Clambake Episode for July 31, 2005

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for July 31, 2005.

I talk about finally listening to the Wired Jesus episode responding to me and how I did a road trip of approximately 8 driving hours without turning on the radio; I talk about and play music from the Butthole Surfers; I point out that the extra money for an iPod Shuffle can be a net gain when you factor in time; more Surfers; I discuss Pedro Almodovar and Talk to Her and the new episode of Systm being too big in the large formats to fit on a CD; one more Butthole Surfers song; I need pictures of your face; goodbye.

Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package.

This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 1.0.

Links mentioned in this episode:


Road Work

Took a work-related road trip that involved leaving that house at 6 AM on Friday and just finishing now. Much work happened, a few hijinks and adventures, and now I am back home. I had no internet access the whole time, and it’s downright amazing how much email can build up in 30 hours.

Google Ads

So after the comment thread through the course of the day, I have opted to put the Google ads back on the page. Finding out they have lifted their conversation-stifling “you can use us and make money, but not talk about that” bullshit was the big thing. It’s easier to put this on a WordPress template than it was in the blosxom days, so I just did it. This is another experiment, albeit it a fairly ambivalent one from my perspective. Consider Google ads on probation (again). If it performs like a dead fish (again), then it will be gone permanently.

And I’m curious, why is there an ad for finding friends from old military brigades when I first fired it back up? What could I possibly have said (or blogrolled) that would cause that?

Update: I logged in to my Adsense account for the first time in months, and was asked to accept new terms. That included this piece:

Communications Solely With Google. You agree to direct to Google, and not to any advertiser, any communication regarding any Ad(s) or Link(s) displayed in connection with Your Site(s).

Does this mean that by questioning the ads, as I did in this post, I have violated this term? That’s awfully freaking broadly stated, “any communic


My cable modem took a dump, so I relocated to the branch office temporarily. I’m sitting here working, eating a crab melt panini and listening to last week’s Personality Crisis from WREK. Jon is currently playing a chunk of songs that are ELO and ELO covers. Just like the Paul Melancon song “Jeff Lynne” reminds me, I have an enormous store of affection for the Electric Light Orchestra (and also the Move, the predecessor band.) Even at their bullshit schmaltziest, I still love everything from the early 70’s up to the mid-80’s. By the time of “Horace Wimp” the cause was lost, but there are so many of those tunes that just take me back and fire me up. “Living Thing,” “Turn to Stone,” “Evil Woman,” and one of my all-time favorite rock tunes “Do Ya” are guaranteed to bring a smile to my face and a tap to my toes. Even though later I got deep into the worlds of punk and metal, that never subtracted music, only added. At my thrashiest, moshiest point in my music fandom, I was still a sucker for “Can’t Get It Out of My Head.” Thanks for reminding me, brother. I heart Jon Kincaid.

PS – You can subscribe to the ghetto podcast feed I set up for the show. If you use iTunes, be sure an tell it to get all files, because there are five separate ones every time the show posts as it is in 30 minute chunks.

Ellen Kushner

I was surprised and pleased to see that Ellen Kushner left a comment on this blog. I really like Ellen, and I’ve been a listener of her show Sound and Spirit for 10 years. It’s one of the ones I capture from MP3 streams and listen to later. In 1996 when I was pitching the nationally syndicated version of Reality Break at the Public Radio Program Director conference in New Orleans, Ellen and the crew from WGBH gave me so much advice and support that it was ridiculous. Here I was, this kid with a stack of information packets and home-dubbed cassettes, and they all took me seriously and even helped me make my pitch to program directors. That’s part of why I’ve had such a warm spot in my heart for WGBH and why I was pleased to see them take the lead in public radio podcasting.

Ellen has got a new project, Interstitials Arts. Check it out!

Blogging for $$$

Comic strip blogger talks about Darren Rowse, Cam Reilly has breakfast with him and talks about how much money he makes with his blog ($14,500 in Google ads in one month???). If he’s such a power, how come I never heard of this guy until yesterday?

Google Ads mailed me yesterday. They have finally noticed that I have taken them off my page. I just never ported them into my new templates on WordPress and haven’t been on fire to do so. Mainly, it’s because the ads they served were so bad and boring. Nine times out of ten, it was something about an RSS reader. Yawn. I actually got some checks from them and made a reasonable amount of money, but not so much that I feel like farting around with them. I really hate the whole “don’t talk about what you make” stuff, which I think is the opposite of “don’t be evil.” What we do here is about candor and Google’s method of squashing candor also really bugs me. If I made more or they were less of a pain in the ass, maybe I’d put them back on. For now, I just don’t feel like it.

