The year the music didn´t die!
It´s less than one week left of the year 2012. That means it´s time for me to do a summit of my year in music.
Here´s how 2012 has been for me, read about how this this blog came to life and my status and future plans for the blog. What music rocked my world and how I choose to listen to music – and a little bit about music I love! Read also about the blog posts you loved and the least read/worst blog posts I´ve done in 2012!
…And I would love you if you´l to share your thoughts about the Read And Hear music blog!
The Read And Hear blog comes to life…I started my first music blog back in 2011, but in the middle of this year – June 2012 – I said goodbye to my old Norwegian music blog Musique De La Vie and started this blog you´re reading now; Read And Hear. I decided to start blogging in English – and the Read And Hear music blog was born. I´ve wanted to spread my words to the whole world, and not just Norway (which was my main readers). The readers of the Read And Hear blogs top 5 readers come from the following countries; United States, Norway, United Kingdom, France and Germany. Great stats, and fun to see that my mission showed results.
The day the music died…not!
Earlier this year (and for years now) the CD and music business had been doomed and was supposed to die. But the CD still lives on, the market buys less of the silver plates, but they´re still out there. And ironically enough, people streams more music, we buy albums digitally on services like iTunes – and this was the year vinyl did come back – and “everyone” also releases their productions on LPs! Yes! It sounds weird, we buy untouchable digital files and the touchable physical music that´s 12″ of analog music – large black circles that gets scratches if you drop them or are not careful with them. It´s like we´re loving the “new” music and the new “retro” feeling of vinyl. I have to be honest, I love it all, I love CDs – Streaming, iTunes, and LPs. But the sound of vinyl – is what stay closest to my heart.
The year I started to love buying music again
Music for me had to be a thing I can touch. I´be had to have a cover to open, a sleeve to read the liner notes and text, a coverphoto to look at and to put the music into the slot of my stereo. Then I downloaded music and streamed. Felt I´ve had discovered a lot of music through blogs and webpages, but it was dead it was nothing just files. I still had to own the thing, I had to have the music in my hand and on the stereo. I´ve heard thousands of records through Spotify. First free, then I bought the premium edition to get more music and fewer commercials and adds. It was great, but something was missing. The words, the pictures, lyrics, liner notes and a cover.
I dropped Spotify – and bought my new discoveries in iTunes.
Almost at the same time I´ve started this blog I´ve started buying music again, digitally. At the start of the year (and end of 2011) I´ve picked up my record player again, and the made frequently visits to my favourite Råkk´n´Rålls (sic) second-hand record shop in Oslo, where I picked up classic albums I´ve always wished I owned on vinyl. Almost always second-hand for really cheap money like Nkr 25,- (4,5 USD or 3.38 Euros) or less, and a few full price. Always classics, like most of Elvis 70s recordings, Gram Parsons, Simon & Garfunkel, Supertramp, James Taylor, KLF, Inner City, The Blue Nile, Talk Talk, Nirvana. My vinyl collection grew from about 250 pieces of delicious vinyl – and counts now 500+ pieces and still growing!
It´s quite fun to think back – and discover that the last record I was considering buying on LP was Nirvanas “Nevermind” back in 1991 but I picked the CD because of the secret (and to be honest crappy) bonus track “Endless Nameless” was not on the LP edit. Then there was no way back, Everything from 1991 to 2011 was CDs and Digital. And now 20 years later – in 2011 – I´m starting to buy LPs again. The circle is completed.
The best things in life is free…
Mixtapes. Mix tapes. Actually they´re not tapes anymore, but still it´s called mixtapes – even if they´re now released for free on in webpages, and blogs. 2012 was the year I´ve found amazing music for free on the internet for real, mix tapes and DJ sets. On pages like DatPiff and SoulGuru and on homepages and blogs. DatPiff is an amazing mix tape page – full of almost all the mix tapes you´d like to check out. Great quality – and lots of free stuff by the biggest names. SoulGuru is my favourite music blog – they release DJ sets and tunes every-single-day that I have to check out – daily. The page is in German, and I can´t speak a word in German, but still a website full of great stuff worth checking out! Bandcamp is another web page I love. Lots free albums – take time to check out – all genres covered!
Mixtapes I´ve discovered; First a classic Frank Oceans, classic “Nostalgia-Ultra“. Daniel DeBourgs 3 fab albums, K Michelle has released four amazing mixtapes. To be honest the great K Michelle is this years latest music crush (a blog post is coming up early 2013 i hope) - she´s one the big voices to look out for in 2013. Leon Timbo has probably released the best soul album you still haven´t heard. Angel Haze – one of the most talked about new names in female hip-hip and not to forget the fantastic Azaelia Banks – when is the album coming? Fuze the MCs great full album release “One Black Man” for free through his homepage and many more I would like to mention, much more that I would like to blog about. It´s a whole world out there – so check out and keep on rocking in the free world!
Club and disco music came into my life…again!
10 years ago i loved club music, disco, french house, Stardust, Daft Punk, Danny Tenaglia, and, and, and…I should make a blogpost about the disco-club-songs-I-love one day. But this year I started do discover disco again, Azari & Ill, Kraak & Smaak, Maya Wik, Jessie Ware, Charlotte Thorstvedt, Solange. Club with soul, great voices, retro 80´s-feeling, great productions. It´s all less club-trance – more feelings. Looking forward to checking out more in the coming year!
