Your headlines for my deadlines

20:05, Feb 07 2012

Some of you read this blog because it's always negative. Some of you choose to not read this blog because it's always negative - but then somehow end up posting comments pointing that out. Some of you have told me that you enjoy the interviews I post from time to time. I'm often told that you want to know about new bands only, new albums, new artists.

And then I post about a new artist, band or album and nobody comments. That's fine. I assume some of you at least are still reading.

This is my blog so I get to pick what I write about. And though some of you may dispute this and from a narrow sample decide that I don't cater for you or your tastes, much as I make this - often - about my opinion (and then of course ask for yours; only to so often be told that what I've said is just your opinion man! without the person offering theirs) I do try to cover a range of material.

I once posted an interview with Rokia Traore after being told I don't cover enough world music. It received one comment. I've written about most genres, covered new and old, live and recorded, Kiwi and international. There have been opinion pieces (duh! It's a blog!) and interviews, gig and album reviews. I've let my guard down and told you plenty about myself - too much for many of you but I can't apologise for that. It's my blog. I can't know all of your tastes all of the time. If you don't like the blog you don't have to read it. Or you can tell me you didn't like it - as some of you do.

But, I thought of a way we could have a go at addressing anything that has not been mentioned, blogged about, discussed.

It's essentially a call for topics - and you might decide to interpret this as me being desperate and asking for ideas but given that I blog every weekday and have been for over four years and nearly 1200 posts, I can rest confident that I will come up with a topic each day. Music is a big enough subject.


No, rather, I'm seeing this as your chance to set me up, or your chance to make me deliver the content you want.

There will be another round of guest-blogs later in the year, sure. There might even be two. And sporadically there will be some one-off guest posts. If you have an idea and want to write about it here - you could always try me, see what I say. But no, I'm not trying to get out of doing any work here.

Here's how this will work. You will make a suggestion for a topic - you can even come up with the headline, potentially. I will write it.

I will do this next week. Every day next week. So I'm looking for FIVE blog suggestions/topics.

There are one or two obvious restrictions. I can't just magic-up an interview with Tom Waits next week. So don't ask for that. But if you want me to write about the "sadcore" genre (apparently that's what Lana Del Rey calls her music) or any other genre, real or imagined, then I will do it. If you want me to tell you about the best or worst gig I've been to then I will do it. But I can't commit to listening to every single album by The Fall (for example). I'll do my best to research and write the five topics next week though. And part of the process is that you'll get a discussion-point each day - knowing ahead of time (for once) what the posts will be about. I'll name the topics I pick and the day that I will post each - so, should you wish, you can go off and do your research on the topic to come armed for a fight.

If you want me to admit to the worst album I've ever owned and loved (my worst secret, shameful guilty pleasure) then I will do it. If you want me to name the best new things I've heard this year that's fine. You want to go deeper, darker, that's cool. Anything you suggest is fair game.

Make your case for a blog-post to be written and if I pick it I will do it.

A while ago I got you all to ask me some questions, anything you wanted to know about me with regard to music. And then in a series of posts I answered every single one of them.

This time it's the same sort of idea, but far simpler. You choose the topic and I will write it. So you can decide how much of me is included in it by what you ask. You can ask me to justify my disdain for a band or why I love an artist that you can't stand. You can ask me to explore a genre you are convinced I know nothing about.

You can ask for an essay-styled piece about Jackson Browne perhaps. Or it might be that you want to know more about James Blake. Even though I don't like him. I'll do the work and do my best to offer up exactly what you decide.

How will you know that I am honouring this? Well - I'll pick five suggestions - the five that I think will be a nice challenge, or cover ground that I haven't traipsed over all too often already, or that seem interesting (to both you and me). And I'll name all five this week - and I will write and post them next week. One each day.

You write the headlines for me to make my deadlines. It's worth a shot, I figure - something different. What do you say? What do you want me to say? Make your suggestion below - I'll pick one topic for each day of next week and get to work. So it's your chance to determine what this blog is about. It must be music-related - that is the only (obvious) caveat.

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You can email me with blog-topic suggestions or questions.