“…. aaannnd we’re back”

Given the … ahem … “short break” this summer, I’m sure some of you, dear readers, have been ready to call me gone, if not precisely in the way that old Hinsons song has in mind. But you’ve all done a smash-up job of talking amongst yourselves in my absence.

It has been one of those bizarre phases in which I’m so busy writing on, thinking about, researching in, and working with various aspects of this music and its culture that I have little time to actually blog about it.

Which makes this a good time to say thanks for carrying on while I was away. I don’t enjoy being gone from blogging for this long, but I am delighted by the vibrancy of the community that we’ve got going here. Sure there is a rump of discontent and flame-warrioring and some trollishness that will always persist. It’s the interwebs after all. But for the most part I look back (as I do most summers when Avery’s bloggaversary rolls around) and think of how far things have come in terms of a generally free and mostly ordered space of conversation and exchange about something so many of us care for but in so many different ways and with such different intensities … and well, it’s a satisfyingly impressive amount of ground that we’ve all covered together.

In the coming days and weeks some of the shorter-term projects I’ve been working on will finish up and I’ll provide some links to show my homework. A few highlights from the home news:

  • Switching seats at the RD.org interview table, I’ll be sitting down with Anthony Heilbut later this week to talk about his new book, The Fan Who Knew Too Much (good reviews here and here, among other places). Ditto on posting and linking asap.
  • Meanwhile, this here blog thingee has been around long enough that I’ve started thinking about how/when/if/in what way it would/could/should/might live on beyond its current form. Be assured (or disappointed) that I’m not packing up boxes or taking down the curtains or anything like that. But I am doing some thinking and writing and proposing an article about how blogs like this, that offer an unprecedented amount of longitudinal data from a very particular part of the American religious universe, may be archivally preservable for the posterities we can only try to imagine.
  • And finally, the Society for American Music just this week confirmed that a panel proposal from a group of academics of which I’m a part was accepted for presentation at the 2013 Little Rock, Ark., conference. I’ll be talking about the Martins and the legacy of Arkansas music and harmonies in southern gospel as part of a larger discussion of harmony and shape-note southern gospel and its legacies.

I’ll spool out a few more things this week and then hope to find some more moderately regular setting on the rheostat between OFF and WATER HOSE.

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Comments

  1. Judi wrote:

    Avery, glad you are back…I’m looking forward to all of those upcoming projects!

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