5 November 2009

Every Blog is Allowed to Ask This At Least Once


Sometimes, the ink runs dry. The eyes get tired. There's vinyl there, of course, up on the shelf, gathering dust and waiting to be uploaded but... no. You're not in the mood. You don't want to listen to the noise of somebody who failed tonight. Perhaps the band in question aren't particular favourites of yours anyway. Perhaps you've heard the track a hundred times before, and right now, you're just not in the mood for listening to it for the 101st time just so you can burn it on to a CDR. Or perhaps the concept of failure is too damn close to home on cold, dark nights like this one.

Then the phone rings. "You've got a bleeding mp3 blog," says the voice on the other end, heavily disguised by deep Darth Vader breaths and the type of voice encoder that sneaky eighties IRA terrorists used to use when dealing with 'the fuzz'. "Upload something to it. I don't care how you feel. I don't care how tired you are. Me and the boys want to hear that Sir John Betjeman single you found the other day, not read piss-poor parodies of Snoopy detective fiction".

Then they slam the phone down. But you know what? You don't want to listen to them either. Screw them and their rude, demanding ways. What do they know about living in a flat in East London and hiding every time the doorbell goes, because it might be a lawyer from Warner Brothers demanding to know why Harry Enfield's "Loadsamoney (Doin' Up The House)" was illegally uploaded? It's dusty. It's dirty. It's lonely.

So you, the blogger, go to your computer. You log on to your site. And, without pausing for a second to consider the reasons, you type "You know, I've frequently wondered. Who are you? Why have you come here? Do you regularly read the site? Do you enjoy it? What would you like to see more of? What would you like to see less of? And is there anything you've particularly enjoyed, including things you weren't expecting to enjoy?"

Then you sit back, click on "Publish Post", and you expect answers. You won't necessarily get them, but you anticipate reasons. And if you don't get them, you figure - if you don't get them - at least you've done your bit to fill the weekly quota of updates, even if only you know what the weekly quota of updates you've set actually is, and nobody else has ever noticed.

The phone rings again, but you don't pick it up. "I'll let them come to me," you think, "even if it involves weaponry".


nlgbbbblth said...

Good post. I sometimes feel the same with my blog. Comments and feedback are very important. I need to know what people think. I know exactly how many downloads are made and as expected, the amount is probably 50 times more than the number of comments being made. A simple acknowledgment shouldn't be too much to ask.

All the best, nlgbbbblth

Anonymous said...

Ah, the eternal question, 'Is there anybody out there ?'
I have lost count of the times i have visited blogs and forgot to say thanks for the music or the writing.
It can be a thankless task but don't give up,
I don't download from you but i do enjoy reading the comments that you post
Many Thanks

jay strange said...

i only stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago and i've got to say that its one of the few that is an enjoyable read, even when im not interested in the artist or music your talking about i'll still always read the post because i like the cut of your gib,you're also the only blog that features british novelty music in any kind of deapth and your thoughts on these are most enjoyable (i myself did the sleeve note to those you are awful collections for castle a few years back so i know where you're coming from) i also enjoy your psych based posts....
as to the subject of how many visitors you get...my blog art into dust was started purely as my own online archive but it has got a bit (but just a bit mind)of a life of its own, most of the time i get no comments and i really havent got a clue how many people visit it..i suspect not many since i dont even offer downloads..but that fine, its no big deal...i think so long as its for your own amusement first and foremost then its something to do.
i do think there a silent mojority out there that never comment on blogs or message boards but do read them. left and to the back is a great little blog and it is made so by your writing more than anything and i think you should continue for that reason...
all the best mick

FeedbackReport said...

Well, despite having traded music with you for over a decade, I'm always constantly finding new interesting tracks on here and enjoy the witty but enthusiastic way you cover them too... so that's a pretty high endorsement!

Cocktails said...

Well, you know that I read and enjoy your blog. If I'm to be honest though, I often find it a bit of a commitment to download tracks, without a 'taster' as such and Sharebee is a bit of a nuisance, but I still enjoy reading your thoughts on various obscurities.

As I've mentioned before, you have a very, very impressive posting rate. And considering that your posts are always considered and well-written, I don't know how you have time to do it. If you do feel pressured, perhaps you need to be less harsh on yourself.

I think that Jay Strange is right and that people tend not to comment on blogs, particularly not music blogs. I can kind of understand that I suppose, especially compared to my blog - which I really don't understand why anybody would want to read it unless they wanted to partake in the 'community' (for want of a better word) as such.

Funnily enough though, I have been wondering a lot about my readers too. Myself and another blogger have even been seriously contemplating the idea of a blog meet. Let me know if you're ever interested, I suspect that we have a mutual acquaintance on Facebook and I'm intrigued. No pressure though!

23 Daves said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone.

I agree, Mick - I'm probably awful at commenting on music blogs myself. Once you've grabbed the album or mp3 and listened to it, there shouldn't be much to add to the blogger's comments if it's well written enough. It's always interesting to see who is popping by, though.

Cocktails - keep me posted. It would definitely be an interesting idea. There hasn't been any hostility between the people who comment on your blog yet, either, which makes it a bit less of a worry than the usual common-or-garden forum meets which occur with "proper" websites. So no worrying about whether or not Johnny Bastard and Fiona Feline turn up (and other such characters).

ge said...

