Maybe it’s because I haven’t been sleeping, maybe it’s because we just a new baby, maybe music these days is beginning to sound the same to me. Whatever the case may be, I’m looking to re-align the direction of Outersound Underground to put the focus entirely on the musical happenings of a closer circle of musicians I know and respect.
A General Lack of Depth
I’ve learned a lot from music blogging over the past 2 or so years, and have noticed many blogs are thin on details, posting very short articles and generally reporting what everyone else is reporting. I see that from the fact that I receive emails from bands about a new or upcoming release, then a day or so later see the exact same info on about a dozen other sites with little new information than what was in the email or announcement. Basically, most music blogs just re-post press releases with little context or embellishment.
Result: listeners should be forging closer ties to the musicians they like by getting to know them and their story better. Music blogs need to go a little deeper into what’s going on in the music world, rather than just post quick updates about the latest band or release.
Faster Than the Speed of Sound
Music media is evolving faster than musicians and even listeners can handle – in just 10 years we went from CDs to downloading MP3s to streaming. Digital music is transient – streaming is even more transient. I’m more and more wary of streaming, as at any time Spotify can de-list or remove a musician’s work rendering them virtually invisible to a large portion of the listening public. We’ve gone from thousands of terrestrial music outlets (records stores) to only a handful of on-line digital sources: Amazon, Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, etc.
Result: putting so much music in the hands of very few can’t be good for the future of music. My approach is to buy directly from the musicians (using Bandcamp), with a preference towards vinyl releases.
Because social media is becoming more and more fragmented, musicians (who mainly self-publish their music) have to work harder and harder at reaching an audience – an audience that may listen to their music for a short while then move on. On the one hand, we have Facebook – they actively limit the number of people who see status updates and manipulate your feed based on what they think you should see. Then there’s Twitter, that can be a torrent of information in short bits that never seem to add up to anything. As for Google+, who really knows where that’s going.
Result: social media platforms are fucking with us and are inherently unstable and transient. There needs to be a better way for musicians to interact with their fans and listeners. My preference is going directly to band’s websites, and getting updates from RSS feeds.
Where Am I Going With This?
Email – yes, I’m going mainly back to email. It’s the one and only medium where there is ZERO middleman: I send an email and it goes directly to the recipient (aside for the whole spam filter thing). No social media platform to “throttle” my posts based on how much I pay them to advertise, or keep changing their rules, or de-activating my account for whatever reason. If you have a smartphone, you have email on it – and for better or worse pretty much check it everyday. I’ll be communicating with other bands and musicians this way, as well as site visitors. It will be the cornerstone of my messaging (not FB Messenger app, thank you). Also, I’ll be putting most of my efforts into the Orbitings E-zine, which has been on the sidelines while I’ve been figuring out where this thing is headed. The new one should be out in a few days, along with a new podcast.
Thanks for reading my random, unfocused and sleep-deprived post.