Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The Stylus Decade pt. I: Intro

The Stylus reunion has commenced!

The artwork is terrific, the lists so far are pretty good (no list satisfies everyone, not even the compilers), and the writing is really, really great too.

My only hope is that my own blurbs don't stand out as consistently inferior to the others. I don't think they do, and they haven't been picked out and mercilessly ripped apart yet (so far as I've seen), but I've got a high-profile one coming on Friday, we'll see how it gets on. Music writers are like referees, in that virtually all the discussion that surrounds them is negative. So I'll know I've done a decent job if I'm not talked about.

Stylus is the best publication I ever wrote for, and it always will be. So this decade-end reunion, and this decade-end, seems like a fitting time to withdraw from music writing. I think I've done quite well.

I'm not retiring completely (this post could quickly be made to look silly), but I'm going to be a lot more choosy about what I write. No meat'n'potatoes stuff. Features about Scottish bands I love and who I want to help? Sure, and I've got one commissioned already. Album reviews for artists I feel strongly about? Hmmm, possibly. Festival reviews, and reviews for sold-out or expensive gigs? Definitely. But I'd rather spend time on other things -- reading (not about music), watching films, going to the gym, learning Ableton Live, going out -- than all that other stuff that clogs my week up, little previews, middling reviews, all the mindless procrastinating on blogs...

Wake up! Go read Stylus!


Milo said...

Look forward to having a proper look at your Stylus stuff Ally. I know exactly how you feel about the music writing too. Sometimes you need to create some space for new things.

Finbarr Bermingham said...

Enjoyed your pieces a lot Ally. Shame about the retirement... are you having a testimonial?

Ally Brown said...

thanks Finbarr! well, the Stylus Decade is a fitting high to go out on. like i said, i'm not completely stopping, just gonna focus on other things for a while