Space for music

By: Cody Boteler, Senior Editor

Music is everywhere. Songs play during advertisements, streaming services continue to pop up and students listen to music on their phones as they walk across campus.

For all of the music available, though, there may be at least one shortfall.

“I realized there was this glut of music, which is wonderful, we’ve never had this kind of exposure before,” Thom Lieb, a professor of journalism and new media said. “I was listening to new music constantly but there was no depth to the listening experience.“

This realization is what led Lieb to create his new website, Sit Down Listen Up (sitdownlistenup.com).

 Sit Down Listen Up has the goal of creating a relationship between the music and its listener that goes beyond the superficial. Contributors will sit down and listen to an album all the way through, and then write about their connection to the album – hence the name.

The last album Lieb listened to that may turn into a post on the site is “Engravings,” by the group Forest Swords.

“Music is such a powerful force and something that gives us so much energy,” Lieb said. “We use it for mood control, we use it for all sorts of things.”

The site went live in mid-February and has a number of contributors, including Mark Sullivan, an adjunct faculty in the mass communications department and Denise Tillman, a 2014 Towson graduate.

Sullivan and Tillman both said that they want to share music with others.

“Basically, I miss hanging out in record stores and chatting about music with other fans,” Sullivan said.  “This gives me a way to do so virtually.”

Every writer has his or her own style, and Lieb said that all of the contributors have their own interests related to music.

“It’s becoming less of my project and more of our project, which I like,” he said.

The site is not currently generating enough revenue to compensate contributors, although Lieb said that he would like to find some kind of way to pay those who work on the site.

As a professional, Lieb is focused largely on writing about journalism, but the project is bringing Lieb back to his roots as a writer.

“I’ve just become myself in high school again,” he said.

While University rules currently prevent Lieb from offering internships for students to receive credit, he said that he would like to start offering opportunities to students. He encourages students who may be interested in contributing to the site to reach out to him.

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