Dear readers, let's get this out of the way: In nearly every possible way, being the music editor of Phoenix New Times/Up on the Sun has been my dream job. No joke: I've chatted with Brian Wilson (it was a terrible conversation, and my chat with Al Jardine was much better, but still); I had the pleasure of being in the same room as the amazing Mavis Staples; Wanda Jackson called me "baby"; I got to write weirdo think pieces about Drake. Nearly every day I received a local submission or stumbled upon a BandCamp page that encouraged my belief that Phoenix is indeed a great music town, and in my time, I've been contacted by respected Phoenix music vets willing -- and ready -- to lay some Valley of the Sun history on me. It's been a blast.
But the time has come for me to try something a little different. As of April, I'll be stepping down as music editor. I've accepted a position as a buyer and social media thingdoer for Zia Records (where I worked before coming to New Times as a staffer) that will allow me to not only continue contributing to New Times but also will allow me to develop some other ideas I have regarding Phoenix music. (More on that later, eh?)
Once again, it's been incredible. I want to quickly shout out just a few of the people who've made this so fantastic: Becky Bartkowski, Benjamin Leatherman, Niki D'Andrea, Martin Cizmar, Jay Bennett, Rick Barrs, Amy Silverman, Claire Lawton, Laura Hahnefeld, Eric Tsetsi, Jonathan McNamara, all my colleagues at New Times, and the assorted contributors to Up on the Sun and the weekly music section. I wouldn't change a thing, and the opportunity to wake up every morning and do this has been treasured. (Even when -- or rather, especially when -- an anonymous commenter threatened to stab me at the Bikini Lounge and wished cancer on my unborn children. Woo!)
So here's the fun part: Someone needs to do the job, and it could very well be you. Qualified folks should email Rick Barrs ([email protected]). All applicants should have journalism experience, a wide range of musical interests (stuff like EDM, country, hip-hop, Latin, indie rock, and metal), a good handle on social media, and the ability to manage a staff of writers.
Like I said, I'm not leaving entirely, just stepping out of the captain's chair. You can keep up with me on Twitter @jasonpwoodbury if you miss me. I can't stress how much I've valued the comments, both good and bad, and constant input of you all, the readers. Thank you for continuing to voice your thoughts, opinions, suggestions, and occasionally, your screeds. I look forward, like you, to seeing where the next editor guides the boat. They'll be interesting waters, I promise.