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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7734
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2023 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually just chilling.



The calm before the storm. Everything we know is in flux and so take the down time and relax and rejuvenate. Soon it will all be happening and everyone will be “playing for keeps”!



I’m one day away from a vacation and a long weekend for everyone else. So there is no reason to try to do anything non-urgent today.




My actual Les Paul!



The Gibson Les Paul Studio guitar is now paid off. Those are expensive but I got mine one step up from the bottom - just like the Fender Stratocaster - So you don’t get all the crap about it being the cheapest with the name on the headstock. The Fender strat has that distinctive sound and so does the Les Paul and they are literally polar opposites of each other! That is great for covering a lot of tone! Plus, most of the modern era of music was made on these two guitars, so getting both was a good move. Jimi Hendrix was a Fender Stratocaster guy, but I like Jeff Beck also. Slash is a Les Paul guy on the other side - both have their fans.




My Fender Stratocaster!



I had to buy new as used is almost the same price but things could be messed with and Les Paul necks are notorious for breaking and then getting repaired almost invisibly - I’m a nubie so I’ll just buy new and not get burned. Plus you get a month to return it. Now I’m stuck with the Fender as it’s over 30 days but there were no more like that on sale so it was that one or nothing else. The Gibson was surprisingly perfect for a display model and everything is correct so that’s a keeper. Heck - I even made my first song on both guitars, so how could I take one back now? Anyway that song was The AI Song and some don’t seem to mind it, so if curious you can find it here (duplication but we are on a new page):



The AI Song: https://youtu.be/xabP7Pv3cDw



Like many musicians, it could have been improved, and I never thought “that” would be my own as my first song - but there you have it…..







I’m really just enjoying having some free time where I don’t have to do anything. It never lasts and the car is the focus for the vacation. Fresh oil and PCV valve. New wiper blades. I needs a detailing and full look around. The brakes need to be serviced and new shoes as it’s six years! I’ll also check out the wheel bearings while the wheels are off. When that’s done I’ll concentrate on that clutch pack groaning issue though it’s not as loud lately, but next week is the time to do this. That is a dealer job as they have seen this before and probably have a service notice about it.



Anyway that is it for today.



Oh, and I just realized The AI Song is also my first guitar solo - The Horror, the Horror…..




Goodnight…..





https://youtu.be/htuT-3v0hJU

https://youtu.be/xvpeIKI4ZiQ
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7734
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2023 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember when I started all this and a quip on an internet forum about the money involved and the waste of time on endeavours that had no chance. Well I proved them wrong but was I the exception, could you recommend what I did for other people?




I would say take a calculated guess and go from there - but - what about my example:



.
Dan of AAVRY KNAPP!



While recording Dan’s album “Daze in my Life”, we went to this after hours bar downtown and checked things out. There was this incredibly drunk guy grabbing this super worn out electric guitar and playing it until he fell to the stage in a stupor. Anyway, on the patio Dan told me the owner of the establishment got some inheritance money and instead of banking it, he bought and carried on a failing bar and will do so until the money runs out! So he knew it was going to eventually fail, but he always wanted to run a bar and he was doing that now. And not just some empty bar but this thing was rock’in! Many would say bank the money, but I say this was a calculated and smart move on his part. No regrets in the end and he got a chance to do what he always wanted to do!



One thing you realize in life that you don’t in your younger days is how precious time is. You don’t think about time when young and then it closes up on you and robs you of your ambitions, your fantasies and finally your life! What do people on their death bed regret? Not being braver and more forthright in possible love relationships. Not being more daring in their careers or business possibilities. When time runs out the opportunities run out and you are left with just whatever years you have left - and now you know why old people generally are pissed off about everything. So you made it to retirement and can buy that Corvette you always wanted - but your knees are shot and you can’t get in the low slung car without help - it kills the image and the fantasy turned real - so you don’t buy it or sell it soon after; that is how life is. If you don’t take that educated gamble when young and able, life and health soon conspire to rob you of those ambitions later in life.



