Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Monday, January 03, 2005


people I knew in person long before Blogville got built

Michael Barrish writes the occasional, and occasionally fictional, blog Oblivio as well as terrific short stories which you can find on his site, as well as a blog for his web design business. I met Michael in an off-campus group house in collegetown, late one Sunday evening in August of ‘83 after having been away for the week-end. I walked in to find two guys sitting in my living room listening to “You’re the Guy I Want to Share My Money With,” an album that split sides between Laurie Anderson, William Burroughs, and John Giorno. I said, “Hi, my name’s John, I live here.” Michael said, “I’m Michael, and I live here too.” It was the start of a beautiful friendship.

Freshman year in college I played in a synth-pop-noise band called “Bob.” I only played two gigs, and one was all improvised to accompany an evening of ‘30s surrealist films. The other gig was in the dorm basement cafe, a regular set with songs ranging from synth-pop to noise-improv. Stefan Keydel sang strong lead on the pop numbers and played good bass, and he was a real nice guy. Presumably he still is -- we haven’t seen each other in probably 20 years. I recently found out he has a blog, called Plunjerbunni, on politics & culture & daily life.

John Logie, another college pal, is a professor of rhetoric who writes about intellectual property law and morality at blogologie.

My old friend Tim Harris named Apesma’s Lament after something Captain Beefheart mutters at the end of some song. Tim and I met years ago through homeless advocacy. He lives in Seattle and I don’t see him enough; his blog rocks.

Wes Browning is one of the funniest writers I know. Except when he’s serious which is sometimes. I know him through homeless advocacy too. He recognizes my face and maybe my name but maybe not both together. He has a Ph.D. in mathematics. Here is his Run Off.

I feel like I know composer Miguel Frasconi because I stayed in his loft years ago when he was living with a good friend of mine, but he might not remember me, even though he let me embarrass myself at his piano. In addition to being a terrific musician, Miguel is a really nice guy. I was delighted when he started blogging, and here it is, his well-weathered music.

musicians and music enthusiasts

Carl Wilson is a rock-and-other music critic and curator in Toronto whose blog is Zoilus. When I started blogging, a musician friend said, “You gotta link to Carl Wilson, he’s a really smart guy.” Acquaintance in Blogville facilitated a subsequent meeting in the flesh; Carl in person is even more personable than his writing, and as engaging too.

Kyle Gann is a composer and critic of contemporary (mostly-) notated concert music, which Kyle calls post-classical music. I’d been fan of his criticism for many years and was psyched to find out he had a blog, which he calls PostClassic.

I’d admired Alex Ross’s classical music criticism in the New Yorker for quite a while before he started his blog, “The Rest Is Noise.”

Author and critic Devin McKinney gives us elegant, in depth, thoughtful, witty rock writing at Pop With a Shotgun.

The grrrlish Fangirl’s record collection can beat up your record collection (or mine). In depth & thoughtful & committed, and pseudonymous -- her chosen namesake Emmy Hennings helped found the Dada movement; lacking the canonically facilitating penis, she didn’t get her share of credit.

If Ali Marcus writes pseudonymously, she’s does so as discreetly as her writing is thoughtful. She’s also an idealist and a good musician, as well as, in person, a friendly person. (Not that she isn’t in her writing too!)

My doppelganger Gary Oxford keeps at it Corndoggedly. He's a songwriter-guitarist-singer my age; he's a married father; he makes me laugh. One of my goals in life is to meet him in person.

M runs her dog and pony show on music and the arts with wit and smarts.

There’s always thoughtful, well-informed stuff at ionarts: Music, Art, Literature -- the good stuff. Gimme some of that good stuff!

Franklin Bruno says he’s nervous unto thirst, but it’s not that I could tell; when he has things to say, I want to hear them. Musician, philosophy professor, nice guy.

Helen Radice is a professional harpist in London who brings the player's perspective to music blogging and who knows her way around a poem; her blog is twang twang twang.

Devin Hurd, composer, offers a Scale of the Day and other musical observations at HurdAudio.

Simon Reynolds is a rock critic and rave expert who gives away his blissblog.

Scott Spiegelberg is a musicology professor who shares some of his Musical Perceptions (and other thoughts) at his blog of that name.

Jessica Duchen is a classical music critic and pianist in London, who, among many other virtues, once said nice things about my hometown, Kalamazoo.

Michael Berube is a cultural studies prof and occasional drummer who blogs with wild wit and broad erudition on politics and culture.

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society is where this fine jazz composer and big-band leader shares his sharp observations.

Pop music critic Michaelangelo Matos assimilates a ton of music and puts it together pop-critically in interesting ways.

Pop music critic Douglas Wolk sponsors the November album project, for which I will be forever in his debt. At various nationwide alt-weeklies he’s a go-to guy for stories on technology & music biz.

Tim Riley wrote a good book on the Beatles; he has sharp things to say at blog riley: rock culture approximately.

Sasha Frere-Jones is the pop music critic of the New Yorker. He's also a musician and a poet of the oblique internet allusion who sometimes writes about his kids.

Destination: OUT posts MP3s of music by people such as Art Ensemble of Chicago -- 'nuff said.

Doug Ramsey’s Rifftides covers jazz. I dig his breadth of knowledge, enthusiasm, and graceful writing.

Marcus Maroney composes music and shares his observations on music and culture at Sounds Like New.

ACD is full of sounds & fury about classical music and other matters. As a self-described classical elitist, he is naturally full of baloney a lot of the time, but he knows a lot and he’s usually interesting to read even when his baloney-meter is spiking; and while I don’t want to get too buddy-movie about it, after a few rhetorical knock-down-drag-outs I’ve virtually come to like the guy.

Terry Teachout is a professional theater, music, and dance critic who blogs About Last Night. I disagree with him a lot, but he has miles & miles of heart.

persons of letters

Ange Mlinko is my favorite poetry polemicist going right now. Lively poet too.

Since this is a mostly-music blog that got its name from poet Marianne Moore, it only seems right to link to a poetry blog that got its name from a Thelonious Monk tune. Jonathan Mayhew, poet, blogs Bemsha Swing.

Ron Silliman is a veteran poet. Let's just say he's been around the poetry block more than once.

Jane Dark blogs his sugarhigh! and writes erudite and incisive criticism on music, poetry, politics & culture under that name; he also writes poetry and more criticism on ditto under the name Joshua Clover.

George Hunka is a New York playwright who refers to his observations as “Superfluities.”

Peli Grietzer’s vision is keen and he doesn’t miss much from the Second Balcony.

I often don’t understand what the pseudonymous Duck is getting at with his philosophy blogging at DuckRabbit, but I enjoy reading him nonetheless.

(Last updated November 6, '07.)

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