J.D. Moyer

sci-fi writer, beat maker, self-experimenter

Month: February 2016

One Weird Trick To Get Skinny, Rich, Tan, and Live Forever (No Car Experiment)

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My U.S.-made $200 fixie from criticalcycles.com

Title is of course tongue-in-cheek. But Kia and I are both leaner, richer, tanner, and healthier from the experiment thus far.

We’ve just completed our first month of not owning (or leasing) a car. So far, so good. In fact, we’ve committed to at least one more month of not owning/leasing. We started the experiment with a few questions in mind:

  • Would not owning/leasing a car be more or less expensive than combined costs of lease, insurance, gas, and fees?
  • Would it be more or less convenient?
  • In what other ways would it change our lifestyle or perspective?

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You Can’t Get There From Here (Get Better by Temporarily Getting Worse)

Into the valley.

Into the valley.

There is a cost to trying to maintain maximum fitness at all times.

When navigating a fitness landscape, you often need to go down (into a valley) to reach a higher peak.

Upgrading your life systems (in every life area) has costs. If you’re never willing to pay those costs (emotional, financial, time, energy, learning curve), you limit yourself.

Example 1 (Social):

Sometimes your friends hold you back. I had a tough time in 7th grade — my friends were frenemies. Before things got better, they had to get worse. I endured a period of loneliness until I found new friends, who really acted like friends.

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Switching to Self-Publishing Was Probably a Mistake

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Writers: This post is about music self-publishing, but also I get into the implications for writing self-publishing towards the end of the article.

I recently put together my Discography page, which gave me an opportunity to reflect on my music career to date. I’ve released original music on almost every kind of label, including a major (SONY/BMG), a barely-organized collective (Trip ‘n Spin Recordings), small imprints (SOG, NuRepublic, Kubist, Spundae, Dorigen, POD, Mechanism), my own label (Loöq Records), “big independents” in dance music culture (Global Underground, Armada, Bedrock, Renaissance), and distribution/A&R deals (3 Beat, Silent Records).

My most active period of writing and releasing music was in my late twenties/early thirties. Creating dance music (house, techno, breaks) was my singular, obsessive focus. That period was also the heyday of Qoöl, the weekly event I threw with DJ Spesh at 111 Minna for over a decade (hugely popular, with a packed dance floor and lines around the block), so I also had a deep sense of musical community, and also a great testing audience for new tracks.

At some point, around 2005, we (myself and my primary music collaborators, Spesh and Mark Musselman, the other halves of Jondi & Spesh, and Momu, respectively) stopped sending out demos to other labels, and started releasing music almost exclusively on Loöq Records. This wasn’t a conscious strategic career decision — it was just easier. I was co-running a respected, profitable label, so why not release my music on it? Benefits of self-publishing (or at least “own label” publishing) include:

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