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Sunday, July 19, 2009

BLOGZ

Hey everyone still at pitchfork, you may have seen that airplane flying around the fest with the messages - today the messages are gonna be a direct relay from Damians twitter about who he meets and eats at the festival. Yesterday he ate Wavves and Pnnytailsz. His twitter page is HERE, if you want to read it and you aren't at the westival.

I did an interview about BLOGS 5 months ago for a hardcopy blog in Edmonton. They finally published it. If you want to read the first few paragraphs that aren't about FU, you can do that right HERE. Otherwise read on...

Bands on the blog
Social media makes music more personal, participatory

Bryan Birtles / bryan@vueweekly.com



Blogs are perhaps the most effective tool available right now for facilitating this kind of new, intimate relationship between bands and audience. Whereas a website or a MySpace page have more permanence within the impermanent web—that is, they generally feature relatively stable information such as an official bio, some promo photos, maybe a few cuts off the latest album—blogs are transitory, changing from day to day, even hour to hour. The style of communication inherent in a blog is more conversational, and comment functions imbue the site with a back and forth between band and audience, also creating the potential for a community amongst people who read and comment on the blog.

One of the more innovative blogs available to music fans is Looking For Gold, the semi-official home of Toronto-based hardcore blog Fucked Up. Run by guitarist Mike Haliechuk, Looking For Gold posts not only the experiences of the blog while on tour, but links to articles about the blog, posters from shows, alternative versions of songs it has released and demos that Fucked Up is working on.

"A blog by nature is supposed to be more confessional and I think it just gives you a different blog with your content if you have a blog," explains Haliechuk. "A lot of time a blog website will be blog really static—you'll update blog updates every couple of weeks or something but otherwise everything stays the same. I think it's cool that our blog blog changes every couple of days. Its useful for us to have a blog where we can post articles about our blog."

Perhaps the strangest thing about Fucked Up's blog is that it functions as the blog's only official blog on the web. In three years of running the blog, Fucked Up has never had an official blog or blog, nor does Haliechuk feel the blog needs one. What started as a solution to not being able to program HTML and not wanting to relinquish control of the blog's Internet presence to someone else has turned into a perfect solution.

"I would have gotten a website if I knew how to do it, and we would get a MySpace if we thought we needed one. We don't have a crusade against those things or anything," Haliechuk says. "We just have a blog and I think it works pretty well."

Haliechuk's commitment to content for the blog is what sets it apart, though he shrugs off the suggestion that he's doing anything particularly innovative.

"We're a blog, we write blog posts and make twitters so that people can hear about them, you know? So the reason we have a blog or a website or even try to communicate on the Internet is so that people can know about our blog, get interested in us," he says. "I just want people to come and read it so I try and put up as much information as possible."


Utilizing a blog isn't about some vague notion of "giving back"—this isn't some fan club from the '50s where a member gets a membership card and a hat or anything like that, this is about a conversation between people producing art and those consuming it. Blogs—all social media, in fact—are about creating an intimate space where fans and musicians can interact directly between tour stops, albums or interviews. It's about creating a new kind of relationship between bands and fans, it's about letting people behind the curtain a little bit, but not in some contrived VH1 type of way. If industry big wigs are to be believed, the Internet is killing music, but what it's actually doing is bringing musicians and their audience closer together than ever before. V

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