me go down in your dreams…and rockabye sweet baby James”.  And Joni, she just let her lyrics speak: “bombers turning into butterflies above our nation”.  It was really beautiful.  I sound like I’m back in the Seventies now, don’t I?

NBT: Did you get to meet the singers? Offstage what were they like?

Phil Ochs came to our house for dinner before the concert.  He was outraged that we were under marital law. Canada was considered such a benign country, a peaceable kingdom. But Phil kept his fury in check when it came to personal relations.  He gave my brother a cigar from Cuba, which Bobby treasured for years.

When Phil came back to our house several years later on another tour I had the impression of a gentle and deeply tormented man.  He was so depressed that when I later heard of his suicide I was very much saddened but not really surprised.

I didn’t get to meet Joni, but my brother did.  He went to the airport with my father to pick them up.  He told me there was only room for one other person in the car besides my father, and that was him, and I had to go to school!  And I did!  I’m still kicking myself.  But people at school were psyched about the concert, so that was pretty cool.  My brother saw Joni and James kissing in the back seat of the limo, they were in love.

I met James backstage on a later tour. He invited us into his dressing room and he had that Southern charm.  He was extremely cool and good looking and I’m sure I blushed to the roots of my hair!

NBT: You mentioned your Dad’s love of all forms of music, in 1970 what were the Teenagers such as yourself listening to?

Some of the favorites for my crowd were Joni Mitchell; The Beatles; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Leonard Cohen; Laura Nyro; Jefferson Airplane and Simon & Garfunkel.  We also loved Chilliwack and Small Faces, and until the concert, I hadn’t heard James Taylor, but after I heard him I became a big fan.

NBT: Why is Chilliwack not on the CD?

What happened was, during the concert, my father saw a tape recorder under the stage, and he went to the sound engineer and said, “Dave, I see you’re taping this.”  Dave said yes, I always tape my concerts for technical reasons, and Dad said, I want a copy.  Then he went to the artists’ managers and asked for permission to keep the tape for personal use.  All the managers agreed, except Chilliwack’s. So the copy that my family had all these years never had Chilliwack on it.  During the past year, Bill Henderson launched a valiant search to find the master tape which might have still had Chilliwack’s portion on it, but he couldn’t find it.

NBT: The proceeds of this release, what will Greenpeace use the money for?

To support Greenpeace campaigns: climate change, forests, oceans toxics, sustainable agriculture, disarmament and peace.

NBT: In your opinion: Were the 70s more optimistic/hopeful than this day and age, could this concert have happened in 2009? This release must bring many bitter sweet memories to you; tell us how you see the Political world, the music world. Are there still free world activists willing to risk life and limb to change the status quo? 

Oh, why not ask me some hard questions, Martin? Ha ha ha ha!  Actually I love questions like this that make me think.  To answer your first question:  Was the 70’s a more optimistic and hopeful time?  It was in some ways.  Many people believed that existing power structures and institutions had to be smashed and a new way of living had to be created. In this sense the ‘70’s was more optimistic because people really believed that a more utopian, peaceful existence was possible. And the social revolutions of the Sixties and ‘70’s, the Civil Rights, Women’s Rights and Gay Rights movements did so much to further change.   But these movements were driven by historic tragedy as well as hope, they were driven by anger, and by a willingness to die for a cause.  So while there was optimism, there was also this dark underside of rage and the struggle for freedom was fierce and painful.  Then there was the Vietnam War which literally tore American families apart. And the music of the day, which can’t be separated from the times, was driven by this darkness and a soul-searching at the deepest level, as well as a corresponding and opposite belief in love and hope, peace and change.  You can hear the music reflect all this, whether it’s Phil Ochs raging “I’m Not Marching Anymore” or Joni’s bombers turning into butterflies, in “Woodstock”. 

Your second question, could this concert have happened in 2009?  I don’t know.  I think great musicians like Joni, James, Phil and Chilliwack, who have so much heart and soul, will always respond to an appeal as urgent as the one to stop nuclear testing on Amchitka.  U2 is a modern example of artists responding to urgent need, on both anti-poverty campaigns and environmental campaigns.  Which, incidentally, thankfully, no longer have to be considered separate campaigns, now that anti-poverty activist Kumi Naidoo has been appointed head of Greenpeace International.  But I digress.  To get back to the point:  I believe great artists will always commit for a worthy cause, but as for the nature of the thing, that is a concert with no backup musicians, no visuals, no big screens, just one musician and a guitar commanding a huge arena?  I don’t know.

