Still, any time someone contacts me directly with music they'd like me to share, I'll be sure to listen. If it's a promo mass e-mail, it's 50/50 whether or not I'll listen. Label newsletters I should pay more attention to than I do.
Anyway. If a band or an artist contacts me directly, I always listen, and if I like it, I'll share it on the blog or on the podcast. That's a fact.
I'm guilty of not replying if it's something I don't dig, tho. As I've often stated, I'm not a critic. I've never felt comfortable telling someone "Sorry, I don't like it, and won't be featuring it on my shitty little blog," when they have put a lot of time, effort, and emotion into creating art -- art I can't do myself -- and then further time, effort, and emotion into reaching out to a fellow human who ostensibly enjoys all sorts of music.
Like anybody, tho, I have my own musical tastes and spectrum of what I think is cool and/or groovy to the maximum/achieves total heaviosity. And while I am proud that my tastes are varied and my grooviness/heaviosity spectrum is wide, and I always keep an open mind, especially on the stuff that isn't exactly my jawn, there's still the fact that I just can't like everything.
But, if someone has contacted me directly, and I'm not into their tunes, I'm being rude not responding to them directly. I apologize to anybody I've done that to over the past five years. From now on, I'll respond with a polite "not for CNQ" type of missive, and include a sentence or two about what I do like about the song or album.
And then I'll just sound like another phoney-baloney armchair critic, willing and able to pick apart art which I myself am unable to create. Fudge. Frowny-face emoji.
I’m not trying to disparage all critics, and certainly not anyone who does it professionally and with integrity. We need critics and gatekeepers. I’m just saying that I’m not a professional in that field, and don’t want to give the pretense that I am one.
I ran all this past a critic friend of mine and he said perhaps I should come at all this not from a critical level but an editorial one, which does make sense. There’s certain music that’s right for the blog and certain music that’s not.
At any rate, like I said, if you contact me directly, I will listen, and if I like it, I'll be happy to feature it on the blog or the podcast -- contact me: matt at clean nice quiet dot com. In the meantime, from the ten or so Bandcamp email updates I went through tonight, here's a little curated cool new newness:
From Pittsburgh's Brightside, after a three year hiatus. $5 on vinyl or $2 digital dl. It woulda been called college rock in the 80s, alt-rock in the 90s, indie rock in the oughts -- it's melodic rock'n'roll that sounds cool:
From the same state as Brightside, but in an old school hardcore vein, x= is back with Symbols, a 19 song cassette compilation, remixed and remastered songs recorded and previously released from 2012 to 2017. I'm a big fan of x=, it's super-solid old school hc. I've heard plenty of bands adhering to an 80s hardcore aesthetic that come across sounding corny, dated, or derivative, but, IMO, x= performs within the genre while sounding honest, fresh, and interesting. X= is cool af.
I slept on x='s 4 song digital EP called Tribes, put out in June of last year, but all four songs on that EP are on Symbols.
Here's some more meditative handpan action from Earth, TX. I've featured Robert Rothbard on the blog and on the podcast before, I'm really into this stuff. 6 songs for $2 dl: