3hive.com is a collaboration between three friends: Jon Armstrong, Sean Ziebarth, and Sam Cannon. We’ve in turn recruited some more friends — Todd Simmons, Clay Callaway, Shan Fowler, Joe Cislo, and Lisa Lucas — to help us in harvesting the finest legal MP3s from around the world wide Internet. Allow us to introduce ourselves…
I work backwards. After eight years in commercial radio I graduated to college radio and since 2000 I’ve programmed and hosted a weekly, freeform show, Play It As It Lays on KUCI in Irvine, California. The seed for 3hive was planted while keeping up my playlist for PIAIL (all these indie bands have mp3s on their sites—I’ll link to them. What a concept!) and bore fruit during a conversation with Sam as he was threatening to jump into a musical mire of sorts. I lured him off the bridge with my pea-brained idea. When either of us are in need of design help, the first person we turn to is DJ Blurb.
In 2007, I joined forces with California’s public education system, teaching high school 4.9 miles from the Pacific Ocean. My wife and our power trio spend the remaining hours of the day (along with weekends, holidays, and summers!) frolicking our way through life in and around, what Banham coined as, Surfurbia. Specifically, here, here, here or here.
When I was a young boy my parents tried to teach me things that would be useful later in life — how to play piano, the scientific method, the value of a hard-earned dollar. But all I wanted to do was listen to music and write stories. So that’s what I’ve done, more or less.
I started the print version of grid magazine straight out of college with funding from a commercial “alternative” radio station (where I had been interning for Sean, who was their Music Director). That’s where my relationship with Jon began. He made grid the most beautiful thing I’ve seen printed on 50# Columbia paper. We got to do whatever we wanted; it was the best job ever.
Since then, I’ve written about music for URB, Heckler, Stance, CMJ, Musician, Rolling Stone, MTV, and others. I’ve written about music for both Larry Flynt and Hugh Hefner (though I’m proud to say I never posed for either of them). As music journalism rarely pays all the bills, I’ve also had the pleasure of being employed in the wonderful world of web. After a few stints at now bankrupt startups I have ended up in the relatively stable business of helping big companies make websites that people will visit and enjoy. (Go team!)
3hive is the culmination of all the fun music and web things I’ve ever done. It’s my breath of fresh air. My after-dinner mint. My everything I love doing and nothing I don’t. Actually, if only it involved soulcarving some fresh powder…
I am the oldest of 8, father of 3, husband of 1. I live in suburban Detroit, where I have been known to take the long way home at night just so I can listen to more of Brave New Waves on CBC Radio 2.
My approach to music was first as a music maker, then, disillusioned with the industry, radio, and the lifestyle of lugging my keyboard setup while playing in an unsigned semi-touring band, I took my creative skills to the publishing world and started a magazine with Sam (Sean’s office was next door). When not scouring the world for new music, I’m buried in PHP, CSS, or any number of other acronyms during my day job. Like Sam, I too have been a part of the web and 3hive hopefully represents the lessons learned from success and failure of those web ventures.
I run the crazed free-for-all called blurbomat. I’ve been doing that since 2001. I switched from hand-coded pages to Blogger in late 2001 and then moved blurbomat to Movable Type in early 2002, after a couple of months of tinkering, never looking back. Until 2007, when I made the jump to WordPress.
When Sean and Sam were talking about doing a website, I proposed the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to get a site up: blogging software. Because of our shared (and tawdry) pasts it came together very quickly and 3hive, blessed 3hive, was born.
My first music memory is seeing Kiss on TV when I was 4 years old (I think) back in 1978. Gene Simmons was larger-than-life in all of his glory, and I’ve been hooked on music ever since. I muddled through most of the early 80’s listening to what the radio fed me. During the late 80’s and early 90’s while in high school, I was introduced to alternative music. Bands like Faith No More, Jane’s Addiction, The Big F, and Primus got me through those awkward years. I also started experiencing the music I loved live, which furthered my obsession.
