Tuesday 15 June 2010

DiS is 10 | Press Release


Drowned In Sound, the UK’s original music website, is ten this year and to celebrate a decade of debate, dissent and deliberation on the merits of a multitude of musics, founder and owner Sean Adams will be announcing a plethora of events and special coverage on the site. Ten years since its inception the site boasts more than half a million users per month.
Drowned In Sound was born on 10th October 2000 in the bedroom of Sean Adams. Originally a hobby, the site soon took on greater significance as Sean pioneered the idea of a community of music minds through the site messageboards and offered new and emerging artists an outlet for coverage that seemed to be lacking in the wider music media at the time. On the anniversary itself, Sean Adams will host a special Drowned In Sound 6 Mix on BBC Radio 6 that will feature 20 landmark songs from ten years of DiS alongside a few special exclusives from friends of the site such as Erol Alkan and James Lavelle.
The link between artists and Drowned In Sound has been a constant story of the last ten years, from Bloc Party forming on the messageboards to the likes of Tom Smith of Editors joining the debate on his band, interactivity between like minds and opposing viewpoints, critics, artists and fans has been a hallmark of Drowned In Sound that now seems the norm across the online landscape. As part of the birthday celebrations, keep an eye out for DiS’ greatest debates, revisiting some of the great arguments and spats between artists and the individuals on the messageboards. Whilst everyone now talks about breaking down barriers and creating communities, it was Drowned In Sound that started this process, way back at the beginning of the decade.
Given the sheer passion for music that created the site and continues to power it, there should be no surprise that Drowned In Sound spawned an attendant label that was responsible for the debut Kaiser Chiefs single and albums and singles from such luminaries as Martha Wainwright, Brett Anderson, Metric, Blood Red Shoes and Emmy The Great amongst others. Having made a mark on the music landscape from the start of the decade, this second string to the Drowned In Sound further developed the idea of breaking down the traditional walls between media that continues to be a hallmark of the site.
The influence of Drowned In Sound on the British music landscape is hard to over-estimate. Alongside countless innovations now recognised as standard for websites, Drowned In Sound alumni have spread across the media industry with James MacMahon of NME, Terry Bezer of Metal Hammer, Mike Diver at the BBC and countless blog writers and music media freelancers all starting their careers on the site. It is no surprise that Sean Adams has been listed as one of the 10 Music people in the Hospital Club 100 most influential people in media and one of the 30 Under 30 Power Players in the Modern Media in The Sunday Times, with Steve Lamacq observing: “Sean is an ideas man, He grasped early on that there were communities of fans being drawn together online.”
The birthday will be marked by a host of special coverage on site and DiS live events, including a DiS stage at Summer Sundae, the site’s 50 favourite people discussing their favourite albums, a rerun of the greatest online spats from the last decade with a host of other shows, coverage and special moments to be announced.

Lewis Jamieson - 07718 652582 / 020 8714 0139 lewis@loudhailerpress.com

Saturday 8 May 2010

My other blog is a Tumblr


I've sort of stopped using this blog and, like many others, I have been sucked into the vortex of Tumblr.

Will try to remember to post some updates here but if you want to follow my blog from now on you'll find me here: http://seaninsound.tumblr.com/

Sean x

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Forthcoming speaking engagements

I've been invited to speak and offer advice at the following two events. Please comment below or tweet me if you’re planning to attend either of the below events and there’s anything in particular you’d like to hear me speak about. 


Friday 30th April 2010
@ Old Broadcasting House, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds

10.45 - 11.15
Keynote: “Do Anything You Wanna Do” 
(Speaker: Sean Adams) 
How much can you achieve yourself, as a music maker or as a facilitator? Discussing the problem of  identifying your aspirations, the problems with integrating with mainstream expectations and what tools are out there to help you achieve your goals.

13.45 - 14.45 
Reaching The Media 
(Speakers: Sean Adams - DiS/Sunday Times, Tom Goodhand - Leeds Guide / NME, Tom Bellhouse - Brew Records) 
Panel of Journalists, DJs, Bloggers and Labels talk about how best to engage the media, what you can do yourself and how this fits in with achieving your overall aspirations for your music.

