Most people don’t get it.

  

Once you get over the initial shock, that fact can actually be pretty liberating.

After nearly four years of blogging, this site is seen by thousands of people each week. Only a fraction of them find enough value in it to return for a second visit, much less become regular readers. Even fewer comment. Bloggers spend considerable time figuring out what’s worth covering, thinking about how to write it up as succinctly and entertainingly as possible, designing a pleasing page on which to display it… and most new visitors are gone within a minute or two, never to return again.

If I had enough money, I could hand out free copies of my all-time favorite album to everyone in the world… and most people wouldn’t bother to listen. Of those who did take the time, only a handful would understand where I was coming from, much less agree that whatever album I chose was in fact the greatest album ever. So what would seem at first to be a musical evangelist’s dream scenario – “if everyone could just hear this, they’d love it!” – would more likely end up a tremendous disappointment and waste of resources.

Ever been excited to meet another country fan, only to discover halfway through the conversation that you like virtually none of the same artists? Or attended a once-in-a-lifetime concert by your favorite performer, only to be seated behind someone who chattered through the whole thing?

The upside is that, once you figure out that most people aren’t going to get it (whatever “it” is), the value of those who do becomes increasingly clear. You learn to appreciate those connections where and when you find them. Because they are, ultimately, pretty rare.

In that spirit of connection, I’d like to make the following proposal:

Since this site is pretty clearly not for everyone, anyone who has stuck around for any length of time is probably the sort of person I’d like to know. So, if you’re reading this, please take a second to drop a quick line to cmw@countrycalifornia.com. Mention a favorite artist or a song you’ve enjoyed. Suggest a topic you’d like to see covered on the site. Try your hand at a country haiku. Or just say hello, I’ll say hello back, and we’ll both finish our day having greeted one new person. That’s worth something.

Most of the time, my only means of gauging who’s reading the site and how everything’s going around here are purely statistical, which is (frankly) total crap. I want to hear from real, individual human voices – the only site metrics that actually matter. If you’re out there, let me know.

Comments

  1. Trainwreck92 says

    I tried to send an email but it wouldn’t let me, so the comment section will have to suffice. Hello, my name is Austin and I like your site. You need more fake country news. My favorite artist is Lucero, and it would be cool if you reviewed their upcoming album, but they’re more rock and roll than country at this point, so I don’t expect you to cover it. Anyway, enough rambling from me. Love Country California, keep up the good work.

    • says

      Thanks for the feedback.

      You need more fake country news.

      I agree with this sentiment, but find that it usually ends up being more awkwardly unfunny than entertaining if I’m not in just the right frame of mind when writing it.

      Trailer’s a big Lucero fan. It hasn’t quite clicked for me yet, but I’ll keep trying…

      Feel free to ramble at me any time, here or by email.

  2. idlewildsouth says

    My name’s Jacob. I stick around to 2 or 3 of these blogs pretty regular.

    I like that over time, there’s been a lot more depth to some stuff, but it’s still light too.

    My favorite artist is Guy Clark and Darrell Scott. And honestly, very few people get “it” when it comes to either of them. I recently met someone that was into both of them, and we may email on a regular basis during the day gushing over our mutual love for them.

    What you say is so true. Not only as a consumer of music, but as a creator of music too. I have friends that write and say “How are you not nervous when you get on stage? What if the people don’t like your stuff?”. And I wondered why that was for a while, but then it hit me: most of the people aren’t going to get it anyway, so why get too caught up in the masses liking it, when you know only a select handful will anyway. I mean, let’s be real, people like Brantley Gilbert, so I’m not going to lose a whole lot of sleep if they don’t like my stuff.

  3. Rick says

    Hey C.M. you know I’m always hanging around whether you want me to or not! (lol)

    As for people “getting it”, when I get to play DJ at LA’s “Grand Ole Echo” free Sunday afternoon Americana concerts I play a wide variety of country music from 40’s western swing to some brand new stuff and everything inbetween. I prefer oscure artists and little known songs that I think are great and yet its lucky if I get even one person coming up to me during a show asking about a song, and when someone does its often a band member. The Echo has a really nice bunch of regulars, but I learned early on the social aspects of the concerts trumps musical considerations by a country mile. If I want to have a serious discussion about music there its usually with musicians like David Serby or Robert Black (who contributed some pieces to The 9513).

    My two favorite concert venues in LA are “listening rooms” with no alcohol and no chatting during performances. Its gratifying to be surrounded in intimate settings by other people who “get it” as far as the artist performing is concerned. When I have to go to clubs or bars to see artists I like, I always have to restrain myself from yelling “Will all you stupid drunks just shut the Ef’ UP!” at the top of my lungs. Those inconsiderate fools definitely don’t “get it”…

  4. Jin Go says

    HI my name is Kiiiiiddd Rooocckkkk…

    JK but now you already hate me.
    Anyway, I like BooooBeeeeees; female ones that is. I’m also fond of reading your nonsense stories about the airhead members of “country music” because they (the stories) make so much sense in a senseless world.
    I’d give my name but then I’d have to shoot myself, and that’s a gift I”m not ready to bestow on this unworthy world. I would also like you to understand that it has been many years since I was at school so my sentence structure and punctuation is 99% likely to contain errors. This statistic was determined after an extensive study sponsered by the government; alternatively it might have been made up on the spot.
    P.S. I have been awake for over 24 hours and at my age lack of 12 hours sleep for every 24 hour period creates and exacerbates madness.
    P.P.S. My advice is write stuff, quote stuff and bait your loyal audience and those you wish to inveigle as future audience. People love to hate almost as much as they hate to love. Bye

  5. Paul W Dennis says

    I also had problems with your e-mail link, so this will need to suffice.

    I check out your blog with some frequency, although I don’t post here all that often. Country Music is a fairly large tent so I don’t expect that too many people will like exactly the same artists. My advise would be keep doing what you’re doing and be honest to your own muse.

    I’m with Rick in that my three favorite venues around Central Florida don’t allow alcohol and are basically concert settings where people are courteous and don’t talk during performances. I’m probably the most “Old School” of your readers in that I really love the country music of the 40s and 50s. For music in general my favorite decade is the 1940s, but for country music I favor the 1950s. My persona favorites are idiocentric artists like Webb Pierce and Ernest Tubb, but I regard Merle Haggard as the greatest all-around country artist (writer, singer, musician, live performer) and Ray Price, Jim Reeves and Gene Watson as the best pure male vocalists that genre has produced. Connie Smith is my favorite female performer followed by Loretta Lynn and Jean Shepard. From the last generation I liked Patty Loveless and early Reba McEntire

    Western Swing is my favorite sub-genre of country music, closely followed by honky-tonk/Bakersfield

    I try to listen to country radio one day a week to keep current on the newer artists – I like Paisley, Zac Brown, Sunny Sweeney , Amber Digby a lot and there are others whose music I purchase.

    Even though I’m not that wild about much of the new country music, I still like it better than most of the other new music I hear. I know that the next “new traditionalist” movement is just around the orner

    You do a great job here and I appreciate and understand your frustration. I write the occasional article for another blog and while the blogmasters tell me the articles get a lot of hits, very few ever comment. C’est la vie

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