As a former Austinite, I hit the ground running upon moving to New York to find great music similar to the bands Untapped Cities has profiled in the past. In New York, Oh My Rockness is quite possibly the best source of information for independent (“indie”) music shows in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Untapped caught up with co-founder of Oh My Rockness, Patrick McNamara.
Untapped: How did the idea for Oh My Rockness begin?
McNamara: Claire [Co-Founder] and I had been dating for a few months back in 2003 and thought it would be cool to start a website that listed all the best indie rock shows. There really wasn’t anything out there like that at the time. There was the Village Voice and TimeOut in print, but the online world didn’t have a comprehensive indie show listing site. So we said, “Let’s do it.” And we’re still doing it 8 years later. And we’re married now!
Untapped: How did Oh My Rockness expand to the Los Angeles community?
McNamara: After we launched Oh My Rockness New York City, we launched our Chicago site. And shortly thereafter, we launched Los Angeles. Los Angeles was a logical next city for us to do considering its size and the vast amount of shows that go on there each night. And, we love Los Angeles.
Untapped: How do you see Oh My Rockness fitting into the New York City music scene?
McNamara: Rockness has done remarkably well in New York City. We’ve spent the last 8 years slowly building up our audience and we feel pretty good about what we’ve accomplished. We haven’t taken over New York City or anything although we try. But, I think we’re well liked and respected by the people who use our site. And we can’t really ask for a whole lot more than that.
Untapped: How do you think Oh My Rockess adds to the local music culture?
McNamara: Thankfully, we’re in a position where if we like local bands and write about them on the site, people will check them out and help those bands get more exposure. And that’s how I think we contribute most to the music community in all of our cities – giving the bands we like a little help. It’s definitely one of the best parts of the job too.
Untapped: Who are some of your favorite local bands?
McNamara: Toughest question of the bunch! There are so many bands coming out of New York City that we love. I guess as of right this very minute I’d say: Dive, New Moods, Ski Lodge, Midnight Magic and The Stepkids. But, I’m sure I’m forgetting a million others.
Oh My Rockness previously profiled the band of Untapped’s founder, Michelle Young, and featured them in their pre-SXSW Oya Festival in 2009 at the Bell House. The band hopped into their van right after and drove straight to SXSW in Texas! Michelle confirms what Patrick says: “We got tons of press and new fans thanks to the awesome write up Oh My Rockness did of us, and the simple fact that they found us at the time, an unlabeled, ragtag bunch of friends making music, speaks to how well they know the music scene in New York.”
Check it all out at www.ohmyrockness.com