Sunday, September 14, 2008

Being a LIKEABLE writer

Going into an industry where writers are facing criticism from the artists they wish to interview can be very intimidating. Take for instance, three well-known artists that I would personally love to interview: The Academy Is…, Panic! At the Disco, and Paramore.

On their album “Almost Here,” The Academy Is… present a song, “Black Mamba” focused entirely on attacking music critics. Some stand out lyrics being, Oh, mister magazine/ I never wrote one single thing for you/ or your so called music scene/ they don’t mean a thing to me. Along with This is the voice that I was given/ and if you don’t like it/ take a long walk off of the shortest pier you can find. What I would like to point our to Mr. William Beckett, front-man of the group and lyricist is that journalists aren’t all nasty. Some of us, myself very much included, are even –gasp- fans! In fact, if all works out in my favor, I will be seeing TAI perform at the beginning of November. If they perform well, which- in my experience of seeing them in the past- they have, I will give them a good review. If they perform below my expectations, they are right- those are MY expectations, but it is my job to inform an audience of readers so that they can form their own opinions.

Similarly, Panic! At The Disco, who are more familiarly known as such, but have recently dropped the “!” in their name, target criticism through lyrics. On their album, “A Fever you Can’t Sweat Out,” the following lyrics can be found: The weather today/ is slightly sarcastic with a good chance of/ A.) indifference / or B.) disinterest in what the critics say. To this I would respond first with applause for the cleverness of the utilizing of a media’s weather reporting style to criticize the media itself. Secondly, I would say that we as journalists are not out to criticize, but to inform. Point is, make good and worthwhile music and you will not get negative feedback.

More recently, on Paramore’s “Riot!” media has been criticized through the following lyrics: It takes acquired minds to taste this wine… so we don’t need the headlines/ no we don’t want your headlines/ we just want/ we want the airways back… To this I respond: Hayley Williams, I admire you for coming into this industry young, female, and amazing- you are truly an inspiration for so many and very well should be, so thank you. Next, I will say this: we who are working in the field of music writing are among those "acquired minds," else we would not have half the desire to work in the industry. "Big media" is the issue here, not those of us who are music lovers writing for music lovers about music we love. Headlines are not a bad thing. My whole desire to be a music writer is to bring worthy artists to the forefront, artist who could inspire those who find them through such headlines. So, I'm down with you Paramore, let's bring the passion back to the airways - writer and artist together!

This is mostly what we as music writers and artists within the music industry need to realize: we can work together to change and better the industry. To finish, I will quote The Bouncing souls:
Where's the passion gone in our hearts?
Lost somewhere in the grind
It's time to bring it back
It's time to unwind
Find what we lost
It's time
It's time to bring it back


Friday, September 12, 2008

First Blog and Exciting News!!!

My journalism professor and academic advisor, Professor Robert Stewart, advised us students to set up blogs to set ourselves apart from the mass-media-working hopefuls. Who would have thought that all the former blogs I have had in which I have simply vented my feelings, posted angsty poetry, or reviewed - in full detail- My Chemical Romance shows could have been used for something useful? Not that those things weren't useful to me, and not that those reviews couldn't be seen by someone important and exciting, but... I learn something new every day that I am here: new information to not only advance my chances of getting work, but to help me understand exactly what it is into which I am getting myself.

I want to be a journalist- a music journalist to be exact. I want to be a link between fan and band and have the privelage and honor to delve into their artistic views. We learned that the main function of journalism is to make sense of our world for our audience. In the tiny world that is the music industry, I would be working to show the fans exactly what is happening with the artists they love. I, having had experience in this myself, could even be the means through which someone finds a musical artist who changes that person's life.

Now, to my exciting news!

Roughly a half hour ago, I ended a phone call with the editor of the webzine for which I write. In this conversation she gave me many pieces of advice and counseled me in the way of the "rock star," because I am now the co-editor of the 'zine and will be working much more closely with said "rock stars." Our webzine is becoming serious now. After issues with badly edited, sometimes mediocre content, we're going to get serious. Our website went down due to a quitting designer, we had quitting writers, abundant personal crisis, but we're still going, and are going to come back stronger than ever. I provided a link above to us above-- Mayhem Rock Magazine.

This makes me think of the chapter we had to read for our first class of Journalism 101 in which it critisized citizen-journalism and how it could be detrimental to the journalism industry. But, to that, I must ask this: in an industry where experience, experience, EXPERIENCE is the key, is it so bad for an aspiring journalist to work as a writer and one who provides the audience with needed information? If we have no means to get the experience that we need is it bad to start our own experiences? And does not every magazine, newspaper, or radio station had to have started somewhere?