Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Blogging saved my life....

Not 2 make 2 big a deal out of it, but 2day marks a yr since I started doing this posting-reviews-on-line stuff. It's still the best Xmas present I've ever had.
My son ADD got me started, cos he wanted 2 set-up a website "from scratch" 4 a college computer-class assignment. He set-up 4 me the late & only-partly lamented TAD's Weird-Ass Music And Books website, I think in an effort 2 get me writing again. I hadn't written much since retiring in 2002 after 20 yrs of Bing a newspaper reporter, & there were times I missed it. & my son & I had always bn able 2 talk about music, & Ghod knows I had enuf opinions about what was Good & what Really Sucked....
1nce he set me up I hardly knew where 2 start. I remember typing quietly in a cold bedroom, trying 2 keep from waking my roommates up by clacking away on my Mom's old computer.
The 1st review I ever posted was of the Hollies' rather arty but at times Xcellent 1972 album ROMANY, followed quickly by Al Stewart's Xcellent MODERN TIMES (1975), the Stories' at-times brilliant ABOUT US (1973), & Gong's strong-in-places SHAMAL (1976). Then I reviewed a coupla books, like Australian SF writer Damien Broderick's TRANSMITTERS (not quite a success), & Roddy Doyle's THE COMMITMENTS (Nds just as it's getting REALLY good).
After that U couldn't stop me. Within 2 wks, by the Nd of last Dec, I had 2-dozen reviews posted. By the middle of Jan '09 I had 3-dozen posted. That's when I started telling people about it & hoping mayB somebody would drop-by, read & mayB comment.
The 1st person I told was NYC Internet-reviewer Mark Prindle, who's website Mark's Record Reviews (at http://www.markprindle.com/) was the 1st place on-line that I ever submitted my own comments -- on the Moody Blues & the Beach Boys -- way back in 1998, when I 1st moved 2 Washington. Cms like 1,000 yrs ago now....
Ghod bless him -- mayB Bcos he remembered my odd writing style, Mark immediately set up a link 2 my site, & I guess folks started visiting then, tho it took a couple mo's til NEbody left a comment. The 1st 1 I remember was some1 saying they kinda liked my writing style. Then some1 else said they were suprised 2 C a review of Wigwam's NUCLEAR NIGHTCLUB....
By then U REALLY couldn't stop me, even if No1 ever visited or left a comment. By Mar of '09 I wasn't just reviewing off-the-wall music & books, I was commenting on people's weird Bhavior, venting about frustrating things happening at my job, going off in2 Xtended nostalgia trips about old music/'70s radio/science fiction/growing up in Idaho/working in a record store/Bing a newspaper reporter, ranting when CNN covered NO NEWS XCEPT 4 Michael Jackson's death (4 nearly 2 wks)....
As of 2day, I've written about 275 posts, near as I can figure. If my old computer hadn't died on me 1/2way thru last Aug, leaving me disconnected 4 2 mo's, I'd B able 2 claim an even higher #. (& my old website "ate" & made-disappear 2 wks' worth of posts at the Nd of last June, 1 of the reasons I'm here now.)
I guess my habit's Bcome 2 post something about every day & 1/2 or so. My record 4 most posts written in 1 day is 6 -- & when the 7th 1 vanished in2 Internet Purgatory, I figured it was time 2 take a break. But I was a lot more driven then. I think mayB I was trying 2 establish what kinda weirdness I was up 2, where I was coming from, what kinda stuff I thot was Good. When I started this, I thot I was a big "prog-rock & weirdness" guy. Now I'm not so sure. I've cer10ly found other music-review sites where folks R in2 WAY stranger weirdness than I am....
My old website's still up, last time I checked. I'm kinda suprised -- it was mostly down 4 the last 2 wks of July & the 1st 10 days of Aug -- another of the reasons I'm writing here now. (There's a link 2 the site located 2 yr right.... If U ever want me 2 C NE new comments about the stuff I wrote there, U probly better leave them here somewhere....)
I still think there R some good things 2 read there, if U overlook the fact that spammers have turned the comments sections in2 giant ads 4 Viagra & such. I still think the reviews of the Beach Boys' SMILE, Kate Bush, Fairport Convention's CHRONICLES, Nick Drake's BRYTER LAYTER, Gryphon, Providence, '70s radio nostalgia, science fiction, the 1st 40 45-rpm singles I can remember buying, the long series of posts about 200+ Great Lost Singles, other great music&book-review blogs&websites, the rant about Michael Jackson & CNN, & mayB a few others R the best things I've written in the past yr.
Of course I think it's ALL Good Stuff, but.... Since my old computer died I no longer have access 2 the site even 2 clean-out all the spam comments, so now the site looks 2 me like this giant vacant lot w/ weeds growing up all over it....
NEway, I just wanted 2 say thanx 4 reading me. This is no longer just music-&-book-reviews 2 me, it's also the way I deal w/ the world. If something weird happens at work, it Nds up here. NEthing that gets that little buzz going in my head & gets me thinking "This might B fun 2 write about..." Nds up here. NEthing the slightest bit "creative" Nds up here, in addition 2 whatever I'm reading or listening-2. Having some creative project, some THING 2 write, something 2 look 4ward 2 ... has done me a world of Good.
Thanx 4 yr comments, which help keep me going. If I can get U folks 2 laff -- or Ghod 4bid check-out summa the stuff I rave about -- that's all I could ever hope 4.
If U have NE suggestions about music or books U'd like me 2 review, bring 'em on -- just keep in mind I've got a pile of music & books here I haven't got10 2 yet, a long list of stuff I'd LIKE 2 write-up (in case I 4get), & some reviews I've promised people in the past & never got10 2 (like It's A Beautiful Day's 1st 2 albums, promised MO's ago). But still, if there's something great (or even REALLY TERRIBLE) out there U think I otta try, bring it on -- & thanks 4 yr previous suggestions, Rastro: I'm WAY overdue 2 check-out Brian Eno at least....
...& if U'd mayB just like me 2 write in something a little closer 2 Real English more often, let me tell ya: I tripped over a website recently (SF writer Cory Doctorow's VERY popular BOING BOING blog), & in the comments section 4 1 news-item I found 2 folks who DON'T USE VOWELS when they leave comments -- all their stuff was written ONLY IN CONSONANTS. & it was a BITCH 2 read! It was like trying 2 read ALIEN WRITING! So mayB now I know how U feel sometimes. & mayB I'll back-off just a touch on the shorthanding....
But don't count on it. Thanx 4 reading. & I'm gonna keep at it. It's 2 late 2 stop now....

