Some weeks, it seems like every time I turn on the computer there's a new Website/ezine/whatnot focused at least partly on the H-town music scene. And hey, that's pretty awesome -- the more exposure this stuff can get, the better it'll be for all parties: the bands, the fans, the labels, everybody.
As I think I've mentioned before, I've heard complaints that there're too many music-y blogs, ezines, and whatever else around here, but honestly, if you look at any other city anywhere near Houston's size that has a respectable music scene, they've got ezines and magazines piled on top of one another. It's insane, really. Go looking for music blogs focused on Austin, for example, and you'll come away feeling overwhelmed. (I do, at least.)
Plus, given the rate of attrition when it comes to stuff like this in H-town, hell, we need to be thinking like 1800s farm folk and trying to have as many freaking children as we can afford so some will still be around by teenager-dom to bale the hay and plant the crops. Sad though it is, not everybody survives, y'all (rest in peace, Skyline, Public News, Houston's Other, Houmidity, The Rag, I'm Not Afraid, et al.). And if past history is any clue, if we don't love, write about, praise, and promote our hometown bands, nobody's gonna do it for us.
Anyway, soapbox aside and horrible metaphor over, there're some new kids on the block lately, in name if not in the actual "new"-ness of the contributors, so I wanted to point everybody to 'em and emphatically say, "yes! go read! now! why still here, with stupid, lazy SCR guy?" Or something. Here you go:
29-95.com: aka The Big One. Heard rumors about this "big Chronicle music thing" back at the inaugural BandCamp installment, and yep, here it is, in the flesh. Not sure if it's out of the "beta" stage yet, but even still, I'm liking it. It helps that two of the people involved happen to be Sara Cress & Joey Guerra, ex- of the Chron's HandStamp blog (which has now closed up shop, btw) and both very cool, very knowledgeable folks who've probably done more for coverage of local music in this city's sole daily paper than anybody -- and I repeat, anybody who's worked at the Chronic since I've lived here. They made me like the damn paper at least a little bit, and that's no mean feat. And then there's also the ever-lovable, extremely talented Joe Mathlete, who's lending words & art both to the effort and gives the whole thing a half-sarcastic, funny-as-hell air.
Now for the weird bits. This is a Chronicle/Hearst deal, right? Right? I'm assuming it is, given that I'd heard this was coming from a Chron staffer and it includes at least two other Chron people, and yet, there is no Chron branding going on. Anywhere. Which is...I dunno. Weird, at least?
I mean, if the Chron for some reason doesn't want to A) associate its name with 29-95 or B) associated 29-95 with the Chron, that's their business, but from the admittedly-little I know about marketing (I was a PR guy for a few years, there, so I know the taste of that particular Kool-Aid), making the decision to not cross-brand something like this seems a little self-damaging. Surely 29-95 readers aren't going to see a Chronicle logo and think, "ugh! You mean those people are behind this? Screw that, I'm going to the indiehouston site, instead!"?
Again, though, their business. As long as the writing stays as good as its been so far, I'm down.
Houston Music Examiner: It's damn good to hear, er, read David Sadof again, I have to say. Many, many moons ago, the guy's radio show, Lunar Rotation, was like the non-video equivalent of MTV's 120 Minutes back before it, too, became a corporate suckfest -- David always, always played stuff you could hear nowhere else (with the possible exception of KTRU, sometimes), and he did it on big-time FM radio. His was the last non-KTRU/KPFT radio show I ever gave a shit about, honestly, because he was quite obviously playing things he loved & was passionate about, rather than recycling "new" music that actually came out a decade-plus ago or playing the same ten bands every soundalike station in the country's force-feeding its listeners at any given second. He was a DJ because he actually liked spinning good records. Talk about a dead profession, there...
At any rate, he's come back around again, this time in (digital) type, and is covering all sorts of music-related things, both local and non-, in intensely-detailed, damn-I-wish-I'd-blogged-about-that fashion. He's one of those bloggers who makes me feel even more like the lazy non-blogging schlub I usually am. I'll confess that I don't really get the "Examiner" thing -- it feels like a version of the About.com thing updated for the Blogger Era -- but I've got him on the feed reader and am keeping a close eye. You should, too.
Show List H/Town: Not a "real" blog, no, but still something I've been trying to check out as it's been getting on its feet, and I have to say that I like the way they're doing it. Who needs another list of upcoming shows here in town? Hell, I do, despite the fact that I do one myself -- I can't get everything, can't talk about everything, and not everybody knows or wants to come to SCR to see what's going on, so I'm all for more people in the pool. C'mon in, y'all.
Plus, I like the fact that getting your show on the list doesn't require the manual effort of, say, me. If I were smarter about these things, the venerable SCR Shows List would probably be somehow automagical, too. So keep it up, Show List H/Town folk -- the hard work is much appreciated. (Although I was a wee bit butt/hurt with the ricochet-smack in today's Rocks Off column, which I ran across while putting this together. Ouch.)
610 Exchange: Haven't yet read as much of this one as I'd like to, but it's already on the list of stuff I'm trying to keep up with regularly. In particular, they (he? she?) do some nice writeups of upcoming stuff, to the point where they give April over at the Free Press Houston a run for her money. Kudos, 610 Exchange...
weworemasks: Another I'm not super-familiar with yet, but fuck, they're prolific as hell and can write like mofos. I'm jealous, y'all, especially since they interviewed P.O.S. back in March -- something I attempted to set up last year but got dissed by the label/PR people for. But hey, I love the guy's music, so any press he gets is good, right? This is a bit of an oddbal blog, btw, since it's half based here and half in Plano (I think?). Still, well worth reading.
There's more, but my reading time these days is somewhat limited, so eh... Also saw both AudioADD, Lords of the Loop, & Houston's Most Hated recently and thought they looked interesting, enough that I'm adding 'em to the pile. And, of course, there's always the mainstays, for those currently dwelling beneath a rock or something:
Breakfast On Tour
FWMJ's Rappers I Know
Free Press Houston
Houston Blues Society
If I've missed anybody, all apologies. It's late, and my brain hurts. G'night...
Labels: H-Town News, Musical Crap, Public Service Announcements, Things To Do, Things To Readgaijin || Link || E-mail || 5 comments
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