About Ear Traffic

Discriminating music appreciation — what’s that about, you might ask? Basically, it’s about keeping your ears and your mind open. Every time I hear a new contribution to our popular culture’s thickening musical tapestry, that’s what I try to do.

I created Ear Traffic ATX because I’m a writer who wanted a place to share my perspective on popular music of all stripes. Living in Austin – the self-proclaimed-with-merit Live Music Capital of the World – since June 2014 has been a dream for a music lover like me. Here at Ear Traffic, I’ll be chronicling my perceptions of the songs and albums I listen to, the concerts I attend and the music landscape as a whole. In addition to reviews, we’ll have features, essays and comments on music news items – some local-oriented, some national.

My content here will be grounded in this basic thesis: There’s a lot of wonderful music out there. It’s not restricted to what a few obsessive bloggers are highlighting to a few hundred readers in knit caps and comically ironic, anti-sexy moustaches. Nor is it restricted to the overexposed pop music that floods your consciousness at malls, on commercials and in your car. Obscure indie, 808-grounded pop, and everything else on the spectrum — there’s greatness, and utter crap, in all of it.

Rock ’n’ roll is my first and most persistent musical love, and that will likely show in much of what appears here. But I like plenty of pop, hip-hop, old country, alt-country, dance and house. Just about every genre has produced, and will produce, music of value. Austin is the perfect home base to take it all in.

I want to hear it all, and I want to write about it all. Of course, I won’t exactly succeed at that, because no one does. But I’ll come as close as I can, and I hope you’ll like reading about what I get out of it.

-Joey Berlin
February 2016