I’ve been watching Nathan’s tenure at Citybeat as an outsider. Since he’s taken over I’ve contributed only a record review or two, which was my choice. He was cool about asking me to pitch ideas for contributions–I declined, citing my work schedule as the reason (it was, and is). I’m willing to reserve judgment because I’ve moved around a lot and know that it took me a while to get a handle on San Diego as a new arrival. I do have the following observations:
1. More hip hop coverage. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Under TJ’s tenure, hip hop was not off the radar but it wasn’t a central focus. I don’t know if San Diego is a hip hop town or not, but my guess is that it’s more of one than the TJ-helmed Citybeat made it out to be, and less of one than ND’s tenure would suggest.
2. The “If I Were U” doesn’t represent my tastes.
3 . Who is Eddie Shoebang, and why is he writing most of the music reviews? Are other reviewers unavailable? The answer to this is that Eddie is the pen name of Nathan himself, who also does a lot of the writing under his own name.
4. The conceptual (some would say “fake”) articles aren’t doing it for me. The aforementioned blog was quite up in arms about the Lupe Fiasco and Switchfoot features in the past two weeks. I’ve written a fair amount, for several different media outlets (full disclosure: Shane, the writer of acoatofredpaintinhell, was my editor at themusicedge.com and is a good friend of mine), and realize that tracking down an artist you’d like to do a feature on isn’t always easy. When that happens, you come up with something else. Arch Enemy and I got our wires crossed over the interview date, so I couldn’t run the story. I guess that’s what’s going on here, but I don’t really know.
5. Nathan (and Eddie) is having to generate a lot of content each week. That can’t simplify the man’s life a great deal.
It’s early in Nathan’s experience with Citybeat. Let’s see where we’re at in a month or so.