A good part of the reason I started blogging was because I went to a history conference at a UT branch up between Dallas and Fort Worth and found that, contrary to belief, many well known academic historians have found community history projects to be invaluable because of their focus and details. Photos rated high. Photos with details rate high. Interviews with participants in events rated high. Interviews with older people rated high if you cover their experience and perspective.
- Prairie Weather

“Protest works. Just look at the proof”

Free MP3 sites

Be your own program director. Venture off the beaten path. Live a little.

2dopeboyz: Hip hop. (RSS)

3hive: Sharing the sharing. Free and legal MP3s from over 600 underground and undiscovered artists — new ones added daily. (RSS)

Amazon MP3 Download - Frequency: Weekly. Get the latest on Amazon MP3 music downloads - new releases, freshly ripped hits, and special deals.

Audio Drums - A blog for rare, possibly overlooked, maybe forgotten gems of music with a slight emphasis on electronic and indie genres. (RSS)

Common Folk Music - A blog about music, not just folk music, but all music ranging from indie to alt-country to bluegrass, because music is for the “Common Folk”. (RSS)

Discobelle.net (RSS)

Fiddlefreak Folk Music Blog - Folk, bluegrass, Celtic, and other music of the people. (RSS)

Fingertips Music - Free and legal music. (RSS)

Gorilla Vs Bear (RSS)

Hillydilly: Simply Good Music. (RSS)

I Rock Cleveland: Indie Rock, College Rock, Alt Rock, Modern Rock, Cleveland Rock, and Rock. (RSS)

KEXP Song of the Day: KEXP 90.3 FM - where the music matters (RSS)

Kick Kick Snare (RSS)

Line Of Best Fit - TLOBF.COM | Music Reviews, News, Interviews & Downloads (RSS)

Lipstick Disco - Deep House & Disco music blog fronted by Females (RSS)

Minnesota Public Radio Song of the Day: Music lovers from 89.3 The Current share songs with you each weekday. (RSS)

Muruch (RSS)

Music Like Dirt: Music in all its many forms, mp3’s, live reviews and photography. (RSS)

My Old Kentucky Blog - a music blog that parties with unicorns. (RSS)

Nah Right. (RSS)

ninebullets.net. (RSS)

Rollo & Grady: Los Angeles Music Blog, LA Music Blog (RSS)

Said the Gramophone: a music weblog (RSS)

She Makes Music: She Makes Music focuses on the most exciting and impressive new music created by brilliant and talented female musicians. (RSS)


Sounds Better With Reverb (RSS)

Stereogum: All the MP3s on Stereogum.com (RSS)

their bated breath (RSS)

Women of Hip Hop (RSS)

YouKnowIGotSoul (RSS)

Mourn ya till I join ya

The Wheel’s Still In Spin: Focusing on new music releases and reviews of individual albums as original, fictional short stories (RSS)

A Fifty Cent Lighter & A Whiskey Buzz - This site is just a way for me to have a little fun and share a little music. I’ll highlight some of my favorite artists that I play on the radio and try to expound upon their music in ways I can’t always do on the air. (RSS)

Aminal Sound

Audiofile: Music Blog, Music Articles - Salon.com

Crossfade: The CNET music blog

Direct Current New Music - Adult pop, rock, singer/songwriters, folk, Americana, alt-country, adult alternative, soul, world music, crossover jazz and simply those artists that make us go “hmmm.”(RSS)

GarageBand.com Folk top tracks (RSS)

GarageBand.com Hip Hop top tracks (RSS)

Flawless Hustle: Urban culture blog featuring artist interviews, music reviews, legal music downloads, street art, graffiti and more! (RSS)



The Jon Swift principle: “I will add anyone to my blogroll who adds me to theirs.” Email or leave a comment to let me know.


