Birthday Bash

Today marks one year since I began this blog. It is has been a lot of fun and to celebrate the occasion, I’ve prepared a short history, not because you’ll want to read it, but because I want to write it. I’m a sentimental chap and will take any chance to tell a yarn or two. It’s worked for 12 months so why stop now? But to make it worth your while, I’ve re-uploaded 10 tracks that I’ve used over this blog’s lifetime (yes, the Hype Machine had EVERYTHING to do with this decision). Let’s hope this last year has just been the first in a long and lucrative career. Long live Open Your Eyes!

The Beginning - The Capes
This was my first official post (technically Islands came first but that was just a test). Even from the beginning I adopted the format of a general intro + two song descriptions, however a lot more attention was given to the individual songs. It would not take long for this to change. I quickly realised that I knew absolutely nothing about why certain music was good, just that it was. So from here on in I shifted my attention from pretending to explain the intricacies of song structure (have a read, it’s quite amusing) to giving broad descriptions and telling mildly relevant anecdotes. What do you know? It worked!
MP3: Tightly Wound

Intro? - Tap Tap
This method of presenting music was great, provided the descriptions were kept short and interesting. But as time went by, I gradually became more and more caught up in my new found ability to fill space with inane observations. Things really reached a climax with post. As I was writing it, I was swept up in a tangent that got so out of hand, the supposed ‘intro’ ended up larger than the actual post. It truly was a beast, but thankfully it led me to see the error in my ways. Visitors don’t want to leave with a headache (for that they have Pitchfork). They don’t want insanely in-depth descriptions that only make sense to the author (again, see Pitchfork). They don’t want a reviewer that loves themself more than the music (you guessed it!). And so I set out to strike a balance between the brain-dead popular music industry and the pretentious ‘real’ music journalists (for the record, Pitchfork is a great website, but it's just so much fun ridiculing!). The very fact that I’m writing post this suggests I lean slightly towards the pretentious side of affairs (just look at the title of the website!), so if things get out of control, you'll have to put me in my place.
MP3: Little Match (Big Fire)

Hype Machine - Arcade Fire
When I submitted my blog to The Hype Machine I had no idea what kind of impact it would have. The effect was huge. I had previously thought the blog was going alright, but this added a whole new dimension. People were flocking to me by the bucket-load and I was loving it. I am perfectly aware that they only liked me for my MP3s, but I didn't care. Firstly, there was always the chance that some of them would see something they liked and visit more often. In fact, this post is probably being perused by a pack of hungry Hype Machine scavengers this very moment. Hello Hype Machiners. Nice to meet you. Please come again. But the second reason I am happy to let it occur is that it makes my stats look better. I would liken it to fatherhood. I feel warm inside when I see my baby growing up strong and healthy. The fact that the stats are probably a misrepresentation is irrelevant. After all, when has a false sense of worth ever hurt anybody?
MP3: Black Waves / Bad Vibrations

Cease and Desist - The Shins
I don't know why, but I got a strange sense of satisfaction when I was first asked to remove a song. Perhaps was it was the addrenalin rush of being accused of a felony or more likely the feeling that my blog finally held some significance. If record labels start getting annoyed at you, that's when you know you're going good. I was making a difference! Even if it was through questionable means...
MP3: Australia

Features - Sydney Music
Early on in the blog's lifetime, I realised that while I was parading myself as a Sydney music blog, I'd barely written anything about local bands. I had to solve this dilemma without turning off international readers? And then it hit me. A feature! I could pump out enough content to claim a balance and because it would be over so quickly, barely anyone would notice it! From here on, features would become my solution to everything. If you ever see a feature, it will nearly always be making up for some sort of inadequacy with the site. Nothing like a quick fix. These features may go out of date fairly quickly but they give a nice snapshot of what my tastes were at the time
MP3: I Think You're Blind

Obsession - Pixies
Sometimes I get carried away. OK, often I get carried away. But as far I see it, music is such an integral part of my life, that becoming obsessed with a band is only natural. With this blog being an output for much of my musical energy, occasionally this obsession will overflow. I'm sorry, I can't help it. The Pixies would be an example of this. I had liked them for ages, but this year I really got into them. As a result, the blog got its fair share of Pixies entries. The whole experience was topped off when I saw them live, which I couldn't even begin to describe (oh wait, I already did). It isn't the first time I've been completely consumed by a band and it certainly won't be the last.
MP3: Dig For Fire

