It’s day… I dunno, maybe 32? It’s been a month since lockdown was issued in Los Angeles and it has given me a lot of time to think. I wrote previously how I’ve tapped into my childhood hobbies to help keep me entertained. It was one of the times that I remember being stuck at home with limited things to do.
This got me thinking – what else did I do when I was cooped up at home?
Downloaded loads and loads of music – for hours!
Circa 2006 and I’m sitting at a computer browsing music blogs upon music blogs – Hipster Runoff, Missing Toof, Discobelle, Asian Dan, Too Many Sebastians… The list goes on. This was that time in music that many love/hate to classify as bloghouse.
Bloghouse: A genre of dance music, influenced by electro and French house music, made with a simple and lo-fi aesthetic sensibility by people all over the world.
Uffie, arguably the princess of bloghouse.
For me, bloghouse was a time of self-reflection. I grew up listening to a lot of hip hop and rap. As I got older, there was a sound that I wanted to hear but didn’t know what it was yet. Hip hop wasn’t doing it for anymore. I dabbled a little bit with jungle and drum & bass, but still that itch wasn’t being scratched.
Bloghouse scratched that itch – orgasmically even. Not only did the music scratch that itch, but so did the scene. Around this time, fashionably, you had skinny jeans, sneakers, shutter shades, and emo bangs. Interestingly, unlike today’s style sensibilities, nobody really gave a shit about looking scene or hip. It was this raw feeling of expression that is nowhere to be found today. Pair that with parties that had no Instagram stories, Facebook check-ins or Snapchat location filters, and you had 100%, unfiltered good times.
Back to blogging. I spent hours upon hours scouring blogs for the freshest and dopest sounds for my blog, WDPK 837 FM. When I found a song, I’d download it, write up a little blog introducing the song, credited where I got it from, then publish. Every song I uploaded had a story and a reason for uploading – not just because the song was good but because they helped capture one of my moods… Or ways I was feeling. And I hoped to transfer that energy to whoever read my blog or downloaded the song.
Now here we are again, 14 years later, isolated at home and with full-on access to the Internet and all it has to offer. But shit has changed. As I evidenced in this video:
I’m not going to detail what happened to bloghouse, you can watch above, but I can try and explain how I’ve survived and filled that hole in my heart where bloghouse used to remix.
- Discovery on Soundcloud: There are a lot of upcoming artists that are waiting to be discovered, and you can find a lot of them on Soundcloud. From covers, to remixes and to original music, there are a ton of fresh sounds coming out of Soundcloud. However, this may change in the future as Soundcloud has been moving to a more corporate model.
- Still sharing: You know how I mentioned part of blogging for me was capturing a feeling… A vibe? I still do that – but through Facebook. In my day to day Spotify listening (sigh, arguably one of the Bloghouse killers), if I’m feeling some sort of way and a song comes on, either through my liked songs or Discover Weekly, and it matches my vibe, I’ll take to my Facebook page to share it.
- Making bomb playlists: I’ve noticed that playlists are the new mix cd. Want to tell someone you like them? Before you’d make them a mix cd or mixtape… Now you curate a nice list of music on Spotify and share it with them. In some cases you’d make a playlist specifically for them… I haven’t yet. I’ve made a mix usb once though haha. Today, I make playlists for parties I’m going to, vacations I’m going on, or road trips I’m driving through.
- Still partying: A lot of artists that were dominant during the bloghouse days are still doing their thing, albeit more matured and sophisticated (like I think I’ve become). But I still make a huge effort to still go dance my feckin’ ass off when I check out festivals, concerts or DJ sets.
I don’t think I’ll ever get over bloghouse. It’s been almost ten years since it faded away. There have been rumblings that it’s due for a comeback because, like fashion, music tends to go out of style then come back in style – it really do be like that. Not sure if bloghouse will really come back in its true form as it really was a sign of the times.
So in bloghouse fashion, I can’t end this post without a song. Well, how about 10,000 songs? I recently went through my old music folders, literally years of downloading music, some of which are lost now since music blogs have shut down, so you’re bound to find some rarities below. And heck, since this quarantine is supposed to last us until 2021, you can pretty much listen to 28 songs a day until this time next year!
A friend said to me recently, “Geez Julius, I wish I had as intimate a relationship with music as you do.” I laughed and just said, “If it wasn’t for 2006 to 2011, I may have never found love.”