Sunday, June 15, 2008

I think we've lost...Plus fishing photos!

I was over at a friends place last night and I met this dude that is some kind of rep for Universal Music. He was a nice guy and I enjoyed talking to him. However, his views and mine on music, labels and the new Copyright bill didn't really jive.

I can't remember exactly what we talked about but at one point he said something to me along the lines of "Only 2% of the acts on our label make money, the other 98% don't. In essence, 2% of the acts are subsidizing the other 98%." His point with this was twofold:

1) Look at how great we are by supporting all these bands that don't make us money.

2) Look at all these bands that don't make money, how can you take food from their mouths?

First up, I call total fucking bullshit on this stat. I was thinking about it today and I remembered this Steve Albini article from a few years back. Read it (if you have any interest in how labels handle bands).

So, maybe it is fair to say "98% of the bands on our label don't get a fucking cent from us" but I don't think it's fair to say these bands aren't making money for the label. And that, my friends, is the entire point. The OLD system was great for the major labels. The bands had nowhere else to go. They had to take what they could get from the majors or nobody would ever hear their music. The NEW system is great for the consumer. And I'm not even talking about free music. I'm talking about access to shit that we never, ever, ever could have accessed before. Freedom for bands to do things on their own or stick with a smaller label. Bands made and found through word of mouth and yes, through file sharing, that would never have stood a chance before. This system will never, ever disappear. These new laws will just create martyrs out of a few unlucky bastards that happen to get caught.

So, on to the fishing. This past week was the annual Ucluelet fishing trip. I was hoping the weather was going to be better, but at least it didn't rain. Ucluelet is a pretty interesting place filled with interesting people.

The first day was salmon fishing in the sound south of Ucluelet. This area is my favourite place to visit in the area. It's always a lot more interesting to have land on either side of you and to watch eagles flying around. Fishing for salmon is also a lot more interesting.

Things started out really slow. We didn't get a bite for a while. I caught the first fish, but it was just a little rock fish. The guides are always baffled by my dad when he wants to keep them. I'm not sure what the hell he does with them, but he likes them.

Eventually we caught some salmon. Poor Mike (my brother-in-law) had the first salmon on but he lost it. You can tell that my dad has to use all his self restraint to prevent himself from yelling at Mike when he loses a fish. Soon after that, my brother and Dad both hauled in a Spring each. One was 18, the other was 19 pounds. Then I got one on but it broke the leader. I was a bit bummed about that.

The next day we headed out to the open ocean for some halibut fishing. As I mentioned, this isn't usually as exciting as fishing for Salmon. There's a lot less to look at and when you do finally snag a halibut it's about as exciting as reeling in an old boot. The other problem with the halibut is the whole "open ocean" thing. Some people tend to get seasick.

I've only ever caught two Halibut in my life. The first one was a couple of years ago and I think it was about 35 pounds. And then, this guy...

Holy crap! 52 pounds of halibut is tough to reel in. It took a lot of my energy to get it to the boat. I have no idea how the guide got it into the boat. Here's another shot from the wharf.

The other cool thing about the day was the whales. We usually see a couple of whales, but I think we saw at least 30-40 whales over the course of the day. Although this picture doesn't really come across as terribly exciting, it is pretty cool just to be able to see an animal that large.

On the way back in, Mike pointed one out to us and we were looking over towards it. All of a sudden it rocketed out of the ocean. It's head must have been at least 15 feet in the air. The only thing still in the water was it's tail. It was crazy. It looked like this Ted Leo cover. No joke.

The next day, we slept in and walked around Ucluelet. Shit is going crazy development-wise. There's lots being cleared and houses being built all over the place. It's nice there, but I'm not sure what you'd do with all your spare time.

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