The Hunting of the Snark

Sites participating in blogroll amnesty day

Jon Swift aka Al Weisel, may he rest in peace. Co-originator of Blogroll Amnesty Day

skippy the bush kangaroo (Co-originator of Blogroll Amnesty Day) (2012)

Vagabond Scholar (2012)
Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety. Keeper of the Jon Swift Memorial Roundup (The Best Posts of the Year, Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves)

Notes From Underground (2012)

Redeye’s Front Page (2012)

Wisdom of the West (2012)

Zen Comix (2012)

pygalgia (2012)

Mikeb302000 (2012)

The Agonist (2012)

Brilliant At Breakfast (2012)

Bacon and Eggs (2012)

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Adventures in cord cutting

A few weeks ago the reception on my satellite TV service mysteriously went kaput. I put in a service request and the company said the earliest anyone could get out was in a week. This gave us some time to live without any traditional broadcast television, and after a few days we were getting along without it pretty well. (I would think cable companies would prioritize service a little more in order to prevent customers from making that discovery, but apparently that’s a rare issue.)

The provider had previously made noises about trees interfering with the signal, and I was kind of expecting to hear that again. I’m not going to cut down trees for better reception, so I anticipated being told the solution was something I wasn’t interested in. At which point the question became: why not just ditch it entirely?

Which is what we did. We had a good old fashioned outdoor antenna installed on our roof and joined the ranks of the cord cutters. Going back to a dozen or so local channels and no DVR has been a bit of an adjustment; there were a number of cable shows I regularly watched. The network shows we still receive can’t be recorded, so if we don’t watch them when they air we don’t watch them at all. And not being able to pause or back up a few seconds is a bit of a pain.

On the other hand, I hadn’t realized just how much DVR technology habituated me to a different viewing mentality. Once I started recording a show I liked, I wouldn’t just watch all of them, but every second of every episode. Pause or rewind for even the smallest interruption, because God forbid I miss five seconds of some reality show. Now, though, if I get home late and start watching something halfway in, well, I’ll just have to go through life not knowing what happened in the first half. Loosening that attachment to something so trivial is nice.

The “watch all of it” mindset is still possible with streaming services, though. Once we cut the cord I took a good look at the big ones out there, most of which offer full seasons of various shows along with pause and rewind options. Of course, you only get the shows they offer; not every service has every show. You could probably cobble together a reasonable approximation of cable service by subscribing to all of them.

That, though, just highlights another reason to think about cord cutting: fragmentation. Services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are starting to produce exclusive original content. As this trend increases it will become impossible to keep up with everything. Even those who have a full cable menu will be missing buzzed about events like House of Cards or Arrested Development. Pretty soon we’ll all have to pick and choose. Why not exclude the expensive option with lousy customer service?

From a news consumer’s perspective, not getting the cable news channels can be a drag. Some of the shows are very well done, and missing out on their perspective is a loss. Cable news is also good for breaking or ongoing coverage not big enough for broadcast networks.

On the other hand, it also means cutting ties with the cable news paradigm. These channels sell the distilled essence of Washington priorities and conventional wisdom. I won’t miss the Kremlinology or yet another segment on Harry Reid’s latest empty threat to do something about the filibuster. The insidery politics-as-soap-opera narrative - which frequently crowds out actual news events - reflects a curious mindset about what deserves coverage. Not devoting any more brain space to that world seems like a good thing.

At the opposite end of saturation Church of the Savvy coverage are topics that these outlets - residing as they do in multinational corporations - simply have an institutional aversion to covering. The remarkable scenes from the Wisconsin statehouse a few years ago, the early weeks of Occupy Wall Street (and subsequent Occupy encampments elsewhere), last month’s protests against Monsanto, ongoing developments in the labor movement: there are some subjects cable news will never have time for no matter how many hours are in the day.

Turning off the cable channels makes room for other news sources, in particular those that cover the kind of news I’m most interested in. And turning off all the extra cable channels frees up time for other things. Which seems like a pretty good idea in general. Not many of life’s important moments happen while sitting in front of a TV.

Reader Comments (2)

Bravo! Maybe it won't be exactly the same when you still have the old networks, but when I dumped TV 10+ years ago, I found a) there are more hours in the day for play than I realized, b) stress level goes down almost immediately, c) resident anxieties and any depression disappear, smile returns, and d) extra chub on the butt and tummy melt away.

June 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPW

Thanks PW. If I end up needing a 12 step program will you be my sponsor?

June 28, 2013 | Registered CommenterDan

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