All the Things You Could Be by Now If You Had Joined Substack in the Early Years

(The title above is a riff on Mingus’s “All the Things You Could Be by Now If Sigmund Freud’s Wife Was Your Mother.”)

A significant social media presence and an overstuffed email list are good tools for any independent performing artist.

In addition to gigging, I write, and have to get my words in front of eyeballs (otherwise there’s no point).

What you are reading now, DTM, is central station, I’ve been publishing steadily here for about 18 years. However, ever since blogs went the way of the 33 RPM platter, I have needed to drive traffic to DTM from other apps and websites.

Troubled times, perhaps. Facebook seems old-fashioned, Instagram is mostly pictures, and Twitter has been roiling with uncertainty since Elon Musk’s recent acquisition. Some commentators predict the sharp decline of these social media giants.

I have built up a significant Twitter following, so would be very sorry to see it go if it implodes, but at least I’ll still have my Substack, Transitional Technology, which has a respectable membership, over 4000 subscribers. I haven’t done so much interacting with my subscribers at TT, mainly because I am so active on FB and Twitter, but I promise to start responding to comments and questions at my Substack if the threads take off.

Sign up is free, although Substackers who pay are definitely financing my quasi-long form content at this point. I occasionally think about knocking off the deep dives, for things are going well on the career front, and I’ve been writing about jazz and crime fiction for so long…

I’m still doing it, thanks to Substack. Within the last two months I’ve written substantially on Steve Lacy/Don Cherry, Gary Bartz/Charles Tolliver, Kenny Wheeler, and Peter Straub. As long as I have a paying audience, I’ll keep going.

I joined Substack when it was very new, mainly to have a solid vendor for bulk email. Apparently this was the right horse to back, for the company has only gotten more visible over time. Indeed, the amount of good music writing to be found on Substack these days recalls the early fun days of the jazz blogosphere.

Vinnie Sperrazza is a terrific drummer, and his new Substack is called CHRONICLES. 

Vinnie promises articles on:

1) Sanctified Dreams: A look at the music and context of the four albums released in 1988 which featured Joey Baron, Tim Berne, Bill Frisell, and Hank Roberts 

2) A Listener’s Guide To Lifetime: a complete guide to the music of Tony Williams from 1969-1980

3) Volition: Ralph Peterson On Record, 1984-1993

4) Who Invented Free Jazz Drumming? 

5 Alas Yeah No: Jim Black and Chris Speed, 1999-2010

6) An in-depth look at Chano Pozo

7) Zutty Singleton and Baby Dodds: Early Jazz Piano Trio 

8) Celebrating JMT Records 

9) Instrumental Pop Hits, 1945-2000. “There are a lot more than we realize”

Lewis Porter’s Playback is publishing some astonishing things. Yeah Lewis!!!

I’m a big fan of Roz Milner on Music.

Nate Chinen is currently perhaps the most visible jazz critic (thankfully maestro Chinen has good taste) and puts longer musings at The Gig.

Jeff Sultanof dives deep into midcentury American (love Jeff on people like Nelson Riddle).

Phil Freeman of Burning Ambulance cuts a wide path, I’m looking forward to Freeman’s upcoming book on Cecil Taylor.

Ted Gioia, the Honest Broker, is the most successful music Substacker. Ted’s unique and powerful insights, especially into the business, have gone viral far outside the jazz community.