My 12 favourite albums of 2012
Here´s my favourite albums of the year that was. The album I listened to most is without doubt the Drake album – an album I just didn´t get the first time I heard it, then after a couple listens – it hit me – and it hit hard. “Take Care” is the best soul, hip hop, soul, chill out album of the year, it should be up there with Frank Ocean on everyone’s Best Of 2012 lists.
Drake – Take Care (Spotify)
Frank Ocean – Channel Orange (Spotify)
Leon Timbo – …And Everything Else (Free mixtape)
K. Michelle – Zero F..ks Given (Free mixtape)
Jem Warren – Heart Knows How (Spotify)
Fuze The MC – One Black Man (Free mixtape)
Azelia Banks – Fantasea (Free mix tape)
Jessie Ware – Devotion (Spotify)
John Mayer – Born and Raised (Spotify)
Daniel De Bourgh – The Bridge The DDB Mixtape pt 2 (Free mixtape)
Mirel Wagner – Mirel Wagner (Spotify)
Rebekka Karijord – We Become Ourselves (Spotify)
Whats goin´on… The future of the Read And Hear musicblog
Okay, so this blog has now lived for half-a-year – and it´s still like a little kid to me – it´s still growing – and definitely not moved from home. And it feels great. This is my blog – and this is my thoughts about the future of my music blog.
Status 2012: In 2012 I´ve written 18 blog posts from June ´til December, that´s about one blog posts every two weeks. I happen to write long blog posts, maybe they´re too long? I´ve done some Q&As, which I like to do, a great way to get to know musicians and artists better – and great to share with you, my readers. The blogs Read And Hear facebookpage has not gotten too much traffic and attention from me this year, and the twitter page has not been updated too often.
I did an update on the blog design a few months back – and really feel I have found a page layout that is both stylish and represent the blog as i´d like it! More easy on the eye then it was when i started it.
Status 2013; I think I should update my blog more often, maybe at least once a week or maybe two. The blog posts should get shorter, and making the updates easier to read on-the-go. More focused – keeping it tighter and sharper. I´d love to do more Q&As and recommend new stuff. Love to to blogposts about my all time favourite albums. Check out even more music – both old and new. For some weird reason I often blog about soul music. I would like to show and write more about my love and passion for music – it´ll be hard rock, jazz, rock, pop or that guilty pleasure I´ve never told any one else about. My big project I think is to make a series of blogposts about the songs I love – to make my ultimate-favourite-best-of-greatest-song-ever-collection (which is also off course getting av Spotify compagnion (and maybe YouTube?) The Facebookpage should be updated more often – as well as the twitter page. Keeping it fresh and new and up-to-date. I want my blog to be – this is a cliché – the magazine or blog you would love to read
Stop me if you´d read this one before
I like to frequently check the stats of the blog, just to see if you´d like the blog posts. What are you reading and what blog posts are you loving – and not loving:
The 2012 best of Read And Hear music blog; There’s is one winner and the blog post you love the most was called The Ballad(s) of Jimi Hendrix” – my writings about guitar rock legend Jimi Hendrix´best ballads and the lack of a Hendrix best ballads album so I had to make one myself in Spotify (have a listen here!). I´ve heard that Prince would work with another funk legend, Larry Graham – and made a short blog post about how much I looked forward to that release. New name Franky Manzo released her solo-single “M.J´s Coursing” and I fell instantly in love with what I heard. She´s also doing a movie-project and has some cool plans for that project, there’s more to come on the blog as soon as I know more about she and her projects. Soulsinger-songwriter Kendra Morris released her debut ”Banshee“, and that became a real great album – and she had this cover-project, read more on my blog post. How To Dress Well is a singer-songwriter for the ones who likes Bon Iver – his latest album “Total Loss” should be checked out! Soul songer Daniel De Bourgh released three free mixtapes full of his remakes and covers of some of the latest years biggest names and some of his own stuff. A great voice with a future! Rebekka Karijord – the singer-songwriter to follow. Norwegian – living in Sweden – now slowly but surely conquering the world with her latest release! Keep an large eye up for her!
The 2012 worst of Read And Hear music blog: Some of my blog posts had almost none readers and here’s my worst 5 2012. Yes, you can dance to this – my disco/not disco playlist. You can hear it if you use Spotify. Actually a repost from another one of my earlier blog-projects. R. Kelly is back: With write me back check his “Share My Love” – I love the way his music turning into this Barry White´ish inspired disco-soul. Give it a try if you´d like! You should also check out my love letter to the wonderful yet dark music of Mirel Wagner. Sometimes a voice and acoustic guitar can make magic. Kanye West – New album sleeve – was my presentation of the rumored new Kanye West album, I understand why that wasn´t much read. Another Quickie was my Borgore feat Miley Cyrus video another quick blog update. Finally! Frank Ocean “Channel Orange” I wrote about Frank Oceans debut album, one of the albums I was really looking forward to in 2012. The album lived up to the rumors. It was one of the must have albums of 2012. Get your hands on it – and if you dare, read my review!
…And at last, my little list of this-is-I-proud-of´s; My blog has been mentioned on Franky Manzos- and Jem Warrens Homepage. click the links to chect it out! And remember you can follow the blog on Facebook and twitter, see more here; Facebook/readandhear and Twitter/readnhear
It´s the end of 2012 as we know it, and it feels good!
That was it: My best of 2012 – I promised that my blog posts was supposed to be shorter in 2012. I end this year by doing…another long blog post.