A Grateful Departure

Hi everyone, it’s Arthur Hatton here.  It has been around three and a half years since I created Linescratchers, and as many of you may have noticed, our productive output has decreased over the last year or so.  This is directly attributable to the fact that I’ve had my first kid (he’s one year old now), and started graduate school.  Those two things have really taken away my energy to micro-manage things and make time in my schedule to talk with artists, listen to new music, and go to concerts.  Our fundraiser was an attempt at providing the incentive necessary to take Linescratchers to the next level, but it was not successful enough to really meet our minimum goals to do so (though we will have plenty of money for web hosting bills for the indefinite future).  I have given this decision a lot of thought and have decided that, in order to make room in my life for graduate school and research, being a father, and new blogging interests, I’m regretfully going to have to step down as the in-charge person at Linescratchers.

This was not an easy decision to make.  In a lot of ways I feel like I’m giving up a baby for adoption.  However, I also know that I’m a perfectionist, and I get very dissatisfied with myself if I do things half-way.  Either I do them right or I don’t do them at all.

However, I also did not want to just shut Linescratchers down.  So we have worked out a new system whereby contributors will still post articles, interviews, and reviews, without me telling them what to do.  On our Staff page I will compile a list of active contributors along with the styles of music they specialize in.  If there are any new artists who wish to be featured on Linescratchers, you can contact the contributors directly.  Expect lots of great new content over the next months (and hopefully years).  Don’t go away!  It’s just that I won’t be directly involved anymore.

One thing I just want to say here is that, in my mind, I consider Linescratchers an unqualified, total success.  When I created Linescratchers, I had reasons for doing it, and goals that I wanted to achieve.  Some of them were more abstract, like that I wanted to create a safe place for LDS artists to be able to really express themselves.  Some were more concrete – I wanted to interview Alan Sparhawk.  Along the way I’ve met some amazing artists, writers, fans, and people, and seen some amazing musicians live.  I was even able to create a couple dozen podcasts, some of which were great interviews of some amazing musicians.  I love Linescratchers and I really hope that it continues long years into the future.

If you are interested in what I’m doing nowadays, you might have noticed that I was recently interviewed about an album I just released, Odes.  I have also started a personal blog that I have been using to record my thoughts about my personal musical journey and other random things, and if you’re interested in following me there, I promise to try and entertain you as best as I can.  If you want to follow me in my music, you can find me at my Facebook fan page or on Reverbnation.  I am also involved with a psychology of religion blog called The Value of Saintliness, related to my graduate studies.

The thing I want to express most here is my gratitude.  I am so thankful to each of you – each contributor, each artist that really believed in us, each fan who follows us, each listener of the podcast, every family member that offered support, and every person that donated to the fundraiser.  You’ve all made this wonderful site possible and I wish I could just shake your hands individually.

You’ll still see me lurking around Linescratchers, and hopefully posting every now and then, and I will still be happy to answer questions or press inquiries about the site, I just won’t be pulling the puppet strings anymore.  To get in touch with me personally, please email me at arthur@linescratchers.com.

A Grateful Departure

Arthur Hatton: Reflections on three years of Linescratchers

This is me.  My name is Arthur Hatton.

I’m posing with my newest toy – I’ve worked at a guitar shop since 2006 but have only now been able to take home a beautiful, prized possession:  a Martin SWDGT with a Fishman pickup that I installed.  I’m standing next to a painting that I did recently that was inspired by a song by John Wesley (the one who plays for Porcupine Tree) that I have decided to put on the cover of the album I’m currently recording.

I am scheduling this post to go up on June 28th, 2011, which is exactly three years and a day after the very first post of Linescratchers went up.  I have told a little bit of my story to my contributors, and one of them mentioned that it might be interesting and useful to tell the story so far to our readership.  Some of you have only recently discovered Linescratchers.  Just a few of you – and you know who you are – have been with me since the very beginning.  Our contributor Charles has eloquently explained why keeping records is important, so in that spirit, I’d like to tell you the story of Linescratchers from the beginning, complete with the controversial and the embarrassing details that make these things bearable to read.  Hopefully it will give you an idea of what Linescratchers is for, why I started it, and where I want it to go in the future.  Please forgive the long exposition on myself, but it should give you some context. Continue reading “Arthur Hatton: Reflections on three years of Linescratchers”

Arthur Hatton: Reflections on three years of Linescratchers

Seeking applications for blogs, writers, or musicians!

We have a couple items of blog business to share with all of you.

1) Are you a…

…featured Linescratchers artist?
…LDS musician/writer/blogger with your own music blog?

We are currently working on a secret Summer project and we are seeking out all our friends and fellow musicians out there who have your own music blogs, publications, or organizations. If you don’t have one, and you’d like one, start one! If you need help, contact us and we’ll help you set it up!

Email me at arthur@linescratchers.com and let us know if you have a blog that you update regularly. Please let us know what kind of blog it is: a discussion blog with cool questions, dialog, stories, or discussions, OR a blog containing news about your band (or any combination of the above).

2) Are you interested in interviewing cool musicians, reviewing free music, raising interesting questions, or otherwise working with us at Linescratchers (for FREE)? We are always seeking out bloggers, writers, and web administrators to help out! Send a message to dallin@linescratchers.com to find out how you can help.

3) Are you an LDS musician who doesn’t write LDS music, who has never been featured on Linescratchers? If so, please send a link to your music, a bio, a couple mp3s, or just an email to arthur@linescratchers.com and we will let you know if you’re what Linescratchers is looking for.

Thanks everyone, and keep rocking!

Seeking applications for blogs, writers, or musicians!

News flash: Musicians are poor.

from theroot.com

If you’re a musician, then it probably didn’t take a journalistic investigation to come to the conclusion that musicians are poor.  Not only are most musicians poor, but the ones who aren’t poor are actually poorer than you think they are.  That’s the gist of this article I just read at The Root, but like most LDS musicians, this is information that I definitely already knew.

Attaching yourself or your band to the corporate structure of a record label has historically had its advantages:  promotions, studios, tour management, image, marketing, etc., but all those things come at a price.  When it all boils down to it, the average musician in the band makes about $23.40 for every $1000 of music sold.  Of course, money isn’t the only problem with this sort of arrangement.  Record labels are notoriously wary of music that ventures out of the box at all, or goes against an already money-making formula.  Many artists who are signed to labels soon disconnect from the lives that inspired their music, often resulting in the dreaded Sophomore Syndrome. Continue reading “News flash: Musicians are poor.”

News flash: Musicians are poor.

Help support Linescratchers

Hi everyone! I’ve now installed a button on the right sidebar that allows people to help donate to keep Linescratchers on its domain name. It’s not very expensive, maybe $10 a month, but I’m a newlywed and a student, and $10 goes a long way. If you like Linescratchers and feel that we offer useful content, please donate a few dollars to help us out. It really makes a difference. Thanks!

Help support Linescratchers