Item 1: Scott Spiegelberg’s daughter wrote an awesome Halloween story.
Item 2: Scraps is right: Weird Al’s parody of Devo, “Dare to be Stupid,” bears the bell away.
I love this because it not only makes fun of Devo (see here and here and here for points of comparison), it’s also a great song that scratches the exact same itch that Devo does. It’s the best Devo song that Devo never wrote. Maybe musical parodies are doing their job when they remind you of what you love about some kind of music.
I loved — LOVED — Devo when I was a teenager. If you had told me at age 15 that it would some day be my pleasure to write about Devo for an audience of . . . well, however many read this blog post, I’d have wet the ill-fitting brown corduroy pants my Mom bought from By-Way. Sometimes it’s worth taking a moment to realize what blogging allows you to do . . . and how incredible it would have seemed not so long ago.
Which brings me to Item 3: Alex Ross’s New Yorker article on how classical music is doing really well in the internet age, and how blogging in particular has profited classical music in surprising ways:
Classical-music culture on the Internet is expanding at a sometimes
alarming pace. When I started my blog, I had links to seven or eight
like-minded sites. Now I find myself part of a jabbering community of several hundred blogs, operated by critics, composers, conductors, pianists, double-bassists, oboists (I count five), artistic administrators, and noted mezzo-sopranos (Joyce DiDonato writes under the moniker Yankee Diva). After a first night at the Met, opera bloggers chime in with opinions
both expert and eccentric, recalling the days when critics from a dozen
dailies, whether Communist or Republican or Greek, lined up to extoll
Caruso. Beyond the blogs are the Internet radio stations; streaming
broadcasts from opera houses, orchestras, new-music ensembles;
and Web sites of individual artists. There is a new awareness of what
is happening musically in every part of the world. A listener in Tucson
or Tokyo can virtually attend opening night at the Bayreuth Festival and listen the following day to a première by a young British composer at the BBC Proms.
OK, I’m not mad that he didn’t mention academic music bloggers, just a little . . . disappointed. Hurt. But that’s OK, Alex! You just go ahead and have fun with your cool friends. We’ll just stay here and blog in the cold and the dark.
This is a great article, and it needed to be written. A lot of people in the music world (especially the academic music world) don’t really understand what blogging is and fear it. (“Incivility blah blah blah superficiality blah blah blah blah self-indulgence blah blah porno blah.” That’s pretty much the argument.) I’m going to be covering some of the same ground in my upcoming AMS talk on the subject, and will use the opportunity to MENTION ALEX ROSS A BUNCH OF TIMES. Because I’m big like that.
People Listen To It and Dial M got a nice shout-out at Freaky Trigger, a heavyweight UK pop music blog. Tom wrote that we’re “Representative of blogging music academics – I’m not always especially
interested in what they’re talking about (music-wise) but there’s an
enthusiasm in this microsphere which reminds me of days long gone by.” We’re the Ramones of the music blogosphere! Daring to be stupid pays off in more than one way.