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Remember the Blogroll?

Ionarts was born during the golden age of blogging, in the millennium's first decade. The subsequent rise of social media proved the demise of blogging, as mini-posts on Facebook, Twitter, and soon a multiplicity of such apps pushed longer-form writing aside. It may be time to reconsider that shift.

One much-admired writer who has ultimately decided to eschew social media, first Facebook and now Twitter and (I think) everything else, is Alex Ross, the classical music critic of The New Yorker. I have missed Alex's wry commentary on the site now known as "X," although I still always read his articles in the magazine. I noted this summer that, instead of feeding the social media noise, Alex has continued to post more-or-less regular (if not daily) items on his old blog, The Rest Is Noise.

Once I realized that, I began to check his site periodically, which made me nostalgic for the era of Ye Olde Blogge. During a look-in yesterday, Alex's excellent post on critic Olin Downes was in the top position. Comparing Downes with a contemporary voice, Virgil Thomson, Alex notes:

[Thomson] cannily shifted with the political tides, switching from New Deal-ish writings in the thirties to a sterner, anti-populist line after 1945. He spoke unswervingly for an élite musical community and mocked crowd-pleasing musicians such as Toscanini, Heifetz, and Horowitz. Downes, it might be said, was a lesser critic but a better musical citizen.
A discontinued feature known as the Blogroll is back in this site's right column, headed by none other than Alex's site. If you know of other active blogs, new or veterans, please suggest them in the comments section. The main activity of the old Ionarts, publishing performance reviews and a concert calendar for the Washington area, has moved to and remains at Washington Classical Review, which you should be reading every day. Check here periodically for reviews of new recordings and links to published articles in other places. Please join me in going to read things directly, and circumvent the irritating social media middlemen.


Tazz said...

On an Overgrown Path, Bob Shingleton (?) should be on the list

Charles T. Downey said...

Indeed - added.

Margarita said...

Slipped Disk by Norman Lebrecht is a good one as well. Yep... blogging in early 2000s -- those were times!