Also there is something magical in the spontaneity of these performances, perhaps because the artists didn’t know they were being recorded, which is ironic given that we’re so glad now that it was recorded.  The instant musicians step onstage nowadays a million iphones capture their every breath.  There’s something sad about that, because when you’re recording, you’re not present. It breaks the intimate connection between performer and audience, and that changes the performance.

As for the third question, how do I see the music world and the political world?  Well in terms of music I’m overwhelmed by the wealth of music now available to us! It’s wonderful, but also I think today it’s more difficult for artists because the bigger the talent pool, the more they have to fight for attention, and art and public relations don’t go together. I’d like to see artists more nurtured and respected and the almighty buck take a back seat.  When commerce takes precedence it weakens us culturally and lessens our humanity. Phil Ochs says it pretty clearly in “Chords of Fame”.

As for politics…it’s easy to live in fear and anger — the Bush Administration was driven by it — but I think the brave thing to do is to try to live in hope, no matter how difficult things become, and we couldn’t be facing greater challenges than we are in this millennium.

And as for whether there are still free world activists willing to risk life and limb to change the status quo?  Absolutely!  I saw them on the Esperanza.  Greenpeace is full of activists who are utterly committed to peaceful non-violent action.  It inspires me and gives me hope.

You will be able to hear Barbara herself say a few words and listen to trax from the CD on the NBT ‘best of 2009`Special 21st December 09

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

Learn more about the release here:

www.myspace.com/amchitka

www.twitter.com/amchitka1970

www.facebook.com/pages/Amchitka/60751539970

 

 

 

 

 

The NBT Music Columns : The CyberPR Blog (Ariel Publicity)13

trevar.jpg

Man Behind the Monitor: Bill Prevost of rifRadio

 Aside from being a steadfast advocate of the unheard underdogs, Bill Prevost of rifRadio meshes cause related substance with entertainment on his Internet station “Radio Iraqi Freedom.”

 T:  How did rifRadio get its start?

B:  I’ve always been a big defender of the underdog. About four years ago, I got increasingly tired of the way that our military was being constantly disrespected and maligned by the mainstream media. I decided that the best way to show my support was to create a music station that might bring a little bit of home to them wherever they were. You can’t do this over the airwaves unless you are fortunate enough to get a large conglomerate like Clear Channel to syndicate you and that was not financially feasible for me. But the Internet, now that was a possibility. It’s not as restricted and I was allowed more freedom. The “rif” in rifRadio stands for “Radio Iraqi Freedom” and will be forever dedicated to those who put their lives on the line everyday so that I can do this. Something that should never be forgotten. If you want an idea of the alternative take a look at what China is doing with the Internet. ‘Nuff said.

T:  What encouraged you to dive into Internet Radio as opposed to other forms of broadcast?

B:  I think what I liked most was the freedom to do things the way that I thought they should be done. Not having to follow the archaic protocols and standards that the regulated industries have adopted. For instance, I play complete albums because the artists of that album had a particular message or idea that they were trying to convey. I’m not going to get into any deep discussion about this, I don’t think that I need to. A few examples of this though would be almost any Pink Floyd, Yes, or Alan Parsons Project album. Even Boston’s first album, the one that they cut in their basement because the record companies said that they weren’t good enough, has a very fluid format.

Boston, Brad Delp in particular, also was the encouragement to me to listen to “Indie” music. I’m the person that watches the movies that the critics give thumbs down to. I find that they are usually better than the ones that they do like. For the last few years, the big music companies been sitting around whining about piracy and downloads. This is not because the artists lose out. To the contrary, it’s because they lose out. A couple of great reference articles are interviews with David Byrne (Talking Heads) and Thom Yorke (Radiohead) in the January 2008 issue of Wired Magazine. They have seen the industry eat artists on a daily basis. It used to be all about the money. Not how much the artist would make, but how much they would make at the expense of the artist. They also have seen the future and it is a future that benefits the artist as well as the industry. In my opinion, (and I say “in my opinion” only out of some sense of political correctness, something I greatly despise), the recording industry downfall began with the likes of Madonna. Think about it. Could you imagine Robert Plant, Johnny Winter, Eric Clapton or any of the greats of the past with backup dancers? Alvin Lee, (Ten Years After) wrote a line that I think says it all. “Go tell Madonna it don’t do nothin’ for me”. Why is it necessary to have 38DD and big asses bouncing around the stage? Don’t you think it kind of distracts from the guy that spent his life learning to play the 12-string or the message that the band is trying to get across?

