Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Media None

[Media] Main Street has been infested with yellow-jacketed drones handing out copies of Afternoon Buzz, the Newspaper Agency Corporation/Media One's latest waste of perfectly good trees.
If you've not had one forced upon you, the Buzz is free news and entertainment stories boiled down to insubstantial micro-paragraphs that leave you feeling approximately 60 percent dumber for having tried to read them. It's pulled off the heretofore impossible feat of making the craptastic In Utah This Week look like The Village Voice.

So we'd like a volunteer or two to stand next to the yellow-jackets outside of the City Weekly offices and hand out copies of our paper. When anyone asks, "What's this?" just say, "It's free like that, only with actual content and local relevance--oh, and you get to keep your soul after reading it." Any takers? (Bill Frost)


  1. Reading the Afternoon Buzz actually made me so dumb that I dropped a reading level. Which is pretty impressive, considering that I didn't realize adults were still assigned reading levels.

    Good god, I would totally pass out copies of the City Weekly next to the AB. Where do i sign up?

  2. City Weekly used to be relevant to this town, and not just a refuge for disenfranchised journalists. Seriously -- it's like you've become a sour-faced parody of yourself. I miss when I could turn to you for legit watchdogging, and not just defensiveness when competition comes along. Bring back some of the old spirit!

  3. I completely agree with what anonymous wrote. Those that feel threatened are the first to talk smack. Yeah, how dare somebody else try and offer free news? HOW DARE THEY!

    And although it's true that In Utah This Week's writers might not be as talented as CW's (that's really not saying much) their local coverage (especially music) is 100 times more comprehensive, and knowledgable than CW's. Sorry, but they actively try to mix it up with the community where CW just wants to express their snobbish views on everything. CW has definitely lost it's spark.

  4. Yeah, City Weekly just put on a 5-week, 90-band local music SLAMMys showcase because we don't like to "mix it up with the community."

  5. It's not so much the content but the approach to distributing this rag that gets me. Walking home from work yesterday, I was confronted by five yellow jackets. I politely refused the first couple of workers, thinking "Hey, they're just doing their jobs." After the fourth one, however, I went into the same defensive mode I get into when random dudes whistle at me on the street. Or the construction worker who followed me, hacking and spitting in some kind of strange courting ritual. Can't they just stock the free papers in boxes like the rest of us?

  6. Well Bill was obviously taking a swipe at all 'free' news zines in SLC.

    The Slammy's are just a way for you to increase you ad page count. Don't act like it's anything more than it is.

    Plus - you're referring to the same Slammy's that called one Indie pop rock group to inform them that they took first place, only to have them take 3rd (with no subsequent follow up) when the issue hit newstands because they couldn't play at the Slammy Award show? Seems fair to me!!!

    The Slammy's only proved how irelevant CW really is in terms of local music.

  7. Hey Anonymous, instead of talking shit on the message boards, why don't you come down here and hold a constructive dialog with the person who spent three months organizing and producing the SLAMMYs? Bill had little to do with it, so I'm not sure why you have to go after me. I put my heart and soul into that issue, and while it wasn't perfect it was an improvement on past issues and a good represenation of what's going on in Salt Lake City right now. Since you insist on hiding behind a false name, I can't say for certain whether or not I see you much at local shows, whether you're a musician who's been around and could teach me some things, or if you're just a hack playing favorites online. It's one thing to have an opinion, it's another to make accusations based on absolute conjecture. Before you point fingers, why not show your face? At the very least, it could potentially lend some validity to your point (though you're completely off about SLAMMys being a generous source of income. Ha!)

  8. I'm not a musician, but follow the local scene for one.

    second - so you're denying that a group (I won't mention because it's not fair to them) was called and informed that they won a category, but when they couldn't play the award show they were bumped to 3rd with no warning? I was sitting right there when they received the 'winning' call, and was shocked to see the 3rd place finish in the actual issue. Which only lead me to believe that a number of the other categories probably received similar treatments.