Comments - Panda Band
I've always been a fan of comments. I always try to respond because interaction makes things so much more interesting. Everyone has a different opinion so it makes no sense to let mine reign supreme. Even a bit of meaningless banter is healthy now and then. Well this is where this post comes in. Weighing in at a whopping 30 comments, it epitomised the feeling of community which I unsuccessfully try to portray. Sure it had nothing to do with the actual post, but it was all in good fun and as far as I'm concerned, there should be more of it (though perhaps a bit more relevance would be ideal).
MP3: Sleepy Little Deathtoll Town

Big Names - The Killers
When I started out, I tried to focus on music by lesser known bands. The theory was that everyone already knew about the big name bands so there was no point in me writing about them. Well that was until I discovered how many visitors they brought me. It may sound like selling out, but I like to think of it as responding to what the people want. I now try to offer a mix between introducing obscure bands and evaluating the established ones. It's a nice balanced diet. I still stick mostly to the music I like (after all, the purpose of the website is to give you good music, not bad), but if I feel an album is gaining undue attention, I may be tempted to write a (gasp) negative review.
MP3: Smile Like You Mean It

Myspace - Mercy Arms
The times sure have changed. I can remember sitting my bedroom, listening to the radio and taping my favourite songs when they came on. Well now Myspace has become the radio and my computer has become the tape recorder. This song came to you freshly ripped of the internet, with all its dodgy quality kept in tact. You really shouldn't underestimate Myspace as a resource for discovering new music. It has opened up a whole new avenue for listening to lesser known bands and I couldn't be more thankful. It's just a shame that the music part of it has to be linked with all that social networking junk
MP3: Half Right

End
The next significant chapter in this blog was this post. It was long and tedious, yada yada, and it now comes to an end. In order to sum it up, I would like to give one last MP3, Lysergic Bliss by Of Montreal. It is appropriate, not only because doing this blog has been bliss, but because I haven't a clue what Lysergic means and to be honest, I couldn't care less. This is what music is all about. Don't look below the surface, just enjoy it. The same goes for this site. Don't look below the surface (mainly because there's nothing there), just enjoy the music.
MP3: Lysergic Bliss

15 comments:

Steve said...

I'm with you on the MySpace thing. I think if they put stuff on their MySpace they must expect that some are gonna record it. They must just hope not too many, and that not too many post it on their Blogs...

Keep posting the Aussie stuff. The American and English stuff is done elsewhere, no need to do it twice.

Designate said...

Okay, I'll admit I got to your blog by browsing through the Hype Machine but I'm not here just for the MP3's! I'm really fond of your neat blog, I think it's going to end on my blogroll :)

Peter said...

Steve, I'm glad you like the Aussie stuff, but I think it's important to have a mix. If it was purely Australian, international readers (and there's quite a few of them) would see it this way and be turned off. But if there's a mix, people will be attracted by the bands they're familiar with and through this be exposed to what Australia has to offer.

Thanks designate! As I said, I've got nothing aganst Hype Machine visitors, the more, the better!

Ctelblog said...

Yes, I got here via Hype Machine but I've found a few good blogs that way. Nothign wrong with it. It's not all whoring the mp3s.

And I enjoyed your trawl through your last year, if not the tunes (pixies excepted).

chuckwagon said...

happy birthday OY EYES!

Mam'zelle Lulu said...

Happy Birthday ! I love your blog, it's one of my favourite music-related blog.

And I like when you post Australian stuff, but I enjoy brit groups too :)

Peter said...

Thankyou, thankyou. Ctelblog, i'm confused, you did or didn't enjoy the mp3s? They weren't actually a list of favourites, but rather just ones relevant to what I was saying. You may be interested in my Best of 2006 piece

kone said...

unfortunately i looked too deep long ago (i checked using my macquarie! because some older and wiser people kept giving me funny looks when i mentioned an awesome song called lysergic bliss), and discovered lysergic means LSD hehehe and listening to the song i think i agree, i mean i love it sober because its so fun and uplifting, imagine tripping out. WOW

Craig said...

yeah, peter, lysergic acid dimethlyide or something is LSD.

Nick Fulton said...

Excellent History. As a fellow blogger I appreciate the time that goes into getting readers. Hype Machine has helped me but I'm currently doing a New Zealand Music Month Special so it'l hopefully take off in june when I post some more popular artists. Keep up the good work. I love your blog

elasticsymscovington said...

Congrachinglations!

mel said...

Lysergic acid makes LSD :)

Anonymous said...

congrats on the blog dude! glad to see you sticking with it - i had to give up my own blog 'Marvellous Musical Melodies' due to a stoopid Honours thesis!

John said...

wow!it’s great to read articles that come directly from the heart. Thanks for sharing

Peter said...

thanks a lot john! I was afraid I might have been boring everyone to tears