Five Years Gone
Peaches En Randalia #54
“The scholar does not consider gold and jade to be precious treasures, but loyalty and good faith.” – Confucius
About five years ago, right about this time, I began my slow crawl towards writing for Jambands.com, and subsequently Relix magazine, full time as a freelance music scribe. Initially, I chose to attempt show reviews, but I have a distracted and unfocused mind at best, so my first few reviews were a bit troublesome to edit. Actually, my first piece for the legendary Dean Budnick, Site Founder and Editor, Relix Executive Editor, writer, author, documentarian, filmmaker, teacher, good friend, and driver of the Winnebago, was rejected because it was tardy (oh, about a month late, as it were), and was a tad disjointed. Dean, always being Dean, was polite about my piece, mentioning its need for editing, but, also, that if he trimmed in certain places, he may kill the spirit of the thing.
Which was a damned nice way to deal with my primitive ‘organized chaos’ technique in all matters music back in those days. I was—how do we say—very enthusiastic about the music, and the “Greatest Era in Live Music” in 2005, and there was something to be said about those very hard-working road warriors I championed. Their reward was the work, and the often intellectually-savvy yet critical crowds could often be a mixture of supportive and burdensome—an albatross around a musician’s fragile neck. Regardless, I chose to be a bit more word-y and detail-oriented in my observations, and, after the initial review miscue, Dean felt there would be another day, another piece. I could have walked away, or persevered with the work elsewhere. But Dean’s dignified yet encouraging rejection was also a fine example of why I chose to stick close, and just write for him.
I have been asked as to why I remain loyal to the site. Quite frankly, I feel Jambands.com is a tremendous resource with new content on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, and it has been a solid scene institution for 12 years. There is a deeper strand to my loyalty to Dean and the site, as well. Sometimes in life, one stumbles into the right place at the right time, and one is somehow ready for something new, different, fun, and better. Well…without disrespecting any of the work I have done elsewhere, Dean Budnick inspired me to want to do better by his intelligent, witty, and comprehensive style, which is never condescending, nor overbearing. His tone serves as a prime example of how the work can be a substantial reward in this often lonely occupation. As a note in a fortune cookie so accurately attests, opened from time to time, in various trials and tribulations that one encounters on this path, this adventure, this journey, this thing called life:
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
And, I was ready, and have been ready for quite some time—still learning, still making loads of mistakes, still waiting for that next big idea from Trey, and still grateful that I got the chance, and continue to have the chance, to write for the Good Doctor. If you don’t know why he has that nickname, do a little research, or, better still, earn your keep under his expansive wings sometime, and you’ll find out: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, as anyone who spends ten minutes with me knows, films are my other passion, so if one wants to write, and write about films of the music-hinged variety, please feel free to drop ME a line at email@example.com. As much as I enjoy my own thoughts and scribblings about music DVDs, I would love to hear that voice out there in Kentucky, or Massachusetts, or Florida, or Minnesota, talking about some film with a different kind of sonic attitude that kicked them in the ass. Yeah, I’d love to turn you on to your own five years of music writing about what you love on a site you admire.