Thursday 8 March 2012

Why Blogger? - Kowalskiy

It's time for another delve into the pysche of the blogger, with 'Why Blogger?'.  This time round David from the blog Kowalskiy has been kind enough to answer some questions.  Every week Kowalskiy bring reviews and chats with bands, as well as the famous 'Singles Club', and the original free monthly EP.

Hello, how are you?

I'm great ta. How's you?

Sum up your blog in a 140 character tweet.

Enigmatic, sporadic blogger and "hub for up-and-coming Scottish music". Caters for lonely hearts and free monthly 5-track Scottish EP lovers

There's little (if any) monetary gain in blogging. Why do you do it?

You say that, but I've saved a fortune on buying CDs! I'd always read blogs (well ever since Planet Sound shut down anyway) and was into a lot of local bands at the time, and thought I'd chip in with my tuppenceworth. Kowalskiy will never be a source of income for me. If I went down that route I think it'd suck all enjoyment and passion out of it, and in the end, that's the main reason I'm kept doing it.

Allow yourself some self praise, what's your proudest blog related moment?

I think the response to my free monthly EPs. I've always been a fan of the unfinished demo, the acoustic version and the live performance. Often they tell you more about a band's music than the polished, final product. Back when I came up with the idea, I emailed my five favourite artists and within 5 days, the first EP was on the cybershelves. That these five artists jumped on board and sacrificed one of their tracks for a relatively new blogger they'd never clapped eyes on, is still something I can't get my head 'round. Bands going out of their way to record something specially is also baffling. There are some extremely trusting bands out there! Other than that, thanks to the good lads from Rose Parade, I've been namechecked in the Evening Times, The List see me as some sort of new music "hub" and Neil Buchanan is following me on Twitter!

You're on a plane and the only in-flight movie is Maid In Manhatten. What do you take to, listen to, read and watch?

First of all, what's wrong with Maid in Manhattan?? I happen to believe J'Lo delivers a sterling performance! OK, true story... I went to Italy in the summer with my beloved. All I had on the iPhone was demos and singles by Edinburgh's Letters - perhaps the most exciting new band that surfaced last year. Cocky, belligerent wee shites (well, Mikey at least ;-) ), but they have the music to back it up! Movie-wise, Grown Ups was on there. Not usually a huge fan of Adam Sandler, Kevin James or Chris Rock... still not, but it wasn't bad. Would much rather have watched something along the lines of The Darjeeling Limited mind you. As for reading, if you can find a better book than Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, please let me know.

What Scottish artists would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

I could be here for a while, but in terms of last year alone, I've loved seeing bands like Letters, Partwindpartwolf, Echo Arcadia, Happy Particles, The Machine Room, PET, Laurence & The Slab Boys start to make some headway. The Little Kicks, Cancel The Astronauts, Over The Wall and French Wives are firm Kowalskiy favourites, and in terms of the soloists, Will Hanson and Wiredrawn have been fantastic, and The Ramisco Maki Maki Rocking Horse continues to amaze me. He deserves some bloody recognition! Also, I have a severe man-crush on King Creosote. One slight disappointment though, and I never thought I'd say it, is the new direction he seems to be going in. All this recent collaboration lark is just not for me, and it pains me to say so. Why Kenny, why!??

Do you write your blog with an audience in mind, or do you blog about what's on your mind?

Neither really. Let''s be honest, no one will read Kowalskiy if they're not prepared to go out and look for new up-and-coming, local music. I don't feature NME and Q-endorsed buzz bands, or whoever the BBC say is one to watch. So in that respect, my audience is gonna have to find me! As for what I blog, it really is just what bands tickle my fancy. I think as soon as you start featuring these 'buzz' bands you don't like, just to get some extra readers, the integrity of the blog is gone. So I guess I'll continue to rely on word of mouth to keep getting visitors to the site...

What do you think blogs bring to the music 'scene'?

I think blogs, along with podcasts and student radio are fast becoming the only way for up-and-coming bands to get their name out there and their music heard. Especially in Scotland! Just look at who the BBC (in all their wisdom) have picked as their so-called Sound of 2012. How's an unsigned pop/indie/folk band from up here meant to get some recognition from the mainstream media when they throw their weight behind that PR-weighty dross?! With that in mind, Andy from TVPE's idea to run a blogger version this year was a great step to rectifying that. Was good to see French Wives getting in the Top 10. Here's hoping that helps them, in some way, get some much-deserved credit.

As a reader, what blog(s) do you frequent?

Before I started blogging, it was only really Peenko and Song, by Toad that I read on a regular basis. So you can probably blame them for me starting my own. Well, them and me wanting something interesting to put in the 'Non-academic activities' sentence on my CV as my Ph.D. was drawing to a close. Now, I've got Aye Tunes, Favourite Son, Radar, The Pop Cop all bookmarked too... as well as your good self! Oh, and Larry "Slab Boy" Reid's procrastinations on his Laurence & the Slab Blog are always a good read.

Thanks very much for talking to us. Would you care to end with a joke?

Gotta be a physics one then. Apologies in advance...

Heisenberg was out for a drive one night when he was stopped by the police. The officer asked, "Sir, do you know how fast you were going?" Heisenberg replied, "No, but I know exactly where I am."

Check out Kowalskiy blog here

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