Miami Slackers Guide to Voting – Wake up and Vote! TODAY!

I woke up early and went to my new polling place. It is at the elementary school across the street from my old polling place, which is usually very crowded. A light rain began to drizzle as I parked my car and tried to remember which voting block is least likely to come out in the rain during a midterm which also happens to include the Governor’s Race and Amendment 2  “Legalizing Medical Marijuana”!  The obvious blocks will sleep in cause of the rain but hopefully they will motivate.

So anyways Get out and VOTE there are some huge Ballot Bills  Here is my quick and dirty guide to the ballot and my opinions on what you might want to check.

Candidate’s for Congress.- 
Real Simple if you are an R you vote R if you are a D Vote D If you still aren’t sure then vote for the Democrat-  (OK Debbie Wasserman Shulze is useless and a vote for NPA is Gimme to the Repubs but my Opinion I don’t want the Republicans and especially the Partiers  with bigger Majority in Congress – We need people being able to compromise and see the bigger picture and that ain’t this batch of Republicans. (Full Disclosure I’m an Ex R now No Party Affiliation )

In my District it’s between Curbelo and Garcia–   While I don’t have problem against Curbleo who was a nondescript member of the Dade County School Board (nothing noteworthy), his campaign intros him as a man of God. All that God talk scares the Fuck out me when it comes out of candidates mouths as an active selling point.  No don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem on whether you believe in old man Sky God – but if you are of the type that I will call “Young Earthers” you have ZERO business legislating on how people should live because you clearly do not have a grip on objective reality.  I am not implying Curbelo is a  Fundy Crackpot but I’m not taking any chances.  On the Democrat side  Joe Garcia,  he was marginally better than the crook who ran against him last cycle so good that he won. But notice his ads (and Record) don’t really point to being an effective legislator, or any worthwhile accomplishments maybe that’s a good thing. I will hold my nose and for him- though I’m really voting  against Curbelo and Republican Majority- not For Garcia.

Judges –
Look unless one of the Judges has been in the news for letting child molesters out early or you have a personal beef with the Judge  then Bubble in Retain and move on with your Vote.  other Judges  Vote the Girl or the Jew That’s what I do. You are on your on with the rest. (I should pay more attention but the herald never talks about the judges in the Sunday Paper)

Governor :
Vote Charlie Christ – He can’t do any worse and he loves the camera too much to hide anything.
As for the Crypt keeper –
CRYPT-KEEPER Rick – (Mr Pled the 5th, can’t ID his own Sig, What’s the question, Secret meetings with Big Sugar at Kind Diamond Ranch, lets gut the Education budget only to restore just in time for election to say that he’s “For the Kids”) Scott. Look if you want to believe the fairytale that his policies created a paltry 650,000 jobs in FOUR YEARS then I have bridge to sell you. Heck the state could have picked up 650k jobs with ME and my dog sitting as Governor. Also his energy and environmental policy is mess for Florida.  You want to know why we don’t have Roof Top Solar Credits while FPL picks up huge tax breaks for Wind-farms to power Google Datacenters in the Midwest? Blame Scott and the R Legislature.

tl;dr version
NO on 3
YES on everything else.

The Rundown

Amendment 1 YES
Water and Land Conservation – Dedicates funds to acquire and restore Florida conservation and recreation lands– Because the ability to buy and restore land so we have clean rivers, lakes, water supplies and beaches is  good thing for people who live on a swamp peninsula surrounded by Salt Water. We need more protected lands (like the Pine Rocklands near my house that going to be bulldozed to make way for a Chick Fil-A and Walmart)  So yes on this means few Strip malls and more beaches and wildlife areas.

Water and Land Conservation – Dedicates funds to acquire and restore Florida conservation and recreation lands

Amendment 2  YES  Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions

If you have a shred of compassion for your fellow man then this should be yes. Don’t believe the Bullshit about nnot being able to regulate who can and can’t be a caregiver. . that is a smokescreen the can be easily remedied via statute and operational Regualtions just like we did with Pill Mills and other Medical Services. Medical Pot will be a boon to that segment of our most needy (elderly, Cancer patients, Etc) and will act tin increase medical tourism. This is boon that we cna’t afford to ignore. Some people are worried that it will lead to legalized Recreational use. That is a fight for another day. And Frankly if your experiment for Medical Pot does not go well neither will any othetr kind of looseing up.
This is good medicine and we should take it.

