Music News

Can I Close My Tab? Martin Cizmar Leaves as New Times Music Editor for Gig in South Florida

​Tell people you're a music critic and they're likely to get all sorts of ideas about you -- some right, some wrong. More often than not, they seem to think you're a failed musician who picked up a pen when his band's demo failed to catch any important ears.

I've always been pretty clear about where I stand: For better or worse, I'm a journalist who covers music. I love music, sure, but I can't even play harmonica. My craft is writing. Before I took a job as Phoenix New Times music editor I wrote about shit other than music. Now that I've left my job as New Times music editor, I'll be doing that again.

I've accepted a job as a staff writer at Broward-Palm Beach New Times. This is an extremely bittersweet moment for me. I really love this city and this newspaper -- I'm one of those weirdos who digs Arizona. But I've also had my eye on a staff writer gig in the Village Voice Media chain, and there isn't one opening up here. So I'm off to Florida -- after a month or so, during which time I'll be working on a special project here.
Until a new music editor is found, please contact Niki D'Andrea and Jonathan McNamara.

I want to sincerely thank everyone who has read my work here. I've really enjoyed my time in Phoenix's music community, and this is even as someone who reads pretty much every comment left on one of his posts, nasty or not.

My goal as a writer and editor has been to inform and entertain -- to offer the most interesting writing on any given topic, with total agnosticism toward whether something is "good" or "bad" -- and I hope I've done that. This is a dream job, I know it, and I tried to leave everything on the floor.

Eminem once said, "Look, I can't change the way I think... And I can't change the way I am... But if I offended you?"

I've always viewed myself as an embedded reporter, not a scenester, but I respect the hell out of the people who fight the good fight while I got the chance to stand by writing about it. Thank you all.

After my former employer, the East Valley Tribune imploded, leaving my good friend Jess Harter without his full-time dining-critic gig, he told me he planned to eat nothing but cereal for a week. Best way to cleanse the system, he said. I'm going to try the same thing now that I'm moving away from the criticism thing -- it'll be nothing but Jimmy Buffett for a week.

Besides, his music reminds me of the first big column I wrote for New Times, about Roger Clyne's Circus Mexicus. That was honestly the best weekend I've had in my life -- I'm hoping to have a few more like it in South Florida.