Sunday, October 22, 2006

This Old Man, He Blogs One

Requisite apology:
Okay, so maybe "coming soon" was a bit premature. There are about five or six hour-long podcasts recorded this time time last year that may or may not surface on this spot in the future.

Mission statement:
Any self-respecting blogger must ask themselves: why bother? Why add to the clutter?
I'm in a curious position because I've worked in mainstream and accepted forms of alternative media for the past 16 years. That's right, youngster, I'm a total fogie. And part of the reason I never ventured into self-publishing was (not fear of zine failure) because I was too freakin' busy: editing a local magazine (first bi-weekly, then weekly), doing campus radio, then writing for a major Toronto weekly, doing radio pieces for the national broadcaster, and writing a weekly column in a very mainstream small city daily newspaper. I also managed to co-author a book before I turned 30, fulfilling a childhood goal (which at the age of six was to be a journalist during the week, and an astonaut on weekends... still working on that last part).
I've always had the absolute luxury of writing only about what I was passionate about: primarily music, but also film, theatre and literature. I felt completely fulfilled in my writing life.

And so because I'm once again a full-time freelancer with too little time on my hands--and plenty of writing outlets to feed my vanity--this is an odd time to start a blog.
But being the verbose fucker that I am, writing 300-500w pieces doesn't really cut the mustard anymore, even if it (barely) pays the bills. And I find myself speed reading through most pieces I find in music magazines, simply because unless they're exceptionally written--a rarity--they don't tell me anything at all. Writer introduces set-up, writer throws in a few quotes, writer attempts to explain why the reader should care about said artist, writer wraps it up with a quip or snappy quote. Rinse, lather, repeat. Sorry, who were we talking about again? I'm just as guilty of this as anyone else.

I imagine this blog will be used for a lot of things. But for starters, just to get things up and running, we're going to feature interviews. Long ones, edited only in instances of rambling off topic. New ones. Old ones. Canadian. Otherwise. Send in yr requests.

I've had far too much fascinating (to me, anyway) discourse lately that gets left on the cutting room floor. Hell, no one buys a DVD these days unless it has deleted scenes and director's commentary, so this will be my equivalent of both.

We're going to get things going with the concept of Torontopia, my current home. The word first surfaced about four years ago, and has been most associated with the Blocks Recording Club and the Wavelength weekly music series at Sneaky Dee's. Lately it's blossomed into a catch-all phrase for a larger civic discourse in this town, transcending its roots as a concept about creativity and community.
It's a hard concept to sum in a few words... or even a few thousand words, and I--among others, apparently--am not convinced I did so successfully here:

But for those with an interest in this somewhat insular discussion (at least in the context of the "world" part of this wide web... holy crap, could I sound any older?), I'll run the full transcripts of the discussions I had with three articulate Torontopians. Later on, we can get into the debate about the Bad Bands Revolution that doesn't ever seem to dissipate in this town since the accompanying manifesto was launched in March, 2006.
Admittedly, both seem like tired topics by now, but it amazes me how much people still want to talk about them--especially people who are only cluing into it now.

I promise that more articulate ramblings will accompany each individual piece in the future.

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