This and That Blog: Moon commentary on Atlanta music blogs

Many of The Moon and Pluto readers know that I started writing for Creative Loafing’s Crib Notes last week. Since then, I haven’t posted anything here on TMAP. It wasn’t making sense to try to bust ass doubling up on posts just to keep content coming out on this blog, when the Crib Notes blog gets 1000 times more views than this on any given day. Besides, I’m only one person and time is a thief.

That brings me to the point of this commentary: the blog. I never actually wanted to run my own music blog. That’s why I tried writing for established print and online publications. I wanted to help bring more Atlanta music to the attention of the local public. I wanted to highlight the diverse, talented musical groups in town. And I wanted to do it in a substantial manner, whereby the music and the artists were recognized for what they contribute and how they create. I wanted to help create excitement about the music in this city.

I wrote for The Silver Tongue Online, but the audience and content were not geared toward an Atlanta base. I wrote for Performer Magazine, but being a national monthly in print, I had only a limited opportunity to contribute pieces on Atlanta music. I wrote for Target Audience Magazine, but it is released quarterly, which again doesn’t allow for a consistent focus on the dynamic Atlanta scene.

Because I wasn’t finding a platform from which I could do what I really wanted, I created my own, here on The Moon and Pluto. However, like the Atlanta Roundtable 2010 proved, there are a lot of other people doing the same thing. And I love those bloggers: Davy from Ohmpark, Moe from Latest Disgrace, Denton from Little Advances, Adam and Chris from BeAtlanta…they all do a stellar job of regularly posting on new and interesting Atlanta music.

Since we teamed up for that year-end Roundtable (and actually even before that), I had a vision of teaming up with the other bloggers in a worthwhile attempt to bring our writing to a wider audience. After all, the goal for me, personally, was to get more people to notice more Atlanta music. However, I could never contemplate a way to make that work without each blogger infringing somewhat on the others. There would need to be a hierarchy that is non-existent when you run your own blog. There would need to be a schedule, which is self-determined when you work for yourself only. We would need to agree on a name, a website, and many other things. There would need to be commitment. My vision floated around these things, with no answer pertaining to a fair solution. Then there was the more important issue: would the other bloggers even want to do this?

The bloggers also began getting the same promotional emails from bands after the Roundtable went out. These emails are addressed to all of us at once, and though I understand the concept of fishing, it puts the writers in a predicament. We don’t want to put up redundant content, we don’t want to steal the content of another, but we don’t know who’s going to grab it, either, or when it will pop up online. Teaming up would eliminate these types of concerns, too. Again, it’s up in the air how that would work.

I suppose I could also try to recruit writers and build up my own blog. But, this is really an impossibility for me – day job, kids, and sometimes I try to sleep, too. In any case, when the opportunity arose to write for Crib Notes, I had to jump on it. For one thing, it has the widest audience and keeping my purpose in mind of focusing on a breath of Atlanta music that more people should hear, it offered the best course toward that goal. Yes, I’m allowed to write on what I choose. Amazing. I also like the fact that there is more than one voice, allowing readers to be exposed to a variety of musical tastes all at once. I’ve complained about the versatility and narrowness of content on Creative Loafing in the past, but it has really improved in that respect in the past year.  They have a group of contributors with an array of musical tastes that are posting these days, and I’m really excited to add to this flow on Crib Notes.

Someone I respect once told me, (and I paraphrase) “When there are too many, it all just becomes noise.” There is some truth to that, but I think each blog offers a unique style and perspective, making each valuable. This facet helps dilute the concern of content redundancy, since each blog may cover the same band in their own way. But then, the more blogs there are, the more each blog’s audience gets diluted. Crib Notes is another blog in this mix, it’s just got a more massive (in comparison) budget and more contributors. The same pressure exists among all blogs to post on certain music before the others do, gain the attention of an audience, and keep posting, posting, posting. It’s awesome that Atlanta has so many enthusiastic and eloquent music lovers. And there’s plenty of music around here to love.

I don’t know how I’ll use this space from now on. It will stay and I will use it, but my inspiration hasn’t focused in on how. I expect there will be a thing or two that I feel is better suited for this blog, rather than that blog. This is only the beginning. I have no clue what’s in store. In the meantime, I’m working on this summer’s Strange Daze Festival.

To all my fellow bloggers, I commend you for putting yourselves out there, sacrificing your spare time to listen to and write about Atlanta music, and being fervent seekers of the diamonds in the rough. Look forward to working together again and visiting your domain!



