Tag Archives: GLONO

Glorious Noise Turns Sweet 16

When we first launched Glorious Noise in February 2001 the country had just inaugurated a Republican president who had lost the popular vote after a bitter, draining campaign. My pals and I were not optimistic about the future.

We’ve written at length about the origins of this site, about the influence of Vanity Fair’s “Rock Snob Dictionary,” about Jim DeRogatis’ Lester Bangs biography, about the on-point emails from Johnny Loftus…but equally influential was the work of Hunter S. Thompson, who had recently launched his online column, Hey Rube, for espn.com (thankfully archived here). His posts were honest and fearless and beholden to no one; we idolized him. Thompson took his own life shortly after Bush was inaugurated for his second term, and I miss his voice every time I read the news.

The GLONO posse has always been a bunch of politics junkies. Which is why in 2006 we started POLJUNK, the national affairs desk of Glorious Noise. The site is no longer active, but the Twitter account is still on fire. You should follow it. We try to keep most political commentary out of the @gloriousnoise account so we can keep the focus on music, because in times like these it becomes more important than ever to remember that there is still good stuff going on in the world.

Please don’t think we are putting our collective heads in the sand when it comes to the current political situation, but there are lots of avenues available out there that provide your minute-by-minute fix of outrage porn. It’s important to stay informed, but it’s also easy to get overwhelmed by the constant barrage of bad news. And that doesn’t do anybody any good.

Independent voices are getting more and more consolidated as people increasingly get all their information from fewer and fewer sources. 16 years ago when we started GLONO the online world was a very different place. I was convinced that the internet was an incredible thing, leveling the playing field between the bigwigs and the little guy. The democratization of opinion was going to make the world a better place, where a bunch of nerds with a modem could potentially have as much influence as Jann Wenner or anybody else. And musicians wouldn’t have to go through evil record labels to get their music out to the whole world. Be careful what you wish for, I guess.

Back then, I didn’t want to call this site a blog, despite the fact that we started out using blogger.com as our content management system. I thought Glorious Noise was cooler than that. We had multiple contributors, our own domain, we weren’t diarists, we didn’t feel obligated to post multiple times a day, most posts weren’t just reblogs of existing content. We were an online zine, not a crummy little blog. We are, after all, professionals.

Today, that distinction–and snobbery–just seems silly. Glorious Noise is a blog. It’s always been a blog.

And now Twitter and Facebook have basically gobbled up all of the former ways to measure a site’s connection to its readers. Remember when comments were fun? Remember following a bunch of different sites with RSS? Remember discovering cool new sites by following links on other cool sites? Does anybody even read blogs anymore?

So why bother? Why spend your time writing, editing, and publishing articles when you have no indication that anybody’s reading them, and most evidence suggests that not very many people are?

I had a few beers with Johnny Loftus in Chicago a few weeks ago and he asked me pretty much those same questions. My response was, well, why did we start this shit in 2001? Why were we posting stuff back then? Nobody knew about us. Nobody read us. It took us almost a year to reach our 20,000th unique visitor. And half of those were probably bots. But we were thrilled. It was exciting!

We did it because it was fun. And because we had something to say. Even if it was stupid, and sometimes it certainly was. Who cares? Sure, it’s cool when readers give us feedback, and it’s cool to reach new people, but that’s never really been what it’s about.

Our earliest mission statement reads as follows:

Glorious Noise is a forum for my friends to post their thoughts on various subjects, mostly dealing with music. We have been described as rock snobs, but I don’t think that’s a totally fair label for us. We like what we like, and if you want to go out and spend your money on the new Limp Bizkit record, that’s up to you.

This is not a record review site. No one cares about the opinions of a bunch of strangers. If we were professionals, we wouldn’t be here. If you want professional reviews and real rock journalism, I recommend InsiderOne. Glorious Noise just contains some essays, stories, and rants about how rock and roll can change your life.

I hope you like it.
Jake

That still cracks me up. So snotty. And righteous. But that was our mindset when we founded the site.

