Note – Jay Breitling is an author of Cambridge, MA based Clicky Clicky Music Blog and below is an online interview that he conducted with I Heart Noise.
Mr. Breitling has also dreamed up and properly ordered words for Webnoize, Listen.com, Information Security magazine, America Online, Junkmedia, Splendid, Junkmedia’s World of Sound blog and Two And A 1/2 Pounds Of Bacon; he used to archive all of his reviews here, but then he got tired of keeping track of links dying and being reborn and et cetera – CCM
Clicky Clicky has been around for a very long time – almost 10 years in fact! (which is quite an accomplishment in itself)
How do you think things are different now from the times when you started a blog?
The thing named Clicky Clicky will be five years old in February, but I began having a blog of one form or another that addressed music 10 years ago when I was in grad school. I think (insert Old Man Voice here) people take the blogging platforms for granted these days, much like people take for granted that there are compact discs as opposed to cassettes and so forth, or broadband vs. dial-up, or the Web vs. Usenet. I remember being very skeptical of Blogger when it launched, and I continued to rely on a hand-coded web site hosted by my ISP into early 2003. And of course, since it was harder to have a blog back then, the quality of what was written seemed pretty high, because only those motivated enough to go to the trouble of crafting some sort of web site were doing it. Some things, of course, haven’t changed. People who like the things you like will read what you write about those things, for example. But generally, I think blogging is as good as it has ever been these days, as once again mostly it is now just the people who really are into it who do it, as the more casual bloggers have moved on to trendier past times.
The best part about being a blogger is, for me anyway, finding that band that you had no idea existed that is doing exactly the thing you wanted to hear. And of course, championing those bands and helping them find their audiences — that’s very gratifying. The worst thing about blogging is dealing with what is admittedly the small minority of folks who feel entitled to coverage, entitled to a blogger’s time and attention, just because they want it.
Did you ever get hatemail regarding any of reviews/material on CCM and how did you react to it?
I’ve gotten hate mail so rarely that I can only say I am sure it has happened, but I can’t recall it actually happening. Generally, going back to my answer above, people are either just psyched you are covering something they like, or they offer a helpful hint or additional information about something you’d written that had come up short. Case in point, I was writing about the Birmingham, England trio Calories earlier in the summer, and I mentioned they had posted a track that sounded a lot like Big Star. The title, “Thirteen,” should have been a dead giveaway, but I promptly forgot my mental note to pull up some Big Star and check to see if it was the same track. Of course, it was, and a reader hit me in the comments field and kindly pointed out that not only did the song in question *sound* like Big Star, as I had suggested, but it *was* Big Star, or a cover anyway. That’s the sort of thing that makes you feel like a rocket scientists.
What do you think about Boston music scene? Any particular local bands that you like?
I always wanted to know more about what was going on here, but it really has only been over the last two or three years that I’ve gotten in synch with (admittedly a very small subsection of) what is currently happening in Boston. When I was growing up the original Fort Apache studio was turning out some of the most important records of the day by Pixies, Dinosaur, Buffalo Tom, Uncle Tupelo, so I always knew that Boston was a big deal even before I moved here in 1999. There are current bands that are on my short list from Boston who I will always write about because I love what they do and respect their devotion to their craft. These include Varsity Drag, The Beatings and The Hush Now.
Who are some of your favorite artists at the moment? Least favorite?
I’ve turned on to some newer bands in the last year, and I think foremost among them is Young Adults. When their full-length comes out this fall a lot of people are going to be blown away. I also am really into the newish band Soccer Mom and Pastel Group these days. As far as bands I don’t like, well, naming names never makes a blogger popular, does it? But I also hate when people dodge this sort of question, so I’ll say this: for a very long time I didn’t get 28 Degrees Taurus. I saw them open for Frightened Rabbit two or three year ago, and I thought their set — admittedly probably derailed by the sorties of Jager shots brought to the stage — wasn’t good. But there is redemption to this story! I heard 28DT’s Jinsen promoting the Deep Heaven Now festival on WMBR last month and the DJ played a track by the band and I really dug it. So I think I just caught them on an off night, and I’d be pleased to see them again at some point, especially because I hear that they are using the drummer from The Hush Now these days.