Monday, July 25, 2005

Now that's a tasty beverage!

Greetings and salutations... welcome to The Champaign of Blogs!

(Oh...okay... a little too friendly... umm how about...)

'Sup? This here's the Champaign of Blogs, my friend. Gather 'round for a bit of tongue-in-cheek commentary on the goings on of media and culture in Champaign-Urbana. Just remember, when I'm not kind, at least I'll be honest :-)

(That's better.)

So, first things first... let's take a look at a couple of the weekly papers. The Hub and The Buzz are the two most frequently published that have the most character (sorry News-Gazette), so those will be the ones that I'll be commenting on each week. I won't necessarily be judging the entire of each edition, just whatever suits my fancy.

Urbana native Seth Fein kicks off this week's ish of Buzz (as he has been for the past few) and is developing into quite a decent columnist. Seth's replaced Buzz editor Paul Wagner on page 2, and I think I speak for all regular readers when I say "Thank GAWD!" In this column, Seth tackles Pitchfork's growing credibility and gives high marks to their recent Intonation Festival. A fairly interesting, if not pedestrian, subject for a sometimes booking agent to cover. However, I also found it rather curious that he chose to highlight the changes in the competing paper, The Hub. Usually commenting on the positive progress of your competitor is a no-no, but Seth steams ahead anyway, if only to name-check two local musicians, and say that "Lisa (Meid)'s notes are always interesting." I'm not sure what all Seth finds "interesting" about Lisa's little editorials each week, but it makes me question his ability to guage talent if those meandering missives are high on his weekly reading material. He regains momentum, however, by thrashing a Hub columnist from last week's ish about claiming the (former?) Smashing Pumpkins lead man, Billy Corgan was "practically the founder of 'Emo' music." Thankfully, something was said about this publicly, as I'm guessing my letter to the editor wouldn't have made it to print. Seth leaves us with a secretive statement about having an idea that we're going to like... I'm wondering if that would be some big music fest in Champaign-Urbana? Not that that would be a total shocker. Perhaps he's going to rejoin Headlights and play drums again (please be so!), or maybe his brother Adam has come to his senses and will be reuniting Absinthe Blind (even better!).

Oh, and Mike Coulter rocks, as usual.

The aforementioned Hub is beginning to rearrange its stripes somewhat after a lengthy spell of sub-mediocre editions. Thank gawd they finally ditched those stupid emails that took up about 1/3rd of page 3 each week, as those were the lamest inside joke/public ass-kissing displays that I think I've ever seen. This paper still suffers under its "downtown Champaign" idolatry, and it has seemingly closed the door on a venture to explore the nearby environs of Bloomington and Normal. The attempts to uncover the great local businesses and people there was so weakly approached that it makes me wonder how anyone over there could be interested in getting involved again. Hey, Hub, why don't you contact the Journalism departments at Illinois State and Illinois Weslyan and offer an internship for credit to report on the goings on of each town? Think about it... on staff reporters who are live on the scene every day spoon-feeding you info for whatever you need? Just a thought. They have, however, got an interview with Frank Black this week, which was really cool, and Eric Steckler (who is the best damn bartender in CU) continues to grow as a sports writer. Otherwise... this caterpillar is still molting its cocoon, so I'll lay off for a few more weeks until they fully hatch.


At 8:57 AM, July 28, 2005, Blogger lbotp said...

Thanks for the link. Right back atcha. Good luck!


At 4:55 PM, December 01, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just seeing this...guess the hub's back to sub-par publishing...what happened...


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