By Niki D'Andrea
"How come you guys are giving coverage to such-and-such band? They suck! Why don't you give more attention to some local bands that DESERVE it for a change? My band, yadayadayada, has been playing in Phoenix for however-many years, and yet we can't get a write-up in the New Times?! You guys obviously don't know shit about good music in this town and blahblahblahblahblah..."
I hear something like this -- sometimes peppered with more insults -- almost every time we publish a music feature about a local music artist or put them on the cover. There's always a handful of other local artists who feel they were more deserving but overlooked, and they seem to think that the fact that we didn't write a rave review of their band's CD is a symptom of our supposed ignorance about the local music scene.
I have not reviewed every single local CD that's landed in my mailbox in the past two years. But I can assure you that I have listened to them all. I used to have a personal policy that I wouldn't trash a local artist's album -- if I thought the music sucked, I didn't bother to make a public announcement about its suckiness. I figured bad reviews served no one -- they slammed a fledgling band, they didn't give music fans anything new worth checking out, and they made me look like a bitch. So I focused on writing about local bands that made good music, bands that drew huge crowds to their shows, bands with fan bases and merchandise and interesting anecdotes, gimmicks, and stories. I didn’t go out of my way to try and review everything.
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But I’m throwing that policy out the window. Obviously, there are bands in Phoenix who feel they deserve some recognition. So here’s your chance. Every Tuesday, I will post a blog titled “You Asked for It,” wherein I will review a local band’s CD. I will be honest about my impressions of your music, and I do hope that somebody will really blow me away.
So take the dare – especially if you’re one of the artists that’s been complaining about “lesser” artists getting coverage from us. Send me your CD at the address below. Make sure you write ATTN: YAFI on the envelope, so I can quickly separate your CD from the other piles of stuff I get. I will review every CD in the order in which it is received. The only prerequisites are 1) your band be from Phoenix (sorry Flagstaff and Tucson), and 2) we haven’t already reviewed your CD in print or online.
Send your CDs to: Niki D’Andrea, Phoenix New Times 1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix, AZ 85032
I look forward to listening to more local music incessantly. (Hey, who let the sarcasm in?) I think we’re gonna get some really good shit, and I think we’re gonna get some utter shit.