A little while ago I decided it would be great fun to make my living as a music journalist. So, I reduced my hours at work, got my friend to make me a website, and then sat on my arse for a bit, occasionally throwing some hyperbole in the direction of friends’ bands when they needed a press release and I needed fifty quid.
My bank manager told me that this probably wasn’t a fantastic way to go about my career, which kinda rang true when this one time I couldn’t afford to eat, plus I felt like my creativity was being stifled by THE MAN when I was advised to edit my musings on Gomez’s fourth album down from 8000 words to a meagre 250. I couldn’t work in those chains, dude.
As I type this, I’m installing Freekly on my PC. It’s currently talking to my iTunes about the influence of Pink Floyd on Radiohead and wondering why I have so much Sufjan Stevens that I never listen to. Then, in a minute, it’ll head on down to the Rock’s Backpages archives and email me some cool shit to read. And then next week it’ll send me some more cool shit to read. And the week after that too. And if I decide I’m going to suddenly get really into freeform jazz from the 1930s, it will keep in touch with my iTunes and send me articles that smell of smoke and Brasso.
Not really. I made that Brasso bit up. But whatever the cool shit smells like, it will remain free, because it has already been written and printed and enjoyed and archived. Just not by me. Rock and roll in its many forms and derivatives has been around for umm… *counts on fingers* 54 years (at least) and I’m guessing I haven’t read everything about it yet. So who cares if there aren’t so many music journalists around anymore? There’s plenty to catch up on before I panic.
There are people looking at things from another angle though, and while I hate to be cynical about the publication of Loops, it’s hard to look at any music publication that’s partly funded by a record label, albeit an indie (in this case, Domino) and take declarations about “disregarding release schedules and PR copy” without a massive great big rock of salt. Still, this bi-annual publication of “tour diaries” and “think pieces” is set to include stuff by Kitty Empire, Simon Armitage, Hanif Kureishi and Colin Greenwood so, in embracing another cliché, I may yet eat my beanie. Can’t wait for the 8000 word re-evaluation of In Our Gun by Gomez. I tell you, it’s overdue.
(Ha! My first Freekly has arrived! First article on offer? Terry Staunton talks to Gomez for Uncut in 1998. :D)