Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Yes, I Do Take Requests

So I thought it might be fun if I took up a whole blog entry writing about what I’m trying to achieve here.  Not that I expect a whole slew of readers to care much, but I’ve got this stuff swimming around my head and feel the need to share.  
I began writing this blog in order to motivate myself to research and learn about the world of unsigned music - both in order to be better versed on the future of the music industry and as a means for connecting with other unsigned artists.  I also needed an outlet for my endless, all consuming need to express myself.  Lucky you, huh?
I’ve been trained as a visual arts writer.  I hold an MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco - a program which emphasized the use lots of arcane academic references and opaque, murky and, in my opinion, needlessly obtuse jargon in order to express what I’ve always found to be pretty simple ideas.  After several years of performing this thankless task I realized that I really suck at writing about art and decided I’d rather gear my analytical skills toward music, for which I harbor a lifelong and deeply running passion.
I don’t actually know a lot about the music world, per se - I sort of learn as I go here - which means I end up doing many hours of research in order to explore and explicate what I feel is really going on with the musicians and bands I choose to focus on.  I also don’t think of myself as a music reviewer, but more as a critical analyst.  Further, I don’t write in order to gratify my ego or impress readers with how droll or clever I can be with a turn of phrase or wry remark.  I really want to connect with my subject matter and then endeavor to help others do the same. 
Now, if it appears I’ve been lavishing excessive amounts of praise on the bands I’ve been writing about lately that’s because I’ve recently adopted a policy of only reviewing acts I really enjoy listening to.  I tried my hand in the past at writing about bands I didn’t care for so much and, although the bad review or two generated more readers, it stirred up a lot of negativity around my site which I have neither the time nor desire to foster.  Ironically, the day after I decided to dispense with the negative stuff,  Kill the Drama got ahold of my very positive review of their music and spread the word amongst their fans.  Since then I’ve increased my readership exponentially.  It’s been heartening to discover that negativity isn’t the only thing attracting attention these days.
On that note, in recent days I’ve begun receiving requests from bands and their publicists to write about their acts.  In keeping with my new policy, I’m only accepting such invitations if the bands in question meet my general criteria (see above).  Fortunately, I haven’t been asked to write a review on the other sort yet.  So yes, I do take requests, but, unless you pay me huge gobs of cash (and it would have to be a lot because I’m not easily bought), I will reject requests if I don’t think the music is appropriate.  But please keep the requests flowing in.  Although I have a log-jam of bands I’m trying to get to at the moment, this won’t always be the case - and sometimes it really simplifies my life if you seek me out instead of the other way ‘round.
So happy reading.  I hope you keep coming back and telling your friends about my blog.  I don’t make any money doing this, so it would be great at least to know I’m not toiling in complete oblivion. 

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