This site achieved something of a milestone this past Tuesday (Sept. 21, 2010).
It was the 10-year anniversary of my registering the domain name Musicwhore.org.
It’s probably the most definitive birth date I can muster for the site, mainly because the content here evolved from numerous sources in the past. Back in 1997, I published two issues of a print zine called The Soloist’s Notebook. In 1998, I moved that zine online. In 1999, I merged it with my online journal. In 2000, I relaunched the journal/zine combo as Greg’s Music Reviews, till I later that year, I registered the Musicwhore.org domain name.
Go to the archive, and you just might find reviews dating back to 1999, before Musicwhore.org actually launched.
I registered Musicwhore.org right around the time I started listening to music from Japan. A trip back home to Honolulu in February 2000 introduced me to Utada Hikaru, Shiina Ringo, L’Arc~en~Ciel and the brilliant green. I had already been listening to Cocco since 1998 and wanted to hear something similar. I spent the summer exploring music by NUMBER GIRL, eX-Girl and m-flo.
When Musicwhore.org launched, Japanese music became my “beat”.
In 2001, I started a satellite site called J~E, which served as an English-language directory of Japanese artists. At the time, my Japanese was years rusty. I would eventually take some community college courses to brush up, but I would still consider my Japanese skills elementary (as comments on this blog correcting my translations can attest.)
J~E got spidered by a then-burgeoning search engine called Google, and the traffic took off.
File sharing became mainstream, and I became a member of a YAHOO! mailing list that focused on the bands I covered. These were the days of Napster, then Audiogalaxy and finally Soulseek.
By 2005, I got burned out.
Japanese bands, it turned out, had the same longevity as their US and UK counterparts. FEED burned out after one album. So too HEART BAZAAR. fra-foa, two albums. NUMBER GIRL split up. Shiina Ringo went on hiatus. Cocco “retired”.
I could have expanded the site, seeked out help, coordinated a volunteer staff, found more bands to fill the void. But I’m too much of a control freak. Also life interfered.
I got laid off in 2001, and I worked a record store job from 2002-2003. That experience shifted how I experienced music.
I used to want to champion everything I liked. Then I was exposed to all kinds of stuff I don’t like, and I lost patience with being a cheerleader.
I also turned 30, and my tastes started to calcify. The past became more important, and I reconnected with classical music from the 20th Century.
So five years ago, the blog you’re reading now was launched, and while Japanese music still drives the majority of content here, it’s not the sole focus.
My visitors have dropped off from an anonymous few hundred to about 10.
So now Musicwhore.org is a decade old, an eon in Internet time. I haven’t been terribly active with the site for the past few months, and sometimes I wonder whether 10 is a nice round number on which to call it quits.
But I like this domain name too much.
And there’s also part of me, the musical proselytizer, that wants to provide a destination for English speakers seeking out Japanese music, for classical music listeners who don’t balk at music made after 1900, for anyone looking for something diferent.
(And for anyone who can’t stand the writing at Pitchfork.)
So, happy birthday, Musicwhore.org! Let’s see if this site is still here in another 10 years.