My friend Jaci made a sweet playlist over on Spotify: HOUSE PARTY JAMS, THE PLAYLIST. It’d be a shame if such sweetness like this was lost to the never-ending stream of Twitter, never to be discovered again.
I was on Xanga in the late 90s. Then started a music blog in 2001. In recent years most writing I’ve done has been in the orbit of online marketing, social media, and such.
There was a time before all that when making music was most important. Playing the bass, dabbling with creating more music on the computer, I even put some music on Bandcamp at one point.
Where did I lose that? It’s not just that I know how the sausage is made, both from the editorial side of things, and also the label and publicist angle. For whatever reason, I see the doom and gloom of it. My naive zest from the 90s gone. Not in the sense that I thought I was going to “make it,” but just that child-like joy in “just” making something to make it.
Creating for the sake of creating, and not for some external validation, press, or east coast tour. My mind keeps taking me there, as if without those goals what’s the point. I don’t know how to pluck that from my thoughts.
Lately I’ve been forcing myself to open up Abelton Live and create something each day. Not to write full songs, and think of an album, or plan who will produce my EP – very far from it. I just want to rediscover that creative habit again, and honor the muse again.
I absolutely love this video, and the song ain’t half bad either. Had no idea Beck had a new album out last year, and I really haven’t ventured much beyond this song, but I love this.
Earlier this year I found this song via Apple Music’s algorithm and I’ve been listening to it ever sing. That looping melody is just so odd, and it keeps me coming back.
This video is nine years old and I still look it up on occasion. The visuals boil my eyeballs, and that little half-time “break down” at the end is so good.
Talked with a friend tonight about another ending to Ghost’s ‘Rats.’ He told me he’s never heard anyone get excited about an ending before. It’s the banging intro, the flashy solo, right?
For me, though, with some music, I love the slow build up. When you watch ‘The Big Lebowski’ you don’t skip to the good parts, right? Heck no. You sit. You wait. You take it all in.
Change the world a day at a time. Buy an album or tshirt from a band. Text someone a song you like. Don’t let social media get you down, because it’s designed that way to keep you clicking and commenting. They make $$$ from misery because “misery loves company” is fucking true.
I say “text” someone deliberately. Social media companies aren’t in the biz of sending you clicks. They wanna charge bands, labels, and small biz (big biz, too) lots of money to reach their own audience.
So while you CAN tweet about a band you like, chances are it’s only being seeing by 10% of your followers anyways. Better to start an email list (which usually have 20%+ open rates). Or text a few pals. Make a zine or a podcast and send it around.
Your world was changed years ago before the internet, right? Well, we can still do that.
I was tagged for this on Facebook, but rather than give my work to a 3rd party who will sell ads against while I get nothing in return, I am putting my list here where it shall remain so long as I pay my hosting bill. Facebook, on the other hand, well…
- Helmet, Meantime – sharp and tight, started my love affair with John Stanier
- Primus, Pork Soda – started playing bass in high school, so of course loved this dark album
- Soundgarden, ‘Badmotorfinger’ – singing along to this in the car since the 90s. RIP Chris Cornell
- White Zombie, ‘La Sexorcisto – Devil Music Vol. 1’ – so groovy and dark and spooky
- Metallica, And Justice For All – my first real introduction to METAL
- Zao, ‘Where Blood and Fire Give Rest’ – first “underground” release that rattled my world
- Jimmy Eat World, Clarity – so tender and sweet, I will always love this album
- Mastodon, ‘Once More ‘Round the Sun’ – a recent pick, but hit at an important time in my life
- Alice in Chains, ‘Dirt’ – Another mid-90s grunge pick, but I absolutely loved this. RIP Layne Staley.
- Nirvana, ‘Nevermind’ – Changed music forever for me. Taught me that you don’t have to be slick and flashy to have an impact. RIP Kurt Cobain.
EDIT April 11th, 2018 – HOW did I forget Guns N Roses’ ‘Appetite for Destruction?’ It’s the album that got me to pick up the guitar, THEN the bass (because I stunk on guitar). It’s the album I listened to over and over again, to this DAY.
“Don’t be dependent on any company. They come and go.
Think long-term. You’re going to be creating stuff, making fans, and building relationships for the rest of your life — much longer than these companies will last.
It’s so important and easy to have your own website. Instead of sending your fans to some company’s site, send them to yours. Get everyone’s direct contact information, so you don’t have to go through any one company to reach them.”
Sure, have your music on a few sites, but don’t let that be the ONLY place where people can find you. Have a home base.
Cut the shit that “no one visits websites anymore.” That’s because you all stopped updating your sites in 2004 and told everyone “check us out on Facebook,” which means now you can only reach 12.6% of your audience unless you enter your credit card information. How’s that working out?
Matt Klinman of Funny Or Die had some pretty harsh words for Facebook, and for good reason.
Today, there’s no reason to go to a comedy website that has a video if that video is just right on Facebook. And that would be fine if Facebook compensated those companies for the ad revenue that was generated from those videos, but because Facebook does not pay publishers, there quickly became no money in making high-quality content for the internet.
Think about this; this is Funny or Die, not some small band trying to get 50 people to a gig. Or getting a dozen people to your local political event. Facebook throttles what your fans see, so rather that show your fans some tour dates it’ll show them a funny cat video that 324 shared in the last hour.
Your new video premiere? Buried under an avalanche of political drama and probably some post from a music blog about some guy playing a cover of a Metallica song with a kazoo.
Think your fans will see your post about crowdfunding your next EP? Nah, some celeb wore a Megadeth shirt!
Facebook will not help you. Twitter doesn’t care about you being harassed. Tumblr is owned by YAHOO. Instagram is owned by Zuckerburg and turning into trash by the minute.
I implore you: buy a domain name, build an email list, and send some goodies to your fans using the mail.
“But I’ll lose my 21,381 followers,” you may say. Chances are you’re only reaching 0.1% of those followers anyway, so revel in the 200 people on your email list. At least you can reach all of them.
I love long, drawn-out songs for the glow.
One of my favorites is Cult of Luna’s ‘Echoes.’ It’s from the 2004 album ‘Salvation,’ and is one of four songs longer than 10 minutes on the record.
God, this sounds like a fucking “album review,” but hear me out.
This isn’t a quick and easy song to digest. You have to sit down and take it in, in much the same way you don’t just sit down with ‘The Big Lebowski’ and skip ahead to your favorite scenes.
Back to ‘Echoes.’ The “pay off” doesn’t come until the 5:30 mark. You sit there, be patient, and when it hits, oh wow, does it hit.
Now, since this isn’t an “album review,” let me explain how this fits in other parts of my life as of late.
Getting up at 7 am to meet some other people on a cold, rainy Sunday morning doesn’t sound delightful. Then running five miles with wet, muddy feet? Why do that?
After all that trouble, the wait, the grind, I get that payoff. It’s something I’ve been feeling since I started running back in 2016. It’s the tunnel vision, the focus, like a secret you have that you can’t explain to anyone.