Beat The Indie Drum – 2004-2011

About six months back I had a gut feeling that I would be drafting my concession speech for this music blogging website thing and, well, here I am. Lately it feels like I’m beating a dead horse instead of an indie drum, if you will. It’s not for lack of exceptional new music – there will never be a dearth of that – but it’s more about the pressures a blogger can put on oneself to constantly provide content that amounts to satisfying their (in this case, dying) readership. The blogging hierarchy and standards have changed the past few years for better or worse (who can really say?) but I can’t say that posting a pic or video with a few words beneath it constitutes much of what I set out to do originally. Granted, my inability to make BTID so much more is almost wholly predicated on the fact that there simply isn’t enough time in a day to accomplish everything I’d like to achieve. Recent promotions at my job and responsibilities associated with that have also led to less attention being paid to this website.

Another reason for my decision – I’ve been feverishly plowing through new releases, moving from one album to the next with little to no absorption of what the artist is trying to say or relay to its listener. In simpler terms, I’m not ‘experiencing’ music in any non-superficial way. When I was a pimple-ridden teenage just beginning to realize there was a whole uncovered world of music out there to digest I absorbed myself in the art of discovering new music via zines like The Big Takeover, CMJ or Melody Maker right on down to lesser-knowns Skyscraper, Shredding Paper and Jersey Beat. College radio was constantly in my earholes. I stayed up late on school nights to watch new episodes and reruns of 120 Minutes. When I bought an album that I loved it wouldn’t leave rotation for months! I would collect every bootleg from every single band I loved. The Internet hasn’t necessarily ruined all of these habits, it just made it incredibly easier to break away from them. Due to the endless supply of music I no longer make time to listen to records I’ve come to love over the years. I recently took one look at my best of lists from 2005 and 2009 and noticed I hadn’t listened to a ridiculous 90%+ of those albums since I declared them ‘essential’. Simon Reynolds touched upon this in his most recent (excellent) book Retromania, noting that this trend is now widespread and it will only get worse from the experiencing music POV. My goals are to not only revisit personal favorites but dig deep into the archives for classic albums and pioneering artists I chose to ignore over the years for whatever reason. I want, nay, need to spend more time cozying up to my record collection and less time downloading and tagging and sorting albums I will likely never hear. I want to narrow my blog reading down to a select group of established blogs who do bring much more to the table than most.

Those of you following along will know that I’ve recently started a record label (back to the Big School, y’all) and part of my decision to lay BTID to rest involves putting a great deal more effort into this label and promoting the artists I have committed to support. I’ve been wanting to start a record label since those pimply years mentioned above and I’m finally in a position (financially, mentally and knowledgeably) to not only start a label but help make it a successful adventure. This isn’t the end of my blogging days (for sure) – I will continue to post about musical musings, ephemera and random jazz over on my Tumblr. Mixtapes will still be assembled/curated but moreso on an irregular basis than anything else and possibly a little more on the themed side. I also expect to become a little more involved in other activities regarding music but consistent day-in-day-out blogging will not be one of them.

Lastly, I’d like to thank those of you who have stopped by over the years, offered support and helped spread the word. Many thanks to Stephen and friends for all the mix artwork, to Jon for the logo re-design, Mark & Elodie for contributing content, Eric for convincing me to fire this site up for the second time a few years ago, to the THOUSANDS of bands/artists who’ve inspired me to spend so much of my time dedicated to music and everything associated with it and to anyone else who has lent a hand or made suggestions over the 7-year course of BTID. Hopefully I’ve been able to introduce you to new music you might not have heard otherwise. The website will remain live as there is a ton of reference and resources for anyone who happens to stumble on the site. Years of reviews, Monday mixes, the BTID netlabel releases and like, OMG, have you noticed there are almost 90 mixtapes shared on the site! That’s enough music to occupy you for 3 weeks straight. So, go follow me on the Tumblr (or any of these here places) and please help support and spread the word about Big School Records – I’m gonna need you.

15 Comments

Filed under Commentary, Updates

15 Responses to Beat The Indie Drum – 2004-2011

  1. aquanorth

    Matthew Marcinowski, Sad to hear you are ending the blog but I know it must be extremely time consuming. It takes a lot of my energy just to listen/ rate all of these amazing monthly mixes, I can imagine how time consuming it would be to curate and also write about music on a daily basis! I’ll keep an out for activity on your tumblr. Good luck with all your future endeavors!!

  2. very sad news, i read you since the beggining and cannot say how many songs really touched my soul. thank you so much.

  3. Jack

    Thanks heaps for the hours of fine listening. I have been a loyal (Australian) subscriber for more than 2 years, and am sorry to see you go Matt….but at the same time, wish you well in whatever your future endeavours.

  4. Bobby

    Great blog, great mixes.
    Good luck, goodbye.

  5. Katie

    Thanks for all your work and all the great music! BTID is responsible for introducing me to a huge world of music that I had been totally oblivious to and for that I am thankful. Sad to see you go, but wish you all the best in the future! :)

  6. allana

    You’re the best, Matt.

  7. Exactly the reason why I quit my blog. I’m already a step ahead (I quite a year ago (: ) and am now deleting everything that’s not worth keeping. It’s completely useless, in my opinion, to just stack up thousands of mp3′s, just for the sake of having them. You just start digging into your collection. I went from downloading 5-10 albums a day to downloading 3 or 4 a week. Sometimes I have an evening that I feel like I’m missing out on something, and then i just go hunting, but most of the time I just get annoyed by all those songs I’ve only listened once or twice. I e.g. had a map of single mp3′s (so no complete albums) that were more than 2,000 songs. I’ve been wrestling myself through that for the last couple of months, and have already thrown out 60 percent (but still a lot to listen).

    Anyway, It’s good that you’re gonna enjoy the music you have now. Loved your blog though, but I already was wondering when you’d crash (:

    I’ll keep a close look on the label!

  8. Jeremy

    Hey man thanks to you some of my favorite bands today came from your recommendations. good luck on your endeavors. take it easy

  9. Matthew,

    I only recently rediscovered your great site; I thought you’d given up the ghost a long time ago. I’m sorry to see you laying it to rest, but I completely understand. I, too, feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of music out there, and I find myself looking for that “next” song to slap onto a mix CD for Plague of Angels rather than truly spending quality time with the music. My current attention-span = that of gnat.

    Your music site was an absolute inspiration to me when I first started my tiny little blog, and I take some solace in the fact that I can still wade my way through your back-catalogue in search of the new, old, shiny, and obscure.

    Thanks for pointing the way, and all best in your future endeavors.

    Michael Karpinski (Molotov)

  10. Thanks all! Means a lot that some of you followed along regularly. Writing will likely commence someday but definitely in a different capacity.

  11. badger

    I’m really sorry to hear this. Good luck with everything.

  12. Joao

    Good luck Matt!
    Be happy, and thanks for making us happy too! Anyway, “ce n’est pas un adieu, mais un au revoir”, right?
    All the best and a big hug!
    J. :)

  13. Tony

    As an occasional visitor, your website has given me a lot of pleasure over a number of years. There are bands I might never have heard but for your site. Best wishes for your new ventures.

  14. Raymond

    Hey man thanks for all the great tunes. It really got me through some times and i wish you the best of luck on your new project that it may be greater than this one. Could you please leave the mixtapes up? i still havent listened to all of them yet

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