Thursday, March 18, 2010

Apparently Not Disappeared After All

Despite having been a daily fixture of the blogosphere for damn near three years now, I receive strangely few communications from people wanting to take advantage of my unique ability to reach out to a highly educated, mildly affluent, and stunningly attractive demographic. In particular, I feel bad for all of the publishing companies that have not offered me book contracts, as they are really missing a bet. Dudes! The content is already written!! All you'd have to do is print it, market it, distribute it, and try to keep up with demand!

But I digress. What I was going to say was, it was kind of a special moment for me last week when I got an email from a person actually involved in marketing! Specifically, she is involved in the marketing of Disappear Fear, the band whose record I reviewed last week as part of my Library Book Sale CD Trove series. I referred to the band in the past tense, but it turns out they are still a going concern. According to the bio I was sent, in fact, they are actually a Pretty Big Deal in the folk scene. Nobody ever sent me a bio before!

So, here's what the email said, basically:
On March 9th SONiA & disappear fear released CD # 14, "Blood, Bones and Baltimore" (they are still around and still going strong). You can listen to samples of each song at and hear 3 full songs on . I am attaching a new bio for you. Thanks for blogging and keep in touch.
That actually seems pretty gracious, coming from the management of an act whose output I suggested could be boiled down to three greatest hits from sixteen or seventeen years ago. But then, I guess when you contact powerful blog tastemakers like myself, you need to be upbeat lest we ruin you with a cruel dismissive turn of phrase.

Blood, Bones, and Baltimore* is a pretty cool name for a record, and SONiA** is looking great, rocking some highly natty dreads. They/she are doing a roots-rock sort of dealio on this record, though, and since I am decidedly not into roots rock, I'm not going to be able to gush for you. If you're more rootsy than me, give it a shot. Regardless, it is kind of fun to see her/them doing well. It's like hearing that someone you liked in high school has an incredibly awesome job that makes them famous among people in a certain niche group.

* I know how to use commas in a list, even if whoever calls such shots at Disappear Records doesn't.

** Her name, her capitalization.


Cartophiliac said...

One of the coolest things about my map blogging is that I have had a few publishers actually contact me and ask if they could send me a book.

As in for free!

A couple of them have been really cool books I wanted to write about. The others were in areas I really did not feel qualified to review (I really know nothing about GIS Geographical Information Systems).

The Calico Cat said...

What is "Roots Rock?" Aka Rootsy?
(Indigo Girls?)

sister jen said...

Always a comma before that last "and" (regardless of the used-to-be way of doing it, which isn't an "error" but often creates confusion), but no comma before an ampersand. The name on the album's covers suggests that the error was with the e-mailer.

(I was looking for a "break" from finals week grading, but apparently I'm so far down inside it that I can only comment on the punctuation issue.)

Michael5000 said...

sis: First of all, let me acknowledge to those reading that sister jen is more or less a professional grammarian, and that I, michael5000, am more what you would call "a crank with a blog."

Having said that, I am aware that most authorities consider an omitted final comma in a list regrettable but acceptable. However, I personally consider it not just an error but a fairly serious error that can and often does create confusion for the reader.

I've never heard of the ampersand exemption. Unless you care to brief the issue, I'm gonna say that an ampersand is a symbol for the word "and," and so needs to live or die by the same grammatical logic of that word.

Jenners said...

Cool ... in the dorkiest way possible!

Aviatrix said...

I'm a descriptivist when it comes to grammar, and that second comma is definitely falling out of favour. But you might like this GraphJam on the semi-colon.

sister jen said...

It's all about the symbol, bro. "Comma ampersand" just doesn't look cool. And since an ampersand isn't a word, it doesn't seem like the regular punctuation rules need to apply.

And just to be clear, a grammarian I am not, though I once took a kick-ass grammar class from a strange and wonderful woman at Portland State. I'm a rhetorician--whatever that means.

Aviatrix: I'm not sure I follow; are you saying that it is becoming more common for the comma before the final conjunction to be left out? Interesting! It's exactly the opposite, in my experience. Or did I misunderstand? Or is it specifically in American English?

Well, I've truly exposed myself as a nerd--as if it weren't already obvious.

And bro5000 re: "crank with a blog": How could a mastery of mechanics matter a smidge against the writer who can say "the neighbor girl who is inexplicably attracted to the block of wood who lives next door"? You write like pop rocks!

UnwiseOwl said...

Original research, Aviatrix, or did you source those percentages from somewhere?

mrs.5000 said...

I really feel kind of sorry for poor SONiA's marketing person, who presumably didn't expect to set a match to this powderkeg of punctuation mania.

Aviatrix said...

There's a Canadian lawyer named barbara findlay, whose name might as well be "barbara findlay, who spells her name without capital letters," as that's the way it always appears in the media.

I've known a number of people who spelled their names with unusual capitalization or [foreign letters that look like English letters with] diacritical marks, and it's interesting to see how some people will accept it as an unusual spelling and others can't see that they have written the person's name incorrectly.