Heather from I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS was a guest on NPR’s World Cafe to talk about the best albums of 2007. Give it a listen (she has a link on her blog). If you remember we were in the same room for Josh Ritter’s show in San Francisco back in March, though I did not recognize her. Many of her favorites fall in line with mine. And it’s a great intro to music blogs and their impact on music.
That same post about Josh Ritter included a quick two sentence review of Nicki Chambly (now Bluhm). I recently noticed some traffic coming from NickiChambly.fuzz.com and followed the link back to the press tab of her profile where that article is listed. Thanks Nicki, and/or your people.
Sometimes I feel like I’m the only fan of Matthew Ryan because I never see him getting press despite being amazing, engaged with his fans, and critically heralded. Well, this morning while reading through my feeds, I came to an article about his home recordings Dissent from the Living Room and Hopeless to Hopeful being posted. The first thing Riche ever trusted the internet enough to buy online was Dissent and I remember being really impressed with the fact that Matthew Ryan would number and sign each copy (and I was impressed that my copy of These are Field Recordings was also signed). Since then I’ve become a huge fan, but Hopeless has always eluded me. So I followed the link and downloaded it. As Heather discussed in the interview above, sometimes artists are supportive and sometimes they’re apprehensive about having their stuff posted for free. Here’s what Matthew Ryan posted on his MySpace page about the albums being posted:
“After I left A&M Records I started working on my 4track. This was only a handful of years ago, the internet was just getting warmer. I’m still not sure how Napster took off with all that dial-up going on. But I started releasing some DIYs on my soon to be relaunched website (matthewryanonline.com). Dissent From The Living Room and Hopeless To Hopeful are very raw home-recordings. Some of these songs went on to be part of future records when they were “properly” recorded. So, I was burning the discs and making the artwork and trying to keep up. I didn’t think I sell more than 40 or 50 CDs. It was amazing, because it was the first time I realized we were all out here looking for each other. There were humans across all those wires. The truth is, these DIY records were the first time that I made any real income from releases. The submarine word of mouth was very inspiring. And it was a very large part of why I’m still doing this. They went on to sell so well and consistently that I took them down because I couldn’t keep up. And I genuinely felt bad when CDs took to long to arrive or, and I’ll admit it now, I sometimes forgot to mail them!
So if you don’t have these, go on ahead and grab them. I’m glad they’re available at this blogspot. Plus, I don’t have to grab scissors and lick stamps.
Share the link with anyone you know that might be looking for these songs.”