Music Labels: I plan to steal your music because you are dumbasses

I am a rarity. In the last 2 weeks I’ve spent enough on vinyl records that could have paid for a small but fierce vacation to Disney World. When I go into a record store the owners always rejoice because I’ll be spending at least $50-$100 or more. I’m not going to tell you how much we spent last weekend on vinyl because it wasn’t a small amount. I buy music, but I buy it on vinyl.


Why vinyl? Many of the vinyl releases have better sound but I love the large format of the albums so that I can see the cover art. They are pieces of art and not useless, disposable crap like CDs are. I have no problem paying $25-30 for a new record and $45 for a double disc new record.

People who pay for music are a shrinking group. I heard it directly from the mouth of one of the VPs over at Sony Music when I met with him a while back. It’s unfortunate that record companies know this but aren’t able to adjust to new purchasing habits.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that it’s absolutely stupid to make someone pay $30-45 for a vinyl release and just not include digital copies of the files in that purchase in 2015.

News flash – I am not buying the CD after I already bought the fancy vinyl.

Truthfully, I had actually started buying the used CDs on Amazon. I was rewarded with the clutter and inconvenience of collecting these shitty shiny discs that I rip once and then stick on an already crowded shelf to never touch again.

I’m done.

I’m going to legally steal your music since I own all of the albums on vinyl. If you don’t include it with the vinyl release that I am being charged out the ass for I’ll just take it. I am not paying an extra $5-$10 on top of that just so I can play it on my iPhone. I’m also more likely to buy higher priced vinyl releases if it includes the digital files.

It makes me sad that many record companies today fail at taking my money. There is a market for music. The second they get their heads out of their asses and change how they interact with their customers they’ll see it.

Which is a never.

Interesting to note that I just bought a vinyl release which included a digital download of the album but their website failed mid-download and prevented me from getting the files. I’m now trying unsuccessfully to get the record label to give me the digital download I’m entitled to. They haven’t replied.

Answer: I should have just downloaded it through “illegal” channels. I’d have had it in 5 minutes.


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 Meet me at InterventionCon in Rockville, MD! I’m teaching Marketing for small biz; returning to art! Aug. 14-16, 2015

Intervention is coming up this August 14-16, 2015 in Rockville, MD. I will be coming out of art retirement. For the first time in 5 years you’ll be able to meet me at a table and check out some of my art! I’ll also be available to give advice on your art and creative projects throughout the weekend.

Intervention is my convention that I am producing. If you like my shit, you should get there because this is a Big Deal.

We have Terry Molloy (Davros from Doctor Who) teaching voice acting, my assistant, Kara will be teaching about how to break into the anime industry, and more. Check out these great guests!

Also check out this kick ass schedule! All of that is included in general admission. It’s a huge value. Not only is it fun, but you’ll leave the event recharged and ready to take over the world with your work.

intervention gaming

Don’t forget to bring the kids because this year we have Spy Camp – a really fun Kid’s Track for the whole family. :D


Register now because my classes are included with general admission. Here is my schedule. I hope you can come out and we can meet!

Friday, August 14th:

4PM Fri – Large Panel Room: Oni Hartstein’s Real Talk Marketing 1: Setting up Your Business Online: All new content for 2015! Oni will demonstrate how she sets up her online presence so she can manage all aspects of it. She’ll also tell you what’s worth spending time on and what’s not and why. Final 15 minutes will be a Q&A.

5PM Fri – Panel Room 1: We Are The Intervention and (Re)Generation: Meet Oni and Harknell – Open forum to ask any questions about both of their conventions or anything else.

7PM Fri – Board Game Room: Board Gaming Room Dedication

Saturday, August 15th:

3PM Sat – Large Panel Room: Oni Hartstein’s Real Talk Marketing 2: Generating and Dealing with the Press (Magazines//TV/Radio): All new content for 2015! Many people think that press coverage will come to you. That’s mostly a lie. Oni will explain everything she did to get press coverage and how it fits into amplifying your signal. She’ll also demonstrate what a press kit is and how to send it without pissing reporters off. Final 15 minutes will be a Q&A.