And now I’m asking my posse to keep it going. Because I think it’s important to put good stuff out there. Now, more than ever.

I fully understand that everybody has limited free time. And I get that it’s uncool to ask people to work for free. We’re all grownups now. We have a lot of other pressing, real-life stuff to do. But it’s important to not allow yourself to get bogged down by negativity. As Johnny told me, “In a world of rancor and hot takes, we could all use a safe space to hang.” Purposeful self-interest and self-preservation. And that’s our goal for Glorious Noise for the immediate future. Or at least until the internet is shut down or the world ends…

We are going to continue to self-publish independent content on this self-funded site. Just like we’ve been doing for the past 16 years. And I still hope you like it.

Say it loud: I’m BLOG and I’m proud.

Continue reading Glorious Noise Turns Sweet 16

Our Missing Jay Bennett Interview Is Back

A little housekeeping, folks. When we converted from MovableType to WordPress, it seems we lost some of our early, featured content. We didn’t really “lose” it but we definitely orphaned it. If readers and search engines can’t find it, it’s lost for all intents and purposes.

A reader contacted us last night to point out that they could no longer find our 2002 interview we did with Jay Bennett and the track-by-track listing of his contributions to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. These were major scoops in the early days of GLONO at a time when Wilco and their lackeys were downplaying Bennett’s role in the creation of their masterpiece.

It’s shameful that we let these piece slip through the cracks of a redesign. So now they’re back.

And we still miss Jay Bennett.

Glorious Noise is 11 years old today

One year ago for our tenth anniversary, we took a little break. A sabbatical. After six months with nary a peep, we quietly started publishing stuff again. And we’ve been posting stuff fairly regularly since then.

The break was nice. It gave us time to migrate from MovableType to WordPress. We also switched hosts from Hostrocket to Dreamhost. And then switch back to Hostrocket after Dreamhost couldn’t power our decade-worth of content with their measly 8MB of PHP memory.

Our break also gave us some time to think about why we do this whole Glorious Noise thing and whether or not to continue on with it. When it comes down to it I realized that I enjoy sharing good music, interesting news, and critical opinions with the people who read this site. It’s easy to get bummed out when comments are non-existent, when pageviews are low (or are only high for stupid stuff), and when ad revenue dries up.

But then I think back eleven years to when we started this thing and we didn’t have any of that business. (Remember when enabling comments on blogs required separate software? BlogVoices, RIP!) Then again, we don’t have the novelty factor anymore. Plus now most of us have kids, real careers, etc. But we still care about music, musicians, and the music industry so we’re going to keep this going for the foreseeable future. As long as it’s fun.

I’m excited about Sab’s new column, My Vinyl Solution, where he’ll be listening to his entire record collection in (more or less) alphabetical order. We’ll be rolling out a redesign over the next couple of weeks. And we’ll try to come up with some other fun ideas to keep this interesting to our readers and to ourselves.

I’m off to drive to Chicago to see Jeff Mangum right now, so I’m signing off. But I’ll leave you with some inspirational thoughts from Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and MC Ren.

Previous birthdays:

• 2002: Happy Birthday to Glorious Noise!
• 2003 :Terrible Twos: Happy Birthday to Us!
• 2004: Happy Birthday! Three is a Magic Number!
• 2005: Glorious Noise is Four Years Old
• 2006 (belated): The Black and Orange Ball: GLONO’s Fifth Birthday Party
• 2007: Happy Sixth Birthday to Glorious Noise
• 2008: And if the Devil is Six: GLONO is Seven!
• 2009: Glorious Noise Turns Eight Years Old Today; Eight Years Ago: It started with emails…
• 2010: Glorious Noise Is Nine Years Old
• 2011: Decade: Glorious Noise Turns 10

Decade: Glorious Noise Turns 10

Decade

Ten years ago, on February 6, 2001, we launched Glorious Noise with this simple declaration: “Welcome to Glorious Noise. Coming soon: lots of opinionated essays and stories about how rock and roll can change your life…”

Phil then posted a follow-up: “Hey all, let’s get ready to rumble. Jake and I are taking our email argument about Britney Spears online. Be ready to argue about rock and roll, country, hip hop, pop and straight up poop. Let’s get it on!”

