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Where is Your Act on "the Spectrum"? Ask the Gig.

Sometimes, dealing with people in the music industry is like engaging with people with autism. There is unexpected behavior, high intelligence, and a painstaking differential between the souls [of musicians and promoters] and the souls of those who share their crativity and skills with the world in other, more sane ways. There is a term in the autism field called "the spectrum". It is an indication that someone may not be entirely identified as autistic, but on "the spectrum." I love this term because, really, we are all on some kind of spectrum. Spectrum also can be used when referring to color -- the spectrum of the color wheel. It seems infinite, with all its subtle shades and variations. Kind of welcoming, really...this abyss where things don't have to be black and white, but in or along a spectrum. This wonderful place is where we are headed as we look at the SPECTRUM of gigs that exist for most musicians. "A  spectrum  (plural spectra or s
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Survival of the Fittest vs. Survival of All

The theories of evolution, while great at describing variations of feathers on pigeon wings, bacteria in petri dishes, and camouflage colors of butterflies, it is awful for eugenics and justifying superiority. In commerce, which can be likened to survival of the fittest, products and services best suited for market make money while those that do not, do not. In art, it's understood that value of something doesn't relate directly to its commerical value. However, technology makes it possible to flood the digital space with more music than has ever been available at any given time in the history of the human race (go with me on this). People can record at home, on their phone, in a bus, on a street, in a school, even while eating green eggs and ham. Sites ranging from to Pandora and Spotify are platforms to share music by Jane Doe as well as major well-known acts. While it makes sense to have sites that are likened to libraries of digital music, searchable by art

Content Creators Get the Short Straw in the Internet Draw

A recent Forbes article, brought my way by ASCAP newsletter, talks about impending changes to the Internet. Read it here.  After reading it, I have more questions than answers:  - Is the Obama policy for Internet better or worse than what is being proposed now, and why?  - How would new policies affect content creators?  - How would new policies continue or impede the monopoly of major Internet companies? Art by HJ Frank It is clear that over the past ten years, the content that creative people make is offered for free online in many forms; whether audio, video, photos and writing. While the Internet offers a place to showcase work, and to view portfolios, it also cuts out the "retail" element that the music industry relied on, in the past, to generate revenue. The content creators are made to feel like we are lucky to be able to show our work online; meanwhile, Internet and smartphone companies keep the lights on.  While the Internet is often toted as a &quo

Looking Back and Forward on Musician and Artist's Rights

This video shows Frank Zappa testifiying before Congress, and serves as a reminder about the importance of musician's and artist's rights. Here is a run-down on songs, recordings and relted copyrights, licensing and royalties. Here is a video about owning your own publishing. Even if you are only partially in understanding of this topic, please use this as an excuse to dig deeper, research more and become informed. Here is one more about the importance of for thought!

On Axis Music Travels to Mississippi

Photo by H. Frank    I've often looked at myself as Chicagoan. When I graduated art school, I thought I was being super professional by making an email with the word "Chicago" in it. This was when emails were cryptic and the Internet was still waving on the ripples from the stone of AOL. It took a little planning, and careful meandering of my goldfish watching responsibilities but I was able to break away from the ties that bind and go, camera in hand, like Hunter S. Thompson, to the Second Annual Mississippi Saxophone Festival. I look forward to sharing the article and the photos and the most important lesson, however, was getting out of Dodge. It is an important thing to do literally...we can travel in a song, but we are meant to travel as musicians and spread the music. Too often I see the only people taking up the flag of troubadorship as somewhat well off middle-upper-class-maybe-a-trust-fund was involved, and the spreading not of love and music, but of th

Book Project Update

On Axis Music is hard at work finalizing the book layout for this collection of lyrics.

Jazz Vocalist Ty Cooper Show Announcement 2/19/2017