Friday
Jan302009

Beantown Boogiedown: About This Site

“Well good for you. You run a blog. So does everyone else in the world. Do you want a cookie?”

I’ll be the first person to admit that Beantown Boogiedown (BBD) is nothing special. It’s not some “media powerhouse” or “curatorial force” destined to take the local music scene in Boston by storm. Music blogs like mine come a dime a dozen, even amongst the ones that document the dance and EDM movement here. 

All I am at the end of the day is a dude who has loved electronic music for more than 15 years. There’s no specific structure BBD follows other than to share the awesome dance music I’ve discovered over the years. Both in Boston and worldwide, as well as present-day beats and stuff from way back when. The only rules I follow are to have fun and run spell-check :)

If you’re a promoter, artist, DJ, or producer who wants their work showcased here, hit me up. BBD currently has a healthy reader base, and am grateful people find this place a useful resource. But there’s still plenty of work to do. Dance music is not the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Boston, but I want to show them it not only exists, but also how it’s as vibrant as it is in any other city.

Your support for BBD is greatly appreciated! If you’re interested, here’s a brief history of the blog.

2009. Beantown Boogiedown was launched in January 2009. The idea to start it came instantly; it wasn’t planned. I was looking for a way to be involved in the scene besides just DJ’ing, and this became the perfect outlet. During the early months I promoted the site as hard as possible and handed out flyers that promised “new content daily”. For the most part, I have lived up to this mantra ever since.

2010. I moved from Salem to downtown Boston at the beginning of 2010, making it easier than ever for me to attend events in the city. Site growth continued and I began to undertake event photography quite a bit. Traffic grew from less than 100 visitors per day to triple that by the end of the year.

2011. In 2011 I struggled a bit with the blog, an ironic thing considering the explosion of dubstep and festival culture that was taking place in the US. Traffic flatlined and I couldn’t find a way to market the site properly to the younger crowd getting exposed to dance music for the first time. Not a flagship year for BBD.

2012. While the first half of 2012 was flat like 2011, there was a lot of growth during the second half. I decided to take on a small support staff to help with event coverage which included Jon Santarelli, Sarah Robertson, Jeff Jayes and Matt Farina. I also leveraged Facebook significantly more than before, which also helped drive traffic here. I even had a couple posts go viral, which was a nice bonus. The year closed with 400-500 daily visitors.

