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Monday, 14 March 2011

Weekly Roundup: Some News-like Things I Found On The Internet And Some Musings

The critic mumbles
This blog is starting to gradually build up its readership. I mean, the numbers are tiny, but they’re on the up, and although individual posts don’t get that many views, the minimum daily traffic has risen quite dramatically over the last month of regular posts. So I’m considering throwing all this away and moving somewhere else, specifically to WordPress.
The reason for this is basically that WordPress offers some more sophisticated options for layout, and might make it easier for me to adopt a magazine format. I’m working hard on a novel, which I will either find a publisher for, or publish myself as an ebook, at which point I will need a web presence that is based around Oliver Arditi the writer, rather than Oli_Da_Bass the random comment ninja. With WordPress I would find it easier to have a single front page opening onto several strands of writing, rather than the very linear structure of Blogspot, which really best lends itself to a one trick pony. At the moment I’m thinking the best way to handle the transition will be to register a domain, redirect to this blog for a while, then change the redirect to the new one, and post a message here to send people on. I’m conscious I may already have people who look here, rather than being sent here by my posts on Twitter on elsewhere. Watch this space, but not too avidly, as I’m not likely to have much time to do anything about this in the immediate future.
Genre. It’s a complex topic, and it’s a concept whose specific value is debatable. My take on it is basically that when fans get into arguments about whether band X fits into genre Y, they are wasting their lives, and that when bands set out to make music in a specific genre, the result is usually, well, generic. On the other hand, when I use a term like ‘funk’, most people will understand that I am referencing a certain set of musical characteristics, and used in this way, genre can be a very useful shorthand for discussing music. If I say ‘rock’ you know I mean guitars; if I say ‘dubstep’ you know I mean gritty downtempo electronica; and if I say ‘pirate metal’ you know I mean loud rock music concerned with themes of nautical brigandry. This can be a quick way of letting someone know if they will like something or not, and although I usually mention genre in a review if an artist fits an established set of stylistic indicators, I have recently had a request to tag reviews for genre in the title.  I’m going to give it a go and see what happens. Don’t expect me to start giving stars out of five or anything really lame like that though.
Dynamic Range Day is March 25th! Sounds really nerdy, I know, but actually the sonic simplification of commercial music has been a bane, and it’s good to see some organised resistance to the excessively compressed and normalised production that has become ubiquitous.
If Skunk Anansie are playing Download it might just start to edge out Sonisphere as this year’s metal festival of choice. But the Big Four are an awfully strong argument the other way. I dunno.
Interesting to see how Spotify may pan out as a revenue source for the independent musician.
Not really music news, but if you have any self-portraiture chops this could fund several full length recordings!
Following on from the link I posted last week about the growth of music tech startups, it seems that investor money is ready to back direct marketing frameworks. Could be a bubble, as there seem to be an awful lot of these sites/ services around right now.

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