Looking for a way out
A disturbing new development in the world of PR flaks and music hacks: more and more, it seems, I'm receiving emails from publicists that conclude, "We're looking for features and reviews on this one!" Is it just me, or are things going all topsy-turvy? I know, dear publicists, that your job is to sell me on your musician's story, so that I turn around and pitch it to one of my editors. (Or, if I'm an editor, to assign it to a hack like me.) But it's that "we're looking for" that really rubs me the wrong way; I'm hardly here just to satisfy your desires. I mean, sure, I'm looking for a lot of things -- cheap airfare to Europe, a Democratic president in 2004, an attractive woman with good shoes who doesn't think there's something wrong with me just because I listen to techno instead of indie rock. (Sorry, had to get that off my chest.) But I don't go appending that to the end of my every email; such appendage would signify, among other things, that I actually expected to attain said goals simply by specifying them.
And also (now that I'm in full rant mode), doesn't the publicist's little wish-list seem a mite redundant? Of course you're looking for coverage of various sorts for these upstanding artists of yours. That's why you sent me the CD; that's why you keep emailing me. I'm under no illusion that you're doing this for your health, and neither am I (though timesucks like this blog suggest that I do way more work for free than otherwise). And my job (or "job," if you like), ultimately, is not to accede to your desires, nor to facilitate your aims in some kind of some kind of super-lubed workflow of global information management, but rather to decide if your artist sucks or not, and if not, how much she/he does not suck, and where, if anywhere, might be an appropriate outlet for me to pitch/assign a story, much to the betterment of humankind, or at least next February's Pazz & Jop poll.
It has nothing to do with what you're looking for.
Right now, I'm looking for your artist's crap CD so I exchange it at Amoeba for, oh, I don't know some Echo and the Bunnymen cut-outs, or maybe a new spool of CD-Rs. I'd say I was looking for the delete key, but that'd be a lie -- I've got command+delete down to an automatic motor function, so come correct or be whisked away to magnetic non-existence faster than you can say "manufactured buzz." Next!