Saturday, 24 January 2009

'Music Lives On The Internet' - Interview #12

Today our featured blogger is Cian, author of music blog www.seewhatyouhear.com.

I was first introduced to Cian's blog via a link from another website (can't remember which) about six months ago and since then I've become a frequent reader.

Name:
Cian

Blog Name:
See What You Hear
http://www.seewhatyouhear.com

What is your blog is about?
Trying to unearth gems by relatively unknown artists that deserve whatever attention they can get. I have a particular fascination with seemingly perfect pop songs that, for one reason or another, never make it to the radio. I spend a lot of my time scouring the net, hunting for the next song that will have some sort of magic effect over me. Ideally, I like to post up three songs a day, seven days a week, but I won't post for the sake of it – it has to be something I can genuinely enthuse over. Basically it's about taking an exoteric approach: making known what is otherwise secret or unknown.

What started you blogging?
I began a website in 2004 because I felt that no one was reviewing music from a consumer's point of view. When someone is feeding you with promo copies of albums, you're not approaching it from the same perspective as someone who has shelled out a little chunk of their earnings for it. But since then, people have stopped buying music and I now get paid to write about it. Funny how things turn out.

First record you bought?
I can clearly remember buying the single of De La Soul's 'Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)' on cassette. My dad had (and still has) the biggest music collection I've ever seen so I never had much reason to go out and buy music but I think that was the first time I bought something independently with my pocket money.

Last piece of music that got your heart racing?
By the time you read this, I'm sure it will have changed. Recently, 'Tunnelvision' by Here We Go Magic and 'Hooked Up On us' by Jay Jay Pistolet, but when I originally started filling out the answers it was 'Abandon' by French Kicks and 'No one Does it Like You' by Department of Eagles.

Last gig that made you say "Wow"?
That's easy: David Thomas Broughton. I go to so many gigs that sometimes I forget why I'm doing it. When I caught a show by David Thomas Broughton in July, it answered that for me. His concerts have a magical quality to them: they're compelling for a variety of reasons but it's when you realise that what you're seeing is a one-off, you can't help but feel exhilarated. If you make a two-hour round trip by yourself to an empty bar in a place you've never been before and come away feeling like that…It reminds you what pure art is supposed to feel like: life-affirming.

Where do you find out about new music?
Online message boards, blogs, press releases, emails from artists themselves, my own random scouring of MySpace, the radio, magazines, word-of-mouth and small independent record shops.

What would you like to see more of in the music world?
An increased break-down between artist and audience. Things like the Take Away Shows and MySpace have done a lot for this already but given the current state of the industry, I think the concept of outright fan sponsorship – as outlined by Wired editor Kevin Kelly - may become feasible one day. It's just an extension of the 'pay what you feel it's worth' strategy as used by Radiohead, except it would be done in advance as a gesture of good faith in artists you already believe in or ones that show genuine promise.

Favourite music venue?
I like La Fleche D'or in Paris because they put on great line-ups and it's always free! Schuba's in Chicago, Stoke Newington International Airport and Paradise Kensal Green in London, Whelan's and The Olympia in Dublin.

Favourite music store?
Rough Trade (Notting Hill), The Sound Cellar and City Discs in Dublin.

Which blogs do you read?
Bradford Cox's Deerhunter blog, Said the Gramophone, Gorilla vs. Bear, Brooklyn Vegan, On The Record, Waxidermy, Drowned in Sound, egoeccentric, I Guess I'm Floating, La Blogotheque, mp3hugger, Naturalismo, nialler9, Nothing But Green Lights, sammy's tunes, Stereogum, The Torture Garden, Thundercrack Playlist, Tiny Mix Tapes.

As for non-music, I always read Gideon Rachman's blog at the FT because he has a knack for being incredibly succinct about whatever topic he's writing about. I also like David Lynch's Daily Weather Report…although I can't explain why as I have no interest in what the weather is like in L.A.! PostSecret and Found magazine are must visits for me too.

There's also an amazing weekly radio show called This American Life which has an online archive going back years. We don't have radio journalism of this quality where I'm from.

What songs would you include on the soundtrack to your life?
My whole life? Well, being a music geek, I have made a couple of mix tapes to that theme so if I'm going to have a stab at it, it might as well be comprehensive:

Lansing-Dreiden - I Keep Everything
Peter Ivers - In Heaven
Boards of Canada - Olson
Magic Arm – Reprise
M. Ward – Undetaker/Duet for Guitars #3
Bibio – It was Willow
Rufus Wainwright – One Man Guy
Liars – Pure Unevil
Deerhunter – Fluorescent Grey
Grizzly Bear – While You Wait For the Others
Grant Lee Buffalo – Stars 'n' Stripes
Joanna Newsom - Book of Right On
Joan Baez - Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You
Dr. John - I Walk On Guilded Splinters
Funkadelic - Can You Get to That
Tom Waits - Clap Hands
O.V. Wright - Let's Straighten It Out
Screamin' Jay Hawkins - I Put a Spell On You
Pixies – Hey
Stina Nordenstam - People Are Strange
Bibio - It Was Willow
Jimi Hendrix -(Have You Ever Been to) Electric Ladyland (Instrumental
Studio Outtake)
Radiohead - Everything In Its Right Place (Live Acoustic)
Jeff Buckley - Je N'en Connais Pas Le Fin (Live at Sin-é)
The Beatles - Cry Baby Cry
Devendra Banhart - A Sight to Behold
The Doors - Back Door Man
The Beatles - Helter Skelter
Iggy & The Stooges – Penetration
Captain Beefheart - Abba Zabba
Neil Young - For the Turnstiles
Joseph Childress – Animal

In 10 years time music will be...
I think it's difficult enough predicting what shape the music industry will be in two years from now, so it's impossible to say. I'm not so sure whether the widespread and largely un-policed piracy that's going on at the moment can last. I have a feeling the powers-that-be will find a way to implement restrictions on ISPs and there has even been talk of airport security checking people's laptops and mp3 players for illegal material.

If you could have 3 musicians over to your place, they would be...
I've been fortunate enough to have encountered most of my favourite artists in one way or another and I have found that they are rarely how you imagine them to be. So for that reason alone I'd stick with what I know: Ira Tuton (Yeasayer), Ed Droste (Grizzly Bear), and Vincent Moon would provide the right mixture of laughter, friendliness, and inspiration (respectively).

If I asked you one more question what would it be and what would be the answer?

'Will you?'
'Yes'


Big thanks to Cian for taking the time out to take part in this interview. I highly recommend you check out his blog (http://www.seewhatyouhear.com).




Department of Eagles - No One Does It Like You

If you're interested in reading the interviews I've carried out so far in the 'Music Lives On The Internet' series, here are the links:

Interview # 11 - Anika in London
Interview #10 - Danish Poet
Interview #9 - You Ain't No Picasso
Interview #8 - Consequence of Sound
Interview #7 - Nine Bullets
Interview #6 - The OCMD
Interview #5 - Lonesome Music
Interview #4 - Count Me Out
Interview #3 - The Middle Distance Runner
Interview #2 - Blend Apparel
Interview #1 - Stress Management


2 comments:

Cookiemouse said...

Love this series of interviews.

chalky said...

Thanks Cookiemouse :-)

 
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