We all look back. We reminisce, evaluate and re-live (and possibly over-sentimentalise) moments at this time of year. Today, I’m going to be no exception. Well, apart from the over-sentimental bit……..cos, y’know, I’m a heartless bastard.
Anyway, rather than go on about my own achievements and talk about how great 2012 is going to be (unless the apocalypse occurs, etc), I’m going to mention the characters and artists who I’ve discovered (or who I was already aware of, but re-discovered) in the last year.
So, what was the big idea this year? Well, mostly, sharing. It seemed like 2011 was the moment Twitter started working for the independent artist. Sure, it had existed as a connecting tool for most musicians and their audience, etc for years before, but it seemed that 2011 was the moment it hit its apex for a majority of these artists. Then it became de rigeur to have a Twitter account, then it seemed to get oversaturated almost instantly…..though this is my perception of events….probably not the ‘truth’. But it feels like the day will come when Twitter is populated by just musicians, artists, photographers, film-makers, etc; each cross-promoting each other’s ‘product’ in an endless feedback loop. This is not a prediction of course…it’s just bollocks.
I’ve now deleted my Twitter account and every other form of social media. It’s now the thing to promote your music via Twitter and Facebook, but being a bit of a contrary-wise kinda guy, I’ve bailed out. The semi-pros and pros may baulk at this; but, hey, it suits me.
So, why am I posting about Twitter…well, ironically, it’s where I’ve connected with some fantastic artists, musical and otherwise, who have also turned out to be great, stand-up, nice people. So, as one last hurrah, here’s to these wonderful Twitter folk (if you tweet…I recommend you follow them and, more importantly, ‘connect’ with them and listen to their art):
- @Pixieguts (Marie Craven) – incredibly talented vocalist and my long-time collaborator with Cwtch. She’s also an all-round culture-head, into history, science and spirituality. Blogger, Oliver Arditi says of her: “Pixieguts is a truly excellent singer” and “Craven’s undramatic but deeply expressive vocals have a rich physicality that comes both from technique and experience”.
- @itoolan (John Toolan) – funny, knowledgeable, music-loving, film-loving guy with a great sense of humour (this is not a quote from a dating site). He writes very authoritatively about music and stuff on Music To Wash Up To…
- @mecotterill (Mark Cotterill) – humorous truck-driving graphic designer who also writes and makes music. Underfollowed.
- @oli_the_bass (Oliver Arditi) – I’ve already posted about Oli on here recently; he blogs about music and plays bass, though not at the same time I assume. Intelligent critiques and always a good read.
- @deonvozov (Deon Vozov) – Professional audio-visual soundtrack artist/composer. So talented and knowledgeable it hurts. Also disarmingly open and actively refuses to mythologise about her craft. To top it all, she really converses and is a damn nice person.
- Then there are the ‘hardy perennials’: @dandelionradio @adicarter @sk123_tunes @big_block_454 @healeyisland @pinklogik and @mattstevensloop. All talented musicians and great conversationalists. Most of them are from the old Last.fm network and have been incredibly supportive of my music over the years.
So, there you have it. If you’re going to follow one piece of advice from me this year, follow the recommendations in this post.
Not so much a review of 2011, more of a glorified #ff! But, in doing so, I think I’ve summed-up the cool music and writing that I’ve encountered this year. Hopefully I’ll be keeping in touch with all the above despite my social networking prohibition.
As for 2012, well…the end is nigh, innit?