Amendment 3  NO  Prospective Appointment of Certain Judicial Vacancies

Currently, the Governor may not fill an expected vacancy until the current justice’s or judge’s term expires. Nothing Wrong with this.  If you are not the Governor than you should NOT be able to make picks for when you are not in office
Lets not Fuck with this, When your time is over, it’s over Deal with it.
This allows the Outgoing Governor to fill near future Potential Vacancies on  Our Courts Like our STATE SUPREME COURT.

This is a Republican backup plan to Stack the court with Conservative judges in case Scott gets booted out. This is one of those  Short sited plans- that has a Current long tern benefit. But they will regret in the fute when the the tables turn as they eventually do.

Miami Dade County Questions .

Charter Amendment to Article 7 to Allow Libraries in Parks    YES   Come on people No Brainer

I like Libraries- I like Parks Why NOT Allow them to use the same land Feed the body AND Mind.
Charter Amendment Exempting Miami-Dade Regional Soccer Park from Article 7   NO

OK  This one I don’t know about but it Sounds like a Land grab by a Private entity to do something with Soccer park. Since I don’t know who this Benefits and who hurts- I’m going to say  no to allowing some unidentified third party to use the park for something else and lake money off it.
Charter Amendment on Protecting Preservation Lands and Allowing Campgrounds and Lodges/Cabins in Camp Matecumbe  YES
Tightens Environmental restrictions on Some parks and Allows Camping facilities at the now overgrown  Old “Boystown” Penal Colony, Reform School, Troubled youth facility).   Yes, we need more campgrounds (especially if we are getting tighter with Preservation)

Charter Amendment Exempting from Article 7 Florida International University’s Expansion onto Youth Fair Site

FIU wants to expand it’s footprint and include a full medical campus.   The Youth fair could use new home.   FIU can’t move in till the Youth Fair Moves out. Taxpayers aren’t paying for Either. (FIU will foot the relocation costs)   Granting this exemption allows FIU to move in.  FIU is a great public Florida State school and Bigger Campus and more educational opportunities are huge plus and the Youth fair grounds  are a little moldy and long in the tooth.


Scam Alert

I have been getting some calls this week from someone who is attempting to contact me with regard to possible legal action. The caller had a heavy Indian/ SW Asian accent and the wording on the script was very stilted. I did some research (first thing is look up the phone number) and found someone who was able to decipher most of it.   It looks like they go to great pains to NOT identify themselves. I can assume that by keeping it murky they can avoid someone calling that agency and checking. I also think that the wording is vague so that in the event they are caught they might be able to avoid charges of impersonating a Federal Agent (which may carry stiffer penalties than mere fraud). That said, I think that this scam could be very effective against the elderly and the naïve  as the wording is very menacing and they are persistent.   (See below)  but rest assured this is a total scam. … -Telephone-Scam

“Hi, this message is intended to contact you. my name is (Insert bogus name) and I am calling regarding affirmative (?) actions executed by US Treasury intending your serious attention. Ignoring this will be an intention second attempt to award initial appearance before a Magistrate judge or a grand jury for a Federal Criminal offense. My number is 760-298-7641. I would love you to cooperate with us to help us to help you”

Here is a partial recording of the actual call.  (FYI I never answer my phone unless I know who it is and if you are calling my landline (yes I still have one) then it’s a good bet you are scammer/telemarketer/survey company. 😉

Now a while back I used to frequent a site called 419 Eater and these guys specialize in scambaiting. (Usually of the variety of Nigerian Prince/Lawyer/Govt official who has money trapped in in an account and needs YOU to help them get it out).  So the temptation to call these guys back to try to scambait them is huge. But I am kinda lazy nowadays and scambaiting takes awhile to really get going. I have participated in few (It’s fun!) but the scammers got wise to me so I was never able to get any Trophies. I also understand that these particular scammers are very persistent on getting payment RIGHT THEN AND THERE and will just hang up if they think you are pulling their leg.  Anyways beware and always check and verify.  If it sounds fishy it probably is.  Use Bing or Google to look up the Phone numbers and if you can get the wording right search on that.  NEVER EVER give them you personal information or bank account or pay them!


