My RSS Reader readers1 won't notice a difference, but I have finally cleaned up the sprawling, embarrassingly out-of-date right-hand column and updated the Secret Society blogroll. I am not sure anyone ever looks at (let alone clicks through to) blogroll links anymore, but people have been politely requesting that I update mine for literally years now, and I have finally been shamed into actually doing something about it. I removed inactive blogs and blogs I don't read anymore and all blogs that feature that damnable light text on a dark background.2 Oh, and I also folded the "musician blogs" and "non-musician blogs" into a single category. We Are One, just like in the CK ad.
Most of the additions are new-ish blogs I've probably mentioned in this space before -- Nate Chinen's The Gig, NPR's A Blog Supreme, Fred Kaplan's Stereophile blog (which I include despite major reservations about its pitiful excuse for an RSS feed), Molly Sheridan's Mind The Gap, Marc Myers's JazzWax, Peter Hum's Jazzblog.ca -- formerly known as Thriving on a Riff -- or embarrassing omissions I should have corrected a long time ago -- most egregiously, Doug Ramsey's Rifftides.
However, a few of these recent additions could benefit from a more extensive introduction. Please welcome:
Createquity, one of the few blogs out there devoted to arts policy and economic issues. It's also written by an actual artist: singer, composer, and Capital M honcho Ian David Moss, who has recently graduated from the Yale School of Management. He's still keeping it real, though -- check out this recent post on "sustainability." No, don't go check your Twitter feed instead -- trust me, it can wait. This shit's important, and Ian makes it engaging, accessible, and provocative.
Jason Palmer's Blog -- Jason is a fantastic and in-demand trumpet player (and now indie film star). I know Jason from our mutual NEC years -- he played on the original versions of "Lizard Brain," "Chrysalis," and "Flux in a Box" -- so it is great to see him throw himself headlong into the blogosphere, despite his already full plate of teaching and musical commitments. Jason was among the winners of the Bad Plus Blog Competition, for this heartwarming post.
The Big City, composer George Grella's omnivorous music-in-NYC blog. Anyone who can write with insight and authority about Alas No Axis, Sonic Youth, Elvis Costello, my NewAm colleagues Missy Mazzoli and William Britelle, and the recent Boulez/Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin Mahler marathon is okay in my book. And, yes, I would totally be saying that even if Grella hadn't given us this far-too-generous writeup.
Music and More, Tim Niland's record-review-centric blog. He's been at it since 2003 but his blog is new to me, and maybe new to you? This species of blogging is time-consuming and mostly thankless, but when done well, it's invaluable.
1. If you are new to RSS (and you use a Mac), I recommend NetNewsWire. It's free and it's way better than Google Reader.
2. Exceptions were made for Kris Tiner and Hank Shteamer, but c'mon, guys.... a disturbing number of entrants in the Bad Plus Blog Competition also inexplicably use that heinous, unreadable color scheme. Listen, kids: just say "no" to shitty blog templates. I can't process your brilliant blogospheric pronouncements if your light-on-dark text is burning holes in my corneas.