Changes to the Blog - Just Music I Like

This is a post I've been thinking about writing in various guises for sometime but after a long weekend away in Oslo for By:Larm (which was brilliant by the way and I'll post a review soon) and the thought entering my mind once more during tonight's run it seems as good a time as any. Forgive me if this gets rambling...

This blog has been running in one form or another since September 2010, during this time the blog's sole motive has been to promote the music that I like, hence its rather apparent title.  Over the course of these years I've discovered a lot of brilliant artists,  released a few records via my offshoot label, formed a few friendships as a result and thoroughly enjoyed much of it. Recently though, like other bloggers have similarly stated, the enthusiasm to continue has been waning. The primary reason for this is nothing to do with music, the quality of which is always astounding, but more to do with the practical issues. I'll give an example. Before boarding the flight to Oslo on Wednesday I cleared out my unread email messages yet by the time I checked them again, a mere a few hours later I had 113 new messages. As a one-man, self-contained blog, it simply impossible to comprehend all of these messages and the music within.

Thus, I have taken a decision to stop accepting submissions from PR's and label representatives with immediate effect and I shall be unsubscribing from every list I have found myself on. I don't have anything personally against them or the job they do (although saying that there is one label/blogger I have blacklisted after being verbally abused by its owner whilst watching Pins at The Great Escape some years back - I told him to be quiet whilst they were playing) but I want to take back control of this blog. I am not a career blogger and I am useless at networking. I have a full-time job that pays better than music, family, many other interests and so on. I've never made a penny from this blog in revenue (it costs me hosting fees), I have perhaps received a handful of promo cd's and a couple of guest-list shows. However, on the whole, if I like an artist I always support them financially myself. For me, it's part and parcel of being a music fan.

By saying taking back control I don't mean to be dramatic but often I have a very limited time to listen to, let alone write about music for this blog (a lot my blog posts are written after midnight and during lunchtime) and I want to start to discover music organically again and not through perceived bias or constant communication through emails. Especially the false nicety of communication that is received through PR emails. Today alone at least a dozen people have asked me about my weekend yet not one person said something along the lines of 'it looked like you had a great time at By:Larm from your Twitter feed' or something individually specific to me. It's not because I've not had my ego boosted either, as I stated above, for one person the number of emails I receive is overwhelming. The hour I could be spending writing about music I spend deleting emails that are of zero interest to me.  I'm hoping that by bringing this chore (and it is a chore) to an end it will reignite the passion that many of this blog post were written with. The sort of passion that takes you to a different country to see new music for four days straight...

I will still be accepting and encouraging submissions by artists themselves, I want to continue to support grassroots music and I will of course still continue to write all of the music I like, many of which will be the artists that PR's will be trying to promote but I shall discover them by other ways, reading other blogs (if I do, I'll tell you my source - it's a irk of mine that many blogs don't credit others), listening to Bandcamp, following up on recommendations, listening to support bands and so on.

I know this blog is very low down the food chain in terms of profile (and that doesn't bother me at all). My only hope is that over the years some of you have discovered some great new acts through the endless hours (by now I am sure it runs into months) I have spent on this blog (and that some artists have enjoyed the rambling posts I have written on them). This is certainly not the end (yet). I I just want to make it fun again.

Here's a live video from an artist I saw play live on this very day five years ago (time flies!) and is taken from that very gig. "Marie" by Caitlin Rose (who is of course one of this blogs favourite ever artists). I have a signed poster from the same gig that I'm going to post on my Twitter if you're interested...