Sunday, November 12, 2017

10 Years of UHM

It's been 10 years to the month since I first created this blog, so allow me a quick fling with some self-reflection (and self-indulgence).

A lot has changed since I started. Streaming services (like Spotify) have made this blog almost pointless. Why bother going through the extra step of downloading when streaming a playlist is so easy and immediate? Of course, the fact a lot of what you'll find on UHM isn't available on sites like Spotify is a mitigating factor - but there's no doubt that our constantly evolving technology will eventually terminate this blog. That's okay - and no big loss, I'm sure - but I do wonder and worry about the future of the underdog music that I love. I'm not convinced the ease of the streaming sites will be a positive development in the financial viability of any band, let alone ones that get championed here.

And look, I know that the very concept of a shared mix involves a level of piracy. You may remember, back in the cassette days, there used to be a music industry campaign based around the claim that "Home Taping Is Killing Music." But I've never bought into that. In fact, in my own experience the very notion had been proven as bullshit. I've witnessed at least a couple of occasions when I made a mix for someone and they subsequently went out and bought an album by every band on the mix. Usually the end result isn't quite so sweeping - but at least a few bands on every mix will find a new member in their fan club. And that's my argument for what I do here - and, as evidenced by the corrupted spellings of the tracklists, also an acknowledgement that what I do is not condoned by the labels (even if it's mostly condoned by the bands themselves).

So that's where it all is. And for now I'll continue my sporadic uploads. And I'll probably never stop making mixes, even if they're only for me, because I'll forever hold the belief that people would love all these songs if only they could hear them. I believe UHM should exist like the old corner record store - no advertising and precious little traffic, but I have faith that all the people out there who need to find it will find it.

And I thank each and every one of you who have already found it. Let's all keep fighting the good fight.

The Ballad of UnHerd Music

1. Michae1 Monroe Ballad of the Lower East Side
2. Arke11s Ballad of Hugo Chavez
3. The Phant0ms Ballad of Overend Watts
4. Dada Ballad of Earl Grey and Chamomile
5. XTC Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead
6. The Tomorrows Ballad of a Lesser Man
7. Luke D0ucet Ballad of Ian Curtis
8. The New P0rnographers Ballad of a Comeback Kid
9. Nikki Sudden Ballad of Johnny and Mariane
10. Ted Le0 + the Pharmacists Ballad of the Sin Eater
11. Cheap Tr1ck Ballad of TV Violence
12. Ike Rei11y Ballad of Jack and Haley
13. Pernice Br0s. Ballad of Bjorn Borg
14. A1oud Ballad of Emily Jane
15. The S0 So Glos Ballad of a So So Glo (King's County II)
16. Mu11 Historica1 Society Ballad of Ivor Punch
17. Evan Dand0 Ballad of El Goodo (Big Star cover)
18. S1im Dun1ap Ballad of the Opening Band
19. E11iot Smith Ballad of Big Nothing
20. Jerry Jerry & the Sons of Rhythm 0rchestra Ballad of John Card & the Booze Rookie
21. The Loud Fami1y Ballad of How You Can All Shut The Hell Up


Anonymous said...

Happy 10, Roy. And more to the point, thank you! This little blog has had a HUGE impact on my listening (and purchasing). Hasn't really changed my tastes, but has given me countless new outlets to satisfy and stimulate them.

I have no interest in Spotify. A handful of blogs, some great radio stations/shows (WFMU), and bandcamp keeps me going. Spotify just seems like a huge undifferentiated mass that I don't want to deal with. So I hope it doesn't cause your extinction any time soon.

Not a ballad guy, but I will check out this playlist. The title of #21 made me literally LOL - or at least snort out loud. Definitely looking forward to that one.

Here's to the next 10!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, the link doesn't seem to be working. Get a Bad Gateway message...

Roy Pearl said...

The link seems to be working for me, so it might be just some Zippyshare weirdness. Here's another link to try:

Anonymous said...

Working now - thanks!

Adrian Mack said...

Title of #20 made me do a spit take. Happy 10th!

Roy Pearl said...

Thanks, Adrian! I'm a fan of your writing (and your music).

Mark Breitinger said...

I've only been on board for some of those 10 years but rest assured the service you provide is vital. First, I haven't found a streaming site that can deliver a twenty-song run anywhere near the quality of one of your mixtapes... not to mention the scores of bands you've turned me on to, some of which I purchase music from. As a musician, I've always appreciated any venue that helps get my music out there for people to hear (of course, I never set out to make a living off of it either). Finally, a blog like yours is the last bastion of that old-school breed of FM DJ who has been rendered extinct by Clear Channel and their ilk -- someone you followed because you loved their knowledge, their taste and their enthusiasm in sharing it with others. Here's to another 10 years, and THANK YOU!

Roy Pearl said...

Very humbled by your comment, Mark. That's all I aimed for when I started this thing, so I'm grateful to hear there's some appreciation for it.

And I think you're on to something with the disappearance of the old FM DJs. Corporate bean counters never knew how to cope with personal taste, so they had to steamroller individuality into the congealed gunk of mass culture for maximization of profit. And that left in the dust all that was interesting and unique and different.

Thanks (right back atcha) for the thoughts!