22 May 2013

We promise you a hearty welcome, and a loving greeting, and a health as true as your own right hand

Welcome, comrades, to Secret Society’s new inter-web locus! We bid you enjoy the hospitality of our reconditioned residence!

This redesign has been a long time coming, as the original Secret Society website (b. September 29, 2005) had gotten rather long in the tooth. In point of fact, it had the distinct whiff of a TypePad blogging template circa 2005, slightly tweaked by someone with no design skills to speak of (i.e., yrstruly) — which is in fact exactly what it was. So this new incarnation of the Secret Society site is actually less “redesign” than just straight-up “design.”

Said design is courtesy of longtime friend of the Society, Travis Williams, who was also responsible for the Infernal Machines album art. I am also greatly indebted to Greenleaf Music’s Jim Tuerk, who oversaw all the finicky details of the design’s implementation and conversion to WordPress — the ubiquitous, open-source “content management system” that provides the tools for the unskilled user (again, yrstruly) to maintain and update the site.

[Did you know that WordPress version numbers are named after jazz musicians? This site is currently running WordPress 3.5, AKA “Elvin.”]

You’ll note that while the content has been re-arranged somewhat, we’ve managed to preserve (at least for now — see below… ) the entire 7-year archives of the original TypePad-based site, including — for good or for ill — the comments. This includes such vintage, back-in-the-day posts as Like I’m blowin’ on a sax, blowin’ my gats (AKA “The Top 4 Most Tolerable Rock Sax Solos of All Time”), I am fused just in case I blow out (listening to Jim McNeely’s East Coast Blow Out with Ethan Iverson), and Don’t listen to them suckas when they say you too irrational (notating and feeling so-called “irrational” rhythms).

These ones are keepers, but not everything is. The archives are in dire need of trimming and I’m eventually going to pare away the old stuff that’s not of lasting interest.

That philosophy also applies to the LIVE RECORDINGS section. I’ve narrowed things down from what was once obsessive, exhaustive documentation to a manageable number of tracks from selected live shows that either capture great performances with reasonable sound quality, or have a special vibe that transcends a less-than-stellar recording (i.e., the Littlefield show). The emphasis is on tracks that don’t appear on either of our official releases, though I’ve included some of those as when I heard something distinctive in the live version. As part of the new site launch, the Boston MFA live tracks are being released today for the first time.

Also, if you haven’t visited our SHEET MUSIC section recently, you might not be aware that scores and parts for all seven tracks from Infernal Machines are now available. Scores are always free to download, and if you’re looking to perform this music with your own ensemble, complete sets of parts for each work are reasonably priced and available for instant digital delivery.

For those of you who still cling fast to your RSS readers (and god bless you, every one), we have a new feed — click the RSS icon in the footer or on our CONTACT page to update your subscription.

We’ve made every effort to ensure that the site is attractive and functional across all browsers, platforms, and screen sizes, including mobile devices. But if you notice something on your personal setup that looks off or isn’t working correctly, please let us know and we’ll do our best to address it.

So, now that I have this fancy new site, I do hope to be posting here with greater frequency. I know that’s a tune you’ve all heard before… and I admit that it’s been harder for me to summon the motivation to devote scarce time and energy to blogging since social media started sucking up all of the oxygen in the room. (Speak of the devil, you do follow us on Facebook and Twitter, yes?) However, it remains true that if you’ve got something substantial to say, blog posts are still one of the very best ways to say it, so don’t be surprised to find some serious nerdery in this space before too long.

Once again, a hearty welcome to the new Secret Society HQ!

Be seeing you…