Welcome, Discover WordPress Readers!


If you are reading this article, there’s a decent chance you’ll have come here via the Discover WordPress feature, a mythical, subscriber-and-ego-boosting seal of approval from the people who run WordPress – the web publishing platform that Every Record Tells A Story is written on.

So hello fellow WordPress blogger! By the end of this article, I promise your life will have been enriched, thusly:

  1. You’ll have found out a little bit about me (that’s the least enriching bit, to be fair)
  2. There’ll be a little parable about blogging that may come in useful for your own scribblings, and 
  3. You’ll have a party trick with which to impress your friends. Promise. 

Here goes…

I’d been waiting a long time. More in hope than expectation, naturally. You can’t expect the Gods of Blog to pass over your doorstep bequeathing their favours without putting in a bit of effort. 

And I won’t pretend there weren’t times I became despondent and thought they’d never notice. So if you have yet to see the clouds part for the light to shine on your own blog (I am picturing a Terry Gilliam / Monty Python style cloud parting and a finger pointing downwards here) Don’t Give Up. 


I’d been hoping to hear from WordPress ever since I began. How I remember those early days, feeling excited that nineteen people had stumbled across my pages in Just One Week, even if it had been by accident and they couldn’t get away quickly enough. 

I began by writing about the music I grew up with, and taping songs off the radio. “Write about what you know” they say. 

But when you start writing on WordPress your head is turned by “Freshly Pressed” and “Discover WordPress” articles, apparently read by thousands, and you regard those chosen bloggers with wonder and awe, with their three figure “likes” and legions of engaged, chatty readers who all seem cooler than you, and you wonder how you might join their exalted ranks.

I persevered. I wrote a thing about buying Beatles albums second hand rather than in a big new box set which struck a chord with fellow bloggers. Would WordPress notice? 

I hoped that they might spread the word. 

“Hey everyone! Here’s a music blog with rubbish jokes and silly ideas!” they would cry. 

On reflection, it wouldn’t have been that great a sell…

I tried to provide something useful to readers. Maybe they’d have noticed the one about how to fix skips in your vinyl records? 

Nah.

So I wrote about different artists and their albums, beginning with David Bowie.

Still nothing. 

I tried a longer style of article. A story of Britpoppers Pulp was one such potted history. 

*Sigh* again: no blessing came from above. 

I appeared on TV for a BBC documentary, and on the radio (not to show off too much but I might as well get it in there…) to little WordPress avail. 

So I championed new music. The likes of Sweet Billy Pilgrim, Drenge, Royal Blood, London Grammar, John Grant, Parquet Courts, Courtney Barnett and (most recently) This Is The Kit

Perhaps the new music was off putting. So I also wrote about old music.

I wrote about different genres. Perhaps WordPress liked heavy rock?

Or Aretha Franklin?

Nothing. 

Maybe the format would be of interest. Vinyl?

But then WordPress perhaps had little time for vinyl. I wrote about CDs. 

Hang on, they’re a technology company. It’s all Streaming…

Still silence.

As Bono might have put it, I Still Hadn’t Found What They Were Looking For. 

And then last week, after not having written anything for a couple of weeks whilst I took a holiday, I received an email. 

From a chap called Ben, at WordPress. I pictured him sitting on a cloud, stroking his beard. 


He told me he liked my site.

“I liked your site’s non-parochial approach to music writing” he wrote, “and the eclectic mix of genres and artists you showcase.” 

For good measure, he added, “I’m sure many other readers will enjoy browsing your archives and discovering new music to listen to.”

(That’s a hint…)

So it transpired, in stumbling from one thing to the next trying different ideas and styles to see what I could entertain people with, the blog accidentally became what Discover WordPress was looking for: an eclectic, jumbled mix of genres, tunes and rubbish jokes. They definitely wanted rubbish jokes. Ben might not have mentioned it explicitly, but I can read between the lines…and as Mick Jagger might have put it, “you can’t always get what you want, but if you throw enough spaghetti at the wall, sometimes it’ll stick…”

So bear that in mind as you write your next blog post…

Anyway, I’m sure you are busy, and probably have to get back to doing whatever it was that you were doing before this latest bout of procrastination, so to prevent you walking away thinking “there’s ten minutes of my life I’ll never get back again” here’s that party trick: an instructive video of how to impress your friends by playing a record with nothing more than a five pound note, assuming they are the kind of friends who would be impressed by that sort of thing. And, frankly, if they’re not then perhaps you should ask yourself whether they are really “friends”. 


So, from me, the record-playing-five-pound-note-guy, thanks for dropping by. 