It cost me 140,000 dollars to do everything up to our movie premiere at the Royal Cinema as that was the budget for the movie about the Positive Mandate for Humanity. 140,000 will buy you one BMW Competition M4, in other words a high spec car today, maybe a fully specked out C8 Corvette - but what would I have given up?



.



Getting on old-fashioned TV before YouTube and streaming like Global TV and CTV.


Music production along side well known names - Tom Cochrane (recorded beside him our very first day at MetalWorks) , like Barenaked Ladies (spent an afternoon with them), Christina Aguilera, DMX, SAGA (big fan back in the day and had them begging me for studio time we had), Trading studio time with Glass Tiger, hanging out with Jeff Martin, Using Prince’s (grammy nominated) engineer and hanging out with a who’s who of Canadian talent back then like Avril Lavigne. There is a ton more and I was a music industry guy promoting reality TV for musicians and I got on networkTV…..








Don’t forget about all the concerts certainly the biggest being FOFSTOCK and The Lox concerts.



.



Being an editor of a real paper newspaper back in the day!



Published author of five books presently.



.
Lower left corner for us!



Then there is the movies/shorts and film festivals and the TV series that ran in theatres and streaming services like Prime Video.








Then the advocacy from the Canadian Commission for UNESCO to UNESCO in Paris (France) to the United Nations in New York and all those activities that continue.




Was that worth 140k - of course it was and gave me a proper identity. I fulfilled my ambitions to be a philosopher as I majored in philosophy in university. I become President and CEO of several corporations that actually did exciting things. Yes, President and CEO was my ambition at Ryerson Business school - it came true but it never is quite the way you envisioned it.



Anyway, that was 20 years of my life. A lot of life but now responsibilities to change things now that I have a tiny amount of influence in the world. But it worked out for me, so do a risk analysis and make a decision rationally and not out of fear. I will say that if I had kids I would not have done any of that. If you have them the kids come first.



And don’t forget my ambitions had a compounding effect on helping others achieve their dreams and goals. Musicians that got the opportunity to record at world famous recording studios and perform at big events. FOF Records has about 50 artists and almost 300 songs in the catalogue. Publishing books for writers and articles in our newspaper back them. Actors and actresses in our movies and TV shows (and remember I made to to network TV back then). On and on as the Positive Mandate dictated…..




Goodnight…..





https://youtu.be/Xnhb8z5K8Mg
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7734
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2023 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The vacation starts…..







But it starts on a long weekend. I wanted to start off replacing the brakes and checking out the wheel bearings but it’s raining till 1:00pm and the “B” team are in for the day. So that will have to wait till Tuesday. Than that groaning rear end after that.



I still have family over at my dad’s place so also visiting people on Sunday. For Saturday I should really vacuum the house with that new vacuum I have in the living room. Practice with the guitar for a change. Clean up the bathrooms and all of that. Gardening at my dad’s place. Finally cutting my hair and trimming my beard. Watch a new movie.




This is to be the “normal” vacation with nothing “org” related going on. I have one last corporate tax return to do in June and then I’m all caught up!



After the vacation is probably still the groaning rear end of the car. Then I start to see exactly how we are going to pull off the next FOFSTOCK without me going into debt. That is the quantum leap at our new little startup. I want to have some locations and options and then go looking for money.




Archives Canada in Ottawa!



Library and Archives Canada got back to me this week confirming they had a copy of A Global Social Contract. I’ll try to get them a copy of the AI book soon. People actually take these books out on loan (I was genuinely surprised by that BTW. and it was the Positive Mandate book), so I may actually give them a second hard shell proper book to keep in the stacks. This is the only place where that ever happens so I may as well give them something that can last!









Goodnight…..





