After years of being the Cliff Claven of music among my friends and family, I’ve decided to share my mania with a larger audience as part of the editorial explosion at TechDrawl. Ideally, my music-related articles will bring you great new performers, you’ll tell me about YOUR favorite artists, and you’ll tell me I’m nuts the other 50% of the time…
By way of my background, I should probably first tell everyone that I grew up in an insanely musically diverse home. My dad was raised in Detroit listening to jazz greats like Wes Montgomery and The Motown Sound, and my mom grew up in Upstate New York embracing the folk stylings of Joan Baez and Judy Collins. My dad was pretty much the only guy in our neighborhood with full-sized speakers in the living room next to the end tables. Add to that two grandparents who loved big band music and comedic works from the likes of Victor Borge, and you get one crazy view of music and music history.
In addition, both my parents and only brother are full-on music performers: my mom a 50-year piano player in church and at home; my dad a classical tenor/baritone; and my brother a bass player trained at the School of Music Engineering (and Jazz Band) at the University of Southern California. On the performance side, my personal limitation is just about vocals on Rock Band.
And of course, I have successfully passed my musicality to our two-year-old daughter. After seeing bands like Crowded House and Martin Sexton while in the womb, her first real concert was the Atlanta Symphony’s production of Puccini’s La Bohème. Since then, she’s become an avid opera fan but will only hear of Luciano Pavarotti and regularly asks for Rigoletto’s Questa o Quella (thank you Steve Jobs for putting YouTube on the iPhone). She’s even opinionated enough to not want to hear anything of the Andrea Bocelli or Sarah Brightman flavor of classical music. Yep, we’re in for quite a ride with her…
In terms of where and how I encounter new music, I will absolutely reveal my sources in hopes we all broaden our listening pleasure. The key ones are:
- Virtually any podcast from the NPR music kids (especially All Songs Considered show and its host Bob Boilen)
- Paste Magazine’s printed publication and podcasts (right here in sunny Atlanta)
- The TV show 'Live From Abbey Road' on The Sundance Channel
- Genius Mixes on iTunes
- Sirius Satellite Radio, especially the Coffee House (channel 30)
- My brother who worked in A&R for 10 years and has a band in LA (although he probably won’t take reader calls)
So what kind of music will I be featuring over the coming months? Suffice to say it will get every bit as strange as my 85,000 songs in iTunes. I’m equally likely to be listening to Jason Mraz, Chingy or Pavarotti – three artists that have been stuck in my shuffles of late. I’m also a fan of reviewing my catalog from time-to-time to revisit great artists and albums, so it won’t be 100% new music but you’ll know the difference.
On the ‘how I share music’ question, the Internet will be an incredible aid in giving readers a sampling of each artist I feature. Every article will have artist’s sites, YouTube videos, streamed albums and more. In addition, each article will feature an iTunes link section that will contain affiliate links to each of the featured artists. If you love the music I’m highlighting and want to buy it, clicking through from our site will help support TechDrawl and it’s editorial mission.