Editor's Note - Loafing to a new beat

Music Editor Rodney Carmichael

"You work at Creative Loafing? That must be fun," the insurance agent said last week.

"Yeah, it's great," I responded, adding the punch line that's evolved over my decade here: "But, lemme tell you: It ain't loafin'."

OK. It's not much of a punch line. But it's true. For example, I stay late at the office well more than half the time. And usually, by 8:30 or so, only the evening shift over in ad design remains in the building.

But each night for the last few weeks, I noticed something different: A shiny globe bobbed up and down in front of a computer on the other side of the Editorial department. Was it ... could it be? Yes! It was the pate of Rodney Carmichael, our new music editor, editing – it turns out, writing much of – this week's Music Issue.

Rodney joined our staff in January. He had plenty of training and experience at a daily and a monthly. But I have to admit I was a bit nervous, if only because production deadlines for the Music Issue and our accompanying Georgia Music Directory were coming up quickly.

Would a guy who'd mainly covered soul and hip-hop find a way to reflect the full range of Atlanta's music scene? Would he make deadline? He seems like a nice guy, I thought to myself, but are we throwing him to the wolves?

Then, this morning, I read the issue, and I gotta tell you, if Rodney and his writers were thrown to the wolves, they kicked some lupine ass. This week's Music Issue manages to provide a wide-angled yet textured portrait of Atlanta's evolving scene, from the acclaimed indie-rock achievements of Deerhunter and the Black Lips to punk rockers, pop bands and a funny-ass folk singer named Juju B. Solomon, who's one of my new favorites.

There's practical information on the best new local albums (by Staff Writer Mosi Reeves and other music scribes), along with profiles of pop phenom Zac Brown and hip-hopster Fabo. Staff Photographer Joeff Davis' photos of musicians at their day jobs offer a reality check on trying to make it as a musician. As sort of a centerpiece, you'll find an excerpt from Third Coast, former CL Music Editor Roni Sarig's new book on Southern hip-hop.

CL's also been sampling live shows on our loading dock by some of the artists featured in the section. Podcasts of those sessions, interspersed with Rodney's questions, can be found in the Music Issue../gyrobase/Section?oid=oid:5954.

Hey, Rodney, I'm not worried anymore, but I have some advice: When people ask, tell 'em you're having fun at the Loaf, but be sure to add that you haven't been loafin'.

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