Speak Volumes: ‘We’re just a music blog’


Cindy Chan
Photo by Benjamin Hurst, Staff Photographer

In a day and age where blogs persist at the forefront of new media, one focused solely on music is making some major headway for the music scene in our very own Isla Vista. Speak Volumes, launched on April 18, 2012, delivers content that possesses impressive and authentic quality despite the site’s early stage. The jovial, tongue-in-cheek mantra of, “we’re just a music blog” encompasses the no-fluff yet juicily inventive attitude that this website represents. With a laser-precise focus on quality music discussion and analysis, paired with a devotion to creating a platform for local artists to be heard, Speak Volume’s voice is boldly rising each day.

Speak Volumes was born as the brainchild of two fourth-year communication majors, Dylan Chase and Johnny Lipshin, who always knew that they were going to take their love for music to the next level. With the help of web manager Jason Worden and photographer Mariah Tiffany, the site, which maintains its focus on prioritizing local artists, is already going strong. The “Local Spotlight” column of the blog has featured over 20 local artists so far.

“Ranging from surf rock bands to ambient music to rappers, Speak Volumes is a place for local artists seeking exposure,” said Lipshin. “What we’re doing is very much a collaborative effort.” This platform dedicated to presenting the arts in IV is one that community members have been responding to very positively.

Speak Volumes is holding a series of ongoing musical events devoted to this very demand for the arts. Stationed at 6679 Trigo, the atmosphere of these events is unmatched by your typical IV rager. The ambiance, affixed with quality staging and sound, prescribes classy times and eclectic tunes. Each event provides the audience with exposure to the sounds of a diverse smattering of local artists.

Speak Volumes’ Chief Editor Chase explains that an appreciation comes with being part of a community that is engaged in a desire to foster this type of artistic culture. Even though some might see this creative outlet as almost “unnecessary,” Chase pushes that there is an appetite for the arts in IV, and Speak Volumes has opened a door for anybody looking for an opportunity to get involved in the arts.

In addition to promoting new media, Speak Volumes provides tributes to old media in their latest journalistic endeavor. A mini-mag or “zine,” the Speak Volumes Quarterly is craftily presented in the format of an album booklet and tangibly represents the independent artistic movement that the group wishes to spread. The aesthetics of the zine epitomize effortless and modern imagination, with merit given to graphic designer Diana Mora. Distributed at concerts and events throughout the county, the zine remains consistent with the blog but also adds in recurring exclusive content. The Speak Volumes Quarterly also represents the ambition of approaching music journalism with a completely new creative edge. The future issues may hint at collaborations with IV artists, creating original comic strips, and presenting music-fiction pieces.

Proudly DIY and built from the ground up, Speak Volumes started as just a music blog. The thirst for outlets of independent expression is only strengthened by the site’s assertion of never-ceasing expression. Speak Volumes is described by its contributors as a labor of love with no financial end game. The group is currently seeking advertisers as well as food and drink sponsors to keep up with their printing and event costs. They also call to all other student ventures to create partnerships and consciously broaden the horizons for self-started creative pursuits. The blog is currently accepting writers, designers, and anyone else with an interest in the project.

The music waiting to be uncovered by the blog team is unending, and there is going to be plenty more to hear from Speak Volumes. Take a listen to find a new perspective on our local arts, and if you like the sounds, leap into the movement yourself.