Fast forward a few years to 1997. I was working a swing shift and had nothing but the radio to keep my company. One of the local radio stations had this cool DJ and he had a nightly segment called “Now Hear This”. This little 15 minute segment introduced me to so much music, and made realize that there is so much more out there than what the radio had to offer. I have been a fan of 3hive since 2004. For the past 9 years 3hive has always been one of my resources to discover new music. When the opportunity came for me to contribute, I jumped at the chance. Do you have any music that you would like me to check out? Send it my way 3hivetodd(at)gmail.com.
sam: can i get a bio for the hive?
clay: yeah. how quick? length? tone? honesty?
sam: take a look at the bios page if you want to get an idea
clay: after reading yours, i decided my idea of quick (“Clay, a champion athlete and part-time ck model, loves to both love and hate music. He lives in Memphis with his wife, a former Miss Universe, and his two children, future Misses Universe”) should probably be thought out a little more
sam: i think that’s just fine
sam: we felt the need to go longer and kind of tell the 3hive story in the context of our lives
sam: you aren’t so burdened 🙂
sam: sean and i agree that your bio is perfect as is
clay: well, i can give it a little more thought, and honesty
clay: i’m really not a part-time ck model
clay: i’m a part-time ralph lauren model
sam: yeah, that’s the only deceiving part
sam: ck sounds better
clay: i know, ralph is so embarassing
sam: so are you alright with us using that bio for now?
clay: I would add: “While he quickly got past his industrial and robert smith phases as a teenager, he still finds himself stuck in his shoegazing and third-wave ska phases despite his advancing age.”
sam: but that’s not as funny, even if it’s true
sam: what’s a good music-related trivia fact about you?
clay: i loved kylie minogue with all my heart and soul
clay: i once caused the vegetarians of the apples in stereo to inadvertantly eat non-vegetarian meals
clay: al of low hugged me the first time he met me
clay: i went to graceland on a 4th grade field trip
sam: these are all good
clay: my mom taught elvis’s cousin 7th grade math
clay: i turned down tickets to see prince in 1990
clay: did i mention kylie minogue?
sam: i think we got it
When I’m in one of those “tell us a little about yourself” situations, I inevitably start or finish with “I’m really happy to be here,” wherever “here” is. I got this from my mom, who truly is happy to be wherever she is and tells you so, and I guess you can’t fault her for such optimistic optimism. I, on the other hand, am usually lying. I’m not happy to be most places that would force me to give my own bio. 3hive is an exception. I’m really happy to be here. I’m really happy Sam and Sean and Jon asked me to contribute, and I’m really happy when people dig the music we all post.
So anyway, some background. I’m originally from Utah and have lived in New York City (mostly Brooklyn) for almost four years now, by way of three years split between Los Angeles and San Francisco. I recently got married to a lovely woman from The South — not the washboard-and-banjo South, but the timpani-drums-and-French-horns South. I know, I’m still trying to figure out how that happened myself. She’s having major trouble with the fact that I’m a NASCAR fan. Actually, most people are. We both work here, but luckily we’re in separate buildings. I listen to music mostly on an iPod these days because my iPod totally gets me like no other musical device ever has. I mean, like, when I’m feeling like a little Fugazi followed by Michael Jackson followed by Postal Service followed by Nina Simone, my iPod’s just like, “Dude, is that the best you got?” and I’m like “iPod, I love you.” And I recommend every one of you splurge for a Bose SoundDock. I’ve heard the Altec Lansing “tube” is great, too, but it reminds me too much of the “Mega-Bass Tube” my friend bought from Wal-Mart and put in the trunk of his car when we were in high school. Not the boomin’ ride that was advertised.
I came to 3hive from Sam, who turned me down way back in 1998 when I asked if I could have his job, but then hired me at the company where he was moving. We worked together again in Los Angeles, where I met Jon’s wife, who is also a southerner, a couple of years after they had met but a couple of years before they reunited. I met Sean somewhere in there as well but knew his voice much earlier thanks to his DJ-ing at a popular radio station in Salt Lake City — I still remember the night, years before I’d met either of them, when Sam and Sean were giddy on-air at having just gotten the new Beastie Boys single “Get It Together.”