14 Responses to This and That Blog: Moon commentary on Atlanta music blogs

  1. Congrats on the new gig, and thanks for the shout out.

    On the topic of redundant content, honestly, I try to never decide what I post based on whether other people post it or not. I feel like, if all of the bloggers post about an artist, that probably means that artist is pretty decent. I know lots of people are aware of all the blogs, but I really feel like a lot of other people, especially those not as aware of the scene as us, don’t necessarily check every blog every day. We all have our own tastes that shine through even when we happen to discuss the same bands, and sometimes it’s good to get second opinions. I’d hate to think a talented artist didn’t get the full appreciation they deserve just because I happened to blog about them first.

    But anyways, kill it over at CL, and tell them all I said hi. ;)

    • Not a resident, but I have fienrds who live there Be prepared for Traffic! with a capital exclamation point, unless you live near one of the MARTA (Metropolitan Area Rapid Transit A-something) lines. Atlanta has assimilated many outlying small towns and cities.Check the Creative Loafing magazine for lots of things to do and places to eat; however I do recommend Cia Gao (spelling may be off), a Vietnamese restaurant; there’s also a restaurant in Cabbage Town which has great weekend breakfasts (Cabbage Town is, I think, off Moreland avenue?).Other than that, keep your wits about you and you’ll be fine, just like any other large city.

  2. Great point, Davy! Mentioning a band on more than one blog is a sign that they are worth checking out. That’s great for the band.

    You say that there are lots of people, not as aware of the scene as us, that don’t necessarily check every blog each day…my impression is that only people that are aware of the scene are aware of the blogs (for the most part).

    That’s why I think, in consideration of each blogger’s audience, bringing blog content together on 1 site would benefit bloggers, artists, and fans….and detractors (they’d only have one stop to make to bitch).

    I agree that our own tastes shine through and second opinions are important, too. I guess I was thinking that there are so many blogs…even outside Atlanta, that bringing a few of the Atlanta ones together wouldn’t cause a monopoly. I mean there are still many other blogs with second opinions.

    I will pass on your “hello” and thanks for your feedback, Davy. You rock!

    • I have used Craigslist extensively as a triffac driver, but it’s not an effective tool. Links are temporary based on how long the ad is live, and I have yet to see an ad we have posted get indexed and rank on page 1 of Google because our keywords are very competitive. If you are looking to get more triffac Craigslist could be a great avenue, but not the best for purposes.References :

  3. Thanks for the nice words. I think you’re going to be a great addition to Crib Notes. For a publication like Creative Loafing that should ideally offer a panoramic view of the local music scene, it’s always a good thing to have a diversity of tastes. I think you’ll definitely bring some diversity to their coverage.

  4. Thanks Denton!
    And another good point there. CL should definitely offer a panoramic view of the music in Atlanta. That’s always been my beef with them…I didn’t think they did enough of that. But, like I said, it’s gotten better.

    In terms of blogs, I guess it comes down to each writer’s purpose. Like we were arguing with “the music villain” about on Twitter, most blogs keep up with what they like. They’re not trying to necessarily be diverse and cover it all. I’ve battled with that, myself. Do I want to represent my tastes on The Moon and Pluto or do I want to fairly reflect on what’s out there in Atlanta music? I tend to go back and forth.

    Anyway, thanks for your thoughts and for Little Advances.

  5. Hi everyone
    It’s the “villain.” Sorry I had to play that card, but meh. It’s whatevs. I thought I was being funny, but I guess not.

    I also kind of think that ATL needs a loud mouth villain to call BS sometimes. I think that it’s from a lack of people calling BS that we have the problems within this scene that we do. I just didn’t carry it out the right way, but meh. I’m new to all this so I’m trying to test the waters and push as many buttons as I can to see how far I can go. I’ll definitely admit that. No problem. I don’t know why all these bloggers started following my twitter but I figured, well as long as their looking I wanna say what I’ve been wanting to say while I can say it. So I did.

    “Do I want to represent my tastes on The Moon and Pluto or do I want to fairly reflect on what’s out there in Atlanta music?”

    The latter half is all I was trying to point out. The more I got familiar with the local music scene the more frustrated I became with its coverage. From bloggers to actual publications. I just didn’t understand local music coverage that covered the same types of music. In my opinion there was no one that was trying to do balanced coverage. That’s I meant by “my music coverage eats others for brakfast”
    It wasn’t about me thinking I had better taste, or was a better writer, or that the artist I covered were better than yours. I meant that I had a more blanced coverage of this local scene than other bloggers and writers, and I’m sorrry but, I still stand by that sentiment. Call it arrogance, that’s fine. I’m cool with that. I wanted to try, but I’m still so new at all this (I’ve been in this stuff for just over a year), that I don’t feel that I would be able to give give some bands what they deserved in regards to a well written article. You get what I’m saying? The more I dug into this scene, the more I felt cheated by the music writers I counted on to hear about music from.

