Dear readers, I hope everyone has been able to resume their day to day activities without being blown completely off course by the torrid weather conditions. For those of you not based in the Atlanta area, we had some snow and many county offices were crippled this past week. I’m originally from Chicago, but I guess they haven’t figured out the secret of salt on snow down here. But I digress…I want to communicate a new agenda to you for this year.
These past few weeks I’ve been thinking about what music journalism means to me and how this tiny blog fits in the midst of the massive blogosphere and music publications industry. The conclusion I’ve reached is simple – the music industry is like an aquarium, it’s a big tank full of all kinds of fishy personalities swimming and lurking about. The stereotypical image of record labels and label executives is that they are the sharks and the artists are the minnows. In reality, many artists are also sharks and predator fish that swim near the bottom of the tank. The labels are bigger sharks, but they closely resemble dim-witted schools of fish that cluster together at the sight of danger. In this underwater scenario, music journalists deserve a place too. The music journalists are the bottom feeders that suck the algae off the tank, their sole purpose is to digest the shit produced within the tank and regurgitate it so another unsuspecting bottom feeder creature can suck it up.
Music journalism is a touchy thing to me. Most music journalists do not play instruments, they don’t perform music, they do not have a knowledge of music theory or a formal background in musicology, yet they are responsible for dictating what’s hot and what’s not in pop culture news and media. These people have often failed at their own trade and are nowhere being masters of journalism. I see grammatical errors in album reviews that would make a halfway competent copy editor want to jump off a building without a second thought. All of this is both strangely peculiar and entertaining to me.
I started Shot From Guns with the intent of writing from the musician’s perspective. I’ve been in four bands, I played music half my life and I’m not some fat, balding middle aged man trying to tell you what’s cool. I could care less about what’s cool; I care about what connects with people. And a cheesy gimmick plus a $10,000 pr campaign won’t cut it.
For 2011, I want to focus on showcasing interesting and eclectic events being held by local artists. I feel that by showcasing these events in the featured shows of the week posts and show calendar, I can help artists a bit more by getting people out to their shows and the places where it really matters. In addition, I will continue to interview people who I feel are trendsetters and paving their own paths. I’m very proud of the interviews I’ve conducted so far, if you do a search in the search engine, you will see great interviews from people like John Balzary of Baroness, Robin Guthrie, Gavin Frederick of Stickfigure Records, and one of my idols Munehiro Narita of the band High Rise. That interview was conducted in Japanese and English so that was interesting to say the least. But there are many more interviews on this site.
I may not always be able to update this site, but when I do I promise I will include content that I feel is noteworthy and exceptional, content that will challenge you and hopefully things that will motivate you to get out your house and get involved in a few local events. Take care.
Sincerely, Taylor A. Northern