Archive for March, 2008

The World is Flat

March 31st, 2008 | Category: computers,internet,music

Thomas Friedman, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for The New York Times, says the world is flat. Rather than reiterate all his points (here: 10 forces flattening the 21st century) I’ll focus on one…..

“the personal computer. With the PC, individuals could suddenly author their own content, words, photos, spreadsheets, videos [MUSIC – Bb] in digital form, etc. And once your content can be shaped, manipulated and authored in digital form, it meant that it could be sent to so many more places and distributed in so many ways”

He doesn’t mention music specifically, but music was the first media to really REALLY be affected by this new flat world. It devastated record companies, freaked out artists, and combined with Web 2.0 (MySpace cough cough), it pretty much allowed EVERYONE to become a recording artist. The democratization of music so to speak.

This is all well and good I suppose, but it sure kicked me in the ass. The real problem with this is there is SO much clutter on the flat horizon, you really can’t see the gems for all the garbage littering the landscape.

I guess what I’m getting at is like most other recording bands, we have had to rethink the traditional distribution model and are now joining the online digital music revolution. With some luck we can stand out on a flat horizon.

[UPDATE: Friedman’s cheering on the Iraq invasion made me decide he is a total dick. -Bb]


New & Improved Mailing List

March 21st, 2008 | Category: Mastermind,News,website

The NEW & IMPROVED Mastermind / Berends Bros list mail server is now up & running so please go add yourself. It’s very user friendly, you can subscribe & unsubscribe yourself, set preferences, and outgoing mail isn’t uploaded in bulk from our local machine. Very cool. We will import the current list and you’ll receive a welcome message allowing you to confirm your subscription and a link to update your list preferences. Please be sure to enter your location so we may fine tune announcements. Click here and sign up today!

[UPDATE: the mailing list has been moved to: -Bb]

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Five years ago today

March 19th, 2008 | Category: history,music,rants

Five years ago today at around this exact time the United States of America – MY country – attacked Iraq in a preemptive war. I recall vividly the sinking feeling in my gut as I watched with horror the initial “shock & awe” bombardments on live television… like seeing a loved one in car accident, I could feel a dark cloud of despair move in over top of me.

This was not MY country doing this, it was the Neocons who have hijacked the place. There are a million other web sites discussing that so I won’t get into it here. What I want to say today is the dark cloud that hangs over us all really put a damper on my enthusiasm for… most things. Including making music.

I have said in passing that I am waiting out the current U.S. administration to be able to breath again and I really think this is true. Looking over old date books, the final mixing sessions for (what may someday be) the 7th Mastermind studio album were during that fateful month of March 2003. In fact they were during the two weeks preceding the attack.

There are other factors that contributed to Mastermind getting bogged down which I shall discuss at some point, but I can’t relax and feel creative when so much is wrong in the world. The insidious feeling of something major gone awry made music seem so trivial. Ignore the smoke and smile…? I couldn’t do it.

Since 9/11 (and I don’t believe the “official” story for one moment) the world is a different place. An uglier, less friendly place. And I don’t like it, not one little bit. Now I feel at least a faint glimmer of hope as the 2008 Presidential elections loom. Not that the choices are all that good, but at least it is SOME kind of change. Ron Paul is the only guy who seems to be telling the truth in any fashion, but I’m not holding my breath… oh wait, yes I am.

[UPDATE: learning more about RP and his libertarian B.S. I decided he is a total dick. -Bb]

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Hello world!

March 19th, 2008 | Category: blogging,internet,website

Bill Berends here, the mastermind of Mastermind so to speak. This is my first blog after learning how to install WordPress and setup a MySQL database on the server. Apparently I must have something to say… or perhaps will, to go thru all that (more than I wanted to know!). So check back often to see what it may be… at least somewhere near the end of the this month (March).

I really don’t know much about the etiquette of the blogosphere, but I figured I should have my own, so here it is! It may get more interesting, or I may not have time for it. Dunno yet. Anywho, like I said, at least stop back in a couple weeks & see what’s up.

Thanks for reading!