Wednesday, April 9, 2008


When I started this blog a year-and-a-half ago or so, I wasn't that plugged into the internet, except for email and occasionally looking something up on Google.

But thanks to my friend, the great poet and now great photographer, Kevin McCollister, who suggested I do my own blog and then set it up for me instantly, and to my great old friend and fellow musician back ih the day and still avid jazz fan (as well as a generous and honest lawyer, there are some), Tom Wilson, whose technical assistance continues to aid me in this endeavor, I've become not just a little more at ease in the world of the internet, but actually as enamored with it as any of the other pursuits and interests in my life.

I love the way people can email me links to anything I mention, and how equalizing the effect of youtube and other outlets for old video and film clips are, making small contributions by bit players on TV shows and in films as famous as the performances of the stars they were supporting.

And the access to music and filmed performances by the well known and the unknown is overwhelmingly satisfying. As well as lectures and artwork and humor and all the rest that friends send links to because they think I will be as entertained or engaged or educated or astonished by them as they have been.

It has, as for many others, replaced my morning newspaper. I have the NY Times headlines emailed to me and then select any story I want to pursue further, but my main hit of what's new for the day is the list of links to blogs down at the right of this page.

I start out with another new view of L. A. that not many would ever get to see if it wasn't for jimsonweed [THE JIMSON WEED GAZETTE]. Then my coolbirth [BIRTH OF THE COOL] update on jazz and new technology and other cool things I might not have noticed happening in the world (and on the web). Then I check into the rest of the list that includes a nephew working in the wilds of Alaska [MY ALASKAN ADVENTURES] with moose and other creatures we don't have so much down here in the lower 48. It's a taste of the natural world and, unfortunately, also the impact of the encroachment of humans on it.

Then the rest of the list which includes mostly old friends, like Peter Case [pcblog], but not just because they're friends, and not just because he's a reknowned singer/songwriter/guitar player, but also because he's a soulful commentator with updates on life on the road as well as ongoing autobiographical hits and takes on the music and creative activities of others.

There's other old friends, like Paul Harryn, whose blog [PAUL'S ART] on the life of an artist, the old fashioned kind who actually paints on canvas, among other creative acts, contemplates the world around him in ways unique to his Pennsylvannia countryside artist's soul. And newly added Jamie Rose's blog [JAMIE'S BLOG], an actor's take on the practice and challenges of that art with advice that anyone can find useful, not just actors.

And RJ Eskow's Nightlight [actually A Night Light], with insights into current politics from not just this regular contributor to the Huffington blog, as well as one of the most articulate and perceptive guest commentators on various TV shows, but also an accomplished musician and songwriter in his own right. Or Ron Silliman's blog [actual title: Silliman's Blog], the most visited poetry site in the history of the internet, with good reason. Ron is not only one of the most wellread poets you'll ever encounter, but his blog also has regular lists of links to just about any news article or commentary or essay or reference to poetry or the concerns of poets that anyone might ever find of interest.

English poet Tom Raworth's Notes [NOTES] blog keeps me up to date not only on his travels and interests and family and friends, especially in the British poetry world, but also has the most pointed and humorous takes on current events, usually with some collaged images or altered artwork, etc. that is not only perceptive and brilliant, but totally original.

There's other poetry blogs, like the newly added Charles Lambert [CHARLES LAMBERT], whose post on Jonathan Williams I found a link to on Raworth's blog and was so taken with Lambert's writing, I added him to the list just today. Or old friends E. Ethelbert Miller's poet's blog [E-NOTES] that comments on the DC poetry and other scenes, and everything else from sports to the endless campaign, and all from another unique perspective you won't find anywhere else, and poet and psychologist Nick Piambino's [fait accompli] original aphorisms and New York poetry scene updates and links to sites you won't find referenced too many other places, if at all.

It's a unique blend of what artists and friends I admire and respect are thinking about or concerned with or want to turn others on to, and it starts my day with a jolt of creative energy that matches my own and makes me feel part of a unique community fashioned by my own taste and interests as well as those of my friends or nonfriends whose perspectives I find refreshing, literally, as well as enlightening, and quite often challenging.

Ain't the wolrd wide web grand folks?

[PS: Old friend and poet Doug Lang's blogs [douglang'sdcpoetryblog, douglangsfilmblog, and dadaville] are also among my favorites. Though he has taken a hiatus from them in recent months, I still check in every day to see if he's back, and if you haven't read them, his past posts are worth checking out for his critical insights and terrific writing, as well as for the occasional autobiographical bit about growing up in Wales with a jones for music and literature. He's also hip to cultural artifacts few people are even aware of, and if they are, from an angle few people would think of.]

[PPS: As a matter of fact, pretty much everyone on this list takes the occasional break from posting, understandably, and some favorite sites have even ceased to exist, erasing themselves so that I no longer even list them, but that's another facet of the net that's so like life, things come and go, with few remaining permanent, so that our daily landscapes are forever changing. Life.]

[PPPS: I realized I listed these blogs by the authors' names rather than their blog titles, so I've revised them to reflect the actual blog names and inserted where they go in the post above. Another benefit of the web, you can edit whenever you want, or rewrite and not show the edits, but I prefer revealing the process. no matter how mundane]

[PPPS: Also meant to say, the rest of the list of recommended sites are mostly websites I think some of you might dig.]


-K- said...

Thanks for the nice words, Michael. You've known me since the days I had trouble just getting out the door. If it wasn't for you (and a few others), I'd still in that position, or worse.

AlamedaTom said...

Your are more than welcome. It's a privilege to be a part of your blog.

~ Willy