What do you have to look forward to if you decide to press that “Follow” button? Well, aside from rubbish jokes, over the coming weeks and months on the blog, I’ll be looking at Record-of-the-Month clubs and asking “Why?” and “What’s with the matching cocktail recipe?” plus live reviews of Ty Segall and Car Seat Headrest if you like that sort of thing, and a look at forthcoming publication “Why Vinyl Matters”. Plus whatever enters my head in the meantime…

Now then, back to that thing you should be doing…

As Liam Gallagher might have put it, “As you were…”



Categories: Music

Tags: , ,

38 replies

  1. I’m Ross Murray, and I endorse this blog.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. To quote Ronnie Hawkins, “Big Time, Steve, Big Time!”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I knew you when!

    Congrats on Discover!! They should have featured you long ago. Your story is inspiring, perhaps so much so that I might resuscitate my own blog which took a major blow from the death of Prince, with one last gasp of a post about the depressing state of post-election polite society in the U.S. earlier this year.

    But cheers to you for keeping us all entertained and enlightened for so many years!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Well done, sir. Your blog has always been a pleasure to read. Glad to see WordPress *finally* agree. May even resurrect my own witterings which had hit a few stumbling blocks with job changes and general can’t-be-arsed-ness. Bought loads of records recently so loads to write about.

    Well done, again.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m not a blogger. I’m a life-long music obsessive and a musician. I read quite a few blogs and those I have stuck with have to pass the first test: is it any good? Both yours and the Aussie blog Rock On Vinyl have some overlap but have a very different approach. But they are both written by bloggers who start from a love of music and a love of vinyl. I hope you stick with writing about what you’re passionate about Steve.

    Cheers, Dave

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats! And thanks for the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations. I’d be dishonest if I didn’t say I didn’t read your piece with a little touch of mild envy. (That’s a lot of double negatives..) But then I thought – to quote yourself – “There’s enough negativity in the world without people like me making things worse!” So, good on you for persevering, for following your instincts, for fronting up again and again and again. All the best.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Very well done sir! I love reading your blogs. We just never know what will be around the corner content-wise, which is half the fun of them! Go crack open a well-earned brewery for all your many efforts, which are most appreciated by so many of us.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hey congrats on the Discover nod!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Those little things u mentioned in between are really true to oneself and beautifully put up for readers to feel the things…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love your style! Thanks to WordPress Reader I too have found your blog. BTW I love vinyl records.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Like you, I’ve craved the attention of the WordPress godlings.

    Similarly, I’ve been blogging away at Vinyl Connection for years.

    But here’s the thing. Despite having but a modest number of followers, there is delight to be had from a sprinkling of them becoming blog-pals of great character and warmth. So it isn’t all bad, really. My envy is parked next to Vin Maskell’s. (Check out his writing, it’s very good indeed).

    BTW, “an eclectic, jumbled mix of genres, tunes and rubbish jokes” is one of the best by-lines I’ve come across. If you substitute ‘memoir’ for ‘rubbish jokes’, that’s my patch too. So I guess I will punch Follow.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you – as a bye line it is catchy isn’t it, if not exactly likely to sweep the advertising world by storm.
      I was pleased to note I am already one of your many followers, if not as loquacious in the comments section as I could be, so I will resolve to put that right. I shall also dig out that Nuggets compilation you have written about – sounds fascinating…
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and yes, it’s lovely when people take time out to chat (thanks again!)
      Cheers
      Steve

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Hi Steve. Just found this earlier via the Discover feature and I’m really loving this blog. Thanks for writing 🙂 Alex

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love your writing style and now I’m kind of jealous

    Like

  15. Your blog is very informative.hope to read more from you.

    Like

  16. I mean, how could I not follow your blog after reading this. That’s a no brainer!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. All right. I found you through Discover (obviously) with the intent to judge. But between the genre open-ness, the Monty Python inclusion, and the pithy humor. I’m sold.
    Can’t wait to stack up my vinyl and keep reading through! Cheers! You have found that music writer sweet spot. In the immortal words of Penny Lane- “It’s all happening”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, bless you and thank you for saying such lovely things. Good to know the Python worked and I like your “intent to judge” comment!
      I hope you won’t be disappointed over the coming weeks and months (if you are, just read some of the old stuff and we’ll pretend this never happened).
      Cheers!
      Steve

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Yep – I found you via the “discover’ emails from WordPress. I did check out your archives and some of your more recent articles and will be back for more. I enjoyed putting your site on my mental turntable and taking it for a spin!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Well, this is quite motivational.

    Like

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