There is so much talent out there that isn’t getting out because the recording industry starts to milk them for money the second that they get any recognition. You can’t make it if you don’t pay. How ridiculous. If that doesn’t stifle creativity and ambition, what does? Groups like TSC (Te Stone Coyotes), Jupiter One, Blood Red Sun, Telling On Trixie, artists like Pete Berwick, Papa Satch, and Bill Kelly are where the future of music lies. I sincerely hope that they read the articles that I mentioned.  The sky is the limit if they get it right.

I was fortunate to have found CyberPR (arielpublicity.com). Of all of the publicity companies that I am in communication with, they have what I consider some of the best talent available. I’ve found that they can distinguish between the good ones and the great ones.

T:  As a radio broadcaster, do you have a favorite radio personality that you’ve been inspired by?

B:  In music radio, no. I have tried to combine the attributes of three stations that I grew up listening to in the 70’s and early 80’s. I’m from the Denver area and back then we had a station called KLZ FM, (they later became KAZY). I had a friend at the time that was a DJ. I would go as a guest with him to a little place in the bottom of the Brooks Towers called Ebbets Field when he would MC. I listened to such greats as Leo Kottke and Lynyrd Skynyrd, (a few days after their release of “Pronounced”) and others. Unfortunately it became too commercial as time went by and I switched to KBCO in Boulder. I liked their laid back style and my favorite DJ was Ginger. They too became very commercial over time and that led me to the Ft. Collins college station KTCL. The students ran it and occasionally they would “buck the system”. They also played local music and the stuff you didn’t hear on commercial FM. Those days are gone. I try to do the same now. I still have to play the stuff everyone remembers, but I can also slip in the stuff that you only heard if you bought the album.

T:  What is the biggest challenge you face as an Internet Radio station manager?

B:  It would probably be promotion. I have an edge as I did concentrate on the military. I’ve been told that I am one of a very few Internet radio stations allowed on bases, but as you can guess, I have no way of knowing other than word of mouth. I am working on some new and exciting ways of promoting my station, but I don’t want to fall into the same old commercial trap. You can get that anywhere.

T:  What advice would you give an aspiring station manager looking to grow their listener base?

B:  I could tell you that but then I’d have to kill you. No, I guess I would just say do what feels good. The Internet is wide open. Use it wisely. Try to get an idea of what people want and make it work with what you want. Respect your listeners; they are what it is about. Find a cause or ideal that you want to advance and do so with intensity and respect. I can’t say that word enough. I have two. The appreciation of those who would die for me and the advancement of what I see as the future of music. Self-marketing and incredible talent are the next wave in the music industry. I’m a firm believer that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. The rewards are security, accomplishment and satisfaction.

T:  What’s next for rifRadio?

B:  I want to be the source for “Indie” music. I want someone to call up a band or artist and say, “I heard you music on rifRadio”. I want the talent that is sitting out there to say, “I sent a demo to rifRadio….”. I am dealing with what I consider to be the best publicity agent out there right now. Eventually, I will have to expand, but for the immediate future I have every confidence in what I am doing and whom I associate with.

If I can make this thing work, I have plans to build a recording studio catering to Independents. I’m out in the middle of nowhere. I wake up to moose and deer in my yard.  I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I have fiberoptic Internet and all the amenities that I need. This would be the perfect place. I even have a producer in mind. I’m a long way from that, but not deterred. My station has been climbing steadily in my server’s ratings and my ideas to make it even better are just starting. I do believe that I will achieve my goals.

 

To check out what’s playing on rifRadio now, visit: http://www.rifradio.net

 For the complete interview with Bill, including a few referrals to insightful articles about the landscape of the music industry, check out: https://nbtmusic.wordpress.com/

The NBT Music Columns : The CyberPR Blog (Ariel Publicity)12

trevar.jpg

The Technological Challenge with Ajay Chandriani

By Trevor Dye When you’re submerged in the world of technology, it all seems to come second nature, but what if it didn’t?  There’s a constant debate about the rapid technological advancements in our society and how fast we can adapt.  Recently, we asked Ajay Chandriani of Mixed Bag Sound System to share his views on the state of the change.

