Four years ago, Natalie recommended that I contact her friend TJ about writing for a local free magazine he was starting called Localist. I did, and eventually wound up doing several CD reviews and a couple of features (the Boondogs piece is online, but sadly the Ho-Hum piece isn’t). It was great fun, writing for no reason other than the desire to spread the word on music I love (and to dust off my meager writing skills, long dormant since college). I find it amusing that interviewing those bands for free was probably more fun than interviewing some famous acts for money.
Eventually Localist‘s editor ascended to Arkansas Times, and suddenly I was freelancing for them. And getting paid! Not much, of course, but enough to put “freelance writer” on my résumé.
And so now TJ is discontinuing the Localist. He’s a busy guy with other projects. I can’t help but feel, though, that Localist has helped to solidify and galvanize the creative community of Central Arkansas. I know it worked wonders for me. Were it not for Localist, I know I’d have fewer friends and even fewer writing opportunities.
1.) It also made me realize even more that the music industry is not a meritocracy, and that every city probably has national-level talent. The only thing that separates the Boondogs from, say, The New Pornographers, is luck, timing, and a good record label.