Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Local Web Site Captures Bands on Video

By Kathleen Richards
Wed, Mar 10, 2010 at 4:34 PM

There has certainly been no shortage of folks who decide to start web sites devoted to local music. They come and go, some better than others, with the occasional one managing to make it past the three-year mark. Ryan Andersen, who founded the site One Night Music, believes his all-volunteer collective of contributors has the right infrastructure and momentum to keep things going well into the future. Most importantly, he’s got the right format: video.

Like the popular French site La Blogotheque, which films bands performing on the streets (here’s Dappled Cities in SF), One Night Music focuses on an all-video format to showcase bands (in this case, mostly indie local ones). Since launching in February 2009, the site has grown to include about 32 contributors, including artists (to illustrate the band’s profiles), videographers, audio engineers, writers, and others. Featured bands so far include Bird by Snow, Honeycomb, All My Pretty Ones, Rey Villalobos, and Mike Ballan, among others.

Honeycomb "Flesh and Bone Machine" (1 of 5) at Blue Six in San Francisco from One Night Music on Vimeo.

“We’re not doing it because of the money,” said Andersen, who’s currently living up north but has plans to move to San Francisco shortly. “Lately, there’s been a lot of energy around it. When you have a good thing, people appreciate it.”

The idea for One Night Music started in Santa Barbara, where Andersen attended college, in the winter of 2008. He had already been recording his friends’ bands in his home studio; his twin brother Ian was a web designer and friend Elia had a video camera. The idea of filming local artists and putting the videos online seemed like a no-brainer. Shortly thereafter, Andersen said “everyone pretty much moved to San Francisco,” which prompted the site to relocate its home base here, too.

Initially, Andersen said they had to put out queries to get bands to record and would film anyone they could; now, they’ve got more booking inquiries than they can handle. To boot, there are certain artists, like Devil Makes Three, that they’re still pursuing. “It’s a good problem to have,” he said.

The site publishes one video per week. Andersen said his plans for 2010 include diversifying their programming and incorporating local youth media organizations to supply their own content. He wants to keep the focus local and independent, but also keep an open-door policy in terms of content and contributors. Upcoming videos will feature Felonious, the Devotionals, Michael Musika, former SF poet laureate Jack Hirshman, and Buckeye Knoll.

To get booked on One Night Music or to find out how you can contribute, go here.

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