Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Better living through blogs.

Was thrilled to discover that author Paul Collins has a blog, Weekend Stubble. I freaking loved his book Banvard's Folly (don't let the McSweeney's look sway you), and always like his occasional pieces (one was recently in the NYTimes mag; he's also written a number of essays for the Voice). That I haven't read his other books is only a function of available time and money. Anyway, another literary-ish blog to enjoy and enthuse over, if you're not already doing so.


Pete Townsend is using a blog to serialize his navel a novel. I'm not sure if I'm reading this right, but does this page show Townsend and his fabulous girlfriend?


Travelers Diagram, he don't post much these days, but there are two great covers along the sidebar right now: SY's "I Know There's an Answer," from the deluxe Goo --- god, it's great to hear them work out a straight song --- and Annie Hayden's superb-o "Swingin' Party" --- god, Tim! Anyway, most of the TD action is happening over at his del.icio.us link blog, at which I heard tell of SY's recovering of some equipment jacked in '99 [scroll down an item or two] and this hi-sterical ILM thread on little-known music trivia (for example, #225: The Shona language of southern Africa has 34 words for Rockism. Bantu, however, has none).


Not a blog, but Point of Departure looks to be a worthwhile stop in the free jazz-o-sphere, sort of a slimmed down Paris Transatlantic, or a calm, single-voiced Batagellen. Enjoyed the pissy take on current jazz writing, though a quick tour of the reviews at PoD reveal the danger of this approach (review thyself, and all that). Weird that the Chris Porter dis makes no mention of his web outlet, the MP3 blog Suburbs Are Killing Us, which, admittedly, is more and more simply a dumping ground for Porter's print journalism.


Mentioned this before, but it seems to me more folks should be reading and enjoying The Pop View, if the total subscription number at Bloglines is any indication of overall audience size. Here's TPV on tv story structure, and here on slasher films, and on tv show opening credits. And sometimes there is music, sweet music.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Is jazz publishing dead?

In the Dec. 5 issue of The Nation, David Yaffe reviews five recent jazz tomes: Is Jazz Dead? (Or Has It Moved to a New Address) by Stuart Nicholson; Crossovers: Essays on Race, Music, and American Culture by John Szwed; the not-so-recent Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend by Michael Dregni; Northern Sun, Southern Moon: Europe's Reinvention of Jazz by Mike Heffley; and Jazz on the River by William Howland Kenney. It's a long, engaging essay by Yaffe; and while I'm happy to see lots of column inches devoted to jazz books, the fact that all five come from university presses says more, I hope, about The Nation than the state of jazz publishing. (Of course, in my own experience, no press is interested in jazz.) But it probably says the same thing about both, and what it says is niche. It also says ghetto. Rather than lament the state of modern jazz or jazz publishing (to cite TMFTML, boo-fucking-hoo --- is there anything more tedious than another dude bemoaning the fallen state of jazz as a cultural force? Let's agree it has the cultural cache of maybe pro bowling), I'll note that two of the three nonhistorical titles in Yaffe's round-up focus on European jazz, and (seemingly) compare it favorably to the current domestic strains. It's possible jazz's "new address" is on the other side of the Atlantic, but I doubt it. Or don't want to believe it. Though the new audience is probably there. This kind of divide raises all kinds of questions, centering on race and cultural nationalism, that I'm spectacularly unqualified to answer. But academic presses owning the jazz field, and a migration of the center of the jazz world (conceptually, anyway) east across the water, doesn't bode well and taken together should make for one starchy-ass future for the jazz fan and reader.
[ via ]

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I'd rather go blind.

What smoking, god-fearing drummer out-funkies the Funky Drummer?
Who saw Bob just before he hit the road, or the road hit him?
What jazz scribbler wants it all live, all the time?
Which reconstituted Boston post-punker used the Huffington Post to announce a new album?
What Queer Noises queen threw a snippy over the rise of macho jazz?
What link compiler with excellent initials just wasted my weekend?
Who blogs N.C. with the big brass? [For Chilly, mebbe.]
Which free pianist has no piano at home, and has (again) recorded his last album?
What Naked City dweller has some knickers in a twist (again)? [See comments esp.]
Which label that rhymes with boney maroney sucks ass?
Which old professor likes to take it in the ear, just like they used to do, way back when?
Who slouches, hoping it's taken as flattery? [For Chilly.]
What guerrilla author/webraker pissed off King Kong, to the point where he might be stomped out of virtual existence?
Which author with the vaguely racist name is in fact a racist?
Who is out of ideas?
Zapp? Zapp!

Via all the usual suspects.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Footnotes of note.

The first in what is sure to be an arhythmically occurring feature:

I'm trying to work out how this makes sense as a noun meaning "the product of a bowel movement." This is not Dawson's personal euphemistic misstep; the usage persists in medical writing today. Should you have had the forturne of visiting a web page called The Constipation Page, you will [sic] have seen the phrase, "the motion or stool is very dry or hard." Perhaps this is why the term "motion pictures" was replaced by "movies." Now that I see it on the page, "movie" would have been a far better BM euphemism than "motion." I'd love to chat, but I need to make a movie.

Which is something Joe Esterhaus used to say quite regularly. Spotted in Roach, Spook, page 116.