And that’s pretty much what we’ve been doing for the last decade. Ten years. That’s a long time. We’ve been lucky to work with tons of great contributors over these years, several of whom have gone on to real (i.e., paid) rockcrit/journalism jobs. That makes me very proud.

But now it’s time for a little break. How little remains to be seen. If Glorious Noise is to carry on, we’ve got to do some major behind-the-scenes overhaulage. We’ve been on the same web host since 2002, and we’ve been at least partially unhappy with them since 2007. And we’re still powered by Movable Type 3.36, which is old and creaky. I’m not suggesting we’re a complete tear-down, but we could definitely use a gut rehab.

Plus, frankly, after ten years I’m feeling a little burnt out from the daily responsibilities of editing and publishing an online music zine. It’s time for a break. A hiatus if you will. And while technically I guess one would have to describe the hiatus as “indefinite,” I don’t like the implication of that. I’m pretty sure Glorious Noise will be back. And when we do come back, we’ll be refreshed, recharged, redesigned, reinvigorated, and ready for another decade.

In other words, we want to preserve what is beautiful and special about the site and have it stay that way.

We’ll keep you up to date on our progress via Facebook and Twitter (for those of you not on Twitter, I created a special page for you), and in the meantime you’ll still be able to read lots of Todd Totale’s stuff on his Glam-Racket blog. And you can always sift through ten years of Glorious Noise Archives—relive the magic!

Thanks, everybody, for reading and for all the feedback over years. It’s been a ton of fun.

Continue reading Decade: Glorious Noise Turns 10

Top Shelf 2010

Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyThis is a slightly edited version of a message board reply I made in reponse to a great post about the “Matador at 21” event in Las Vegas this fall. The original poster, Barabajagal, described his feelings about the event as “a way of celebrating, yet leaving behind, this music that meant so much over the last 20 years,” and I got to thinking about my own feelings about this music as GLONO approaches its tenth birthday…

Twenty-one years. Think of that in terms of rock and roll history. Look at a label like at Atlantic Records. They started in 1947 as a jazz/r&b label and twenty-one years later they released Led Zeppelin. I realize that between 1947 and 1968 things were changing radically and quickly, but still.

Twenty-one years ago, no one had cell phones, and personal computers didn’t do much other than games and word processing. The world has changed pretty radically since 1989, too. But Matador albums still sound like Matador albums. Which is great, I guess. Look at this discography. They’re one of the most consistent labels out there (along with Merge), but it’s okay to get bored with it and to stop caring about new releases that sound like warmed up versions of stuff that came out 20 years ago.

But if you think things are bad now, just wait until the full-on 90s revival kicks in…any minute now…

Continue reading Top Shelf 2010

Leave the City: On Relocating GLONO HQ…

The Flag of the City of ChicagoIt breaks my heart to leave the city. I’ve got a lot of great reasons for leaving, but it’s still a sad day.

You might not realize that Glorious Noise was actually conceived and born in Michigan. Many drunken conversations at a dumpy Victorian apartment on Portsmouth Place in Grand Rapids throughout the late 90s led to our humble launch on February 6, 2001. By that July I was living in Chicago along with most of the other founders of the site.

I love Chicago. It’s a great city for people who love music. I remember before I moved here, visiting a friend and flipping through the Reader wondering how you even decide what to do when there are so many great shows happening every week.

Glorious Noise grew up in Chicago. Despite the fact that our contributors are scattered around the globe, we’ve always been a Chicago site. Attitude-wise, if not necessarily regionally focused. The Chicago attitude is straightforward and unpretentious, smart and direct, opinionated and funny. We’re tough, but we’ve got heart. Approachable to strangers. Even the prettiest girls in Chicago eat hotdogs and drink beer. What more could you want in a town?

