The Blogger Lowdown is a feature where we ask the good people who run our favorite, essential blogs to give some insight on themselves and their sites. There are some great resources for discovering all kinds of music on the interwebs and our hope is to introduce you to a few of these outlets and the people behind them.
I know very few people as optimistic and enthusiastic as Lydia. It's refreshing, really, in an indie world filled with self-aggrandizing cynics and haters. You can feel her positive vibes behind all the great content Sunset in the Rearview delivers. This isn't a site that exists to hate bands, hate other sites, or profess it's own superiority. It's just a site with great music and features, run by someone who loves great music. Just don't hold the whole Duke alumni thing against her.
How about a little backstory on yourself to start things off.
Well, tougher question than it sounds. I was born in Houston, Texas, but have spent half my life in Maine and now live in North Carolina.
When and how did Sunset in the Rearview come to be?
Funny you ask! Sunset in the Rearview was created two years ago today! I was a senior in college and it was finals week – for some very strange reason I decided to take a Dance class. Sounds fun; it wasn't. We actually got to dance once. It was more of an academic look at the history of dance. Yeah, I didn't like it either. So to put off writing the final paper, I figured I would start a blog. It started off as a small little blip on the web where I could share my favorite music with my friends. Two years and three clicks of my heels later, it's become a full-time hobby and a little bit bigger 🙂
Do you have a day job/alter ego?
Yes sir. I am a Graphic Designer at an Advertising Agency. Let's just say I essentially work two full-time jobs.
What kind of music did you grow up with? Did this contribute to your tastes now?
Yes and no. Growing up in Texas, I listened to a lot of country music. The only reason I say yes is because that contributed to my strong disliking of country music these days. Guess you can say it was overplayed. I definitely went through a rap phase too, which definitely still exists. My first tape that I remember buying was TLC, and I played it on repeat so many times that the tape came unraveled in less than 24 hours. I can probably still sing all of the words to "Waterfalls" in my sleep.
Any interesting musical tastes or purchases early on? Any guilty pleasures now?
Well, as I said, loved TLC. Also loved Destiny's Child, Lauryn Hill, Blink-182, Green Day, Garth Brooks. I guess I've always had a very eclectic taste. Guilty pleasures now? Umm…does my love for Kanye West fall under the guilty category?
What’s the one album that you have the greatest emotional connection to?
Tough one. I think I'd pick Kid Cudi's first album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, or Perfume Genius's album, Learning. Cudder has, for years now, been an obsession of mine. His work has gotten me through tough times and has given me some strong hangovers. To be able to capture both of those on one album is pretty spectacular. Perfume Genius's album is the quintessential example of stripping music down to its purest form of beauty. It's simple and real, and this, too, has gotten me through some rough patches.
What’s your favorite festival experience?
Another tough one. It's likely between two: Coachella 2010 and Austin City Limits 2010. Coachella because I got to go with my sister; it was an incredible experience for the two of us. ACL was one of the best times I've had in my life. I also got to write for their website before the festival, which was a really cool experience.
Any stellar shows or purchases recently?
Always! Sunset in the Rearview does something called "100Bands Challenge," where three (though essentially two) of us are trying to see, photograph, and review 100 concerts in 365 days. Festivals don't count, and no repeats allowed. So I've seen a ton of shows lately. I gotta say, I had an effing ball at Sunset in the Rearview's first live event last month, featuring artists Jon Lindsay, Bright Young Things, and Wesley Wolfe. I nearly danced my legs off.
Yeah, those too! Being a music blogger, you basically have access to most albums for free. Sounds great, but I like to continue to support the music industry and the artists themselves by spending my limited dollars to purchase about half of the albums that make it into my iTunes each year. So I make quite a few purchases. Favorite of late? Kanye West's new album, I think.
How else does Lydia spend her time? Any interesting hobbies outside of music and blogging?
Other than my day job? Well, two full time jobs doesn't leave for much free time, but when I can, I love to surround myself with good company. I'm incredibly close to my (large) family and have a large group of wonderful friends. If I'm in their company, I'm down for most anything. I'm a killer beerpong player, an infrequent bowler trying desperately to break 100, and a reader.
I know you're a huge Cudi fan, what’s the first thing you would say to him if he walked up to you on the street?
Oh, God. I should have thought of this long ago, but I didn't. I think, though, I'd try to play it cool. Maybe pretend like I didn't know him? Give it a little time before I revealed that I know his whole life story and every word to his every song. Save the creepy for later, right?
How bad will Pitt beat Duke when they meet in the championship game of March Madness?
You really think that's how it's going to go? Well, at least you're willing to admit that Duke will be in the championship game. But maybe you haven't seen Kyrie Irving play yet. If you think that kid is going to settle for anything less than a championship ring, you've lost your mind. (In all honesty, though, I'm a bigger Duke Football fan than Duke Basketball. Crazy, I know, and it sure makes for some depressing Saturdays year in, year out, but I like rooting for the underdog.)