Some of you may have fond memories of the late-'90s website Bird Lives, a proto-blog whose pseudonymous propreitor, the Pariah, used to tell wild, off-color stories of the dark side of the jazz recording industry. The site was regarded as the jazz world's Drudge Report -- and rightly so, even if my perspective as an industry publicist at the time made it clear to me that things far seedier than what the Pariah reported were happening every day.
A number of executives were rubbed the wrong way; some even threatened legal action. Eventually, the Pariah stopped having fun. And after September 11, his priorities changed, and the site faded away.
News arrived today that Bird Lives has been reactivated. Bret Primack -- a gentle soul and a self-designated pariah no more -- is sharing some of the valuable work he's been doing in video production, podcasting and archiving. Many of you will remember one of his most recent projects: the amazing video collection he assembled to celebrate Sonny Rollins's 76th birthday last September, hosted on the website he operates for Rollins.
A purpose of still greater nobility has motivated Bret's public reappearance: a video tribute to the late Michael Brecker, including footage of a performance by Brecker, Joe Lovano and David Liebman at Birdland, culled from a webcast Bret produced for the defunct website Jazz Central Station, as well as his own endearing reminiscences and the occasional quirky interjection.
Bret's sharing a bounty of goodies on his site and at YouTube; he also links to some of his favorite YouTube sightings, including clips of Groucho Marx and Lord Buckley, the Dalai Lama and Hunter S. Thompson. Welcome back, Bret.
Having mentioned Brecker, I should add that a public memorial has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 20 at Town Hall in New York City. The event runs from 6pm to 7:30pm, everyone is welcome, and it's first-come, first-seated. Doors open at 5:15pm.
Orthodox - Gran Poder (Southern Lord)
Striborg - Nefaria/A Tragic Journey Towards the Light (Southern Lord)
Nachtmystium - Nachtmystium (Battle Kommand); Instinct: Decay (Battle Command/Southern Lord)
Wold - Screech Owl (Profound Love)
Obscurus Advocam - Verbia Daemonicus (Battle Kommand/Southern Lord)
(just that kind of day, I guess.)