The lion’s share of what I’ve put out in the public domain about myself has to do with music criticism or music commentary. I’ve been writing for Metroland since 1995, and worked on Time Warner’s Sounding Board until it went on (permanent?) hiatus a year or so ago. I liked doing both of those things, because they kept me involved in music and connected with musicians in ways that were more managable than actually making music myself. (I’m not miserable enough to do that anymore).
But since I took over as Director of the Chapel + Cultural Center at Rensselaer a year ago, I’ve found that my desire to review concerts or records or interview rock personages has atrophied to what I once would have considered a scary degree. But I think that’s a good thing, because those night jobs were always mostly about having something good to do to offset less-than-satisfying day jobs. And I like this current job, very much indeed.
I think the key to why this job works so well for me is that I’m still involved with music and musicians in an even more tangible way: by giving them a space to do their thing, and hunting them down and signing them up to do.
My public “reach” is but a fraction of what I had five years ago: on a good night, attendance wise, at the Chapel I probably reach 1/1,000th of the people who read my articles in Metroland, and an even smaller fraction of the people who watched Sounding Board.
But there’s a special tangible satisfaction to making a show happen, and making sure that the performers are well taken care of, and leave feeling reasonably good about their performances. It’s more real, somehow, than flinging words at them that they might, theoretically, use in a press kit that will most likely end up in some interns’ trash can at some other alternative newsweekly in some other city somewhere far from home.
Maybe that’s rationalization, but I know I’m sleeping better than I have in ages, and I like getting up in the morning and going to work. And I’m a pretty lowest common denominator guy about stuff like that: this must be the right thing to be doing if it feels so satisfying.
After a show last night at the Chapel, I went to Denny’s with Jed Davis, Bryan Thomas, Mario Sevayega and assorted friends for late night greasy food and sweets. It was collectively decided that “Boogeyman” is a great band name waiting for a band to claim it . . . . “Boogeyman: The Band That Lives in Your Closet.” Their breakthrough album: “Boogeyman Live at Budokan.” Etc. Get cracking, up and coming young rocksters!