Houston Calling

This year I resolve to…

January 5th, 2006 · 1 Comment

Much of my 2005 was spent listening to music for other people — Splendid Magazine (link) kept me very busy cranking out at least three reviews a week (not counting revisions and feature articles), and my work for other magazines (Swizzle-Stick and Space City Rock, mainly) suffered as a result. Now that Splendid can R.I.P., I plan to concentrate more on listening to music for me. Selfish? Sure. But one thing you should understand is that writing about music can sometimes take the pleasure out of it, especially when a lot of what you’re listening to is pure crap.

And that’s just wrong.

Splendid‘s policy of reviewing everything the magazine received was ultimately its downfall — it had nine good years, but the fact that I could record an “album” in my bathroom and submit it to the magazine for review meant that there was a lot of rubbish that reviewers *had* to listen to and devote their time to in order to form some critical analysis. In my opinion, it started to take up too much of my time. Let’s be honest — I have a full-time job that doesn’t involve writing or listening to music, so my time outside of the office is precious. In the just over a year or so that I wrote for him, Splendid‘s editor was kind enough to take time to help me become a better writer (in my opinion, at least), so that is good. I owe him that. But I was spending way, way too much time on reviews for Splendid (which only paid in CDs, most of which — as I have said already — didn’t merit more listens) and basically ignored local opportunities such as Houston Press, among others.

For the past couple of months, I have been writing for the music section of local magazine Envy (I am sure you’ve seen it around town — pick one up next time and the time after that and the time after that). I am pleased with the results so far — Tody Castillo’s interview with The American Analog Set’s Andrew Kenny was key, even though they didn’t use Castillo’s photo and attributed the interview to me and not him. Hopefully, there will be an interview with Explosions in the Sky’s drummer in the upcoming January issue (should be out this week).

So, long story short…

The music I listen to this year will be things I want to listen to. If I buy an album, chances are I will write about it (and believe me, I already have a pile started). I will be glad to check out demos, songs, albums, whatever from any local bands that want to send me their CDs — I won’t promise I’ll review everything I receive in 2006 for publication, but I will promise to give it all a proper listen. I still plan to give touring bands that come to Houston a fair shake, and be sure to check out donewaiting’s SXSW coverage for up-to-date info on bands playing there this year.

Hope you enjoy Houston Calling in 2006. I have had a good bit of positive feedback — for that, I am grateful.

2005 Favorites

Don’t let 2006 begin without checking out the great music 2005 had to offer. In case you missed it, check out my 20 favorite albums of 2005 and my 20 favorite independent Houston releases of 2005.

If you know of an album you think I might like, let me know.

Now Playing in My iPod: The Buzzcocks — Singles Going Steady

Tags: Music

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Gary // Jan 6, 2006 at 8:54 pm

    That sounds like a good resolution! Anyway, just wanted to say that you really do a great job with this site.

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