I spent the morning listening to folks complain that there's no good local arts coverage in the
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Sunday paper. So, I thought, well, I can do my part to give you something Nashville-arts related to read on a Sunday if you're clicking around the internet.
After all, unlike anyone else in town, I read Barry Mazor's new book about Jimmie Rodgers and I interviewed him about it over at Tiny Cat Pants (which you can read here
So, obviously, I really dug Meeting Jimmie Rodgers: How America's Original Roots Music Hero Changed the Pop Sounds of a Century
. And let me be up-front. Mazor is a friend of mine, so I'm biased. But this is a really interesting book.
And I think it should change how folks write about music, because, after this, I don't think it will be enough just to write about an artist; you'll have to deeply consider how that artist's work spread and the ways it influenced others
So, if you write about music, you should read this book. If you are a fan of American music, you should read this book.
But here's what causes me angst, folks.
How is it that you're supposed to hear about a book like this?
I looked at The Tennessean
's website, the Scene
's website, CMT.com, and I don't see anything about the book from someone who read it. And this isn't unusual. If you know anyone who works in the book publishing industry, they can tell you all about all the places that don't do a proper book review any more.
And I'm a blogger, so you know, I'm speaking as the "new journalist" of the impending idiocracy. But we're losing something here--the ability to tell ourselves as a community what cool stuff the members of our community are up to that bear directly on an art form our community is synonymous with.
Maybe after it all shakes out and someone figures out how to make money online, we'll start telling ourselves about ourselves, community-wide again. I mean, obviously, as a blogger, that's my hope--that the move online will not be the death of the newspaper, but just a change in form. I certainly don't want the follow-up to "Murder on Music Row" to be about how the likes of me killed the newspaper.
But I worry.