The Buzz | Independent Music News •  Events •  Interviews • Resources
Content tagged with Independent Music

Objectivity and taste: Should unpopular music mean worse?

I often read interviews in which musicians say things along the lines of ‘I only care about my fans – I don’t make music for critics; it’s all for the fans, man.’

While I am obviously a crazed music lover, I don’t often pay much attention to the ins and outs of what musicians say, unless I believe it will endow me with some insight and understanding of their music that I couldn’t get at from listening alone. This opinion, however, is far from uncommon in the music world and it got me thinking about the way we think about the quality of music and our judgement thereof.

As an independent music fan, it can be tempting to think of chart music as inferior, somehow in virtue of its wide appeal. Now, as unpleasant and snobby as this view undeniably is, what’s the alternative? To think of the charts and musical popularity as some kind of quality indicator? HA! No way.

xand yBut hang on! Why not?! Well, let me examine that. Here’s a few things we’ll need to have in place before I get going:

1. X is a major label artist who writes their own songs

Pixies and their influence on the independent music scene

A week or so ago I received an email from Pixies’ mailing list. This was monumental enough in and of itself because I have been on Pixies’ mailing list for approximately a million years, and they send somewhere in the region of 2.2 emails a year, if that. The email was about their first new material in nine years, ‘Bagboy’, which in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of weeks, I’ll post here, because it has honestly been traveling through cyberspace faster than TRON (apologies to any sci-fi purists who don’t think this is an adequate or correct use of a TRON metaphor).

The close relationship between the hipster and independent music

Defining the hipster:

Hipsters: nobody knows what they are; nobody will ever self-identify as one, but still, everybody knows that they hate them.

Well, I don’t, and if you’re a big fan of independent music, then neither should you.

Like any much-ostracized subculture, hipsters have found themselves the victims of an online target hate loop unique in its vitriol, unparalleled in its universality, and unprecedented in its weirdness. What’s to attack when you don’t know what you’re attacking? (Fig. 1)

hipster hate loop

Note how the class of hipsters and the class of non-hipsters both hate hipsters. This is just a way of saying that everyone in the world hates hipsters, or at least claims to do so.

It is an absurd wild goose chase of epic proportions because a) no-one knows what they’re attacking and b) the attacked attack and the attacked of the attacked attack and the attacked of the attacked of the attacked attack and so on, meaning this hate process probably looks more like an infinite regress spiral thing. (Fig. 2)

hipster hate spiralWhere this ends, as they say, no one knows. (Or where it begins, or where the middle is, or whatever else.)

Introducing Independent A Capella Group Duwende

Duwende (Doo-WEN-day) is a six-person a cappella band best know for their fiercely original, bass-and-beatbox-driven funk/pop style of music. They will be releasing their Michael Jackson tribute album, Remember, this Spring 2011, full of their favorite MJ masterpieces.

Duwende consists of J.Aaron Boykin (Baritone/Tenor), Derrick L. Hicks (Tenor), Abbey Janes (Soprano), Neal Mortimer (Tenor), Edward Chung (Vocal Percussion), and Ari Picker (Bass). Each member adds their own characteristics and talent to the group, giving them the “a cappella” creditability along with the “band” persona.

The New York-based band made its mark with shows in traditional rock clubs and venues, but they’ve also appeared at music festivals, colleges, and special events all around the country.

Mixcloud.com Releases “Best of 2010” Independent Music Charts

On-demand radio platform, Mixcloud, launched their “Best of 2010” today, in association with Serato andJuno Download.

They have charted the most tracklisted artists and tracks across some 100,000 radio shows, DJ mixes and playlists, uploaded by over 35,000 “Cloudcasters” throughout 2010, as well as the most popular radio shows/mixes and uploaders on the site over the past 12 months.

These pages are a unique snapshot of the past 12 months of music. Unlike charts made up of sales data, or editorially driven best-of lists, Mixcloud’s charts reflects the collective “wisdom of the experts”. The service’s tracklisting feature allows it to analyse data across all the tracklists submitted by the expert curators on the site, getting a sense of their collective curation and musical trends.

Supernova.com Partners with Radio Stations to Expose Indie Bands

Independent music community, Supernova.com, is teaming up with 102.1 the Edge, 99.3 The Fox and Power97 to find the “Indie Online Band of the Month.” Indie Bands have the opportunity to free promotion and a variety of benefits for their projects via the contest.

The contest will begin in February of 2011. Bands will be able to submit their band by creating a profile. Fans will be able to vote for their favorite independent artist or band. Indie Online will pick the winner from the top 10 bands voted by the fans.

As the “Indie Online Band of the Month,” winners will receive:

New Media Pioneer: Dan Lynche from Rathole Radio

Rathole Radio is an internet radio show and podcast about music, free culture, news, interviews, and politics. Brought to you by Dan Lynch with humor, the best in new music, and exclusive live performances. All from sunny Liverpool in the UK.

How many listeners do you have on average?

It varies a lot between the live show and the download. We get about 40-50 live listeners usually but each episode then gets 1000+ downloads. I suppose because of time differences most people can’t join the live show and the download is more convenient.

If you could interview any living artist, who would it be?

Kaci Battaglia To Release Brand New Album Via Indie Label

KaciBattagliaLess than one week away, the ever-glamorous Kaci Battaglia gears up for the release of her new album Bring It On which will be available digitally on September 21st, 2010 via independent music label Curb Records. The album’s second single “Body Shots,” featuring super-star rapper Ludacris, has already charted at #6 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play and is exploding both at radio and in clubs across the country.

Bring It On features 10-high energy songs written and produced by Kaci and long-time collaborators Michael Grant, Arianna Wilson, Jarreau and Trevor Pitts, as well as Isaac Hayes III (Redman, Chamillionaire), Robert Allen Christopher Bridges, Heather James, David Anthony, Jeff Fanzel (‘N Sync, Taylor Dayne), Michelle R Lewis, Anthony Fonseca (remixes for Avril Lavigne, Monica), Harold Brown, Eritza Laues (Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson) and Valentin.