Showing posts with label "Point Of View". Show all posts
Showing posts with label "Point Of View". Show all posts


Music Year End Thoughts

What an awesome journey it has been doing on this site. Although I wish this could be my full-time gig with all my heart. I am still excited about the small part I am playing in moving the music culture forward, one reader at a time. Sometimes it is the smaller blogs that can bring exposure to unknown music. Many people I've written about on these pages have moved beyond novelty and gained more exposure. That makes me happy. Obsession Collection Music welcomes another year doing this blog.
What am I looking forward to this year!

Langhorne Slim becoming a household name!

Drink Up Buttercup
Drink Up Buttercup Countdown, the upcoming full-length LP Born And Thrown On A Hook, is to be released on Yep Rock Records!!

Peasant @ 3rd Ward

Peasant's full-length LP Shady Retreat is to be released on Paper Garden Records

Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned
Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned going back to SXSW!!

Hop Along @ Silent Barn 09

Hop Along going to SXSW

Viking Moses
Looking forward to the release of the Documentary of Viking MosesWerewolves Across America by DARYL Pulse Films

o'death last song chant
Wishing o'death the best for the new year!

H. HONNE WELLS teams up again with musician/artist Juan Comas @ The Stone

On the lookout for Honne Wells, Performance artist extraordinaire!

Novice Theory Joe's Pub Dec. 08
Can't get enough of Novice Theory!

Continue to obsess over Max Vernon, The Master Of Design.


Art and Music Party

Kyle, DUB Mascot, Maryanne Ventrice

Obsession Collection Music played a small part in coordinating a fabulous holiday party back in September. This was a family affair with all attendees invited by my husband, two great adult children, and me (OCM). The art and music crowd shared lots of love into the wee hours at Tre Merli.

I end the year once again, saying how much I enjoy writing this blog and have been fortunate to have met wonderful people that have enriched my life and others.
OCM curated the music line-up. Below are some picture highlights from the party in line-up order.

Novice theory 

Novice Theory

Novice Theory with Brian Newman

  Hop Along 

Hop Along

 Drink Up Buttercup 
Drink Up Buttercup

Drink Up Buttercup 

Drink Up Buttercup


Got Lots To Say CMJ soon....

Some Shot offerings from my brief schedule of events at CMJ. Hey, I got a full-time job, so this was fun but ain't easy. Almost done writing about the bands below. Check back or home, scroll
Blood Warriors at Piano's

 Max Vernon CMJ 
Max Vernon @ Kenny's Castaway Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned CMJ @ Zebulon 
Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned @ Zebulon  
 Little Teeth CMJ @ Zebulon 
 Little Teeth at Zebulon
 Emanuel & Fear CMJ @ The Delancey 

Little Teeth at Zebulon Emanuel and Fear @ The Delancey

Drink Up Buttercup @ The Delancey Cale Parks CMJ @ The Delancey 
Cale Parks @ The Delancey


When Hate Becomes Public Discourse

I’ve always wondered how the word gay became an acceptable negative. Words have consequences with sometimes unintended associations. What started out as banter between straight males has infiltrated the broader culture of negative. It is now commonly used as a negative descriptor to describe music, clothes, movies, etc. It rarely refers to a person’s sexuality, but the innuendo is implied.

The recent publicized suicides of young people due to being bullied in school only point out how toxic this banter can be. Those colors you used are gay, that song you sang in the school play was gay, that club you belong to is gay, and those sneakers are gay, or only a few examples. It is the tone and the caviler way they are commonly thrown about.
This has been on my mind for a while. I work with young people and have witnessed this phenomenon grow at a rapid pace. It is often kids mimicking what is acceptable in the culture at large. It is only getting worse.

What prompted me to write about this is the coverage of the health care debate and how, within a month, what was never acceptable to say or view has infiltrated the public airwaves. Words and images are cheapened and co-opted for political gain. The ugliness is being spread and will become commonplace. It will infect our society with repercussions that we will regret.


OCM Manifesto: 2008 Music Summary

It all comes down to 6 degrees of  OCM. The dots are getting smaller, and the connections are now quite intertwined. My affiliations have led to friendships. What started as a Blog to help expose music “I love and can’t get enough” has evolved into more. With Obsession Collection Music, I will continue to help expose music I love, believe in, and wish to share. It has been a pleasure writing about music. It takes time, and it is important to be accurate. I’ve worked hard this year to find my voice and develop a writing style that succinctly describes what I hear. Exposure is important for music but being accurate is necessary. So even though this is a laborious task, I find it quite satisfying. My writing has propelled some careers to move a little faster. Good words can help define a mission and redefine an outlook. I am not here to be critical. Although I do not like everything and find it painful to listen to the mediocre. I am still doing this site with every spare moment I have. Maintaining Obsession Collection Music solo makes it difficult to see or hear everything. I’ve mainly concentrated on writing about music you might not find elsewhere. I'm proud to have given some groups their first web copy.

