my paternal grandfather passed on when I was very young in the month of October (and on Halloween no less). in the month of October for the last 9 years I've either somehow been ill, incapacitated (unable to walk due to an injury), undergoing chemo, or hospitalised during some time of the month. so October has always a source of apprehension for me.
this year (actually several days ago) I suffered a minor setback with a knee injury that needed IV treatment. (long story, but this China doll may actually be made out of china.) most of my friends online knew about this and were on the whole quiet about it. this could just be Social Networking fatigue, with Facebook, Twitter, and god knows what else is eating up their time. I was more worried about not being able to hobble down 14th Street too well for my interview time with Eddie Argos of Art Brut. I, like everyone else, have my "issues" (but mine are medical related, seem to come up at the most annoying of times and, are always 1,000x more frustrating than everyone else's) but when it comes to music, I want people to focus on me as the music appreciator, journo, and interviewer.
I did not know I would be in for a nice surprise.
his manager went to go get him from the backstage and he soon appeared. Eddie Argos is a very tall man. it's kind of funny that he is so into comics, b/c given his size, he is larger than life and could easily *be* a superhero. the first thing he asked was, "how is your knee?" I was really taken aback by his concern for my well-being. here is a guy who only knows me by my Twitter name pretty much - and maybe he heard my real name in passing last night before his manager went and got him.
so he had me at "how is your knee?" not v. rock 'n' roll but I am grateful for his concern. I don't think too many rock stars would react the same way. my nerves went away immediately and we had a nice chat about comics and the new Art Brut album. I'm trying to figure out how to convert the .wav of the interview to a smaller .mp3 for the blog and as soon as I do, it'll be online at TGTF.
if I'm being totally honest, the last couple of weeks have been a fun yet strange (sometimes frustrating) journey through the world of music journo-ing. I've cheered on friends when they've played at local venues. I've interviewed some great people in the business and been told to keep doing what I'm doing and keep up the good work, because it will lead somewhere someday. and then I've seen/heard some things that made me gulp and wonder if I'm cut out for this b/c not all that glitters...
I've had to explain to several close friends (girls) what I've been doing and been called a "groupie" for it. I'm not sure how I got through those social situations without having a barney with them and yelling, "get it into your thick skull that I'm not a groupie, I'm a journo!" when it happened, I took the high road by leaving the party, rolling down the windows of my car, putting on a CD made by a trio of guys from a town north of London - you know which ones I'm talking about - and singing along to their songs at the top of my lungs all the way home.
I'm not a feminist in the traditional sense, so you won't be getting a tirade from me on the oppressed female in the workplace or whatever else feminists like to talk about. what I will say is that so far, I guess I have been lucky that only a couple times did I feel uncomfortable about being a woman journo in the company of men in power in the business, because as I'm sure you probably know, many of the PRs and managers in the music world are men. some of them I'm sure feel a bit dubious when I approach them for the purposes of blogging. which I understand is a knee-jerk reaction b/c yes, I give that some women get into this line of work to have an "in" with their favourite bands. but...to be fair, there are fangirls and fanboys. fandoms don't have gender lines.
I just want people to take me seriously. two from the aforementioned trio of guys from a town north of London appeared slightly standoffish at the beginning of my interview with them 5 months ago but quickly melted when they realised I'd done my homework and knew much about them, so much that I could ask them intelligent questions. I think bands appreciate anyone, guy or girl, who takes the time to really think about what to ask them instead of asking them the same generic questions that newspapers and magazines would ask. and that's what I have always endeavoured to do since I started doing this months ago.
anyhoo, this related back to Eddie Argos b/c he reminded me that rock stars - well, the normal ones anyway - are just like you and me. and on the whole, they will be nice to you because you're doing them a favour - promoting them, and they're doing you a favour - for your career. win-win. what not so nice things have happened to me or I've heard/seen lately, those are just blips on the radar. and at the end of the day, what I'm doing is for the love of music. and I can't forget that. thank you Eddie Argos for making me see the light. I salute you.
oh, and should you be interested (and you should if you know what's good for you!), I've scheduled the Art Brut gig review piece to post tomorrow at 14.00 GMT at TGTF. catch it possums!