15.00 - 16.00 
What Does Social Media Mean To You? 
(Sean Adams, Richard Huxley - Hope & Social, Gareth Dobson - Fear & Records management / Wichita, Tom Bellhouse - Brew Records, Lisa Hibbert - Digital Marketeer) 
Promote, distribute and even fund your music in the ever-burgeoning world of social media. Creating communities on twitter, or selling unique bundles on bandcamp – join the debate on how to get the most out of the internet.

16.30 - 18.00 
Advice Panel 
(Speakers: Sean Adams, David Bates - Sony A&R/DB Music + more TBC) 
General advice from a panel of experts based on what is useful in real life situations – from entering the mainstream music industry, to how to consolidate your position and make the most of what you want to the music you love This session is designed to be about YOU, so please get in touch with us. Send a link to your music with detail of what you are up to and what your aspirations are.

Registration Details: If you wish to attend the Unconference please email unconference@liveatleeds.com with your name, and whether you intend to attend all day, just morning or just afternoon session. Please note, however, the Unconference has a limited capacity, and attendance is on a first come first served basis on the day.http://www.liveatleeds.com/other_events.html


Friday 14th May 2010
@ Pavilion Theatre,  Brighton

Future of Music: Radio Debate
In light of the recent proposed changes at the BBC, what is the state  of play with traditional radio outlets in the UK and is DAB still the way forward? Is traditional music radio still as important in breaking new talent or does the future of music radio now lie on the internet?

Our industry panel discusses this timely topic in what is set to be a keenly anticipated debate. 

Sean Adams - Founder, DrownedinSound.com
Stefan Baumschlager - Head Label Liaison, Last.fm
Clive Dickens - Chief Operating Officer, Absolute Radio
Matt Everitt - BBC 6 Music
Dave Haynes - VP Business Development, Soundcloud



P.S. If you’re heading to the Great Escape, also check out the Drowned in Sound stage at Revenge on Thursday and Friday, featuring the likes of Blood Red Shoes, Ruby Suns, Rolo Tomassi, Japandroids, Mount Kimbie, Team Ghost (ex-M83) and lots more. Info here: http://drownedinsound.com/news/4139712-blood-red-shoes-ruby-suns-rolo-tomassi-mount-kimbie-and-more-for-dis-stage-at-the-great-escape

Friday 16 April 2010

Some answers to some Qs about gatekeepers, tastemakers and blogging...

My answers to some dissertation questions from Sarah Scouller

 • Whether you think music readers have shifted towards amateurs bloggers for believed 'authenticity'

I personally think it's more for the person-to-person connection, unfiltered by editors or some naïve perceived notion that advertising influences editorial (not that this conspiracy isn't justified in some circles but usually it's trading exclusive traffic-worthy content).

I also believe the main reason for any shift is partly due to the fact music critics/journalists haven't moved on to or included more succinct at-a-glance forms of writing, as bloggers are more like radio deejays, offering a couple of sentences (rather than paragraphs of descriptive theory) and then a link to hear it. Not even wants 'waffle', we get a lot of "too long, didn't read" reactions to things. People who 'read' blogs love the brevity as it means they can be lazy and not 'waste' time reading words - it's all a bit ready meal, buzz-in-a-bag. Twitter and Tumblr have taken the soundbite-bitten, overview-obsessed nature of things to logical conclusions and this ability to have a shallow glimpse, without much sense of a need for a depth of knowledge is frightening.

• Do you feel that there has been a shift in the gatekeepers of music, can anyone be a tastemaker nowadays?

