The Future of Pop Headwound...

Consider this a “State of the Blog” address:

I want to start this little spiel by saying thank you to the many casual and regular readers of Pop Headwound - though I don‘t really know who any of you are, my Google Analytics page tells me that you do exist, you come from all corners of the world, and that several hundred of you are stopping by this site on a daily basis. It might seem obvious, but I have always relished the opportunity to introduce people to new music, whether that was making mixtapes back in the day, or spinning CDs on campus radio, or just passing word on to friends of what they themselves should check out. Pop Headwound has been a very natural evolution of that love, and I’m glad to have guided some of you towards music that matters in your life.

I’ve been writing the posts for PHW by myself for the past year and 10 months. Over that time I have been exposed to countless exciting new bands and have been reminded of many forgotten favorites, both through my own research and that of other like-minded bloggers. I started out in January of 2007 full of awkward moments - posting as often as I could about every band I could squeeze in between work, sleep, and a social life. Eventually I think I got the hang of this, and gradually there were some improvements made - more concise writing, easier links to other sites and mp3s, and finally a cool header photo up there that I took myself (hey I’m no pro, but I really love that pic - it’s the stage floor of a Here Lies Pa (now defunct) show from 2 Springs ago). PHW became a grown up music blog.

And then I discovered a strange thing. I found that I went through alternating phases of interest in this blog - sometimes the writing was full of pure excitement, and sometimes it was kind of a drag to do. Don’t get me wrong - I’ll stand behind every band and/or song that has been shared on this blog. It’s just that some of them I’ll stand behind with more enthusiasm than others. I guess as a music fan I love reading 2 kinds of music criticism - the well written review of an album the author loves, and those where a bad band gets torn to shreds (seriously, you know it’s fun). But it’s the ones that fall somewhere in between that get severely tiresome, and over the past few months I’ve been inundated with emails from bands, promo companies, and record labels asking to listen to and write about bands that don’t excite me either way. I feel like I’ve wasted countless hours listening to music that I either don’t like at all, or worse yet, am completely ambivalent towards. And the fact is that I don’t really want to do that anymore.

You may have guessed from the picture introducing this post that my life has gone through some pretty big changes recently. I’ve never used PHW as a personal forum at all - I’ve hardly shared anything about my personal life in its contents and I like it that way. It’s always been strictly about the music and promoting young bands and reviving interest in older favorites. But, as of September 20th, I am now a married man. And my beautiful new wife is 3 and a half months into a twin pregnancy that has given me a completely new perspective on this gift of life. (CLICHÉ ALERT) Time is a precious thing. Certainly too precious to spend trolling the internet sifting through band after band trying to find that one unknown that will set the blogging community on fire. (For the record, I’ve never set the blogging world on fire - the closest I’ve come is posting some rarities from Wilco, Spoon, and Iron & Wine - any of them you could probably find in dozens of other places). So, to make a long story short, my priorities are shifting, and that might mean a lot less time devoted to making PHW your one-stop source for the best in new independent music.

BUT, it does not signal the end of this blog - just a shift away from the grind of listening to tons of mediocre music on a daily basis. I’ve invested far too much of myself into this blog to just let it go - and though I’m officially a grown up now, my passion for music isn’t going anywhere. Pop Headwound will still be updated on a semi-regular basis, and will focus strictly on music and bands that I am truly passionate about. No matter what they might say, any music blog operated by one person that posts daily couldn’t possibly be passionate about everything. I don’t want to do that anymore. I would guess that the average post takes 2-3 hours of my time, many take much, much more. I still do want to share the music that matters to me with you, but I just can‘t devote that kind of time anymore. I hope you’ll continue to check in, and keep this ongoing musical conversation between strangers going. Peace.


Chuy said...

Congrats, sir!

And to be honest, what I love about PHW is the low signal-to-noise ratio. If I want to hear about every single stinkin' band out there then I can go to P4K, where I don't read about those bands anyway. I've always viewed this blog as being good recommendations (or disses ;)) from someone whose tastes I relate to, and too much news on every little happening would mess that up.

Congrats again, and have fun turning down the noise!

James said...

Thanks Chuy!! Though I don't know who you are, I know the name and that you've commented here several times before. I'm sure you'll still enjoy the content on PHW, there just won't be as much of it....

Wayne said...

Hey James, congratulations on the marriage and forthcoming birth. I know what you mean about devoting time to the blog. Your personal life does make it hard sometimes to devote hours to writing. It's hard to keep it balanced, so it's definitely better to devote time to only music that you are truly passionate about.

I check your blog every day, so I will continue to look forward to what you will enjoy writing about.

All the best

Anonymous said...

Another congratulations. I used to read your blog nearly every day, but even reading music blogs can become time consuming, so I certainly understand your position. That said, your blog is my current active favorite, so I hope you are able to keep it up on some level. I'd miss you if you went away! Best to you and your new wife and babies to be! Kathy

James said...

Wow! Thanks for the kind words Wayne & Kathy. It means a lot. PHW will certainly continue, just at a slower pace.

Wayne, I check ONL practically every day as well - your blog is one of my favorites.