Manifesto: Awesome Sites (Site Scavenger Series) I will continue to find great sites that expose music. Especially sites that are forward-thinking and have a unique point of view, like If You Make It. It is nice to find sites that start out on the grassroots level, watch them develop, and then analyze what distinguishes their sites from more established and sometimes corporate copycats. 

Music Movements I will write about music movements and collectives that combine music, art, and film, like Wham City (Baltimore), The B3nson Recording Company (Albany) The Purple Van Club (Paris). Or publishers like Showpaper that are moving the music and art culture forward from a street perspective, the way all great grassroots movements begin. This will continue to be a priority. Giving additional web presence to groups inventing new business models because the old one is antiquated and leaves so many behind. Most started out of passion and necessity. They are good people with Chutzpah and can shake things up. 

Art and Music I will also continue exploring the melding of art and music. An interesting trend of the last few years is going to a museum to see music. The group Lucky Dragons is a good example. Their bookings are in museums around the world, basements, and venues. I will continue to write about the photographers, like (Crackerfarm) filmmakers, writers, and artists who, behind the scenes, are moving the culture forward. 

OCM 2008 Year (not a best of) What I saw and wrote about has been an inspiring and uplifting experience. So many of the people I’ve written about are doing better and getting the exposure they deserve. Many have been signed to independent labels this year, allowing them to tour with a little more ease. It is interesting to see a band open shows to headline shows. This is nice for them but hard on me. The thought of an eleven o'clock start time has taken its toll. Being an opening act is over for many of the groups I’ve written about this year. A year can make a difference.  Langhorne Slim spread the love, signed to a label, toured the US several times this year, and returned to Europe. I’m waiting for them to become a household name, I think that’s possible. o’death signed later this year to the same label. Kemado has good judgment and taste. Peasant is a good example of someone I started writing about in 2006. He has been a pleasure to watch develop and document. Drink up, Buttercup, I’ve just had a blast seeing them and writing about them from the first show in NY in 2007 till now. What an awesome trip it has been. 

Another highlight was meeting Geo Wyeth (Novice Theory) at a party and committing to see him at The Trash bar on a Wednesday night. Glad I did. What an amazing talent. OCM 2009 and beyond What am I looking forward to this year: is the much-awaited CD by Hop Along Queen Ansleis and the debut release of Drink Up Buttercup. Both groups are finalizing recording and in the mastering stages. Peasant’s re-release of On The Ground for distribution with the help of Team Love Records will give it the boost it deserves. I am also looking forward to seeing some bands I have found that have not booked shows in New York yet. I’m waiting. 

OCM’s 2008 The great live shows I have seen this year and CD reviews are all documented within the pages of this blog. Many are in Google heaven and hopefully resurrected by this post. If you like: Deer Tick, The Felice Brothers, Langhorne Slim, Peasant, Hop Along Queen Ansleis, Viking Moses, Golden Ghost, Drink Up Buttercup, Conor Oberst, Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned, Novice Theory, The Lisps, and more, explore these pages.  Live reviews 08 CD reviews 08 The economy has fucked up my plans of moving OCM central to NYC. I’m still on it and remain hopeful. I will continue and hope for a brighter future with more readership. OCM has been steadily growing with one reader at a time since its inception in June of 06. Do me a favor. Spread this shit around! Happy New Year to all from Obsession Collection Music.


