almost a diary, music, music industry, songwriting

B612 Songwriter Meeting

B612 Song Convention It’s been an awful long time since the last entry in this blog. But that is, fortunately, much rather a consquence of being too busy than of a lack of activity – and, just as a reminder – you can always listen to some of the songs I’ve written this year on my profile page on You can also always send me an email to this address: And, well, yes, I will also offer them on myspace soon, as a myspace account seems to be as important for musicians as an email address for the rest of the world.

How do I know? Well, contrary to my usually rather secluded way of writing, this week, I went to Berlin to participate in a songwriter meeting with a number of songwriters from different countries with very different backgrounds. Some of them were experienced songwriting professionals, others, like myself, were not. The meeting was part of a very impressive and informative event called Song Convention that was organised by B612, an innovative Berlin-based management and publishing company run by some very friendly people who are visibly in love with what they do (they’re using javascript for the links, so there is no direct link to the Song Convention page – just open their page and click on ‘publishing’, then ‘events’).

And that showed. I might write something more detailed about my impressions of and the experience I gained at the Song Convention later – with a little more distance and time to write – but for the moment, let me conclude by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work with some stunningly talented people as well the creative adventure that was starting to write a supposed hit song at noon and present it pre-produced at 6 pm. And I was really happy with the results, which, of course, yet unfortunately, I cannot present here.

And now I’m off to enjoy some of the acoustic benefits of being in Berlin during the PopKomm trade fair.

Economics, intellectual property rights, music, music industry

Zweiter Korb der Urheberrechtsnovelle

Wie sich ja schon während der vergangenen zweieinhalb Jahre im Laufe der Ausarbeitung des zweiten Korbes zur Änderung des deutschen Urheberrechts abgezeichnete, hat die Bundesregierung mit dem heute vom Bundeskabinett beschlossenen Gesetzentwurf verpaßt, ein der Gesamtproblematik angemessenes Gesetz zu verabschieden.

Die Bundesregierung sich zumindest in einem ersten Schritt der von der “Inhalteindustrie” vertretenen Sichtweise angeschlossen, das eine weitere Aushöhlung des Rechts auf Privatkopien (jetzt mit Strafandrohung bei Verstoß auch im nicht-kommerziellen Bereich) im Zusammenspiel mit technischen Maßnahmen zum Schutz geistigen Eigentums, dem sogenannten Digital Rights Management (DRM), sinnvoller sind als eine konzeptionelle Anpassung von überholten Eigentumsbegriffen in der digitalen Welt.

Dabei war vermutlich auch ausschlaggebend, daß die Vorlage so wie heute beschlossen wohl kaum in Karlsruhe bestand haben dürfte, angesichts der Tatsache, daß es einen zivilrechtlichen Auskunftsanspruch gegenüber Internet Service Anbietern schaffen wird, der sämtlichen bestehenden Datenschutzdoktrinen zuwider läuft.

Ebenfalls dürfte eine Rolle gespielt haben, daß das Gesetz generell, insbesondere aber ohne diesen Anspruch generell nicht durchsetzbar sein wird.

Daß die deutsche Politik sich hiermit erneut von ihrem gesellschaftlichen Gestaltungsanspruch verabschiedet ist traurig, gerade angesichts der Tatsache, daß die französische Assemblée Nationale sich in dieser für die Zukunft von Wissensgesellschaften so eminent wichtigen Frage wieder als Ort gesellschaftlicher Debatte etablieren konnte – auch wenn das gestern verabschiedete franzäsische Ergebnis auch nicht wirklich zur Lösung des Problems taugt.

Man wird sehen, ob das französische Beispiel im Bundestag Früchte tragen wird. Allerdings ist meine Hoffnung gering. hat jede Menge anderer Reaktionen zum Kabinettsbeschluß zum 2. Korb des Urheberrechts.



