Q+A: SF Critic

In this week’s installment of our famous Blogger Q+A Series, we get to chat with universally recognized music voice in San Francisco, CA — David Johnson-Igra of SF Critic. In our chat, we digress from the usual hip-hop banter and open up the dialogue about west coast music, Outside Lands Music Festival and how musicians can use social media the right way in marketing themselves.

For a music blog, is there an advantage or disadvantage to being genre-specific?

Interesting question. In my opinion, there’s a big assumption here that there are such things as ‘genres.’ I think the greatest stride in the development of music from the internet, in addition to being able to spread/download/listen to an abundance of music, is the influence of that music on fans¬†and artists. Genres were created as a method to categorize records to help consumers purchasing music. So in a roundabout way, being ‘genre-specific,’ is limiting because it’s like being one aisle in a record store without the understanding that music is the whole store: the people who buy it, the staff that talk about it, the albums, the many aisles, and the CDs/Tapes/Vinyl.

Who are some SF groups you really like right now?

I’ve always been a huge fan of Geographer. Bay Area based, tUnE-yArDs, and Moe The Dreamer are also favorites of mine.

Favorite interview of all-time and why?

My interview with Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow. He’s extremely intelligent, hilarious, and interesting. It was one of the first interviews I had where it became clear to me that asking questions outside of the normal realm could really produce an insightful conversation.

Where do you think Outside Lands ranks in terms of summer music festivals
around the country?

For me it’s number one. I’m biased. I grew up here. There is nothing more magical than listening to music in Golden Gate Park. The food. The wine. The guys at Big Hassle take great care of the press. What can I say?

If you could give any new band advice on their social media presence and initial fan outreach strategy, what would it be?

Make a business plan. I feel like a lot of artists forget that at heart this is still a business. Great music will always transcend, but to get it out there and help it in that process, you have to a lot of things in place. A compelling story, identity, distinctive style, and aggressive personality (put yourself out there with those bloggers/fans/community respect and engage them with no end).

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