What is very interesting to me in reviewing these articles to put them up on my site is how much the world of music, and the world in general, has changed since I wrote them, largely due to technological developments.
When I wrote the first of these articles in 2002, the Internet was not nearly the all-pervasive medium that it is today, and getting a story printed in the newspaper was still a big deal for bands, especially those starting out. Blogs were around, but they were still pretty much a techie, nerd thing at that time. Social media as we know it today had yet to be thought of – Facebook, Twitter and MySpace were yet to be created, and smartphones really weren’t all that smart yet.
In terms of music distribution, CD was still where it was at, and physical stores were still where you could buy them. Around this time, I was playing a lot of gigs at Borders Bookstores (remember them?) and they all carried a large selection of music on CD. Again, mp3 as a format was around, as were digital music players, including the iPod. The ITunes Store, however, wouldn’t open for another year and change the way people bought music. In the meantime, Napster was changing the way people acquired it without paying!
So overall, the musicians and bands that I interviewed were operating in a very different world from the one in which bands starting out today find themselves. They still signed to small record labels – CD Baby and DiscMakers weren’t around to provide easy access to production and distribution. In many ways, a lot of things are a lot more accessible now. However, today’s world is one where it is much more difficult for musicians to earn any kind of living from their craft, in some ways because of that high availability.
Looking at this list of articles (there are still some to be added and some that may be forever lost) it is also interesting to look at how many of these bands are still around, how many of the local venues have closed and so on. The world of music, on a local level or generally, is in a state of constant change and adaptation. Who knows what another ten years may bring? I will be watching with interest. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy reading some of these articles.
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