First off, as previously mentioned, today is ‘Bandcamp Friday’ — the platform is waiving its cut of revenue with 100% going to the artists. Here are some suggestions where you can throw your support today:
- Pitchfork’s list of labels and artists directing Bandcamp revenue to Black Lives Matter organizations [LINK]
- A list of black artists, producers, and black-owned labels on Bandcamp [LINK]
- Resident Advisor’s list compiling both, with an emphasis on electronic music [LINK]
- If you’re into ambient music, here’s a Reddit thread listing ambient artists of color that could use your support (h/t Terry Grant) [LINK]
Like most of you, I was feeling dispirited and down yesterday. The constant barrage of evidence that this country is falling apart weighs heavily. And the gray skies and rain weren’t helping. I had an interview scheduled in the early afternoon and didn’t know if I was up for it. I was looking for some good news, and anything would do.
Unexpectedly, Warren Ellis provided that bright spot with a shout out on his blog, perhaps in response to my shout-out to his blog on Tuesday. It’s a nice boost to get mentioned under the ‘Isles of Blogging’ tag. I’m proud to inhabit my little beach-side hut.
One thing I learned: Ellis has a lot of readers. There are a lot of new eyes peering at this speck on the web (hello), and I picked up a healthy amount of newsletter subscribers. Shining a light on a fellow toiling soul is one of the best parts of operating in an independent space, whether you’re a band or a novelist or a painter or a blogger. It’s a lovely feeling when you’re the recipient.
I mentioned Ellis’s newsletter — Orbital Operations — only a couple of days ago. It’s something I look forward to each Sunday. One of its regular highlights is the heartfelt words of encouragement closing each email, a needed end-of-week reminder that things eventually will be cool. I’ll shine a little light back by urging you to subscribe.
My interview was with Lawrence Peryer for the Spot Lyte On podcast. I talked about growing up in Central Louisiana, the challenges of finding underground music there, the historical threads of influence that connects musical artists, utopian streaming models, Kraftwerk (of course), and lots of other things. It was freewheeling and fun. Though I think we intended to include music industry shop-talk, there was very little of that. The podcast hits the pod-ways next week. I’ll give you a preview by linking to a record from 1981 that comes up at the end of the discussion: the mind-blowing “Outside Broadcast.”
Side-note: I enjoy gabbing on podcasts. If you’re interested in having me gab on yours then please get in touch.
I also mentioned a podcast interview with Derek Sivers. It’s an episode of Yo Podcast — an uplifting listen that will give your brain a break from the world-on-fire for an hour. Specifically, I mentioned and clumsily explained this part where Derek answers the question: Hendrix or Bowie?
Jimi Hendrix is like Charles Darwin. Darwin, he presents “The Origin of Species” to the world and it blows everybody’s mind. But now the theory of evolution is common knowledge, so to read the book, “The Origin of Species” now, is not so impressive. So Hendrix presents the “Star-Spangled Banner,” full of feedback and more sounds from a guitar than anyone had heard before, and it blows everybody’s mind. But now, every kid in the guitar store can do the same thing. So to hear the original, is not so impressive. I think it’s kind of the same with Stravinsky and the “Rite of Spring,” it’s actually kind of unfair that they’re revolutionary contribution is diminished with time.
But David Bowie is like Josephine Baker, exotic and desirable in their time, and exotic and desirable now. And same thing with Claude Debussy’s music. Like, David Bowie, Josephine Baker, and Claude Debussy, all of them stood outside of the culture. Their art didn’t infiltrate the culture and culture didn’t assimilate or adopt it. And so time doesn’t diminish their allure.
The podcast audio and the transcription are on Derek’s site.
Once again, dawn brings a bluish-gray over Lake Holden this morning = [LINK]