• I haven't been looking in on James Walcott's blog enough lately. Always interesting and well-written, the site seldom fails to make itself worth your time. And Wolcott often surprises with his mix of high and low references. Last week, in a post about the treatment of American terror suspect Jose Padilla, who was recently outfitted with sensory-deprivation goggles and earphones to visit the dentist, he borrowed a title from Harlen Ellison and made a reference to The Haunted Tank.
He also provided a link to Ken Levine's blog. Levine is a TV writer, but last week while traveling, he lent his blog to Peter Casey, one of the co-creators of Frasier. In three installments, Casey reveals the creation process of that series. If you like to see behind the scenes, this is worth a look (one, two, three).
(I've been neglecting Mark Evanier's news from me, lately, as well. He provided the same links to Ken Levine here.)
• Here's a chain of links that starts with The Beat, who links to Colleen Doran's A Distant Soil blog, which links to this story at the Discovery Channel. It appears that people who love the late night (lovingly refered to as "night owls" in the article, which still beats "nite owls") may just be more creative. I'm sure not going to argue against that point. Maybe it finally provides some sort of excuse I can hide behind for the crazy time stamps you'll find on these posts of mine.
• On Monday in The Washington Post, Paul Farhi said his own good-bye to Tower Records.
There will never be the same sense of wonder on iTunes, the same joy of discovery and intoxicating power of musical abundance that hit you every time you walked into even the dinkiest Tower or any comparable record store. There it lay before you -- unheard! unseen! unfondled! -- potential treasures beckoning from row upon row of wooden bins.
Clicking a mouse cannot replace the singular ritual act of pawing through those big bins to find . . . well, you never knew what. And that was the point. Skilled veterans could flip through dozens of records -- "records"? Ha-ha, Grandpa! -- with knowing hands and studious concentration while the rest of us dawdled over a particularly alluring piece of cover art. Working your way down the alphabet (Abba, the Beatles, the Cure, etc.) could take the better part of an afternoon.
. . .
There's no doubt the Internet is a superior transactional medium for getting music. But saying so assumes that the transaction is all there is. It values ends over means, destinations over journeys.
For a long time, Tower was a great journey.
I think those last two paragraphs echo my position. I won't claim that the Internet have a lot of advantages in buying CDs or music in general, but we have to remember that we're losing something, as well, when the well-stocked local record store disappears.