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Go Big (No Half Measures) – Side A

Playlist on YouTube here.

Cover Art – Front

Cover Art – Back 

Insert Art

‘Official’ Release at 1 AM PT on 5/31

Companion ‘Live’ Set – “A Broken Thread” – 3 AM – 11:59 PM on 5/31 (singlets on the hour on @derekslater)

LINER NOTES BEGIN [inspired by Illegal Art; see also Take Another Little Piece of My Art]

This is a mostly happy playlist about why we can’t have nice things.

When I turned 16 on 5/31/1999, I was already pretty privileged and was presented with two birthday gift options: a CD burner, or the Diamond Rio PMP300 (pronounced by the RIAA as the “pimp-three-hundred” in court, before they lost, see RIAA v. Diamond Rio, h/t Andrew Bridges).

The next day, Napster launched, and three years later was out of business.

At the time, I was pretty sure that we’d end up with a Library of Alexandria, powered by search and recommendation systems as well as a new ecosystem of tastemakers, with a compensation system for artists that provided true economic security. Fans get what they want, artists get paid, innovation abounds.

While an unhealthy mix of bad decisions – law and policy, market dynamics, social norms, and (lack of) infrastructure – combined to impede that full dream, there’s been lots of progress and there’s still hope for the future.

Progressing forward requires (at least) three things:

  1. Helping creators and fans through innovation and creativity
  2. Helping creators and fans through smarter music licensing & data
  3. A democratic, equitable, and inclusive economic and communications policy that treats working musicians as part of the broader conversation about contingent work and the gig economy, and wraps libraries into the conversation about communications infrastructure, among other things.

As for the songs on this list, they’re about the past for me, although everything is a remix.

  1. Stetsasonic, “Talkin’ All That Jazz” – explicitly about the fight over sampling of art and new art forms enabled by technology, I will always associate it with Kembrew McLeod, Tartleton Gillespie, Siva Vaidynathan, Lyor Cohen, and A17.
  2. Al Green, “Jesus is Waiting” – US live footage like this is often trapped in a licensing morass. h/t Fred von Lohmann’s music club
  3. Who Sampled? James Brown, The Funky Drummer Break – music education like this remains too difficult. See also: (#flashsux)
  4. Opening to Do The Right Thing, featuring Rosie Perez dancing to Public Enemy, “Fight the Power” – ::gestures vaguely:: everything about this scene, this song, and this movie. See also the opening of Dog Day Afternoon; this scene from Network; the closing scene of Michael Clayton; the junior junior junior junior rabbi scene in A Serious Man; the 27B-6 scene in Brazilthe scene in π on math; ABC from GGR (lol); We Live in Public (all of it, including its manifestations today).
  5. Public Enemy, “Caught, Can I Get a Witness?” – along with Kembrew, Tarleton, Siva, see also my podcast as a stringer for at the Future of Music Coalition, 2005 (;, h/t Rafat Ali and Staci Kramer.
  6. Massive Attack’s live set on UK BBC Radio One’s Essential mix, 1994 – a close association with the post-Napster world and the sharing that started on music blogs, podcasts, websites;  see also From Mixtape to Playlist Report (2005) (at and blogpost (2011)(at:; associate also with Phillip Sherberne, Elizabeth Stark, Jack Lerner, preQ David Day. Scratch Perverts radio set in 2004.
  7. CHVRCHES covers Arctic Monkey’s “Do I Wanna Know?” on AU ABC radio triple j’s “like a version” show – enjoy the music licensing fun and please drive through. h/t Lailey
  8. Daniel Johnston, “Devil Town” – see also excellent documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston about music and mental health,
  9. Blood Bros, “First Blood” – walk-on/pump-up music. h/t Jess Hemerly. See also Jeff Daniels’ discussing his approach to his initial speech in Newsroom and acting generally.
  10. Google Take Action, “Let’s Talk about Creativity” – honestly, what was I thinking? h/t Ben Murray. See also;;;;;
  11. Blue Oyster Cult, “Don’t Fear the Reaper” – RIP Sandy Pearlman ( cc Mike McGuire, Lucas Gonze; RIP Jack Valenti (see also: h/t Berkman Center, particularly John Palfrey, Urs Gasser, Meg Smith, Blythe Holden, Donna Wentworth, Catherine Bracy, Terry Fisher, JZ, GOB, AMac, Wendy Seltzer, Wendy Koslow, Mclaughlin, Nesson, Paul Hoffert, Bambauer, Susie Lindsay, Palfrey a second time, Lessig, too many to mention. RIP Ernie Miller, cc Mary Hodder, Eddan Katz, Jason Schultz, James Grimmelmann, Joe Gratz, Frank Field, Donna a second time, Ed Felten, Gigi Sohn, Lessig a second time, Siva a third time, Cory D, Matt Rolls a Hoover, TechLawAdvisor (Kevin X), Ernie the Attorney, and many more. RIP Aaron Swartz cc Danny O’Brien, David Segal, Tim O’Reilly. RIP Dan Kaminsky. RIP Ryan Davis (  RIP white_0men ( See also The Cure’s “Disintegration” (both song, and album, inc. the story); REM’s “Man on the Moon” and “The Great Beyond.”

