1. What are your favorite blogs/audio blogs featuring new music do you like to visit?
You know, it’s funny. I don’t really read any music-related blogs on a regular basis. I’m a bit of a chronic Googler, and that’s how I find most new (and new to me) music, both for my blog and for my own enjoyment. I read other blogs regularly, particularly in the left-leaning political and feminist blogosphere, but I’m pretty fickle when it comes to subscribing to blogs about the arts.
2. What inspired you to start site?
I very briefly tried to run an Etsy shop, but I found I was far too lazy to keep it up. One of the biggest challenges I had was getting my name out there, so when I decided to start a blog with the idea of profiling things I enjoy in general, I quickly saw that I could use it to help other artists promote themselves and their small businesses. Then I e-mailed a few artists I admired and got things moving. Initially I profiled only visual artists (painters, photographers, fashion designers, etc), but I really wanted to expand to include music.
I’ve been quite literally surrounded by music all of my life. My father was a studio musician for years, and my uncle was played with Dobie Gray in the 70’s. My sweetheart is also a professional musician, so our house is filled with music all the time. It was only natural for me to want to expand my blog to include music. Much like the artists I began Such Cool Stuff! with, I started by e-mailing musicians I admire, and before I knew it things really took off. I love playing my small part in helping artists of all types get their name out there.
3. What do you think is the impact of blogs, internet radio, and podcasts on independent music?
It’s just huge. This is a frequent topic of conversation in our household. With this new media there is a lot more access to the public than you had back in the day. Anyone (like me!) can start a blog and become an instant media outlet, and smaller artists have a greater chance to get their name out there. On the downside, with the pool of both talent and media so large now it will take an extra measure of effort for those who do gain exposure to make it meaningful.
One of the things I mourn about the way new technology is impacting the industry is that the digital availability of music has pretty well killed the concept of the album. I’ve always been a big fan of looking at an album as a whole, as a story with a beginning, middle, and end. Now with things moving to a digital format, that’s being lost. Every track needs to be able to stand on its own. There aren’t any B-sides now in the traditional sense. Such a shame. My favorite songs have typically been the B-sides.
4. When you started your station, did you anticipate that blogs would have such an upscale trend as it does now?
I actually only started the blog about a year ago, so there hasn’t been that much of a change for me personally. I do think it’s astounding to look at the way the internet has changed our lives on a massive scale. Just twelve years ago I’d never even used the internet. Now I use it for pretty much everything, and whole industries have had to change everything about the way they do business.
5. What are the ultimate goals you wish to achieve through your site?
Such Cool Stuff! has always been fairly experimental. I started it without a clear idea of where it was going, and the direction has proven to be ever-changing. It’s a hobby for me (my day job is in a very different industry), so I have the luxury of letting the current take me where it wants to go with regard to the blog. I’m excited to see where we end up!
Go to SuchCoolStuff.net to check out the indie artist outlet.