Overview of the different sections of Beantown Boogiedown

  • Journal: This is the homepage, the dumping ground for all recent posts. All event-related posts, including the calendar and special posts where there’s a ticket giveaway, go here. Anything event-related also stays archived here. While other content (such as Cool Free Stuff and Crate Exploratory) is initially posted on the Journal, it all gets moved to its appropriate section after a few months. 
  • Featured mixes: From time to time I add DJ mixes to this section that I really enjoy, either by local or global DJ’s. Generally my featured mixes are ones that may have fallen underneath the radar; I tend to not showcase mixes everyone’s already raving about (such as an Essential, Fabric, RA, or FACT mix). Also, I prefer to post mixes that showcase the artist’s skill as a DJ, as opposed to just a mix that loosely ties together a bunch of new and unheard tracks.
  • My DJ and Production Work: The vast majority of the DJ mixes I’ve recorded myself go here, along with any original tracks or mash-ups I build down the road (at the rate I’m going that could be awhile, LOL). I prefer to keep BBD more about showcasing other people’s work rather than my own. It is cool to have them all in one section though, in case anyone’s interested.
  • Event Reviews: Added in early 2013, Event Reviews documents parties BBD was formally invited to cover. While writing them is not my forte, Jeff and Jon help in this department. Reviews can cover anything from the music to the lighting, decor, sound quality, the vibe of the room, to the quality of the club itself. 
  • Crate Exploratory: While many blogs like to write about this week’s “bangers”, I sometimes like to chat about those long lost tracks that came out years ago. Many of the songs in Crate Exploratory are from 12” singles so obscure they’ve never even been uploaded to YouTube, let alone readily heard in any capacity online.
  • Coffee TableSometimes I feature the work of local artists and craftspeople, or post cool art-related videos I find online in the Coffee Table section. While I regularly added content to it early on, I don’t as much anymore because I prefer to keep BBD primarily about dance music. Still a cool side-section though.
  • Cool Free Stuff: This is where I add any relevant free music downloads, or resources for music producers (such as free software, plug-ins, samples, synth patches, or tutorials). Since late 2012 I generally try to add at least one new song download to Cool Free Stuff every single day, generally right before I head to work in the morning. 
  • This Old Mixtape: When I started BBD I wanted to build an archive where I could host mixes by veteran Boston DJ’s recorded in the 1990s. However it’s been a bit more difficult a task than I initially anticipated. Most people from that era are no longer involved in the scene and aren’t easy to get in touch with. And the few who are have misplaced their cassettes from over the years or are hesitant to share them. With fewer DJ’s back then, plus the expense (and pain) of dubbing tapes, they were nowhere as frequent as CD’s and downloads are in this day and age. However I’m more than willing to host and post anything you may have, so long as it was recorded by someone from Boston before 2000. Hit me up if you have anything you want me to share!
  • Beat Box: Any helpful audio production tutorials I find online that haven’t already been shared six ways ‘til Sunday across the web I add to the Beat Box section, complete with a summary and additional comments from me. When I have time, some of them I’ll actually write myself, but the majority come from professionals who produce music for a living.
  • Time Machine: When I started this site I thought it would be “cool” to go out with a little red Nikon CoolPix camera and snap photos at random parties. It’s tough to deny I wasn’t inspired to some degree by Nicky Digital and the success of his blog. This has since turned into routine club photography gigs after acquiring a bit of skill, a real SLR, some good glass. While the quality of my photography work is nowhere even close to the level of Boston A-listers Natasha Mustache, James Coletta, and Gina Manning, I love shooting parties and have since found it to be one of the most effective ways to promote this site. Time Machine has an archive going back four years; I have documented hundreds of events!
  • Backyard: There’s a lot of local producers in this city, and the Backyard section is where I cover some of the tracks I’ve discovered online by some of the better ones. Generally I feature work I enjoy that was sent to me via email, or are things I’ve discovered digging around on Facebook, Soundcloud, or Twitter. Some of the songs are free downloads, others are songs you need to buy but provide all relevant links to make it easy for you to do so.
  • Sketch Pad: Sketch Pad is not a very active section, but is one where I talk a bit about graphic arts, animation, and desktop publishing. Similar to Coffee Table, I try to keep the focus on music here, but every once in awhile I’ll post some Photoshop or photography tips here.
  • Thursday Throwback: I was raised on hip hop and freestyle, and (like many) am a huge fan of basically everything that came out from around ‘89 to ‘97. On Thursdays I like to post a YouTube video of something from that era, with a quick blurb to compliment it. 
  • Links: There’s hundreds of music and nightlife blogs in Boston. I link the ones that I enjoy here.

I’d like to thank the following crews for all their support over the years:

In no particular order, of course :) Mmmmaven, Basstown, Createspace, Bassic, Elements, Re:Set, The Drop, True Crew, Dig Boston, Rise, Pico Picante, JASS, TENS Collective, Music Ecology, BrainTrust, Lost in Sound, Hi-Frequency EDM, Goodlife, White Rabbit, Tight Crew, Embrace Boston, Fresh Produce, Beatdown Productions, Crush Boston, CVLT, Uhuru Afrika, WeNo, Legacy, ClusterMag, Blog To The Oldskool, Columns of Knowledge, Elecsonic, Futured, Beat Research, Acoustica Electronica & SoulChampion. I know I’m missing a couple, so apologies in advance!

(Last update: February 2013)