Here is something rare, Dan’s guitar solo for “Angry Man” from start to finish at MetalWorks - real old school!:

https://fofentertainment.com/Dan_Guitar_Solo.m4v
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7734
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2023 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing I did do was check out Mel Lastman Square as a possible site for FOFSTOCK 2!




The actual stage!



One of several sites you can book as a not-for-profit here in Toronto. There probably is a cost involved but I will check them out and just see if anything scratches them off the list right off the bat.




That stage is dwarfed by the actual area there!



Anyway I went with my dad to check out Mel Lastman Square. It’s right off Yonge Street (supposedly one of if not the longest street on earth) but the stage is still kind of hidden - but I saw no reason not to discount it from the list.







The others will follow. I’ll check out 150 Borough attached to the Scarborough Town Centre maybe later today or Monday. Then it’s downtown to Nathan Phillips Square which is huge like Yonge-Dundas Square. Then a bizarre one at 55 John Street.



At this stage in my life I’m not going debt like the original FOFSTOCK. FOFSTOCK 2 has to run on peanuts so we can hold it every year. So that’s the plan, and there will be a FOFSTOCK 2 even if it’s held in an abandoned farmer’s field out of town…..




Goodnight…..





https://youtu.be/mN_g1Ml06f8
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7734
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2023 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I’ve checked out a few things.



.
There is nothing more bizarre than me on stage with an electric guitar!



First is me at Mel Lastman Square with that cheap electric guitar I got specifically for checking out venues. It now subs as a slider guitar but it was refreshing for me to put it in a gig bag and drive it down to a venue and climb up on stage and see how it looked. This becomes a useful scale tool as I looked at the stage at 150 Borough (at the Scarborough Town Centre). I got a good samaritan to help me out and stand there:








Look at how big it is! The problem is that we would have to light things from inside the stage or the shadows would ruin the performances.







Anyway the rest are downtown and I should check them out tomorrow. Tomorrow is Victoria Day and if these venues are not booked then I will look into things and see what’s up and how that works for us!




I’m still “tire kicking” but FOFSTOCK 2 has never been closer.




Goodnight…..
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7734
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2023 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was planning to keep looking for our future music festival venue tomorrow and that will continue. But I will take a moment to allay some pessimism I have been spreading to my gang and those that read this. So for those of you who fear the future – please read on…..







I was always interested in philosophy and even came up with a bunch in my 20s, I even tried to do what I am doing now in my late 20s but I just could not do it. The advertising company was called Creative Exchange and today it is known as More Vision. Anyway, I knew that few people of any merit in philosophy ever came directly from universities and funnily enough I got tossed out on my ear. That is a sore spot for me but fate had other ideas. You all know this story but I need to reiterate this point – the ideas I espouse are like a virus, spread person to person, I was very intelligent about how to spread it. If you tried to disseminate it on some obscure place it would be easy to isolate and kill the spread just like a real virus. So I disseminated my ideas at that one vortex of influence and power – the United Nations. It has been disseminated there for years. In fact even if they blew me up in my house as I type this, the ideas would keep being disseminated and ultimately should provoke change. All I can do is help speed up the process.







The UN was best for these ideas as the ideas should turn to flesh at the UN ideally, it should but if not, it will at some other place and right now mostly at X of which Twitter is a part. Everything is in flux though, but the ideas I espouse all started in the United Nations. First with the Worldwide Vote, then with the Positive Mandate for Humanity and finally that new Global Social Contract! I did a side event on the Worldwide Vote in 2016 and a written statement on it in 2021. I held a side event on the Positive Mandate for Humanity and an oral statement in 2019 at the United Nations and sent some packages to the UN’s Institute for Social Development. We also gave the UN (as received by the Secretary General), a written statement about that new Global Social Contract in detail in 2022. Now in 2023 I gave a rather obtuse speech at the UN about a new Global Social Contract – but more importantly – sent a letter and the book by me about that new Global Social Contract to both the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General all at the same time. Trust me, the ideas I espouse are making the rounds at the UN and working their way back though member nations and so on in maybe an almost perfect form of viral dissemination of ideas and concepts I could envision. Whether I get any credit in the end is another question, The Fates don’t care; but it would be nice to have a brown face in relevant philosophical developmental impact in our world for a change.