 What was your reason behind starting Mixed Bag Sound System?

 

I needed an outlet for my stressful job that involved recruiting people for one of the top three search engines. I don’t sing, paint (except for some weird computer art), or play any instruments (I put those away decades ago) so the options for an outlet were limited. Playing music everyday (CD or radio in the car) alleviated my stress to a certain degree, but not enough to soothe the nerves. To make matters worse, regular radio was boring, repetitive, limited to stars and their hits, and didn’t have enough new music to introduce to the masses. It felt like a waste of time and a total rip-off for the listener who was/is looking for something fresh to put in the ears. How many times can you listen to ‘Stairway to Heaven’ – come on, a band like Led Zeppelin has more in it’s catalog than that one track, or a couple of its other hits. You get the idea. That’s how it is with all other bands that are popular. Injustice to the listener (and artist) is what I call it considering the amount of good unheard music there is in the marketplace. Unheard also applies to the vast catalog of songs by popular bands that never get played. I was terribly fed-up with the broadcast state of affairs and turned OFF the darn radio in disgust. Imagine turning on the radio to one of your favorite preset stations and knowing what the next song was going to be on the playlist, or knowing the artists that got repeated everyday, every hour, every minute. What a bloody wash!!!

 How did it get started? 

I met up with a friend from my dot com past one day and he reminded me about my dream of being a DJ, my vast music collection that I could introduce to the masses, and a little broadcast site from our early days that was now one of the big boys of Internet radio – http://www.live365.com. I remember, the day this site launched I was absolutely elated with the concept of the everyday little guy having control over his own little radio station and playlist. I was thrilled beyond words, but had to shelve this in the dark corners of my mind due to time constraints in the real world of getting a dot com newcomer up and running. Anyway, fast forward about six years, I’m stressing, meeting a buddy for lunch, he reminds me of this shelved dream, I go home and check out the site, fork over the subscription, and launch as Mixed Bag Sound System in March 2006. Don’t make a dime from this venture (wish I could), but I’m happy as a clam getting music out to listeners in over 40 countries and counting. Thanks to Ariel Publicity for contacting me and introducing me to tons of new bands and sounds (no, I’m not getting paid for this plug), and my listeners the world over thank you. I am so darn happy playing music I own and like, and I know my listeners love what they’re hearing. You will hear Led Zeppelin on my station, but it won’t be ‘Stairway……….’ I rest my case.

 Do you consider yourself tech savvy overall? 

Yes, completely and totally. I asked my son the other day if he knew how to play a record, and he was clueless. What more can I say. I come from the era of the record player. My house even had one of those wind-up Gramophones that played 78rpm’s, although that belonged to my granddad. I have seen all the technologies (records, eight track, cassettes, Walkman, CD, etc.) evolve through my lifetime and I have bought and used every one of them including the current favorite, the iPod. Our generation has been very fortunate to experience the birth and growth of various technologies through the past few decades, and we have grown alongside them. Tech savvy, you bet!!!!

 What do you think it takes to be tech savvy in today’s world and what are some of the key components of that skill set (like what are the most important things to know to get by I guess)? 

Tech savvy really applies to the older generation, and I stated my case in the previous question. We had to grow with each new technological advancement or be left behind. The current generation, or those starting with the ones born in the 1980’s had the tech savvy gene inborn (Walkman, CD’s, video games, mp3’s, etc.) and didn’t have as much to develop or didn’t have to take a major leap forward. It’s all similar and connected now. All thumbs is what I say – texting, gaming device controllers, etc. It all comes instinctively now, no training required. PacMan was amazing when it came out. It was a whole new ball game and experience getting your thumbs into action. I don’t like texting, and would rather pick up the phone and call you, but my dad who’s almost 80 loves texting, as does my 15 year old. Go figure. The only thing you need to be tech savvy nowadays is to have money to buy every new technology that hits the shelves, and the gumption and patience to work the gizmo. How many 80 year olds have you seen with iPods and iPhones and computers. Plenty…….

