Contrib

Introduction
Music Fun Time is primarily about discussing music and music related topics that interest you. To provide others with the insight to potentially expand their musical horizons is the goal of the site. To that end bringing in contributing writers to share their thoughts is vital to keep things fresh. One of the great things about music is how each individual is prone to their own partiality to particular genres and certain subsets of those genres. Due to the vast world of performed and recorded music it is ludicrous to think a single person could attempt to feign knowledge of all of it. For this reason bringing in other people to help fill in the gaps and provide a different perspective is important for the integrity of this site. If you are interested in contributing to Music Fun Time there are first some guidelines that should be considered. These guidelines are what separates this site from a simple music review site or comments on an online store. Please feel free to peruse them and hit me up with any questions you may have.

Subject Matter
The overall objective of MFT is to provide a venue for people to share their knowledge of artists with other people that are interested in listening to new music. Think of these articles like artist overviews rather then album reviews. The primary subject for discussion is musicians/bands/artists. Rather then discuss a single album by an artist the artist’s entire catalog should be discussed. In the course of researching new music I have often stumbled across an established band that I’d like to listen to but has a vast catalog and I simply didn’t know where to start. In the worst case scenario I pick a bad place to start and end up losing interest in the band. The Kinks for example, their early albums are amazing while their later ones are lacking and don’t even sound like the same band. This is why it is vital to discuss a band’s entire catalog. If you can’t speak for the band’s entire catalog then you need to do some research so you can. If a band’s first two albums were great and then they pumped out ten cruddy ones we don’t expect you to have trudged through all ten of the bad ones but you should be able to give someone direction as to where to start.

There are exceptions to the catalog discussion rule, if a band is new or was short lived and has only a single album or if you are discussing a compilation containing various recordings not found elsewhere. Catalogs simply don’t exist in those instances. I find with older artists, from the twenties or thirties for example, they primarily released singles and their catalog is a huge hodge-podge of all sorts of releases, in those cases you can avoid discussing the catalog as well. The same stands for classical composers because consumer oriented media just didn’t exist back in those days.

You may also discuss a specific musician, maybe talk about all the bands the person has been in, that’s fine. Another acceptable subject could be particular instruments. If you want to discuss the Concertina, it’s tunings and finer points; we’re all for that. Pure opinion based articles are acceptable as well. Sharing your opinion on Latin music in America, that’s cool as long as it’s positive and constructive. Don’t be afraid to share personal stories within your articles. If you have a funny story involving the band at hand please share it. Sometimes I’ll go off on a tangent describing what a particular band makes me think of or a place the band reminds me of. These are all valid. Get as personal as you like just be sure not to deviate too far from your subject.

Another thing that should be avoided are references to other bands. I’ve read countless reviews where the writer refers to other bands that I’ve never heard of and in many cases are even more obscure then the band of discussion. It’s a wasted effort to make these comparisons. Instead of saying a band sounds like another try to actually describe their sound. Every article should be written as if the reader has no idea who the band is and a very limited idea of what the genre is about, not to mention no idea of any other bands. I like to pretend I’m writing MFT articles for youngins fresh off the contemporary pop bandwagon that are new to the “real” music scene in general and are interested in widening their horizons. Sometimes music writers feel the need to prove themselves to their audience by constantly name dropping other artists and bands in a given article; don’t do this. One exception to this rule would be comparing a band to one already discussed on MFT. In this case a link can be inserted back to the existing article. Cross promotion is great!

Tone
In no article should you put down another genre or mock any other band. This goes for all articles, opinion included. There are plenty of negative reviews out there and some people seem to get their rocks off writing nothing but negative articles, while they may like writing those articles I certainly don’t enjoy reading them and I don’t think many others do. It’s best to follow that old mantra, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. I never want to read an article about Megadeath saying that “Metallica sucks” or an article about country music saying “rap stinks”, it’s nonconstructive and it potentially alienates an audience. There are a couple caveats to this. If you are reviewing an artist’s catalog and certain albums are complete crap while others are fantastic, I think that’s a good place to warn people away from the crappy albums.

Specifics
Subject guidelines aside, the basic format of MFT can be boiled down to this, four hundred word or more essays about music. The essays can be as long as you want. I’ve written a few articles around a thousand words but as a standard four hundred is the minimum. Because MFT is non genre specific I will never publish two articles from the same specific genre in a row. MFT is not about being a rock site or a folk site, it’s simply a “music” site. So don’t be scared to talk about that new wave band that you’ve been in love with for the past 20 years and then submit an article on death metal right after, it’s all good. Be aware that your article may be sandwiched between two others featuring artists or genres you don’t like. There is a six month grace period between duplicate topics, meaning that if I write an article on the Kinks and you would like to write one of your own, you’ll have to wait until mine is six months old for yours to be published.

One issue I struggled with early on with MFT was audio samples. While I posted completely self hosted songs early on I found out that the RIAA really has it out for people that do that so I stopped. As of this writing I’m using Amazon MP3 samples for my sharing. It’s quick and fast and best of all, no worry of lawsuits. So until someone tells me something better I’m going to stick with the Amazon samples. So far all the music that I haven’t been able to find on Amazon has been in the public domain or long out of print on a defunct record label, in those cases I encoded my own mp3′s and put up the complete songs.

Conclusion
So there’s the low down. If you are still interested in getting involved with the site you may contact me *here*.