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December 2000

The Millennium: It’s a Wrap!

2000-12-31 / In this, our final web dispatch of the second millennium, we feel the need for a summative gesture, in keeping with the solemn rarity of this calendrical transition. At the same time, we gaze upon the arbitrariness of the event, which, frankly, deflates its puffed-out chest a bit.

you’re not missing anything Copyright Controversy Continues. Now that we’ve come down firmly on both sides of that fence, we can bring up our next topic of ambivalence. It so happens that currently, the Rumori list has undertaken a discussion concerning IP (intellectual property) and its various effects on creativity in particular and culture in general. Lest there be any misunderstanding, there is probably virtual unanimity among rumorians with regard to whether copyright law overreaches its target and stifles the easy liquidity of mental synthesis. The question before participants then would be, what next? We’ve taken it this far and still seem surrounded on all sides by people who refuse to accept or cannot grasp the tenets we have espoused. As if to add insult to injury, now the computer industry is contemplating placing copy protection and encryption on all hard disk drives (link below). Once protocols that enforce legal behavior are built into the fabric of our tools, we lose our ability to choose right from wrong, and thus is lost a key aspect of our humanity. Naturally, we don’t want this to happen. We are trying, through Rumori, to come up with a way make an effective stand against this and similar moves on the part of government and industry.

Read the article at The Register that caused all the fuss.

Find out more about Rumori.

Out, but not Down. Some of you already know that Lloyd Dunn, the content-assembler of this site, will be on an extended stay in Prague beginning in the spring. For the rest of you, this will serve as the announcement. The move will bring Lloyd and John Heck within actual eyesight of each other, and therefore the more inter-available for collaboration and the normal at-each-other’s-throats arguments. So it is fair to say that The Tape-beatles will be releasing new work because of this sooner, rather than later. In addition, we wish to assure our regular visitors that we do not anticipate any lapse in these site updates, since Lloyd plans to have steady access to the internet throughout the transition time.

site note 2000-12-08 / Production Note. You remember last April when we re-issued The Grand Delusion with twenty minutes of new material? Those of you who bought a copy probably do. Anyway, the thing is this: the CD factory made two errors when printing the booklet. We didn’t want to hold up distribution, so we sent out the CDs with erroneous booklet to fill the orders. Most of you are probably none the wiser, but we wanted it to be set right anyway. They agreed to do a corrected reprint, which have just this week arrived. We have enough booklets to replace all the copies of the Delusion re-issue that we sent out, so if you ordered this item and want to have your booklet replaced, we will do so at no charge. If you ordered it from us, no problem, we have records: just e-mail your request with your current mailing address and a new copy will make its way out to you. If you got it from another source just mail us back the booklet, and we’ll be happy to send you out a corrected replacement.

E-mail us:

2000-12-20 / [From Rumori]: Today’s Reading. Jon Leidecker points out an interesting article by Laura Hodes, recently appeared, on The New Republic Online web site. He states:

‘nice to see the occasional attempt at sanity in such an inside publication. many nice points about how copyright law is now mainly a tool for corporations to gain legal leverage against technologies that they simply want to own (i.e. suing someone for infringement as a tactic to soften them for later acquisition).’ [Jon, San Francisco]

Since many of our readers will no doubt be familiar with the issues covered in Hodes’ article, it is nonetheless heartening to see such copyright-skepticism infiltrating a publication like The New Republic.

Read it now at

site note 2000-12-28 / Site Note. Some of you may remember that we once had a guestbook page where you could leave your comments about us for the world to see. That disappeared temporarily when we moved this site to a new server and couldn’t figure out why the script wouldn’t work. (Admittedly our skills at writing CGIs is rudimentary.) Today we had a eureka moment and fixed it. Now you can leave comments. This a good thing, so do it.

Go ahead and comment at us.

2000-12-07 / Love Arrives by Trusty Post. No doubt there are those among you out there who have nothing good to say about us. So how come we never hear from you? Do you slink away with your disgruntlement to savor it privately in some dark corner? You must do, because of late, our mail has all been in the affirmative column. Here are some examples:

‘your website, which i visit frequently, is a source of great delight and inspiration. the matter cd is my personal favorite. hey, i was overjoyed when negativland paid a visit to philly this year. they put on a beautifully disturbing show and the friend I escorted has barely talked to me since. will you ever visit our city?’ [John, Philadelphia]

We get asked this question a lot. While we certainly would be eager to come over and disturb your friends, we don’t actually do a lot of touring. We are spread out over two continents, so many exhibitors are unwilling to pay the freight. But whenever we do put on a show, the announcement gets emblazoned on this page. So watch for it. Here’s another:

‘goddamn. i saw the first tape [A subtle buoyancy of pulse] on CD(!) in a store for $35 while on tour in the states last week. i have lost one copy of that tape (on another tour) and worn the other to the point where i made my own CDR of it. $35 seemed like too much money to pay HMV, the distributors, etc., so i was glad to see a website address. i am very glad to see your CDs available online … i am truly heartened that you’re still "doing it for the kids." come and perform in toronto again! seriously, thanks.’ [Dan, Toronto]

Our prices certainly are more reasonable, and you can rest assured that our quality is the ‘ut’ of the utmost. Thanks for writing!

You, too, can write us if you want.

hmm-m-m-m2000-12-06 / Whatever, Man, Whatever. As this nation’s electoral machinations grind out one more momentous indecision, proffering the beguilingly ‘simple’ choice between the plain vanilla man of the stumbly speech, or the plain vanilla man who yacks on and on without end, our lads of the iron oxide find themselves in a luminous, transitory state. A couple of projects have been taking shape under our watchful gaze, and we intend to tell you about them. So sit still and listen.

Long ago in these pages, Public Works promised to create audio for what was to become a release on the Elevator Bath label. We weren’t just blowing hot air on you, son, we meant it, as my grandpa used to say. Even as we spreak, some twenty minutes of all new, never before released audio material are being assembled, and will soon mark Public Works’ re-entry into the audio art field. The working title for the project is Horseshoe Magnet Dementia, but it could change at any moment. Don’t worry, you’ll all be informed the minute it takes solid, reproducible form.

In the mean time, what have those Tape-beatles been up to? Well, Lloyd is quitting his job and planning another long European sojourn, this time as a resident of the city of Prague. The Transatlantic passage will take place sometime in the spring of 2001. What this is likely to mean is, since there will be two of us in one city, expect our productivity to skyrocket toward the middle and end of next year.

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