Davy Minor: Blogger Phenomenon From Beyond

Davy Minor is one of the most interesting figures within the Atlanta music scene. He started a blog called Ohmpark years ago and had a relatively small following. Now Ohmpark is one of the biggest, if not the biggest music and entertainment source for Atlanta music news.

I had the opportunity to speak with Davy about his new science fiction book Price of Time and pick his brain on the subject of music journalism and where it’s headed.

You’re working on a new sci-fi novel. What’s it about?

Well, first of all it’s called The Price of Time, and it is the beginning of a series. Part of the fun at the beginning of the novel is trying to figure out what it’s about, so I don’t want to give anything away. But I will say it features many of the tropes typical of science fiction, like spaceship battles, aliens, and futuristic technology. But all of that stuff is only the setting. It’s really just about people trying to figure out what life is all about while facing extraordinary circumstances.

How long have you been a fan of science fiction?

I guess as long as I can remember. The future is a great setting for a story because you can do a lot more with it. Also, sci-fi presents an opportunity to discuss phenomenon of the present day in a more abstract setting. One of the main threads in my novel is a discussion about ideology, and I feel like I can make a more compelling argument using fictional ideologies rather than existing ideologies that the reader will already have a bias towards.

What inspired you to write Price of Time?

It’s something I have been working on since I was about 13 years old. I spent years developing the story, cutting ideas and coming up with new ones, building the world around the story. Then once I felt confident enough in my writing to take it on, I finally started drafting it about a year and half ago.

Let’s talk music. You’re the creative force behind a well known music blog called Ohmpark. Ohmpark just celebrated its 4th birthday. How have you been able to sustain an interest in maintaining the blog for so long?

It’s difficult. I perpetually feel like I’m going to quit the blog the next week, and I did sort of quit for a few months last year. It’s really easy to get burnt out. But so far, every time I think I’m going to quit, I discover something new that I want to share with people. I have definitely had different motivations for why I was doing it along the way, but at this point I really just want to provide a platform and an audience for artists I enjoy and respect.

What made you want to start Ohmpark?

An unhealthy obsession with music basically (laughs). For a while, I wanted to be a musician, but once I realized that I didn’t have the talent to do it well, I decided to write about music instead. Also, when I first launched the blog, I was throwing these house parties where we would have hundreds of people coming to see these great bands, but none of the media outlets around town seemed to even know these bands existed.

Atlanta’s music scene was extremely cliquey when I started, and it seemed like the only way a band could get local media attention was by being friends with the right people. I wanted to create an outlet where music was only judged on the merit of the art rather than all the bullshit that surrounds it.

Would you classify yourself as a music journalist?

Well, I’m very skeptical of the term journalist. By definition, a journalist is supposed to cover news. But in music, deciding what qualifies as news seems to be completely arbitrary. I mean, a billion bands put out press releases every year. How does one decide what is objectively news and what isn’t except by how popular the band is? The only empirically verifiable data that exists in music is sales numbers, so I mean, Billboard is probably the purest form of music journalism (laughs).

So by that logic, I don’t really consider myself a journalist. I really just consider myself a music fan that wants to share the music I love. Basically, what I try to do is give suggestions to people who are into the same sort of music as me but maybe don’t have the time to sort through everything themselves.

How is blogging different from music journalism, doesn’t it all boil down music criticism and opinion?

At this point, I don’t think there really is a substantial difference between bloggers and journalists. The lines are pretty blurry between the two. Even in terms of being a professional, I’m sure blogs like Hipster Runoff and Gorilla Vs Bear make more money than your average, struggling music journo. Whether someone calls themselves a journalist, a blogger, a music fan, or whatever, they are still just stating their subjective musical preferences, unless of course they are referencing empirical evidence to make an argument. But basically, it is just people stating their opinions, nothing more.

Do music and entertainment journalists have an obligation or duty to cover specific content?

This is another idea I don’t really buy into. It’s just something to make journalists feel more self-important about what they do. For professional journalists, they have monetary obligations to their business, so they have an obligation to create content that draws readership and advertisement income. For me, I don’t feel any obligation to cover anything. I just write about what I like, and if people like it, great. If not, there are plenty of other outlets now to check out .

