Doou ever get a television theme song in your head? Y’know, earworm type deal? Yet you go further, looking at the lyrics, and suddenly they take a new weight to them or just seem fitting for the moment in time that you (or life around you) are in? That’s my morning… Continue reading →
In 2005, I penned a blog post that was inspired by the then-St. Petersburg Times had written an epic feature regarding the days of Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, had spent living in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Being a Morrison fan and living only a handful of miles away from locations mentioned in the piece, I was blown away. I had known about Morrison having been born in south Florida but I didn’t know about this.
Part of what inspired the blog post was the fact social media wasn’t then what it is today. Not that writing a blog post was going to necessarily draw eyeballs. Yet to this day, Missing piece of history – Jim Morrison in Clearwater still draws web traffic because of Morrison’s romantic interest (and song inspiration) Mary Werbelow.
At any rate, to get to the point, the now- Tampa Bay Times has basically failed with how they treat their archives online, which now hides the articles on a for-profit site (…unless the Times plans to fix their “Page Not Found” issues on archival articles). Between this and my old blog post failure in being more direct and obvious on the link to the feature section from September 25, 2005, finding the feature reading is next to impossible.
I’ve assembled a playlist on YouTubbe (and I may try to copy it at Spotify but no guarantees on that) of songs that I’ve heard from various artists through various sources that I consider “soft rock”. They’re not all rock songs, they’re not all adult contemporary, and they’re from a mix of years within the 21st century (not all recent releases but mot are from the past decade).
One thing is for sure though: They’re underexposed numbers that will likely never explode in popularity. Independent artists don’t get that kind of exposure from the mainstream media or at least it rarely happens. Yet, that’s a truth for all music out there — even if people catch your tunes on the radio or at a live show, there’s only a chance that it’ll click with them and gain an ounce of popularity.
The underexposed soft rock playlist has only 29 songs at the moment but my intention is to keep growing the list as time goes by. It just depends on when and where I cross the music and if I feel it fits or not. Mind you, it’s the arrangements that make me add the songs to the list. The lyrics may or may not fit.
If you’re a performing artist and have a song that you think might fit in, or if you’re a listener who knows of a song by a small-time act that doesn’t exactly have a huge audience checking out one of these lighter songs, you’re welcome to contact me through the site form with a link to the song’s YouTube page. I can’t guarantee submissions will get added, but it’s worth a shot.
I also suggest to artists to consider submitting their music to Lonely Oak Radio, it’s the most straight-forward indie music submission site. It’s not Pandora or Spotify in open-listener popularity but it is a unique mix of songs from various artists out there.
Update May 11, 2018: I’ve been made aware by Europeans that not all tracks on this playlist are accessible.. While this playlist is crafted by an American with access to everything, I have no control over what is not accessible for those overseas. It may put more weight on me trying to re-create this playlist on another platform (Spotify).
update mAY 13TH 2018: The Spotify Version of the playlist is now up. Not all of the songs are on the list and not all of the songs are able to be added (such as Grease Fire by the Pretty Voices or Arms Around It by Ricky Wilcox) because those tracks aren’t on Spotify. Others aren’t included because I haven’t gotten to them yet, but they will be added and likely others.
Now, I don’t know how the Times operates its archives as this happened last year, I don’t know if the Times will be repairing the issue or took one of my suggested “save a dime” strategies and pulled down every archived article and feature, but as of this writing what all published pieces from sptimes.com (be they features, general news, columns or editorial content) are now unavailable and listed as “Not Found”.
There is an oddity here though: The base domain URL, www.sptimes.com is working and not as a redirect to the newspaper’s current web presence. It is standing as it had once stood but not exactly working nor posted as the front page of the newspaper from days gone by. The footer of the page reads the copyright date as 2009.
Because one page is “working” as a shell of itself, I’m guessing that this is an IT foul-up that stopped functionality and not an upgrade attempt, closure of the site archives, or an import-to-tampabay.com attempt. Simply, it’s a foul up that the paper may just dismiss as not important to fix. After all, they’re not making money off the archives, they’re not even trying.
There are many indie bands out there that never went anywhere, such as Desk. You’ve never heard of Desk (unless you got to this blog post by directly searching for the band, in which case I say “Hi!” ☺) and shouldn’t have at this point – the group called it quits a few months after releasing the album All-American Awesome.
Yet there’s something relevant at the moment off of an album that was produced in 2016 and released in May of that year. Something that American society or specifically the politically inclined may or may take interest in. Oh, and rock music fans – I can’t forget rock fans.
I crossed track #6 from the group’s 7-track album while listening to indie radio station Lonely Oak Radio. The title alone seemed timely and came off as a word of protest: “The Great American Stupid”.
A song released before the 2016 Federal Elections that’s fitting in 2018? Indeed. The song is aimed at the Dotard in Covfefe, now-President Donald Trump. The lyrics (which are posted on the group’s Bandcamp listing of the song) are below.
There are likely more noteworthy protest songs out there by indie groups… How far the tunes go depends on how well the number is put together and how much effort is put into exposure. In Desk’s case, not much was done but it is out there.
As a long time blogger, I know about the strengths of networking and how it can lead to higher exposure as well as socializing and making connections in the field you write in. It’s part of why I’m considered a pioneer in hockey blogging – it’s not just that I started blogging and stuck around but also by way of connecting with fellow writers and working in coordination with them in one way or another, along with simply being in contact and socializing with them.
The idea of SongBay as a social platform and market site for music at the very base of operations – lyrics, musical arrangements, demos – seems like a good place to actually try to take something you’ve done creatively and pass it into the industry in one form or another to performers or producers.
Yet here I sit, mere weeks after joining the site and what I’ve encountered amounts to crickets.