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So Much to Hear, So Little Time [2/13/2007 05:44:00 PM]:
This "editor/co-publisher" shtick has its perks from time to time. Sure, there're all the moments when I want to rip the hair out of my head because things don't happen when they need to, there's me staggering into work bleary-eyed the morning after the almost-weekly update (yep, I've got a day job, and I like the place, so I don't like being a slacker at it), and the near-constant drone in the back of my head that tells me nobody's paying attention to this shit anyway, so why bother, there's, well, the music.

Being the guy who checks the mail, I'm the person who gets to/has to sort through the pile of envelopes from labels big and small, pulling out all the CDs and CD-Rs and pamphlets and promo materials. And I have to say, it can be kind of a kick. Every mail run's like Christmas -- I get 'em home (sometimes), rip open the packages, and see what the catch looks like, and more often than not, there're at least a couple of albums floating around in there that I've wanted to hear, for one reason or another.

The hard part, really, is what comes next. I then have to/get to listen to every freakin' thing in the stack, good or bad, and try to come up with something to say about it so Space City Rock's crack squad of reviewers can decide whether they want to bother (we don't assign stuff to people here, nuh-uh; it's kinda hard to tell somebody to do something when you, uh, don't have any money with which to pay them for it). A fair amount of the time, it's all "eh." Neither awful nor amazing, just kind of middle-of-the-road, okay-for-what-it-is music. Write it up and pass it out to whoever wants to review it.

Some of the time -- although not as often as you'd think -- it's bad. Bad, bad, B-A-double-D bad, and not bay-ud, like George Thorogood. I'm talking just plain crappy, why-in-the-hell-did-somebody-do-this? horrible. Those are rough; we've received CDs where I had a hard time handing them out for review. I've actually talked people out of reviewing CDs, which is really pretty counterproductive for someone who runs an e-zine based (somewhat) on CD reviews. What can I say, though? I'm not one of those people who can find something good about any chunk of music you give 'em; I'm a firm believer in the idea that time is precious and shouldn't be wasted listening to music that sucks, especially when there's so much good music out there.

Which brings me to the last category. Sometimes I'll plunk a CD in the player, ho-hum, figuring to write a quick summary and move on, and it floors me. It doesn't happen often, it's true, but it's nice when it does. It's moments like that when I want to giggle "Mine, all mine!" maniacally and pretend I never got it so I can swipe it and surreptitiously add it to the CD collection.

Nope, nope, can't do that. Bad, bad, bad. Things need to get reviewed, and I can't review every damn thing that comes across my desk, not even every damn thing I like. It's the Head Honcho's Dilemma: I want all of It, but I sure as hell can't do all It myself, on my lonesome. So I tearfully bid adieu to CDs, send them winging on their way to further waystations along the Road of Rock. Other people review 'em, and sometimes I cringe when they don't get what I would've gotten (and written) about the music (Immaculate Machine, Ladyhawk, I hardly knew ye...). But each writer's got his or her own thing, and I have to respect that.

Anyway. Long meandering glimpse into the solitary, oft-frenzied life of the e-zine publisher over. The reason for my big long sideways wander, though, is because in the pile of innocuous discs to which I've listened today were, count 'em, four gems, four CDs that I'd dearly, dearly love to listen to & write about at length...but which I may not get a chance to. Just in case, then, here goes:

  • The Little Heroes, Cinematic Americana (Wednesday)
    Wow. It's quiet, it's delicate, but it still drives like The Stills' best moments and brings to mind Death Cab if Ben Gibbard were more into Son Volt or the Jayhawks.

  • Die Hunns, You Rot Me (Volcom)
    Raw, raw, raw rock-n-roll -- not really "punk," mind you, except in overall attitude -- from a pile of SoCal old-school punks (ex-Circle Jerks, ex-US Bombs) and one scary-looking lady on bass (ex-/possibly-still-in-Nashville Pussy). Think Social Distortion, or maybe Tom Waits on speed.

  • Smoke or Fire, This Sinking Ship (Fat Wreck)
    Nice. I nearly slapped my forehead when I read that these guys, while from Boston originally, moved down to Richmond, VA.; the very first thing that comes to mind, at least for me, is Avail. And that's a very, very good thing.

  • The Broken West, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On (Merge)
    The best of the bunch (so far?). A roaring burst of power-pop so clean and brilliant I swear I've heard it before somewhere. The gloomy gray weather here's had me down for the past few days (heck, make that "weeks"), but this made me smile.

    There you go. With any luck, I'll be able to expand on one or two of those later on.

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