Paul McCartney never really recovered musically from his divorce from John. I’m not saying John could not have benefitted from Paul after the Beatles split, but still, I think his solo music was more mature than McCartney’s, probably to this day. My favorite is “Woman” –

Woman I know you understand
The little child inside the man,
Please remember my life is in your hands,
And woman hold me close to your heart,
However, distant don’t keep us apart,
After all it is written in the stars,
oooh well, well,
oooh well, well,

So let’s use this day to remember one of last century’s most important artists – John Lennon – who was murdered on December 8, 1980. Not only the good die young, but when they do, it is even more tragic. From Wikipedia –

In the late afternoon of December 8, 1980, in New York City, deranged fan Mark David Chapman met Lennon as he left for the recording studio and got his copy of Double Fantasy autographed; the event of Lennon signing one of his last autographs was caught by a photographer who witnessed this goodwill gesture. Chapman remained in the vicinity of The Dakota for most of the day as a fireworks demonstration in nearby Central Park distracted the doorman and passers-by.

Later that evening, Lennon and Ono returned to their apartment from recording Ono’s single “Walking on Thin Ice” for their next album. At 10.50pm, their limousine pulled up to the entrance of the Dakota. Ono got out of the car first, followed by Lennon. Beyond the main entrance was a door which would be opened and a small set of stairs leading into the apartment complex. As Ono went in, Lennon got out of the car and glanced at Chapman, proceeding on through the entrance to the Dakota.

As Lennon walked past him, Chapman called out “Mr. Lennon.” As Lennon turned, Chapman crouched into what witnesses called a “combat” stance and fired five hollowpoint bullets. One bullet missed, but four bullets entered John’s back and shoulder. One of the four bullets fatally pierced his aorta. Still, Lennon managed to stagger up six steps into the concierge booth where he collapsed, gasping “I’m shot, I’m shot.”

Chapman stood there, holding his .38 Charter Arms revolver, which was pulled out of his hands and kicked away by Jose Perdomo who then asked “What have you done, what have you done?”, to which Chapman replied “I just shot John Lennon.” Chapman then calmly took his coat off, placed it at his feet, took out a a copy of J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, and started reading.

Police arrived within minutes, to find Chapman still waiting quietly outside, still reading the book.

almost a diary, compulsory reading, music, photoblogging, US Politics

Dick Cheney’s a surfer!

Paul JohnsonDick Cheney is probably a much cooler guy than you thought he is. After a hard day’s work of conspiring with his freshly indicted former Chief of Staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the man still has time and energy for a jam session with the legendary surf music band “The Surfaris”. Well, one of the two bands using the name, each featuring one member of the original band’s cast (info from

Richard CheneyAlright, maybe it’s not really Cheney. It could also be Paul Johnson, a surf music veteran, who is, along with Dick Dale, one of the genre’s principal founders and pioneers. At least that’s what his introduction was on stage, and that is also what’s written in the biographical part of the band’s website. He is also credited with the first record to be tagged as “surf music” – Mr. Moto, back in 1962. I wonder if Motorola’s ad agency thought about this when they created their latest campaign… (“hello Moto?”)

I am God motto tshirtAs part of their current European tour, the Surfaris stopped in Wiesbaden yesterday. And someone else did too. Standing behind the guy pictured on the left I somehow couldn’t stop thinking about the song Eric Bazilian wrote for Joan Osborne – “What if God was one was of us?


One equals, ahm, not quite one.

From O2music Germany’s portal FAQs – question: “what’s CD quality?” Answer: “CD quality implies that the sound quality of music bought [through this service] is almost identical to the quality of a CD bought in a record store”.

No kidding.

Musik auf dem PC abspielen

Was versteht man unter CD-Qualität?

Unter CD-Qualität versteht man, dass die Tonqualität der Musik, die Sie kaufen und herunterladen, nahezu identisch ist mit der Qualität einer Kauf-CD.


Proof that Xavier Naidoo is wrong.

Alright, I’m posting this simply because Xavier Naidoo just sang “There’s nothing as beautiful as you” (that means me, no?) on the radio.

