Author Archives: bigcityfolks

September 26

The Localist: The Birth of Imposter Syndrome

I begin with the caveat that I am not literally giving an analysis of the birth of imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome has existed for as long as people have been doing art, and naturally arises from the tension between what an artist thinks they have accomplished, and what an artist has actually done. In this […]

January 04

The Localist: The Return of Scam Services, A Public Service Announcement

The underground music world is buzzing from a recent mass casualties event in which many musicians have had songs delisted by Spotify because of an algorithm designed to remove songs that have been boosted by artificial plays via bots and fake plays. I won’t get into all the issues that one might have with a […]

December 26

The Localist: Public Service As A Genre

I want to reconfigure public attitudes towards artists who write outside of the industry and proposed the term “pro bono musician” the other day but I think the concept deserves some more thought and I’m proposing that we have a genre term which I will call Public Service Musician. By Public Service Musician, I refer […]

September 20

The Localist: How to Write an Album, Part 6 – About-ness in Song and Album Writing

In Part 4, we looked at a more expansive conception of what a “hook” is, describing good songwriting as involving a multiplicity of hooks in each song. But a good song isn’t just a random series of layered hooks, no matter how densely packed. The hooks support one another in a determinate way that helps […]

July 13

The Localist: How To Write an Album, Part 5 – The Process of Overwriting

If you take the next ten songs that you write and make those ten songs an album, then you will have a mediocre album. If your feeling is that those ten songs are absolute bangers, then you have set your sights too low on what a banger is. On the other hand, if you acknowledge […]

June 29

The Localist: How to Write an Album, Part 4 – A Manifold of Hooks

In Parts 1 thru 3, we looked at some more abstract aspects of album writing. Essentially, when you decide to write an album intended for release to the public, you are intending that the public listen to your album. However, asking the public to listen to your album places non-insubstantial burdens on you to put […]

June 17

The Localist: You Are Essential If You Make Yourself Essential

A few days ago, a meme was being passed around showing a picture of a survey indicating that artists were deemed the “least essential” job, eking out the title by a slim margin over Telemarketers. (71% to 69%). The survey was not done in the United States – it was a survey of 1000 citizens […]

May 20

The Localist: How to Write an Album, Part 3 – Building a Toolkit for Self-Expression

In Part 2, we looked at the idea of trying to give strangers a reason to listen to your album, as opposed to the tens of thousands of albums released every year, and in particular the idea of writing something that is both new and substantial. But how do you do that? I discussed the […]

April 26

The Localist: How to Write an Album, Part 2 – The Standards of Novelty and Substantiality

In Part 1, we looked at the general posture of releasing an album, and specifically the idea of intending to present the album for public consumption, which involves presenting something that you have to say, to the public, with the intention that the public will listen to it, and get some kind of benefit from […]

April 22

The Localist: How to Write an Album, Part 1 – Writing for Public Consumption

As I’m in the process of putting together and thinking through a fourth record, I figured it might be good to put together some guidance on album-writing, while the thoughts are still fresh. I’m not going to pretend that what I’m drafting here is a definitive guide on how to write a good album. There […]