Shuffle Swap

Yesterday afternoon, I plugged in my Shuffle to the iBook to refresh my listening content. It didn’t mount as a drive, it didn’t mount in iTunes and it didn’t flash as if it were recharging. I tried a few things like plugging it into a powered hub, plugging into every USB port on every computer in the office and on none of them did it start flashing. It still played and worked, but it wouldn’t communicate or charge. This make me think something was boned in the USB connection part.

I decided to not fart around and go straight to the Apple warranty page, on the assumption that the earlier in the day that I set up the exchange, the fewer days it would take. In fact, the replacement unit was sitting on my front porch at 9 AM EDT. The old one is packed up and ready to drop in the DHL box. All in all, that was a fantastic transaction. The new one has already been pressed into service, is charged up and loaded with my playlist. Nice!

Clambake Episode for July 24, 2005

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for July 24, 2005.

Today is Rocket City Riot day, with our weekly interview and song from John Mark King; I talk about doing interviews via Skype; I play an out of context quote I find funny; I talk about and play a song by the Kropotkins, whilst pointing out how comforting I found it to live close to Mo Tucker from the Velvet Underground; Wired Jesus is responding to my show about god; I play competing clips from David Coursey and Lawrence Lessig; out of time, must go.

Once again, I didn’t quite complete one of the main thoughts. When I was saying that the big media guys make a big deal about how the amateurs aren’t as good as the pros (which I suggested be filed under “no shit Sherlock”), the conclusion that I didn’t say was “that the pros are relying on that fact for their livelihood, they should be frightened at how close the amateurs are to them in quality and the speed with which they are closing the gap.”

Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package.

This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 1.0.

Links mentioned in this episode:


Comic Strip Blogger v. Gaping Void

I cannot unequivocally say that Comic Strip Blogger is certifiably insane because I haven’t seen the paperwork, but it wouldn’t surprise me. That nuttiness is doing a pretty good job of keeping me amused. I think the best one so far is this strip about Hugh Macleod, with a really credible parody of a Gaping Void comic. I also like the conceit of CSB representing himself as a monkey. Some of these strips can be over the top and cruel, but when he reserves the worst of it for himself that actually gives him leeway to go even farther in making fun of people.

For the record, I think some of Hugh’s strips are brilliant (like my favorite, “The market for something to believe in is infinite”) and I too don’t much care for the sexual politics ones. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with them or that they offend me, but that after the first few they are all pretty much the same. I kind of feel the same way with the “New York love/hate relationship” subset of them. If I wanted to read the same strip over and over, I’d be looking at Cathy in my local paper.

Update: I forgot to mention – extra points for the Neal Adams/Dave Sim like effect of flowing the narrative and word balloons through the panels. In a funny coincidence, today’s George Carlin quote is “In comic strips, the person on the left always speaks first.”

Clambake Episode for July 23, 2005

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for July 23, 2005.

Man is it hot! I play some cut-ups from the Institute of Contemporary Music; the bulk of this episode is music from and an interview with Brad Sucks. Thanks Brad!

Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package.

This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 1.0.

Links mentioned in this episode:



I had been skipping the interview Rob Greenlee did with David Coursey every time it came up on the Shuffle because I just didn’t feel like tackling it. Today I finally listened, and now I think I now understand his column on podcasting I discussed earlier. My sense of his viewpoint after listening to him talk is that he is like a street whore expressing incredulity about and contempt for those who would have sex for fun. The thought that anyone could blog or podcast because they enjoy expressing themselves and communicating with others is foreign to him.


So the crap of the week has mostly resolved itself. The phone works, the AC is fixed, the bookshelves moved and the worst part of the mess tidied back up. Here’s to going into the weekend without a lot of holdover crap dragging it down.

He’s in a Bad Mood

Listening to last Sunday’s Personality Crisis from WREK today, one of the songs was Sonic Youth’s “She’s in a Bad Mood.” That’s fitting, because I had a crap day that was just getting rolling right around then. All the stuff that went wrong yesterday took a toll, even though they are getting straightened out. The phone is fixed but the alarm system is what broke it and it is still boned. The AC guy should be back tomorrow with the new part, that’s getting better.

However, in and around all this I managed to knock over a bookshelf, which because of the back to back way I had them set up led to a domino effect of knocking down four of them. I described this to my brother in IM and he said it sounded “Three Stooges-like.” I replied, “Dude, this was straight up Shemp shit.” The downside is that it was a complete fiasco, but the upside is that nothing was broken and we wanted to rearrange them anyway. Not on this timetable and not in this fashion, but it is what it is. I spent a chunk of my evening moving things around in my office and reshelving piles of books. It was kind of like picking up after an earthquake, only I created the earthquake.

So, today was a widely diversified sucky day, with a broad base of crap to draw upon in making that way. I’m glad it is almost over.

