15 November 2012

SoundRoots 2.0

You may have noticed a paucity of posts here in the last couple of months. It wasn't your imagination.

Turns out it's time for a blog reboot. SoundRoots has been around since 2005 -- back in the dark ages before current hip pop and rock groups discovered the wonders of ethnic elements (I'm looking at you, Vampire Weekend). Back then, I was writing about cultural events and trends as well as about new album releases. In recent years, that changed under the time constraints of my own photography work and the pressure from artists and labels to review their latest, greatest music.

Frankly, it has gotten a bit dull.

Thus the reboot. Along with the new look, I'm steering the ship back to a broader course that includes not only new musical destinations, but visits back to favorite old ports. And there will be discussions of cultural trends, concert tours, musical observations, and whatever else wanders by.

If you have some expertise (or obsession) with a particular band or style of music, know that guest posts are welcome. (But for the love of Fela, spam bloggers please stay away. Responding to artists and labels takes enough time; I don't have time to explain why I won't post your guest post on the best moped destinations in Macau.)

"World music" is an increasingly irrelevant term as more bands blur the boundaries of genres. We've got American rock bands with West African or Cambodian singers; funk bands that happily sprinkle Fela Kuti covers into their albums; Ethiopians and Americans banding together to produce dance tunes and Neil Young covers. Not all of them are successful, but they're driving the world of music to exciting new realms, and SoundRoots will try to bring you some of the highlights.

Because of the new blog format, the sidebar has disappeared. If you miss elements of it, let me know and I'll see about bringing things back. Also note that donations are still welcome via this slick Paypal button:
SoundRoots is a labor of love, not profit. Donations are welcome, though not expected. I write because I want others to expand their musical horizons. Music can take us to fascinating new destinations, and it can change us in sudden and unexpected ways. I hope SoundRoots will be a guide for you on this journey. And I hope you'll share your thoughts and stories here as well. 

Thanks.
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