Monday, December 14, 2015

Three Hundred

I always seem to hit the next hundred mark in band reviews right around the week before Christmas. Since I sometimes review a band that I have already written about, leaving the overall total unchanged, and sometimes I will include multiple artists on a single review, it should jump around, but it always evens out. Friday I will review my 300th artist.

There are a few things that have come up this year that I want to capture now.

One is a reminder that music is broad and diverse and that's great. Three of the more recent reviews were bands I did not like that much. There was one that I could tell he was doing a good job but we have ideological differences that hampered my enjoyment, one that I thought was okay, but a little mediocre and not really my thing, and finally one where it was a combination of not my genre anyway, but also he's a little too self-enamored to make enough effort. Still, none of them were quite where I couldn't give them the song of the day.

I have already done that with two of them, and there were likes and re-tweets and thank you messages from the bands in questions. That makes me feel a little guilty, but there were also fans of them liking the reviews and liking the thank you messages. It reminds me that maybe I don't care for this song or this group, but that's not a reason to not pay attention to it.  There are people who care about it, so go ahead and broadcast it. I did know that - that's part of why I do this at all  - but the reminders are good.

The other thing is that this week both of the reviews will be people who are doing solo work now but are from bands that I remember from before. Band 299 will be Chris Barron, formerly of The Spin Doctors, and Band 300 will be J.R. Richards from Dishwalla.

I like finding musicians still making their art years later, and sometimes I find them on my own and bring them in, but both Chris and J.R. followed me on Twitter first, just like most of these bands I review. I don't know what drew Chris to me, but I know what happened with J.R..

A friend was looking for music recommendations, and one of the bands she mentioned liking was Our Lady Peace. Well, one of the strong song pairings from my past was their "Somewhere Out There" along with Dishwalla's "Somewhere in the Middle". It was not a name thing; it was the feeling of the songs. Maybe it makes sense for that feeling and the word "somewhere" to go together. Anyway, I recommended Dishwalla, and suddenly there was J.R..

I have been surprised a few times by what gets noticed by people you wouldn't even expect to see it, but the real reason that sticks with me is that I was able to suggest something that she liked. Shortly before that someone was looking for female-fronted alternative bands, and I was able to make a suggestion there too. I am starting to have a helpful knowledge base in my head for people looking for music.

It's not as good as it could be. I had to search to remember the one band I had in mind. One goal for this next year is to improve the Reviewed tab of the spreadsheet I use, so that locating previous bands is easier.

I also want to start reviewing more bands from the Recommended tab. Previously I always felt so behind in getting to the bands who followed me (the On Deck tab), but that last round of cleanup I did really helped. Things are organized and I feel like I am moving at a good pace.

That does lead to one more story. One person followed me whom I initially thought was a musician but was actually a producer. It would be easy to just ignore the name then, but I never feel right about that. I then noticed that two of the musicians Pascal Guyon has worked with were on my Recommended list: Anthony Hamilton and Leona Lewis, both of whom I reviewed last week. That felt like a way to bring Pascal in, and this week I am going to have songs of the day taken from the albums on the Rise Production page.

It all circles back.

And I will do that guy that I don't think is very good either. Someone thinks he's good. They're wrong, but there's a beauty to that.

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