Well, Santa Fe, if you haven’t heard the news, I’ve quit SFR (sorry to
disappoint you, in case you were hoping I was dramatically fired) in
order to move to sunny California. Gasp!
But before you get too excited and start spraying champagne all over one another and rejoicing, or whatever, I have a few thoughts to share.
Right off the bat, I’m going to give myself a teensy bit of credit.
I know, I know—it’s a little conceited, but I can’t help myself. I’d like for you to think about how, over the years, you may not always have agreed with the things I’ve had to say, but I did kind of open up the floodgates for passionate debate.
I never once set out to fuck people over or to pointlessly trash anyone. I did, however, come to fear that living inside the Santa Fe bubble was giving our musicians a false sense of accomplishment.
After all, if we moved all the booze in town to one location that featured kitten murdering as entertainment, that’d be the place people would go.
It became important to me that the musicians and music fans of this town think about the scene in a way that didn’t involve simply praising everything that came down the pike just because it was from here. In any cultural arena, I believe discussion is the key to evolution, and lord knows there was a whole hell of a lot of that.
I also believe that a good music journalist—like a good musician—must have thick skin. After all, both careers are very much in the public eye, and the advent of Facebook brought with it an unprecedented level of accessibility and, in many cases, an utter lack of restraint.
While I’ll admit to a few sleepless nights, thanks to some rather personally malicious comments, I’ve consistently loved that the scene was talking, grumbling, arguing and, most importantly, changing.
The first major clash between us that pops into my head, Santa Fe, is the Gordon Free show review from a few years back (music, Nov. 11, 2009: “Free is Too Much”).
Granted, I may have leaned rather heavily toward the negative, but the thread that followed online was one of the more involved and passionate—not to mention outrageously long—discussions on local music since...well, ever. It was almost as if the scene were split in two, and I think a lot of things that folks had been afraid to say were said.
This taught me a very valuable life lesson: everyone is a critic, but, since I am paid for my opinion, it is clearly more important than anyone else’s. (I jest.)
I also learned that the people of Santa Fe are nuts. There is nothing quite so vexing as receiving a hate letter that tells me I “like things wrong” or, in one case, that “the orb will get you!”
I don’t know what that means either, but I’ve been locking the fuck out of my doors at night ever since.
You’re a strange lot, Santa Fe, but I will always hold a special place in my heart for the bizarre way you operate and the many ways you’ve driven me to the brink of insanity.
At any rate, I’m still going to be here for a few more weeks, so you’ll have to hold your applause ’til then.
It’s been real, friends, and I’ll miss some of you very much...I just hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t write.
To apply to be SFR’s new music writer, send a cover letter, résumé and 3 clips to firstname.lastname@example.org