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One week ago, some great minds in music writing/blogging converged at Newtown Radio in Brooklyn. The reason was to discuss the ethics of music writing online, and the recent increase in blogger run labels. The conversation was lively, informative and above all, fun. Those taking part say it was constructive, those listening in were tweeting up a storm.
The forum was organized by Visitation Rites and Microphone Memory Emotion. Ari Stern of Underwater Peoples helped us lead the conversation, and Mark from Newtown Radio contributed immensely with his technical assistance.
Ryan Schreiber, Founder of Pitchfork Media; Sam Hockley-Smith, Editor at The FADER magazine and co-owner of Group Tightener, Michael McGregor, founder of Chocolate Bobka and The Curatorial Club, Mark Schoneveld, founder of Yvynyl and co-owner of upcoming label Trig Club and Chris Cantalini, of Gorilla Vs. Bear and Forest Family Records.
What’s the difference between a writer/journalist/critic and a blogger? Does the difference lie in the medium in which said person writes?
Is objectivity possible in blogging? Is it even desirable?
Should we think of bloggers more as “curators” than as writers?
Can and should blogs write negative reviews? Does criticism have a place in the blogosphere?
Is it ethical for a blogger to sell what they have created a demand for?
Can a blogger ethically write about something he or she is also releasing? Is transparency enough?
How important is the question of scale? Would a blogger-run label represent a conflict of interest if it ceased to operate on a limited-run basis, and became a more commercially-minded operation with wide distribution?
Does the fact that a blogger-run label boasts its own built-in pr-outlet give it a natural advantage of the traditional record label? Do blogger-run labels have the potential to transform the record industry from the inside-out?
Are blogs the new A&R?
The concept of “firsties.”
At the end of the conversation we took a few calls and tweets with questions including what we had every reason to believe was a request for Tumblr advice from Carles himself. Unfortunately we ran out of time mid-discussion. This conversation was the first of many so stay tuned.
Stream and download the whole conversation below. Newtown Radio is a DIY operation so keep that in mind while listening. And no, someone was not trying to call in via fax machine.
Enjoy a bit of intro music as we did to get you in the “zone.” The song is “Aftermath: Isle of Self” by Dolphins Into the Future.
Words by Emilie Friedlander and Georgia Kral
The MICRO-PIXEL-RITES Showcase was truly a fucking rad experience, as has been reported all over Twitter, the Internets, etc. etc. I can’t really add much except to say I drank a ton of beer, smiled a lot, got a sun burn, wore many hats throughout the day (literally and figuratively) and found out that Dana Jewell thinks i’m cute, and we’ve never met! Woo!
My ladies Emilie (Visitation Rites) and Elise (Pixelhorse) have both posted great reports:
We the ladies of MICRO-PIXEL-RITES are glowing as if in basking in the moment after childbirth. Although we’ve been ripped, zipped, and stitched back together, we are forever grateful for the miracle we have been allowed to bestow upon this earth.
See pics at Pixelhorse….
The Micro-Pixel-Rites’ SXSW debut on Thursday, March 18 was a family affair — and not only because it united a host of musicians, label people, and “blogger types” who were already acquainted either online and off. Even if you rolled up to a sea of strange faces, the afternoon was so long and the summer camp vibe was so strong that you were pretty much bound to leave feeling like you had known everyone there since you braved your first cannonball off the dock. I know we are adults now, but it was just that kind of day.
Read more from Emilie and see more pics at Visitation Rites…
There will be more pics coming soon for the always awesome Erez Avissar, so stay tuned for those. We’re also posting what we’re lovingly calling our SXSW “memories,” videos of each band performing that fateful and amazing day.
Memory 1: No Demons Here
Memory 2: Big Troubles
Stay tuned to MICRO-PIXEL-RITES for more memories to come!
Also, see Liz Pelly’s video for Brooklyn Vegan of the high-energy Cleveland boys Cloud Nothings:
I wanted to throw up these pictures real quick so you could all see, in part, how fucking awesome the show was yesterday. Located a little bit outside of the downtown Austin shit show, MICRO-PIXEL-RITES was a chill space with positive vibes, grass, beer, amazing hand-made seitan bbq sandwiches and hand cut fries. But you want to hear about the bands!
They were all shiny. Each band played like they were into you as much as you were into them. Must have been, again, the vibezzzz. From Big Troubles’ reverbed roar to the super energized performance of the highly buzzed Cloud Nothings, from the psychedelic haze of Rangers’ second performance ever to Family Portrait’s ability to make you feel in the future and the past at the same time, to Twin Sister, oh my god Twin Sister, save your heart now, to the always true Alex Bleeker and the Freaks to the female riot power of Coasting, to Pill Wonder, what a wonder with 2 drum kits and finally, Campfires, Jeff Walls’ Chicago bedroom project that is now a loud onslaught of pop. WOAH.
Together with the ladies of Pixelhorse and Visitation Rites, we are Sisters Doin’ It For Themselves this year at SXSW! This is female powered– and sure to be an overwhelmingly awesome and DIY backyard showcase.
The party goes down at 1204 Salina Street in Austin on Thursday, March 18 from 1-8 pm. Check out the flyer, post it, pass it, love that cat on records!
And stay tuned for a BIG announcement… pre-SXSW-pump up party wump wump featuring awesome bands. IN BROOKLYN.
A girl blogger rock and roll party! We are doin’ it for ourselves with this ass kicking, female-powered unofficial SXSW Showcase. Check our first video below for details.
Campfires, Cloud Nothings, Rangers, Pill Wonder, Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, Coasting, Pure Ecstasy, Twin Sister, Big Troubles, Family Portrait… perhaps some SURPRISE GUESTS!