In one of the more interesting blog concepts we've run across lately, the NY Times has opened up it's log-in portals to musicians who want to contribute editorially with a section called Measure For Measure. This week features a great article by one Suzanne Vega entitled "Tom's Essay": "The curious legend of "Tom's Diner" - how an a capella ditty became a hit single and, eventually, a key component in the development of the MP3."
The Times prefaces the section with an intro which reads: "With music now available with a single, offhand click, it's easy to forget that songs are not born whole, polished and ready to play. They are created by artists who draw on some combination of craft, skill and inspiration. The contributors to this blog pull back the curtain on the creative process as they write about their work on songs in the making." And along with Vega, past contributors have included Andrew Bird, Rosanne Cash and Jeffrey Lewis among others. Vega's column is quite personal, including endearing anecdotes about her family and friends. At one point she explains a journalistic mishap which resulted in her mom being "outed" as a jazz musician.
"So never mind the bizarre rumors that persist about my mom being a jazz guitarist, which came from one journalist who asked if I was from a musical family. I told her my stepfather played the guitar, and my mother played jazz around the house. Meaning records. The journalist then invented this image of my mom as a jazz guitarist and published it far and wide, and unfortunately it has been set up as fact by many different Web sites. Thank goodness for Wikipedia. It doesn't bother my mother, though. She says, I'll take some lessons and have a comeback!'"