But in the meantime, these thoughts and a lot of other random tangents and feels have got me thinking on this most introspective of months. If you’re a regular reader of the mag then it should come as no shocker to you that I have zero formal training in the journalistic arts, aside from what I’ve learned putting this rag together every month. So sometimes I find myself asking questions that I can only assume are covered in most Journalism 101 classes. But like I said, I never took any of those, so allow me to theorize, conjecture and simply ask more questions than I answer.
For instance, it’s funny how people think of the media sometimes as the other other service industry. There are times, in fact, when I feel more like a maitr d’ than an editor, fielding “reservations” for our cover from a band who’s just assumed they’ve “earned” it. Or, complaints come in that certain bands don’t deserve certain coverage while others (namely yours) deserves more—or even in the case of last month’s Not Enough Fest coverage, where someone complained because they were the cover… Man, fuck! Navigating scene politics is my least favorite part of this job and sometimes it seems like there’s no pleasing anybody.
It always gets me thinking about how people view AG’s place in the world (and most media, for that matter); it makes me wonder things like: are we in fact, here to serve you? Do bands and artists owe us something—or do we owe them? Are we engaging in our own creative endeavor or just leeching on to other people’s hard work and vision, regurgitating it all back up to you, claiming it as our own? If Antigravity was a DJ, would we take requests? Most importantly: is our half of this relationship a deal or a favor?
But look, it’s cool: hearing everyone’s wishes, critiques, suggestions, pitches and even outright disdain and disapproval is part of our job here and it definitely comes with the territory. I’d rather hear from you than not, so always always feel free to speak up.
Well, enough pondering for this partiest of all months. June’s issue is a great way to celebrate year nine at AG HQ , as we get to catch up with longtime pals of the magazine Ballzack and Odoms. Funny, one complaint we used to receive is that AG covered them too much. But in all honesty, Ballzack and Odoms were such a part of those early, formative years (and as I’ve mentioned before, it was Rami who introduced me to Leo in that wistful pre-Katrina era) that it’s kind of mind- blowing to revisit them almost a decade later, everyone a little wiser and a little chubbier, but still stupid as the fuck. In our January issue, Evan Spigelman said that he liked to play Hedwig every few years to check in with himself as an actor, and I guess with Ballzack and Odoms it’s kind of the same for me. They have always been gracious enough to let me apply my craft to their craft, whether as an amateur film-maker, an attempt at a record label or finally now, as writer and subject. I appreciate them letting me tag along all these years.
There’s plenty of other tomfoolery in this anniversary issue, from reliving last month’s Hangout Fest and looking forward (and upward) to Bonnaroo, to shredding it up for National Go Skateboarding Day. We’ve even got a little light BDSM and E Willy P’s reflection on his recently deceased father. Pain and pleasure, death and life… Yep, what a mess of a magazine! We could be doing this for decades or days… sometimes it’s hard to tell, so why bother? I’m going to take a cue from our buds in Portugal. The Man and wrap this thing up. At nine years old, the only thing to really do is open a bunch of presents and eat a ton of cake.
Happy Birthday, us.