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John P. Strohm's Blog (36)

MFT Mixtape - August 2010 - 90's Rock

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I returned to my hometown of Bloomington, Indiana in late 1990 after spending five formative (late teens/early twenties) years in Boston. My not-so-secret… Continue

Added by John P. Strohm on August 9, 2010 at 9:59am — 56 Comments

Gift Horse

I visited Bloomington last weekend for the first time in a couple years. I wasn't around long enough to check out any live music, and I was too busy catching up with old pals to hear much about what's going on in town (other than things of immediate interest such as trendy new restaurants).

I did, however, find time to catch up with my old pal Glenn Hicks, who gave me a copy of the demo by his current band Gift Horse (available on this site). First I should say as a caveat…


Added by John P. Strohm on July 27, 2010 at 10:19am — 4 Comments


I don’t hold myself out as an historian or an authority on Indiana music. I’m just a fan. I’ve…


Added by John P. Strohm on April 12, 2010 at 12:00am — 89 Comments

My Songwriting Challenge

Jeb asked me to re-post the text to this recent blog entry.

I’ve been thinking about songwriting lately, and it’s been a bit depressing. Although I haven’t done much songwriting in the past few years, I continue to think of myself as much as a songwriter as all of these other titles I claim these days (e.g. father, husband, attorney, teacher, blogger, old dude, etc.). Nevertheless, the way I think about the craft in general and my work in particular has changed in ways that…


Added by John P. Strohm on March 31, 2010 at 4:23pm — 19 Comments

New Blog - My Songwriting Challenge

Here's a link to a new blog I wrote, a songwriting pep talk.

Added by John P. Strohm on March 30, 2010 at 12:17am — 3 Comments

R.I.P. Eric Fournier

Eric Fournier, pictured here in front rockin' the mic with his bandmates Harry Burgan and David Fortney in the great mid-80s Bloomington HC band the Blood Farmers, passed away last Thursday, 2/2510. Eric was a central personality in the mid-80s Bloomington punk scene. I wasn't as close to Eric as others from that scene, but I knew him as a boundlessly creative…


Added by John P. Strohm on February 27, 2010 at 11:30pm — 4 Comments

The Future of Music?

My good friends at MFT asked me to write something about where I think the music industry is going over the next ten years. In other words, my good friends at MFT have invited me to set myself up to look like a total idiot in ten years. Regular MFT readers know, however, that I don’t shy away from the bold proclamation, so here I go.

First, however, a caveat: I’ve never held myself out as a tech guy. I fumble along and I do…


Added by John P. Strohm on February 9, 2010 at 4:00pm — 117 Comments

In Memory of Scarcity

Since my work directly involves delivery/distribution of music to listeners, I've given a great deal of thought over the past several years to the way things have changed and are continuing to change. We're quickly moving towards a new reality where all existing recorded music is available to everyone all the time, which has been more or less inevitable since the distribution of music via the Internet became possible. There are many issues that need to be resolved, such as compulsory licensing… Continue

Added by John P. Strohm on October 29, 2009 at 10:30am — 38 Comments

Mock Orange

I was on the phone with a musician client today, a veteran of the So Cal emo/punk scene. I mentioned that I'm from Indiana, and he immediately asked if I knew the band Mock Orange from Evansville. He said they were one of his favorite bands, and that they'd been around since the early '90s!

This did my head in, because I don't recall having ever heard of them. I assume they're an emo band or something like that - does anyone know anything about them? Are they worth checking out (or… Continue

Added by John P. Strohm on September 10, 2009 at 3:53pm — 8 Comments

North Manchester, Indiana

A client of mine, a band called Dawes from L.A., told me about a fantastic show they played last night at an all ages club called The Firehouse in North Manchester, Indiana. They said they had a great turnout, and the club did a fantastic job of setting up a nice dinner, accommodations, etc. They really just flat-out raved about the whole experience.

