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New Media Pioneer: Maria Teresa of The Marveloddities

marvelodditiesThe Marveloddities is a blog about whatever comes to mind. This blog features an indie artist every week. They think independent musicians are pretty impressive, since they continue to work their hearts out without making a lot of money.  It’s something to be admired.

Q) Tell us a little bit about your site. What inspired you to start it?

A) The Marveloddities is a blog about nothing and everything.  We usually write about whatever comes to mind from the perspective of a teenager, most of which is unimportant in the big picture, but a big deal to us since we still live in the little picture. I was inspired to start it because I was really impressed with the quality of blogs nowadays.  A few years ago Blogger was dominated by emo teenagers who wrote about the hell they suffered through in school, their crush, how no one understood them, etc.  (We’re probably just as obnoxious, but not as depressed.)  There are a lot of blogs now which are really really good.  Some of them are devoted to a particular subject, and others can read like a journal but still make you laugh.

Last year, I decided that I could probably start my own.  I enlisted my friend, Josette, and my sister Sofia, and now we all contribute to our blog.

Q) Why do you believe new media resources (i.e. blogs, podcasts, internet radio stations) have become so popular? How have they been beneficial to artists? How have they been detrimental?

A) I think new media resources have become popular for several reasons.  Most of the people who are on the internet right now are teens, and almost all of them will continue to spend the vast majority of their time on the internet.  I think multi tasking comes into play here.  While you’re researching for your history report/stalking your friends on facebook, you might as well tell everyone about your day on your blog, listen to your Pandora, and then check out new artists while you’re at it.

The internet makes everything more accessible, faster.  Why go to a record store to discover new artists if you can find them at home?  Why buy a CD, why even own a radio, if you can download any song, any album and listen to it on your laptop or iPod?

It’s easier now for artists to market their music to reach out to new audiences.  Everyone is connected, so exposure is much more attainable.
It’s been detrimental for artists, since they may not make as much on their music as they would have before.  Also, the music industry is not as exclusive as it used to be, because everyone with a computer can market their music.  This has its pros and cons, the positive being that it’s easier to get your music out there, as I mentioned before, the negative side being that for the same reason, it is harder to be picked out of the growing crowd of musicians.

However, I do think that the internet has aided musicians more than it has hurt them, and in the long run, it’s one of the best tools an artist can have.

Q) Media 2.0 has changed the way artists communicate with fans. Where do you envision online communication going next? Any thoughts on what Media “3.0” will look like?

A) I’m pretty sure that holograms will the next big thing in online communication.  (Just kidding, but that would be a cool way to watch a concert you couldn’t go to.)  Really, I’m pretty bad at making predictions.  When I was ten, I thought that by now I would have written a noble prize winning book, or that I’d at least have a boyfriend.  I have neither Nobel nor significant other.

Obviously, we’re going to see more social networking sites.  I’m surprised that Twitter has not only lasted this long, but is growing so quickly.  I believe we’ll see similar methods of communication in the near future.  Also, several few artists have started blogging seriously.  I see this becoming more popular, because fans really want to feel like they have a “bond” with artists, and blogging gives them that connection.

Last year, 30 Seconds to Mars had their fans sing on their record, as well as grace the covers of their albums.  Other than giving the band a lot of publicity, it changed the relationship they had with their fans.  They weren’t just the people who bought their CD’s; they were a part of their music.  Whether you like 30 Seconds to Mars or not, it was a bold, impressive, and ultimately successful move.  I’d like to see what would happen if more musicians would have their fans become similarly involved in their music.

The internet isn’t used to its full potential yet.  And while I only have some vague ideas of where it might be in the future, once the internet is spread to other parts of the world, taking music along with it, interesting things can happen…

Q) What does an artist have to do to get your attention? Are their specific characteristics that you look for?

A) If a song has me hooked before the chorus, then I’m pretty impressed.  Lyrics are very very important to me, and if they’re well written, then that artist has my eternal devotion.

Secretly (not anymore, I guess), I find myself attracted to lo-fi production. I like grungy, raw, sounds.  (Of course, I appreciate great production, and I think a good producer should be on the top of any aspiring musician’s list.)  I’m thinking the White Stripes, or the Velvet Underground.  It’s just a personal taste, like preferring Swiss instead of cheddar on your sandwich.  It makes you happy when you have it, but it’s not like your going to scream it out to the world or throw a fit if it’s not what you get.

Q) What do you ultimately hope to accomplish with your site?

A) Besides the obvious, (grow readership, post more, etc.) I’d like to expose my readers to new music, and show that young people can be thoughtful and idealistic. Proving wrong all them mean girls from my grade school days who said I wouldn’t amount to anything would be nice too.  But I’ll stick with the thoughtful idealism, the obvious, (grow readership, post more, etc.) I’d like to expose my readers to new music, and show that young people can be thoughtful and idealistic. Proving wrong all them mean girls from my grade school days who said I wouldn’t amount to anything would be nice too.  But I’ll stick with the thoughtful idealism.

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