Tag Archives: Washington City Paper

Spring Cleaning: How I Shaped City Paper’s Year (2007) in Music Issue

Remember how I was dumped by the City Paper because I kept harping on the RIAA’s effect on local music? Well, the editor sent out this e-mail in prep for the Year in Music issue:

From: Mark Athitakis [mailto:mathitakis@washingtoncitypaper.com]
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 11:57 AM
To: Recipient list suppressed
Subject: CP’s Best of Music 2007

Hey Folks,

We’re smaller than we used to be now that the new folks have arrived with their ledgers and hatchets, but some things don’t change: Once again we’ll be doing a music year-in-review issue. The pub date is Dec. 21, and the format is simple -we’ll feature an assortment of essays on music in 2007, along with top-ten lists. If you’re in the CP building, feel free to swing by my office and I’ll show you a copy of last year’s edition. If you’re not, you can start here– http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/display.php?id=381–and click through the various features we ran at the end of ’06.

If you’re submitting a top-ten list, please note that I’m instituting one change this year: I’m not asking you to assign points to your choices. In the past critics were asked to give their favorite albums point grades. These were then tabulated, presumably in order to arrive at some sort of consensus about the best album of the year. It’s 2007; nuts to consensus. I’d rather accommodate a variety of voices calling out what they like than trying to locate the one album we’re all supposed to get behind.

To that end, even the top-ten format isn’t set in stone. If you want to submit a top-five, or even submit a 100-word blurb on one album you really got a charge out of, that’s fine too.

I won’t need lists or blurbs for a few weeks yet, but please get in touch with me by next Friday, Nov. 16, if you intend to do one. The same goes for those of you who would like to write an essay/feature/chart for the package. Ideas that are welcome for this: Cogent thoughts about the intersection of the Internet/TV/music; an interesting trend that hasn’t been written about or didn’t get its due; infantile cheap shots that can be expressed visually; and (especially) stories that engage directly with music as it is made, performed, and heard in D.C.

Ideas that are not welcome for this: extended state-of-the-year addresses that mainly read like attempts to broadcast how many records you listened to this year; the phrase “the worst year since” and “worst of” lists, notions that are now so clich├ęd they no longer qualify as counterintuitive; generalized bitching about the RIAA, Ticketmaster, and how audiences in D.C. suck; and (probably) commentaries that use In Rainbows or Hannah Montana as a jumping-off point for discussing anything.

Questions? Drop me a line or give me a ring. Thanks as always.

Mark Athitakis
Arts Editor
Washington City Paper
2390 Champlain St. NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 332-2100

More City Paper Bashing, This Time From The City Paper

Just when you though the Washington City Paper couldn’t get any worse, and particularly amusing in light of my Doonesbury post yesterday, the City Paper’s parent company goes and declares bankruptcy. For some of the basics, head to DC’s most-read-and-least-qualified blog, the DCist.

DC journalism is almost as bad as the city’s summers.