Thursday, January 20, 2011

To the readers of The Nightfly, including bands and artists

Me and Johnny (Ramone) hanging out at Hollywood Forever in L.A.

I started The Nightfly music blog on February 27, 2008 as a hobby and labor of love. It's a one-woman operation and still (by choice) 100 % advertisement free. Due to other obligations (full-time work) I was not able to blog much that first year or for most of 2009. But in late 2009 I decided to pick up where I had left off and have been happily blogging ever since, doing interviews with Mozez (formerly of Zero 7), Avi of Avi Buffalo, Yukimi of Little Dragon, Yaw, Turboweekend, and more.

I have a policy of never posting mp3 song files, in part to avoid potential legal trouble. However, a year ago I began posting music videos. This fantastic film-meets-music art form is seeing a much-welcomed rebirth and there is thus a wealth of excellent videos on the web, from do-it-yourself projects to big production numbers.

Music videos are a highly effective tool for a band/artist to get the word out about their music, and although many of them do indeed have videos on the web for fans to enjoy and for the media to use - including music bloggers such as myself - I am often surprised at how many of them do not have music videos available. Some of the best videos I've come across were clearly made on a shoe-string budget but are no less effective; thus, cost is not necessarily a prohibiting factor in making a good music video.

So: to the bands/artists out there - get a few friends together and put a cool, fun, crazy, weird, sexy, gorgeous, or whatever-you-feel-like-doing music video together and upload it to your website, MySpace or Facebook profile, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. Be creative, have fun with it and - don't say I didn't warn ya - be careful about using copyrighted footage; the legal hazzle is not worth it.

I never checked my blog stats until this week - been too busy blogging I guess. Turns out The Nightfly has quite a few readers. The Blogger company provides me with excellent and very interesting stats: 'now, day, week, month, all-time, most read posts, audience, traffic sources, most used browsers, operating systems', etc. It's very helpful for a blogger, but most of all it was very gratifying to discover that I have readers all over the world, woo hoo! (NOTE: I'm not including the obvious and annoying visits to my blog from spammers - I can easily deduce which traffic is real and which is bogus.)

Naturally, my readers are primarily in the US, and I have a solid following in Denmark (a shout out to my pre-California hometown of Copenhagen!), but The Nightfly also has many readers in Canada, the UK, Australia, Germany, Holland, and Russia as well as Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Turkey, Israel, Poland, Japan, China, Malaysia, Argentina, Costa Rica, Romania, South Africa, Peru, Ecuador, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Indonesia, Serbia, Belgium, Hungary, Singapore, Georgia, Malta, Switzerland, the Philippines, the Czech Republic, Taiwan, Greece, Chile, Mexico, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Tunisia, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Panama, Austria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Cyprus, Thailand, Columbia, Guatemala, Croatia, Belarus, South Korea, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mongolia, Senegal, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Bolivia, Slovenia, French Polynesia, Egypt, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gabon, El Salvador, Cuba, Morocco, Uganda, Iraq, Jamaica, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Botswana, Kenya, Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, Armenia, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Vietnam, Albania, Algeria, Montenegro, Macedonia, Guernsey, Dominican Republic, Moldova, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, French Guiana, Nepal, Guadeloupe, Ghana, Luxembourg, Ethiopia, Marshall Islands, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Brunei, Andorra...and counting.

I am blown away and truly honored and thrilled - it means a lot to me to know that music lovers out there in cyberspace are reading my music blog.

I named my blog after Donald Fagen's timeless 1982 album 'The Nightfly": on the cover is a late night DJ, a turn table, and a clock on the wall. I always really dug that photo, minus the cigarette, hmmm. (Click below to read my first blog about Fagen's album:

NOTE: 'The Nightfly' URL unfortunately was not available on Blogger when I started my blog - instead I picked the 'Late night dj'. URL.  This makes it a little more challenging in terms of search engines. Nevertheless, evidently folks still manage to find the blog on the web.]

A life-long radio fan, from day one I wanted to emulate the concept of a DJ 'spinning records in the wee hours' with a very eclectic, non-snobbish, high caliber, minimalist look, positive vibe, ad free music blog with which I could reach out to people by way of great music. I love the idea of someone linking to my blog somewhere on the web and possibly discovering an artist/band they've never heard of before. When this happens I feel I've done a good job. And hey, if it helps keep people sane in a sometimes crazy world, I also view it as my modest but vital contribution to world peace.

Music is our most important invention - a wonderous "thing" that brings people together and provides comfort and release for both listener and artist.  Musicians often experience what is termed "flow" which is when they are "in the zone" and lose all sense of time and place.  It may occur while at home writing songs, in the studio recording, or on stage.  Being a singer/songwriter myself, I can personally testify to this - it's mysterious and very trippy; no drugs whatsoever are required.

When performers put their heart and soul into a show and are 100 % "present", audiences will likewise experience "flow" - it's a beautiful thing to witness and to be part of, and my favorite live concerts over the years have been those where both the musicians and the audience are "in the zone".

Although The Nightfly is of course virtual, it is my hope that the reader experiences a degree of "flow" when for example watching a music video or reading an interview.  Obviously, no amount of blog reading can ever replace going to a live show or listening to a record, and it's not meant to.  My blogging is meant to whet my readers' appetite, get him/her excited about a song, an album, a band, an artist and then - hopefully - send people running to their local record store (or to the web for a legal download) or out on the town to see a concert.

So go see a show, buy some music, and send links to your friends whenever you come across info on the web about an interesting artist/band, including right here on my blog.

Thank you for reading - keep "tuning in" to The Nightfly!

Peace & Love,
S.J.Z aka The Nightfly