Continue reading Leave the City: On Relocating GLONO HQ…

Shit, we got hacked!

Under constructionWe’re aware that we Google is warning users that GLONO is listed as suspicious. Our site was comprised and some bad files were added that could apparently cause trouble (that’s all we really know at this time). We have removed the bad files and are currently attempting to batten down the hatches to prevent this from happening in the future.

We’ll keep you informed of any developments here and on Twitter. We’re really sorry about this.

Update: (4pm Central) Well, that sucked. We were off line for hlaf the day. Uggh. Looks like the hacking issues must’ve affected everybody on our shared server. Or something. Still no word from our hosting provider…

Update #2: (9am Wednesday) Still no word from our hosting provider, but I’ve dug into it a little more and it looks like we had an old, unused program on the server that had some security vulnerabilities. Can’t be 100% certain this was the cause of the hack, but I deleted those files as well. As always, it’s a good idea to regularly scan your computer for viruses and other evil shit. We use Malwarebytes, but other free scanners include: Trend Micro Housecall, Kaspersky, Symantec (Norton), BitDefender, Windows Live OneCare, Computer Associates, McAfee, F-Secure (via).

Glorious Noise Is Nine Years Old

Mmmmm, GLONO cake.We’re so old we’re getting to the point where we don’t even like celebrating our birthday anymore. But GLONO has been around since February 6, 2001. Time to bust out that old picture of the birthday cake from our party at Beat Kitchen in 2004

We’d like to thank everybody who’s stopped by to read an article, download an mp3, watch a video, post a comment, or start some shit on the message boards. The interactivity is what makes it fun. On that note we’d also like to thank all the people who’ve re-tweeted our stuff, posted things to Facebook and all those other social sites that have decentralized online interaction.

Previous birthdays:

• 2002: Happy Birthday to Glorious Noise!

• 2003 :Terrible Twos: Happy Birthday to Us!

• 2004: Happy Birthday! Three is a Magic Number!

• 2005: Glorious Noise is Four Years Old

• 2006 (belated): The Black and Orange Ball: GLONO’s Fifth Birthday Party

• 2007: Happy Sixth Birthday to Glorious Noise

• 2008: And if the Devil is Six: GLONO is Seven!

• 2009: Glorious Noise Turns Eight Years Old Today; Eight Years Ago: It started with emails…

Enter a contest to win a Glorious Noise T-shirt below…

Continue reading Glorious Noise Is Nine Years Old

GLONO Video: Black and Orange Ball, 2006

Video: Quasar Wut-Wut at the Black & Orange Ball

I have no idea why these videos were never posted. Back in 2006 to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Glorious Noise, we threw ourselves a party. We gathered up the two bands on our record label (Riviera, who had a brand new album ready to go, and Quasar Wut-Wut, who’s still working on their follow up to Taro Sound), hired a headliner (the legendary Healthy White Baby), and came up with a theme: The Black and Orange Ball. It took so much out of us that we haven’t had a party or released an album since then!

Somehow these three videos got lost in the haze. Apologies to the Whiskey Bender crew for sitting on your hard work all this time. Better three and a half years late than never, I suppose. Check out the rest below…

Continue reading GLONO Video: Black and Orange Ball, 2006

The 21 Best Legal MP3s of 2009

The 21 Best Legal MP3s of 2009These are twenty-one songs available as MP3s that we linked to in 2009. They’re all still available (as of today), so download them now and make yourself a mix as a way to remember what you were listening to last year. Once again, people are whining about how 2009 sucked, but the list below proves there was plenty of good stuff out there, and it wasn’t even that hard to find.

Neko Case – “People Got A Lotta Nerve” from Middle Cyclone (Anti-). Posted Jan 14.

Von Bondies – “Pale Bride” from Love Hate and Then There’s You (Shout Factory). Posted Feb 4.

The Felice Brothers – “Run Chicken Run” from Yonder is the Clock (Team Love). Posted March 25.

Continue reading The 21 Best Legal MP3s of 2009