Music on My Mind

Realization by Sandal 

Realization by Sandal

Neck and back pain are a regular for me, stemming from a car accident and my military service. This seems common place for most people, and I let my pain keep me from living life to its fullest for the last four years.

I recently completed physical therapy to help with the pain and mobility issues. The strengthening helped my mobility, but nothing stops my nerve pain.

 

I also saw a nutritionist to help me combat my weight gain. Anyone dealing with limited mobility can relate. My weight slowly increased 40 pounds, and I needed to do something about it.

 

We set up a plan, reducing my soda intake while increasing my water intake. Now, three weeks later, I’ve lost nine pounds, and I rarely drink a whole can of soda. I drink between 120 to 160 ounces of water every day, and I feel better.

 

My wife decided it was time to get me new sandals, my most worn shoe, and, with my focus on feeling better and improving my quality of life, I thought better shoes might help me feel a little better. I was wrong. It made me feel a lot better.

 

I am wearing a new pair of Finn Comfort sandals: German made, hand sewn, Italian leather sandals with removable insoles and the ability to be resoled. I love the feel and understand what I previously would have considered a ridiculous price. These are the Mercedes Benz of sandals, and they are worth every penny of the $200+ price tag. This experience prompted me to share my realization with you.

I grew up not wanting for much. Part of this is because my parents set my expectations early on. We had what we needed, and my parents went out their way to get us special things when they could.

 

The most important thing my parents spent on us was their time. We had a good life, and it was because my sisters and I knew we were loved. There wasn’t a price tag on my parents’ time for their kids. This is something I try to emulate with my daughters. My five daughters and my wife are the most important people in my universe.

 

I don’t want any regrets when I leave this world. I want my time, the most precious commodity I have to offer, to be comfortable. Yes, I deal with pain, but I won’t let it control me. My comfort is worth the fiscal price I pay because it affords me the priceless, quality time with my family.

 

My footwear choices are no longer solely based on functionality and acceptable levels of reducing discomfort. My priority is now is comfort so I can enjoy every special moment with my family. I challenge you to do the same.

 

Treat your body right, feel good, and enjoy your time with the ones you love. The memories you form with those loved ones are priceless. To think, I learned all this buying a pair of sandals. I can’t wait until I need new sneakers.

DownSide Up to Release Exclusively on Gareth Emery’s Choon 

But what is Choon?

Choon is a possible solution to the music industry’s upside-down revenue distribution. You might not be aware there is a problem with how revenue is distributed in the music industry.

Here’s the Problem

The music industry has faced numerous changes over the years as technology has improved. Gone are the days of stores filled with vinyl albums and cassette tapes. CDs came and have slowly fallen by the wayside, giving way to digital downloads, but even downloads are becoming a thing of the past. The new way forward appears to be streaming music. Whether it be Spotify, Pandora, AppleMusic, or SoundCloud, listeners get what they want, music, whenever they want it, but this comes at a cost to musicians.

Copyright laws and royalty rates are slow to change, and despite market and technology changes, streaming services are legally required to pay 10.5 percent of revenue to master recording rights holders (think record labels and sometimes artists).

Let’s break this down to simple math. The Copyright Royalty Board has set a cost of living adjustment to the rates paid to master recording copyright holders for 2018, with the rate increasing on basis point each to $0.0018 for ad-supported, non-subscription music streaming services; and $0.0023 per performance for paid subscription services. Previously, the rates had been $0.0017 and $0.0022, respectively.

So… let’s say you’re a Spotify premium member, and you stream my single Eyes Are Here on Spotify. You would have to stream the song five times before I make my first penny ($0.0115). At that rate, Eyes Are Here needs to be streamed just about 435 times before it earns its first dollar, almost 4,350 times before earning $10.00 and so on. Fortunately, I completely own my rights; otherwise, I would only receive a percentage of that revenue with the label and publisher receiving the larger share.

Here’s the Solution

Imagine trying to earn a living based on streaming revenue. It is not feasible, and that is where dance DJ and producer Gareth Emery looks to make a change with Choon. Choon is a cryptocurrency-based music platform that simplifies the revenue stream for artists and simultaneously encourages listener-artist interaction. This sounds like a win-win situation.

Choon is opening its beta testing sometime during April 2018, and it seems promising. This seems like a great way to change the music industry, and I see this as an investment in my music that allows me to engage with my fans while cutting out the middle man.

Downside Up, my upcoming dance single, will release exclusively on Choon. I have chatted with Gareth and other artists involved in the beta testing and early adopting in the platform, and the energy and enthusiasm from each of them is exciting. I am excited for all this could mean for artists and fans alike.

What do you think about Choon? Let me know in the comments below, and remember to look for Downside Up and new collaborations by Rez Vidal on Choon.

Funny Memes I Found, December 9, 2017 

In my routine quest to stave off boredom, I searched the inter webs (if that’s how people are saying it now, I think it’s funny 😄)  to find materials I deemed funny enough to share, so I could write an obscenely long runon sentence, all the while fighting my OCD tendencies, urging me to correct this English teacher’s nightmare of a sentence, which is actually oddly enjoyable despite the off putting way it should feel— perhaps a self admission of being slightly sadistic, coupled with an unhealthy dose of masochism, since I’m kind of enjoying my attempt to endure this exercise in a screwed-up attempt at communication. The messed up thing is I didn’t lose track of what I was saying. I did, however, realize I was rambling. My search for humor turned up these memes, and I put them together in a video for you. I hope you like them, and share them with your friends. Cheers. 

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