According to Julie

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Now I’m really living

“Do you know what it’s like to fall on the floor and cry your guts out ’til you got no more? Hey man, now you’re really living. Well, I just saw the sun rise over a hill. It never used to give me much of a thrill, but hey, man, now I’m really living.”

Listen to The Eels’ “Now You’re Really Living” (via Elisabeth)


Illegal = global

I never downloaded music illegally at all – until internet radio Pandora became off limits because I didn’t live in the US.

The market for illegal mp3 files is global, while the market for legal music is still supposed to be limited by international borders. Why?

Øyvind Solstad at NRK Beta writes (in Norwegian):

One world – not 200 countries.

The music- and film industry seems to think we still cross the Atlantic in steam boats, and that we don’t hear about things that happen in the US just because we live in Norway. So they ignore the fact that young people don’t think about international borders and where things come from. (…) People don’t understand why they can’t listen to some songs on Spotify in Norway, but if they drive over the Swedish border and go to an internet café they can. They don’t understand why they can’t see American music videos on YouTube or shows on They don’t accept that slow bosses in the music- and film industry still haven’t come up with a system where an artist can release their music all over the world (Øyvind Solstad, my translation).

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about this problem for journalism class at the American University of Paris (click “continue reading” for the full article).

A week later, my American friend was trying to buy a song from iTunes. She couldn’t, because her laptop was American. I could buy it for her, because my laptop was Norwegian.

We were both in Paris at the time.

That is absolutely ridiculous.

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Joyous playlist

During our last weeks in Paris, Julie and I listened to her “Joyous playlist” on her iPod as we walked back and forth between my basement apartment by Invalides and her host parents’ apartment across the street from the Bonne Marchée.

Some people say I listen to depressing music. I once played Damien Rice’s “O” at work, and my co-workers seemed worried. I don’t think it’s depressing. Unless of course, you have something to be depressed about.

So in case you need it, here’s a joyous list of songs. It starts with one that will always remind me of sitting on a yoga mat at Invalides, eating strawberries before finals, being happy and knowing that everything is about to change.

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Since you asked: A collection of answers

So, you thought I was going to answer every question in its own post? Sorry, that is not possible – do you want me to get stressed?* Here are some answers to some of your questions:

-What was your favorite book at age thirteen?

I know I’m not being terribly original, but it was The Lord of the Rings.

-How old were you the first time you had a crush on someone?
It’s a question of definition, really. Because you think: “Oh, so this is what it’s like to have a crush on someone.” And then a little while later: “No, wait, this is more intense. This is what it feels like. Last time was nothing.” And then: “No, no. This is the real thing.” And then eventually “crush” is not a strong enough word. So I could say 11. Or 12. Or 13.

-Which of the following does not fit in, and why? A: A Bear B: Rune Gerhardsen C: NSB
Interesting. I should think up a really good response to this, but not right now.

-Which sexual fetish do you find to be the least attractive?
I am sure that no matter what I suggest, the least attractive one will be something I have not yet heard of. And I don’t really want to start that conversation in my comments.

-Which Tori Amos album do you consider to be the best?
Technically, I only have two whole albums: The Beekeeper and American Doll Posse, and they are so different that they can barely be compared. It really depends on my mood.  The Beekeeper got some pretty bad reviews for being “safe”, “the kind of music you listen to while doing the dishes” and “Tori Amos for people who don’t really like Tori Amos”. I think it’s beautiful, although I get those points. But I do listen to safe, pretty music while I do the dishes. American Doll Posse is more of a rock album, I guess, less just Tori and her piano(s). I also have the best-of album that came out before these two. It’s called Tales of a Librarian. I would say that these are three favorite songs, in no particular order: “Sleeps with butterflies” from The Beekeeper, “A sorta fairy-tale” from Scarlett’s Walk and “Bouncing off clouds” from American Doll Posse. I cannot believe that I, of all people, am officially writing about music now.

-White wine or red wine?
Usually, red. Having red wine with white wine food annoys me less than the opposite situation. This is probably because I have grown up with a father who will drink red wine with shrimp, which is officially considered disgusting. In my opinion, a good red wine is better than a good white wine. However, a not-so-good white wine is better than a not-so-good red wine. And given my tendency to spill, white is safer.

*By the way, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this article. It’s hard to tell how serious it actually is, and if the news peg is two recent deaths, it should be serious.

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Since you asked: My guilty pleasures

Since you asked, (and then in some cases, pleaded via Facebook), I will start the answers. Believe me, I wanted to do this earlier, but I’ve been busy. And I hate not having internet access at home. But let’s not waste time complaining. This is an answer to the question: Which movie and which music album do you consider to be a guilty pleasure, i.e. something you’d hate to admit?

In theory, one should not have guilty pleasures – be proud of your taste, embrace your individuality, and all that stuff – but here’s my not-so-secret secret: I don’t have taste or individuality when it comes to music. Nearly all my music is in my collection not because of the music itself, but because a friend likes it or it reminds me of something. That doesn’t mean I don’t like music, or that I don’t like some music better than other music, but the reason I end up listening to any song is not because I seek it out, but because it just arrives. I hear a song once, it happens to be going through my mind when something important happens, and if that something is something I want to think about later, then I like the song and I find some way to own it. Or a friend says: “I think you’ll like this,” and usually, I do. No pleasures can be guilty as long as they either can be described as the result of sentimental memories or recommendations from friends.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but most of the other people who have described themselves in this way have turned out to mainly listen to Top 40 radio stuff. And I listen to, well thanks to, see for yourself.

