Sunday, April 04, 2010

On being a writer

Playing right now: Satoko Fujii's Mado - Desert Ship

I was emailing with a fellow music writer a few days ago. This is a guy who's been writing about music for ages. As an example, I recently pulled out the Verlaines' Bird Dog (from 1988) and said writer's byline was among the clips in the press kit that included reviews of previous albums. (More to come on that album in an upcoming post.) Suffice to say this is someone that I sort of look up to, or even envy.

The reason we were writing was that I bemoaning the trouble of getting paid for some freelance gigs, and he agreed, even going on to say that he recently filled out an application at a Home Depot. Maybe he was joking around, but I kind of doubt it.

Wow, I thought. After 20-some years, it's come to this. A guy who's a vet in the industry, who could write rings around most young buck writers half his age (and he does) might have to take a job at a Home freakin' Depot. Nothing against that store. Hell, I was there today. But it's a sad state of affairs for music journalism that a guy of that high caliber can't make a living by writing about music anymore. Where does that leave a mid-level or sub-mid-level yutz like me? Maybe I have it okay with my retail job and my occasional freelance gigs.

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