Winner, Winner!

I was going to call it “Bum bum bum bum”… in any event!
This this is crazy happy. Super crazy happy. Delightfully cheery. Need some cheer today? You got it! Oh, maybe not as cheery as a baby armadillo playing with a toy… hmmm… actually it might be that cheery!

Download and comments over on SoundCloud.

This one was… difficult to mix. So, in the WAV file downloads, I included each track with no effects on it.
I know some mixing wizard would ask for that. So there you go, Wizard! Do your worst!!

You can download the whole project even if you’re not a wizard.

Fun with indemnification!

I am Not a Lawyer

I am not a lawyer, but I do deal with a LOT of contracts. Today we are looking at a contract from an unnamed US cable television channel, and why it is awful. Here’s the excerpt:

Licensor shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless Licensee, its officers, directors, consultants, employees, successors, licensees, agents and permitted assigns from and against any claim, demand, action, damages, loss, expense (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) and other liabilities arising from actions brought by third parties arising from any of the following: (a) any breach of any of the representations, warranties or agreements made by it hereunder;
(b) a claim that the use of any or all of the Licensed Material infringes any intellectual property right(s) of such party; and (c) any use of the Licensed Material consistent with the terms hereof. Licensee shall promptly notify Licensor of any such claim. Licensor shall bear full responsibility for the defense of any such claim.

blah, blah… Let’s simplify it a bit.

Licensor shall indemnify defend and hold harmless Licensee, its officers, directors, consultants, employees, successors, licensees, agents and permitted assigns from and against any claim, demand, action, damages, loss, expense (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) and other liabilities arising from actions brought by third parties arising from any of the following: [because of]
(a) any breach of any of the representations , warranties or agreements made by it hereunder;
(b) a claim that the use of any or all of the Licensed Material infringes any intellectual property right(s) of such party; and
(c) any use of the Licensed Material consistent with the terms hereof.
Licensee shall promptly notify Licensor of any such claim. Licensor shall bear full responsibility for the defense of any such claim.

In English this time:

I pay you damages if I lied or screwed up on this agreement or forgot something. I pay you damages if someone claims ownership to my music. You don’t ever pay me damages for any reason.

Okay, now it is easy to understand… and clearly awful. This is asymmetrical indemification. If something goes wrong, I pay you – never the other way around. The best thing to do in this case is strike the entire clause. This works fairly often.

The next best thing is to alter the clause

  • from “any breach” to “any breach… resulting from gross negligence”. This way, if you forgot that your bandmate actually holds 20% of the copyright to the piece, you won’t get financially smashed into the dirt.
  • from “a claim” to “a valid and legitimate claim”. This way some yahoo can’t just “claim” that they own your music… resulting in financial smashings again.
  • to include reciprocal indemifications where they pay all of your fees if something goes wrong.
  • other stuff: there are various other things you should probably change as well, but I’ve gone on too long already.

This works almost never. Indemifications can be dangerous and their lawyers know it. People sign contracts like this every day. People are also screwed by contracts like this every day. Please read and understand any contract before you sign it!


Are you a lawyer? Did I screw something up? Let me know!
kevin@incompetech.com

Ode to Joy

Part 1: I am a fan.
I found out about a great accordion player named Alex Meixner last year from a YouTube video he did in Pennsylvania. Alex Meixner is the most exciting, innovative, and proficient accordion player on the planet. And he puts on a brilliant show.

Music effects emotion. My job is writing music that makes people feel the way I want them to feel. Alex makes people feel pure joy. You cannot take in a performance and feel anything else.

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to see a performance in Pulaski, Wisconsin and it went exactly how I expected it to go.

Pulaski Polka Days is a thing… if you’re into polkas. Good bands come to play polkas, and people dance. When Alex Meixner took the stage, the dance floor emptied. He was not a background music act. By the end of the first set, people realized that this was not a normal “polka band”. This was an amazing band. The floor became crowded again, but with people watching the band.

Part 2: Performance

“Giving energy” is one of the most difficult things for a performer to do. You have to be so much more excited and interesting than your audience to get them on your side. It isn’t easy to rock-out on a crowd of people who don’t know who you are and don’t care about “rocking-out” themselves. If you’re good enough, it can be done.

The Alex Meixner band had some well timed fireworks. People love fast playing. They also did some non-standard rep, like “Sweet Child ‘o Mine” and “Devil Went Down to Georgia”. Bringing subtleties and dynamics into a live high-energy performance is what make the shows amazing.

Part 3: Shows.

If you’re in the Chicago or Milwaukee areas, go see a show this week. I don’t care if you don’t care about polkas. Go see a top performer. Have some joy! :-)

P.S.
He’s also pretty decent with a natural trumpet. He might not be on the bill at Boston Baroque, but it would be a reasonable audition!

P.P.S.
Let me know if you’d like me to post a video of me playing “Sweet Child ‘o Mine” on the accordion.

New country

Well, it happened. I finally assembled another country piece… why? Because everyone uses my music and the last country piece I did was years ago… and it is ubiquitous. So… that annoyed me.

Also, I just upgraded to Band-in-a-Box 2014 and decided to take it for a demo spin!

This is the result.

You can buy the uncompressed version here.