Around 2014, Jordan stumbled across their first contemporary DIY release, Bethlehem Steel’s “To grow. “They were 17 years old, finishing high school on Long Island, and largely unaware of the dynamic house shows, bands like Oso Oso were playing in a few cities. Connor was driving in Wisconsin, coming out of his Radiohead phase, now obsessed with Sparkling eyes instead – his first deep dive into a DIY band’s discography. We were the boring independent kids who hadn’t quite understood that music wasn’t a personality yet. That year, we spent most nights Google searching for “album name,” searches that would lead us time and time again to a website, Blogspot.
Blogspot a bit bad. A blog hosting service devoid of full design capabilities, it was already a forgotten place when we arrived – isolated and communityless, mostly populated with dead mediafire links and long inactive emails. At the same time, it was intensely personal. A majority of our findings so far had been made by semi-collegiate radio stations, Pitchfork, or newspaper reviews of Speedy Ortiz Major Arcana we asked our moms to send us while we were spending the summer at camp.
Sophie’s floor changed all that. A personal archive maintained by one Kevin, the blog was an endless library of full discography downloads and short descriptions of emo and hardcore bands based in the United States. From Sophie’s Floorboard, we would move on to Pukekos, BJ Rubin’s one-stop shop for the perfect combination of indie not yet canonical and Brooklyn’s Rising Stars. For the first time, we could receive recommendations from people whose ambitions were as down to earth as ours. It’s this unpretentiousness that made Blogspot a place we could waste a few hours, soaking up the basement stories we longed to see and the stories of people we’d swear to meet. They rarely cared about great personalities or critically acclaimed people. They were largely archiving the lives of kids who seemed to have nothing better to do – who were going to hang out in the basement anyway, so they might as well write tunes.
This sincerity has kept many finds from those early days in our rotation today. Act like love of palatazo, Madeline Ava, Marietta, and Pants scream! would define the kind of project we would like to be in one day. There was no need for myths or grandiose origin stories; you could understand that they were happy to be heard. If you wanted to learn more about them and what they do, all you need to do is find a contact form and ask.
Blogspot gave us some music that asked us to do it someday too. We will proudly say it: we love emo music! We love the twee! Whether it was digging deeper into the history of the scene or checking out the new bands Sophie’s Floorboard had released, that feeling of getting to know it all was an accomplishment. These blogs have documented a time when emo and chamber pop were seen as a niche in an already marginal scene. They covered communities that no one else wanted, that only a few acts had even dreamed of crossing and breaking through. That’s why, when we first discovered these artists, we felt like something unique, a feeling that then bonded with friends who had done the same.
Beyond our development as musicians, Blogspot laid the groundwork for our adherence to the Bandcamp now-go-and-do attitude. The incredibly frustrating job of digging through countless archives and sending an unhealthy amount of undelivered emails in the hope of acquiring a dink dink feast of a four song EP has made us appreciate the beauty. and the vulnerability of creating any kind of art. These wasted hours deciding which of the two available group photos to turn into an MS paint-based album cover for our mp3 libraries has taught us that what is considered to have meaning and lasting impact is ours as ‘individuals to decide.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t admit that it played a role in shaping our most influential companies, like Jordan’s band label. It takes time records, who hoped to preserve the scattered chamber music they had encountered. Blogspot has shown us that the act of making music is self-sufficient. Why worry about critical acclaim when you have found refuge in the love of the community? The value of art is not determined by anything other than whether or not you are proud of where it came from.
The media discovery eras of Sophie’s Floorboard and Pukekos are long gone. This is a good thing. Blogspot was difficult to navigate. Finding your place there meant running with your eyes closed, hoping to find some light. Blogspot was never going to make documenting, listening to, or streaming music as accessible as it becomes today, nor ensuring that artists can communicate with the world while being remunerated fairly like Bandcamp and Resonate try to do. to do. Looking back, her bar at the entrance was too high – we’re sure she discouraged as many people from digging deeper than she inspired. As a music community, the easier we connect, the better off we are and the closer we get to creating DIY stage locations that truly welcome everyone.
That being said, Blogspot was the right place for us. We miss the lack of clarity that made each individual find feel like they were rediscovering a long lost grail. These albums changed our lives because we had worked hard to try to find them. While even the most inclusive local stages seemed like worlds we never fit into, Blogspot reminded us that there are still reasons to create, archive, and experience music that is both fulfilling and true. . There are more paths for the music fandom to take than ever before and every day we get closer to the real democratization of the means of discovery. We don’t know if we would still see this as a predominant end goal if it hadn’t been for Blogspot – we don’t even know if we would still be digging in our rooms for that perfectly fitting song, or try to write this track. We hope you have something that makes you feel the same. We hope you find your way.