Saturday, March 02, 2002

At the behest of my instructor, Gladys, my task this week is to find some music-related blogs, blogs that are worthy of mention on the almighty Difficult Music. Is anyone else engaged in a sad monologue about music that nobody else likes? Here are my findings:

I found this one via the 2002 Bloggies (it was a nominee. The winner focuses on the chronically under-publicized U2). musicrag put itself in my good books almost immediately, with reviews of The Breeders (reunited and live in concert!) and a list of someone's top albums of 1993. Funny thing, I'd just been talking about the music of 1993 with a friend, and it really was a good year, what with the aforementioned Breeders' Last Splash album, Liz Phair's opening statement, Exile in Guyville, and Urge Overkill's tribute to '70s pop-metal, Saturation. Didn't Nirvana release the repellent and compelling In Utero that year, too? Ah, 1993. Back then, the songs had tunes you could hum, and every Sunday we gathered 'round the old Victrola with mugs of cocoa and buttered slices of fresh pumpernickel. We also called sandwiches flat freddies and you could buy six of them for a nickel. But really, they don't make years like that anymore.

But I digress. musicrag has a number of contributors--five (or possibly six) guys and one woman. The site also has a reviews section (with a scant two reviews so far--for shame!), interviews, feature articles, a "fivesongs" page where you can vote for five songs that relate to a given topic, and a store featuring musicrag merchandise. Yes, these folks have some big ideas for their site. The typeface is tiny, and the line length is a little excessive, but the writing's snappy and the Blogger-powered site looks sharp.

People Talk Too Loud
This is another 2002 Bloggies nominee, and another good-looking site (it's powered by Movable Type). They pretty much cover the same music that musicrag does--indie/alternative rock, the kind of stuff that carries on the spirit of '93. Like musicrag, PTTL has a reviews section. It's not huge, but at least the reviews number more than two. And one of the reviewers is a metal-head! Nice reviews of Emperor and Neurosis, dude!

I wanted to find out more about the contributors to this site, but the "about us" section was under construction.

21st Century Schizoid Man
I set myself a small challenge for this assignment: find a blog that mentions either Peter Hammill or Van der Graaf Generator. Hammill fronted VdGG in the '70s and continues as solo artist to this day, toiling, as ever, in obscurity. Both the man and the band are my favourite artists of all time, but that's a tale for another entry. Anyway, I wanted to see if there were any kindred spirits out there.

As I predicted, most blog entries that mentioned my heroes weren't in English. Zut alors! Hammill's always been most popular on the continent, where folks are more attuned to the classical tradition and to the dramatic delivery that Hammill deploys, especially in concert. Anyway, I found the above site, which gave a brief nod to VdGG in a description of another band's style: "Jade Warrior are so obscure, they make Van Der Graaf Generator look like Yes." Ha-ha, I hear you, man! I don't know who this guy is, but I'm linking to his blog just because he's obviously VERY FAR GONE! He's big on the prog rock, and does a lot of reading on the subject. He buys obscure stuff on eBay, checks out the latest Mojo magazine, makes "best releases of the year" lists--in short, all the right things. I wish he lived on my block, so I could drop by and listen to his Cressida albums. I'm still waiting for the one I ordered from Scratch Records to arrive.

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