Copyright Is For Losers©™

With Lizards From Afar it’s never too early to jump the gun. It’s our MO. Back in 1991 when we’d just formed as a garage band and we had only a few original songs–many of which I didn’t even know yet how to play (I’d just watch Chopper Newt thrashing the strings of his old Ibanez Strat–which kills fascists–and come up with something that seemed to go along), we decided it was high time to record an album.

So now that our reformed debut “Bloomington Democracy” speeds toward a finale (with only two songs yet to be released, and a final mastering session to normalize all the tracks), I figure it’s high time to introduce the concept for another recording for 2009. Here in Brooklyn where I live at least part of the week, graffiti is ubiquitous and much of it is high art. On a wall near my apartment I recently came across the stencil-painted words “Copyright is for losers.” And I was struck with a realization that undoubtedly has occurred to many of you long ago: Copyright is, indeed, for losers. That is, the internet has transformed the way copyright is interpreted and has introduced new difficulties in the control of “right to copy.” Obviously. And we, Lizards From Afar, may sound like a garage band now, but we are essentially a band of the new internet era: at this point we exist entirely on the internet. Introducing our music for public consumption meant, for us, releasing it for free, and giving up much of the right to copy. The rules that controlled and benefited the music industry for so long have been torn down by a revolution in technology.

I make no judgments on this revolution now. It might be good for popular music, it might be bad (you might want to read this interesting Wikipedia entry). The revolution simply IS. And LFA is right there with the many other revolutionaries. Whether we assent to it or not, we have sided with the infoanarchists.

So, here is my first concept (still unfinished) for the next “album” cover, a collage of Brooklyn graffiti centered around that one stenciled notice to the world: Copyright Is For Losers.


And for those of you who might be hungry for new LFA music (and who wouldn’t be?): I’ve started work on a few new ideas. If you liked our combination of rock, punk, pop, and blues, perhaps you’ll also get a kick out of my new combination of jazz and punk….


61 Responses to “Copyright Is For Losers©™”

  1. Jazz? So you really want to reveal to the world how untalented of a drummer I actually am, don’t you?

  2. Yes. But don’t worry, you can just do punk drums and throw a snare in at random times or make it sound more jazzy. The move in the new song I’m composing is just to take further what I was already doing in 202330, which is to have dissonant chords played underneath punk power chords, and then to add a really jazzy bridge.

  3. choppernewt Says:

    I like it.

  4. choppernewt Says:

    And let me jump the gun some more… Bloomington Democracy was way better, man. We totally sold out after that.

  5. So I guess my
    Fully Aged Sophomore Meat
    is off the table?

  6. Needs sax… and violins… Ha! Get it, sax and violins… Nevermind.

    Wait, I’m not obligated to keep reading your blog now that you’re done with the AGP? Oh…

    At least it doesn’t say, “Copyright is for Loosers” … which always annoys me.

    How about cowbell?

  7. Herne. You cannot leave…not when the two of us can drive the Gecko to drink…even more.

  8. I’m giving up alcohol and becoming a teetotaler. I’m taking up heroin instead.

  9. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.

  10. It’s the drug of choice if you’re doing jazz.

  11. Has Herne been causing trouble? Send him home when he has outstayed his welcome…

    Oh and make sure he takes his meds…

    I am not paying for shit that he breaks.

    I want a song about podcasters and maybe the AGP thanks.


    Maybe a sitar would sound OK but not on our song. Violin??? wtf Herne…

  12. I’m pretty sure Elwyn could come up with a song in about ten minutes about the AGP that would be damned funny. Insulting, but funny. That’s his way.

    Oh, and I forgot: Metro’s FASM idea… maybe it can become a song? I’m still partial to a song called FUSP, too. I think it would work as a rock instrumental…

  13. Maybe a kinda “We Didn’t Start The Fire” that lists out all the podcast that have played us…

  14. That would indeed be hilarious, I suspect.

  15. Look at the cluster map: we now have visitors from Mexico and the Philippines! Amazing.

  16. Hey! I already gave you a couple songs about the AGP! Does my singing mean nothing to you?! Sheesh.

    I think it needs some didgeridoo… maybe in my next tune.

    “… how can we sleep while our AGP is burnin’?”

