Friday, October 18, 2019

What’s in a name.

I am constantly second guessing the name Travelogue even though I have been recording and releasing material under this name for nearly 20 years.  The dilemma is that I often hear from people that it is hard to find information about me or that I don’t have an ‘internet presence’, when in fact, I have quite a bit of information and material available, both free and for sale, on the internet. 

Part of me likes the idea of the hunt – in a world where everything is constantly in-your-face and readily available, it might water down the contents if it is so easy to find.  The psychology of finding something rare or hard to find does automatically make it more special.  In a way, I don’t mind that my material is a bit on the hard to find side of the spectrum.  

On the other hand, there is the idea that there are a lot of people out there that might like what I do if only they could hear it or discover it.  If it is harder to find, they may never have a chance to find out what I am about.  

There are bands out there that misspell names on purpose, putting in double characters or putting v’s for u’s, things like that.  While I could change the spelling to Travl log, or something like that, I think that it would be more annoying than helpful – even though it would make searchable sense.  I find a lot of ‘misspelled’ band names problematic and frustrating, rather than interesting or useful. 

A friend suggested that I go back to Pivot Clowj, which is really my favorite band name that I have ever had – because of its originality and uniqueness.  There is no mistaking Clowj for any other word in any language, and searches always lead to my pages – unless the engine thinks that you were trying to type C l o w n.  There are a couple of problems with moving back to this name though – first off, the band Pivot Clowj was a band and not my solo project.  Robert Gutschow was a big part of this, still is a great friend, and we still talk about future albums together and share audio files back and forth.  The other problem with this is I think that stylistically, there is a distinction between the sound of my solo material and Pivot Clowj, though one could argue it all sounds like me.  

I am curious if you, the reader of this blog, have thoughts or comments on this subject.  If so, please comment below.

Jon S.


  1. When I look at the music you've released, I like that Pivot Clowj, House of Wires, and Travelogue are all separate entities. Travelogue makes sense, as its your solo project, but the music under Pivot Clowj and House of Wires feel different from each other: House of Wires is more spiritual (at least to me) and less dark than Pivot Clowj was. I'd agree with regards to stylistic differences, 100%.

    Often what comes up in a search for "Travelogue" or "Travelogue music" are either articles about actual travelogues or the album by Joni Mitchell. In that respect, it is not easy to discover Travelogue. But I think the name is very fitting; it is, in a sense, a very real and personal record of your journey through music and life.

  2. Names are really important, but I'm not sure 'internet presence' is a good motivation for change. Without the backing of marketing money, there are only two ways to establish presence online: 1) luck and 2) community. I've had a bit of #1 in the past but it has been a long time since I've really felt #2.

    What conclusions have your drawn since you posted this?