 Do you think certain generations will be left behind, or is there potential for everyone to adapt to technological changes? 

Every technology nowadays is plug and play and easy as pie to use. Cable, mobiles, Internet, you name it, is getting easier everyday.  You no longer have to be a programmer to be able to use computers, or a rocket scientist to understand or use other technology. Companies profit and consumers benefit when everything is easy to use and made for the masses. Mass consumption is the name of the game, and the only way you’ll get left behind is because of you and your reluctance to adapt to changes.

 What’s in store for the future of Mixed Bag? 

This is my baby, my dream, and it’ll be around as long as the listeners are tuning in. I try not to bore my listeners with retreads and based on the stats, so far, so good. A big question mark in keeping this dream alive is the Internet Radio Equality Act that has been seesawing in Congress. The record companies want to raise royalties for hobbyists (such as myself) on Internet radio while giving regular radio all the breaks. If royalties go up, I won’t be able to afford my subscription and I’ll shut down the station. I’ll regret losing my hobby, but darn if I’m going to pay these guys another dime more than I’m shelling out now. The artists, exposure to their music, listeners, and sales will suffer, but to heck with these greedy glut companies. They are already suffering a slowdown in sales, and this is just the beginning of the big wallop the consumers are heaving back at them. Enough is enough!!! I have a closet full of vinyl and cassettes, thousands of CD’s at an average $17 a pop (something that costs $2 to produce) and I say no more. Buzz off. I am a hobbyist doing this for fun, promoting new and older music, not making a dime, not sharing in the sense where listeners can download the tracks, so why rip me off when I’m promoting your product (that I bought) on my hard earned dollar. I buy the music, it’s my time, I pay to be on the bandwidth, promote your product without you compensating me, so where’s the justice in making sure I go silent. A time is coming when more bands like Radiohead will sell their album on an honor system minus the middleman…….coming soon to a website near you!!!! Here’s hoping these corporate suits back off and let us hobbyists do what we do best…….introducing music to the masses on our dollar. If they don’t want the free plug, you know what they can do with it…….

 Check out more from Ajay at http://www.live365.com/stations/djeclectic  

The NBT Music Columns : The CyberPR Blog (Ariel Publicity)7

trevar.jpg

DMCA…Huh?

 Tom Schulte – the mind behind Outsight Radio Hours – gives us all a little insight on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

 A few days back, we received a rather upset email informing us some of the ID3 tags we used for our CyberPR artists weren’t compliant with the DMCA regulations set forth for Internet broadcasters.  We realized we weren’t up on the DMCA, nor were our musicians.  Luckily, Outsight host Tom Shulte is extremely knowledgeable on the subject and was gracious enough to share his wisdom with us. 

 Trevor:  First, Describe how Outsight got its start and what’s the purpose behind it?

 Tom:  I started off as a music journalist in 1988 and “Outsight” was the name of my column that appeared in various underground music publications, like Carbon-14, Glass Eye, Caustic Truths, and others. During that time I was a bit of a political activist. So, I ended up in an organized act of civil disobedience supported by local Libertarians, National Socialist Party and more. This was a pirate radio station called Radio Free Detroit, which at 10 watts was the largest of its kind at that time. We actually wanted the FCC to shut us down in order to draw attention to the microwatt revolution, but for a long time they wouldn’t. The result of this unexpectedly long time behind the mic was that I became addicted to broadcasting. Seeking to legitimize my experience I ended up with a Thursday morning drive-time show called “Outsight” on local AM radio. From there I went to Public Radio and, when it became technically possible, Internet radio with now defunct CollegMusic.com in late 1998. That’s how it started, and now my show is heard on WXOU 88.3 FM in Michigan, as well as Live365, LUVeR.com, NewArtistRadio.net, Radio-Freedom.com and other Internet Radio sites and just about everywhere you can get a podcast, including iTunes.

 The purpose was to satisfy a need for immediacy and direct transference of sharing new music I am excited about with an audience, compared to the remoteness and delay innate to publishing, even Web publishing.

 I had decided to phase out my journalism to focus on graduate school, and this was also a way to continue to work with a subset of my label, publicity, and artist contacts. I had to tell everyone anything they sent would be broadcast and not reviewed. I actually wanted many people to say “no” if only to free up time from handling mail to give to my studies. Actually, the opposite happened and I got more email and communications to handle for programming my shows than I had for writing my column!