For news and updates, be sure to check out Ohmpark

Photo of Davy shot by Clinton Miller

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6 responses to “Davy Minor: Blogger Phenomenon From Beyond

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Davy Minor: Blogger Phenomenon From Beyond | Shot From Guns -- Topsy.com

  2. “Atlanta’s music scene was extremely cliquey when I started, and it seemed like the only way a band could get local media attention was by being friends with the right people. I wanted to create an outlet where music was only judged on the merit of the art rather than all the bullshit that surrounds it.”

    Davy, do you think that the scene has changed much since you started and do you think the mainstream outlets are doing a better job of covering music based on merit rather than acquaintance now compared to 4 years ago?

  3. Nadia, Yes, I think both of those of have changed for the better. With the cliqueness, it used to be that bands didn’t want competition in this town. They wanted their specific group to the pinnacle of the scene, so they would shun everyone not part of that group. Now, bands have realized that trying to suppress other people is pretty much useless and pointless because there are too many media outlets for a clique to control, so instead, everyone wants to play with everyone else and try and steal their fans. So, there are definitely still certain groups that may feel a bit cliquey, but the bands in all of these cliques play out with lots of bands not in their clique. Now Atlanta’s scene is sort of like one massive web instead of lots of self-contained scenes like a few years ago.

    With media outlets, there are so many blogs now that cover the local scene that don’t have an agenda that it’s hard for a band to not get media attention somewhere as long as they aren’t terrible. And even the professional media outlets have turned to mostly covering what they think will give them the most readership, instead of artificially injecting certain bands they are cozy with as the best thing going, though they still do that some. To a certain extent, that’s inescapable because if you’re are writing about music you like, and a band is playing music you like, it creates an easy way for the two to relate to one another and become friends.

  4. Thanks Davy! Also, do you think there is still more value in print media, as opposed to blogs and strictly online sources? With so many print publications struggling, do you think that print media is going under and their value has diminished or do you think they are failing to function properly in the vast cyber market that’s been exponentially growing? How do you view the future of music journalism, in particular, in regards to success, quality, and longevity? Are blogs the new weekly rag? Or can print media maintain a value to readers above that of online sources?

  5. I don’t think print will ever disappear completely. Print has some disadvantages in relation to websites, such as the time it takes to get out news and a lack of deep metrics to evaluate what their readers like best. Print has a much longer learning curve to overcome, so I think websites will be the most dominant force in music media in the near future for sure, but there is still room for really good print. There is just a lot of terrible print media that should never have existed in the first place, and all that is going to get purged, as well as some decent stuff just because of supply and demand shifts. But I would guess somewhere down the line, there will be a small resurgence of print, sort of like how vinyl has had a little resurgence in recent years. People still like having things in their hands. With music, the digital experience can be exactly the same as the physical product, but with reading, digital has yet to 100% replicate the print experience.

    If I were doing print, I would avoid stuff like record reviews, news blurbs, concert reviews, and everything that first year music journalists do and focus on stuff that suits the medium better, like lots of photography, long pieces about phenomenon surrounding music, in-depth interviews, etc. Music journalists of every stripe need to start thinking of themselves more as entertainers than journalists if they want to be successful, IMO. You’ve got to find a way to stand out from the crowd because everyone and their mother wants to be involved with music.

  6. “f I were doing print, I would avoid stuff like record reviews, news blurbs, concert reviews, and everything that first year music journalists do and focus on stuff that suits the medium better, like lots of photography, long pieces about phenomenon surrounding music, in-depth interviews, etc. Music journalists of every stripe need to start thinking of themselves more as entertainers than journalists if they want to be successful, IMO. You’ve got to find a way to stand out from the crowd because everyone and their mother wants to be involved with music.”

    This is a really good point. The delay involved with print makes it pointless to include news because all interested parties are going to have read that stuff on the internet anyway. Or passively absorbed it by scrolling through tweets. Live reviews, too, although I suppose if they’re particularly well-written and treated more like longer features it might be worth printing. Publications really should focus on the in-depth features, the kind of things that take advantage of their resources and access, otherwise they become dangerously close to a blog with an accompanying useless printed regurgitation that pops up days after all the content has been posted on the internet.

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