Rike she said rast night, Prease keep it up! selfless work for love of sound bound to make sense and pay-off down the line! [for sure the youth of the world needs such alternatives]

Jack Bonus-- I got his Grunt album/no turntable [no blog] & it remains one of the last on my shortlist of un-CD'd rarities i'd love to have digitized/shared. Frisians Other had it 'upcoming' then he went byebye.

Your site seems one of the best!

--newish arrival, lots yet to sample here
my taste is psych-pop basically-- eccentric obscurities of the 60s


Michael said...

Just wanted to say that I always enjoy reading, even if i have nothing to contribute comments-wise.

The quality and frequency of your blog entries is impressive, I'm actually a little jealous you have the motivation and ability to do it.

Suzy Norman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suzy Norman said...

I think I've told you this before, but I think you're a fine writer. More than fine. Bloody great. I just wish you'd write more life/poetry/comedy/whatever observations like you used to do in your previous live journal.
I wish there was a bit more of that.

23 Daves said...

Ge - thanks for your comments. I'm sorry to say that I don't have the album in question, so I can't help you.

Suzy - thanks very much for your kind words. I did a blog entry recently over at the MySpace poetry site discussing why it is that I don't really like doing personal blog entries anymore. To be honest, I scrapped the Livejournal after four years for a whole number of reasons, among them:

* Boredom - my life isn't sufficiently varied enough, and there are only so many ways you can tart up the same old subjects, assuming you even have the desire to write about them again and again.

* Other people - I can't see the point in keeping a personal blog if I have to censor myself on a weekly basis because other people take my comments the wrong way. Even when I've actually praised musicians, DJs, writers, promoters or performers, it's been taken the wrong way before now - it gets a bit wearing, especially if these happen to be people who are under your nose a lot. Nor do I much like "Locked journals" which are only readable by a small elite.

* Time - I'd always wanted to do an mp3 blog, and there just wasn't the time to do both this and keep the other one going effectively.

I'd never say "never", though, and I might resurrect it at some point. It depends on my mood, really, and whether my life takes any interesting turns. If, for example, I got a publishing contract, then I'd be more than happy to start another blog just to chronicle the whole experience of getting a book out. Nobody's biting at the moment, though.

Suzy Norman said...

Absolutely fair enough and I didn't expect you to resurrect the concept. There's always the archives.

23 Daves said...

There's a hell of a lot in there as well! I'm really glad you enjoyed it, though - it was a bit of a self-indulgent exercise, really.

Cocktails said...

Well, I really feel like I'm missing out something now - a whole other side to the mp3 blogging 23Daves!

Do let me know if you ever venture into the world of 'other' blogging again.

23 Daves said...

You may as well have the back-up links to the old blogs!

The Livejournal one is at http://www.livejournal.com/users/23doves, although prior to that there was also one about me living in Australia for a year which you can find at www.livejournal.com/users/23daves

Very scrappy stuff, but feel free to dig around.

The Confused said...

You've highlighted a pretty good reason against "personal blogs" in your reasons labelled "Other People."

It never ceased to amaze me how people could get so upset about what I wrote. It even cost me a handful of friendships. All because I was honest and bold. I'm having endless problems on a dating site lately... the amount of ladies who demand "honesty" in men doesn't bear thinking about, yet the moment you do give them honesty, they generally take offence and that's another chance down the drain.

I have left comments here a few times over it's life (sometimes anonymously) even establishing occasional amusing dialogues with you on odd acts or things. I do try and comment if I think I have something amusing or interesting to say or add to your writings which I always enjoy. I get the feeling we're of a similar age so you know where I'm coming from.

Blog comments on the whole are strange beasts. I used to have a very successful music video blog and the feedback I got tended to vary. As nice as it was to get occasional "thanks" the comments I valued the most were those that added to what I wrote, extra memories, trivia or information, even in some cases corrections. They weren't regular but when they did appear, they really made my day.

And what happened? I had feedback from respected people in the industry but all this was too much for a hateful egotistical Dutch blogger to take who did nothing but abuse the acts he supposedly loved, so in a jealous rage, he began attacking me publicly on his blog forcing me to scrap my blog because the abuse was too much to take.

I can understand your overall feelings that led you to this post and you've had some good well deserved feedback. I hope and trust you will continue since I for one always enjoy your writings. The BIG difference between yourself and too many other music blogs is that you have genuine love, respect and curiosity about what you share as well as the times and culture. I know and can see you are rather knowledgeable. It is not about Ego... just the music and culture, and believe me, you'll be more respected for taking that angle.

So... keep up the grand work!

Fugitive Miscellany said...

Only found this blog yesterday, and I've just spent a happy six hours working my way back to March 2008, occasionally squealing with delight, but more generally just enjoying a fascinated dalliance with all things bizarre. Keep going! I'm still hunting for the obscure b-side 'We All Love Captain Peacock' (I think... it's something like that) from the 'Are You Being Served, Sir?' single. Maybe one day it'll turn up on here...

23 Daves said...

Thank you very much! In terms of "We Love Captain Ginger" by John Inman - which is the one you're after, I think - I do indeed have it in one my wooden seven inch single boxes, and thanks for giving me a nudge, because I'd completely forgotten all about it (although how I'm not too sure). It will probably turn up on here at some point over the next couple of months.