The Book is Done

After spending probably too long on revisions, hunting down a bunch of image permissions, and correcting far too many footnotes, the moment has come: I have SUBMITTED THE FINAL MANUSCRIPT for Building the Land of Dreams.

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Stop saying we ought to let Texas secede

OK, so Scottish voters have spoken, and they’re going to stay part of the UK, hassles and all. And I think they made the right decision. But I notice the whole episode brought out a trope that really annoys me: my liberal friends from the Northeast saying things like, “we should let Texas secede, then we can run the country the way we want.” There are many variations — one facebook friend posted that we should allow Texas and Alabama to form Texabama (I don’t see how you could leave out Louisiana and Mississippi in that case, but whatever). Sometimes it’s expressed as, “we should have just let the South go in 1860” (and let slavery continue there too, presumably).

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The Anti-copyright freak parade

This article is not all that interesting on its own — yes, if you own a venue that features music, you need to get a license. It’s been this way a long time, everyone understands how it works, and if you don’t get a license you run a real risk of being sued or shut down. The bar owners who try to flout this are no different from that Montana rancher whose selfish desire to welch on paying grazing fees for federal land became a cause celebre last year.

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Contract

Back in May I shook hands (figuratively speaking) on a deal with Princeton University Press to publish my book. So this is nothing new, but it still feels like a milestone: I signed a contract, finally. So it’s official and I can now say “my book is under contract.” Now if I can just deliver a manuscript on time …

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Music Industry

I’m teaching now in the Music Industry Studies program at Loyola in addition to the History Department. I was a bit apprehensive about this at first, I have to admit. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about teaching in what I saw as mainly a vocational program. And I wasn’t sure if my music industry knowledge, which is 10 to 15 years out of date, is still relevant to this generation of students.

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My new toy

Lap Steel 1Did I mention on top of everything else in my life, I’m trying to teach myself lap steel? I’m learning it in C6 tuning which is really just mind melting, it’s so not like the guitar, but it’s the authentic country & western sound, and to me the lap steel is all about baby steps to the pedal steel.

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