Jul 282010

Musicians, venues, and promoters too

NoC Music Staff

For the past year, the music staff of this newspaper has sought to provide the community with consistent, insightful coverage of local musicians, and it has largely done so. Former Music Editor Nick Kidd had much to do with the establishment of the music page as a useful community resource, with informative, concise show previews, album reviews, and occasional features on some aspect of the Lexington scene.

But Nick has now left the paper, gone to seek his fortune in Austin, Texas, and now we sense a bit of a void here in the NoC offices. For the past year we relied on Nick’s familiarity with the local music scene to fill the page devoted to it; even in the leaner fortnights he always had something to write about, and usually some up-and-coming act the gray-hairs at the top of the masthead had never heard of.

Easing our befuddlement is the appointment of longtime contributor Megan Neff to the editor’s desk, who knows what’s going on in a way that the rest of us don’t. And while change is often scary, we’re positive people, and we see this situation as an opportunity for real growth. Yes, we think we can do even better. But we need your help. More to the point, we need your stuff: your music, your calendars, your press kits, your very souls if you’ll give ’em. Or at least a web link. We need this stuff because we need to know who you are in order to write about you.

In addition to expanding our knowledge of who’s who around town, we also want to get a better grasp of who’s where; it’s easy to get the lowdown on the next band at Buster’s, but not all shows are quite as well publicized. So venues, be you big, small, loud, quiet, or just kind of smelly, let us know who’s on your stage on which nights, and we’ll do what we can to get a few more bodies through the door.

Of course we can’t get everything in that we’d like to, as we have just the one page, but we’ll try our best to give a bit of column space to everyone who asks for it. And if you don’t get what you want the first time, pester us. Not overly, you know, but at least keep in touch.

We have a new vision as well. The head dude of this newspaper, Danny Mayer, recently whipped out from his satchel a copy of Athens, Georgia’s alternative weekly Flagpole, flung it on the conference table, and bellowed, “now this is the sort of music coverage we should shoot for!”

“Stories analyzing the cultural significance of Bill Berry’s eyebrows? That sort of coverage?” It wasn’t clear who’d muttered it.

“No,” Mayer roared, “the hipness! The style! The je ne sais quoi! When I was in college, not that long ago, this was the source for finding out what shows to see!”

The Features Editor raised her hand and in a helpful tone said, “I think that kids these days just use the internet.” The room murmured its assent, but el jefe was unmoved. He wanted us to become the Village Voice. Of the Bluegrass. The old Voice, before it got too corporate. Rolling Stone before all the blow. The way things used to be.

Now, you have to understand that Mayer’s taste in music, which is the product of a blissful world in which Gordon Lightfoot is still “current” and MP3 files are kind of scary, colors his perception of what local music journalism should be.  Nevertheless he is our leader, though he be as Luddite as the day is long, and you know what? We’re gonna do what he wants, because we agree with him. There’s still a place for print publications in local music coverage.

So that’s it, then: send us your stuff and we’ll get the ball rolling. Where to? If it’s electronic, send it to music@noclexington.com. Kicking it old school? Mail it to 430 N. Martin Luther King, Lexington, KY 40508. We look forward to hearing from you.

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