Regular visitors to this blog are familiar with my occasional lamentations regarding a workload that hasn't allowed me to do much writing here during the last several months -- okay, let's be honest, the last year. I'm continually grateful for the generous platforms I'm afforded in my work at Time Out New York and The New York Times, but I've never stopped feeling guilty over abandoning a readership I genuinely appreciated here.
Signing up for Twitter helped a little, allowing me to feel connected to readers in a more interactive, real-time landscape. But every time I've turned on my computer, launched my browser and seen this blog pop up, I've been confronted with a sense that I've been derelict in my responsibilities.
The irony is that even if it's been a while since I was literally a nightly concertgoer, there's been no lack of topics worth writing about that somehow didn't fit into my day gigs. And an in-box increasingly stuffed with pitches from musicians and publicists evidently unaware of my day-after-day gigs has suggested, perhaps ironically, that people are still discovering this blog. Still, I've felt so swept up by the daily grind that I haven't even managed to post links to my (fewish) new Times articles and reviews in a timely manner this summer.
Last week, during the preliminary chit-chat before a formal interview, a friendly professional acquaintance for whom I have the deepest admiration told me that he still checked in here regularly. I reeled off my usual excuses and regrets.
"A link to a Times piece and maybe four lines about things you thought wouldn't fit into that context is enough," my interviewee said. "Even that can be valuable." I'm paraphrasing, but I think I'm representing the conversation honestly. And it was a welcome kick in the pants. A bit more discipline and a bit more abandon -- that's all it would take.
If you're a past reader grown used to not seeing anything here, my apologies for disappearing. And if you're a new visitor, welcome. Whatever the case, let's get this party re-started. Times links forthcoming within 24; for now, time for that inevitable...
Playlist (slight return):
Donny McCaslin - Declaration (Sunnyside)
Henry Threadgill's Zooid - This Brings Us To, Vol. 1 (Pi Recordings; due out Oct. 27)
Vic Chesnutt - At the Cut (Constellation; due out Sept. 22)
Converge - Axe to Fall (Epitaph; due out Oct. 20)
John Adams - Doctor Atomic Symphony; Guide to Strange Places - St. Louis Symphony Orchestra / David Robertson (Nonesuch)
David Sylvian - Manafon (Samadhi Sound; due out Sept. 14)
Tanya Morgan - Brooklynati (Interdependent Media)
George Frideric Handel - Organ Concertos, Op. 7 - Richard Egarr, Academy of Ancient Music (Harmonia Mundi)
George Strait - Twang (Universal Nashville)
Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You (Regal/EMI)
Noveller - Red Rainbows (No Fun)
Job for a Cowboy - Ruination (Metal Blade)
Caspian - Inertia (The Mylene Sheath)
The New Lost City Ramblers - 50 Years: Where Do You Come From? Where Do You Go? (Smithsonian Folkways)
Rapoon - Melancholic Songs of the Desert (Soleilmoon)
Sonny Fortune and Rashied Ali - "Impressions" (WBGO-FM Jazz & Beyond webcast)
Kyle Bobby Dunn - Six Cognitive Works (Kning Disk); Fervency (Moongadget)
Kiss - Kissology, Vol. 2, disc two (VH1 Classic DVD)