Why You Should Do A Music Website, Even If It Goes Tits Up, by Wendy Roby of The Lipster

As we wave a sad goodbye to our very favourite music website, The Lipster, founded by the fabulous Jude Rogers, we asked co-editor Wendy Roby to tell us how it has been for her.

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The LIPSTER: good at music, rubbish at photoshop


Rebecca Nicholson (my co-Editor) and I closed down our music website The Lipster this week. With a shrug and a sigh, we’ve set the alarm, swizzed the sign round to ‘Closed’ and skipped off down the high street, the final pennies from the till jangling in our pockets. [Becca: You made money out of it? Me: Shhh, of course not, everyone knows there is no money in music journalism. I am merely painting pictures with words]. Anyhoo, though this may sound like a sad old tale, it isn’t. Because doing a music website with a brilliant friend is one of the best and goodest things you can ever do.

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Rebecca Nicholson, co-editor of The Lipster

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Wendy Roby, co-editor of The Lipster

I met Becca when she was Deputy Editor of the site, and I was writing for it as a PJ-clad freelancer. Slowly, surely, we were emailing each other about non-work stuff. Things like whether it is morally unsound to haggle in our respective hometown charity shops, or what a berk we thought industry person X was (sorry, X). The site was funded at the time, but then the money faded away. And that was sad, but in the absence of editorial paymasters we could do whatever we wanted. It was all so deliciously quick – realising we felt the same about traditional forms of music criticism (it’s brilliant, but no point adding to the gallons of it available on the web), we bonded over a love of neon record covers, over-the-top house music and funny genre names. Essentially, we both came out to each other as immature berks who like records (sometimes on the basis of an artist’s trainers). She said, ‘LET’S DO THIS THING, YEAH?’ and I said ‘RAAARRRRGH’. Or ‘Yes’ – I can’t quite remember.

At our first weekly meeting, we stared glumly at the pile of records up for release the following Monday. At least 10 albums in the pile had artwork which featured a shack, a desolate landscape or some meaningful trees. And I don’t know about you, but I think a picture of some hip-hoppers making a neon jigsaw is more exciting – a better inducement to listen. ‘Which ones shall we review?’ said Becca, holding up the shackattack sleeves. ‘The ones which are not brown?’ said me. And we promptly wrote our first piece, called [10 Things We Would Rather Do Than Listen To The New Oasis Album]. I took a picture of my sluttish bath trim which needed re-sealing, Becca photographed her messy desk and said she would rather tidy it than suffer Liam’n’Noel. We swizzed it up, put it on the site, and then sat back to snigger, a bit like teenagers taken to see some contemporary dance.

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A Cheryl Cole Commemorative Plate

THIS was how we wanted to write about music. THIS was a more honest response to Mancunian bands who really should have gone away long ago. And since then, amongst other things, we’ve asked Alesha Dixon what she would do if her bottom was a spaceship, had features on what a Cheryl Cole commemorative plate might look like, attempted to compare kittens to up and coming voodoo electro artists

Who is The Scariest Witch Doctor in Pop?

Who is The Scariest Witch Doctor in Pop?

, written a singles review comparing records to character in The Archers, re-styled a Granddad troubadour for The kids and got a boy to use rapper Jay Sean’s lyrics as chat-up lines at a book group. Do you know, you can put a copy of The Alchemist in the hands of a rapper using self-taught PhotoShop? I thought that was funny. So did Becca. And though I’m not sure we were worried about what anyone else thought, we were then named one of the 100 Best Blogs in the World by the Sunday Times. We rang each other to squeal. Well, I squealed. My name is Wendy Roby and I am a squealer. I say ‘Ooooo’. A lot.

Of course, this is, ultimately, the best thing about compiling a web portal with your friend. In the absence of editorial rules, you can do whatever takes your fancy. You can ask questions that in normal magazines would be deemed off topic and wrong. You can shout from the rooftops about popstars you fancy. And while I had thought we’d piss off music PRs and ‘industry’ people, in fact, the reverse was true. Honestly, and I do not lie, some artists begged us to be on the site. The nerds, crate-diggers and record librarians were appalled I should imagine, but we had a high old time. And even though it’s ended – and I really mean this – you, readers, should go and do likewise.

The Lipster partnered with the Birds Eye View Film Festival 2009 on our Music Loves Video event (click here for more info)

www.twitter.com/wendy_roby
www.thelipster.com

1 Comment

  1. Loudat 4 years ago

    …so that’s what I went and did. Wendy Roby, you is the bestest.

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