Has anyone else heard of the place? Sounds like it should be on everyone's radar if it's not already. I'd never heard of North… Continue

Added by John P. Strohm on July 30, 2009 at 3:58pm — 5 Comments

The Music Business

I was thumbing through a copy of Mansion on the Hill by Fred Goodman and I came across an interesting quote from Peter Wolf, the singer from the J. Geils Band. He said that for the first generation of folk-influenced rock writers post-Dylan, it was unthinkable to be concerned in any way about the business of music. They were artistes, period. For that generation of artists, thinking about royalty rates, publishing ownership, or recoupable tour support would have been ludicrous. As a major… Continue

Added by John P. Strohm on July 14, 2009 at 1:00pm — 12 Comments

Zero Boys Review on Pitchfork

Really thoughtful, favorable review of the ZBs re-issues on Pitchfork this morning: Marvin, are you going to temporarily revise your regard for the publication?

Added by John P. Strohm on June 8, 2009 at 10:33am — 14 Comments

Antenna Blog Article

Here's a link to a nice blog write-up about Antenna, written by a DJ from WXRT in Chicago:

Again, I apologize - I still can't get the effing hyperlink to work from this computer.

Added by John P. Strohm on April 17, 2009 at 11:22am — 6 Comments

On Musicianship

I'm going to keep this short and sweet, because I have a bunch of work to do today; but there's something I've had on my mind since I wrote about the Zero Boys a couple months ago (which article, by the way, is the cover story in this month's Ryder Magazine in Bloomington). I've been thinking about the importance of technical proficiency in musicians.

When I first started playing drums, my goal was to get "good". I used to have arguments with my good pal Harry - also a drummer -… Continue

Added by John P. Strohm on April 1, 2009 at 10:41am — 33 Comments

Creative Commons

Must have something to do with my work computer, but I can never get hyperlinks to show up on MFT. Anyway, here is a URL for an article I posted today on the Know the Music Biz blog on Creative Commons licensing:

Added by John P. Strohm on March 31, 2009 at 10:00am — 5 Comments

First Lemonheads Video: Second Chance (1987)

Thanks to Ben Deily for this link. This is the first ever Lemonheads video from 1987 for the song Second Chance, from the album Hate Your Friends. Ben is the singer in this one - for those only familiar with the later Lemonheads stuff, on the first three albums Ben and Evan shared the singing and songwriting. This was only a couple months after I joined the band - I joined just before HYF was released but after it was recorded. This was shot in and around Kenmore… Continue

Added by John P. Strohm on January 17, 2009 at 6:46pm — 30 Comments

The Zero Boys

This is an article/fan piece I've written about the Zero Boys to celebrate their recent Secretly Canadian reissues. I'm sending it around a bit to find a print publisher, so if you have comments about the facts or anything else, please post them or hit me privately. It should be obvious that this is more of a memoir piece that doesn't purport to be a definitive history. I'm not the guy to write the definitive history since I was on the sidelines, but perhaps that's something somebody should… Continue

Added by John P. Strohm on January 15, 2009 at 1:24pm — 41 Comments

Punk-Approved Wuss Rock Recordings/HC Classix

I’m currently writing an article on the Zero Boys in celebration of their upcoming catalogue re-issue, which I’m looking forward to posting soon. It’s gotten me to thinking about hardcore more than usual. I recently engaged in an interesting exchange in the comments section of my recent blog post “some random thoughts…” Somehow the subject of Michael Jackson came up. Thus far I’ve generated essentially zero support from my assertion that MJ is a great artist and an important cultural figure -… Continue

Added by John P. Strohm on January 4, 2009 at 2:54am — 728 Comments

Attention Bloomingtonians - Jon Konrath

I was trying to track down something using Google, and I stumbled across this: A writer named Jon Konrath wrote a novel (a rather long novel) titled "Summer Rain" about spending a summer in Bloomington in 1992 (published in 2000). I downloaded the PDF of the book from his site (, and it looks pretty interesting. It's full of descriptions of Bloomington, and a quick scan revealed that at one point he goes to Second Story to see The Dynamos - a thinly-veiled Dynamics. Also it… Continue

Added by John P. Strohm on December 23, 2008 at 4:53pm — 8 Comments

Some random thoughts about musicians and learning

Before getting into the substance of this post, I’ll confess that I don’t know much about lateralization of brain function. I have rudimentary (and probably in some ways inaccurate) understanding of general “left brain” and “right brain” characteristics. I’m going to forge ahead here with the disclaimer that my understanding is neither nuanced nor remotely scientific. This is all off the top of my head and the reader should feel free to disagree with me.

I had a conversation with my… Continue

Added by John P. Strohm on December 14, 2008 at 5:26pm — 37 Comments

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