Our worldwide voting demonstration table at the side event!


Anyway, that has already happened so we have a chance on many levels. The AI threat, could be a bad thing, but the AI could also turn out not to be a malevolent entity in the end. But I and others have to assume the worst and offer up ideas on that. So for you young people, it’s not all doom and gloom and I would like nothing better to grow old and senile and have the world carry on – with necessary human development – without me. I did my best and my methods should work out as they were about as flawlessly executed as can be…..




Goodnight…..





https://youtu.be/us52N76XA28
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7734
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2023 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


55 John Street



I visited the other venues and 55 John was really just an empty park - full set up here. Nathan Philips Square looks like big bucks to set up. And we are back to Yonge-Dundas Square.





Nathan Philips Square


The speaker towers at YDS are now permanent - we needed a building permit to get them in 2011! Also, the square has big screens as permanent accessories. I pulled up and talked to the security guard who was very knowledgeable. Anyway, we now get one screen if we want. We have to use Guarda as usual. And - the price is now decided on area usage. I hate to say it, but YDS seems to be the only viable venue downtown.



.
Yonge-Dundas Square



There are still others to check out like these:



Ontario Place

Budweiser stage

Echo beach

Harbourfront Centre’s Concert Stage

Celebration Square

Merritt Park Amphitheatre

Downsview Park




I must be insane. This will cost shitloads of money and could be rained out! You got lucky the first time - take that experience and run with it. Lightening doesn’t strike twice!



But: If it’s cheap enough it could work out yearly. I’ll still go through the motions and get prices. Then we will decide…..



I was going to bitch about what a hell hole downtown Toronto is becoming - but that will have to wait for another time. The big takeaway is that nothing -NOTHING - is happening at these venues anymore! This should put me in a good negotiating position…..





I have to laugh at these photos - like I can “play” the guitar!





Goodnight…..





https://youtu.be/O35HfePEhdc
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7734
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2023 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today…..




First of all I finally sent the car in to have the brakes and wheel bearings checked - and they did no work as nothing needed fixing. They said I had 50% left on the pads and no bad bearings, and all I had to do was pay for the inspection. I was sure one of the pads on the back was grinding away at the rotor - but anyways I get to save some money. The head mechanic also must have heard the groaning noise backing up and supposedly did not find that pointing to anything. So I’m just going to leave it and and wait till something breaks. Having said that, brakes that are only down 50% at almost 100,000km is pretty good, and in six years I only had to replace a water pump under warranty, one battery, one set of wiper blades, new tires after 4.5 years and one PCV valve - this is the best car I ever owned by a country mile!







The really funny thing is I was the guy who would only drive a V8 and a solid rear axle. So when I couldn’t buy the Hyundai Elantra and used that same money to get the V6 Mustang - I knew I had made heresy! And I knew this car would not give me the opportunity to sell it and buy another V8. True enough that is what is happening. It’s downright supernatural with this car right now…..


Then I finally got my computer to play a “Region B“ bluray. I started by changing the bluray drive properties to the United Kingdom to play the movie “The Shout”. However I could only change the DVD region to 2 which is the same thing but the bluray would only show it is region B and not go any further. The internet said VLC player can play bluray and all regions so I downloaded it and no go. What I have to do is download and McGiver some acc files and language files into a new folder you had to create in Program Data and another in the Program Files folder in VLC - and - it worked. It worked too well, making my changes in the region for DVDs redundant as it played region B blurays on a region 1/A disc drive as well as the one I switched. This pissed me off as you can only change a few times and I used up one change already. Now if you don’t use VLC the DVDs in my collection won’t play with certain other players.



I may just swap that out for another region 1 bluray player on my AVID editor and just play the VLC only on that machine as I really don’t watch movies on that - I just edit on it…..



