Beer and Pavement

The Times Are A Changin’

Posted in Uncategorized by SM on January 23, 2012

Sorry for the erratic posting as of late. My life just got really busy and I’ve had no time to post. However, that should be a good opportunity for me to do things a little differently around here or as I originally intended.

This blog was never to be a chore or one of those everyday kinds of things. We were approaching that in November and December. Then, as I’ve mentioned above, I became very busy. That and posts were coming slowly. I needed a jolt.

Well, a few things have crossed my desk and made me rethink this blog yet again.

First, I originally set out to write longer, more thought-out posts than I’ve been doing lately. Sure, some of my ideas have potential, but they often falter as I hurry to publish them. So, I’m getting back to the fully-baked blog posts that made this blog so strong at one time. The intention has always been to develop something I can publish, like on paper. Well, half-assed blog posts don’t usually end up as books or magazine articles. So, a new focus on quality will be evident here. If my quality sinks, I’ll expect that you’ll all let me know.

Second, I will be getting away from Monday top-5 lists and the straight reviews. They’re tedious and rarely all that interesting. I may still do lists, but they will be lists deserving of consideration. Reviews won’t disappear completely from this site, but they will feature more than just a nuts and bolts review. Look for my Royal Rye Wine review in video form. Future views may or may not be of the video variety, but they will be the essay form I typically enjoy writing.

Finally, there will be a new focus on what this coalition is about: craft beer and indie rock…or craft rock and indie beer and where the two intersect. The straight indie rock posts attract no traffic. It’s been done before. The straight craft beer posts are sort of boring. Beer/music posts are my specialty and I should stick to that. Plus, it could help develop my niche for the first goal mentioned above.

Stay tuned. I have two posts in the works and another one marinating. The Royal Rye Wine tasting will happen Saturday. The video of that tasting should happen some time next week.

Tell me what you think. What am I missing? Do you welcome this back-to-basics approach? Should I even bother? Come on. Validate me.

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12 Responses

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  1. Bill Farr said, on January 23, 2012 at 9:00 am

    It would be interesting (for me, anyway) to hear you try to define indie rock a bit more. It has to be something more than “they’re not signed to a major label” or “artists that I like.” American “craft beer” has always had the equivalent of the first example, for good or for ill: “Any beer not brewed by (the former) BMC” (or owned by Pabst, maybe, or whose flagship was an adjunct lager, or…)

    Do the Black Keys lose their credibility when they pair up with a renowned producer with an ear for the radio and start selling out arenas? If so, why? Do Drive-By Truckers lose their credibility simply for existing for so long and attracting people my age to their shows? If so, why? What about the groups that have good Pitchfork buzz, but get songs in heavy rotation on commercial radio with an eye towards new music, like WXRT or Radio Milwaukee or KFOG? Does the concept “indie rock” make sense when three generations or more of folks have been listening to rock? Does it differ from 80s “college rock” or 70s “punk” — and if it veers towards the mainstream or is co-opted because a wider audience starts appreciating it, is that bad?

    It’s not fun for non-true believers to read Pitchfork or the AVClub and have commenters sneer at taste. You could perhaps address things in a way that doesn’t divide people, and by that I mean doesn’t tell people they suck if they don’t listen to Wye Oak, unless listening to Wye Oak is already over, in which case I mean, doesn’t tell people they suck for listening to Wye Oak.

    And if you can incorporate beer into this somehow, more power to you!

    • Zac said, on January 23, 2012 at 9:28 am

      That’s a big one. I’ve actually addressed it a few times, but maybe not directly or solely in its own post. I’d consider all those bands indie. It’s not as simple as the craft beer definition which defines (and often revises) craft breweries by how much beer they produce in a year.

      What’s funny is that “indie rock” is barely used or recognized by most musicians. It’s a marketing ploy. However, I use it as a neat, little label to pair with “craft beer”. A clear definition with some beery examples might be in order.

    • Zac said, on January 23, 2012 at 9:29 am

      Also, I don’t see the point in telling anyone that they are lame because they don’t like the same music I like. If people are seriously thinking about their music, I can respect any appreciation they may have, even for something like Nickleback.

      Well, maybe not Nickleback, but you get my point.

  2. beerbecue said, on January 23, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Although I was looking forward to a more Nationalist-Revolution themed beer blog, I can live with this. 😉

    I started reading during the period of discontent that you cite above. But I have always thought you had quality posts (and was impressed that you could crank out so many). So, I am sure that what is to come will be even better. I am not that familiar with indie music blogs (as that is only one of my interests when I get bored with my current rotation and I go on a temporary music acquisition jag). But clearly there are sooooo many beer review blogs out there. One definitely has to try to differentiate.

    Keep posting. I will keep reading!

    • beerbecue said, on January 23, 2012 at 9:10 am

      PS I just saw the first comment. Please don’t take my Black Keys. Let me go on believing that despite the radio play and arena shows that with their new album they have just perfectly melded rock, lo-fi blues, and The Cramps.

      • Zac said, on January 23, 2012 at 9:33 am

        No worries. I remember when the Keys were playing Columbus, OH (my old stomping grounds) every month. They have done nothing to ruin their indie cred. Even if they had, does it really matter? You can still like them even if they’re not indie. (Like I have the power to give you permission to like the Black Keys.)

        Also, thanks for the kind words.

  3. Barleywhiner said, on January 23, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Definitely keep writing. I like beer blogs that aren’t just someone writing about what they drank last.

    • Zac said, on January 23, 2012 at 9:33 am

      Thanks. That’s what I’ve been trying to do.

  4. Mike said, on January 23, 2012 at 11:47 am

    New approach=validated.

    Sort of on topic, but if Lana Del Rey was a beer, which would she be and why?

    • Zac said, on January 23, 2012 at 11:54 am

      I was thinking Shock-Top or that fake organic brewery (whose name I’ve forgotten). She’s awfully fake, hiding incompetence behind some fat/phat lips and a sexy single or two, but we know that she’s really corporate. Even aware music fans (myself included) have been fooled by her act. At least, that’s where I am today.

  5. G-LO said, on January 23, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    It’s all good Zac! Just go with your gut and have fun with it. While I may not always have something to say, I still enjoy the read.

  6. […] Commenter Bill Farr asked me to define indie rock. Has anyone really tried to do this? Actually, some have. AllMusic of course has something to say: Indie rock takes its name from “independent,” which describes both the do-it-yourself attitudes of its bands and the small, lower-budget nature of the labels that release the music. The biggest indie labels might strike distribution deals with major corporate labels, but their decision-making processes remain autonomous. […]

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