Plato’s 808

(This is not a review of the TR-8 there’s plenty of those go Bing/Google it if that’s what you want.)
The TR-8, that is Roland’s latest drum machine and probably one of their best in recent memory. I love mine and have been playing with it almost every day. OK well not every day but a lot. (Still not as much as I think I should be but that’s fodder for another post). The title of this post though hearkens back to your old Philosophy class and Plato’s “Forms”   (quick abstract from Wikipedia “asserts that non-material abstract (but substantial) forms (or ideas), and not the material world of change known to us through sensation, possess the highest and most fundamental kind of reality”)

In plain English, it means that if you hold a cube in your hand it’s not a “real” cube,  it is merely a representation of the “True” cube which exists in a perfect higher reality.   So Mr. Philosophy 101, what the fuck does that have to do with a cool Drum machine? Well it’s all about comments and reviews of the machine where a lot of folks Pooh-pooh the sound saying things like OMG Digital bad, analog good, It’s close but not the real thing hurr hurr. Man what a bunch of whiney babies. All these choads (Usually it seems, the same types that buy “oxygen free” speaker cables.) laughing puppets want an Honest to God analog 808 Drum machine and conveniently forget about the limitations of the original (yo 16 steps is all you got). Then they go on and on and on about “the Sound” and how ACB still doesn’t capture the nuance.  This may or may not be true, I did not own the 808, I had 606 but I played with quite a few back in the day, so I have more than a passing familiarity.  But I don’t think it really matters, in light that if you ever pick up an music tech magazine you will never find a drum sound  regardless where it came from that has not been layered, compressed and processed to the point where it doesn’t matter if it’s the real thing (that almost no- one has or a sample).  Now consider that due to the nature of analog components no two  808’s sound the same, and more than a few folks have heavily modded their to get more bass, decay etc. So now it’s gotten to point that the 808 has been elevated to the realm of Plato’s forms. There is an ideal 808 out there, but YOU  can never have it.  But I’ll tell you what, the TR-8 more than fills the bill , and for 499 retail I’m sure it will become  a new classic.


Giorgio Moroder and edm

OK this guy practically invented edm (small letters intentional).  His dance tunes will probably be around, sampled and remixed long after people have forgotten what a Deadmause is. Not a knock on DM, just a fact of the velocity of culture. (I just made that up, I think) He’s had the luxury of time and pre-internet society to help cement his legendary status while the internet and “Velocity of Culture” serve to create and forget today’s stars in the blink of a news/fashion cycle. (edm is here to stay EDM -not so much methinks)

The Precience of Cortana and Jack the Ripper

Ok Windows Phone,  Cortana either she has some serious ESP/prediction algorithms going on or coincidence is creepy. Last night, Sophia and I were watching Tuesday night’s episode of ABC’s “Forever” when the Teaser for next weeks episode came on. I said out loud “Oh it looks like they are doing a “Jack the Ripper” episode. My teenage daughter asks me “Who is Jack the Ripper?”  I explained that he was an infamous serial killer in London in the 1800’s who was never caught. She then asked “How many people did he kill?” I said “I don’t know let me check.” I whipped out my trusty Lumia 625 and started to type. How many victims..
Cortana finished the question with ” of Jack the Ripper were there?, then second choice of How many people did Jack the Ripper Kill”

Creepy OK? I mean of all the ways to finish that question:
How many victims of…
John Wayne Gacy
Ted Bundy
Domestic Violence
9/11, Etc Etc pick a tragedy with victims
but Cortana (Bing) knew EXACTLY what I was asking before I even finished typing it.
Bing Search
Is that REALLY the most popular question on Bing?  (and the timing is mere coincidence?)
How did Bing’s Search algorithm pick that question at that time? I wasn’t watching the Show at it’s normal time slot (with the implication that I if we were, then other people were watching at the same time and asked the same question so Bing picked the most common Question being asked) and I wasn’t watching on Xbox (assume some data sharing and inference like above.) I tested Google and got a different query completion, I also typed it in to BING on the Desktop and got the same result, but since I had already asked the question on Bing and it knows what I asked for (because I’m logged in) I’m not surprised that I got the same result.


