Sunday, December 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

The art of music and imaginary bands

By
July 25, 2011 |

“What makes you qualified to be a music critic?” You might be wondering. My ex would tell you I’m extremely critical. But really, it’s a fair question. I don’t play an instrument, I’ve never been in a band or worked in the music industry.

My bachelor’s degree is in art education, with drawing as my forte. My visual art background has helped in music writing. I understand the creative process first-hand. I also know that quality art takes discipline and work. More importantly, I learned that to properly critique you must describe, analyze, interpret and judge.

I’ve always loved writing. My third-grade teacher encouraged me to write and not trip over my Achilles heel — spelling (thank you, spell check!)

Even as a kid, I was enthralled with reviews. I couldn’t get enough. As far back as fifth grade, I daydreamed imaginary bands and created reviews.

Landing The Davis Enterprise gig was not easy. I didn’t get it the first time I applied. Derrick Bang graciously encouraged me to try again. So I did. But I still didn’t get the job! Derrick said I was the runner-up. I felt defeated.

Luckily, third time’s a charm. I started in 2005.

I’ve learned more from my mistakes than anything else. My very first article was of one of my favorite bands, Interpol. I was terrified and excited to interview drummer, Sam Fogarino. But the publicist made a last-minute switch to band leader Daniel Kessler. I was a nervous wreck. My well-researched, Fogarino-specific questions became irrelevant. I don’t know how I pulled through. I probably sounded like a pre-pubescent fan boy.

I completed the article and sent it in. My heart sank when I got an urgent e-mail from Derrick. I had mistakenly written in Q and A style and Derrick had to piece it all together in story form himself. I quickly learned that a) Derrick was a taskmaster and b) the job wasn’t just free albums and concert tickets, it was work.

It’s really a labor of love. I already listen to and read up on countless bands of all types of music. As a critic, and now a blogger, I get to share my thoughts with you. It beats the imaginary bandmates of my childhood.

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Landon Christensen

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