An occasional blog about populist politics and popular music, not necessarily at the same time.
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Monday, February 26, 2018
Music: current count 29423  rated (+37), 367  unrated (-8).
Paid more attention to the new jazz queue last week, but still most of the newly rated albums are old -- some from my unrated list (mostly revisited via Napster, but they clear up old U marks), plus a few others that caught my fancy. The connection between this splurge in old music and my work on the Jazz Guide(s) is more tenuous and opportunistic this week, as I've been having trouble thinking of groups/records to look up. On the other hand, few 2018 releases are coming to my attention. Two months into the new year, my A-list is only five albums long: four jazz (Kevin Sun, Gregory Lewis, Evan Parker, Kris Davis/Craig Taborn), one non-jazz (Mary Gauthier). Part seasonal, I guess, and part don't-give-a-fuck. I'm having a tough time this year.
February Streamnotes should be up by Wednesday. Right now looks like: 57 new records, 2 recent old music releases, 97 old releases. Not sure if that counts as a very big month, or a very slim one. When I post it, I'll copy the new reviews into the Jazz Guide files, and call them done -- at least for what I've been calling Stage 2, pretty close to the compilation of all the reviews in my various CG-like columns since 2003. Currently my files contain 765 pages for the 20th Century (music recorded up through 1999), and 1650 pages for the 21st Century (music released from 2000 on). The definitions allow for a small amount of overlap (e.g., records cut in 1999 but not released until 2000, although some are earlier and/or later). Next step will be to figure out some way to make these files more accessible. The most obvious option is to export PDF, which I did at the end of Stage 1. One possible problem is that the PDF files are much larger than the LibreOffice source files -- though whether that turns out to be a real problem will take some testing.
Another approach would be to export the files as HTML and load them on a website somewhere. LibreOffice has a function to do that, but I've never used it, and it doesn't look like it will work nicely. Perhaps the thing to do then would be to write yet another program to read through the generated HTML and hack it up into usable shape. Seems like some of these things must have been done many times before. In addition to the built-in features, there are some obvious extensions to look at; e.g., LibreWeb, and Writer2ePub. (Actually, at first glance LibreWeb doesn't look useful at all. More promising is third-party free software like Calibre and Alkinea.)
Another interesting question is whether I can convert the book(s) to populate a website CMS like MediaWiki. Whereas exporting from LibreOffice to HTML/E-book would be a periodic (and therefore automated) process as changes are made to the original source file, the idea behind using MediaWiki would be put the work into a playpen where it could be further edited/enhanced. One thing that's clear to me is that while I've invested a hell of a lot of work into writing those 2415 (and counting) pages, I've long lost the struggle to keep on top of the domain -- indeed, that's something no one person can do these days. Indeed, I didn't even bother collecting my non-jazz reviews -- probably another 1000 pages buried all over the current website. That's a project for someone else to step up to, but I suppose I can still try to figure out how it might work.
I started collecting the reviews for the Jazz Guide(s) back in August 2016, more than 18 months ago. During all that time I had the luxury of knowing I had something I could work on no matter how low or dull I felt, but that task is pretty much done now, throwing me back into some sort of transitional phase. Wish I felt up to it, but I don't.
New records rated this week:
Old music rated this week:
Unpacking: Found in the mail last week: