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Every day is different in Music!

One of the best things about my job is that I have yet to feel a ‘Groundhog Day‘ moment-the feeling that every day is exactly just like the previous day. This is totally different from my prior career as a flight attendant, where despite the frequent travels and star-studded aisles, every day became kind of a drag. (Despite what some FA blogs might tell you, flying the friendly skies is stressful!)

My work as a music journalist enables me to enjoy each and every day. Each day is different. Each day has its own distinct set of challenges and surprises. Why? You get to meet many different and interesting personalities in the music industry.

From pretentious clowns to real seekers with an intense love for their craft to business types to all points in between. With this job, you’re not just exploring musical genres or covering bands on tour or acts recording their stuff in the studio, you’re also chronicling people’s dreams, musical trends, and mapping ideas. Music is art and there’s something very exciting about covering artists turn something from idea or emotion or a hunch into something you can hear and drown in.

What I love about this job is that my employer covers my expenses when tracking down bands or acts. This means hotels, lunches, dinners, and, of course, plane fares. You don’t have to worry about paying for stuff related to your beat on your own dime. You basically get paid to explore. Take my latest long-term assignment in San Francicso. The magazine I did the piece for reimbursed me for my three-month apartment stay at the Haight as I hung out with local bands, ate cheap pizza at corner joints, went bar hopping with the bands every single night and capped off a hard day’s ‘work’ with an ‘after party’ hot cup of herbal tea at a small Chinese tea shop in Noe Valley.

You get to drink in the excitement of the local music scene, follow bands around as they play gig after gig, attend weddings and check out the local bands, and you get to be part of the scene. You get to drink in the electricity in the air. Of course, not every day is fun. Oftentimes, you have to deal with some flaky artists who can’t seem to show up on time even if you give them a few hours ‘slack.’ There are quite a number of acts that can’t seem to show up at all. Some of these people can’t show up on time-even if their very lives depended on it.

Another challenge I encounter in my career as a music journalist is when I have to deal with people who lie. Believe it or not, it is not only the band or act’s manager who is full of hot air and promises. The sad reality is that so many musical acts get told how ‘great’ they are, day in day out, that they let it all get to their head. As a result, when you interview these people, you don’t know if they are reading their own press, believe their own press, are deluded, bending the truth, telling you their hopes and dreams instead of reality, or a combination of all of the above. It can be very tiring trying to tell the difference from the truth and a tall tale. This is all the more frustrating when you have a tight deadline hanging over your head.

The Life of a Music Journalist

How would you like to get paid to follow a band or get paid to hang out at Seattle or other hot music scenes to rub elbows with up and coming rock and roll talent? How would you like to get paid to explore the psychological depth and richness of music lyrics or get paid to spend lazy afternoons chasing mental and philosophical white rabbits with some of the biggest names in music? If you answered YES to any of the questions above, you might want to consider being a music journalist.

Sure, the pay doesn’t exactly rank up there with an entry level JP Morgan Chase investment banker, but the payoff you get is worth more than an overpriced Manhattan apartment and a BMW that will look old after a few years anyway.

You get something much more precious than money. You get to witness music history unfold. You get to be in the thick of things as you track down up and coming artists and get into their world. You also get to see firsthand the often hectic world of touring and music production, the often volatile mix of creative personalities, and the clash between creators and the music industry. Here are just some of the key highlights of my career as a music journalist so far. It’s definitely been quite a wild ride. I haven’t yet reached the point where I want to get off the ride.