Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The new job is interesting. It's not what I'm used to doing--I've worked only in one office (two different times), and each time my at-work hours were generally of less consequence than the actual output. As long as the section was done on time and efficiently, things were cool, and mostly it was. This is a different animal: It's pretty informal and not suit-and-tie corporate, but it's still closer to that than what I did before, certainly including freelancing. In a sense, it's a challenge--I'm a night owl by nature, and while I've gotten in every day at a reasonable enough time I can still be more consistent there. It's also different from the Weekly in the sense that where half that staff was editorial and the other half sales (in feel if not numbers), here the ed. staff is three people (though other, non-editors sometimes contribute writing). I have to think about things like numbers a lot more than I did before, and after five weeks I'm able to do it more easily. Especially as someone who was very staunch about separating ads and editorial, it's a switch. But there's surprisingly little pressure considering it all--as long as I'm coming up with ideas and getting things done (and I'm doing both), it gets easier.

So does living in New York again, which I didn't really miss that much the last year, year-and-a-half I was in Seattle. I'm not surprised that I like being here again--it went pretty much the way I expected it might, a couple weeks of readjustment and some minor panic here and there followed by settling into a groove. Not with the job so much, but with the fact of being here, the instantaneity of it compared to Seattle. I've been in the same house in two different rooms since mid-March, and I'll be moving at the end of April, before the Pop Conference, into somewhere smaller, but I've always felt fairly adaptable as far as environments go, so it shouldn't be a problem. Mostly it'll be a matter of remembering to get some reading done that isn't online.

Had drinks with some Voice-affiliated folks, though not Chuck, last night after the news hit. It's pretty ugly and, to my eye, stupid, though I wish his replacement the best of luck. Today I picked up the new Spin and it looks like Us Weekly, which I don't read. It doesn't bode well for people who want to think about music seriously, write about it the same way, be guided by people who encourage and can help shape that thinking, and have it available for a general audience. I'd throw "and get paid for it" in there too, but as concerned as I am for my friends who are out of work (more and more, lately) and as grateful as I am to actually make a living doing this, where the work itself is going sort of overrides it, y'know?

This and other recent posts have been less than personable. Wish I could promise more than "this will (probably) change soon."

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Come back, Kanye, all is forgiven. I mean, at least Jayson Blair compared himself to a slave and left it at that. (Do not get me started on the age-discrimination bit unless you would like to hear me snort very, very loudly.)

Friday, April 14, 2006

New Streets: Musically, this connected right away, which should probably make me suspicious since it took me at least four listens for me to even like the first two. He’s clearly gotten a bit lazy lyrically, not to mention conceptually. But he’s still highly personable—so much so that I don’t mind the star-complaint bits nearly as much as I expected to. The single sounds better on the album, as usual. I don't feel this way, but I could see someone who was never arrested by his persona thinking this is his best.

Step aside from the past couple months' worth of brouhaha over Voice controversy and you might notice that Tom Breihan's blog for them contains some of the most consistently sharp music writing around. Instead of courting controversy or passing off in-jokes as insights, Breihan just puts his head down and consistently nails his targets, from describing Gogol Bordello as "basically the Decemberists if they'd had their formative experiences having sex and going to hardcore shows instead of cuddling and analyzing the lyrics to Out of Time" to pinpointing the Annie/indie perplex. Because Breihan's affable-not-prickly, he doesn't piss nearly as many people off as he might, and as a result no one says shit about it. Consider this my small attempt to amend that.