Anyone CAN be anything but it doesn't mean they're any good at it, and for bloggers they are merely one gatekeeper for their small circle of followers with very similar tastes. Admittedly, some circles are more influential than other cogs. So much of what is considered 'tastemaking' is just confirmation of the blogosphere's status quo. It's rare to find a music blog run by someone outside of the current short-lived trends/micro-paradigms - which is partly why I love Hipster Runoff. There's also no real context for recommendations in terms of whether the blogger loves or just vaguely likes something and feels it's relevant, and you don't get much sense of what they don't like, which is often more revealing (especially in a 'showing your workings' kinda way). I fear a lot of stuff is just posted for some google or hype machine traffic.

• How much of an impact is blogging having upon freelance writers?

On the one-side many of our former contributors now write for and/or run most of the music media in the UK from NME's features editor to BBC's record reviews editor. I've scored a column from 'blogging' and Peter from Popjustice has done really well too but I guess this is not very different than the breeding ground of fanzines.

I'm not sure to what extent the migration to the web and therefore smaller revenues has affected freelancers but it would seem logical that it's not as good as it was in past thirty years but probably better than it ever was before that. It is now a lot easier for 'staff' at major publications to rehash content from elsewhere, rather than paying someone else to do it - especially when it comes to 'news'.

• To what extent has digital technology impacted journalism?​

One of my biggest hates is the way magazines have tried to compete with the comprehensive abundance of the web by reducing their editorial to a scattering of tiny flags in everything, rather than focussing on the value of scarcity and the resources they have to make informed filtering decisions, sticking their necks out for music worth believing in and putting it on the map, rather than trying to compete with kids in their bedrooms. The churnover of new 'buzz-worthy' bands is utterly ridiculous and is to the benefit of no-one, least of all the middle-class of acts who haven't broken through releasing their second, third or thirteenth albums.

I also think the reliance on crowd-sourcing has really damaged the media as a whole, as there's no way that data is going to do anything but mislead and direct people toward the agreeable gloop - it's as if MOR is now middle-of-the-superhighway blog-rock. We've somehow gained reactive opinions on everything but most media has lost most of the ability to research and mine for gold, creating the debate and setting the agenda.

Then there's the fact that the influential die-hard clusters of music fans no longer need media and believe they're savvy enough to explore the online world of streamable and downloadable music un-guided, yet they enevitably slide further and further down their own niche, forming ghettos and are rarely  exposed to anything that might truly challenge, excite or inspire them. The weird thing is, most media tries to cater for these sorts of people they've lost long ago, rather than focussing on providing something for the less savvy who appreciate a window in to the things which might appeal to them, with analysis and explanation. It's odd that it now seems to be ads and television series who are the gatekeepers, creating hit acts whilst the media constantly eats itself, following trends or tick box data (R1 playlist is a prime example of this), rather than their guts and minds.

Posted via email from seaninsound

Friday 2 April 2010

Something for the long weekend...

Just sent out this mailout, if you're not on the mailing list and would like to be, sign-up here:  http://dada.drownedinsound.com/cgi-bin/dada/mail.cgi/list/updates/

I N _ S O U N D 


We hope you're enjoying some fish 'n chips in the liquid sunshine on this so-called "good" "Friday". 

If choice paralysis hits and you can't decide what to listen to this weekend or if you want to discover some new (to you) music, check out our year so far, first quarter digest on DiS. Which includes...

SINGLES of the year (SO FAR!)

2010 Q1 in a 101 song playlist

NEWSROUND: The Year So far in News


This week on DiS as a playlist featuring: Weezer, Elliott Smith, Jonsi, Chihei Hatakeyama, Three Trapped Tigers, Kelpe, 65daysofstatic, Owen Pallett, Beach House, Bear In Heaven, The Hidden Cameras, Monsters of Folk, Dum Dum Girls, Titus Andronicus, The Vaselines and Kevin Drumm.

New additions: Jonsi, Elliott Smith, Bear in Heaven, Ikonika, To Rococo Rot, Serena Maneesh, Dark Dark Dark and plenty more...

If you've not seen it yet, check out this little audio-only blog we've set-up http://drownedinsoundcloud.com/

Have a great extended weekend,

DiS xo

Posted via email from seaninsound

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