Friday, July 11, 2014

Blog update, Me, and Mrs Jones ...

The blog has been a little neglected lately. You may have noticed. Usually I’m pretty anal about regular updates or posts – even if it is just an album review or two to keep things ticking over. But last month was the first time in two full years where everythingsgonegreen fell short of its self-imposed minimum quota of four posts per month. Ah well ...

It isn’t as though your humble blogger hasn’t been busy. So much so, whenever I’ve thought about the blog it’s amounted to a shrug of the shoulders and a ... “nah, can’t really be arsed” (that’s a little voice in my head, not anything I said out loud).
But with a whole raft of real life issues to contend with – a short family holiday, a cancer scare/biopsy, ongoing health dramas for a teenage daughter, the tragic accidental death of a close friend, some DIY, World Cup footy, and the small matter of successfully breaking free of my last remaining addiction (nicotine) – you might say I’ve had a lot on my plate ... and then there’s the day job.

I’ve also started a new relationship with another publication. I’ve been moonlighting. I’ve been seeing “someone else”. Breaking out from the bosom of everythingsgonegreen and contributing words for NZ Musician magazine. That in itself has taken me beyond a comfort zone and presented fresh challenges. When I write album reviews for the blog it’s simple; I ramble ... I have as much space as I like to say whatever I like ... whenever I like ... about whatever album I like. There are no rules and no word count restrictions. I’m the boss of me.

With NZ Musician it’s quite different; I have no idea what album I’ll be sent to review, or even how many. I have to say what I want to say with a maximum of around 300 words, and the brief includes trying to be “positive wherever possible” or to “view it from the angle of the audience it WILL appeal to”. Which is fair enough. It’s a bi-monthly publication with limited space, and whatever else it is it’s a magazine about NZ music for NZ musicians. It pushes the boat out for local content far more than any other “local” music publication currently in print form (say Groove Guide, The Fold, Rip It Up). You could call it “loyal”.

For the most recent edition (June/July) I reviewed new releases from exceptional Wellington-based band Vorn, and Melbourne-based Kiwi rockers Bonjah. I also posed a few questions for a two-page Q&A spread with Vorn Colgan (of Vorn). For the next edition I have a CD/DVD/new release from another Wellington-based musician, a solo artist, and my first impression of that one is that it’s going to be especially hard to stick to the “positive” brief. Thankfully I have a word count to adhere to.
More generally, chatting (online) with members of the small editorial team at NZ Musician has been interesting. The magazine exists only due to the hard work of a few key individuals yet its muso-centric starting point is very unique, and I think that point of difference is actually quite important for the industry here in NZ. It would be great if more outlets stocked it, despite it being readily available around Auckland and the upper North Island, only The Rock Shop and Slowboat Records help out with distribution in Wellington. For a quality glossy pick-me-up, that's a real shame.

So anyway, everythingsgonegreen is back, for now at least. I will upload (on the blog) the work I’ve done for NZ Musician at some stage – but not until the next issue is in circulation, as I guess that gives the magazine some form of interim exclusivity (for what that's worth!). In the meantime I also intend to jot down a few words for the sole benefit of the blog, to get things back on a regular footing, with regular posts.
But I really can’t be sure of that either ...

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