Just last month we reported that Jon Newton will return to P2Pnet, a site he has been running since May of 2003, after suffering "two heart attacks, quadruple bypass surgery and a stroke". Now another key digital scribe, whose articles have appeared many times in MP3 Newswire, is struggling. Like Jon, George Ziemann is also a musician who had to put down his eloquent pen these past several months. Unlike Jon, he may never pick it up again. He is thinking of calling it quits as personal problems overwhelm him. Not only the writing, but the music itself. Back in March he wrote his last post for his site AzOz explaining why he had been absent for months. I only just found the post this week and it's a tough read. Particularly difficult was his admission that "music is no longer a part of my life like it has been for the last 30-some years". I am afraid his spirit is crushed.
At this point I would like George to know that he has been read and read by many. The numerous times his articles made Slashdot - a site that sends so much traffic to the stories posted on it that the term "Slashdot effect" became a common Internet phrase - validates this. His best insights were homeric in the global discussion over digital media and the conflict between how consumers want to use it and industry's drive to dictate how consumers use it. His past commentaries were and still are a key influence in the discussion and this is coming from someone who has been intimate with this discussion since the mid-1990's. The Internet is a meritocracy. George has achieved that in the highest order and that is why he is important. -- editor
By George Ziemann - 7/17/11
Several of my friends have written to ask what's up because I haven't updated the site for a couple of months or posted anything on Facebook. So I thought that I'd explain.
The main issue here is that I'm no longer in a band or working for a band. Haven't taken my guitar or keyboard out of the closet since September, got divorced, am working as a security guard for baseball spring training and getting ready to file for bankruptcy. As a result, music is no longer a part of my life like it has been for the last 30-some years and there's no good reason to talk about anything else, since that is the topic this site has been devoted to for the last 9 years or so.
I was supposed to go on the road doing sound for a band in January, but it keeps getting delayed for one reason or another. As it now stand, if it happens at all, it's going to be late April or May at the earliest before that takes off.
If that gig doesn't happen, I think I'm going to call it quits. I put five months into the last album, only to have the band fracture and we only sold three copies, despite a lot of effort on my part. Regardless, I was pretty happy with the way it came out, and considered it to mark accomplishing my life's goal of producing a decent album. Unfortunately, my life's goal didn't include selling it, just seeing it available for sale.
So with all of that, I don't consider myself an independent musician any longer. That means there is no logical reason to fight for that group. The RIAA has gone down the tubes, selling less than 300 million albums last year, given up their silly lawsuit campaign, and generally has finally shut the fuck up (about time!), which means that railing against them for being morons is really rather pointless now.
The even gave the Album of the Year Grammy to an independent. Overall, pretty much everything that I kept predicting and pushing for has finally come to pass. The great Music Wars of the 21st Century are over and we won.
While I do take some satisfaction in all of that, it leaves me with very little to say, at least about music. The only thing I've done to occupy my free time lately is play Call of Duty: Black Ops, which is hardly the great topic of discussion, although I will say it was a cheesy move on Treyarch's part to sell everyone a new set of maps for $20 (Black Ops: First Strike), then bring them into the regular rotation just a few days later for free. Quite the rip-off, IMHO.So that's it, unless you want to hear about spring training, but I'm really not allowed to discuss anything but the obvious. I'm not the baseball fan I used to be, so even though I'm in close contact with a lot of the pro players, it's all kind of meaningless to me and I'm not that impressed.
Not quite the same (or half as much fun) as hanging out with rock stars.
©2011 George Ziemann
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