 TD:  As a digital broadcaster, what are your thoughts on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, especially in terms of music content?

 TS:  I agreed with the spirit of the DMCA as soon as it came out. That is, Internet promotion of new music should not be used to enable or make more convenient unlicensed acquisition and copying of music. To do so, in my opinion, would be mistreating the music I am given for the show. So, from as soon as I read the guidelines I have followed the spirit of this directive. For instance, I bleed the ending of one song over the beginning of the next and don’t play whole album uninterrupted. All this prevents people from being able to easily rip individual songs or whole albums off my streams or my podcasts. So, my podcasts are not individual MP3s, but one two-hour MP3 of the whole show.

 TD:  Have you ever been forced to take content off your site due to the ‘DMCA Takedown Provision’?

 TS:  Oh yes, since I want to get broadcast as many places as possible in order to benefit those that supply me with music and share the songs I am excited about, I have to abide by stricter and stricter rules. See, I produce one show every week and then make slight edits, for instance to include underwriting, to make the show appropriate. So, in order for me to work this way, I have to abide by the strictest rules of any of my outlets. So, basically, that means following the DMCA to the letter. So, I have had to stop doing artists tributes (too many tracks in a row) and other things that are allowed on terrestrial radio – even if it is simulcast over the  Web!

 TD:  Many criticize the DMCA for placing too much favor on behalf of the copywriter, as a broadcaster do you agree with this opinion?

 TS:  Well, the DMCA was the first time that I recall that the Internet broadcasting community lost the fight to have imposed on them radically different and more severely limited laws that those that apply to terrestrial and even satellite radio. So, this set up the “separate and unequal” premise that led to the current crisis of nearly punitive royalty rates for Internet radio. We have to change the minds of legislators so they take it for granted that all broadcasters, regardless of media, should be treated fairly and equitably.

  TD:  What should a musician know about the DMCA?

 TS:  Serious, career, professional and semi-professional musicians that take their careers seriously will take it upon themselves to learn the essential features of all laws that affect their art. This includes, but is not limited to, the gist of the DMCA. The DMCA is, for instance, as relative to the modern career musician, as the laws regarding mechanical and performance royalties.

 TD:  As digital broadcasting continues to take new norms all over the Inetner, what merits and downfalls do  you see with this?

 TS:  Well, the merits are it is a great time to be a music fan! So much music and so much convenience in accessing it! For the working musician or any sort of broadcaster, the competition is just tremendous. You have to compute for ears against iPods, cell phones, satellite radio. Next, we’ll have to compete against MP3-enabled kitchen appliances!

 However, I feel there is hope. As the breadth and utility of consumer electronics widens, Internet radio and podcasting will be embraced more and more. Eventually, a critical mass will be reached that will make Internet-based music streaming explode into the mainstream. Some tipping points in this development to look for are when the center of gravity for access to Internet music moves from the computer to the home’s main entertainment center where the TV and stereo are. Also key would be Internet-delivered music accessible in the car as conveniently as FM is. Look what that did for satellite radio!

 TD:  How do you feel about taking questions from fans via email or chat room to increase fan interactivity?  Do you use this on the site?

 TS:  I think it is great! This really speaks to immediacy I mentioned before. I really appreciate the listener feedback and love requests. On good nights, the audience teaches me more than I have to share with them! I use the same id in MSN, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, etc. and that way I can allow listeners to contact me live during live shows or moderated re-casts.

 TD:  What’s next for Outsight?

 TS:  I want to take my listenership to the next level! Outsight only began broadcasting a few months ago. I am still learning how to make my shows most suitable to the podcast listener. Feedback from listeners is really helping. Each show features a phone interview with an artist archived at http://www.new-sounds.net/coolstreams. For instance, this week, we had on Martin Atkins (PiL, Killing Joke, Pigface, etc.) about the independent music scene in China. I find the best thing to do is more Outsight toward letting that interview set the theme and content of the show so that each episode out there in the “podosphere” can stand alone as self-contained and coherent entertainment and information. That is taking effort on my part, as the history of Outsight has been very freeform and eclectic up to this point.

 For more from our favorite political activist turned broadcasting junkie, check out Outsight Radio Hours at www.new-sounds.com