6PM Sat – Panel Room 1: Staying Motivated: Any small business owner and/or creative will be often hit with setbacks and rejection. It comes with the territory. Let’s talk a bit about what we have experienced and how we manage to keep going. Panelists: LIz Staley, Oni Hartstein

Sunday, August 16th:

10AM Sun – Panel Room 1: Should I Care About Social Media?
Panelists: Oni Hartstein, Kara Dennison, Mary Ratliff

12PM Sun – Large Panel Room: Blogging For Fun and Profit
Panelists: Matt Blum, Oni Hartstein, Nicole Dieker

1PM Sun – Large Panel Room: Oni Hartstein’s Real Talk Marketing 3: Working your ecosystem: All new content for 2015! If you’ve attended the previous 3 panels you understand how to set your stuff up online and how to generate press. Now Oni will tell you how to conceptualize all of that and talk about what tasks she does weekly to make it all work together and get to the next level. Final 15 minutes will be a Q&A.

I will be at my table as much as possible between these times. I hope to see you there!

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 Colin Baker makes a statement about the Doctor Who Magazine controversy

6th Doctor Colin Baker was recently interviewed in Doctor Who Magazine. There had been some controversy over it on Twitter. He’s made a statement on his website on the matter. I’ve pasted it below to amplify it / just in case anyone needs to link it directly.


Colin has done so much for the fans and has tirelessly stood up for the creatives in the industry. He isn’t afraid to speak out when necessary and that’s one of the reasons us here at (Re)Generation Who HQ love him so much.

Kindness is important.


I am on the cover of the latest Doctor Who magazine because after several years of declining to be interviewed by them, I was persuaded by Big Finish that it would help them if I overcame my reluctance and did an interview. I owe so much to Big Finish for providing me with the opportunity to drag old Sixie from the mire of the 80’s where he was firmly embedded in some viewers’ minds into the audio sunlight of the Doctor Who range they produce. Suddenly great scripts, great love for the show, great directors and producers combined to breathe life into the corpse of the Sixth incarnation beyond ‘carrot juice’, the ending I had been given before we knew that it would be precisely that – an ending.

My long reluctance to talk to DWM was based solely on the fact that the magazine has persisted for years in having polls and then publishing the results in full. Not just the name of the favourite doctor or companion (as if that was worthy of noting anyway) but details of who came lower in the ‘who’s best’ listing – all the way down to least favourite.I have never been that sure about the need to do this, felt by some people, but had never realised until I was a part of it myself quite how dispiriting it can be to the less loved. When you are at the bottom of the list with the wonderful William Hartnell – whom most of those who voted had probably never seen – trust me – you feel a tad gutted. We are supposed to shrug and to move on; to pretend we haven’t seen it; to pretend we don’t care; to affect a lofty indifference. I have always found it difficult to do that. When I was told my services as the Doctor were no longer required, I was offered the chance to give an anodyne reason for my departure. I preferred to tell the truth. I have always found that easier in the long run, if not the short.

So when it happened to me again with that list of the popularity of the 200 stories to date and Peter’s last story was voted the most popular ever and my first story languished forlornly below the other 198, how could it fail to be like an hammer blow to anyone involved with that story. Could we not perhaps have just listed the top ten favourites? That would have hurt less, as my complete absence from that list would have at least been shared with the actors, writers and crew of the other 190. Once I had realised the potential for hurt in these lists, I constantly noticed the wounds inflicted on other creative people and hated it.

Anyway, when Big Finish told me that my re-generation episode’s release would be greatly aided by some coverage in DWM and that Nick Briggs had been asked to interview me for the magazine and that my exact words would be quoted, I eventually consented. I have known Nick for centuries it seems. He is as honest as the day is 24 hours long, we share a sense of fun and he is talented, clear thinking and a good man as well as being a superb writer. I warned them that I would talk about my quite strongly held views about their polls.

So wind forward a few weeks. My copy of the magazine containing my interview arrives. I read it and it does indeed reflect what I said exactly. No complaints. Nice picture on the front. Nice editorial.

I then started to read the rest of the magazine. I turn over four pages and see the DWM 2014 Season Survey. Favourite Story – listed from 1 down to 12. How can the writer of that story believe other than that the fans considered his story – the only one he wrote for that season – not as good as all the others? The same writer is also last in the Best Writer’s Poll with 1% of the vote – the winner getting 56% – lovely for him, but really unkind to the No 8! Best Director? There are six of them and one – with 1% is last. How is she supposed to feel? Why, oh why, does DWM feel the need to publish that. If they really like these polls why not tell us who came out on top without exposing those who did markedly less well to the ignominy of a negligible vote.

Lists that don’t identify individual human beings as least best are less pernicious. When it’s people who might be hurt – just name the one with the most votes. Open ended ones are less hurtful – like when ‘Others’ are given 30% for instance.

But DWM please remember that there are people reading these who may not wish to learn how unloved they are!

