[Sound Guy] MyReview of the MySpace Pages of Local Acts

Friends Indeed
MyReview of the MySpace pages of local acts

Though Facebook does the bulk of the social-networking heavy lifting for most folks these days (who could hope to resist the lure of the SuperPoke?), MySpace still plays a vital role for local artists looking to promote themselves. Given that things such as “radio airplay,” “music videos” and “record sales” are as much antiquated relics of a bygone era as CDs themselves, how a band present themselves online is really just as important as their actual music.

So it only stands to reason that these sites deserve to be judged much as you would an album. Let’s take a look at how well some of the luminaries from our local music scene represent themselves via their MySpace profiles. All statistics are accurate as of our deadline.

BAND: Repeater
NUMBER OF SONGS ON PROFILE: Five, with a secondary player lower in the page streaming four songs. NUMBER OF PICTURES: 63 photos in three albums
FRIEND COUNT: 13,495. BLOG EXCERPT: Nothing too juicy, just such polite pleasantries as “Hope this finds everyone well, and we thank every one of you for your continued support of the band and what we do as artists.” Such nice young men! ANALYSIS: As their blog suggests, nothing too fancy here—no giant graphics or slideshows or crazy backgrounds. Which is appreciated since it makes the page load quickly without worry of things like a bunch of videos loading and crashing your browser. The Long Beach five-piece—who are playing at the Prospector Saturday—are fairly no-frills, musically, so it fits. The mostly white look is very clean—harsher folks might say, “boring.” ADDRESS: /repeaterband


BAND: LD & Ariano
Five. NUMBER OF PICTURES: 138 photos in five albums. FRIEND COUNT: 13,426. BLOG EXCERPT: No blogs to speak of. The silence is deafening. ANALYSIS: This is definitely one of the fancier, more professional-looking MySpace profiles out there. In fact, they even have a link to those responsible for the graphic design: Orange County’s Hurst Industriez. (Yes, “Industriez.”) As with many of the big national names, there’s a graphic a the top of the page that takes up most of your screen, and—oh, boy—this one’s even animated, with LD and Ariano slowly creeping into the shot from opposite directions. ADDRESS: /ldandariano


BAND: Audacity
Six. NUMBER OF PICTURES: 85 photos in four albums. FRIEND COUNT: 3,050. BLOG EXCERPT: “We love depeche mode.” Simple enough. ANALYSIS: Even more bare-bones than Repeater’s page, as this Fullerton band don’t even attempt to alter MySpace’s default settings. Profound minimalist statement or a result of being more concerned with perfecting their brand of delightfully rough-around-the-edges garage punk? Either way, they’re definitely not concerned about spelling: “We will become your fav. bAND. If U want us to play sumwherez, Alls U gotta DU is ASSK!!!” says the “About Audacity” section. ADDRESS: /audacityca


BAND: Crystal Antlers
Four. NUMBER OF PICTURES: 34 photos in three albums. FRIEND COUNT: 8,747. BLOG EXCERPT: Pretty much only links to past praise they’ve gotten in various publications. But they’ve gotten a lot of praise, so at least there’s a lot to read. ANALYSIS: For a band who have attracted the kind of (positive) attention they have—landing in Pitchfork’s elusive “Best New Music” section and being signed to Touch and Go Records, this MySpace page keeps it real. No bells and whistles here; it’s pretty much your standard MySpace page—tour dates, a couple of videos—with one notable exception: a pink background. And as silly as it sounds, it really does make a noticeable difference: Their page stands out. ADDRESS: /crystalantlers


BAND: Free the Robots
Six. NUMBER OF PICTURES: 371 photos in seven albums. FRIEND COUNT: 39,946. BLOG EXCERPT: Similar to Crystal Antlers, just a lot of articles that have been written about them in the past. ANALYSIS: There’s a reason Santa Ana’s Free the Robots have so many MySpace friends—it’s because they know how to do it up right, with a page that’s elegant in its simplicity. It’s full, with lots of fliers and info on the left-hand side, but doesn’t look cluttered. It works within the classic MySpace page, but adds an appealing gray background. It doesn’t make your browser all stretchy, which is always welcome. And comments are pushed way toward the bottom of the page because, really, who leaves MySpace comments these days? Of course, they have tour dates on there, too, reminding visitors that they’re playing at the Crosby (Robots Chris Alfaro and Phil Nisco are two-thirds of the club’s ownership) on Friday. ADDRESS: /freetherobots


BAND: Sixstep
Six. NUMBER OF PICTURES: 273 photos in eight albums. FRIEND COUNT: 2,029. BLOG EXCERPT: No updates since 2005! We need more local artists weighing in on the big issues. ANALYSIS: Sixstep, playing at the Gypsy Lounge on Saturday, call themselves “Polyethnic-pseudocajun-slamgrass” and have some fun elements on their page, such as a poll asking fans what song they should cover at an upcoming show. Okay, the “upcoming show” was on Halloween, and one of the choices was “Pocket Full of Kryptonite” by the Spin Doctors, but the thought is there. ADDRESS: /sixstep


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