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.
The cream of the crop of music blogs (in my mind anyways) are those infused through-and-through with personality. Hopefully, TWD is doing this admirably. We can only aspire to the level of personal touch Aaron brings to TSURURADIO though. Every post and mixtape is like a glimpse into his potentially crazy (love ya man!) mind. Not to mention the fact that he's slowly taking over the world with a Facebook page, Twitter account, TSURU Community, Tsurufoto, Tumblr, etc etc. All hail to our benevolent, soon-to-be ruler!
How about a little backstory on yourself to start things off. When and how did Tsururadio come to be?
Way back in aught-6 as the board I was on went "no links" for leaks and mp3s etc, I started up a little bloggy blog to share the Arcade Fire leaks going on. It really was as simple as that. It was just song + lyrics + imagery. Then, I'd say a few words, then more and more and now you can hardly get me to shut the fuck up!
Do you have a day job/alter ego?
Well, considering music bloggerin' is, for the most part, a money losing adventure, yes, I very much have a day job / alter ego. I design & develop woven fabric for a fashion & apparel company! Which is odd because I have a chemistry degree, lol! It's a pretty amazing & unique job that allows me to listen to music & pretty much be myself! But, it's a busy job, so lots of my bloggerin' is done in evenings & early mornings, leaving a mid-morning lunch break to read, "edit" and post my latest obsessions…
What kind of music did you grow up with? Did this contribute to your tastes now?
Ah… good question! Momma was a black gospel, motown, soul, R&B, and some pop woman. My dad had the radio on (basic am/fm pop/rock) and had a slew of Neil Diamond 8-tracks. I absorbed all that, plus my childhood obsessions with Duran Duran, REM, prog, & Violent Femmes made me who I ams today.
Any interesting musical tastes or purchases early on? Any guilty pleasures now?
First big purchase I can remember was the Footloose soundtrack. I played the FUCK out of that album or, more specifically, the title track! Everybody cut everybody cut, Everybody cut everybody cut, Everybody cut everybody cut, Everybody everybody cut FOOTLOOSE!!!!!! Guilty pleasures… yeah, all the time. Probably the biggest one in the past 5 years was that Natasha Beddingfields "These Words". Hot damn that was a fun song!
What’s the one album that you have the greatest emotional connection to?
Easy peasy. The Crane Wife by The Decemberists. It's our namesake (tsuru is Japanese for crane), it's by the band I'm pretty sure was designed for me, it's studies the folk tale that has become the theme of all of me & my ridiculously talented wife's (TsuruBride) [Ed. note: Check out the lovely Tsurubride's awesome hand-sewn accessories!] endeavours…. Mmm…. It's the concert we went to the night I proposed to Megs. Still get chills when I hear those those first lines to "Crane Wife I".
What’s your favorite venue in Columbus?
Wholly Craft. It's a local indie-crafts store that carries all kinds of amazing handmade goodness. Well, they hold events all the time and get local bands to play in the store. Super intimate, old building, great people, perfect. Also, love Junctionview (an art collective studio), they put on art shows with bands all the time!
As for regular venues, I don't know if it's me getting older or patrons being shittier, but I've gotten to the point where I can't stand to go to concerts that much anymore. People are more interested in snapping iPhone shots of themselves at the show, chatting with their friends the whole time, or just being seen or fuck all if I know. Best example…. The Decemberist were touring The Hazards Of Love, playing the WHOLE ALBUM THROUGH in the first set. How often does that happen? Last song, the double-suicide drowning touching moment. Assholes on the main floor (not at the bar, mind you) were busy taking pictures of themselves with their friends and holding up their shitty beer. It's like this all the time now. Blah. Give me a good set of headphones and an album, ahhhhhhhhh…………….
Any stellar shows or purchases recently?
(Ir)regardless of the crappy fans, that Decemberist performance was amazing! Purchases…. vinyl vinyl vinyl! Old, new, nicely kept Pink Floyd's The Wall, new New Pornographers, etc, etc. Nom!
How else does Tsuru spend his time? Any interesting hobbies outside of music and blogging?
Photography, cycling, & hanging with my Baby! Making my zine — I'm like the Hugh Hefner of ZINES!! Taking more pictures, scheduling shoots, taking more pictures, shootin' short films, back to my zine, back on the bike! Funny thing is… the music & bloggerin' is probably the smallest portion of my tsurunation domination celebration activties.
What kind of bike are you sporting these days? I got my main ride, Clementine, a 2008 BMC SL-01 road bike! She's orange & white with big bold lettering, super Swiss and shit and awesome & I love her! Yep, I'm a spandex wearin' roadie! I like to ride fast for lots and lots and lots of miles. Got near-6000 miles for this year, over 5000 last year, I just love hitting the road and going wherever, getting lost, then making my way back. *happy sigh* Then I got my snow & ice bike, the cheapest decent cyclocross bike I could find that I put studded tires on to keep me upright! It's a great bike, a Scattante, but it's got cheap components and what not, making me less worrisome about snow, ice, accidents, salt, etc… Last weekend in the wind and snow, took her snowclocross cycling! WHHEEEE!
What’s your mixtape making process/philosophy?
Philosophy… keep it reals. If you want to put in that shitty song that you love, put it in. Fuck indie-cred! Whether it be a guilty pleasure or a 20 minute prog song, just do it! Care about the track listing. Don't just throw songs in a playlist unless it's a shuffle mix! And NO m4as. Ew. Blah! Yech. Had a mixtape recently that a couple snuck in, I was so mad at myself for that.
Process? For me, I start off with a song or two that's sticking in my head, then I find more songs along those lines, which then remind me of older songs I loved, which brings me back to new stuff, etc. I usually go through a couple rough drafts on the order, then, if I have time, I mix them together with Acoustica into one big mp3, then cut it up with Audacity.