He’s wrong. Clearly wrong. Want proof? Have a look at the ladies competing in this years Miss Universe beauty pageant.

Well, I mean, I have personally witnessed how make-up artists and skilled photographs will turn any reasonably looking human being into an angle-specific Claudia Schiffer/Brad Pitt, but beauty is always nice to look at, no?

almost a diary, music

(barely) aLive and (rather) Acoustic

Cindy AlexanderGentle readers, it’s a shame.

The very talented Californian singer/songwriter Cindy Alexander is touring Germany for the second time in only two years and I won’t be able to attend any of her concerts for I am not in a state to leave my bed for much more than brief stops at the trusted pharmacy and, of course, the videostore around the corner.

Even if I could leave the house for longer I suppose I would immediately be sent home by a police officer for disorderly conduct – sure it’s getting better, but sometimes I am still coughing in a way that would most certainly make late 19th century tuberculosis patients pale in comparison. Of course, spreading cold germs is not yet a crime. But there’s a reason it’s frowned upon…

So, much to my dismay, once again I will have to turn to Ms Alexander’s recordings instaead of “the real thing”. However, all of you who are not confined to your beds tonight and live not too far from Marburg, Hessen, Germany, should leave right now and attend “The Acoustic Meeting” in the Waggonhalle at 8pm.

Unfortunately none of Cindy’s songs are legally available online since c|net has shut down the servers in January. Well, not quite – there are at least some samples at, even including my favorite song of hers, “Better Than I Am“.

So listen quickly, and then get going.

Europe, media, music

I want to read The Sun tomorrow!

The annual Eurovision Song Contest is over. And Turkey is taking the cup to Ankara. As usual, however hyped, there’s no reason to watch the entire event if you are able to catch the replays intended to remind the voting public of earlier entrants. These ten minutes are usually not only sufficient but at times as much as is possible to bear. The real reason to watch is not the music, it’s the voting procedure that is happening afterwards – and this time, the European Broadcasting Union even offered an animated scoreboard. If your country doesn’t get points from other European television viewers (or Juries, for those countries without a stable telephone infrastructure (Russia, Bosnia-Hercegovina), you can follow its label on the screen moving downwards…

That is if the label has been up somewhere at some point. In light of the UK’s results tonight, the BBC News Online’s Caroline Westbrook was a little bit more than prophetic when she said –

“This year Jemini have taken the UK’s hopes to Riga, and while their song Cry Baby is perfectly pleasant it’s not thought to be strong enough to see off the likes of Spain, Iceland, Turkey or the much-hyped Russian entry from Tatu. … It’s fair to say that if we do want to win again, we should come up with a better song…”

Well, I the song is probably a part of the explanation for the fact that the UK did not get even a single point from any of the twenty-six nations involved. But it was not worse than most of the other songs, nor was, in my opinion, the performance – as far as I can judge from the replays…

Looking at the results it is pretty evident that voters all over Europe rewarded musical diversity. And a huge part of the songs performed in Riga tonight simply were hard to mentally separate from each other, in fact, watching the replays was like watching one ten minute medley. The British song was no exception to that rule. Like the song, the British performance was as dull as any other medley-song performance. So Caroline Westbrook had probably a reason to predict they would not win – but being just like the others is clearly not helping to explain why Britain did not get a single point this year.

And I don’t understand it either. I don’t think it was about the British stance in the war on Iraq – despite the fact that it was a telephone vote in most countries. So it might just have bad luck. The BBCi is reporting the result remarkedly calm so far

“The UK’s entry Jemini – duo Chris Crosbey, 21, and Jemma Abbey, 20 – had the ignominy of being the only entry to score no points. It is the worst performance in the UK’s Eurovision history. The UK’s previous lowest performance was in 2000, when it was placed 16th.”

Maybe it’s too early for comments. Maybe they just don’t care. But I can’t wait to read The Sun tomorrow.