  17. Wow…I killed it.

  18. Yup. You went just a little too far with it.
    You should take a cue from me…I always know when to quit.

  19. That, also, is a lie. Pent never knows when to quit.

  20. How DARE you?!?!
    I quit this band immediately!!!
    (I can still play drums on the songs and get credit as the drummer and a full member, right?)

  21. choppernewt Says:

    Speaking of mendacity, I love that the Steely Dan Fun Facts have shed any pretention of being a “joke”, and instead are pretty much just well-researched lies. Just flat out fabrication for it’s own sake. They’re not entertainment – they’re more akin to written performance art. Kudos to Metrognome, ex-drummer for LFA.

  22. RE: Pent Quitting
    I may have been a little premature with my statement and have therefore proven the Gecko’s point that I don’t know “when to quit”.

    RE: Steely Dan Fun Facts
    Lying is my medium, watch me work

  23. Yeah, kudos to Pent for his inability to tell the truth.

    But, Chopper, it’s “its” not “it’s.” I expected more from a guy with a degree in English. Oy oy oy.

  24. “Uh oh! There’s a-gonna be a shootout!”

    Speaking of mendacity, which sounds rude by the way, “Verlogenheit” would be an awesome name for a band.

  25. choppernewt Says:

    Fuck. I usually remember that one. Its.

    Have to go Google Verlogenheit. (pause)

    OK. It’s German for mandacity. But of course.

    And speaking of the Fatherland, did I get “it’s” right in the last sentence, Goebels?

  26. Its not important, its a blog.

  27. Ya.

    It’s only NOT important if you want to look like an uneducated dweeb.

  28. Quit yer LOLlygagging and get back to werk.

  29. Herne…
    You may have noticed that we have not had any new music out this week.
    Your continuous suggestions that we do something are obviously making a certain mixing/singing faction refrain from working on the next release.

    We need you to act like you do not care about hearing the next song and do not put any pressure on him…and THEN he’ll finish it up.

  30. Of course, one may ask if a certain so-called percussionist has finished his work for Poster Child….

  31. I’m on Poster Child strike until I hear a new mix for Block Party.

  32. New Steely Dan Fun Fact up.
    Weird, when I wrote it earlier it somehow cut off the last sentence about Teen Wolf…so I just re-added it.

  33. Sheesh. Then I’m on a strike, too. Why not?

  34. @Sir Pent: Who’s acting? ;P

  35. So I didn’t get PC recorded this weekend…but I did practice it a few times AND have come to the conclusion that I do not have an acceptable “hand-clap” voice on my drums. We will probably have to use yours, matt.

  36. @Sir Pent It’s a little premature for applause, don’t you think?

    Precociousness does not become you.

  37. Yeah, your drums suck. But I always assumed we’d use the handclaps from my drum machine if we use handclaps at all. I threw them in as a joke and it was you guys who loved them. At any rate, I think the “clap file” is on the uploader, right?

    What’s up with the Newt? No time to finish up Block Party?

    Haven’t touched my guitar in several days, and I’m still waiting on my new neck.

  38. And I’m still waiting to wring you old neck…

    …and as usual, I wasn’t using the flacs…I was using the demo mix you sent out…yeah, I know.

    Along with it sucking, I’ve also been having a lot of trouble with my bass pad/trigger lately. I really need to get that new set. If all goes according to plan, I will order it right after Xmas. (Hopefully there will be some post holiday deals.)

  39. choppernewt Says:

    Why don’t we use our hands for hand clapping? I know, I’m so analog.

  40. Hands for hand clapping? What the hell is wrong with you?

    Anyways, I recall trying that back in the old days and the claps… sounded pretty pathetic. And as Pent says, he’s already busy with his hands.

    And get those new drums, Pent boy. I’m sick of your crappy drum set.

    Why not something like this?

    With one of these?

  41. Don’t you have minions…er…fans to clap for you?

    “People try to put him d-down… (Talkin’ ’bout his masturbation)…
    Just because he fools around… (Talkin’ ’bout his masturbation)…
    His hands get awful c-cold… (Talkin’ ’bout his masturbation)…
    Hope he’s done a’fore she gets ‘ome… (Talkin’ ’bout his masturbation)…”

  42. Damn, that’s expensive! It’s cheaper to get the acoustic set and the microphones. And much cooler, too. But I suppose it would be hard to record silently at night while Pent Junior is sleeping with an acoustic set.

