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The Decibel Tolls is, clockwise from top left, Kenny Bloggins (chairman of the board), Lana (photographer), Davves (contributor), and Michael Hansen (contributor). We only hire beautiful people.


The Decibel Tolls was started as a fringe music blog by Kenny Bloggins in Chicago, June 2008. Bloggins now resides in Louisville. He also writes for Altered Zones. Frequent contributor Michael Hansen joined in January 2009 and kicks it in Boston. Davves writes when he can, since he’s all busy with the paisley tent revival collective Secret Colours, whom are excellent. Lana also lives in Louisville and takes some mean photographs.

The Decibel Tolls strives to be a resource and community for those in need of unconventional music solutions. The title The Decibel Tolls comes from a poorly conceived pun on an Ernest Hemmingway novel (and also a Metallica song). It is NOT The Decibel Tools, The Decibell Tolls, The Decibel Trolls, or The Decibel Dolls. Only Lightning Bolt are allowed to refer to this blog by the incorrect name. Unless you happen to be in Lightning Bolt, I would appreciate accuracy in your citations, dig?


The Decibel Tolls has won no awards and has been cited by no leading print publications as an influential tastemaking blog. Locally, The Decibel Tolls has lost three years in a row for Best Local Website in the LEO Weekly Readers Choice Awards to contemporaries like (admittedly, we can’t fuck with that flash banner).  However, Pitchfork has linked to us a couple of times, so that’s cheadle.

A few nice folks have featured articles about this mediocre blog, including WFPK 91.9’s Off The RecordMetromix, and Breakthru Radio among others.


“The poor man’s Wire”

“I like maybe 50% of the music Kenny Bloggins writes about on The Decibel Tolls, but I can’t deny he’s one of the best and most interesting music writers going today.  Enter his site and read any article, track review, think piece and prepare to be assaulted by brutal honesty, a masterful hand at the written word, and a voice that makes him more of an artist than simply a blogger.” – Zach Hart, We Listen For You’s Top 10 Blogs of 2011

“Kenny Bloggins is a contributor to Altered Zones and one of the more dependably great ones at that.” – Scott Tennent (Slint 33 1/3 Author), ‘There Are No Perfect Blogs, But…

“I’ve abandoned my Brooklyn-Vegan-browsing ways, I even contemplated visiting Louisville.  Most music blogs suck but you don’t so please keep doin what you do”

“Witty, irreverent, and bursting from the seams with good music, The Decibel Tolls specializes in all of the fringe genres that I incessantly rave about… bookmark the best psych blog around.” – Martin Douglas, Pitchfork/Passion of the Weiss

“I just wanted to thank you (Whoever this even is) for the Decibel Tolls site, it never fails to blow my mind with all the music that is in existence that otherwise may not have ever gotten inside my earholes”

“Are you serious man? Where the fuck do you get off bashing me and Gauntlet Hair over Twitter?! How fucking old are you?! Maybe you should stick to tweeting about your growing pains instead.” – Doran, Gauntlet Hair

“[Kenny Bloggins] can be cantankerous AND contrarian, sometimes simultaneously; always worth a look & listen on what he’s touting and shouting. As diverse a palate for all things music as anyone I know. He contains multitudes.” – Valis, Trip Inside This House

“In the interest of social justice, I’m going to subject your music blog to the same rigorous standards that I subject others and refuse to read it regularly until Enuff Z’nuff has been mentioned on at least two non-consecutive occasions.”

“Your writing is better when you don’t cuss so much” – My mother