That was really good news enough for one day, but a relative came over visiting along with her dog and I finally got to walk a dog after like 50 years. And no, the dog didn’t poop on the grass but I did have a plastic bag just in case. Then I played run and catch the ball with it and that was enough for me and dogs.



With the car thing out of the way I can relax a bit now. Update the spare forums. Practice more with the guitar. Vacuum the rest of the house and so on…..




Goodnight…..





(NSFW - sort of…..)
https://youtu.be/h-t8zW1lee4


https://youtu.be/_fyzAXkIJ-A
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7734
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2023 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I registered for the Data+AI Summit this summer.





The upcoming summit is the American version of the one in Toronto.



It’s June 28 to June 29 in California. Anyway, I just signed up virtually as I’m not spending 10 thousand dollars just to go there - better spent on FOFSTOCK 2 and I’m not even crazy about that. I see Eric Schmidt (formerly Google/Alphabet) and Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft) will be there probably virtually, but it does mark my commitment to the AI advocacy even outside of the United Nations. BTW, this is the first time since before the pandemic that I’m back into this stuff!




In person will still look like this in Toronto.


Nothing at Nathan Philips Square for Victoria day (this past Monday) and nothing for Canada Day either. They claim they can’t afford it? I really have to get the price lists for events to see why these venues are “ghost towns” post-Covid. Anyway, this will take a while and we still have not committed to anything yet. There is a reason for this situation but I don’t know the reason why yet. It could even be insurance related.




I have too much on my plate and I’m not adding any more. I am whittling down websites for one. I am only keeping the important ones now.



As an aside, I have been able to rekindle my creative side by just letting my mind wander among other people. Confirmed over and over again with people who know me. The catch is that you sound crazy while doing this so only do it with people you know - but it does seem to work a bit. Creativity does go in your late 20s/early 30s but perhaps closing your mind to deal with ordinary people may also be a cause as getting out of academic and creative areas seems to also smother creativity.



I did guitar strumming on Tuesday but need to strum and chord at the same time to appear to be playing the guitar. This is a hobby so you mess around with it while you can.




Goodnight…..





(NSFW)
https://youtu.be/v6VW-1nEqhU
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7734
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2023 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A late one but progress on the concert front is happening…..







As I mentioned before, the insurance is becoming prohibitive for special events. Over 3X from the FOFSTOCK and The Lox venues years ago. Is this prohibitive for us? Maybe - but maybe not - but I have to see if we can get insurance under the name of our not-for-profit. I will not get into any personal liability here at this stage in my life.









Now, I was a rather successful insurance salesman (even won awards) in my mid-20s and insured especially hard and tricky cases toward the end, so I’m kind of intrigued by the possibilities. The reason we got connected to The Lox - for example - was our 20 million of special event insurance. No insurance and no big name act, it’s as simple as that. If a law suit happens the lawyers go to the person with the deepest pockets and at The Lox concert it would be D-Bock (their record label) or us and our 20 million and Canadian corporation cause The Lox would be back in the States and harder to deal with.



You now see how this works, but can it work for us? As a not-for-profit we could hold a policy with an extended timeline and just slap the FOFSTOCK name on smaller events we could include as the FOFSTOCK music festival. It depends on the conditions and the cost. It could even become the FOFSTOCK Series of Music Festivals - or it could all end up going nowhere except for advocacy and music production. Or we could move FOFSTOCK to the States under the FOF Records Inc. umbrella hosting the venue (as FOF Records Inc. has an EIN number with the IRS and can easily do business there). We shall just have to see, but Thursday is an interesting day and not over yet.




Goodnight…..





(NSFW)
https://youtu.be/CuBvSE_CGKw

https://youtu.be/py__2dI7FRc

https://youtu.be/-FhbKsX9giw
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7734
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2023 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only thing to do with live events now is get an insurance quote and see what the cost is…..




