Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Blogging and Little-Known Music

When I get bored, I do a little bit of blogging research. You know, how to get hits, how to make it look pretty, and other general information. According to the intarweb, you’re supposed to share an re-link other blogs that interest you, especially if the other blog is in your niche. Well, I really have no idea what niche this blog fits into.

On a high level, I’d say complaints and annoyances and other synonymous attributes pretty well fit the categorization of my work. However, whenever I go to blog directories like Technorati, MyBlogLog, etc., I fail to find a well-fitting category in which to put my links. Heck, even non-blog sharing sites (Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon) don’t have much in the way of this either (though Reddit does come close – the sheer number of community managed categories helps!).

Ultimately, I fit my things into the closest approximation, which in some cases is “Business” or “Life” (more like diet, family life), and I’m sure this is failing in earning me new readership. All I can do is hope to write some smashing account of something that really pisses me off, which also pisses other people off. I’m still trying for that in the meantime.

Fortunately for me, it is not necessary to fit into a niche to share the love. With that being said, I’d like to point you to a post by Dante on “Surviving the World.” By the way, I have a little blog roll on the right-hand portion of the site (the BlogSpot version, anyway) where you’ll find this very blog and a few others I find interesting in general. If you haven’t checked any of them out, I suggest you do!

Anyway, this other blog post got me thinking: I fit great into that category of people who like to know little-known artists, but I also like to share, usually when it comes up in conversation. However, right now I will take the time to share some just because. As I write this, I haven’t fully developed the list of little things, and I expect the genres to be quite varied. (I’m not a music critic, and I don’t pretend to be, so keep that in mind when reviewing what follows!)

  • The first is a local (Tucson, AZ) band called Stop Tyler. I think they may be defunct, as I can’t find a working webpage for them. I got a CD from them that they were handing out outside the Rialto after another big ticket concert. (I think this may have been 2003-2004? I really can’t remember…) When I got in the car, I immediately popped the CD in and loved it. I still listen to their songs on the iPod. The lead singer’s got an interesting voice, which some don’t particularly care for, but I like it.
  • Next, is Spinnerette, led by the Distillers’ lead, Brody Dalle. Haven’t heard of the Distillers either? That’s ok. Check Spinnerette out, or both if you like, though I much prefer the new project. Dalle’s got a raspy voice, a la Courtney Love, which gives her a somewhat unique sound. Mix that with relatively simple (based on how easy I could learn the songs on guitar), yet very pleasing music, and you’ve got yourself some awesome music.
  • A relatively new artist, David Garrett, was just showcased on PBS (which is where I found him) with a concert he did in Berlin. He’s a very skilled violinist who’s taken some pop and rock and mixed in a classical ensemble. He’s not the first to do this, Metallica and the Scorpions both came out with albums of their music performed with a full orchestra, but he’s still very good, and it’s nice to sometimes hear a familiar song done in a new way. By the way, I’ve already picked up two albums.
  • Then we have E Nomine, a German group with a little Latin flare. And no, I don’t mean Latin as in Spanish/Latino sound, but actual Latin singing. The music is all techno and dance style music, so it’s not for everyone, but the music is infectious. Add to that my personal love for language and the fact that the songs are sung in Latin, German, English, and possibly others that I have failed to indentify. And when I say ‘sung in these languages’, I mean simultaneously. Some songs are heavier in one than the other, but there’s usually at least 2 used in every song. Now for the twist, many songs are religious – some actually read directly from the bible. That doesn’t matter to me so much, as the music is just that awesome.
  • Last today (maybe more in the future) is Spoken, another religious band that makes good enough music for me to not care. The lead singer is a heavy screamer, which I know some people really like. I don’t usually care for it, but this guy’s decent enough that I don’t mind. Spoken’s music is on the heavier side, which is again something I don’t usually jump up to go get. Oddly, despite all these things I usually don’t like, I really do like this stuff. *shrug*

Hopefully you’ll at least give these artists a listen, and even if you don’t love them, maybe you know someone else who will? If there’s anything out there you think I may not have heard of yet, please let me know! I love to hear new music, and my tastes are pretty eclectic, so I’m bound to like it if it’s really good.

5 comments:

  1. The #1 way to generate readership is to not care about readership per se and just write good, unique, relevant content. The rest is supposed to follow.

    thanks for not linking my blog ;)

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  2. Yes and no. If you already have a decent enough reader base, (and good posts) then people will share, so you get more readers. When there's next to nobody reading or those that do are just not likely to share, then there is no word-of-mouth spreading. I'm thinking chicken and egg paradox here... It takes both to at least get started.

    (To be fair/honest, I wasn't even sure if you had a blog/where it is. You want it up there, give me a link and you'll have it!)

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  3. Stop Tyler. Yes… I know exactly who they are and what happened to them. Here is the story. I moved to Tucson, AZ in 2001. In February of 2002, I purchased a bass guitar at Guitar Center in Tucson, and saw a flyer that a band called “Stop Tyler” was looking for a singer. Since singing is my specialty, and all it said was that they are a rock band with a pending record deal with BMG, I gave them a call. The guitarist dropped off a copy of the CD, probably the same CD you are talking about. It was just self-titled. They wanted me to familiarize myself with their style and memorize a few tracks so I could sing their songs to try out for the band. I asked them what happened to the singer on the CD, and they just said they had a falling out… Anyway, I studied the music for about a week then went over to “the house” to try out. The whole band, except for the singer, lived in the same rented house on the East side of Tucson. I sang their song “Underdog” and then they asked me to sing their other song “Without End.” A few days after I tried out, the guitarist called me and asked me to meet him at a restaurant on the Eastside called Johnathan’s. So, I went there and met the rest of the band. They told me that I had the gig if I wanted it and that their agent and producer from BMG were on their way to the restaurant. I almost threw myself into a panic attack… Here I was, a nobody an hour ago, and now I am looking at meeting with a record executive with a band I have never performed with. Anyway, it turned out to just be a meeting so the agent and record producer could meet me. The BMG producer said he would need to see me perform with the band before we could get a deal underway. Later on that night, I badgered the guitarist about what happened to the old singer, and I found he was locked up in jail for heroin possession with the intent to distribute. Anyway, the next gig was two nights away, so I rehearsed with the band that night and the following night. The night of the gig, we arranged to meet there at 7:00 and begin playing by 8:30. I arrived at the bar at 7, but the rest of the band was not there. I waited until 8:30, all the while taking crap from the bartender because the band didn’t show up. Finally, I left to go to their house and check on them. Sure enough, as I rounded the corner, the whole place was wrapped in police tape and six or seven cop cars with their lights on parked out in front. As it turns out, the whole band was dealing drugs and got busted that night and they all wound up in jail and maybe prison, I assumed. I never heard another word from any of the band members ever again. So that’s my story! They could have been great too.., They were like Bush, Linkin Park, and Gin Blossoms kind of mixed together. It was truly great music. I occasionally pop in the CD and wonder what would have happened if things had not turned out the way they did. I’m willing to be the singer who was arrested first turned in the other guys.

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  4. Wow, that’s a good story. Thanks for passing it along (and thanks for reading the blog)! It is a shame to hear that that’s how the band turned out, but things happen, as they say. I agree, they could have been pretty big.

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  5. Wow, that’s a good story. Thanks for passing it along (and thanks for reading the blog)! It is a shame to hear that that’s how the band turned out, but things happen, as they say. I agree, they could have been pretty big.

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