Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Blurt Magazine arrives

Admittedly, I'm not a totally disinterested party since I write for them but even if I didn't, I would still be happy to report that the nice people who brought you Harp magazine have now revived themselves and created a free digital magazine called BLURT (as in "Let It..." from the Lester Bangs single of the same name).

There you will find features on Jamie Lidell (who has a great new album out), My Morning Jacket, Man Man and Mike Patton among others, plus news, videos and a discussion board that's just starting up.

And what's Blurt about and how's it distinct from Harp? I asked managing editor Fred Mills who said this about the magazine.

In our early discussions about Blurt, which commenced very shortly after we'd gotten the word that the plug was being pulled on Harp, we felt like we had some momentum we didn't want to squander. So all along we wanted to make sure that whatever form Blurt ultimately took, it would still make a connection with the old Harp readership - that if they liked Harp, they'd like Blurt. At the same time, we wanted to push things more than just a few steps forward and challenge that Harp readership alongside a fresh pool of readers to follow us and give us a chance to express our editorial vision in new ways. Not to get all George Bush on your ass, but I call that "spending some of the capital we accrued with Harp." Our next step, obviously, is to invade a small country where Blurt will be greeted with open arms as musical liberators.

To that end, it seems that Blurt has got a lot of freedom to try out stuff that we simply couldn't do with a print magazine like Harp - for example, we could only fit about 80 CD reviews in any given issue due to a fixed page count, but as of today, with Blurt's launch, we already have twice that manyreviews in place. We can do website exclusives with unlimited word count: if we get in a really interesting interview, why not run the entire transcript rather than boil it down to 1000-2000 words. And of course all along we intended to have audio and video content, blogs and forums, stuff that we'd long been trying to get going for the Harp site but for various reasons were stymied in our efforts.

We still loved the idea of a magazine "format" so the idea of creating both an interactive website AND a companion digital magazine was appealing. Kind of having the best of both worlds. So as we moved forward we were really working two sides of our brains: one kind of old-school (classic magazine layouts with physically defined pages) for the digital mag Blurt, and one more new media, Web 2.0 minded (the Blurt-online website plus the interactive features embedded in the magazine).

In summary, meet the new Blurt, definitely not the same as the old Harp, but certainly arriving with clear ties to its predecessor.

Blurt founder/editor-in-chief Scott Crawford adds:
I think the appeal of Blurt to me is the freedom to it represents. We can try things in ways that could've never been tested within the working environment that Harp was a part of. That's the exciting part for me. If Harp was the launching pad, I'd like to think of BLURT as the liftoff....

4 Comments:

Blogger Ed Ward said...

Right, but do they pay? Even as little as Harp did?

8:19 AM  
Blogger jimdero said...

I have to say, I think the "appropriation of dead Lester cred" inherent in the name is completely tacky and mercenary. Come up with your own damn name and then make something of it.

9:01 AM  
Blogger jimdero said...

I have to say, I think the "appropriation of dead Lester cred" inherent in the name is completely tacky and mercenary. Come up with your own damn name and then make something of it.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New Blurt website here:

www.tedmilton.net

4:53 AM  

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