Still here and Still Kicking, it’s been a quiet summer on the musical front, I got some new toys (Roland I love you) and have been learning them and seeing how to incorporate them in the my new set. And when will you be able to hear this new set? Well, it looks like there may be an opportunity to play during Art Basel week, details are still up in the air but I’m totally looking forward to it. In the mean time you can hear some of what I’ve been working on my Soundcloud page, SubTr8s Essence is what you want to look for.
See you soon!

Here’s some gear Pron, I’ve actually redone my “Studio” yet again, still looking for the “flow”

WP_20140906_16_59_55_Pro WP_20140719_003

Getting Ready for WMC 2014 Gigs

First off I have to say if you missed my Gig on the 21st, but want to see me live again – I will be back at the Chesterfield for the Sunday Cypher WMC Closing Party on Mar 30 Time TBA, so watch my posts on Twitter Etc.
Also shout outs to my Miami’s Vice City Rollers  who beat the Molly’s Marauders 166-137 Last Sat down at “The Roll Cage” in South Miami

It has been a great, if busy week here in the 3-0-5. Winter Music Conference started last Friday and I helped start the festivities at the WMC 2014 Invasion Miami Media Kickoff Party at the Chesterfield Hotel on Collins. SoBe was hopping on Friday, as the first of “Many Parties” fired up and gets everyone lathered up for EDM PLUR Madness that is the ULTRA music Festival Coming up this Weekend (Mar 29).

I had fantastic Set that was book-ended by my buddy Kenichi OHME wailing on the Korg Electribe before I came on and Activated some Retinas and Ears with my Videos and sounds, inclusing a new tune that Made on that Microsoft Surface Remix I won in in Microsofts Video Contest last year.  Then WEHO performed some of her songs as well as that great local EDM Duo of CHRON who did short but Bone-shakin set. Plenty of other acts came on later Like the Nubian Goddess Annish-kah! but I was well into my drinks by that time (Thanks Chris- for the drink Hook-up) and then some Joe’s Stone Crabs with my sweetie.

Blurry Selfi with OHME and CHRON

This week has been a whirlwind of Activity for me as I fashioned a new 4 Mirror Laser Projector and rebuilt / Iterated on the design for my mobile VJ Projector Setup. The new design is More minimalist in some respects and much more portable (yay handles). The new laser projector should be able to to my favorite “Time Vortex” Effect as well as the regular Spirograph style stuff. Oh did I mention I have another 30 minutes of music and Video to mix for the Sunday gig? Man I’m going to need a long nap after this.   VJ Projections at the Chesterfield4 mirror Laser

New Gear, New Sounds, New electronica

Some new electronica in progress,  Nice to start getting back into things. I’ve been kinda down and while that is fuel for some musicians, it’s not for me.  BTW this is a new setup- I am always reinvigorated by redesign of my workspace. Heck I don’t even like calling it a workspace or workflow because it’s about fun right? Still I wonder how many other musicians like to rearrange their creative spaces periodically? At anyrate I have better access to some of my older gear like the Casio VZ-10M the Kawai XD-5 and my trusty old Korg M3R.   Propellerhead’s lastest  version of Reason allows control of External midi Gear so I’m looking to see what mischief I can do there. Yes, I know I have always had the capability in Ableton, but I really like Reason’s layout and it fits right in with the design aesthetic (Rack-mount skeuomorphism and all that )WP_001319

But I love new toys, Who Doesn’t?   (Muzik 4 machines I’m looking squarely at you)

New gear is always a plus so I’m having some fun with a recently acquired M-Audio Venom and Korg Kaossilator. The Venom is very cool sounding synth that I think has been somewhat of an ugly duckling for M-Audio err Avid Umm InMusic whoever they are now .  It’s too bad because it has a lot of promise, good sound and flexible audio  implementation. Having the low latency Audio interface streamlines my setup in some ways, though as a controller it is merely OK (a better way to change programs let alone drum clips would have been awesome as would a phrase looper Oh well that’s what Ableton and Reason are for lol. With some of its feature you would almost think its’ a live performance synth but as it tunrs out changing between Drum patterns its glitchy- and not in a good way.  Still it has a lot to offer and can be had for cheap.  I may do a mini review of it though it seems to be covered fairly well on the Youtubes.

