About bemuso

It’s a DIY thing... debunking music biz middlemen since 2002. Info about the industry and web for independent musicians—and what I think, as if that matters.

The Art Of Asking

amanda_palmerHere’s a quick review of Amanda Palmer’s book.

If you’re a huge fan you will read it anyway and you will love it, so this is for the rest of us. I like what she does and how she does it but I’m not a massive diehard fan.

I have blogged before about her TED talk. If you have seen it, seen the fallout or simply have a (possibly sceptical) view about TED in general, it might make you wary of this book. Don’t be.

Another theme of the book is the The Fraud Police from her commencement speech to The New England Institute of Art in 2011. If you enjoyed her TED you’ll like that too.

There are probably 3 things this book could have been. Thankfully it isn’t just fan fodder, and despite the title it isn’t merely an expansion of The Art Of Asking TED. It’s better than either of those would have been, it’s an autobiography with those aspects of her philosophy, and others, woven in.

It covers her experience of busking as a human statue, starting up her band (The Dresden Dolls), making her first CDs and funding an album, before getting signed and dropped. Then there’s her Internet career, the £1.2 million Kickstarter album, various controversies, marriage to Neil Gaiman and so on, up to date.

She’s had a really interesting career so there’s never a dull moment and the stories about her life, friends and fans are often very moving. As I tweeted when I finished it: I laughed out loud and I cried. She writes well.

I would like to have known more about her team and her management—there are key people around her we don’t hear much about (they are mentioned in the acknowledgements). But apparently it was edited down from over twice as long so maybe there wasn’t room.

So it’s a good music autobiography and if you have followed her ups and downs it fills in a lot of gaps. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in indie musicians and the many variants of DIY music biz.

I’m going to move web hosts

lorryMy current web host (BlueHost) is not very good. This year I have had severe outages and the helpdesk is not helpful, and they aren’t cheap.

I have identified a better hosting arrangement: move WordPress to WordPress.com and HTML to a very reliable web host. The cost will be less when it’s all done… and it will work better.

Unfortunately bits of the site will go missing for a few days during the move but it will all be back afterwards. Then, I’ll migrate the best pages of the HTML (the old bemuso.com web site) into WordPress a page at a time, and update them as I go. When it’s all in WordPress it will be far easier to update and it will look much cooler.

About half the old site has lost its relevance over the years so I’ll just retire those bits.

There is a bit of groundwork to do first so nothing will happen for a few weeks. I’ll post again right before the fun and games begin.

UPDATE: Research has shown moving WordPress to WordPress.com is not easy. There are tools but the media library (basically all the pictures) and links to it must be rebuilt manually. So I’m adjusting my move to leave out WordPress.com for now.

More Rob Chapman

In case you weren’t convinced by my previous Rob Chapman video here’s another.

This was way back in 2008 long before  other things happened but he tells you how he got underway. Since then of course he has gone further than he might have expected in 2008.

What is perhaps notable about his advice is the lack of music biz jargon. SXSW is on again, and that’s a useful yardstick with its many pundits and acres of Powerpoint. He has none of that.

It is now well over a decade since I started writing about the music business online. And one of my key findings in that time is the irrelevance of media froth. It’s worse than irrelevant, it’s a distraction. Rob Chapman cheerfully ignores it.

Things have been quiet here for a year or so. There are many things I could do but I have spent a lot of time thinking rather than uploading. At the heart of this is froth overload and time wasted keeping “up-to-date” with irrelevance. There are things I must do to clean up the site and correct old info, so updates will occur. I also have new material but the hours, days and weeks I have recovered from froth have gone into real world activity so far. So apologies for the lack of stuff recently but that is why.