McCain, the Internet & confessions of a Music Blogger

I am an anomaly. I am a 56-year-old music Blogger. I will admit that before starting this site, I was computer illiterate. Yes, I could surf the web, answer emails and send attachments. I understood the powerful ramifications of the online community but lacked the knowledge to implement my enlightened visions. I can now explain how it works without sounding ridiculous, but my implementation skills, while getting better, are still limited. I can envision trends and movements on the Web and see the power of new possibilities. As large corporations and media empires have access and visibility, so do others willing to take the time. The egalitarian nature of communication from many platforms is possible. My focus and contribution have been to the music community. I watched CSPAN and was drawn into a panel discussion by the Personal Democracy Forum in New York about how the Internet has been utilized in past and current presidential campaigns. The panel's mission was to be informative and nonpartisan. My eyebrows were raised when Tracy Russo (John Edwards campaign blogger) challenged Mark Soohoo, (the McCain McCain e-campaign director) about his candidate’s lack of computer literacy. While she made legitimate points, she was apologetic about swaying from the panel's intent. I share her concerns and think there should be no apologies when raising such a vital issue. Lacking a basic understanding of how the Web functions is a hindrance. To fully grasp the possibilities of this vastly growing entity, I think a president should have a grip on the potential future of this information evolution. He should envision where it is going. The global connectivity it provides has a broad scope of possibilities. It can be the catalyst for solving our world’s most difficult problems. Just imagine, the future of the global web community within fields of science, music, art, media, and politics to name a few. Just think YouTube was launched in 2005, and in just three years, a massive global community is developing with far-reaching significance. I might be old, but I welcome the renaissance of possibilities that is the Web.
Fascinating video: Information R /evolution



Spreading Music; one reader at a time

Obsession Collection Blog Site is a Labor of Love.
* Created June 06.
* I have a full time job. This is my second and third shift.
* Quality over Quantity.
* I really care about music and the people who make it.

ALMOST ONE THOUSAND HITS A MONTH. Slowly one reader at a time...

I would really appreciate some encouragement. We all need it sometimes. Being an old gal it is difficult to get support from my peers. They are sleeping when I am writing or out seeing music live.

So.....if you can spread the word about Obsession Collection I would appreciate it. I don't have a facebook page because for now I am anonymous. I plan to come out of the closet. I am slowly doing just that. here original song
...It tells the story in song about the origins of this blog. About seven years ago I heard music that changed my life.

So stay here and read you will see the LOVE................


Artifact (in the virtual world)


Music Blogger reviewer rant…

I love writing reviews and giving them my all! Of course, I write about music I love, so that part is easy. Reviewers on staff often have too much that they are required to listen to. I don't have to endure listening to mediocre music for the sake of review. I think that might just ruin music for me. I would become jaded.

In that regard, being a paid reviewer must be complicated and almost impossible not to be subjective.
The controversy surrounding the reviewer for Maxim, who rated the Black Crowes’ forthcoming album Warpaint without really listening, is disturbing. I’m sure it is a common occurrence.

Bloggers also have their own set of difficulties. Posting regularly keeps a Blog viable and maintains reader interest and loyalty. I have read many reviews lately that are of the cut-and-paste variety.
Part of the problem is the promotional material and goodies sent as bait to peak Blogger's interest.

The written promotional resources sent to me are helpful but from the viewpoint of another writer or publicist. Often it is misleading and not about the music. Mainly, it contains buzzwords to encourage interest. That is why reviews often have similar keywords and phrases written out of context.

Lately, I’ve been receiving music online. Having done several favorable reviews of Peasant, one might think that I might have received his recording as a present with a ribbon or via e-mail. Well, I didn’t, and like most music I love, I gladly pay for it. Some music I have received is already on my radar, either I have purchased the EP or have seen the group live. I also write about groups that are not on anyone’s radar. That is something I take pride in.

So why read my reviews? I believe I have a point of view. I trust my instincts. I guarantee my readers that I really listen before writing. I listen (obsessively), absorb, and write. I will not write about music I don't love. I will write about music that has a point of view or has the potential to move music culture forward.

Listen to Diamond Rings 2007 from
Deer Tick! my latest obsession! War Elephant review, to post very soon! I paid for this one!!


Hold Your Nose and VOTE. Don’t stand on principle

Register Now Young People, wake up Please!!

Another four to eight years of Republican rule. Believe me the country will do it again. Swift boat ads, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Just remember, Bush’s
misuse of the "bully pulpit" to advance his agenda. Do you recall the orange alerts in NYC timed before major legislation and elections? They will do anything to win.

Issues such as gay marriage, “don’t ask don’t tell", abortion are unmentionable hot button issues.

I have to admit I get annoyed with the Democratic field. No one has any balls or ballets. Unfortunately pandering is a necessary part of being elected. Even now, I am certain that the Republicans will win especially if Obama or Hillary are to rely on young people to vote. Many are not registered and don’t even bother. Remember the last presidential election?

Click Rock the Vote to register now....


