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23.1.05

Music Blogs a Hit in France

Think music blogs are an English-language phenomenon? A recent article by Odile de Plas (Avec les blogs, les mélomanes tissent leur toile [With blogs, music lovers weave their Web], January 13) for Le Monde gives some background on French music blogs, described as "thousands of personal sites, mixing text and sound, surging up on the Internet: a new way to discover music, listen to it, and share it is shaking up the existing commercial networks." Here is a translation of some excerpts:

Welcome to what are called "musical blogs." The term is barbarous. It means minisites hosted for free on the Web. Having appeared in 2003 in the United States, where there are thousands of them, music blogs emerged in France since the end of 2004. Five music blogs are supposedly created every day in France, 150 each month, from the most rudimentary to the most elaborate, according to Chryde, one of the genre's pioneers. No doubt, at the same time, many of them are disappearing. Specialists think of these Internet information pages as the modern-day version of 1980s fanzines, with sound, interactivity, and a world-wide audience at best. The fanzine was a rag of a few pages, often photocopied, that covered alternative music news and was most often sold at concerts.

Chryde founded his music blog, La Blogothèque, in September 2004, with a few friends, music lovers like himself, "ex-readers of Inrocks, nearing 30, major consumers of the Internet and who no longer found what they wanted in today's magazines. We wanted to speak about music outside the classic schema of interview and criticism." La Blogothèque, like most of the most popular music blogs, boasts an MP3 [sic], a blog that allows you to select pieces of music, listen to them, and download them. A box of hypertext links allows visitors to tell stories "inspired" by the music they hear. All sorts of music are found on these blogs. Not much classical, true, bas lots of forgotten treasures of popular music from the last 50 years.
Other blogs mentioned in the article are Fruits of Chaos and Into the Groove, both of which, oddly enough, are written in English. La Blogothèque has an interesting article on an exhibit at the Centre Pompidou, Sons et Lumières, which just ended on January 3. Mâte-moi ça!

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