Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt

I’ve been talking to Anthony from God Don’t Like It recently, and I think we both agree that longevity is the key to achieving anything in the music industry, particularly if you are a publication or a label or a promoter or a venue or anything like that – just make sure you stick at it for as long as possible.  For bands, maybe the flash in the pan model is a bit more feasible, but even then only if you play a particular kind of music.

Applied to mp3 blogs the same is true, particularly when you take their popularity boom into consideration.  Most music blogs started up about the time I moved to a Blogger account, in around 2006.  Around that time there was something of an explosion, with new ones popping into existence every few weeks, and consequently the older ones, dating back to 2003/4 and so on ended up with a kind of mythical status in the eyes of many writers (and readers) of these sites, because they blazed the trail that we all follow.

Muruch is a music blog written by a friend of mine, and it trumps all of these whippersnappers: it recently celebrated its tenth birthday!  There are a few reasons why this is an incredible achievement.  Firstly, the sheer slog of writing even a handful of posts a week for no tangible reward is a lot harder than most people think.  I pretty much go from internal monologue to blog post with barely a filter inbetween, which is why I get myself in hot water from time to time, but it is still the only way I can generate this amount of writing this regularly.  For Muruch to have managed ten years of consistent posting is a feat of endurance which I doubt many will be fully able to appreciate.

There is a little more to it than that, however.  Most mp3 blogs, this one included, play pretty fast and loose with the law.  Almost everything I post is sent to me by bands and PR people and therefore cleared for posting, but there are definitely times when I think ‘aw, fuck it’ and just fire something up on the assumption that a/ the band probably don’t mind and b/ if they do mind then they probably don’t care all that much and are unlikely to ever find out anyway.  This applies to a lot of music blogs, but not to Muruch.

Muruch, is entirely, 100% legal, which is one of the reasons they don’t feature all that many mp3s, a fact which hurts their audience somewhat when you consider the importance to blogs of things like the Hype Machine blog aggregator.  As well as this, when the music industry started wielding the ludicrous DMCA and making invalid, nuisance complaints against anyone and everyone, resulting in blogs being vandalised by their hosts or just shut down altogether, Muruch was one of the only ones to stand up and fight back.

Because everything they post is legal they were able to pursue a counter-claim all the way back to the source of the complaint, and by doing so highlighting just how little control bands actually have over their own music.  It was a brave and rather thankless task, but something which I think deserves an awful lot of respect.  So well done Vic, thanks for all the support for the record label, thanks for the last ten years, and good luck for the next ten!

George Davis – Sixteen Tons
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/GeorgeDavis-SixteenTons.mp3]

Eels – Sixteen Tons
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/Eels-SixteenTons.mp3]

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