Speaking of the YouTubes here a little snippet of what I’ve got in my head now. Next time I’ll improve the audio

Driven Music Conference 2013 Florida – Are These Shows Worth It?

Driven Florida Music Conference May 16-19th 2013

On Friday May 17th I went to the Driven Florida music Conference held at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 in Ft Lauderdale. I had the good fortune to be accompanied by local Rapper Kid Berg who was also interested in this more “industry” focused conference.  Kid Berg is a cool cat who I think exemplifies to comfort millenials (Morel like Gen Z because he is very young millenial) have with new media. He is business-savvy, yet unassuming.   When I was talking to the PR guys and some of the artists they were fronting, Kid Berg was merrily texting  away.  But he wasn’t just some kid texting LOLs. When we were finished talking and walking away, he’d casually mention that that so and so is not that impressive because he only has x amount of traffic and followers and a low search ranking while artist Y is not fooling around and has a good online presence and looks like he’s got a grip etc.

Nobody is going to pull the wool over him- Solid B.S Detector.

Anyways as Far as Driven goes  it was OK,  I wish I could have stayed for Saturday and some of the early morning cocktail access to some of the panelists. It was laid back, informal and pretty open. But as a conference I could say that it had a few problems, that are kinda minor and I will get them out of the way quickly.
Sparse Attendance – From an attendee perspective this is not a bad thing as you have more time to interact with the panelists,  and in some ways forced you to be a little more social with other attendees, but it still  had the feeling of “What do we do now?” – that said I picked up a few cards from some interesting people. However from an event sponsor PoV it is not so good- but this is the 2nd or 3rd year here for them so this may have been an improvement.  Also I was only there for the Friday Sessions and Saturday could have been Monster.

Few “booths”-   too bad, would have liked to see reps from gear /Software makers like Ableton and  Korg  showing of some toys (I want to play with some Volcas)  but it was for the most part SAE school and internet marketing (Website promotions)  companies. I understand that this was a business and not a tech show but I think there is room for some of that.
Meager swag   – Not even a USB keychain with some dopey pix or showcase artist demos (That’s what the Internet is for I guess) 😦 Oh well, I can’t complain about the price for the two day conference and live showcases as it  was very reasonable.
Note: I could have paid to put discs and stuff in the bag to pimp my shit but I didn’t. so If your Swag-Bag wasn’t pimp enough for you either, go ahead blame me for not putting one of my discs in there (but you had the same opportunity amirite?!) wtfits

Ok so my complaints are pretty minor and to be fair there was a great legal panel that was scheduled earlier in the day but was moved up to the morning slot which was fine by me. The  Chase Entertainment lawyer (Greg Bloom) was a cool guy and straight shooter it seemed. While the major focus of the panel was on the 360 deal, along the way I learned a few things about copyrights , transfer of ownership, where everybody is on the royalty food chain and who collects what at the end of the day. I also got to meet the guys from “Approaching Nirvana” , another “Cinematic Electronica” band based in Miami. As it turns out there may be more to the Miami “Electronica” scene then the gate keepers at Ultra music and the local clubs would lead you to believe. They talked about marketing and the DIY -perspective and made themselves available after the panel session was over.  For anyone looking to get into the business this panel alone was worth the admission price.

tl;dr “360” deals are here to stay. Nobody is just going to give you money so you can go be an artist- they want ROI from all the ways your work can be monetized. Good thing for you is that  you get to negotiate with labels on bigger variety of items, from merch to live shows, streaming rights, synch rights etc, and you can negotiate different rates on each part so you can give a little on one thing put potentially do quite well on another, for example the percentage between streaming revenue and concert tour revenue. Also If you decide to go label hunting, having all these different revenue streams under your control will make you look more together and appealing as a business investment (Because that is what your are to them, never forget that).  FYI if all this talk about “Product” and “Monetization” bugs the “Artist of the peoples”  in you perhaps you should consider another line of work. If becoming some kind of “commercial success” (and I will define this as “Getting paid some amount of money to do what you love” ) important to  you then you kinda have to think in these terms, failure to do so will most likely leave you unhappy.

