While it would seem that Bollocks! is a slightly growing concern, I am a little worried that, at the rate things are going, I will not build up the giant stack of albums that I need to review in order to justify my continued existence on the internet. I now have The King is Dead by the Decemberists in my hot little hands, and I plan to review the hell out of it as soon as possible. But, in an effort to get more new stuff for about the same paltry budget (I used to get lots of albums every month from e-Music, but they had to go and start sucking), I’ve taken the somewhat brazen step of actually emailing a few record labels and asking them to send me promos of new releases. I expect even the kindest of the responses to contain the phrase, “please go fuck yourself”, so I’m on the prowl for other ways to get music to review for this blog. Mind you, I don’t intend to stop buying records, but I’d quickly go bankrupt if I tried to purchase outright every album that I’d like to review for this site. I spend money on albums I like or strongly suspect I will like and if I only reviewed those, I’d be able to post maybe three times a month. Besides that, I’d be economically constrained from expanding my musical horizons and that would be a goddamn shame, as the broadening of musical horizons is kinda what I’m all about.
Fortunately, a lot of labels are streaming albums on various web sites nowadays and I plan to start listening to albums that way as much as possible. But I thought of something else: what about bands that aren’t signed yet? What about bands that, like Bollocks!, have a fairly loyal, if smallish, fan base and they could use a little more public exposure? So, high off my Don Quixote-esque foray into asking labels to send me music, I came up with another ill-advised scheme that will put more review-ables within my grasp:
If you’re in a band or know someone who is in a band and you/they have recorded some music, I will now accept submissions to review your stuff. You can email me at the “official” Bollocks! email address and tell me about your band, your music, and so on. Be sure to tell me 1) Where other people can get your music (record stores, band website, iTunes, Amazon, et cetera. I can’t recommend getting a bandcamp page highly enough), 2) if your band is playing shows anywhere in the next few months, and 3) who is in your band and what they play.
Also, consider this an official announcement: to celebrate three years of doing Bollocks!, I am going to attempt at least one podcast, probably next month. If you submit music and are okay with me featuring it in that podcast, let me know. Again, free advertising for you, especially if I like your stuff.
If and when you email me, let me know if you’ll be needing to send a CD or if there’s somewhere I can acquire mp3s of your music. The higher quality the sound file, the better for you, so FLAC files are welcome. You just have to let me know how I can hear your songs in their best possible light. If your band is playing in Los Angeles and I can see you live for a reasonable price, let me know that too.
Of course, there is one significant caveat: I may not like your band. Please please please be okay with this before you decide to email me. I will still write about your music if I don’t like it, but I won’t write anything nice about it. This can still serve as free advertising for you though, because you can link to the review on Twitter and send legions of your fans here to call me a retard and ask me to kill myself (that’s what happened when I had the temerity to dislike Portugal. The Man’s Satanic Satanist album – I got a hateful comment about that review just the other day and the goddamn thing is almost two years old). Not everyone is gonna like your band, so if you’re okay with the possibility that I will be among the people who don’t, please submit your music.
On the other hand, I’d encourage you to have some faith in your music. If it’s honestly good, I will honestly say so. I don’t get paid to do Bollocks! and I’m sure my inherent snobbery will prevent that from ever happening, but what that means is that I have no incentive to do anything but be honest about any album I hear. And I really do want to hear unknown bands from all around the world and maybe turn a few new people on to some great music. Bollocks! will never be Pitchfork-big and I’m really one hundred percent okay with that (although part of me is a little sad that there will never be a Bollocks! Music Festival), but if I have the chance to grow my readership while helping unknown bands find new listeners, then, as Sam Cooke sang, “What a wonderful world it would be.”
So this is a call to all you brave – even cocky – bands out there in the far-flung corners of this bright, blue planet: if you want a thousand honest words about the work you’re doing, then let’s do this. I know there are bands out there right now making music that is precisely my cup of tea (which is generally a cup of coffee) and I want to hear it. If I love your stuff and (big “if” here) my podcast doesn’t do what idiots thought the Large Hadron Collider would do and destroy the known universe, I would be open to doing interviews or having some kind of guest review thing – anything that leads to more collaboration and the promotion of great fucking music.