Category: Site News

Holidailies are here again

I’m once again participating in Holidailies but not with this site (although I’ve got enough backlogged content to supply more than a month of daily updates.)

I moved my Vox site, VexVox, to my personal domain, so I’ll be hanging out there for the entire month.

I could conceivably update both sites, but if you head over to VexVox, you’ll understand why I won’t. I’ve been in Honolulu for the last three weeks because of it.


This site achieved something of a milestone this past Tuesday (Sept. 21, 2010).

It was the 10-year anniversary of my registering the domain name

It’s probably the most definitive birth date I can muster for the site, mainly because the content here evolved from numerous sources in the past. Back in 1997, I published two issues of a print zine called The Soloist’s Notebook. In 1998, I moved that zine online. In 1999, I merged it with my online journal. In 2000, I relaunched the journal/zine combo as Greg’s Music Reviews, till I later that year, I registered the domain name.

Go to the archive, and you just might find reviews dating back to 1999, before actually launched.

I registered right around the time I started listening to music from Japan. A trip back home to Honolulu in February 2000 introduced me to Utada Hikaru, Shiina Ringo, L’Arc~en~Ciel and the brilliant green. I had already been listening to Cocco since 1998 and wanted to hear something similar. I spent the summer exploring music by NUMBER GIRL, eX-Girl and m-flo.

When launched, Japanese music became my “beat”.

Continue reading »

Adjustment period

I know I make all sorts of excuses for why I don’t update, but this one is pretty major.

I started a new job a week and a half ago.

It’s a web development job similar to what I was doing before but different enough to consume a lot of mental energy. I’m going through a lot of training right now, and unlike my previous job — where I could sneak in quite a bit of writing — I barely have time to keep up with the news, let alone get through reviews.

I don’t know if it will level off because the new office is staffed by eight people, with four developers including myself. And the plate, it is full. I get the sense that once I get up to speed, I’ll have more than enough to keep me occupied. (By comparison, my previous job employed 4,000 worldwide.)

I tend not to write on the weekends because that’s when I do stuff with Eponymous 4, but I may have to reconsider. The change in work schedule alone has forced me to rearrange a lot of things.

Of course, I’ll pop up on the Facebook page if I run across something interesting, so please consider becoming a fan. (Yes, that’s antiquated Facebook terminology now, but I refuse to use "like" as an action verb.)

Till then, keep listening!

Facebook page as link log

As evil as Facebook may seem to a growing number of users, the site’s interface offers some nice conveniences for lazy content providers such as myself. In the case of the Facebook page, it’s become a link log.

I’ve pretty much moved new release postings there, and every so often, I’ll post a link to something I find interesting. If you haven’t already checked it out, I encourage you to do so.

Some news I posted there that I haven’t gotten around to cross-posting here:

  • New albums by Hajime Chitose, Fujifabric, Sasagawa Miwa and UA.
  • A new collection by Art of Noise

  • Studies about program notes and music

  • Even a YouTube link or two (something I never like posting here.)

Musicwhore on Facebook, part the second

When I first subscribed to Facebook way back in 2007, I created a group for this site. It didn’t really go anywhere because I would never visit any of the groups to which I subscribed, mine included.

Facebook launched Pages not long after, and the tight integration between Pages and the News Feed — or whatever they’re calling it this week — gave them much more presence than Groups. I became more inclined to become a fan of a Page — or "like" it, as the current parlance goes — than I was to join a group.

With that in mind, I created a Facebook Page for I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it just yet, especially since I don’t really update this site very often.

But I think I might be posting a lot more short-form content there than here. Making two-sentence posts here seems like a waste of page real estate, and the interface is a lot easier to handle than my clunky Movable Type 3.33 installation. (I could probably upgrade, but that might break a few hooks I have into this application.)

So, we’ll see what happens. I already notified group members that I’ll be shutting it down but probably not until I see everyone — all nine of you — have moved over. If you’re a regular commenter with a Facebook account, please consider stopping by and giving it a thumbs up. (It feels weird for me to ask you to "like" it.)

Thank you, Holidailies

Wow. So I made it to the last day of Holidailies. Of course, it helps to cheat.

Allow me to confess that I’m currently writing this entry on New Year’s Eve, during a time when the office is pretty much empty. Most of the entries I’ve written for this month were done ahead of time.

Yes, it helps to have a backlog of music to review, news to discuss and a year to review. But did I really need to spend five entries counting down my favorite albums of the decade? (Padding.) I did enjoy writing about my trip to Japan, which was very tangentially musical. But that kind of personal writing would have gone on my Vox site instead.

I did like the fact I created a new channel for music-themed book reviews, and I like how I’ve gotten back into the habit of recreational reading. I hope this fascination with non-fiction lasts me for the rest of the year.

I also hope this GTD thing keeps. Maybe the shift in priorities about which I fretted at the start of the month is a good thing.

None of my entries earned special recognition for Best of Holidailies. Eh, I figured music punditry wouldn’t go over well on a project based more on personal storytelling.

And as I predicted, I don’t think I’ve captured any new readers as a result. (If I did, holler out in the comments section. Did you enjoy the Holidailies Audio Guide to

I have to say I’m exhausted. That’s a lot of writing. And this weekend I’m taking a trip to San Francisco as research in my effort to relocate from Austin. In other words, the radio silence that befell this site before the trip to Japan is re-emerging once again.

Don’t worry. I still have that big-ass backlog to get through.

Official Book Club Selection

You may have noticed is branching out into book reviews with a new category, Book Club.

While I was staying in Honolulu before and after my trip to Japan, I started reading for recreation again. Recreational reading was pretty much been squeezed out by music-making and Internet-surfing in the last decade, and I don’t have a good reading chair.

If I get too absorbed in a book, I’ll contort myself on the futon uncomfortably, then realize I strained something when I reach a stopping point. If a book bores me, I end up messing up my sleep schedule because I dozed off. Those are my hazards of reading while prone.

This time, I’m reading non-fiction. Most of the non-fiction books on my shelves are references, guides or textbooks. No narrative non-fiction. So I used all the flights on my trip to read such books as Freakonomics and Blink. I also passed some time re-reading Alex Ross’ The Rest Is Noise.

I’m staying away from fiction for the time being because whenever I read fiction, I feel the compulsion to chip away at my own. Non-fiction gives me the luxury of distraction without distracting me to work. That’s really a weird circular reason there.

Tadaima! (Sort of.)

I’ve returned from Japan, but I’m still in Hawaiʻi. So I’m pretty much still on vacation. But what would a trip be without pictures?

Most of the photos are from Kyoto, because that’s where my brother and I stayed, taking day trips to Tokyo, Hiroshima and Osaka.