Sam



I could try on Friday, but on Fridays the sales staff have their morning meeting and then meet their boss individually later - then they skive off for the afternoon - don’t ask me how I know!








Insurance being impossible to get would explain it all right now, but we aren’t there yet. So there goes the romantic fantasy of the promoter guy meeting well known acts and everyone giggling over how much money they are going to make. Then hanging out with musicians and creative people, with it ending up jumping some attractive woman. Nope, doesn’t happen that way - at least not with me.




Anna



You could do that sans the well known acts and never put on the event you used to hump the women. Yes, some guys make a career out of that vibe but never complete the transaction - just a lot of jumping of women who also love that stuff. Anyway, I’m the real deal and the events go on - I worry about insurance, contacts and stuff like that with no time for jumping women - though that would have been a nice perk for once in my life. Not saying this happened to me, but some women get involved in this stuff (because they love it) and don’t jump the man in charge, but start dating some guy who looks like a younger version of the man in charge and jump him instead - man, life is such a cheat….. hehehehe…..








In the beginning with me, musicians would get together in some small stage and have someone’s girlfriend read some poetry she made up and then start bantering with the crowd and then start playing. It’s was a cool vibe with cool people. Funnily, I never had a problem getting into any of these places, the Toronto music scene being small as it is, there was always someone there that always made me just waltz in. I always had a ton of expensive video equipment with me also, and maybe some tag alongs. Never had to wait in line. The girls always said I was “cool” but I didn’t dress that way or have tattoos - but I made things happen - and that is what started in this vacation.







So my guess is even older and greyer, I get to go and do as I please because I’m still trying to save and nurture the lifestyle the cool people crave. I’m no vampire like them, but I get it. I should also tell you insurance companies for the most part will not insure acts in night clubs - bars are ok but night clubs - no. In Niagara Falls you would book acts into bars for this reason. They would come up from the States into Niagara Falls, play the bar and slip back into America without any driving to get into Canada.



I could still do that for Canadian fans but could also just do it in New York if Canada makes costs prohibitive. They also dropped the maximums from 20 million back in the day to five million now - how times have changed! We just have to see, remember, I always have that option to go stateside and actually turn a nickel rather than get bled financially all the time in Canada.








So the vacation was all about live events but finally working out how to play blurays on all my computers and all regions was the cherry on top. The car maintenance didn’t play out as planned - but I saved a lot of money. The Les Paul guitar is now paid off. I did buy a Gibson embossed strap, but that gold Gibson embossing was just too garish so back it went. So even trips to the music store didn’t drain the wallet this week! I literally can make it with the strat and les guitars only - seeing they literally cover all the tones.




Friday I sort out all the business bills and paperwork. I checked all the corporate bank accounts and added cash as usual. I see the CRA cashed the check we sent in with our return - what? You mean we actually were financially viable this year? Actually - yes - we were, how about that…..







So it could turn out that FOFSTOCK becomes the whore of live events underwriting small concerts and music festivals for liability and getting to slap our name on every marque! That could happen, and we have done it before. It’s is also cheaper than bankrolling the entire event. Or have the young upstarts run out of cash along the way and then we just take the whole thing over and make it happen at one quarter the total cost - to us - that could work out also.




Goodnight…..





(NSFW)
https://youtu.be/Rs6yHVZaidI
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7734
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2023 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A quickie.



1. After I spent all that time disputing a traffic ticket by my Dad’s place - none of it showed up in the records and the city has upped the fine from 50 - 62.5 dollars. I had to go to city hall and get an in-person interview on the 23 of June for resolution.

2. Got some shoes for work. I no longer cheap out on shoes, but at least that got done.

3. I’m cutting my hair - finally preening myself.

4. At home all I have to do is vacuum and things are stable.

5. Finally waxed my car which was a huge pain in the ass - bit it is done.



In the advocacy we just wait now. Nothing will happen to have them entertain ideas until something happens. I just sit back and wait.







