You Are What You Bot, Not What Bots You

I got a malware pitch this week that tried to ask me “If I had any advice to blog writers.”

Sorry, evil machine, no direct response to you. But not the worst question. Because a quite simple answer came to me, which was of course an intention of the twisted bot pitch.

For me, blogs are:

Not Confessional

Not Confrontational

Are Conversational

Basically, the oldest message I’ve sent out on the Interwebs — don’t write/post/whatever you would not say on the open street where anyone could hear you. But try to hold an active, varied, funny conversation that entertains and provokes ideas and new interests.

I can do quick, informal reviews of whatever I want here, old or new. And I’m very gratified that these are now considered real journalism of very informal sort. That’s fun, and the fun is what I want to preserve.

Screw You, Old Dad Winter, We Give Thanks with White Breath

Despite 15 degrees and a stiff breeze that made the smoke swirl into my face, I opened the Big Green Egg and we grilled:

16″ rack of ribs

4 chicken breasts

a whole pheasant

16 Market Basket sausages

foil packages of sweet potatoes and regular spuds from farm stands

sliced red peppers and zucchini for everybody

And as always, I swear the BGE has some sort of supernatural intelligence that allows a frantic like me to cook a heap of food with minimal attention and still wind up just a half-hour late with Duke Ellington’s 70th Birthday Concert playing behind the perfect procescco.

Couple Local Chuckles From the “Brookline TAB”

From “Police Incidents”

First, a classic Students Are Back muck-up:

“At 11:13 AM, a caller reported that a couch was stolen from outside their apartment door. Later in the day, the caller reported finding her couch in another apartment. The resident said his roommates must have brought it in and the caller insisted it was her couch, according to the report.”

Next, some Street Surrealism:

“At 4:30 PM, a caller reported that a man approached the caller and her friend, asked to use their cell phone and said he needed to speak with Herbie Hancock, the jazz artist.”

Hail and Farewell and Welcome To Tomorrow: Peter Margasak

Your work in the Reader prompted us at Rock.com to make you a key outside-the-office voice.

It was a joy to labor with you on the long-gone dream of the music-magazine internet.

(This guy was an insanely easy edit, btw. Just fun conversations and you have a perfectly clear, vivid and balanced essay at the end.)

R.I.P.: Randy Weston

The last time we saw him perform was at the New England Conservatory, the same week as the Marathon Bombings. He stopped in the middle of the show to announce that one of the supreme powers of music was its ability to heal and that he was consciously setting out to do that this night.

He worked magic. We came out of the hall with soaring spirits, an enormous dark weight lifted from us. Randy Weston healed us like no other performer at an essential moment of anguish. Eternal thanks and peace.

Three picks:

This is your prime starting spot. Little Niles, Live at the Five Spot and (esp.) Uhuru Afrika are masterpieces. Uhuru changed my head forever in that I heard jazz as African music like never before.

Maybe no surprise, this is the second stop — which shows you how he got to my first pick. Jazz a La Bohemia and Solo, Duo & Trio feature tremendous lineups and not a weak moment of playing.

This is the less-well-known recommendation that keeps exploding and expanding with that collective soul strength. Will make you spin around the room. Play loud.

I think Tanjah was the album that introduced me to Weston, maybe from a review by Robert Palmer. I don’t know how many of his records I own — many, many, many.