The great digital slipstream that pours cultural riches onto our screens has created smaller and more intriguing tributaries, the mypace and aol musics of the world narrowing to sites that serve niche enthusiasts. This site and the eagerly-awaited No Depression archive are just two examples close at hand. I’d like to point you to another new online resource that this community should enjoy.
The Living Room
has been the home of New York City’s singer/songwriter, alt-country, and intelligent rock world for more than a decade. It has been a regular haunt and launching pad for artists as diverse and intriguing as Norah Jones, OlabelleRon Sexsmith, Madeleine Peyroux, Chris Thile solo and with The Punch Brothers, Jesse Harris, and Joseph Arthur. Now their newly re-launched site combines the perspective of those years with a way to discover new talent: the site plumbs the audio and video archives they’ve built, and it features a searchable tool that their artist community uses to build audience and find resources. Full disclosure (and point of pride): Smoke
worked with Living Room owners Steve Rosenthal and Jennifer Gilson to create the new site.
We were after something more than the venue necessities of calendar and ticketing. Just as The Living Room nurtures its community by providing a real listening experience and exposure on their Sirius XM Radio show, we wanted the site to extend the experience with audio, video and artist-contributed text, images and links. The Performance Archive presents intimate video from the Living Room stage, and audio that includes entire shows and interviews. Steve also operates the venerable Magic Shop recording studio, and the audio-engineering expertise is apparent in the quality of the recordings available on the site. The Artist Community gives users two ways to discover new music, an artist search and a browseable table of thumbnail portraits that invite spontaneous clicking. As the name implies, The Artist Community is meant to serve the performers as well as site visitors, with musician’s resources in the neighborhood and the ability to build their own page with links, images and text.
Give it a look
— and prepare to spend some quality time!