My friend Marissa wrote ‘My love letter to compilation CDs,’ and it’s been on my mind.

“(T)he first one I can really remember is Punk Rock Strike Vol. 1 by Springman Records. My gosh, as a young punk trying to discover new bands, that thing was a game changer. It was my first exposure to bands like The Wunder Years, No Use for a Name, and The Amazing Transparent Man, just to name a few.”

Spoke with another friend today who mentioned the Lumberjack Distro samplers we all used to get, which reminded me specifically of the ‘Lumberjack Distribution Spring 2003 Sampler.’

I had two MP3s saved from those days, the first of which was Kid Gorgeous‘ ‘Anyone Ever Tell You That You Talk Too Much.’

Most of it was standard metalcore fare, but the ending chorus section, those guitar harmonics or whatever? I LOVED that.

The other was ‘Missives On a Recurring Theme’ by Theory Of Ruin which I can’t find streaming anywhere, but here’s a link. Like, can’t even find it on YouTube. If I didn’t rip this song back in the mid 2000s, would it even exist anywhere online?

These are from over 20 years ago, from the year 2003. This was just two years after I started my music blog, and I was like a kid in a candy store, just devouring this type of stuff.

All these years later, yeah, it’s harder to get excited about finding new music, just because, dammit… I’ve listened to such much music over the last 30 years, you know?

When I was a kid in the late 80s, we had hair metal and Guns N Roses ‘Appetite for Destruction’ and Metallica’s ‘… And Justice For All.’

Then I was in high school in the 90s, so that means Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana and SoundGarden and Alice in Chains and Primus, like… my god.

Then yeah.. early 2000s up till like 2010 I was drowning in music, having run my own music blog, then started NoiseCreep for AOL Music in 2008.

That’s a long time to have been focusing on music with such intent. All the shows I went to, bands I interviewed, albums I listened to.

Right now, at 48, it’s just so much harder to get excited about new music. I absolutely love some of it (Knocked Loose comes to mind, of course), but… dammit, I’m not in my 20s or 30s anymore.

This is growing up, huh?


CJ Chilvers knows his music, so when he streamed Extreme’s Cupid’s Dead he got a surprise:

“I noticed something new in the song “Cupid’s Dead.” Trumpets! I had 30 years of experience with that song. There had never been horns in it. But here they were, being annoying as hell and obscuring Nuno’s incredible riffs.”

I had the same experience with Soundgarden’s ‘Outshined.’

When you’ve listened to a song for THIRTY YEARS you notice the difference, and it’s jarring.

CJ’s “Why I went back to buying CDs (and you should too)” is well worth the time, and makes me want to get back to building my CD collection.


If I click on your band’s LinkTree / Link In Bio and I can’t tell in 1.2 seconds how to LISTEN to your music, you’re fucked.

Tour dates. Great.
Press kit. No thanks.

Hmmmm… think about that last one.

While I’m stoked a band even has a website in 2024, what has our experience been with band websites for the last 20 years?

They’re usually not updated, maybe it’s just a bunch of tour dates from a BandsInTown embed, maybe some old photos…


Make one of the buttons “LISTEN” or “HEAR OUR LATEST SINGLE” and link it DIRECTLY to a place where I can listen to your actual music, or click play on a YouTube embed.

This might sound like I’m being old and curmudgeonly, but patience for this stuff wears thin after two decades of doing this 10 times a day.


How do you make it as a musician in 2024? Have fans that you can reach.

On Spotify, I can’t reach the people who follow me—I have no idea who those people are, and I can’t communicate with them. I’m just on a playlist or an algorithm. But here on Substack, I’m cultivating a community.

Fog Chaser

Without fans, you don’t have a career.


Glad I emailed an old bud the other day, because they sent me a link to this amazing album and I’ve been listening to it every day since.

I’ve been listening to a lot of electronic music the last few years, and I’ve always been a sucker for bands that do the repetitive loop stuff, and wow, Oavette hits a nerve for me.

It’s like I could watch this band play at an art gallery, you know?


I love this so much from “How Tiny Desk Concerts Became a pop culture phenomenon.”

Folk artist Laura Gibson felt deflated after her 2008 South by Southwest show in Austin, Texas. The Thirsty Nickel bar allowed noisy 6th Street revelers who didn’t purchase tickets to enter, and they had no interest in listening to the soft-spoken artist.

“Mid-set, I was like, ’Why did I drive all the way down to Texas … What am I doing with my life?” Gibson remembered. “I felt like ‘I really just want to go hide somewhere and cry.’”

Two folks from NPR were in attendance and offered Larua to come to their office and perform, and it became the first Tiny Desk Concert.

Laura had to go out and do something and it sucked. Yet she did, plowed through it, and it led to something else.

I think a lot of us had some great fun and success with social media back in the day, but then it sucked.

Laura (I hope) didn’t have to go back to play another shitty venue to keep her career going. She just moved forward, like I see a lot of other artists doing, leaving behind social media.

Yes, we made our connections, had some wins, but “going back to a shitty venue” isn’t how we’ll get to the next level.

(via Kottke)


Travel through space and futuristic dimensions while working from your computer terminal with this excellent release from Martin Stürtzer.