Sasha Frere-Jones: Full Exposure, Article Rant

MySpace is today’s lifeline and reality for bands and musicians to gain exposure. To put it down is irresponsible, even in the context of an article about the sudden rise of the young British singer Kate Nash. Sasha Frere-Jones's article in the New Yorker, 
“Full Exposure, Making it on MySpace,” presents the perils of early MySpace exposure. While he cites specific pitfalls like adolescent blogging entries and massive hits before gaining experience, he devalues the necessity of MySpace as a tool for others.

I think full exposure occurs when hungry predatory labels are willing to promote artists before they have ever performed live. They are exploiting a situation and are blinded by dollar signs. The Kate Nash phenomenon would not have happened so fast without label intervention.

Sasha Frere-Jones states that Nash deserves a shot at stardom because of the strength of the song “Foundation” on her album Made of Bricks. This assertion contradicts the premise of his article.

The UK is unique, and Mr. Frere-Jones underplays the power of geographic location. In the UK, the airwaves are free and without the domination of the Clear Channel. Their radio system can facilitate the major label promotion of a quirky, commercially viable talent like Kate Nash. That is what makes her sudden Web-to-chart success possible. The hype machine can be generated at mock speed. This does not happen in the US, where the radio playlists are in every category but new music.

MySpace is the preferred vehicle for band exposure and plays an important role, especially in the States. Many bands that get recognition eventually have to do it the hard way, self-promotion via MySpace. That includes constant updating, posting tour dates, sharing pictures from the road, and communicating with fans.

A band's website is a dinosaur
. It is stale compared to the fluidity and interactive nature of MySpace. I say fuck the Website. Bands generally write on their Website; please visit our MySpace page for updates.

Until there is another vehicle with more unique features tailored to music, MySpace is here to stay. MySpace is a band's history; like email history, it is filled with information that would be difficult to replace. I’m not saying that MySpace doesn’t have its problems; it can be a royal pain in the ass. Ever been "phished"?


Music Blogger, Year End Thoughts

Viva! The Blog
Years ago it took an eternity for any publication to write about a band or write a live review. There is a place for those magazine relics, but for current up to date coverage the online community is the destination. Bloggers are now a very relevant part of the mix giving exposure to varying genres that are neglected by the mainstream press. Google has taken note and is offering new ways to find Blog content. There are music Blogs that have established a level of trust and a point of view. Matt and Mike at Ear Farm come to mind as one of the standouts. Ear Farm is honest, personable, informative and very entertaining. So Viva the Blog!

Romance of the
DIY Movement

Another thought I've been pondering is the romance of the DIY movement. Doing music for the love of it. I think that all musicians agree that music will be apart of their lives no matter what happens to their future plans. The romance is perpetrated by the young and kept alive in houses, garages and alternative venues all across the country.

Talented and spirited bands embrace the ethic of non-commercialism. I understand this is a point of view but here is where I part company.
Things start to sour, when they get older and have to find viable financial alternatives to live. Someone at twenty-one has different concerns then at twenty-seven. As many of their peers graduate from college, they find themselves financially lost. There is nothing wrong with music being a life long endeavor, without monetary compensation. If music is a career choice, money should be an important factor.

Commercialism, Strange Bedfellows

It is a sad state of affairs when bands have to choose strange bedfellows like commercials and TV spots to gain exposure. I welcome it but it does leave me with a bad taste. I realize it now is a staple in exposing new music. I also understand the reasoning behind using new music for such spots. The music is good and has had no radio play.

I work with young people whose musical taste is driven by pop culture and whose only exposure to music is what they hear on the radio or TV commercials. So it was quite interesting when I played the Feist tune, "Mushaboom" from her 2004 release Let It Die and watched their ears suddenly stand at attention. The voice recognition was powerful. Last year I played it with very different results. So exposure obviously works. Unfortunately, they are not open to new things they have never heard.

A Declaration of Independence

Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned forwarded the Declaration of independence via a myspace bulletin. It is from a site called 001 Collective. It is a very impassioned document, one I feel was written with the utmost sincerity. My only complaint is their assumption that creating and performing and doing what you love is not work. I beg to differ. Bands work hard! Their life on the road is grueling and the tenuous nature of the music business is stressful as well. Yes they are doing what they love but at a cost. Many have other jobs they do between gigs. That is called dedication and hard work.

The 001 Collective premise of offering music for free will ultimately be good for some bands. The concept is one that is being explored by bands like
Beat Radio and labels like Team Love. This is a collective concept with one person being the arbiter of whose music is included. I guess the success of this collective all depends on his taste in music. I wish them luck.


