[2013 NOTE... all the stuff below about "Weedshare.com" and "Weedfiles" is now of historical interest only!]
Greetings y'all... here's my first newsletter of 2004. If you're getting this, you subscribed, and I still have a copy of your email... or else, you emailed me with a question, and (as my site warns explicitly) I added you. Don't worry, it's all BCC, and I'm lucky to get out two of these a year. But as ever, just send me a "remove" and you're off the list, you won't hurt my feelings.
First of all, my 2 new fave websites: www.groklaw.net (SCO vs. Linux) & www.antiwar.com (Bush vs. everyone else). Prepare to spend way too much time at these, they are dangerous. (Caution... it's the external links at Antiwar.com that are the best; some of the site's own writers are a bit far out there sometimes. But where else will you find Pat Buchanan and Noam Chomsky linked from the same page?)
Oh yeah... then there's Tony Slug's Death Metal Band Name Generator: http://www.slugrock.com/deathmetal.php3
Second, I'm about to change email addresses, I'm just not sure to what. This newsletter is already being sent from my new address at att.net, but I've already gotten spam after only a month, and finally figured out why: "endino" is only a meager six letters, and is too easily vulnerable to a "dictionary attack" by random-letter-generating spammer programs. All they have to do is send one that doesn't bounce, and they know I'm here. I need one like (just for instance) endino_record_mogul175_78654 (at) somedomain.com that will be a lot harder to generate at random. Please be patient while I figure out what to use. This att.net address will work for now... my old nwlink.com one still works too. As ever, please do NOT post my address on any websites or blogs, or add me to your spam lists for your next band gig in Pensacola, Florida next friday. Thanks. My website will always have my latest email address posted too.
The tenth anniversary of Cobain's death is fast approaching, and magazines worldwide are doing their "ten years after grunge" stories. His death is a convenient signpost. Of course, this means everyone and their Mom is contacting me for an interview, so I get to say the same stuff all over again. There are even several journalists from other countries who will be making pilgrimages to Grunge City in the coming months, and I expect to spend time with each of them if they will at least buy me a lunch. It also happens that in early March, the Melvins are playing a couple of 20th anniversary shows (OUCH!!!!) with Mudhoney (who are themselves in their 16th year), one in Seattle, and one in Olympia... there may be other gigs I don't know about.
Speaking of pre-grunge, Grohl's PROBOT is out, but I haven't heard it. I guarantee I will buy it though. Courtney's album may or may not be out soon. I'm not holding my breath on that one.
I just survived making a new ZEKE record. RELAPSE is putting it out. Yup, Zeke broke up after a Europe tour a couple years ago, but what happened was they ended up regrouping later as a three-piece, and have been playing successfully ever since, and in fact are getting better and better if you can believe that. The new record is stylistically all over the map... it's all hard-hitting as hell (like usual) but instead of just speedy stuff there's a smattering of heavy rock tunes, mid-tempo and so forth, though even the slow tunes are only 2 minutes long, which is brilliant if you ask me. Strong Motorhead vibe on this one. I was having a funny conversation with Gordon from Relapse about Zeke formerly being on Epitaph, and I went into a rant about how Epitaph, bless them (one of the guys there, Ron, worked for Cruz Records back when Skin Yard was on that label, and we're old buds) has never been able to promote a Seattle band... they just don't seem to know what to do. First Coffin Break, then Gas Huffer, then Zeke. They put out a couple records in good faith, do what they can, but ultimately scratch their heads, shrug, and go back to selling So-Cal stuff. (Though they get points for signing Tom Waits.) Hopefully Zeke's new record, "'Til The Living End," will get a better shot on Relapse. (Did I mention that it roxx?)
Over the holidays I also did an EP for Hydra Head, the label that made Botch famous. It was a collaboration between two of Seattle's heaviest bands: Harkonen (my new favorite band!!!!) and These Arms are Snakes (featuring at least one ex-Botch member). The plan: two songs from each band, and then some kind of collaboration would be recorded... we didn't know exactly what or how. The result was 4 killer tunes, but then there was that fifth tune... well, it's the first time I've had two drummers out in the studio, face-to-face across the room, playing at the same time! Two guitarists! And one of the two bassists was playing weird keyboard sampler parts thru a guitar amp. A double-trio setup. They started jamming, and I started making unwelcome Grateful Dead jokes (2 drummers, ya know) but what they really sounded like was freaking Neurosis! It was a huge sound. They came up with some riffs, concocted this arrangement which we cut in one take, then came up with some lyrics, with the two singers/screamers trading verses. It was nuts.