So far the AI song has been an embarrassment, but people still listen to it. So, I’ll clean it up a bit and distribute it like all our other songs. The only question is what stage name to go by? I could use my old internet handle “Fatguy” or maybe change it proper to “Phatguy” as the girls always suggest - but I’m so late in the game I may as well just use my real name. I’ll need album artwork and will use the book font and artwork used on the book. Ah, what the hell! Something to do for the weekend and continues to draw me into the music world as a player.




Been in the media business a loooong time!



My gang at FOF have done stuff. Corey Johnson used to play large concerts. Michael would play decent gigs as “Another Fine Mess” and as Twenty6Hundred. Mihai used to tour with a band (who shall remain nameless) in Europe. Yes, real touring and TV interviews in Europe and all the fixings! So now I become one of them. Not soon enough Shane would say - Oh yes, Shane used to play rap competitions with the likes of “Slim Shady” (Eminem). Everyone at FOF has skeletons in the closet and now you know why everyone threatens me not to close the record label. Their identity is in the music word and their positions with the record label maintain their true identity. So, the record label will carry on - especially now that my songs will be in it.




May as well use this photo as the “Artist”?
Funny as hell - and what am I wearing?



Now the funny bit to all this. FOF RECORDS Inc. is a corporation and as such a separate legal entity. I have to sign a contract with the record label for it to take force and put out my music - as bizarre as that sounds. I’ll have Shane’s and Sam’s sig on that contract and be done with it.




Goodnight…..






The AI Song: https://youtu.be/xabP7Pv3cDw
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7734
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2023 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We lost one of our artists on Saturday.





Glen Atkinson



His name was Glen Atkinson, brother of Michael Atkinson, most of you regulars know Michael well. He was a drummer and most recently was credited as the drummer on Shane’s latest releases “River of Souls” and “Trying” and I think on the next one being released at a later date. The last thing the label did with him personally was to add his name to the royalty credits at SOCAN for Shane’s last two releases. Glen passed away on Saturday morning on May 27. As he was in FOF productions we may make a more formal statement on our website later on. Glen’s talents and personality will surely be missed.



As for me, the vacation comes to an end. I got most of what I wanted done. The car business was a bust but saved lots of money. Lots of small stuff that I hate doing got done. Miserable stuff like waxing my car - it was fun when it was new but after six years it is just work! That stupid parking ticket will finally be resolved in June. Yes I know, it was probably better to just pay the thing - but for me it’s the principle of the matter. Getting all my computers to play all blurays from all regions was a huge score this past week! The concert saga continues - I forced myself by starting the not-for-profit, now I have to do it; no not-for-profit and I would have talked myself out of all this hassle! No new purchases at the music store - I did buy a strap at full price at Cosmo, then found it on sale at Longe&McQuade, so bought that and returned the expensive one. Then found the Gibson gold logo was too garish and returned it the next day. Surprisingly, many women consider this a score - having fun shopping and buying stuff and in the end spending nothing - go figure?



Anyway, things get back to normal now.




Goodnight…..





https://youtu.be/vEzXfJ1-oGk
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7734
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2023 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The vacation is over…..



One last minute thing I decided to slip in was to submit a slightly improved version of The AI song into distribution just like any other artist at the label.



Improving it was harder than you think. There are no tracks as it was recorded on an iPhone in one take. So it was like editing video for a documentary and so I used AVID to even out the audio and bring up the Fender Stratocaster strums.




Working on The AI Song on AVID!



This is real old school and I probably would have done a better job in Resolve but I’m more familiar in AVID. Anyway I crunched down the over the top stuff to give me some “headroom” to increase the overall volume and also increased the strumming volume. Increasing the strumming increases the background noise on this bit of video; so I just increased it at the beginning of the strum and dissolved the tail end into the song at the end. It sort of works but that last strum was the worst with dead silence at both ends. It is what it is but it is my first song and guitar solo and I can’t escape that fact, so you improve it as much as you can and move on. I distributed to virtually all music platforms and it will take like a week or so. For music distribution I need art work and here it is:







What this song does do is keep you focused on playing guitar. Ninety percent of people who start learning to play the guitar drop out in the first year and I intend to be part of that 10 percent. Getting the expensive gear and now that crappy first song released keeps me in the groove - but also the musicians around me should seal the deal and make me a proper musician in the end.




