I've been bear-hugged by Gnarls Barkley's Cee-Lo Green. Talked politics with Toby Keith. Sat with Norah Jones just weeks after her multi-platinum debut dropped and killed a pint of Bushmills with AC/DC singer Brian Johnson.
All of this went down during the past decade while writing for Florida publications including Creative Loafing Tampa Bay
, the alt-weekly that employed me as chief music critic through 2007-08. In 2009, my artist interviews, record reviews, etc., have run in publications nationwide including OC Weekly
sister papers Miami New Times
, New Times Broward-Palm Beach
, Denver Westword
and Dallas Observer
Musicians are an interesting bunch--I love telling their stories, whether it's about the rigors of rehearsing in a 100-degree, abandoned warehouse or the perks of playing 20,000-capacity sheds. I appreciate songs that hit me on a gut level, bring a manly tear to my eye, blow my mind or melt my face.
I'm old school with a massive CD collection that spans Billie Holiday to Bob Dylan to the Coup to Regina Spektor and so on. Lately, I have been rocking the new Wolfmother, or whatever piques my interest on KCRW. I'm thrilled to be covering Orange County and Long Beach's vibrant music scene--and living in an awesomely ancient bungalow on the Balboa Peninsula.
In the near future look for a slew of daily and weekly blog features geared toward making Heard Mentality the fun, interesting and informative spot to which any self-respecting local music fan should flock. Look for improvements to the print product's music section, as well.
What would YOU like to see more of?
Please leave a comment or shoot me an email. I'm told if I provide people with a product they value I'll get to continue living here in Southern California, which I'm already convinced is as close to paradise as anywhere this former Pennsylvanian, Floridian and Coloradoan has ever called home.
To celebrate my first day as Music Editor at OC Weekly I assembled a little playlist. So, enjoy. Or at least don't laugh. There will be many more playlists, Top 10 tallies and other fresh stuff I hope you like on the way.