    Putting your heart and soul into something doesn't give you immunity to criticism, in fact, you're equally as open to it as the bands that send you their "heart and souls" to review.

  9. i've lived all around the US and can honestly say that slc is incredibly fortunate to have an independent weekly like CW, ESPECIALLY because of their music coverage and support of the local music scene.

    the slammys are far from perfect but man, it is so impressive that they even care enough to put all the time and energy into making it happen. it is an event that isn't just about the bands, but also about community. those of us who aren't musicians get to show up and enjoy and discover - it really is a great concept and they continually execute it to the best of their ability for the benefit of the public. that is amazing.

    maybe those who are upset enough to bitch about it should instead come up with some pro-active ideas as to how to make it better. get your hands dirty and get involved to help make it even better.

    jamie, keep up the good work.

  10. I dare the complainers to try and put something together here that is better than the SLAMMY's. I know it would take a lot more work than just whining about every little thing you don't like rather than throw out some appreciation and give props to these guys for all of the hard work they put into this.

    I think SLAMMY's are a well thought out, constructed musical showcase that artists and people that follow their music alike enjoy. I think it is also a great opportunity to get yourself exposure and to have your friends and fans back you up.

    I can say that it's my favorite time of year as well, because it is rare I get to see bars in Utah this packed out, and can go barhopping to see one band after another that I absolutely love, in addition to discovering new artists and venues out here.

    There are so many different bands out here and genres of music that it takes some busting ass to put all of this together, and of course not everyone is going to agree on every little category that some people get put into, or who is in or out of the categories. That is where fans come in to vote in their friends as well.

    Unfortunately the people who have the loudest voices are always the naysayers. Typical American way too, whine it up but offer not constructive crticism whatsoever or any specific ideas to improve upon what you don't like.

    I say keep up the good work and I heart you guys!

  11. We love the support Jamie and the City Weekly gives us. They come to fucking shows, they buy merch, they listen to music, they push music in the Salt Lake scene. They're brave enough to put their name in front of what they put in print.

  12. First, having attended local music shows for the past 12 years, at every venue from Speedway Cafe (when I was underage) to Urban Lounge, Burts, Kilby Court, Area 51, Bricks, Ego's, Suede, Addicted Cafe etc...I have yet to see In Utah This Week at any of these local music showcases. Where I have seen them, however, is at local dance club The Hotel, which coincidentally is one of their largest advertisers, usually covering the back page. I'm not saying this is the only venue they attend, I'm saying that I continue to attend shows week after week, with my friends who run Urban Lounge, with my friends who run Monk's, with my friends who run Area 51, and I do not see them anywhere. I have, however, seen City Weekly's stand at hundreds of local shows over the years, talking with people, meeting bands, engaging the crowd, supporting local music. Most of the local bands that I know personally like and respect City Weekly for the years of hard work the paper has put in toward building up the local music scene.

    Second, I think it's terribly sad that people continue to complain about Slammy's. What people fail to realize is that, although not perfect, no other paper is putting on an event equal to Slammy's here in Salt Lake. City Weekly puts this on FOR the bands, not in opposition to them. Local bands should appreciate the effort that City Weekly is doing for them. I know for a fact that an event as large and grueling as Slammy's makes no one's job any easier. And yet, year after year, they keep doing it, for the bands. For the local music scene. I personally will continue to support Slammy's for the great event that it is and continues to become.

    And, I will not hide behind the name Anonymous.

  13. I wanna leave a message to the two comments regarding the Indie Pop and all the "not mentioning names".

    The Future of The Ghost, yes we can use there name, the third place winners of Indie Pop was contacted in regards to perform the closing party.

    At the time only staff choices were concluded, which they are featured as in the issue. In years past performers at the closing party included both staff choice and readers’ winners.

    However, we had decided this year to only feature readers’ choice winners. There was a miss communication and I apologize to The Future of The Ghost they were not contacted timely to be notified of the changes.

