With my usual impeccable timing, I've given the Secret Society blogroll a much-needed overhaul. Never-updated blogs, nonblogs, and blogs I don't read regularly anymore have been ruthlessly culled to make room for the following:
David Byrne's Journal -- okay, it's not exactly a secret that I'm a shameless fanboy, but Byrne's blog is also Exhibit A in "Why I Love Blogdonia" -- artists communicating to their audience directly, unmediated. Obviously, this model is not for everyone, but listen, if you had to pick a rock-star-cum-blogger... right? Check out his review of the new documentary Jesus Camp.
Destination Out -- proprietors of the previously blogrolled Chemistry Class, Chilly Jay Chill & Prof. Drew LeDrew have a new MP3 blog that's been linked/blogrolled everywhere else already, thanks to a pretty sweet find -- bootleg audio from Ornette's recent Carnegie Hall hit. (Makes me wish I'd snuck a recorder into last year's Bad Plus+Ornette gig at NJPAC.) But they've got many rare/unreissued gems to share -- like these tracks from Anthony Braxton's Creative Orchestra Music. (Get 'em while they're hot.) Great conversation as well.
Living in Stereo -- worth reading for the sweet, sweet design alone, but any country-centric blog that also gives it up for Mavis Staples, Irma Thomas, and Candi Staton is golden -- and the politics are refreshingly sharp, heartfelt, and bullshit-free.
Shot of Rhythm -- new release roundups (almost) every week, with audio. Hip hop's the focus more often than not, but the proprietor, one Dove With Claws, casts a wide net ("soulcountryblueshiphopbluegrassgospelreggae et cetera") and the catch is always impressive. The mission statement says it all.
Hip hop music dot com -- proprietor Jay Smooth is not only one of blogdonia's best essayists, he also happens to be the stepson of the great jazz drummer Warren Smith -- which I found out when Jay stopped by this humble blog to comment. But listen, Jay, we're still waiting for that review, you bastard.
Words and Music -- just what it says. Long thoughtful posts on the likes of Wayne ("The Newark Flash") Shorter, Art Blakey, Ornette Coleman, plus audio.
Soul Sides -- Oliver Wang's indispensible audioblog. Emphasis on classics and rarities from the private collection, kinda like a groove-saturated Destination Out. Check his recent pre-relocation post "Break Dis," about songs that follow up on the promise of a killing drum break -- and songs that, uh, don't.
Red Black Window -- a blog that started as an incubator for UCLA professor Roger Bourland's book on Rufus Wainwright and has mutated completely out of control, much to blogdonia's benefit. The main event is still Roger's Lessons For Rufus -- a remarkable primer in academic music for the nonacademic musician -- but dude knows how to drink, too.
Classical Pontifications with Prof. Heebiee McJeebie -- fair and balanced blogger that I am, I have also added Prof. Bourland's polar opposite to the blogroll, Prof. Heebie McJeebie, the "well-respected TANDY Professor of Electronic Music at the Hotel Cadillac in Rochester, NY," who concentrates with laser-pointer-like focus on "the trajectory of Contemporary Canonic Classical music (serious music)" -- although he does occasionally deign to "trifle with the less-grounded trends of younger, vagabond composers." Such young composers would do well to heed the warnings in Prof. McJeebie's inaugural podcast. Now, somehow or other, rumor has gotten around that Prof. McJeebie is merely a facade created by that insolent pup, Corey Dargel. However, unlike some tawdry pamphleteers, this blog does not deal in vulgar rumor and innuendo. Besides, I have it on good authority that Prof. McJeebie doesn't care for Mr. Ross's scribblings.
And, straight from the "Wait, you mean they weren't already on the blogroll?" dept:
Brooklyn Vegan -- NYC indie rock central: upcoming show info, interviews, and first-rate gig photos. I covet his gear, whatever it is.