    That’s all I was getting at. I wasn’t a writer before I attempted this stuff and I’m still getting my feet wet, I just felt that if a good writer would try to cover more variety of music, it would really be beneficial to this local music scene, and help people get out of their little clicks and become more genuine. Which would inevitably keep us from having to see the same bands over and over again.

    I admit I didn’t realize that your blogs were only for putting out what you personally liked, but since I realize that now, I get it. I guess I just don’t like it.

    Difference of opinions I guess. ha.

    And really Nadia, I’m so glad you’re writing for CL now. I mentioned your blog and said how great a writer I thought you were. The blog does look awesome and really balanced this week, and I dig that I read about artist I didn’t know of who were actually good, and played a different style of music than I’ve seen you cover. Kudos for real.

    ATL’s Music Villain :D

  6. Oh and I should also mention that these were also the main reasons I quit writing for TMAP; especially on the point of me just not being a great writer. With an internship, I can get school credit and someone to actually tell me what’s wrong with my writing.
    Also, thanks for the opportunity, like I said before.

  7. Oh Kristin! I thought you’d kinda like the villain thing…since it is what you were going for, right?!

    I’m still learning, too. And I’ve agreed with a lot of what you’re saying, just not necessarily how you laid it out once in a while.

    I’m learning that people are behind everything. And when you’re dealing with people, you need to consider their “personals”…taste, style, motivation, purpose, time-constraints, and ambitions. They all differ. And I’m the first to admit that I’ve been confused by it. Like you, I’m into balanced coverage. But, not everybody has that goal in mind.

    Being involved in covering a diverse collection of Atlanta musicians has always been a goal for me. It’s hard to do that as one person on one blog. Might be why you never wanted to start your own blog. Also some blogs don’t strive for that. Rather, they are an extension of one voice’s flavor. Others identify with it and come back for more. That’s cool, too.

    It makes more sense for me and my “personals” to join forces, so I’m glad to be writing for Crib Notes and adding to what Atlanta gets to know on a broader scale, where I also feel it makes more sense. I honestly didn’t write about Big Heed on this blog, because I wanted to reserve that kind of piece for Performer – a wider audience. Which is another reason why you may not have seen me cover as many different styles on this blog. I didn’t feel like it made sense here. But, because CL came around, I went with Heed at that point. He’ll be at Strange Daze this summer…little secret for ya!

  8. Thanks for the kind words Nadia. I think you’ll be awesome at CL. I’ve had/have similar ideas to try to unite the bloggers under one moniker. I even have an amazing name and domain already picked out…but thats down the line. That said, I think we at beatlanta truly connect with what you said here.

    (to the music villain…I haven’t read anything you’ve wrote but I think beatlanta does a pretty good job of being balanced and open to every kind of music Atlanta can throw at us…we’re balanced; we’re learning a lot and growing steadily)

    Big things to come from beatlanta in 2011 and beyond…


  9. Nadia, I enjoyed reading The Moon and Pluto and congrats on writing for CL. You’re a good writer and you’re doing what you can…I’m not entirely sure what else Atlanta needs from an independent media/music blog perspective. It seems as if there’s plenty of content out there, it’s more about how you shuffle it around and present that content. For instance, I used a basic wordpress platform for Shot From Guns, but I wish it was a full blown webpage, the only problem there is I didn’t make money off it so why worry about a website lol.

    Anyway, it’s cool CL has a more diverse voice being added to the staff.

  10. Nadia,
    Congrats on the CL gig. Great opportunity, great publication, etc., etc. Keep doing what you do.

    So much of what you have said rings in this penultimate post is true. I vacillate about personal purpose and a strange sense of community responsibility all the time. I think I have come to the conclusion that each of us who devote our free time to blogging need to follow whatever individual vision we may have. Nobody gets rich doing this and if that was anybody’s objective then they disappeared very quickly. I think each of us who has stuck it out for a period of time has done so out of some kind of personal passion. However, much we may love Atlanta or the Atlanta music scene, that personal passion is also what drives our taste. I don’t think there is anything wrong with personal preferences. As Davy pointed out, when each voice can find value in a particular artist or sound then maybe there is something worthwhile there, and certainly people should know about it. There is no sin in redundancy or popularity – in fact, I think they are sort of the same thing. Anyway, that’s enough from me. It has always been an honor and a privilege to be a small part of the music community in Atlanta and I am always happy to do whatever I can do to help.

    It’s good to know that the Moon and Pluto will remain in some fashion and it’s great to know that you will be lending your voice to much broader forum with Creative Loafing. Again, congrats!

  11. Wow, just re-read that comment. I need an editor, a proofreader…or another beer. I hope you at least know the sentiment was sincere.

  12. No worries, Rube! Thanks for adding your perspective. You’re absolutely right, anyone who does this is driven by passion, which stems from/drives our tastes. I’m just honestly proud that Atlanta has a great handful of sincere voices with music on their mind.

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