Bottom line; little plastic discs are tanking and the major record industry has collapsed into 3 or four major labels. As such,  labels look to maximize the artist’s total revenue stream. What does that entail? Well before, the record company basically paid for the record production and derived royalty payments from sale of that. Other revenue streams were not counted. Publishers actually made a shit-ton of money. (See this Primer from Tunecore). <—That primer or something like that should have been handout at this session,  Bloom and company reinforced the concepts there.
However, artists  have a wide variety or revenue streams open to us depending on the use of our Intellectual Property. (E.G. Don’t think of your music as just songs or video think of the broader use your work.) The goal here is to get yourself in a position to leverage the strengths of all of your work be it ringtones or commercial soundtrack.
Now let me stop for sec here and change gears for minute. Part of the focus on this event is to get a picture of how the industry looks today. This includes what it takes, the “things you need to know” about the industry. So there was a some focus on the traditional record deal with a label. But I would be doing the conference a disservice if I didn’t say that there was huge representation of the DIY side. This was not Big label Rah Rah. This was definitely letting artists know that with the digital age and social media.  Artists have more avenues for expression and connecting with their audiences in different ways than ever in the history of man.
Everyone is out to make a buck and frankly some artists will need resources to help with the parts that they don’t know, (I’m still not sure what Moozar really brings to the table). It’s like the insides of a major label threw up on to the internet and each dept can now help you with monetizing all your revenue streams…. for a small fee.  That’s  where all your internet marketing companies I mentioned earlier come in.  From Soundcloud Wannabe’s to All in One Promotion shops, you could spend a ton of money trying to pimp your work and if your not careful lose it, in Nickel and dime fashion in all this freedom. Many of the services are good but they will sell to anyone who can pay. There are also free services too, use the hell out of them if it makes sense and drop it if it doesn’t.

The Take Away

So what does that mean? In practical terms it means, use the free tools that are out there to find and know your market/audience before your start paying someone to spam what your THINK might be your audience.  Some of the best promotional tools are free- Youtube and Google analytics. Facebook accounts are good for a presence but for music promotion it is a veritable wasteland (or so they pointed out at the conference).  Soundcloud is a good place but it still has that kinda musician-to-musician vibe. YouTube however is king, get a good following there and you will have a solid lead.  However, you should think of these places as  a place where you would link your content to from your site, because those “free services” could disappear and all your work, leads and info gone in the wink of a press release, (Think Google RSS and Buzz).

Website’s ? What? People still have those?

Speaking of Driving traffic to your site, all the panelists agreed that owning your own site is super important to maintain control over your online brand or presence.  It’s where you collect emails and increasingly cell phone numbers and twitter feeds as email is for old people apparently. The importance of the Website may be a little diminished as a communication tool but it’s still seen as a requirement to show that your are “serious” More importantly it is the destination to which you can drive all traffic to from whatever the “Flavor of the Month” Social media site there is.  This is where you can keep and or direct access to your core content. If /when your social media picks become non relevant (6degrees, Friendster, Old MySpace where art thou?) where will your fans go? Do you want to put all your eggs (and contacts and marketing data) in one basket controlled by someone else who at the end of the day doesn’t give a shit about you and your data?

So All in all the Friday at Driven was good, there was the Big Panel at the end talking about Concepts,tours, and marketing which was also good but it was very wide and not too deep. I would have like to have stayed longer but we had a tight schedule to keep.  Lot’s of idea juice was picked up and made a few contacts.  Let’s hope they come back next year.

Anniversary of Sorts.

3 years Ago today I wrote on this wordpress blog that my brother Alex and I were going to try and get gigs. Next Friday on the Feb 22nd will be his funeral mass. I’m still doing music but it’s not going to be the same with out him. I love you Alex, I miss you.

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