Wish List Rant: Independant Music

  • I wish bands and musicians, old and new, who have monetary success or a large fan base, would share the stage and help musicians/bands who are not as fortunate. Two great examples; are David Bowie and Bright Eyes.
  • I wish that Bookers would be bolder and create eclectic and diverse lineups that are not genre specific but sound great together.
  • I wish more Bloggers would take a chance and try not to present the same buzzed-about playlist.
  • I wish that audiences would commit to listening.
  • I wish that there were better venues for solo acoustic performers.
  • I wish that more people that get music for free would find it in their hearts and reach into their pockets and support the music they enjoy. Go to a show, buy a tee shirt, and pay for a recording. Support the music you love, or it will not survive
  • I wish that a wider audience could hear great music. (That’s a pipe dream). It could change the culture in a good way.


Sasha Frere-Jones:The New Yorker Article Rant

I know something is not right when my husband reads an article about music and says it is brilliant. We agree on many things, but he does not share my passion, knowledge, or my taste in music.

Then I read a post by the Idolator published via the Internet. It was an amusing mockery of the article’s premise that gave me the impetuous to write the following assessment.

The article in question is in the New Yorker entitled, “A Paler Shade of White: Why indie rock lost its soul” written by Sasha Frere-Jones.
It is a well-written article about the sharing of music origins between
black and white musicians with some historic and correctly stated conclusions and observations. I take issue with several points.

1. Indie music is independent music. The term is still viable, and many different genres of music fall under its umbrella.

2. The general statement is that indie music has no rhythm or roots in soul.

3. The premise that independent music should be judged by the same standards applied to mainstream music; voice, musicianship, lyrics, and memorable, catchy hooks.

The term “indie rock” (Independent Music)
came about as a result of bands and musicians being shut out of the mainstream media (Television, Radio) and major record label contracts. The bands and musicians that represent this genre are mostly white and male, and they are a minority within the broader context of the big corporate music enterprise.

This shutout continues today, with only a few of its originators signing on with major labels or their smaller counterparts, like; Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, and Rilo Kiley. Each group has spent at least ten years on the road with no Radio airtime, and their popularity grew from word of mouth. The level of their success is still small in comparison to pop performers like Ashanti or aging legendary rockers like Springsteen and U2, or the rapper heavyweights in Mr. Frere-Jones' article.

Conor Oberst of the group Bright Eyes, I believe, is one of the forbearers of this genre title. His group has gained exposure despite being on the Independent Label Saddle Creek Records, which he founded with others ten years ago in Omaha, Nebraska. He is still with that label in the US but has recently signed with Polydor for worldwide distribution. Over the years he tuned down major label interest and courting because he did not believe in their practices and, ultimately, felt it was bad for music in general. He wanted to maintain control of his original material and not have it commercialized and watered down for public consumption. That is the premise of most indie music standards. This is so the artist can maintain freedom of expression and artistic control and not appeal to the lowest common denominator.

The groups that Mr. Jones described, such as Snoop Dog and Dr. Dre, have had major mainstream radio play and backing from corporate interests. Their success doesn’t necessarily qualify them for judgment or comparison to the independents. The radio play they receive is not because the music is great it is because someone with about 250,000 dollars is willing to pay the radio stations to air it. This is an unfair advantage for judging success or quality.

With the onset of the Internet, blogging, Internet radio, podcasts, sharing Internet music communities, and myspace, that division is slowly changing. This democratizing of the music industry will ultimately be good for everybody. In the meantime, it is still a minefield for the independents to gain financial success despite their talent.

Judging music because it lacks a certain type of rhythm is not a fair assessment. There are different rhythms in indie rock. Indie rock has a different kind of soul. It relies on time changes and orchestral composition. Many of the groups described are not making music so people can dance but move them lyrically and musically. I love the song "Jesus Etc" by Wilco from the CD Yankee Foxtrot Hotel that Sasha described as being lyrically devoid of content. Showing a few brief lines from a song without hearing the phrasing and inference is not a good way to judge lyrics. Songs are created to be heard, not read. I love the song's simplicity and especially Jeff Tweedy’s delivery.

There are great independent bands today that are under the radar that combines folk /punk/hillbilly/roots, punk/blues, digital orchestration, and dance beats. People are moving but not in a prescribed method or in a formatted groove. Groups like Matt and Kim, Langhorne Slim, and The Dirty Projectors, o’death to name a few, are moving people differently. The musicianship is also having a resurgence as well with bands like Arcade Fire and The National. Yes, they know how to play music but in collaboration without the posturing of fancy guitar lead and drum solos of years past. That's a relief!

