Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Kind Of "Work" I Enjoy

As I write this, I'm actually taking a break from "work". No, not at Pizza Hut - there's a reason the word was in quotes. "Work" as in still doing for a hobby and enjoyment what I would liked to have done for a career - music journalism.

I'm watching videos of Lyrics Born on the making of his latest album, Everywhere At Once (which I'd heard a few times thanks to a PR preview site, but bought proper tonight at Target whilst out with my lovely wife while were spending a night out alone without the kids and Jesus have I gotten far enough off track yet?!). To drop a song title from said record about said record, "I Like It, I Love It".

Anyway, I can write all this off as research for an upcoming (?) interview. I have to insert the (?) because this has already been screwed up once; I'd intended to interview the big man before the album came out, but there was some slight miscommunication with the label and it simply didn't happen. Nature of the beast; it bees that way sometimes. In the ensuing confusion, however, I was given a contact number to call for the interview...

Having given the whole thing a couple weeks and debating whether or not to call the number, I acted on the inspiration of seeing the CD at Target and feeling good for the man to call the number I had. I was expecting the voice mail of a member of his management or a PR rep or some such to tell me they weren't available. No big deal; I was planning on leaving a message on who I was, what I wanted to do, a brief synopsis of how things got mixed up, and to leave my number in a last-ditch effort to get the interview, anyway.

So, I dialed. And got an answer. From a live human being. With a voice I'd recognized because I'd listened to it perform so many times now.

Apparently, the label had given me Lyrics Born's direct number, and I just called him out of the blue.

Oh, shit.

Desperately reaching for self-composure, I told him who I was, what I wanted to do, a brief synopsis of how things got mixed up. We talked for a minute (literally) and he suggested I go back through the label rep and try again. I wanted to tell him that, after the initial mix-up, I'd never heard back from her despite several attempts to contact her, but figured I'd done enough damage and cut my losses. I told him I'd get back to her, wished him a good night, and we disconnected.

He was cool about the whole thing, thank God (at least on the phone he was; I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he was cussing my name up one side and down the other after we hung up). Seemed no harm, no foul. I've already e-mailed the proper contact (again) in hopes of getting the interview set up once and for all (again). We'll see what happens.

This is one I'd particularly like to do, but then, all my interviews are. I choose the ones I want to do instead of having some editor hand me an assignment I wouldn't want to touch with a 10' pole and a HAZMAT suit. One of the small the joys of being an independent contractor working for free simply because I love music and want to connect with the artists that make it. It's the reason I wanted to do this for a career, but it's also the reason that, since the whole "getting paid to do what I want" thing never happened with me (as it does with so many others), I do it for 411 Music for absolutely nothing simply because I can...

Well, I guess the term "absolutely nothing" is somewhat incorrect; I do it for no monetary gain, lemme put it that way. However, as big of a music fan as I am...as much as I love the different types of sounds people create to make us feel...it's worth it to piss off my wife and/or my actual job once in a while by taking a trip to Orlando or wrecking a predetermined appointment with any given doctor to be able to pursue this simply to meet the people that create what I love. The feeling of meeting them and getting the word out on their latest work or effort in the hopes of helping them achieve their goals is damn-near as good as any paycheck I could receive for doing the same thing.

Alas, it never quite worked out that way. I'll be back at Pizza Hut tomorrow night, doing the grind all over again. Ditto a day or 2 later when there's another doctor's appointment to rush to or some other piece of business that has to be attended to right now. But, for the moment, I can do a little more of the "work" I actually enjoy - and hopefully reap a reward in the form of talking to Lyrics Born himself - as I have with Burton C Bell and John Bechdel, Max Cavalera, and Michael 'Moose' Thomas so far this year.

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