I considered making up stories about Joe and Clay since I really don’t know them except through our emails and their posts, but I’ll just second Joe’s emotion and say that they seem like awesome dudes with lovely families, and I can’t wait until we’re all together in one place, preferably a place with a buffet table. I get the feeling I’ll be happy to be there.
Just for clarification, if you happen to google my name, “Joe Cislo,” and click on the “I’m Feeling Lucky” link, I’d like you to know that I’m not that Joe Cislo, the member of “Dr. Dick’s Crew” who is an avid collector of pornography and a fan of loud Hawaiian shirts. I’m also neither the Pennsylvania auto mechanic nor the former sailor on the U.S.S. Little Rock (that’s my dad). I am the Joe Cislo who teaches high school U.S. History and English a few miles away from Sam, in Northville, Michigan, as well as the one who occasionally publishes poetry (Hanging Loose #79 and The Iowa Review #33/1 and #34/2) and the one who wrote for grid magazine. And while the Internet will tell you my favorite Son Volt song, the titles of my University of Michigan undergraduate honors and MA theses, and will even show you how I look in a yukata, it thankfully doesn’t know too much about my private life, as far as I can tell.
I’ve known Sam since about 1987, Jon and Sean and Clay since 1992, and although I don’t know who the hell Shan is, I’m sure he’s a decent guy. I’ve been teaching high school since 1997, first in Chicago and then here in the Detroit area. My wife is a biochemist; she takes x-ray pictures of molecules and tries to figure out their protein structures via diffraction patterns, or something like that. My daughter runs madly around the house to find the Swiffer, then clears the coffee table with it and immediately climbs on top to do her best imitation of a screech monkey; she’s almost three feet tall. We live in a 1919 bungalow in Plymouth, Michigan.
When autobiographizing (sic) my first impulse is to be as clever and funny and irreverent as humanly possible. It seems like that just isnâ€™t going to happen this time (it never really does anyway), and Iâ€™m sorry for it, but I just keep getting stuck on wanting to tell you all that Iâ€™M A GIRL. I mean, Iâ€™ve always been a girl and Iâ€™m, like, 99% confident that I will remain one for the duration of my life, so this shouldnâ€™t be so important, but look, Iâ€™ve been a big fan of the â€˜hive for a while now (actually, since about a year ago when I discovered that Shan wrote for 3hive â€“ he was then a coworker and is also notably married to my boss) and there ainâ€™t never been no girls on this mug before. And so Iâ€™m feeling very much like a girl right now, but pleasantly like the kind of girl who can kick back and have a beer with a bunch of dudes and talk tunes. Awesome.
Anyway, like the others, Iâ€™m pretty excited about being here.
None of this says much about anything other than my estrogen levels and my general enthusiasm, so you can check me here, where I blather on about not much to the internet.
Otherwise: Hi! Iâ€™m Lisa (the girl). I live in Brooklyn. I listen endlessly to music. If left to my own devices, I will look at the album cover to Sly and the Family Stoneâ€™s Fresh and wonder what he was thinking about when he did that high-kick (and who taught him how to high kick?!) for hours. Literally hours. I sing a take-no-prisoners â€œAnd I Am Telling Youâ€ while baking. My day to day is spent here here nurturing the filmmakers of tomorrow. Iâ€™m pretty sure the rest of the 3hive folks are figments of my imagination sent to fill my days with song. (Meaning other than Shan, who is definitely real, and well, now that I think of it, Iâ€™m pretty sure Sean and Joe are real too, but the actual-ness of the rest of â€˜em is as yet unclear. Either way: Hi Sam! Hi Clay! Hi Jon! Are you real? I heart your musical choices!) Anyhow, I really really hope they are all real.
Last/not least: I like music a whole lot. It all started when my dad caught his used-be-sweet little 3 year old daughter cold jacking his Thriller album. (The album was bigger than me and I got caught straightaway.) The music addiction never stopped. Now that Iâ€™ve been warmly welcomed here, Iâ€™ve been thinking that itâ€™s a good thing all that obsessive checking of music websites/harassment of music store employees paid off—people were getting worried.