"About Us," eh? That's not the easiest of questions to ask...
At heart, we are a music blog.
Once upon a time, that made us something special. Nowadays, if you've got a pair of hipster specs, a Built To Spill t-shirt, and an undying affection for Animal Collective, you've probably got your own music blog.
And we suppose that Excellent Online isn't much different. It's just... we were here first.
You're sitting on the site of one of the oldest dedicated music blogs on this here interweb.
Back in the days before broadband and Amazon, before iPods and iPads, there was still great indie music floating about. But finding out about it? Well, that was the challenge.
Living in the States and being obsessed with indie music (mostly from the UK shores) was a challenge in the wayback days. Instead of hopping onto a website, you had to get an overseas subscription to NME or Melody Maker. Instead of going to Amazon.com for your latest imports, you had to stay up until 4 a.m. to call Sister Ray Records in Soho and shout off your mail order to a bemused overseas clerk while paying $7 a minute or whatever the crazy phone charges were. Life was rough.
But the rewards? Incalculable. To bust open that cardboard box and hold a My Bloody Valentine CD in your hands... to be the first person on your block -- hell, maybe even your CITY -- to hear that new Echo & the Bunnymen track... to make a mix CD for your girl or guy full of songs that no one on your continent truly, deeply "understood" as much as you?
That said, the life of an indiekid growing up in the corn belt was often lonely. There's only so many stories of Sarah Records that your cats want to hear. Only so many badges to put on your coat before you started looking like a TGI Friday's employee.
That was about the time when the internet launched. And suddenly indiekids were meeting other indiekids from around the globe. Music is a powerful uniter. "You like Slowdive? HELL, MAN, I LIKE SLOWDIVE, TOO!" And hence, friendships were born, regardless of whether your new friend lived in California or Egypt or, in my case, a small farm town on the Illinois/Iowa border.
We were born of an early e-mail discussion list about indie music. One day, somebody said we should have a website. We needed a name and we were in a hurry, so we settled on Excellent Online. Yes, it's kinda crap. Oh well.
In its prime, Excellent had thousands of members, a thriving web community, and even released a couple of rather boss compilation CD's to the internet for 100% free download. One of those compilations even charted on CMJ - a pretty cool feat if you ask us.
But, as all good things must, the party wound down. The creators of Excellent Online -- a site that has always been PROUDLY non-commercial and run FOR music fans BY music fans -- had to grow up and get real jobs and real worries. The site that once was our main passion in life was taking a backseat to life itself.
So we made the ugly decision 2 years ago to put the site on autopilot and use it as a music news aggregate.
But now, in 2010, we're back. We thought we could live without the damned thing -- we were wrong. We might be getting grey in the hair and outside our coveted 18-34 demographic, but fuck it. We're still music fans as much today as we were two decades ago.
So Excellent rises from the ashes like a phoenix once again. Maybe it'll become as special as it once was. Maybe not. Either way, we're in it for the long haul.
So what say you? Like music? If so, pull up a chair and take a load off. We'll do our best to keep you entertained.
My name's Shane. The other guy's Ajay. We're happy you're here. Welcome to Excellent Online.