When I started My hmphs back in 2008, I envisioned it as a way to vent to really no one about the state of pop music today. I had had enough of the Kanyes and Fergies dominating the airwaves, and I wanted to try to step up on my little soapbox in cyberspace and say, “Ahem, excuse me, but what about melody?”
While I haven’t been garnering a great deal of attention here, I have had my moments. I’m regularly getting 100-150 visitors a day, and one mention on Reddit sent thousands of people to my site. Google “bad grammar” and you’ll get my post about “20 songs with really bad grammar” in the top 3 results. And lo and behold, I just cashed my first check from Google Adsense for $100, which should pay for my hosting for the next few years.
I’ve also had some editorial successes. My post on “20 Reasons the Beatles are the Greatest Band Ever” continues to get comments. I’ve interviewed Mike Viola, Nicole Atkins, the Explorers Club’s Jason Brewer, and Bleu. But one thing that I’ve noticed is that whenever someone asks me what my blog is called, I say “My hmpppfffsssszzz,” trying to emphasize all letters so they’ll somehow remember it phonetically and try to visit. They look at me, puzzled, and I respond with the obligatory, “See, um, it’s a takeoff on the Black Eyed Peas song, My Humps?”
The puzzled look turns to horror.
“No, I really hate that song, see, and it’s spelled ‘H-M-P-H-S’ like ‘hmph, I don’t like it.’ It’s a play on words…”
By that time I’ve lost all interest.
Chalk it up to a little too much creativity and cuteness. The sentiment was there – flipping the bird to today’s hip hop and dance-oriented culture that chooses style over substance – but over the years my focus changed more to my love of power pop music and less toward Kanye and Company.
So I’m changing my name to Hooks and Harmony.
It’s more descriptive of what’s good in music: a hook that you can’t get out of your head, and harmonies that send chills down your spine. They have been a major part of music for centuries, and I want it to return. I want artists such as Mike Viola and Bleu and the Explorers Club to prosper and to be recognized for what they do so well – craft songs that focus on memorable melodies and chord progressions, without the need for Auto-Tune.
You can also spell it.
Find me now at http://www.hooksandharmony.com. I’m also changing my Twitter name to @hooksandharmony. Thank you all for staying with me, for memorizing how to spell “myhmphs”, and for helping spread the news. I promise to give you more reasons to update your bookmarks.
Happy New Year!