Friday, 17 June 2011

Prog Rock & Metal News

Read All Around It

Most mornings, Google News is your excellent first stop shop for all that's happened in the night. The exception is Sunday, when nothing lighter than the dead tree edition of The Sunday Times will satisfy (online access not required, thanks). Truth is, I would still buy that weekly hundredweight of paper if everything except Dan Cairns's new music reviews got blacked out.

For all those other, lesser days of the week, the customizability of the Google News U.K. page* ensures there's always more than enough news, knowledge and gossip on tap. The important step is that customization. My own choice of standard sections, given geography and blogging interests, holds no surprises: World, U.K., Scotland, Glasgow, Sci/Tech, Physics, Astronomy, Space, Computer Security, Video Games, Entertainment, and Rock Music.

If you haven't personalised your Google News page yet, use the Add a section link at the top right to find and add news categories that interest you, and the Edit this page link to organise these, or to delete those of no interest. I'll never forget that enlightened day when my whole life, well my Google News experience anyway, improved tenfold as I finally got rid of those toxic default Business, Sports, Health and Spotlight pages.

The Lost Chord

But there's one more, essential category of update you won't want to be without. I speak obviously of the latest events in the world of progressive metal music. None of the standard supplied pages can quite satisfy the exacting criteria of this specific thirst for knowledge. Despair not, fellow geek headbangers, I bring you good news! Literally. I mean I've created a suitable custom section, based on the simple query "prog rock, progressive metal", which teases out of the Googleplex, just the optimum mixture of attention worthy, classic and modern, metal, prog, and their bastard offsprogs.

On the Add a section page under Search for sections, type progressive metal and hit Search. You should return just one result, titled Prog Rock & Metal; that's my page. Here's a link to its current content:
Never a week goes by without at least one or two interesting developments popping up here, which I haven't yet seen elsewhere. And the page is currently enjoying a great surge in popularity! Last time I checked, I think there were a total of approximately four subscribers. Wow! Clearly this is a phenomenon whose something something now! And just imagine: you can be subscriber number five. That's right, I'm letting you in on the ground floor of this unique opportunity.

You're welcome.

* Actually the BBC News site gets roughly equal time; public service output is an excellent antidote to filter bubbling.

Update (July 18): Yes, in the wake of the phone hacking scandal, my entire extended family and I have now joined the inevitable total boycott of all News International publications. But to my shame, I should have done this many years ago. But for all its faults, crimes, and abuses, still there's nothing out there to approach the quality of The Sunday Times when it's good. Trouble is, we can no longer determine when those times are, and when by contrast, it is being controlled - nay, written - by organised criminals. My Secondary English teacher Mrs Abraitis once enjoined us all to commit to this, then venerable, paper; and as many a raped choirboy might attest, such formative imperatives often cast long shadows.

Today I can only hope that Dan Cairns will move his musical journalism expertise quickly elsewhere.

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