getting behind and catching up

I seem to be perpetually behind on reading liblogs. I transferred all my liblog subscriptions over to Google Reader, which works well for keeping everything threaded nicely by date posted, rather than separated by source as Bloglines does it. This won’t work for everything I read, but it suits the liblogs perfectly. I set aside some time this afternoon to work on getting caught up with the 100+ entries since the beginning of the month. After an hour and a half, I made it to April 5th. I’ll continue on with the rest some other time, but I needed to stop and give my brain a rest, as well as take some time myself to write something other than a review.

My work for Blogcritics and BC Goodie Bag has taken over most of my writing time, and Twitter has fed my need for telling someone, anyone, what I am doing. This leaves me with the question of what to do about eclectic librarian. The answer is to get back to it! I have things to contribute to library land, so I’d better get off my duff and contribute them.

la la la la zzzzzzz……

USA-based online CD trading site to give 20% of revenue to performing artists.

Today, USA-based online CD trading site la la opened its doors to the public. Although the site remains in beta testing until the official launch in July, new members are able to register without needing an invitation from other beta testers or the site administrators. With this soft launch comes an announcement of the “Z” Foundation, a non-profit organization that will donate 20% of the trading revenue of la la to performing artists. Founder Bill Nguyen hopes to eventually increase that percentage to 90%.

From the start, the vision of la la has been focused more on providing inexpensive ways for music fans to discover new artists and less on getting music for cheap. The site seeks to create a community that promotes music in general and supports performing artists in particular. The “Z” Foundation is one outlet for that vision. Eligibility is available only to working musicians, defined as any individual who has performed on a recorded release or live performance in the last year and whose music-related income accounts for more than half of their total income. To register, musicians can go to http://www.lala.com/z.

I have been a beta tester for la la over the past two months, and with 144 trades (total of sent and received) under my belt, I am willing to admit that I’m a fan of the site. As a friend to several full-time performing musicians, I’m also a fan of the “Z” Foundation concept. Music is an essential part of my life, and I appreciate the opportunity to give back to the musicians while also swapping out CDs I don’t listen to anymore for new-to-me CDs. There are other media trading sites out there (Title Trader, SwitchDiscs, etc.), but only la la has stepped up and given something back to the people who make this music available in the first place. That’s something to sing about.

An Interview with Susan Werner

“I believe that we can be a diverse society of extraordinary creativity and innovation and vitality and freedom, and those things are the best things that we can be.”

Susan Werner, PatriotMy introduction to the music of Susan Werner was in the fall of 1999 when a friend who produced a local acoustic music radio show lent me copies of Time Between Trains and Last of the Good Straight Girls. I was instantly enchanted with the sincerity and wit that Werner brings to her music. Her last album was a thematic collection of songs that sound like they are from the 20s and 30s, but are all orginal and new. Recently, Werner made available for download a song she describes as an alternative national anthem. “This is a song that takes the National Anthem and turns it on his head,” says Werner. “It’s Francis Scott Key meets Arlo Guthrie.” I had the pleasure of speaking with Werner about the song a few weeks ago.

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