Between the Headphones of the Publisher

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This issue marks the 11th anniversary of The Marquee in print. With that tenure under our belt we’ve learned a couple things here and there about music, but more importantly, we’ve learned about the music freaks that we preach to each month.

To us, a music freak is someone who listens to the homogenized terrestrial radio of today and wonders, “What’s wrong with me?” To us, a music freak is someone who isn’t happy with the Top 50 spoon-fed garbage albums that the mass media and corporate America and the record industry shoves down the throat of consumers. To us, a music freak is not the 1 in 5 people in the country who buys their music from Walmart.

Music freaks want music that stimulates their mind, heart and soul, and that’s not the kind of music you can find at the fucking mall. It’s the kind of music that you need to seek out. It’s like the difference between a McRib sandwich and authentic slow-cooked barbecue — they might both technically be food, but one is crafted and one is produced solely for the purpose of R.O.I. We’re all about the slow-cooked ourselves and we’re not trying to convert the non-believers. We’re happy to know that those who “get it” always have and always will, and those who aren’t even open to it probably won’t ever understand.

We’ve made it 11 years doing it this way, and while we could have at many times chased the almighty dollar, we decided, over and over again, to do what is real, first and foremost.

In one of my proudest interviews of the last 11 years, I spoke with Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes, who so poetically put it like this: “In this day and age of just corporate nonsense — this apathy-driven pursuit of the middle — if you want your own ritual you have to make your own temple. And the only way to make your own temple, dude, is brick by brick. You’ve got to build it from the ground up. We love music and some people don’t get it. They go see U2 or whatever and it’s a nostalgic trip. That’s rock and roll tourism. It’s for tourists, dude. We’re locals.”

We’ve never claimed to be highbrow, by any means, but we refuse to dumb it down for those tourists. While other publications are on a rapid descent into anti-intellectualism and trivial nonsense (how many Top 10 lists and poorly written stories about sex positions can you fit into an issue?), we’ve stayed true to covering music that matters. We’ve missed the target a few times — said some nice things about some bands that were maybe a bit misguided at the time or too much from a fan’s perspective — but we did so in the vein of spreading this vice of ours and yours to as many non-mall shoppers as we could. We’ll never have those corporate numbers, and we don’t want them, because as soon as we get them it means that we’re part of the problem.

It’s been an amazing 11 years and we look forward to continuing to talk to the locals about an issue that we feel is paramount to our very survival — real, honest to god, hand-crafted music, not some commodity meant to generate revenues.

See you at the shows.

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