The only hint of discord on what's so far been a lovely vacation is learning that Tim Finney just had a benign tumor extracted. All news is very good, apparently, so we can all breathe a little easier.
I know Tim slightly from ILM, numerous private emails, and the R&B blog assembled by Andy Kellman (which, sadly, seems on sabbatical). His musings on pop and dance music combine the best common sense with un-self-conscious erudition; you sensed his brain humming as he listened. His affective formalism is at its best when he parses the evolution of a singer's emotional state over the course of a song, as he does here in this post about Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke mix of the Killers' "Mr. Brightside" that's much the best thing ever written about it. I wooed him many times to write for Stylus -- his sensibilities and the magazine's would have been a perfect marriage -- but he gave me nothing but polite demurrals. Our discussion earlier this year on Fleetwood Mac's Mirage was an awful tease: I wish we'd done this sort of thing more often.
Maybe his best contributions this year were to this gargantuan thread which, beside fine postings from Al Shipley, Chuck Eddy, and Jess Harvell, is dominated intellectually by Tim in the last third.
Good luck, Tim. Happy holidays.