COMING SOON: Reviews of James Blish's THE ISSUE AT HAND & MORE ISSUES AT HAND, Jonathon Green's DAYS IN THE LIFE: VOICES FROM THE ENGLISH UNDERGROUND 1961-1971, Julie Burchill & Tony Parsons' THE BOY LOOKED AT JOHNNY, Jesse Sublett's ROCK CRITIC MURDERS, Kingsley Amis's NEW MAPS OF HELL, Ian McDonald's CHAGA, It's A Beautiful Day's 1st 2 albums, middle-period Genesis, Clannad, the Outlaws' GHOST RIDERS, Spirit, Charles Platt's DREAM MAKERS books of SF-author interviews, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SF, THE SALON.COM GUIDE TO CONTEMPORARY AUTHORS, THE PENGUIN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF POPULAR MUSIC, the softer side of loud bands, Kansas, Dave Marsh's BEFORE I GET OLD, early Journey, Byron Preiss's THE BEACH BOYS, road trips, Newspaper Xperiences, Air Force Xperiences, & LOTS more.... -- TAD.

4 comments:

rastronomicals said...

Tad--The "no vowel" thing you saw at boing boing was not the poster's style. It is called "disemvowelling" and it is something done to the post by the moderators when the moderators feel said post is offensive or inappropriate in some manner.

You know, they're all civlib and everything at boing boing, so they feel that simply deleting offensive posts would be counter to their free speech ideal.

To me it's a compromise that's worse than either of the two extremes, coz the resultant posts are just about impossible to read anyway, so they've EFFECTIVELY deleted them, despite their highfalutin' ideals. . . .

My buddy Cerveza recommended Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, raved about it actually, and while I got through it (no small feat for me these days), I was not overwhelmed. Prolly coz I like my sci fi to have space ships and stuff.

I do remember liking his "I Rowboat," although that too is lacking spaceships.

drewzepmeister said...

Blogging has been my therapy lately. I started about two years ago at my local newspaper's site. Since then I branched out to other sites and even created my own. It's been my lifeline.

tad said...

Drew: Absolutely agree w/ yr "lifeline" comment. Hate 2 sound like such a basket-case no-life cliche, but it still suprises me how attached I've Bcome 2 this blogging/reviewing/interaction stuff, how much it's come 2 mean 2 me -- how lost & cut-off I felt w/o it 4 a coupla mo's. Pretty sad, really. But I'm grateful 4 the chance 2 rave, & 4 the dozen or so people I know-of who check-in occasionally.
...I also wonder how many bloggers R current or 4mer newspaper people, or at least frustrated writers? Quite a few, near as I can tell....

R: Thanx 4 setting me straight on the "disemvowelling" thing. Now it sorta makes sense -- the "alien writing" comments I read COULD B considered offensive, I GUESS -- the writers cer10ly Cmd 2 B looking 2 pick fights w/ people they didn't know, 4 no good reason.... Course they coulda just bn Xpressing (rather poorly) an inflammatory opposing viewpoint, & if that's the case then I Don't Get the censorship -- course I've never bn told yet that I'm fulla shit, at least not at my own website, tho I keep Xpecting it 2 happen, have even jokingly invited people 2 do it.... (I thot we were all in4mal & friendly here on the Internet...?)
I thot about "following" BOING BOING, but I'm not sure I'm really intrested enuf or a big enuf fan of Doctorow's. I haven't read NE of his novels, but I thot his "When Sysadmins Ruled The Earth" was GREAT, & "Nimby vs. The Dimension-Hoppers" was at least Njoyably silly -- Dspite the lack of spaceships in both. & as I'm sure U know, "I Rowboat" was sorta an hommage 2 1 of the great unread SF writers of all time, Dr. Igor Amizov....
Something else I've noticed about this blogging addiction: I sometimes babble on&on Ndlessly like Verbal Kindt from THE USUAL SUSPECTS....-- TAD.

bearockr said...

Hey Tad, That was really a heartfelt post, My heartiest congratulations to your blog for completing one full year of really great, much to awesome write-ups and reviews ... And Atleast I'll always be reading each of your posts on this blog, because you are really a wonderful writer, and I am a big fan of ur out-of-the-way sense of humor ! Have a great day, and a wonderful year ahead ...