I probably could have taken up any hobby, craft or crime spree to make life worthwhile... so why create a music blog? The answer is quite simple but will take a few moments to explain. Growing up with music largely controlled by radio was not so bad at all. Up until the mid to late 80's you could still hear artists not usually pumped into shopping malls and tanning beds if you tuned in at the right time. To be honest, I really have no idea how or why it all changed. I could easily blame MTV or some random entertainment monopoly like Clear Channel but I never paid enough attention to either of them to give a sharp left hook in this article. Should we blame Nirvana, Green Day or Smashing Pumpkins for allowing themselves to arrive at the ridiculous? I'm not sure. Something happened during the early 90's that changed everything and I can't put my finger on it. Can you?
The original Satan?
Anyway, since the advent of the internets (largely for the purpose of pornography...thanks Mr. Gore you fucking clown) there is a new, and sometimes irresponsible,outlet for finding new music that most people would have no access to otherwise. From your everyday local garage rock band to an experimental audio project, artists from around the world can now be found and, more importantly, heard. All you have to do is look beyond the crumbling establishment that is, for now, the mainstream media. It's actually kind of nice to see this long festering blister collapse and dry up into a scab after all of those years of Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie developed into an assortment of lip-sync boy bands, TMZ tots and political opportunist country bumpkin babes. Simply stated... If you despise American Idol and what led up to this sheep like state of foot-on-neck media we are left with, you might want to consider blogging your own music.
American activists in action.
If you would like to take part in what many bored music fans like myself do on a semi-regular basis, the following hints might make things a bit easier for you. Anyone can start a music blog and I think taking some of the mystery out of it is well worth the sacrifice. If you look to the right column of this page there are several other music weblogs that do things the right way. They are not just displayed for decorative purpose or to make it seem as though we have friends in high places. We hardly know any of them but have serious respect for the content they present. You too can develop a good blog with the following basic tools. Let's get started!!
This is a given. You absolutely need a MySpace page to blog music. As much as you might hate Rupert Murdoch and having to sort through fake porn profiles (for research), you will need to find music on this free social networking site. Every band under the sun, although sometimes in a joking manner, has a page there. You can remain anonymous and still find music on myspace even if you are disgusted by the thought of it. It's not that bad at all. We still have our Listening Room Group Page of around 5000 MySpacers there to work out some of the bugs/typos before posting here.
Put your blog on blogger.com just to make things easy. You will need to know something about HTML to make it nice but the same code that is needed for MySpace page color, style etc. can be used there. Just copy it from the code you already have. It's fairly simple, free and can be addictive. Plenty of the best bloggers out there still use it.
This will record your visitors and give you the web page and location they are visiting from (and what they googled to get there.) You can also check what content they click when on your page. When it works, it is something you will spend most of your time analyzing. Yet another addiction. Oh yes... It's free also.
Let me first say that we are not a part of any referral based commission program with the above mentioned company. I am only giving you the best plan available for starting a music weblog. You will need to host your own music since most up and coming bands, however happy they are that you noticed them, will not take kindly to having bandwidth from their tiny websites drained. This is the first part of the equation that requires you to make a financial investment. I'd plan on having $100.00 USD available for a year of hosting that cannot possibly be used to the fullest. Besides, they have a phone number you can call to ask ridiculous questions. 24 hour phone support from Chicago... not New Delhi. If you don't have the money to do this, you probably have more pressing issues at hand than starting a music blog.
Of course I am joking with the title of this section. Did you notice the little boxes at the bottom of the right of our movable screen? Those are mostly unknown to me since Michelle put them there. I suppose there are a couple I can comment on. First of all, Hype Machine is probably the best place to find out whats going on in and around the music blog scene. When you add those little tags to your blog, every other time you post something, your information will show up for all to see. Elbo.ws is another good little tag to add to your blog for exposure. We show up on both sites often.
When you find a picture of the band you would like to post, don't just copy the link into your blog. They call that bandwidth theft and we are as guilty as anyone from our earliest posts. Photobucket is awful and Flickr seems like some bad version of YouTube so I highly recommend Imageshack for hosting. It is simple and free. If you look back at some of our blog entries from the past, you will see plenty of pictures missing. Host them yourself. It takes 2 seconds. Our logo (pictured above) was just a Saturday night photo taken by my then 6 year old daughter. We had gone to the candy store late night and had my camera handy. Abigail took this perfect shot inside my Mazda3 while balancing our camera on the steering wheel and munching her licorice. My little girly clone is good with cameras and this will always be my logo. Now you know.
To finalize this monster of a blog post I will feature random songs from my computer desktop. There might be plenty of pissed off motorhead and other such fans stopping by but who really cares. Hopefully some of them become regulars here. I hope you enjoyed my massive ramble and now have a better idea how to start a music blog. Success only depends on taste and also remember this big ole cliche... "The harder you work, the luckier you get." Now for the random music!!!
Motorhead - I'll Be Your Sister
Bruspi - Yota
The Cramps - Human Fly
James Brown - Superbad