I take offense to his description of indie singers. Many do not have commercial voices but have individual voices, and that is just the point. The beauty of the voices I listen to has authenticity and originality. Just to name a few like; Joanna Newsom, Will Oldham, Devendra Banhart, Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, and Chan Marshall of Cat Power. Their voices are refreshingly different and appealing because of their individual approach to singing and phrasing. They all would be judged poorly by commercial standards and criteria.

The concept of indie rock producing a memorable hook so that the music can be catchy defeats the purpose of independent music. It is what sets independent music apart from the mainstream.

When the airwaves were free in the sixties, all music genres were played simultaneously so that people of all backgrounds were exposed to varying genres of music. The Supremes, The Jackson Five, the Beatles, Dylan, Aretha, Joni Mitchell, and bubble gum pop were all heard in no particular order of an authority. The radio was for everyone. We were not a boutique culture at the time.

Music and art are not made in a vacuum, and no one is original. So judging someone’s success based on what their influences might be is misguided. It is how they are inspired and what they do with that information, to hopefully forge new territory. Adding zest and vitality to a stale formula or genre, whether it is rock, metal, soul, rap, or country, is welcome regardless of the race of people that are doing it or where or how it originated.
Changing music that begins to sound predictable or homogenized is a way for new forms of music to be realized.

Combining the genres, as Mr. Jones stated, led to a fresh approach like the combination of Aerosmith and Run DMC. It also broadened the exposure for both groups. Another great white/black crossover was Sinead O’Conner doing a cover of the Prince song "Nothing Compares 2 you". It got attention, not because of the beat or its roots in the soul. She changed the very nature of the song through her interpretation. It was so refreshingly beautiful. It is a good example of the sound and quality of indie, where words and music work and subtlety and nuance meet.

I appreciate rap as a genre of music. I see it as an art form, both musically and lyrically, in its earlier form. When it became more mainstream, it became less relevant to me as a listener or an appreciator. I have difficulty with words that value violence, are homophobic and Misogynous, etc

I have been looking and waiting for the racial divide to change in indie rock and feel uncomfortable with the lack of diversity. Groups like TV On the Radio are changing that formula and adding to the dialogue. Many diverse groups receive backlash, including TV On The Radio, who go to great lengths to justify what they do.

I am a white female who listened to music in the sixties. I loved Ottis Redding, The Temptations, The Meters, and The Jackson Five. I listened to and bought their albums. I also listened to The Beatles, Janis Joplin, The Rolling Stones, Dylan, The Doors, the Band, and Joni Mitchell. Those were very different times.

We all have our perspectives and taste and bring different references to understand and categorize music history. Like in all classifications, we can never leave out the cultural, historic, and societal changes that contribute to what people listen to at any given time. The Clear Channel is just one example.
Or do we need affirmative action for the great and talented bands and musicians being shut out?

Our global world gets much smaller via the Internet, creating access and exposure to all musical genres. The connections between race, culture, and art will be more difficult to classify. Indaba Music Site is a good example, and concept for the future direction and vision music will take. I welcome that concept and more that are on the horizon.

Audio version MP3
Many points I have mentioned are discussed in an audio version of the article. Only some concepts were clarified. Within the context of an article, not everything can be explained in full. I still take issue with many points revealed.


Rants of a Music Blogger

Just another reason I hate mainstream media. The review at of David Dondero's Simple Love really pissed me off. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but to say that the lyrics of the song "Rothko Chapel" are schmaltzy by today's standards and that lyrics like this might have worked well for dust-bowl folkies is unfortunate. I wonder what this reviewer would say about the lyrics of John Lennon's classic "Imagine." The two songs reflect a similar sentiment. Considering the social and political climate today, listening to Folk with something to say is not a bad idea and is necessary.

My religion is in nature, art, and literacy

My religion is in science, music, and poetry

My religion is the mountain; my church is in the seas

My religion is to love you, yet my church is entropy

My relig
ion is in your eyes, but my church ain't organized
My faith is in the sweetness that you might realize
but my faith it could be fiction, my faith could not be smart

My religion is the weather, yeah; my church is in your heart

Complete lyrics of "Rothko Chapel."

