Posts Tagged ‘Forest Family Records’

Underwater Visitations Episode #8: The Blogger Ethics Roundtable

Monday, June 21st, 2010

One week ago, some great minds in music writing/blogging converged at Newtown Radio in Brooklyn. The reason was to discuss the ethics of music writing online, and the recent increase in blogger run labels. The conversation was lively, informative and above all, fun. Those taking part say it was constructive, those listening in were tweeting up a storm.

The forum was organized by Visitation Rites and Microphone Memory Emotion. Ari Stern of Underwater Peoples helped us lead the conversation, and Mark from Newtown Radio contributed immensely with his technical assistance.


Ryan Schreiber, Founder of Pitchfork Media; Sam Hockley-Smith, Editor at The FADER magazine and co-owner of Group Tightener, Michael McGregor, founder of Chocolate Bobka and The Curatorial Club, Mark Schoneveld, founder of Yvynyl and co-owner of upcoming label Trig Club and Chris Cantalini, of Gorilla Vs. Bear and Forest Family Records.

Topics covered:

What’s the difference between a journalist/critic and a blogger? Does the difference lie in the medium in which said person writes?

Is objectivity possible in blogging? Is it even desirable?

Should we think of bloggers more as “curators” than as writers?

Can and should blogs write negative reviews? Does criticism have a place in the blogosphere?

Is it ethical for a blogger to sell what they have created a demand for?

Can a blogger ethically write about something that he or she also releasing? Is transparency enough?

How important is the question of scale? Would a blogger-run label represent a conflict of interest if it ceased to operate on a limited-run basis, and became a more commercially-minded operation with wide-scale distribution?

Does the fact that a blogger-run label boasts its own built-in pr-outlet give it a natural advantage over the traditional record label? Do blogger-run labels have the potential to transform the record industry from the inside-out?

Are blogs the new A&R?

The concept of “firsties.”

At the end of the conversation, we took a few calls and tweets with questions, including what we have every reason believe was a request for Tumblr advice from Carles himself. Unfortunately, we ran out of time mid-discussion. But this conversation was the first of many, so stay tuned.

Stream and download the whole conversation below. Newtown Radio is a DIY operation, so keep that in mind while listening. And no. Someone was not trying to call in via fax machine.

“Underwater Visitations Episode #8: The Blogger Ethics Roundtable”

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Download the discussion here Download the full episode, with Underwater Visitations DJ set, here.

Playlist after the jump.

Horizons: What, If Any, Are The Ethics Of Music Blogging?

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Tomorrow at 5 p.m. ET music bloggers and writers convene at Newtown Radio in Bushwick, Brooklyn to discuss blogger ethics and by extension, the future of music writing.

The discussion is taking place during an episode of Underwater Visitations and features Chris Cantalini of Gorilla Vs. Bear/Forest Family Records, Ryan Schreiber, founder of Pitchfork Media, Michael McGregor of Chocolate Bobka/The Curatorial Club, Mark Schoneveld of Yvynyl/Trig Club and Sam Hockley-Smith of the FADER/Group Tightener. Emilie Friedlander of Visitation Rites, myself and Ari Stern of Underwater Peoples will also join in.

We encourage you to listen and call in with questions and comments! 347-725-4163.

Below is a basic outline of the discussion put together by myself and Friedlander of Visitation Rites. Questions we want to address come after a summary of why we are talking about this.

TMT Debate Piece: Blogger-Run Labels: Conflict of Interest or Evolution?

Friday, June 4th, 2010

In early 2010, the world of online music publishing was home to a quiet transformation, one that may leave a lasting mark on the independent record industry.

In the course of only two months, several popular indie music bloggers launched their own small press record and/or tape labels, operating in conjunction with their namesake publications and specializing in artists that fall within their editorial scope: Gorilla Vs. Bear and Weekly Tape Deck with Forest Family Records; My Old Kentucky Blog with Roaring Colonel Records; Chocolate Bobka with The Curatorial Club; White Guys With Beards with Wonder Beard Tapes; and Yvynyl and Frightened by Bees with Trig Club.

Although these new operations are of many shapes and sizes, the event casts a spotlight on the extent to which blogging diverges from both traditional music writing and journalism writ large. Several blogger-run labels debuted to great media fanfare (as far up on the musico-journalistic pecking order as Pitchfork), despite violating one of the greatest tenets of traditional journalism in any medium: the belief that the writer writes primarily for his or her readers, and should not stand to benefit financially or professionally from any opinions expressed within his or her writing.

Do blogger-run labels represent a conflict of interest? Or is blogging a distinct form of communication entirely, exempt from the ethical standards of journalism and criticism? If so, what sets blogging apart from other media? Do any rules apply?

To put in your two cents, kindly head over to Tiny Mix Tapes and post a comment. On Thursday, June 10th, Underwater Visitations will team with Microphone Memory Emotion to host a radio panel on blogger-run labels and the ethics of online music writing. Guests will include Pitchfork founder Ryan Schreiber, Chris Cantalini of Gorilla vs. Bear and Forest Family Records, Michael P. McGregor of Chocolate Bobka and The Curatorial Club, and perhaps a few surprise guests. Interesting comments on the TMT thread are guaranteed to be factored into the discussion!

Tune in to Underwater Visitations on Newtown Radio next Thursday, 4-7 EST.