Monday, March 30, 2009

"Apparently, with no surprise...."

Husker Du--"Could You Be The One?" (mp3)
Phish--"Good Times, Bad Times (live)" (mp3)

With little fanfare and even less revenue, this blog turns 1 year old today.

If you go back (why would you?) and read the original blogs, the original manifestos that Billy and I wrote, you will see that we didn't quite know what we wanted to do with this, though we had the bare bones of the idea--writing and music. What we probably tried to do too much was to try to figure out how or why we wanted to justify the title of the blog. That's my fault, a literalist slip on my part. I think Billy came up with the title quite naturally after a trip to New Orleans.

A year later, we find ourselves in much the same place.

Low points: all of the blog's low points are of a type. They have been those days when when our posts have mysteriously disappeared and that disappearance, often belatedly, was attributed to copyright violations of one sort or another. But we were never able to get the satisfaction of finding out exactly who had complained and about what song or picture. Sometimes, it has seemed pretty arbitary. I think one of mine that disappeared involved an obscure Boz Scaggs song that I put on there only to showcase the guitar playing of Duane Allman. I'm frankly surprised a) that anyone noticed and b) that they weren't pleased that I had dusted off that old chestnut in hopes of reviving interest in Mr. Allman (or Scaggs). Billy's "worst case" is somewhat more humorous. As you know, we do receive e-mailings on an increasingly-common basis that include songs that up and coming bands want us to hear. In this case, Billy had even exchanged several communications with the promoter/record company, who, in no uncertain terms, wanted us to post songs on our site. Why wouldn't they? Billy, who handles most of the reviewing, has a policy of only posting music he can be positive about. Anyway, within a few days, the post had disappeared. No explanation from Blogger, total suprise from the band. Ah, the whimsy of anonymous corporations.

High points: Well, I suppose these are easier to list. I'll focus on just the top ones, though. At the risk of speaking for Billy, the best days on this blog are when we put up a post that generates a lot of comments. And, to be clear, I'm talking about comments posted on the blog itself--not side emails, not passing comments in the halls of academia, not talk over the dinner table. Comments make it look like we have a regular readership, which Billy, our statistician, says we do. So, yes, we hope for, love, even cherish your comments and feedback (ok, even offline).

I suppose doing a consistent year of anything should be a learning experience, shouldn't it? So what have we learned? Well, again at the risk of speaking for Billy, we've learned that a blog is a cruel and demanding mistress. She really does not care what else you have going on in your life--sick children, 13-hour time difference, work, love and marriage, you name it--she still expects that you will serve her. Case in point, I am suffering from a bad cold and didn't feel like writing last night, so now I am cranking this out during a school in-service session.

I also think we've learned that we like a whole lot more music and kinds of music than we ever thought possible. With the exception of my occasional Springsteen rants (luv ya, Bruce!), we are rarely talking about what we don't like or don't listen to, but instead feel pushed, I think, to reach for even more music than ever. Do the songs always fit the posts? I think Billy does a better job with that than I do. Do we try not to repeat ourselves in terms of artists we feature? I think I worry about not doing that more than Billy does.

Finally, though, if I may be crude, a blog without readers is nothing but a wankfest! So if you stop in regularly, if you've dropped in occasionally, if you listen to the songs, if you don't, if you leave a comment, if you like to watch, if you love us, if you hate us, we don't care, except to say that we appreciate your being a part of the journey. So, thank you.

A couple of real world codas: 1) as a follow-up to my "man cave" post from a few weeks ago, as well as the general sensibilities of this blog, let me strongly recommend the movie I Love You, Man. 2) Since we couldn't get any takers on hosting our one year celebration, Billy and I will be at the Terminal with the blog credit card celebrating on an unnamed date at an unnamed time. We will be paying for the first 50 beers. After that, you're on your own. Hope to see you there or, better yet, here.


Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary BOTG!

Daytimerush said...

I want a date and time! I am a faithful reader and a faithful beer drinker. Happy 1 year Anniversary!

Billy said...

Um, did you just bribe people to comment on here? Did you just put me on the spot for buying 25 beers? Did you say we had a "blog credit card"?

Bob said...

Billy, both the date and time are unnamed. I expect they will remain that way.

Jason said...

Thanks for all the entertainment gentleman. It certainly has been enriching.

Happy 1st birthday BOTG!

Viagra Online said...

I don’t know If I said it already but …I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say great blog. Thanks!

Liz said...

To start with I would like to congratulate the cradores of this blog, mainly because when I read it I enjoyed it very much. A few years ago I attended a conference called guanacaste costa rica real estate, at that conference had many interesting topics. Perhaps readers may find no relationship between the blog and this conference, but if someday can attend, would realize that there is much to do with this blog.