Playlist in full here:

Other dedications: [clearly forgetting some, sorry]


This is a spiritual successor to our #noimnotgoingtolawschool:

As well as:

See also…




VP: The Substance of Style

VC:; <br>

CS: “Schools and Prisons” seminar, see also; <br>

The 707:;;

The Internet (Wireless Monkeybrains, Fiber (both Big and small), local internet choice h/t Joanne Hovis, Jim Baller, Dane Jasper & Sonic; Connectivity Fund; RIP AOL [sorta]), all the last mile providers (even you Comcast & Verizon h/t Jason Livingood & Link Hoewing), The Tubes [no, these ones, not those ones], the plumbers h/t Christian Dawson & Internet Infrastructure Coalition,  RIP Ted Stevens). h/t “I work for the Internet”, “the Internet works for me” (℅ andyswan & Fred Wilson), “Declaration of Internet Freedom” (v2012a)

The Web (Contract; Core Group) (see also A/HRC/20/26 ℅ Juan Ortiz Fueler)

The DNS (and the Internet Society h/t Joe Hall)

Video – all the services (even you, Peacock) and creators (timely: Tabitha Soren)

MusicRIP Rhapsody, RIP Napster, which are somehow both now known as

Blogs – e.g., WordPress, Blogspot, Manila h/t Dave Winer, Doc Searls, Dave Weinberger, Chris Locke, Rick Levine, the Cluetrain Manifesto)


Email – h/t Mike Masnick and Techdirt

Telephony – yes, you too T, Telstra, FT et al

Electricity, Satellites, Broadcasting, Airplanes – see e.g. Empires of Light (GoodReads); Iridium, Eccentric Orbits; The Golden Web; Southwest, Hard Landing, respectively Network Industry Study Group

Ninjase.g., Turtles & Splinter

Subspace Hockey Zone (Center Ice)

Measurement Lab


Tech Equity Collaborative

Community Technology Network

Creative Commons (h/t GOB)

The Samuelson Clinic(s)

Lumen Database (aka Chilling Effects h/t Wendy Seltzer)

Fight for the Future (Downhill Battle)

Economic Security Project, Chamber of Progress, Engine Advocacy et al

Public Knowledge, New America Foundation, Free Press et al
CATO (see e.g. Copyfights, Julian Sanchez), PFF, Tech Freedom, Patrick Ross, et al

Mom: ;


Uncle T:



Nb my brother doesn’t exist on the Internet, but is welcome to submit something for the record

And never forget:

One Last Thing: As 5/31 is also the end of Mental Health Awareness Month, please take care of yourself, take care of one another, just do it — and, if I’ve ever hurt you, please kindly accept my empathy, I’m sorry, I’ll do better.


Derek Slater (Not Howard Beale, not AndyKaufman/JimCarrey, not Tron Guy)

#TeamHedgehog #gobig

[End of Side A]

Side B – will launch on Jan 18, 2022  cc Jan Gerlach, Tim Hwang, Emily Emery, Jonathan Zittrain et al #freeandopenandkind

Additional footnotes

For a look at the roots of overall direction of travel in the music ecosystem, see e.g.,;;;

For some of the progress made in the last 20+ years, see e.g. the fact that this playlist can exist legally, be shared with friends, and compensate creators; the Music Modernization Act.

For other thoughts on music, listen generally to e.g. erin mckeown, Jesse von Doom, Maggie Vail, Adam Rubinger, Kid Kameleon.


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