“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.