10.22.10 | Cloud Cult – Live on KEXP
… And, we’re back?
Hello. I feel like I’ve been living under a frigging rock for eons.
Musically, that is.
There have just been so many shakeups in the music industry, in the recording and selling of music and in the way that indie bands interact with fans and labels.
As I’ve said before, it just became overwhelming and nosebleed-inducing. That’s the main reason why I decided to take a break with this review site 2 or 3 years ago. Actually, I called it quits – but it was always in the back of my mind that we might come back.
There was a period in the late 90s to early 00s where it was an amazing, amazing time to be in an indie band and it was an amazing, amazing time to be a music review website. Bands were just starting to discover the benefits of promoting music online, and the number of “blogs” (ahhh, remember back when you needed to put that word in quotes) dealing with music reviews was still very small.
I felt like there was really a CONNECTION between bands and sites that wrote about them. It felt like there was something great happening. You didn’t need to be a Bitchfork. You could review whatever CDs you bought at Amoeba, and get a pretty decent following. You could email a fairly well known indie band or magazine and usually get a response. I would get 50 CDs from bands I’d never heard of a week in our post office box.
Those days are over.
Facebook, gootube, twitter, podcasts, and social networks, etc. have taken over. Bands now take publicity matters into their own hands (and rightly so, more power to you, rock on and such). Selling CDs? What the frap is that?
(Don’t get me started on how out of touch I am with teenage vernacular these days. Slang-angst has transmogrified itself into just the craziest mishmash of unbelievable slurm I’ve ever seen. Golly gee snap and such.)
Sure, you can write about music – no one’s going to stop you. Some may even thank you (I’ve found those people will number in the 3′s to 5′s). But you’re not going to get above a certain “X” amount of hits a day (the Boogle gods will ensure that), unless you whore your music blog out and try to get links to increase the popularity of your site (or, you host desirable MP3s on your site as a way to get people coming back – oh wait, you can’t do that anymore or you’ll get sued by the RIAA and such).
And at the end of the day, you sometimes wonder – what is the reason I do this again?
Sadfartface. I just got tired of playing the game.
But I’ve been sorta missing the whole music thing. Recently, I started subscribing to more music podcasts on my iPod. I just wanted to try and force myself to listen to new indie music, because I could seriously see myself starting to become one of those “old fogies” who listen to Queensryche day in and day out. Just kidding – I don’t really know anything about Queensryche, I’ll just be silent and lucid on that matter.
I actually have an old video iPod – that in itself is amazing, when you consider my phone is still the clamshell variety that you can drop from three stories up and not have it scratch the screen – because there IS no screen on it. Anyhow, I didn’t realize there were so many video podcasts out there.
Late last night, I was just checking out the different podcasts right before going to bed. I came across the KEXP podcast which had a band called Cloud Cult playing “There’s So Much Energy in Us” at a live session. I just instantly liked the song and the band. They remind me slightly of Earlimart or Sea Wolf with a larger sound like Polyphonic Spree or The New Pornographers. I guess it doesn’t hurt you to have really cute string players in your band as well…
I actually got up and wrote the name and song down on a piece of paper so I’d remember it in the morning. Oh, that’s the other thing about getting old – you tend to forget things nearly instantly…
The next morning, I got up and saw the note reminding me to look up the band. I did, and was somewhat shocked to learn that they’ve been around since 1995. That’s about fricken FIFTEEN years. Fifteen years, and I hadn’t really heard of them – and there was a point in time where I knew pretty much everything there was to know about indie music and more (I DID become one of those nutcases who knew of indie bands before they themselves knew they existed.)
I don’t know why that’s so important, or what that has to do with me trying to restart this review site. But it WAS really important. I think it was also the fact that this band has toiled (or “had fun”, take your pick) in semi-obscurity for so long (well, not so obscure, seeing as one of their songs was featured in an Esurance commercial, and by the way that song is probably the worst Cloud Cult I’ve heard). And hey, you don’t see them complaining. They just keep doing it. So, I was thinking – is me complaining about the lack of recognition of this website just me being a typical whiny, narcisistic me?
This is probably extremely close to true.
Anyhow, I’d already recently taken steps to upgrade the blog so that it would work – just in case I decided to post again. So, I think at this point, I probably will keep posting. Consider this Cloud Cult post the first one.
I’m sure the band is reading this post right now and wondering, “Just how do I get the address of this idiot so I can go over to his house and smack him across the face with a large didgeridoo so he stops including our band in his ridiculous ramblings.”
I think the important thing now is to keep my expectations low and slow. I’ll probably start with only “Music News” for now. You know – just post about music that’s interesting. I don’t buy too many CDs nowadays, and I’ve shut off the incoming CD submissions. So full CD reviews are out of the question for now. But I’m planning on re-opening it eventually – I’d be curious to see if indie bands still send out CDs for promotions still, or if they rely soley on online means.
In any case, I just want to write about music occasionally because it makes me feel good. Or at least it makes me feel better sometimes. I think the main reason that I’ve always had problems with running blogs is that I just have a hard time making friends and contacts – online and offline. You would expect that with the reduction of barriers that the online world has brought about, it would be EASIER to make friends. It is, theoretically. But in reality, it’s just difficult and sometimes depressing. One of the main issues with running a review blog (or any site, for that matter) is that the type of attention or contact you get with people is them WANTING things.
I’m not sure how to explain that, and likely you wouldn’t understand unless you have my type of personality AND you’re a music reviewer. The Expectations, though they aren’t spelled out, are just SO overwhelming at times.
So, I’m probably going to keep a close watch to make sure it doesn’t descend into that sort of situation, where I just feel like stopping. I want to keep writing about music, but I don’t want it to get to that point where it was earlier. Everytime I hear a great song on the radio, or in a podcast, or at a show (far and few between nowadays), I’ve felt like writing about it. There’s something inside of me, and inside of most of you. There’s so much energy in all of us. And I’d like to share some of that musical energy with the world.