    I was in charge of booking the closing party. The Future of The Ghost was not contacted by me to perform and I was unaware they were contacted.

    Please do not disrespect The Brobecks win by falsely accusing us of changing the winners’ placement. The Brobecks did an exceptional job getting fans to participate on their behalf, even without a performance. They came second to Band of Annuals in receiving the most overall votes and should be congratulated.

    Once again I would like to apologize to The Future of The Ghost and their fans that may have been confused and frustrated by our inadvertent error.

  14. The City Weekly's local music coverage is second to none in this town. It doesn't mean that I agree with everything they say, and it doesn't mean that they don't make mistakes (or tick me off) from time-to-time. But if you're looking for perfection, especially when it comes to the coverage of an absolutely subjective topic like music, you'll never find it. The City Weekly's music staff is trying harder, and getting it right more often, than any other media source in SLC.

    I'm tired of all the bickering. The people who have complained about the SLAMMys are like high schoolers who come up with prom-voting conspiracy theories. The SLAMMys (in my opinion, the only decently worthwhile music showcase in Salt Lake City) ultimately boils down to a popularity contest. There's no "music-ometer" that can tell you who the best band is -- everyone has their opinion. And the band that gets more of their people to vote, wins the contest. They get a little money and a couple weeks' bragging rights. Then it's back to being a local band. But I like that this year's SLAMMys weren't only about competition -- it was fun to have showcases that just put good musicians in a room together instead of ending each night with one winner and a bunch of losers.

    I'm also tired of all the rag-on-rag bickering. I wish City Weekly would act like IN and the Afternoon Buzz (and whatever other paper-waste Media One comes up with) just don't exist. What's the point of complaining? People who get their news from the Today show aren't going to watch PBS. And people who think the Afternoon Buzz is a great addition to their commute aren't going understand the value of quality reporting and writing. By spending time talking badly about them, you're only bringing the discourse down to their level, and I think the City Weekly should be better than that.

    I know Media One is the big bully trying to push the good rags out of the market. But instead of bickering about it in your column or blog (and instead of mimicking them in a stale attempt at satire), just be better than them. Find the good stories, and present them in a compelling, well-written way. Find the great music in SLC, and feature it prominently. Remember who you are, reinforce your philosophies and standards, and execute like professionals.


  16. Good God, you all are such a bunch of whiny bastards and poor losers!! I think CW is pretty bad-ass to even do something like the slammys. I am pretty sure people voted for the bands they liked so there it is. I am too busy to fully immerse myself into the local "scene" here and I appreciate CW introducing me to local bands. I would probably not be listening to music produced in the SLC if it weren't for CW. The format of the slammys this year was new and MUCH more complex so it is not surprising that not everything went smoothly (ie anonymous's complaint about the 1st/3rd place band mix up). Can somebody call the waaaaambulance please? Is CW really irrelevant to the local music scene? Hey....learn how to spell 'irelevant' and then maybe then your critiques can be taken more seriously.

  17. I know how hard CW works to make the Slammys a wonderful experience. They work their butts off to support local musicians- which there are TONS of here. Setting communication issues aside, the goal this year was not to be about winning or losing, but about getting local bands noticed in a fun, diverse way. It's about encouraging the community to head out and see new artists, as well as support the ones you already like. City Weekly is very passionate about the local music scene and it shows. Thanks to Jamie and Annie and Jackie and the rest of the CW staff for putting so much effort into making the Slammys the grand event that it was.

  18. It's HILARIOUS how mad people get over this. I don't understand. Instead of complaining, I suggest volunteering to help with next year's event.

    I think the CW is rad. and I'm smart.
    AND I can read.

    Thus, the following equation arises from my line of reasoning:

    I think the CW is rad + I'm smart = the CW is literally rad. and I can read.

    I'm also ace at math. So don't try to eff with my equation or invert it or whatever.

    My next issue - 5-week events are easy? Come on! When was the last time you put on a 5-week event and got ONLY positive feedback? Pull that burrito out of the microwave dude, it's done.