It bothers me that thoughtful words can be reduced to a rating or discounted by a catchword. I don't care about Spin .com reviews, they do not influence what I buy or listen to. What is discouraging is that young people who could benefit by listening to music that generates reflection might be swayed by this review.

We are a society of vacant minds spoon-fed in music, education, politics, and religion. We are manipulated daily by our government and the media. The ramifications of the religious right have infiltrated our lives and laws. Religion
is used to justify atrocities, divide people, and encourage hate rather than understanding.

What is so wrong with listening to inspirational lyrics that pose questions and that leave listeners to reflect on their beliefs?
New or old words are powerful. Words and ideas can effect change. Let’s give Folk a chance to matter.
Spread this song around.

Rothko Chapel MP3

The Rothko Chapel website


Rants of a Music Blogger have been reading about music at Obsession Collection and wondering; does she have a fucking opinion? She likes everything. Not true. I just choose not to write about music I don’t enjoy. I like what I write about. This is not a paying job or a hobby. It is a labor of love that I fit into my full-time schedule.

I am very
opinionated, extremely loyal, passionate, a little insane, foul-mouthed (to make a point), and frankly too old to be doing this. Let me just say, some music makes me ill. I have seen live acts that are not ready for the printed word. I will politely listen, or exit discreetly.

This industry is tough. So many of the musicians I write about are broke. Their commitment to music has rewards and sacrifices but is not for the weak. So…why hurt or criticize? That was never my intention. Obsession Collection is a platform for me to write about music that I think is exceptional and often ignored. Writing thoughtful articles takes time and effort, and I think the music deserves that kind of care.


Blogging For Exposure

estimonial Obsession Collection is celebrating! One Year up a running! Thank you.
This has been a year long endeavor that has been thrilling, gratifying and at times frustrating. All the many musicians and bands that I have seen, heard and written about have been a source of joy. The primary reason I write about them is to give them more exposure so that they can continue their pursuit of recording and performing. Some of this is selfish motivation. I am hoping that the music I get obsessed over won't just go away.

This is a vast world of music and sometimes great music can be overlooked and not nurtured or supported. I will continue to write thoughtful and well written reviews that are descriptive and informative, with the main focus always being the music. I hope that this Blog Site will gain more readership, and I am working hard at achieving that goal. Thank you to all the wonderful musicians I have met, their friends associates and fans and all the virtual friends that have taken the time to communicate and share.
Love Artifact


Promoting Independent Music

Promoting Independent Music / Ten Suggestions

When I started this Blog in June of last year my intentions were to feature and write about music that “I Can’t Get Enough Of”. My original concept has not changed. What has occurred is my music palette has expanded. I continue to be passionate about the music I’ve written about. Fickle is not part of my vocabulary.

My quest to understand how the independent music market is promoted via the Internet continues. My goal has been to learn about how it is utilized to promote great music.

I listen to mostly independents and their situation is unique. A band can have good work ethic and talent, but that does not mean people will respond to their music or find them. As a serious career choice a bands survival depends on people listening, going to shows, buying CD's, purchasing merchandise and then spreading the music around in as many ways possible.

Suggestions for bands and singer/songwriters to think about:

1. Creating a band name that can be easily found on the Internet. If you have already established a non-researchable name, explore alternatives to help people find you. Be creative.

2. Support the Bloggers,
Podcasters, Vloggers and On-line Communities that you respect by linking them to your site. They are and will be an important part of your future.

3. Align yourself with the artistic community: illustrators, graphic designers, photographers, filmmakers, video artists and writers. Everybody needs an opportunity to start somewhere. You are all at the beginnings of your careers, so exposure for all is good. The art of bartering and sharing benefits everybody.

4. Create your own culture. Working outside the mainstream can develop into something that benefits many and broadens opportunities.

5. Thank people that help you along the way. This should not be awkward. The relationships you foster will be there for you in the future. As you develop so do they. Don’t make the assumption that they are not important or not necessary, fans included.

6. Arrange that someone video tape your shows and take pictures that you can share. This
naturally occurs for many bands, but for newcomers just getting to the venue and booking shows is hard enough. This detail is important. It is self-promotion but can be done without appearing self-congratulatory.

7. Create your own band philosophy will help you focus and be the focal point of how you want to present yourself.

8. Elicit fans and friends to work for free. They will make buttons, fan sites, websites, silkscreen tee shirts, put out flyers, sponsor shows, write copy, design promotional material, and do a creative video. Make sure the people you work with share your sensibilities and philosophy.

9. Collaborate with other musicians. This will broaden your world and audience.

10. It never hurts to ask

Comment and Add your own suggestions to the list.

