11 January 2006
Bill T Miller: King of Noise
by Matt of Hollow Tree
Whatever complaints you may have about life on this little planet, you can't say there isn't plenty of entertainment. A middle-class westerner has access to more diversions today than, say, Caligula might have had after a shipment of loot from the African frontier. We've got a thousand channels of television, a whole fistful of video-gaming platforms and if you don't want to sit on your ass all day, we've got machines that you can get exercise on.
Entertainment is available by the bushel here in the "free world." This is great if you've got plenty of free time to piss away, but it's a problem if your livelihood is dependent on the entertainment economy. The supply entirely swamps the demand. We are facing an absolute entertainment glut, and the fun dealers who don't know how to react are losing money by the tens of millions.
The music industry is taking it the worst. We've already seen the demise of the record store. Pop music sales are pretty much nil, and the record companies are all dying in an embarassingly undignified way. It probably doesn't help, either, that rock and roll has run its course as a genre, dance music has degenerated to a 1/1 beat and hip-hop is, well, retarded.
What we've got here is a chaotic situation, and it's damn near rotten with possibility.
These are the kind of times that breed pioneers. New kinds of people rise, full of all kinds of new ideas. In this particular instance, the demise of the music industry, those ideas are sure to be about both new ways of making music and new ways of distributing it.
Emerging from the Chaos
Bill T Miller is one of those new kind of people. He has been making new kinds of music in and distributing it in new ways since back when people still had tape decks. Prior to the final days of the Church of the SubGenius, Miller spread the Word of "Bob" with his Kings of Feedback and Out of Band Experience CDs, which featured micro-cassette-generated samples over razor-wire guitar licks and hard-funk rhythms. These CDs found their way to fans through the mails and at live events, largely at no cost to the recipient. That's right, Miller gave his music away for free. [Piles of free records, tapes, cds & stickers flowed from BTM via snail mail in 80s/90s before internet distro kicked in.]
And now, as permanently-recorded music is essentially obsolete, Miller has upped the ante by putting what seems to be his entire body of work on the internet in mp3 form.
[starting in 1996 and then releasing MP3ORGY disc in 1998.]
There's more to Miller than just free music, though. He has also worked with a variety of highly-original artists from around the world, remixing, producing and even designing web pages as needed. The list of weird bands that you've never heard of that have benefited from Miller's engineering talents is at least a kilobyte long.
- Article from http://hollowtreestudios.blogspot.com on 1.11.2006.
2011 note from BTM: Wow... It's hard to believe FIVE YEARS have passed away since this report on Hollow Tree. Special Thanx to Matt @ Hollow Tree. Ya know, I am still wondering if the world is flat or round...