Upon further reflection it was decided to name the split EP "Like A Virgin". That meant that the untitled 5th track would henceforth be known as "Touched For The Very First Time." Look for it on Hydra Head in early June. I chuckle maniacally just thinking about it.
A previous Harkonen EP I recorded has just come out on Initial Records. It's called "Dancing" and includes a dead-on cover of Scratch Acid's "Cannibal".
Got new CDs in the mail from The Bronze. This band was masterminded by my friend Craig Mueller (who, incidentally, was Reciprocal Recording client #1, July 1st, 1986, in another band long, long ago). The Bronze drummer was the late Scotty Jernigan, formerly of Karp, who died in a freak boating accident last year. Scotty was a mind-blowing drummer and is still missed by many. He had left the Bronze shortly before his death, and was playing in a new band called The Whip, whose promising career was cut short. I was hoping Craig would find a way to get the stuff we had recorded released, and now, I realize that I had totally forgotten how crushing this stuff was. It's absolutely, totally killer, no filler, not even a solo anywhere. Just massive riff power, tuff vocals, and monster drumming. The band lineup was two guitars, drums, and no bassist, but each guitarist had a Marshall stack AND an SVT bass rig, so low end was no problem. They were, um, quite loud, but they had to be to keep up with Scotty. I'm gonna see if Craig will let me weedify some songs and sell 'em on my Weed site, but in the meantime you can order the CD from his website (www.thebronze.net), and there are some MP3 snippets there you should check out. This gets a 10 out of 10 from me. What part of "this slays" don't you understand?
I just got to see an exclusive, private screening of a very, very early cut of this long-awaited documentary about the former singer for Mother Love Bone and Malfunkshun. About 20 of us who knew him were watching; no Pearl Jam guys though, cuz they were out of town I think. It was very good, and there was some hilarious footage of Andy (and live Love Bone and M-Funk) which really took me back. Of course, many of us watching the preview were in the movie as interview subjects too. Look for a possible release next year, and put the word out: it really, actually exists now. Stay tuned.
(Former Mother Love Bone drummer Greg Gilmore has written more about the film on his website.)
What the hell else is up? I'm currently recording a band called the Jet City Fix who are ace. Upcoming: an ex-Louisiana band called Jodi Hates The World, the Beautiful Mothers, the Jesus Chords, a band regrettably called the Wifebeaters, some others... and Chad Channing (ex-Nirvana) has a band called East Of The Equator that I think will be recording with me in late March. So, I'm keeping busy.
If you're wondering why I haven't been updating ENDINO.COM much lately, it's because all my time has been going into maintaining RECORDINGSTUDIOSEARCH.COM with it's searchable database of over 100 northwest studios in WA, OR, MT, ID etc, and then there's my Weed site....
The Weed system (introduced in my last letter) is slowly taking off. Chuck D and Sir Mix-A-Lot are on board, and my own Weed site,
www.jacksweedcafe.com, is growing. It's strange really, but what we have is an "enabling" technology, with simple rules which allow complex permutations to take shape. Essentially it allows a used-CD-like market to exist for audio files... you can sell the files effectively "used" or "new"... with the added wrinkle that the artists always get paid 50% of EVERY sale, AND the person currently selling the file gets a cut of that sale too... no matter how many times the file changes hands. It's just too boggling to even recognize the implications fully... nothing like this has even existed before. It allows any artist to sell their own Weed music files, or any person who collects a bunch of them to become their own virtual mini-MP3.com. I've sold almost 500 downloads from my own site, and that's with little promotion other than this very newsletter. The top-selling files from my site are Gruntruck's 3 new songs, followed by my own tunes, Swedish band Lowrider, and Dirty Power.
People have trouble grasping it at first... they keep asking if it's like MP3.com. No, it's not a central website with music. I'll repeat, it's an ENABLING TECHNOLOGY that allows anyone to become their OWN mini-mp3.com. The Weed company has created the technology and the INFRASTRUCTURE for it to work. And the concept is working, right now. It's functional, it's up and running. People are making money selling files, right now, with micropayments going to them in real time. No one is getting rich, of course, because the company is small, and is barely on the public's radar screen yet, and much of the music is not explicitly commercial, as one would expect of a grass-roots phenomenon like this. But that is changing slowly. Word is getting out.
