Monday, July 26, 2010

Music Monday - PopWreckoning Talks The Books and Tchaikovsky

Up-to-date music news, live reviews, interviews and album reviews, PopWreckoning does it all and more. By the way, our own Shawn Fogel (Golden Bloom/Neutral Uke Hotel) is quoted on the site saying, "PopWreckoning is better than Pitchfork." Love it. Managing editor Bethany Smith took time out of her hectic schedule (just look at how much information is on PopWreckoning) to answer our MM questions.

Music Monday Q&A with PopWreckoning


1. How long has PopWreckoning been operating?
PopWreckoning began in 2007 as PopWreck: a creative outlet for founders Joshua Hammond and Jessica McGinley to discuss their views on pop culture.

2. What makes PopWreckoning different from other websites?
We're not gimmicky and we don't say things just to sound cool or elite. We are honest and earnest in our love of music and the arts.

3. Do you think PopWreckoning has a specific musical niche?
We cover a wide scope of artists, but we do lean toward the indie side. We really just want to help the little musicians succeed by helping spread the word about them. Mainstream pop artists don't really need our help in the same way, although we'll still give them love.

4. What contemporary albums are you looking forward to coming out?
I think everyone is pretty excited about the new Arcade Fire. I'm also pretty excited to finally have some more stuff from The Books. And though I really just want more Rilo Kiley music, I must admit I'm curious to hear the Jenny and Johnny album. Finally, we're psyched for the Kevin Devine and Manchester Orchestra collaboration: Bad Books. Those are some of our favorite bands and I'm surprised it has taken this long for them to work together on a project like this. We got to hear a few of the songs already and the world had better be ready to be blown away.

5. How does PopWreckoning support independent music and what is important about doing so?
All of our staff has deep ties to our own local music scenes. We do what we can in our communities to help those bands get national exposure and shows. Another one of the things we do to support independent music is sometimes we take a step back from the PR pitches being tossed at us and take the time to just browse MySpace or last.fm on our own until we discover something we like. It's important to support independent music because everyone deserves a chance to be heard and they need to be heard because they bring variety to music. Without variety, this isn't a culture as much as it is a machine. We need the independents, if that makes sense.

6. Do you think online publications are taking precedence over print magazine? What kind of effect do you think that has on bands?
Online is definitely important. I don't know if I'd say it takes precedence over print. Rolling Stone has such a rich heritage; I don't think you can discard something like that. But the print publications have all needed to add some sort of online component. Which I think is great. I think the effect that the Internet has had on the bands has been great. I mean, this is music we're talking about and now, at your finger tips you can just click a link to hear the song for yourself to see what a reviewer is talking about rather than set down your pages and just have to take a writer's word for it.

7. What blogs/publications do you read other than your own?
As far as music blogs, BrooklynVegan has consistently been great in its coverage, especially photography-wise. We also like to venture outside of music.

8. What has been your most definitive moment since you started at PopWreckoning?
I think it would have to be the first festival we covered. You become so isolated sometimes working online, but at a festival you're surrounded by people who do the same thing that you do and love the same thing that you do. It’s a big awakening to realize you're shooting in a pit next to someone from one of your favorite publications and you can finally put a face to bloggers.

9. If there is any musician/band you could interview (dead or alive) who would it be?
I'm not sure if this counts because he is a composer, but I'd love to talk to Tchaikovsky. I think people forget how much the classics influence the music we listen to now and Tchaikovsky is one of those composers who has had a song that has marked almost every significant event in my life.

10. If you could be in any band (of all time), who would you rock with?
That's a hard question. You almost want to say something like the Beatles, but really I'd be content with just any band that's just happy to be performing - someone whose happiness is contagious like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros...

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