    You know, though, when we do our next world tour I’m not letting you play an electric set. It would be an embarrassment. If you show up at the tour vans with that thing I’m throwing it out the window.

    I was hoping to tear down my guitar this even and install the new neck, but the damn thing hasn’t arrived yet.

  43. @Matt Only 10 grand? I’ll take 2!

    How about this?

  44. Since we’re just showing pictures, how about a sunburst color for my project tele?

  45. I like that better than the baby-blue…and if you haven’t put it all together yet, I’m not the biggest fan of baby-blue. Plus there’s just something cool about a sunburst guitar.

    $1500 isn’t bad for that kit…I don’t think. How about this one for $4000:

    …and yes, Herne. We got your Rock Band reference you increasingly insane person, you.

  46. Some people call it insanity… some people call it thinkin’ above the curve.

    To-may-to, to-mah-to.

  47. If you think my choice of color has anything to do with your preferences, you are sadly mistaken. However, I’ll be sure it is not baby blue if you’ll start playing a real drum set.

    Anyway, I’ll be a year putting this guitar together, I’m sure, so there’s no rush.

  48. My days of playing a real drum-set are over.
    I think you’ll be surprised at how good the new set is going to sound.

    …and no baby blue.

  49. OK…I just saw the best TV commercial.
    It shows a Mom sitting on the edge of a bed is shock as a dad pulls dozens and dozens of blurred out magazines from under the bed. The voiceover comes on and say, “Tell them what you want for Christmas or they’ll go snooping.”

  50. Why are your days of playing a real drum set over? You mean, like, forever? Like, you played an electric set and now you’d never go back to an acoustic because they are the cat’s meow? Or is it that the electric set is easier to record with and you don’t have to make a ton of noise in your house? I mean, I dig recording through my Toneport and all, but when I get the chance I’m buying a nice big tube amplifier so at the very least I can make the walls shake when nobody is home.

    Nobody else, I mean.

  51. A combo of all of those reasons:
    1) I’ve played the new set a few times at the music store and it is light-years ahead of the one I have now in terms of “feel” and “sound”
    2) It addresses my two big complaints:
    realistic playing hi-hat
    pads have more realistic action
    3) I can play it without annoying my house or neighbors
    4) It’s very easy to record with
    5) Instead of just one set…with this you get 50 sets in one (& the ability to create your own…you can upload your own samples into this one)

    I guess if I had an unlimited supply of money I would buy a nice acoustic set…but I think if I played out live, it would be with my electric set.

  52. All those reasons make great sense … except for the playing out live where an e-set would just be so uncool. But, hey, that’s not really an issue, is it?

    The uploading of samples is a great feature, although I imagine a good new set like this comes with great sounding samples already installed. Most important has got to be the better action on the pads and cymbals. If there’s one thing I’ve found in playing music it’s that the more expensive instruments do in fact allow one to sound and play better. I have a crappy $150 classical guitar which is damned difficult to play, and a very nice Yamaha classical guitar that sounds beautiful and plays like a dream. It’s amazing the difference. This is one reason I also bought a new Fender standard tele neck for my electric. I know it will play better.

  53. The whole thing is worth it just for the new way Yamaha has engineered the hi-hat and cymbals. The action feels more genuine. You’re right about the sounds, too.

    I absolutely agree about the better instruments improving play. I never really thought of it until I switched from my original $350 set to the $5000 set I was using with Freep. Wow. What a difference in play and sound.

  54. The stupid things we do: getting rid of great instruments and equipment. I never should have sold my Ampeg Gemini VI, and you never should have sold that drum set.

    I sold this when I finished high school, back in, what? 1989! Stupid thing to do. I wonder if Gator remembers it? I used to have both this and a little 50 watt solid state amp plugged into my stereo chorus pedal, from there to the delay and overdrive. What a huge sound two amps had!

    … preparing to go teach a class… (read, checking the blog and ignoring the preparation)….

  55. I wish I could find a pic of that set. It was SO beautiful and sounded SO great.
    Oh yeah…top of the line Zildjian cymbals too. (Much better than those pie plates I used to hit back in the original LFA.)

  56. I’m sure you could if you typed it into google.

  57. I’ve tried several times and never found the set I had.

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