An annoyance is people who keep confusing it with a pyramid scheme. No, no, no. No one is getting ripped off. It's more like multilevel marketing, except no one has to invest in buying a garage full of beauty products. The file's price does not keep going up as the file propagates. You don't need to invest a bunch of money to be part of the system (except whatever it cost you to make your recordings!). If you do spend money, you get music, at a price about the same as everyone else is selling music for... PLUS you get the RIGHT to resell that music, if you want to bother doing so; it's not required.
I'm what is called a Weed ICP, or Independent Content Provider; ICPs are kind of like "gatekeepers" of the Weed system. We find the content and get it into the system, and are also responsible for making sure all of it is legit, clearances are signed, identifying info gathered, the right people paid, etc. I also have a Weed distribution site, so I get to act a little like a record label, in that I only put stuff up there that I personally dig. There is an identifiable aesthetic there, which anyone who has followed my career (and seen my discography) should catch on to. I'm somewhat jaded and will skip anything that is even remotely pedestrian sounding or too ordinary or too unoriginal. (Or if it is unoriginal, it better make up for it with massive energy and emotion.) Why? It takes up my time and server space to deal with this stuff. For each new artist I get weedified, I have to create a web page on my site, create the artist's account on the weed system, upload the files to the weed server, enter a bunch of meta-data, download the files from the weed server, make sure the artist gets their weedified files, etc. I'm only going to go to the trouble if I believe in the music. An ICP's only payment for doing all this is a small cut of the initial sales of the file. But... and this is the beauty of it... there are lots of other ICPs with different music tastes, all findable on the WEED Web Ring and listed on the Weedshare.com company website. The Weed company folks will find an ICP to weedify files for any artist; it doesn't have to be me.
The thing is spreading, indeed, like weeds.
New Weed files on my site include:
SECOND COMING, a Seattle band who got the shaft early on: Gary Gersh signed 'em to Capitol, then he left the company and the band got put on the back burner (sigh). Eventually they got out of the deal. Now back with their own new record called "13", and the whole thing is on my site in Weed format! They sound a bit like Soundgarden and a lot like Alice in Chains... except they also happen to be pretty darn good.
DOZER, a Swedish power-metal band who are like a stoner-rock Metallica with better drumming and vocals. Songs from their two out-of-print Man's Ruin CDs are on my site, plus the best tracks (picked by myself) from their newest, Europe-only CD "Call It Conspiracy"!
GREENLEAF, a Dozer/Lowrider "swedish supergroup" side-project band who sound like neither of those bands!
BLOODLOSS - the oddball Australia/Seattle garage-psych supergroup that featured Mark Arm along with three ex-members of Lubricated Goat (including Martin Bland, now drumming for Monkeywrench, and Guy Maddison, now bassist for Mudhoney). I've got their 17-minute psych magnum opus "Bloodloss: The Music Musical" which was only available on an obscure 10 inch long ago (I have remastered it!), a bunch of other tunes, plus a never-released tune or two, including the must-hear-it-to-believe-it "Fruit On My Hat".
ALTA MAY - heavy Seattle band with drummer Garrett Shavlik (ex-Fluid)... they sound a bit like QOTSA, in a very good way. They've weedified both of their complete albums.
BUNDLE OF HISS - several tunes from the rare BOH CD that I also sell on my garage-sale website. Listen for free... buy the files, or buy the CD. Hear young Dan Peters drumming like a madman, way before Mudhoney.
LOVE BATTERY - some songs from their hard-to-find final CD on C/Z, "Confusion Au Go Go"! I think Dan Peters is playing on these cuts too...
UPWELL - Three songs from this band I produced who were so amazing I ended up offering to play bass for 'em for a few shows while they searched for someone permanent. Amazing guitarist, great riffs, tuff female vocals and heavy atmosphere... a way cool band.
SKIN YARD - some more "new" old tunes, including a few more never on any CD.
Plus almost 20 artists from the SMALL STONE label have Weed files on my site, including Dixie Witch, Halfway to Gone, Five Horse Johnson, The Glasspack, Los Natas, Throttlerod and Tummler, and more. If you've never checked out this label's output, download a few and see why Small Stone have very, very excellent taste in Rock. Then either buy files or go to smallstone.com and order CDs! I will also be getting more stuff from Meteor City pretty soon.
There's more...53 artists at jacksweedcafe.com so far. You can check any of it out... stream 'em, or download 'em... either way you get 3 free plays to decide if you like 'em. Follow the links to the Weedshare webring, and you'll find more music... lots more. And the official Weed site, www.weedshare.com, has a very comprehensive FAQ now.
That's all the horn-blowing I'm gonna do this time. Next time, I have a rant shaping up in my head about MASTERING, something which I am being called upon to do more and more these days, whether I want to or not.