All-Star Spotlight: Ian Morales
As the fresh face behind some of Austin’s most read music blogs, Ian Morales has managed to aggregate his local scene expertise and funnel it into a number of social media outlets, all in an impressively short amount of time. Inspired by his love for music and (the always motivating aspect of) boredom, he started a blog in April of 2008–IanLovesMusic–which began as a personal music endeavor and later turned into a platform for his increasing Internet popularity. With Ian’s prominent display of music criticism, opportunities arose for him to spread his unique perspective on other websites. Joining Sal Silva at the music/social media portal, Double Stereo (formerly known as CD Fuse), and jumping on board as the editor-in-chief for local Latin American publication, Austin Vida, the music blogger stays busy keeping stride with everything having to do with Austin music–from reviewing CD’s and writing up shows to picking local favorites and offering his carefully toned opinions.
After moving to Austin at the moldable age of 15, Ian spent his underage years emerged in the local music scene– at a time when all age shows were ubiquitous and legendary venues, such as Liberty Lunch and Steamboat, still existed. Morales attributes his deeply implanted love for the music world to growing up in this atmosphere, and coming into blogging with such a proficient musical mindset has seen his influence spread across the blogosphere. Given almost complete creative control of what he gets to write, Ian translated his frustration with being the “guy with all the answers” (to questions regarding what bands to listen to and his personal opinions about them) into a successful blogging enterprise.
While being a part of something that he loves is definitely one of the best things about being involved in music media, he admits that not everything about the business is glamorous. Dealing with the in’s and out’s might not be appealing, but he also concedes that an influx of new ideas and new talent–with more young media and young writers– might be the perfect “new wave” that will revive Austin’s media sphere. Since he’s started writing, the biggest thing that Morales has seen change is the number of blogs that have now made a name for themselves, but he has his own theory on what makes a good blog. Morales’ testament that blogging is not “an end” but “a means to an end” makes his range of influence on multiple websites quite understandable.
Talking music with Morales sheds light on his perspective and range of musical reviews, and because he listens to just about everything sent his way, his scope and opinions are rather impressive. When looking at local favorites that he sees breaking big in 2010, Ian predicts that The White White Lights will soon be the hot new blogger buzz. With their EP set to be released this Saturday, the blogger expects that sites ranging from Brooklyn Vegan to Hype Machine will soon catch and latch on to these indie darlings, who he deems “this year’s Ume”. Another local band he sees coming out of the woodwork is the Latin band, La Guerrilla. With an incredible live show and full ensemble band, Morales has noticed the group beginning to push the limits of the local Latin circle in an effort to make it big. And already harboring a cult following, he feels that La Guerrilla will easily make the big scene transition.
As for his favorite venue, Ian picks out locally cherished hot-spot, the Mohawk, as one of the best places to catch an outdoor show. On any Friday night, you can find Morales hanging out in the Red River area (perhaps standing near his favorite hot dog trailer outside Red Eyed Fly), but it’s the Mohawk, with its aesthetic and comfortable atmosphere (especially when the warm weather hits), that draws him in the most. The venue’s fantastic stage also happens to be where Morales, if able to book a dream line-up, would stage his show. The line-up, you ask? Pack of Wolves opening for the Sword, with a surprise middle band in the mix–Metallica, playing under a completely different name (a surprise that he regrets bands don’t do more).
As one of our favorite local bloggers, we can’t help but give Ian all the love we can, and luckily for us, we get to be the FIRST to announce the uber secret and awesome project that Morales has been working on with (none other than) one of our other favorite bloggers, Ajay Miranda from ‘Nites. Ajay and Ian have teamed up to create a brand spanking new blog, Red River Noise, which will officially be launched with a bad ass day party during SXSW. The site will focus on being an “all inclusive” site (interviews, reviews, blog, columns, live video, THE WORKS), staffed by six writers and two permanent photographers alongside several contributing people who are fully immersed in the music industry. On March 17th, the Red River Noise launch party will be held at the North Loop Parlor and will showcase 5 bands: Hydra Melody, Dr. Manhattan, Zlam Dunk, Bright Light Social Hour, and Aficionado. Come by SXSW time, the site will launch (with FULL CONTENT) so make sure you stop by the launch party and check it out.
Morales has built his name up as a staple in the Austin blogging scene these past couple of years, and his dedication to it all moves him to the top of our All-Star list. Make sure you check out ALL his websites:
And don’t forget to look out for Red River Noise on March 17th! Keep up the good work, Ian… you’re one of our faves.