And then there is the twitter storm I have unleashed by trying in 140 words to make this point.

Because the original aversion to elements of these polls was started by my own low standing in the favourite Doctor list, many kind followers on Twitter are telling me they love me and say nice things about my Doctor. Grateful though I am of course for such kind outpourings, it was truly not why I tweeted my sadness and disappointment with DWM. It’s not about me and Old Sixie any more.

It seemed to me to be disingenuous at best to pretend that the juxtaposition of my very long interview (when I explained my dislike of the polls) and the 2014 season poll might be coincidental. Might a thoughtful editor have seen the potential for that being misread if it truly was a coincidence. My first thought from the Baker bunker was that I was being put in my place. ‘Don’t like polls eh? No pensioned off Doctor is going to tell us what to put in our magazine!’ While that may indeed be DWM’s right, it might have been more tactful in the circumstances to delay either the poll or my interview?

Various reactions on Twitter of course. One even accusing me of double standards because I appeared on I’m a Celebrity where the public vote leads to eviction – and suggesting that my lofty anti-poll standards were compromised in order to get paid. I struggled to understand that one – after all that is the point of that particular programme.

The editor responsible for publishing the poll and interview together asked me on Twitter to stop airing my views in public and talk to him privately – as if that would change anything. If he wants to say that the juxtaposition was coincidental – why not say so publicly? I like openness.

But to reiterate.

It’s not about me. I am heartened that people want to reassure me that Old Sixie is loved but I really do care about the new wounds being inflicted on today’s professionals by a magazine that should be protecting them. I am prepared to accept that they may be collateral and not intended victims, but now it is clear – or should be – that seeing in print that only 1% voted for you might just perhaps be less than pleasant and therefore worthy of a different presentation.

I guess I’m asking for the usual journalistic standards be nudged in the direction of kindness for a magazine whose sole purpose is to celebrate a television programme with those who watch it.

Colin Baker

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 Evolution is hard

Oh man, I am in one of those interim states where I want to work on a creative project but don’t know exactly what to do.

I’ve always identified as an artist. My first calling was music but I didn’t have the resources to be able to do that. I did comics instead. I did them too long. I became bitter with the politics in that scene and the high amount of work that it takes to produce one.

I spent about 10 years getting only 4 hours of sleep per night because of the labor required. I feel like I never want to draw comics again. Just looking at a sketchbook causes me to get queasy. I’m beyond burnt out right now. The only thing I enjoy is studying my guitar.

So I feel lost because I am not actually producing anything.

Yes, I am producing conventions. BTW, have you registered for Intervention yet? It’s in 2 weeks and going to be a hell of a lot of fun.) That’s something I love but not the same thing as a personal creative project.

I feel like I am at a crossroads, unhappy, and not sure what to do. TL; DR you can have a huge amount of success and still be unhappy.

Oh, and I’m slightly losing my sight until I get an eye surgery so making art also sucks for that reason. I find out on Wednesday what’s going on. More on that later. I hope the doctors can help easily.

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 Makeup Forever partners with transgender model Andreja Pejic

There’s been a lot of talk about transgender issues because of Caitlin Jenner and the amazing new campaign by Makeup Forever starring Andreja Pejic. If you haven’t seen the latter, here you go:

In my personal world that I’ve created none of this is an issue because we have a diverse mix of all genders in my organization. More than once I’ve been approached and told that it was very positive and remarkable that any gender issues were a non-issue. What I mean by that is that they were immediately accepted and not negatively questioned no matter who they were or how they identified. We are quite proud of our positive atmosphere.

That’s how I roll. Accept people or GTFO. I’ve been marginalized many times in life due to not fitting in. I sure as hell will not allow any of that to happen to anyone else on my watch.

I have no time for people who define themselves by what they don’t like or reduce themselves to fearing what they don’t understand. There’s a lot of things in life that I personally don’t care for and wouldn’t do myself. For example I’d never tattoo my face. That doesn’t mean someone who does can’t have my full respect.

Even if you don’t understand someone it’s not your business to make it your issue. You accept people as important human beings and that’s the end of it. People are important. I don’t care what race/class/gender they are. You don’t have to be “this tall” to have my unconditional friendship, so to speak. I am pretty sure we all read the Dr. Seuss book about the Star-bellied Sneetches. That’s some first grade shit there.

I had intended to write more here but I will follow up this post later with a more personal post on the topic. In the meantime I think I’m gonna schedule a makeup session with MUFE in advance of my next photo shoot.

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