How in earth did I get a pleat on those jeans - not cool!



Like the not-for-profit-music entity FOFSTOCK, all these moves basically force me to help and possibly reinvent the struggling music industry. We could be a voice for musicians, certainly where IAIJ advocates as a journalist org could get a musician issue out there. And actually, apart from performances at UN events, musicians are almost non-existent at these places. Take that proprietary issue where Apple just decides you can’t change the stage name on your songs - musicians could do nothing - with me they have more options! However, that is the future…..




Goodnight…..





https://youtu.be/GP31kIvnn6w
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7734
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2023 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another day…..




Me on Spotify!



The new and improved AI song is now on Spotify and YouTube. The original version has “(Original)” now beside the song name. For song names the original AI becomes Ai and I think you can petition to change this - but for a minor song like this - why bother? This song has been out for like 2 weeks so I don’t expect you folk to listen to the new one again but the new version should overall be a bit louder and the strumming more pronounced. There is also album artwork which should help. On a TV you get this little song artwork and this moving bunch of colour coded blobs which is cool!




Playing my song on TV!



So now I’m forced to keep making music as my current stuff on Spotify is so pathetic! I does keep me learning to play guitar which was the plan…..



Anyway it will take a while to get into Apple. I just got the announcement that iTunes and Apple Music are now no longer differentiating between streams and purchases. Musicians really got screwed here. But they also got screwed in video too.



So streaming services keep ripping off subscribers as the years go on. Netflix started off great with a low monthly fee and you could almost watch anything that came to mind. Then Covid 19 hit and everyone wanted in on streaming.



So, instead of one service like Netflix with ton of content, movie houses and TV networks started pulling productions from Netflix and starting up their own. You still pay the same per month but you now pay for less. And if you still wanted Disney stuff for the kids, you had to sign up for Disney and pay a second subscription and on and on. Streaming now rivalled cable in cost!



But wait - there is more.




Now streaming services are pulling their own productions from their own platforms to drop the expenses while keeping the subscriptions the same thus making more profit. It costs money just to keep titles available and you still have to pay residuals and such. So cutting down the selection makes them more money.



But wait - there is more.



On top of all that is the inclusion of advertising. Comes in as a more affordable option, but watch it slowly come into the higher price points. Here is the thing - so many scoff a me buying movies as physical discs or downloads. But now you see the reason. I own my movies forever, watch whenever I want. That can’t be said for streaming anymore. You pay through the nose and in the end you have nothing. So there is a difference and just because something is new does not make it the best deal for the money, it was fashion and fashions change.



Remember when all the kids thought Bitcoin was the way to riches. Show me one person in your circle that did well. Show me one person you know that made a name for themselves in the high tech industry. The hype didn’t match the reality.







All my productions were dropped from Prime Video along with all the other indie productions. We were the canary in the coal mine. Regular productions said it was about time cause indie quality sucked. Now they are being dropped left right and centre. Karma is a bitch - huh…..







The only thing I got from the Prime Video experience was that I got to say I streamed on Prime. Netflix used to be the gold standard but not anymore. You can’t stream at all on Prime anymore if you are indy. Not at all, and you have to have a distribution company Prime respects to be distributed, and then be vetted by Prime before that happens. So now I have bragging rights to have been on Prime Video with my TV series and TV shows. Network TV is still my best accomplishments with my videos, but Prime Video now has some bragging rights now as well.




Goodnight…..





https://youtu.be/tEjjufPd3Is

https://youtu.be/yL578gJvMWI
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