Reporter's Notebook

The art and science of the interview

Archive for August 2012

Putting Away the Magnifying Glass for a Minute

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Twitter, like the real world, is a microcosm of people’s feelings and reactions. Some people are offended by something that others don’t think twice about. Some people realize personal limitations or forgive small infractions and others take them so personally that it’s a set up for a Hatfields and McCoys scenario. The best you can do is ignore when you should, or apologize when you can and move on. Like most things in life, it’s not personal since people aren’t born bigots, nobody knows what you’re really going through and everybody wants love and respect.

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Written by Interviewer

August 31, 2012 at 03:39

Posted in Scratchpad

Pat Metheny

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I should be in bed by now because tomorrow, I talk with Pat Metheny EARLY … for me.  But the research has to be done since I found out on Saturday that the interview is confirmed.  I’m excited, and challenged.  The man is into so much, and has absorbed and returned so much to the world of music.  I’m reading everything I can find, and listening to as much as I can find, especially about his new Unity Band.  I don’t know why, but him returning to the flavor of 80/81 sort of reminds me of when Tom Petty formed and began touring with the Traveling Wilburys.  They struck me as simpler and more acoustic, like it seems to me he was early in his career.  And I wonder if all artists go through this cycle; they begin simply, become more complex and eventually return to a neo-simplistic style.  It’s as if the more mature and experienced they get, the more they realize that the best way to communicate what was always in their hearts is to return to their childlike, more innocent state.  A state tempered with experience but no longer dictated by it.

Written by Interviewer

August 29, 2012 at 12:44

Posted in Scratchpad

Loveness Wesa Interview Done

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The Loveness Wesa interview is up on Soundcloud at www.soundcloud.com/interviewer-1.  She was a pleasure to talk to, and reminded me again why talking to people is so enjoyable.  There is the original conversation, and then, there is the re-listening to the conversation that brings out all kinds of things that I may have missed the first time.  Those can be among the jewels buried in the audio and I love producing the interview in a way to make those jewels shine.  And this week, it’s interviews with Chicago and Pat Metheny.  They’re confirmed and I can’t wait. 

Written by Interviewer

August 28, 2012 at 22:54

Posted in Scratchpad

Quality over Quantity

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Just a quick note to say, I’ve been on Twitter long enough to have an idea of what seems to work and what doesn’t.  People attract people, and as with every other human interaction, people want to be thanked, treated kindly, appreciated, noticed, recognized and made to feel like they matter.  That’s why I don’t generally follow retail stores, large companies, porn stars, bots, mean people, 3rd persons, “official” accounts and follower boosters.  Not only could they not care any less about me, they don’t provide anything of value unless it’s numbers, which, like empty calories, is pretty useless.  And, now that I’ve been on it a little while, I’m starting to drop the movie stars (yes, I was star struck for a minute). I read a really good article yesterday that said following everybody who follows you is certain death b/c it brings down your reputation for the sake of quantity over quality.  I believe that b/c it’s true in real life too.   

Written by Interviewer

August 27, 2012 at 22:28

Posted in Scratchpad

Written for Children, Strong Enough for Adults

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I have been following and reaching out to people on Twitter by music genre, and I notice that the follower count is going up.  I contacted a lot of blues fans and invited them to visit the Rick Estrin & the Nightcats interview.  Likewise, I visited a lot of electronic music aficinados and suggested they listen to the Squarepusher interview.  And, I’ve been tweeting to reggae fans and telling them about the Ziggy Marley interview.  When the Loveness Wesa interview is done, I’ll recommend Afropop and African music lovers listen to it.  As I do more interviews, and continue this kind of focused outreach, I expect that people will begin see this is a destination to hear one-on-one interviews. 

It’s not just a matter of throwing something up on Twitter or FB and hoping it’ll be seen.  As I said before, I’m not a porn bot or a tweeple army general.  So, I have to use my time as best I can, and that means using time honored marketing techniques, including targeting the audience with what they might be interested in.  A scatter shot approach – sending everything to everybody – is a huge waste of time and resources.  But hopefully, when people visit, follow, friend, listen … they’ll see that I’ve CREATED content that is valuable.  That’s why I have so much respect for people who create.  Because society exists off what they do; the builders, the writers, the thinkers.  And the people who listen and enjoy and appreciate, to them creators should be and are eternally grateful since patrons have always been critical to the survival of creative types. 

The other third of this social pie, the free-riders, aka the people who leech off the work of others is as unavoidable and ubiquitous as cow farts in a corn field.  Like bankers who make money off money and don’t really contribute to anything other than their own welfare, I don’t have much love for the regurgitators of the internet.  They remind me of the Grasshopper in the “Ant and the Grasshopper”, while the worker bees, struggling to be seen and heard and to eat remind me of the Little Red Hen; another simple story that hits like a sock full of rocks.

Written by Interviewer

August 27, 2012 at 03:33

Posted in Scratchpad

A Passionate Spirit

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Interview with Loveness Wesa

Loveness being interviewed

Spent about an hour interviewing Loveness Wesa yesterday.  Many musicians are always in a state of flux, meaning, they seem to consider their music obselete just as soon as they finish it.  In a way, that is marvelous because they never let themselves become stale.  But it seems like it can also be a merciless master to please.  Loveness was this way too.  She considered the music she has released to this point, not representative of where she is or where she is going.  For those who have never heard of her though, being introduced to her through her older stuff is no crime.  So, I have two delightful CDs that I’ll be using, intermixed with her words and thoughts, which I must say, were full of emotion.  It should be up in a few days,  I hope you enjoy it.   

Also, just found out that I’ll be doing an interview with Walt Parazaider from the group Chicago in the next few weeks.  That is exciting.  I’ve always loved the big brass sound from the City of Big Shoulders, and I am loving the idea of the research I’m going to do about the band in advance of the interview.

Written by Interviewer

August 25, 2012 at 23:06

Posted in Art

Interviews Coming Up

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Loveness Wesa and me will be doing an interview tomorrow.  She’s very interesting in that her dance style evolved from martial arts, which itself evolved from a series of choices and changed career paths that many of us can relate to.  She is full of passion and I think you’ll find her progression in African music and her drive to express that passion entertaining and inspiring.  I expect it’ll be up in a few days. 

And, I’ve confirmed an interview with Pat Metheny.  I’ve loved his music since Still Life Talking and when I listen to him, I’ve always felt like I was flying through clouds with a touch of reminisence – saying goodbye to past lives and, when I close my eyes, seeing the joy of future good lives.  His music just made me feel that way.  I look forward to talking with him, and I look forward to sharing it with you.  That one will be up in about 10 days.   

Written by Interviewer

August 24, 2012 at 06:53

Posted in Scratchpad