About the author…
My name’s Rob and I’m a music hoarder. Seriously though I have been a music fanatic since about the age of seven. Ahhh.. the summer of 1984. When other kids were spending their allowance on Transformers, Pop Rocks, and whatever the latest fad was, I was spending it on pop 45′s. Prince, Cyndi Lauper, ZZ Top, Genesis, Pat Benatar, Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, Culture Club, Van Halen… there was quite a variety to choose from on top 40 radio at the time. As I grew up I sought more pop, and then late 80s hip-hop, early 90s dance and r&b, mid-90s alternative rock, a deep dive into classic rock, then electronica, alternative and the whole big mix of things that makes up this past decade or so… I came to love facets of (almost) every genre of music I could get my hands on.
My taste is too mainstream for me to be a hipster, and yet too left of center to be totally considered mainstream. I will never be a writer for Pitchfork, let’s put it that way. What can I say? If I like something, I like it. My first musical fascination as a kid was Prince when Purple Rain came out. The music was exciting! The album (as well as many others by Prince) set a blueprint for my taste to branch out in all different directions and genres. As a teenager I was properly introduced to and became obsessed with Pink Floyd’s music. I now collect their music and concerts extensively. They have such a rich history, and their music hits me in a place few others can. You will see many articles on both Prince and Pink Floyd, as they both continue to fascinate me in my adulthood. I try to have an open ear to everything new that I can and at least give it a listen. I am obsessed with a different band or artist almost every other week. I’d have to say my favorite bands and artists I’ve played a lot of in the past couple years have been Fun., Foster The People, Muse, Scissor Sisters, Jack White, Imagine Dragons, Puscifer, Tool, Awolnation, Arcade Fire, P!nk, Young The Giant, The Killers, Semi Precious Weapons, Twenty One Pilots… it’s a long list. If you look at my Top 25 albums of 2013 list that’s a good indication. My taste is sort of all over the place.
The stuff you’ll probably find me reviewing most on here will be alternative rock, pop, electronica, hard rock, and any underground artists I happen to hear that I want to share with the world. I love chatting up fellow music fanatics about their favorites, as long as they have open minds. People who are music snobs miss out on a lot in my opinion. Sticking to one genre is so limiting. I don’t feel that an artist becomes invalid if they become popular. They were just lucky enough to be one of the chosen few that make it to the ears of the masses. That doesn’t mean that I think mainstream is always good. Some singers get lucky to jump on a wave at the right time with a big company telling them what to do, but have little to offer in the originality department. And some people make guilty pleasure music. Sometimes I really like that. Don’t we all love junk food once in a while?
So I’ve been a Columbus, Ohio resident for almost a decade. I moved here from upper Indiana, where I grew up. I’m a gay man and have a wonderful partner of over seven years. I don’t hide that part of me, but it also doesn’t define me. Sometimes this changes my view on a certain piece of music or a certain artist. Sometimes it doesn’t. Aside from being well versed in 80s pop knowledge, I don’t feel that my taste is all that stereotypical. I don’t fawn over Barbara Streisand or a number of superstar divas. I’m not a metalhead by definition, but I do love some gritty hard rock and roll. I like electronic music, but a lot of the stereotypical “you must love this if you’re gay” music surpasses me. And yet some it I truly love. I just try not to shut anything out. Music is universal. It’s the one thing that can transcend all the BS of the world and bring us to a better understanding of each other.
One thing you will notice is that I don’t always review something right when it comes out. The main reason behind this is sometimes I need a few listens to really let something sink in. I don’t want to be the guy in Rolling Stone that heard three songs and tells you the album sucks, based on an idea that others will expect me to say it isn’t cool and also my laziness to not give the music my full attention. I don’t write for other writers. I write for fans of music with open ears. When I read a review, I want to know *why* it’s good or bad with some details. But also, some bands put out an album and it doesn’t make it to the public consciousness (or mine) until it has been sitting on a shelf for a while. That’s not going to stop me from reviewing it if I feel it is relevant and needs to be heard. Oh, and I can’t stand the hipster mentality that says you have to re-invent the wheel to make good music, or that popularity means an artist can’t possibly be good. In my wall of music Madonna, Morrissey, Kylie Minogue, Metallica, George Michael, Janelle Monae, Motorhead, Dave Matthews Band and the Misfits all share a section in perfect harmony. I promise you that in every review I write, I will try to find at least one good thing to say. And I’m trying to stay away from the star/grading system. In my eyes that’s an easy way out of really having something to say about the music.
I also re-edit my posts a lot. I’m very OCD that way. If you notice I left something out in a review, or left out an important fact somewhere, please let me know! Sometimes it can be difficult being my own editor. Some of my “looking back” articles opened up some doors of research that led me to stories and music to share with you all after the fact. Sometimes that happens well after I’ve posted the article. I’ve already lost count of the updates on my recent Milli Vanilli article. A simple post of appreciation for an album I thought many would ignore led me to communications with several of the group members and tons of feedback and followups. Things like that are a music geek’s dream come true!
Please, by all means, send me your comments and feedback! I’d love to hear from you! Opinions (please just be fairly civil), concert stories, great music I might like but I missed… any of that is much appreciated. I started this site in December 2012 and the feedback I have gotten from you all has made this very much worthwhile. Thanks and enjoy the show!