What I am slowly discovering is that blogs concentrated on indie bands are quite rare. What’s even more rare is blogs that are worth discussing. After some searching I came upon a blog focused on London’s The xx. It appears to be well developed. There are a lot of links, videos, images, and material. The blog is up-to-date, and goes back pretty far. It is entitled: Oyster Photo Tour Diary: The xx. I was somewhat worried about the title; that’s why I checked it out thoroughly before proceeding to cover it today. While you could label it as a “picture diary” it does include a whole lot more, which I will demonstrate.
First of all, here is a link to the page. It’s a pretty basic white layout, but on the top left side of the page we have links. A lot of links, too. It gives the names of the three band-members at the top then unleashes 16 links beneath them. It also has a search bar, which is always nice.
“The XX debut record is a phenomenon. They attack the music in a way that no other band has done for a long time… It’s a really special record.”
— Simon Neil
OK, how about we look into those 16 links. They are, from top to bottom, Official Site, Official Blog, Info, Myspace, Facebook, Store, Jamie xx, News, Music, Downloads, Videos, Photos, Articles, Quotes, Ask me anything, and Submit.
Some of them are pretty straightforward, as you would imagine. The Official Site goes exactly where you would expect it. I don’t think I need to explain the Myspace and Facebook links. The Store links brings you to their apparel and CD shop, as you would also expect. I covered the Ask me anything and Submit aspects on Monday when dealing with the Mumford & Sons blog, so we can move past those. I am attempting to find something to really dive into here, so bare with me.
The Info link brings you to a biography and photo of the band, as well as a discography. Unfortunately the biography and discography are both out of date and don’t even mention their latest album, Coexist. Videos for Crystalised, Basic Space, and VCR are linked though.
The Quotes section is also outdated. It features some decent quotes, but they are all pre-2011. The posts are definitely new, but there is old content when you follow the links. Interesting. Hey! The Articles link is completely up-to-date. Below is an excerpt from one of the articles.
What inspired the title for your second album, Coexist?
I got really interested in iridescence. Like when you see a puddle of water when it’s rainy and there’s petrol in it in the street. I wanted to know why it forms that rainbow. I just searched online and it said oil and water, when mixed, agree to peacefully coexist. I liked the idea of these two things that are maybe not beautiful on their own but come together to make this beautiful effect. It made me think of the three of us in the band. As individuals, we can make music, but when we come together — the three of us — that’s when we are The xx and we are better together.
The articles started to pour into the blog space around December and have been flowing in ever sense. The Photo link is a good one as well. This being a “photo tour diary” blog, I assumed this would be the case. Below is a sample image.
The Video link is yet another good link. Things are pretty hit-or-miss on this blog. There are videos posted as early as Sunday from Coachella. Their set that night was very good, as I’m sure is usual. Downloads and Music are out-of-date, as they both date back to 2010, so it’s not worth mentioning what is going on with those two links. The News link has a few articles from 2012, but other than that it is also outdated. Last link: Jamie xx. This is a link to Jamie Smith’s, beats and MPC sampler, website. The site itself is outdated in style and content. It looks like he provides his mixes, remixes, shows, and releases on the site. He is obviously very busy touring with The xx, so he likely does not have time to update it all that often. Well, that’s it for the links, let’s move on to the post content.
Just as I did on Monday’s post I will sample the last six posts and see what this blogger is up to.
Monday brought two posts. One was three images from their Australian tour. A short description of the tour was given and a link to more images from Australia is attached. Nice. The second was a photo of the trio at Coachella from Pitchfork, which is the first photo in this post.
There were four posts on Sunday. The first was an interview featured in Elle with lead-singer Romy Madley Croff, by Justine Harman. It’s a pretty good back-and-forth conversation worth reading for xx fans. The next post was a YouTube video of their entire Coachella set, that spans 53 minutes. Now this is good blogging. Don’t have your readers go and find the video, post it. As I will do now.
The next post was five photos of their Coachella set. More images are available through the link. The images are available through pe.com. The last post was a reminder to catch The xx live on Coachella’s website for their 10:30pm set. This is a subtle, but very good post for followers.
This blog is nothing compared to the Mumford & Sons example, but does post regularly and effectively. This blog has too many outdated features and links. It’s not a huge problem because the blog still functions like it should, but it shows lack of time and effort. No one wants to see outdated material, they’ll just go elsewhere. Another problem is the lack of communication on this site. There is no room for feedback other than the Ask link. I did like the content on the blog, however, which the blogger has kept up-to-date for as long as I could see. But content alone isn’t enough to draw in readers, it needs to be a whole experience full of updated and worthwhile links. A better format might work too, just to spice things up. I’m not sure who is on deck for our next blog example, so stay tuned!