of Maine


of Maine: Danger Point!
August 14, 2008, 1:29 pm
Filed under: Excerpts, Hasty Music Reviews, Thorough Music Reviews, Visual, Words, Work

Thanks for coming. Welcome to of Maine. Consider this inaugural post a primer.

As you’ll learn by clicking “About,” of Maine is a blog that has little to do with Maine. I’ll be writing about music (mostly), books and periodicals, and the odd movie or TV show. Once I iron out a kink (namely, learning how to write “for myself” when I’m not getting paid for it), of Maine will be updated every weekday by 9 or 10 am. I’ll try to keep to that schedule immediately, but bear with me for the first week or two.

The blog’s title sprung from a serene mood I was in recently (with a hat tip to a friend suggesting I go with “of” instead of “from”), but I’ve come to think the title’s fairly appropriate. One of the benefits of my being of Maine is that most of you readers are (for now) of Maine as well. We inhabit a fine and increasingly vibrant turf, but we’re also a bit of a cultural backwater. I hope this works to our collective advantage, because a) I consume a lot of music reviews and blogs and like having fresh ears to share the goods with, and b) I’m only interested in analyzing the indie zeitgeist when websites I love disagree with me.

I don’t know quite how to summarize what of Maine is or will become beyond that, but look to the sidebar for hints. Posts will be categorized in one of the handful of topics over there. My only explicit goal is to publish one “thorough music review” (300+… who am I kidding, 500+ words) per week, about either an album or an artist’s discography. All of my posting ideas will invariably come from one of the links below that. For the uninitiated, a few to pay special attention to (you should visit all of them, though): The House Next Door is a New York-based blog focusing mostly on movies and television, and it’s frequently more thorough, readable, and thought-provoking than most major periodical reviews; Cokemachineglow is an unruly beast of a music review site, and their diuretic reviews have introduced me to a lot of my favorite musicians; I ripped off this page design from Floodwatchmusic, the rare music blog where every post is invaluable; and Wyatt Mason, the chief book reviewer for Harper’s, recently began a superlative literature blog called Sentences on the magazine’s website.

If you’re curious, the banner photo was not taken in Maine, but in Turkey. I stumbled upon it some months ago, and in helplessly googling “turkish photographer” I realized it was taken by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, whose acclaimed films (Distant, Climates) I’ve rented and neglected to watch numerous times. Plenty more gorgeous photos on his site.

Lastly, for now, promises, promises. Here are some posts to look forward to in the days to come:

– a hasty discussion of Chad VanGaalen, relating to “Willow Tree,” the first song from his forthcoming album, Soft Airplane (look for this Thursday, fingers crossed)

– a thorough discussion of Women‘s self-titled debut album, (probably not so) coincidentally produced by Chad VanGaalen

– a review of the Grizzly Bear performance I’ll be catching in Boston on Thursday

– an uninformed glance at modern classical music

– a contrarian piece on Fleet Foxes, the year’s most confusing band

– thoughts on Joseph O’Neill’s Great Gatsby-esque new novel, Netherland

To wrap up, a plea for your comments, suggestions, requests, recommendations, and – most importantly – help getting the word out about this little venture. The more feedback I get, the more fun I’ll have, the more I’ll produce, and the better of Maine will be. So get the word out now, and comment once I write something less solipsistic (and more succinct).

And until that time, do yourself a favor and go click on “Best Site” honoree Time for Some Stories. Uncovered for mainstream consumption by Gawker earlier this year, no whimsical link has ever made me so giddy, and I need help making “Danger point!” a common catchphrase.

Thanks for coming.

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