The Dallas Observer Needs a Music Editor

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A great poet once said, "I didn't choose the thug life, the thug life chose me." That has proven true for me as a music writer, a profession I never sought out, and yet somehow I've managed to clock 10 years as a hustler of the written word. That is a lifetime, in a sense. Or at least a big chapter.

That said, after a decade of writing about music for various publications, including my year here, I am leaving my post as music editor of the Dallas Observer. I'll make my exit next month sometime, but I'll be staying on as a freelance writer, so hopefully you'll see my name in the paper from time to time. I'll just be writing about topics other than music.

Shit, that means we need a music editor. Do you think you can do the job? The ideal candidate should enjoy going out to shows, and should do so frequently. They should have a critical eye, be an experienced editor, and know how to shape a story with those skills. They'll be maintaining the Observer music blog, DC9 At Night, populating it with pieces both local and national in scope, with help from freelancers. They will also be writing and editing pieces for the weekly print edition, and should be well versed in social media.

This is not an easy job, but it is a fun one, and I don't regret moving my life from Austin to Dallas to be part of it. If you've got the skills, stamina and sense of humor to make this job your life, send a cover letter, resume and your three best clips to editor Joe Tone, with "Dallas Observer Music Editor" in the subject line.

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11 comments
kandybaslav
kandybaslav

how about someone from from the City of Angels? Stranger things have happened in Dallas ... 

txmuzik
txmuzik

how 'bout getting someone local, who already knows the players, the history, the venues ... and can hit the ground running, with some insight and more local coverage ???

and BTW, WORST Dallas Observer Music Awards EVER. Really. Nobody there. $12/$16 to get in. Headlined by a band from Memphis ??? Memphis !!! WTF ??? (I'm sure that wasn't Audra's idea.)

joe.tone
joe.tone moderator

@txmuzik Someone local is always our first choice, TXMuzik. Always. But you have to remember that we're hiring with the idea that they'll be here for several years. And over several years, you can acquire a sense of the history and the players. But you can't acquire the ability to write and report and edit and be smart and just plain get it. So those factors sometimes outweigh the place of origin. Our last music editor, Pete Freedman, was a good example: Isn't from here, knows the scene cold.

As for the Music Awards: I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it. Thanks for the feedback. We're working on making it better every year.

kandybaslav
kandybaslav

@joe.tone "knows the scene cold"... that's very hip-hop of you to say ... and I dig it

txmuzik
txmuzik

@joe.tone @txmuzik actually, I was more thinking Pete than Audra re: a local choice, at least Audra was from Austin and knew who Ian MacLagan and Alejandro Escovedo were ... and I'm sure the problem is more your budget - or lack of one - to hire somebody who could actually make an impact and a difference. Too bad you couldn't afford to bring Wilonsky back. He is the perfect example of someone Passionate about everything Dallas and knows the music scene and local history of it inside and out. That should be your goal. Hiring another young aspiring journalist right out of college and from another town would set us right back to square one where we keep returning over and over again. Look at the music coverage (all arts in fact) in the Austin Chronicle and compare that with this week's Observer's content. (also, compare the Austin Music Awards to our recent event.) That's what I'm talking about. 

joe.tone
joe.tone moderator like.author.displayName 1 Like

@txmuzik All fair points. We'll do our best. How much do you think we'd need to pay Wilonsky? Does he accept in-kind donations?

Brian Nesbitt
Brian Nesbitt

does the dallas observer management beat the music editors?  that must be the reason that the observer has had more music editors in the last decade than i have had pairs of shoes.

joe.tone
joe.tone moderator

@Brian Nesbitt Our last music editor was here for several years. Not sure about before that, but I assume that, yes, they were beaten.

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