The Problem With Music Steve Albini



My music obsessions have been annoying and confusing to my family, friends, and co-workers. Many think my behavior can be easily explained or discounted as a mid-life crisis. How could such a negative suggestion describe something that gives me so much pleasure? I’ve heard comments like; "act your age," "pay attention to what’s important," "you can’t do that!"," you can’t go there!", "that's not appropriate." On and on and on and on.... I tune it out and try not to hear. But..................... Sometimes in life, you need affirmation. I received that the other day while listening to an interview on NPR’s show All Things Considered.

Chandler Burr an author and columnist for the New York Times, was interviewed. He wrote a book about Luca Turin a scientist whose obsession with perfume lead him on a quest to collect perfume from around the world. This insatiable passion guided him to develop a scientific theory about how humans can smell (olfactory processing). The Nobel Prize might be awarded to this passionate scientist in the future. The book is called The Emperor of Scent: A Story of Obsession, Perfume, and the Last Mystery of the Senses. This was a fascinating and entertaining interview, that you can hear on NPR (archives). 

Well, I won’t be winning the Nobel Prize, but I did start this little site, and people are finding it. One of my first goals was to get people to the site through Google search. The 300-plus people who have found me so far are not related to me. However, they have an interest in music or the musicians I write about. I will conclude by saying, HANG IN THERE.


Freedom to Discover Music

Freedom to Hear, Find, Share, and Love Music. Great music is being heard. It is thrilling to see the change in how music lovers hear, find, and share music. Musicians now have the opportunity to create careers on their own or with the help of a caring independent label. The tides are changing. There are people all over the world starting sites like this one. Spreading the word about the music they love. Recently I befriended someone with a Myspace site that strongly states, "Let's Make Folk a Threat Again." He is a young man passionate about changing the world through music. On his site, he hosts bands and singer-songwriters doing just that. He presents their uTube live performances for all who find his site to hear and investigate. These great musicians are playing among us on street corners, in basements, garages, and small venues. They are being heard by a few but have the potential to be heard by many! Music fans and bloggers are curating their personal music aesthetic. They are creating their own small communities of like-minded listeners. Myspace, YouTube, Last., FM and podcasts are vehicles to help bring the music forward and expand the audience. Many public radio sites and stations offer some new music but are gearing their music selection to an older demographic. Their playlists get very similar and end up being mediocre. They are trying to please but are not challenging their audience. They often play music that has an audience, not music that needs to find one. I miss the truly informed host. I want to hear the history behind the music and find out what was just played. That is why I'm not a big fan of Satellite radio. In 2004 Willy Mason was discovered by Conor Oberst. He opened a few shows for Bright Eyes and was very well received. Shortly after those shows, he played SXSW to an audience of four. The audience turned out to be scouts for Zane Lowe Radio1 on the BBC. Their job that night was to find the best band at SXSW. They loved Willy Mason and asked him to sing on the air. The song was played and requested for months. At that point, his first self-released EP was available. Eventually, he recorded his full length and, by the end of 2005, had sold 100,000 CDs in the UK. Unfortunately, this would never happen here in the States. The corporatization of radio and the rise of the monopoly of the Clear Channel would change radio and music discovery in this country forever. When I was a teenager in the mid to late sixties, radio reached a broader community.
Along with hearing bubblegum pop, you would also hear Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Supremes, and Hendrix in the same half-hour airtime. Everybody heard the same music, and great music had a chance to evolve and change the culture. Today we are a boutique culture. This feels comforting but creates a separation of communities rather than a shared experience. Even though myspace is owned by Rupert Murdock and is weighed down with advertising and over-customized sites, it is still free and accessible. I can find inspiring music on myspace. It does take time and a discerning ear, but it is there. It has aided bands like Arcade Fire and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah to sell large quantities of CDs by indie standards and fill venues without radio play. Their success is a hopeful sign for other music artists to model. I am trying to find out about new vehicles that foster music discovery. I am hoping to start a dialogue with this community of music lovers. Maybe you have some suggestions and answers to questions that would be helpful to other musicians and music fans. Are there radio and Internet radio sites that are innovative and worthwhile? Are there sites that should be avoided? Is CD Baby a good way for independents to sell CDs? In what way do you think all of this will evolve? What's on the horizon that most people are not aware of? Are you willing to share? Together we can make a difference. Freedom to hear, find, share, and love music!! Please comment and help move the culture forward.