I have a knack for remembering dates. (It’s a shame, then, that I have no girlfriend to dote on—I would be all over that birthday/miscellaneous trivial anniversary crap. Seriously.) February is a month particularly rich in memorable dates: some crap ones (my birthday), and some considerably more pleasant. Case in point: it was one year ago today that I registered The Indie Handbook with WordPress (the first post came about a week later), but for the sake of accuracy, we’ll say officially that today (4 February 2010), THE INDIE HANDBOOK is ONE YEAR OLD!
I suppose this would be a good time to recap and have a look into the future, but first, the numbers:
Page views: 17,079
Facebook fans: 318
Twitter followers: 291
Hipsters alienated: 41*
Friendships ruined: 3**
Friendships gained: 3^3***
Quote of the year: “My definition of ‘mainstream’ sure has changed” ~ Kristin
Some of those numbers are staggering. Considering this blog began simply as a means to keep our friends, now scattered all over the country, aware of what we’ve been listening to, the fact that thousands of people from L.A. and Chicago to Malta and Romania have proved to be more interested in our playlists than the friends who used to ask us for recommendations still amazes me. And I am glad that’s the way it is shaping up. Equally surprising to me is the fact that one of my closest friends (who claims to identify strongly with indie music) would first criticise me for liking too much the music I write about only to call me “pompous and dreadful” and refuse to speak to me for writing about the wrong music in the wrong style.
Despite a couple of low points, this past year has been absolutely brilliant. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and conduct in-depth interviews with TWO of my all-time musical heroes, Shara Worden and Emilie Simon. I’ve learned that, while the London and Glasgow scenes are as exciting as ever, the Seattle/Pacific Northwest sound, so revered here in the States, is (for the most part) mind-numbingly derivative and pretentious. Standing in stark contrast, Wales appears to be churning out brilliant acts at an alarming rate that American tastemakers will not be able to ignore much longer and Holland is home to some of the best pop music in the world and two of the most inspired musico-philosophical projects in existence, In A Cabin With and Onder Invloed.
It’s definitely true that we have accomplished far more than I ever expected we would in our first year, but not everything I’d have liked to do. I had hoped to have a brand new site ready for a complete relaunch on our first anniversary, but the fact that I know nothing about web design and have no money to hire someone who does has slowed progress on that front. However, when it happens (and it will happen), I promise, you will love it. You may even find it useful. And, as I’ve alluded to in recent months, T-shirts are coming. I am going to try to keep prices down by printing them myself (yes, I’ve taken on yet another job), so once I’ve learned to do it with consistent quality, we will start selling. Also, you can rest assured that I have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from everyone who has seen the initial design. It really is brilliant.
Other things you can expect in the future:
- More alt-classical—I am passionate about the work being done by the next generation of “classical” composers, and when you’ve heard it, I think you’ll start to see what I’m on about.
- More guest bloggers—This business is exhausting. There is so much brilliant stuff I haven’t had time to get to yet: albums from Northern Portrait, The Hi-Life Companion, Venus Hum, Draygo’s Guilt, My Little Pony, etc., etc., etc. So, please send us your contributions. As long as they’re not total crap, we’ll probably post them. (Plus, the more you help us, the better the chance that I may be able to find the time to go on an actual date for once.)
- Dimbleby & Capper—She. Is. Brilliant. I’ve listened to nothing but her MySpace for three days now.
I’ll stop there. The last year has been great fun. I’ve loved every minute of it, getting to know so many great artists and making new friends along the way. We love to hear from you, so please stay in touch, send us recommendations, and if we happen to be heading to the same show, let us know and stop by to say hello (I need friends). (Which reminds me, I’m headed to the UK in March and I need people to hang out with. My schedule so far: 9 /3, Rose Elinor Dougall, London; 12/3, The School w/ Allo Darlin’, @ The Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh; 13/3, Dimbleby & Capper, @ Proud Camden, London.)
Come, my coach!
Good night, ladies; good night, sweet ladies; good night, good night.
*based on no empirical data whatsoever