Well, two weeks down and I must say I’m pretty thrilled about the diversity of work I get to do here in Idaho Falls. The copy desk is also the design desk, for the main sections anyway, and I’ve been thrown headlong into the daily deadline grind of turning out well designed and well edited pages. My first week’s work on The West, the B/regional section, culminates tomorrow with an early deadline and a lot less hand-holding. But I think I’ve caught up to the pica-specifics and headline styles:
So my first Sunday spread awaits, and boy am I glad to have glasses on my face and coffee at the ready, it’s time to move quickly (but accurately).
In other news I’m still freelancing for the Independent, as their album-reviewer-at-large, it seems. Any excuse to listen to new music I wouldn’t otherwise find, and this week I got lucky with the folk duo Tina and Her Pony and the down-the-middle indie pop group Generationals.
After at least 100 reviews in the weekly’s pages by now (or maybe almost 100) I feel my style has been refined and I can say what I mean without chunky language or misplaced metaphors. That said, I need to keep growing. While in Austin I had a short chat with Peter Mongillo, the American-Statesman’s music writer, and he said the challenge is to talk about music without talking about other bands. Which is sound advice — an easy review-killer is exclusionary or insider language. It’s sad but true: Not everyone knows who Weezer is. So I’ve tried following that advice myself, and while it opens up the crutch of labels and genres it’s also a chance to paint the picture an album does without hearing it yourself. Make sense? I’m working on it, stay tuned.
Finally, while east Idaho, and I.F. in particular, tend to lack the thriving youth culture that makes Missoula great, I’ve found breweries, an excellent greenbelt bike trail, a solid and nostalgia-inducing coffee shop and a natural foods store not far from my house. (What can I say, Missoula got to me.) Plus, a Pioneer League (minor-rookie) baseball team to cheer for when the Osprey aren’t in town whooping ’em. But don’t tell that to the sports desk.
Let me leave you with my foot in a sea kayak in the middle of Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park: