Music News

Hey Phoenix, I'm Your New Music Editor

Meet your new music editor.
Meet your new music editor. Jason P. Woodbury
Hey, Phoenix.

There are a few things you should know about me, for starters. I'm a sucker for a pop diva and will argue anyone with a bad word to say about Beyoncé. My last name is easy to pronounce if you say all the letters in the order they appear.

I like girl groups and art punk and punk-punk and southern rap. I prefer top fives to picking all-time favorites. I've been to, look, I'm honestly not sure how many Hanson concerts. One of the best things that ever happened to me was when Aaron Carter told me to take a hike, and then blocked me on Twitter. I'm pop culture-obsessed.

I've been here at New Times for more than five years, first as Night & Day editor, then culture editor.

And now, I'm your new music editor.

Real talk: It's been my dream job since I was a teenager infatuated with The Strokes and assembling Ramones records song by song through Limewire.

I studied journalism at the Cronkite School. I was music director and then station manager at the college radio station, KASC, where I co-founded the music blog COTMA. I hosted a few shows, trained DJs, and worked with one of my all-time favorite people, Ashley Harris, on an all-local music show called The Basement. I was a college marketing rep for Sony Music, which meant regularly hitting up the Valley's record stores, attending CMJ, and hanging up so many posters.

I interned at New Times under then-music editor Martin Cizmar and counted Hoodlums Music as a home away from home.

I was lucky to work at that record store, with the late Steve Wiley and Kristian Luce, as the one girl behind the counter. Besides the fun of recommending Stooges records, meeting Ozzy Osbourne, and figuring out how much used Slits albums are worth, I learned a lot about music and listened to even more. My best bit of record store clerk snobbery came when I corrected a dude's pronunciation of Marc Ribot's name. He said it like a frog might. I had to.

I left the shop when I was offered my first grown-up journalism job, running an entertainment website for The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, California. There, I covered Kanye at Coachella, dove into the desert rock scene, and spent an inordinate amount of time at the Ace Hotel.

I accepted a job at New Times, and I've been here ever since. (It'll be six years this August, but who's counting?) I've spent that time covering the Valley's arts community, reviewing fashion shows, taking a closer look at Phoenix's creatives, and keeping Drake in check.

I'll continue doing at least some of that. Because the music editor job and culture editor job are now one mega-job: arts and music editor.

I'm excited for what's next. And I hope you are, too. If you have news tips, feedback, or something really nice to say, please e-mail me.

- Becky
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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski