Hail and Farewell and Welcome To Tomorrow: Peter Margasak

Your work in the Reader prompted us at Rock.com to make you a key outside-the-office voice.

It was a joy to labor with you on the long-gone dream of the music-magazine internet.

(This guy was an insanely easy edit, btw. Just fun conversations and you have a perfectly clear, vivid and balanced essay at the end.)

R.I.P.: Village Voice

This time it looks permanent. Would be tough to convey to someone in their 20s how much freedom and excitement alternative newspapers once delivered weekly. The Boston Phoenix was my main operation, of course, but I considered the Voice my second home.

Then again, the building has been crumbling for a long time. My best memories of the Voice now feel distant. And one of the last is bitter — I was suddenly not invited to participate in the annual Pazz and Jop Poll, for reasons I have never been able to find out (I certainly didn’t stop writing about music).

But I’d rather focus on the fond recollections. Getting my copy in the mail, finding my article and admiring the wild and way-out illustrations Joe Levy would occasionally commission for my reviews. Good times.

Yeah, the UnScience Never Fails (And Hardly Changes)

This reminds me why I stopped doing pieces debunking pseudo-science in that the journalism exposes aren’t going to change anybody’s mind. The believers take such comfort and identity from their convictions that they are immune to persuasion. But I do think a vehement “What the fuck color is your car?!?” is a good tactic to shake up the faithful.

The [Extinct] Good System of Doing Popular Music Promotion (and Maybe Arts Promotion in General)

I know as a fairly successful Music Editor that 99.5% of people cannot describe music in print for beans. I know that enough people to populate even this current expanded world of publicists can clearly describe the wheres and whats of a release. One big problem now is that the latter are expected to do the former — I’m supposed to tell from a description (usually quite low quality with a lotta “sounds like” comparisons which are worthless) whether I want to hear a record or not. A wild guess at best.

In the Golden Lost Era I was sent a lot of what came out with the wheres and what information, I listened to it until I made up my mind about it and maybe reviewed it, put it into the subjects for further listening pile or chucked it. If I wanted to do something with the release I would (OF COURSE) contact the publicist.

Now I get literally hundreds of emails with this racket of: “here’s this release” (we’ll leave out the noise of things I never review under any circumstances); “doya want it?”; “didja get it?”; “doya like it?”; “gonna review it?”. Sometimes capped by this sullen silence if I don’t like the music.

What in the fuck was the matter with Send It To Me/I’ll Listen To It/If I Wanna Write About It I’ll Get Back To You/Otherwise End of Story?

It was simpler, clearer and a helluva lot less distracting.