Because I felt like
being a good person doing something constructive with my time that did not involve posting bullshit about Val Kilmer, I volunteered as a Web writer for KDHX. I went to the orientation, gave someone my Top 5 Bands and Top 5 Most Recent Music Purchases*, and then I received my first assignment on Sunday night. The deadline was tomorrow.
It was at that moment, contemplating the possibility of writing something about a band I’d never heard of before in a span of three quick days, that I experienced a familiar feeling. It was the feeling I get when I realize that I’ve gotten myself into something I might not be able to handle, not because I’m a generally incapable person, but because I didn’t stop to think that I have no idea what I’m doing.
Oh, sure, I can write (well, that’s debatable, but what are you reading this for, anyway?). And sure, I can listen to music. But can I write about music? Do I even know the first fucking thing about it other than sometimes I like the way it sounds? Uh, nope, not really. I can’t read music in the same way that I can’t do calculus; I’ve tried, okay? People have stood before me and attempted to teach me the concept, and in some cases, because I went to Catholic school, tried to beat the information into my head. But I remain deaf, dumb, and blind, totally not comprehending this bizarre language right in front of my face. I am a musical and mathematical retard.
So it was with some trepidation that I Googled this band and made a sad effort to eke out some sort of interpretation of what I heard. I scribbled one note. Then another. Then a few more, and eventually I had paragraphs, and then I was counting the words, and then I was asking Courtney to proofread it for me because she has the kind of brain that I was not lucky enough to receive (for the record, I also asked Matt but he never got back to me). After making a couple of small adjustments, I sent the article off two days ahead of the deadline.
Yesterday, it was posted. Nearly as is, too; the only major change is that the last paragraph got moved up to the lede, which makes perfect sense but I didn’t know if the other articles were prefaced by editor’s notes or what. So…next time, I guess. I also got some very good feedback from the editor guy, who is either extremely generous with compliments or he’s actually being sincere (and I hope the latter, because his e-mail was the nicest thing I’ve read all week):
“…The writing is crisp and graceful, with a real feel for rhythm and clarity. You balance description and factual information beautifully. This is just the kind of writing we are looking for…overall this was a terrific piece of music writing and a real pleasure to read.”
HA. How do you like me now? My favorite part was “crisp and graceful,” which no part of me has ever been called in my whole life, probably because I stomp around like a drunk T-Rex most of the time. For the record, I am not always drunk. I’m just tall and have developed poor depth perception.
Tonight I’m going with Stephanie to see My Heart Is An Idiot, both because I loved the Found show from whenever (I can’t find it in my archives so maybe it didn’t even exist) and because it would be nice to cringe at someone else after the week I’ve had. And it’s only Thursday.
*Top 5 Bands:
1. Tom Waits
2. The Rolling Stones
3. Bob Dylan
4. Guns N’ Roses
5. Amanda Palmer (involvement in the Dresden Dolls, Evelyn Evelyn included)
Top 5 Most Recent Music Purchases:
1. Only Just Beginning, Jason Webley
2. Shell Games, Bright Eyes
3. The Hoople, Mott the Hoople
4. Vivian Girls, Vivian Girls
5. Party Store, the Dirtbombs