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February 15, 2008

Brad Sucks’ surprises

Brad Sucks came to Harvard this week and gave a performance-conversation and addressed the class I’m co-teaching with John Palfrey (blogged here and here). There were a few surprises.

What was not surprising was that Brad’s totally delightful, frank, and just a good guy.

First, he pronounces his last name (Turcotte) as Tur-COTT, not Tur-COAT. I stand corrected. Also, he likes his name written as “Brad Sucks,” not “BradSucks.” Sorry twice, Brad!

Second, especially during the class, I was struck by how different copyright looks to Brad than it looks to, well, lots of others. It’s not just that copyright protection looks to Brad like a limitation on how widely his music spreads and his musical career builds. Rather, it was how foreign copyright looks to him. From what he said, it seems like an imposition of an artificial construct place on top of the work.

Here’s what I think is happening, although I can’t say that this is what Brad is thinking. To people who think of music as a work, copyright looks like the natural boundary of their work, the ethical edge of their work itself. Others (Brad, maybe?) think of music not so much as a work as a shared experience, as a connection with listeners. For them, listening is co-creation. The work feels more like a performance to them. The concept of copyright doesn’t fit easily over such a view.

Third, Brad surprised both the class and the attendees at the performance-conversation with his claim that he is a “horrible capitalist” who gives his songs away for intensely practical reasons, not because he’s an anti-copyright activist.

Thanks for coming, Brad. And thanks for being so BradSucksy. [Tags: ]

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January 8, 2008

BradSucks to rock Harvard Feb 11

Some time in the early evening of February 11, I’ll be conducting a very special (as they say in the entertainment biz) Web of Ideas session about how the new business models for music are affecting music…by interviewing BradSucks, who will also favor us with some songs.

I’m a big fan of Brad’s, so I’m quite excited about this.

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November 19, 2007

Joho’s new look

This site is now officially under construction as I switch it from Movable Type to WordPress. So, pardon the glitches, and, no, I haven’t finished moving my blogroll over yet.

Why am I switching? It comes down to no good reason. I like MT as software and admire it as a company. But, I have it configured for maximum host churn. So, I could work on configuring it better or I could try something new. I’ve been using WP for my Everything Is Miscellaneous blog, and have been enjoying it. I’m also fairly comfortable with it now. So, I opted to try something new.

My only regret comes from mt sense of loyalty to MT. The company is a good contributor to the community and I recommend MT wholeheartedly. In fact, if bradsucks weren’t doing the WP install for me, I’d absolutely fail at it; WP is easy to get up in its default state, but much harder to configure and personalize than MT, at least in my experience.

So, now for the tweaks, the fixes, the general annoyance, and the post-installation regrets…

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