Friday, April 15, 2011

Why Music Reviews? Why Now?

I was chatting with a new follower on Twitter last night (a guy named Guy), discussing my blog and what was coming up. One of the questions he asked me got me thinking that perhaps others were wondering about the current direction of my blog. So I thought I would take a few minutes and address that.

Why music reviews? Why now?

It isn't uncommon for me to do focused postings on my blog. A few years back I began a marathon of the Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and Angel seasons on DVD. Having never watched the shows before, I thought blogging my first-time thoughts of each episode would be fun. And, as long time readers know, weekly reviews of new comic book releases have been a main-staple here since my blog began. I've been a comic reader since I was a kid in the 70's, enjoying the story and art.

The recent focus here on album reviews really was inspired by another Twitter user, Liz (she is @1001albums on Twitter). Someone suggested her blog, where she's tackling the "1001 Albums You Must Listen To Before You Die" book by listening to and posting a review of an album a day. I found the blog interesting and her take, coming to many of these albums as a first-time listener, refreshing. She was entering the 1980's part of the list when I started to follow her blog.

Of course, that got me thinking about my own musical interests.

Music has always been a big part of my life. I grew up listening to the radio all the time in the 70's and 80's. I spent a good bit of my allowance and gift money purchasing vinyl (45s and albums). In college, I found cassettes an affordable way to get lots of new music. With the popularity of CD players in the 90's, I switched my collection over to that format. Jumping then to December 2007 when I got my first iPod, I ended up converting all of those CDs to digital. Today I have an iTunes library with thousands of albums represented - some complete, some partial. And it is always growing, with new CDs imported or new downloads gotten from or iTunes. I like discovering "new" tracks - be they deep tracks on older albums, never heard past albums, and the occasional current new releases.

So, what I have been doing and will be doing for the forseeable future is to continue to parallel the 1001 list along with Liz. The 1980's period has some amazing records in it, and that is the most represented decade in my musical library (over one-third of the music that spans over fifty five years(!) in my library comes from the 80's). Now, there are some records on the 1001 list that I'll be skipping (they just aren't my style). But when I do, I'll continue to supplement with some of the blog features I've already established - Seventies Saturday (picking an album from the next largest represented decade in my library) and Soundtrack Sunday (albums that accompanied some favorite films).

Eventually the 1001 list will roll into the 1990's (I calculate it'll be at least four months or so for Liz to get there) and beyond. I'll still sprinkle in my reviews of the albums there I have when they pop up, but I'll continue to focus a lot more on the 1980's (and the 1970's too). With so much music to explore and talk about, I expect album reviews to be a permanent fixture here at Martin's View.

I hope you'll continue to take this journey with me.

Feel free to drop me a comment here or a direct message over on Twitter (links are available on the banner and the right column) if you have any suggestions of albums you'd like me to talk about. If I have the tracks or can find a place to stream them for a listen, I'll be happy to offer my thoughts in a future blog posting. I really enjoy intereacting with all my readers. I want this to be a place you come back to visit often.