Analogue Music | Welcome to Analogue

Welcome to Analogue

By Scott Elingburg

March, 2016. Knoxville, Tennessee. 

Matt Conner and I are sitting at a small two-person table ordering fancy beers and even fancier burgers off the oversized menus. We're in town for the annual Big Ears Festival, a festival production from AC Entertainment founder and director Ashley Capps. You may know him from such hits as Bonnaroo and Forecastle Festival.  

Matt and I had already witnessed some astonishing performances, including one of the best live shows I’ve seen: Yo La Tengo + Lambchop together onstage at the Bijou Theatre. Music was slowly working its way back to a central space in my life after being absent for more than a year. Together, Matt and I are strategically rattling off topics we’d love to explore—a wishlist of features we would love to read, if they existed.

We’re sowing the seeds of Analogue after a lengthy hiatus from Stereo Subversion, a music blog we both captained for a decade. While it was fun to interview our favorite artists, listen to more great music than we knew what to do with, and, ultimately, create a body of work of which we can be proud of, the continual grind of keeping up with the latest bands, the biggest releases, and the musical news cycle wore us both out. Given some significant time away from music writing, and also music, we wondered if we could recapture the spirit that made us love the job in the first place.

Analogue is the site we’ve wanted to write for since we started writing about music. We hope you can feel home here as well. No buzz or hype. No noise or pressure. Just us and the music we love.

After two beers, I always have a stock speech ready to go; a diatribe where I spill my guts about how lamentable it is that Counting Crows are a faded, maligned memory of the ‘90s after defining much of that decade offered. Matt has spoken to Adam Duritz a few times and has watched Counting Crows in concert more than I have (a total of zero times). He listened intently, or at least I thought so, and nodded in agreement at all the correct points. But as I wound down, something happened. Something unexpected. Matt leans in closer and tells me that he’s got an idea. An idea for an essay. He’s thought about it for a while. 

“I want to write about Alanis Morissette.”

“Uh-huh,” I say. “Sure.”

I wait for the drop, the cue, the indicator that he’s only kidding and wants to get back to reminiscing about August and Everything After.

Instead, he lays a bit of it out. He wants to explicate the role of Alanis Morissette in her transition from her debut album, Jagged Little Pill, to her sophomore album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie

(Side note: Remember when Radiohead filled the slot as opening band on part of her tour for Jagged Little Pill? I’m sure they don’t either.) 

Matt’s speaking with a passion and intensity I have never once given over to Morissette, let alone her second album. 

Did she have a second album? Surely that is not the actual title of the album. I think to myself. Was there a single? Did hear it? Can I get another beer soon? 

But Matt was off and moving, springing from point to point with the fluidity of a TED Talk. And I was focused, rapt. I wanted that passion that Matt has for Alanis Morissette. I wanted to know more about what he’s thinking. I wanted to read that essay.  

No spoilers here. One day soon, Matt will write that essay and we will all be moved to tears. But then and there, I told Matt I wanted to read that essay and more articles like it. So together, we kicked ideas around—more essay ideas, interviews and musical lists we wanted to write about in the future. Two guys geeking out about music once again.

And it felt good. 

We settled on a few loose, yet guiding principles. The greatest one is that we were done trying to chase the latest and greatest. No more news blurbs. No more chasing buzz or hype or reporting on new trends. Instead we were more interested in everything that’s been left behind, spit out, or shunned in the constant cycle of the new releases. We’ll let others run that race.

We love new music. We love new bands and artists—unearthing them and then revealing them and sharing with others. But there’s no way to keep up with the musical Joneses. And we’re losing something in the attempt to do so. Something big, something unnamed. Good music is getting buried. Meaningful artists are lost in the shuffle. So at a little table at an outdoor cafe in Knoxville, we decided, together, that we were finished with the noise. 

We are not breaking new ground here, and we will be the first to admit that. Lots of fantastic sites devote time, money, and column inches to great features and engaging reviews. We know, because our writing staff have written for nearly all of them. The difference between Analogue and our friends is that there are no rules here at all, except that everything is born out of a sincere love for music. Here's what we mean:

  • We could not care less about timetables. Sometimes our favorite records get put on a shelf and (re)discovered months, years, even decades after their release. It's only after someone recommends it—or perhaps something we come across triggers a reminder—that we can return to it with a new perspective and maybe even hear something for the very first time. 

  • This means you might see interviews with and features about musicians with no product to promote, no new album to plug or tour dates to go on.

  • As for reviews, we’re done with them, too. We’re done passing judgment and assigning grades to music. Instead, we have Recommendations, a place where we can discuss any song or album we love, regardless of its timeliness or even its perceived quality. 

Analogue is the site we’ve wanted to write for since we started writing about music. We hope you can feel home here, as well. No buzz or hype. No noise or pressure. Just us and the music we love. 

We take music way too seriously. 

This is Analogue.