There's something off-putting about living or working in someone else's space. I'm grateful every time someone offers me a couch or a spare bed to occupy, but there's always something missing. I spent the New Year with homies on the west side of the state, crashing at a friend's condo in Sand Point (the Seattle neighborhood, not the North Idaho town). I had a comfortable bed to sleep in and full access to her television hole and pantry. She made our crew feel comfortable, but it wasn't as though I was in my actual home.
Here's the point I'm making: For the 16 months I've been here, the music section has felt like someone else's house. I was able to function, change a couple things and report on our scene -- hopefully making things better -- but the pages I occupied never felt like home. When I became the music editor about four months ago, the staff and I resolved to make the section our own. By that I mean we wanted to make it yours.
We've taken those four months to talk to people -- our staff, our freelancers, our readers, our critics -- to figure out how to most effectively give you what you need to understand not just the area's bands, but the scene itself: how it works, where it fails, how it can be better.
For those reasons, we've done the following:
1) Added pages -- meaning more space for music features, criticism and club and bar ads.
2) Enlarged Sound Advice to include our entire listings section with more information about our weekly picks.
3) Made Quick Hits weekly, integrating it into Sound Advice, giving more write-ups and honest criticism more quickly than any other paper in town.
4) Created a space for local content, giving a dedicated area to music news, concert reviews and band features every week.
5) Created this column, a den of opinion where I get to do what I want.
So, welcome to the redesigned, rethought Inlander Music Section. Look Around. Make yourself at home.