Kenny Peng Liu

My personal notes for navigating the modern world.

2 posts under
Guidance

Steve Albini On Royalties

I've been a fan of Steve Albini's ethos (and a lot of his music and production) for years. I just listened to Marc Maron's WTF interview with him. He's a super sharp, experienced and sensible man. (No suprise.) The following quote was instructive for me: (To note: he produced one of Nirvana's records and refers to it in the quote)

There’s a fundamental thing that I’ve noticed about the music scene which is that whenever anyone wants to be paid a percentage — for whatever it is, management, booking agent, promoter, whatever — whenever somebody wants to be paid a percentage of what would otherwise be your income, that person is being overpaid. I feel like not participating in that system makes it easier for me to get to sleep, and also means that the differential — the money that would otherwise have gone to me — that’s going to the band. And I feel good about that. I feel good about knowing that the members of Nirvana, for example, are a couple million dollars richer as individuals. It’s their music, it’s their record. They deserve that money. They made those records, and they lived that experience. It’s not like I’m hurting; I can still make rent. I just keep doing my job and I keep getting paid…

Other people maybe have not realized that they’re exploiting other people. It’s easy to either feign ignorance or prefer ignorance in a situation like that.

I intuit that this observation is fair, and could apply in most any other creative field, where artistic vision and commerce have to tangle.

Colin Powell's 13 Rules

  1. It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
  2. Get mad, then get over it.
  3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
  4. It can be done.
  5. Be careful what you choose: you may get it.
  6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
  7. You can’t make someone else’s choices. You shouldn’t let someone else make yours.
  8. Check small things.
  9. Share credit.
  10. Remain calm. Be kind.
  11. Have a vision. Be demanding.
  12. Don't take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
  13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.