The DRM’d Future

I’ve talked in the podcast about the widening division between open culture and closed culture. If something like this situation comes to pass with monitors required to implement DRM security restrictions to view content with rules chosen by content creators, I can tell you what I’m going to do. I will take out a bank loan and buy every damn older monitor that doesn’t implement the security restrictions and every possible open solution to the extent allowed by law. I will go into the “open monitor” business, selling them on eBay or in a shop or out of my trunk down by the river.

At some point, the combination of Big Media content companies and the technology firms that suck up to them will overplay their hands. When they do, it will create enormous market opportunities for systems to go around their bullshit. Should this situation hit the shelves, I’m putting my money down on the opposite bet.

Crazy Digital Life

So, I’m sitting on my couch in Conway, SC. My phone line has mysteriously gone out as has half of the AC in the house so analog technology isn’t doing so well at this moment. I get an IM from Sam Levin. He tells me that he’s at the Always On conference and sends me a link to the webcast. Through him, I’m saying hello to Steve Gillmor who is seated next to him and whose podcast I had just listened to two separate episodes today. I’m watching and listening to the presentation from my living room, interacting with people across the country.

Almost a decade ago, I interviewed the science fiction writer Sage Walker about her book Whiteout. This book chronicles a high tech commune, where they were bound together not in agrarian pursuits but in a techno-cyber-public relations firm where they were always in contact remotely. At the time, I told her “I don’t want to read the book, I want to live it.” Today, I do in fact live 90% of what was in the book. I work for guys 800 miles away who I mostly talk to via instant message and VOIP. Earlier today, I talked with Brad Sucks about music and life via Skype. I’ve had similar talks recently with John Rogers, Cory Doctorow, Michael Butler and I’m sure there will be many others.

The tech is nifty, but what matters to me are the people. Skype, VOIP, IM, webcasting, podcasting – what I most care about are the humans at the other end of the packet stream, the folks on the far side of the TCP socket. There is a lot I don’t like about our modern life, but I’m on board with our emerging infotopia.

Quick Hits

These are things that I have been meaning to blog and just haven’t. For all I know I already did but I’m too much of a lazy prick to actually check and see if I did.

The iPodder Lemon folks paypal’d me a donation, just for me being me. Thanks guys! My relationship with iPodderX put a real or perceived distance between me and them, but I really dig them and I thought this was an unusually cool thing to do. I guess they had a pool of money and voted to allocate it amongst folks they listen to. I use iPodderX but I have also used iPodder and like it too. Either one of these clients is light years better than the current state of iTunes’s podcasting support. Keep up the good work, even if the lemon is the single worst icon you can use for a product.

Thanks to Aron Michalski for a pleasant Sunday hanging around backstage at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach and on the crew bus. Sadly, I was too wiped out to go to the show despite him generously arranging tickets for me. I felt like a schmuck not actually attending the show and it took me two days to work up the courage to email him afterwards. It was fun, cool to actually meet him and to see behind the curtain of a big rock show. His podcast is one of my must-listen shows and I never miss an episode.

I think Phil Gordon’s podcast from the World Series of Poker is the single best “celebrity” podcast I’ve ever heard. It is just right – behind the scenes look at stuff that is fascinating, just enough irreverence to make it unusable in any other format, etc. I dig it. I found out that I have four degrees of separation to him and that he and I attended Georgia Tech at the same time. Hell, I might have two degrees through mutual college friends. Anyway, I love his podcast and he has said that he’ll keep doing it even after the end of the WSOP, just because he likes the feedback and finds it fun to do. Amen!

Your Turn Now

I mentioned this in the last podcast, but I want to post it in the text as well. I’m presenting at the Podcast and Portable Media Expo this fall. My topic will be “The Human Touch”, exploring the human interactions enabled by this medium. I’m trying to do something different by not having a boring Powerpoint showing the same words I’m saying in bulleted lists. Instead, I want to present the spirit of the talk by showing faces of people who read this blog and listen to my podcast. These can be serious or goofy, just as long as it is you and has your face in the picture. Please send those in to dslusher at gmail com. I need a good number of these to make it work – having too few sends the opposite message of what I’m trying to express here, you know. I have already gotten a few, for which I thank everyone. Keep them coming, folks.

It should be pointed out, too, that I stole this idea from the overlord, Warren Ellis and his “them internets is made of people” stunt that he pulls periodically.

The Death of Podcasting

Lest I was tempted to comment on this piece by Frank Barnako (how shocking, a big media guy is gleeful that iTunes is focussing on big media podcasts), Steve Gillmor is already on the case. Thank you Steve, for removing that temptation and doing it far more entertainingly than I could.

Let me just add that it truly represents a glorious failure of imagination that these guys have no other way of looking at this phenomenon than through the lens of numbers obsessed bean-counters. Dear God, Al Franken has more listeners than me! Holy shit, the New York Times have more readers than this blog! Guess it is time to fold the tents of citizen media because what reason could there be to express oneself other than to be #1 in some ranking?