    -Future of the Ghost is a really, really, really cool band, and they won first place in the slammy's that happened in my head

    -Ryan Fedor and kites

    -Afternoon Butt?

  19. Wow. Intriguing posts. Thanks.

    Andrew: I like the cut of your jib. Want to come work for me?

    It's true, CW fills a niche in this city/state that no one else can. That's why I work here.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with a little back and forth about other media, but it can get wearing, especially for non-press people who don't give a rat's ass. We can do better.

    That said, no one--no one at all--does media criticism and reporting in SLC. We do, and we should do more of it. Who watches the watchdogs, after all?

    Thanks for your enthusiastic posts. And I still hate The Buzz.
    (Holly Mullen, editor)

  20. But Holly Mullen -- therein lies the point. There's a difference between being a media watchdog and just angrily lashing out against competition. If a movie critic ripped on every movie and never had anything good to say, he or she wouldn't long be employed, because people wouldn't trust the reviews.

    You say that nobody acts as media watchers except for CW, and you're right. You're the only ones who can do it, so how about you do a legit job of it, and not just come off sounding like sour grapes?

  21. dragon kite? box kite?

  22. Jones:

    CW has had several media criticism stories--with real reporting and everything--in the 11 months I've been the boss. I wrote four myself.

    So keep on reading, because we'll do those stories. (holly mullen)

  23. I like CW better than Buzz for one reason: the paper is softer.
    Much better for wiping my ass.

  24. Holly --

    You are missing Jones' point. You may call what you do "media criticism," but as Jones says, you only lash out. Then, often, you proclaim that CW does it better.

    Well, you don't do it better. You and Bill Frost and others of your ilk get your daily news from the mainstream media and then take potshots. But I guess that's why you're called an "alternative" publication, forever fated to tilt at the mainstream windmills. I'm all for such publications, but I miss the days when CW had interesting writing instead the self-congratulatory fluff that now graces your pages. (I hasten to add that Mr. Dark often is the exception.)

    By the way, re: The Buzz: A few days of reading the truncated stories in that publication tells me a hell of a lot more about what's going on in this community and the world than a whole stack of City Weekly editions. Who can argue with having something like that available?

    I suspect you are more fearful than you let on of Media One and In and Buzz and other freebies tapping into your ad base. Ain't competition a bitch?

  25. Today there was a very important word brought up on kuer... diversity..this says a lot for both what is going on with music as well as responses to the critic. That seems healthy and normal. I feel grateful that the city weekly staff not only tries to promote local music through the paper, but also tries to promote it through other vices (ex radio) through their own ambition.

  26. Today there was a very important word brought up on kuer... diversity..this says a lot for both what is going on with music as well as responses to the critic. That seems healthy and normal. I feel grateful that the city weekly staff not only tries to promote local music through the paper, but also tries to promote it through other vices (ex radio) through their own ambition.

  27. Today there was a very important word brought up on kuer... diversity..this says a lot for both what is going on with music as well as responses to the critic. That seems healthy and normal. I feel grateful that the city weekly staff not only tries to promote local music through the paper, but also tries to promote it through other vices (ex radio) through their own ambition.

  28. Today there was a very important word brought up on kuer... diversity..this says a lot for both what is going on with music as well as responses to the critic. That seems healthy and normal. I feel grateful that the city weekly staff not only tries to promote local music through the paper, but also tries to promote it through other vices (ex radio) through their own ambition

  29. Today there was a very important word brought up on kuer... diversity..this says a lot for both what is going on with music as well as responses to the critic. That seems healthy and normal. I feel grateful that the city weekly staff not only tries to promote local music through the paper, but also tries to promote it through other vices (ex radio) through their own ambition.

  30. I'd volunteer to hand out "City Weekly" any day. It was a good TRAX companion and actually had :-o CONTENT unlike the issue of this 'tabloid' I skimmed today in the office online.


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