I've been doing Carry Like Mariah for almost four years now. It started because I wanted an outlet to explore my then recent obsession with hip hop, and force myself to write more. I started it before I began writing for RapReviews or Blogcritics, and fourteen days before I met my wife. I was at a different apartment, at a different job, and in a different space then.
The blog has morphed since I started it. These days I mostly use the blog to repost reviews I've written elsewhere. I pump out 1-2 300-800 word reviews a week, and I don't have much time for anything else at this point in my life. I'm listening to less hip hop now, that obsession replaced by my obsession with reggae, which will no doubt be replace by another obsession in a few years.
I have no intentions of being a professional music journalist. For one thing, there's no money in it. For another, I'm too damn old. I'm thirty-five. Had I got into this gig when I was twenty-two and going out five nights a week, it would have been a different story. Now I go out once every six weeks. I'm in bed by 10pm most nights, and up at six on most mornings. I have a full-time job that I like, and focus a lot of my energy into the non-profit sector that, frankly, seems a little more crucial than music.
I get 5-10 songs a day emailed to me by various PR people. I don't have time to be that current. I could get involved in the local music scene more and write about up-and-coming bands. I don't have the time, or rather, I don't want to devote the time. I'm not a scenester, schmoozer, tastemaker, or mover and shaker. I'm a dude who spends a few hours a week writing in between working 40 hours a week and spending time with my wife, my friends, and my family.
Still, I like my writing gigs. I love getting CD's to review in the mail, many of which are mediocre, but some of which are pretty great. I like being able to email a PR person and get a digital copy of a new indie release in a matter of minutes. It's a great time to be a music fan, and I'm loving all of the music I get to listen to.
At some point I'd like to focus less on reviews and more on articles that probe a little deeper. I had the idea to do one on racism in the punk scene. Or on how many buzz bands offer diminishing returns, and how that's ok. Or on how hip hop is dying, becoming as watered down and irrelevant as rock n' roll. About how punk was in many ways a big con. But that takes time and thought and editing, and in short supply of two of those three things.
Anyways, four years and counting. Here's to it.
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