Getting the paper again

September 18, 2007

Two years ago I discontinued the LA Times. I just never read it, was tired of the music critics, and preferred to get my news on the internet. Yesterday I started the paper again. Like a kid at Xmas I got up early to fetch and read my Tuesday LA Times. I missed it. The LA Times online sucks, and I could never warm up to it. The layout too difficult to traverse, and almost impossible to find Mark Swed’s reviews.

Before I was appointed Chair of the UCLA Music Department, I had been blogging furiously. My dad later confessed he thought I was bored. Maybe I was.

Bloggers get their “news” from reading other blogs and online news, and sometimes from real life — you know, the kind where you leave your computer and go outside? I think I had become the former. I have wrestled with giving my readers more music stuff — God knows I am hounded by people all over the world begging me for my Rufus Wainwright piano transcriptions (whom I refuse) — but I am paid, and students pay UCLA to get that information, so for those who want that from me at this point in my life, I can’t guarantee that I can always help you there. When I retire from teaching, my guess it that I will be much more loquacious about music issues. Most of the hard core music bloggers don’t also teach at a college or university, so their blog IS their lectern. I talk her e about music on my own terms. I embrace the “life” portion of my blog’s mission statement as much as the music part. For that reason, this blog can be, as my father criticized it one day, “all over the place” and that’s just fine with me. I don’t earn a cent from this blog but have found it tremendously envigorating to write. And knowing that I have a faithful group of readers makes it worthwhile.
I fantasize that when I no longer teach, I will have an enormous amount of things to share with my readers that now are completely inappropriate to my job as a teacher and my position as Chair. Nonetheless, I still have a hell of a lot to say and will continue to say it here.

I say all this because school will be starting in a few weeks here at UCLA, and my job as Chair will really begin. The summer has just been practice. I hope that the blog does not suffer due to lack of hours in the day, but I will make a concerted effort to keep it up.


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