Speaking of, that site has redefined musical guilty pleasures. The new question is: “What do you turn off scrobbling to listen to?” Hmmm… Usually I turn off my scrobbling when I want to listen to something that I have already listened to a lot. I guess that would be my guilty pleasure. Sometimes I just want to listen to a song or a short playlist repeatedly and it looks weird on my charts.

I am being kicked out of the library. I will continue next time I have internet and time.

By the way, sometimes I do blog about music:

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“A brief history of record industry suicide”

Read this. It’s a comment on the music industry after the music site Oink was shut down. Although I never used Oink myself, I’ve been meaning to write something about these issues for a while. Luckily someone saved me the time by writing something I agree with.

Here’s a quote:

“Oink was not only an absolute paradise for music fans, but it was unquestionably the most complete and most efficient music distribution model the world has ever known. I say that safely without exaggeration. It was like the world’s largest music store, whose vastly superior selection and distribution was entirely stocked, supplied, organized, and expanded upon by its own consumers. If the music industry had found a way to capitalize on the power, devotion, and innovation of its own fans the way Oink did, it would be thriving right now instead of withering. If intellectual property laws didn’t make Oink illegal, the site’s creator would be the new Steve Jobs right now. He would have revolutionized music distribution. Instead, he’s a criminal, simply for finding the best way to fill rising consumer demand. I would have gladly paid a large monthly fee for a legal service as good as Oink – but none existed, because the music industry could never set aside their own greed and corporate bullshit to make it happen.”

Related posts:


Playlist is fun. I have some criticism, mainly:

  1. I don’t like the idea of organizing music by tag. At all. I especially don’t like tagging artists by which country they are from. How is that relevant to how the music actually sounds? The beauty of Pandora is (was, sniff) that I could find music that sounded like music I liked, regardless of stuff like decades. Not music made by people from the same town as an artist I like one song from.
  2. What is not indie? I thought I could use this tag system to find out what people think indie means, since is so democratic and stuff. But practically everything I like is tagged indie, and I don’t even know what it means! That doesn’t make sense.

On the other hand, you can make playlists and put them on your website. So I did. I had to have 15 different artists, but most of the songs fit into the same mood – at least in my mind, but as my little sister tells me twice a day, I am so weird. So there is an idea behind the choice of songs, but I doubt I’ll be able to explain it.

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Save internet radio

Men nå har jeg et lite dilemma: jeg er registrert på under det som tidligere var min zip-code i USA, siden man egentlig må bo i USA for å få lov til å høre på pandora. Hvis jeg derimot skal protestere mot høyere royalties på musikk på internett-radio, må jeg oppgi addressen min. Skal jeg skrive en addresse som ikke er min, og til og med oppfordre alle mine ulovlig-pandora-brukende venner til å gjøre det samme, eller vil det egentlig bare svekke saken gjennom å synliggjøre hvor lett det faktisk har vært å bryte de reglene amerikanske myndigheter har satt opp for dette? Les videre for forklaring av saken.

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Pandora Radio in trouble!

The following (in italics) is quoted from the blog at Pandora Internet Radio:

RIAA’s new royalty rates will kill online radio!!

The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has recently released a revised fee schedule for internet radio. Left unchanged, these rates will end internet radio, period. The RIAA has effectively convinced this federal committee to establish rates that make online radio a non-viable business.

It’s an utterly ridiculous ruling that renders any form of internet radio non-economic. We are continuing in the belief that sanity will return as everyone involved, including the 50 million avid online radio listeners, realize just how outrageous this is.

You can probably tell by this post that I feel strongly about this. Online radio has opened up a new world for musicians and listeners alike. It has brought millions of otherwise disconnected music-lovers back to music radio, and has opened up tremendous access and promotion for thousands of musicians – both obscure and well known.

We are striving very hard to build a business. We employ eleven full time people in our ad sales team, and despite very high licensing and streaming costs, believed that we could make it work over the next several years if internet advertising continues to grow. This ruling drives the licensing fees (fees that are NOT paid by terrestrial broadcasters) completely out of reach, and makes our goal impossible.

This is a terribly ill-conceived attempt to crush a powerful and positive grassroots movement that is sweeping across the music world. The record labels’ struggles have nothing to do with online radio and killing it will further hurt their business, not help it.

Not only is Pandora Radio one of my favorite sites, it has changed the way I feel about music. Although I’ve been using this site a little less in the past two weeks (some of you may have noticed that the bookmarked songs in my sidebar haven’t changed), since I first discovered Pandora, I have found so many artists and songs I love. This has been the year I really figured out what music I like, because suddenly I had so many more options. That the music industry could think that limiting my access to radio would make me buy more CDs is ridiculous. Why should I buy a CD from an artist I don’t know anything about? Internet radio is not piracy.

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